What’s at Stake


It’s time to talk about what’s at stake in this campaign.

By now, I’ve met all three of my opponents. They are all good people, and our appearances together have offered an opportunity for the public to see a refreshing change from the bitterness and anger that we see in so much campaigning these days.

But it’s neither uncivil nor inappropriate to point out how we differ in our readiness for this office.

One of my opponents entered the race late and with virtually no preparation. The other two make it clear in their presentations that they are concerned primarily with inner-city children and families.

All families need our concern; from the beginning of this campaign, I have stressed the importance of serving all the children of the state. If we can’t find a way to do that, overtesting, privatization, and funding challenges will eventually overwhelm the entire system. Neither Cleveland nor the other 26 school systems in District 11 will succeed if they don’t succeed together.

One thing I’ve learned while observing State School Board meetings for the past year is how the Board is called upon to balance competing interests. I am the only candidate prepared to do that.

Representing our entire district requires learning about the entire district. Like other big urbans, Cleveland works under measures that are advertised to help it succeed but frequently wind up punishing it instead.

While it represents the most important single part of our region, it’s by no means the only part. Leaders of the other 26 school districts of District 11 have needs too, and many are worried that measures aimed at “fixing” Cleveland will soon be extended to the rest of the area, if not the state.

To prevent this, we need a State School Board representative prepared to deal with complex realities and to serve all the communities in the district. No matter which part of District 11 you live in, I’m your best candidate.

  • I have career experience working throughout the district.
  • I have educated myself by attending State School Board meetings for over a  year.
  • I have reached out to all 27 K-12 school systems in District 11 to establish communications and build a relationship.

Your next State Board of Education member should be prepared to serve. That’s what I offer, and that’s why I ask for your support.

This post originally appeared on the website of my 2016 campaign for State Board of Education, http://bill4board.us.

Author: StgCoach

Retired teacher and public education leader. Pastoral musician, community activist, parliamentarian, and photographer.

5 thoughts on “What’s at Stake”

    1. Mary, thanks for the question.

      I am not a fan of the teaching of creationism in public schools. In each subject, our public schools should teach the best knowledge available within that academic discipline. Where there are significant disputes within that discipline, it is productive and healthy to acquaint students with those internal disputes, to the extent that their developing knowledge of the subject permits it. My understanding of this topic is that the theory of evolution is generally held to be scientifically valid (with some specific items yet to be settled), while creationism is generally regarded as a religious explanation, not a scientific one. And although some disputes about specific aspects of evolution remain, those disputes don’t repudiate the entire theory.

  1. Dear Mr. Lavezzi,

    Could you please either tell me, or direct me to where I may find, your positions on the following policy matters:

    A.) Charter schools: Should they have more or less oversight and autonomy?
    B.) Online Education: Recently online organizations like K12 have received millions of dollars from Ohio for educating students here, and investigations seem to show that they are overcharging the state. Is online education effective? Does we need to invest more or less in it?
    C.) Distribution of school spending through local property values and local taxes. Is this system, where one town or district has more money to spend per child, fair and equal? What can be done about it?

    Thank you for your time and I look forward to your reply. Sincerely,
    Les Hunter, PhD

  2. Hello, Bill.

    I’ve recommended others to vote for you and also already voted early for you but I just got one of your mailers with a policy that concerned me. You said you want to introduce curricula to students with “More learning, less tests”. While this sounds nice in theory, it will make the weight of the few tests that do happen that much greater in regards to the final grade- meaning it will be harder for young students to recover from a botched test. How will you go about addressing this issue if your policy goes through?

  3. Mr. Lavezzi,
    Before I consider voting for you, please tell me your opinion of voluntary student-led prayer at school functions (such as before football games or at graduation ceremonies).
    I am also interested to know where you stand on the issue of transgender bathrooms in schools.
    Thank you!

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