School Board Elections are Sept. 8th

Photo credit: Bob Doran (CC-By-2.0)

Photo credit: Bob Doran (CC-By-2.0)

Dear Parents,

I know you are busy getting kids off to a great start for the school year.  But this is really important. It concerns the future of your child’s education.  School board elections are being held in Iowa districts on Tuesday, Sept. 8th.

Typically these elections are popularity contests and we all know it.  We vote for the person we know. We vote for the person who goes to our church or maybe who has served on various committees or held leadership positions in the community. We vote based on name recognition if we have nothing else to go on.  Or we just don’t vote because it doesn’t really matter, does it?  What does a school board do anyway? Back in the days of true local control, they made meaningful decisions about your child’s education and were not restrained by federal and state mandates.  Now, unfortunately, they are typically puppets for the state.  They must abide by a myriad of state and federal regulations so they don’t have a say in what is actually taught. They may have a say in curriculum however that choice is further limited by the narrowing curriculum choices thanks to Common Core (yes, Iowa has Common Core).

You may wonder, if they have no say, why your vote matters. Let me explain.  Currently, those who are elected are usually satisfied serving a district that serves the state.  That is what they are elected to do. They are not elected to go against the grain. They are not elected to question the status quo.  In fact, if they do, they will probably only serve one term. Remember, it is a popularity contest and questioning authority is not popular.  I’m not going for the status quo though. I want to be able to vote for a candidate who will question the top down state driven education model. I want a candidate who has actually dug into Common Core, high-stakes testing and the data collection being thrust on our children.  I realize that those individuals will not be popular and they will get voted down and dismissed by the group-think that dominates many school boards.  However, we must start somewhere and my vote is with someone who speaks up for students and teachers who have no voice in what the state hands down to us via their progressive echo-chamber focus groups and mandates.  I challenge you to find that candidate who will be the lone voice for your child and then lift up that candidate with your support both before and after the election.

I also challenge you to show up at your district’s local candidate forum and ask this question to each of the candidates:  “I am concerned about how Iowa Core limits local decision making about what is taught in the classroom, data collection, and over-testing (or include whatever your personal concerns are in your statement). What is your position on Common Core / Iowa Core and how will that influence how you conduct yourself on the school board?”  Not all districts conduct forums so check with your district to find out how to vet the candidates with this important question.  And if you don’t find the answers you were looking for, you will know that you need to be that voice for your children. Their education depends on it.


Leslie Beck
Iowa RestorEd

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