Last night at the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education candidate forum sponsored by the Sarah Smith Elementary School PTA, the candidates for the District 4 seat answered a series of questions and then gave closing statements. I will post a recap of the entire session in a subsequent post, but the news of the night was the closing statement made by Taryn Bowman who is challenging incumbent Nancy Meister for the seat.
In closing, Bowman said,
We are at a critical crossroads. The next board of education will either position us on a trajectory toward success and real student achievement or toward mediocrity at best. It is time for change at APS, real change, not the type of back-door politics that has stifled the district and disenfranchised the students. I pledge to hold APS accountable regarding our budget, student services and academic programs, and I have no conflict of interest in doing this. In fact, I have a full 30 hours per week to devote to ensuring that our schools get the resources that they need and that we approve policies that keep students first.
Yes, my opponent has experience. She has more experience in…
- Overseeing a 51% overall graduation rate and 60% graduation rate at North Atlanta.
- Overseeing school shootings, gas leaks, and a sexual assault of a special ed student at North Atlanta.
- Serving on a board that jeopardized accreditation for our high school students.
- Being evasive and sneaky about the Pine Hills redistricting.
- Changing out over 70% of the principals across the district, compromising stability for our students. Right here at Sarah Smith, there have been three different principals over the last three years.
Is that the experience that you want? We need stability and accountability for our students. On November 5, vote for me, Taryn Chilivis Bowman for the Atlanta Board of Education, District 4.
There is a lot here and my sense was that Meister wanted to respond. However, under the forum rules Bowman was the last to speak and the session ended.
As in the past, if a candidate desires to issue a formal statement on any specific issue or set of issues that arise during the campaign, I will be happy to publish them here.
In addition, the At Large candidates for seats 7 and 9 were provided an opportunity to make a brief statement at the beginning of the forum. Then, subsequent to the District 4 session, four of the candidates for the At Large 8 seat also made statements and answered questions.
I will provide a summary of the discussion for this group in a later post as well.
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