Wednesday, February 24, 2010

CPS School Board - Bates

I posted this a while back. But think it's worth posting again.

I’m always too tired to write a blog post and too lazy to edit. Still I always feel it’s my duty to post. So, I’m up at 5am writing a post.

I attended the CPS candidate forum last night moderated by Michelle Hopkins of WLWT channel 5. Great job, Mrs. Hopkins

Here are a few of my thoughts. First impressions

The Good, The Bad, and the McDowell

1. Vanessa White - What most impressed me about Vanessa White is that she has 5 school children in the CPS schools. She is an active volunteer at Rockdale academy. She stated that many people question why she volunteers because they believe that the parents don’t care. She stated that nothing could be further from the truth. She stated that she has yet to encounter a parent that does not want their child to succeed. Mrs. White recognizes that more parents need to become engaged and that’s why she helped establish the Parent Leadership Institute. Kudos to Vanessa White.


2. Ceair Baggett - What an awesome young man with some truly innovative and fresh ideas. As an example he talked about 21st century learning to accommodate the various types of learners. Ceair stated that one should incorporate various teaching methods into the classroom to capitalize on each individual student’s strengths. Ceair also believes that disciplinary actions should be across the board. Punish Woodward and Walnut Hills students the same. Ceair is Taft high school graduate(class of 2005--he graduated with my son--and don't even make me cry). He's 22, a homeowner, pursuing his Master's degree, working in Mgmt--not the type of positive role model that the locals news will show you. Why don't we ever see people like Ceair on the evening news? Ms. Hopkins, story on Ceair?????

3. Jason Haap - An educator/blogger and a man that knows how to get things done. He’s not even on the board (yet) and he’s already lobbied the board to adopt more inclusive anti-harassment policies. Haap would make an excellent school board member because he’s not afraid to asks tough questions, introduce innovative ideas (think outside the box). Nor is he afraid to investigate those that don’t operate under complete transparency. Haap believes school board members should focus on solutions, not biographies.

Haap is needed on that board. HAAP on Board.


4. John Banner - He does not support the school levy. Nor does he support a prevailing wage. On the panel Banner made two comments (something about his ex wife, and something about Flannery) that some found offensive. Banner has a car bumper sticker that reads ‘DON’T BREED ‘EM IF, YOU CAN’T FEED ‘EM’ and apparently he’s against feeding impoverished children school lunches.


5. Lisa Schare - She didn’t really jump out as front and center candidate--that is as the candidate that could implement the much needed change on the CPS school board. Still, she has a child in CPS schools, and she believes it’s important to keep art in our schools (I agree). She talked about a fresh approach to learning. She mentioned a book, A New Mind by John Pink. (I think that was the book. I think that’s the author’s name)

She used the term at-risk youth. I like to think of our youth as being at-promise. Over all she appeared to be a solid candidate.


6. Curtis Wells - Mr. Wells was a no show. I don’t think he called to cancel because they still had his bottle of water and name card out in front of his empty seat. I heard one of the host mumble that Wells (AKA Rebel Rouser) was a no show, as she covered his name card. As much "smack" that Wells talks on radio, I would have liked to see/meet him. He's seems highly educated.

7. Mary Welsch Schlueter - At first hearing her on the stage, I thought her opening remarks sounded sort of gimmicky. I wasn’t surprised to later find out that she is a marketing exec. As the evening got going Welsch Schleter answered questions precisely and offered up real solutions. I believed she mentioned the success of a school/program called Decca. She appeared seasoned, and very knowledgeable. My guess is that she’d make a solid school board member. Hey, she talked about virtual backpacks.


8. Melanie Bates - She really scared me as a current school board incumbent. She made comments like don’t bring the streets in our schools, and the answer to solve discipline problems in our schools is more police. Whereas some of the other candidates took the approach that educators should nurture and build trusting relationships with students, her approach appeared to set CPS schools up for failure. I am very sensitive to her what she’s been through in her life, so maybe that has played a part in why she now sees the jar as half-empty as it pertains to our children. Perhaps it’s time for her to move on.

Bates and the other Deter types start considering how much prison space they'll need when our black babies are in the 4th grade.  They don't understand what the price of freedom, jobs, opportunities, means to us.  Malcolm X says the price of freedom (jobs, contracts, education, equality)  is death.


Some on the school board don't understand that when our black children are in the fourth grade, some like Deters and Bates make notes on how much jail space, they'll need for our kids. What they don't understand is that the price of freedom (equality, justice, opportunities) is, well, Malcolm X says it best...

9. Catherine D. Ingram - As an incumbent it appeared that she had all the answers, or at least thought she did. At times she did appear to have many solid answers for the questions asked. She passionately supports a prevailing wage and made an excellent case for others to support it. Still perhaps, it’s time for her to move on from the school board.

10. Eileen Cooper Reed - I’ve heard her speak at other events and it’s clear that she’s really cares about our communities and students. Still, lately, she’s appeared a little tired. Last night she stated that she wants back on school board because she has some unfinished business on the board. I think, perhaps, if the business ain’t finished by now...

11. Joyce F. Hooks - She has such a pleasant speaking voice. And she’s a really pleasant person to talk to. I like that her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren attended or attend CPS. I think the fact that she’s a retired educator is a plus and minus. A plus because she should have plenty of time to devote to the board, but a minus because I’m afraid she’s out of touch with technology and how to reach today‘s youth. I could be wrong on this and hope that all will give her a fair shake.

12. Chris McDowell - Wow! He does not support the school levy, does not support a prevailing wage, and none of his 3 children attend CPS public schools. He stated and get this folks, if his daughter became really good at playing the violin, he might consider sending her to the School of the Creative and Performing arts. McDowell is an attorney and it appeared that he only wants on the board to meddle in constructions contracts. His behavior at the meeting last night was downright crude (cell phone kept going off, and reading while other panelist were speaking--hey folks we watch this stuff in the audience) He spoke really loud and spewed the regurgitated Republican talking points. I served in army….I'm in the army now.

Diversity in thought. Are you kidding me? Sounded good as talking points.


I have included candidates email addresses. I hope that the community will email the candidates with your thoughts, suggestion. Our children are the future! Let them know that!

I was thankful that many members of a board that I serve on attended the event. We were there watching, listening. Our education chair was present and our eyes and ears were open WIDE!