State Board of Education District 10

2012 run-off election dates

  • July 23–27: Early voting
  • July 31: Election day

(Source: Texas secretary of state)

July 31 Run-off election

Rebecca Osborne

Rebecca Osborne has lived in Williamson and Travis counties since the 1960s. She holds a Ph.D. in educational administration from The University of Texas at Austin.

Q. Why should voters elect you?

A. My education and experience combine to make me the best-qualified candidate. I'm not connected to groups or individual political forces who have an agenda. I've turned down contributions because I felt the individuals and groups had agendas I would not support.

Q. What differentiates you from your opponent?

A. I am a professional educator. The SBOE is important in its own right, and I am not running for the State Board of Education so I can move up when a House district seat opens up. I refuse to be part of the musical chair game of politics. If the voters want a dedicated professional educator to represent them, I would be honored to have their vote.

Q. What are your goals for the position?

A. To make decisions that are in the best interest of children, that's by far the most important thing. Decisions based on the political pressures and the desires of other elected officials or those who might gain financially from decisions made by the State Board of Education hurts the very children we are charged to protect. We must have an educational system that recognizes all children are different, and they need different things. Vocational and trade programs have largely been removed from our schools. They are a necessary and important part of our educational system. All children are not going to college for a four-year degree.

Q. Will you be able to make tough decisions that may be unpopular?

A. One thing I've learned from traveling throughout the 18 Texas counties that make up SBOE-10 is that communities are different. This is all the more reason for the SBOE to ensure that local districts have curriculum options so they can act in the ways most appropriate for their own children. Parents want what is in the best interest of their children, and my goal is to work in the best interest of children. I'm not sure that standing up to parents is nearly as important as the willingness and ability to stand up to political pressures. The political forces are much stronger and better organized. My interest is to always act in the best interest of children.

Tom Maynard

Tom Maynard was a classroom teacher for 13 years. He currently serves as executive director of the Texas Future Farmers of America Association.

Q. Why should voters elect you?

A. I think it's important that we have somebody on the state board that understands schools but understands from a variety of different standpoints. There's a lot of decisions that are made that impact teachers, but they also impact administrators and school boards.

Q. What differentiates you from your opponent?

A. It's going to take someone who understands the system from a lot of different directions, but it also requires someone who knows how to build relations and coalitions. The fact that eight House members have endorsed me is kind of important because those House members, they need somebody on the state board that they can work with.

Q. What are your goals for the position?

A. We've got to work with the [Texas Education Agency] and with the Legislature to get some balance in how we evaluate schools. One of the things is going to be a look at the school accountability system. When everything is driven only by standardized test results, that will have some consequences. For one thing, we are forced into an environment where we are teaching to a test. I'm not necessarily against assessment, but if that's the only thing that there really is and it drives every decision, you marginalize some of the other programs that are important.

Q. Will you be able to make tough decisions that may be unpopular?

A. I've been doing that for a long time. We have to make tough decisions sometimes when there's winners and losers. One of the things that I've had to do, when you deal with big money, and granted that's bigger money than what I deal with now—what we deal with is big business. And there are people that try to use us. What you've got to have is a very discerning spirit about those things, and understand how to be able to recognize an agenda that doesn't have anything to do with student improvement. You've got to root those things out. When you pry toys away from people that want to play with them, they're going to be very angry. You've got to be willing to stand your ground.


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