Voter’s guide: the Sept. 14 School Board primary

Amid ongoing budget cuts and controversies over school closings, test results and teacher reassignments, 16 candidates are running for three open Minneapolis School Board seats in the Tuesday, Sept. 14 primary.

Voters can pick three from the field of 16; to help, we're providing mini-profiles below. They are listed in the order of their election filing with the county. (One candidate, John Starway, did not return multiple calls for comment. We list the contact information he provided on his filing form.)

For more about a candidate, please see the contact information provided -- everyone has at least a phone number and e-mail address. We also have a hot link to all candidate Web sites at www.swjournal.com

The general election will be held Nov. 2.

Lucky Rosenbloom

3023 18th Ave. S., 55407, 661-0923, [email protected], No Web site

Age: 44

Minneapolis resident since 2000.

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: none (two graduated from St. Paul public schools).

Qualifications: A former North High and charter school teacher, Rosenbloom is also a gubernatorial appointee to State Council of Black Minnesotans; he convinced the state House to unanimously approve a resolution acknowledging the role of slaves building the U.S. Capitol, and convinced U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman to introduce a similar resolution. "I can use the same skills -- getting the impossible done -- on the School Board," he said.

Priority: Rosenbloom said public schools are losing students because charter school teachers are able to build better relationships with parents and students: "For some reason, [public school] teachers are conditioned to not want to build relationships with parents." He said he was able to become more involved in his students' lives at North; for example, getting parents to fulfill contracts to call him every two weeks, and seeing students outside of class. "I'm a fiscal conservative. It's about teachers taking extra time and work, then students will learn," Rosenbloom said.

Endorsements: Urban Republican Coalition, Urban Youth Advisory.

By David Brauer

Doug Mann

3619 Grand Ave., 55409, 822-3776, [email protected]

Web site: www.educationright.com

Age: 47

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: none (one at Risen Christ).

Minneapolis resident for 20 years.

Qualifications: Mann served on the Minneapolis NAACP's education advocacy committee, 1998-99, and participated in the group's 1998 school lawsuit, in part because it opposed "ability grouping." He served on the Minneapolis Parents Union Board, 1998-2000. As a licensed practical nurse and charge nurse, he has learned problem-solving skills, he said.

Top priority: Mann got involved with school issues because of disagreements over his son's Lake Harriet Community School education. Mann transferred his son to Risen Christ several years ago because Lake Harriet placed him in a lower ability grouping, an educational philosophy Mann opposes. "The harm done to kids psychologically is enormous. They have to internalize the label that they are given."

He would prefer his son got a public education, he said. A four-time School Board candidate, he continues to advocate an end to tracking, with some getting college prep and others getting factory prep. He does not oppose short-term groupings, so students may master a particular skill, but opposes permanent ability groupings, which lower expectations.

Endorsements: Ron Edwards, Evelyn Eubanks, Alfred Flowers, Travis Lee.

By Scott Russell

Rahn V. Workcuff

2121 S. 9th St. #301, 55404, 766-9119, [email protected]

No Web site

Age: 55

Minneapolis resident since 1971, except 2002 in St. Louis Park.

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: none.

Qualifications: U.S. Air Force 1962-70, 1st Lt.; Civil Air Patrol since 1965; board member, United Handicapped Federation, 1979-89 (said he started access for disabled students); member, Metro Transit Committee for the Handicapped, 1986-88; candidate for Minnesota House from Southwest Minneapolis (1994) Minnesota Senate from Southwest Minneapolis (1996) and St. Louis Park (2002) , and Minneapolis mayor (1997 and 2001).

Top priority: "To bring some sanity into the public schools -- like returning prayer and religion. They took that out of the public schools, and I didn't like that. I would also like to give back to the district."

Endorsements: none.

By David Brauer

Mohamed Jibrell

2015 Central Ave #409, 55418, 789-0546, [email protected]

No Web site

Age: 57

Minneapolis resident for six years.

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: one, entering kindergarten.

Qualifications: Jibrell sought but did not receive the DFL endorsement and is not actively campaigning. He is the son of a Somali immigrant, has a master's degree in history from Trinity College, Conn., and works as an employment consultant with Goodwill/Easter Seals.

Jibrell is a board member on East Side Neighborhood Services, the Confederation of Somali Communities, Lake Street Council and Whittier Neighbors, he said. He sees his role as a new-immigrant/Somali-community advocate. He was a delegate to this summer's Democratic National Convention.

Top priority: "If elected, I will address the shame of closing schools and laying off teachers."

Jibrell said he faults the current School Board for not bringing diverse communities together to explore solutions to current budget problems. He said he has experience working with different communities, and his goal is to bring people together at the same table to explore solutions. It "is not simply a new-immigrant issue, it is not an African American, Asian American or Latin American issue. Education is an American issue."

Endorsements: None.

By Scott Russell

Peggy Flanagan

5045 Fremont Ave. N., 55430, 799-4705, [email protected]

Web site: Peggyflanagan.org

Age 24

Minneapolis resident for seven years.

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: none (she has no kids).

Qualifications: Worked with Native American families at the Division of Indian Work's "Parents Plus" program to help families bridge the gap between home and school. Member of the 12-Point Plank Committee, helping students of color achieve greater degree of success in schools, and the Youth Development Advisory Council. Enrolled member of the White Earth band of Ojibwe.

Top Priority: Closing the white kids/kids of color achievement gap by addressing the mistrust the Native American and the African American community have with the public education system. "We need to redefine what we see as parent involvement. It's more than being a room mother and bringing cookies and juice to the table. It is checking backpacks when they get home for school and reading to your child."

Endorsements: Democratic Farmer-Labor Party (DFL), AFL-CIO, the local chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSME), DFL Feminist Caucus. The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, Minnesota Teamsters, Progressive Minnesota, Stonewall DFL, Service Employees International Union.

By Bob Gilbert

David Dayhoff

14 E. 49th St., 55419, 703-5088, [email protected]

Web site: www.votedayhoff.org

Age: 33

Minneapolis resident for five years.

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: Has a new baby, his first child, whom he wants to send to the city's public schools.

Qualifications: Is a licensed high school Spanish teacher and is on the board of the Civic Leadership Academy, a suburban charter school recently approved by the state, due to open in the fall of 2005. He is a manager with marketing and strategy responsibilities for the Cargill Corp.

Top Priority: Change the status quo. "We need more innovation to stop the stampede of students out of the district. The enrollment decline is wrecking budgets, forcing lay-offs and school closings. We have to give families credible hope that next year will be better than last year. We cannot continue what we were doing."

Endorsements: Minneapolis Republicans, the Log Cabin Republicans (gay caucus) and the Independence Party.

By Bob Gilbert

John Starway

2515 Upton Ave. N., 55411, 529-4587

(Did not return multiple calls for comment by deadline.)

Ray Roybal

4937 Aldrich Ave. N., 55430, 529-1435, [email protected]

Web site: www.tc.umn.edu/~hause011/article/ray_roybal.html

Age: "Just say 'past 57'"

Minneapolis resident since 1968, with a few years in Oakland, Calif.

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: two, now grown.

Qualifications: As a University of Minnesota humanities and art education student in 1972, Roybal said he and then-U President Malcolm Moos were the key people who created a Chicano Studies Department. He lectured on diversity and art education for the Oakland Unified Schools in the mid-'70s. A fine artist who works in oils, Roybal has been an arts educator locally.

Top priority: "Bilingual education. I see [Latino] people coming here needing what we did in the '40s, '50s and '60s -- an introduction into the language and the culture of this world. Back then, many said we don't need language; we'll make a buck and go back. It didn't happen then, and I daresay it's not going to happen now. They need English, we need Spanish; we can trade off. And art, always art. It's even better than the spoken word. I can do a painting, and it saves you a week's worth of rap."

Endorsements: Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Stenglein, Chicano Studies students "and many, many friends."

By David Brauer

John Uldrich

4109 Cedar Ave. S. 55407, 722-2287, [email protected]

Web site: www.synsat.com/test.html

Age: 68

Lifelong Minneapolis resident who spent four years in China.

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: five, all graduates.

Qualifications: Currently works as a patient advocate at the Veteran's Hospital in Minneapolis. A former registered lobbyist at the State Capitol. If elected, he will do the job for $1 a year and donate his School Board salary back to the district for scholarships and grants to successful students and teachers.

Top Priority: Keep the schools from imploding. Noticed the dramatic changes in the Minneapolis schools when he brought his adopted son Ben back from China three years ago to attend Roosevelt High School. There, he encountered a school system radically different from the one his four children graduated from in the 1970s and 1980s. "The Minneapolis school district is dead in the water and sinking due to a lack of leadership."

Endorsements: none.

By Bob Gilbert

Lydia Lee

3319 Humboldt Ave. S. 55408, 824-0893, [email protected]

Web site: home.Mn.rr.com/lydialeeforkids

Age: 56.

Minneapolis resident since 1974.

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: two of whom have graduated.

Qualifications: Recently retired Minneapolis teacher who spent 15 years as a teacher, and a teacher on special assignment for the Minneapolis schools. "As a teacher, I got to see firsthand what was happening within the schools, and that's why I am running -- because I feel that I have the qualifications and the experience to know how to make the changes that are necessary."

Top Priority: Accountability. To make sure that school district employees on all levels are doing a quality job. "It's a system where you set up expectations and goals and people have to meet them. We don't have a lot of money, and so we have to make sure that everybody is doing the best they can."

Endorsements: Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL), Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, the local chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSME), Central Labor Union, Service Employees International Union.

By Bob Gilbert

Sandra Miller

3425 4th Ave. S., 55408, 822-5405, [email protected]

No Web site

Age: 61.

Lifelong Minneapolis resident.

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: five children who have graduated; currently nine of her 13 grandchildren are enrolled.

Qualifications: Former School Board member (1998-2001) who did not run for reelection following her husband's successful kidney transplant.

Top Priority: Closing the achievement gap between white children and students of color. "There is such a diverse population in the school district that, to keep the children interested, we need to have more ethnic books, educate parents about how important the education of their children really is and get them more involved by bringing back parent liaisons."

Endorsements: none.

By Bob Gilbert

David Donnelly

3935 Nokomis Ave. S., 55406, 205-1813, [email protected]

Web site: Mnelect.org

Age: 27

Minneapolis resident for 10 years

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: Donnelly has no children.

Qualifications: Works in the Minneapolis public schools as a child care assistant for Minneapolis Kids. Chair of the Independence Party in Minnesota's 5th Congressional District He is also an elected member of the Hennepin County Soil and Water Board for the past two years ,which he said has the same role as the School Board: setting visions, approving grants, and working with staff and governmental agencies.

Top Priority: Addressing student problems. "We have a lot of students who don't have parents who nurture their learning. I want to have the district work with families so that they can help their children read better and show them that they care."

Endorsements: Independence Party.

By Bob Gilbert

Sharon Henry-Blythe

600 E. Minnehaha Pkwy. 55417, 825-3949, [email protected]

Web site: Sharonforschools.org

Age: 49

Minneapolis resident for 47 years.

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: one currently enrolled, two who have graduated.

Qualifications: Advocate for kids and families for over 15 years. Currently executive director of the Greater Minneapolis Day Care Association, former executive director of the Early Childhood Resource Center. Served on the board of Sustainable Resource Center, La Creche Early Learning Center. Minneapolis School Board member for the past three years.

Top Priority: Addressing the institutional barriers preventing the Minneapolis schools from reaching their outcome goals by working to have more control over the placement and retention of teachers. "The bumping and bidding process that is in the teachers contract and the rigidity of the teacher tenure act has to be re-evaluated."

Endorsements: none.

By Bob Gilbert

Dennis Schapiro

4601 Washburn Ave. S. 55410, 928-3761, [email protected]

Web site: Denny4schools.org

Age: 58

Minneapolis resident for 30 years.

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: two who have graduated.

Qualifications: Three-year School Board incumbent, education writer, former education reporter for the Southwest Journal.

Top Priority: The Children's Agenda, which he has been working on for over two years, to create a set of community standards for raising healthy kids. "We can't guarantee that they are all going to get into Harvard, but we want them to have a lot of options and feel good about themselves. It would be a citywide, community effort to get all the major players in the community to look for ways that we could get people involved."

Endorsements: Service Employees International Union; Minneapolis Federation of Teachers; and the local chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

By Bob Gilbert

Jack Chisholm

3940 Nokomis Ave. S., 55406, 722-4189, [email protected]

Web site: www.jackchisholm.com

Age: 50

Minneapolis resident since 1999, residing previously in St. Paul.

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: two stepsons.

Qualifications: Chisholm worked as a bus driver in the St. Paul school district for 18 years and in the Minneapolis public school district for the past eight years. As a bus driver in both cities, he's negotiated union contracts, dealt with grievance issues, and learned how different districts handle bus safety and law enforcement relations.

Top Priority: "Bus safety," Chisholm said. "It's made me mad for years. In my opinion the (Minneapolis) School Board has no regard for the safety of kids, specifically with school buses. It's going to take someone to die before they do something. No one writes stop-arm violation tickets. There's a discipline problem [with kids on the bus.] If kids have to be on edge on the bus and in the classroom, it will affect their learning process. It has to start with the district. They must work with law enforcement to focus on stop-arm violation tickets. We've had lots of near misses in the past year."

Endorsements: Independence Party.

By Robyn Repya

Erik Nelson

4533 28th Ave. S. #2, 55406, 269-8968, [email protected]

No Web site

Age: 23

Lifelong Minneapolis resident

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: Nelson has no children.

Qualifications: Nelson said he is a 1999 Minneapolis South High grad with a recent and different perspective on educational issues. He is a recent Macalester College grad with media studies and geology degrees, and was captain of the swim team and a student organizer. "I've generally been a leader," he said.

Top priority: Student media literacy and helping immigrant learners. Pointing to his media studies degree, Nelson said, "Education is a fundamental tool of democracy -- and it's important for kids to learn media literacy, so they understand all of the mixed messages they receive from the media."

He would also make sure the needs of immigrants are addressed. He favors separate-language classes until students learn English, then integrating them in classrooms that would then take a more multicultural approach to history and education.

Endorsements: none.

Web guide: the Sept. 14 School Board primary

Here are quick links to all the Minneapolis School Board candidates with Web sites:

Doug Mann: www.educationright.com

Peggy Flanagan: Peggyflanagan.org

David Dayhoff: www.votedayhoff.org/

Ray Roybal: www.tc.umn.edu/~hause011/article/ray_roybal.html

John Uldrich: www.synsat.com/test.html

Lydia Lee: home.mn.rr.com/lydialeeforkids

David Donnelly: mnelect.org

Sharon Henry-Blythe: Sharonforschools.org

Dennis Schapiro: Denny4schools.org

Jack Chisholm: www.jackchisholm.com

No Web sites:

Lucky Rosenbloom

Rahn V. Workcuff

Mohamed Jibrell

John Starway

Sandra Miller

Erik Nelson

By David Brauer

Voter’s guide: the Sept. 14 School Board primary

Amid ongoing budget cuts and controversies over school closings, test results and teacher reassignments, 16 candidates are running for three open Minneapolis School Board seats in the Tuesday, Sept. 14 primary.

Voters can pick three from the field of 16; to help, we're providing mini-profiles below. They are listed in the order of their election filing with the county. (One candidate, John Starway, did not return multiple calls for comment. We list the contact information he provided on his filing form.)

For more about a candidate, please see the contact information provided -- everyone has at least a phone number and e-mail address. We also have a hot link to all candidate Web sites at www.swjournal.com

The general election will be held Nov. 2.

Lucky Rosenbloom

3023 18th Ave. S., 55407, 661-0923, [email protected], No Web site

Age: 44

Minneapolis resident since 2000.

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: none (two graduated from St. Paul public schools).

Qualifications: A former North High and charter school teacher, Rosenbloom is also a gubernatorial appointee to State Council of Black Minnesotans; he convinced the state House to unanimously approve a resolution acknowledging the role of slaves building the U.S. Capitol, and convinced U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman to introduce a similar resolution. "I can use the same skills -- getting the impossible done -- on the School Board," he said.

Priority: Rosenbloom said public schools are losing students because charter school teachers are able to build better relationships with parents and students: "For some reason, [public school] teachers are conditioned to not want to build relationships with parents." He said he was able to become more involved in his students' lives at North; for example, getting parents to fulfill contracts to call him every two weeks, and seeing students outside of class. "I'm a fiscal conservative. It's about teachers taking extra time and work, then students will learn," Rosenbloom said.

Endorsements: Urban Republican Coalition, Urban Youth Advisory.

By David Brauer

Doug Mann

3619 Grand Ave., 55409, 822-3776, [email protected]

Web site: www.educationright.com

Age: 47

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: none (one at Risen Christ).

Minneapolis resident for 20 years.

Qualifications: Mann served on the Minneapolis NAACP's education advocacy committee, 1998-99, and participated in the group's 1998 school lawsuit, in part because it opposed "ability grouping." He served on the Minneapolis Parents Union Board, 1998-2000. As a licensed practical nurse and charge nurse, he has learned problem-solving skills, he said.

Top priority: Mann got involved with school issues because of disagreements over his son's Lake Harriet Community School education. Mann transferred his son to Risen Christ several years ago because Lake Harriet placed him in a lower ability grouping, an educational philosophy Mann opposes. "The harm done to kids psychologically is enormous. They have to internalize the label that they are given."

He would prefer his son got a public education, he said. A four-time School Board candidate, he continues to advocate an end to tracking, with some getting college prep and others getting factory prep. He does not oppose short-term groupings, so students may master a particular skill, but opposes permanent ability groupings, which lower expectations.

Endorsements: Ron Edwards, Evelyn Eubanks, Alfred Flowers, Travis Lee.

By Scott Russell

Rahn V. Workcuff

2121 S. 9th St. #301, 55404, 766-9119, [email protected]

No Web site

Age: 55

Minneapolis resident since 1971, except 2002 in St. Louis Park.

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: none.

Qualifications: U.S. Air Force 1962-70, 1st Lt.; Civil Air Patrol since 1965; board member, United Handicapped Federation, 1979-89 (said he started access for disabled students); member, Metro Transit Committee for the Handicapped, 1986-88; candidate for Minnesota House from Southwest Minneapolis (1994) Minnesota Senate from Southwest Minneapolis (1996) and St. Louis Park (2002) , and Minneapolis mayor (1997 and 2001).

Top priority: "To bring some sanity into the public schools -- like returning prayer and religion. They took that out of the public schools, and I didn't like that. I would also like to give back to the district."

Endorsements: none.

By David Brauer

Mohamed Jibrell

2015 Central Ave #409, 55418, 789-0546, [email protected]

No Web site

Age: 57

Minneapolis resident for six years.

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: one, entering kindergarten.

Qualifications: Jibrell sought but did not receive the DFL endorsement and is not actively campaigning. He is the son of a Somali immigrant, has a master's degree in history from Trinity College, Conn., and works as an employment consultant with Goodwill/Easter Seals.

Jibrell is a board member on East Side Neighborhood Services, the Confederation of Somali Communities, Lake Street Council and Whittier Neighbors, he said. He sees his role as a new-immigrant/Somali-community advocate. He was a delegate to this summer's Democratic National Convention.

Top priority: "If elected, I will address the shame of closing schools and laying off teachers."

Jibrell said he faults the current School Board for not bringing diverse communities together to explore solutions to current budget problems. He said he has experience working with different communities, and his goal is to bring people together at the same table to explore solutions. It "is not simply a new-immigrant issue, it is not an African American, Asian American or Latin American issue. Education is an American issue."

Endorsements: None.

By Scott Russell

Peggy Flanagan

5045 Fremont Ave. N., 55430, 799-4705, [email protected]

Web site: Peggyflanagan.org

Age 24

Minneapolis resident for seven years.

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: none (she has no kids).

Qualifications: Worked with Native American families at the Division of Indian Work's "Parents Plus" program to help families bridge the gap between home and school. Member of the 12-Point Plank Committee, helping students of color achieve greater degree of success in schools, and the Youth Development Advisory Council. Enrolled member of the White Earth band of Ojibwe.

Top Priority: Closing the white kids/kids of color achievement gap by addressing the mistrust the Native American and the African American community have with the public education system. "We need to redefine what we see as parent involvement. It's more than being a room mother and bringing cookies and juice to the table. It is checking backpacks when they get home for school and reading to your child."

Endorsements: Democratic Farmer-Labor Party (DFL), AFL-CIO, the local chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSME), DFL Feminist Caucus. The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, Minnesota Teamsters, Progressive Minnesota, Stonewall DFL, Service Employees International Union.

By Bob Gilbert

David Dayhoff

14 E. 49th St., 55419, 703-5088, [email protected]

Web site: www.votedayhoff.org

Age: 33

Minneapolis resident for five years.

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: Has a new baby, his first child, whom he wants to send to the city's public schools.

Qualifications: Is a licensed high school Spanish teacher and is on the board of the Civic Leadership Academy, a suburban charter school recently approved by the state, due to open in the fall of 2005. He is a manager with marketing and strategy responsibilities for the Cargill Corp.

Top Priority: Change the status quo. "We need more innovation to stop the stampede of students out of the district. The enrollment decline is wrecking budgets, forcing lay-offs and school closings. We have to give families credible hope that next year will be better than last year. We cannot continue what we were doing."

Endorsements: Minneapolis Republicans, the Log Cabin Republicans (gay caucus) and the Independence Party.

By Bob Gilbert

John Starway

2515 Upton Ave. N., 55411, 529-4587

(Did not return multiple calls for comment by deadline.)

Ray Roybal

4937 Aldrich Ave. N., 55430, 529-1435, [email protected]

Web site: www.tc.umn.edu/~hause011/article/ray_roybal.html

Age: "Just say 'past 57'"

Minneapolis resident since 1968, with a few years in Oakland, Calif.

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: two, now grown.

Qualifications: As a University of Minnesota humanities and art education student in 1972, Roybal said he and then-U President Malcolm Moos were the key people who created a Chicano Studies Department. He lectured on diversity and art education for the Oakland Unified Schools in the mid-'70s. A fine artist who works in oils, Roybal has been an arts educator locally.

Top priority: "Bilingual education. I see [Latino] people coming here needing what we did in the '40s, '50s and '60s -- an introduction into the language and the culture of this world. Back then, many said we don't need language; we'll make a buck and go back. It didn't happen then, and I daresay it's not going to happen now. They need English, we need Spanish; we can trade off. And art, always art. It's even better than the spoken word. I can do a painting, and it saves you a week's worth of rap."

Endorsements: Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Stenglein, Chicano Studies students "and many, many friends."

By David Brauer

John Uldrich

4109 Cedar Ave. S. 55407, 722-2287, [email protected]

Web site: www.synsat.com/test.html

Age: 68

Lifelong Minneapolis resident who spent four years in China.

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: five, all graduates.

Qualifications: Currently works as a patient advocate at the Veteran's Hospital in Minneapolis. A former registered lobbyist at the State Capitol. If elected, he will do the job for $1 a year and donate his School Board salary back to the district for scholarships and grants to successful students and teachers.

Top Priority: Keep the schools from imploding. Noticed the dramatic changes in the Minneapolis schools when he brought his adopted son Ben back from China three years ago to attend Roosevelt High School. There, he encountered a school system radically different from the one his four children graduated from in the 1970s and 1980s. "The Minneapolis school district is dead in the water and sinking due to a lack of leadership."

Endorsements: none.

By Bob Gilbert

Lydia Lee

3319 Humboldt Ave. S. 55408, 824-0893, [email protected]

Web site: home.Mn.rr.com/lydialeeforkids

Age: 56.

Minneapolis resident since 1974.

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: two of whom have graduated.

Qualifications: Recently retired Minneapolis teacher who spent 15 years as a teacher, and a teacher on special assignment for the Minneapolis schools. "As a teacher, I got to see firsthand what was happening within the schools, and that's why I am running -- because I feel that I have the qualifications and the experience to know how to make the changes that are necessary."

Top Priority: Accountability. To make sure that school district employees on all levels are doing a quality job. "It's a system where you set up expectations and goals and people have to meet them. We don't have a lot of money, and so we have to make sure that everybody is doing the best they can."

Endorsements: Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL), Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, the local chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSME), Central Labor Union, Service Employees International Union.

By Bob Gilbert

Sandra Miller

3425 4th Ave. S., 55408, 822-5405, [email protected]

No Web site

Age: 61.

Lifelong Minneapolis resident.

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: five children who have graduated; currently nine of her 13 grandchildren are enrolled.

Qualifications: Former School Board member (1998-2001) who did not run for reelection following her husband's successful kidney transplant.

Top Priority: Closing the achievement gap between white children and students of color. "There is such a diverse population in the school district that, to keep the children interested, we need to have more ethnic books, educate parents about how important the education of their children really is and get them more involved by bringing back parent liaisons."

Endorsements: none.

By Bob Gilbert

David Donnelly

3935 Nokomis Ave. S., 55406, 205-1813, [email protected]

Web site: Mnelect.org

Age: 27

Minneapolis resident for 10 years

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: Donnelly has no children.

Qualifications: Works in the Minneapolis public schools as a child care assistant for Minneapolis Kids. Chair of the Independence Party in Minnesota's 5th Congressional District He is also an elected member of the Hennepin County Soil and Water Board for the past two years ,which he said has the same role as the School Board: setting visions, approving grants, and working with staff and governmental agencies.

Top Priority: Addressing student problems. "We have a lot of students who don't have parents who nurture their learning. I want to have the district work with families so that they can help their children read better and show them that they care."

Endorsements: Independence Party.

By Bob Gilbert

Sharon Henry-Blythe

600 E. Minnehaha Pkwy. 55417, 825-3949, [email protected]

Web site: Sharonforschools.org

Age: 49

Minneapolis resident for 47 years.

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: one currently enrolled, two who have graduated.

Qualifications: Advocate for kids and families for over 15 years. Currently executive director of the Greater Minneapolis Day Care Association, former executive director of the Early Childhood Resource Center. Served on the board of Sustainable Resource Center, La Creche Early Learning Center. Minneapolis School Board member for the past three years.

Top Priority: Addressing the institutional barriers preventing the Minneapolis schools from reaching their outcome goals by working to have more control over the placement and retention of teachers. "The bumping and bidding process that is in the teachers contract and the rigidity of the teacher tenure act has to be re-evaluated."

Endorsements: none.

By Bob Gilbert

Dennis Schapiro

4601 Washburn Ave. S. 55410, 928-3761, [email protected]

Web site: Denny4schools.org

Age: 58

Minneapolis resident for 30 years.

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: two who have graduated.

Qualifications: Three-year School Board incumbent, education writer, former education reporter for the Southwest Journal.

Top Priority: The Children's Agenda, which he has been working on for over two years, to create a set of community standards for raising healthy kids. "We can't guarantee that they are all going to get into Harvard, but we want them to have a lot of options and feel good about themselves. It would be a citywide, community effort to get all the major players in the community to look for ways that we could get people involved."

Endorsements: Service Employees International Union; Minneapolis Federation of Teachers; and the local chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

By Bob Gilbert

Jack Chisholm

3940 Nokomis Ave. S., 55406, 722-4189, [email protected]

Web site: www.jackchisholm.com

Age: 50

Minneapolis resident since 1999, residing previously in St. Paul.

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: two stepsons.

Qualifications: Chisholm worked as a bus driver in the St. Paul school district for 18 years and in the Minneapolis public school district for the past eight years. As a bus driver in both cities, he's negotiated union contracts, dealt with grievance issues, and learned how different districts handle bus safety and law enforcement relations.

Top Priority: "Bus safety," Chisholm said. "It's made me mad for years. In my opinion the (Minneapolis) School Board has no regard for the safety of kids, specifically with school buses. It's going to take someone to die before they do something. No one writes stop-arm violation tickets. There's a discipline problem [with kids on the bus.] If kids have to be on edge on the bus and in the classroom, it will affect their learning process. It has to start with the district. They must work with law enforcement to focus on stop-arm violation tickets. We've had lots of near misses in the past year."

Endorsements: Independence Party.

By Robyn Repya

Erik Nelson

4533 28th Ave. S. #2, 55406, 269-8968, [email protected]

No Web site

Age: 23

Lifelong Minneapolis resident

Kids in the Minneapolis public schools: Nelson has no children.

Qualifications: Nelson said he is a 1999 Minneapolis South High grad with a recent and different perspective on educational issues. He is a recent Macalester College grad with media studies and geology degrees, and was captain of the swim team and a student organizer. "I've generally been a leader," he said.

Top priority: Student media literacy and helping immigrant learners. Pointing to his media studies degree, Nelson said, "Education is a fundamental tool of democracy -- and it's important for kids to learn media literacy, so they understand all of the mixed messages they receive from the media."

He would also make sure the needs of immigrants are addressed. He favors separate-language classes until students learn English, then integrating them in classrooms that would then take a more multicultural approach to history and education.

Endorsements: none.

Web guide: the Sept. 14 School Board primary

Here are quick links to all the Minneapolis School Board candidates with Web sites:

Doug Mann: www.educationright.com

Peggy Flanagan: Peggyflanagan.org

David Dayhoff: www.votedayhoff.org/

Ray Roybal: www.tc.umn.edu/~hause011/article/ray_roybal.html

John Uldrich: www.synsat.com/test.html

Lydia Lee: home.mn.rr.com/lydialeeforkids

David Donnelly: mnelect.org

Sharon Henry-Blythe: Sharonforschools.org

Dennis Schapiro: Denny4schools.org

Jack Chisholm: www.jackchisholm.com

No Web sites:

Lucky Rosenbloom

Rahn V. Workcuff

Mohamed Jibrell

John Starway

Sandra Miller

Erik Nelson

By David Brauer