Hamilton County, OH November 2, 1999 Election
Smart Voter

Rick Thomas-Harmon Answers Questions

Candidate for
Board member; Norwood City School District

Candidate Answers Questions on the Issues

The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of Hamilton County and asked of all candidates for this office.

Read the answers from all candidates.

Questions & Answers

1. What effect would the community (charter) schools have on the public schools in your district?

To date charter schools have shown little or no effect on the Norwood City School District. I believe that charter schools could provide friendly competition to the district, thereby forcing the Norwood City Schools to continue to improve in the areas of test scores and community, parent and student satisfaction. I also believe that Norwood City Schools could possibly learn from successful ideas implemented in charter schools. We need to remain mindful that charter school students take funds from the Norwood City School District.

2. Evaluate the adequacy of support services, beyond state standards, presently provided for special-needs students in your district.

The Norwood City School District does an excellent job of providing for the special education students. Services are provided in various settings including inside regular classrooms and in one-on-one or small groups. In addition, home instruction is provided as needed. Elementary classroom teachers work with Intervention Assistance Teams to assist them with at-risk students. Services are also provided by Special Education Teachers, Speech & Language Pathologists, Occupational & Physical Therapists and many others. The Norwood City School District also offers a gifted program that serves students in K-12.

3. Has the use of proficiency tests in your school improved the education of students?

Proficiency testing has allowed all of the teachers district and state-wide to focus on the same goals / objectives and has created an even standard of evaluating student performance. It has forced teachers to teach main subject areas that may have otherwise been overlooked. Unfortunately it has allowed less time for foreign language & other elective areas, and has cut back on time for random "teachable moments".

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League, but formatted for Web display. Candidates were asked to limit their responses to 300 words for all 3 answers. Simple spelling or typographical errors were corrected after confirmation with the candidate.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 11, 1999 10:14
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