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Tony Knowles on Education

2004 former Democratic Challenger for Senate (AK; previously served as Governor)


Keep alternatives to evolution out of classrooms

The volatile issue of teaching creation science in public schools popped up in the Alaska governor’s race this week when Republican Sarah Palin said she thinks creationism should be taught alongside evolution in the state’s public classrooms. Palin said, “Teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both.”

Democrat Tony Knowles said such alternatives to evolution should be kept out of science classrooms.

In an interview Thursday, Palin said she meant only to say that discussion of alternative views should be allowed to arise in Alaska classrooms.

Knowles was asked Thursday if he believed in a creator and, if so, how he reconciled that with evolution. A campaign spokeswoman responded, “Tony wants to stick by what he said last night -- creationism has no place in public school classrooms as an ‘alternative’ to evolution.”

Source: Alaska 2006 Governor Debate: Anchorage Daily News follow-u , Oct 27, 2006

No politics in science; no creationism in schools

Q: Should public schools teach alternatives to evolution?

KNOWLES: The answer is no. The reason why is we don’t want politics in our science. We actually want more science in our politics. We don’t want to just teach all things because it may be politically correct. We want to teach the best science there is, and there is overwhelming evidence, there’s almost incontrovertible evidence that evolution is the science that, that we know. And that’s what we should always teach, to never compromise on the principles just because it’s politically popular.

PALIN: Teach both. Don’t be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both. I say this too as the daughter of a science teacher. Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of information on, on both sides of the subject--creationism & evolution. It’s been a healthy foundation for me. But don’t be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides.

Source: Alaska 2006 Governor Debate: KAKM-7 with Michael Carey , Oct 25, 2006

No Child Left Behind made our education dream a nightmare

Q: How should Congress and the administration address the challenges created in Alaska by the No Child Left Behind Act?

KNOWLES: The federal No Child Left Behind law turned our education dream into a nightmare. Alaska’s Quality Schools Initiative was working-raising student scores and teacher standards-until the federal government imposed its one-size-fits-all approach that doesn’t fit Alaska. We need to repeal these 1,200 pages of micro-management and return education decisions to our teachers, parents and school boards.

MURKOWSKI: Alaska needs flexibility from burdensome federal regulations that do nothing to improve education and threaten local control of schools. I support the goals of NCLB, but states need room to adapt NCLB to local needs-to consider growth-based models to measure yearly progress, to appropriately include disabled students in education, and flexibility in implementing the “highly qualified” teacher provisions.

Source: AK Senate Debate, Q&A by Fairbanks Daily News-Miner , Oct 10, 2004

Fully fund No Child Left Behind

Knowles believes the No Child Left Behind law gives Washington DC too much control over Alaska’s schools - and he will fight to restore that control to the parents, teachers, and students of Alaska. Knowles will go to Washington and eliminate the 1,200 pages of micromanagement in No Child Left Behind and make sure the law is fully funded. Knowles believes that each state should submit a responsible plan for standards, assessment and accountability for all students and schools.
Source: 2004 Senate campaign website, TonyKnowles.com , Jun 30, 2004

3 R’s of ed policy: Reform, Resources, and Responsibility

Knowles called on Congress to learn the 3 R’s of education, not the Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmatic we teach our children, but Reform, Resources, and Responsibility that is needed to bring control of Alaska’s schools back to Alaska. “Alaska’s schools are facing a crisis largely because the federal government has wrestled away control of our schools yet is failing to provide its share of support,” Knowles said.

Knowles said the federal “No Child Left Behind” law has undermined the best efforts of Alaskans to provide a quality education. The law is punitive to schools, degrading to teachers and puts undue stress on kids who are constantly preparing for standardized tests. The federal rules impose additional costs on schools already struggling with tight budgets. “These requirements and standards don’t work but end up costing Alaska school districts more than $1 million each year, money better spent educating kids instead of filling out federal paperwork,” Knowles said.

Source: Press release, “Take Back Education” , Mar 3, 2004

Improve and invest in public schools.

is a member of the Democratic Governors Association:

Principles of the Democratic Governors Association:

IMPROVING PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND INVESTING IN OUR YOUNGEST CHILDREN

Democratic Governors are leading the way with highly-trained teachers, strong standards and accountability, increased funding to repair and modernize public school facilities, access to technology and computers, and more discipline and safety in the classrooms. Democratic Governors believe the most important aspect to insure a child’s education is to have the best possible teachers in the classroom. They believe that we must value teachers as professionals, encourage their development to be the best teachers they can be for our children and compensate them accordingly. Democratic Governors favor greater parental choice, but oppose measures that weaken public schools diverting taxpayer dollars to private schools with no accountability for results. Democratic Governors around the country are also forming innovative public-private partnerships to create programs to provide early childhood education, nutrition and health care services to ensure that our children have the best possible start in life.

Source: DGA website, www.DemocraticGovernors.org/ 01-DGA2 on Aug 15, 2001

2010 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Education: Tony Knowles on other issues:
AK Gubernatorial:
Sean Parnell
AK Senatorial:
Lisa Murkowski
Mark Begich

2011 Special Elections:
CA-36:Jane Harman(D)
CA-36:Janice Hahn(D)
NV-2:Dean Heller(R)
NY-9:Anthony Weiner(D)
NY-26:Chris Lee(R)
NY-26:Kathleen Hochul(D)
Retiring 2012:
CA-6:Lynn Woolsey(D)
OK-2:Dan Boren(D)
MI-5:Dale Kildee(D)
TX-14:Ron Paul(R)
Running for Mayor:
CA-51:Bob Filner(D)
Running for Governor:
IN-6:Mike Pence(R)
WA-8:Dave Reichert(R)
Running for Senate:
AZ-1:Jeff Flake(R)
CT-5:Chris Murphy(R)
HI-2:Mazie Hirono(D)
IN-2:Joe Donnelly(D)
MO-2:Todd Akin(R)
MT-0:Dennis Rehberg(R)
ND-0:Rick Berg(D)
NM-1:Martin Heinrich(D)
NV-1:Shelley Berkley(D)
UT-3:Jason Chaffetz(R)
Dem. Freshmen
in 112th Congress:

AL-7:Terri Sewell
CA-33:Karen Bass
DE-0:John Carney
FL-17:Frederica Wilson
HI-1:Colleen Hanabusa
LA-2:Cedric Richmond
MA-10:Bill Keating
MI-13:Hansen Clarke
RI-1:David Cicilline
GOP Freshmen
in 112th Congress:

AL-2:Martha Roby
AL-5:Mo Brooks
AZ-1:Paul Gosar
AZ-3:Ben Quayle
AZ-5:David Schweikert
AR-1:Rick Crawford
AR-2:Tim Griffin
AR-3:Steve Womack
CA-19:Jeff Denham
CO-3:Scott Tipton
CO-4:Cory Gardner
FL-12:Dennis Ross
FL-2:Steve Southerland
FL-21:Mario Diaz-Balart
FL-22:Allen West
FL-24:Sandy Adams
FL-25:David Rivera
FL-5:Rich Nugent
FL-8:Dan Webster
GA-2:Mike Keown
GA-7:Rob Woodall
GA-8:Austin Scott
ID-1:Raul Labrador
IL-8:Joe Walsh
IL-10:Bob Dold
IL-11:Adam Kinzinger
IL-14:Randy Hultgren
IL-17:Bobby Schilling
IL-8:Joe Walsh
IN-3:Marlin Stutzman
IN-4:Todd Rokita
IN-8:Larry Bucshon
IN-9:Todd Young
KS-1:Tim Huelskamp
KS-3:Kevin Yoder
KS-5:Mike Pompeo
LA-3:Jeff Landry
MD-1:Andy Harris
MI-1:Dan Benishek
MI-2:Bill Huizenga
MI-3:Justin Amash
MI-7:Tim Walberg
MN-8:Chip Cravaack
MO-4:Vicky Hartzler
MO-7:Billy Long
MS-1:Alan Nunnelee
MS-4:Steven Palazzo
GOP Freshmen
in 111th Congress:

NC-2:Renee Ellmers
ND-0:Rick Berg
NH-2:Charlie Bass
NH-1:Frank Guinta
NJ-3:Jon Runyan
NM-2:Steve Pearce
NV-3:Joe Heck
NY-13:Michael Grimm
NY-19:Nan Hayworth
NY-20:Chris Gibson
NY-24:Richard Hanna
NY-25:Ann Marie Buerkle
NY-29:Tom Reed
OH-1:Steve Chabot
OH-15:Steve Stivers
OH-16:Jim Renacci
OH-18:Bob Gibbs
OH-6:Bill Johnson
OK-5:James Lankford
PA-10:Tom Marino
PA-11:Lou Barletta
PA-3:Mike Kelly
PA-7:Patrick Meehan
PA-8:Mike Fitzpatrick
SC-1:Tim Scott
SC-3:Jeff Duncan
SC-4:Trey Gowdy
SC-5:Mick Mulvaney
SD-0:Kristi Noem
TN-3:Chuck Fleischmann
TN-4:Scott DesJarlais
TN-6:Diane Black
TN-8:Stephen Fincher
TX-17:Bill Flores
TX-23:Quico Canseco
TX-27:Blake Farenthold
VA-2:Scott Rigell
VA-5:Robert Hurt
VA-9:Morgan Griffith
WA-3:Jaime Herrera
WI-7:Sean Duffy
WI-8:Reid Ribble
WV-1:David McKinley
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