Monday, September 8, 2008

Jim McGinty for School Board (Position 2)

None of us here have ever met James McGinty, but we were impressed with his platform and unanimous in our decision to endorse him in the September 16th election for Fayetteville School Board, At-Large Position 2. Facing the question of building a new high school, McGinty's education as an architect and his past career as an electrical contractor and licensed master electrician give him the knowledge and experience to have an informed and much needed judgment about that process.

McGinty favors utilizing the current campus and creating a plan to build a world-class high school there, and he has signed the Build Smart petition to support that position. He is an advocate of neighborhood schools, and he questions the advisability of adding the 9th grade to the high school. He listed 15 qualities he believes the next superintendent should have, including excellent communication skills, inspiring trust, having an ability to build consensus and commitment among individuals and groups, having the ability to develop and maintain relationships with the business community and having experience as a teacher and principal. In other words, not Bobbynu.

His opponent, Susan Heil, has been a loyal supporter of Bobbynu and a big part of the problem with the current school board. She supported the flawed decision to add the 9th grade to the high school and insisted on a single huge high school. Now she bristles whenever anyone wants to revisit that decision and declares it has already been decided. She pushed for building the mega-school on the Deane Solomon site out on the far northwest edge of the city. Moreover, Heil was the swing vote that ignored the recommendation of the Materials Evaluation Committee and went along with Bobbynu's proposal to restrict student access to books targeted by Laurie Taylor's crusade in 2005.

As McGinty's campaign website says, "Change is good; change makes good schools great." Exchanging the incumbent bullheaded book-banner Heil for James McGinty would be a very good change.

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