Friday, October 28, 2011

LSC 2011 Survey Results

The LSC 2011 Survey asked six questions regarding this year's options for school committee, how beneficial the debates were and how respondents feel about the future of the Lynn Public School system given this year's candidates. Though the sample was small, the responses were both interesting and enlightening. 

How would rate the options for school committee this year?

Very PoorPoorMediocreGood Excellent

Overall, the majority of respondents felts as though the options for school committee were either "good" or "excellent" with one Lynner stating that "All seem competent and qualified." There were, however, some who felt as though the the quality of the candidates as whole was lacking stating that "...only two of the current committee members should be re-elected." An interesting remark given that 6 out the 8 candidates are incumbents.

Debate Attendance

The most attended debate by the respondents was the first debate held by the East Lynn Community Association (ELCA) at the Congregation Ahabat Sholom. Less than 20% of those who responded attended all three debates; most respondents attended one or two debates with the most popular combination being the ELCA and Highlands Coalition debates.

Did the school committee debates ask enough tough or specific questions?

YesNo Not SureDid Not Watch/Attend

Those who did attend one or more of the debates felt that not enough tough or specific questions were asked of the candidates in these public forums. Some debates were rated less informative than others as one respondent thought that "Breed was by the worst by far...learned nothing new there." Another respondent agreed with this assessment saying that "Many tougher questions should have been asked by the Teacher's Union."  Others commented on the answers given by the candidates as opposed to the questions themselves ("Too much blathering by candidates without giving specifics"). There was also the sense that many important topics were not brought up in any of the three debates. Topics that voters wished were discussed include the racial balance policy and the high ratio of administrators to teachers.

Overall, do you feel as though you had access to enough information about the candidates (through websites, debates, etc.) to make an informed decision for School Committee?

YesNoNot Sure

Overall, voters felt that they did have access to enough information to make an informed decision for school committee. Those that responded "No" cited a lack of websites and online information by some of the candidates as the reason. One person said that he/she was not sure if there was enough information available based on his or her experience with prior school committee elections.

Voters have up to six (6) votes for school committee. How many votes do you plan to use?


The answers to this question were by far the most interesting as 72.2% of respondents said that they would only be using 4 or less votes in the school committee race. While four votes was the number one response, nearly as many people said that they are only voting for one candidate. A relatively small percentage of people are using all six votes as indicated above. So, while voters overall rated the options for school committee positively, they also seem to be supporting half or less of the candidates. 

How do you feel about the future of the Lynn Public Schools given the current candidate for School Committee?

PessimisticSlightly PessimisticAmbivalentSlightly OptimisticOptimistic

Respondents are, for the most part, optimistic about the future of the Lynn Public Schools given the current group of candidates. This was surprising in light of the number of people who only plan to use one, two or three votes. Comments included the following:

"Hopefully a new school committee will be able to deal with the superintendent more successfully...only three sitting school committee members appear to understand their rights as school committee members in overseeing the school department."
Some voters are hoping that a new school committee configuration will emerge. One respondent said:
"It is time for a change. Many of the current members have been on the committee for quite  some time and are partially to blame for this mess we call our school system"
The slight pessimism or ambivalence that some voters feel could be contributed to the lack of specific solutions discussed during this campaign season with one person saying: 
"All of the candidates seem to have a plan, but very few have a way to implement them."
Still, overall, it seems as though there is some optimism in the air regarding the future of the LPS given the two challengers in addition to the six incumbents vying for seats on the 2012-2014 Lynn School Committee.

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