Friday, January 09, 2015

Journal School Board Candidate Questionnaire

Journal Education Reporter Jon Swedien has released the Journal's School Board Candidate Questionnaire.

1. Do you agree with the APS board’s refusal to make public the results of an attorney’s investigation into former superintendent Winston Brooks, which ultimately led to his resignation and to APS paying him $350,000 to buy out his contract? Why or why not?

2. Do you support legislation that would require retention of third-graders who couldn’t read at grade level coupled with intense early literacy intervention? Why?

3. Should APS administrators be allowed to take paid political leave to serve in the Legislature? Should teachers be allowed to take paid political leave to serve?

4. What percentage, if any, of a teacher’s evaluation should be based on student test scores and why?

5. If elected what would be your top priorities?

6. What qualities, key policy positions and previous work experience are you looking for in a new superintendent?

7. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy hearing?

8. Have you ever been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of drunken driving, any misdemeanor or any felony in New Mexico or any other state? If so, explain.




Political/government Experience:

Major professional accomplishment:

Major personal accomplishment:
As I predicted, the Journal has decided again to compel candidates to limit their answers to 50 words or fewer.

Let's see if 50 words are enough;
I do not agree with the secrecy surrounding the dismissal of Winston Brooks.

The people have a right to know the truth about the spending of their resources and the wielding of their power. That right is legitimately limited only by the law.

The board went beyond withholding what the law "requires" and instead withheld all of the truth the law "allows". They did so to spare themselves embarrassment, not because it was in the best interests of anybody but themselves.
My answer; about 80 words. Which 30 should I strike?

The answer is none.

What legitimate interest is met by the Journal limiting answers?

The answer is none.

The rationale for retaining non-reading third graders rests on an argument that "rhymes". Students must "learn to read" (by third grade) because there after they must "read to learn". Clever phraseology but unsupported by truth.

However important reading is, it isn't the only way to learn. That non-readers can learn to read is proof that non-readers can learn without being able to read.

Why hold a student back in mathematics, science, and every other subject while they continue to learn to read? One could argue that their interest in other subjects would serve to motivate them to learn to read.
My answer nearly 90 words. Which 40 should I strike?

The answer is none.

Though there is some improvement, the Journal only gave us 35 words in the 2011 race, 50 words are still not enough.

Asking a question and restricting the answers is a way of not asking the questions at all.

Asking questions about relatively unimportant issues, is a way of not asking more important questions. The personal lives of candidates are the business of stake and interest holders in the candidates personal lives. Politicians and public servants have a Constitutionally protected human right to privacy - running for office does not create the warrant that is required to invade their privacy, link.

The Journal's sacred obligation is to inform the democracy. That is what "the press" is supposed to do. Instead, they are doing everything they can to limit the discourse. Why, and in whose interests?

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