It all started with a friend telling me a candidate had knocked on her door and said he (for illustrative purposes, our candidate will be male) told her he was deeply committed to public schools. She said she wished she'd had some specific questions to ask, to assess his depth of knowledge and positions on issues.
So, we started brainstorming...one thing led to another, and another. Several more posts and lists. Lots of input. And I am now sharing our combined list of questions...more than any one candidate would want to field, but I know we all have those pet issues about which we truly care.
As always, my posts are works in progress...if I've left off your favorite question, please include it in the comments.
- Do your children/grandchildren attend public schools?
- Who, at your school, can vouch for your involvement in the school and support of public education?
- When is the last time you visited a school in your district? What did you learn?
- Are educators and students and parents part of your team?
- Teacher preparation
- Teacher evaluations – TLE, VAM
- Alternative Certification
- School Library Media Specialists
- Salaries, benefits, retirement
- What is the free-and-reduced lunch statistics for schools in your district?
- What does a successful high-poverty school look like?
- How will you address the inequity in resources for some of our schools
- Electives, recess
- Special Education issues
- Physical Education
- Reducing high stakes and ‘accountability’ – reducing number of tests
- What is the purpose of assessment and testing
- Who sponsors your fund raisers?
- Do you have out-of-state contributors?
- Are you connected to ALEC, Walton Foundation, or OCPA or other think tanks interested in controlling policy?
- Tax policy, TIFs
- Tax credits, loopholes
- How do you propose to raise revenue for mental health, DHS, safety, roads, and beyond
- Health-care expansion
- Prison Reform
- What is your position on the rights of those who do not share your values, beliefs, political affiliation, socio-economic level, lifestyle?
- How will you protect children and the elderly of our state?
- What is your position on raising the minimum wage?
- How do you plan to learn more about the issues that are new to you? Do you have a team of advisers (I am assured this is the older spelling -- I think I like the other!), trusted sources of credible data, or other methods of quickly learning about the issues?
- How do you plan to work across the aisle to gain multi-partisan support for legislation?
- What is your strategy for staying connected with your constituents, and having open communications?
- How will you work with others in the Legislature to hold state government accountable to our students?
Most of you won't have seen The Mikado, or the updated one, or the Family Guy version...this one is PG.