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Tracy Fisher
Texas State Board of Education District 14
Status

Challenger

Party

Democrat

Occupation

Education Advocate

Address

P.O. Box 282, Coppell, TX, 75019

Additional Information


Candidate Survey Responses


RESPONSES TO THE 2022 ATPE CANDIDATE SURVEY:

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

My primary role and responsibility will be to advocate for Texas public school children and educators across the state when setting policies and standards for Texas Public Schools.

The future of education depends on ensuring educators have the respect, resources, and support they need to educate every child in our state successfully. Public education should not be political, and I will work with leaders across party lines with a futuristic and practical mindset to promote the very best for our children. Our kids and the future of Texas depend on a strong voice to advocate for their success and the success of the professional, dedicated and caring educators who show up every day because they know what they do is one of the essential jobs in our nation.

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

The most pressing issue we face in education is teacher retention and recruitment. We need to keep the fantastic teachers in our classrooms and ensure a qualified and excited pipeline of new teachers enter the field.

High-stakes tests prohibit educators from having the freedom to engage and inspire our kids in actual experiential, authentic learning. As a result, our kids have become test-takers instead of critical thinkers. Educators are underpaid and overworked.

Our educators are exhausted and leaving the profession. Kids, educators, parents, local communities, and all taxpayers deserve a better Texas that prioritizes professional educators.

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

They should both play an active role. We should make it easier for educators to be involved in decision-making and welcome their professional expertise.

I know how hard our educators work, and as they are the practitioners in the classroom, they genuinely understand what is needed in policy to improve our system. Therefore, their voice is crucial, and they should have a seat at the table to contribute. Educators build relationships, engage, and acknowledge that success may look different for each child. Great teachers help redefine success and meet each child where they are.

Educator groups can assist by promoting to the public the incredible things they are doing for kids in Texas classrooms every day across our state. They should advocate for educators and kids at SBOE meetings and before, during, and after legislative sessions.

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?

Educator input and voice should have a very high weight in developing and prioritizing standards. The SBOE does better when placing a high value on teachers' voices!

Instructional materials should be resources to support learning. Input from educators, the experts in the field, is vital to the instructional material adoption process.

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?

No, I do not believe the current education system in Texas enables all students to receive a well-rounded education throughout all grade levels. We are too heavy on curriculum standards, regulations, and testing. I prefer authentic learning opportunities that allow students to dive deep into learning. The goal is to teach them how to learn so that life-long learning enriches their lives as they mature, continuously evolve with the changing world, and experience success throughout their lives.

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

Their role should be to provide an innovative educational option for students in poor-performing school districts. The Texas legislature defined this role for them when they passed the charter bill more than 20 years ago.

Based on 2019 TEA data, as a whole, charter schools perform worse than Public ISDs. Today, charters have fallen behind in innovation, and most are not viable educational options for poor-performing school districts.

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?

The SBOE should have total oversight and approval of all new charters, charter amendments, and charter expansions.

Currently, the amending and expansion of charter schools are going unchecked without consideration of transparency of fund use or performance outcomes. To ensure oversight of charter schools, the SBOE needs to review and revise the procedures and processes for approval of all new charters, charter amending, and expansions.

ALL educational institutions receiving public funds must be transparent and accountable for their fund use AND performance outcomes.

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)?

Yes. SBEC is a governor-appointed board designed to look at a specific aspect of the education field. SBOE is a publicly elected board with a more encompassing 30 thousand foot level perspective and should have a check over the actions of SBEC.

While this does slow down the implementation of rule-making for SBEC, the review and balance created by the SBOE veto are valuable and needed.

Additional Comments from Candidate on Survey


COMMENTS SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO THE 2022 ATPE CANDIDATE SURVEY:

To learn more about me, my involvement with the Texas Public Education System, and how we can do better, please see my website and connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

Additionally, Texans for Public Education has recognized me as the only "friendly" public education candidate running for SBOE District 14. Check it out here: https://www.texansforpubliceducation.com. Scroll down for the ratings and click on Simple State Board of Education Ratings, the third green bar.