Business & Professional Women/Kansas
83rd State Convention

Wichita Marriott Hotel

Friday, June 9, 2006 4:20-5:30 pm

Candidate Forum for Kansas State Board of Education
New Candidates

Moderators: BPW/USA representative Diane Polangin, 2006-07 Vice President, BPW/USA, and Sharon Brown, Clay Center BPW and Executive Director, Clay Center Chamber of Commerce.

   
District 1
District 3
District 5
District 7
District 9
Jesse Hall (D) John Bacon (R) Incumbent Sally Cauble (R) M.T. Liggett (R) * Bad Patzer (R)
Janet Waugh (D) Incumbent Harry McDonald (R) Connie Morris (R) Incumbent Donna Viola (R) Jana Shaver (R)
  David Oliphant (R) Tim Cruz (D) Ken Willard (R) Incumbent Kent Runyan (D)
  Don Weiss (D)   Jack Wempe (D)  

* Brad Patzer is the son-in-law, recently moved from Idaho, of Incumbent Iris Van Meter (R)

General rules and information. You are encouraged to bring campaign materials and to arrive early (hopefully in time for the Attorney General Forum which starts promptly at 3:45 pm). Please ask for Beverly Johnson when you arrive. The forum will be held Friday, June 9, 2006, at the Wichita Marriott Hotel, 9100 Corporate Hills Drive (near Kellogg & Webb Rd.). Wichita, Kansas 67207; Phone 1-316-651-0333. Room: Wichita Ballroom, Salon I.

Both forums will be timed by two timekeepers who will also hold up warning cards as appropriate for: 3 minutes, 2 minutes, 1 minute, 30 seconds, and STOP+Dinger. We ask that you be well-prepared. In addition to receiving questions in advance, each candidate will have the list of questions at the table, but you may choose to bring your own list which includes your answers. BPW/Kansas members and the public will be handed the questions as they arrive, along with a program which will give a brief bio of each candidate. We will not take time for additional introductions. The media and our members will have received the questions at approximately the same time candidates receive them by email (mail for those without email).

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Jesse Hall, District 1 Democrat
Candidate, State Board of Education

(Did not attend the forum and 7/18/06 said he did not want to submit answers to questions..)

(Please keep in mind that all incumbents have held office for at least the past four years.)
Janet Waugh, District 1 Democrat, Incumbent
Candidate, State Board of Education

1.Please name the three most serious problems our state faces and briefly state how you think the Kansas school system can most effectively address them.
" Strong, diverse economy that is able to compete in the 21st century global economy
" Well educated workforce and citizenry
" Citizens who are focused and involved in making Kansas a good place to live and raise a family.
The Kansas school system can most effectively address these issues by educating all students to high levels and preparing them to be contributing citizens.

2.What three specific measures can the KSBE do to most effectively address the previous state problems? Please give specific actions, not general philosophies.
" Provide information on best practices on our web site (this is currently being done - but it needs to be constantly reviewed and updated).
" Conduct workshops throughout the state presenting programs on how to address the various groups (special ed, ESL, students not at grade level, etc.).
" Work with the Governor and Legislature to provide adequate funding that is focused on continuous student performance improvement..

3.What are your three strongest qualifications to be elected to the KSBE?
" Sixteen years experience serving on my local board and eight on the state board.
" Almost 40 years service to children and youth. My common sense approach to addressing education policy. I have discovered in those almost 40 years that what's good for my children is good for all children.
" My moderate political philosophy

4.What are the key criteria you would adopt in searching for a Kansas Commissioner of Education?
" Strong background in education - preferably teaching and administrative experience in public schools.
" Proven leadership in promoting best practices and support for the public school system.
" Someone who has the respect of both the education field and the business community.

5.What are your top three priorities to best ensure compliance with No Child Left Behind and to ensure that Kansas Education continues to keep its relatively high national rating in education (generally rated 4th to 8th, and certainly in the top 10)?
" Closing the gap by making sure we have high expectations for all students. Focus all students on progressing all they can -- continuous path of improvement.
" Develop better systems of data development and help local districts to interpret data and use it more effectively to accomplish #1.
" Continue to work with Congress to make NCLB less punitive and more statistically realistic.

6.Regarding content of sex education and choice of books, who should make the decisions-the State Board or local school boards?

Local school boards - I am a strong proponent of local control. Having served almost 16 years on a local board of education, I believe decisions such as these are best made at the local level because local boards know the needs of their communities.

7.In the face of corporate illegalities regarding hiring practices, changing demographics, lack of security, English Language Learners (ELL), a decreased level of literacy, decreased knowledge of good parenting skills, diminished participation of and support from parents-what can you do to give educators the kinds of support they need to achieve the goals set by No Child Left Behind?

Provide information regarding best practices, work with the various education organizations and conduct workshops in various parts of the state to assist with the challenges listed. Support professional development that encourages greater collaboration between teachers and administrators both within districts and schools and by encouraging networking of districts around the state.

PART 2 - (Not present for Part 2)

PART 3
1. Do you believe that many people (perhaps a majority) simultaneously have a faith belief in a spiritual creator and an acceptance of the scientific theory of evolution?

Yes - I happen to be one of them. I met with my Pastor prior to the science standards being adopted and we discussed this at length and agreed science and faith can co-exist.

2. Do you believe that scientific theories are constantly being examined and that they are subject to change over time as the general scientific community reaches new conclusions based on scientific research?

Yes

3. Do you believe that religious faith beliefs should be subject to new findings of archaeology, understandings of Bible scholars, historical research, and other scientific disciplines?

Each faith belief should reach their own conclusions.

4. If you believe that the Biblical creation story should be taught in schools, which of the creation stories would you have taught? Would you include other faith beliefs such as Hinduism, Islam, variations of 'Christian' beliefs, Native American and African beliefs, ancient Greek and Egyptian beliefs, and the belief that mankind might be the result of extraterrestrials?

I would support creation stories being taught in a comparative religion class, philosophy or a Social Studies class. The decision to include it in a school's curriculum should be up to a local board who can determine the needs of their communities. If they decide to teach this, I support all beliefs being taught.

5. Do you believe religious concepts should be taught in science classes or in classes of comparative religions, philosophy, or something similar?

All faith based issues can be taught in comparative religion, philosophy, or something similar but not in science classes.

6. What classes do you think belong in a core curriculum to provide a first class education for Kansas children?

I support the current graduation requirements which include English, Mathematics, Science, History/Government, PE, and Fine Arts. In addition I believe we should include computer literacy.

7. What do you think about a state-wide program of distance learning through video and/or internet?

We currently have distance learning in the state and I think this offers opportunities to students they are unable to receive in their local districts. Kansas now also has several virtual schools where local curricula is provided to parents who want to Home School. I support adding even more programs as the need arises.

8. In your opinion, do you think that schools should provide all-day kindergarten? If so, who do you think should make that decision-the State Board or local school districts?

I am a strong supporter of all-day Kindergarten. However, the final decision should be made at the local level based upon the needs of their communities.

9. How much control do you think the State Board should have over how the local districts spend their funds?

I believe decisions are best made at the local level and support minimal control from the State Board; however, in the current world of standards and closing the gap, some funds need to be focused in particular areas: special education, transportation, at risk (poverty as well as non-proficiency), cost of living as well as general education needs.

10. Do you favor a longer school day? Briefly state why. If 'yes' please give your recommendations regarding suggested hours and how to fill that extra time.

In 2002 the state board changed Quality Performance Accreditation Regulations to allow greater local control over the school day, school year, and many other regulations that had been previously controlled by the state. Those regulations went into effect July 1, 2005. These changes were based on learning as the constant and time as the variable. Once again this should be a local decision. I believe the decision should be based upon the needs of the students and districts. Many younger students would have a problem with a longer school day while many older students would be well served to have a longer school day. I would support a study being done to add more hours or extending the year.

11. Do you consider sports/physical education and arts to be part of a core curriculum to provide a first class education for Kansas children?

Absolutely - That is why I supported making Fine Arts credit a requirement for graduation. I think it is imperative children be exposed to all areas so they can become well rounded and able to make life decisions based upon knowledge of various areas.

12. Do you think girls sports should be funded equally to sports for boys?

That is actually a requirement of Federal Title IX. Kansas has an excellent history of compliance with this law.

13. Do you think sex education should be opt-in or opt-out, and do you think this education should include only abstinence?

I support opt-out and abstinence based comprehensive sex education; however, once again, I believe these decisions should be made at the local level. In March 2006 the state board adopted model standards K-12 for health (sex) education for districts to use to develop and improve their local curriculum. Because these standards included opt-in only, I did vote against the adoption; however, the standards themselves are excellent and should be helpful to local districts.

14. During WW II, shots and basic health and dental checkups were provided at many schools because of the shortage of doctors. If implemented today, this would facilitate basic health care for children, lessen absence from classrooms, and alleviate the need for parents to take time off from work.
What resources, including school nurses, should be provided by schools to take care of sex education, administer medications, and provide basic health services for children?

Again, this is a local decision of how local districts determine to use their funding.
Actually some districts have developed such programs, others do not feel they are
necessary. There is no one size fits all policy for this.

15. Do you think schools should provide more mental health information and services in the schools?

Again, many districts do have such services available for both students and families many
times through cooperative agreements with local county mental health departments.
Students and families are referred to these services. Also some districts offer classes or
learning opportunities through PTA units. It is up to what local districts think is best..

16. Do you favor requiring teachers to develop Individual Education Plans (IEPs) that will include measurable goals and objectives?

IEPs are a special education requirement that would be difficult in both time and other resources to provide this level of services. However, many districts have found ways for individual students to work cooperatively with their teacher to track each student's progress. It has been found to be an excellent tool which allows students to understand their involvement in education.

17. Do you think schools should be held accountable for maximizing a child's potential, or just providing 'some' progress? And do you think the schools should be required to provide education and experiences that are designed to maximize each child's potential?

Yes, to the degree that schools are able to do that. The student who does not come to school or whose parents move very often would make this will be difficult to impossible. But again as families and schools work more closely together, all parties will be better able to help the student learn to his/her potential. This has been done very successfully in some of our most high risk schools.

18. Do you think it is the responsibility of administrators or of teachers to resolve disciplinary problems with students?

One of the top priorities every school should have is a safe/orderly environment. Students cannot learn unless this is happening. Therefore, each district should have their own discipline policy determined by their local boards. If I had more time, I could share the experience of one of the elementary schools I represent, Anthony Elementary School, and what they have done with some pretty simple changes that has transformed their school from one with more than 100 disciplinary referrals a week to now just a handful each week and a school that was designated as "on improvement" to attaining the Standard of Excellence in math for two years and have missed the same thing in reading by .4% last year. They did this transformation in just four years.

19. What solutions would you propose to address the ever increasing numbers of at-risk students?

The first thing we must do is acknowledge that once the state established learning as the constant and time as the variable, it meant more services would have to be focused on facilitating learning for all students. This allowed local districts and schools greater flexibility in how and when they provide services to students. This also allowed them time to provide meaningful professional development so that educators can learn more skills.

20. Do you think there is too much disparity between the pay of administrators and teachers? AND What do you think should be the starting pay for a teacher?

No, actually many teachers have told me that even though they have hours beyond their school day, they recognize that administrators have an even greater number of duties and hours. Some have said to me that even though they have the credentials to be an administrator, they didn't think they would seek the position due to the loss of family and personal time. It just wasn't worth it financially.

21. Do you think the policy of tenure should be abolished? Why or why not?

Tenure is up to the legislature not the state board. I think local districts could provide better training for administrators for improved personnel evaluation process.

22. Would you like to eat a school lunch for a week? If not, what would you do to improve lunch menus and food preparation?

Serving as a Youth Friend, for the past six years I have had lunch with a student once a week. Overall I think the lunches were good. They are based on what the nutritional requirements are and what they believe students will like. Once again I believe this is a local decision and should be made at that level. All districts in the state must adopt a wellness policy by July 1. That will impact food and drink choices across the state.

Would you be willing to provide written answers to these questions for distribution to our members AFTER the forums? (To be sent before or soon after the forums to Beverly Johnson preferably by email: kswomen@kswomen.com-or 4949 Shawnee Drive; Kansas City, KS 66106) 913/262-3658-h. (Incumbents have also been invited to submit answers to questions.)
Yes No

Would you be willing to allow the questions-and your answers-to be emailed to members and/or posted online at www.kswomen.com? Yes, sent by email June 2, 2006


(Please keep in mind that all incumbents have held office for at least the past four years.)
John Bacon, District 3 Republilcan, Incumbent
Candidate, State Board of Education

(Did not attend the forum and did not submit answers to our questions.)


Harry McDonald, District 3 Republican
Candidate, State Board of Education

Part 1.
1. Name the three most serious problems our state faces and briefly state how you think the Kansas school system can most effectively address them, and
2. What three specific measures can the KSBE do to most effectively address the previous state problems?
" Adequate funding for our schools is a serious problem. Even before we hear the ruling of the Supreme Court, we know that local districts are divided into winners and losers. This can never be acceptable. Either the legislature ignored the recommendations of its own studies, neither of the two studies established the actual cost of an education, or both. The state board needs to lead the effort to establish more clearly what it is we want to provide for the education of our children, to establish more clearly exactly what that costs, and then work with the legislature to see that those costs are fully funded for everyone.
" Attracting and retaining highly qualified teachers - This problem is never clearer than in the shortages of math, science, and special education teachers, to name a few. The statistics show that our schools of education are not producing the quantity of new teachers in these fields needed to replace retiring ones. Couple this with the tendency of 50% of new teachers leaving education in the first five years of teaching and we have a problem. What I know is that Commissioner Corkins' proposal to weaken our standards for granting provisional licenses to help in these areas of shortage shows a lack of respect for and a lack of understanding of the value of quality teachers. Here we have NCLB mandating highly qualified teachers in every classroom and he proposes putting teachers in who have no qualifications whatsoever, not even the requirement for a degree. I believe the State Board needs to identify this as an urgent issue and convene a task force of business/community leaders, schools of education faculty, K-12 educators and administrators, and appropriate civic organizations to address this issue. I believe that while other efforts, by any one of these groups, may succeed in some limited way, our only chance to permanently solve this problem is through a state-wide, all-hands-on-deck approach.

" The third serious problem is the need for the state board to focus on these and other problems and provide the leadership needed to deal with them. In addition to the challenges listed above, Kansas must deal with narrowing the achievement gap, NCLB including developing recommendations for its reauthorization next year, consolidation issues, implementation of the student information system, ongoing development and implementation of state assessments, and the negative atmosphere developing between the commissioner, the state board, and local school districts. Instead of dealing with these critical issues, the current board majority occupies its valuable time pursuing personal agendas. For the last year the board has debated opt-in versus opt-out, abstinence-only versus abstinence-plus, local reading selections, and the wisdom of imposing charter schools on local districts even after they have been rejected by local boards. All of this is an absolute waste of time as these are all items appropriately left to local districts to decide, and which have not been identified by anyone as critical issues. They are critical issues only on the personal agendas of certain board members.

3. What are your three strongest qualifications to be elected to the KSBE?
My strongest qualifications are:
" A deep understanding of the challenges facing public education in Kansas developed from 32 years of educational experience and service at the building, district, state, and national levels, having served on a variety of committees and educational organizations at these levels.
" Leadership skills gained as a company commander in the Army, from service as the chair of numerous committees at the local and state levels, and service as an officer including president of numerous organizations working for the improvement of education in Kansas.
" Experience gained throughout a career advocating for quality education. I am not simply objecting to the current board, but have fought for educational improvement for years.
" I possess the experience, understanding, and leadership to get the job done.

4. What are the key criteria you would adopt in searching for a Kansas Commissioner of Education?
I'm sure I'll leave something out here, but here is a list that begins to identify key criteria.
" Educational experience - This would normally come from experience as a superintendent, but I could see hiring special individuals who held other administrative positions or were teachers.
" First preference would go to someone with a PhD in some form of education.
" Demonstrated ability as a leader - I would look for evidence that this person had produced positive change in the organization he or she managed. I would look for positive references from subordinates or community members who are far enough removed that their endorsements would not likely be unduly influenced. In some way, the candidate needs to demonstrate an ability to promote positive relationships both with subordinates as well as with other local school district personnel and board members.
" Innovation - I would look for evidence that this person had demonstrated creativity or resourcefulness in implementing innovation within the organization they managed. I would look for an understanding that innovation must be monitored and plans modified or abandoned if the data did not indicate effectiveness.
" Fiscal responsibility - I would look for individuals who had managed large sums of money efficiently. An example would be a superintendent whose district exhibited little educational disruption during the last decade of under-funding, or one where construction budgets were skillfully managed.

5. What are your top three priorities to best ensure compliance with No Child Left Behind and to ensure that Kansas education continues to keep its relatively high national rating in education?
My top three priorities to ensure Kansas maintains the current high quality of a public education while promoting compliance with NCLB are:
" To work for 100% funding for all state and national mandates including national funding for NCLB, state funding for special education, full funding for transportation when students cannot safely walk to school, as well as full funding of what it takes to educate a child without reliance on an LOB.
" To work on narrowing the achievement gap between various groups of students. This is particularly necessary for minorities, students from poorer families and students with special needs. The State Department of Education, under the direction of the state board, should play a leading role in developing and identifying innovative programs to address these needs, while providing support for districts which implement these programs.
" To work on insuring that the state is not adding to the challenge of NCLB through excessive regulation. At the same time, aggressively lobby to have the unreasonable expectations of NCLB changed, and to have the emphasis of NCLB shifted from a punitive approach to a supportive one.

6. Regarding content of sex education and choice of books, who should make the decisions - the state board or local school boards?
All curricular decisions should be left to local school boards. This is the level of government which is most responsive to the needs and wishes of the local community. One size doesn't fit all in clothing, and one curriculum doesn't address all local needs. While Wichita successfully implements an opt-in approach, Kansas City is equally enthusiastic about using an opt-out approach. I am aghast at the state board majority thinking that their personal views on curricular issues should be imposed on every community in Kansas, that their wisdom exceeds that of locally elected officials. In the case of book selection, I am equally frightened of what will happen if a minority of parents, disappointed with local curricular decisions, finds a sympathetic state board willing to impose the "wisdom of Topeka" on local communities. This is not an issue of parental involvement. Parents in all communities can opt their children out of local curriculum content or ask for an alternative books, etc. Opting-in does not insure any more involvement than opting-out. What the state board majority wants to do is impose their will on all the parents of Kansas.

7. In the face of numerous challenges, what can you do to give educators the kinds of support they need to achieve the goals set by No Child Left Behind?
Here are some things we can do to support teachers as they strive to meet NCLB requirements.
" Provide new teachers with mentors to help them better address the needs of their students while giving them the least challenging students and teaching schedules. Certainly veteran teachers are better able to meet the needs of challenging classes and students than those new to the school and the profession. If we are serious about leaving no child behind, we need to put our best people in charge of our biggest challenges and pay them accordingly.
" Provide all teachers with the opportunity to collaborate and make group academic decisions using Professional Learning Communities or a similar model.
" Provide funding which will allow districts to purchase the texts, supplemental materials, hardware, and software necessary to provide for the needs of every learner.

Part 2

Part 3.
1. Do you believe that many people simultaneously have a faith belief in a spiritual creator and an acceptance of the scientific theory of evolution?
My perception of other peoples' beliefs should have no bearing whatsoever on my performance as a state board member. If I tried to act on such a perception, I would inevitably be acting in such a manner as to promote one religion over another, not an appropriate role for a governmental body.

Suffice it to say that science takes no position on the supernatural and in no way attempts to inform people one way or another about creation or any other act of God. Failure to comment is not the same as promoting a belief that there is no God. Math doesn't take a position on God, nor does Spanish or band.

Let science be taught in science class. Let religion be taught at home and in church. Do not expect my personal opinion of peoples' beliefs to influence my decisions as a board member.

2. Do you believe that scientific theories are constantly being examined and that they are subject to change over time as the general scientific community reaches new conclusions based on scientific research?

Once again, my beliefs should be unimportant here. While I know the answer to this because I am a career science teacher, lack of knowledge by other board members should not affect their decisions.

No board member is an expert in all curricular areas, and so, though given the power to act contrary to expert advice, they perform their public function best by adhering to said advice.

Whether board members have personal knowledge that science operates as described above, the scientific community says it does. That should be sufficient to inform a board member on any decisions involving this matter.

3. Do you believe that religious faith beliefs should be subject to new findings of archaeology, understandings of Bible scholars, historical research, and other scientific disciplines?

It is none of my business as a state board member how people develop their personal religious beliefs. Whether they use the acquisition of new knowledge to inform their beliefs is entirely up to them and no state board decisions should be affected one way or another by any individual's practice of their faith.

4. If you believe that the Biblical creation story should be taught in schools, which of the creation stories would you have taught?

I do not believe that schools should be dealing with creation stories as a regular part of the curriculum. If a local district wants to have a class on comparative religions, I would encourage as many different stories as possible be studied, both faith variations within a religion as well as faith variations between religions. With the impossibility of discussing all variations, schools would need to be careful not to promote one religion over another.

I certainly do not believe any creation story should ever be taught in science class because no creation story can be established scientifically. Science can neither confirm nor deny the supernatural. How individuals inform their personal beliefs is not appropriate content for a science class.

5. Do you believe religious concepts should be taught in science classes or in classes of comparative religions, philosophy, or something similar?
I do not believe that schools should be dealing with religious concepts as a regular part of the curriculum. If a local district wants to have a class on comparative religions or something similar, I would encourage as many different religions as possible be studied, both faith variations within a religion as well as faith variations between religions. With the impossibility of discussing all variations, schools would need to be careful not to promote one religion over another.

At no time should religious concepts ever be taught in science class because no religious concept can be established scientifically. Science can neither confirm nor deny the supernatural. How individuals inform their personal beliefs is not appropriate content for a science class.

6. What classes do you think belong in the core curriculum to provide a first class education for Kansas children?
I believe language arts, math, science, social studies, and foreign language are the core academic disciplines which should be offered including as wide a variety of classes within each discipline as possible. I also believe that an introduction in fine arts, performing arts, physical education, and computer applications is necessary to provide a first class education. In an attempt to meet the needs of every learner, special education resources, a library, counseling, nursing, a psychologist, family and consumer science, and vocational offerings need to be provided. A society has the need for clubs and activities, athletic and otherwise. In our society, these are primarily provided by schools. Until some other system is implemented, these should be provided as meets the needs of the local community.

7. What do you think about a state-wide program of distance learning through video and/or internet?
Basically we have this now. Various agencies around the state already offer distance learning opportunities with many districts participating. One step beyond this is the new concept of virtual schools. The state now has several virtual schools with growing enrollment. Both regular credit and credit recover, for those who have fallen behind, are available. These schools are accredited by the KSBE and they are monitored as this new concept grows. It is only appropriate that our rural heritage helps drive us to the forefront in providing such services.

8. In your opinion, do you think that schools should provide all-day kindergarten? If so, who do you think should make that decision - the State Board or local school districts?
I believe every district should have the funds available if they want to provide all day kindergarten. This decision should be made at the local level. Whether or not a child attends all-day or half-day should be decided on a child-by-child basis by the parents in consultation with the local district.

9. How much control do you think the State Board should have over how the local districts spend their funds?
Within the boundaries of the law, local districts should have complete control over the spending of education dollars. The local boards are in a much better position to monitor these funds and safeguard the public interest. The local board is responsible for filing whatever reports are required as they complete this task. The state board needs to exercise whatever oversight of these reports is required by law.

10. Do you favor a longer school day? Briefly state why. If 'yes' please give your recommendations regarding suggested hours and how to fill the extra time.
Once again, this is a decision which should be made at the local level by local school boards in response to community needs. A more proper function of the state board would be to require additional hours of instruction per year if evidence suggests it is needed. Local boards could then provide this by either lengthening the school day, extending the school year, or both.

11. Do you consider sports/physical education and arts to be part of a core curriculum to provide a first class education for Kansas children?
Both art and physical education should be offered to provide a first class education. These would not be the central focus of the curriculum but an integral part non-the-less. With the recent reports on childhood obesity, renewed emphasis on physical education is imperative. The arts are certainly part of what enriches and fulfills our humanity. Our children need both to ensure their health and complete intellectual development.

12. Do you think girls sports should be funded equally to sports for boys?
This is the law of the land and I support it 100%. Neither of my sisters had a chance to participate in sports when they were in school because none were provided. During my 25 year coaching career, I helped introduce cross country as a girls sport and had a team participate in the very first state meet. In track, I helped introduce girls pole vault in the early 80's watching it bloom into a state event in the late 90's. I also helped introduce the girl's triple jump, 3200 meter run, javelin, 300 meter hurdles, and 4 X 800 meter relay. I lobbied individually for many of these and helped found the state track and cross country coaches association which championed the others. We introduced these into all our meets years before they ever became state events.

13. Do you think sex education should be opt-in or opt-out, and do you think this education should include only abstinence?
Yes, sex education should be either opt-in or opt-out, but the decision as to which should be made by the local district reflecting local community needs. The proper role of the state board is to produce model standards for sex education from which districts can use to develop their own curriculum. Attempts by state board members, to impose their personal views/morals on every local community in Kansas, are highly inappropriate. This same reasoning applies to the decision of abstinence-only versus abstinence-plus. Wichita has a wonderful abstinence-plus program and they have asked the state board not to require them to change. As a true local-control proponent, I am incensed that the state board majority is considering tying the accreditation of Wichita schools to their implementing abstinence-only sex education.

14. What resources, including school nurses, should be provided by schools to take care of sex education, administer medications, and provide basic health services for children?
School nurses should be provided to address the basic health needs of children which they can provide. Other than that, I do not favor requiring additional health services to be provided by schools unless funds are provided. NO MORE UNFUNDED MANDATES. If a community wishes to provide more in their local schools and they can find the funding, wonderful. Perhaps another option to expand the health services provided like was done during World War II would be to have local health agencies establish clinics in schools to provide such extended care. In any case, I resist attempts to impose new mandates, no matter how beneficial, on schools without providing funding.

15. Do you think schools should provide more mental health information and services in the schools?
I do not favor requiring additional health services to be provided by schools unless funds are provided. NO MORE UNFUNDED MANDATES. If a community wishes to provide more in their local schools and they can find the funding, wonderful. Perhaps another option to expand the health services provided like was done during World War II would be to have local health agencies establish clinics in schools to provide such extended care. In any case, I resist attempts to impose new mandates, no matter how beneficial, on schools without providing funding.

16. Do you favor requiring teachers to develop Individual Education Plans (IEPs) that will include measurable goals and objectives?
This is already in place and required by law for students with special needs. I support this 100%. Some schools are already moving to do this for every student. This is a wonderful idea if the district wishes to do so voluntarily. I do not, however, favor mandating anything, no matter how good an idea, unless the mandate is funded 100%. It has been too easy over the years for us to require more and more of schools and then complain that the cost of educating our children is out-stripping inflation. It is time for us to pay for what we want. NO MORE UNFUNDED MANDATES.

17. Do you think schools should be held accountable for maximizing a child's potential, or just providing 'some' progress? And do you think the schools should be required to provide education and experiences that are designed to maximize each child's potential?
What a wonderful idea, holding schools accountable for maximizing a child's potential. The problem is we could never measure this, if for no other reason than we don't know what a child's potential is. It is impossible enough for schools to achieve the goal of 100% of students achieving proficiency in core learnings. That is because there are so many outside factors influencing learning over which schools have no control. Even the second question is deceptively over-simplistic. Again, how could we measure what was designed to maximize potential and what was not. This would be a good goal for local school districts, one they could continually strive to meet, but it would be a poor idea for a state agency that would then have to measure attainment.

18. Do you think it is the responsibility of administrators or of teachers to resolve disciplinary problems with students?
It is the responsibility of administrators, teachers, and parents to resolve disciplinary problems. An attempt to hold only one of these partners responsible is unfair. Administrators need to establish expectations of students and teachers and hold them both responsible. They need to fully support teachers as they enforce discipline. Teachers need to set appropriate classroom discipline expectations and enforce them. Parents need to establish behavioral expectations at home, enforce those expectations, and support teachers and administrators when these school officials discipline their child.

19. What solutions would you propose to address the ever increasing numbers of at-risk students?
I suppose this means addressing the needs of at-risk students because my experience tells me the number of at-risk students is more a product of society, and not a product of the schools. As a state board member, I would strive to have the Department of Education develop and identify successful approaches to dealing with our at-risk population. These programs would then be made available to local districts to implement as appropriate. As a potential board member, I recently attended a meeting about Higher M-Pact, a program designed to address the needs of high-risk urban students. The program currently operates only in Kansas City, Missouri. While the usefulness of the program in our schools has yet to be established, I made this initial contact because I am concerned about our ability to help at-risk youth, and I am willing to spend my time to investigate ways to do so.

20. Do you think there is too much disparity between the pay of administrators and teachers? AND what do you think should be the starting pay for a teacher?
I do not think there is too much disparity between administrators and teachers. In the runaway compensation of corporate CEOs, it is not uncommon to find executives compensated at rates tens of times greater than the average employee. Superintendents in Kansas are compensated in the range of one and a half to two and a half times the average teacher. I do not find this unreasonable. Lower administrators are not compensated this high with some earning less than some teachers. In any case, these compensation levels should be established through negotiations at the district level. The ratio of administrator to teacher pay should be based on community norms and expectations. The starting pay of teachers needs to be competitive with that which a similarly educated person could expect to earn in the same community. Only then will we have a chance to attract a healthy supply of teachers to our schools.

21. Do you think the policy of tenure should be abolished? Why or why not?
Due process laws do as much to protect students' right to know as they do to protect teachers' jobs. If teachers can be fired without just cause it can have a dampening effect on their willingness to expose children to curriculum-appropriate material which happens to offend an administrator or board member. Remember, due process does not keep teachers from being fired or non-renewed. It simply provides that administrators must have properly evaluated teachers and have a justifiable reason for terminating the teacher. Failure to establish this justification is the only thing limiting administrative action.

22. Would you like to eat a school lunch for a week? If not, what would you do to improve lunch menus and food preparation?
Been there. Done that. For the most part it is a myth that schools do not provide tasty, nutritious meals. I have eaten school lunches off and on for 32 years. Even in retirement, I occasionally visit a school and enjoy lunch. Just last week I ate a school lunch at Troy and commented on the quality of the cooking. The teachers all said, yes, their cooks were excellent. Not that schools can't strive to do better. In point of fact, Kansas has standards for school lunch programs. There are also federal mandates dealing with nutrition. Our schools are constantly striving to improve the food we serve our children. Most, if not all, of our schools now offer breakfast in addition to lunch. Many students voluntarily buy school lunches, but, for far too many of our children, school lunches provide them their major source of nutrition. I wish this wasn't such a vital service, but I am happy to say we provide it. As a board member I will strive to continue and improve the strong tradition of quality school lunches. What I won't do is criticize our current efforts.

Would you be willing to provide written answers to these questions for distribution to our members AFTER the forums? YES

Would you be willing to allow the questions - and your answers- to be emailed to members and/or posted online at www.kswomen.com? YES

Printed name: Harry E. McDonald III Date: June 6, 2006


David Oliphant, District 3, Republican
Candidate, State Board of Education

(Did not turn in answers to questions asked at the forum)


(Please keep in mind that all incumbents have held office for at least the past four years.)
Connie Morris, District 5, Republican, Incumbent
Candidate, State Board of Education

PART 1
We will hear from candidates beginning with District #1, and in alphabetical order within districts. Each candidate will be given four (4) minutes to answer the following seven (7) questions. (40 min. total for all ten candidates.)
1. Please name the three most serious problems our state faces and briefly state how you think the Kansas school system can most effectively address them…AND
Rigor, discipline and ethics are among the top concerns I hold regarding public education. Addressing these problems is not tied to more funding. Long held traditions in public education need to be systematically reviewed and boldly debated for ideas and approaches for improvement.
2. What three specific measures can the KSBE do to most effectively address the previous state problems? Please give specific actions, not general philosophies.
" Encourage schools to transition from Bilingual Education to One-Year English Immersion as is done in several other states with equal or greater results and far less expense.
" Empower and engage parents in their child's education by implementing real school choice.
" Change the hierarchy of top down public education. Administration should not earn double, sometimes triple the salary of teachers!
3. What are your three strongest qualifications to be elected to the KSBE?
" Licensed Teacher in three states.
" Farmer, ranch and operate small, family business, as do many Kansas families.
" Financially, physically and otherwise capable of handling the tremendous demands of a practically volunteer public service position.
4. What are the key criteria you would adopt in searching for a Kansas Commissioner of Education?
" Passion
" Commitment
" Education/Training/Experience
5. What are your top three priorities to best ensure compliance with No Child Left Behind and to ensure that Kansas Education continues to keep its relatively high national rating in education (generally rated 4th to 8th, and certainly in the top 10)?
I am not a fan of NCLB and would prefer to find ways to comply with the needs of Kansas children and families instead of compliance with NCLB. I am also unconcerned with our high national ranking, but grievously concerned about our LOW international ranking. How to address our low ranking internationally? 1. Secure our borders 2. One-Year English Immersion 3. Encourage National pride and sovereignty by many approaches, one being by maintaining rigorous and accurate History/Government/Social Studies Standards.
6. Regarding content of sex education and choice of books, who should make the decisions-the State Board or local school boards?
When pornography is involved, the state must intervene.
7. In the face of corporate illegalities regarding hiring practices, changing demographics, lack of security, English Language Learners (ELL), a decreased level of literacy, decreased knowledge of good parenting skills, diminished participation of and support from parents-what can you do to give educators the kinds of support they need to achieve the goals set by No Child Left Behind? See above responses.

PART 2 (20 min. total)
Beginning with District 9 in Reverse alphabetical order, each candidate will ask one question of your own choosing of any another candidate on the panel. (1 minute max for question; 1 minute for answer.)
No answers. Was not present for this part.


PART 3 (10 min. total)
Beginning with District #9 in reverse alphabetical order, each candidate will draw a number which corresponds to a numbered question below. If you do not like that question, you may draw a second number and answer which ever one of the two you prefer-state the number you choose, and put the rejected number back in the 'pot'. Each candidate is allowed one (1) minutemaximum to answer.

1. Do you believe that many people (perhaps a majority) simultaneously have a faith belief in a spiritual creator and an acceptance of the scientific theory of evolution?
Yes, but unfortunately are ill-informed.

2. Do you believe that scientific theories are constantly being examined and that they are subject to change over time as the general scientific community reaches new conclusions based on scientific research?
They should be, but the theory of evolution seems to be exempt from such scrutiny.

3. Do you believe that religious faith beliefs should be subject to new findings of archaeology, understandings of Bible scholars, historical research, and other scientific disciplines?
That's up to the believer, isn't it?

4. If you believe that the Biblical creation story should be taught in schools, which of the creation stories would you have taught? Would you include other faith beliefs such as Hinduism, Islam, variations of 'Christian' beliefs, Native American and African beliefs, ancient Greek and Egyptian beliefs, and the belief that mankind might be the result of extraterrestrials?
I do not believe that Biblical creation stories can be taught in public schools. We are unfortunately far beyond that. I do support public funds for school choice as is upheld by the US Supreme Court, so a family may decide where and how they want their child taught about such matters.

5. Do you believe religious concepts should be taught in science classes or in classes of comparative religions, philosophy, or something similar?
See above.

6. What classes do you think belong in a core curriculum to provide a first class education for Kansas children?
I'm undecided. However, my wish list would likely include the basics as we all know them and perhaps Entrepreneurship.

7. What do you think about a state-wide program of distance learning through video and/or internet?
A state-wide program undercuts the numerous, high-quality programs being created and succeeding on the local level. I would like to see a state "clearinghouse" or data bank for all the innovative initiatives going on so that families may find what they are looking for and then enroll and participate via long distance. I wholeheartedly support embracing technology to its fullest to meet our unique educational and economic needs.

8. In your opinion, do you think that schools should provide all-day kindergarten?
If so, who do you think should make that decision-the State Board or local school districts?
Local Boards should decide if they can fiscally and want to provide all-day kindergarten.

9. How much control do you think the State Board should have over how the local districts spend their funds?
Since education in Kansas receives 68% of the state general fund, I believe high accountability is a must.

10. Do you favor a longer school day? Briefly state why. If 'yes' please give your recommendations regarding suggested hours and how to fill that extra time.
No.

11. Do you consider sports/physical education and arts to be part of a core curriculum to provide a first class education for Kansas children?
Yes.

12. Do you think girls sports should be funded equally to sports for boys?
Yes.

13. Do you think sex education should be opt-in or opt-out, and do you think this education should include only abstinence?
Yes. Yes. Please understand what abstinence education is and is not. In general, it teaches the facts including contraception and that there is no mentally, physically, emotionally and financially secure means of safe sex until in a committed marriage relationship.

14. During WW II, shots and basic health and dental checkups were provided at many schools because of the shortage of doctors. If implemented today, this would facilitate basic health care for children, lessen absence from classrooms, and alleviate the need for parents to take time off from work.
What resources, including school nurses, should be provided by schools to take care of sex education, administer medications, and provide basic health services for children? Schools are for education.
One problem we have is that schools are forced to do too much, often outside their training, creating a watered down, spread-too-thin education. I do not support transitioning medical facilities into educational facilities.

15. Do you think schools should provide more mental health information and services in the schools?
See above.

16. Do you favor requiring teachers to develop Individual Education Plans (IEPs) that will include measurable goals and objectives?
I think we should discuss a more direct approach at the high school level to more individualize a student's education. The federal government is well underway in this conversation. I would prefer to preserve state's rights to education and develop our own, more suitable approach before mandated and unfunded to do so.

17. Do you think schools should be held accountable for maximizing a child's potential, or just providing 'some' progress? And do you think the schools should be required to provide education and experiences that are designed to maximize each child's potential?
Given the high quality of educators we enjoy in Kansas as well as the high level of funding we enjoy (and taxpayers endure) I believe it is possible to maximize every child's potential.

18. Do you think it is the responsibility of administrators or of teachers to resolve disciplinary problems with students?
First, Teacher with students then parents, and then administration may need to get involved.

19. What solutions would you propose to address the ever increasing numbers of at-risk students?
School Choice.

20. Do you think there is too much disparity between the pay of administrators and teachers? AND What do you think should be the starting pay for a teacher?
Yes. Starting salary should be negotiable among local board and community without union involvement.

21. Do you think the policy of tenure should be abolished? Why or why not?
Yes. Every employee has a right to due process, after that one should be solely accountable for their performance, attitude, enthusiasm, etc.

22. Would you like to eat a school lunch for a week? If not, what would you do to improve lunch menus and food preparation?
I have and at least in our district they were great!

Would you be willing to provide written answers to these questions for distribution to our members AFTER the forums? (To be sent before or soon after the forums to Beverly Johnson preferably by email: kswomen@kswomen.com-or 4949 Shawnee Drive; Kansas City, KS 66106) 913/262-3658-h. (Incumbents have also been invited to submit answers to questions.)
Yes X No

Would you be willing to allow the questions-and your answers-to be emailed to members and/or posted online at www.kswomen.com?
Yes X No (Sent by email: Printed Name ____Connie Morris June, 6, 2006)


(Please keep in mind that all incumbents have held office for at least the past four years.)
Ken Willard, District 7 Republican, Incumbent
Candidate, State Board of Education

(Was not present at the forum, and did not submit answers to our questions.)

M.T. Liggett, District 7 Republican
Candidate, State Board of Education

(Was not present at the forum, and did not submit answers to our questions.)


Donna Viola, District 7 Republican
Candidate, State Board of Education

(Did not send written answers to Part 1)

KANSAS STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION (KSBE) 4:20 PM - 5:30 PM
PART 1
We will hear from candidates beginning with District #1, and in alphabetical order within
districts. Each candidate will be given four (4) minutes to answer the following seven (7)
questions. (40 min. total for all ten candidates.)

1. Please name the three most serious problems our state faces and briefly state how you
think the Kansas school system can most effectively address them…AND
2. What three specific measures can the KSBE do to most effectively address the previous
state problems? Please give specific actions, not general philosophies.

3. What are your three strongest qualifications to be elected to the KSBE?

4. What are the key criteria you would adopt in searching for a Kansas Commissioner of
Education?

5. What are your top three priorities to best ensure compliance with No Child Left Behind
and to ensure that Kansas Education continues to keep its relatively high national rating
in education (generally rated 4th to 8th, and certainly in the top 10)?

6. Regarding content of sex education and choice of books, who should make the
decisions-the State Board or local school boards?

7. In the face of corporate illegalities regarding hiring practices, changing demographics,
lack of security, English Language Learners (ELL), a decreased level of literacy,
decreased knowledge of good parenting skills, diminished participation of and support
from parents-what can you do to give educators the kinds of support they need to
achieve the goals set by No Child Left Behind?

PART 2 (20 min. total)
Beginning with District 9 in Reverse alphabetical order, each candidate will ask one
question of your own choosing of any another candidate on the panel. (1 minute max for
question; 1 minute for answer.)

PART 3 (10 min. total)
Beginning with District #9 in reverse alphabetical order, each candidate will draw a
number which corresponds to a numbered question below. If you do not like that question,
you may draw a second number and answer which ever one of the two you prefer-state
the number you choose, and put the rejected number back in the 'pot'. Each candidate is
allowed one (1) minutemaximum to answer.

1. Do you believe that many people (perhaps a majority) simultaneously have a faith belief in a spiritual creator and an acceptance of the scientific theory of evolution?
YES
2. Do you believe that scientific theories are constantly being examined and that they are
subject to change over time as the general scientific community reaches new conclusions
based on scientific research?
YES
3. Do you believe that religious faith beliefs should be subject to new findings of archaeology, understandings of Bible scholars, historical research, and other scientific disciplines?
YES

4. If you believe that the Biblical creation story should be taught in schools, which of the
creation stories would you have taught? Would you include other faith beliefs such as
Hinduism, Islam, variations of 'Christian' beliefs, Native American and African beliefs,
ancient Greek and Egyptian beliefs, and the belief that mankind might be the result of
extraterrestrials?
I do not believe Biblical creation story should be taught in schools. This would be a local school board decision.

5. Do you believe religious concepts should be taught in science classes or in classes of
comparative religions, philosophy, or something similar?
This should be a local school board decision. Of those three choices, if it were to be taught it probably should be comparative religions.

6. What classes do you think belong in a core curriculum to provide a first class education for Kansas children?
Core classes should consist of math, science, and language arts. To provide a first class education you have to stretch beyond that core!

7. What do you think about a state-wide program of distance learning through video and/or internet?
This would warrant further study before I could make a decision on it.

8. In your opinion, do you think that schools should provide all-day kindergarten? If so, who do you think should make that decision-the State Board or local school districts?
Yes, I believe schools should provide all-day kindergarten, but this is a local school board
decision.

9. How much control do you think the State Board should have over how the local districts
spend their funds?
None! The State Board of Education's role is about setting Policies and Assessment Standards, and helping to get teacher hired.

10. Do you favor a longer school day? Briefly state why. If 'yes' please give your recommenddations regarding suggested hours and how to fill that extra time.
This would need to be studied more.

11. Do you consider sports/physical education and arts to be part of a core curriculum to provide a first class education for Kansas children?
No, I do not believe it is part of a core curriculum, but, I believe you have to have sports/physical education and arts to provide a first class education in order to go beyond the core.
12. Do you think girls sports should be funded equally to sports for boys? YES

13. Do you think sex education should be opt-in or opt-out, and do you think this education
should include only abstinence?
This is a local school board decision. The local board know far more about their needs than the State Board of Education does. We have opt-in in McPherson and it works very well. I believe this is a good decision because, cases of negligence fall on the side of safety.

14. During WW II, shots and basic health and dental checkups were provided at many schools because of the shortage of doctors. If implemented today, this would facilitate basic health care for children, lessen absence from classrooms, and alleviate the need for parents to take time off from work.
What resources, including school nurses, should be provided by schools to take care of
sex education, administer medications, and provide basic health services for children?
Yes School nurses are very valuable, these are also costly, and it has to be a local school
board decision.

15. Do you think schools should provide more mental health information and services in the schools?
Yes This is very valuable, but it is also a local board decision.

16. Do you favor requiring teachers to develop Individual Education Plans (IEPs) that will
include measurable goals and objectives?
Yes Current law for Special Education mandates it.

17. Do you think schools should be held accountable for maximizing a child's potential, or just providing 'some' progress? And do you think the schools should be required to provide education and experiences that are designed to maximize each child's potential?
I am supportive of this. I think a study would have to be done to show how you measure
that.

18. Do you think it is the responsibility of administrators or of teachers to resolve disciplinary problems with students?
It is both. A joint responsibility.

19. What solutions would you propose to address the ever increasing numbers of at-risk
students?
More qualified teachers and to provide them with the resources they need to teach these students.

20. Do you think there is too much disparity between the pay of administrators and teachers?
AND What do you think should be the starting pay for a teacher?
I do not think administrator's salaries are out of line in comparison to the business sector. I do wish we could pay teachers more.

21. Do you think the policy of tenure should be abolished? Why or why not?
This decision would have to be made by our legislature. I do wish there was a process in which you could hold administration and certified more accountable when doing evaluations.

22. Would you like to eat a school lunch for a week? If not, what would you do to improve lunch menus and food preparation?
When school lunches are prepared there are a lot of different influences that go into making that lunch. First the meal needs to be healthy, it also needs to be inexpensive. It needs to be easy to prepare and in mass quantity, and finally, it is supposed to taste good.

Would you be willing to provide written answers to these questions for distribution to our
members AFTER the forums? (To be sent before or soon after the forums to Beverly
Johnson preferably by email: kswomen@kswomen.com-or 4949 Shawnee Drive; Kansas
City, KS 66106) 913/262-3658-h. (Incumbents have also been invited to submit answers to
questions.)

X Yes No

Would you be willing to allow the questions-and your answers-to be emailed to
members and/or posted online at www.kswomen.com?

X Yes No

Printed Name __Donna Viola__Sent by email_June 6, 2006


Brad Patzer, District 9 Republican
Candidate, State Board of Education

PART 1
We will hear from candidates beginning with District #1, and in alphabetical order within districts. Each candidate will be given four (4) minutes to answer the following seven (7) questions. (40 min. total for all ten candidates.)
1. & 2 Please name the three most serious problems our state faces and briefly state how you think the Kansas school system can most effectively address them…AND, What three specific measures can the KSBE do to most effectively address the previous state problems? Please give specific actions, not general philosophies.
" Over taxation is stifling business and family incomes and is a serious problem-the Kansas school system must do it's part to keep costs down while still maintaining an excellent school system. One specific way of keeping costs down is to expand online educational opportunities for students all over Kansas. This will allow curricula designed around Kansas standards to be available to all students, regardless of the locale they live in.
" Citizen mistrust of government is also a serious problem-Well over half of our state budget-perhaps 2/3 if you include higher education-goes to funding our educational system. The public wants to know where, precisely, their tax dollars are being spent. I submit that a uniform, statewide accounting system for schools and school districts, that even the common citizen can understand, will allow for an open public debate about educational priorities. It is not enough to tell citizens to come by the local school board to find out the information-as public stewards, schools need to pro-actively inform the general public how it allocates it's resources.
" The shift in demographics away from rural communities is another significant problem-Kansas needs strong and vibrant rural communities. Typically, the local school serves as the centerpiece of these communities. I submit that a renewed emphasis on vocational academics and entrepreneurship will allow communities to create and maintain local jobs. Many people desire to live in rural communities, but they must have work to do so. Furthermore, a renewed emphasis on vocational academics increases the relevance of education for our at-risk students, thereby increasing the likelihood that they will complete their schooling and go on to become contributors to the local economy and community.

3. What are your three strongest qualifications to be elected to the KSBE?
" I have been recognized for educational excellence and innovation at the national level for my work with at-risk teenagers. When resources are scarce, one must be creative to find solutions. I bring creativity to the table.
" I have a myriad of experience at all levels of education-having worked with students at every age level, including serving as the administrator/program director of a day care, working with detainees at a county jail desiring to earn their (General Education Diploma) G.E.D., to teaching classes to in-service teachers to help them meet new certification requirements.
" Finally, I have the ability to work well with people. State School Board members must work well with a myriad of people, from parents, to local school board members, to legislators. My people skills are solid.

4. What are the key criteria you would adopt in searching for a Kansas Commissioner of Education?
The effective leader of any organization must be adept at two major functions.
" S/he must be able to effectively set the vision for the organization, and
" S/he must be able to effectively manage the organization.
5. What are your top three priorities to best ensure compliance with No Child Left Behind and to ensure that Kansas Education continues to keep its relatively high national rating in education (generally rated 4th to 8th, and certainly in the top 10)?
" Expand the involvement of parents in the education of their children. We have, "No Child Left Behind," but what we really need is something akin to "No parent left behind," if we want to ensure the success of our students.
" Ensure that schools develop collegiality and effectively utilize performance data to inform the instructional process, and,
" Ensuring that highly qualified teachers are available to teach our children. There is a looming teacher shortage that must be addressed if we are going to continue to be one of the premier education states.
6. Regarding content of sex education and choice of books, who should make the decisions-the State Board or local school boards?
" Both. The State Constitution makes it clear that, "Local public schools under the general
" supervision of the state board of education shall be maintained, developed and operated by locally elected boards" (Article VI, section 5).
7. In the face of corporate illegalities regarding hiring practices, changing demographics, lack of security, English Language Learners (ELL), a decreased level of literacy, decreased knowledge of good parenting skills, diminished participation of and support from parents-what can you do to give educators the kinds of support they need to achieve the goals set by No Child Left Behind?
Empowerment and vision. Our school system that was designed to be effective during the industrial age. We need to work within the system to see that educators and parents have the tools they need to be successful, but we also need to be open to modifying the system to provide additional flexibility and freedom for parents and educators to accomplish the goal of preparing our students to be successful spouses, parents, workers and citizens. As historian Will Durant has stated, "Education is the transmission of civilization," from one generation to the next. We cannot afford to get it wrong.

PART 2 (20 min. total)
Beginning with District 9 in Reverse alphabetical order, each candidate will ask one question of your own choosing of any another candidate on the panel. (1 minute max for question; 1 minute for answer.)


PART 3 (10 min. total)
Beginning with District #9 in reverse alphabetical order, each candidate will draw a number which corresponds to a numbered question below. If you do not like that question, you may draw a second number and answer which ever one of the two you prefer-state the number you choose, and put the rejected number back in the 'pot'. Each candidate is allowed one (1) minutemaximum to answer.

1. Do you believe that many people (perhaps a majority) simultaneously have a faith belief in a spiritual creator and an acceptance of the scientific theory of evolution?

It doesn't matter what I believe about this issue. The recently adopted science standards define science as, "a systematic method of continuing investigation that uses observation, hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory building, to lead to more adequate explanations of natural phenomena." Science should be based on that which is observable, measurable, repeatable, testable and falsifiable. Government should ensure a level playing field. Non-theistic religions should not be favored over theistic ones.

2. Do you believe that scientific theories are constantly being examined and that they are subject to change over time as the general scientific community reaches new conclusions based on scientific research?
I hope so.

3. Do you believe that religious faith beliefs should be subject to new findings of archaeology, understandings of Bible scholars, historical research, and other scientific disciplines?
How people choose to accept their religious beliefs is up to them. However, I do not believe that non-theistic religions should receive favoritism in our school curricula.

4. If you believe that the Biblical creation story should be taught in schools, which of the creation stories would you have taught? Would you include other faith beliefs such as Hinduism, Islam, variations of 'Christian' beliefs, Native American and African beliefs, ancient Greek and Egyptian beliefs, and the belief that mankind might be the result of extraterrestrials?
I believe that students should be presented with all scientific evidence-that which is observable, measurable, repeatable, testable, and falsifiable.

5. Do you believe religious concepts should be taught in science classes or in classes of comparative religions, philosophy, or something similar?
What religious concepts do you mean? Ones like, "do not steal?" or ones like life somehow evolved out of non-life? The very basis of our national character is based on religious concepts such as those found in the Ten Commandments. These values should be taught in all classes.

6. What classes do you think belong in a core curriculum to provide a first class education for Kansas children?
Our state board has done a good job designing the core curricula for Kansas children. I do not see a need to significantly modify the core curricula established by them.

7. What do you think about a state-wide program of distance learning through video and/or internet?
State-wide distance learning should be expanded. These programs offer parents and students who do not currently attend large schools with expansive programs access to the same high quality curricula that the larger schools offer.

8. In your opinion, do you think that schools should provide all-day kindergarten? If so, who do you think should make that decision-the State Board or local school districts?
If local school districts choose to establish all-day kindergartens because their patrons want it, that is entirely up to them.

9. How much control do you think the State Board should have over how the local districts spend their funds?
The State Board is responsible for setting the broad educational policies for the state. As such, they should have enough control over funding to be ensure broad compliance.

10. Do you favor a longer school day? Briefly state why. If 'yes' please give your recommendations regarding suggested hours and how to fill that extra time.
No. Long school days with extra-curricular activities take away from family time enough already.

11. Do you consider sports/physical education and arts to be part of a core curriculum to provide a first class education for Kansas children?
No. Sports and physical education are a vital part of extra-curricular activities, but are not apart of the core curriculum

12. Do you think girls sports should be funded equally to sports for boys?
Yes.

13. Do you think sex education should be opt-in or opt-out, and do you think this education should include only abstinence?
Parents are a child's first and most important teacher. Opt-in sex education courses ensure vital communication between parents and children about sensitive subject matter. Abstinence only curricula has shown itself effective in reducing high risk behavior among teenagers and should be adopted. Just as we do not teach students how to speed without being caught in drivers ed courses, so we should not teach students how to have sex without getting pregnant. Abstinence-Plus, or Comprehensive Sex Ed type curricula is ineffective.

14. During WW II, shots and basic health and dental checkups were provided at many schools because of the shortage of doctors. If implemented today, this would facilitate basic health care for children, lessen absence from classrooms, and alleviate the need for parents to take time off from work.
What resources, including school nurses, should be provided by schools to take care of sex education, administer medications, and provide basic health services for children?
None.

15. Do you think schools should provide more mental health information and services in the schools?
Not necessarily.

16. Do you favor requiring teachers to develop Individual Education Plans (IEPs) that will include measurable goals and objectives?
No.

17. Do you think schools should be held accountable for maximizing a child's potential, or just providing 'some' progress? And do you think the schools should be required to provide education and experiences that are designed to maximize each child's potential?
No. parents should be held accountable for maximizing a child's potential. If, however, parents find that a school does not provide the services they desire, they should be free to choose an alternative school that will.

18. Do you think it is the responsibility of administrators or of teachers to resolve disciplinary problems with students?
Both, as long as the parents are included in the process.

19. What solutions would you propose to address the ever increasing numbers of at-risk students?
This is beyond the scope of my expertise. However, at-risk students generally are in that position because of the breakdown of the family. Strengthen the family and you will decrease the number of at-risk students.

20. Do you think there is too much disparity between the pay of administrators and teachers? AND What do you think should be the starting pay for a teacher?
Some administrators make more than our Governor. I think in at least some cases, there is a disparity between administrators and teachers. However, in a free market system, individuals should be free to negotiate their salary with their employer. If we find that there is a shortage of teachers, then that sends a signal to the rest of society that additional incentives need to be put into place to attract teachers; this may be in the form of increased pay, or it may take some other form.

21. Do you think the policy of tenure should be abolished? Why or why not?
Tenure may have outlived it's usefulness now that legal procedures are in place to ensure that employees are dismissed fairly.

22. Would you like to eat a school lunch for a week? If not, what would you do to improve lunch menus and food preparation?
Yes.


Would you be willing to provide written answers to these questions for distribution to our members AFTER the forums? (To be sent before or soon after the forums to Beverly Johnson preferably by email: kswomen@kswomen.com-or 4949 Shawnee Drive; Kansas City, KS 66106) 913/262-3658-h. (Incumbents have also been invited to submit answers to questions.)
Yes

Would you be willing to allow the questions-and your answers-to be emailed to members and/or posted online at www.kswomen.com?
Yes No
Attached are my answers to all of the forum questions--you may disregard the previous email.
Printed Name ______Email answers received from Brad Patzer 6/9/06


Kent Runyan, District 9 Democrat
Candidate, State Board of Education

(On June 9, 2007, submitted printed answers to questions; answers have been requested by email.)


Jana Shaver, District 9 Republican
Candidate, State Board of Education

1. Please name the three most serious problems our state faces and briefly state how you think the Kansas school system can most effectively address them.
" The economy. Revenues in Kansas grew 7% last year compared to national growth of 14%. Southeast Kansas has been particularly hurt. Available labor may be the tool most important to attract economic development.. A strong public education system will prepare young people for the jobs that business and industry are creating. If jobs cannot be filled with skilled workers, business and industry go elsewhere
" Population shift-Our small, rural communities are at-risk. If they are to survive and thrive, they must be able to retain those young people who cherish the small-town lifestyle and recruit new residents, by attracting small business and industry. School systems can play a role by better preparing high school students for college and by providing a high level of basic and workforce skills that prepare students to be productive workers in the 21st century.
" Crime and drugs-A majority of crime is related to the sale and use of drugs. Well educated, productive citizens don't need to turn to drugs. Drug education should be emphasized in the early grades. Schools can work even closer with local law enforcement to provide drug education.

2. What three specific measures can the KSBE do to most effectively address the previous state problems. (specific actions)

" Support innovative programs, like High Schools That Work, a school-wide initiative that promotes strengthening graduation requirements for high schools and better prepares students for college and for work. The provides higher levels of math, language arts and science. Some states are requiring this program in schools which fail to meet adequate yearly progress for No School Left Behind.
" Support early intervention programs, such as pre-school and all day kindergarten.
" Provide high quality professional development programs which allow time for collaboration for teachers and administrators along with mentoring new teachers in the profession.
3. What are your three strongest qualifications to be elected to the KSBE?
" I am a native Kansas, educated in Kansas, worked in public schools in Kansas for 27 years as a classroom teacher and curriculum director.
" A personal commitment to children and education. I started an after school program for students in my community and have served on the pre-school board at my church for many years.
" Experience serving on policy making boards. I have served on the Board of Trustees at Independence Community College for eight years.

4. What are the key criteria you would adopt in searching for a Kansas Commissioner of Education?
" Experience and credibility in the field of education.
" Commitment to meeting the major challenge of public education: that of providing an education to every child in Kansas.
" Desire to have the department provide help and assistance to public schools.
" Good communications skills

4. What are your top three priorities to best ensure compliance with No Child Left Behind and to ensure that Kansas Education continues to keep its relatively high national ranking.
" Teacher retention, recruitment, and training. One of the four reforms that actually help student performance in the long term is better retention and training for teachers.
" Strengthening early-intervention programs for 40% of students who are classified "at-risk". We need to begin early to identify their strengths and to help meet their individual needs.
" Continuing to set high standards in all areas of the curriculum for all students.

5. Regarding content of sex education and choice of books, who should make the decisions - the State Board or local school boards.
" I strongly favor local control on these issues. Communities in Kansas are very diverse Local boards know their students, their parents and the needs of their communities.

6. What can you do to give educators the kinds of support they need to achieve the goals set by No Child Left Behind?

" Lobby Washington D.C. to increase federal spending to help meet mandates.
" Simplify the regulations, if possible. Greater flexibility in accountability.
" Make staff available to provide training and support. Providing a well-educated staff at the KSBE who can provide assistance and training.

Part 3.

1. Do you believe that many people (maybe a majority) simultaneously have a faith belief in a spiritual creator and an acceptance of the scientific theory of evolution.
" Yes, I do


2. Do you believe that scientific theories are constantly being examined and that they are subject to change over time as the general scientific community reaches new conclusions based on scientific research?
Yes, I do.

3. Do you believe that religious faith beliefs should be subject to new findings of archeology, understandings of Bible scholars, historical research, and other scientific disciplines?
That would be up to the different faiths themselves.

4. If you believe that the Biblical creation story should be taught in schools, which of the creation stories would you have taught? Would you include other faith beliefs such as Hinduism, Islam, variations of 'Christian' beliefs, Native American and African beliefs, ancient Green and Egyptian beliefs, and other belief that mankind might be the result of extraterrestrials?
I do not believe that religion should be taught in public schools, except in classes of religions or of philosophy. Our constitution, which was established to protect religious freedom, is clear on the separation of church and state.

5. Do you believe religious concepts should be taught in science classes or in classes of comparative religions, philosophy, or something similar?
See my answer to previous question #4.

6. What classes do you think belong in a core curriculum to provide a first
Class education for Kansas children? I believe that we must set high standards in the areas of reading, mathematics, science, and social studies. I also feel that we should include basic economics, foreign language, the arts and physical education in order to educate students to be productive citizens the 21st century.

7. What do you think about a state-wide program of distance learning
through video and/or internet? Kansas is a local control state. I would rather that be handled at the local level as it is now.

8. In your opinion, do you think that schools should provide all day kindergarten.
If so, who do you think should make that decision-the State Board of local school districts? I am wholeheartedly in favor of all day kindergarten I favor local control, so I would say that the local school districts should make that decision

9. How much control do you think the State Board should have over how
the local districts spend their funds? Currently there are regulations regarding expenditures. All districts are required to prepare budgets using a standard form and to report expenditures uniformly. And, there are restrictions on how funds may be spent. I do not see a need for changing this process.

10. Do you favor a longer school day? Briefly state why.
Although a longer school day makes sense in terms of teaching and learning, I realize that the old saying that "Time is money" is quite true. Given the current funding picture for education, I'd say that a longer school day is not economically feasible unless we do it in small steps, such as adding 30 minutes a day.

11. Do you consider sports/physical education and arts to be part of the core curriculum to provide a first class education for Kansas children?
Yes. I do.

12. Do you think girls sports should be funded equally to sports for boys?
Yes, I do.

13. Do you think sex education should be opt-in or opt-out, and do you think this education should include abstinence?
I believe that that the opt-out policy, which was implemented in the late 1980's with parental involvement and input, has worked well in Kansas. Parents have long had the power to screen the sex education materials their children are exposed to in school. Furthermore, births to girls between the ages of 15 and 19 fell by more than 25% in Kansas between 1990 and 2003 (below the 2003 national average teen birthrate.) I definitely think that abstinence should be taught, but realize that students also need to know the facts about STD's and how to avoid exposure to them.

14.What resources, including school nurses, should be provided by schools to take care of sex education, administer medications, and provide basic health services for children ?
I believe that the current practice of providing school nurses along with paraprofessionals to assist them is a good way to handle health services in schools. The is a much higher incidence of childhood diabetes and other special health issues that require school staff to be more aware of health needs today.

15. Do you think schools should provide more mental health information and services in the schools?
I think schools should work with their county Mental Health agencies to provide services for students. There are two special education groups that are growing rapidly. Mentally ill and autistic children require more intensive interventions. Schools definitely need to be involved in securing services for these children.

16. Do you favor requiring teachers to develop Individual Education Plans (IEP's) that will include measurable goals and objectives.
I believe that IEP's are required for students with all special learning needs at present. I favor development of individual plans for all learners, but not as formalized as SPED IEP.

17. Do you think schools should be held accountable for maximizing a child's potential, or just providing 'some' progress? And do you think the schools should be required to provide education and experiences that are designed to maximize each child's potential?
Through "No Child Left Behind" schools are being held accountable for significant progress. I think they should strive to maximize a child's potential, but don't see how they could be held accountable due to the number of variables at play. I do feel that a curriculum which includes physical education, the arts and foreign language does help schools to enable students to "find their talent". This is the first step in helping them to reach their potential.

18. Do you think it is the responsibility of administrators or of teachers to resolve disciplinary problems with students?
As a teacher, I always wanted to work on disciplinary problems with my own students in order to find a plan that worked for them in them classroom. However, when students are out of control or refuse to work with the classroom teacher, I think that administrator must step in.

19. What solutions would you propose to address the ever increasing numbers of at-risk students?
Early intervention is a must. Experience has proven that those students who are taught at an appropriate level and who experience success early on do better in school. Small class sizes are also important for at-risk students. Home-school connections also make a difference. Schools can't do the job alone.

20. Do you think there is too much disparity between the pay of administrators and teachers? AND What do you think should be the starting pay for teachers?
It is hard to generalize on this question because I think it would depend on the location, the responsibilities, etc. I would just like to see the best possible salary for teachers and administrators in Kansas.

21. Do you think the policy of tenure should be abolished?
This is difficult to answer. Having worked in education, I am aware of both the benefits and the problems created by tenure.

22. Would you like to eat a school lunch for a week?
Yes, as long as they have a salad bar! (as most do). Given the fact that childhood obesity is a real problem in this country, I'd like to see menus that incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables and less starches. I am pleased to know that schools have removed sugary snacks from their vending machines.

Received by email 6/11/06: I promised to e-mail my written answers to the questions from the forum. So, here they are. Jana Shaver