Education Debate Recap

Sandy Welch Official Facebook Profile PicTonight, the candidates for Montana’s chief state school official debated in Helena. The debate, which was broadcast live on the Northern Broadcasting Network, was a clear win for Denise Juneau.

The candidates differed on many issues: notably, using your tax dollars to subsidize private schools.  Juneau opposes it, as do most Montanans. Welch supports it.

Juneau ran on her record of Montana’s kids scoring among the top ten states in the nation for reading, math, and science.  Welch said she thought some changes to “process” were in order, but didn’t offer specifics.

The candidates also differ vastly in experience.  Juneau has a post-secondary degree from Harvard in education and a law degree from U of M, and has worked in education in Montana and as a teacher her entire life.

On the other hand, Welch is a transplant from California who lacks familiarity and experience with local education concerns.  When asked what qualifications she had to advocate for education in Montana, Welch cited—I kid you not—her work as a legislative staffer in the infamous Bat Crap secession session of 2011.  Not something I would admit in public–even if I were one of the 18-year-old college Republicans who typically fill these positions.

The AP has a recap of the debate online here.


46 Comments on "Education Debate Recap"

  1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | September 26, 2012 7:42 AM at 7:42 AM |

    Can we just say it? I think that we should CORRECT our litature curriculum. No more Grapes of Wrath, Hucklberry Finn, or the Jungle. NOW, we should get the kiddes started on the Bible, Asses Plugged by Aynus Rant, and the Five Thousand Year Leap!
    It’s time. I think Pogie would agree! (snark)

    ALL of Aynus Rant’s “novels” should be required reading. And can’t we just put God into the science curriculum? It’s so much easier than trying to learn all the boring scientific shit, which is heresy anyway!

    Yep, now is the time to Welch UP the curriculum! And them teachers that ain’t up to par, can’em!

    (hey, maybe I should run!)

    • Call it the “Skees in the Schools” Initiative.

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | September 26, 2012 7:48 AM at 7:48 AM |

      Oh, and I almost forget. The history curriculum. Like Newtie says, we should include the “Nazi perspective”, ’cause we ALL knnow that the Nazis had some good ideas, right? Just ask ol’ Prescott Bush. He LUVED him some Hitler!

  2. I was disturbed by Welches comments that she would support private charter schools “if they don’t take money from public schools.”

    Where does she think we will get the money? Is she proposing a new private charter school tax? Is it from Rick Hill’s sales tax? she doesn’t say. I don’t think she’s really thought that one through…

  3. If Denise Juneau does not beat Welsh, I will be in shock. Personally if I was a gambling man I would bet that Juneau wins by a margin of atleast 60-40. I dont think Welsh has a prayer of going over 45% of the vote.

  4. Montana Dems: embrace your party and get involved. If you haven’t already: contact your county chairs and like Denise Juneau, go be proud to be a community organizer.

  5. Try reading the article you linked CG as to Welch’s qualifications:

    Welch, a consultant from Martin City, previously worked as a math teacher and school administrator. She was born in Pennsylvania, taught schools in California and moved to Montana in 1998 and was principal of Ronan High School until 2004.

    Welch studied actuarial science at the College of Insurance, before getting teaching credentials at University of California, Berkeley, and a graduate education degree at California State University, Haywood.

  6. I am amazed by the height of hate and lack of substance found at this sight. I thought both candidates had positive comments that were focused on what is best for our kids. I support charter schools too but do not know,as yet, how that would work in MT. I sent my kids to a private school as well as public. Both have pros and cons. People, in a free country, should have the choice to do what they feel is right for their family.
    As far as the OPI, my mind is not yet made up. Am I going to be demonized on this sight as well now because I’m not going to degrade Welch and fall hook line and sinker for Janeau?

    • “The food is terrible and the portions are so small!”

      Lucy H., it appears that you’ve missed the point of discussion about charter schools. The discussion isn’t about which is better, public or private schooling, but rather about who should pay for them. My wife and I do not have kids, and we are property owners, yet we have voted for every educational mil-levy. We do so because funding the education of our children is a public duty that serves the country. But, having already provided for the access of all to a good public education, Welch would now ask me to pay for others to have an alternative because they, for whatever reason, feel that public school isn’t good enough. I say a big fat “NO” to that one. Families should have the right to make their own decisions about what is good for them. The do not have the right to have me pay for it. That’s one of the many reasons I will be voting for Denise Juneau.

      • Apparently you missed the point too Rob. I realize that charter schools need funding and that is why I said ” (I) do not know, as yet, how that would work in MT.” I should have added “in all of MT” because such an option would not work in our small towns. I support charter schools because of their higher than public schools academic standards. I’m just open to looking into the option. I’m not saying it is a must and I’m not saying its a bust. As far as I’ve read or heard Sandy Welch does not have a foregone conclusion either. There certainly is A LOT to consider. Thanks for your personal commitment to providing an education for our children. Thanks also for your civil tone.

        • Lucy, it is not actually “civil” in tone to tell someone they are missing the point when you clearly ignore the point at hand. It doesn’t matter what Welch or you or anyone else think of charter schools as opposed to public education. What matters here is that a candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction has stated a desire to use public funds, my money, to fund private education. THAT’s the point.

        • Please provide links to support your claim ” I support charter schools because of their higher than public schools academic standards”

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | September 26, 2012 2:26 PM at 2:26 PM |

      Where ya from, Goosey Lucy? Welch is from….wait for it….wait for it…

      You see, Goosey Lucy, please do this. Go down to the library in ANY small town in Montana and read the early histories of the first settlers to Montana. You will see that the very FIRST thing they did after building a sod house and planting a crop, was to BUILD A SCHOOL HOUSE AND SEND FOR A TEACHER!

      It’s who we are. It’s in our blood! We provide an eduation for our youth! But you and ms. Squelch, her bein’ from californicatin’ and all, just wouldn’t understand! You two don’t have a friggin’ CLUE! If you think we’re godless communists for doing that, go suck an egg!

      That’s who we Montanans are. We are DAMN justifiably proud of our educational system in this state, and we DON’T like no furriner kooky carpet baggers comin’ in here and tellin’ us our schools suck!

      ms. squelch is TOTALLY unsuited to be our super of schools. She hasn’t a clue! There is NOTHING wrong with our schools. Hell, go to ANY small town in Montana and tell’em their schools sucks, and that they need a charter school, and SEE how well recieved you are!

      You see, problem is that the Pubbies gotta run SOMEbody I guess. And qualifications be damned! If ya want a charter school, MOVE TO CALIFORNICATIN’ORNEEA! ms. squelch’s country!

      • I’m a proud native of this great state, Larry and I grew up in a small town. My high school enrollment was less than 70 students. No need for a history lesson as I had an fantastic MT history teacher who taught her students a GREAT deal about our state, including building schools and sending for teachers. In fact, my great grandmother and grandmother were teachers who were called to teach in one room school houses. Through them I learned a lot about sod houses, crops and said schools. Partly because of them, I too went to a university here in Montana to become a teacher-a challenge with a slight learning disability. When we had kids I choose to stay at home and-this might tip you over- I am currently homeschooling our youngest daughter. The others are doing well at a public school. This arrangement works best for our family at this time.

        A charter school would not be an option for a small town. Small town schools need the OPI to come along side them to work out the challenges unique to their communities. Perhaps you read my reply to Rob Kailey. I never said I wanted a charter school-I’m simply open to options. I’m not friggin’ clueless Larry and your statement that there is NOTHING wrong with our schools makes me wonder about your “clue level.” Go into ANY school and tell them that NOTHING is wrong with our school system and you will hear otherwise!

        • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | September 26, 2012 9:09 PM at 9:09 PM |

          “Go into ANY school and tell them that NOTHING is wrong with our school system and you will hear otherwise!”

          Oh BULLSHIT, Lucy Goosey! How many schools you been in, cupcake? I’ve been in a LOT of them, and I have YET to see a bad school or a bad teacher! All I’ve seen are dedicated, overworked, hardworking, underpaid folks doing a fantastic job educating our kids! AND, they spend their FREE time advocating for kids and education! If TEACHERS don’t advocate for kids, who will? Rightwing Aynus Rantians like yourself? Too funny!

          No seriously, Lucy Goosey, NAME NAMES, cupcake! WHO out there in Pubbie nazi land advocates for kids? There is NO ONE in rightwing land who advocates for kids, ’cause kids are unimportant! LIP service is simply bullshit!

          This entire attack on education is simply a pathetic ploy ginned up by idiots like rob natelson! Hell, twenty years ago before natelson arrived, no one even MENTIONED schools! It’s simply a soft target diversionary tactic developed by the nazis.

          You are simply a simpleton who’s full of crap! Since you bring it up, what is so WRONG with schools? Be specific now. Look, schools in Montana do a damn good job. If you don’t like that, stop bitching and send your kids to private school or home school!

          But you DON’T get a free pass from me on the issue. Schools haven’t changed that much from when I was a kid. The ONLY thing that has changed is the attacks from the fundiwackmentalist christofascists and pukes like natelson!

          The lowest of the lowlifes spend their time attacking education and teachers. They’re simply slimeballs, just like the shizerbag natelson!

          You have either done been duped, or weren’t real bright to BEGIN with!

  7. No, but you might face some criticism for your inability to spell or back up your arguments.

    • True. My spelling stinks sometimes-especially when I’m rushed. As far as backing up my arguments I do not think it would matter much to most who read this sight but you point is well taken. If I do not have time to argue, I will not post. A relief no doubt!

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | September 26, 2012 9:12 PM at 9:12 PM |

        No, a relief to YOU , Lucy Goosey! You got nuthin’ but bullshizer, and it shows. You should really THINK before attempting to post here.

        • Eat shitt larry. YOU are why civil discourse is not possible. Live in your hate filled little bubble ass licker as you are obviously not interested solving any problems.

          • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | September 26, 2012 9:41 PM at 9:41 PM |

            Let’s try civil, shall we? Just answer two basic questions that I asked above. You see, NO ONE from the rightwing crowd will answer questions. They just spout bullshit talking points. That’s why you guys are losers. So, here goes.

            1. YOU claim that schools suck. Well then, HOW? What have YOU seen in our schools that make them so bad? Be specific. You can not nor will not answer, because I just blew the SHIT outta your talking point!

            2. Teachers are the BIGGEST advocates for kids out there. They risk it all to help kids. They LIVE to help kids! WHERE in the rightwing nazi equivalent of that? Militias maybe? Prussian blue? Dopey Reeburp’s boating saftey class? WHO on the nazi side risks it all to advocate for kids! There are none!

            Please, lucy goosey, don’t go all righteeous on me. Just answer the damn questions so we can see what you got!

            BTW, to PRAISE your former teachers, and THEN beat up on the current group of teachers in our schools indicates to me that your simply a loser.

            Hope this helps.

            • It is useless to answer your two questions for two reasons;
              1. I never said that our schools suck. YOU did. So there was no SHIT to blow!

              2. Teachers ARE the biggest advocates for our students-I went into the profession myself. Please realize that not all teachers are Dems either Larry and they too are advocates for our students.

              I was foolish to have posted on this sight because of all that is going on wth my family – my mind is mostly elsewhere. My teacher friend told me, “You shouldn’t have done that!” So since I do highly value not just good education but great education, I’ll turn from here,which is going nowhere, to my teacher and administration friends. We will continue discussing issues, asking questions, and I will make a clear choice for OPI. Both candidates have good points, but neither of them can walk on water. It has been an interesting experience here. It is time to dust off my sandals and turn away. Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!

              • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | September 28, 2012 6:47 AM at 6:47 AM |

                Where to start, where to start? How ’bout with your own words.

                ” Go into ANY school and tell them that NOTHING is wrong with our school system and you will hear otherwise!”

                Bullshit. You’re saying that TEACHERS are saying that shools suck. Now back that up or look the fool. LIST what you heard that was wrong with our schools. You’re simply lying, and it shows.

                Again your words.

                ” So since I do highly value not just good education but great education,”

                Bullshit! Stoopid, meaningless rightwing bullshit drivel! WHAT in your tiny mind is the difference? Who are you, ms. super teacher? Silly, silly stuff. EVERY newbie teacher thinks that they’re the one that has the magic ingredient to reach every kid! Soon enough, reality sets in and they realize that teaching is just plain old hardass WORK. And to do a great job, you must be up to the task, and that NO ONE is gonna pat you on the back and cheer you on. The rewards come from hard, hard work.

                Your words:

                “Both candidates have good points, but neither of them can walk on water.”

                Bullshit. ANY teacher can immediately recognize what welch is. She couldn’t make it in the classroom, so she did what ALL losers do. She hightailed it into administration! And then from there, she leapfrogged into corporate pimp! MUCH more luctrative!

                And really, did she HAVE to mention O’Bama?

                This person is exactly what she appears to be, a very, very unqualified individual who is NOT above pimping the state and the educational system for her OWN profit! She’s bad news.

                And lastly, the reality is that there are NO rightwing advocates for children! NONE! I realize that you don’t appear to be ver well-informed, but for the record, former guv judy mars passed UP the opportunity to speak at the teachers’ conventiont to speak at, you guessed it, the HOME SCHOOLER convention!

                The rightwing, to which ms. welch belongs, had declared WAR on public schools, which they label “government” schools. And this makes me puke! Our teachers should be HONORED instead of belittled by your pals. The Dems DO honor teachers, and the Pubbies want to END free, good public education for all!

                End of story. You lose. Now you can go away knowing that yes, you probaly SHOULDN’T have showed up here.

  8. Beyond all of the partisan nonsense, blather, noise and smokescreen there is this:

    I wish someone would have asked Juneau to address why she campaigns for more and more money when the data indicates otherwise as to where the problem areas are.

    There is, however, no relationship between the educational inputs and educational outputs. This conclusion is not counterintuitive. There is, in fact, almost a negative correlation between the amount of money spent historically on education in America and almost any measure of achievement (except perhaps, psychosocial benefits).

    Another indicator that there is little relationship between inputs and outputs is found in the relationship between minorities and educational achievement. States that have a higher minority population percentage have, on average, lower educational outcomes as measured by standardized tests. In the above data, there is a strong negative relationship between the percentage of minorities in a state and the educational output. There is, however, no relationship between minority percentage and educational inputs.

    There is also no significant relationship between educational efficiency and educational output. This is not unexpected since efficiency is a function of monetary input. There is a strong relationship between education efficiency and education’s social impact. This finding is, however, not related to monetary input but to population density. States with lower population density generally do better with the resources they have.

    • Huh, more smoke from the king of smoke decrying smoke. Craig, once again you foist an unfounded assumption,

      I wish someone would have asked Juneau to address why she campaigns for more and more money

      hide it behind unrelated ‘facts’, with no explanation of the relationship between your link and your assumption, and then pretend that you have a point that no one else can possibly be privy to. You gave up making arguments a long time ago. Now you just rely on bad theater to insult others into submission.

      Denise Juneau campaigns for more money because resources are helpful to efficiency, as your own link clarifies, especially in low population areas.

      There is also no significant relationship between educational efficiency and educational output. This is not unexpected since efficiency is a function of monetary input.

      Trying for more money isn’t all she does, by a long shot. The smoke screen you favor would have it so, but your weak magic act has gotten stale.

  9. Look at the report from the National Council on Teacher Quality:

    Comparing 2011 with 2009, the report shows that Montana is going backwards. It’s not about money. It’s about best practices and accountability being ignored under Juneau.

    • I do not think Standardized Tests should be given the weight that they are. I’ve experienced being in classes where all we did was study for the TEST (NYS Regents). There are too many variables in student’s lives to put all the weight of the test scores on the teachers. I think this organization is biased

      “Any person who loved or loathed this latest report should check out the NCTQ web site and take a look at its other reports. Regardless of the district they are describing, their studies use almost identical words to describe the same policies. The problems are always the same – education schools, due process, not enough performance pay, and the failure to use enough standardized testing when evaluating teachers. And that gets us back to the NCTQ’s commitment to an “orchestrated agenda.” The names may change, but the NCTQ’s villains and solutions do not. ”

  10. More smoke and mirrors, Craig. As Jesse Franzen points out over at our friend’s place, Intelligent Discontent, Montana students are doing significantly better, yet you would have it that somehow our teachers are mush worse and that’s Denise Juneau’s fault. Here’s the smoke: you don’t think improvement is a result of best practices at all. You think that practices stand alone from result. Poor move, magician. The flap in the bottom of your hat from which you pull the rabbit is very evident.

    I have a little wooden statue in my house of Don Quixote de LaMancha. My mother gave it to me many many years ago because I tend to tilt at windmills. I’m tempted to send it to you, because here you are trying to convince a bunch of ‘liberals’ that a woman who has done an outstanding job is really a failure, when all you offer is the weakest of sauce. Notice, not once have you argued that Welch would be better or should replace Juneau. You just somehow think you can con a bunch of well educated people into believing something you yourself won’t even support. Now *THATS* tilting at windmills. (And you actually had the grapenuts to tell me I was being too partisan? Stick with the smoke and mirrors, Craig. It’s about all you’ve got.)

  11. It would seem that maybe Juneau has focused too much on her own reservation and ignored some of the others. Hence, the endorsement by Sen. Windyboy of Welch.

    Nice to see a Dem with a spine stand up to the Party.

  12. Now that is funny – a Montana Democratic State Senator endorses a Republican and you guys go off the deep end saying he isn’t really a Democrat.

    Larry – I assume by now you have found at least one legit source for that.

    And now Denise goes against sportsman on the land board by wanting to vote to acquire public land yet disallow hunting on it. Bye Bye, Denise!

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | September 28, 2012 9:15 PM at 9:15 PM |

      DAMN! That lying broad looks like sarah palin on crack! Is that really the best this goofy, outta state moron has? Wow. The combination of desperation and greed is UGLY indeed! I repeat, this is one nasty, nasty, lying piece of work! Nasty, nasty woman. Somewhere, a city in california is missing a nasty, nasty woman!

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | September 28, 2012 9:33 PM at 9:33 PM |

        p.s. And Ms. zoo, would you PLEASE tell crazyass nasty woman to STOP using the first person plural?! Every other word is “we” Montanans, as in “we Montanans are hard workers”. (from her response to Denise’s speech) Shit. What in the freakin’ HELL does this nasty, crazy cali transplant who’s been here three years actually KNOW about Montana? Gotta a lotta forty below on her, does she? Out there feedin’ cows all them years? Or huntin’? BWHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA! I really, really wanna know just WHAT crazy nasty woman has shot and EATEN recently!

        Can you help me out here, ms. zoo?

        She’s pretendin’ awfully hard to be sumthin’ she ain’t. But at the same time what she REALLY is comes shinin’ through! And she must REALLY think that Montanans can’t smell the difference between shit and shinola. And buddy let me tell ya what SHE’S spoutin’ AIN’T shinola!

        • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | September 29, 2012 6:27 AM at 6:27 AM |

          Here’s the question for the day. Anybody OUT there know what this crazyass woman is spouting about?? Makes no sense. And btw, SHOULDN’T a superintendent underSTAND subject/verb agreement?? IF we had a real press, maybe they could ask her!

          Wow! What a feakin’ idiot!

          • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | September 29, 2012 8:02 AM at 8:02 AM |

            Well OK, then, I’ll answer it myself! Yes, “communities know best how to educate kids”. For example, if ALL the folks in Podunk, Mt. belong to the ASSembly of GAWD church, and they want to teach NOTHING in science class except the Bible, well hell, why NOT, right?

            Yes, IF we just put GAWD back in the classroom, everythin will be back to hunky dory in no time. Start each class with a prayer. Teach that the earth iS four thousand years old. And long for a time when whites ruled Murca!

            Yes, now THAT’S “exceptional” edyukayshun!

            And if you want to know just HOW effective prayer in school was, just ask any of us that attended Catholic schools! NOT VERY!
            No, I’m serious about this. I actually AGREE that we should force prayer on kids. It’s the most EFFECTIVE way to teach them that MOST religious bullshit is simply bullshit!


  13. if education is important. why do we not look at ways to improve education. Don’t people support being pro choice in education.

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