Stultz, opponents disagree at Cobb BoE candidate forum
by Haisten Willis
May 09, 2014 04:00 AM | 4674 views | 13 13 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tim Stultz
Tim Stultz
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Susan Thayer
Susan Thayer
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Jeff Abel
Jeff Abel
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Kenya Pierre
Kenya Pierre
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MABLETON — During a Thursday night forum of south Cobb political hopefuls, Cobb School Board incumbent Tim Stultz stood alone when came to his views on Common Core.

While the other three candidates said they support the initiative, Stultz said he’s opposed to what the program has become.

Stultz, an engineer, faces mortgage banker Jeff Abel and education consultant Susan Thayer in the May 20 Republican primary for the Smyrna/Mableton area School Board seat. The winner will face Democrat Kenya Pierre, an attorney, in the November general election.

The four were asked about Common Core, which critics refer to as “Obamacore,” during a forum put on by the Mableton Improvement Coalition inside the South Cobb Community Center. About 70 people attended.

Abel said he embraces Common Core, a controversial set of education standards adopted by 45 states.

Thayer said school board members don’t have a say in Common Core implementation, but also cited confusion over what Common Core is as a major reason for its controversy.

Pierre said she’s moved around a lot throughout her life and the centralized standards will help in today’s mobile society.

While Stultz said he supports Common Core as a concept, he said in practice it has gotten off course.

“I think there have been a lot of unintended consequences since the state started implementing Common Core,” he said.

“I think they are teaching too much toward the test and not teaching what needs to be taught. What it has created is unintended consequences. I don’t support what has become of the initiative.”

Earlier this year, the Georgia Senate passed a bill authored by Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick) which would have created a pathway for Georgia to withdraw from Common Core. Critics complain Common Core is a push to federalize education and reduce local control. But after the bill passed out of the Senate, it was stopped in the House Education Committee chaired by Rep. Brooks Coleman (R-Duluth), a former Gwinnett County assistant superintendent.

State Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan (D-Austell), a member of the education committee running for state school superintendent, said at the time the division between those who support and oppose Common Core was clear.

“It’s very apparent that those who are opposed tended to be very right-leaning groups,” Morgan said.

Mableton Improvement Coalition board members Joel Cope and Broderick Santiago took turns asking questions of the candidates.

School board candidates also were asked their thoughts on charter schools.

Stultz again offered a different take on the question than his opponents.

Pierre, Abel and Thayer all support charter schools, but Stultz added he supports the entire Cobb County School District becoming a charter school district.

Marietta City Schools became a charter system several years ago.

“I believe one size does not fit all,” Stultz said.

Thayer pointed out she helped write the charter for the International Academy of Smyrna, a charter school in the district. Abel said charter schools are a good idea as long as they are done correctly, and Pierre also was in favor of charters as long as they produce results.

“I’m for good schools,” Pierre said.

The first question asked of the school board candidates was about their support for rebuilding Mableton’s Harmony-Leland Elementary, which is tied for the second oldest school in the county, and combining it with nearby Clay Elementary.

Pierre said she believes the school should have been rebuilt ahead of two others set for a rebuild in east Cobb.

“Our resources are not equitable,” she said.

Stultz said he worked to get Harmony-Leland set as the next rebuild after Brumby and Mountain View elementary schools. He also said the sale of the land from the old schools will help raise money for the Harmony-Leland rebuild.

Abel agreed the school needs to be rebuilt and said he will vote for schools in Post 2 first. Thayer also said Harmony-Leland needs a rebuild and added east Cobb projects often get a higher priority than other areas.

Candidates from other races were given the chance to speak as well, including in the race for a Cobb Superior Court judgeship and several Georgia Senate and House seats.

Candidates hoping to replace retiring Cobb Superior Court Judge James Bodiford are Cobb Senior Assistant District Attorney Ann Harris, Cobb Juvenile Court Judge Juanita Stedman and Marietta Associate Municipal Court Judge Nathan Wade.

After speaking about their credentials, candidates for the judgeship were asked what can be done to support young, black men.

Harris talked about her experience as an assistant district attorney.

“You’re never too old to change. You’re never too old to make a choice,” she said. Harris recalled telling those she comes in contact with through trials that they can change for the better and make choices will improve their lives.

Wade said young black men are in need of good role models, and noted he would provide such a role model if elected to the judgeship.

“They don’t care what you have to say until they know you care about them,” he said.

Stedman said people from all communities and all walks of life need guidance and support and said communities must do their part to help.

Comments
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King Springs Parent
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May 15, 2014
Tim Stultz is the only candidate against Common Core? He's got my vote. Common Core is another way to strengthen the government's indoctrination of our children.

If you look at the history of our educational system, it was designed by the Vanderbilts, Henry Ford, and other big business moguls in conjunction with the federal government to create "good workers" and "good citizens." Basically, the companies needed employees that would be satisfied working on the assembly line and wouldn't question their bosses. The goal was to take the select few that would be successful, which the implementation of the Target program and special privileges they receive enforce my argument, and propel them to the top.

Common Core now teaches a set of standards that is not more rigorous, but more confusing, in the guise of helping our children. If the parents don't understand it, but the children do, it must be harder...right?
The Knower
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May 12, 2014
Might be interesting to investigate the rather open manner in which certain Post 2 school administrators and PTA officials (mainly at Smyrna-area schools such as Campbell and King Springs) are touting and supporting Susan Thayer for School Board, often times under the color of office. Isn’t that improper (and in some cases, illegal)?
Pierre clueless
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May 09, 2014
Pierre is the classic example of someone running for office who is so far removed, she would fail miserably. CC has been adopted by many states, The concept is that every state will be teaching the same standards, so if someone moves from Michigan to Georgia, they would not miss a beat. Sounds great, right? It is not designed that way. CC does not dictate when any of the standards are taught. If multiplication is taught here in 5th grade the first month of school, but a student moves here and their school taught division first, they missed the entire lesson on multiplication. Politicians at their finest, clueless!
Captain Obvious
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May 09, 2014
Kenya is for good schools. Great platform! All issues resolved. I wish everything were as easy as running for school board.
Sherry S
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May 09, 2014
Stultz is the only one against the "Communist Core". He will be getting me and my husband's vote in my Smyrna district come May 20. This program must be stopped. I can't believe the other two candidates, Thayer and Abel, support this dumbing down of our children.
ECMomof2
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May 09, 2014
It is a shame that Thayer, with an educators background, does not recognize that many of the skills in CCS do not follow general development guidelines for children. In other words, they are asking students to learn items that the brain is not ready for. While, in theory, it sounds great that the same material will be covered all over, yet states are opting out of CCS. Poll the parents of a single classroom, did the students all learn to walk at the same age, speak first word at same age, throw a ball at the same age? You will find there is a wide range and forcing everyone to learn the same thing at the same time is equating children and learning to making widgets or something similar on an assembly line.
Simple Follow Up
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May 09, 2014
If Stultz doesn't support standards regardless of what you call them, what is his recommended solution?

Tired of these yahoos that bash everything, yet offer no alternative solutions.

I also agree with "Campbell Parent." Stultz lost my support when he made a budget recommendation that would have resulted in the loss of more than 500 teaching positions.
anonymous
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May 09, 2014
Stultz is definitely the BEST candidate for the board!!!!!!
Funny Stuff !
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May 09, 2014
????????????

Stultz says that he wants the entire system to become a charter system and then turns around and says that he "... believes one size does not fit all."

He has a practice of doing this kind of stuff.

He rejected Banks' suggestion for sales tax yet said he favored consumption tax.

Abel is showing his inexperience - nice to know that he would selfishly vote for Post 2 schools first when his first charge is to look out for the best interests of the entire district.
Campbell parent
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May 09, 2014
Stultz also disagrees about smaller classroom sizes. Just a couple of years ago, Stultz alone suggested furloughing another 500 teachers - in addition. His motion was quickly rejected as silly at best. In addition, Stultz made it widely known that he did not need to listen to his constituents. It is time for a change.
Knowledge is Good
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May 09, 2014
Really going out on a limb there, Kenya. "I'm for good schools"? What kind of new fangled cutting edge thinking is that? Well, at least your possible future constituents can get an early feel for what they have in store - more earth shattering pronouncements yet to come. What's next - "summer is hot", "the future is unpredictable", "you can observe a lot just by watching"?
ECMomof2
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May 09, 2014
Class size is not the issue, behavior is the issue. Remove the children who are disrupting the class and size becomes irrelevant. Most of us had 30 in our classes growing up and we all managed to learn. The difference, well if someone was out of line they were removed from the classroom. What they faced at school was nothing compared to the discipline received once they arrived home. Today parents want to blame everyone and not acknowledge their child was out of line.
To ECMOMof2
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May 10, 2014
You are correct. The children's behavior is deplorable, and when we call parents there is no support. In addition, special education is now all inclusion. That means the behavior kids can throw a fit and disrupt class continuously, and there is nothing we can do about it. We can send them to the office, and they return to call. Now that we are a minority majority school district, it is getting much worse and the Hispanic population are not the people at fault. I would take an entire school of Hispanic children because they are so well behaved!
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