The District 2 school board race explained, Vote Andersen and experience over Howland and Hubris

District 2


In District 2 we have former DCPS teacher and current mental
health counselor Elizabeth Anderson going against Navy veteran and businessman
Nick Howland. Before I continue you should know the corporate reform movement
hardly ever supports teachers preferring to go with the businessmen to lead our
schools a pattern you will see when we discuss the other two races.

In the Primary, Elizabeth Andersen raised 6,845 dollars while
Howland took in 56,559 dollars or more than all the other candidates, 4,
combined.

Andersen went on to spend $5,236.99
and received 4,823 votes for $1.09 a vote. Nick Howland spent $51,496 dollars
or nearly ten times as much and received 6,678 votes for a cost of $7.72 per
vote. I am told he spent 17 thousand on his commercial, where he touted that he
was a conservative businessman which should have raised flags for many, as
school board races are supposed to be nonpartisan because what is best for our
children is supposed to transcend political ideology. Howland however has taken
every opportunity he could to let people know he is a republican even having
the republican party of Jacksonville canvas for him.

This however wasn’t Howland’s only
questionable decision.  He also accepted
a defacto endorsement from the Seaside Charter school when he accepted an
invitation to the ribbon cutting ceremony where they proceeded to push his
candidacy for the school board. Public schools and nonprofits are not supposed
to engage in political activities but that did not stop the Seaside charter
school and Nick Howland.

Howland then used misleading and
false data to push his narrative that DCPS schools are not safe, claiming if we
continued the way they were going then 1 in 11 of all students would be a
victim. When the blog education matter pointed out what he was doing he changed
his campaign web page but made no mention of the mistake he repeated for
months.   
His campaign site on August 7th.

His campaign site currently.



Notice the numbers are different? What you won’t find is an
oops, sorry got the years and numbers wrong.
Now you might be saying, well the sentiment is the same, but he
only changed his page after a blog pointed out he had the numbers and year
wrong. That means for months he went out saying something that was at best
wrong. With no effort on his part to get things right.
Isn’t getting things right important? Isn’t using data correctly
important? The Times Union reported that it’s a small percentage of kids that
are constantly in trouble and getting in fights but that probably wouldn’t sell
as well on the stump.
Now if Howland would have said our discipline has been bad, or
one fight let alone several thousand is to many I would agree, though to be
honest that’s not a plan to fix things, but he is saying, 
if this trend continues, nearly 1 of every 11 students
could be a victim every year.  He’s saying that to scare people
because he thinks scared people will vote for him.
Howland received the maximum
contribution from 30 people or companies and the Times Union reported that he
received money from several PACS and many of his donors are known to support
charters and private school scholarships. 

Perhaps what is most remarkable is
Nick Howland’s resume is nearly identical to the current school board member
Scott Shine whose resume was nearly identical to his predecessors Fred “Fel”
Lee.  All are wealthy business men who
nibbled on the edges of public service having never been elected but having
served on various boards and none having anything approaching relevant
education experience. 

If Howland really cared about our schools he would drop out and let Andersen the professional educator and mental health counselor ascend to the board. It’s hubris however that keeps him going as he says, I’ll give that a try, a sentiment the last two representatives form district 2 had and we see how poorly that worked out. Our children deserve better and District 2 desperately needs experience over hubris.
Finally,
the other candidates for the district 2 school board seat, Shannon Beckham,
Casey Ayers and Sam Hall have all rallied behind Elizabeth Andersen and her
uniquely qualified background, being both a former teacher and a current mental
health counselor in an era when schools are finally starting to take mental
health seriously. 

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