Niagara Gazette

Local News

May 8, 2013

Debate features N-W board candidates


Niagara Gazette — Duell also set her sights on some of the district's challenges in the classroom, including the implementation of the common core learning standards and the increase in standardized testing, which has come under fire following grueling English Language Arts and math exams for students in grades 3-8.

"We have some fabulous teachers and dedicated staff members," she said. "We have some concerned parents who want to do the best for their kids. We have taxpayers who continue to contribute. We must manage better, we must get smarter, we must reach out to other districts doing great things and learn from them. We must be creative and vigilant."

Pittman, the only candidate with previous board experience, has spent the entire year filling the seat vacated by former member Michael Brock. She served on the board for four years before abruptly resigning her seat in February 2011.

Working with the current board has given her a renewed sense of purpose as she tries to provide a solid education for her fourth of four children, a 10th grade student.

Some of the district's well-documented financial struggles of the last three years have put the taxpayers in a bind with Pittman among the group which last month considered cutting kindergarten from its curriculum to save money. They decided to eliminate teaching positions instead, but the idea left a lasting impression on the candidate.

"We're here to provide a quality education to our children," she said. "I want to see more teachers in the classroom. I want to bring back the pre-kindergarten program. Bullying is another big concern of mine. But we also need to control spending. There are residents in the district who are on set income. We need to do a better job of pressuring the state."

Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. May 21.

Contact reporter Timothy Chipp at 282-2311, ext. 2251 or follow on Twitter @timchipp.

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