• Ben Cooper

School Board Candidate James Knox: No Critical Race Theory

Knox is running for a board seat in the Queen Creek Unified School District. He knows a ton about education, opposes CRT, supports school choice, and homeschools his kids. Video.


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James Knox was formerly a Republican legislator in the Montana State House and has a pretty good voting record there. Knox now lives in Queen Creek and is running for school board there. Knox appears exceptionally knowledgeable about education and politics. In our view it would be excellent to have someone on the board who has strong conservative credentials and homeschools. Homeschooling gives an excellent insight into education and the views of such parents are sorely needed on school boards in America.


The Interview



Why are you a good candidate for the school board?


As legislator I carried a number of bills, some of which were directly related to education and how it's funded. I have a good understanding of how public education works.


What are problems in our public schools?


We are missing the mark with test scores and this is because of the change of focus of education, which is an ongoing problem. In recent years it is about the wokeness, which takes away from science, logic and critical thinking.


Locally the superintendent is not held to account for the dropping test scores. Focus is too much on social issues. Social education does not mean quality education. In unbiased education children are taught math, logic, science, history.


Indoctrination


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This is pushed by the liberal left. School board member are mostly not taking a stance for education, often out of fear of what may come back at them if they do so.


How to change and improve public schools?


Role of school board is to set goal and objectives for the superintendent to meet. They also represent the public's interest in the school district. That role has been diminished, locally and nationwide. In board meeting they spend 30 minutes on student awards, and 10 minutes on actual school board business.


There is a big drive of school board members to get along and be liked, rather than taking a stance and doing the right thing. The political power of educational establishment is an illusion. School boards can push for change, if there are board members who do so.


What to do about teachers who indoctrinate students?


Curriculum transparency is very important. It's done in Queen Creek, but need to go to library and access book there, instead of putting books online, books are digital anyway. Deviations from curriculum by teachers should not be tolerated.


Many teachers want to teach math, science and so on, but have to deal with a lot of bureaucracy, and SEL/CRT pushed by administration.


Need employee handbook, especially for new teachers coming out of college. There need to be clear expectations what teachers should do and what is not going to be tolerated.


Lack of discipline leads to situation where those with differing opinions get lashed out upon. Including those who call out LGTBQ stuff that doesn't belong in education.


What about teachers unions? Why do good teachers leave?


About 10% of teachers or so talked about wanting to unionize. District opposes it. Unions push agenda and take away from excellent teachers and their art of teaching. Teachers leave because they deal with kids that don't show respect and cannot be disciplined. Teachers, when faced with discipline problems from students, the administration does generally not support teachers. They don't want to make an issue out of it and tell teachers: you deal with it. Of course this starts at home, problems at home


Discipline could be no participation in sports, suspension, stay after hours, etc. This has to start early, in elementary, so that


What about Critical Race Theory, CRT and Social Emotional Learning, SEL


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To indoctrinate students in CRT and SEL, Queen Creek uses materials from many sources including:



Parents have shown me examples. One parent told teacher that she doesn't want her kids to take part, but teacher did not honor that request. SEL and CRT are being mixed into the daily routine starting at elementary level. SEL often sounds innocent, teachers that we are all different, need to accept all people. But then it gets to the point that when someone is white, they are privileged, when someone is black, they should get special exemptions, and that's wrong. In the classroom we all start off equal and each individual has the opportunity to excel as best as they can.


We need to teach kids that these barriers that are placed on them don't matter and that through hard work they can accomplish their goal.


There is racial stuff being taught in Queen Creek schools as well as LGTBQ stuff. It's not as prevalent as other districts, but it's definitely present in Queen Creek.


It's not all the teachers, it may only be a select few.


What are the main challenges the district faces?


We run high on our budget. We need to ensure teachers can teach, aren't driven to follow the pushing of propaganda. Many more seasoned teachers leave and on their exit interview say it's lack of discipline and lack of support from administration and if I say something, admin will lash back out on me.


Do we need to pay teachers more?


Starting salary in Queen Creek is $45,000. That makes it hard for teachers to pay rent in Queen Creek. Although people who go into education to get rich, nevertheless they should be compensated so they can exist in the communities they work.


What about school choice and home schooling?


I home school my kids and I support school choice. I had members of the educational establishment come to my house when I was a legislator in Montana and threatened me that if I support this or that bill, and put my kids in a public school, then my kids will be dunces. The same thing happened when I moved to Texas.


Note from the Editor: This shows how viscous, and perhaps downright evil, the government educational establishment is. Here in Arizona we saw this as these people went out to collect signatures to stop the new school choice bill, claimed it was for the children, and have, reportedly gone so far as to flip off 6 year old children of parents who support school choice.


Not all kids learn the same way. As a home schooler I had to recognize that my oldest son learns differently to my younger son.


That's why we need skilled teachers and we need school choice because not everyone can school at home. The new ESA program will allow some parents some choices that they otherwise would not have, especially for private schooling. The $7,000 would cover most of the cost on elementary and junior high level, although it's not enough for private high school.


Public schools need to look at the situation and start producing a product that parents want to use, and this competition is exactly what makes schools better. It's good that the money follows the students. We need to step up our game, so that parents want to participate.


Even though I home school, and I pay taxes, I still want the public school system to be great, with scores in the 80 to 90 percent level. I don't want D- scores.


Why should voters vote for you?


If people want to see change, then they should vote for someone different. There are 2 spots available on the Queen Creek School board. There are 3 people running, including 2 incumbents, and myself. Ken Braque always says how much fun it is to run the school board. I tend to chuckle at that. I don't think it's fund to spend other people's money and we should take this seriously. The other incumbent running for re-election is Samantha Davis.


I know how school finances work, and in our forum available on youtube, Ken kept saying James Knox is right. Budgeting is not a mystery. We need some savings and this should have been addressed years ago. They are not addressing the key issues. A lot of money could be spent better. But those are tough choices. Some people will loose something. We need a good teacher pupil ratio and teachers need to teach the basics. New things can be good, but the basics, math, science, criticial thinking, reading, writing, are the most important.


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