Across decades of interviewing candidates for the Madison School Board, the members of The Capital Times editorial board have talked with dozens of able contenders — and a few not-so-able ones.
We have endorsed liberals and conservatives, friends and foes of the teachers union, veteran board members and newcomers — always in response to a basic question: Which candidate would make the most valuable contribution to the seven-member board that sets the direction for what has been, is and we hope will always remain one of the finest urban school districts in the nation?
With this history providing a sense of perspective, we can say without a doubt that we have rarely if ever encountered a first-time candidate as impressive as James Howard.
James Howard is best prepared for the challenging job of serving on the Madison School Board.
Voters should support him in the April 6 election.
Howard, 56, a research economist, says he’s trained and committed to analyzing data before making decisions. He’ll bring that strong trait to a School Board that has sometimes let emotion get the best of it.
A good example is the difficult issue of consolidating schools with low enrollments to save money during tight times. The School Board backed down from its smart vote in 2007 to consolidate elementary schools on the Near East Side.