Utah for Local Education

Candidate: Lisa Cummins

Office: State School Board, District 11 (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: Parental authority being acknowledged as the primary caretakers of their children's education

A1-2: Federal intrusion in our education

A1-3: Defining what local control means so that there is no mis-understanding

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: No

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: No

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. This is some what difficult to answer. Clearly Utah teachers are under paid, and classrooms under funded. And yet the K-12 budget is over $5 Billion. So where is the money going? Many LEA's are given millions of dollars and haven't been told to have a line by line budget on hand to track that money. Tax payer money doesn't grow on trees, and there needs to be clear documents showing where each dollar has gone too. Those are not easily obtained by the public and they need to be.

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:
Q1: Certainly there are other issues, but I believe with these 3 being addressed, the other issues will be addressed simultaneously.

Q2: Already we are seeing evidence of students being less prepared for college and university work more than ever before, with college classes being remedial. There were no indicators or benchmarks showing positive results. In fact, Mr. Phil Daro, one of the writers of the Common Core Math standards acknowledged that the math standards were to only get students into a Technical or 2 year Community College. The standards weren't meant to get students into University. For that students had to take more than Common Core Math. Jason Zimba, the head writer of the Math Standards is quoted "College and Career ready are for students who've passed Algebra 11." and that the standards are "for the colleges most kids go to,but not for the colleges most parents aspire for."

Q3: There are much better, high quality standards out there that have been time tested. I would like for the State to provide only the basic of these, and then allow Districts to implement any other standards parents and the community see is necessary.

Q4: Parents are the primary caretakers of their children. The current SAGE test has never been validated and the hosting testing company AIR, has been very controversial, being that they are a social and behavioral testing company. The State Longitudinal Data System,or SLDS was introduced by the DoE by providing grants to every state to implement it. So far Utah has received close to $40 million in grant money for hardware and software to set up the SLDS.

Q5: I do not like the idea of a government controlled Universal Birth through Preschool programs. Again Parents should remain the primary educators. Finland doesn't allow children to attend school until 7 years old, and they have found this strengthens children's esteem. Reversely, Sweden starts preschool with children at 18 months and they've found that those children have reactive displacement disorder. Jordan School District as gone into over 20,000 family homes to see if their families qualify for such programs. With all the data being collected today, that makes me extremely nervous for the future of such programs. There are some families in extraordinary circumstances, but those should be the exception and not the rule.

Q7: In accordance with the 10th Amendment delegating all other topics not mentioned in the United States Constitution, being left to the States, I believe the Department of Education exceeded its britches and needs to be shut down. Nothing good has come of this department since its inception.

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

A9: The Every Student Succeeds Act is a Trojan horse for absolute Federal Control over our education. The Utah State Board of Education must be furnished with individuals who understand the United States Constitution, the Utah State Constitution, parental rights, our principles and values as a family state, and be able to stand against bullying and threats to our State Education System. I am running to protect my children and yours, so that they can experience a love of learning and pursue their own happiness.