Teach the Vote is a project of the Association of Texas Professional Educators. ATPE's goal for Teach the Vote is to provide information to voters about the public education views and platforms of every candidate running for the Texas Legislature and the State Board of Education. ATPE is a nonpartisan organization that does not endorse candidates but provides information to its members and the public regarding candidates' positions on public education issues and ATPE priorities.
The website is designed to encourage voters to think about their own views on politics and public education, understand ATPE's positions on education issues and consider candidates' education stances when casting votes.
ATPE is a member-owned, member-governed professional association and the preeminent educator association in Texas. It is the largest independent, nonunion educator association in the United States and the largest educators association in Texas. ATPE's benefits program provides its members with protection, advocacy and resources, which allows them to focus less on outside-the-classroom influences and more on providing a quality education for our schoolchildren. (Learn more about ATPE.)
ATPE's operations are guided by ATPE's tenets, the overall principles that have guided ATPE since its founding in 1980:
ATPE conducts a candidate survey project each election cycle to enable candidates to communicate their views on public education to our membership and the general public. All known candidates for the State Board of Education and state legislative offices were sent a letter inviting them to participate in our 2012 survey. Candidates who did not respond to our letter received follow-up phone calls and/or emails from ATPE staff except in a few instances in which we were unable to locate an alternative method of communication with the candidate despite due diligence. In collecting contact information for candidates, ATPE relies on information provided by state and county political parties, news reports, Internet search engines, the Texas Secretary of State's office, private data vendors and the candidates themselves.
The candidate survey was an online form maintained on a private Web page on ATPE's server. Each candidate was provided a link to the survey Web page. For identity verification, ATPE also supplied each candidate with a unique security code that was used to log in to and answer the survey. Candidates were informed that their survey responses would be included on an ATPE-sponsored website. ATPE also urged the candidates to keep a copy of the survey questions and their responses for their own records.
ATPE's 2012 candidate survey consisted of six open-ended questions and allowed for candidates to submit additional comments at the end of the survey. ATPE staff reviewed all candidate responses and edited them only for typographical errors where necessary (e.g., spelling, punctuation, capitalization). ATPE did not edit the candidates' survey responses for content. The survey responses shown on our candidate detail pages represent the actual answers supplied by candidates and may not reflect the views of ATPE or our members.
For legislative voting records, ATPE identified key votes that were taken and recorded on education-related legislation of high importance to our membership. The individual legislators' record votes were verified by ATPE staff using public records supplied by the Texas Legislature, as well as data obtained through private vendors.
Additional candidate information found on this site was compiled from a variety of sources, including current and past ATPE candidate surveys, candidate interviews, ethics reports, official voting records, campaign literature and advertisements, media reports and websites, where applicable.
Any questions about Teach the Vote or its website content should be directed to ATPE Governmental Relations.
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