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Hooper: What do School Board candidates think of MaryEllen Elia?

Published Sep. 1, 2014

As we head toward November, voters should make a point of asking Hillsborough County School Board candidates where they stand in terms of superintendent MaryEllen Elia.

Elia hasn't been perfect, but this district stands as a state leader under her guidance. When you talk to people who have dealt with this district and other school districts, they praise Elia for being comparably better.

Still, you can divide current board members between those who support Elia and those who don't. The candidates need to express how they feel. Anyone running can say they oppose Common Core. That's easy.

But an answer about Elia requires far more nuance — accountability versus support — and those answers will better forecast the district's future. …

Ed Narain, who only needs to defeat a write-in candidate to be Hillsborough's newest state representative, is poised to be a true change-agent for his district, largely east Tampa. I'm encouraged. …

Seen on a bumper sticker: TV Is Gooder Than Books. …

If I were the president of Duke University, I would ask Duke Energy to change its name. I know there's a historical connection — James B. Duke started the energy company and created an endowment for the university in 1924 — but the university clearly has a better reputation than the energy company. …

I'm sure former Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater executive director D.T. Minich weighed a lot of factors in choosing to leave to head up Kissimmee's tourist bureau, but if it is just about the best place to live, don't Pinellas' waterfront vistas beat out Disney-influenced subdivisions?

That's all I'm saying.

Follow Ernest Hooper @hoop4you.

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