River Forest School District 90 enjoys an embarrassment of riches — well funded, high test scores, respected superintendent, comfortable socio-economics — so it's no surprise that this should extend to the five school board candidates running for four seats in this election.
And that makes our endorsement a surprisingly difficult choice.
All five candidates are solid — strong connection to and involvement in the schools, an understanding that high test scores are not the whole story in education, promises to improve communication and transparency with the community, recognizing the need for technology in the classroom, and sympathy for the argument that investment in early childhood education can improve the educational experience for those D90 students who eventually go on to OPRF High School.
All things being equal, you look for tipping factors. One is experience. The other, in this race anyway, is the balance on the board of men and women (currently 5-2). Though we are very sympathetic to the gender-balance argument, we're opting for experience with Roman Ebert, Anne Gottlieb, David Latham and Patrick Meyer. The "second-term" argument, we think, is a compelling one. New board members have a learning curve. Second-termers are ready to roll. Gottlieb is a newcomer, but she brings what we thinks is a valuable voice advocating for equity in education, based on her long experience as an administrator at an alternative high school on the West Side of Chicago.
Teresa Peavy is also a solid candidate who brings legislative experience, thanks to her years in government relations. If she isn't elected this go-round, we encourage her to run again.