Chalkbeat Detroit Responses

https://chalkbeat.org

Do you believe the next state superintendent should seek to close Michigan’s lowest performing schools?

No.  This should be decided by local districts in the case of traditional public schools, and by the customer base (students and the guardians who chose their schools) in other cases.

Control of public schools should never have been taken from local communities and placed under the control of politicians in Lansing.  The more removed decision makers are from the classroom, the less responsive they will be to the needs of individual students.

I support flexible policies that empower local schools, educators and home-schoolers to adapt to the needs and aspirations of students.

The criteria of what is, or is not, “lowest performing” depends on the priorities of the local communities who elect local school boards.  In the case of charter schools or private schools, families should be able to set their own criteria.  If a school is truly of poor quality, it will close on its own due to lack of enrollment.

Starting in 2019-2020, third-graders who read “below grade level” will be held back a grade under state law. But MDE is still working to define “below grade level.” Should the department choose a definition of “below grade level” that leads to fewer third-graders being held back?

This should be decided on an institution-by-institution basis.  A significant amount of research indicates that holding students back fails to improve performance.  On the other-hand, it is distracting to have classes teaching a common lesson to multiple students, when some students are constantly asking for the content to be explained, because they haven’t learned the pre-requisite knowledge.

Another complicating factor is that content may be taught in different orders based upon educational philosophy at particular institutions.  This should not be dictated by politicians in Lansing.  Diversity is strength, not a weakness.  Central control and uniformity stifles innovation.

Different classroom structures and pedagogies may, or may not, be easily adaptable to students functioning at different levels, therefore schools should be able to decide grade levels based on their specific approach.

Would you recommend a budget to the state legislature that called for raising the per pupil allowance for students who (to name only a few examples) are low-income, or have special needs, or whose parents speak English at home?

Some students require more resources, so I would support localized budgeting, and the restoration of money to families whenever possible.

Administrators, teachers, para-pros  and other staff, at local schools, have a much better grasp of what is needed to accommodate individual students than politicians in Lansing ever could; it’s a matter of scale.  Parents have direct personal contact with students and also have a much better understanding of what must be budgeted.

The topic of budget also raises a deeper issue. Unfortunately most of the state’s education budget is the spoils of legalized extortion. I think holistically, and see the need to separate education from the systemic violence inherent in government.  While a Board of Education member can’t accomplish this directly, I can still make recommendations and suggest guidelines that will accommodate a more choice-driven, less-aggressive, less centralized approach.

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League Of Woman Voters Responses

Contact Information
Contact’s Email
scottyeducation@yahoo.com
Contact’s Name
Scotty Boman
Candidate Photo
Picture
Candidate Picture
Biographical Info
Occupation
Professor
Website
http://scottyboman.org
Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/scottyboman
Twitter
@boman2012
Occupation / Current Position
Science and Mathematics Professor at Macomb Community College & Wayne County.Community College Dist.
Education
Wayne State University: Teaching Certificate (1998) and MAT (1999). Western Michigan U: MA in Physics (1987), and BS (1985) Majors: Physics and Philosophy. Minor: Mathematics.
Campaign Questions

1. Describe your qualifications and experience for State Board of Education and explain your reasons for running. How would you be an asset?

Answer I’ve been a professional educator for over 20 years. I served on the Wayne State University Student Council in 1999. I was Chair of the Libertarian Party of Michigan in 2006. My most important qualification is that I am a professional educator who recognizes the failure of compulsory education run from Lansing. Of course I can’t change that directly, but I can be an advocate for reform. End State control. I support returning the money parents would spend on public schools to parents who wish to enroll their children in private schools. The same for parents who wish to use these funds for home schooling purposes.

2. What actions would you recommend to improve our education system?

Answer Over-specialization is the primary cause of extinction. We need to diversify and move away from the top-down approach that seeks to standardize education. One size does not fit all. Central control caused the downward slide.

I support returning the amount of money parents would spend on public schools to parents who wish to enroll their children in private schools. The same for parents who wish to use these funds for home schooling purposes. This is a compromise. Ideally politician would not intervene in the education process and people would not have that money stolen from them by the government for that purpose.

3. What are the most pressing issues facing the State Board of Education and what actions would you take regarding them?

Answer 1. Over-standardization: Issue guidelines that encourage schools to be laboratories of innovation. Encourage distance learning opportunities that would be accessible by traditional students and home-schooled students alike. Give schools and families control of curriculum, not politicians. 2. Coercive funding mechanisms: Advise the legislature on initiatives to restore local and parental control. People should not be forced to pay for education they don’t use. 3. Safety: “Gun-Free Zones” are favored by terrorists. Permit people legally qualified to carry firearms elsewhere to carry them in schools.

Responses To Free Press Questions

City of residence
Detroit
Mailing Address
4877 Balfour Rd.
Detroit, MI 48224
Age
56
Birthdate (will not be published)
April 14th, 1962
Cell phone number (will not be published)
(313) 247-2052 [Voice Only]
Home phone number (will not be published)
(313) 247-2052
Office number (will not be published)
Family
Domestic Partner: Linda Moore. Six year old canine son: Harry.
Education
Grosse Pointe South High School. 1980 Western Michigan University. BS (1985) Majors: Physics and Philosophy. Minor: Mathematics. Western Michigan University MA Physics (1988). Wayne State University: Teaching Certificate (1998) and MAT (1999). Additional Coursework at Macomb Community College, Wayne County Community College, Parahawks Skydiving, SCUBA Centers of Michigan, Sempre Fi Firearms training.
Vehicles owned
2013 Ford Focus.
Professional Experience
Professor: [Aug., 14 – Now. Physics: Henry Ford College. Sept, 03 – Now. Mathematics & Physics WCCCD] [Aug., ’02 – Now. Astronomy & Physics Macomb Community College.] [Feb., ’99 – Now. K-12 Substitute: PESG Edustaff.]
Political Experience
I served on the Wayne State University Student Council in 1999. I was Chair of the Libertarian Party of Michigan in 2006., MEC Neighborhood Patrol Vice President (2013-2015). Michigan Director of “Our America Initiative.” (2014-Present). I am the Political Director of the Libertarian Party of Michigan, and Michigan Director of Gary Johnson 2016.
Race/ethnicity
Human/United States of America.
Campaign Website
http://scottyboman.org
Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/scottyboman
Twitter

YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/user/sboman08

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QUESTIONS 2018

I. What work or life experiences most qualify you to be a member of the State Board of Education?

I’ve been a professional educator for 20 years. I served on the Wayne State U. Student Council in 1999. I was Chair of the Libertarian Party of Michigan in 2006. My most important qualification is that I am a professional educator who recognizes the failure of compulsory education run from Lansing. Of course I can’t change that directly, but I can be an advocate for reform.

I support returning the amount of money parents would spend on public schools to parents who wish to enroll their children in private schools. The same for parents who wish to use these funds for home schooling purposes.

II. What do you consider the board’s three most critical responsibilities?

1. Advising. This could include recommendations to the legislature, or instructions to schools and school districts. I would call for a departure from Federally subsidized PC fads like Common Core, man-made global warming alarmism, and “gun-free” zones. I would encourage respect for parental choice on matters of vaccinations, prescription psychotropic medicine and medical marijuana.

2. Managing the distribution of available funds. Reduce waste.

3. Appointing the superintendent.

This is defined in Article VIII § 3 [http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?mcl-article-viii-3]

III. What would you do to ensure that every child in the state has access to a quality education?

Recommend legislation that would give families more control of education dollars. This could include tax credits and vouchers. Market forces provide for better services.

As long as schools are funded or run by a governmental body, they should be run and funded locally. The further removed decision makers are from the classroom, the less responsive their policies will be to student needs.

Federal funds come with too many strings attached . Funding needs are acute, but more money doesn’t necessarily bring better results, especially if the quality of education is diminished by mandates.

IV. Academically, Michigan’s students are falling behind much of the country. What must the state do to ensure Michigan’s students keep up?

We need to diversify and move away from the top-down approach that seeks to standardize education. One size does not fit all. Central control caused the downward slide.

I support returning the amount of money parents would spend on public schools to parents who wish to enroll their children in private schools. The same for parents who wish to use these funds for home schooling purposes. This is a compromise. Ideally politician would not intervene in the education process and people would not have that money stolen from them by the government for that purpose.

V. How would you describe the state of standardized testing in Michigan? What do you think works and what would you change?

Standardized tests have too much influence on school funding and student evaluation by indirectly imposing one pedagogy at the expense of the other. For instance, it effectively imposes a math curriculum that calls for teaching algebra before geometry even though some students perform better if they learn geometry first.

While the state shouldn’t push standardization, businesses or other schools may wish to use such tests in their hiring or admission process. The schools should be open to letting testing organizations administer such tests on campus.
VI. Are Michigan’s public schools adequately funded? What changes in the way the state funds schools would you support?

The funding is inadequate because the money is poorly allocated, and the means of funding is immoral. Schools should compete to win over customers, and the best way to win over customers is to offer the best value at the best price.

Families should decide the best way to spend their education dollars, instead of politicians deciding for them. Students will be much better served.

VII. What is the best way for the state to intervene in financially or academically failing school districts?

The state shouldn’t seize control of local schools, and they should not disempower elected local officials. The type of gross voter disenfranchisement that gutted DPS must not happen again.

VIII. Do you support the establishment of a Detroit Educational Commission or a similar body that would have authority to site, open and close traditional public and charter schools?

No. we don’t need a commission to do that. Another level of bureaucracy, would probably attract people with agendas that have more to do with opportunism than education. Charter schools will sink or swim based on their ability to attract students. Students (with the guidance of their parents) are the true customers. If we take the possibility of tax-payer funded bailouts off the table, failing schools will close on their own.

Detroit Public Schools belong under the supervision of their elected School Board. It is their job to decide which schools to keep open.

IX. Should the state require school districts to test for lead in the drinking water in school buildings?

Schools and districts shouldn’t need state requirements to do this; It’s common sense. As long as the state is involved with local school districts, they should insist that their water is safe.

X. How should school districts improve security and safety measures at their schools? Should teachers or other school staff be armed?

Given that over ninety percent of such tragedies happen in so-called “Gun-Free Zones,” I will urge the legislature to remove restrictions on CPL holders that prohibit them from CCW in schools.

Schools should be able to set their own weapon policies, rather than having them mandated by politicians trying to score points with a misguided support base.

I oppose requiring teachers and non-security staff to carry firarms; It’s a choice. Likewise taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to buy firearms for staff that chose to be armed. Legally qualified gun-owners should buy their own weapons.

XI. Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor or filed for personal bankruptcy? If so, explain.

I was falsely convicted of trespassing in spite of the fact that I wasn’t breaking any law, and I was at my place of employment in an area that was open to the general public. The law didn’t even match the circumstances or my alleged behavior. We were even able to show that the prosecution’s primary witness, perjured testimony.

Filed for bankruptcy. Definitely more people are concerned with Michigan’s future than Scotty Boman’s past. That being said, at the turn of the century I made some horrible decisions. Those horrible decisions led me to a point where I could no longer service my own debt.

Response to WWMT Questions

1. What qualifies you for office?

I’ve been a professional educator for over 20 years. My most important qualification is that I am a professional educator who recognizes the failure of compulsory education run from Lansing. Of course I can’t change that directly, but I can be an advocate for reform. End State control. As long as government runs schools, they should be run locally. I support returning the money parents would spent on public schools to parents who wish to enroll their children in private schools. The same for parents who wish to use these funds for home schooling purposes.
2. Define the role of a public servant.

The people should be the bosses of the politicians, not the other way around.
3. Name the top issue you want to address and why?
Bringing more diversity and choice to education in Michigan, by separating it from the systemic violence inherent in government. Aggression is fundamentally immoral regardless of how noble the stated motives are. Education is a noble endeavor that should be accomplished by noble means. When people have a choice the system becomes more adaptable to meet people’s needs, and where it fails to do that, it withers away.


 

A. Occupation:
Physics, Math & Astronomy Professor (WCCCD & MCC) & Substitute Teacher.

B. Education:
Grosse Pointe South High School. 1980
Western Michigan University. BS (1985) Majors: Physics and Philosophy. Minor: Mathematics.
Western Michigan University MA Physics (1988).
Wayne State University: Teaching Certificate (1998) and MAT (1999).
Additional Coursework at Macomb Community College, Wayne County Community College, Parahawks Skydiving, SCUBA Centers of Michigan, Sempre Fi Firearms training.

C. Hometown:
Detroit.

D. Wayne State Student Council 1999. Morningside Board 2012-Present. Current Libertarian County Convention Delegate.

E. I was Chair of the Libertarian Party of Michigan in 2006. I have run for several Federal, state and local offices.
I am the forunder of Detroit Residents Advancing Civilian Oversight.
I am Michigan director of Our America Initiative and Michigan Director of Gary Johnson’s Presidential campaign.

F. Anything of note you believe voters should know:
I’ve been a professional educator since the 1980’s. I am a certified teacher with two Master Degrees. I have experience at public and private colleges as well as public and private K-12 schools. My in-depth experience with education from preschool through graduate school gives me a unique perspective.
I think holistically, and see the need to separate education from the systemic violence inherent in government. While a Board of Education member can’t accomplish this directly, I can still make recommendations and suggest guidelines that will accommodate a more choice-driven, less-aggressive, less centralized approach.

Peace Action Of Michigan Responses

Dear Rev. Rich Peacock and other members of Peace Action of Michigan:

It was interesting to read a bit about your group’s history.  Especially that one of the original organizations was Nuclear Freeze, which I actively promoted and protested for when I was a student at Western Michigan University through-out the 1980’s.

As you probably recall I have spent much of my campaign time in more recent years advocating a non-interventionist foreign policy, which would scale down the military industrial complex, and remove many of the excuses given for large stockpiles of weapons.

As a libertarian I too seek a world without violence, even when the noble goals are given as justification.  I too seek a demilitarized sustainable economy, the abolition of weapons of mass destruction, and diplomatic resolutions to global conflicts.

I will humbly ask your endorsement and answer the two questions:

  1. If the Education Secretary Betsy Devos gives states the ability to buy guns for schools, what will you do?

I would point out that she is making a cynical attempt to score points with some constituency, by taking credit for doing something purely symbolic.  States can already buy guns for schools, and to some extent they already do.  Detroit, for instance, has its own police force and most of the district’s funding comes from the state.

Libertarian’s view taxation as theft, in that it ultimately depends on the use of violence to extort funds from peaceful people.  So in principal, I object to the aggressive extortion of funds to buy guns or other things for individuals and local institutions.

What I can do directly is limited, but I can use my position to advise legislators to adopt less aggressive policies and urge them to move in the direction non-aggression and voluntarism.

The shift of funding to more distant controlling organizations impairs flexibility by those who are closest to students and best understand their needs.  Much of this is the result of state and Federal taxes becoming a larger source of public school funding. In advising legislators and our superintendent I will advocate returning more control to local districts and reducing state involvement, including funding for local school police.

  1. What do you think of the recently proposed changes to the social studies curriculum?

Here I assume you are referring to the politically motivated, agenda driven changes first advanced by Senator Patrick Colbeck.  In looking closely at the many of the pages of the new and old state curriculum, I saw largely cosmetic changes designed to score points with the Senators reactionary base.  For instance, many reports show huge amounts of content stricken from a description in one column of the curriculum outline.  That content often took the form of a list of examples in parenthesis.  What is often omitted from reports is that most of that content was simply moved to a separate “Example” column. This gave the appearance of sweeping change, while doing little more than make the revised description more compact and easier to read.

As a matter of principal, I object to government mandated curricula in general.  As long as education is in the hands of the politicians instead of educators, families and students, it will be a political football.  And it is difficult to imagine true political and ideological neutrality being possible in a social studies curriculum.  There are only so many hours in a day, and the choice of what information to include or exclude will have an agenda behind it. As a member of a third party I recall childhood civics classes as being structured to push the two party system and a one dimensional approach to political philosophy.  As a substitute in K-12 classes I find this is often still the case.  As a Board member I won’t be using my position to infuse libertarianism into the curriculum, rather I will work to diversify curriculum by giving autonomy to educational institutions, families and students.  Assimilation is not liberation. The cookie-cutter approach to education is poor pedagogy and impairs innovation.  Educators need to be able to compete to attract students based on applying methods that are most effective on particular individuals.