The world is experiencing an upheaval the likes of which has not been seen since the Industrial Revolution. Industry was good to Ohio. The Buckeye State went from frontier backwater to major economic center one of the most populous states in the country in less than a century.
Whether Ohio will return to the top of the heap or continue its slide bottomwards along with the collapse of 20th-century-style industry is largely a result of what we do with one thing: education.
We need leaders of responsibility and vision in our schools. We need men and women who are aware of what is going to be required in this new world order.
John Lendrum and Mike Grose are such leaders. Under their watch, Norwalk's public schools have developed remarkable facilities, improved test scores, and secured an astonishingly healthy bank account.
Grose, in his four years on the board, has proved himself to be an independent thinker and school leader truly concerned with taking care of this community's next generation.
Lendrum, the senior member of the school board, has not only proved himself responsible and perceptive, he has also demonstrated a concern for the future of our students. His perspective as a businessman and as an officer in the Army Corps of Engineers has given him a unique understanding of the changes in the world and he has strong ideas on how to prepare our students all of them for that future.
Steve Linder, on the other hand, is seeking election for one reason: to fire Norwalk High principal Bob Duncan. He may protest otherwise, but he speaks of nothing else. Even when asked what his broader goals are, he says, to improve "communication" in the schools. When pressed on whether "communication" is a problem at schools other than the high school, he says, "no." Even when he isn't talking about Bob Duncan, he's talking about Bob Duncan.
We are not defending Duncan. Perhaps we lack some important inside information, but it seems to us that a three-day suspension is hardly adequate punishment for falsifying state documents about school safety procedures.
Linder's position, however, is not based on that serious error. Instead, it is a vendetta based on the very understandable over-protectiveness of a father and husband.
But it's not enough for the school board. We cannot afford to replace either of these two board members with an honest concern for the future welfare of all the students in the district and a real plan for the future, with one whose only concern is the past wrongs, both real and imagined, done to his own son, daughter and wife.
We urge you to cast your votes on the two open seats on the Norwalk City School Board for John Lendrum and Mike Grose.