Because of redistricting, all 15 seats on the Texas State Board of Education will be up for grabs in the November 2012 elections. The results of those elections will determine whether the religious right’s corrosive influence over public education will weaken or grow as the board considers what the next generation of public school students in Texas will learn about sex education, social studies, science and other subjects. We plan to publish on TFN Insider candidate announcements for a seat on the SBOE. We will publish announcements in no particular order, and their publication does not constitute any sort of endorsement by TFN. We will redact requests for contributions or mentions of fundraising events from the announcements, but we will provide links to the candidates’ websites (if available).
Randy Stevenson, District 9, R-Tyler
(Current District 9 Board Member: Thomas Ratliff, R-Mt. Pleasant)
Businessman and former SBOE member Randy Stevenson, R-Tyler, announced in mid-November that he would once again seek the District 9 seat currently held by Thomas Ratliff, R-Mt. Pleasant. Stevenson held the seat in the 1990s. His website is here.
As a member of the SBOE in District 9, I will focus on three points.
First, I am committed to improving the academic quality of our schools. A common-sense approach to education must prevail, as most parents realize the importance of foundational skills in reading, writing, math, and science. Such knowledge-based academic content will build the strong foundation for higher-level thinking skills that every child deserves. Our educational system must prepare Texas children for productive lives as adults, ready to face the academic and workplace challenges that are a part of life.
Secondly, we must rein in our government. Currently crippled with government-required paperwork as well as disciplinary responsibilities, our teachers are finding very little time and energy to do what they are trained and love to do…teach our children. Rather than being a burden to our educators, our governing bodies must be a support to them. In addition, we need more teachers in the classroom. Many school districts have a one-to-one ratio of teacher to non-teaching personnel, in part due to the reporting and testing burdens placed upon our independent school districts by our government.
And finally, Texas should not only provide excellent educational opportunities for those children intending to attend our colleges, but we should also expand the educational opportunities for the fifty percent of Texas children that do not intend to seek a university degree. Our educational system must prepare all Texas children with a quality educational foundation and the educational opportunities that will allow them to pursue technical and professional training for their career choices.