On November 4th, you will see six names on the ballot for New Hanover County Board of Education. While David Martin is no longer running, there are incumbents Dorothy DeShields and Jeanette Nichols, as well as three challengers who want their seats. We have all seen the signs, but what do the candidates for New Hanover County's Board of Education election have to say about the state of our schools? "Under No Child Left Behind with our end of grade testing, only 11 of our 38 schools last year actually met federal expectations. These are huge problems that have to be addressed," said Elizabeth Redenbaugh. School Board candidate Pat Chappell, said "How could anybody be satisfied with only 64 percent of students graduating from high school, which is even lower than the state average? Something is wrong." These candidates say lack of planning and leadership within our current school board is why they want a shot at changing how things are done. Child Advocate Jan Brewington wants to propose ideas like having a school dedicated to single-gender education, developing a magnet school that addresses the ways boys and girls learn differently. “Why not separate them during the day for the math, science, English and history. Then bring them together for things like art and music. This would be by choice. This would be a magnet school that families choose,” said Brewington. Pat Chappell proposes developing more vocational education programs to stop the dropout rate from rising. “I recommend a vocational center where kids who truly believe that they want to develop after high school, and go into another route, and go into a focus for their career that's totally acceptable." Candidate Elizabeth Redenbaugh said it all comes down to getting more input from the community. “We have to be transparent in order to get the community by, in that we are going to need in order to move forward and tackle some of the tough problems that we have in front of us." This is just a sample of what these candidates had to say, but you can hear more from all five candidates tonight at a candidate’s forum. It is at 7:00 p.m. at the Warwick Center Ballroom at UNCW. Candidates for New Hanover County Commission and other offices will also be there.
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