VIDEO: Board of Education Candidates Forum October 13, 2014

by The Village Green
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The League of Women Voters and the SOMSD Presidents’ Council hosted a Board of Education candidates forum on Monday, October 13. 

Four candidates vying for three seats on the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education participated. They included: Elizabeth Baker, Maureen Jones, Godwin Molokwu and Donna Smith.

Topics of major concern to and discussion by the candidates included:

  • the search for the new superintendent and what qualities the candidates would be looking for in the new superintendent;
  • the academic achievement gap and the candidates’ respective responses to how they would address differential access to programming and quality of education; and
  • the implementation of new programming, such as the Core Curriculum and the IB program in the middle schools.


The 90-minute forum was captured on video by The Village Green on behalf of SOMAtv. Watch the video here:

The forum followed this format:

  • The order of candidate statements and responses to questions will be determined by a random drawing of numbers at 7:00 p.m. before the start of the forum and will vary throughout the evening.
  • Each candidate will be provided 2 minutes for an opening statement.
  • Four questions prepared by the LWV and the Presidents Council will be posed in the first question segment of the program.
  • The first candidate addressing each of these 4 questions will have 1.5 minutes to respond. Subsequent candidate responses will be allotted 1 minute.
  • Members of the audience will also be provided the opportunity to submit their questions. Those questions will be collected, vetted, and given to the moderator to read.
  • Questions posed by the audience will be answered in the agreed-upon order of rotation unless directed to a specific candidate; all candidates will have 1 minute to respond to these questions.
  • There will be 2 minutes for closing remarks from each candidate.

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