Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Carl Bunce on Homeschooling

Carl Bunce, candidate for Congressional District 3, is our next responder:

Hello, Thank you for your interest in my campaign. My answers are below.

I have worked in Education for 10 years, at all levels K-12 and University. I worked for Educational Testing Services (ETS) for the past 5 years, now I currently work for Clark County School District as an Administration. So I have seen the bad and good of public education. I have seen how standardized testing has destroyed the learning environment. Education is one of my main concerns in my campaign, because everything else we do in life depends on the education we receive.

1. To what extent do you support parental choice in regards to education?

I strongly support a parent's choice in the Education of their Children. I believe there are various educational opportunities for students in this country; I do not believe that any form of government can offer them all. Most of the time, governments try to push a single form of education on the population. This helps with costs! That is what government is concerned about. The students and parents are seldom considered.

2. Do you support the annual registration of homeschoolers in Nevada?

There should be no registration of homeschoolers, period.

3. Do you believe homeschoolers should be subject to standardized testing?

I do not believe any students should be subjected to standardized testing. I think the memorize and recall education environment that has been created over the past couple decades is a terrible learning environment. I have seen first hand across the country, most teachers and students only worry about how they will do on the next "TEST". I want students asking, "What can we learn next" not "This again!" just so the students are sure to pass their tests.

4. Do you support a tax credit/rebate to homeschooling families?

I support Tax Credits and Rebates, whatever it takes to get the money back where it needs to be, until the current system of federal taxation is removed and people get to keep all their income.

5. Anything else to add or could you provide a short overview of your stance on education:

I want to eliminate the Federal Department of Education, they spend $70 Billion + a year, and our education system is still falling short in the world. I want all that tax money to stay at home with the people that earn it. I want to see an education system where students can be free to choose a path they desire and not have to worry about financial restrictions or federal regulations that could prevent it.
Carl Bunce

Bunce for Congress CD 3 Nevada


Richard said...

Thanks for the post, Tara. I hope you don't mind me taking Mr. Bunce to task for a few of the mistaken comments he's made here.

In his answer to question 1. Mr. Bunce says, "Governments try to push a single form of education on the population." According to Bunce, "This helps with costs! That is what government is concerned about."

That is a willful misrepresentation. Governments only respond to pressure from Public school administrators, like Carl Bunce, and Teacher's Union bosses, who Mr. Bunce supports, in trying to push their substandard form of education on the rest of us.

It has nothing to do with helping with costs, and everything to do with the fact that bureaucrats like Carl get more money from the state if more students attend class.

In his answer to number 3, Carl claims, "I think the memorize and recall education environment that has been created over the past couple decades is a terrible learning environment."

That "memorize and recall environment" which included memorizing names, dates and geographical locations for learning history, memorizing and recalling things like multiplication tables for learing math, and memorizing and recalling spelling and rules of grammar for learing English, has done exceptionally well for more than just a couple decades. If this idiot has a better method, I haven't yet seen it. Perhaps if he had any actual classroom experience, he would realize that memorizing, recalling, and testing are proven, effective means of teaching and learning.

Finally, in his answer to number 5, Carl Bunce says, "I want to eliminate the Federal Department of Education, they spend $70 Billion + a year, and our education system is still falling short in the world."

How nice. A man who wouldn't have his job except for the No Child Left Behind Act, a paid toady for the corrupt, inefficient Clark County School District, wants a system where students can be free to choose a path they desire.

I have so many problems with that statement, there's simply not enough room to explore half of them here. Suffice to say, Carl Bunce is any empty suit, completely devoid of any real solutions to our education problems here in Nevada.

His responses to this questionaire are laughably devoid of any real content. It's mere regurgitation of crap he picked up elsewhere. Crap he thinks you and I want to hear.

I, for one, am not fooled. Carl Bunce, you're not qualified for U.S. Congress. When it comes to the issues and challenges facing Nevada homeschoolers, you are clearly part of the problem, not the solution.

Tara said...

I appreciate your comment, although your tone not as much. To be honest it seems you are not so much about promoting truth as you are tearing down Bunce. And since your blog profile is private, I can't tell why.

I can only answer some things in your comment so bear with me:

In answer to your comments about #1, I believe the idea that government is pushing one type of education is true. Most homeschoolers (which this blog is directed to) agree. Many homeschoolers - including myself - experienced this themselves in their own education or the education of their children. The one-size-fits-all curriculum is exactly what did not work for my child. Now whether or not government does this for cost-effectiveness (although I presume that several different methods of learning within the system would, in fact, cost more) I have no proof. As I'm sure you have no proof as to the fact they don't.

Now when it comes to rote memorization, I fully agree with Mr Bunce. Rote memorization is an antiquated form of education. It serves the child to pass the test and is then forgotten. Where is the passion for learning those names, dates, etc? Children don't care and are exiting the school system mere drones with no excitement for life and learning and little ability to learn on their own. Memorization is not learning, is not true knowing. It is simply parroting what has been said to them. Our school system relies on it for Gd knows what reason. It's failing our kids and our poor markings ought to show that to you.

There are many forms of education. And since Mr Bunce is not running as a public school reformist, I'm sure he wouldn't be up to task in revamping a failing system. There are however several articles I would be happy to point you to as well as several hundred books I could recommend. That is, of course, if you are done with the high school name-calling and are actually open to being truly educated.

As for NCLB, ask any teacher and they will tell you the name should really be No Child Left Untested. Every teacher I know is disgusted with the program. It is a waste of tax payers dollars and is not the job of the federal government to put mandates on local school districts. If more power were taken from the federal gov and given back to the teachers and parents, perhaps then we'd see kids learning and more than 10% of them passing their Algebra test. ;)

Now I'd invite you to expand on your comment that Mr Bunce is "part of the problem" facing Nevada homeschoolers, but only if you can do so in a less hostile, more informative way...and without any name-calling, please.

Richard said...

Excellent reply, Tara, and I'd like to take you up on that offer to expand on my comments.

To borrow from Thomas Lifson, "Public schools are, frankly, mostly run for the benefit of the teacher unions, dedicated to the notions that we are never spending enough money, that class size must be small (meaning more dues—paying union members), and that parents should defer to 'professionals' in curriculum and other decisions affecting the classroom."

It's bureaucrats and union bosses that push one type of education on us, and cost effectiveness has little to do with it.

The sad and simple fact is, public school dollars are appropriated and allocated based on student attendance. If our kids aren't in their rotten schools, they get less money.

Here in Nevada, the bureaucrats and union bosses have never, EVER, been interested in "cost effectiveness." If the bureaucrats, like Mr. Bunce, and the union bosses, who Mr. Bunce funds, were interested in cost effectiveness and reducing expenses they would encourage home-schooling. They don't.

You may agree that rote memorization is an antiquated form of education, and by God, it's your right to say so. A few highly educated, informed, and rather convincing people would argue otherwise.

Our school system wandered far from rote memorization a long time ago. It's why they no longer require kids to memorize multiplication tables, consider remembering names and dates unnecessary in history education, and have bastardized English instruction to the point that many high school graduates can't spell common words or form a complete sentence, let alone write a structured paragraph.

As you mentioned, now the emphasis is on teaching for the test. There's a distinct difference between "teaching for the test" and rote memorization. You're a smart woman, Tara. I know the distinction isn't lost on you. It think it is, however, completely lost for Mr. Bunce.

Mr. Bunce's comment about the $70 billion wasted at the Federal level on public education is a cut-and-paste from Ron Paul's talking points. While I like Ron Paul, and I would personally prefer to see the Department of Education eliminated, I somehow suspect that Mr. Bunce, who would not have his current job except for NCLB, is being rather disingenuous.

Carl Bunce is part of the problem because he's a bought-and-paid-for employee of the Clark County School District. With every paycheck he contributes to the Nevada Education Association. Although he bemoans the thought of spending any time or money actually working for candidates or campaigns that could help homeschoolers, he has absolutely no issue with empowering the very people who obstruct parents' right to choose how to educate their own children.

That's a hypocrite in my book. Apologies if you found my earlier reply offensive, but I've never been one to suffer a hypocrite quietly.

I can certainly empathize with your situation, Tara. Having a child who doesn't fit the One-size-fits-all mentality of the bureaucrats running our schools can be frustrating to say the least. Is Carl Bunce in any way qualified to address our needs? Does he really understand the issues? Or isn't it obvious that he has merely repeated back to you exactly what you wanted to hear.

This year, I think I'll stick with Jon Porter. Unlike this unknown character Carl Bunce, Mr. Porter's record on education is there for anyone to see.

Tara said...

I won't argue the point of school reform vs. antiquated methods of producing factory workers because it is a matter of opinion. You are welcome to yours but it holds no bearing on this matter.

You said: "It's bureaucrats and union bosses that push one type of education on us, and cost effectiveness has little to do with it."

Bureaucrats such as those within the NCLB, perhaps? You yourself said the Dept of Education needs to go, so why are you arguing that Bunce agrees? Argument for the sake of argument makes one apper petty and uneducated. If you do not like Bunce, by all means, don't vote for him. But arguing like a high schooler just makes me see the need for school reform even more. ;)

You mentioned that "they" no longer teach kids their multiplication tables, etc. Sir, when was the last time you were in school? I promise you it hasn't changed nearly as much as it needs to in many years. Memorizing facts is just as much a part of it today as it was when you or I went to school. And yet kids aren't learning? IMO it's called "the times they are a'changin". And we can either keep up with it or not. Kids are being pumped out of schools only able to take orders. That's been the goal for many years. Why complain if you don't want to make serious changes?

Hmm, so you can quote Lifson word for word, but Bunce can't make the same points anyone else has? Again I think your issue lies not so much with what Bunce says but with the fact that you yourself may be "bought and paid for" - if not in reality, at least in your own mind.

Am I also part of the problem with the IRS because I pay my taxes? How about the tax auditor just trying to make a living? I for one am glad Bunce has been inside the broken system. We need to know our candidates understand the problems inside and out. A well-rounded opinion is much better than an uneducated, biased one. You obviously already have your allegiances, which is why your comments are obviously nothing more than a smear campaign.

I'm not interested in "politics as usual" and smear campaigns only turn me off of who they were intended to help. I wish you all the best. But I'd kindly appreiate you taking your comments elsewhere.