Thursday, March 15, 2018

HoCo Board of Education: Grading the Candidate Questionnaires (Part Four)

The final installment of this series...

12. Vicky Cutroneo.  A-.  Polished, aligned quite well with my expectations of someone who ran for the BoE in the previous election cycle.  Her response to Question Three reminded me of then-Senator Joe Biden’s one-word reply during the 2008 Democratic presidential debates.  If you are going to be concise, that is how it is done.  Downside:  could have elaborated more on the “tough decisions” that Dr. Martirano “avoided making” (Question 5).  If one is going to open up that can of worms, the average voter is going to expect to get a good look.   Her equity response could have addressed issues related to cultural competence and inclusiveness, so her stated “interventions” might have seemed incomplete.  She addressed these issues, in part, in her priorities statement…but it would have made for a more cohesive and compelling articulation for her to express a succinct worldview on equity as part of her Question 6 response.  The “holistic” assessment she outlined in her third priority, “school climate,” offers an interesting point of differentiation from the other candidates and a distinct worldview on what constitutes success.  Frankly, her answers on priorities, combined with the expression of a coherent worldview on the over-crowding problem, elevates a B/B+ response to an A-, in terms of attracting voter support. I might be a bit generous here, but overall, this is a helpful document for her campaign.

13. Bob Glascock.  B -.  Faded rapidly after the experience and duties questions. Great quals, on paper.  I was surprised how non-student centric his reply was.  Sure, he talked about students in his response to the equity question, but his short replies to the overcrowding and priority queries seemed to place more emphasis on inward-looking matters and not the impact that they would have on student populations.  The average voter would want to understand how specific policies might affect various populations.  He could have revised and extended his general thoughts on equity to cover additional programmatic elements (he did some of this, but almost in passing).  His two-sentence over-crowding statement did not articulate much in the way of a vision, although it touched upon procedural mechanisms for dealing with such challenges.  His stated priorities, while all reflecting legitimate needs/concerns, felt a little undercooked.  Sure, transparency, solvency, and supporting staff are all important and laudable goals.  Tell us more. Many voters, particularly highly informed ones, might find this completed questionnaire to be lacking in specifics.   

That is all for today.

In solidarity.

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