Newly elected school board candidate hopes to restore academic excellence in schools

Linda Hoekman’s school board campaign was inspired by her own time in the classroom as a high school science teacher, where she “saw concerning trends developing in the schools."

Linda Hoekman for AH School Board/Facebook

(Opportunity for All Kids) — Minnesotans headed to the polls last Tuesday, Nov. 8, looking to elect leaders at the most local levels of government: city council and school board.

The latter arena was particularly interesting to many, a fact demonstrated by the recent rise of angry parents who publicly vent at school board meetings about curriculum and various ideologies advanced in the classroom. Parents seem to be waking up and realizing that their values are often the opposite of the ones held by those in the education sector.

Proof of this is seen in the rise of the Minnesota Parents Alliance (MPA). MPA sought to advance and elect parent-approved candidates to local school boards in an effort to take back the ground ceded to the policies of diversity, equity, and inclusion in schools.

“MPA built on the success of 2022 and won important seats in the districts we targeted with significant resources,” MPA Executive Director Christine Trooien said in a press release. “I’m proud of the candidates who stepped forward to represent parents and give voters a choice to refocus our schools on achievement, accountability, safety and parent involvement.”

One of those candidates was Linda Hoekman, who now holds a seat on the Anoka-Hennepin School Board, governing one of the largest school districts in Minnesota.

Hoekman’s campaign was inspired by her own time in the classroom as a high school science teacher, where she “saw concerning trends developing in the schools,” particularly “the steady erosion in academic proficiency.”

Unfortunately, statistics show just how bad the academic erosion is in the Anoka-Hennepin School District. According to the Minnesota Report Card, 10th-grade reading proficiency in the district measures at 60%, while 11th-grade math proficiency comes in at 44%. And those poor results come with a whopping $17,579 annual price tag for each student.

“My campaign focused on the goal that the schools can return the classroom focus to literacy, math, and critical thinking and restore academic excellence to Anoka-Hennepin schools,” Hoekman said in a statement to OAK following her election win.

Given her win, it seems Anoka-Hennepin parents are awake, wary, and completely on board with that mission.

This article was originally published at Opportunity for All Kids and reprinted here with permission. 


Annie Holmquist

Annie Holmquist is the editor of Intellectual Takeout. When not writing or editing, she enjoys reading, gardening, and time with family and friends.