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Hayward Unified School Board candidate John Taylor is photographed on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012 in Hayward, Calif. (Aric Crabb/Staff)

The dysfunctional Hayward school board's squabbling must end. At a time of horrendous test scores and mounting financial challenges, students and parents deserve mature leaders.

Fortunately, the terms of the three board members at the center of the storm are up, and two are not seeking re-election. The third, Luis Reynoso, should be replaced.

That leaves six other candidates. It's not a strong field. No candidate has a solid handle on the district's finances, nor substantive ideas for putting the district back on track. But if they can get along, maybe the board and administrators can find solutions.

We opt for candidates familiar with the district, education or both who are willing to hold teachers accountable for performance: Annette Walker, who holds a doctorate in education and works as a college admissions administrator; John Taylor, a teacher for 17 years and former Alameda County teacher of the year; and Heather Reyes, a parent who has served on a district financial advisory group.