|Board member, Durham School Board, District 2|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||May 6, 2014|
|Bachelor's||The Ohio State University|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Elections
- 3 Campaign themes
- 4 What was at stake?
- 5 About the district
- 6 Recent news
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 References
Doster was raised in the Triangle, North Carolina. He holds a degree from The Ohio State University. After college, Doster returned to North Carolina where he works as a business analyst. He attends The Summit Church in Durham, where he has served in the kids program and co-led a small group for high school students. Doster also occasionally serves as a substitute teacher for his high school alma mater.
- See also: Durham Public Schools elections (2014)
Doster was defeated in the general election by Sendolo Diaminah.
|Durham Public Schools, District 2 General Election, 4-year term, 2014|
|Nonpartisan||Donald A. Hughes||28.3%||1,874|
|Nonpartisan||Terrence R. Scarborough||8.9%||588|
|Nonpartisan||DeWarren K. Langley||4%||266|
|Source: North Carolina Board of Elections, "05/06/2014 UNOFFICIAL PRIMARY ELECTION RESULTS - DURHAM," accessed June 2, 2014|
Doster reported $17,015.73 in contributions and 12,465.57 in expenditures to the Durham County Board of Elections, which left his campaign with $4,550.16 on hand.
Doster did not receive any endorsements for his campaign.
Doster's campaign website listed his themes for 2014:
The economy matters to me.
Firstly, preparing students for college, or other post-secondary opportunities including vocational training, their careers, and their lives as adults is our top priority.
Schools often weigh heavily in a family’s decision where to live. Durham Public Schools should be a reason why people associated with the Triangle’s universities and businesses choose to live here, and why more companies should want to locate here in Durham. Right now this is not often the case. As a School Board member, I will offer to partner with our business community, other educational institutions, and state and local governments in an effort to make improvements in our performance and reputation.
A top priority is dramatically improving the educational achievements of our students, specifically economically challenged students. While many social factors contribute to this achievement gap, the Board can play a vital role—in our decisions and our tone. “Pushing kids through” is not helpful to students, their future, and our community. An unshakeable commitment to student achievement is needed. This commitment must begin at the Board and cascade through the administration, teachers, parents, students, and community. We can and should do better in this area.
A Durham Public School teacher told me of his concern that some high-achievers plateau after being conditioned to think that exchanging their potential for mediocrity is okay. This leads to attitudes of “just passing” or “doing as little as possible to get an A”, which is not in the best interest of the student, their future, and our community. Teachers and parents should identify high-achieving students; encourage and build them up, while helping others become high-achievers, too.
Families make the best choice available for their children's education. Some of those parents we represent choose other means of education such as charters and home schools, and we all will gain through collaboration. We should not cut ourselves off from other educational choices due to philosophical reasons. The goal is to educate our youth, therefore we are all on the same team. By learning best-practices from others, and vice versa, Durham Public Schools will improve and more families will choose to educate their children in Durham Public Schools.
As a Board member, I will reach out to all publicly funded schools in Durham for collaboration and participation by our students.
Laws can always be improved, and the approach to doing so matters. I prefer using the legislative process not the courts. In March, the Durham School Board voted unanimously to use Durham County taxpayer money to sue our North Carolina State Government regarding the new "Teacher Tenure Law." Since I understand the importance of this legislation, I attended this meeting--the only candidate in the audience. Afterwards, I made the case to the media opposing expensive litigation. Unlike some, I am engaging legislators in a civil discussion to address this matter and will continue to advocate making education-affecting laws better through the legislative process not the courts. Civil discourse. Avoid litigation.
While I was walking door to door in Durham, a 5th grader at EK Powe Elementary articulately explained his displeasure with Common Core. At nearly every home with children in Durham Public Schools, Common Core was given the thumbs down. Philosophically, I believe that the local level should have greater power than special interests in Washington DC who pushed the Common Core on North Carolina. As the Common Core is reviewed by a Governor-initiated special task force in Raleigh, I will work to improve the implementation of what we have while listening to parents, teachers, and local stakeholders on how to educate Durham's youth.
My preference is having locally provided food from vendors/farmers that wouldn't have to follow a strict mandate from the Federal Government or Department of Agriculture about what items have to be provided. School lunches are currently contracted out largely because experts are needed to comply with Federal food requirements. It would be nice if these top-down laws would just go away so that sensible people like local parents, teachers, and administrators can come up with the best food options without follow more rules.
That said, let's try to make what we have better given the circumstances. No one I have talked to while going door to door is satisfied with the status quo regarding school food.
First we need to understand the data
Durham Public Schools is working on changing its school suspension policy. Four community meetings were held late last year, but I have not yet seen a report. Also, we have not seen DPS data on what the reasons are for suspension, such as fighting, late for school, absences etc. To develop a new policy, analyzing and understanding this data is essential.
High and consistent standards for student behavior
Disciplinary methods and standards should be applied consistently to all students. Remediate student behavior at the school level, not by sending students home (unless there is a known safety issue). For those that must be given out-of-school suspensions, a better option for the students would be to enter a program run by the YMCA, for example, as an alternative to out-of-school suspensions. The YMCA currently runs successful programs like this elsewhere and we should look to bringing an equivalent here.
As a School Board, we try to make policies better. Most importantly, it is the character of student that matters. As leaders we need to lead by example. As a community we need to be supportive.
As a Board member, I will strongly support our Office of Professional Learning.
Teachers must be respected as professionals. This goes hand-in-hand with the requirement for continuous Professional Development. As Board members, we must listen to our teachers, both by being accessible and by attending such forums as the Durham Association of Educators. Additionally, I support the efforts of the PTA Council to establish and enhance active PTA/PTO’s in all schools, which can be a key factor to support our teachers. Also, we need to limit the number of non-education tasks required of teachers by continuously challenging ourselves to re-assign or eliminate duties that are not in support of “the main event”, educating students. In short, let teachers teach.
We use tests to measure achievement and progress of our students. We need to allow the wisdom of our teachers, their experience, to craft the best approaches for learning to create the best outcomes for each of our DPS students. 
—Jimmy Doster campaign website, (2014), 
What was at stake?
Issues in the district
In March 2014, the Durham school board voted unanimously to join a lawsuit challenging the state law ending teacher tenure. The law awards four-year contracts with annual $500 raises to the top 25 percent of teachers in their district. The teachers would have to voluntarily give up their tenure, before tenure ends for all teachers in 2018. The law was intended to promote competition and remove teachers with low student test scores. Under this law, the superintendent will recommend 25 percent of teachers in the district to the school board for four-year contracts beginning in the 2014-2015 school year. The Durham school board joins the Wake County school board as the second board planning to sue the state over this legislation.
Durham County's influx of charter schools has raised concerns for some of the county's residents. The county is home to ten charter schools and will be adding another in August 2014. Six more Durham-based charters have applications pending with the state to open in 2015. Critics fear that the new charters will take students and funding away from traditional public schools. They also believe that charter schools educate a disproportionate number of middle-class children and lead to a concentration of poor and minority students in the district schools. Supporters have responded by emphasizing overall improvement in education quality in the district's charter schools.
In December 2013, Eric Becoats resigned as superintendent after receiving criticism for a number of issues throughout the year. In June 2013, school board chairwoman Heidi Carter reached out to the county commissioners because the school board thought it had only $4 million in unassigned funds, far less than the typical $16 million the board has normally kept in order to offset state budget cuts. In December 2013, an audit revealed the district had $15 million more in unassigned funds than the board originally reported. Becoats, who provided the board with the initial financial documents, could not explain how the mistake was made.
In October 2013, records also revealed that Becoats spent $20,157.86 on his district-issued credit card from July 2012 to June 2013 for out-of-state conferences, dinners and lunches with colleagues, economy-class air travel, hotels, room service, limousines from the airport, meetings, workshop supplies, flowers for recognition of employee achievements and gifts to a host family in Mexico. Becoats’ credit card was one of four district-issued cards. There had been no official policy outlining the use of the cards, but the board cancelled his card in October 2013. In November 2013, they also decided to discontinue the other cards and tighten rules on travel reimbursement and spending. Becoats was also criticized in July 2013 for hiring a school activity bus and driver to take friends and family members to private events. He reimbursed the school system $726.80 and was reprimanded, but the contents of his reprimand were not released to the public.
About the district
- See also: Durham Public Schools, North Carolina
Durham County outperformed the rest of North Carolina in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 44.7 percent of Durham County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 26.8 percent for North Carolina as a whole. The median household income in Durham County was $50,997 compared to $46,450 for the state of North Carolina. The poverty rate in Durham County was 18.0 percent compared to 16.8 percent for the entire state.
Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Jimmy + Doster + Durham + Public + Schools"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Jimmy Doster for School Board, "About Jimmy," accessed April 8, 2014
- Durham County Board of Elections, "2014 Organizational Disclosure Reports," accessed May 6, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Jimmy Doster for School Board, "Issues," accessed April 8, 2014
- Jonathan M. Alexander, News Observer, "Durham school board votes to join Guilford County lawsuit in teacher-tenure fight," March 5, 2014
- Ned Barnett, News Observer, "Charter schools press Durham’s district schools," February 1, 2014
- Jenna Zhang, The Chronicle, "Charter schools on rise in NC," February 6, 2014
- Jonathan M. Alexander, News Observer, "Durham schools chief Becoats resigns amid criticism," December 19, 2013
- United States Census Bureau, "Durham County, North Carolina," accessed February 21, 2014
- National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed February 18, 2014
- Durham County, "Voter Registration by County," accessed February 21, 2014
- United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
|2014 Durham Public Schools Elections|
|Durham County, North Carolina|
|Election date:||May 6, 2014|
|Candidates:||District 1: • Incumbent, Omega Parker • Mike Lee • Thomas Poole District 4: • Incumbent, Natalie Beyer|
|Important information:||What was at stake? • Key deadlines • Additional elections on the ballot|