The Capital School District Board of Education election is just three days from now, on May 12th. For the three candidates running for the Capital School Board, I am officially endorsing Ralph Taylor. The other two candidates, Sharese Paylor and Peter Servon, don’t hold a candle to Taylor.
There was a candidate forum a couple weeks ago in Dover, and for the Capital candidates, Taylor and Servon showed up. Paylor didn’t attend this forum. In an article by David Paulk with The Dover Post, Taylor said the following about Common Core:
No, I’m not in favor of Common Core. I believe that the standard itself, nobody’s really able to understand it, nobody’s able to articulate it to families. It was put in place so quickly. If you got something that so many people have so many questions about why don’t we review it a little bit more, why don’t we slow our roll a little bit. We have kids in classrooms that are week after week preparing for the standardized tests so we can show the world that we have standards. If we’re showing the world that we have standards, if we’re teaching the tests, are we educating? And I think that’s where the flaw is with this standard.
Servon, on the other hand, took a very casual stance with Common Core, as if everyone was okay with it and parents are just overreacting:
As I understand Common Core it’s a national level decision on what should be taught in the subject matter. In my belief it should be general topics, general ideas. The decision on how to teach those ideas and topics is made by the states and by the districts. It’s a minimal requirement that every kid should know in the country. I don’t see anything wrong with having those types of standards. As far as educating the parents I think it needs to be stated simply—it’s just a minimal standard parents need to understand what the school is requiring to implement those Common Core standards.
In another forum at Central Middle School last Tuesday, all three candidates showed up. We were able to see a little more insight into Paylor. At the January Capital board meeting, many citizens in the area demanded a reason for why Dover High School’s Principal Evelyn Edney did not have her contract renewed. Many stated they were going to complain to Governor Markell and said the board had to reveal the reason. The board has not given a reason since that meeting, nor should they in my opinion. This is an employment decision, and the Board is not obligated to give reasons for not renewing a contract. Some individuals, including Paylor, hinted at racial reasons for Edney’s departure. I don’t buy this considering two other Capital principals I have met are African -American. Shortly after this meeting, Paylor announced her intention to run for the board.
In an article in the The Delaware State News, reporter Eleanor LaPrade quoted Paylor from the Capital forum as saying “the board shouldn’t override Dr. Thomas, since he was the one who evaluated Dr. Edney’s performance.” But there could be other factors nobody knows about except the board. Employment decisions are done during a board’s executive session in Delaware, and are not subject to FOIA law.
I’ve met Taylor a couple times. Once last summer at the 4th of July when he was running for State Representative. He lost in a primary to Sean Lynn. I saw him a couple months ago at a deli and congratulated him on running for the Capital board. What I like about Taylor is his views on the Smarter Balanced Assessment, opt-out, Common Core and local control. He told me last summer he is against the Federal intrusion in local education and supports opt-out. He also doesn’t believe teacher evaluations should be done with standardized test scores. Taylor believes in the community playing a larger part in Capital’s future. Servon seems to be a Brandywine guy (where he teaches) based on his comments in both the articles, and Capital certainly doesn’t need that! Paylor, in my opinion, has an agenda based on one board decision, and that should not be a determining factor is running for a school board. Taylor would be a good fit with the board, and his many years in law enforcement could definitely give a unique perspective to the board.
With this election, the winner will replace outgoing President Kay Dietz-Sass. The highlight of her tenure was the opening of the new Dover High School last year. Another board member, Brian Lewis, resigned due to winning a councilman seat for the City of Dover in the May election where he ran unopposed. There will be a special election, most likely in July, to fill Lewis’ seat.
Capital School District residents can vote at any of the three polling places from 10am to 8pm on Tuesday, May 12th: William Henry Middle School, East Dover Elementary and Hartly Elementary School. Please remember, it’s Taylor, not Paylor, who should join Matthew Lindell, Sean Christiansen, and John Martin Jr. on the board!