WATCH: Madison County Schools Superintendent Candidates Discuss Issues in 90-Minute Forum

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – WHNT News 19 is Taking Action to help you learn more about the three candidates running for Madison County Superintendent.

Tuesday night, a forum was held to give candidates the opportunity to make their case for why they are the best man for the job.

We have posted the forum below in its entirety.

It started with a question about each candidate’s educational philosophy.

Throughout the forum, the three superintendent candidates addressed everything from Alabama College and Career Readiness Standards to an expansion of Pre-K education.

The issue that came up time and time again was the need for expanded career technical programs.

“’I would like to see career tech center transform and have our students be able to attend full time and turn it into a career tech academy. This is where they won’t have to go back to school if they fail a class,” said Buckhorn High School teacher Matt Massey.

“We started four new programs this year, including the culinary program at Hazel Green High School.  We’ve partnered with business and industry,” said current Madison County Superintendent David Copeland.

“I believe we need to begin this process at an earlier age, we need to make sure we’re working with our 7th and 8th graders and develop a four-year plan to make sure we’re providing our students with everything they need,” said Sparkman Middle School principal Ronnie Blair.

The candidates agree on almost all of these goals and say some of the needs can be met through partnerships with area businesses, colleges, and community groups.

Where they differ is more nuanced and was highlighted by one of the last questions of the night — where they described their leadership approach.

The candidates did discuss college and career readiness standards and Common Core Standards. All three said they support the standards, as long as they can maintain local control.

The 90-minute forum is posted below in its entirety.  There are 7 clips and they will play in order.