You first elected me based on my platform of solutions to respond to your honest concerns with math, reading, grammar, spelling, writing, science and "revisionist" history.
Today I am blessed to say that each of those issues came up for a debate and vote during my term. Beginning in the Fall of 2010, you will finally witness the implementation of true change and reform in Education!
My opposition, believe it or not, wants to reverse our critical gains to continue their record of massive failure.
Let me share with you the good, bad, ugly of education, and the solutions and victories that you and I together have championed!
Texas is blessed with thousands of women and men with an honest mission and passion to educate the sons and daughters of Texas.
True change and reform in education is very hard. Texas has many people who are deeply entrenched -- education bureaucrats / lobbyists (a.k.a., "educrats") who make their living off education dollars but who devote their lives to defeating any true education reform involving real change.
Our classroom educators are forced to "teach the test."
Despite State average expenditures of $10,500 per child (source: Texas Education Agency figures from 2007), less than sixty-five cents of every education dollar goes to the classroom.
For decades educrats controlled education standards, and our students' scores show that:
On the ACT, 44 states scored higher in English than did Texas (Graduating Class of 2008); 40 states scored higher in Reading.
On the SAT, 42 states scored higher on the grammar/usage section than did Texas; on the essay, 43 states scored higher.
The Commission for a College Ready Texas reported that 50 % of college freshmen in Texas are unprepared and have to enroll in remedial or developmental education classes in reading, writing and /or math.
As a businessman, I listen to my "customers." I hear the cries of 1.5 million constituents: parents, business leaders and yes, students.
I believe the agenda and mission of my "educrat" opposition is clearly that of indoctrination, not education.
My core mission on the SBOE is to strengthen public education.
I promised my constituents that I would vote for needed change in math, English and reading, science, and social studies. While repeatedly tested under fire from the liberal establishment, I held firm to my platform and promises.
Together, you and I won huge battles for:
1) back-to-basics math (no more "rain forest" or "feel good" math)
2) Explicit phonics, grammar, spelling, writing and research (say "goodbye" to thirty disastrous years of the establishment failure known as "whole language")
3) World class science standards that allow students the freedom to ask questions, and
4) Accurate U.S History that honors our American founders, traditions and values. ( a major defeat to political and historical revisionists)
It is a blessing to serve you in Austin. I am asking for the honor to serve four more years.