Live Blog: PTA-NAACP-PAGE School Board Candidate Forum

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro school district PTA Council, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro chapter of the NAACP Education Committee, and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro chapter of Partners for the Advancement of Gifted Education (PAGE) are jointly hosting a school board candidate forum this evening at Chapel Hill Town Hall. OP editor Damon Seils live-blogs.

issue: 

Total votes: 186

Comments

The PTA-NAACP-PAGE school board forum will begin shortly here at Chapel Hill Town Hall. There actually are several people in the audience.I'll try to keep up with all 6 candidates. Candidate Raymond Conrad does not appear to be participating. Stunt candidate Brian Bowers is, of course, not present. 

The moderator is Reg Hildebrand, a UNC faculty member.

Q1

Many parents feel that the communication between them, the district and the Board is lacking. As an example, when a member of the public comes to comment at a Board meeting, there is no feedback -- no follow-up questions are asked by the Board to clarify their understanding, no comments are made, and no contact information is obtained from the constituent. This is correct parliamentary procedure, but it is hardly a model for effective dialogue. Would you be willing to attend regular, periodic meetings sponsored by the PTA Council where an open, back and forth discussion could take place on issues of parent, teacher and student concerns?BARRETT: Yes. It goes deeper. The question doesn't mention teachers. There has been concern about communication between board and teachers. Recognizes this is a problem, and the board could find ways to address it. One option would be for the board to choose during some meetings to refer questions and comments to staff that require follow-up. Also thinks there could be ad hoc committees on some issues that require community input, rather than taking up full board meetings on those issues.BEDFORD: Periodic meetings could be done. Have to be careful about sunshine laws, so such meetings would have to be announced in advance. Improved communication -- including website and forums -- is a good idea. Board also can use surveys and other methods. Board's decision-making model is supposed to be to send critical issues to SIT and PTAs so their feedback gets to the central office and the superintendent and then to the board. Imperative that we seek input from underrepresented groups also, who may not always be our PTA officers.BURROUGHS: Yes. Thinks collaboration here tonight shows one way to expand this concept of outreach to community groups. Also wants to plug new superintendent's "community conversations." Model for this is interesting and elicits a lot of input. Especially important because of current work on new strategic plan.CASTELLANO: Yes. All running for board because we want to hear from all the stakeholders. Loves interactive dialogue. Has been doing this on SIT, on soccer fields, etc, for many years. Board has moved meetings to Chapel Hill Town Hall so they're more accessible. But board then loses some of the direct access that comes from meeting at the schools.KELLEY: Regarding communication with board, important to acknowledge open meetings laws. Regarding meetings with individual members, likes to take opportunities to make himself available to community members. Does Sunday morning jogs with community, etc.STREATER: Understands challenges and frustrations with perceived lack of communication. Supports open process for people to hear and engage in board's decision-making model. Board members bring feedback from their assigned areas of the community. Important to share this input in formal board meetings in recognition of public process and openness.

I've tried meeting over coffee.  Any takers for this?  Let me know.    

Jog and Jabber with Mike Kelley

Oct 2nd

7:30AM - 8:30AM

Take
a jog with Mike Kelley and tell him what’s on your mind about our
schools. Every Sunday morning at 7:30 AM from Foster’s Market parking
lot on MLK Blvd. Can’t run early on Sunday mornings? Email Mike to
arrange a time to walk, jog, or bike at another time or place.
(mkelley3@nc.rr.com)Cost: freeEvent Type: School EventFoster's Market parking lot750 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.Chapel Hill, NC 27514Phone: 919-442-8734
 

Q2

As you may know, African American/Hispanic students are lagging behind their counterparts in academic achievement at alarming rates across the country. Please explain what you feel are the needs, challenges, and/or barriers that impact this population's overall achievement in Chapel Hill/Carrboro schools. If your response to this question includes multiple strategies, how would you rank them importance? In other words, what should our schools focus on first to improve the achievement of these students?BURROUGHS: Difficult question to answer in two minutes. Important thing is that every child enters kindergarten excited and wanting to learn, but not every child comes with same skill set -- exposure to reading, travel, etc. That is biggest barrier. There are also issues of race and racism. Factor that district can best address is the skills deficit when children arrive. First priority is to improve instruction. We have excellent teachers, but there can be unevenness in quality of instruction. Over next couple of years, there will be focus on this. Shout out to Michelle Brownstein for focusing on literacy.BEDFORD: Literacy is most important issue. Board has established partnerships to work on this issue. Need to develop preschools and revisit training for literacy coaches and their curriculum. What curriculum and interventions will work best for struggling students? Another strategy is to supplement pay for teachers who acquire AG certification. Also provide good educational tools for teachers. Those are just some of the things.STREATER: Three areas of challenge. One is improving literacy. Critical that students acquire strong skills there to engage in other subjects. Literacy is the foundation. Strategies include board members generating and creatively funding professional development for teachers and staff so they can engage in culturally proficient practices and consistent use of best practices. This has been a challenge. There is research about particular practices for teaching literacy, but we will be stronger as we ensure consistent implementation of these practices. District may need to commit more resources to this. State and federal funds for this are drying up. Collaboration with local agencies and community leaders can provide role models and improve climate for students to strive for excellence.KELLEY: Two aspects to focus on. First is growth. Second is where students start from. Seen in most recent data that African American and Hispanic students are growing at similar rate, but starting from different point. Strategies to allow some students to access more instruction are critical.BARRETT: Number one issue is low expectations. We do not have same expectations, particularly for students of color. This is not acceptable. New superintendent has identified this as a priority; look forward to seeing him work on this. Imporrant to have high expectations that all students can succeed. Underidentification of gifted kids among minority kids is also a problem.CASTELLANO: Hearing common themes. Literacy is huge, starting from birth. Need to educate our families on how to make literacy happen. Not everyone has the same opportunities. First School is huge; need to turn into more of a reality. Communication is also huge between all of us, teachers, staff, administrators, and among schools. Gap widens as we continue through our learning. Act early, or gap widens.

Q3

Thanks to No Child Left Behind, American school districts, including ours, focus intensely on the percentage of students that are proficient on end-of-grade tests. North Carolina's 8th grade math test ranks 40th most rigorous in the nation. If 100% of Chapel Hill-Carrboro students scored proficient on the 40th most rigorous test in a country whose math education is ranked 24th in the world, would you consider our district successful? What goals, other than 100 percent proficiency, should our district strive for? How should we measure progress toward these goals? What should the board do to make sure these other goals are taken as seriously as bringing all students up to minimum standards?BEDFORD: Proficiency tests are a bare floor. We have standardized test scores and NC standard curriculum. But in terms of success, we need to look at where children start and how they grow. Need to integrate curriculum. Look at graduation rates, how many students attend and graduate postsecondary education. Also, are students happy? We have not only minority achievement gap, but also global achievement gap. Need to integrate curriculum, not just look at proficiency ratings.STREATER: School improvement plans allow community to engage in strategies to raise students' performance and consider how to support parents and teachers. We can look at subgroups with the available data, and there is alarming information there. But there has been a response in the Department of Public Instruction that they understand NC has fallen behind. Common core standards and state essential standards need to be raised. It will be more difficult for students to achieve at minimum levels. So we need to begin now in preparing students at a more rigorous level.CASTELLANO: Need to focus on professional development for teachers so they know best practices and can bring students up to speed. Other professions do continuing education; same thing should be done for teachers. Finding resources to do this will be important for us. Common core practices will make state-to-state comparisons easier so we know better where we stand.BARRETT: Question is about goals other than 100% proficiency. So the obvious goal is to measure growth. We have gotten better at that. Board is looking at annual growth metrics that provide detailed data. SIT teams are beginning to use these data at the school level. But why is this not being applied at the teacher level? If we're going to meet our district goals, then we should do this all the way down to the teacher level. Our current standard is only 60% expected growth; should aim for 100%.BURROUGHS: Agrees that growth should be the focus. No Child Left Behind is becoming increasingly irrelevant. New strategic plan for district should be to find more useful measures, like growth and literacy. Also important to see how students do after they graduate.KELLEY: Growth is the way to go. Minimal proficiency standards are minimal and relatively arbitrary. Problem is state doesn't provide growth data. We have to get those data ourselves. The data have limitations, too. State average of students meeting expected growth is 50%, ours is 60%. Of course, we can do better.

Q4

Over the past few years, the Board has developed policies around bullying and Honors/Hybrid classes -- among many others. We know from the news over the last few months that the implementations of these policies in particular have fallen somewhat short of the goals for them. And, in fact, it has come to light that the policies may be seen more as a suggested course of action than as a requirement set by the Board. Do you agree that communication and faithfulness in implementation of Board policy decisions are areas of possible improvement and, if so, what will you seek to change in the future?STREATER: For organization as large as our school district, always have challenges with communication. But it's about establishing effective system for channeling those communications. Should allow us to communicate with all staff about what is expected of them. As a board, we establish policy. It is up to district administrators to implement those policies. Many start as federal or state mandates. It is board's reponsibility to create policy that fits our district. She supports efforts that require stakeholder opportunities to hear about policies that affect them. Supports sending policy communiques to building leaders and administrators to make sure they understand expectations. Communication has to be monitored. We rely on administrators to monitor implementation of policies we approve.KELLEY: Important that board follow processes that allow input from all stakeholders. Board is trying to do better at reaching out to less vocal constituencies. On implementation side, board has limitations. Superintendent is hired to be responsible for implementation. Board needs to be clear about what we expect as a community and what we are going to demand in terms of reporting. Make very clear communication with superintendent in terms of our goals and consequences for lack of implementation.CASTELLANO: We need to recognize that we're all working together. That premise breeds respect. A lot of people are involved in developing policies, including committees, SITs, etc. Should respect their time and expertise in terms of suggesting best practices. Communication of policies to all stakeholders is important. Superintendent is board's employee, and he has many employees, so we need to make sure all the lines in the organizational chart are held together so that policy is implemented effectively. Holding stakeholders accountable also important.BURROUGHS: Others have covered answers thoroughly. There has been uneven implementation of some policies. But there is frustration when students are affected by uneven implementation. Board responsible for holding staff accountable.BEDFORD: Introduces superintendent. Agrees with prior speakers. Has started making list of policies that have not been implemented consistently. It is a fundamental problem. Administrative oversight is what's needed. This was critical piece in search for new superintendent.BARRETT: Biggest factor is leadership in each building. Important to have strong leaders. Communication and implementation only happens if administrator in principal's office is leading effectively. We should continue to be open to experimentation, too, however. Be open to trying new things, pilot programs, etc.

Q5

What types of support, monitoring of best practices, gathering of efficient data, and follow through are you aware of in other communities throughout the nation that are producing positive academic results for African American/Hispanic students, and how can our schools better partner with those communities to create and provide an effective support network for students?CASTELLANO: Does not have data on specific schools that we could emulate. But knows how to find those answers. Wants to reach out to the right people to gather data and ideas. Need support in our community first, from neighbors, teachers, administrators, etc. Identifying these kinds of support is crucial for students. Good example is the dual language program.BARRETT: Love idea of looking to our neighbors for examples. Friend has peer who recently decided to solve achievement gap in her own classroom. But it took 80-hour weeks, late-night meetings with parents, etc. Not a sustainable model, but worth having conversation with her about what worked, what actually worked in our community in this example. What can we pull from that and use across the district. Stories of teachers with good ideas. But sometimes if they speak up, they're told they're going against policy. Encourage sharing of ideas, including between teachers, that can be used, and recognize teachers who are sharing good ideas. Take advantage of teachers' experience.KELLEY: Different ways to look at information that's out there. Some reports have looked nationwide for what's effective. Problem with those data is that the schools are doing many different things, so it's hard to tell what specific things were effective. One program to look to is the Knowledge Is Power (KIP) program. A great study of this randomized students to the program. Program showed big difference in efficacy between these students and students in standard curriculum. This kind of approach could be good solution for students who have a lot of catching up to do. He also references Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN), which allows good sharing of information and ideas.BEDFORD: We recently partnered  with UNC School of Social Work on examining teaching strategies. There is a KIP middle school in North Carolina that we should visit and learn from. A few charters offer comprehensive services which could be a model to look at. Arlington, Virginia, has had good parent-based interventions.STREATER: Some strategies also include MSAN. We also have administrators who are part of teams to examine best practices. Increased collaboration with community leaders would be good source of role models. Also should spend more time on instruction and stress that teachers should reduce urge to consider factors outside of classroom as predictor of child's expected success.BURROUGHS: Student achievement plan has over 100 items. Would like district to pick a few things and do them really well through focused work. For example, instruction, literacy, instead of scattering efforts among many items.

Just for clarity, I was referring to the the Minority Student Achievement Plan which had over 100 items.   

Q6

Investment capital, and over the past decade, jobs, have increasingly flowed to where the best and most cost effective skills reside, wherever in the world the knowledge workers may be. What will you do to enable CHCCS students to effectively compete in the global marketplace? What changes will you make to increase science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills, creativity and innovation? How will you overcome the inherent and systemic challenges that may prevent these necessary changes from being implemented right away to make an impact on our future workforce and economic prosperity?KELLEY: Question directed toward global achievement that board has recently recognized. Want to remove artificial barriers to achievement. Going to see common core curriculum that will allow national comparisons. Artificial barriers include local prerequisites for courses that don't have clear rationales; need to provide students with multiple options, including accelerated opportunities in STEM areas. Consider STEM magnet school. Also need to look at dual language program. Finally, this doesn't happen by putting everyone in these programs. We need students strong in many different areas.BURROUGHS: Mike covered it very well. More globally, we're about teaching children to think and how to learn. Things change quickly in the world. Need to prepare children to go out in world and know how to teach themselves and learn new things. Comes back to our instruction; make sure students know more than repeating back facts, but learning to think.BARRETT: Head of local Chamber of Commerce likes to describe our biggest export as well-educated children. We do a pretty good job, so much so that we don't keep all our kids here in our own job market. If we believe this is a priority, our budget should reflect this. Budget should reflect our priorities from the ground up. If we believe in STEM focus, budget should reflect this. Board should be open to using position swaps also. Frank Porter Graham Elementary School has strong science program; we should be responsive to their focus and achievement in this area.STREATER: With budget limitations, we have been challenged in this area. Need to increase partnerships with business in our region to engage students in learn and earn opportunities. More collaboration with area universities. They have programs for students, but many don't know about them. This is not just enrichment for an elite; should be accessible to everyone.CASTELLANO: It takes a village, and we have a great village here to take full advantage. Great local resources to help with developing global schools. So it's about making those connections. Read that most jobs that our children enter aren't even created yet. So we need to be critical thinkers and think out of the box; project-based learning opportunities for all students, not just some.BEDFORD: Need to focus on language expansion. But also rethink traditional foreign languages programs. Increase use of technology in improving instruction so that it's used in smart way.

Regarding new state criteria for teacher evaluation: Given that teacher leadership is identified as priority, how can teachers be included in district decision making?BEDFORD: We have limited processes for teachers to participate, including some district committees. Regarding the evaluations, policy changes from teacher-leaders would have to come through the official processes through the district administration.CASTELLANO: Agrees that committees are good venue for teachers to share input and experience and promote proven best practices. SITs are important venue for people to get involved. Good way for teachers, parents, and administrators to engage in dialogue and show leadership.STREATER: Not a perfect situation, but new evaluation tool will help improve instruction. In terms of demonstrating leadership, thinks district-level committees are important, as are PLCs. Another leadership opportunity is to take departmental leadership positions and also to be leader in creating platforms for students to engage.BARRETT: SITs are important avenue for input on district policies. They are meant to be joint group of parents and teachers. Teachers are welcome to board meetings as members of public, but need other opportunities such as committees that allow teacher input.BURROUGHS: Haven't been perfect about communication. Agrees that SITs are there to be avenue for teachers and others to provide input. Also notes there are multiple standards on teacher evaluation. Need to be clear about what those opportunities are.KELLEY: Curriculum Management Committee is mostly teachers. Professional learning communities for teachers. SITs also important. Also direct communication with principal, and involvement in teacher organizations. Also interested in hearing other ideas from teachers about how to approach this. But still important to follow enacted policies and formal processes for influencing policy.

What would you make a priority within these multiple alternative paths: magnet schools; wraparound; schools w/in schools; the trades; gifted nurturing; middle college; CTE career exploration. How does our district perform on STEM education?BURROUGHS: Trick question. These are all important paths, and we need to do them well. We have diverse district with multiple needs, and difficult to say one is more important that the others. We have to do it all. Rating of STEM education: global answer is we have very good district, but won't be excellent until all children have access.STREATER: District has done fairly well in providing opportunities in these areas. Challenge is offering to as many students who want those opportunities. We can do better in STEM, but we have good provocative teachers in these areas. Hard to tell how consistently it's happening.BEDFORD: Have opportunity to consider magnet option. School w/in school option is too limiting. Middle college was a mistake; need to go to early college as model. Regarding STEM, it's odd we have weak middle school education in these areas given how many STEM professionals live in our district.KELLEY: Have looked at magnet schools. Some other options have been looked at and rejected. Gifted nurturing extends across every area. Middle college can be good for some students; does have limitations and has been underutilized.BARRETT: Middle college is a great program for the kids who can get there. Has challenges, and needs more publicity. Serves kids who aren't being served in other ways. On question of STEM, we have great resources in this community who can be engaged in our schools. Take advantage of these community resources.CASTELLANO: District has variety of needs. Some offerings will meet needs of some, not of others. School w/in school makes it challenging to do PLC work. Hard for teachers to collaborate and develop best practices. As far as STEM, we can do better but there are great things going on.

Given the realities of the budget climate, what are your top budget priorities? Name 3 programs you would never cut and 3 programs you would be willing to cut.BARRETT: Priorities need to be set by community after lot of discussion. We don't have good process to build from ground up. Learned last night at Chapel Hill 2020 vision session that Chapel Hill is changing budget process and town manager has offered superintendent information on how to do that. District has done good job of pitting groups against each other, and so that's not how he would approach this question.BEDFORD: Would not cut arts or academies or dual language, even though they cost us money. Also woudn't cut assistant principals. Would be willing to cut half-time AG specialists, one of literacy coaches, and ???.BURROUGHS: Barrett is right. We're working on strategic plan that will help with thinking about priorities. Ground-up budgeting is the way to go. Need a fresh look, and need good evaluations of programs rather than anecdotal evidence.CASTELLANO: Sharing resources is important. What can we do to think out of box about sharing resources with other local governing bodies to help avoid some budget cuts? Would not want to cut languages, but might reconsider how to deliver languages. Would ask parents, teachers, administrators on the ground what they think would be appropriate cuts to make.KELLEY: Notes that budget has been declining for 40 years and will continue. Supports quarter-cent sales tax. We've reached the limit of what we can cut. Should use zero budget approach so that everything is on the table. Two items under review: FLES(?) program and elementary literacy support program. Not saying to cut, but they will be under review.STREATER: Before considering cuts or keeps, critical to understand that governance means looking at issue from all sides, including concerns from everyone who may be impacted by a decision. Strategies and processes for improving student health should not be cut, because this effects learning.

"Notes that budget has been declining for 40 years and will continue."This should have been declining for 4 years.  Sorry if that was not clear.  

District has been committed to in-class differentiation as primary tool for meeting diverse learning needs. Do you consider differentiation sufficient alone? If not, what would you add? If so, please grade the job we are doing at implementing it in our classrooms. What should we add to our toolkit to improve our abiility to meet all students' learning needs?KELLEY: Differentiation was never designed to be the only strategy. Other strategies include clustering of students; not sure we do a good job on that.BURROUGHS: Mike is right. Differentiation is not the only strategy used. It does vary in quality. Had one child graduate the district and another on her way. Has seen differentiation done very well. Key is good professional development and excellent teacher who is well-equipped to implement it.BARRETT: Not sufficient and has not been implemented well. Has been done inconsistently. Clustering is one thing to do in addition, but do it flexibly. To meet all student needs, need to meet students as individuals. This takes a variety of strategies, and this asks a lot of teachers. Clustering is one way to help with this.STREATER: Critical piece to this type of strategy is the teacher. Teacher has to be developed and feel comfortable with the strategy. We haven't been able to monitor how well it happens, and she would like to have discussions about how to do that. But need to support teachers in implementation.CASTELLANO: Has seen it work great and seen it work horribly as a parent. Teachers who do it well have had good professional development. Teachers need time to develop skills to do differentiation well. Clustering is also difficult to implement. PLCs are hugely important. To decide on differentiation or clustering means having effective PLCs.BEDFORD: Differentiation is wonderful romantic vision. Some teachers do it well for various reasons. But needs professional development. Can't make judgments when we haven't provided professional development and adequately monitored implementation. Gives it a D-minus.

Do school resource officers (SROs) make schools more safe or less safe? Is it appropriate to have same individual in lunch hall asking students to be quiet also responsible for informing them of their right to be silent?CASTELLANO: SROs are important. Provide more than just being disciplinarian. Provide role model for students. As far as discipline goes, hope that's starting in elementary school. When students and teachers are respectful of one another, this models later behavior. No child wants to be a problem. Our job to find reasons for misbehavior and address them early.BARRETT: Not a huge fan. Heard too many stories of kids feeling intimidated, particularly African American kids. Having SROs deal with everyday interactions sets up wrong expectations. Need to be careful how we use SROs.KELLEY: SROs needed in high school, not in elementary. Question is about middle schools. Area that he's willing to consider rethinking with respect to middle schools.BEDFORD: Waffles on the middle school SROs. Principals think they're essential, but they should not be doing everyday hall monitoring. They are there to address bigger safety issues, crime, serious incidents. Administrators should be doing the rest. SROs should not be profiling.STREATER: Stresses prevention. Knows history of why SROs were brought into both high schools and middle schools. Was about discipline concerns, but also to promote self-discipline among students via example, role models, etc. Good idea to have SROs involved in educational process and in supporting teachers and administrators, and be aware of apparent disparate impact on minority students.BURROUGHS: SROs recent subject of revised policies to emphasize relationship building, etc, before bad things happen. Not OK to abdicate discipline responsibilities from administrators to SROs. Had not heard this concern before, so would like to make sure it's addressed.

I am finding this part impossible to live-blog. It's entertaining though. Listen soon on WCHL.

STREATER: Has appreciated her five years on the board. Has been thoughtful about the issues and will continue to advocate for procedures and policies that promote all children learning at high level. Also will be judicious in how to use funding.KELLEY: Appreciates support for past eight years. This is a transition year for the district. Believes his experience is important for the board. Looks forward to changes from the new superintendent, particularly in getting most out of limited resources. Will advocate for each child in the district.CASTELLANO: First forum and strives to do better as she does more. Experience as SIT member and on district committees. Seen what can be achieved through collaboration with everyone in the community. Core principle: importance of every student's academic and social growth. We have responsibility to be fiscally responsible and innovative.BURROUGHS: Dedicated her career to youth services and her volunteer efforts to the schools. Still passionate about it. Still work to do on meeting all kids' needs. Wants to push for greater growth and excellence for all students. Other priority is improving communication and dialogue.BEDFORD: Important, given tone of evening, that we recognize that parents love their schools and their teachers. We are blessed with very good schools.BARRETT: Challenges sponsors of forum to continue to work together. Need regular advocacy summit. All students need your voices in the process. Wants to bring changes to district that will improve collaboration.

...and goodnight.

Damon,This looks like a great summary of the main points and will surely be a an aid to those who will not have time to watch or listen to the entire 2+ hour event.  I will send a link to the organizers.  Thanks for doing this.   Mike

Thanks, Mike. All of the candidates should feel free to fill in what I may have missed, clarify what I may have mischaracterized, and correct my many, many typos.

Damon told me afterwards he doesn't know much about schools.  That makes his accurate transcription of, at least, my statements even more impressive.  Thanks!

As someone who has tried to do this in the past, I know how hard it is and you did a great job of capturing a ton of detail thrown out tonight in a readable fashion.  I have no issues with what you captured for my statements but would be happy to clarify anything for anyone.

Quite helpful! Thank you for the effort.

Carl, I was looking for a question to recognize the TC candidates I saw there -- I think it was you, Lee Storrow, Jim Ward, and Augustus Cho.   Thanks for coming to share in our efforts.

...to all the school board candidates for a good forum; we are fortunate to have well informed and concerned candidates.  I wish more members of the school community had attended, considering the important role the board plays in the daily lives of our children and future leaders. Damon: Excellent job. James:  Thank you for your kind words and your presence at the TC forums... 

This is a good opportunity for me to remind everyone that the OrangePolitics online candidate forum for school board candidates will take place on October 9 at 7:00 pm.What questions would you like the candidates to address?  

Given the attacks against LGBT families that are going to be in the media as the marriage discrimination amendment approaches in May, what can be done to keep bullying out of our schools?

I didn't want to start a new thread for this, just wanted to share it though...  I designed an anti-amendment bumper sticker.  All the polling I've seen says that most NCers will support the amendment if they only read the language on the amendment, but will vote against it if they learn how overreaching and rights-stripping it is.  I designed this with that poll-tested message and with a simple straight forward ask.  You can use this link to buy 1, buy a batch, or use the website to design your own.  Our biggest enemy with this amendment is silence, we have to start conversations about it across the state!http://www.cafepress.com/cp/customize/product.aspx?number=590139610&utm_medium=cp_social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=CreateAndBuyPDP

We have a whole big list of 75+ unanswered questions from the PTA Council, NAACP and PAGE forum. Would you like me to email them to you? There may be a couple you can use for your online forum. At the very least, you will know what is on people's minds. 

That would be great. Please send them to editor@orangepolitics.org.

Big thanks for all us Jews who were feasting on the traditional New Years dinner..GReat job. Thanks Damon and OP.

All 2 hours online here -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdtUEFkzHXQ

Since OP wants to tout the first online forum in Orange County, I want credit at this event of using the first QR code in materials.  (Not that it matters - only 2 people besides my family have used it so far)But you can see it (and all the candidate's bios) here -- http://barrettforschools.com/2011%20BOE%20Candidate%20Forum%20Handout.pdf

Here are my responses to all 76 questions which were submitted to the forum website: http://barrettforschools.com/2011/10/answers-questions-naacppta-councilp...

 

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