- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Q Superintendent Michael Martiranoís contract ends this school year after serving two four-year terms. Would you vote to offer him a new contract, or would you look for a new superintendent?
Davis: [I would] offer him a new contract. Dr. Martirano is doing an exemplary job. Some people say he is overpaid, I think heís underpaid for the responsibilities he has. He works tirelessly for the students. I know personally he works seven days a week. He has an open-door policy for parents and anybody else.
Q. Which of the initiatives to serve student academic needs put in place in recent years has been most successful? Which has not?
Davis: I think that the efforts for STEM development can be applauded by the superintendentís office.
Science, technology, engineering and math, those skill sets are paramount for our future citizens to become competitive in the world market.
In terms of things that could be done better, Iím not an advocate of no student left behind because it in my opinion lowers the academic bar for students. The alternative would be to raise the bar to prepare the students for the challenges in the 21st century.
I donít think we should be holding a lot of these kids down. I think they can all be taught, it doesnít mean theyíre all going to be Ph.Ds.
I am in favor of Fairlead ... [APEX], I think itís fantastic.
The main ethos of my campaign is that schoolís better be prepared for the 21st century because theyíre not going to be the same as when I went to school ... Thereís going to be a major paradigm shift in the 21st century, itís happening as we speak. Itís my opinion that we have to use modern technology to help these kids.
We need a person on the board that has that strategic vision and that understands that weíre going to have to collectively, all the stakeholders, and I donít mean just the teachers and the parents, have an investment to make sure that we train the kids so they can compete in a world market.
Q. Has the board of education effectively made the case to the county commissioners for adequate funding for the schools?
Davis: I think so, at least in the latest [budget] round. For example, the county commissioners actually added funds. The total budget now is $87 million, which is higher, I believe, than the initial request from the board. I personally know all of the county commissioners and collectively, they strongly support quality education for the county.
Q. What issues should be included in diversity training for students and staff?
Davis: The first step forward is the superintendent of schools has recently hired a diversity director, which I think is an excellent first move. The racial tensions at the high school recently indicate the importance of teaching all students the importance of dignity and respect for all races.
Q. Do you think the school board participates in enough public discussion on issues before making decisions?
Davis: I would say yes. they have an open forum every month in which the public is invited. An important issue is the relationship between the superintendentís office and the school board and if I was to be elected I would work closely to maintain that close relationship, which is going to be necessary for achieving academic excellence.