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May 30, 2012


Charlie Quimby

"Classrooms need to be visited, monitored and reviewed..."

Not a word about all those monitors helping kids in class, tutoring, supervising playgrounds or learning about what the students and teachers actually face each day.

But maybe all that is in the Bible.

Phoenix Woman

Peggy Ployhar could learn a lot from the young Indonesian exchange student.

Rachel Kahler

I don't think Ms. Ployhar is a bad person. Just extremely self-centered. She may talk about being open and questioning, but she clearly doesn't practice it...at least that's the way it appears on her blog.

Her exchange student, on the other hand, is a delight to read.


Editor's note: This commenter is certainly entitled to her high opinion of Ployhar--we assume they're friends since they're on a first-name basis.

However, Juliette has no understanding of the First Amendment, since she requests that questions about Ployhar be addressed privately with the school board candidate, rather than on an opinion blog. She is apparently equally unfamiliar with the concept of "public figure," and that Ployhar became one when she filed for office.

The comment:

Who better to be on the school board than someone who is passionate about education. She is homeschooling her own children with excellence, because she cares about her children's futures. Peggy is a well-respected woman in the greater Minnesota homeschooling community, and has helped mentor many other parents. She is articulate and researches tremendously before taking on any task. If you have specific questions about some of the statements she has made, why not ask her directly instead of commenting publicly about them.


Editor's note: Yet another commenter on a first-name basis with Ployhar.

The claim that Ployhar stays at home while sacrificing "extra income" suggests that her work as a speaker, freelance writer, and certified counselor is volunteer activity. Is this indeed the case, or is she like many parents who work from home?

For professionals the editor has known who home school, this arrangement serves quite well, and the opportunity costs of lost income from a job based elsewhere are often canceled out by the savings produced by having no commute and no daycare costs. To paint it as a heroic sacrifice is to invite sprained arms from patting oneself too often on the back.

The comment:

Why would a homeschool mother want to run for a school board position? Why would a Christian subject herself to criticism and intolerance over her views? I believe she wants to make a difference and give children in her school district a better education. Homeschool mothers and fathers are the people whom public school districts lament losing because they are the ones who are passionate about the education of their children. They are the ones who research curriculum and ways of individualizing their children’s education in order to give their children the best education they can. Good homeschooling parents (of which Peggy is one) tend to be better read about educational ideas and options than most of the general public, some teachers included. A woman who chooses to give up her time, any extra income she could make by working outside of the home, and go against what society considers mainstream is a woman who knows what she believes and has evidence to back it up. I think her willingness to run for school board shows her desire to truly help children in her school district. She is not doing it to make her children’s education better, but doing it in order to serve others. Isn’t that what “public service” should be?


Editor's note: Bluestem is very happy that the commenter knows of the existence of the Federalist Papers and hopes that she has read them thoroughly.


Ms. Ployhar knows what many homeschool parents, and frankly several public educators, have discovered. More money does not make a better education. What makes a better education is the ability to teach to a child’s individual strengths and foster a love of asking questions about life and learning how to test these questions to find answers. These are things homeschoolers like Ms. Ployhar have learned from years of experience. There are many wonderful teachers out there who desire these things for their students, but they are hampered by so many demands from both the state and the federal government adding in unnecessary requirements. You’re very right in suggesting she has no reason to run for a school board position other than her own love for children and her community. Our own president has suggested that the public get involved where they can, that they help “organize” their communities. Ms. Ployhar’s opinion is that things haven’t been working well and they need to change. She has some ideas, based on her wide experience and research, that she feels will make the schools more effective and efficient. Thankfully, we live in a country with a democratic republic which allows all parties the freedom to state their ideas and let the public decide for themselves which idea they think is better. I’m sure Ms. Ployhar would welcome any questions that anyone has about her ideas, where they come from, and why she believes so strongly in them. Blogs are a great place to begin to share ideas, but they can in no way provide all the answers to every question. I look forward to hearing Ms. Ployhar’s ideas fleshed out in public forums and opinion blogs, as it is how our own government was formed. The Federalist Papers were the opinion blogs of their day.


Editor's note: This post really does seem to have summoned the media-illiterate trolls. This one is more passive-aggressive than most, however, and after sharing her pretend fear, forges right ahead.

I do not know Peggy. (I hesitate to use her first name since that apparently automatically disqualifies a person's comments and allows the author to add a prefatory comment to belittle the poster.)

My comment is this:
If you want to know "What precisely is new Faribault school board candidate saying about diversity and funding?"
why don't you just ask her?

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  • All of the statements, opinions, and views expressed on this site by Sally Jo Sorensen are solely her own, save when she attributes them to other sources.

    The opinions, statements, and views of contributing writers are their own.

    Sorensen, editor and proprietor of Bluestem Prairie, serves clients in the business and nonprofit sectors. While progressive in outlook, she does not caucus with any political party.


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