Superintendent candidate drops out at forum - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Superintendent candidate drops out at forum

Chad Laqua (podium) threw his support to Matt Massey at Tuesday's forum. Chad Laqua (podium) threw his support to Matt Massey at Tuesday's forum.
MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

Former Butler High School principal Chad Laqua delivered the surprise of the evening Tuesday when he dropped out of the race in his closing comments, after a discussion in which four candidates answered questions from the public on issues like innovation in the schools.

"At this point I think we are stagnant to a large degree," said Ronnie Blair.

"When a principal is up for their contract year, do you think they're going to try an innovative, risky initiative, or they're just going to try to get by to hold onto their job," said Matt Massey, district math lead teacher.

Incumbent Superintendent Dr. David Copeland said after years of doing more with less, it's time to raise taxes. "The reality is we're going to have to look at a new revenue stream, and that revenue stream is going to be taxes," he said.

The candidates split between skepticism and enthusiasm over controversial common core educational standards. "We've got to keep a close look on what is coming down on us from the state level, federal level, trying to get involved - from our textbooks to our resource books - just make sure we're not letting something come into our local schools that we don't want to," said Blair.

"We're experiencing the highest test scores in the history of Madison County," said Dr. Copeland. "Why are we doing that? Because we've implemented the Common Core. I know it's a political hot topic, but what I see is results."

The candidates were united on their praise for the district's teachers and their hopes for its future under the right leadership. 

Laqua said his resignation from the race was due to a "personal and professional conflict of interest"; he had recently accepted a position with the Army/National Guard at the Pentagon. He threw his support towards Massey.

To watch the forum in its entirety, click here.

Copyright 2014 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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