So you just can’t quite bring yourself to watch a full hour of school board candidates talking. Have we got a deal for you — the highlights of this week’s candidate interview program in four parts totalling less than 14 minutes!

The candidates, appearing on a special edition of “The Reporters,” were asked their views of the controversial changes to the freshman curriculum that have eliminated separate honors sections of some classes in favor of an “earned honors” program open to the vast majority of students.

Candidates also responded to a question about how they plan to support the school’s mission statement: “Embracing diversity, ETHS educates all students to their fullest potential.”

Three candidates said they might embrace a concept called “virtual consolidation” as a way to deal with an expected shift by the state of teacher pension costs onto local school districts.

And three candidates offered their views on the racial diversity consulting firm hired by the school board, the Pacific Educational Group,  that has been a source of controversy in the community.

“The Reporters” is produced by ECTV.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Give me a candidate who speaks plainly and to the point

    Overall, this is informative and helpful. Sitting in the peanut gallery I can't help cringe every time I hear meaningless rhetoric from some of these candidates. A few examples:

    "We need to continue to be a better student-centered institution."  – As opposed to a teacher-centered institution?

    "We need to redefine what success means" – Am I to assume D202's current definition of succes whatever that is is wrong?

    "We need to focus on every student" – What does this mean? Is D202 not focused on some students?

    "[D202] needs to be the element of a democratic process where everybody's voice is truly inclusive in the decison making process" – Isn't this why we have elections? Do Asians at D202 have a voice in "the democratic process?" When was the last time we had an Asian school board member? Just sayin.

    As for PEG, Ansani supports it because Evanston has a history of racism. Does that mean there is still racism in Evanston and if so who are the racists? Point them out.

    Williams supports PEG and says it 's "a tool for discussion and doesn't drive content." Hmmm,did PEG have any influence on D202 Superintentedent Eric Witherspoon who said publicly there are too many white faces" in honor courses." Wasn't the sole reason to detrack freshmen honor courses at ETHS to admit more nonwhite faces into honor courses?  Didn't PEG play a role in that decision? As a result of detracking freshmen courses, the curriculum was changed and thus driving content.

    Just wondering, can't an ETHS student make good enough grades in high school to be admitted into honor courses in the sophomore, junior and senior years? The way these candidates spoke on the issue, under the previous system only students who test well in eighth grade could get into honor courses. Really? There's no mechanism for a sophomore or junior student who does well in regular classes to be admitted into honor courses? Am I missing something here?

    Private schools are looking so much better.

  2. Fact mash-up?

    I was noticing how some people use fact mash-ups to cause a sort of "misinformation effect" on current and potential board members, as well as the public.

    How it works:

    1. State together facts that are somehow related but not complete in nature in a forum where people want to know something that they will want to share later. 
    2. The listener creates a relationship with the facts that is not really there, later "repeating" the facts but now with this new relationship.
    3. Later, others remember the relationship as a fact.

    Current example:

    A teacher is a member of a committee at the school, and named as the leader of it. The teacher happened to be the president of the teacher's union. The committee (including principal at the time) recommends PEG.

    Current discussion questioning PEG leads to the defensive mash-up: Teacher union lead committee reccomended it….   current and potential board members link it to become….. The teachers asked for PEG.

    They did not. There was not teacher discussion about it.  There was not a teacher vote about it.

    Past example:

    A donor made a sizable donation for the footbal field (THANK YOU!) The district spends many times that amount on the sports fields – issuing bonds to pay for it (DEBT).

    Defensive mash-up: Donated money paid for the sports facilities.

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