=====( To Win a Board of Education Election, Part 5 )=====
I spoke briefly with one of our district administrators about the possibility of gender disproportion in higher level HS math and science classes. While I was assured that there wasn't any (and I believe this person's honesty), some parents have suggested to me otherwise.
This kind of issue will certainly be addressed in a new Science Task Force which the current Board President will be organizing. To get a hold of any real problem, I will need access to enrol- lment data of the past five years or so. If there is a pattern, I should then be able to identify it using basic categorical data analysis. Now if I get elected, I can have one of the Board clericals enter this data so I don't have to do it ! - same old story at work too ;-)
There's irony here. Our Board President "pursuaded" his senior daughter to enroll in AP chem this past Fall after she refused initially. Her argument was that she had "enough" science for college. Now she's preparing for the AP exams this spring and well on her way to better things.
Granted, her dad is a science professional by training and Board officer (sic), but suppose she came from a different family ? Who would have given her the necessary incentive, let alone the push ? Role model ?
My concern is that our middle school isn't doing the job. Again, I'll have to look at the past enrollment data to arrive at any sound conclusions [yes, I'm preparing an agenda here].
A newspaper reporter interviewed my by phone last night. She basically framed each question from the issues addressed in my flyer. I may have talked too much. Hard to say as it's not some- thing I do every day...
We had 8 inches of snow as well. Spoke with many neighbors about the campaign while clearing the snow. Most are curious about it. One, a retired teacher, whose driveway I helped to clear, spoke fondly of her years of teaching. I learned that her daughter is on the Board of Ed in her community. She was actually open to the idea of organizing a demonstration in the state capital against the current tax laws (as used for financing education).
I've officially decided to link up my campaign for BoE with that of the two other individuals seeking the same. By officially, I mean merging campaign material, strategy, and finances. Our primary objective has narrowed down to (1) getting any one of us elected over the incumbent and (2) supporting the budget.
Given the differences in backround and style of work, there was some miscommunication between the other two and myself initially. My grassroots door-to-door outreach and their Democratic Party machine backround did not see eye to eye on all points. In fact, I had to pursuade one that unity was the optimal stragety. Regardless, while I'll continue to go door-to- door, I'll now be plugged into a mass mailing/marketing tool which many of us have become accustomed to during November. However, I bring a fair number of supporters from my early start in January, a fact which did not go unnoticed. Also my frequent newspaper letters impress though still puz- zle them. These are nice guys, but we probably perceive the world very differently. Oh yes; my contribution was $250.
One of my running mates has asked to go door-to-door with me. After a few blocks, he mentions that he's never done it before. He is former treasurer of the Dem Party. After a while, he falls into his style (or pattern) as I have and we're both comfortable at it. Now given that this guy is a lawyer, it didn't take too long. He's really suprised and happy at it. My other running mate has been out of touch with me for weeks. Just a few disagreements via email. I guess we'll see each other during the open forum, April 6. Some guy.
Am preparing for tomorrow's Board Election's PTO Candidate's Night. During this presentation, millions of locals ask any of the Board candidates millions of questions. As there are no limits on what can be asked, this is where one faces the hot seat. In order of most frequently asked questions (really contro- versies) are: budget, taxes, class size, teacher's salaries, budget, taxes, more budget, etc. (you get the picture). Of course issues related to curriculum, science, core curriculum, guidance counselors, admn. salaries, full daycare, censorship, creationsim in science class, privitization of this or that, etc. Really hot issues I don't look forward to are anything related to abortion in sex ed, etc.
Just received proofs of campaign ads. Also received two pieces of campaign ads mailed by supporters on our behalf this wee- kend. Junk mail never looked so good !
Oh yes, this Friday, a letter which I had posted in February was (finally) printed in the local press. Surpise. Now my "complete works" are available in print. I have a few more to grind out for the three of us. The clock is ticking; it's now two full weeks until election, April 20. ============================================ The writer is a candidate for Board of Education of Metuchen, a district of approximately 1,350 in New Jersey. Aside for concerns about effective and accountable district management, an affordable budget, and increased communication with the community, I'm calling for strong upgrading of K-12mathematics and science education.
By sharing these thought with you, I'm inviting all to consider to do as I have. Public education needs the input of scientists, math and science teachers, not simply businessmen and politicians. Please consider running for Board of Education in your hometown.
I have chosen to go door-to-door with an issue oriented leaflet in hope of reaching the electorate.
This is an experiment to see if we have the power to change things, and not simply interpret them.