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Debbie Critchfield as head of state

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Debbie Critchfield as head of state

During my nearly 30 years of work in a variety of positions to support public education, I have worked for three heads of public learning. Two of them were Republicans, one – a Democrat. Two were former teachers, one was a former elected member of the school board and chairman of the board with a strong political background. These years and experience have given me a wealth of experience in what makes and what doesn’t make a good head of public learning. I have never publicly supported a candidate for this position. However, after watching the debates of the head of public education on Idaho public television and Channel 7 KTVB, I was shocked by the outright lies, inaccuracies and rhetoric I heard from the two candidates in response to questions in that debate.

It is important that Idaho residents, parents, faculty, and students choose the best candidate who can support Idaho’s public education efforts. So I fully support Debbie Critchfield for the position of Head of Public Learning.

Debbie is a former elected board member and has worked in the school district. She was also president of the State Board of Education. She has dedicated years of her life to doing what is best for public education. It is important to note that all of her experience was volunteering. This experience gave Ms. Critchfield the experience needed to work with the governor, legislature, school districts, statutory schools, parents, teachers, administrators, and students to make meaningful legislative initiatives.

This constitutional officer should bring broad and far-sighted educational initiatives and ask for a significant increase in public education funding. They should not ask for less money / funding for public education than the governor or legislative means require. They should not engage in sharp vulgar disputes if they lose the vote. They should not force the public to believe that all the good that has happened in education is due to their leadership, but in fact it has been due to the leadership of the governor or the leadership of the State Board of Education.

The skills needed to do this job are far greater than the skills of a third grade teacher or a former failed legislator. Debbie is the only candidate who can achieve what public education needs and deserves.

I ask you to join me on May 17 by voting for Debbie Critzfield for the position of Head of Public Education – the only candidate who can move education in the right direction.

About Karen Echever

Karen Echeveria recently retired as executive director of the Idaho School Board Association. The Idaho School Board Association represents trustees of school districts.

Read more Karen Echeverria Stories »

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