Podcast with Kira Willis, candidate for School Superintendent

On Tuesday, I spoke with Kira Willis, a Libertarian running for State School Superintendent. As the Libertarian Party of Georgia has already nominated candidates for November, she is guaranteed a spot on the ballot.

In the podcast we discuss, the lack of leadership when it comes to education in Georgia, the problems with federal mandates (No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top), school choice and much more.

You can download the podcast here (over 18 minutes/16.6MB, right click, “Save File As” to download). You can view the archive of previous podcasts here.

We’re in the final weeks of this series. If you have a candidate that you would like for me to interview or questions that you would like for me to ask an upcoming guest or if you’re with a campaign, no matter what party, please drop me a line on Facebook or send an e-mail.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should point out that I currently serve as Legislative Director of the Libertarian Party of Georgia.

14 comments

  1. brettbittner says:

    Mrs. Willis will begin her 18th year of instruction this fall. Currently, she teaches English, though she has experience teaching theatre classes as well.

    • Tiberius says:

      As a good libertarian, does she believe that high schools should be teaching theatre? Not exactly a subject I would think most libertarians would believe necessary in a public school.

      • Tiberius – as with anything you’ll find different opinions from different libertarians. I can’t speak for Kira, but I personally don’t believe we should be prejudiced against one subject / major over another. What if someone wants to be an actor when they grow up? If we’re going to provide computer science, home economics and other courses then theater / theatre courses are no different in that respect. If there’s enough demand for them (ie not just one student in the entire school) then yes, there should be theatre courses. Same goes for music and any other electives outside of the normal courses. In that same sense should we waste tax dollars forcing someone to take advanced science classes that has no intention of going to college? Do they really need chemistry if they’re going into the music business or taking over the family’s car dealership or auto shop or lumber yard or whatever the case may be?

        • Tiberius says:

          I wasn’t stating my own opinion. My own are my own. However, out of the 3 parties (GOP, Dem, Lib), the libertarians are the only who who espouse a specific political philosophy. The other two are a historic mix of many ideologies. I would think someone who would carry the banner of a philosophy would have to agree to a large segment of that philiosophy and I can’t believe many libertarians believe theatre is a correct use of public money for education. I have heard many libertarian-minded people say that theatre/music, etc should be paid by the family is a child has a talent or interest. If the child is poor and can’t afford a flute..well, she taught in north Fulton so we know that probably isnt likely.

          I’d like to hear Ms. Willis’ opinion on this. Since the GOP School race gotten shaken she may pick up a lot og GOP votes.

          • kirawillis says:

            Kira Willis here, weighing in.
            I promote community schools. If a community wishes to have the arts within its schools, then the schools should have the arts. It is not up to the state to decide curriculum; it is up to the community.

          • Agreed. I’d rather *not* have music and theatre funded with public tax dollars. But in the same sense if we’re going to pay for a child’s education with public monies I don’t think we shouldn’t pick and choose which courses we’ll pay for and which ones we won’t. Now, if we’re talking after school band, music lessons, etc. then yes… by all means… let the parents of those kids raise the money to support those activities. Personally I’d love to see public education go away and move towards private schools where the parents of the child pays for their education. Realistically I don’t think I’ll ever see that happen, so I have to work within the constraints of real world possibilities.

  2. ZazaPachulia says:

    I think someone needs to tell the libertarians that a bunch of dunderheads stole their party, started serving tea (and effigies) and ran off with the GOP.

    I don’t know about everyone else, but I liked it better when the libertarians were actually called libertarians… If every tea-bagger voted the (L) ticket, we might actually push the GOP toward focusing on good government for once.

  3. Three Jack says:

    i was hoping to see something different on kira’s website, but just another teacher looking to protect teacher salaries which are already too high.

    is there a business person running for state school superintendent? if not, then let’s just abolish the position and let the governor appoint a political hack to oversee local school boards.

    • Lady Thinker says:

      What salary do you think teachers should be paid? What rate should go to those with just a bachelor degee, which takes four years to aquire? What rate should go to those with a bachelor and a master’s, which takes six years? What should Ph.D’s get when they devote up to ten years toward their degree in order to teach? If you have kids, what is their education worth?

      Now what should sports figures get paid? Just curious.

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