State School Board Election Process Unconstitutional…Now What?

On Friday, Judge Clark Waddoups ruled that the process by which State School Board Candidates are placed on the ballot was unconstitutional.  This ruling came after candidate Breck England’s complaint that he had been removed from the ballot by the Governor’s Nominating and Recruiting Committee unconstitutionally.  Pat Rusk, a candidate from a different district who was also removed from the ballot, joined the suit. With Waddoups apparently agreeing with them, the big question now is what happens next.  The parties will meet with the judge on Thursday to discuss a remedy, but…

A Legislator Turned Superintendent; Been There

You would think with all the surprise and kerfuffle over Speaker Becky Lockhart applying for the job as Superintendent of the Public Education, that having a former legislator in education’s top post puts us in uncharted waters. But it doesn’t.  We’ve been there, done that. Back in 1986 a popular House member, James Moss, was running unopposed for his 3rd term.  He was a lawyer by trade, but when the position became available for the State Superintendent post, he applied and was appointed.  Here is a quote from the Deseret…

Sen. Margaret Dayton: The Conundrum of the Common Core Waiver

By Senator Margaret Dayton I had the opportunity to address the State School Board today (on Friday, August 8, 2014) about the legislative intent of a bill that I passed nearly a decade ago. HB 135 was passed in 2005, but the drafting and crafting process took a full two years. During the 2004 interim, every single education committee meeting discussed the onerous ramifications of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and what could be done. HB 135 was the result of some of those discussions. When the bill was considered in the 2005…

An Analysis of the Libertas Common Core Lawsuit

Lawsuits should never be a first resort. Unfortunately, all too often lawsuits are the only way policy makers listen. Whether it’s civil rights, healthcare, the environment, or education standards, lawsuits are a part of our national political system, turning to courts to address issues that we have been unable to resolve by political action. Enter the Libertas Institute, a local libertarian leaning non-profit, which just last week filed a lawsuit challenging the process by which Common Core educational standards were adopted by the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) in…

Support for Utah’s ESEA Waiver

On August 8, 2014, the Utah State Board of Education will decide whether to seek an ESEA waiver or not. This decision has drawn extraordinary attention from the entire state. As a district superintendent, I have had the opportunity to hear detailed arguments in support of the waiver as well as arguments that oppose the waiver. For me, this decision comes down to a matter of applying Title I resources to serve our most at risk students. I completely understand the positives of not signing the waiver. The pros and…

BUZZ: Governor Announces State School Board Candidates

Today Governor Herbert announced the candidates for the State School Board.  Candidates for the Board are vetted through a nominating and recruiting committee, then selected by the Governor.  The following candidates will be appearing on the ballot in November: District 1 David L Clark Terryl Warner (incumbent) District 2 Spencer F Stokes Willard Z Maughan District 3 Michael G. Jensen (incumbent) Linda Hansen District 5 Mark Bouchard Laura Collier Belnap District 6 Dan Griffiths (incumbent) Brittany Cummins District 9 Joylin Lincoln Heather Groom (incumbent) District 14 Mike Miles Mark Huntsman

Utah Should Reapply for the NCLB Waiver

In the August 8 meeting, the Utah State Board of Education will make an important decision. I earnestly believe Utah should reapply for the waiver from the onerous requirements of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Frankly, the State Board is relatively divided on the issue. As I view the matter, however, the best course for Utah students is to seek waiver renewal. A perspective on NCLB and the waiver NCLB was instituted by the Bush Administration in 2002. (Interestingly, it was sponsored in the U. S. House of Representatives by…

No Difference Between Serving Parents and Children [The Hub Debate]

This is  a Hub Debate on the role of boards of education. For more background, read this.  Participate in the comments or submit a response for publication to UtahPoliticoHub@gmail.com. The question is: “Who do you think the board should serve?  Parents? Students? Why?“ For me the question as stated has neither legal nor logical weight. I acknowledge that sometimes the system shifts too far from parents.  A good example may be those former attendance policies created by local districts that prohibited parents from removing their children from school more than a certain number of…

Utah Should Support Parents Role In Children’s Education [The Hub Debate]

This is  a Hub Debate on the role of boards of education. For more background, read this.  Participate in the comments or submit a response for publication to UtahPoliticoHub@gmail.com. The question is: “Who do you think the board should serve?  Parents? Students? Why?“ It is a constitutional right for parents to have primary control over their child’s education and it is state law that the State be supportive of the parents’ primary role. Additionally, both the Supreme Court and Natural Law support the right of parents to direct our children’s education. Even while the…