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June 11, 1977 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-06-11

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Page Four



Saturday, June 11, 1977

Five candidates in race
for School Board seats

On londay Ann Arbor voters
will go to the polls to vote in
the Board of Education elec-
tion. Three trustees will be
elected to the Board from a
field of five candidates.
The five capdidates include
present Board of Education
president Peter Wright, present
Board vice - president Wendy
Barhydt, Associate Professor in
Physical Education at the Uni-
versity Joseph Vaughn, home-
maker and president of the Ann
Arbor chapter of the National
Organization of Women Mary
Pence, and former medical
technician Ellen Blue.
ISSUES in the campaign in-
clude the desegregation of Ann
Arbor schools, the ability or in-
ability of the schools to teach
children to read, and the ac-
countability of the Board.
Barhydt has been a member
of the Board since 1974. She sus-
pended campaign activities af-
ter the death of her mother a
week ago, so the Daily was un-
able to question her on her po-
sitions on the major issues in
the campaign. Peter Wright de-
scribes her as well qialified and
credits her with helping close
the gap that existed betweenithe
Board members and teachers.
Wright has also been a mem-
ber of the Boaro since 1974. The
incumbent's campaign is built
on what Wrigh' sees as the ac-
complishments of the Board
over the last three years.
"I THINK we have achieved
several goals that have brought
stability to the school system,"

said Wright. "These include
passage of a -millage after sev-
eral unsuccessful attempts, a
three-year agreement with the
Ann Arbor Education Associa-
tion, goals for subject matter,
and we now administer the
Comprehensive Aptitude Test
(CAT) to measure the perform-
ance of our schools."
Wright does not believe the
school system should move to-
wards desegregation, because
'under the law as I understand
it, we don't have any really
impacted schools.
"I don't think kids should be
moved around because of the
color of their skin to achieve
some ratio. I haven't read any-
thing where integration has had
a demonstrable affect on- race
WRIGHT IS defensive of the
Language Arts program. he
helped to implement. The pro-
gram has come under criticism
from other, candidates as well
as from some teachers.
Candidate Mary Pence says
the main issue is the inability
of the system to teach children
to read,
"You have to make the com-
mitment that you are going to
teachrevery student to read no
matter what said Pence
PENCE IS highly critical of
the Language Arts program in-
stituted by the Board, and ac-
cuses the present Board of be-
ing generally non-responsive.
*"I think we could better solve
our reading problems by mak-
ing first and second grade
teachers out of our 14 language

arts consultants " said Pence.
"Those grades are very crucial
to the child."
Pence is in favor of desegre-
gating Ann Arbor's schools.
"Desegregation is really the
reason I ran for school board.
The Board must take a leader-
ship role in desegregation,"
said Pence.
"WE SHOULDencour-
age community involvement in
the desegregaytion planning be-
cause that will overcome fear.
Distance plus lack of control
equals fear."
Joseph Vaughn is also seek-
ing election to the School Board.
He believes in equal education-
al opportunity for everyone and
alternative education for those
with special needs. Vaughn is
also in favor of desegregating
Ann Arbor schools.
"I believe we must move
without being forced by litiga-
tion," said Vaughn. "'Desegre-
gation promotes social growth.
For children to grow myths
must be dispelled.
"Once an individual gets in-
volved with kids of other races
it makes a difference in behav-
ior of children. We cannot go on
separating individual experi-
ence and academics."
VAUGHN WOULD try to in-
crease the accountability of the
Board by setting up a mecha-
nism for interaction, because
"some parents are intimidated
by the system."
Ellen Blue is also seeking a
position on the Board. Blue be-
lieves that "we must broaden
the view we have on education."
"Things are too University
oriented, people on the Board
are too successful," said Blue.
Blue thinks the schools should
be more active in helping kids
find jobs.
"These successful people on
the Board just have no idea
what kids who are looking for a
job are going through. You
can't have people who teach tell
kids how to get a job. They are
too isolated. We have to bring
people from the work-a-day
world in to talk to our kids."

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'Can you believe it - we finally got our high
school diploma! 'Let's go find someone to read it
to us!'
Pence, Vaughn, Wright:
You've got our support
THE LACK OF quality education In public schools is
reaching appalling proportions. Our kids can't write,
our kids can't read, complain parents.
The promotion of basic communication skills is one
of two major issues facing the school board's next term.
Desegregation of the schools is the second issue.
On Monday, Ann Arbor voters have the only recourse
open to them to express their opinions on the treatment
of these problems: the school board election.
Of the five candidates running, three will be seated
on the Board. Two candidates, Mary Pence and Joseph
Vaughn, Jr., carry our unequivocal endorsement.
Vaughn and Pence believe interpersonal relationships
built in school cannot be separated from the academics,
and people must learn to get along with each other. With
them, desegregation is more than a question of balancing
numbers, but of exposing all children to all options.
Teaching all Ann Arbor Public School students to
read and write is no less important. Partial success is no
success at all.
Pence speaks about specific ways to curb communi-
cation problems in the schools, at no additional cost to
the taxpayers.
Clearly, hers is not a solution to be passed over
(ANDIDATES VIRTUALLY always cite unresponsiveness
as one of the key problems of any school board. In-
cumbents, with equal consistency deny the charge.
But Pence and Vaughn, by running door to door
campaigns in neighborhoods and schools have proven
their commitment to people with children in the public
school system. Both are candidates concerned deeply with
fairness to all students for the best possible education.
We also endorse Peter Wright, but with some reser-
Wright would bring experience-with school board
matters and with budgetary matters-back to the board,
and could round out the board to encompass more com-
munity interests.
Unfortunately, Wright has not firmly committed him-
self to the non-academic needs of students, such as those
involved in desegregation.
Nor has he taken any practical stance to promote the
teaching of basic communication skills. His language arts
program certainly needs revision.
As for the other two candidates we find Ellen Blue's
positions either unintelligible or unsupportable. Her be-
lief that teachers should realize that it is impossible to
teach some children to read, is clearly dubious. Our non-
support of Wendy Barhydt stems more from our inability
to interview her, than from dissatifaction with her posi-
tions. Barhydt has suspended all campaign activities since
the death of her mother.
Our choices are clear. The needs of this or any other
school district could hardly be resolved by any singley
election. -But this time around, Ann Arbor voters stand
to choose some persons capable of dealing with extremely
complex and Important problems, or losing all integrity
for the system in forthcoming years.


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