I hadn't been paying a lot of attention to the State Board of Education election until a friend clued me into some info about the candidates: incumbent Mary Lord and her main foe Ashley Carter, as well as college student Tony Donaldson. And I recommend you vote for Mary Lord.
Lord has been on the Board since it started in 2007 and also serves as the president of the National Association of the State Boards of Education. Carter has lots of signs all over the area, and is described in the Post's endorsement of Lord as a director of a "national nonprofit for women and families."
That organization is the Independent Women's Forum, which is actually a conservative group and the beneficiary of a lot of money from ultra-conservative and Tea Party-aligned groups. Carter recently spoke at a "Women for Trump" event and Kellyanne Conway, current campaign manager for Donald Trump, is on the IWF's board. (Conway is taking a leave of absence from the IWF during the campaign.)
The Nation described the IWF as "anti-feminist" and "doing the Koch brothers' dirty work" and says they grew out of a "Women for Clarence Thomas" group. The group has previously opposed the Violence Against Women Act, food stamps, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Title IX and feminism in general and advocated for lowering corporate tax rates, for fracking and against gun control.
The group is heavily funded by Donors Trust, a nonprofit that masks large donations by individuals to conservative groups and previously funded attacks on unions and climate change scientists and supported climate change deniers and many other ultra-conservative issues. Mother Jones called Donors Trust a conservative "dark money ATM."
Carter's campaign Facebook page and campaign site mention nothing about the organization or any of these issues, only posting generalities.
I think Carter may be pulling a fast one on us, trying to get elected without mentioning her extreme conservative leanings -- mentioning only broad things that everybody supports and not the issues that her group supports or any of her current work. According to this blog and the city's Office of Campaign Finance, more than half of Carter's donors are from outside DC, as well. That seems fishy to me -- why would so many people care about a school board race in another city (state, even) unless it was to promote a certain ideology? In this case, a very conservative, Tea Party-ish one.
It's safe to say unless you are a very conservative person and support Donald Trump, Carter is not the candidate for you.
Lord, however, is experienced and has been endorsed by the Post, the Gertrude Stein Club, the Current newspapers, six Councilmembers and the Washington Teachers' Union.
Vote Mary Lord.