Former Wake County School Board Candidate: Biggest Question was Common Core

Wake County School Board - Hochstaetter
Peter Hochstaetter

Peter Hochstaetter is one of the former candidates in the recent races for the Wake County School Board.

The husband and father of two young children ran in District 2 against incumbent Monika Johnson-Hostler.

Johnson-Hostler kept her seat with 21,139 votes to Hochstaetter’s 16,777. Johnson-Hostler won by 4,362 votes.

Mark Ivey, another Republican, withdrew from the race but his name still appeared on the ballot.  Ivey received 7,185 votes.  Had Ivey’s votes gone to Hochstaetter, he might have overcome Johnson-Hostler.

Hochstaetter, a Republican, ran on a, “pro-family, pro-neighborhood schools” platform.  Finding potential partnerships with local community businesses and promoting options for families which would ensure the academic achievement for their children were other areas Hochstaetter highlighted. 

His campaign placed an emphasis on, “listening to the parents’ concerns and finding  to their questions.” 

American Lens invited Hochstaetter to tell us about his experiences during the race. One topic was at the forefront: Common Core.

Here’s what Mr. Hochstaetter had to say.

I campaigned for a seat on the 9 member Wake County Board of Education this past election cycle. It is the largest school system in the state and 16th largest in the country. Throughout the last year as I met thousands of parents and hundreds of teachers, the question I received most often, by far, was “What are you going to do about getting rid of Common Core?”

The county school boards don’t have a direct say in its implementation since it is being passed down from a higher level, but I thought it was very telling that every person who brought it up was against it. I could not find a single supporter.

Parents told me that they couldn’t help their elementary age children with their schoolwork, and teachers told me that they are hardly able to teach anymore. They feel like a state-controlled vending machine dispensing tests all day long.

One teacher I shadowed spent a mere 15 minutes actually teaching in an 8 hour period. What a waste of her talent and a disservice to the students. Teaching children how to take a test does not teach them how to think critically. That leaves us with a generation that is able to take orders but has a hard time thinking for themselves (see millennials).

A federally controlled education system is never going to be the best option for children, parents, or teachers, because it is never in the best interest of the government for people to be independent of it. But that is exactly what is best for ‘We The People’. Teachers need autonomy to teach and relate to the children in their classrooms. The school system should work for the children and their parents, not the other way around!

The large number of questions about Common Core led Hochstaetter to make a video about his position on the standards.

Watch:

Hochstaetter said he plans to run again for a Wake County School Board position.

Other results, per the NC State Board of Elections website, for the Wake County School Board races are below. The winners are in bold text.

District 1: Don Agee (R), Mary Beth Ainsworth (R), Tom Benton (D), Sheila W. Ellis (D)

District 2: Peter Hochstaetter (R), Mark A. Ivey (R), Monika Johnson-Hostler (D)

District 3: Roxie Cash (R)

District 4: Heather Elliott (D), Keith Sutton (D)

District 5: Jim Martin (D)

District 6: Christine Kushner (D)

District 7: Zora S. Felton (D) **

District 8: Gary Lewis (R) , Lindsay Mahaffey (D), Gil Pagan (R)

District 9: Bill Fletcher (R), Michael Tanbusch (R)

**  Felton is recently deceased. The board will appoint a successor. 

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