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June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election
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Orange County Board of EducationCandidate for Trustee, Trustee Area 3

Photo of Ken L. Williams, Jr.

Ken L. Williams, Jr.

Member, Orange County Board of Education
47,005 votes (39.6%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • No bullying, student safety, no drugs
  • Support Charter schools and parental choice
  • Oppose Common Core and weaker academic standards



Profession:Physician & Surgeon; Member, Orange County Board of Education;
Physician and Surgeon, Irvine Institute of Medicine and Cosmetic Surgery (1986–current)
Member, Orange County Board of Education, Orange Board of Education — Elected position (1996–current)


Western University of Health Science; D.O., Medical School (current)
University of California-Irvine B.A., Pre-Medical (1980)

Community Activities

Orange County Sheriff Deputy, Reserve, Orange County Sheriffs Department (2005–current)
Physician Provider-Mariners Medical Missionary Outreach team, Mariners Church (2014–current)

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Ed Royce, U.S. Congressman
  • John Moorlach, California State Senator
  • Todd Spitzer, Orange County Supervisor

Organizations (6)

  • Family Action PAC-Orange County, CA
  • California Republican Assembly
  • Orange County Young Republicans
  • Lincoln Club of Orange County
  • California Charter Schools Association
  • Republican Party of Orange County

Elected Officials (44)

  • Janet Nguyen , California State Senator
  • Rosie Avila, Trustee, Santa Ana Unified School District (Ret.)
  • Curt Pringle, California State Assembly Speaker (Ret.)
  • Scott Voigts, Lake Forest Mayor Pro Tem
  • Brett Barbre, Vice President, Municipal Water District of Orange County
  • Denis Bilodeau, First Vice President, Orange County Water District
  • Long Pham, Trustee, Orange County Board of Education (Ret.)
  • Alexandria Coronado, President, Orange County Board of Education (Ret.)
  • Cecilia Iglesias, Trustee, Santa Ana Unified School District
  • Jeffrey Barke, Trustee, Los Alamitos Unified School District
  • Tim Surridge, Trustee, Orange Unified School District
  • Rick Ledesma, President, Orange Unified School District
  • Phil Yarbrough, Trustee, Rancho Santiago Community College Distric
  • Arianna Barrios, Trustee, Rancho Santiago Community College District
  • Linda Lindholm, Vice President, Orange County Board of Education
  • Robert Hammond, President, Orange County Board of Education
  • Scott Baugh, California State Assembly Republican Leader (Ret.)
  • Bob Huff, California State Senato
  • Diane Harkey, Vice Chair of the State Board of Equalization
  • Ray Grangoff, Orange City Planning Commissioner (Ret.)
  • Brad Reese, Villa Park City Councilman (Ret.)
  • Russell Patterson, Villa Park City Councilman (Ret.)
  • Jeff Thomas, Tustin City Councilman (Ret.)
  • Jim Palmer, Tustin City Councilman (Ret.)
  • Fred Whitaker, Orange City Councilman & Chairman, Republican Party of Orange Count
  • Scott Peotter, Newport Beach City Councilman
  • Steve Vargas, Brea City Councilman
  • Jeff Lalloway, Irvine City Councilman
  • Gene Hernandez, Yorba Linda City Councilman
  • Andrew Hamilton, Lake Forest Mayor
  • Tom Tait, Anaheim Mayor
  • Claude Parrish, Orange County Assessor
  • Tony Rackauckas, Orange County District Attorney
  • Eric Woolery, Orange County Auditor-Controller
  • Sandra Hutchens, Orange County Sheriff
  • Michelle Steel, Orange County Supervisor
  • Andrew Do, Orange County Supervisor
  • Gloria Romero, California State Senator
  • John Lewis, California State Senator (ret),
  • Matt Harper, California State Assemblywoman
  • Young Kim, California State Assemblywoman
  • Shawn Nelson, Orange County Supervisor
  • Patricia Bates, California State Senator
  • Mimi Walters, U.S. Congresswoman

Individuals (7)

  • Adam Probalsky, Business Consultant, Irvine, CA
  • Howard Klein, Esq.-Irvine, CA
  • Jon Fleishman, California GOP Chairman, (ret.)
  • TJ Fuentes, Member, Orange County GOP Central Committee
  • Keith Carlson, Former State GOP Chairman
  • Raghu Mathur, Ed.D., Chancellor, South Orange Conuty Community College District (Ret.)
  • Hugh Hewitt, Constitutional Law Professor, Chapman University

Political Beliefs

Position Papers

Are Common Core Standards lawful?


Op-Ed piece appearing in the Orange County Regsiter

Every educator supports our children being prepared for college and career readiness. All hold up critical thinking and writing skills, high academic standards and STEM technology. Common Core has well-intentioned standards and benchmarks and the concept of online testing with quicker available assessment scores is a good one. 

But Common Core is different than adopted curriculum and assessments. This is a significant source of controversy. Common Core defines standards. It is not a curriculum (what to teach to achieve standards), pedagogy (teaching method) or assessment (the measure of a student's knowledge).

The conservative Sutherland Institute notes, however, “standards drive and influence curriculum, pedagogy, assessments, instructional materials, accountability systems and more. Indeed, the primary purpose of standards is to establish guideposts that direct all aspects of schooling toward a defined goal.”

So what guideposts or benefits do we establish in adopting common national standards? Since all children are impacted, parents whose children attend either public, private or home schools would answer that question differently.

The California Learning Assessment System provides an example of how problems occur when transitioning to untested instruction, curriculum and assessments.

In the 1990's, CLAS was embraced as being state of the art. The same groups now driving Common Core similarly promoted it. CLAS was described as having “... critical thinking and conceptual understanding, problem-solving based on real-life problems, meaning-centered rather than memorization-oriented learning opportunities, active learning which makes connections to student's experiences, collaborative learning and interdisciplinary learning.” 

CLAS curriculum and assessments were subjective, political, used open-ended questions and asked invasive questions about family relationships. Children who scored well on previous state assessment testing, when tested under CLAS didn't do as well. CLAS was eventually removed from California's classrooms. 

The U.S. Department of Education, in advancing Common Core, unlawfully violated three federal laws (20 USC 1232a, 20 USC 3403 and 20 USC 7907a) prohibiting the federal government's role in local and state education. The federal government provided economic “incentives” via Race to the Top “awards” in the 2009 economic stimulus package. These “voluntary” funds were sent to financially strapped states for the purpose of adopting these national educational standards.

The Obama administration pressed states to adopt Common Core and national assessments in exchange for billions of dollars in federal funding and waivers from the onerous provisions of No Child Left Behind.

Dismissed by Common Core advocates is the explicitly worded prohibition in the U.S. Department of Education Act (20 USC 3403, Public Law 96-88): “No provision of a program administered by the Secretary ... shall be construed to authorize the Secretary ... to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction ... over any accrediting agency ... over the selection or content of library resources, textbooks, or other instructional materials by any educational institution or school system.” 

Common Core decreases the role of parents and local school boards in the decision making process. Chapman Law School, Constitutional Professor of Law, Hugh Hewitt told me, "The implementation of Common Core is drawing increasing fire from proponents of local control of education, and the critics are right that no serious legal analysis has been out forward of the new program's intersection with – others would say trampling of – federal laws guaranteeing autonomy of local school boards." 

Dr. Ken Williams is a member of the Orange County Board of Education.

Reasons To Stop Common Core


Op Ed piece appearing in Orange County Regsiter

When the federal government’s role in local education began several decades ago, local control of education began its decline. Ask local school board members and parents today if independent decisions for their schools can be made, the response will be a resounding “No.”

Local control is diminished further by decisions of the state Legislature and the unelected state Board of Education, appointed by the governor. The net effect is marginalization of local boards, teachers and parents by a top-down management strategy.

The newest effort to diminish local control and centralize power to the federal and state government is called Common Core. As this education program is being fully implemented in our classrooms, parents and teachers are taking notice of its untoward impact on the education of children.

Last fall, the Orange County Board of Education unanimously held two public fact-finding meetings to inquire about the public’s protest against Common Core. These meetings demonstrated specific facts and validation of parental concerns. They include:

• Loss of student privacy by extensive data collection without parental consent to include, but not limited to, religious and political affiliation, student attitudes and mental health issues.

• Inappropriate K-3 grades standards and curriculum that early child psychologists term “cognitive child abuse.”

• Businesses’ profiting from these new national standards and higher taxes to support this untested reform.

• Violation of California laws through standards and curriculum that are less rigorous, without scientific validation, and lacking international benchmarks.

• National standards and testing creating a national curriculum.

• No validity studies establishing assessments measuring what is claimed to be measured.

• A student’s assessment is scored by individuals without teaching credentials or experience, paid at $11.15–$13 per hour.

Parent coalitions opposing Common Core have emerged across the political spectrum. Common Core produces a loss of local governance and parental choice. Most parents object to these national educational standards and a “one-size-fits-all” approach to education.

Washington state’s Democratic Party passed a resolution opposing Common Core in January 2015. The resolution stated, among many things, that Common Core standardized testing will “result in private data being transmitted to and stored by private corporations,” and that unaccountable corporate interests will “stand to profit substantially.”

The esteemed Fordham Institute ranked California’s previous academic standards as much “clearer and rigorous” than the current Common Core standards. In 2010, the state Legislature and Board of Education prematurely abolished the previous higher standards which had raised our students assessment scores from the bottom percentile (49th in the country) to the middle percentile.

The most dishonest claims from Common Core proponents is that national standards are more rigorous, scientifically validated and are internationally benchmarked as required by state law. Two members of the Common Core Validation Committee, former Massachusetts Education Commissioner and Arkansas University professor emerita Dr. Sandra Stotsky and Stanford professor James Milgram, testified before the OCBE of these facts, and have repeatedly asked to see proof of international benchmarking. To date, no documentation has been provided.

Legal challenges to Common Core is an option for school board members. Hugh Hewitt, a Chapman University constitutional law professor, in testimony to the OCBE said, “[A]t some point, you have stand up and say, ‘What am I doing here.’ Right now you’ve been turned into the puppets of the state and federal education bureaucracy. ... If you care about local education, you won’t let the state take your jobs away from you.”

Hewitt encouraged the OCBE to support Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s federal court lawsuit by filing a separate action in this region of the country.

All citizens want higher standards and better education, but Common Core represents everything wrong with education. The data mining and violation of student and family privacy is worse than the National Security Agency’s tracking of American citizens.

Common Core mandates lower education standards, less-rigorous curriculum, and no evidence exists of international benchmarking. Worse yet, the state Board of Education and the federal government force school boards to yield sovereignty to bureaucrats to implement unlawful standards and a national curriculum.

Ken Williams is president, and Robert Hammond is vice president, of the Orange County Board of Education.

Common Core Changes the meaning of education


Op Ed Piece appearing in the Orange County Register

Huxley’s “Brave New World” constructs an environment where individual identity is stripped by a government that controls nearly all aspects of life through classical social conditioning. Not far from that fictionalized dystopia is an emerging education paradigm in America similar in philosophy and structure. This paradigm is a reappearance of the progressive education theories found in the California Learning Assessment System and School-to-Work that dominated politics two decades ago. It competes against traditional and direct academic instruction advocates who oppose diluted academics, “student-centered” instruction and social emotional learning programs.

In a traditional or classical education model, the primary focus is the transmission of facts and knowledge related to math, science, literature and history. Filling a child’s mind with rich content leads to critical, abstract thought required for a free society. Further, traditional learning is a continuum where young students absorb facts and information in the early years in preparation for more advanced studies in grades six through 12. By the time a student graduates, they are fully capable of discerning their own values and attitudes about the world. The latest government education paradigm, known as Common Core, however, is in the business of shaping attitudes, values and dispositions.

Parents do not want government determining their child’s values; they want public education to reflect their own values. California, however, is moving quickly down the tracks on this experimental bullet train to implement a bold framework that places a tremendous emphasis on untested, experimental SEL programs rather than tried and true traditional learning. The lack of transparency between the goals of this reform and how it has been sold to parents has led to much controversy and deception. This discrepancy was revealed at the Orange County Board of Education special meetings on Common Core last fall.

Under this emerging educational paradigm, a student’s “competencies and skills” are advanced through curriculums such as social math, where even the most obvious answers must be explained and discussed collaboratively. The new pedagogies and assessment testing will not only teach and measure academic knowledge, but also values, beliefs and attitudes.

A prominent leader in Common Core and the SEL movement is Michael Fullan, an educational globalist from Canada. Fullan spent the last three decades challenging traditional learning systems around the globe in favor of so-called 21st century “skills and competencies.” Parents assume these refer to academic knowledge. Categorically, they do not. They are related to SEL indicators such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, responsible decision-making and relationship skills. At a recent board meeting, we learned that Fullan is already hard at work in O.C. school districts assisting in implementing Common Core.

Fullan is a change agent who hopes to transform the primary purpose of education by substituting traditional learning methods with pedagogies that place great value on political correctness, social justice, social attitudes and personal beliefs. Currently, he is working closely with the California Office to Reform Education to redesign our systems of education.

CORE consists of 10 districts in California, with Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Long Beach and Los Angeles in the middle. Fullan is helping CORE to develop a new School Quality Improvement Index to replace California’s previous Academic Performance Index. Under the new system, 60 percent of a school’s score will be based on academics and 40 percent on social emotional factors. The previous model used only scholastic factors to determine API scores.

Arguably, a system that attempts to “standardize” values and beliefs has the potential to produce a generation of like-minded citizens, and a world not so far from Huxley’s dystopian vision. Common Core is a Trojan horse creating a national curriculum and new pedagogies, and it uses untested psychological assessments. Lamentably, it increases the role of the state and federal government in our lives, as the concept of local control of education is removed without the consent of the people.

Dr. Williams and Robert Hammond are board members and trustees of the Orange County Department of Education.

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