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Edward McCarthy for U City Board of Education

McCarthy is seeking his first term on the board.

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.

Questions

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:

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Jeremiah Jones March 23, 2013 at 06:58 AM
Before castigating students for their inability to learn basic math facts, you might want to catch up on a brief grammar tutorial, as your post is riddled with errors; the most basic of which would be the creative spelling of "cannot" as comprising two words. Oh, and did any of your kids ever attend a U. City public school? Just curious.
Lisa Hummel March 30, 2013 at 08:06 PM
I recently received a letter from Mr. McCarthy that urged me to vote no on Prop. U. In it, he characterized the bond issue as one being used for maintenance rather than capital improvements. How is the building of a new library not a capital improvement? This letter was misleading.
mary zaggy March 31, 2013 at 10:57 PM
I think that everyone who runs for school board wants to help our kids in U City. I am the parent of 3 UCHS graduates and a current UCHS student. While some students in our schools do not achieve, one can not discount the factors outside of school which teachers, and the best school in the universe, can not control. Private schools which exclude students who have learning challenges and/or families who would not facilitate the student's academic success are not accepted into those schools. Affluent school districts do, by virtue of enrichment their students receive from birth, have a huge advantage in the testing wars to which all districts, including our own, are subjected. I sincerely believe that Ed McCarthy is sincere and wants all of our kids to succeeed. And I, as one who supports the ethic in "Stand and Deliver", where students given the opportunity to work hard and to succeed DO succeed, do not want to give any of our kids an excuse to fail. However, as the mother of UCHS grads who are doing well--one son got a 42 on the Medical Coolege Admissioins Test, and could go pretty much anywhere he wants to for med school, and another son is an NCAA academic All-American--it does not sit well with me when I hear that our students are not getting a good education. In Parent Teacher conferences this past weekend, I was SO impressed with the way that teachers support our students. U City Schools are educating our students well in the most critical area: academics.Thanks!
Kim April 01, 2013 at 12:53 AM
My kids have attended UCity schools since kindergarten and I know that they are getting a great education. The sky is the limit for those students who are willing to work hard and take advantage of the opportunities available. This year's seniors are just beginning to get their college acceptance letters, and already I know kids who have been accepted to top-notch schools including Stanford, Case Western, and Johns Hopkins. Each of these kids has attended UCity schools since kindergarten. There are many, many complex reasons why some UCity kids do not succeed, but the quality of our schools and our teachers is not one of them.
Lisa Hummel April 01, 2013 at 03:13 PM
Beautifully said, Kim! Our community is lucky to have the dedicated teachers, staff, and administrators that nurture and challenge our kids and run our schools.
Cindy April 01, 2013 at 03:47 PM
Ed, To help inform voters of your candidancy, can you please respond to the following questions. It helps to have the facts instead of rumors. Your profile states that you've lived in U. City for 35 years, yet your neighbors say your family vehicles carry Alaska plates to avoid paying property tax. Some say your business is also registered in Alaska for tax purposes as well. In fairness to you and to voters it would be nice to have this issue explained. Your profile says you've been "involved in the school district" for "many years." Although at various candidate forums you have stated you have never volunteered within the school district. Will you detail your school district involvement? Another data point floating around about you is the displinary action from the state of Missouri in relation to your CPA license (https://renew.pr.mo.gov/licensee-search-detail.asp?passkey=972607) Can you clear this up for voters as well? Thanks.
Edward McCarthy April 01, 2013 at 08:27 PM
All of the above wonderful people, thank you so much for your caring and concerned thoughts about the issues of the school district. This is how we solve the problems and issues of the day when it comes to University School District--always attack anyone who questions a policy or position of the District or may disagree with you. Remember it is always better to demonize someone rather than try and discuss something with them. Cindy I think someday you are going to be a great political person, but for now you have a few issues to work out. Thank you for you comments, because if you are attacking me, my letters must be getting to you.
Lorlee Phelps April 01, 2013 at 11:00 PM
Mr. McCarthy, your letter and comments demonized the school district, its employees and, indirectly, the students who attend University City Public Schools. Comments like: "Moronic presentations" /"If you don't test, you can't fail"/"the PU bond issue stinks" aren't really conversation starters, are they? Quite simply, sir, you are lacking.in one basic characteristic I look for in leadership: class. Your imperious demand to "vote for me and only me" seems representative of your world view. Thanks, but no thanks.
Cindy April 01, 2013 at 11:16 PM
Ed, I wasn't attacking you. These are questions floating around U. City. As I send, in fairness to you and the voters, it seems it would be better to get the truth from you rather than have people ruminate with their opinions.
Kim April 01, 2013 at 11:42 PM
Mr. McCarthy you are seeking public office. Like it or not, your conduct in business and professinal dealings become relevant. Why not answer the questions?

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