The mission of the Kansas Board of Education is to ensure that public schools prepare children to be successful in an increasingly competitive world economy.
Its essential that voters choose members who will keep their eyes on that goal and not attempt to sidetrack the state with a personal or religious agenda. Members must also understand the states long history of valuing public education.
The upcoming term is especially important because the board will be treading into a territory that has proven hazardous twice before the adoption of new science standards.
In two races relevant to this area, The Star recommends Cindy Neighbor of Shawnee in District 2 and Carolyn Campbell of Topeka in District 4.
Neighbor, a Democrat, is a long-time member of the Shawnee Mission Board of Education, and has served in the Kansas House. She has been a consistent advocate for adequate state funding for all schools, and she will support educational standards that are embraced by mainstream scientists and educators.
Her opponent, Steve Roberts of Overland Park, is a veteran math teacher who thinks public schools are encumbered by too many rules and mandates.
Campbell, a Democrat, had a strong first term and deserves another. This is especially true in light of her Republican opponent, Jack Wu, who moved here from California to attend the notorious Westboro Church run by Rev. Fred Phelps.
Wu believes that cancer is a judgment from God, that the teaching of evolution is a satanic lie and has no place in schools, and that public schools are preparing students to be liars, thieves, murderers and perverts.
Clearly, the state will be better served with Campbell, who served three terms on the Board of Education of the Topeka Public Schools and will bring hard work and knowledge to the state board, not divisive far-out beliefs. District 4 encompasses part of Lawrence.