SBOE Candidate: S.T. Russell

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).

S.T. Russell, District 13, R-Dallas
(Current District 13 Board Member: Mavis Knight, D-Dallas)

S.T. Russell filed on November 30 for the SBOE District 13 seat currently held by Mavis Knight. His website is here. We have not yet seen a formal announcement, but the following is from Russell’s “Why Me” page on his website:

Dear Voter,

Schools are closing due to Low-Performance on the behalf of the school itself. When a school is closed, the State ensures that the student still attends a school, just not that school. This means that the student is not the problem. If the student was the problem, why would the State simply bus the student to another better performing school? The problem is the school itself; it is the only thing being closed. Tax payers are still paying the same rate of taxes and the children are still attending a school.

I really believe that micro-management of the schools, in the form of the parent portal is a very good first step to turning around the issues that the schools are having with low-performance.

I also really believe in the monkey see and monkey do concept. In other words, whatever another school or district is doing to stay number one; we need to duplicate their method into our district as well as state. If two districts receive the exact same dollar amount per student (with the use of Robin Hood) , why is one rated as being high-performing and the other is rated as being low-performing? I do not know the entire answer to the questions because of all the possible answers that could be justified, but what I do know is that we have been rated as low performing and should want to “be like Mike.” I cannot beat you, but should not I try to be like you? We can climb in the state ranks and the state can climb in the national ranks. Our second step should be to copy the routines of the most successful district in Texas and copy the most successful state that makes up the United States of America.

I really believe that I can turn my district (13) around from being ranked 14th of the known 15 district within the State of Texas. I also believe that I can turn my state around from being rated 49th of the 50 states that make up the entire United States of America. One last thing, this is not a paid position. Texas State Board of Education Members do not get paid to serve. They only get reimbursed for their out of pocket expenses. This means that I do not have a hidden agenda to get paid, I really care about education.

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9 Comments

  1. Will Fraser
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Hey Mr Russell.!!
    Did you run in the last primary and get defeated by a moderate sir? Or are you related to that Russell, who home schooled his daughters and answered questions about his “science” with Bible verses? I sure hope not. This isn’t a trick question, just wondering.:)
    Will

    • Posted June 6, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      Hello Mr. Will Fraser:

      I am neither of those Russells. I have yet to be defeated by a moderate. This is my very first time running for any office. Home schooling is not socially beneficial for the child. I would never home school my children while my taxes dollars are being taken by public schools. The Bible is not a science book, it is a spiritual book. I would prefer to keep school issues separate from church beliefs. School is for everyone and Heaven is not. Thanks for the email, hope I can count on you voting for “somebody” on Nov. 6th, 2012.

  2. abb3w
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    His “survey” looks like a push poll attempt. He’s also fairly gung-ho on charter schools. I’m also getting some “flake” vibes from his blurbs there — not always a terrible thing, as wild cards can provide a swing vote. Contrariwise, there’s essentially zero chance I’d consider him an improvement over Mavis Knight, who’s one of the core Sensible Party Block.

    I don’t see a need to fit him into my usual taxa more exactly than “not Sensible Party”.

    • Posted May 30, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

      Hi Ms. Knight’s supporter (abb3w):

      I apologize for the survey, it has been replaced. It was not collegiately correct. I do not vote outside of party lines; therefore, I am not a wild card for any liberal followers. Our inner-city schools are closing faster than any other district’s schools in the State. Can I truly be as low performing, duty wise, as the candidate that you are supporting?

  3. der Brat
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    The notion that the school is the problem borders on idiotic. Problems at schools have a shared responsibility, but it is inconceivable that this problem would be even mainly “the school.” I have taught at both low-performing and high-performing schools. And, while it is true that there were some deficits among the administrators and faculty at the low-performing school, the primary problem was a widespread lack of a positive attitude about the merits of education among the students and their families. Part of this was due to their lack of role models of success due to education and part due to lack of resources and energy needed for success. At the high-performing school some of the teachers were also not especially competent, but the atmosphere was one in which academic achievement was honored by administrators, teachers, and families. And, in almost all cases the families had the resources to bolster the educational effort. BTW reading the bible was not a major component of success in most cases.

    • Posted May 30, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

      Mr. der Brat:

      My platform must be based on a source. I am sorry that we disagree on the exact cause of the low performing schools within our urban district. The schools are under the jurisdiction of the SBOE. The low performance of the parents, students, taxpayers and voters is only within the jurisdiction of the individual’s social involvement, as well as their personal relationship with their Creator. Low performing schools are correctable. However, the corrections of people are under the jurisdiction of their faith. Reading is ALWAYS a major component for success in this life. Sorry that reading, writing and possibly math is not a component of your personal success.

  4. Stan
    Posted December 10, 2011 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Mr Russell tells us this at his web site: “…Before, transferring schools, I used to be a 20 hours per week bible reader. Now, with all the studying for my degree, I find myself only reading my bible about 5 hours per week now. I have a great relationship with my God.”

    Yep! The SBOE really needs another one of these.

    • Posted May 30, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      Mr. Stan is not lead by God. Texas is a Christian State and do I need to apologize for having normal habits, such as obtaining my college degree in psychology and being a committed Bible reader? SBOE does need a simple minded individual that lives in and is attached to his inner-city environment. I am conservative, which means I am a lender and not a borrower. I am Republican by nature and nurture. Sorry Mr. Stan that I cannot count on your atheist vote.

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