My opponent apparently finally realized that the election didn’t end in May. He’s been a no-show all summer – his website and blog still encourage people to vote in the primary, and I never saw him at Meridian Dairy Days or Kuna Days and other events, and he didn’t respond to the Statesman’s questionnaire in July.
However, the Statesman did their endorsement interviews last week, and he deigned to show up for those, and the Statesman let him respond to their questionnaire at that point. I’d been concerned that he had the opportunity to see my answers before formulating his own, but it doesn’t seem like I have to worry.
But hey! Don’t take my word for it. Check it out for yourself:
An additional question on energy (to which he didn’t respond)
There’s not a lot of meat to comment on, but he does have one idea, which he mentioned in both the questionnaire and the interview: “I would like to see us make it mandatory to graduate from high school!”
Well, I’m certainly not going to deny that it’s a problem. As the mother of a child in school, I’m not trying to insist on people’s rights to drop out. But this brings up a lot of questions.
• Just how would he propose making it mandatory?
• How would he force the people to come to school?
• How long would it take? Will we have disgruntled people in their 20s lurking around the high schools because they’re forced to be there?
• Would it result in people getting diplomas they hadn’t earned, diluting the value of an Idaho high school diploma?
• One of Tom Luna’s reasons for asking the Legislature for a high-priced longitudinal data system is to help track high school graduation rates better. Shouldn’t we find out the true scope of the problem first?
• Based on current data, Idaho actually has a pretty good graduation rate compared to other states. Where we fall down is getting our children beyond high school to college.
• The flawed federal No Child Left Behind system is essentially predicated on cutting loose the children who don’t perform, or running the risk of having a school labeled as “failing to meet adequate yearly progress.” What will happen to Idaho schools’ ranking when they are forced to keep these students around?
But the biggest problem is that he prefers to just slap a law on something rather than finding out the cause of a problem. What is making the kids drop out in the first place? Let’s determine that, and address *those* issues, perhaps by providing other options for letting Idahoans earn high-school diplomas.
And this is a guy who wants to be on the Education Committee!
Please. Tell your friends in District 21. If you can contribute time or money, please let me know. Write letters to the editor, in both the Statesman and the Press Tribune. This is Bill Sali’s old seat, and this guy’s ideas are in Sali's fine tradition of repealing the law of gravity and “abortions cause breast cancer.” Southern Ada County deserves better.