Here's a link to the Times' YouTube interface between high school students and the SB candidates. I didn't listen to all of it.
My impressions are that Peter seems much more assured and focused and Darlene seems to have listened to someone and comes across as the candidate I remember from 4 years ago. Namely, she's calm and articulate. However, I've seen the other Darlene and I'm not believing it again. Sherry does come across as having stock answers. Sally seems relaxed and talked up Dr. G-J. Harium was fine as usual as were Maria and Steve.
I'm also going to put in Lynne Varner's editorial from the Times today. Normally, I wouldn't because she tends to ramp up her rhetoric and mostly doesn't know what she is talking about. But she forgets history here and it's worth reviewing before anyone votes.
"The two incumbents running for re-election, Sally Soriano and Darlene Flynn, say that would have turned them into predictable rubber stamps. They've spent much of the campaign season contrasting their years of disjointed stewardship with their version of a frightening alternative: a board of pushovers."
Later she says:
"A decade ago, the district handed the reins of power to individual schools, letting principals run their shops as CEOs responsible for all successes and failures. The concept led to uneven school quality."
Well, the superintendent who pushed through the CEO/site-based management was the same guy who got it all rubber-stamped by the board. A supportive, accommodating board that asked few questions. The same accommodating board that managed to miss the financial problems that ballooned into a crisis. And this was a board with business people and lawyers.
She also says the most astounding things like:
"....pet issues such as calorie counts and water cleaner than the federal government's ought to be shelved for another day..."
"The board should cease its nattering about the achievement gap and listen to Goodloe-Johnson's plans."
Childhood obesity is at an all-time high and more and more kids have Type II diabetes. Water is the key to life on earth. And, sorry, but the achievement gap exists and to not face it head on is foolhardy. So how are these pet issues and the talk of them "nattering"? But this is typical of the Times.
She's right about this:
"Superintendent Maria Good-loe-Johnson arrived this summer and is already far down the track. The best thing the incoming board can do is roll up its sleeves and start in beside her. And try to keep up."
The point is you need a BALANCED board. Ms. Varner calls for a professional board which I read as code for people with a business background. We don't want pushovers and we don't want people who are obstructionists. We need people to make policy, support Dr. G-J BUT also ask the right questions at the right time and not be pushed around.