Family: Daughter age 15
Education: 3.5 years toward BA of Fine Arts
Occupation: Inventory/Stocker Wal-Mart.
Director/co-producer of ShireTV. (www.ShireTV.org)
Artisan, sculptor, ceramicist. (www.ConanSalada.com)
Do you have any relevant experience with public education issues: Attended both public and private school as well as some home school. Coached 4 seasons of girls soccer.
1. Why are you running for the Keene Board of Education?
The current spending on education in this city is out of control. If it continues unchecked for much longer the increasing property tax rate will inflict heavy long term consequences on the overall health of our community. I cannot knowingly stand by and watch the ensuing death spiral unfold. If elected, I will do everything in my power to curb this out of control spending and bring some semblance of fiscal responsibility to the table.
2. What are the two biggest issues facing Keene schools and what should the school board do about them?
The biggest problem facing Keene schools is the bloated school bureaucracy that like every government agency is incapable of true innovation and can only grow larger and more unsustainable year after year. The second is the outrageous cost of tuition per student. There isn’t much the board can do to fix these except compound the problem even further with their meddling. The best thing the board can do is to step aside and allow the schools to act on their own behalf with the teachers and parents in full control. All school funding should come from those families who actually utilize the program as well as donations from charitable benefactors. Our schools should not be funded under the threat of force. Not only will the cost of tuition go down overnight but the quality of education will go up much like NH private and charter schools have.
3. How can the board members balance the educational needs of the district with the need to keep taxes down? (Please be specific)
The current board along with school admins have absolutely no incentive to keep taxes down. Otherwise the school budget and subsequent tax rate wouldn’t be going up every year. As long as the current education paradigm remains intact, where taxpayers are forced to support this government school monopoly under the threat of losing their homes, the cost of tuition will continue to rise with absolutely no change in the quality of education.
4. School districts will likely be developing teacher evaluations, which could include termination for teachers rated ineffective. Is this a good idea? Why or why not?
I am highly in favor of holding bad teachers accountable. Being able to remove ineffective workers from the equation is always a good thing. My biggest concern is how theses teachers will be evaluated. Will they be graded according to their student’s standardized testing scores which are a joke and prove nothing except the students ability to memorize? Who will make these decisions? Other teachers? School admins? Will we need to add another million or two to the budget in order to pay for these new evaluations?
5. Keene school officials have been studying ways to keep costs down at elementary school, including a recent plan to close Jonathan Daniels School that ultimately was postponed. What do you think is the best way to make the elementary school system more cost-efficient?
Privatize. Allow the parents who utilize the schools and the teachers who run them decide whether Jonathon Daniels and others are worth keeping open.