, Salem, MA

Local News

October 29, 2013

Salem School Committee candidates have final face-off

SALEM — Close to 100 people opted to miss the first few innings of last night’s World Series game to hear insights and opinions from the city’s six School Committee candidates.

Last night was the second School Committee candidate forum organized this fall by the Salem Education Foundation.

Six names will be on the Nov. 5 ballot for three spots on Salem School Committee: incumbents Janet Crane, Lisa Lavoie, Brendan Walsh and challengers Patrick Schultz, Rachel Hunt and Richard Johnson.

Candidates fielded questions ranging from hiring principals to improving report cards from organizers and the audience for close to two hours. Salem News Editor David Olson served as moderator.

When asked about extending the school day or year — a much-discussed issue in Salem — all the candidates said they were in favor of it, in one form or another.

Incumbents Walsh and Crane said they would only be in favor of extended time “for those who need it,” not districtwide.

“It’s hard to answer in one minute what I could talk about all night,” Walsh said, referencing the forum’s time limits.

Schultz said expanded time is “worth considering,” but it must be spent usefully.

“It cannot be more of the same,” he said.

Candidates shot from the hip for the second half of the forum, when questions from the audience were pulled out of a bowl and they had little more than a minute to respond.

Crane was given a direct question from a Salem family with a 2-year-old child and means to move out of the city: Why should we stay?

“I don’t believe the schools are broken,” Crane answered.

Crane encouraged the family to visit Salem elementary schools, where she’s seen teachers doing a good job with “students enthusiastic and learning.”

Johnson, when asked to name the district’s strengths and weaknesses, answered readily. Salem Public Schools’ greatest strengths are its teachers and parents, and its weaknesses are lack of management controls and lack of oversight, he said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Comments Tracker