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Michelle Palmer
Texas State Board of Education District 6







8740 Westheimer Road, #17, Houston, TX, 77063

Additional Information

Palmer ran unsuccessfully for the same SBOE seat in 2020.

Endorsed in the 2020 general election and in the Democratic primary election by the Houston Chronicle editorial board.

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Candidate Survey Responses


1. If elected, what do you believe your primary role and responsibility as a state board member should be?

My primary role should be to appoint educators to the curriculum committees and then approve what they create. We need fact-based curriculum so that our students are prepared to compete in the markets of tomorrow.

2. In your opinion, what is the most pressing issue facing public education in Texas?

Finance. Because education in Texas is vastly underfunded. Rural teachers need a raise and urban teachers need smaller class sizes and more planning time. We need money for resources such as class libraries, devices for classrooms or 1:1 teaching.

3. What role should educators and educator groups such as ATPE play in policy decisions made by the State Board of Education (SBOE)?

Educators and organizations such as ATPE should be met with regarding who to appoint to curriculum committees, revising of teacher certification requirements, and revising of graduation requirements. They should play a role at every step. Teachers and teacher organizations should also be consulted regarding textbook adoption.

4. How much weight should the SBOE give to educators’ input when it comes to setting curriculum standards (known as the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills or “TEKS”) and evaluating instructional materials?

Educators (at all levels) should be the primary resource for input on setting curriculum standards and evaluating instructional materials. We are the ones who know what has worked in the past. My district just adopted new curricula for both math and English and did not consult with even the program directors of those departments. The math curriculum is going okay but not great and the English curriculum does not even follow the TEKS. This is a curriculum being pushed by the state. Board members should not accept donations from anyone who works for a company that creates curriculum, textbooks, or any other education product.

5. Do you believe our state’s public education system, including current regulations on testing and accountability, graduation requirements, and curriculum standards, enables students to receive a well-rounded education throughout all grade levels? Would you recommend any changes?

I do not believe these enable students to receive a well-rounded education. Because of accountability and testing, schools take students out of any class they aren't testing in to put them in test prep. It does not generally help them and makes them hate school regularly. In addition, it causes anxiety among many of our students. I suggest we get rid of testing (at least not require it for graduation) and instead use a portfolio system. Students should keep a portfolio of their work throughout their high school career and a committee can evaluate it to see if they are ready to graduate. Students already need things like TSI or SAT in order to prove they are college ready, STAAR doesn't prove anything except that they are good test takers.

6. What role, if any, should charter schools have in the Texas public education system?

The only role that charter schools should play in the Texas education system is in places where a public school doesn't work. A friend works at a charter that works with students in a drug rehabilitation system. A public school would not be able to easily work there because of the way public schools are funded. I have vowed to vote against all new charter school applications. I also believe the ability to for charter systems to expand should be approved by SBOE instead of TEA. There are far too many charter schools in this state and they do not test higher than public schools. If that was their purpose then they are failing at it. In addition, they do not require teacher certification and do not give yearly contracts so teachers can be fired on the spot in this "right-to-work" state.

7. What role should the SBOE play in overseeing charter schools, such as approving or denying new charter applications and expansion requests of existing charters?

SBOE should be the body that approves ALL new charter school applications and expansion requests. And they should not approve any more.

8. Do you believe the SBOE should continue to have the authority to review and potentially veto any rulemaking actions taken by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC)?

I believe an elected body should be over SBEC and SBOE makes the most sense.

Additional Comments from Candidate on Survey

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