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Morgan Kirkpatrick
Texas State Board of Education District 15






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Candidate Survey Responses


1. If elected, what do you believe your primary role and responsibility as a State Board of Education (SBOE) member should be?

If elected, my primary role and responsibility will be to ensure that our public education system is providing a quality education to ALL students, regardless of background or circumstance. In order for that to occur, we must ensure that teachers and campuses are provided the support necessary to facilitate learning.

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

The teacher shortage is one of the many pressing issues in Texas because teachers are the backbone of the public education system. Without certified teachers in the classroom, learning is greatly impacted. As a former teacher, I know that teaching isn’t for everyone, so we must do better as a state to make the teaching profession one that is respected rather than one where anyone can be put in a classroom regardless of their credentials.

3. What role should educators and educator groups such as ATPE play in policy decisions made by the SBOE?

One of the main reasons I am running is to advocate for better communication between the teachers who are doing the job of teaching our students every day and those who are making the decisions that affect them. Professional organizations hear from their members on a regular basis regarding issues affecting them in the classroom. Therefore, it is important for me as an SBOE member to listen to that input and utilize it when making decisions.

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

Educator input is crucial when developing standards and approving instructional materials, so the SBOE should prioritize the input of teachers and other education professionals when making these decisions. The people closest to the students should be the ones providing the input on TEKS because they are the experts.

5. In 2023, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1605, which requires the SBOE to review and approve instructional materials that may be used by school districts. What is the right balance between the SBOE and local school districts when it comes to selecting and approving instructional materials?

Because local districts must select materials that have been approved by the SBOE, it is essential that the approved materials to choose from are accurate and inclusive. There is such a diverse population in Texas that we must ensure that students see this reflected in the materials they study.

6. 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?

Standardized testing only offers a snapshot of student learning on one or two days of the year, but an inordinate amount of importance is placed upon the results. Because these tests force the focus of instruction, they limit students’ exposure to a broader range of subjects and critical thinking skills. Standardized testing negatively impacts every aspect of education, and I believe changes need to be made to the current accountability system. We should have a system in place that allows for pre and post tests at the beginning and end of the year to see a student’s growth.

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

I have more learning to do, especially on this topic, but based on my understanding, the chance of increased segregation, lack of accountability, and drain on resources from traditional public schools is not worth the meager benefits.

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

Charter schools have increasingly become an avenue for issues to arise due to the lack of oversight currently in place. The SBOE should not approve additional charters without processes in place to ensure fiscal responsibility, that certified teachers are in place, and that students are held to the same standards as public schools at all levels.

9. 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)?

Since the SBEC is appointed by the governor rather than elected, the potential for partisan politics is much greater. Therefore, if final decisions have to continue to come before the elected body of the SBOE, it will allow for less political interference on items of importance to to the public education system.

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