Carmin C. (Chuck) Caputo, vice chairman of the Fairfax County School Board, says he sees two key issues that the board must come to grips with: a better evaluation and compensation system for teachers, and improving minority achievement in the classroom.

The current evaluation and pay systems are "not true indicators of a teacher," he says. And referring to the evaluation system, he adds, "It's too easy for everyone to be outstanding."

Caputo says he supports a more stringent performance evaluation method and a ladder program that would raise teachers' salaries according to experience.

Concerning the quality of education for minorities in the school system, Caputo favors a more personalized teaching program "not just across the board, but in areas where it's especially needed" such as counseling programs and after-school activities.

Caputo is an electrical engineer for the Department of Defense. The Brooklyn native earned his engineering degree from the City College of New York in 1961 and has lived in Fairfax County for the past 19 years. He lives in Herndon with his wife and their three teen-age children.

Caputo says his commitment to educational excellence stems from his days as a local activist and his concern for his children's education.

Caputo, a 46-year-old Democrat, has been a board member since 1980, and represents the Centreville District. Recently, he was elected by the board to a one-year term as vice chairman.

He says that he got involved in school politics as a way to turn civic-mindedness into action.

"I started out as a local activist getting involved in civic associations and gradually got more involved with committee appointments and activities," he said.