States

Political Relativism

By David J. Hoff — January 17, 2006 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Former public school teacher Carole Keeton Strayhorn has gained a high profile on education issues as state comptroller in Texas, and she’ll likely try to build on that record as she runs for governor this year.

But the Republican-turned-Independent drew the national media spotlight this month for a reason having nothing to do with her advocacy of teacher pay raises or her close scrutiny of school district spending.

BRIC ARCHIVE

Among her other accomplishments, it seems, Ms. Strayhorn is the mother of White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. And her candidacy for governor, announced Jan. 2, put Mr. McClellan on the spot at his briefing for reporters the next day.

Given the choice between supporting his mother or the GOP incumbent backed by his boss, the record shows his chose his mother.

“God, that’s courageous,” Bill Plante, a reporter for CBS, joked after Mr. McClellan told the White House press corps. Mr. Plante’s comment caused the press secretary to chuckle and blush, according to The New York Times.

The newspaper said Mr. McClellan had discussed his statement with President Bush, who wants to see Gov. Rick Perry re-elected in November.

Ms. Strayhorn was elected comptroller as a Republican in 1998 and was re-elected in 2002. She said she’d run for governor as an Independent in an effort to promote a nonpartisan agenda.

As comptroller, Ms. Strayhorn has proposed across-the-board $3,000 raises for teachers, at a cost of about $1 billion a year.

Ms. Strayhorn, whose campaign Web site describes her as “one tough grandma watching out for Texas,” also has publicized school districts’ failures to properly account for their spending.

And she has been a persistent critic of Gov. Perry. After Mr. Perry’s 2005 State of the State Address, Ms. Strayhorn issued a statement saying: “We still have no clear idea of where the governor wants to go on public education, how he wants to get there, and what he thinks we’ll have when we arrive.”

Mr. Perry succeeded to the governorship when Mr. Bush became president. The governor won election to the office in 2002 and is seeking re-election this year.

Related Tags:

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Addressing Unfinished Learning in Math: Providing Tutoring at Scale
Most states as well as the federal government have landed on tutoring as a key strategy to address unfinished learning from the pandemic. Take math, for example. Studies have found that students lost more ground
Content provided by Yup Math Tutoring
Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

States How a Website to Complain About Teachers Is Fueling the Critical Race Theory Fight
It was pitched as an effort to strengthen anti-discrimination laws, but critics say it aims to reject any discussion of systemic racism.
2 min read
Frank Edelblut speaks at the Statehouse in Concord, N.H. on Jan. 31, 2017, during a public hearing on his nomination to lead the state's education department. As first-term Gov. Chris Sununu builds out his cabinet of commissioners, he's tapped some appointees with little to no professional experience in the departments they're tasked with leading. For education, he tapped Edelblut, a businessman who homeschooled his children.
Frank Edelblut speaks at the Statehouse in Concord, N.H. on Jan. 31, 2017, during a public hearing on his nomination to lead the state's education department. As first-term Gov. Chris Sununu builds out his cabinet of commissioners, he's tapped some appointees with little to no professional experience in the departments they're tasked with leading. For education, he tapped Edelblut, a businessman who homeschooled his children.
Elise Amendola/AP Photo
States Opinion 5 Takeaways for Education From Virginia's Governor Race
In an election where K-12 schooling was widely seen as the central issue, Glenn Youngkin’s victory has important implications for schools.
5 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
States Anxiety Over Schools Fired Up Voters This Year. What About 2022?
Election results from Virginia, New Jersey, and elsewhere suggest educators and schools will be firmly in the spotlight next year.
10 min read
Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin holds a broom as he greets supporters at an election night party in Chantilly, Va., early Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021, after he defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe.
Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, holds a broom as he greets supporters at an election night party in Chantilly, Va., after he defeated Democratic challenger Terry McAuliffe.
Andrew Harnik/AP
States How One Governor's Race Has Channeled National and Local Anger Over Schools
Virginia's gubernatorial candidates are fighting over everything from parents' roles to banning books. Is this a preview of 2022 elections?
8 min read
Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin, left, gestures a he talks with supporters during a rally in Culpeper, Va., Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. Youngkin faces former Gov. Terry McAuliffe in the November election.
Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin, left, talks with supporters during a rally in Culpeper, Va. Youngkin faces former Gov. Terry McAuliffe in the November election.
Steve Helber/AP