Patch sent all local candidates for office identical questionnaires in order to compile candidate profiles prior to the April election. Each candidate who returned the survey will be featured on the site.
Edward J. McCarthy, 61
- Address: 7101 Princeton Ave.
- Occupation: I am a CPA and have an office in University City.
- Education: Graduated from St. Louis University with a BA in accounting.
- Family: McCarthy and his wife have five children.
- Years Lived in the School District of University City: 35
- Public Service: I have been involved in both the school district and the City of University City for the last 20 years. I have been involved in various groups including University City Community Forum, University City Participate—these organizations are very informative and fun. They give a person not only the information to make an informed decision, but there are some interesting people who show up. I am on the board of Women in Charge. Women in Charge helps each individual person with not only their education and/or GED, but the life skills that are so necessary for a career or job. Currently I am a member of the University City Pension Board. I have also been a member of various task forces for the City.
What do you see as the biggest issue facing the School District of University City?
The current School Board has no vision and lacks the leadership required of a Board of Education for a district that wants to train productive citizens. If you do not believe me just go to a school board meeting.
The biggest three issues facing the School District are:
- Student achievement: Student achievement has been a constant issue with University School district for the last 35 years. When a school district does not have any specifically defined performance measures the students know it. If a student is going to graduate to the next grade level because he/she is one year older there is no incentive to work. The student is not held accountable for his/her actions. This is the performance University City School District has set for their students. One school board member recommended that the district set a mathematics requirement of Long Division as a standard for middle school acceptance. It was tabled by the board. Remember the motto of University City Schools "if you don’t test you can't fail" So University School District does not test because they "might" have some failures or they may have to hold a child back one year. No it is not fun. And no one wants someone to fail, but the district might try and make sure a student knows his/her math facts before entering middle school. This is indicative of what the district has set for our students. I think our children can not only meet benchmarks but they can exceed them, if given the opportunity.
- District Accreditation: We have met (barely) the accreditation set by the State of Missouri. Next year there are a whole new set of standards we have to meet. Unless the District starts setting the expectations NOW the District is not going meet the new minimum standards for accreditation next year.
- Staff Morale: When a school district does not have strong leadership and vision you have poor morale in the ranks. University School District needs leadership and vision.
The School Board has to set the goals of the district with the Superintendent and then support her implementation of a plan of action. In University City the Board is NOT backing the Administration. Just look back over the last year as the administration tried to terminate a poor performing teacher and board members did not even show up for the hearing. If the Board is not going to back the Superintendent then they should remove her, otherwise back her decisions.
If you want to bring morale to new lows just keep the bad teachers and compensate them the same as the top performing teachers.
This is one example, but it shows how the district suffers when the school board is not engaged.
In what area does School District of University City need to improve? Are you satisfied with the way the district has been operating?
See above for what needs to improve. If I thought the members of the school board were leading the district in a manner to improve the district and help the children I would be cheering them on, not running for office. No I am not satisfied with the way the board has been conducting itself.
In what areas do you intend to participate in the district outside of school board meetings?
Even if I do not get on the board I will continue a pursuit of constant monitoring and critiquing until the board implements new measures
Please share your feelings on the Prop U bond issue - if you are in favor or against it, and why.
The PU bond issue stinks. The District does not take care of and maintain their facilities they just get the taxpayer to pay more for all new. Bond issues are supposed to be for Capital Improvements, but in the University City School District it is a Maintenance Fund.
Just think of Prop U as the most expensive way you can operate a school district—this is the mentality of University City School District. Think I am a little too critical—go check out the Budget for Operating Maintenance dollars for the current year. Look closely the number is small if at all for a district with about $100 million in Facilities.
Assume you win election. What single thing do you want to accomplish during your term on the board.
Show up at the meeting with an OPEN board packet (i.e. I have read the agenda and material before the meeting) and be prepared to have a discussion of the agenda items unlike “some” current board members.
Second, what I would like to accomplish is to stop the administration from putting on moronic presentations like the board was a first grade class.
Third, try and focus more resources on the 80 percent of students who want to learn instead of the 20 percent that do not.