Chandler touts experience in District 4 race

By Cory Diaz

Everyone would agree that the biggest issue that needs to be addressed over the next four years for the school board in Tuscaloosa is the alarming rate of students dropping out. District 4 incumbent Bryan Chandler said there are programs in place to soften this growing problem, but more needs to be done.

“We have a credit recovery program, so if a child has not passed a subject, but the only reason they didn’t pass it was because they didn’t master a certain area, rather than making them take the whole subject over again, they can go in and master that part of the subject, without having to be held back,” he said.

Eight years on board makes Chandler perfect candidate

Chandler took over for former school board member Virginia Powell in July of 2007. The two-plus years for him were not enough to fulfill his drive to improve the Tuscaloosa City schools.

“I realize how important education is, and that’s enough reason right there [to continue on the school board],” Chandler said. “Education also affects economic development. It ultimately affects the University of Alabama. It touches so many things.”

Chandler thinks his eight-plus years in the District 4 school system makes him a great candidate for that seat. “I know the people in [the system], I’ve been in the community for 30 years and I’ve lived in this area all of my life.”

Some things have gone well

Although the school system could use steady improvement in a lot of areas, Chandler said some things have gone well.

“We just got our adequate yearly progress scores back. All of our elementary and middle schools met their adequate yearly progress.”

This progress not only starts in the classroom, but also through plans and visions the school boards implicates.

“First of all, it’s about getting the right people in the right places with good structured programs,” said Chandler. “We have that. Then you got to get all your people to buy into it.”

When asked what makes him the voter’s choice for District 4 school board seat, Chandler said he’s tried to be a unifying force on the board.

“You can look at my record. I’m not going to quit on the job. Even when it’s not fun.”