Monday, March 7, 2011

A+ schools wants higher turnout for Board elections

Article from the PG:

- Isn't this putting the cart before the horse? What we need first are some opposing candidates. Why should people turn out if there are no choices? And if there are no choices then what would help is an investigation into why that is the case and what can be done about it.


deegazette said...

Duh, girlfriend, lol. Higher turnout would equate to an endorsement of maintaining the status quo. Unless of course turnout was substantially higher than the total number of votes actually cast. This is what you get when nobody really runs.

I can't ever remember any boardmember ever being considered beloved. Mrs. Fink comes closer than anyone I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Carey Harris and Eleanor Chute:

Your timing defies/negates your message.

The deadline for filing is tomorrow.

As usual, too little, too late. Little need to wonder why!

Mark Rauterkus said...

I blog about this and other inside-democracy matters often.

It is MUCH, MUCH, MUCH better to ask people who are clueless on that specific ballot question to NOT VOTE.

Who wants to join a campaign with that message with me?

When you vote for a candidate without opposition, it makes it much more difficult to get another candidate onto the ballot the next election cycle. Never vote for anyone without an opponent, please.

We need debates and discussion, and of course, we need opposition candidates, far more than we need voters -- especially clueless voters.

Many voters know what's what. If they have trusted friends giving advice, have done some research, and have a peek of some sort to make a decision that can be defended in their own minds -- fine. Vote. However, most school board candidates don't have the reach to influence every voter in the district. Same too for others running for city council, county council, and other offices less than governor and county executive.

Going to the polls to vote does NOT mean you MUST make a reply on every ballot question. Skipping is wise in many instances.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Other areas that need more attention from folks such as A+ Schools include election reform -- rather than jacking up vote totals.

Case in point:

Allow citizens registered as independents to vote in primary elections.

Independents could choose which party's ballot they wish to vote on in a given primary.

Independents are a growing segment of the voting population. They should have some say in which candidates wind up on the fall ballot.

That's particularly important in school board and judicial elections where candidate cross-filing is allowed. In those races, often the winner of the election is decided in the primary, as the same candidate can win fall spots on both major parties' ballots. Independents cannot vote in primaries, so they are effectively disenfranchised.


deegazette said...

Mark the tactic you describe is one of my favorite quiet protests and what I was alluding to in my post.

Is there any office less attractive than school board memeber? What if they held an election and there was no candidate?

Mark Rauterkus said...

Less attractive office than school board member. Humm....

I've got four:

+ PA Ombudsman,
+ Allegheny County Ombudsman,
+ City of Pgh Ombudsman, and
+ PPS Ombudsman.

Talk about heavy lifting. We don't have those positions, but if we did. And, we should.

Anonymous said...

Big QUESTIONS!!!do A+ Schools wants
a bigger board election turn out.
or do Gates and Broad wants a big turn out,meaning which one of the
two gain the most that the million dollar QUESTION to be ask.

Anonymous said...

IT DOESN'T MATTER. The foundations already have it to where they want it to be. SO no matter how qualified or great an opponent is they will loose unless they are backed by the foundations!!!!!!!!!!!!

Randall Taylor said...

A friend of mine called Brian O'Niell about aan article he wrote, Oneill called him back. It is higly questionable, if not suspicious that an educational watchdog group suddenly gets involved in get out the vote efforts? Particularly, a group that has consistantly given high marks and grades to a School Board that many people have strongly questioned their effectiveness. I have told Board Members publically and privately they have abdicated many of their responsibilities in the last five years. No better examples than zero questions about the ALA's, CEP, and most recently the hiring of a Deputy Chief of Staff(at a time of looming cuts from the state). I think people should call Eleanor Chute, and the A Plus Board Members and ask"Is A Plus receiving funding to carry out this task? If so, by whom??
In the meantime lets ask precisely what A Plus will be doing, and where, to"get out the vote"???

Anonymous said...

Is anyone running against Colazzi?

Questioner said...

Only the even numbered districts have elections this cycle, so Theresa Colaizzi's seat is not up this time.

Anonymous said...

To tag along with Randells post, I believe the foundations had alot to do with the creation of A+. You have to go back and look at the old news paper reports. A+ came out of the foundations pulling out of the district. Then A+ was created so the foundations went back into the district.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone here live in Districts 2, 4, 6 or 8? Will any of you run for school board? Will you encourage someone else to run? Your arguments are valid but what good does it do to sit around and complain about what others are doing? It's time we "put up or shut up".

If we go to the polls uneducated about candidates or an issue it's our fault, not someone else's. If there is no opponent then there is always the option to write someone in.

BTW, I am a parent of a student (and future student) in PPS and I am strongly considering running for School Board in the future. I hope to "talk the talk" and "walk the walk". Thanks for letting me share! : )

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:06, The Mayor's Council on Public Education convened during the Murphy Administration played a large part in the creation of A+ too. Could be that the Murphy group was the result of the foundations decline of support for public schools.

Old Timer said...

Once again, Carey Harris comes out as a PPS proponent in her rambling commentary that seeks to provide a written shell game for readers. Closer examination makes it clear once again that she is no watchdog but rather someone without a clue and someone who undoubtedly seeks higher prominence in the future.
I am wondering if PPS has her on a consultancy basis with the marketing department.
As for Mrs.Fink and Mrs.Colaizzi would would think that any type of educated populace would have ended their 15 minutes of fame about 14 minutes ago. It's rare that you can go to a major market city and witness this type of "leadership" continually being voted in to such important positions when the personal limitations are so obvious. Two huge parts of the problem in PPS.

Anonymous said...

It is difficult to find any mention of school board candidacy in recent news. I will keep looking but I already think that the only member who will have an opposition candidate will be Mr. Brentley. Might that be why an increase in voter turnout is called for?

Anonymous said...

Under the heading What You Can Do is a directive to call the County Board of Elections at 412-350-4150 but the number has not answered for two days now. If you are are reading this blog and live in district 2, 4, 6, or 8 can you post here the names of the candidates running for the board?

I am concerned that A+ spent a lot of money building new web pages and launching its get out the vote campaign and we have only one candidtate races.