Mark Worthen

Lakeland Joint School District
Zone 4
Email Address:

Candidate Responses

What do you believe is the fundamental role of education?
I believe that the role of public education is to motivate students to become lifelong learners. As lifelong learners they can make a positive contribution to society and to their own well being.
How would you promote rigorous academic instruction and excellence in your school district?
As a board member I will continue to support curriculum that leads students toward higher learning in both academics and skills (such as KTEC) It is great that we have those options available right here in Rathdrum!
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?”
In Idaho - House Bill 377 prohibits the teaching of CRT here. CRT teaches the racism if fully imbedded in society and policy making.
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 believe the SEL is about educating the whole person. Academics, socialization and emotional health are involved. I don’t know about the current SEL model, but good education is not just academic but involves aspects of getting along in society, and emotional well being.
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 have not read this document prior to filling out the survey. I would like to study it out before forming an opinion in this area.
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?
Parents always should be the first teacher in their children’s lives. This includes any sex education instruction. If schools are involved in any way, full disclosure and presentation of the curriculum should always be available to them. Parental consent must always be required.
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 do not agree with this policy. There are ways to accommodate all students with single person facilities. (See Montana Rest areas) This will require some retrofitted but is very possible.
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 a mask mandate. There are many things that can be done in the school setting to help control the spread of covid. ( social distancing, sanitization, etc). Lakeland School have been open throughout this pandemic. There have been some bumps along the way, but students need to be in school, and so far it’s worked.