Recently I wrote in an Op Ed in the AJC that the Board of Education election is one of the most important in Atlanta history. The stakes are very high!
- Your vote will determine who is selected as the next superintendent that will lead the school system for possibly many years to come.
- Your vote will have an impact on what system the district chooses as its form of operations going forward.
- Your vote will establish if the bloated downtown bureaucracy is scaled back to a reasonable level.
- Your vote will determine if authority, responsibility and accountability are placed in the hands of our school leaders that are closest to our children.
- Your vote will determine if the budget is prioritized towards actions that clearly impact the educational outcomes for our kids.
- Your vote will determine if next year’s budget is fiscally responsible and focused on the key objective of educating our children versus funding bureaucratic inertia.
- Your vote will determine if the next Board will be focused on policies that result in positive outcomes for our children or on micromanagement of small issues.
Many people have focused on the money that has been injected into this race by various local and nationwide interest groups – whether they are unions, charter school advocates, business groups or the Mayor of Atlanta.
My view has been consistent on this – look to what the candidates are saying and what their positions are on issues. It has been clear to me that the candidates established their positions early on in the campaign and the money has had little or no impact on their views.
For the most part, the candidates are ethical, intelligent, hard-working, thoughtful and committed to improving educational outcomes for our children. As you consider your votes today, focus on what you believe the candidate will do if elected – as that is the only thing that matters.
Over the course of this race, many have asked me who I will vote for. While I believe the choices are crystal clear in most of the races, I decided that I would not make any endorsements as I wanted to be involved with the newly elected Board members as they began the tough process of making very difficult decisions – in other words, they will have to actually govern.
As you consider who will be most capable of making the difficult decisions in the coming year, I hope that you will consider the following issues as you make your decision for whom you will pull the lever:
- Is the candidate truly focused on educational outcomes or simply a highly visible position in the community?
- Have the candidates displayed their commitment to educational outcomes through their statements and previous actions?
- If the race is between a newcomer and an incumbent, has the incumbent previously taken leadership positions on policies that impact educational outcomes?
As with most off-year elections, this election will be determined by voter turnout. Your vote does matter and your vote will have a lasting impact on the future of our school system and – most importantly – the quality of the education system that is the bedrock of our community.
Vote your conscience and wisely – your decisions will determine if our next generation in Atlanta will be prepared to become effective and contributing members of our community.
Please vote today!