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).
Gail Spurlock, District 12, R-Richardson
(Current District 12 Board Member: George Clayton, R-Richardson)
On Dec. 9, Gail Spurlock filed to run in SBOE District 12, a seat currently held by George Clayton, R-Richardson. Spurlock’s campaign website is gailfortexassboe.com.
I am running for the office of State Board of Education for District 12. There are fewer more noble activities than educating our children. As our nation has matured, the responsibility of education has migrated further and further toward the Federal Government and away from the parents, teachers and local communities. As a member of the SBOE, I hope to reverse this trend and lend a new voice to the principled, conservative values of the Board to enhance the education provided to the children of Texas.
As a parent, a perennial student and a small businesswoman, I believe that I can make a valuable contribution to these endeavors. I would really appreciate your vote and the opportunity to be your elected representative on the State Board of Education for District 12.
I am the mother of three grown children, one daughter who graduated suma cum laude from Ohio Wesleyan University, and two sons. My oldest son served 6 years in the army including two tours in Iraq; and he is currently serving in the Texas National Guard. My youngest son is in his 5th year of service in the Navy as an Electronics Tech, Nuclear. While my children were growing up, they attended both private and public schools; and my youngest was home schooled for 4 years.
I am currently a member of The North Texas Council, Golden Corridor Republican Women’s Club, Greenwood Hills Neighborhood Association and its Garden Club, Richardson Tea Party, and True the Vote. As a concerned patriot, I attended CPAC in Washington, D.C., both 9/12 Washington, D.C. rallies and was a delegate to the 2010 Texas State Republican Convention. I have completed a candidate training workshop sponsored by American Majority. Recently, I attended a FreedomWorks workshop. I am also honored to be a member of American Mensa, an organization for mentally gifted individuals.
In my professional life, I am a successful small business owner who does consulting for Fortune 500 companies in the areas of Management, Training, Technical Writing, and Business Process Engineering. I am also an Instructor who trains various types of team members, including skilled manufacturing laborers and executives. I write course curricula, end user guides and programmer references, in addition to being a Software Development Engineer.
My experiences as a mother, civic leader, and business woman have taught me the importance of the fundamental learning skills of the 3 R’s plus the broad-based liberal arts curriculum that high schools provide.
It is because of my own real-world experiences that I am particularly excited that our Texas State Board of Education (SBOE), whom we elect, is producing our own curriculum standards (TEKS) instead of relying upon the federal government to do it.
Let me provide a little information about the State Board of Education. In Texas the fifteen-member Board is elected by the voters. This guarantees accessibility and accountability to the voters who elect the members to office. The SBOE members receive no financial compensation even though they spend countless hours serving the school children, parents, and educators of our State. Once elected, I will look forward to hearing from every one of my constituents to ensure we are meeting your expectations.
Texas SBOE members’ decisions have national significance because they impact textbooks, curricula, and programs used not only in Texas but throughout the entire country. It is imperative that we elect a committed conservative to the SBOE who will staunchly protect these standards.
The adopted Science curriculum standards (TEKS) put in place under the leadership of the conservatives on the SBOE require Texas students to study, analyze, evaluate, and discuss all sides of scientific theories. This will produce science students who will be more than ready to pursue the rigorous courses in college and the demands of the workplace.
The new English, Language Arts and Reading curriculum standards (TEKS) adopted by our SBOE are strong on phonics, grammar, usage, spelling, penmanship, quality literature, and also substantive expository, persuasive, and research writing.
The SBOE is currently in the process of adopting new Math TEKS standards. As a consultant who works with executives, accountants and engineers each day, I support the adoption of rigorous math standards that require elementary students to learn their math facts to the automaticity level. This will lay a strong foundation upon which our Texas students can be successful in higher math courses.
Once elected as your representative to the State Board of Education, as future TEKS curriculum standards are adopted, I will to be in on the ground floor to make sure that the level of rigor is maintained. Then all of our students who graduate from our Texas public schools will be well-equipped with the academic knowledge, logic, and analysis skills to help them to be successful, valuable members of society.
After the attacks on 9/11, I was inspired to embark on a personal journey into history and politics. I studied leading research into American History, Political Science, and our Religious Heritage after acquiring a thorough understanding of Will Durant’s The Story of Civilization. Because of my broad-based experiences, I was invited to participate in the 2009-2010 work group as a citizen volunteer for the SBOE along with Dr. Carole Haynes. The team assignment was to review and make recommendations for the World History curricula. As a result, the conservative leaders on the SBOE adopted the new Social Studies TEKS. Now our Texas students will learn about the history and geography of our world and why America is indeed an exceptional nation.
I believe strongly in the heritage of our common-sense, Judeo/Christian-based, conservative values, including self-discipline, a strong work ethic, personal responsibility, and self-control. It is these learned characteristics that our schools must help students to develop. When students get out into the world of work, they will be held individually accountable; and I want them to be prepared for the future challenges which will most certainly come their way.
I would really appreciate your vote and the opportunity to be your elected representative on the State Board of Education for District 12.
10 thoughts on “SBOE Candidate: Gail Spurlock”
I will predict that Gail:
Does not accept the theory of evolution.
Wants ID to be taught in schools.
Thinks the US was founded on “Christian values.”
Thinks the principle usually described as “separation of church and state” is not in the Constitution.
Thinks the earth is 6,000 years old.
Thinks Don McLeroy was the cat’s pajamas.
Bottom line: wingnut.
She said: “I believe strongly in the heritage of our common-sense, Judeo/Christian-based, conservative values…” This candidate is just what the Rick Perry led evangelical christian SBOE needs.
Gail’s greatest hits: http://backyardfence.wordpress.com/
Donna Garner supports Gail Spurlock. Say no more.
Gail seems reasonably intelligent yet slightly twisted. I take issue with the statement that Texas schools should teach American Exceptionalism, the belief that America is God’s favorite nation and that God has steered America’s every development step of the way. There is simply no factual basis to support this assertion. If American Exceptionalism is in conformance with SBOE teaching standards then schools might as well teach that The Cat In The Hat as a work of historical non-fiction.
Just what we need—an SBOE member who home schooled her child. which begs the question…….”let me guess. home schooled?”
First order of business:
World’s largest cookie bake sale for each individual school district to adhere to for fund raising. (mandatory)
Second order business:
Print new text books that give the ‘true history’
Third order of business:
Book burning barbeque on the steps of the State Capitol
Fourth order of business:
Make all teachers state their religious beliefs and fire all single, unmarried public school teachers, and other ‘undesirables’
Fifth order of business:
Standard uniforms for all students, with required brown shirts
Sixth order of business:
Return to Civil Defense drills requiring students to hide underneath their desks in the case of attacks enemy countries like Mexico and Canada
Seventh order business:
Private school vouchers as well as incentives for home schooling
And so it goes…….
C’mon people! What are academic credentials and public school teaching experience really worth when you compare them to….Mensa membership!!!
I must admit that I am impressed with her extensive list of right-wing affiliations. She makes Ann Coulter look like a ski-mask wearing anarchist at an Occupy Wall Street rally. Amazing! This loon isn’t even trying to downplay her intentions to roll public education back to the Dark Ages!
· member Richardson Tea Party, Attended CPAC, Attended 9/12 Washington, D.C. rallies – mid-grade-plus Tea Party Wingnut
· Mentions being a member of American Mensa – not an idiot, but also not seriously bright. (Prometheus, Mega, or Six Sigma, I could take seriously.)
· Says “liberal arts curriculum” – possibly not Wingnut’s Wingnut, possibly trying for a stealth candidate approach.
· “discuss all sides of scientific theories” – possible new mutation on “teach the controversy”
· “I support the adoption of rigorous math standards that require elementary students to learn their math facts to the automaticity level” — this suggests wanting emphasis on rote calculation rather than the underlying theory that develops abstract reasoning ability and allows showing WHY math is useful!
· Mentions Carole Haynes — likely to be willfully ignoring that the Republicans and Democrats have done a dosado since the days of Lincoln
· “strong on phonics, grammar, usage, spelling, penmanship, quality literature, and also substantive expository, persuasive, and research writing” – but no mention of reading comprehension or critical reading ability; subtly telling?
· “why America is indeed an exceptional nation” – again, Wingnut
· “the heritage of our common-sense, Judeo/Christian-based, conservative values” – still Wingnut
Googling turns up another place where Donna Garner, who thinks Tincy Miller is a RINO, gives an endorsement. (Admittedly, I had generally pegged Miller as merely Slightly Silly Party.) It also turns up the low-use blog Ben spotted; that seems likely to be Gail’s, as it’s linked to from elsewhere. There’s a blog post there showing a standard conservative misunderstanding that evolution implies “survival of the fittest as the means to perfect humanity”. Presumably, she’s at least in the ID camp. (Divination from polling data, squirrel entrails, and my navel lint suggest odds 40% ID, 25% OEC, 35% YEC). Peculiarly in this light, there’s a blog comment here that I think reflects a near Randite-level of Social Darwinism; I suspect her intelligence is used to compartmentalize rather than integrate her weltanschauung.
There’s also some comments at the DTPcoordinators.DallasTeaParty.org website that are marginally telling. My impression from those is she’s pretty much reflexively against anything Obama supports, and supports anyone who opposes him. She’s also not fond of “gotcha questions”, so I don’t expect she’ll be particularly cooperative with any journalists who aren’t FoxNews grade osculatory. I expect it’s unlikely that she will clarify where she falls on the ID/OEC/YEC spectrum.
Her blog and campaign site also suggest an anti-abortion stance; this is probably somewhat relevant, insofar as the “Health” (sex ed) TEKS are up for review next.
In less relevant idiocy, she’s a signatory to a poll calling “for Congressional investigation of Islamic symbolism in the Flight 93 memorial”. I believe it’s already been mentioned she’s probably a wingnut?
A couple hits turn up for a religious poetry book (ISBN 0942407598) by a Gail Spurlock, but that’s almost certainly false-positive — same name, but different educational backgrounds.
Best guess: 75% chance Very Silly Party, 25% chance merely Silly Party.
Good work, abb3w. (Don’t I see you on Pharyngula?)
My money is on VSP vs. SP.
I post more often on Dispatches from the Culture Wars; also Fark, and occasionally places further afield. I do periodically post on Pharyngula, but less of late. Some of the group dynamics there over the last year or so have started raising some long-term but giant sociological alarm bells for me, and I see no way to raise the issue without being dismissed as a tone troll or other class of persona non grata. This has led to me lessening my (already not over strong) involvement there.
My bar for Very Silly Party is pretty high, BTW. Only Dunbar and McLeroy subjectively seemed solidly into the category; Mercer only made it because he seemed to get worse after they left, and because I was feeling cranky.