Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mark Riley, petition candidate, House District 90

1. Opting out of testing. Many parents are concerned that important educational values are being sacrificed because of the use of high-stakes standardized testing to evaluate kids, schools, and educators. Would you support legislation to permit parents to opt their children out of such testing without repercussions?

A: No I support a two track educational path as in Europe and Asia. One path being college prep and the other a general education/vocational path. After 8th grade I purpose that testing for college be optional for Gen Ed and mandatory for College prep.

2. Cuts in lunch and recess. In our district, the time devoted to recess has been reduced, and the elementary school students get only fifteen minutes or less to eat lunch. District officials attribute those changes directly to state pressure to teach more material and maximize “instructional minutes.” (See posts here and here.) What, if anything, should the state do to remedy the situation?

A: Get out of mandates and allow local districts full control, or take control at all levels and make education a state function. I follow a philosophy of limited resources and that College should be available to everyone Qualified and that it is a minority education for professionals. I subscribe to the philosophy that we all deserve a living wage regardless of education and that education for the non-professional class should be at the community college level. Mobility between Educational classes must be with out restriction other than intelligence or choice. If we take that approach we come to a rational position with regard to recess and lunch breaks and unrealistic expectations of our schools.

3. Local control. Because of state and federal regulation, individual communities now have relatively little control over the educational policies that govern their schools, and many parents feel that they have little to no say over what goes on in their kids’ schools. Do you think that local school districts should have more control over educational policy? If so, in what specific ways?

A: Answered in Question 2 if we are going to give local control to Districts then we need to allow them to shed education standards and develop the two track path of working class and professional of education. We need to stop open enrollment and mandate class attendance for state aid such as food stamps medical and such from the state to families, If you have a child and he is not in a school you do not receive any state aid.

4. More school? Should state law require all kids to spend more time in school – either by lengthening the school day, extending the school year, or both? (See this post.)

A: Length of school day is a babysitting policy. You can only learn for so long as adults understand when it comes to the length of a work day.

5. PBIS. The state Department of Education wants to require all school districts to implement Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), a program that uses material rewards to train kids to reflexively obey school rules. (See posts here and here.) Do you support requiring all school districts to use PBIS?

A: Faith based or private schools are always in the top 19 of 20 schools in performance. Why? they have less educated teachers, less money and less resources. The simple fact is that they have parents who will not tolerate their failure while paying for education. They do not go to a private school teacher and argue why their little snow flake is failing Algebra. The teacher is presumed right in private education and little Johnny is required to conform to the class discipline of the teacher.

We need a path of behavioral reform that includes being sent to a institution that may or may not be staffed by teachers to modify student behavior of derelict parents. Once the child is socialized he may return to the public education system. This institution should not be 100% from the school district. The problem with education systems today is that they are tasked with missions that are outside of the realm of Teachers.

6. Class size. Do you agree with our state Director of Education that we should tolerate larger class sizes in exchange for programs designed to “improve educator effectiveness”?

A: Yes. Some classes should be large and efficient and some classes should be small and teacher intensive. The small class size is a teacher union "red Herring" for more teachers. They don't tolerate that increased cost in Colleges.

7. No Child Left Behind. Have No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top done more harm than good, or vice versa? Should Iowa opt out of No Child Left Behind, even if it means forgoing federal funds?

A: Its a terrible idea and should be dumped.

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