Tuesday, February 1

State Superintendent Election II

(First interview here)
Todd Stelzel has responded to my questions on his run for superintendent of public instruction. Like Paul Yvarre, comparing him to our present superintendent of public instruction's pattern of initiatives and lack of initiatives he looks very favorable. Stelzel answers much more knowledgably, but he is inferior to Yvarre in his answer to the question on abstinence education. I will withhold official endorsement until I am sure that none of the other candidates will respond.

WW: Parental involvement and support has often been shown to be critical to the success of a child's education. How will you work to activate parents in the education of their children?

Todd Stelzel: Research does show that parental involvement and support is critical to the success of a student's education. As State Superintendent, I would encourage school leaders to strengthen the working relationship between parents and the school, since this is critical and necessary. Strong Parent Teacher Organizations (PTO's) can be an effective tool, if the school leader makes this priority number one. Recognition of parents is essential before asking them for more help.

WW:Arizona has implemented successfully a system that enables individuals to receive tax credits for contributions to organizations that give students scholarships. Would you support a similar system in our schools?

TS: Yes, I would support tax credits to individuals who contribute to organizations that give student scholarships. There are already some scholarship foundations in our local Wisconsin School Districts that can be used as a tax credit. Tax credits should also be given to those individuals who want to donate cash or equipment to a particular school program.

WW: How would you support the home schooling trend in our state?

TS: I am in favor of school choice. Home schooling is one of those choices. It is another option for parents and students. However, guidelines for home schooling need to be improved. For example, accurate records of student progress must be maintained and evidence of curriculum development demonstrated by the home school instructor, since this is what is required of the public school teacher.

WW:Would you seek to restrict the teaching of all scientific theories that contradict evolution? If so, why?

TS: I would not seek to restrict the teaching of all scientific theories that contradict evolution.

WW: Would you support abstinence based sexual education. If so, how?

TS: I do support abstinence. However, school districts must also teach students about protection.