I am a candidate for Idaho's State Superintendent of Public Instruction because I believe I am the best qualified person. My entire professional career -- teaching, administering, advocating, and leading in the both private and public educational sectors - has prepared me for this position. And as Dr. Marilyn Howard's chief deputy, I have a working knowledge of State Department of Education administration and staff management, legislative relations, State Board of Education requirements, and the programs and goals of related educational organizations. I have extensive experience working with federal agencies, interpreting federal rules, and monitoring federal programs. I am prepared to step right into the superintendent's position with no time lost for on-the-job training.
Given my background and experience, I know what it takes to move public education forward. I can use my experience, knowledge, and leadership abilities to ensure the needs of our students, teachers, administrators and communities are met.
As Superintendent of Public Instruction, I will be a consistent advocate and voice for a quality education system. Through actions and words, I will focus the public's attention on creating a vision for the kind of schools we want to have in Idaho. I will include all educational partners in the decision making process and promote meaningful communication.
All of this is important. Idaho's economy is fueled by a highly-skilled work force; for that we need exceptional schools staffed by highly skilled and committed educational professionals. I will work hard to ensure that ALL of Idaho's students have access to a balanced, rich and rigorous curriculum that prepares them for life.
The primary role of Idaho's Superintendent of Public Instruction is to provide leadership and advocacy for K-12 education. That's important for resolving these critical issues facing public education today:
* Ensuring adequate and reliable funding for public schools;
* Strengthening our schools and communities by returning local control;
* Elevating the significance of Idaho's teaching professionals resulting in retention of qualified school personnel; and
* Enhancing educational opportunities for all children to make sure Idaho's students are nationally and globally competitive.
These responsibilities are as important to me personally as they are professionally. I am a product of Idaho's public schools and higher education system. My professional experience, whether in the public or private sectors, has been in Idaho. My children attended to school in Idaho and I expect my grandchildren to do the same. Like so many others, I have a lot at stake when I say I want Idaho's K-12 system to be the best it can be.
The Superintendent of Public Instruction position is not a teaching position. It is a leadership, administrative, and policy-making position. Of all the candidates for this position, I am the one who has had the most exposure to the day-to-day on-the-job expectations of the superintendent and the State Department of Education staff, and I am confident I can do the job Idahoans expect of their elected officials.
Dr. Jana L. Jones
Submitted for primary debates, May 2006