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:… Read More

Barbara Cargill, chair of the Texas State Board of Education, wasn't honest with her audience at a candidate forum in Conroe (north of Houston) last night. Speaking at the forum (which was hosted by the Montgomery County Eagle Forum), Cargill claimed that she and other board members didn't push through substantial last-minute changes, over the objections of teachers and curriculum specialists, to new language arts standards the board adopted in 2008. From the Magnolia News: It is "absolutely false" that curriculum changes were snuck into the standards; the SBOE was “bogged down” and it was recommended the board bring in a facilitator to help with the process, which is what happened, Cargill said. Six months later, the curriculum changes were completed, she said. “We listen to our teachers and parents and business leaders,” Cargill said of the SBOE. But objective observers know that's not true. Here's how the Associated Press explained what happened at that notorious final state board meeting on the revised language arts standards in May 2008: The State Board of Education's debate on new English and reading standards took another turn Friday as members approved a never-before-seen version of the lengthy…… Read More

The news media is picking up on the story we broke Monday about a report for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board that sharply criticizes new history curriculum standards adopted by the State Board of Education (SBOE) last year. And as the controversy grows, SBOE Chairwoman Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands, is trying desperately to hide the truth about just how badly the state board screwed up. In a statement to public radio station KUT in Austin and the Dallas Morning News, Cargill claims that the state board "works diligently" to develop curriculum standards that prepare Texas kids for college: "I fully support the recently adopted social studies curriculum standards. The U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, Founding Fathers, citizenship, patriotism, and American Exceptionalism are at the core of these standards. The State Board of Education works diligently to ensure all Texas students are exposed to curriculum standards aimed at college-preparedness, and these TEKS reflect those efforts." Unfortunately, that's simply not true, and at least one of Cargill's board colleagues and ideological allies -- former chairwoman Gail Lowe, R-Lampasas -- has admitted as much. Read More

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).

Barbara Cargill, District 8, R-The Woodlands (Incumbent)

Barbara Cargill has indicated that she will seek re-election next year to her District 8 seat on the Texas State Board of Education. Gov. Rick Perry appointed Cargill, who first won election to her seat in 2004, as board chair in July of this year. An outspoken member of the board’s far-right faction, she has supported efforts to water down instruction 0n… Read More

We told you that we didn't expect the far right to take it well when they heard that students would be treated to science, and only science, in new instructional materials approved by the State Board of Education. But this we did not see this coming -- the far-right embracing an entirely new standard of success for SBOE chair Barbara Cargill: pleasing us. Read More

The New York Times

Breaking News: The writer and activist Larry Kramer has died at 84. His work to shock the U.S. into seeing AIDS as a public health emergency helped shift policy in the 1980s and '90s. “One of America’s most valuable troublemakers,” Susan Sontag called him. nyti.ms/3gtgOMf