Scott and Hiltz for School Board

September 02, 1994

Even though the Carroll County school system produces superior results -- as measured by the students' first or second-place performance on statewide standardized tests -- many parents express unhappiness with it. This unease may explain why 11 candidates have decided to run for two vacancies on the county school board. Voters get to choose two of the candidates in the non-partisan primary on Sept. 13; the top four vote-getters advance to the general election.

Several candidates have fashioned their campaigns to tap into this animosity toward the board and administration. Wayne Cogswell frequently refers to the "dysfunctional behavior" of the school board in his speeches and campaign literature. Evelyn Butler says the board "should oversee the superintendent and prevent him (or her) from abusing his power and authority." Deborah J. Winter says, "I can find no fault with the school my children were in, but in the system itself."

Other candidates point out that education in Carroll has received a "bum rap" due to widespread -- and unfounded -- suspicion about the outcomes-based curriculum, which sets goals for students to achieve before they progress to the next class or grade. To eliminate this anxiety over school board actions, virtually all the candidates advocate switching board sessions from mornings to evenings, which would enable more parents to attend. Kathy Hamblet, Michael Baker, Carolyn Pecaroro and Deborah J. Paisie have made constructive suggestions to improve communications and break down walls that have developed between the community and the schools.

Our two choices for the school board, however, are Carolyn Scott and Thomas G. Hiltz.

During her first term on the board, Mrs. Scott has been a voice of reason. She has approached her duties with an open mind and a determination to establish policies that improve the school system, such as the "exit outcomes" curriculum. She deserves to be re-elected.

Mr. Hiltz, a nuclear engineer, is extremely bright and thoughtful and capable of making balanced judgments. He understands the strengths of Carroll's school system and has proposed a number of reasonable strategies -- such as investing more in teacher training -- to improve its performance.

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