Incumbent Scott to return to school board 2nd seat up for grabs ELECTION 1994

November 09, 1994|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Sun Staff Writer

Incumbent Carolyn L. Scott won back her seat on the Carroll County Board of Education last night. Gary W. Bauer of Hampstead came in second, but in such a close finish that the 1,650 uncounted absentee ballots could change the result.

With all precincts reporting, Ms. Scott won with 28.2 percent of the vote.

Following were Mr. Bauer with 24.48 percent, Laura E. Albers with 23.75 percent and Carole M. "Cyd" Pecoraro with 23.42 percent. Only a few hundred votes separated the three candidates.

The absentee ballots will be counted today.

Ms. Scott's strong showing could be considered an indication that voters have faith in the schools. The field of 11 candidates in the primary had suggested otherwise.

But Mr. Bauer's apparent second-place finish also indicates some opposition to outcomes-based education. He has criticized the philosophy, which the school board adopted last year.

"I believe it says [voters] believe we are doing the right thing," Ms. Scott said. "As the incumbent, I do represent what the school system has been doing."

Mr. Bauer said his showing tells him voters are concerned about outcomes-based education, which involves setting goals for what students are to know by the end of each unit, course and by graduation.

"It tells me that apparently the message that Laura [Albers] and I were preaching hit some voters in Carroll County," Mr. Bauer said. "We were both neck and neck. It was very close."

Mr. Bauer is a longtime Hampstead town councilman who would have to give up that seat before he could be sworn in as a school board member.

Ms. Pecoraro had the disadvantage of being a relative newcomer to the public school debate, although she had won support from Ms. Scott and board members C. Scott Stone and Ann M. Ballard.

In contrast, Mr. Bauer and Ms. Albers have been activists since spring 1993, when they were among a group of parents opposing out comes-based education. Much of that activism and the network it spawned aided their campaigns.

Mr. Bauer and Ms. Albers emphasized many issues that national groups such as the Christian Coalition have raised and took the most conservative stands on sex education and other social issues.

Mr. Bauer and Ms. Albers said the outcomes-based education system focuses on values and feelings instead of academics and will lead to more group learning.

Ms. Scott and Ms. Pecoraro said the approach clarifies goals, seeks countywide consistency in schools and does indeed focus on academics and skills for succeeding in jobs.

If the results of the primary were viewed as a referendum on outcomes, the results were almost 50-50, with slightly more votes going to candidates who supported the outcomes approach.

Although the plan to put outcomes-based education into effect has elicited strong feelings on both sides, current board member Joseph D. Mish said, "The vast majority of people are tremendously confused about it."

The philosophy is too new to have directly affected the children of most Carroll voters, he said.

All four candidates have shared at least one view -- the importance of building schools and getting county and state money to do so.

Several Carroll schools are at capacity or crowded, and development continues in some of the most crowded areas, such as the southeast.

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