I am sure that Mr. Rodney Jones is a fine man and cares about this community. I also believe he is sincere in his desire to help the students of Manatee County, but I have serious questions concerning his qualifications to serve on the school board.
What does he know of public education? Does he understand the fiscal complexities of school district funding? Can he ensure those funds find their way into programs and classrooms that benefit our students?
Having a mother and sister as educators may qualify them for the board but hardly qualifies Mr. Jones.
The retirement of Barbara Harvey leaves the school board with no educators; only attorneys, business people and others with nothing better to do. At no time has education been so technical in its practice, measurement and accountability.
Education is indeed a science, but it is also an art form that is understood by those artists that practice it.
There is an old saying in education that everyone knows about school because they went to school. For those of us who have dedicated their lives to education, we know there is about as much truth in that adage as saying I know about medicine because I once went to the doctor.
The school board needs a voice of experience; a person that has been inside a classroom and understands the complex nature of educating students in the 21st century.
Charlie Kennedy is a fine educator, respected by his colleagues and more importantly beloved by his students. He does have the experience, knowledge and perspective that is lacking in Mr. Jones.
These are both fine people, but it is clear that the board needs the viewpoint of a professional educator and in that there is only one choice: Charlie Kennedy.