It’s School Board candidate forum season again. Yay. Also, boo. If you have never attended one of these events with the hope of learning what kind of board member each candidate would be, you’ve missed out. It begins with introductions. Each candidate states their name, the church they attend and how much they love their spouse and xx number of children. While this is useful information if I wanted to write a biography, it does nothing to help voters make decisions based on things that matter. They should say their name and make a one sentence mission statement. Get to the point. “The name’s Smith and I don’t want our students eating square pizza when pizza should be triangular.” See how easy that is?
After the mandatory introductions, the candidates are asked questions. Their answers come in paragraph form. They either include enough loopholes to make the statement pointless or they are jargon that reveal the candidate has not even begun to research that topic. This is not a good use of anyone’s time. When the board votes on anything, they vote yes or no. They do not get to vote for jibber-jabber. So, I have written ten yes or no questions that I would like each candidate to answer. I know that you really want to add a disclaimer to each and every yes or no, but that’s not an option in real world voting.
1. Do you support the current Magnet school program in Knox County?
2. Do you endorse vouchers in Knox County?
3. Do you endorse charter schools in Knox County?
4. Will you vote for a new middle school in Hardin Valley?
5. Will you vote for a new middle school in the Gibbs community?
6. Do you agree with the current teacher evaluation system in Knox County?
7. Do you agree with the current implementation of Common Core standards in Knox County?
8. Are the Common Core standards developmentally appropriate?
9. Do you support a year-round calendar?
10. Do you believe in Climate Change?
Yes, I am aware that the tenth question is a profiling question instead of a board decisions question. I’m including it anyway.