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Sunday, November 27, 2022
Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: Could a day of reckoning for school leaders be coming?

Editor’s Notebook: Could a day of reckoning for school leaders be coming?

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A recent missive by Arlington School Board candidate Mary Kadera leads one to wonder if, at least from her perspective, we have a wide-open Democratic School Board caucus in the making.

Kadera yesterday sent out a note to supporters, which by reading between the lines showed a tacit acknowledgment that her opponent, Miranda Turner, is scoring points with the electorate with an emphasis on holding the School Board and top school staff accountable for a performance over the past year that all three of us (Kadera, Turner and myself) judge as anywhere from dysfunctional to an unfettered failure.

Kadera said in the note, correctly in my judgment, that she is the more nuanced candidate in the race, the one with the best knowledge of the issues. And, she said, she too would hold the current School Board and top staff responsible for their performance since their pandemic-pandemonium-fueled, leave-all-kids-behind policy took effect in March 2020.

Voting for Turner, she suggested, would be the equivalent of wielding a political 2×4 or baseball bat on the current school-system power structure, when a scalpel would be more appropriate.


Maybe so, but there is a lot of anger – much of it as-yet-unvented – about the Arlington school system’s behavior over the past year. If Turner and those backing her bid (which include some big names, albeit ones staying in the background) can get out the message Turner will kick some tushie from the board dais, it might just resonate.

In politics, when you’re explaining, you’re losing, and Kadera needs to get a message that resonates with people who are not just moderately PO’d with the school system, but also those big-time PO’d with the school system. Trying to play the angles could hand Turner the win.

(And as an aside, if Turner were to pull off an upset victory, watch to see if some of the more rabid Democratic insiders try and recruit an, ahem, “independent” candidate to get on the Nov. 2 ballot, in an effort to scuttle her bid. Do not doubt the possibility. But if the insiders found it impossible to recruit anyone to run in the caucus, not sure how they would do it for the general election.)

RIP, FRITZ: Sad to hear that Walter Mondale has moved from this life to whatever awaits all of us on the other side.

Fritz was part of the very first presidential race I could cast a ballot in, being all of 18 years and three days old back then in 1984. And sorry, but no, I didn’t cast it for him. (You thought otherwise? C’mon: Reagan was on the ballot!)

Mondale wasn’t my pick back then, but he was a classy, coherent, competent guy. Oh, what 330 million Americans would have given for such an option, from either party, in the presidential election last November.

  • Scott McCaffrey
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