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).
Carlos “Charlie” Garza, District 1, R-El Paso
On Dec. 12, District 1 incumbent Carlos “Charlie” Garza filed to run for re-election. Garza was first elected to the board when he defeated Democratic incumbent Rene Nuñez in 2010. Garza’s website is carloscharliegarza.com.
Education changes lives! I know this first hand as a migrant farm worker of extreme poverty with illiterate first generation Hispanic parents. Texas public schools provided me the requisite skills to pursue doctoral studies at The George Washington University a premier tier I institution. As an educator and leader I serve the children and community. My goal is to remove obstacles that research suggests harm children of poverty, who are language deficient and are struggling to succeed academically. My goal is to instill in our children how great America is and all we have to do is work hard, believe, dream and then we will achieve.
As an SBOE member I have maintained an open door policy, been a responsive servant leader, who is visible and active in school and community events. SBOE’s goal should be simple “to organize and lead schools so all children are able to perform at the highest levels possible.” This is our greatest commandment. I enjoy engaging in conversations with parents about how to improve learning and the learning enviroment for students.
Education based research suggests that all schools need to pick up the reform pace and intensify their focus on enabling students to perform at higher levels. As twenty-first generation educators we must rethink how we can educate this generation as many will work in jobs that are yet to be created. Our charter is to provide a “guaranteed and viable curriculum” (Marzano 2003) that teaches our future graduates to be competent innovators, problem solvers and contributing society members.
I am resolved that all students can learn, given a positive learning atmosphere that welcomes exploration and enhances student confidence. I believe that it is an educator’s mission is to teach. Currently policy demands that teachers dedicated most of thier time to administrative pursuits that do not directly impact academic achievement –that must change! The administrative and operational dimensions are very important, but they are secondary to the task of creating districts where the emphasis is on academic performance.
To meet the needs identified by school community stakeholders, we must work collaboratively with the Regional Services Centers/districts, and celebrate accomplishments with the children and the community and we will gradually move community support for education and get the general public involved. Additonally, I believe that administration who listens effectively dispels many complaints, bolsters volunteerism, and generates a healthy school climate resulting in positive morale for students, parents and staff. Positive impact in my view begins with our learning and personal commitment to education.
May God Bless You,
Carlos “Charlie” Garza
State Board of Education