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So far Steve Roberts has created 4 blog entries.

Columbus Day a Bust on the Rez

I am joining the Knights of Columbus. For years I have told myself, “I will join the Knights after I am done with politics.”

I expect to be done with big-time politics on August 5th, the day after the Republican primary. Roger, Kris, Susan, or Dave will likely be the GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate, presumably to take on Barbara Bollier, who happens to be one of my four state senators. She switched to the Democrat side of the aisle several months ago. Each member of the State Board of Education “has” four state senators in their territory. Forty state senators, ten members of the board; the arithmetic is easy. We each have four state senators in our school board district.

My fellow board member, Jim McNiece of Wichita, says he joined the Knights “so I will have people show up at my funeral.” A fellow Catholic, I was most gratified that he joined a 4-to-6 vote to discuss the proposed Kansan constitutional amendment known as “Value them Both.” Indeed, my motion to discuss failed in a 4-to-6 vote on our ten-member board, but at least some of my fellow board members seem willing to discuss it.

We have to stop killing ourselves. This includes innocent lives in the womb. It is time to stand up.

Watch the video. Consider faith and reason. Consider, please, Steve Roberts to represent you in the United States Senate.

I really do know how to fix schools for poor kids without breaking the bank. Really.

I look forward to explaining just how little regard our Native Americans have for Columbus Day. Indians have no use for Columbus or his day.

We can have great schools for any family who wants it, regardless of income or zip code. We can. Lord willing, we will.

By |2020-03-06T13:54:55+00:00March 6th, 2020|Uncategorized|0 Comments

A Really Bad Idea

Janice hopped into my car, dressed smartly for business or pleasure. On our way to the airport I learned that her husband’s name is Steve, as is mine. Janice has three teenage children. She is going to college for both business and humanities. She has managed interesting projects ranging from human resources to not-for-profits. She is looking for a new challenge to accent her new commitments to further her education and her transition in the next few years from mother to businesswoman, grandmother, and champion of causes to make the world a better place. Our campaign might be just the thing for her.We exchanged contact information and agreed to meet upon her return from North Carolina.

Janice called me and we met for coffee. We hit it off. Big-time campaigns need people like Janice. I sold her on the project of running for the United States Senate. Her skills and enthusiasm could carry us far. Her enthusiasm is viral in a good way. Enthusiasm is a gift from God.

Then two days later came her text. Cold feet. Too daunting, raising millions of dollars just to win votes from citizens. Public appearances. Lack of privacy. Intrusive introspection from the press. Gotchas galore. It’s not for her.

“I would love to continue as a sounding board for you, Steve, but I am not sure how helpful I would be in a room full of conservative Republicans. My leanings are for social justice.”

Admittedly, the time constraints of a statewide campaign permit me to sympathize with Janice.

The shame is that it’s really not for anyone, this cutthroat business of running for “high” office. You almost have to be high to do it. We have lost our minds in American politics. It should be about issues before it is all about the money. We should be talking about genuine issues of concern to most people; we should not just ask for money. But, regrettably, it is about the money and the party and that is all it is about all too often. True American values have given way to success and self esteem.

Janice is right. Running for Congress is nuts. And I need another Janice.

 

By |2020-01-19T13:49:52+00:00January 19th, 2020|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Age of Personalization, Dark Horse

Taking a break from my “job” as an Uber driver (Uber and Lyft, actually) and reading Dark Horse by Todd Rose and Ogi Ogas, I feel compelled to share a bit. The following is transcribed without permission. But since I am asking to be a public figure, and I am in the business of regulation of our education system, I reckon it will be allowed. So, here goes:

From Dark Horse, by Rose and Ogas, page 214:

Since the dawn of the Age of Standardization, anti-standardization critics were in much the same position as anti-war critics: condemning the obvious evils of the phenomenon and demanding its swift termination, without specifying any practical means for doing so. Throughout the twentieth century, you could say the same thing about standardization as a form of social organization that Winston Churchill famously said about democracy as a form of political organization: It’s the worst — except for all the others. There simply wasn’t any feasible economy, science, and technology to get the job done.

But the Age of Personalization offers the first real chance to change everything.

So far, we usually think of personalization as iPhones, Facebook, and video-on-demand, as gadgets that make it easier for us to express ourselves, find things we like, and customize our environment to suit our tastes. But the real promise of personalization is something so much larger. It is how we move from a negative-sum game of excellence to a positive-sum game of excellence. It is how we move from a universe where the Sun revolves around the Earth to a universe where the Earth revolves around the Sun.

Okay, that last sentence is a little over-the-top, but the authors describe a democratic meritocracy that allows for “a gig economy populated by contractors, freelancers, and other free agents.” They note that “we need a diverse, flexible, and personalized economy in order to provide opportunities for the expansive variety of excellence generated by a democratic meritocracy.”

While I would like to transcribe the whole book, that would take too long, and I have to get back behind the wheel of my American-made Acura MDX. I wholeheartedly recommend Dark Horse, and not simply because that is the most appropriate way to describe our candidacy for the United States Senate in January 2020 A.D.

 

By |2020-01-17T20:51:14+00:00January 17th, 2020|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Two Good Days in Topeka

Briefly, I raised teacher quality with a number of folks in Topeka during our January meeting. We will be talking about teacher quality in 2020.

Simply, we have fantastic teachers whose salaries should be raised by 50 percent tomorrow morning.

We have mediocre teachers who genuinely need professional development to get better. Most of these people are actually good and deserving of our total support. They need to improve a bit. But then, who among us couldn’t stand a little improvement?

We have awful teachers who have no business being in front of children.

Thankfully, the percentage of truly lousy teachers is 15 percent or less, but it’s close to one-in-seven. That is too high.

And poor, hardscrabble schools get more than their share of the less-than-quality instructors. Low SES districts (low socioeconomic status) tend to get more of our inexperienced teachers and the castoffs from other districts. The very schools that need better teachers because it is harder to teach effectively there are saddled with a higher percentage of poor or lousy teachers. WE can do better. Kansans Can.

Better schools, fewer rules.

By |2020-01-16T17:50:21+00:00January 16th, 2020|Uncategorized|0 Comments