VIDEO — From Katie Bailey at one end of the platform to Jonathan Baum at the other end, the nine candidates competing for seats on Evanston’s two school boards Saturday held their final joint appearance in the run up to the April 5 election.

The forum, held in the Council Chambers at the Evanston Civic Center, was sponsored by the Evanston North Shore chapter of the NAACP. Here’s the video from the event.

YouTube video player

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Baum has got it right

    Jonathan Baum hit the nail on the head over and over again in this forum.

    When asked about the achievement gap, he said: We have many very successful students of color at the high school. What helped them to succeed? We need to talk to them and their families and teachers and see what we can learn, and how we can replicate it.

    When asked about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) he said: Actually, I think Humanities are the step-child versus Science and Math. . . . Where are the comparable opportunities to be a Humanites star, as opposed to a Math and Science star? One of the reasons that parents clamor for the Honors Geometry program is that it is the only acceleration opportunity available. I'd like to see the two districts work together to provide comparable acceleraton opportunities for the Humanities.

    When asked about the Pacific Educational Group he cited his experience building a pro bono practice within his law firm and what it took to change people's minds. He said that he couldn't make assumptions based on categories. . . "Every student is a complex of characteristics. I'd like to reach every student taking into account their race, their economic circumstance, their abilities, their disabilities, their hopes, their dreams. . .  ."

    I encourage you to view this forum and the others and read about Jonathan at his website: I know you will be impressed and will want to vote for him, as I plan to.

  2. The timing of the PEG consideration is rather curious…

    … coming as it does just a few days before a Board election.  Does make me wonder whether the D65 administration perhaps thinks that the newly formed Board won't be as receptive to this poorly-justified expenditure.  But if this is the strategy, it ironically might backfire: the proposal to bring PEG into the community has become a lightning rod, and any Board member up for re-election who votes for it runs a very real risk of seeing the electorate rise up against them.  I have personally spoken to a number of people about this issue, and they have echoed my thoughts on this– a vote for PEG will result in votes for non-incumbents on election day.

  3. Mark Metz has it right

    Mark Metz has served the youth of Evanston for 25 years. He has coached baseball in Evanston Baseball and Softball Association and now as a volunteer coach at the high school. He was president of EBSA during a period of great growth and the design and construction of the beautiful new baseball and softball complex at James Park. He has been on the Evanston Parks Board for 8 years and president for two terms. When asked to lay the groundwork for the ETHS Foundation which has raised millions on behalf of the high school, he served.

    When Mayor Morton asked him to chair the Blue Ribbon panel to study the fire and pension funds, he served. When asked to serve out the remainder of Omar Khuri's term on the D202 board two years ago, he served. 

    Since he has been on the board, they have: improved the teacher hiring and selection process, greatly improved the teacher evaluation process, increased teacher training and professional development, improved the System of Supports, and balanced the budget. All of these things have huge impact on the classroom. In his two years on the board, he has learned a lot about the workings of the board, and has even shown leadership in this short time.

    Mark is the only person on the board, or candidate who has experience in finances having been in management positions in the pension industry for 30 years. This indeed will serve the district well as budgets get even tighter.

    We have a treasure in Evanston Township High School. Let's continue to treasure it with thoughtful discourse.

    Mark's calm, thorough approach to debate and decision-making and his leadership ability will continue to serve the children of our school.

    Please vote for Mark Metz, District 202, Evanston Township High School.

    1. Where’s Metz’s leadership?

      "In his two years on the board, he has learned a lot about the workings of the board, and has even shown leadership in this short time."

      Can you demonstrate how Mr. Metz has shown leadership while on the board? I've seen examples of him voting to follow the administration's lead on issues like freshman humanities. Where has he taken the lead?

      I've heard him say that he thinks it is important to increase communication with the public but in the last twelve months or more since he and Rachel Hayman have been "Community Liaisons for Board Initiatives" I have seen no evidence of his leadership. In fact, I've heard him say that the administration did not do a good job of making the case for the freshman humanities initiative. How did he, as "Community Liaison" communicate?

      There is considerable concern in the community about the Pacific Education Group and their role in D202. How has Mr. Metz reached out to the community to alleviate those concerns? What plans has he and Ms. Hayman put in place to address those concerns?

      Before I vote to return him to office, I'd like to see something that tells me more than just what a great coach he is and that he has a background in finance. D202 has good financial stewardship from Bill Stafford.

      District 202 needs someone with vision, an understanding of the issues in education, and a demonstrated commitment to representing all the members of the community. Mark Metz has yet to demonstrate that he has these qualities.

  4. I would like to see the

    I would like to see the passion that Baum and Rochelle have on the ETHS board. After watching the video, it's clear that they are ready to work for ALL of ETHS.

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