Forum Open Thread: Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board

Welcome to the open thread for tonight's Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board candidate forum.

There are four candidates for three seats:

Shell Brownstein is unable to join us for our forum due to a prior work-related conflict.

You can observe the forum at

We hope you'll use this open thread to post your thoughts and reactions. Also, if you want to propose additional discussion topics, you can reach the editors during the forum via Twitter, Facebook, and the contact page. The forum moderator will have final say in question selection.




Teachers want to teach. Additional time spent in professional development or in leadership usually means more meetings and less time to teach or to prepare for teaching. 

I'd like to think that all the PD workshops I used to offer were "not to be missed" but I know that's not true. Grading papers, preparing for the next day, and seeing their families were all more important, rightly so. What administrators never understand is that teachers are overworked and underpaid so professional development just doesn't rise to the top of the important pile very often.

If you use this URL for the forum page, you'll be taken to the newest content when the page refreshes: 

Kudos to James Barrett for being the first candidate to particpate in not just one, but TWO OP candidate forums. And he actually answered all the questions!

This was definitely easier the 2nd time around.  We worked out some technical  formatting glitches AND I felt better prepared for the questions.  School board so often gets left out of electoral conversation, but given that our property values are directly tied to the quality of our schools, it is very important work and I trluy appreciate OP's willingness to invest time in the conversation.  Thanks also for picking a great moderator who focused us on specific topics that align with the important issues facing our schools and meaningful to our community.

I was reading over the long range plan again (sorry, can't keep 28 strategies all in my head all the time) and remembered that we have strtategy 3.6 that relates as well:

 Review the middle school and high school student schedulesand consider recommendations for change* Adequacy of learning time* Ability to engage in diverse curriculum* Schedule which provides time for effective teaching strategies* Provides rigor In-line with a growth mindset and Principles of Learning* Allow students to participate in the arts, CTE, and other elective areas

This may not be as clearly aligned to stress as class rank, but it is also an important community conversation that needs to happen for the benefit of our students.

My answer for the final question was entered to late to be posted, so here it is: I am pleased that the Long-Range Plan highlights the need to close the achievement gap.  I'm excited about strategies 2.1-2.3 and 3.2. As a Mexican-American, equity in our schools is at the forefront of my initiatives for being a member of the Board of Education, not only for ethnic minorities, but also for other groups where there are both achievement and resource gaps such as children with special needs.  Many issues revolve around equity but I feel this only one of several crucial elements in helping our school district thrive.  The importance of communication cannot be emphasized enough and can always be improved upon.  Maintaining and expanding our infrastructure has to be planned long term.  Committing to innovation in education will ensure our school district remains one of the finest in this country.Thank for this opportunity to participate in this forum. The questions were great and I look forward to more.

I'm really glad you brought up this point.  We have 10 buildings that are more than 40 years old that all need attention.  How we address that will be a critical discussion with the board, OC Schools (as equitable funding needs to be considered), and the county commissioner over the next year+.  The board heard an update on this just last week -- -- and will continue the conversation at our joint meeting this Thursday.


Community Guidelines

By using this site, you agree to our community guidelines. Inappropriate or disruptive behavior will result in moderation or eviction.


Content license

By contributing to OrangePolitics, you agree to license your contributions under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.

Creative Commons License

Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.