Show and Tell for Parents
Search Site: 
Parents Teachers
By Susan Darst Williams
Parental Involvement
Ages & Stages
Coaching Your Child
Discipline & Safety
Health, Nutrition & Fitness
Homework Helpers
Reading
Writing
Math
Curriculum & Instruction
Teachers & Teaching
Other School Staff
Testing
Technology
Special Learners
School Management
Finance & Taxation
Government & Politics
Preschool
Private Schools
Homeschooling
Choice & Charters
Learning on the Go
Community Involvement
Controversies
Education Heroes
Bright Ideas for Change
Site Map
Mini-Grants

Parental Involvement Lite

Parents, Kids & Books

Great Books for Kids

Character Education

Writing Tips

Inspiration

Wacky Protests

School Humor
Home | Purpose | Ask A Question | Subscribe | Forward | Bio | Contact | Print

Government & Politics        < Previous        Next >

 

School Board Candidate Questions

 

Q. Whenever school-board elections come up, I feel guilty that I don't know beans about the philosophies or ideas of any of the candidates. I tend to vote by name recognition, and I know that's not good. They all sound alike in their election circulars and voter's guides. How can I find out what these people think, and what they're likely to support while in this important political office?

 

Even if you don't have a school-board election going on right now, make a copy of these excellent questions. They focus on three key areas: academics, policy, and parents' rights.

 

Then get a voter group together next time you're going to have a school board election, schedule a public forum where the candidates are all invited and the public can attend, and survey candidates with these questions early in the election cycle. Publish the responses for all to see; you can set up a blog for free or get with other citizens and pay for a newspaper ad together. Then go to bat for the candidate or candidates who "get it" about what's needed in public education.

 

These are from the grassroots education organization in Minnesota, www.EdWatch.org:

 

QUESTIONS FOR SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES

 


ACADEMICS

 

1.
 
 

Do you support schools giving primary emphasis to teaching basic skills
(e.g. reading, grammar, spelling, traditional arithmetic)
rather than social activism or psychological matters?

2.
 

Do you support the use of intensive, systematic phonics to teach children
how to read from kindergarten on and into special ed?

3.
 

Do you support the goal that children should be able to read
by the end of the first grade?

4.
 

Do you support teaching abstinence as the norm for unmarried teenagers
and as the only truly effective way to prevent sexually-transmitted diseases?

5.
 

Do you support teaching that the use of illegal drugs
and the unlawful use of alcohol are "wrong"?

6.
 

Do you believe the topics of homosexuality and alternative lifestyles
should be excluded from the classroom?

7.
 

Do you reject classroom instruction that undermines American sovereignty,
limited constitutional government, or private enterprise?

8.
 
 

Do you reject programs that promote an over-emphasis
on vocations in elementary school and that encourage or
require students to choose a career path by 8th grade?

9.
 

Do you support academic programs for middle and high performing students to complement the NCLB focus on low-performing students?

10. 
 
 

Do you oppose global curricula that promote world citizenship?
(Examples: International Baccalaureate, the GLOBE program,
the Center for Civic Educations curriculum)

11.
 

Do you support teaching the scientific strengths and weaknesses
of scientific principles such as evolution?

 


POLICY

 

1.
 
 

Do you oppose the collection and maintenance of data on student
health, performance, attitudes, behavior, and family, as well as
academics, in computerized databases?

2.

Do oppose routine mental health screening for all students?

3.
 
 

Do you oppose school-based health clinics, which may perform examinations,
provide immunizations and medications, and dispense birth control
devices and abortion referrals, without parental consent or knowledge?

4.

Do oppose social and emotional standards being incorporated into the curricula?

5.
 
 
 
 
 

Do you oppose accepting outside grants from wealthy special
interest foundations and from state and federal government
that set the district agenda, such as establishing smaller
learning communities (a form of School-to-Work),
expanding early childhood education, diversity training,
and global citizenship programs?

6.
 

Do you oppose the targeting of commercials to students in the classroom
through Channel One television?

7.

Do you support traditional class scheduling, as opposed to block scheduling?

 


PARENTS' RIGHTS

 

1.
 
 
 

Do you oppose school districts collecting student data with non-academic
student surveys involving students personal behavior, values,
attitudes, beliefs, or those of their family and friends?
(Examples: Teen Screen, Minnesota Student Survey, Search Institute, etc.)

2.
 

Do you support requiring parental permission on all non-academic student surveys
that the district may be involved in?

3.

Do you oppose the creation of a district universal pre-school system?

4.

Do you oppose all-day, every-day kindergarten?  

5.

Do you support the right of parents to home school their children?

6.
 

Do you believe in the fundamental right of parents to direct
the upbringing and education of their children?

 

 

Homework: Check in with www.edwatch.org regularly for updates on important education issues.

 

By Susan Darst Williams www.ShowandTellforParents.com Government & Politics 16 2008

 

Government & Politics        < Previous        Next >
^ return to top ^
Individuals: read and share these features freely!

Publications: please contact ShowandTellforParents.com to arrange for reprint rights to these copyrighted news stories and features.

Mini-Grants


 Links to Learn More 

 Enrichment Ideas 

 Nebraska Schooling 
DailySusan
 Humor Blog 
DailySusan
 Glimpses of God 
Copyright © 2017 ShowandTellforParents.com
Website created by Web Solutions Omaha