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Jeff Kirkman

Jeff Kirkman

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Jeff Kirkman

District:
Nampa School District
Zone:
Zone 5
Email Address:
[email protected]
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Candidate Responses

What do you believe is the fundamental role of education?
The fundamental role of education is to teach academics to students K-12 that further an individual's intellect, knowledge, and critical thinking skills that will be invaluable as they mature and grow into adulthood. Additionally, it should support societal norms and values without discounting unfamiliar concepts and ideas. This is a reason why school boards have local control is to be more representative of local communities.
How would you promote rigorous academic instruction and excellence in your school district?
Rigorous academic instruction in the Nampa school district can be realized if we let teachers teach. There is a reason these unsung heroes got into the business of teaching, to teach our children necessary academic knowledge and skills and instill a love for life-long learning. They certainly didn’t get in the business for the money so why does the state, school district administrations, and school boards seem to make it so difficult to achieve this primary purpose? Instead of mandating numerous changes in curriculum, standards, testing and assessments, etc., which every time the next “big thing” comes along they have to spend time and money getting trained, practicing, and explaining it to confused parents and students, teachers should have the obstacles removed so they can just teach. We need to focus on what is working and make it better rather than shifting to a different direction much too often. A critical review of curriculum, texts, and other instructional materials and methods by the board, administrations, teachers, parents, and even students themselves will also lend itself to rigorous and excellent instruction.
How do you define Critical Race Theory? When implemented in school policies and curriculum, do you think Critical Race Theory differs from simply “teaching history?”
CRT is a theory – not proven, not fact – but a theory that attempts to relegate people of color to the bottom tier of society due to the assertion that there is systemic, institutional racism and attempts to identify ”whiteness” as evil and the white race as oppressors. Of course it differs from “teaching history” because it is not history. There are periods in our history when there was, and still is today, racism and it is ugly and hurtful, demeaning and demoralizing to everyone. The bad parts of our history should be taught with the good parts of our history but without the context of trying to teach our impressionable young kids that one race, white, are the oppressors over another race, black, who are the victims and the oppressed. How can we ever grow and be better when this is being taught in many different ways than just straight from a curriculum which is illegal in Idaho? We should simply be teaching our students that it doesn’t matter what race someone is, they deserve to be treated equally and with respect. No reason to indoctrinate them with suppositions that there are oppressors and oppressed. That simply perpetuates division.
How do you define Social Emotional Learning (SEL)? Would you encourage the implementation of any SEL model in your school district? If so, which model and why?
Simply put, SEL is teaching kids how to think and feel. There are measurables when teaching academics to students and testing and other assessments work well to determine if a student has learned the information or not. But how do you measure how someone, especially kids, thinks and feels and if they meet whatever standard might be in place? Teachers are not counselors and SEL curriculum belongs in that area, not the classroom. Schools should not be teaching any model of SEL. Leave it to the parents and those specifically and professionally trained, and I don’t mean a couple of days of in-service training, to address issues with social and emotional learning.
How would you respond to the Idaho State Board and Department of Education’s recent dissemination of resources such as the SEL Roadmap for Reopening Schools, which argues that schools should adopt anti-racist practices, focus on social justice, and conduct staff-wide implicit bias trainings? Should teachers be required to attend these kinds of trainings?
My response would be to vigorously oppose the dissemination of these types of resources. Why are schools hyper-focused on social justice issues? Teachers don’t have enough time to teach the fundamental academics let alone the time needed to attend training for anti-racist, implicit bias, and social justice issues. We are missing the mark if we start requiring teachers to attend these trainings. Leave it open as an option for continuing education that they seek on their own time if they so choose.
Should your school district be required to teach a sex education curriculum? If so, should this curriculum include instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity? Should parents and guardians be required to provide consent before their children participate in any sex education curriculum?
The Nampa school district should not be required to teach sex education curriculum except for the basic biology of the function of the human body which really isn’t sex education, it is simply science and biology about how bodies work. Leave the sex education out of the school and home with the parents. I understand that not all students have parents or an environment where they will learn such important facts of life so if a sex education class is provided at school, it must be by consent of the parent/guardian and not an opt-out situation but an opt-in requirement. My concern about sex education being taught in our schools is parents don’t know the agenda a teacher may have when teaching it. Is the instruction going to include pronoun preferences, LGBTQI issues, unisex bathrooms, deviant behavior, literature that may be deemed obscene by community standards, and abortion? These are deeply personal issues that should be dealt with on a personal level between the parent/guardian and the child, not the school. I will not stand by and let the schools usurp the rights of parents to teach their children about these sensitive issues but if they decide they want to opt-in their child to be taught sex education beyond the biology, then I support their right to make that decision.
How should school districts respond to the Idaho School Boards Association’s recommendation that transgender students be allowed to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify?
I will respond to the ISBA’s recommendation with absolute defiance. There must never be a male student in a female bathroom and vice-versa. Simply identifying as a sex does not change biology. Designate a bathroom for those who identify as either gender to use will mitigate this concern and remain equitable for students.
Do you support mask mandates in schools as a COVID-19 mitigation strategy? Do you support implementation of any other policies or practices designed to mitigate the effects of COVID-19?
I am opposed to mask mandates and vaccination mandates. Parents must retain the right to make those decisions for their children and not schools or other government entities. I support any individual’s decision to wear a mask and get vaccinated but not to force anyone else to do so. The COVID vaccinations are much different than MMR and other diseases for which kids are vaccinated. Those vaccines have been proven to work over many, many years so it is not comparing apples to apples. The simple basics of enhanced cleaning, disinfecting, social distancing when appropriate, hand washing, and staying home when sick are the most effective strategies at mitigating the spread of COVID and other viruses like the flu.

Vincent Rundhaug

Vincent Rundhaug

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Vincent Rundhaug

District:
Mountain View School District
Zone:
Zone 3
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Candidate Responses

What do you believe is the fundamental role of education?
To teach the necessary skill sets that enable students to become self-reliant, competent and contributing members of their community. And thus are better prepared for adult life.
How would you promote rigorous academic instruction and excellence in your school district?
By advocating for competency based education for students. By advocating exceptionally competent teachers. By advocating a positive parental inclusion into their student's education.
How do you define Critical Race Theory? When implemented in school policies and curriculum, do you think Critical Race Theory differs from simply “teaching history?”
CRT is psuedo history that contradicts truthful history for the purpose of undermining America. It is of Marxist origin and has no place in the school cirriculum.
How do you define Social Emotional Learning (SEL)? Would you encourage the implementation of any SEL model in your school district? If so, which model and why?
SEL is a Federally funded cirriculum that removes customary ethical, moral, and emotional development of children, from the parents and community. It also empowers the teachers to instill those attitudes. Schools should focus on academics and knowledge. Therefore, SEL has no place in public schools.
How would you respond to the Idaho State Board and Department of Education’s recent dissemination of resources such as the SEL Roadmap for Reopening Schools, which argues that schools should adopt anti-racist practices, focus on social justice, and conduct staff-wide implicit bias trainings? Should teachers be required to attend these kinds of trainings?
With a fixed amount of time in a school day, ISB and DOE should focus on academics and knowledge; this is the purpose of public schools.
Should your school district be required to teach a sex education curriculum? If so, should this curriculum include instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity? Should parents and guardians be required to provide consent before their children participate in any sex education curriculum?
A student's body is developing during the K-12 program. It would be appropriate to have a clinical/biological approach of education that explains the effects of puberty during adolescence. Gender identity, sexual orientation, and other sexual related issues may have an academic acknowledgment, but moral, ethical and emotional elements should be left up to the parents and community. Parents should be involved with their student(s) on this issue.
How should school districts respond to the Idaho School Boards Association’s recommendation that transgender students be allowed to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify?
This is a contemporary issue of complexity which involves qualified professionals, parents, school staff, and the student. ISBA is only making a recommendation, and at this point, final authority appears to rest with the school board. I will note here that transgender identity issues are a length process. However, the student of one sex, who suddenly decides to be the opposite sex for that day and enters the restroom of the opposite sex, is acting inappropropriately.
Do you support mask mandates in schools as a COVID-19 mitigation strategy? Do you support implementation of any other policies or practices designed to mitigate the effects of COVID-19?
As it pertains to COVID-19, I do not support mask mandates in schools. It should be a student's choice. As with most viral issues, washing hands, covering mouth/nose when sneezing or coughing; if symptomatic, stay home until recovered.

D. Greg Beal

D. Greg Beal

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D. Greg Beal

District:
Filer School District
Zone:
Zone 5
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Candidate Responses

What do you believe is the fundamental role of education?
I believe in the traditional role of education where students are taught reading, writing, arithmetic, history, language skills, science, as well as physical, industrial arts, etc. all to enable an individual to either continue on through college or to immediately step out into society as a productive citizen.
How would you promote rigorous academic instruction and excellence in your school district?
First of all, we have to stop the stuff that's distracting and get back to our basic fundamental roles, as mentioned above. We need to give students opportunities to excel (or sometimes just succeed) and recognize them when they do. We need to provide the infrastructure to all students; the teachers, the proper instruction, classes, hands on experiences, etc. Then we need to build on successes year after year. Another aspect of this is getting the public excited about our schools. Public enthusiasm seems to permeate the school and its students. While I don't have all the answers, I believe better communication between the school administration and the public would go a long way.
How do you define Critical Race Theory? When implemented in school policies and curriculum, do you think Critical Race Theory differs from simply “teaching history?”
After deciding to run for the school board, I have been looking more into CRT and I really can't define it. In my opinion, CRT is a political stick being used to beat on each other and tear our society apart. When implemented, it may start to teach true history but the intent seems to change to divisionary indoctrination. I believe CRT has no place in the school. Our children need know that they treat everyone with courtesy and respect, period. Again, CRT is not the right tool nor has a place in schools. It places too much focus on diversity, too much on inequality, too much on the characteristics it denounces. I agree that true history should be taught... the good things that have been done should be recognized. Of course there are bad and some really ugly things that need taught and reminded of too. However, the focus should be more on learning from our collective past, inclusiveness and bringing everyone together vs. dividing them. There are ways to teach truth, without singling out segments of our population and indoctrinating them to believe they are oppressed, maybe not as good as others, and that others owe them. My heart breaks just thinking about how that kind of teaching affects kids. All children are priceless and I am not seeing that one truth being taught in CRT.
How do you define Social Emotional Learning (SEL)? Would you encourage the implementation of any SEL model in your school district? If so, which model and why?
I think at its core, we are all continually in a state of social emotional learning. Notice I did not capitalize that as it is intended to portray normal human interactions. We are all social creatures that have good and bad days. Some of us have struggles that others don't. No matter our struggles or situations, we need to learn how to get along and engage society in productive manners. From my understanding of SEL as it is being presented, it is simply a framework to teach social justice and other far left ideas. It is more concerned about equity then truth. In my continuing research on SEL, I have even run across statements arguing that emotionally it may be better to teach 2+2=5. So they argue it is better to lie to and mislead children than to teach them truth? I just can't get behind this kind of thing. I do not support this type of SEL in the school system as it takes away from what the educators are supposed to be teaching our children and introduces other problems.
How would you respond to the Idaho State Board and Department of Education’s recent dissemination of resources such as the SEL Roadmap for Reopening Schools, which argues that schools should adopt anti-racist practices, focus on social justice, and conduct staff-wide implicit bias trainings? Should teachers be required to attend these kinds of trainings?
At what point do we quit playing games, trying to be and teach new social justice warriors, and get back to doing our job educating our kids. If I am not mistaken, there are already laws concerning and prosecuting racist practices. Teachers do not go into the education system to promote their biases toward children. That would be against their teaching character. Do I believe there are situations where teachers need a little help with abnormal situations that come up? Absolutely, I do. This is where I believe the teachers may need a little more training. Maybe councilors need to be more involved to help these kids. Maybe the councilors need more training or maybe even to refer the kid to better help. I am not against these kinds of trainings but blanket, staff-wide bias, social justice, and anti-racist trainings... no. I'm trying to think of examples of teachers and students treating each other with a racial or other bias and I'm coming up blank. It's been my experience that even if there's a small problem, the teachers correct the problem on the spot. I guess what I'm saying is I am not really witnessing these racial inequalities in our local schools, and I'm not going to introduce a system that will introduce the problem that we're trying to stop. I think our students and faculty do a great job of taking care of each other, supporting each other, and treating each other with respect. Now if some of these issues started to appear and were allowed a starting foothold in our schools, I would probably want to see some remedial training, correcting teachers and students, so they treat each other with the respect we all deserve as human beings. In the meantime, how many more of these programs are we going to interject into our school systems, disrupting the basic education system. I am not happy with how our schools rate in regards to basic educational topics. We are suppose to be teaching English, Reading, Writing, Math, Science, etc. to give our kids the tools they need to interact with the world ahead of them. SEL as it is being portrayed and CRT, are quite frankly, taking away the resources we need to be teaching our children other correct principles and introducing problematic ideas into our student body.
Should your school district be required to teach a sex education curriculum? If so, should this curriculum include instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity? Should parents and guardians be required to provide consent before their children participate in any sex education curriculum?
For the most part, I do not believe sex education should be a part of the curriculum. I don't believe that sex education curriculums, involving sexual orientation and gender identity, has any place in a school district. That quite frankly, should be between kids and their parents, who know them best. Parent's should always be notified and required to consent to any sexual education curriculum.
How should school districts respond to the Idaho School Boards Association’s recommendation that transgender students be allowed to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify?
To me this is a safety issue much more than a gender identity issue. We can all name a boy or two in our own histories that would identify as a girl just to be able to get into the girls bathroom for a chance at a peak. This recommendation eliminates that required safe place for all our girls. Furthermore and sorry to be crude about this, but boys have a penis and girls have a vagina. The penis belongs in the boys room and the vagina belongs in the girls room. In my opinion, anything other than that is not being true to our children and facilitating viewpoints that have and will always cause more harm than good.
Do you support mask mandates in schools as a COVID-19 mitigation strategy? Do you support implementation of any other policies or practices designed to mitigate the effects of COVID-19?
I absolutely do not support mask mandates, I believe there's enough information to prove them ineffective at best. I also do not believe we have seen the true effects these masks have had on our children, whether you're talking the social aspects or the long term medical implications. I fully believe our entire medical industry has failed us when it comes to COVID. There has been no comprehensive, real world, practical methodology as to dealing with COVID. There's been no attempt to help people understand how their immune systems will respond to this and what they can do to stop COVID. All we've been told is 'social distance,' 'wear a mask,' and 'get the vaccine.' We all know that COVID-19 has turned into another political stick to beat people with. Our current responses are not appropriate. As far as mitigation strategies, I believe in the tried and true. Among other things, get decent rest, get good nutrition and exercise. It's important that people wash their hands with soap and water, use hand sanitizer when soap and water isn't available, and to stay home when one is sick. Those are responsible things to do. We have heard these things our entire lives and they work. I do know there are other technologies available, that will help mitigate the spread in confined spaces, that are worth looking into. Add to all this that I am a firm believer in our Constitution and Bill of Rights and other laws that guarantee our individual freedoms. There is no time when it is appropriate for me or anyone else to mandate what another person is to put into or on their bodies. That is their right and decision, period.

Heather D. Chandler

Heather D. Chandler

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Heather D. Chandler

District:
Emmett Independent District
Email Address:
[email protected]
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Candidate Responses

What do you believe is the fundamental role of education?
It is to learn the fundamentals of life to be able to live in society. I believe that it is not just about "school work" education. It is about real life preparation to qualify people for work and to integrate people into society.
How would you promote rigorous academic instruction and excellence in your school district?
Overall, our disctict needs more support. From the parents, teachers and the community. We need to stand behind the teacher and lift them up. Give them the resources and knowlege to lead our youth in uncertain times. Simple strategies that I promote are: Provide Choice and Relevant Assignments, Make sure you are differentiating for all students, and start building strong relationships.
How do you define Critical Race Theory? When implemented in school policies and curriculum, do you think Critical Race Theory differs from simply “teaching history?”
I believe Critical Race Theory is just another way for the media and government to keep us divided. I do not believe it should be taught in the classrooms as it will cause additional division and harbor ill intenttions.
How do you define Social Emotional Learning (SEL)? Would you encourage the implementation of any SEL model in your school district? If so, which model and why?
SEL helps students comprehend their emotions. I think SEL is something that will evolve and lead to CRT. I do not think this should be taught in school as I believe it takes away from education. I do however believe that there should be resources available in a couselors office or teachers, students and parents on how to help with SEL at home.
How would you respond to the Idaho State Board and Department of Education’s recent dissemination of resources such as the SEL Roadmap for Reopening Schools, which argues that schools should adopt anti-racist practices, focus on social justice, and conduct staff-wide implicit bias trainings? Should teachers be required to attend these kinds of trainings?
I believe teacher should attend every training they can. While I don't believe in the SEL roadmap, I believe that teachers need to fully understand what is ahead and make informed decisions.
Should your school district be required to teach a sex education curriculum? If so, should this curriculum include instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity? Should parents and guardians be required to provide consent before their children participate in any sex education curriculum?
No I do not think that sex ed should be required. I do feel that resources need to be made available to parents who may not know how to talk to their children. And yes, parents should provide consent.
How should school districts respond to the Idaho School Boards Association’s recommendation that transgender students be allowed to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify?
This becomes a safety issue for all students. If someone identifies as Transgender, it is not safe to allow them to use a public restroom.
Do you support mask mandates in schools as a COVID-19 mitigation strategy? Do you support implementation of any other policies or practices designed to mitigate the effects of COVID-19?
I do not support wearing masks in school. I believe every student, teacher and parent has a choice and they should exercise that choice. I do support and encourage additional hand washing and staying home if sick.

Mary Fioravanti

Mary Fioravanti

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Mary Fioravanti

District:
Boundary County School District
Zone:
Zone 2
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Candidate Responses

What do you believe is the fundamental role of education?
The fundamental role of education is to create self-sufficient, critical thinkers. Education should inspire leaders, encourage individuals to stand for justice, and offer a proper foundation of morals to restore and maintain a Constitutional Republic.
How would you promote rigorous academic instruction and excellence in your school district?
I would promote excellence by introducing debate classes where students will learn the art of communication, preparation, and use critical thinking. Now speaking generally aside from debate classes, students should be graded with less weight on whether they gave the right answer on an assignment/exam and evaluated heavier on whether they can use logic and reason to win a case or to solve a problem in an adaptive scenario that is given to them verbally by the teacher. I would also like students to start their own websites while in high school and use those websites as assignment submission tools in subjects such as history or English. The point of this is for students to gain new skills and experience in the growing digital world. Starting and maintaining a website will remove intimidation of entrepreneurship and creative thinking will be encouraged!
How do you define Critical Race Theory? When implemented in school policies and curriculum, do you think Critical Race Theory differs from simply “teaching history?”
Critical Race Theory is propaganda portraying the white race as dishonorable while other races were suppressed. The outcome of this teaching is that white races are taken advantage of today by entitled minorities to make up for our ancestors’ behaviors. This curated subject further divides humanity with hatred instead of bringing us together. Teaching history is completely different because history is fact, not theory. History covers events, not speculation.
How do you define Social Emotional Learning (SEL)? Would you encourage the implementation of any SEL model in your school district? If so, which model and why?
I would not encourage using SEL models in my school district. Individuals must use logic instead of relying on emotions when assessing factual events. Those who use emotion, no longer believe in facts or science. One essentially suspends their disbelief and ability to process hard data. Suddenly facts become “hate speech.”
How would you respond to the Idaho State Board and Department of Education’s recent dissemination of resources such as the SEL Roadmap for Reopening Schools, which argues that schools should adopt anti-racist practices, focus on social justice, and conduct staff-wide implicit bias trainings? Should teachers be required to attend these kinds of trainings?
I would respond to the Idaho State Board by not only rejecting that proposition but advocating for curriculum focused on understanding the Constitution and what it means for “all men to be created equal” and each individual’s right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Teachers should not be required to waste their time being indoctrinated with social injustice and bias trainings. A better use of time would be training the teacher how to communicate to students with different learning styles such as kinesthetic, auditory, or visual.
Should your school district be required to teach a sex education curriculum? If so, should this curriculum include instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity? Should parents and guardians be required to provide consent before their children participate in any sex education curriculum?
The role of education is to create self-sufficient, critical thinkers. Sex education has no place in that. While I strongly oppose sex education, it must be said it is absolutely necessary for parents and guardians to provide consent to the school before their children are taught this curriculum. What students SHOULD be taught is what good parenting is or how to live harmoniously with others or with your future spouse. Parenting is the most paramount job in the entire world, and yet, these younger generations have not been taught the meaning of good parenting, principled love, and selflessness.
How should school districts respond to the Idaho School Boards Association’s recommendation that transgender students be allowed to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify?
Regarding transgender bathrooms, the school district would simply refer to amendment 9 in the Constitution and state that it is a violation of privacy to non-transgender students.
Do you support mask mandates in schools as a COVID-19 mitigation strategy? Do you support implementation of any other policies or practices designed to mitigate the effects of COVID-19?
I do not support mask mandates. Mask mandates deprive the student of both life, liberty, and property (property being the person) secured to us in the 5th amendment, as well as all other rights unmentioned that are still secured to us in the 9th amendment. In most cases, policies developed around mitigating Covid are completely tyrannical and have no merit to them. I would look at the policy and assess how well it protects individual freedoms and if it aligns with the Constitution.

Deanna Judy

Deanna Judy

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Deanna Judy

District:
Pocatello/Chubbuck SD25
Zone:
Zone 5
Email Address:
[email protected]
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Candidate Responses

What do you believe is the fundamental role of education?
Proficiency in core subject… reading, writing, math, along with the sciences, art, music, P.E., and civics. I believe our education system should prepare students for real life. Whether it is college, starting their own business, or the vocation of their choosing. I am a strong supporter of extracurricular actives of any kind that promote teamwork, fitness, or exceling in talents or skills. Communities may also be a source for these activities.
How would you promote rigorous academic instruction and excellence in your school district?
The Covid challenges we face have changed things temporarily. Normally, a curriculum would be based upon what was learned the previous year, but with the significant loss of learning, we need to find where students currently are and move forward from there. Teachers need to be able to tailor lessons based on needs of students, regardless of standards or curriculum for that current grade level. Concepts cannot be skipped or passed over quickly. My hope is that by being mindful of where students currently are instead of presenting instruction based upon current grade level standards, we will help students make up for lost time learning and they will progress more quickly with fewer gaps in their educational journey. We need to make sure our students move quickly to catch up from Covid learning loss with no “holes” in their learning. One other issue I see is severely overcrowded classes. I recently spoke with my daughter’s middle school teacher who has 29 students in a class period with only 59 minutes a day for instruction. She is struggling to keep up and is doing her best to help individually but is unable to offer personalized instruction to the extent she would like based on sheer numbers. I believe it is unacceptable and absolutely much be a first priority. I heard an interview recently of a teacher who felt hampered by district policy. Her frustration stems from her inability to prepare students for what it will be like in the “real world of hard knocks”. She was concerned about time to teach content and maintain a vigorous academic environment. I want to look into what policies teachers feel are effective and what ones have not been shown to be effective. I want to hear the voices of teachers. Over all, I have heard many teachers say that they are afraid to speak out for fear of repercussions. I do not mind differences in opinion, I welcome input, and feel teachers need not worry to have their voices heard. I would like to change policy based on teacher input in order to become more effective and rigorous at a national level. I recently spoke to my brother-in-law who works for a company and handles billions of dollars. He said recent graduates complain about having to show up every day and feel they need more time to themselves for exercise, studying for extra certifications, and for recreation. These employees have a great job, but will not keep their job if they are unable to do the work and perform duties meeting expectation. I believe this is what the teacher being interview was referring to. Our students need to be prepared to compete. I would like to look at curriculum and testing. I want to be sure we research to be sure our curriculum is effective. Testing should target students’ needs and help teachers intervene in a timely way (before the end of the year). Testing should take hours, not days. There are other issues for sure that are equally important, but these are a few I have recently hear concerns about.
How do you define Critical Race Theory? When implemented in school policies and curriculum, do you think Critical Race Theory differs from simply “teaching history?”
Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a philosophy or ideology that is based upon the idea that the founding of our country was not based upon a desire for freedom. Instead, it was based upon a desire to protect the slave trade. It is a theory that teaches that even now in our country, black people are oppressed because of their skin color and white people are the oppressors because of their skin color. The founders of CRT believe all American institutions created by our founders are based on white supremacy and should be dismantled. Some examples of American institutions include the Constitution, our justice system (including the police-as we have already witnessed...), and Judeo Christian religions, and values and so much more. The 1619 Project is closely related to Critical Race Theory. This ideology subscribes to the belief that our country was not founded in 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was signed. Instead, the belief is that The United States of America was founded in 1619 when the first slaves arrived in America. There is so much more to Critical Race and other related ideologies than just this. It becomes easier to understand how parts of the ideology are put into children’s books and have infiltrated curriculums when the basis for the theories is understood. Critical Race Theory is an ideology, not history. It is a belief system that teaches young children to judge based on the color of a person’s skin, and has an anti-America bias. Why would we as Americans preach anti-American ideologies? It not only does not belong in a classroom, adults need to be aware of the divisive nature of the ideology. We need to find things we have in common, judge people based on the “content of their hearts” and support the culture of America or we will lose it.
How do you define Social Emotional Learning (SEL)? Would you encourage the implementation of any SEL model in your school district? If so, which model and why?
I have several thoughts on SEL. I am still learning about this, but here is what I have found. I love the Danielson Model of teaching. The most important thing in the Danielson Model is developing a relationship with your students. I whole heartedly agree with this concept. SEL is not developing a relationship, it crosses the line into counseling children. I read the curriculum as it appears on the SD 25 website. It seems like there are so many empowering lessons for children who may be struggling. However, teachers are not trained counselors and should not be encouraged to replace family or counseling. Not only do they not have time to counsel along with teaching content, counseling is not their educational background. I talked to two counselors about this and they agreed with the danger in having an untrained teacher be forced to teach concepts that may trigger children in a classroom setting. The family is taken out of the equation for the child when dealing with difficult things in life. Parents are made to seem as if they are not capable of understanding, manipulative, or unqualified to help.This is taking the most important foundation a child has for success away. SEL lends itself to other things. In the additional materials online, there is an Anti-racism/Bias link. This is Critical Race. The SEL curriculum in my sister’s children’s school in Texas promotes gender fluidity.
How would you respond to the Idaho State Board and Department of Education’s recent dissemination of resources such as the SEL Roadmap for Reopening Schools, which argues that schools should adopt anti-racist practices, focus on social justice, and conduct staff-wide implicit bias trainings? Should teachers be required to attend these kinds of trainings?
The governor has issues a ban on Critical Race being forced onto our students. Anti-racism is CRT. Implicit bias training is CRT. Our school boards need to comply with this mandate.
Should your school district be required to teach a sex education curriculum? If so, should this curriculum include instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity? Should parents and guardians be required to provide consent before their children participate in any sex education curriculum?
No school districts should not be required to teach sex education. This is a local decision. I think science, anatomy, and body function should be taught in science, but sex education is different from this. If there is a lesson or course with sex education involved, parents should always be aware and give permission for any teaching of sensitive topics such as this. Parents need access to the curriculum as well.
How should school districts respond to the Idaho School Boards Association’s recommendation that transgender students be allowed to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify?
The governor has issued a decision on this as well. He has said that transgender students need to be allowed to use a separate transgender bathroom. I support this decision.
Do you support mask mandates in schools as a COVID-19 mitigation strategy? Do you support implementation of any other policies or practices designed to mitigate the effects of COVID-19?
Teachers and students who choose to wear a mask for health, personal or religious reasons need to have that choice respected. Likewise, teachers and students that choose not to wear a mask should be regarded with equal deference. I listened to many people at the last board meeting about masks who expressed deep concerns about the welfare of children. I have talked to moms who have expressed concern regarding children who have been bullied over wearing masks, who have serious concerns for the health of their family and want nothing more than to protect family members at risk. I have also talked to moms and dads who have serious concerns about the negative effects upon their children from constantly wearing masks. I have personally talked to my doctor about both the physical and the mental issues having to do with COVID and masks and received his advice. I’ve listened to parents talk about depression, suicidal thoughts and the dramatic increase in suicide among pre-teens. I've visited with a mom who watched her kindergartner struggle with a life threatening health problem exacerbated by wearing a mask, and those, including my own family, who have lost a family member to COVID. My sweet mother and father-in-law are currently struggling in the hospital with COVID. This is a divisive topic and I have people I love on both sides of the conversation. There is no definite consensus among doctors, professionals, and parents. We need to show love and respect to people regardless of their personal or medical opinions on masks. I stand by my statement from Moms for Liberty. We do not co-parent with the government. Since the coronavirus can be transmitted through aerosolized virus, as well as touch, mitigation strategies having to do with ventilation and sanitation of surfaces are important. The virus is too small for regular masks to be effective, and are only effective with body fluids. When children touch the mask and then touch a surface, they are spreading the germs from their body fluids onto everything they touch. Distancing is important, but ventilation and sanitation are key.

Guy W. McAninch

Guy W. McAninch

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Guy W. McAninch

District:
Post Falls School District
Zone:
Zone 1
Email Address:
[email protected]
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Candidate Responses

What do you believe is the fundamental role of education?
The fundamental role of education is to teach students how to think critically about the world, to learn from the history of civilizations past and present, how to use logic and reason in order to come to a sound conclusion, and how to use math effectively.
How would you promote rigorous academic instruction and excellence in your school district?
Choosing the correct curriculum is paramount, followed closely by employing teachers that have a strong work ethic and even stronger desire to motivate their students to always strive to be their best. We need to set the bar high and incentivize teachers and students to achieve their best.
How do you define Critical Race Theory? When implemented in school policies and curriculum, do you think Critical Race Theory differs from simply “teaching history?”
Simply put, Critical Race Theory teaches students to see each other based on skin color rather than as fellow Americans. It places ethnicity as the most important characteristic of the person. If the person is white, then they are labeled the 'oppressor'. If they are a person of color, then they are labeled the 'oppressed'. This is not history at all. It is leftist propaganda designed to create division and sow seeds of hatred. We, as a nation need to stop this ideology from being taught to anyone.
How do you define Social Emotional Learning (SEL)? Would you encourage the implementation of any SEL model in your school district? If so, which model and why?
Critical Race Theory (CRT) has been made illegal to include as part of public school instruction in Idaho. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is essentially rebranded CRT. When taken at face value, those terms appear to be positive. Without a clear understanding of their current meaning, they can bring to mind ideas of fairness and cooperation – but that is not their impact on education. Instead, they promote animosity and distrust of other ethnicities, and seed racist ideas in our students. A well-rounded education helps them understand and appreciate the differences between people and how to be a compassionate and productive member of society. Therefore, I am against incorporating political propaganda into our schools curriculum.
How would you respond to the Idaho State Board and Department of Education’s recent dissemination of resources such as the SEL Roadmap for Reopening Schools, which argues that schools should adopt anti-racist practices, focus on social justice, and conduct staff-wide implicit bias trainings? Should teachers be required to attend these kinds of trainings?
I will not be bullied by bureaucracy. As a school board trustee, I am representing the voices of my constituents and the parents of my district. I think we can all agree that there needs to be zero tolerance for racism of any kind, but changing the curriculum to reflect these ideas can be the beginnings of yet another re wording of previously outlawed material. The term “anti-racist practices” is very broad and can be changed to include all types of anti-American concepts in to our schools. Teachers should NOT be attending this type of programming. This is all propaganda from the Marxist ideologues trying to work their views into the minds of our youth. They are trying to ruin the future leaders of this once great nation. I will do my best to stop ALL of this.
Should your school district be required to teach a sex education curriculum? If so, should this curriculum include instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity? Should parents and guardians be required to provide consent before their children participate in any sex education curriculum?
Sex education should be handled by the parents in my opinion, but I recognize the need for children to understand the basics of anatomy and physiology, which some parents may not feel qualified or comfortable having that discussion with their kids. The topic should be focused solely on the basics of reproduction. Sexual orientation and gender identity discussions are designed to create labels and division. Let’s stick to the basics.
How should school districts respond to the Idaho School Boards Association’s recommendation that transgender students be allowed to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify?
Identifying with the opposite gender does not justify a male student be given unfettered access to the female bathroom. Policies like this will likely lead to sexual assaults in our schools and I will oppose it every time it’s brought up. Again, I will not be bullied by bureaucrats into going against the science that exist regarding DNA. You either have an X chromosome or a Y chromosome. Your gender was determined at conception.
Do you support mask mandates in schools as a COVID-19 mitigation strategy? Do you support implementation of any other policies or practices designed to mitigate the effects of COVID-19?
I absolutely do not support mask mandates. Masks do not stop viral transmission per a CDC meta analysis published in May of 2020. "Disposable medical masks (also known as surgical masks) are loose-fitting devices that were designed to be worn by medical personnel to protect accidental contamination of patient wounds, and to protect the wearer against splashes or sprays of bodily fluids (36). There is limited evidence for their effectiveness in preventing influenza virus transmission either when worn by the infected person for source control or when worn by uninfected persons to reduce exposure. Our systematic review found no significant effect of face masks on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza." Here is the link to the published document. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/19-0994_article Also, mask use has been shown to reduce oxygen saturation and increase the chances of respiratory infection due to increased bacterial load in the mask in which one would be breathing through. I would encourage symptomatic individuals to stay home to rest, hydrate and support their immune system in whatever way they see fit.

Lesli Bjerke

Lesli Bjerke

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Lesli Bjerke

District:
Coeur D'Alene School District
Zone:
Zone 4
Email Address:
[email protected]
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Candidate Responses

What do you believe is the fundamental role of education?
Public schools should provide students with a strong well rounded academic education, with an emphasis on life skills education; skills students will need to be able to pursue their dreams and succeed in the next chapters of their life. The job of the public-school system is to promote academic integrity and excellence; critical thinking skills and the deciphering of facts, data and statistics should once again take a front and center position within the academic approach.
How would you promote rigorous academic instruction and excellence in your school district?
First, I would seek to thoroughly review the current curriculum and remove any impediments to returning to a more classical style of instruction, while working to support teachers and parents in the process of transition. I am very confident in my ability to study and learn from many sources, as I had ample opportunity to do this while I was an educator. Data and studies were used constantly to help improve our reach to students of all academic levels and abilities. Although I haven’t been in the classroom since 2016, I am passionate about working hard to make our schools a place of integrity and excellence, again.
How do you define Critical Race Theory? When implemented in school policies and curriculum, do you think Critical Race Theory differs from simply “teaching history?”
Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a Marxist ideology that teaches that white people are oppressors and are to blame for racism, sexism, and every other “ism”. Every other race is considered to be the oppressed. This theory promotes racism and teaches children to judge others based solely on their skin color. This teaching is the exact opposite of what Dr. Martin Luther King’s “dream” portrayed, where the content of someone’s character is what really matters, regardless of skin color. As far as its correlation to teaching history goes, unless it is the history of Marxist ideology and the history of Critical Theory, in which CRT is derived from, it would be considered antithetical to the teaching of actual history.
How do you define Social Emotional Learning (SEL)? Would you encourage the implementation of any SEL model in your school district? If so, which model and why?
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a set of complex issues related to providing “culturally responsible learning,” and designed to be “anti-racist,” but is just another vehicle for the ultimate promotion of Critical Race Theory, which is anything but anti-racist. To answer this question appropriately and responsibly would take a few pages, at least but, in short, it moves education away from academics and in the direction of teaching our students about equity and social justice. And, for that reason alone, every aspect of SEL should be eliminated from all CDA school curriculum.
How would you respond to the Idaho State Board and Department of Education’s recent dissemination of resources such as the SEL Roadmap for Reopening Schools, which argues that schools should adopt anti-racist practices, focus on social justice, and conduct staff-wide implicit bias trainings? Should teachers be required to attend these kinds of trainings?
More of the same theme here – “social justice,” and “implicit bias” are just fancy words to disguise the origins of the same Marxist ideology, with the intent of creating division among students and teachers along racial lines. Any roadmap to reopening should be established on the basis of eliminating any form of requirement that involves adopting so called “anti-racist” practices, social justice and implicit bias training; these requirements are merely being used as a leverage to continuing the teaching of CRT and SEL. These types of trainings have no place in preparing educators for the coming school year; this time would be better spent focusing on lagging test scores and strategies for their improvement.
Should your school district be required to teach a sex education curriculum? If so, should this curriculum include instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity? Should parents and guardians be required to provide consent before their children participate in any sex education curriculum?
I believe that a consistently structured and universal teaching of sex education should be required from a purely biological, physiological and sexually transmitted disease standpoint, and altered for age appropriateness; elementary v. high school, etc. But, by no means should this education incorporate non-biological ideologies reflecting that there are more than two genders or, any education that would validate that a child has a choice in determining his / her sexual orientation. These matters are to be the realm of the parents or designees, i.e., doctors, pastors, etc. Based on some recently recorded occurrences, where teachers have taken it upon themselves to customize or elaborate outside of the defined curriculum, I feel strongly that the default for parents should be opting in, before their child be exposed to the sex education curriculum; this will be failsafe to the longstanding practice of opting out, where much can be lost in translation, when making such requests.
How should school districts respond to the Idaho School Boards Association’s recommendation that transgender students be allowed to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify?
Here is a simple solution to a simple issue: biological male students use the male restroom and, biological female students use the female restroom. No student should have to navigate this self-created conundrum. Although I believe we should seek to make accommodations for all students, we should not impact one group to make an accommodation at the expense of another; there is no end to this type of circular logic.
Do you support mask mandates in schools as a COVID-19 mitigation strategy? Do you support implementation of any other policies or practices designed to mitigate the effects of COVID-19?
I believe in a non-political and truly scientific approach to handling the effects of COVID-19, which does not include the masking of school children; there has not been a reputable study indicating such a practice is beneficial and, on the contrary, many studies point only to the negative effects of doing so. This is a highly charged debate, even among members of the medical community. So, under these circumstances, I will always defer to the freedom of choice. As to other mitigation strategies, we need to return to what has served us in the past: awareness of good hygiene practices, hand washing, etc. and, keeping sick children out of school.

Jon Lang

Jon Lang

District:
Lewiston School District
Email Address:
[email protected]
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Candidate Responses

What do you believe is the fundamental role of education?
Readying our kids for higher Ed, trade schools and work force.
How would you promote rigorous academic instruction and excellence in your school district?
Accountability for administrators ,teachers, parents and students.
How do you define Critical Race Theory? When implemented in school policies and curriculum, do you think Critical Race Theory differs from simply “teaching history?”
Not even on the radar in Lewiston. I love history. Do not like anything that divides. Against racism and reverse racism.
How do you define Social Emotional Learning (SEL)? Would you encourage the implementation of any SEL model in your school district? If so, which model and why?
SEL starts at home. Don’t know enough about a school district model. Could be positive if there is not a hidden agenda to divide.
How would you respond to the Idaho State Board and Department of Education’s recent dissemination of resources such as the SEL Roadmap for Reopening Schools, which argues that schools should adopt anti-racist practices, focus on social justice, and conduct staff-wide implicit bias trainings? Should teachers be required to attend these kinds of trainings?
just don’t think this is or should be a thing in Idaho. Can’t we all just work better together.
Should your school district be required to teach a sex education curriculum? If so, should this curriculum include instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity? Should parents and guardians be required to provide consent before their children participate in any sex education curriculum?
No problem w sex Ed. No need for gender ID instruction. Kids know more than we do. Parents should be notified of any sex Ed training.
How should school districts respond to the Idaho School Boards Association’s recommendation that transgender students be allowed to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify?
Have no idea how this could work. Unrealistic
Do you support mask mandates in schools as a COVID-19 mitigation strategy? Do you support implementation of any other policies or practices designed to mitigate the effects of COVID-19?
No. We tried it. No one knew a year ago. Didn’t work. Kids didn’t wear them. Administrators spent all their time trying to enforce. Highly doubt it will be brought up here again. Wash hands, use hand sanitizer, have these products and masks available should a student or staff feel the need.

David Wilson

David Wilson

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David Wilson

District:
Boundary County School District
Zone:
Zone 5
Email Address:
[email protected]
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Candidate Responses

What do you believe is the fundamental role of education?
The fundamental role of education is to learn from the past and then to create a better future for our families and society. This is accomplished through the basics: English, Math, Science and now Technology. The core component must be TRUTH. Education has always started at home, as the foundation. There is a wealth of knowledge our elders possess that is currently being neglected or shunned. The school system should be a support system to family teachings, not the only avenue of information.
How would you promote rigorous academic instruction and excellence in your school district?
I would promote rigorous academic instruction and excellence in my school district by phasing out of programs and techniques that are consistently failing, regardless of the “status quo”. There are many successful educational techniques within the US and world that could be duplicated. Also, I would promote more public input and support as a “call to action” in protecting our children's rights and future. Our school district needs some drastic changes in order to raise the many substandard test results.
How do you define Critical Race Theory? When implemented in school policies and curriculum, do you think Critical Race Theory differs from simply “teaching history?”
I define the current CRT as a regression from social progress our nation has overcome by instilling a belief that all white people are racist and oppressive, and that all people of color are lifelong victims of oppression. I do not believe CRT should be taught in our schools as it is currently being pushed. This narrative is driven by those that want to divide America. Social and cultural anthropology are great topics and have a wealth of information about how empires are formed, collapse, and how throughout history, and on every continent there have been oppressors and oppressed. These are topics for more mature audiences and require a neutral setting for discussion.
How do you define Social Emotional Learning (SEL)? Would you encourage the implementation of any SEL model in your school district? If so, which model and why?
I think Social Emotional Learning is a new curriculum that sounds positive and important at face value, and seems like an instrument to help children learn and understand empathy and social cohesion. I would NOT encourage SEL in the school system because it over steps the role of an elementary school whose sole purpose is to ensure basic academics are taught. Also, this program can come in direct opposition to family morals and ideals which can be confusing to young minds.
How would you respond to the Idaho State Board and Department of Education’s recent dissemination of resources such as the SEL Roadmap for Reopening Schools, which argues that schools should adopt anti-racist practices, focus on social justice, and conduct staff-wide implicit bias trainings? Should teachers be required to attend these kinds of trainings?
I would dismiss the State Board mandating anything in our community. Far too many committee and board members, in all parts of our community, have coward to following what the Federal Government has stated or State mandates try to impose. Just because a law is passed, does not make it the right option for our community or our youth. We are losing our Nation and heritage because good people will not stand up to evil intentions. No one should be forced to do anything by our institutions.
Should your school district be required to teach a sex education curriculum? If so, should this curriculum include instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity? Should parents and guardians be required to provide consent before their children participate in any sex education curriculum?
I think sex education is important. We live in a hyper sexualized society with technology that allows young kids access to pictures, movies, and topics that were not possible for any other generations. The class should be for parents and the student together, possibly as an after school event, with only scientific information. Male and female, how babies are created, and the development of the fetus until birth. I do not think that gender dysphoria has any place in a scientific classroom. Gender dysphoria is a topic appropriate for a psychology or philosophy class. I think parents should be given the complete curriculum of their child's classes as well as the ability to give consent on ALL topics that their children will be taught. These are OUR children, and OUR schools. Parents are starting to learn some of the social constructs and ideology being introduced to their children. We are seeing a wave of very upset parents criticizing school boards for content that the parents are not wanting their kids to be a part of. This is a direct reaction to a lack of control of information and transparency within the parent/teacher relationship.
How should school districts respond to the Idaho School Boards Association’s recommendation that transgender students be allowed to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify?
I oppose, very strongly, anyone wanting to use a bathroom or locker room of the opposite sex they were born as. I do however, support a separate bathroom, or port-a-potty for all those that are not sure which sex they belong to. This gives everyone the privacy, dignity, and safety they deserve. I also strongly oppose trans athletes competing against those of the opposite sex as they were born. Those wanting to become trans, and wanting to compete as such can create their own trans athletic programs. This would be safer and fair for all athletes.
Do you support mask mandates in schools as a COVID-19 mitigation strategy? Do you support implementation of any other policies or practices designed to mitigate the effects of COVID-19?
I strongly OPPOSSE any and all mandates for Covid. I think that this is an opportunity for people to have the freedom to protect themselves, how they see fit. To watch videos of band students with holes in face masks or operating in a literal bubble, and athletes wearing masks while competing is ludicrous and dangerous. This should not be tolerated, regardless of when and where a mandate comes from. As the adults, we need to protect our rights, the rights of our kids, and also be role models in analytical and critical thinking. Freedom is always the answer in America.
Note: As a 501(c)(3) organization, IFF does not endorse or oppose any candidate for public office. Candidates’ responses are provided solely for educational purposes.

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