What do you believe is the fundamental role of education?
The fundamental role of education in America is to teach students reading, writing, math, the scientific method, critical thinking, and how to navigate life in American society, including preparation for gainful employment.
How would you promote rigorous academic instruction and excellence in your school district?
1) Prioritize the direction of available resources to facilitate achievement in the aforementioned fundamental areas through quality instruction, facilities and materials.
2) Demand accountability for measurable achievement outcomes and resource use and help craft policy to improve results.
3) Support policies that encourage safe and effective learning environments free from political indoctrination and manipulative social agendas.
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 views all events in history and all institutions - historical and modern - through the lens of race. It often results in categorization of individuals as either victims or victimizers based on intersectional identity traits. Rather than simply teaching historical events and learning from the successes and failures of our predecessors, CRT often places blame based on race and demands retributive actions defined as "anti-racist" which are objectively racist.
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 seeks to expand the role of educators beyond fundamental curriculum into the realm of emotional awareness and subjective social/cultural values that may or may not reflect the values and faith of families. I am opposed to the implementation of SEL models in my school district because, while some of the stated goals are perhaps noble, the actual standards and values are poorly defined and are prone to ideological manipulation. While students' values are inevitably affected by interactions with peers and staff, the primary role of moral and value development belongs to families and faith.
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 am opposed to the implementation of SEL initiatives. Teachers should not be subjected to mandatory attendance to controversial training that is clearly politically influenced.
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?
School districts should not be required to teach sex education curriculum, although I believe there is value in teaching adolescents about the potential consequences of sexual activity, as well as mitigation methods including abstinence and contraception. It is the responsibility of parents to establish and encourage standards for their children. Topics surrounding sexual orientation and gender identity have no place in public instruction. Parental consent with clear communication of topics to be covered should be required for any sexual education.
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?
Students should be required to use facilities based on their sex assigned at birth.
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 don't support mandates in general. Based on currently available data and models, I don't believe there is a strong argument in favor of widespread masking. I'm not ideologically entrenched on either side of the mask debate, and if presented with sound information in support of masking, I could be supportive of mask recommendations, but not mandates. I support reinforcement of basic hygiene habits and, where practical, social distancing.