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State Board of Education District 2

4-year term. Must be 26 years old or older, a U.S. Citizen, a Texas resident, and a registered voter. Oversees curriculum standards, instructional materials, graduation requirements, new charter school applications, and the Texas Permanent School Fund; appoints board members to military reservation/special school districts.Elegido para un período de 4 años. Debe tener al menos 26 años de edad o más, ser ciudadano estadounidense, ser residente de Texas, y ser votante registrado. Supervisa las normas de planes de estudio, los materiales de instrucción, los requisitos de graduación, las nuevas aplicaciones de las escuelas autónomas y el Fondo Escolar Permanente de Texas; nombra a miembros de la Junta para la reserva militar/ distritos escolares especiales.
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    Michelle Arévalo Dávila (Dem) Teacher

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    Ruben Cortez Jr (Dem) Small Business Owner

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Biographical Information

Background: What training, experience, and characteristics qualify you for this position?

Testing: Does the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) adequately and efficiently diagnose individual student learning needs? Why or why not?

Funding: What measures, if any, would you take to improve (a) investment policies for the Permanent School Fund and (b) equitable distributions for public schools? Please explain.

What other issues do you consider the most important, and how would you address them?

Education 2013 - Doctor of Education Texas A&M University Kingsville (Bilingual Education & Education Administration) 2005- Master of Science Texas A&M Corpus Christi (Secondary Education) 2002- Bachelor Arts TAMU-K (History & Spanish, minor in French)
As a Texas Public School Educator, I know that I am the most qualified person to sit on the State Board of Education. My career in education began in 2002, and my advanced training and education make me the most responsible choice for SBOE.
No, I do not believe that the STAAR adequately and efficiently diagnoses student learning needs. I believe that there is a place for standardized testing, but that it should be used for formative purposes, to identify learning gaps and help guide instruction. In it's current, punitive, form it has lead to a testing culture that has narrowed our educational focus.
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Campaign Phone (956) 639-9171
As a father to 4 children in public school and husband to a lifelong educator and current elementary school principal, I am completely immersed in the educational arena and focused on shaping a stronger educational system for all Texas children. I have served on policymaking boards -from state to local- since 2006 to include the Brownsville ISD Board of Trustees, Region 1 Educational Service Center Board and various others. I have served on the SBOE since 2012 and led various efforts to strengthen our communities and provide a voice to educators, parents, students, and other stakeholders.
As a father to four public school children, I will tell you that I am not a fan of standardized tests. I have seen firsthand the undue stress caused by the exams and have heard from other parents and educators who share similar experiences. Our children are way too young to experience this type of anxiety. The system in place is not perfect and requires a review. If the State Board of Education was granted the authority, I would propose re-thinking the entire strategy and work a lot closer with educators to develop a better system.
The Texas Permanent School Fund is the largest educational endowment in the country and has performed beyond our expectation in the last five years. Every biennium, we distribute money for the purchases of instructional materials and technology. Currently, the legislature always keeps half of that disbursement. If I could make any changes, it would be to ensure that 100% of that disbursement went straight to our schools, enabling them to make the critical purchases needed to support our children's education. The last biennium we funded over $2.1B dollars of which half was taken.
My leadership style has always led me to work with others to identify issues and work toward a resolution. I plan to continue working with educators from K12 and higher education, workforce partners, parents, and student in an effort to identify problems, find solutions and create stronger pathways of opportunity for our students. I firmly believe that we can't work in silos and a stronger educational system can only be achieved by strong partnerships and shared vision. We must keep politics out of our classrooms.