7:40 – Polls in Texas closed at 7 p.m., Central time. Too early to see trends developing for State Board of Education races.

9:05 – The picture is becoming clearer now as we get more returns. On the Republican side, former SBOE board chair Gail Lowe in District 14 — one of the leaders of far-right faction — is behind 53%-47%. But only 16% of the vote has been counted in that race so far.

In District 15, which longtime member Bob Craig of Lubbock is leaving, Marty Rowley is narrowly ahead of Anette Carlisle, 51%-49% with 31% of the vote counted.

With about 23% of the vote counted in District 7, incumbent David Bradley — another key member of the board’s far-right faction — is leading challenger Rita Ashley 57%-43%.

Incumbent Thomas Ratliff, who defeated arch-creationist Don McLeroy in the 2010 GOP primary, is holding a lead of 53.5%-46.5% over challenger Randy Stevenson in the District 9 race.

In District 2, Laurie Turner is ahead of religious-righter Veronica Anzaldua 74%-26% with about 24% of the vote counted.

9:34 – On the Democratic side, the biggest surprise so far is that incumbent Michael Soto in District 3 is behind 66%-34%… Read More

by Dan Quinn

Are you tired of a State Board of Education that puts political and personal agendas ahead of what’s best for Texas kids? Are you angry when SBOE members censor history, reject established science and ignore the recommendations of teachers and scholars? Are you embarrassed that public education in Texas has become the butt of national jokes because of the political shenanigans of religious extremists on the SBOE?

THEN VOTE TODAY in the Republican and Democratic primaries for the Texas State Board of Education.

All 15 seats on the SBOE are up for election this year. Over the next two years the SBOE will consider the adoption of science, social studies and math textbooks that could be in classrooms for nearly a decade. So you have the opportunity to help shape the face of public education in the state for nearly a generation.

You can find information and news about SBOE candidates at www.tfn.org/sboe2012. That information includes what candidates religious-right groups are backing in today’s GOP primaries. You can also find voting information at VoteTexas.gov.

So get out and VOTE! Then this evening we’ll be tweeting about election results. You can follow… Read More

Dr. Jack Christie, former chairman of the Texas State Board of Education, and Jim Nelson, former Texas education commissioner, have authored an op-ed column calling on voters to put kids ahead of ideology in the May 29 primary elections:

Contests for the presidential and U.S. Senate nominations are at the top of primary ballots, but it’s important that voters pay attention to races down the ballot this year especially those for the State Board of Education.

Because of redistricting last year, all 15 seats on the board are now up for grabs in the May 29 Republican and Democratic primaries and the November general election.

That means voters this year have a unique opportunity to shape public education policy in Texas for a generation.

A few board members have simply been too focused on promoting their own personal and political beliefs. As a result, we’ve seen repeated fights over issues such as what to teach about evolution in science classrooms and whether history textbooks are too liberal or too conservative.

Board members compete with one another to ensure that their pet causes or favorite topics get special treatment. They make last-minute changes to curriculum standards… Read More

A voter guide put together by three Texas groups and the American Family Association appears to identify the religious right’s slate of candidates in the May 29 Republican primaries for the Texas State Board of Education:

Veronica Anzaldua, Corpus Christi, District 2 Ken Mercer, San Antonio, District 5 (incumbent) David Bradley, Beaumont, District 7 (incumbent) Barbara Cargill, The Woodlands, District 8 (incumbent) Randy Stevenson, Tyler, District 9 Jeff Fleece, Liberty Hill, District 10 Gail Spurlock, Richardson, District 12 Gail Lowe, Lampasas, District 13 (incumbent) Marty Rowley, Amarillo, District 15

Texas Eagle Forum, Heritage Alliance and Liberty Institute (the Texas affiliate of Focus on the Family) collaborated in putting together the voter guide. The guide assigned the candidates listed above the highest “grades” in their contested Republican primaries. It included no information on Democratic candidates.

Read more about the voter guide here. You can check out our SBOE elections information page here.… Read More

Today is the last day for early voting for Tuesday’s primary elections — contests that will help shape the face of public education in Texas for a generation.

Because of redistricting, all 15 seats on the State Board of Education (SBOE) are up for election this year. For the first time, all of the state board’s religious-right candidates have opponents in either the primaries, the general election or both.

Here’s just a sampling of what far-right religious extremists on the SBOE have done over the past five years:

Censored what students will learn in their history classes Rejected established science Ignored the recommendations of teachers and respected scholars

Over the next two years, the SBOE will adopt textbooks for science, social studies and math — and those textbooks could be used in classrooms for nearly a decade.

So by exercising your right to vote, you can do your part to bring sanity to the SBOE and get politics out of our schoolchildren’s textbooks and classrooms.

Visit the TFN Education Fund’s SBOE campaign site (tfn.org/sboe2012) to find the resources you need to make an informed decision. And go to VoteTexas.gov to find a polling location… Read More