"School boards are democracy in action" is a quote from the Ohio School Boards Association Web site. A system of checks and balances is integral to our system of representative democracy and is largely why, many would argue, our system works. Our local school boards should function as a check and balance to the administration of our local schools. When local boards are "yes men," they are ineffective in moving the district forward in a progressive manner.
Members of our local school board need to be serious about their function in this regard. From the OSBA Web site: "Perhaps the most important responsibility of a school board is to employ a superintendent and to hold him or her responsible for managing the schools in accordance with the school board's policies." School board members by design need to be independent thinkers from the superintendent and independent decision makers within the framework of doing what's best for the children of the school system.
Steve Linder has had disagreements with school administrators. However, this should not disqualify him as a candidate for serving on the school board. Instead, his willingness to take on an adversarial role in holding these administrators accountable would be an asset to the taxpayers, students and parents of the Norwalk City Schools district, and would be consistent with the ideals explicitly set forth by the OSBA. He knows first-hand the shortcomings and strengths of the schools, as well as the "don't rock the boat" attitude of the current school board.
Steve Linder would be an excellent choice for the Norwalk School Board. The community needs another ear on the board and more than that, someone who is willing to fulfill their democratic duty of asking questions, thinking independently of the status quo, and doing what's right for the students and families of Norwalk schools.
Ken and Nancy Beckett