Utah for Local Education

Candidate: Brent Strate

Office: State School Board, District 4 (2016 PrimaryElection)

2016 Election Candidate Survey Questions and Answers

Candidate answers are presented exactly as received, including grammatical and spelling errors.

Q1: What are the three (3) most critical education issues in our state?

A1-1: Funding

A1-2: Curriculum

A1-3: Testing

Q2: Do you believe the Common Core State Standards (also known as the Utah Core) will prepare students to be college and career ready?

A2: Undecided

Q3: Recently Governor Gary Herbert asked the State School Board to leave the Common Core and implement new statewide standards. As a member of the State School Board, would you support the Governor's request?

A3: Yes

Q4: Do you believe parents should be able to opt a student out of the statewide assessment tests and the State Longitudinal Database System?

A4: Yes

Q5: Do you believe Utah should provide universal pre-K education for children?

A5: Yes

Q6: Do you believe public schools are adequately funded? If not, please briefly specify changes that should be made to provide appropriate financial support.

A6: No. Item 1 - Fund teachers and districts to develop standards and curriculum that aligns with the new Utah core standards before they go into effect. Item 2 - Build indexing into State and Local Education Property Tax rates. This would maintain funding at levels at inflation adjusted rates. Item 3 - Fund teachers for work days before the start of the school year. Many teachers, especially elementary, are already giving of their time. They should be compensated for this time. Item 4 - Do not have disparate pay for teachers based on subject area. A good choir teacher is just as valuable as a good math teacher. Item 5 - Respect and value teachers as professionals.

Q7: With regard to the Federal Department of Education, do you support: A) Keeping it as it is, B) Changing it to a small research and advisory organization, C) Completely eliminating it, D) Other (please specify)

A7: Completely eliminating it

Q8: If you want to clarify any of your answers, please do so here.

A8: 2. Standards are important to building classroom scope and sequence. It also allows the structure around which a teacher builds curriculum. When evaluating Common Core it is important that SAGE testing is included in the discussion. Of all subject areas math was affected the most by Common Core. The changes were so drastic that it sent shock waves through the system. The old course offerings were more useful for students. Only allowing regular and honors for Math I, II, & III was a mistake in the high school. I could discuss this topic for a long time. One last comment on SAGE - testing began in March for end of level testing. Arrrrrgggghhhh! I am concerned that some of the innovation created by teachers, such as the Elementary Math program in Davis County Schools will be lost.
3. UBSCT, now SAGE, what is next? What impact will this change have on teachers, students, districts, and administrators?
4. I believe that parents and students should have choice. I do not however, believe that this choice should be funded by tax payer dollars.

Q9: If you want to share a brief position on education issues, please do so here.

A9: Elections for the State Board of Education are going to be partisan in the next election cycle. I believe this is a mistake that needs to be rectified by the legislature.