As candidates for school board fill out the questionnaire, their responses will appear here. Click a name to read their detailed answers.
Name: Julie Jackson
Facebook Page: http://www.votejuliejackson
Race Type: District School Board
State Board Political Party:
State School District #:
School District & Seat: Granite School District Precinct 1
What is the purpose of education?
To help every individual reach their potential for the betterment of society.
What is your vision of the future for education in Utah? How do we help families and children get the education they desire?
I think education needs to become more flexible. I’d like to see something else drive funding allocation rather than seat time so that every student can master material in the time it takes them individually. I’d like to see more options for students to take classes when it works best for them (late start, early start, night classes), and I’d love to see less worksheets. I see every student knowing 3 adults in their school who will advocate for them, and an emphasis on curriculum that is relevant rather than traditional.
As a school board member, you will bring to the position your own agenda you have campaigned on. What are the top 3 things you wish to see happen during your time on the board?
1. Create policy and culture that encourages a bottom up decision making pattern (giving voice to stakeholders).
2. Create policy and culture that holds staff accountable for making sure that every student has 3 adults in the school who they know cares about them and advocates for them.
3. Create a culture that focuses on equity rather than on equality so that individual needs can be met.
Some organizations believe members should drop all personal agenda’s when elected, how will you resolve any commitments you’ve made to voters during your campaign?
I haven’t made any commitments to voters that I don’t actually believe in, so I don’t think that will be a problem. I do, however, commit that when I cast my vote, it will be after gathering feedback from as many people as possible.
In 2010, Utah adopted the National Common Core Standards and later adopted the national science standards. Since then, numerous data has showed that this was a step backward for education. As a state school board member, will you work to completely replace Common Core standards with something better?
I’d like to do a review of current Utah standards with parental involvement to just improve them.
In recent years, Utah has adopted a number of initiatives such as computer adaptive testing through SAGE and Aspire tests. What is your vision for how testing should function in Utah schools?
While I don’t think that testing gives us an accurate picture of how our schools are doing, I think they are one of the only measurements that we have and should be used in conjunction with other measures. I think that these tests should be only for gathering data, and not for determining students’ futures. I also think that districts should use these tests to gather their own data rather than give separate tests. We need to prevent over-testing all costs. I also think that teachers and school performance should not be connected to the tests to prevent teaching to the test. The tests can be helpful if we just use them to gather data, but doing well on them should not be confused as being the purpose.
Explain your position on data privacy as it relates to education? Who should have access to student information and under what kind of controls?
Data should only be available to school personnel, parents and the student. Parents can give permission for someone else if wanted. I think schools can share analytics with other agencies without sharing names.
There is a push to remove Utah’s abstinence-based education and replace it with a Comprehensive Sexuality Education program for K-12. Where do you stand on this issue?
If I’m going to err, it is on the side of more education. We all have a right to know how our bodies work and what our rights are with our bodies. I’d love for parents to just teach this to their kids according to their own values, but they aren’t and the results are hurting all of us.
What role does the federal government play in Utah schools?
They fund equity and that’s it as far as I’m concerned.
What is your vision for technology in Utah schools, particularly with the massive cuts coming due to the Covid-19 lockdown actions depleting our resources?
Technology will offer our kids flexibility in how they learn, more in depth understanding of subjects, quick communication with teachers, and 21st century skills. I see it as one of our greatest tools. I do not think it is as effective a tool as teachers however, and would always prioritize funding teachers over technology.
The State Board of Education had to recommend cuts to education funding at 2%, 5%, and 10% What would your budget cut priorities be?
While our schools already work at a bare bones capacity, there is really no place to cut budgets that wouldn’t hurt kids. I’d look for places where we can most likely bridge the gaps between what we are losing and what we need. At present I think these areas are technology equipment, online textbooks. I’d cut funding in these areas if it meant that I could fund teachers, school psychologists, and Peer Leadership Team time.
There are many different roles in education. At the state level there are board members, the superintendent and USBE staff. In your opinion what are the differences between these roles?
The board members are there to make sure that the voices of their constituents are being heard. They know the unique needs of their precincts and make sure that they are being considered on the grand scale. They hire and fire the superintendent. They set the vision and the superintendent carries it out. The USBE sets standards that local school board members must carry out.
Utah law recognizes a fundamental liberty interest of parents in the education of their children with schools as a secondary support. As such, should Utah have a criminal compulsory education law? Please explain the reason for your answer.
I think that all kids have a right to be educated. If they are not educated, their parents should be held accountable for that. They are ultimately responsible for making sure they are educated. I also think this is a gray area though, because I don’t think educated means public schools. A kid can be educated to run a farm and not know the first thing about textbooks and I still consider that educated.
What is your relationship to the education establishment in Utah? UEA/USBA/PTA. Have they contributed to your campaign or endorsed you in any way? (if so, how?) What schools, districts, or organization’s do you feel need represention to the state board through your efforts?
None of these has contributed to my campaign or endorsed me, but I support them all and want to contribute to helping them carry out their goals. I think every school has its own unique issues that need to be represented on a state level. The schools in my precinct specifically need funding to help with mental health crises and I plan to advocate for that.