Superintendent candidates square off at forum

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt June 30, 2014
Valarie Wilson, left, will face Alisha Thomas Morgan, right, in the July 22 runoff in the Democratic primary election.

Valarie Wilson, left, will face Alisha Thomas Morgan, right, in the July 22 runoff in the Democratic primary election.

The League of Women Voters of Atlanta Fulton County will host a forum on June 30 featuring candidates in several races, including the state School Superintendent.

The League has invited all four candidates who will appear in the July 22 primary runoff. The Democratic ticket will feature Valarie Wilson, a former member of the City Schools of Decatur Board of Education, and Alisha Thomas Morgan, a state representative. The Republican ticket will feature Mike Buck, the chief of staff to outgoing superintendent John Barge, and Richard Woods, a former high school principal and teacher who currently works in the private sector.

The event will be held at the John Marshall Law School, located at 1422 West Peachtree Street, N.W.  in Atlanta, and starts with a reception in honor of elected officials at 6 pm.

The superintendent’s forum moderators include editor Dan Whisenhunt.

The forum will feature candidates from two other races:

Fulton County Superior Court, a nonpartisan race. The candidates are Jane Barwick  and Shelitha Robertson.

Fulton County Commission District 5, a partisan race. The Democratic candidates are Marvin Arrington, Jr. and Brenda Muhammad.

The superintendent’s race will offer voters a chance to distinguish between the candidates on a variety of issues. The question many candidates have been asked concerns the Common Core standards, a way of measuring student achievement consistently from state to state that some conservatives depict as a federal takeover of state education. Woods is the only candidate that opposes keeping the Common Core standards.

The candidates have also been asked questions related to charter schools. Of the four candidates, Morgan is the biggest proponent of charter schools, while Wilson has said she opposes “for-profit charter schools.”

According to Education Week, only 12 states elect their state school superintendents.


About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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