My Interview with Liberty School Board Candidate Dan Krueger

Posted: March 26, 2012 in 2012 Elections, Education, Liberty Missouri School District
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Maybe the only bright spot that came out of the Clay County Caucus was that I got to meet Dan Krueger, candidate for Liberty School Board. As you may remember, I endorsed Charlene Armitage and David Evans for school board in a recent post here. It was nice to see Mr. Krueger at the Caucus because I was happy to find out that he is a conservative.

I want to make a public apology here to Mr. Krueger. I did not do the depth of research that I should have done for my endorsements this time around. This blog and my political pursuits is a hobby, and a way that I try and give to my community. With so many people clueless on topics and issues that matter, and an absolutely laughable excuse of a newspaper here in Liberty (trust me, I just got my first issue since I subscribed, LOL! what a joke), I figure this is my way to do something that matters. You have only so much time in life, and I didn’t invest as much time as I should on candidate research for this election.

So, where am I at with regards to my endorsement? At this point, I would say we have three quality candidates for Liberty School Board and two candidates that you shouldn’t vote for. The three candidates that belong on our board are Armitage, Evans, or Krueger. I am no longer openly stating who I am voting for in this election. It will be two of those top three. I’ll let you decide what you think is best.

Mr. Krueger and I spoke for about an hour last Wednesday night. I found Mr. Krueger intelligent, qualified for the job, and definitely willing to learn. I ask him to outline what he thought were the three largest challenges facing Liberty School District.

1) He believes the district is facing unique challenges as we head into the future. The Liberty School District performs well academically and being able to maintain all of the options the districts offers kids is going to be tough. He feels that the district does not focus enough on the higher academic learners while focusing too much on the bottom.

In the course of his discussion on this issue he mentioned his distaste towards No Child Left Behind (NCLB). I was happy to hear him say that. NCLB has been an epic failure, and it was one of the worst legislative “accomplishments” of the Bush administration. (Legislative accomplishments and George Bush in the same sentence is pretty funny, but that’s another blog post.) He seemed to sympathize with the position that the federal government has absolutely no role in your child’s education. We both agreed that there is little that can be done by the local administration. Until we start sending people to Washington, D.C. that agrees with this position our hands are effectively tied.

2) He still feels that there is a large issue of trust with the district. Some of it is a left-over feeling from the financial disaster that was the former administration. He also felt that the board’s actions in seeking a levy that included $4 million dollars for a football stadium in the current economic environment was harmful. I second that sentiment. Personally, I think it borders on being out of touch with reality. Mr. Krueger made an excellent point. When you run around saying the sky is falling because of students going to classes in trailers and then you ask for a football stadium, you seem to be a little out of touch.

The more I think back on that levy; the more frustrated with it I get. I still don’t regret my support of it, I think the needs outweighed the stupid decision to ask for the stadium. You pay attention to public education long enough, and you learn that poor decisions are not in short supply. Frankly, I don’t want to hear your sob story about the poor football program and the concern that the kids would not have a place to play. I’m almost to the point that we ought to shut-down our high school sports programs until the economy turns around. Maybe at that point you might wake up the zombies (average Americans) that think this time is not any different than in the past. I believe the district would have passed that levy with flying colors without that stadium on it.

Mr. Krueger also believes that there is a lack of trust among teachers toward the administration. Now, his sample size was small, but the fact that that sentiment is out there should alarm the board and administration. Oh, guess what the teachers are frustrated with? They didn’t like the fact that the board asked for the stadium in the levy and seemed to not put the emphasis on more important things.

3) The third challenge that Mr. Krueger felt the district was facing was how to grow intelligently. That’s definitely a concern of mine as well.

Mr. Krueger explained to me what he does in his career. He definitely brings some skills to the table that would benefit the board.

One concern I had was the fact that Mr. Krueger had little knowledge of Common Core State Standards. This is a huge deal right now in education. The shift from the Missouri Grade Level Expectations to the national standards will dominate the next couple years. While I no doubt that Mr. Krueger will do his research if elected, I was a little surprised he didn’t know more about it. To be fair, I can’t speak to Mr. Evans’ knowledge of the standards. I do know Ms. Armitage spoke of them at the school forum.

As stated above, the decision is yours, I’m no longer trying to sway you one way or another with the exception that your vote should go for one of the three following candidates-Armitage, Evans, or Krueger. Make sure you get out and vote on April 3rd. After all, only 10% of us will so your vote definitely matters.

 

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