QUESTION 2: In the 83rd legislative session, the number of state assessments required for graduation was reduced. In the 84th legislative session, a proposed bill would have eliminated state testing in writing at grades 4 and 7 (the bill was left pending in committee). What is your position on further reform of STAAR testing? 

I support further testing reform. Testing is essential for teachers to understand what students know, but the level to which testing has been taken, and the inappropriate use of student test scores for accountability purposes, has been harmful to teachers and students alike.

QUESTION 3: Last year, the US Department of Education approved the Texas State Plan to Ensure Equitable Access to Excellent Educators. What can the SBOE do to support this effort to ensure that poor and minority children have equal access to experienced, qualified teachers? 

Laws and plans cannot be helpful to our teachers and students unless they are fully supported by all those with power over the education process. This includes fully financially supporting schools, creating flexibility for educators to innovate and take care of their students, and providing high-quality pre-K for all students. Citizens not in public office should be a part of fully supporting public education, and willing to put themselves forward to give financial and other types of support.

QUESTION 4: The SBOE is charged with setting curriculum standards, and this year new English Language Arts/Reading and Spanish Language Arts/Reading (ELAR/SLAR) TEKS are being developed. What role can the SBOE play in the effective implementation of these new standards? 

The SBOE has an important role to play in ensuring strong, rigorous curriculum across the state, by ensuring that standards-writing committees are composed of educators, and that credentialed professionals review the materials for accuracy. The takeover of curriculum writing by special interest groups has created problems and we must work to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

My belief is that the Board should be focused on ensuring that all students have access to high-quality curriculum, safe schools, and rigorous, factual materials. This includes educators writing curriculum standards, high-quality pre-K for all students, and teacher support from the SBOE.

QUESTION 5: What do you, as a representative of your district, see as priority issues for the State Board of Education? 

DISTRICT 10 - Tom Maynard* (R), No response