Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The issue of race in the mayor's race, again looms under the surface.

The PG reported in a line in the paper that Mark Brentley, a Pgh Public School board member, is a possible candidate for mayor. I called Mark as soon as I noticed the mention. It was yesterday, so no reply yet.

A comment from another via email:
I would say that there is a feeling that race is an important issue in this race and that someone must addresss it. If someone other than an African American trys to address the issue then it will hurt his chance of winning.

Humm... Race matters might be akin to the third rail for politics in Pittsburgh, so goes conventional wisdom. James Carmine and I talked a good deal about race issues in Pittsburgh four years ago. LeRoy Hodge was in the race on the Dem's side. Boy do I wish he was still with us.

Then comes the big can of worms when one starts to talk about our outgoing school boss, Dr. Thompson. I think Dr. T will do well in his future endeavors. I hope that they are local.

There are many that are left wondering about the well being of our district. The leadership from the professional educator matters greatly. The school board did not evaluate Dr. Thompson in any of the past three years. The board had not set any goals and objectives. To be fair, the board as a body has to have a majority to make actions occur. Board members learn how to count to five rather quickly, and often as on-the-job training, as there are nine on the board.

Board members said Dr. T is not the person to lead us in the future. Frankly, it might be hard to obtain a good superintendent when it is general knowledge that the board treats its supers in the manner it treated Dr. Thompson.

I agree with the notion that Dr. T was good for this district in many ways. None of us are 100% ideal. I can't see why this board would do what it did with an early buy out. Transition, evolve, and don't renew the contract, but don't dump on the person, the relationship with the role and the budget hit.

Even if the board had reason not to renew the contract, there seems to be no reason for not letting him finish out the term of his contract. The board members refuse to answer that question except to say that it is best for him and the district.

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