Tracy Burger | Indy Week

Tracy Burger 
Member since Oct 24, 2007




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Re: “Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

There are a few points the Indy got right: the fact that the district is not working as it should for large numbers of children and that the BOE needs members who will stand up to Dr. Pedersen. I see only errors of omission in those statements. One error is small the failure to include AG students in the groups that are not served. That error occurs only if one fails to recognize the success the administration has had in marginalizing the educational needs of AG students. The second error is much more important. It is the failure to complete the logical reasoning behind the call for the BOE to stand up to Dr. Pedersen. When a BOE has to fight a superintendent to take care of ANY group of children, the superintendent needs to find a new job.

Posted by Tracy Burger on 10/27/2007 at 2:30 PM

Re: “Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

Is it me or is the reasoning behind the Chapel Hill Carrboro school board endorsements substantially more facile than it had been in the past? The endorsements show no real analysis of the positions of the candidates, provide little or nothing in the way of specifics to justify the broad generalizations, and fail to offer any substantial guidance on the concerns that district stakeholders use to evaluate candidates. The strongest endorsement goes to Jamezetta, who has clearly earned a strong endorsement. At the same time I am struck by the fact that the first two paragraphs endorsing Jamezetta could, after changing the name and career, accurately describe Mike Kelly even down to having been the board representative to the Special Needs Advisory Council. Why that reasoning holds for Jamezetta and not for Mike is never explained. In the introduction to the endorsements, the Independent calls for the board to stand up to Dr. Pedersen. Anyone following Mike Kellys career has seen that Mike has spent four year consistently challenging Dr. Pedersen to use rigorous accountability and evidence based practices. He would be near the top of the list of board members who are willing and able to hold the superintendent accountable. If the Independent actually meant what it said, it would have endorsed Mike Kelly. The other endorsements that are offered do nothing to raise the level of dialogue on vital concerns to this community. The endorsement of Annetta is so superficial as to be useless, and certainly does not do justice to the fact that she has an established record after serving on the BOE for over a year. The endorsements of Gary and Mia offer no depth on their positions despite the fact that those of us who are paying attention know that there are clear differences. In fact, the endorsements all sound like they are based on whether the candidates stated they would advocate for all children. In answering the Independents questionnaire Mikes first sentence was: My top priority is the continuing improvement of student achievement for all children (using) instructional techniques documented to be effective. As all five candidates have clearly stated that they have and will advocate for all children, that commitment is not a sufficient criterion for distinguishing who to endorse and who not to endorse. Claiming this as the basis for endorsement stretches the Independents credibility past the breaking point. Fortunately, the voters of Chapel Hill and Carrboro knew better when they elected Mike the first time in what can only be described as a landslide for a non-incumbent, and will undoubtedly do so again. We are known for taking a far more in-depth assessment of candidates than the Independent seems willing to provide. We also avoid the type of petty accusations that fail to acknowledge that any of us may face tragedy at anytime and there is little point to being part of a community if we cannot support each other through the challenges that tragedies present. The Independent endorsements lack credibility and fail to respect the need of the voters to have real information on which to interpret the endorsements and on which to base their decisions on Election Day. The integrity of the five candidates for school board is the highest in recent memory. I suspect that not one of the candidates can feel truly comfortable with an endorsement that relied on such superficial and inappropriate criteria and that failed to acknowledge the dedication Mike Kelly showed to the children of this district when his own wife and children were hurting so badly. I have to agree with Mr. Mullers call for a serious apology to Mike, but I would add that an apology to the other candidates and the voters is also appropriate.

Posted by Tracy Burger on 10/24/2007 at 11:42 PM

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