Dave Thomas for State School Board


Being a consensus builder is my record.  I did that as the Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Education and I have done that for the past 8 years on the State School Board.

In doing so, I am guided by a number of principles:

  • Transparency (I believe in open government and have implemented processes to open up the rulemaking process at the State School Board.)
  • Local Control (I believe in giving local districts flexibility in setting curriculum.  I also believe that public education is the province of the states, not the federal government.  It is the states who are the incubators of innovation, not the federal government.)
  • College and Career Readiness of our Students (We live in a global economy where we compete with other nations and states for business, industry and jobs.  According to a Georgetown University study, by 2020, 66% of all jobs in Utah will require some level of post-secondary education.  Without an educated workforce, we will not be able to fill those jobs.  As a consequence, those jobs will leave our state, our way of life will be threatened, and our standard of living will be decreased.  To not prepare our children for the 21st Century marketplace is in my opinion to conduct educational malpractice.  I am committed to serving you by ensuring that our children are prepared; are college and career ready.  When I came to the State Board in 2008, Utah was ranked 29th in 8th grade reading.  Today, we are ranked 9th.  Our other academic outcomes have similar upward trends.  In fact, the Nation’s Report Card just named Utah 8th graders as #1 in the nation in science this past week.  I believe the education reforms that I have led have allowed teachers the flexibility and resources to make these types of improvements in student academic outcomes.)
  • Parental Choice (I believe that parents should be given educational choices for their children.  That is why I support traditional public schools, public charter schools, private schools, and home schools.)

I am reform-minded, which simply means that I believe improvement is always possible.  However, I do not believe in change for the sake of change.  I am data driven.  Reform is only meaningful if it leads to an increase in student outcomes.

To that end, College and Career Readiness is steeped in three fundamental areas:

  • Rigorous Academic Standards
  • High Quality Teaching
  • Reasonable Computer Adaptive Formative Assessment

Join me and my endorsers in moving this education agenda forward.


Utah Republican Party (by email sent 10/18/2016)

Utah Technology Council

Senator Jerry Stevenson (R-Layton)

Senator Stuart Adams (R-Layton)

Jonathon Johnson

Representative Curt Oda (R-Clearfield)

Representative Paul Ray (R-Clinton)

Representative Steve Handy (R-Layton)

Representative Brad Wilson (R-Syracuse)

Representative Dixon Pitcher (R-South Ogden)

Layton City Councilman Bruce Davis

Mayor Jim Minster (South Ogden)