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).
Traci Jensen, District 6, D-Houston
(Current District 6 Board Member: Terri Leo, R-Spring)
Traci Jensen is a former classroom teacher who has also taught at the University of Houston. Current District 6 board member Terri Leo is not seeking re-election to her seat. Jensen’s website is jensen4stateboard.com. The following is from the “Platform” section of her website:
We have a unique opportunity this election to shift this board’s negative culture. I would listen to real scientists, true historians, and current educators. Parents and community leaders from all backgrounds understand the broader educational goals of public education and need to be heard. Texas needs a balanced board that understands the real world and the wonderfully diverse population it serves. I am an educator that understands the complexities of teaching. As we sit here 60% of our student population is considered economically disadvantaged. The research shows that although a good teacher is a piece of the puzzle, poverty, quality of home life, the influence of community and a strong relevant curriculum plays a vital role in the overall success of any student.
If elected, I would give more weight to the College and Career Readiness Standards so that all students are given the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills beginning in Kindergarten. In our urban and our rural schools the current flawed curriculum alone is simply not enough to compete in a global community.
If elected, I would put an end to the culture wars perpetuated by the current board. I would focus on what is best for all of Texas’ children by supporting our teachers and believing in our public schools. We need to put integrity back in the board and honor our promises. Vote the board into a new direction!