John Blair for SPI, 2016

July 2, 2012

Everett Herald Q & A

Filed under: Q and A — FreeRangeAuthor @ 10:38 pm

June 26, 2012

What is your age? 66

Your current occupation? (or former if you are retired) Self-Employed HVACR Service Mechanic

What town do you live in? Vashon Island

How long have you lived in Washington? 35 yrs

Do you have a campaign website. If so, what is the online address?

Political experience – have you run for office before?. If so, which one(s)? Elected to the Vashon School Board 2000-04; Candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction 2004 & 2008, 90,000+ votes both times,9% of the vote statewide.

What is your highest level of education? Temple University; Masters, Science Education

What are your priorities (no more than 3)? I have one main educational objective (as opposed to “priority”) and one organizational objective in running for the superintendency.

My educational objective is to offer specific-enough proposals for the foundation of an educational system, as opposed to an instructional/school system (whatever that means – right?), to encourage the discussion of:

1) What we expect our “learning” systems to accomplish and;
2) How do those expectations relate to the actual organizational structures (schools/programs/funding etc.) that are supposed to produce that learning.

I am doing this because I believe we currently have nowhere to start a discussion which we must have if we are going to get out of the “instructional” box in which we find ourselves.

My organizational objective, on the other hand, is not currently explicit, but soon will be (on my website). My intention is to find a “few good men and women” who will help me construct an interactive mapping and data base simulation of the program outlined in my campaign statement (see attached). This would be a way for interested would-be trustees, student trust account holders, facilities commissioners and Public Educational Program teacher/educators to get a hands-on understanding of the proposals while actually creating the entire system.

If designed properly, this simulation could be seamlessly transformed into the actual system should the legislature (or an interested foundation) want to give this “education system” a test drive. Of course the families and individuals who created the simulated Neighborhood Education Districts, Individual Student Trust Accounts, Public Education Programs and Community Facilities Districts would form a knowledgeable and motivated constituency to effect the legislative action necessary to implement these proposals.

Do you have any endorsements that you want to share? None

Briefly describe why you are running for this office. I want to offer some specific additions to our existing instructional system in order to expand it into an education system. Our current system of public instruction/schooling is accomplishing as much as it ever will. In an increasingly demanding world, if we are going to maintain the standard of living we have come to expect , I believe we must expand our training system into an education system. The fact that we cannot even discuss the distinction between training and education (because we have no agreed-on analytical definitions of those words) indicates how far we have to go even to discuss our learning systems and our expectations for them.

Briefly share one reason why you think incumbent Randy Dorn should be replaced. I believe under very difficult conditions, Randy has done a good job and deserves to be re-elected. Our “instructional” system is accomplishing as much as it ever will and, I believe, cannot be substantively improved without fundamental change. It works fairly well for the majority of children and in a democracy in its crudest sense (“two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for lunch.”) it’s working just fine. But in a nation that values every individual (see our Bill of Rights) and increasingly needs the contributions of every individual, just serving the majority is not enough. The best one can hope for, under the current instructional system, is to “keep the doors open and the lid on.” Randy has certainly achieved that.


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