Home » Education » Currently Reading:

Urban Review Endorses Downs & Jones

March 15, 2006 Education 4 Comments

Mayor Slay is endorsing two current St. Louis School Board members for re-election; Darnetta Clinkscale & James Buford. Therefore, I am endorsing school watchdog Peter Downs and Donna Jones, both parents of children attending St. Louis Public Schools.

Actually, it is not quite as simple as favoring those candidates challenging those which the mayor endorses. I truly believe Peter Downs is one of the most knowledgeable citizens when it comes to education. I like what he has to say, specifically how he ties education together with economic development and strengthening our neighborhoods. Downs and Donna Jones are seen as having a similar platform of creating a quality school system by being inclusive of all perspectives.

Frankly I don’t trust the mayor or his favored candidates. Razing the Century Building was supposedly done in the best interests of downtown and the city but we all know that was not the case. I just don’t trust the motives of Slay, Clinkscale or Buford.

The election is Tuesday, April 4, 2006. Please support Peter Downs & Donna Jones.

– Steve


Currently there are "4 comments" on this Article:

  1. Brian says:

    Recently, Sylvester Brown criticized how those School Board candidates backed by the Mayor (Clinkscale and Buford) get called “reformers,” while other candidates, including the most visible challengers of Downs and Jones, are billed as “anti-reform.” As much as I like underdogs, I can’t help but think it’s the lack of a unified message hurting these challengers.

    As incumbents, Clinkscale and Buford luck out that we have a new superintendent with new ideas. Riding the coattails of Williams is about the only thing the incumbents have to counter past images of drastic cuts (albeit inherited by Buford). Meanwhile, if Downs and Jones don’t wish to be seen as “anti-reform,” they need a serious, on-message campaign to inform voters of the concise, alternate reforms they support.

    Granted, any campaign will have a limited audience. Those who vehemently opposed past cuts have little chance of voting for the incumbents, just as credulous fans of Slay have little chance of not voting for them. However, those who felt uneasy about the cuts yet painfully accepted them as tough decisions are indeed swing voters. And these swing voters are listening for any message of what’s next for the future of our schools.

    Clinkscale and Buford have successfully packaged that message as faith in Creg Williams. But other than being against what the current board majority is for, Downs and Jones have not packaged their message for alternate reform. And as Kerry learned the hard way, you don’t inspire voters as the “anti” candidate.

    [REPLY – Good assessment of the situation. – SLP]

  2. Heather says:

    Where can you FIND the candidates ideas, views, hopes & frustrations for the SLPS? As an active & informed mother of SLPS students I find it frustrating and annoying that I can’t find any information about the candidates’ stances.

    My current opinions on the candidates are – the only positve thing I can credit Clinkscale & Buford with is hiring Williams; Peter Downs has been screaming for so long he’s the only one who can fix the problem that I am uncertain he can see any of the positive things the school board has done and I have never heard of Donna Jones until signs started to appear around my neighborhood.

  3. Brian says:

    The weather is nice for a walk over to the Board of Elections, I’m curious about the new voting machines, and I’ll be in Kansas City come election day. Thus, I’m voting absentee.

    Having read Arch City Chronicle’s current Schools issue, including MAP scores, Philadelphia comparisons and candidate stances, I feel Creg Williams does have a plan to improve our schools, and the incumbents are the candidates backing that plan. It also appears that elementary schools have already improved, despite our district’s borderline accreditation.

    At this point, I’ve heard nothing but criticism of the current board from Downs and Jones, instead of any clear alternate plan to address the problem. While it may be sheer luck for the incumbents to have a new superintendent, their faith in him, and hearing no clear alternate proposal from challengers, has led me to ultimately vote for Clinkscale and Buford, despite my criticism of Mayor Slay. In other words, I see it as voting with Creg Williams, not with Francis Slay.

  4. Becker says:

    I’m sorry to see that you feel this way. I can’t help but wonder if your ‘progressive’ stance in politics is leading you want to vote against anyone Slay supports for that reason alone.

    My problem with Downs and Jones is that they unquestionably support the wishes of the teachers union. To my knowledge, historically there has been a near perfect correlation between the power of teachers unions and the poor quality of school districts.

    Creg Williams so far has shown that he places the interests of the students above all other priorities. The Local 420 Teachers Union in this area has for decades consistantly placed the interests of their own members above those of their students.


Comment on this Article: