Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Chris Nicastro’

Dr. Chris Nicastro is Missouri’s Commissioner of Education. This is her video message from February. You ought to know what is going on at DESE. Education is one of our largest expenses in the state of Missouri.

Missouri Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro reflects on Missouri’s International Education Summit, talks about her visit with students from Beijing, China, briefly discusses the 2012 legislative session, and addresses the ESEA No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Waiver draft that is out for publication.

NCLB sucks, but the circumvention of the legislature by the “Dictator” of Education Arne Duncan is not OK. Unfortunately, no one is complaining, so expect this to happen here in Missouri.


The old saying goes “all politics is local.” With the focus on the Progressives in WADC it’s no wonder people have a hard time remembering this fact. News flash: Liberty has a school board election in April! Now I know this is not as interesting as stopping the health care bill, but it is very important.

As an educator I am very concerned about our school boards. School boards tend to attract those from the left and a lot of well-to-do people, but they don’t often attract the quality of people that you need on them. I am always fascinated how people are so concerned about American education, then in the same conversation couldn’t even tell you the last time they concerned themselves with what is going on at their local school board.

Last week the Liberty CEE held a candidates forum at the Liberty Community Center. As usual, attendance and interest was low. There was about a 4 citizen to 1 candidate ratio, and that’s being generous.

ClayCoMOPolitics asked a question about Race to the Top Funding while he was in attendance. The responses were about to be expected. The Nixon administration and the Commissioner of Education, Dr. Chris Nicastro, continue to forge ahead on this thing with the citizens of Missouri and our schools knowing little about it. Sound familiar? Many of the candidates knew little or nothing about it.

ClayCoMOPolitics would like to endorse the following three candidates for the Liberty School Board Election on April 6th. We will be voting on two candidates for three year terms and one candidate for a one year term.

3 Years:

D. Scott Connor

William Carlin Walker

1 Year:

Craig Porter

When selecting school board candidates you want people that have a business mindset. Working inside of education you learn quickly that many just don’t get the concept of fiscal discipline. You also want people that respect and understand the importance of education. They may not know  all the facets of education, but they have a willingness to learn and are not someone that is convinced our education system has caused the downfall of western civilization. (This is generally a conservative stance, although the current Secretary of Education Arne Duncan seems to have this mindset as well.)

Mr. Connor ( is currently a stay at home dad. He has worked in several positions in the IT field. I had the privilege of speaking with Mr. Connor Wednesday night at his home and I am further convinced that he is definitely the guy for the job. He is reasoned, a fiscal conservative, willing to learn (he wanted to discuss Race to the Top), and he has the time to invest in the Liberty School District. Add in the fact that he has three children in the district, and I think you have a great candidate for the job.

Mr. Walker is currently employed by the USDA where he serves as a Senior Auditor. I was a little unsure of Mr. Walker at first, but the more I heard him speak the other night, the more I was convinced he was a good candidate. Mr. Walker is a CPA and someone that I know that Liberty School District patrons can trust with the money. He seemed very reasoned and willing to think through the issues that he would face.

Mr. Porter is well known in Clay County Political circles. He is part-owner of Porter’s Building Center in Kearney and is owner of Craig Porter Development, LLC. Mr. Porter spoke well in the forum and seemed the most educated of any of the other candidates with the exception of Mr. Walker and Mr. Connor. Mr. Porter expressed concern about Liberty having one of the highest tax levys in the state of Missouri. He believes that there are ways for us to save money inside of the district before we go asking for more money from district patrons.

Now, Mr. Porter will be criticized  because he refused to sit there and endorse the bond issue facing the voters on April 6. What he said was that he believed that the bond issue was up to the voters to decide. Oh my, the humanity, so evil, how could he state that! He was not endorsed by the Liberty CEE, instead they endorsed Lori Tritz. Ms. Tritz was nice enough, but she didn’t know what she was talking. She totally avoided answering questions directly during the forum, and used more Human Resource catch phrases than I knew what to do with. I am unsure if her failure to answer questions was intentional, just every time she responded my wife and I would look at each other and wonder what she was even talking about.

Please remember to get out the vote on April 6th for Liberty School Board. These elections have consequences as well! Voter turnout is usually an embarrassment on these things, I think we can do better.

ClayCoMOPolitics would like to recognize Missouri House of Representative Ray Salva with his offering of House concurrent resolution 8 (HCR 8) encouraging high schools to recognize trapshooting as a sport.

Trapshooting was, and still is, a large part ClayCoMOPolitics’ life. I spent my formative teenage years working at the Kansas City Trapshooters Association in the northern part of Clay County at Smithville Lake. I also currently coach a trapshooting program at an area school district. Liberty, Kearney, Smithville, and numerous other school districts in Missouri have active trapshooting programs. Trapshooting is a safe internationally recognized sport.

Trapshooting is a sport that reaches a student population that is often under served by mainstream sports programs. It teaches mental discipline, patience, respect for firearms, and most importantly, the fact that the second amendment is still a viable part of everyday life for millions of Americans. Students that learn to respect a firearm on the trap line do not feed into the culture of violence that exists in our inner cities where firearms are viewed as weapons.

It’s my expectation that all Clay County representatives support this resolution in the house.

You can view the resolution here:

Track the bill here: