Candidate: Gordon Eckersley
Office: Davis School Board, District 5 (2014 General Election)
2014 General Election Survey Questions and Answers
Candidate answers are presented exactly as received, including grammatical and spelling errors.
Q1: Do you believe the Common Core State Standards (also known as the Utah Core) will prepare students to be college and career ready?
Q2: Do you believe parents should be able to opt a student out of the Core aligned tests and the State Longitudinal Database System?
Q3: Do you believe Utah should provide universal pre-K education for children?
Q4: What are the three (3) most critical education issues in our county?
A4-2: Local Control
A4-3: Parental Input
Q5: Do you believe Davis County public schools are adequately funded? If not, please briefly specify changes that should be made to provide appropriate financial support.
A5: Yes. Reduced salaries of district officers.
Q6: With regard to the Federal Department of Education, do you support: A) Keeping it as it is, B) Changing it to a small research and advisory organization, C) Completely eliminating it, D) Other (please specify)
A6: Changing it to a small research and advisory organization
Q7: If you want to clarify any of your answers, please do so here.
A7: Education was never meant to be a role of the federal government. Keep it local.
Q8: If you want to share a brief position on education issues, please do so here.
A8: The public needs more say at board meetings. Also, Parent and student need more control over classes and transcript.
Member opinions provided to DLE are shared as a service to our members, but do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the group.
From group member Lonis S.:
David is the current incumbent on the Davis School Board. He believes that the main mission of education is to provide all students with the latest technology and that this will prepare them for the best possible future. David would like to continue to improve quality of education and to promote a system that will prepare students for achievement and success in a global marketplace. David has a BS in Social and Behavioral Science. As a current member of the Davis School Board, one of his duties is as a representative for the DSD Parent Equity Committee. David has a 100% attendance record to board meetings. David feels that the 3 most crucial issues facing the district are funding, teacher morale and the diversity of teachers and staff. He believes that the district should collaborate with the DEA to get the legislature to dramatically increase funding. He believes that teacher morale can be addressed by providing them with shared decision-making opportunities. David believes that the district needs to reform classroom instruction to integrate culturally-sensitive curricula, including multi-cultural viewpoints and histories. David believes that we are not adequately funded and that we have an ‘obligation’ to invest in our students. He believes that we should get fair compensation for our public lands which provide no taxable income. He believes that we could attract quality teachers if we create teacher recruiter positions. David does not support vouchers or tuition tax credits as they would undermine the public school system. He is a strong proponent of the union. He is opposed to the concept of the single letter grade to measure a school’s success and he believes that early learning programs would help struggling schools. David says that he has not reached a final conclusion regarding his position on Common Store; he sees both good and bad with its implementation, but he does believe it increases critical thinking and adds rigor. He asserts that DSD has adopted very little of the Common Core in ‘our curriculum’ and that we are not following federal agendas as some districts are, that we have created our own DESK standards, which serves our students well. In conclusion, David would like to continue to move public education forward in a positive direction.
Gordon Eckersley believes that the main mission of public education is to preserve the freedoms we have received from our Founding Fathers. He filed to run for this position because he is interested in preserving our freedoms and in quality education. He is leery and watchful of federal and state overreach in education. He believes that quality teachers are being held back by federal mandates. He is suspicious of standardized testing. He believes that teachers should teach what they believe is important, that testing should be done on a local level and that parents should be involved in determining the curriculum. Gordon believes that schools are not adequately funded, but that could be alleviated by watching our legislators and making cuts at the top with the people making excess of $100,000 per year. He believes that quality teachers could be retained by allowing them the freedom to teach what and how they want in getting kids excited about their classes. Gordon is in favor of vouchers because public schools are so strongly directed by federal mandates. He thinks that parents should be in charge of their kids’ education. Gordon believes that education should be reformed to include a student’s extra curricular activities: He believes that private endeavors should count on a student’s transcripts. For example, piano lessons should give a student music credit. Participation in city sports should give a student PE credit. A private art tutor should give a student art credit, etc. He believes that teachers’ unions don’t put students’ concerns first, that they are more interested in preserving their jobs. He is opposed to schools being given single letter grades. He believes that standardized testing cannot be trusted. He believes that we should implement curriculum like Singapore Math and that we shouldn’t get so caught up in STEM that we do away with History. Gordon believes that Common Core turns family and parent power over to someone else, that educational decision-making power should not go above the school district level.
I disagree with David Lovato’s goals all over the place. I believe that kids were getting a far better education 50 years ago when today’s technology didn’t exist. While technology can be a beneficial tool, I don’t believe that education today has improved as a result. While technology can make both teaching and learning easier, more fun and more efficient, it cannot compensate for a poor curriculum. So, putting an ipad in the hands of every student may sound like a good idea on the surface, it can also be a distraction from the actual human teaching/learning experience. It is also unnecessarily more expensive and more invasive as it is designed to aid in the data mining and sharing of our kids’ private information in violation of original FERPA laws. Common Core happened under David’s watch. If he would like to ‘continue’ to ‘improve’ the quality of education and prepare students for success in a global marketplace, I believe that he’s got a really warped sense of what that looks like, because Common Core does neither. If this is the path he intends to ‘continue’ to travel, I want a new tour guide! Social and Behavioral Science sounds like an interesting field. However, I think it is a dangerous one where today’s collective-engineered education is being steered. It fits in a little too neatly with AIR, a social and behavioral science company, who is the company administering our SAGE tests and collecting data on our kids. This lends itself to social engineering, not education. I would grade his rep job for the DSD Parent Equity Committee with a big, fat F as parents largely feel disenfranchised, ignored and blatantly blown off in complete disregard of any form of ‘equity.’ I feel that David’s utopia of ‘shared decision-making opportunities’ for teachers is nothing more than a mirage in contrast to his support of Common Core. I disagree with David’s multi-cultural curricula ideas. World History already teaches about cultures in other lands. American History should teach about American cultures. Literature books, text books, etc. already include stories of other cultures and depict children of various heritages. I don’t think we need to teach every class in 7 different languages and refrain from sharing American stories or depicting white children in hopes of not offending anyone. I think that schools, as a whole, should spend less time pointing out our differences in skin tones and cultural heritage and more time on our commonalities as human beings, on our shared desire to bloom where we are planted and what a beautiful, vibrant bouquet we make when we are gathered together. I do not believe in David’s ‘teacher recruiter positions.’ This would cost the district more money in salaries which would negatively impact the salaries of those potential quality teachers they were trying to recruit. Word of mouth is the best recruiter... or deterrent. The district should not be in the business of helping struggling schools as much as it is in the business of helping struggling students... and study after study indicates that early learning programs are in opposition to that goal. David’s attempt to snow the public that we have not signed a contract with Common Core, that we are magically free from federal overreach and that Utah’s DESK standards are light years removed from Common Core are insulting. Anyone with children in public school who has seen the text books which have come home with COMMON CORE written in large letters across the front know that Davis does common core. That, combined with a letter written and signed by Superintendent Bowles stating that they are one and the same, combined with the fact that DSD will not allow your child to graduate without passing COMMON CORE classes, verify that he is unfamiliar with the truth of this issue, or just hopes that you are. David’s concluding comment was disturbing to me. I don’t believe that Common Core is a positive direction. He helped get it implemented here. And the thought of him continuing in that direction is in violation of what I believe a quality education looks like.
I cannot say enough good things about Gordon Eckersley! I was so impressed with this man! His extra-curricular activities for credit idea I thought was ingenious and perfectly logical. Why has no one ever thought of this before?! I would want to be in a district with Gordon Eckersley at the helm! He was the first candidate of the night whom I could endorse whole-heartedly and without reservation. The only thing he said which I disagreed with was that he would do away with the A/B schedule because it’s too long to sit on a hard chair. I disagree. My kids all prefer the A/B schedule. In District 5, Gordon Eckersley is hands down the best man for the job!