Birmingham voters choose new faces, new ideas for school system

(WIAT-TV CBS42)
(WIAT-TV CBS42)

[lin_video src=http://eplayer.clipsyndicate.com/embed/player.js?aspect_ratio=16x9&auto_next=1&auto_start=0&div_id=videoplayer-1377734757&height=480&page_count=5&pf_id=9624&pl_id=21958&show_title=1&va_id=4264293&width=640&windows=2 service=syndicaster width=640 height=480 div_id=videoplayer-1377734757 type=script]BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham voters allowed three board members to come back for another term, and one of those ran unopposed.

Three new members were voted in, and six new candidates will participate in run-offs in October for the three remaining spots.

Randall Woodfin is one of the new faces on the board.

“I know we can get beyond this idea of ‘I’m only going to focus on my district, only going to focus on brick and mortar issues and only going to focus on personnel issues,” Woodfin said. “We’re not going to do that anymore.”

The new board must deal with the very real threat of losing its accreditation. That means stop overspending , stop micromanaging and start monitoring school progress.

Returning board member April Williams is hopeful six new perspectives will make a difference.

“You have a diverse group, from businesses, from entrepreneurs, to ministers, to parents,” Williams said. “And that’s huge.”

Working together isn’t the only challenge the board will face. State-appointed leader of the BOE, Dr. Ed Richardson said the students have suffered.

“The worst problem is that we have not focused on student achievement and supporting the schools to the levels they need to be supported, ” Richardson said. “And as a result, student achievement is not nearly as high as it needs to be.”

Many parents are happy with their children’s teachers. They’re hopeful the new board will support those teachers without overstepping its bounds.

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