Sunday, September 28, 2014

Candidate Questionnaire 7: Testing and Evaluations

In July, The Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education (NEIFPE) contacted all 21 of the candidates running for federal and state offices in NE Indiana to ask them for their views pertaining to education issues. Each was sent a survey of 10 questions. So far 7 have returned the surveys. If and when others respond, those will also be posted. The comments below are unedited and are the words and thoughts of the candidates. NEIFPE shares this information so voters will be able to make informed choices at the polls on November 4.

(NOTE: A copy of the original (blank) questionnaire may be found HERE.)

Question: Indiana spends over 45 million dollars every year on high-stakes testing. Do you think test scores should be the primary factor in evaluating schools, teachers, and students?

(Note: Candidates are listed by district, and by alphabetical order within districts)

Candidates for State Representative

Charles Odier, D-52: "No, some kids just don't do well on tests, I think how well the student does in everyday classes and how they feel about themselves is more important."

Phil GiaQuinta, D-80: "Test scores should be part of the mix, but not the primary factor."

Thad Gerardot, D-81: "No."

Mike Wilber, D-82: "Absolutely not."

Fred Haigh, D-84: "Absolutely not! Tests are only one of many variables for school success. Test scores are overused and their interpretation is frequently abused. Other critical elements of school success include parent involvement, funding, facilities, curriculum expectations, and the local economy."

Candidates for State Senate

Jack Morris, D-15: "No."

Candidates for U. S. Representative

Justin Kuhnle, D-3: "Absolutely not. Testing is required for accountability purposes but should not be the primary factor in evaluating schools or the effectiveness of teachers."


The following candidates did not provide a response the the questions. (Answers from candidate questionnaires will be added to this page as they are returned.)

Candidates for State Representative
Dan Leonard, R-50
Dennis Zent, R-51
Benjamin Smaltz, R-52
Matt Lehman, R-79
Martin Carbaugh, R-81
David Ober, R-82
Christopher Judy, R-83
Bob Morris, R-84
Casey Cox, R-85

Candidates for State Senate
Dennis Kruse, R-14
Liz Brown, R-15
Jim Banks, R-17
Travis Holdman, R-19

Candidates for U.S. Representative
Marlin Stutzman, R-3

Complete Responses

Click the candidate's name below to see their entire questionnaire, including a statement of their vision for the future of education in Indiana. NOTE: Only those candidates who returned a questionnaire are listed.



  • Justin Kuhnle, candidate for U.S. Representative Indiana District 3

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