I have joined the parade of candidates attempting to offer legitimate and real change as I am seeking the office of Maricopa County Superintendent of Schools. Because I was not asked to seek the office as County Superintendent until this past July, I am running as a write-in candidate. Subsequently, I need to obtain several write-in votes in order to appear on the ballot in the November election.
Since the advent of the bizarre social experiment, No child Left Behind, our nation’s SAT scores have plummeted 30 points! Our drop out rates are soaring, especially for traditional minority children, while at the same time, our graduates face stiff competition from foreign workers who will work for a fraction of what our graduates will work for. The No Child Left Behind program is an example, among many, of an expensive, pie-in-the-sky program that we can longer afford to support.
For our graduates to remain competitive in the global workplace, we must teach our children to become technologically skilled and help them to develop their creativity. We must return to the 3R’s and to proven teaching methods instead of leading our children into one expensive failed program after another. Your children do not need anymore “feel good” programs which accomplish little but waste the taxpayers’ money. My opponent, Republican, Don Covey promises educational change through the implementation of even more unproven and expensive programs. I honor Mr. Covey’s service as an educator, but what he represents to Maricopa County voters is more the same in the manner of bureaucratic-laden special programs that do not deliver what they promise. America is loosing its grip on world dominance because foreign educators have figured out what works in the classroom while we continue to experiment on our children. Meanwhile, our Arizona children have the lowest per pupil expenditure in the nation and much of it is diverted out of the classroom to support suspect programs with the goal of enhancing the resume of another bureaucrat. Johnny cannot read or write while we spend millions administering the AIMS test which is not even correlated to the State Standards. If you buy a television and it doesn’t work, you would return it to the store and get your money back. When we waste millions upon millions of dollars on our educational system, where do we go to get our money back? More importantly, where do our children go to get their lost opportunities back?
Nationally, America is dead last in educational achievement in both math and science among 13 industrial nations. Mr. Covey’s Kid’s at Hope program is a shining example of what our children do not need. The program’s website cites research which purports to demonstrate success for the program when in fact; no such “scientific” proof exists. The Kids at Hope website cites research which demonstrates proven teaching methods and then professes this is what the program accomplishes and then offers a few testimonials as to the worth of the program. This is not proof of anything. Real proof requires a series of replicable sound methodological studies which demonstrates how much children are helped by a program on some predetermined measure .None of Mr. Covey’s programs, past or present, offer any real proof, other than anecdotal stories as to their validity. More importantly, the cost vs. benefit analysis for his program is sadly and conspicuously missing. You might ask, what qualifies me to make such a judgment of this and other programs? I have written curriculum and have taught research and statistics courses at the college and university level. Not one of my students would pass the midterm in any of my courses with this lack of research rigor.
If elected, my tenure will be characterized as a “slash and burn” approach towards my office. Within the first 90 days of my administration, every position and every employee, in the Superintendent’s office, will have proven itself to be useful, or face elimination. The fiscal management of the office under my predecessor, Sandra Dowling, has been nothing short of abysmal. Now, we want to trust another Republican bureaucrat to control the fate of our children?
If elected, I will return the office back to one of its prime directives, serving the educational needs of the County’s underprivileged children. With my background in mental health counseling, couple with my experience working with youthful parolees, this will be a burden of love.
We have a choice. We can replace Sandra Dowling’s renegade approach to public expenditures with a legal but a reckless, bureaucratic approach. Or, we can vote for a return to sound stewardship and the implementation of programs that both pay for themselves and have scientifically proven their worth to children.
If the voters of Maricopa County want to truly reform education, then we need to elect and educator, not a bureaucrat. I would ask that you would write me in as Libertarian candidate for the Maricopa County Superintendent of Schools.
David E. Hodges