Veteran school board member faces concerned parent - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Veteran school board member faces concerned parent

November 4, 2005

Valdosta - Dr. Joe Crane has spent most of his life taking care of not only animals, but also kids in the Valdosta City School System. "I've been on the board for a little over 31 years," said Crane.

With three decades of leadership under his belt, many of those years spent as chairman, he says the greatest asset he brings to this race is experience, and knowledge of what the students in district four need. "Rebuild new schools, to update our equipment for our kids, put in a lot of improvements," said Crane.

He's done all of those things while serving on the board, and wants to continue putting sales tax money towards infrastructure and technology improvements. If elected to another term, he also wants to put more focus on parent involvement. "Our parents need to encourage these kids, tell them what it means to have an education and how rewarding it is to work for it," said Crane.

Crane's opponent, Mike Pitts, wants to bring a new face to the school board. "I think it's time to have somebody who has some new ideas and has a vested interest in the system," said Pitts.

He's running because he'll have two children in the school system next year, and wants to ensure them the highest quality education. The clinical psychologist is worried about low test scores.  "The achievement scores at J.L. Newbern have been unacceptable, they haven't met the No Child Left Behind criteria for the last two years," said Pitts. 

He's also concerned about the growing drop out rate. "It approaches 40 percent," said Pitts.

He hopes the voters of district four will give him the chance to improve those areas of concern, and give the Valdosta City School Board a new, fresh perspective.

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