The Independent's decision not to endorse Mike Kelley is puzzling, particulary when one reads its opening paragraphs under "Are All Students Being Served?"
Mike epitomizes The Independent's call for "... a savvy, diligent board that is well-versed in the issues." There is no other board member as able to dissect the reports and statistics tossed out by the school administration to uncover the truth. Ask Mike any question about our school's financing, policies, programs, performance,etc. and you will receive an immediate, thorough, and thoughtful reply. His preparation for and dedication to board duties are exemplary.
The Independent also calls for board members who "... must stand up, when necessary, to Superintendent Neil Pedersen, ... ." How the Independent did not specifically praise Mike for precisely this point indicates the paper's lack of research. The citizens of this district know that Mike Kelley is THE board member most willing to challenge the superintendent to actually implement and evaluate all of the programs initiated here. Our district needs more members like Mike, not fewer.
The Independent also points out that the system has a reputation for "overlooking" certain groups of students. Reversing this perception is exactly the battle Mike has been fighting for the past four years while on the board. Mike knows that the district's grandiose plans have provided insufficient progress. Anyone attending board meetings would immediately pick Mike out as the board member least satisfied with the results and demanding that the superindent/district re-evaluate its approaches.
Mike Kelley stands for all students. How else to explain his stance that all students should receive an education that demonstrates academic growth rather than mere proficiency? He knows that all students deserve to learn and that our district can and should do more for each student.
The Independent's statement about Mike's professional duties preventing him from attending forums and activities is suspect at best. Can the Independent provide any evidence of this charge? The paper knows, but perhaps the public does not, that Mike's wife and daughter were hit by a car and seriously injured during his term. Mike's decision to continue his service on the board during the many months of his family's recovery is a testament to his dedication to the education of all the children in our district.
If the Independent chooses not to endorse one candidate, it should at least make the effort to do the proper research.
Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
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