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School Board Candidates Focus On Student Achievement At Forum

Hear what five of the six Racine Unified School Board candidates had to say about how they'll fix some of the key problems facing the school district.

Student and parental engagement, neighborhood schools versus charter schools and magnet schools, and solving a budget shortfall topped the list of topics discussed at the Patch/WGTD candidate forum.

Brian Dey, Gretchen Warner, Don Nielsen, Scott Brownell and Roger Pfost attended a forum held at the Mount Pleasant Village Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. Kim Plache was not able to attend because she was injured in a car crash recently.

WGTD recorded the entire forum, click here and here.

We’ll have a more complete story up today.

Rees Roberts February 08, 2012 at 05:53 PM
I am not sure where to begin. I was so looking forward to this forum. But here is what occurred. The first WGTD link was cut off after only hearing introductions from Brian Dey, Scott Brownell and 25 seconds of Don Nielson. Never heard intro's from Gretchen Warner or Roger Pfost. Frustrating. Then the moderator allowed the candidates to pick what questions they were going to answer. But the recording on link 2 never made it to the end of the forum. From what I could tell a good 15 minutes was cut off. We listen to understand what the candidates think about each question. Brian Dey answered all of the 7 questions that were available to listen to. Gretchen Warner answered only 2 questions. Don Nielson answered 4 with the last one cut off. Scott Brownell and Roger Pfost both answered only 3. To those at Patch, I think you could do better. Noting that it would be a delayed broadcast would stop confusion. Taking an audio feed and recording it and putting it up as a mp3 file like WGTD did would be simple enough. But there is technology available today to broadcast it live and be able to see it afterwards too. (think ustream.tv) So, I'm not sure what radio brought to this forum. It certainly wasn't covered in it's entirety. That is sad because the voters could have used this. I know I learned things about the candidates but wonder what I missed. Maybe another forum prior to when we vote in April might be in order.
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) February 08, 2012 at 06:10 PM
@Rees - those audio files are just clips. We should have made that more clear. WGTD is running the forum during "Education Matters" at 10:30 am on Sat., Feb. 17. This was our first time hosting a forum so we're learning ... the next forum we host will have more bases covered. The more complete story is coming soon ...
Rees Roberts February 08, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Thanks for the clarification. February 17 is a Friday, no? Just to make sure so we don't miss it. I hope all of the forum is aired then. Regarding clips.... and these comments are directed at WGTD and not to Patch.com. I think Patch did a fine job. These kind of recordings should never be clips. They should run without any changes unless profanity was used. I doubt WGTD wants to be known as favoring certain candidates over others when you don't even carry their introductions. WGTD should know better than that. Patch should really look at Ustream.tv. Someone with only a webcam could broadcast an event live with audio and video. Go to their web site and you will see a huge number doing just that. It's amazing and simple to use too. Just download one app and point the camera. Hook up the audio, click to start the broadcast (with the option record it for later playback) and your done. Cheers
David Cole February 09, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Rees: The first I'm hearing about this problem is Wednesday evening. I discovered that there were in fact some problems with the files, more than likely due to a clogged travel drive that was used in the transfer process. The MP3 files have been reloaded and should hold the forum in its entirety. Let me know if you have any additional problems. coled@gtc.edu Thanks. Dave Cole PS--we elected not to webcast the forum live given the nature of the event. Also, as was reported, the first half of the forum will air as an Education Matters the Saturday morning prior to the election at 10:30.
kat February 09, 2012 at 05:37 PM
The quality of these sound clips is horrible - it keeps skipping - why can't we download these on to our own PC's for a smoother listen - they are just MP3 files - I would like to have this available now as I am voting absentee and Feb 17th is not an option. I am new to the Racine area and knowing what these candidates stand for is important especially if they think just throwing more money at a problem fixes everything.
Rees Roberts February 09, 2012 at 05:48 PM
kat: The files are now fine. However, you will have a lot better chance of listening and downloading them if you install the Apple Quicktime software. For Windows users: http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/ For Macintosh users: http://quicktime.en.softonic.com/mac Hope this helps.
Rees Roberts February 09, 2012 at 07:02 PM
WOW I just spoke to the General Manager of WGTD, David Cole who told me they are only going to carry 45 minutes of the forum on the 18th. I told him this is not being a community resource that he is licensed for by the FCC. Just because he has the forum on a couple of links doesn't absolve him of his requirement to still air the forum in its entirety. He fought tooth and nail to justify his decision saying he didn't want to change his format. What he also said he is airing another candidate forum at 11:15am in addition to this one. So, obviously this forum got bumped for another one in Kenosha. I tried to convince him otherwise but he just stuck to his concept that his radio station is better servicing the community by network programming instead of providing people in the community the opportunity to listen to the forum on his radio station. Mr. Cole, please consider this a letter to your radio station and include it in your public file for potential reading by the FCC.
mau February 09, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Where is WRJN when the local community needs them?
David Cole February 09, 2012 at 07:39 PM
WGTD was delighted to partner with AOL Patch in co-sponsoring a forum featuring the candidates for Racine School Board. Two MP3 links that contain the full forum are available at www.wgtd.org. In addition, WGTD, as part of the weekly 45-minute "Education Matters" series, will broadcast the first half of the forum Saturday, Feb. 18th in its usual 10:30 a.m. time slot.
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) February 09, 2012 at 09:43 PM
@mau - WRJN was invited to be part of the partnership presenting the forum, but they couldn't spare the personnel. Also, they sponsor a forum in March for the candidates that will take place at the Golden Rondelle. We look forward to working with them in the future, though!
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) February 09, 2012 at 09:48 PM
@Rees - Airing the forum in its entirety as it was taking place was never part of the plan. WTGD helped sponsor the evening with Patch so residents could hear from the candidates first-hand in a live forum where they were not given the questions prior to taking their seats in the auditorium. As for airing the forum on "Education Matters," I do believe we made it clear - though we didn't have a date at the time - that WGTD 91.1FM would broadcast a more consolidated version of it on that weekly program. Below, David offers the full links in two parts to the forum for listeners if they choose to click there. I do think you make a good point about live streaming the forum the next time we host one. We will most definitely check into that going forward.
mau February 09, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Glad to hear that. I thought when they changed their format, they weren't involved with events like this.
mau February 09, 2012 at 10:15 PM
The links are working quite well. I like being able to listen at my leisure. And having the ability of backing up and listening to something I might have missed.
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) February 09, 2012 at 10:37 PM
@David - Denise and I spoke with some of the candidates after the forum and they thought it went well and appreciated our efforts! Thanks for being so ready, willing and able to partner with us. We certainly look forward to working with you again! Also - the glitch with the audio links do seem to be ironed out. Thanks for fixing that!
Brian Dey February 09, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Heather, Denise and David- Thank you for hosting the forum. I thought the format was one of the best of the many forums I have done over the years. For those that weren't happy about WGTD, please remember that they are one of the few sources that realyy cover RUSD in depth and have always presented a fair and balanced approach to the issues facing our district on their "Education Matters" show. Heather and Denise, don't be discouraged, the forums have a way of building recognition over the years and we, as candidates, appreciate your interest in our school district. Thanks to all that were involved.
Brian Dey February 09, 2012 at 11:48 PM
One question I have is there going to be a follow-up article?
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) February 10, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Hi Brian - Yes, I am working on a follow-up. The sites went down last night and we were in a training all day today. Hopefully, I'll have it up by tonight! Thanks so much for participating and for your encouragement. We learned a lot with this first forum and hope to sponsor/host more in the future.
skinnyDUDE February 10, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Time to SHUFFLE the DECK with this current Board. You got my vote Brian.
Rees Roberts February 10, 2012 at 03:21 AM
Brian, you will get my vote too. Good to hear your thoughts.
David Cole February 10, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Patch People: Call anytime. Partnerships are good. We'll be subscribing to your newsletter. WGTD

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