Monday, November 5, 2012

Pike Township School Board Needs New Blood Such as Eric Huffine and David Copher; Rubber Stamp Incumbents Need to Be Sent Packing

Amidst all the bigger elections taking place on Tuesday, there is one on the ballot that should be of concern for my fellow Pike Township residents - Pike Township School Board.

Last election cycle we reviewed the votes of the Pike Township School Board. Throughout the years of records that were available, we found that every vote of the Pike School Board had been unanimous.   Not a single dissenting vote was heard. Every proposal offered by Pike Superintendent Nathaniel Jones was rubber stamped by the school board.  Jones is a protege of IPS Superintendent Eugene White, and he is working heard to bring the Pike Township schools down to the level of IPS.  The recent report card from the Department of Education demonstrate how some of the Pike schools are beginning to resemble IPS schools:

Pike Schools 2012 2011 2010
Fishback Creek Public Aca C D A
Deer Run Elementary C C C
Pike High School C C F
College Park Elem Sch D C C
Lincoln Middle School F F C
Guion Creek Middle School F F D
Central Elementary School D C C
Eagle Creek Elementary School A A A
Eastbrook Elementary School D D A
Guion Creek Elementary School B A A

Pike is an at-large school board.  Four of the seven seats are up for re-election this cycle.  Three of the incumbents - Nancy Poore, Ricky Hence, and Larry Metzler - are seeking re-election. None of them deserve it.  They have been on the Board for a considerable period of time and had a chance to exercise some oversight over the administration and have utterly failed to do so.   These board members support the administration's plan to tear down elementary school buildings in the district only a few decades old to build new buildings, which of course leads to higher taxes.

Eric Huffine
The fact is the incumbents refuse to acknowledge any problems with Pike schools and believe their sole role on the Board is to be cheerleaders.  I'll never forget the conversation with Mr. Hence in which he denied there were gangs in Pike schools.  I also met with Pike Township School employees who wanted to report things that were going on and found the school board members refused to even listen to their concerns.

When I ran, unsuccessfully, for the Pike Township School Board in 2010, I met Eric Huffine and David Copher who both ran during that cycle.  Both are dedicated to the improvement of Pike Township schools. Both believe school board members should hold the administration accountable and demand transparency.  While that seems like a no brainer, the fact is Poore, Hence and Metzler have not even demanded that from the Pike Township School District administration.

Huffine and Copher would be a breath of fresh air on the Pike Township School Board. I wholeheartedly endorse them.  Here is Eric Huffine's election webpage. If I find one for David Copher, I will update this post to provide a link.

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