With Nov. 8 fast approaching, are you still unsure which School Committee candidates will get your vote? Below is a summary of the basic positions and stances expressed at the Candidate Forum sponsored by MyWoonsocket.com.
To hear the candidates' introductory remarks, view .
You can also follow the links in the article to learn more about the candidates and issues.
How would you make sure the school system produces productive, law-abiding citizens?
Eleanor Nadeau: "We do that now. Our problem is ."
Vimala Phonsavanh: "The purpose of the education system is to do that. I want to see more technology in the curriculum. Those are the jobs of the future."
George King: "We have to work on upgrading the education system."
John Donlon: "We need to start educating the parents. The parents are the problem."
Anita McGuire-Forcier: "It's about educating children on character development. Children need more than just reading and math. They need social/emotional education."
: "We need more AP and Honors classes and need to stop lowering standards. We also need to be teaching kids finance, marketing and IT."
: "Technology is key. We also need to start getting kids involved with more community service."
Thomas Wrona: "Education is filled with trends and the trend right now is everyone goes to college, which is how you end up with Occupy Providence."
Anthony Gabriele: "We need to raise the graduation requirements back up to 70 and increase involvement."
What is your policy regarding mainstreaming students with special needs?
Wrona: "During my time at the middle school, I was an inclusion teacher and I can tell you that these teachers need aides. An IEP is a prescription you must monitor constantly."
Hardy: "We need to listen to our special education teachers."
Roberts: "We have people abusing the system. To me, IEP sounds like an excuse."
McGuire-Forcier: "Whether we like it or not, they have the right to be in the programs. I think the answer is innovative alternative programs."
Phongsavanh: "We need to work together with community organizations to find solutions."
Nadeau: "We're expecting kids to be able to learn when their home life is non-existent. It's a social problem more than an educational one."
If you're elected, what is the best idea you want to bring to Superintendent ?
Nadeau: "We've already had those conversations. I will allow her to do her job."
Phongsavanh: "I have three major ones: transparency and accountability, , and holding teachers accountable."
King:"We have to look at innovative approaches and getting ideas from other districts."
Donlon: "The school department needs to find innovative methods of educating our children. We need to go back to the basics: reading, writing and math."
McGuire-Forcier: "My #1 idea is character development. If you don't feel safe as a child, you won't learn."
Roberts: "I would like be a partner in and use my business experience to help with the education budget."
Hardy: "The first thing I would say to her is 'get ready because I ask a lot of questions.'"
Wrona: "One issue that has upset me over the years is that students, teachers and parents decide if the child should pass. I think this is a problem. If the child can't read, don't pass them."
Gabriele: "The big thing is accountability."
Do you think that teachers who choose to retire before the age of 65 should receive free health care for life?
Gabriele: "That's not my area. I care about the students."
Wrona: "I am a recipient of retirement benefits."
Hardy: "No, I don't think anyone should get free insurance. It's very expensive."
Roberts: "We cannot afford it. The disparity between public employees and the private sector is growing and I want to take a proactive role in addressing these issues."
McGuire-Forcier: "We can't afford it."
Donlon: "As far as I'm concerned, yes, they should get it. But they have to work 30 years."
King: "I don't think anyone in this day and age should get free healthcare."
Phongsavanh: "Some of these contracts were negotiated when I was in kindergarten. These teachers have given a lot."
Nadeau: "Teachers who retire do not get health benefits for life, until the age of 65. The fact is teachers have to work for their benefits."