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Saturday, February 4, 2023
Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: Candidates get a little critical

Editor’s Notebook: Candidates get a little critical

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We had coverage recently that the two Democratic contenders to fill the seat of Arlington School Board Chairman Monique O’Grady (who is getting out) were not exactly laudatory when it comes to the school system’s response to the COVID crisis.

And indeed, even when factoring in the unique nature of the pandemic – which hit with the force of a tsunami and then stuck around, and around, and around – it’s hard to give the school system a solid grade for its overall response. Good to see that those who hope to end up on the School Board feel the same; it proves they have been paying attention.

But how far will they go in dissecting the problems? Mary Kadera and Miranda Turner only had three minutes each to get in all their points at the Arlington County Democratic Committee kickoff, so there wasn’t a lot of time for expounding on what the school system has done right, and what it has done wrong. Should make the debates interesting.


Kadera certainly seems in the insider candidate, if one exists; Turner, who has been a part of the “get their asses back in classes” movement (that’s what I call it, at least), is the outsider. Kadera is up and running with a Website (and made contact with the local media before the kickoff), while Turner seems to be playing a bit of catch-up, although yesterday she did send out a campaign announcement.

We’ll have to see how it goes. The good news is that, unlike last year’s Democratic caucus (in the early stages of the COVID crisis), where it seemed like all the candidates were drinking the KoolAid and few offered dissenting views about how things were going), there is a more critical eye being cast now.

SPEAKING OF THE SCHOOL BOARD KICKOFF: One of the candidates made mention that local teachers can be expected to bail out left and right rather than return next year. That is not necessarily because they do not want to teach; it is because they don’t feel the need to put up with public-school management any more.

I know one of those myself. Won’t mention the school system except that it’s in Northern Virginia, but she wanted to stick around despite being eligible to retire. Given the past year, however, she decided it just wasn’t worth it. She’s leaving in June and will not be looking back. And who can blame her?

THE EXPECTED GLITCHES: No new Website launches glitch-free, and we’ve had a few “gremlins” creep into the coding, but so far everything has been patched up and put back into service reasonably quickly. Bear with us; it’ll be worth it in the end.

  • Scott McCaffrey
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