October 19, 2011

Independent Endorsement

By James Barrett

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City school board

The campaign for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education seems far more crowded than it is. Though eight people have filed for five seats, one candidate, Brian Bower, says he’s running only to try to qualify for in-state residency and the lower tuition that comes with it. Another, Raymond Conrad, hasn’t been a regular at forums and did not return our questionnaire.

That leaves four incumbents: Jamezetta Bedford, Mia Burroughs, Mike Kelley and Annetta Streater—and newcomers James Barrett and Kris Castellano—in the running. We endorse Jamezetta Bedford, Mia Burroughs, Mike Kelley, Annetta Streater and James Barrett.

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We also are impressed by and pleased to support Barrett. He understands the needs of the district and its students. Barrett attended middle and high school in the district; His two children attend district schools. He is a founding member of Orange Justice United and could use relationships he has built with local elected officials and decision makers to his advantage. As a leader of a global project for IBM, Barrett also knows what it will take to prepare students for the new economy. He says students should no longer receive a class rank, because that encourages competition, not collaboration.

He proposes a “gap czar” and a wiki where teachers can share strategies to address the achievement gap, which continues to be the most pressing issue facing the schools.


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