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Newton TAB School Committee endorsement: Margie Ross Decter
Wicked Local Newton
Regrettably, we never had the chance to sit down with Tom Mountain so he could explain to us why
he is running for School Committee. When we invited him for an endorsement meeting during the preliminary, he rejected our
invitation by sending us a statement that he would not solicit or accept the TAB’s endorsement because his friendship
with the TAB editors presented a conflict of interest.
We endorsed his opponent, Margie Ross Decter, in the preliminary,
for reasons having nothing to do with Mountain and the TAB.
We’ve been impressed by the way Decter, a former national
health care policy consultant and business executive, has reached out to virtually every corner and constituency in this city.
She’s talked to the head of the teachers’ union. She’s talked to principals and teachers and anyone else
who wants to tell her what’s on their mind.
She’d be a welcome addition to the School Committee and has
earned our repeat endorsement.
Original Tab Endorsement
Posted October 5, 2009 09:42 AM
School Committee candidate Margie Ross Decter has been endorsed by two of her former opponents, her campaign announced Thursday.
Green and Tom White, whom Ross Decter defeated in the Sept. 15 preliminary election, are now publicly backing her.
am honored that Tom White and Linda Green are supporting me,” Ross Decter said in a statement. “They each ran
formidable campaigns on the issues important to the future vitality of the Newton Public Schools. We share a vision for excellence
in which all children can meet their full potential and benefit from sustainable programs for the future. I value their ideas
and expertise and look forward to our future collaboration.”
Ross Decter dominated the preliminary election for
the Ward 8 seat, which is being vacated by term-limited Dori Zaleznik. Ross Decter took 48 percent of the vote, easily outpacing
the 24 percent garnered by second-place finisher Tom Mountain.
Ross Decter, a management consultant, has called for
curbing rising health care costs, expanding differentiated instruction, and partnering with local colleges and universities.
Mountain, a former Newton Tab columnist, has called for a number of controversial changes to the schools system, including
phasing out local participation in the Metco voluntary school integration program, reducing the number of children being diagnosed
with learning disabilities, and modifying social studies instruction that he says focuses too heavily on multiculturalism.
Decter and Mountain will face off in the Nov. 3 general election.
-- Calvin Hennick, Globe Correspondent
Linda Green and Tom White Endorse Margie Ross Decter
The Committee to Elect Margie Ross Decter announced today that Linda Green and
Tom White, former candidates for School Committee in Ward 8, are endorsing Margie Ross Decter for the Ward 8 School Committee
seat, a position being vacated by Dori Zaleznik due to term limits.
“Margie and I strongly agree that in order to create a sustainable school system, we need to
find ways to fundamentally restructure the financing and delivery of educational services in Newton,” White said. “I
believe that Margie is the responsible choice for change. She will
provide the right leadership and management skills needed on our School Committee. Margie will take action on critical issues
that can no longer be solved at the margins, but require a comprehensive and strategic rethink to deliver a 21st century education.”
Green said, “Margie has the intellectual energy to grapple with complicated
issues. I like that she can see the big picture. Whether in public meetings or behind
the scenes, I’m sure that Margie will quickly become a valued member with her thoughtful analytic approach.
Her knowledge of health care benefit structure will be an asset to the contract negotiating team.”In her first run for public office, Margie ran a citywide
campaign and won 5,924 votes on September 15, more than any other candidate in the primary election. She faces Tom Mountain
In the November 3 municipal election.
Decter says, “I am honored that
Tom White and Linda Green are supporting me. They each ran formidable campaigns on the issues important to the future vitality
of the Newton Public Schools. We share a vision for excellence in which all children can meet their full potential and benefit
from sustainable programs for the future. I value their ideas and expertise and look forward to our future collaboration.”
Posted October 21, 2009
Newton School Committee
candidates faced each other Tuesday night in a rapid-fire series of debates that touched on issues ranging from the city’s
math curriculum to the school district’s finances to the search for a new superintendent.
Candidates in the six
races debated each other 20 minutes at a time at the event, which was sponsored by the Ward 6 Democratic Committee. The election
is Nov. 3.
“I have had issues with the math curriculum,” said Steve Siegel, running for the open Ward
5 seat being vacated by Susan Heyman. “There’s good evidence that the math curriculum is not doing all that it
can for our students.”
Siegel’s opponent, Susan Rosenbaum, said she wasn’t convinced the math curriculum
has major problems.
“It’s definitely something we should look into, but I don’t think we should definitely
throw out the program,” Rosenbaum said.
Margie Ross Decter and Tom Mountain, the two candidates to replace term-limited
Dori Zaleznik in the board’s Ward 8 slot, demonstrated their different approaches to the race in their opening statements.
Ross Decter said she was in the race because of her three children, the youngest of whom will graduate high school
in 2023. “I’m really in it for the long haul,” Ross Decter said.
Mountain, meanwhile, said he was
running to fight the “far left” ideology and emphasis on political correctness he sees in the school district’s
“This is the white elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about,” Mountain said.
Sue Flicop and Matt Hills are also running for an open seat in Ward 7. The winner will replace the chairman of the board,
Marc Laredo, who is term-limited.
Three incumbents are facing challengers. Margaret Albright is attempting to unseat
Reenie Murphy in Ward 2. Olivia Mathews is challenging committee vice chairwoman Claire Sokoloff in Ward 6. And Dan Proskauer
is running against Jonathan Yeo in Ward 4.
The mayor also sits on the School Committee. State Representative Ruth Balser
and Setti Warren, a former aide to US Senator John Kerry, are running for the mayor’s chair.
seats are elected citywide.
Calvin Hennick can be reached at email@example.com.
Decter wins, Mountain places in School Committee race
Wicked Local Newton
Ward 8 School Committee candidates Margie Ross
Decter and Tom Mountain were the top vote getters in the preliminary election Tuesday night, securing them each a spot in
the November general election.
Decter won 5,924 votes, which amounted to nearly 50 percent of all the votes for the
School Committee seat. Mountain took second place with 2,913 votes. Linda Green came in third with 2,235 votes and Tom White
receive 1,184 votes.
"What can I say, I’m honored, I’m
thrilled, and I’m humbled," Decter said.
said it has been an "incredible journey" going out in the community and getting to know lots of different people
who share her concern and love for Newton schools.
"It was great
to see so many people care about our schools and come out in the preliminary election to show their support," she said.
said she was honored to run against White and Green, who she said were both strong candidates. She congratulated Mountain,
and said she is looking forward to having healthy debates with him on different school issues.
Mountain said he was
not surprised he made it past the preliminary, as he was expecting to do so. He said now his challenge is to fight against
the Newton political establishment.
"You’ll notice she (Decter)
had the endorsement of School Committee members...probably the entire School Committee...and much of the PTO...and also the
Board of Aldermen...many aldermen, Mountain said. "So that’s what I’m up against. I’m up for the challenge.
I’m going to fight the good fight and I am confident of victory in November."
Green said she was disappointed she did not win, but glad she got as many votes as she did. Her full-time
public sector job limited her ability to campaign and raise money.
"Others have had the opportunity to flex their schedules and directly
fundraise and I couldn’t do that," she said.
She said she enjoyed the campaigning she did do, and opportunity
to reflect on important issues. She may run for School Committee again in the future, she said.
White, however, said
he is done running for School Committee. He mainly ran because others encouraged him to do so.
"I really wasn’t particularly looking at this as a possibility," he said.
White said he put out the ideas he thought people wanted to hear, but evidently
he was wrong about those ideas.
From the Boston Globe, October 23: Newton School Board Race Turns on Math, Finances
Campaign Letters to the Editor Newton TAB, October 20
From August 10 Newton Tab: Four Newton Ward 8 School Committee Candidates Compete for Preliminary Election
From August 2 Boston Globe: Queue forms for School Committee