Archive for the ‘Marty Rowley’ Category

TX SBOE District 15 Candidates Talk Sex Ed

March 21, 2012

Someone needs to educate Marty Rowley about sex education.

Speaking on Tuesday at a candidate forum with Republican primary opponent Anette Carlisle, the Texas State Board of Education District 15 candidate explained why he supports an abstinence-only policy on sex education:

“I believe if we pass out condoms at schools we’re saying, ‘Yeah, we’re teaching you about abstinence, but we know you’re not going to pay attention to it, so here’s a condom to make sure that you don’t get pregnant.'”

Good grief. The issue isn’t about passing out condoms to students. In fact, state law bars public schools from distributing condoms as part of sex education classes. But it doesn’t bar schools from teaching students medically accurate information about contraception and STD prevention. Moreover, 80 percent of likely Texas voters, according to our 2010 statewide poll, support giving high school students that information along with emphasizing the importance of abstinence in sex education classes. And evidence shows that sex education actually gets teens to wait before starting to have sex.

Yet most school districts in Texas — a state with one of the highest teen birth rates in the nation — teach abstinence-only or nothing at all about sex education (although we’re making progress in changing that). Abstinence-only advocates like Rowley try to scare parents into believing that teachers would otherwise be handing out condoms like it’s Halloween candy.

Speaking at the same candidate forum, which was sponsored by the Amarillo Tea Party Patriots, Carlisle said she supports an “abstinence-based” approach to sex education:

“I certainly believe in opt-out for parents if they don’t want their students in there. We need to give them knowledge so they don’t become victims of bad choices.”

Rowley and Carlisle are seeking election to the state board seat currently held by Bob Craig, R-Lubbock, who is leaving the board at the end of the year. Rowley is an attorney and former church pastor. Carlisle is the Amarillo school board president.

Rowley has been touting his support from members of the state board’s far-right bloc, including current board chair Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands, and former chair Gail Lowe, R-Lampasas. Carlisle has a rather extensive list of endorsements, including support from current Republican board members Bob Craig and Thomas Ratliff  as well as local school board leaders and other education folks throughout West Texas.

While Rowley’s campaign website veers into areas like his anti-abortion views (an issue over which the state board has no authority at all), Carlisle’s website appears focused on education rather than “culture war” issues.

Steven Schafersman of Midland is unopposed in the Democratic primary. Click here for his campaign website.

You can learn more about all SBOE races and candidates at TFN’s election online HQ here.


Ed Board Candidate Decries ‘Evolution Agenda’

February 15, 2012

With the Texas State Board of Education set to adopt science textbooks for public schools in 2013, this year’s state board elections are especially important. On Tuesday one state board candidate, Republican Marty Rowley of Amarillo, made it pretty clear that he would be part of the board’s anti-science faction if elected.

Check out the post on his campaign blog titled “The Evolution Agenda in Schools.” Rowley argues that new science curriculum standards adopted by the state board in 2009 got low marks in a recent review from the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute because the board had “the audacity to allow Texas schoolchildren to look at evolution as a theory instead of an indisputable fact”:

“(W)hile I don’t dispute that evolution should be taught to Texas schoolchildren, which our science curriculum apparently adequately does, I believe it is a theory, and nothing more than a theory. And if we want to turn out thinking, analytical Texas graduates, they should be allowed to view evolution in the light of the strengths and weaknesses it possesses. I say, let’s teach scientific theories, including evolution, let them stand on their own merit, and let our students make their own well-reasoned decisions as to what they believe to be the truth.”

Mainstream science long ago debunked creationists’ arguments about phony “weaknesses” of evolution. Even the State Board of Education in 2009 rejected a curriculum requirement that students study so-called “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution. Still, creationists seeded the new science standards with other measures they hope will undermine teaching about evolution.

This year’s state board elections are critical to the future of public education in Texas. All 15 seats, including the one Rowley seeks in West Texas, are up for grabs. Learn about the board districts, candidates and issues on TFN’s SBOE election watch page here.

SBOE Campaign Finance Reports

January 18, 2012

All Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) seats are up for election this year, but so far there’s not a lot of money flowing into those campaigns. Nearly all SBOE candidates have now filed their July 1, 2011-December 31, 2011, campaign finance reports with the Texas Ethics Commission.

Some non-surprises:

  • Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, R-Dallas, is again self-funding her campaign, this time in an effort to retake the District 12 seat she lost to George Clayton, R-Richardson, in 2010. So far Miller has spent about $40,000 of her own money.
  • Former SBOE member Don McLeroy, R-College Station, is spreading around a little cash (some left over from his losing race against Thomas Ratliff, R-Mount Pleasant, in 2010) among far-right board incumbents Charlie Garza, R-El Paso, of District 1 ($500), Ken Mercer, R-San Antonio, of District 5 ($500), and Gail Lowe, R-Lampasas, of District 14 ($1,801.60). He has also contributed $500 to Randy Stevenson, R-Tyler, who is trying to unseat Ratliff in District 9 and return to the board he left after 1998.
  • Neal Frey, head of the far-right censorship outfit Educational Research Analysts (founded by the late Mel and Norma Gabler of Longview in East Texas), has given $1,000 to Garza, $500 to Mercer, $1,000 to Stevenson, $500 to current board chair Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands (District 6), and $500 to Terri Leo, R-Spring, before the she decided not to run for re-election last fall.

Among the races that are attracting the most money (although totals are relatively modest compared to races for other elections in the state):

District 5: Ken Mercer, R-San Antonio ($15,611.75 in contributions, including $10,ooo from just one donor) vs. Steve Salyer, R-San Antonio ($1,150.00 in contributions plus a $5,000 from himself)

District 6: Donna Bahorich, R-Houston ($325 in contributions plus a $50,000 loan from herself to her campaign); no Republican challenger. None of the three Democrats (Tracy Jensen, Patty Quintana-Nisson and David Scott, all of Houston) has raised more than $1,600 yet.

District 8: Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands ($38,586.84 in contributions, $18,710.93 in expenditures, $25,626.25 in cash on hand) has raised a healthy chunk of change, but she also spent more than $12,000 (at least) on a fundraising event at a fancy country club in The Woodlands. Her Republican opponent, Linda Ellis of The Woodlands, has spent $7,019.40 so far.

District 9: Incumbent Thomas Ratliff, R-Mount Pleasant, has raised $17,413.15 in his race against challenger Randy Stevenson, R-Tyler, who has raised $5,225, including $1,100 from his own pocket.

District 12: Incumbent George Clayton, R-Richardson, ($3,921.42 in expenditures) is trying to fend off challenges from three other Republicans: “Tincy” Miller ($41,015.65 in expenditures, mostly her own money); Pam Little, R-Fairview ($8,324 in expenditures and loans from herself of $21,500); and Gail Spulock, R-Richardson (no report posted yet).

District 15: Incumbent Bob Craig, R-Lubbock, is not seeking election. Marty Rowley, R-Amarillo ($5,614.59 in expenditures and $10,000 in loans, combined, from himself and his wife) is running against Anette Carlisle, R-Amarillio, ($23,998.19 in expenditures) in the Republican primary. Steven Schafersman, D-Midland, is the only Democrat running.

Check our SBOE Election Watch page here for a list of candidates and other info.

SBOE Candidate: Marty Rowley

December 9, 2011

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).

Marty Rowley, District 15, R-Amarillo
(Current District 15 Board Member: Bob Craig, R-Lubbock)

Marty Rowley has not yet filed for the District 15 seat currently held by Bob Craig, who is not seeking re-election. However, Rowley has told numerous media outlets that he is seeking the seat. We have not found a website nor a formal announcement for Rowley, a former pastor and currently an attorney in Amarillo. You can read an Abilene Reporter-News story about his candidacy here. An excerpt from that story:

The State Board of Education has been mired by controversy over changes in public school curriculum in recent years, particularly in science and social studies.

[Opponent Anette] Carlisle, a longtime Amarillo school board trustee, said she believes the board should seek more input from educators and experts in the fields they are studying before enacting curriculum standards that are “ridiculed by folks across the United States.”

Rowley said he offers a differing viewpoint and favors the ideological direction some of the most conservative members of the board have taken with curriculum. He also said he believes his experience as a professional mediator will help bring compromise and consensus to the board.

UPDATE for 12/15/2011: Rowley’s website and blog are up and include this announcement from December 8:

Amarillo, Texas—Surrounded by a large group of family, friends, and Republican activists, Amarillo attorney, mediator, and community leader, Marty Rowley formally kicked-off his Republican campaign for the newly drawn District 15 seat on the Texas State Board of Education. Rowley is seeking his party’s nomination in the March 6, Republican Primary.

In making his announcement, Rowley said he would bring a conservative approach that focuses on the needs of our children and the concerns of Texas taxpayers to the Texas State Board of Education, the state agency responsible for establishing policy and providing leadership for the Texas public school system.

Composed of 15 elected members, the State Board of Education adopts rules and establishes policies that govern a wide range of educational programs and services provided by Texas public schools. The commissioner of education serves as chief executive officer of the board and supervises the administration of board rules through the Texas Education Agency. Together the board, the commissioner, and the agency facilitate the operation of a vast public school system consisting of 1,237 school districts and charter schools, more than 8,400 campuses, more than 659,000 educators and other employees, and more than 4.8 million schoolchildren.

“As a certified, professional mediator, I believe have the unique ability to bring people together towards a beneficial resolution. As a concerned parent and citizen, I can directly relate to the millions of parents whose children’s futures depend upon the Texas public school system,” Rowley said.

Rowley said that he was accustomed to handling complex issues with intelligence, innovation and diplomacy, after spending over 20 years as a Board certified attorney, and seven years as a former pastor of an 8,000 member church. As the father of three children, all of whom graduated from Texas public schools, he said he knows the joys and frustrations that come with raising kids into responsible adults and knows full well the critical importance of resolving the challenges that face our schools and schoolchildren in the future.

Following the 2010 decennial census, the Texas Legislature redrew the fifteen State Board of Education Districts to accommodate the population shifts that had occurred during the previous ten years. District 15 now includes 77 West Texas, High Plains, and Panhandle counties and includes a population of almost 1.7 million Texans. Rowley said that he is a good fit for the sprawling district because has lived and worked in the district for most of his adult life and that it is where he raised his children. He said he would take his Republican campaign for the State Board of Education across the 15th district.

“Within those 77 counties are hundreds of school districts and campuses, thousands of teachers, and hundreds of thousands of Texas school children, who deserve a strong advocate fighting for their interests on the State Board of Education,” Rowley said. “So do the taxpayers who pay for our public school system. They too deserve a strong conservative voice that will fight for more local control, less bureaucracy and red tape, and for more accountability for our public schools,” Rowley added.

Having lived in Amarillo for almost 30 years, Rowley currently serves as President of the Maverick Boys and Girls Club of Amarillo. He has also served as the Governmental Affairs Chairman of the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce, was a member of the Citizens Budget Committee of Youth Programs for the United Way and is a Past President of the CareNet Pregnancy Centers of Amarillo and Canyon. He has been an Executive Committee Member of the Amarillo Bar Association, has been President of the West Texas Chapter of the American

Board of Trial Advocates and has served on the Northern District of Texas Civil Justice Advisory Committee.

Rowley earned his Juris Doctorate degree from Texas Tech School of Law, where he was on the 1982 National Championship Trial Advocacy Team. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a minor in Speech Communication from Eastern New Mexico University in 1979.

Rowley said that his he has a profound respect for those who have dedicated their careers to improving children’s lives through their work in the public schools. He said that his mother has served on her local school board for a record 27 years and that his two sisters and his sister-in- law are all public school teachers.

Rowley and his wife Cindy have been married for almost 30 years. Together, they are the parents of three children; Matthew, Michael and Theresa.