|Job description||The 15-member State Board of Education sets policies and standards for Texas public schools. Term is four years.|
|Duties||Sets curriculum standards; reviews and adopts textbooks; establishes graduation requirements.
Reviews rules for certifying educators; reviews proposals to award new charter schools.
The board oversees the Texas Permanent School Fund, an endowment that funds charter schools, pays for public school textbooks, and guarantees bonds issued by local school districts.
|Annual salary||No salary; eligible for reimbursement for expenses|
|Patricia “Pat” Hardy (incumbent)|
Note: Candidate answers are shown alphabetically by last name.
What is your current occupation? Educational background? What experiences do you have that make you the best candidate for State Board of Education?
Carla Morton: I am the product of public schools and am a first-generation college graduate. I have a PhD in neuropsychology, and I currently work at Cook Children’s Medical Center. In my career, I evaluate the cognitive and behavioral status of children and young adults who have medical conditions that could impair their functioning. Because I work with children who live across the region, I am familiar with a wide variety of public school practices, and I hear about interventions that work as well as situations that are sometimes detrimental to children. Educational services and accommodations are also frequently a primary focus of my post-evaluation recommendations. In addition, I have two children attending elementary school in the Fort Worth ISD, one of whom receives special education services to address deficits related to a brain injury.
What percentage of your campaign donations comes from individuals? What percentage comes from PACs?
Carla Morton: Although I would accept PAC money from some organizations (e.g., those promoting scientists or female candidates), 100% of my donations thus far have come from individuals.
How should sex education be addressed in Texas schools?
Carla Morton: I am a strong supporter of comprehensive sex education. Research has demonstrated that abstinence-only methods do not work. Factual and complete information helps keep children (and adults) safer. Not only does knowledge about sexuality reduce the rate of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease, children who know more about their bodies are less likely to be victimized by sexual predators. In addition, comprehensive sex education should include information about sexual health for individuals involved in heterosexual and homosexual relationships.
What should be included in the K-12 science curriculum to prepare students for careers in science, technology, and engineering fields?
Carla Morton: As a scientist trained to objectively evaluate empirical data, I am a strong advocate for science-based education in the public schools. I would work to eliminate wording in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) suggesting that some questions that cannot be addressed scientifically as well as any ambiguity related to the reality of climate change.
Last year the legislature determined that the SBOE shall assist schools in providing career and technology education to students. How should schools prepare students for employment after graduation?
Carla Morton: Because not all children are interested in college or are cognitively capable of completing a four-year degree, I will promote military service as well as career and technical education as valuable alternatives to college. Indeed, many well-paying careers necessary for a prosperous society do not require a college degree. Public schools need to prepare ALL students for success in life through appropriate academic instruction and training.