Here is the fourth question we will include in our voter guide for the following election, Chairman, Prince William County School Board, At Large. This election is scheduled for November 6, 2018 (see 2018 ELECTIONS).

Do you support or oppose giving school boards more control over the hiring and firing of teachers and administrators?

Why this question? Well, if we want our school board to hire effective and get rid of ineffective teachers, they have to be able to hire and fire them.

Is this a good yes or no question? Well, it could be. It depends upon how well we understand the issue. When the government runs something, that tends to complicate our understanding. We can imagine how things should work, but government never works that way.

Consider this question. Is Prince William County employing significant numbers of incompetent teachers and administrators? That’s a judgement call this post will not address. Why? Since the vast majority of schools are run by local government, we don’t have an easy and accurate way of comparing Prince William County schools with other schools. All of the public schools in Virginia have to abide by the state code, but each operates in a different part of the state. Each school system has a different clientele, size, infrastructure and budget. Each school system faces different challenges.

Consider how school boards operate. Article VIII of the Virginia Constitution provides the ground rules, and Section  7 specifically empowers the General Assembly to authorize and regulate school boards.

Article VIII. Education
Section 7. School boards
The supervision of schools in each school division shall be vested in a school board, to be composed of members selected in the manner, for the term, possessing the qualifications, and to the number provided by law.

Since school boards don’t have any taxation authority, they depend upon local governments, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the Federal Government to fund them. Of course, all that money comes with strings attached. So we effectively have four different committees operating our public schools: school boards, local governments, the General Assembly, and Congress.  What does that mean? Read the following paragraph from this document: Does School Board Leadership Matter? (link found on Virginia School Boards Association).

Unfortunately, despite today’s spirited debates over how best to design school governance, very little evidence exists about how board members actually govern. As William G. Howell, a political scientist, remarked: “It is hardly an exaggeration to note that more is known about the operation of medieval merchant guilds than about the institutions that govern contemporary school districts.” Moreover, most investigations of school boards are case studies of a handful of boards or single-state analyses that make it difficult for policy-makers to draw useful representative conclusions about the effectiveness of boardbased governance. Researchers have fielded various high-quality national surveys of board members; but to our knowledge, no one has yet linked a national sample of school board members to demographic and achievement data in their own districts. (from here on page 9)

Because of ridiculous complexity of the management infrastructure, school board members have a very difficult job.

So what does a school board do? The Fine Print: Here’s some of what you need to know about your teaching contract. and What Does ‘Tenure’ Mean? Some straight talk about teachers, continuing contracts and ‘guaranteed employment.’ describe the employment of teachers from the perspective of the Virginia Education Association (VEA), a teacher’s union. The first article observes that teachers work for the school board, with school administrators serving as middlemen. The second article explains that teachers do not get tenure in Virginia. Instead, after a three-year probationary period, they receive a “continuing contract” that protects them from arbitrary termination.

When a teacher is dismissed, how does the dismissal process work in Prince William County? Well, there are a bunch of rules and procedures.

The headache with bureaucratic procedures like this is that the school board has to ensure that school administrators put together paperwork that makes an airtight case for dismissal. Otherwise, things can get complicated, as if they were not complicated enough already.

Here are the previous posts in this series:

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Still uncertain how you are going to vote. Not sure where the candidates stand? Below is a list of posts that describe various voter guides. Please check them out.  Find the one that addresses the issues that concern you.

Note: We link to other websites to provide our visitors an additional perspective. We do not endorse other websites and/or candidates.

VOTER GUIDES: American Family Association Action (AFA Action) IVOTERGUIDE

CONGRESSIONAL SCORECARD: Heritage Action for America


VOTER GUIDES: WAVY TV 10 Candidate Profiles

VOTER GUIDES: Ballotpedia

VOTER GUIDES: Virginia Catholic Conference

VOTER GUIDES: Faith & Freedom Coalition

VOTER GUIDES: Family Policy Alliance

VOTER GUIDES: NextGen America

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Before we consider the third question we included in our voter guide for the following election, Chairman, Prince William County School Board, At Large, we have an admission. None of the candidates responded to our survey. Therefore, we have decided not to release results.

So what will we do? With this post I have provided a complete list of the questions. In addition, we have included news articles that you can use to determine how the candidates might have answered our questions.

Here are the questions.

  1. Do you support or oppose allowing home school students to participate in school sports programs?
  2. Do you support or oppose allowing the school board to have taxing authority to impose taxes dedicated to Prince William county schools?
  3. Do you support or oppose giving school boards more control over the hiring and firing of teachers and administrators?
  4. Do you support or oppose using only abstinence-based sex education curricula?
  5. Do you support or oppose teaching that “sex is assigned at birth” in Family Life Education classes?
  6. Do you support or oppose allowing students to use school restrooms, locker rooms, showers of the gender with which they identify, even when inconsistent with their biological sex?

Here are relevant news articles.

The next three posts in this series will complete this series by explaining the importance of the first three questions.

The election for Chairman, Prince William County School Board, At Large, is scheduled for November 6, 2018 (see 2018 ELECTIONS). Please investigate the candidates before you vote.



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Why would anyone behave with incivility towards another human being? The definition won’t tell you.

incivility noun
in·​ci·​vil·​i·​ty | \ˌin(t)-sə-ˈvi-lə-tē \

1 : the quality or state of being uncivil
2 : a rude or discourteous act

Does looking at the definition of the root word, civility, help?

noun plural ci·vil·i·ties.
1. courtesy; politeness.
2. a polite action or expression: an exchange of civilities.
3. Archaic . civilization; culture; good breeding.

Nope! So what is the basis for civility? Why do most people generally treat other people with respect? Well, one reason is that we are afraid of each other. We are the meanest, nastiest, most dangerous creatures on Earth. When one of us harms another, most of us will at least consider revenge. However, if the prospect of vengeance alone was enough to maintain civility amongst us, we probably would not need government. In fact, because we are so cantankerous, vengeance often leads to a cycle of violence. When both sides seek revenge for the other side’s acts of vengeance, it takes a powerful government to bring the violence among us to an end.

So is government the basis for civility? No. Government is just a tool.  Government is just a means for maintaining order. When unscrupulous people run it, government becomes the worst offender against civility. Don’t we have numerous of examples of governments terrorizing, brutalizing, and enslaving vast populations? What we do with government — how our government functions — depends upon what those in control believe.

So what is it that Americans believe? Why do we expect America to be a civil society? Since it is probably one of the most quoted passages ever written, I suppose it has become trite. Since so many have died defending the idea — the concept it communicates — that’s a shame.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.  (from here)

That passage is, of course, from the Declaration of Independence. Why would we believe all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights? We share a Christian heritage. There was a time when almost all Americans had a much greater familiarity with the Bible and took what the Bible says seriously. So they had a shared understanding of certain concepts.

  • We belong to God, not each other. We exist to glorify God, not some great man.
  • We were made in the image of God.  When we sin against — wrong — our neighbor, we sin against our Lord.
  • God gave each of us a free will.  It is up to each of us, man or woman, to choose to obey Him. Even those who have never heard of the Bible know in their hearts when they wrong another. We each know in our heart the meaning of the Golden Rule.
  • We each have a right — an obligation — to protect ourselves and each other, but vengeance belongs to the Lord. We expect our government to punish miscreants to deter crime, but God’s judgement is the ultimate judgement of our souls.
  • Jesus summarized the Old Testament law with two commands: love God with all our heart, mind, strength and soul, and love your neighbor as you love your self.

So it is that our Declaration of Independence speaks of a government tasked to protect the rights of all men, not just the rights of a select few.

So why then is incivility on the rise? As a nation we have failed in our duty as parents. We have not made certain our children know the Bible says, that they have actually read and studied it.

In addition to being the Word of God, the Bible is a historical document. Unfortunately, instead of reading historical documents, learning for themselves what these documents say, it has become the fashion for schools to tell students what to think about the past, to use carefully crafted textbooks to make certain students learn politically correct beliefs. As a consequence, secularized schools teach very little about the importance of our Christian heritage.

Unlike previous generations few now receive a decent Christian education. What would that involve?

Luke 9:23 New King James Version (NKJV)

23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross[a]daily, and follow Me.

Take up our cross daily, a brutal instrument of execution? Why would anyone want to do that? It doesn’t sound appealing to sacrifice ourselves for others. So we send our children to public schools where they learn to esteem themselves, how to be coddled and babysat for life. Instead of learning how to be obedient to God and learning to love and serve each other, they learn how to be served. Looks like a good deal, but it leads to tyranny. When most citizens demand to be served, and few are willing to serve, that allows demagogues to buy the votes they need to become tyrants.

Consider what President John F. Kennedy expected of Americans.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man. (from here)

When we vote for what politicians can give us, they can buy us with a pleasing little prize. What do we get as a result? The tyranny of the majority. Instead of a constitutional republic that recognizes individual rights, even the rights of the minority, we get the absolute rule of the majority.

Because it is democratic, majoritarian rule sounds reasonable, but tyranny of any sort quickly leads to plain old tyranny, Nazism and Communism are just modern examples. When we do not love our neighbors and respect their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, no one has any rights.

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VOTER GUIDES: NextGen America

NextGen America
is Liberal Democrat advocacy organization founded by Tom Steyer. This group has the endorsement of Planned Parenthood Action Fund (see here). Here is how NextGen America describes itself.

NextGen America acts politically to prevent climate disaster, promote prosperity, and protect the fundamental rights of every American.

Since our founding as NextGen Climate in 2013, we’ve worked to fight climate change by advancing the transition to a clean energy economy. We’ve supported candidates who support climate action. We’ve fought to halt the Keystone XL pipeline and registered more than a million voters nationwide.

Now, the same values that drive our work on climate are under unprecedented attack from all directions. We’re proud to step up the fight for immigrant rights, affordable health care, prosperity, and equality. (from here)

Get ready for Election Day on Tuesday, November 6th is NextGen America‘s voter information page. Clicking on Voter Guides → takes you to a page where you can enter your address and find out what is on your ballot. In addition, there is a bit of information with respect to where the candidates stand with respect to NextGen America‘s political agenda.

Note: We link to other websites to provide our visitors an additional perspective. We do not endorse other websites and/or candidates.

To see voter information from other organizations, see VOTER GUIDES AND CONGRESSIONAL SCORECARDS.

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