Davis for Local Education

Candidate: Jennifer Graviet

Office: State School Board, District 4 (2016 Election)

2016 Election Candidate Survey Questions and Answers

Candidate answers are presented exactly as received, including grammatical and spelling errors.

Q1: What are the three (3) most critical education issues in our county?

A1-1: Funding

A1-2: Local control (and teacher input)

A1-3: Overtesting

Q2: Do you believe the Common Core State Standards (also known as the Utah Core) will prepare students to be college and career ready?

A2: Yes

Q3: Recently Governor Gary Herbert asked the State School Board to leave the Common Core and implement new statewide standards. As a member of the State School Board, would you support the Governor's request?

A3: Undecided

Q4: Do you believe parents should be able to opt a student out of the statewide assessment tests and the State Longitudinal Database System?

A4: Yes

Q5: Do you believe Utah should provide universal pre-K education for children?

A5: Yes

Q6: Do you believe public schools are adequately funded? If not, please briefly specify changes that should be made to provide appropriate financial support.

A6: No. First of all, we need more on the WPU, so that districts can appropriate funds where they need to be. Since we are in a teacher shortage, we also need to do what we can to increase salary for teachers and give them the time they need to properly educate our children. This may mean putting a hold on charter schools, so that funding isn't diverted from neighborhood public schools. This may mean spending less money on testing programs and more money on books or field trips. Students needs experiences more than they need testing. Finally, I think we, as a state, need to be willing to pay a little more in taxes. I know that is not a popular view. As a person without any children, I am happy to give to the schools because I value an educated populace. I would hope others would be willing to do the same.

Q7: 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)

A7: Keeping it as it is

Q8: If you want to clarify any of your answers, please do so here.

A8: I believe we need a Federal Department of Education--if only as a way to equalize some of our most fragile children. We need funding for those with special needs for example. This is not something the state could afford on its own. I would hope that the Federal Department of Education would listen to teachers and staff its department with teachers and former teachers, so that the correct people are implementing and creating policy.

Q9: If you want to share a brief position on education issues, please do so here.

A9: I believe that we need to use the research we have done in our own country and implement it. Finland, for example, has taken our research, done just that, and become a leader. We need to incorporate play and innovation, multiple intelligences, creativity, and cooperative learning into our teaching practice. Let's celebrate teachers and celebrate students by trusting the professionals. Let's not forget what we know about child development. Let's remember that our children are not commodities. They are not to be used as experiments in this reform movement. People (and vendors) should not be making money off of our children. We need to listen to what we know, and we need to use our best resources: our teachers. I believe in the power of learning, and I believe that children learn best when there is joy and challenge and intrigue involved. To do that, we need the best teachers. To get the best teachers, we need to respect them and trust them and give them a place at the decision-making table.