Education

Meet the candidates for the Fort Worth school board District 2

The school board election is on May 4. Early voting starts on April 22.
The school board election is on May 4. Early voting starts on April 22. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

The race for District 2 on the Fort Worth school board is between incumbent Tobi Jackson and former Eastern Hills High School principal Chad McCarty.

The District 2 race is one of four contests in the May 4 elections. District 2 includes Eastern Hills and Polytechnic high schools.

The trustee posts are unpaid and for four-year terms.

Chad McCarty

Office sought: Fort Worth ISD Board of Trustees, District 2

Name: Chad McCarty Occupation: Business Owner (AutoDuco)

Age: 39

Website: chadmccartyforfwisd.com

Best way for voters to reach you: Facebook Messenger

Public offices held/sought: N/A

What organizations are you affiliated with? None

Chad McCarty
Chad McCarty, a former principal at Eastern Hills High School, is running against incumbent Tobi Jackson for the District 2 seat on the Fort Worth school board. Courtesy Chad McCarty Campaign

What is the most pressing issue facing Fort Worth students? Fort Worth ISD’s primary goal must be improving student outcomes. We are in the educating children business. The District succeeds or fails based on the knowledge and skill-sets our students have when they leave school and go on to college or into the workforce. We must be outcome driven, and right now, the outcome for our students needs to improve. We must ensure incremental progress. Students must be prepared for the next grade level. We need to ensure that students are not just being passed, but that they are thriving and fully prepared for the next grade.

What is the role of a school board trustee? The role of a school board trustee is twofold: to facilitate strong and healthy community relations; and to work together with the other trustees to set policies for the district. A trustee’s primary concern must be to set policies designed to improve the educational system in ways that benefit all students. Trustees are also responsible for selecting and evaluating the superintendent and securing finances for the district. But in addition to these mandated duties, I believe the Trustee should be the eyes, and ears of the people they represent and should communicate with them.

How important is government and board transparency and how will you show your commitment to transparency? I believe that government and board transparency is vitally important. I support increased transparency and stronger ethics rules for all public servants, including School Board members. I believe more of the Board’s business should be conducted in public. The times the board meets outside of public view should be the exception, and I believe they currently do it entirely too much. When the current board voted to rescind their strengthened Ethics Policy, I believe that was a mistake. I would have voted to maintain the stronger policy, and if elected I would support reinstating that stronger policy.

How is Fort Worth ISD doing on providing equity of opportunity to all students, regardless of race? How could it do better? The inequity within Fort Worth ISD is obvious. I believe that all students should be given an equal opportunity to succeed in the public-school system, and unfortunately Fort Worth ISD is not providing an equitable distribution of resources and services. We have large achievement gaps not only between students, but between schools in Fort Worth ISD. If we want to do better, we must find ways to increase access to opportunities across all schools in the district. The quality of education a student receives should not depend on the zip code or neighborhood in which they live.

Tobi Jackson

Office sought: FWISD Trustee District 2

Name: Tobi Jackson

Occupation: Executive Director Fort Worth SPARC

Age: 58

Website: www.tobiforschools.org

Tobi Jackson
Tobi Jackson, president of the Fort Worth school board, is seeking re-election to her post. The school board elections are next spring. Rodger Mallison rmallison@star-telegram.com

Best way for voters to reach you: 817-296-7721

Public offices held/sought: FWISD Trustee District 2

What organizations are you affiliated with? East Fort Worth Business Association, Fort Worth East Rotary Club, Lions Club, Breakfast Optimist Club of East Fort Worth, chair of the Fort Worth school district’s oil and gas committee.

What is the most pressing issue facing Fort Worth students? FWISD students are all capable and willing to learn. The unfortunate challenge is their lack of preparedness beginning in pre-kindergarten. This transcends into an inability to matriculate to graduation, lack of college, military and career readiness. Fort Worth is working synergistically to improve prenatal to prekindergarten readiness.

What is the role of a school board trustee?

to govern and oversee the management of the school district

to levy and collect taxes

to set the policies for the FWISD

to develop and improve the educational system through effective governance

to secure adequate financing

to select the superintendent of schools

to foster good community relations

How important is government and board transparency and how will you show your commitment to transparency? Government and board transparency have great utility to engage our citizenry and build a stronger FWISD and ultimately Fort Worth. It is essential that tough questions regarding budget, student, campus and overall district performance are asked during public sessions and I will continue to ask those questions. We have worked to implement Lone Star Governance, which allows for a common focus and tight goals set firmly around student outcomes. Continued compliance with Lone Star Governance maintains firm focus with intentionality on our three goals which are: 1. Middle years math 2. Early Literacy 3. Career, College and Military Preparedness.

How is Fort Worth ISD doing on providing equity of opportunity to all students, regardless of race?

How could it do better? Our FWISD Board and Leadership have worked on disparities system-wide since 2011. Equity training is expanding to all staff. Improvement of equity of opportunity began through our programs of choice, where students attend unique schools of choice. We are now evolving our neighborhood high schools. These schools will have four CTE programs: Business/marketing, technical arts/Audio/visual, STEM/Engineering and Teaching/Learning and other tailored programs of choice. This will strengthen our neighborhood schools, improving access for all youth and eliminating long bus rides. Our 2017 bond will transform all 13 high schools into contemporary, collaborative academies of Knowledge.

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Diane Smith, a graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, has been a reporter for the Star-Telegram since 1997. Smith, who has covered municipal government, immigration and education, has won multiple awards for reporting, most recently as part of a Star-Telegram team recognized by the Headliners Foundation of Texas for coverage of child abuse and Fort Worth’s Las Vegas Trail area.
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