Education students get opportunity to question School Board candidates

Tuesday, March 9, 2010 | 11:15 p.m. CST
MU students listen to school board candidate Philip Peters as he answers questions at an open forum with all five school board candidates Tuesday at MU's Townsend Hall. The College of Education hosted the event to allow students the opportunity to learn more about the Columbia Public School District.

COLUMBIA — An MU College of Education forum brought hoards of education students ready to pick school board candidates’ brains Tuesday night.

It’s the first year the college has held a candidate meet and greet. Eryca Neville, assistant director of the college’s Teacher Development Program, put together an event that got the community and all five Columbia School Board candidates talking.


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Neville teaches a class called Inquiry into School Communication and Society and said she thought the chance to talk to the school board was an important part of students’ education.

The event started with a round-robin discussion with the candidates followed by introductions and a Q&A session. Questions included what to do about technology in classrooms and how to make public schools the first choice. However, the big question on the education students’ minds was what the candidates thought about the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

James Whitt

“That’s the law. There’s nothing we can do about it so you’ve got to move on. The good thing about No Child Left Behind is that it forced schools to look at subgroups.”

Jan Mees

“It has put a lot of accountability on the schools.”

“The one thing we have to understand about standardized testing is that it’s a snapshot.”

Jonathan Sessions

“It brought a lot of attention to troubling matters, but it may not have been the best approach.”

“I think we’ll continue to see a change.”

Dan Holt

“It was flawed from the beginning.”

“People should be allowed to fail. It’s those failures that bring back future successes.”

Philip Peters

“Principally, they set it too sharp, too steep.”

“I applaud the authors.”


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