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Be informed: School board candidates

The Dallas Examiner | 4/17/2014, 3:48 p.m.

The Dallas Examiner

This week, The Dallas Examiner worked with the Coalition for an Accountable System of Education to publish a School Board Education Guide for the May 10 election of Dallas Independent School District Trustees for District 2, 6 and 8. There are five candidates running for District 6: Carlos Sherman, Joyce B. Foreman, Llewellyn A. Blackburn Jr., Bertha Bailey Whatley and Marcus Ranger. There are three candidates for District 8: Kristi M. Lara, Miguel E. Solis and Richard P. Sheridan. And only one candidate for District 2: Mike Morath.

Additionally, the guide contains information about the platforms of Andrea Hilburn and Erika Beltran who are candidates in the Democratic primary election runoff May 27.

In the guide, the candidates offer strong motives and objectives for their candidacy. They also have the opportunity to boast a little about their own educational background and experiences that may qualify them for a position on the board.

CASE consists of educational scholars, practitioners and community advocates who have pledged themselves to apply their skills, experiences and knowledge to aiding, advancing and auditing of the academic performance of African American students, in particular, and generally all students of the Dallas Independent School District. Their members consist of a wide variety of people including Dr. Roscoe C. Smith, a founder of CASE; Dr. Alfred L. Roberts Sr.; Dr. Rosie M. C. Sorrells, former member of the State Board of Education; Robert L. Price, former school board member; Diane Ragsdale, former City Council member; Mavis B. Knight, Texas State Board of Education member, Minister Jeffery Muhammad, Minister Nation of Islam Mosque 342, Vicki Meek, manager of the South Dallas Cultural Center, and Rev. Dr. Jerry Christian, pastor of the Kirkwood Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.

Public school education is at a crisis. Schools are failing our students. There is a large achievement gap between Black students and students of other races. We ask ourselves – what can we do to make a difference?

One thing that we must do is elect school trustees who will be able to identify what is and what is not working for our students, as well as identify viable options to improve our schools. But first we have to know the candidates. What are their qualifications, experiences and positions on key educational issues?

On Monday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., The Dallas Examiner will present Monday Night Politics – Meet the Candidates for the School Board elections. This will be your opportunity to meet and hear the candidates. We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity.

Prior to attending Monday Night Politics on Monday, please read the School Board Education Election Guide in The Dallas Examiner and familiarize yourself with each candidate running for office. Each candidate will have a great deal to say regarding why they are running and what they hope to accomplish. Audience members, such as yourself, will have an opportunity to ask the candidates questions. And please, come and ask questions. A healthy electorate needs a voice.

Monday Night Politics sponsors include NAACP Dallas Chapter, Urban League of Greater Dallas, Urban League of Greater Dallas Young Professionals, Dallas Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Metropolitan Dallas Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Alpha Sigma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Dallas Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Inc., Dallas Association of Realtists, Dallas Pan-Hellenic Council, Theta Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi, Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc., Omicron Mu Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, 411 Reality Radio and the African American Museum.

Our sponsors recognize the importance of our community being involved in the election of people who represent us. They believe, like The Dallas Examiner, that we must have educated voters.

Be part of the conversation. Send your letters to mbelt@dallasexaminer.com.