The Durham Association of Educators Political Action Committee is excited to announce the candidates we have endorsed for the DPS Board of Education and the Durham County Commission. Each endorsed candidate has shown a commitment to working with educators, students, and parents to fight for the schools we all deserve. Read on for more information about our endorsements.
School Board At-Large: Steve Unruhe
Mr. Unruhe has 29 years of experience as a classroom teacher and has shown clear leadership and vision in Durham, including as an active member and past president of DAE. Over the past year, he has penned a series of editorials for the Durham Herald-Sun that express clear progressive positions on a variety of issues impacting public education.
Find out more at http://stevenunruhe.com/.
School Board Consolidated District A: Minnie Forte-Brown
Ms. Forte-Brown, an incumbent who is running unopposed, has an extensive track record as a community leader who is concerned about the impact of poverty and race in the classroom. Though DAE PAC has concerns about her support of KIPP and other charter schools, we ultimately believe that, like us, Ms. Forte-Brown is committed to ensuring that children of color and poor children get the best schools possible.
School Board Consolidated District B: Xavier Cason
Mr. Cason, who is running unopposed, has 29 years of experience as a classroom educator. He opposes the state’s mandated School Performance Grades and is clear about how charter schools have become problematic in Durham and elsewhere. Mr. Cason has a comprehensive and compassionate understanding of education issues, which is clearly guided by his time in the classroom.
Read more at http://www.vote4cason.com.
Durham County Commission: Heidi Carter
Ms. Carter, who has served on the DPS Board of Education for the last 12 years, has a strong history of progressive work on education issues as a member of that board. Ms. Carter is passionate about public health and desires to support public education through working on public health issues. She is keenly aware of how poverty and educational inequity are related. She is also a strong advocate of early childhood education. Our committee appreciated her commitment to challenging the “failing school” narratives that have been used to argue against fully funding DPS at the county level.
Find out more at https://www.heidicarter.com/ .
Durham County Commission: James Hill
Mr. Hill has a strong analysis about the school-to-prison pipeline and the nature of the attacks on public schools in North Carolina. Though Mr. Hill’s questionnaire answers could have been better fleshed out, we were impressed by his assertion that he would be willing to “stand alone” when necessary to advance his values, which are clearly in line with DAE’s values. As a current DPS parent, Mr. Hill is also a public school stakeholder.
Durham County Commission: Wendy Jacobs
One of the reasons we support Wendy Jacobs, an incumbent, is that she voted against the 2015 budget that did not give a proposed 3% raise to DPS Classified Staff. Ms. Jacobs cited poverty reduction as her number one goal as commissioner, and connected that goal to poverty’s impact on public schools. Ms. Jacobs’s responses to our questionnaire indicate in-depth understanding of DPS and school policy at the local and state level.
See more at http://www.wendyjacobsfordurham.com/ .
Durham County Commission: Michael Page
In his interview, Rev. Page, an incumbent, discussed the ways in which the Commission’s deliberations on the 2015 3% raise proposal for Classified Staff could have gone better on both sides. Our committee appreciated that Rev. Page offered that he could have gotten the proposal passed in the spring, and that not doing so had been a mistake. We also appreciated him distancing himself from the ideas that test scores should be the measure of quality for schools and that poverty and race are negligible factors in student performance.
See more at http://www.pagefordurham.net/.
Durham County Commission: Ellen Reckhow
Like Ms. Jacobs, Ms. Reckhow, also an incumbent, has our support because she voted against the 2015 budget that did not give a proposed 3% raise to DPS Classified Staff. In addition, Ms. Reckhow supports restoring the state cap on charter schools and is a strong proponent of early childhood education and literacy. Ms. Reckhow regularly spends time in DPS classrooms as a tutor, and comes across as highly knowledgeable about the workings of Durham County.
Find out more at http://ellenreckhow.org/ .
You can read the questionnaires of all candidates, including those we didn’t endorse, HERE.
Stay tuned for NCAE’s state-wide endorsements to be released in February. North Carolina’s primary election is March 15, 2016. Early voting begins March 3. Please join DAE in getting out the vote!