Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

Member, State Board of Education, District 12

What Do They Do? A short video explanation of state elected officeshttps://youtu.be/3XZK4qoFFlU4-year term. The 15-member board decides curriculum, standards, student testing, special education programs, and textbooks for Texas public schools. It also oversees the Permanent School Fund. Members of the board do not receive pay, but are eligible for reimbursement for expenses incurred in the course of official business.Plazo de 4 años. El consejo directivo de 15 miembros decide el plan de estudios, los estándares, los examenes de los estudiantes, los programas de educación especial y los libros de texto para las escuelas públicas de Texas. También supervisa el Fondo Escolar Permanente. Los miembros de la junta no reciben pago, pero son elegibles para el reembolso de los gastos incurridos en el curso de las funciones oficiales.

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  • Candidate picture

    Pam Little
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Suzanne Smith
    (Dem)

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Biographical Information

Background: What training, experience, and background qualify you for this position?

Instruction: What is your position on issues dealing with curriculum, student testing, and special education programs?

Funding: What measures would you take to improve investment policies for the Permanent School Fund and equitable distributions for public schools?

Other Issues: What other issues do you consider the most important, and how would you address them?

Campaign Phone (972) 342-6697
As a retired educational publishing executive I have over 20 years in educational publishing. My responsibilities were working with the State Board of Education in preparing instructional materials to meet the State's Curriculum, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills.

Both my children attended public schools.
Look for stronger scientific based research strategies for reading intervention. Make sure the streamlining of the TEKS does not omit important content, make personal finance mandatory for high school graduation. The STAAR test was a step in the right direction as it required more critical thinking skills but the test still needs work. Our special education students should get the support that they need for success.
The PSF has performed very well and my policy would be to "let it be". The issue is to protect it from not only the legislature but now the land office is trying to claim some of it.

The SBOE has no per view over funding. I would be a voice to get school finance restructured. Restructuring school finance would solve a lot of the state's property tax problems.
Last year the legislature finally established a quality review of the instructional materials. With my background of working with textbooks I would want this to be a quality of student understanding. Streamlining the TEKS must be watched closely so as not to lose any important content. I would like to see SBOE have more input into Charter School decisions.
Campaign Phone (214) 957-0903
Twitter @suzanne4tx
Video
Four things, which the Dallas Morning News also identified in their endorsement: 1) Strong background in public education - as a student, professor, & daughter of educators; 2) Two decades of experience & leadership through boards and commissions serving North Texas; 3) MBA from Duke; & 4) Track record as consensus-builder in community
We haven't yet found the right solution that meets Texas' need for accountability, while guarding against "teaching to the test:" I believe that solution must meet the following key criteria: 1) Our process must be accurate; 2) We must balance our need for data with ensuring that our students are on track by considering new & better ways of gauging performance; 3) We need to equip our students with 21st century curriculum; & 4) We need to surround students with learning differences with support.
The Texas economy is ranked No. 6 nationally by U.S. News and World Report. Yet, Texas' education system is ranked No. 37 in the country. Texas, while it has invested the Fund well, has kicked the can on school finance reform for decades, and that has to change. I have closely monitored the progress of the TX Public School Finance Commission and will champion real action as North Texas' SBOE member. We cannot get to No. 1 while chronically underfunding our public school system.
1) Strong start through pre-K - quality early education from birth to 3rd grade provides the highest ROI for the success of our students; 2) Wraparound services - attention must be given to children who come to school hungry, whose asthma problems inhibit their activity or who feel unsafe; 3) Teaching recruitment/excellence/retention - teachers are the biggest driver of student success; and 4) Workforce - working alongside business & educators to ensure a strong pipeline of future employees