Independent candidates were the clear winners last week in the heated school-board election contest in Princeton, N.J.
The three open seats on the regional board went to: John Clearwater, an independent, who had 801 votes; Richard Godfrey, who had been appointed to the board earlier in order to fill a vacancy and won 428 votes; and David Robbins, a member--but not a formal candidate--of a newly formed parent group in the community that is calling for revisions in the school system's mathematics curriculum. He had 654 votes.
Elections in the university community generated unusual interest this spring when eight candidates filed to run for three open seats on the school board. (See Education Week, April 8, 1992.) Many of the candidates had been fielded by parent groups that were critical of the district, which has a national reputation for academic achievement. They raised concerns, variously, about the system's treatment of minority students, about school-district finances, and about the adequacy of its mathematics curriculum.
"There may have been a lot of noise but in the end voters chose people not in line with the angry groups,'' said Corinne Kyle, a member of the school board.
The parent-group candidates did, however, receive a substantial number of votes, ranging from 156 for a seat in the borough to 481 for a spot from the township.
A majority of the voters--56 percent--also voted to approve the school system's proposed $29.7-million budget.
Boston Schools Superintendent Lois Harrison-Jones has unveiled a comprehensive school safety and security plan that includes a revised code of discipline with an expedited process for expelling violent students.
Ms. Harrison-Jones presented the package to a subcommittee of the city's school committee earlier this month, and the full committee was expected to vote last week on the revised disciplinary provisions, said Larry W. Faison, a spokesman for the school department.
Under those provisions--the product of several month's of recommendations from educators, parents, and community members--Ms. Harrison-Jones has suggested the establishment of more panels so that expulsion hearings are conducted within 10 days of the student's offense.
The discipline code has come under fire for the protracted process that is required before a habitually violent student can be expelled. (See Education Week, April 1, 1992.)
The safety and security plan is designed to expand support and
safety services, increase coordination with other community agencies,
begin implementation of a violence-prevention curriculum and
conflict-resolution strategies, provide more alternative education
options, and require greater parental involvement.