New Hampshire Families for Education


Questions on 2010 Candidate Rating Questionaire

posted Dec 20, 2011, 5:57 AM by Bill Duncan



Questionnaire

Here is a copy of the questions found in this year's Candidate Questionnaire.  If you are a candidate for state office and wish to fill out this year's questionnaire, please click on the "Candidate Questionnaire" button at the top of your screen.

 

NH Families for Education

2010 State Candidate Questionnaire

 

Name :                                               Office Sought :

Address :                                            County / District :

City :                                                  Party :

Zip :                                                   Phone (Campaign) :

Phone (Home) :                                   FAX :

E-Mail :                                              Website :

 

1. Have you had any experience working in an elementary or secondary school? This includes principals and administrators as well as teachers.

A) Yes

B) No 

2. Would you support legislation that requires public schools to seek written consent from parents and legal guardians before conducting medical or psychological evaluations of any child, other than in an emergency situation?

A) Yes, I would strongly sponsor or co-sponsor such legislation.

B) Yes, I would support such legislation.

C) Undecided, I would need to listen to the debate.

D) No, I would oppose such legislation. 

3. Would you support legislation that requires public schools to provide advance notice to parents and legal guardians for sensitive or controversial curriculum topics, such as moral or political issues, presented in public schools?

A) Yes, I would strongly sponsor or co-sponsor such legislation.

B) Yes, I would support such legislation.

C) Undecided, I would need to listen to the debate.

D) No, I would oppose such legislation. 

4. When children are given both sides of an issue without judgment or prejudice they can become more thoughtful individuals and make their own decisions, embracing their own values and beliefs.  It is essential that children be given both sides of controversial issues.  A democracy is dependent upon free and open access to ideas.

Would you support legislation to insure a balanced education  for children in New Hampshire schools?

A) Yes, I would strongly sponsor or co-sponsor such legislation.

B) Yes, I would support such legislation.

C) Undecided, I would need to listen to the debate.

D) No, I would oppose such legislation. 

5. Occasionally parents or legal guardians with children attending public schools experience problems.  This may include, but is not limited to:

  • a scheduling conflict with respect to a desired elective course,
  • an objection to the controversial nature of a particular class or curriculum, or
  • a personal problem with a particular teacher. 

In order to resolve such conflicts, would you support legislation that allows parents and legal guardians to seek class reassignment for their child, including the ability to enroll their child in a distance learning course through state accredited programs such as the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (VLACS) in Exeter, New Hampshire?

A) Yes, I would strongly sponsor or co-sponsor such legislation.

B) Yes, I would support such legislation.

C) Undecided, I would need to listen to the debate.

D) No, I would oppose such legislation. 

6. Charter schools are public schools.  They receive state, but not local, funding. They must raise additional funds through private contributions. Charter schools provide educational choices for parents and legal guardians.

Would you support legislation that encourages and approves more charter schools in New Hampshire?

A) Yes, I would strongly sponsor or co-sponsor such legislation.

B) Yes, I would support such legislation.

C) Undecided, I would need to listen to the debate.

D) No, I would oppose such legislation. 

7. The high cost of building space falls hard upon new charter schools, which have limited funds to pay rent. Co-location arrangements, the placement of two or more schools into one building, saves participating charter schools an average of $2,712 per student in facility, utility, and school safety costs, according to a report by New York City’s Independent Budget Office. 

Would you support legislation to locate charter schools in under-utilized public school buildings that have space to spare?

A) Yes, I would strongly sponsor or co-sponsor such legislation.

B) Yes, I would support such legislation.

C) Undecided, I would need to listen to the debate.

D) No, I would oppose such legislation. 

8.  “Expanding Choice to Elementary and Secondary Education” written by the Brookings Institution recommends that policy makers focus on open enrollment, particularly “virtual education” and distance learning to extend choice to parents and children. They argue that “school choice should be a democratic process that benefits from the informed participation of parents,” allowing parents the maximum degree of choice. The potential for fiscal relief to local and state government is enormous, especially if private providers of online learning are allowed to grow and expand.

Would you support legislation to expand the use of distance learning programs in New Hampshire?

A) Yes, I would strongly sponsor or co-sponsor such legislation.

B) Yes, I would support such legislation.

C) Undecided, I would need to listen to the debate.

D) No, I would oppose such legislation. 

9. The current home education law requires parents and legal guardians to submit annual evaluations, using standards that exceed public or private school requirements, to demonstrate the academic progress of their children.  This requirement is unique to home educators; other private educators are not required to provide evidence of academic progress.

Would you support legislation to remove this requirement?

A) Yes, I would strongly sponsor or co-sponsor such legislation.

B) Yes, I would support such legislation.

C) Undecided, I would need to listen to the debate.

D) No, I would oppose such legislation.

10. Failure of home educators to provide this evidence triggers probation and then termination of their program.  At this point the child is required to attend a pubic or private school. This requirement is unique to home educators; no other programs, public or private, are terminated for a student’s failure to demonstrate academic progress.

Would you support legislation to remove this requirement?

A) Yes, I would strongly sponsor or co-sponsor such legislation.

B) Yes, I would support such legislation.

C) Undecided, I would need to listen to the debate.

D) No, I would oppose such legislation. 

11. The presumption of innocence is a fundamental tenet of our rule of law. Requiring home educators to provide evidence to prove themselves innocent of educational neglect undermines their presumption of innocence. It violates their Constitutional right to due process. The procedure is initiated without any probable cause to believe that the parent is actually neglecting his child.  Home education programs can be terminated based solely upon technical non-compliance with these state requirements. 

Would you support legislation to restore due process and the presumption of innocence to home educators?

A) Yes, I would strongly sponsor or co-sponsor such legislation.

B) Yes, I would support such legislation.

C) Undecided, I would need to listen to the debate.

D) No, I would oppose such legislation. 

12.  District superintendents serve as evaluators for nearly all home education programs in New Hampshire. In this role, the superintendent is the judge and jury of home educators' annual assessments. If a home educator has difficulty with a particular subject of instruction, he will be strongly tempted to conceal that deficiency for fear that any perceived weakness will jeopardize his entire program.  It is very difficult to openly approach the local public school for assistance. Some parents may find private tutors to remedy this situation, but others may not be able to afford expensive remediation.  This adversarial approach benefits neither the state nor the child.

Would you support legislation that eliminates the adversarial relationship between local districts and home educators?

A) Yes, I would strongly sponsor or co-sponsor such legislation.

B) Yes, I would support such legislation.

C) Undecided, I would need to listen to the debate.

D) No, I would oppose such legislation. 

13. New Hampshire’s compulsory attendance law was written for “habitual truants and children not attending any school, without any regular and lawful occupation” (G.S. 91:6) in 1871. It was not written to interfere with parents and legal guardians whose children were being “instructed in a private school or at home” for the same period of time in the same “branches of education required to be taught in the public schools” (G.S. 91:14).

Would you support legislation, which confirms New Hampshire’s traditions: respecting parents and legal guardians as educators and exempting homeschooled children from compulsory attendance requirements?

A) Yes, I would strongly sponsor or co-sponsor such legislation.

B) Yes, I would support such legislation.

C) Undecided, I would need to listen to the debate.

D) No, I would oppose such legislation. 

14. Privacy of a student’s academic records is a growing concern as the federal government urges states to track student progress, special education plans, discipline issues, program participation, attendance, and personal demographics including race, ethnicity, age, and gender, along with homelessness, incarceration rates, illness and mental health issues.

Would you support legislation that allows parents and legal guardians to opt out of state databases?

A) Yes, I would strongly sponsor or co-sponsor such legislation.

B) Yes, I would support such legislation.

C) Undecided, I would need to listen to the debate.

D) No, I would oppose such legislation. 

15.  According to the New Hampshire Constitution, Pt. 1 Art. 28a, every state mandate must be fully funded. Yet sometimes these mandates are not fully funded.    

Would you support legislation that allows school districts to opt out of mandates that are not fully funded?

A) Yes, I would strongly sponsor or co-sponsor such legislation.

B) Yes, I would support such legislation.

C) Undecided, I would need to listen to the debate.

D) No, I would oppose such legislation. 

16. The federal “Race to the Top” program seeks national curriculum and assessment standards.  More states are adopting these policies, in part to receive federal grant money.

Would you support legislation that protects local control and keeps New Hampshire from adopting national curriculum and assessment standards?

A) Yes, I would strongly sponsor or co-sponsor such legislation.

B) Yes, I would support such legislation.

C) Undecided, I would need to listen to the debate.

D) No, I would oppose such legislation. 

17. Do you face primary opposition?

            A) Yes

            B) No

18. If NHFFE were to endorse you, would your campaign be interested in assistance from energetic volunteers?   

            A) Yes

            B) No

 

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Bill Duncan,
Dec 21, 2011, 7:21 PM