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Magnolia ISD Superintendent Todd Stephens in Hot Water!

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Original Article by THE GOLDEN HAMMER

Montgomery County “For Sale” (Part 9): Precinct 2 Commissioner Riley, MISD Superintendent Stephens Set New Employee Matej Up For Date With Grand Jury

 

Montgomery County “For Sale” (Part 9): Precinct 2 Commissioner Riley, MISD Superintendent Stephens set new employee Matej up for date with Grand Jury

Image: Magnolia Independent School District Director of Finance Garrett Matej, whom Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley and District Superintendent Todd Stephens threw into the Montgomery County Grand Jury hot seat on Thursday, November 9, 2017.

Conroe, November 9 – The Montgomery County Grand Jury’s investigation into the use of government property, services, equipment, and storage facilities by Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal and Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley will take a bit of a different direction today, Thursday, November 9, 2017, as the Grand Jury and District Attorney’s Office will explore Riley’s use of Magnolia Independent School District (MISD) property, personnel, and equipment for his political campaign.

Confidential sources inside MISD have confirmed to The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, that Director of Finance Garrett Matej, only two months into his new job, received a subpoena to testify first thing on November 9 with respect to his involvement in the preparation of a questionable invoice to Riley created after this newspaper and Republican political activists Ginger Russell and Kelli Cook uncovered the corruption related to Riley’s October 14, 2017, “campaign kickoff” where he utilized MISD vehicles, equipment, storage facilities, and personnel.

Early in the morning on Saturday, October 14, 2017, Russell and Cook observed, photographed, and video-taped Riley, Magnolia ISD Superintendent Todd Stephens, and at least two Magnolia ISD maintenance workers loading a Magnolia ISD truck at the Magnolia ISD Administration Building with Riley’s personal band equipment stored at the Administration Building for free. The school district employees then transported the equipment to the site of Riley’s political campaign kickoff, unloaded the equipment, participated in Riley’s campaign presentation, loaded the equipment back onto the school district truck, transported it back to the Administration Building, and unloaded the equipment with Riley and Stephens there to help with the unloading and re-storage of the equipment.

On October 14, 2017, as he introduced members of the “Charlie Riley Band” standing among the band’s privately-owned equipment to the sparse crowd during Riley’s campaign kickoff, a political event, and standing in the Unity Park Pavilion, Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley of Montgomery County announced,

“We ended up trying to get to places where we had to have some help, so Dr. Todd Stephens [Magnolia ISD Superintendent] gave us or let us borrow a couple guys from Magnolia ISD…maintenance guys who help us load this equipment, and move it around from place to place…and one of them’s missing, but we’ve got Mr. Louis Bennett. He’s our roady!”

Riley openly admitted that, for personal and political campaign purposes, Riley and Stephens use Magnolia Independent School District maintenance workers to help them load, unload, transport, and store their equipment.

During the October 14 Riley “campaign kickoff,” Riley also utilized some County-owned electrical carts as a “train” to carry passengers attending Riley’s campaign kickoff from where they parked to the site of the event. On October 15, 2017, the carts were back in the Commissioners Precinct 2 barnyard behind the locked and gated fence.

On October 16, 2017, Russell submitted a formal request under the Texas Open Records Act to the Magnolia ISD for any purchase orders for the use of the school district truck, equipment, and personnel and any invoices.

After waiting for eleven (11) days, the school district finally responded by October 27, 2017, letter to Russell (shown above). In the response the school district told Russell:

“Enclosed please find documents responsive to your request for public information dated October 16, 2017, a copy of the Accounts payable sent/or to be sent to the Charlie Riley campaign regarding the use of ISD equipment.” (Emphasis added.)

Unbelievably, the Magnolia ISD couldn’t even just provide the letter that was “sent.” Instead, they admitted that the invoice was “sent/to be sent”!!! Obviously, someone in the school district created the invoice after Russell sent the Open Records Act request!

Cook, who serves as the Texas Gulf Coast Regional Coordinator for the Campaign for Liberty and is a close associate of Dr. Ron Paul, the former Congressman and presidential candidate, said, “It appears Magnolia ISD has fabricated a truck rental invoice further implicating them in their gross display of political favoritism.  Is this why we pay exorbitant school taxes, so they can funnel money to their favorite political candidate?”

Political activist Kelli Cook.

Russell, who is a Republican Precinct Chair and a renowned expert in public education, told this newspaper:

“Magnolia Independent School Superintendent Dr. Todd Stephens should have been fired immediately by the school board for violating school policy and law for using district vehicles to assist Commissioner Riley with his campaign event. In my opinion the Magnolia ISD School Board is an epic failure and has definitely failed the taxpayer. At this time they are spending taxpayer money on an outside attorney to represent the Superintendent. Why?  We now know that the invoice created to cover for Commissioner Riley is a fake. Its creation I am sure came at the request of Dr. Stephens. One wonders how long this collusion and deception has been in play. My hope is the District Attorney puts a stop to these activities once and for all.”

The details about the creation of that invoice have begun to surface. Around approximately October 18, MISD Superintendent Stephens approached Matej and told Matej, “We need an invoice to charge Charlie Riley for the vehicle we let him use this past weekend.” Matej told Stephens that the District does not invoice private individuals like that. Stephens instructed Matej to create an invoice and provide it to Denise Meyers, MISD’s Public Information Officer (who had already received Russell’s Open Records Act request).

Matej, just beginning his second month in his job as Director of Finance, was very uncomfortable with Stephens’ request but feared that there would be reprisal if Matej didn’t accede to it. Matej created an invoice, numbered 8101, in the amount of $100 and provided a copy of it to Meyers.

Phony $100 invoice Director of Finance Garrett Matej created after MISD Superintendent Todd Stephens requested Matej to make it.

There are some interesting facts surrounding Matej’s creation of the phony invoice obviously created to make it appear as though the school district intended to charge Riley for the vehicle and services Riley received for his “campaign kickoff.”

First, Matej has told several people inside the school district that he greatly fears for his job and also has concerns that Stephens forced him to commit an unethical or illegal act. In response to a request to interview him for this article, Matej very politely responded, “Mr. Yollick, Good evening. Hope this email finds you well. While I am flattered that you would reach out to me. I must decline as we have no comment at this point in time. Thank you. Garrett Matej.”

Second, in response to an Open Records Request from conservative activist Kelli Cook, MISD’s Meyers has confirmed that there are no invoices with numbers surrounding the infamous “Invoice 8101” shown above. In correspondence on November 8, Meyers noted, “There are no documents responding to your request” for invoices 8096, 8097, 8098, 8099, 8100, 8102, 8103, 8104, or 8015.”

Third, Matej has admitted to several close associates that there are not invoices similar to the one he created for Riley upon Stephens’ request.

Fourth, Louis Bennett, the MISD Maintenance worker whom Riley recognized as the “roady” for the October 14 “campaign kickoff” event for Riley’s Precinct 2 County Commissioner re-election campaign received 5.27 hours of overtime compensation for working for the school district that weekend. It’s unclear whether the 5.27 hours of overtime would exceed the $100 invoice amount.

It’s genuinely sad that Riley and Stephens would place a young employee in a new position in such a precarious spot. An important question is why Stephens chose not to do his own “dirty work” and create the invoice in his office at MISD since he has administrative staff available to him.

The Grand Jury will hear from Matej, Stephens, and others with respect to Riley’s and Stephen’s use of MISD government property for private and political uses.

The Grand Jury has investigated the following abuses among others:

  • Under Doyal’s personal direction, a County employee regularly prepared his campaign reports at the Precinct 2 office.
  • Under Doyal’s personal direction, a County employee prepared political program ads during work hours at the Precinct 2 office.
  • Under Doyal’s personal direction, a County employee prepared and mailed political checks during work hours and worked on political fundraisers during for Doyal during work hours.
  • Other county employees in Precinct 2 worked on campaign activities and fundraisers for Doyal during work hours.
  • The Precinct 2 mechanics shop built platforms during work hours for Doyal’s political fundraisers.
  • Operations Manager Charlie Riley purchased food for Doyal’s political fundraisers during county business hours.
  • Doyal approved of the use of County materials, equipment, and time to work on his campaign.
  • Riley instructed a County employee to “do what you need to do to get it [Doyal’s political campaign reports] finished” including taking a county printer to the County employee’s home.
  • For the past several years, Riley and Doyal have stored their barbecue trailers they use during political campaigns on County property in the Precinct 2 Commissioners barnyard in Magnolia behind a locked and gated fence. Riley and Doyal have not paid the County anything for the use of that storage space.
  • Precinct 2 employees have confirmed that Riley and Doyal have had County employees provide automotive repairs and vehicle maintenance to members of Riley’s and Doyal’s families at no charge to them.
  • Riley and Doyal had the Building Maintenance Department install plumbing and electrical connections at the Precinct 2 barnyard so they could cook there for their political campaigns.
  • On September 14, 2017, Riley admitted in writing, “As far as the County yard storing my personal cooking trailer, that is correct.”
  • On October 13, 2017, Riley, his wife Deanne who is a County employee in the position Riley established for her, and several County employees spent a large portion of the County work day making preparations for his political campaign kickoff the next day.
  • On October 14, 2017, Riley, Stephens, and at least two Magnolia ISD maintenance workers loaded a Magnolia ISD truck at the Magnolia ISD Administration Building with Riley’s personal band equipment stored at the Administration Building for free. The school district employees then transported the equipment to the site of Riley’s political campaign kickoff, unloaded the equipment, participated in Riley’s campaign presentation, loaded the equipment back onto the school district truck, transported it back to the Administration Building, and unloaded the equipment with Riley and Stephens there to help with the unloading and re-storage of the equipment.
  • On October 14, 2017, Riley utilized some County-owned electrical carts as a “train” to carry passengers attending Riley’s campaign kickoff from where they parked to the site of the event. On October 15, 2017, the carts were back in the Commissioners Precinct 2 barnyard behind the locked and gated fence.
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Magnolia ISD Fails to Inform Parents Their Children are being Exploited!

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Magnolia ISD Superintendent, Todd Stephens can’t seem to abide by the district’s own policy and has made the local news lately due to Stephens using district vehicles on a Saturday to assist local Commissioner, Charlie Riley with his campaign event. You can read about it here.  One would think the Magnolia ISD school board would immediately address the issue at hand due to Stephens violating district policy. Instead one of their school board members, Secretary Kristi Baker seeks to divert community attention to an unnamed individual (Me) claiming the children in the district are being “pursued, antagonized and exploited”  on social media (post below). If these allegations were factual one would think the district would immediately alert parents of this so called abuse.

Upon being alerted of of Ms. Baker’s post on social media I filed an opens records request asking for any and all documentation alerting parents of this “suggested” abuse and how to assist their children through such abuse. Interesting enough Magnolia ISD has not addressed these allegations. Why would a district ignore such claims by a school board member and fail to alert the parents? The reason Baker thinks nothing of putting out lies and propaganda under the disguise of “These poor baby children”.

Why Magnolia ISD allows this unacceptable behavior by Ms. Baker is questionable. The board may want to get back and do their job address the issue of Stephens not only utilizing district vehicles to assist with a political event but allowing the Charlie Riley band to practice at the administration building.

Commissioner Charlie Riley and Magnolia ISD School Board Member, Kristi Baker.

 

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Dear Commissioner Charlie Riley,

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Riley,

Are you telling people that I ran Deanne off the side of the road with your grand baby in the car. If so, you are lying to them. I would say I am surprised but I am not. God knows the truth! Is it really so hard to do the right thing Charlie?

Ginger
_____________________________________________________________________________
Now for a little history on this. The Magnolia establishment is corrupt and abusive and it has been for years. Sadly, most taxpayers are oblivious and those that are aware of it either fear for their jobs or business and many that know will sell their integrity for a bar-b-q plate courtesy of Commissioner Riley.
I suspected and was right assuming that the Riley’s would be abusing their positions as county employees in preparation for the Charlie Riley Campaign Event, Sat. Oct. 14, 2017.
I drove to Magnolia suspecting to see the Commissioners yard being utilized in some fashion in setting up for Riley’s event. I did not expect to see Mr. Deanne  Riley who just returned to her office (Constable David Hill) that afternoon and rummaged through the Campaign T-Shirts in the back of her vehicle. I assume I was seen parked in Commissioner’s parking lot after witnessing Riley slamming the back door and jumping in the passenger side of Deanna’s vehicle. They drove out onto Unity Park Drive heading into the park towards 1488. Deanna turned east on 1488 and did not get in the line of traffic but proceeded up the side of the road as seen in photo below. Why she was driving so erratically and off the road is leaves room for question.
The story that Charlie Riley I know has been telling that I (Ginger Russell) ran his wife off the road with his grand baby in it is NOTHING BUT A LIE!
Proverbs 12:22  ” The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.”

Montgomery County Commissioner Charlie Riley

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MAGNOLIA ISD ABUSES TAXPAYER FUNDS

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Magnolia ISD Magnolia Superintendent, Todd Stephens

Magnolia ISD Superintendent, Todd Stephens

 

Magnolia ISD Superintendent, Todd Stephens can’t seem to abide by the same ISD policy expected of his district employees. The Magnolia ISD policy employee policy states the following:

This past Saturday evening, October 14, 2017 Commissioner Charlie Riley held his campaign kickoff event at Unity Park in Magnolia. Entertainment was provided by none other than the Charlie Riley Band during the evening. In setting up for the band’s performance Riley and Magnolia ISD Superintendent, Todd Stephens utilized a couple of district employees and a Magnolia ISD Maintenance Truck to transport equipment. 

 

Stephens, Riley the maintenance truck, another cargo van and  were seen exiting the Magnolia ISD the Celeste Graves Education Support Center  @31141 Nichols Sawmill Rd around 2:00 pm. The vehicles proceeded to drive down Unity Drive to Unity Park. The vehicles pulled into the park and backed up to the stage area to unload equipment. After unloading the Maintenance vehicle  was then relocated to the administration building until the event was over. In relocating Stephens followed the vehicle back to the administration building and picked up the driver (district employee, Louis Bennett). They then returned to the event in finishing the setting up and practice. 

 

Around 4pm Stephens and 3 other men returned to the Administration building prior to their band performance. The gentlemen were the only ones in the building for 1 1/2 hours. One could surmise they took the 1 1/2 break to watch the OU and Texas Longhorn game before preforming. Just prior to the end of the 4th quarter with OU leading the game Stephens exits the building to retrieve a change of clothes  for the event. Within minutes all 4 men exited the Magnolia ISD administration building to return to the Charlie Riley Campaign event. DSC02795 DSC02806

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the event was over at 8:00 pm (1 hour early due to poor attendance) the maintenance vehicle was picked up and brought back to the park to reload the band equipment. It returned to the administration building where Superintendent Todd Stephens and some other band members along with MISD employee Louis Bennett unloaded the equipment. Louis Bennett then returned the vehicle to the maintenance yard and locked it up. He left in a vehicle that remained on the property for the day’s duration registered to Commissioner Charlie Riley.

 

Will the our elected Magnolia ISD elected School Board do anything about this district violation and abuse of taxpayer funds? I seriously doubt it. School boards no longer represent those that elect them they are “yes” people and rubber stamp the schools agenda.

 

The bigger question is will the Montgomery County District Attorney, Brett Ligon stop this taxpayer abuse or will he once again turn a blind eye to it? 

 

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In the video go to 4:20 minutes. Commissioner Riley admits to the audience that they were using Magnolia ISD equipment and employees.

 

 

IMG_6709

 

IMG_6716

 

 

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TEXAS HOME SCHOOL COALITION PUSHING COMMON CORE and PUBLIC EDUCATION

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THSC

 

If you think the Texas Home School Coalition is working to protect Texas Home School Freedom you could not be more wrong. They have aligned themselves with those that are pushing Common Core and a progressive education on Texas Children. I witnessed this first hand this legislative session when I discovered that they were taking special interest money from those pushing this progressive education agenda. To me this is serious and I consider it child abuse due to the psychological manipulation our children have to endure under this pedagogy.

In 2013 I blew the whistle on curriculum that was asking students to draw new Communist Flags, portraying the Boston Tea Party as a Terrorist Act. This program was called CSCOPE aka Common Core. After further research I and another mom, Colleen Vera discovered the corruption of a Texas Education Agency program called the Texas Virtual School Network. I recall calling the Texas Virtual School Network a few years back and asked them if they aligned with Common Core and was told YES.

The Texas Home School Coaltion has posted an article titled….

 

Public School at Home Options https://www.thsc.org/getting-started/public-school-at-home-options/

Public School At home

 

 

Why would THSC want to push public school at home?

Without reinventing the wheel. Please read below the articles and research done regarding the online program Texas Virtual School Network that was done myself and Colleen Vera with Texas Trash Talk. Please inform you friends and family the new direction that the Texas Home School Coalition is leaning. This agenda poses a huge danger to Texas Home School Freedom.

FYI.  Texas activist with Texans For Home School Freedom have worked tirelessly on behalf of Texas Home School Freedom. Please join their FACEBOOK group page.  Their website TEXANS FOR HOMESCHOOL FREEDOM.

 

 

Texas Virtual School Network Exposed…..

Texas Education Agency Implementing COMMON CORE

http://www.redhotconservative.com/texas-education-agency-implementing-common-core/

http://www.texastrashtalk.com/2014/10/texas-virtual-schoolanother-cscope.html

 

 

 

 

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Texans for Educational Opportunity, Social Justice & Islam

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TEO

 

Texans for Educational Opportunity  is a non-profit organization co-founded by former Senator Phil Gramm , Stacy Hock and John Colyandro.. The organization officially filed their non-profit with the Texas Secretary of State, May 16, 2016. Here is a link to those filed papers.  On the surface the organization appears to to be pushing what has been known as a conservative School Choice agenda. Unfortunately when you dig deeper they are pushing for another redistribution of wealth program. The organization’s  stated purpose is shown below.

 

Board members

 

social Welfare

 

Texans for Educational Opportunity has been sending speakers across the state and working with Texas legislators in pushing School Choice  during the Texas 85th Legislative session. Their Chair is philanthropist, Stacy Hock is co-owner of Hock, LLC, a financial services technology consulting firm, and manager of the Joel & Stacy Hock Charitable Fund. Previously, she held senior management positions at IBM in software services, including running the Websphere Software Services business for the Wall Street territory. Prior to that, she worked for Trilogy in enterprise software. Currently, Hock serves as a board member for Aminex Theraputics, Texas Public Policy Foundation and the African Dream Initiative. She has previously served as a board member for City Harvest and The Bowery Mission. Hock received her bachelor’s degree in computer science and electrical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She earned her master’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business.

Technology is BIG BUCKS in education today and many are using our children as guinea pigs in making their fortunes. Technology is instrumental in changing HOW our children are taught and will contribute to the demise of our country. there data is collected and for sale to 3rd parties. Unfortunately our children in public schools are no longer given an education of based on solid academics giving them an equal opportunity to succeed. Progressive teaching pedagogy has been implemented seeking equal outcomes for all.  Our education system is utilizing  Social Emotional Learning in order to change their attitudes, values and beliefs and behaviors. How does the School Choice agenda play into this? It is about accessing all children under the same Federal umbrella of control. We have 2 avenues of government free avenues of education, private and home school. If you can get those avenues taking in govt subsidies the state will gain control of those educational choices leaving parents no government free choice to turn to.

Governor Abbott appointed Stacy Hock to sit on the Texas Commission of Next Generation of Assessments and Accountability. Interesting to note the Author of School Choice SB 3, Senator Larry Taylor sits on the commission as well. The commission just turned over their report to the governor in September asking him to align Texas State Standards with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. Now why would HOCK and TAYLOR who want to align our Texas public schools with the Federal standards all the while claiming our schools are failing and promote school choice? Could it be they want every avenue of education under the same federal umbrella of ESSA? Absolutely. They want access to EVERY student.

PLAIN UMBRELLA

I questioned why our supposedly Texas Conservative Governor Abbott would place a progressive like Stacy Hock on the commission as well as having no educational background. That was until I found that she had contributed to his campaign over $90,000. Here are the Hock’s contributions.

 

stacy hock

Stacy Hock

 

April 6th Texans for Educational Opportunity posted the following article below on their Facebook page, authored by Sharif El-Mekki. Who is Shariff El-Mekki? Mekki is a Muslim Social Justice Warrior promoting Black Liberation Theology and the Black Lives Matter movement. He is affiliated with Radical Nation of Islam Leader, Louis Farrakhan.  Mekki has been highlighted in numerous articles by Louis Farrakhan’s online paper FinalCall. President Obama recognized Mekki for his social justice efforts through education.

 

Why  would Texas Conservative Groups like Empower Texans, the Texas Home School Coalition and Texas Public Policy band together with organizations and agenda’s that are not only no conservative but radical? I find it disturbing that individuals like Peggy Venable, Mayes Middleton,  (Empower Texans board member), Matt MacKowiak, Randan Steinhauser and Michael McCloud have joined Texas for Educational Opportunity speakers bureau in pushing this school choice agenda.

Sharif El-Mekki’s Facebook page.  Twitter page. 

 

 

 

Liberation Theology

 

 

shariff shariff photo

 

Now is relations to Senator Phil Gramm.

How and when Senator Phil Gramm and Stacy Hock tied up in pushing School Choice is to be determined. But Gramm’s shady past is not. He is riddled with financial controversy among others things as spelled out from this article excerpt. Interesting note Gramm’s wife, Dr. Wendy Lee Gramm sits on the Board of Directors of Texas Public Policy Foundation. Stacy Hock was named to the Board of Directors as well in 2015.

 

phil gramm

 

 

WAKE UP TEXAS CONSERVATIVES!!

 

 

 

The Purpose of “School Choice” and Common Core/College and Career Ready National Standards:
1. Shifts Education Philosophy- An education of Opportunity (Equal Opportunity) based on academics; reading, writing, math and history has moved in the United States, to an education of equity (Equal Outcomes) based on attitudes, values, beliefs and behaviors.
2. Broadened Impact – The Common Core/College and Career Ready National Standards expand the target from K-12 (Kindergarten through 12th grade) to a P-20W (Pre-school through College, Trade or Graduate School) into the Workforce system.
3. Testing Based Outcomes- The Common Core National Standards shifts from the “Mental” (Academics and Knowledge Based Tests) to “Behaviors” (Performance Standards and Competency for the workforce) assessments.
4. Adjustments to Ideology- Change American’s worldview from nationalism into globalism and allow a government controlled economy known as ”Dirigisme” or the more common use–a dirigiste economy. It means essentially a state directed economy.
5. Dismantle traditional public schools in favor of charter like structures (public private partnerships) that will be forced to generate student data for corporate profit and state control.

Here is a recorded two hour call with education Activists, Alice Linahan, Lynn Davenport, Meg Bakich and Ginger Russell with Stacy Hock.

Save

Save

Save

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Texas Home School Coalition Setting Homeschoolers Up For State Registration!

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thsc blog post

 

It is quite unfortunate that the Texas Home School Coalition whom most Texas homeschoolers have placed their trust in for years is now setting up the future generation of Texas homeschoolers for state registration.

How are they doing this you might ask. Tim Lambert, president of THSC has been accepting funding (see below) from some key individuals that are pushing the “School Choice” agenda which is being pushed across the country. Lambert has been very vocal making videos, posting blogs, tweeting, and speaking at meetings across the state promoting the School Choice agenda even prior to legislation being filed. The words “School Choice” sound great but once you dig a little deeper it isn’t what it seems. This “School Choice” agenda is heavily funded by the likes of Mr. Common Core himself, Jeb Bush and globalist, Bill Gates.

 

Tim Lambert photo

           Tim Lambert

I would like to remind you that we already have school choice in Texas. Parents have the ability to educate their children however they see fit and thankfully two of those choices are not regulated by the government, private and home school.  This “school choice” agenda the state legislature is pushing will be funded by tax dollars through “Education Savings Accounts”, ESA’s. This is not a savings account where you save your own money to educating your children. This is another government subsidy program similar to “Obama Care”. Make no mistake with government subsidies comes regulations and state mandates. The School Choice agenda and the bills filed in Texas (SB 3 &  HB 1335) will allow government subsidies into the private and homeschool arena. Once your child is in the system participating in the program they will be registered with the state and their information will be placed into the Texas Student Data System.

Once you a have government subsidies streaming into those markets with state mandates and regulations we will no longer have government free choices in educating our children. NOTE: if a homeschool parent takes these funds their child will be registered with the state and their data will be collected and placed into the Texas Student Data System. Tim Lambert fails to see or admit that.

PLAIN UMBRELLA

 

Many of those that funded the 2016 THSC Gala are HUGE School Choice proponents.

Here is a list of the funders.

Most of these donors are Texas Legislators and others supporting School Choice.

Gov Greg Abbott and Lt Gov Dan Patrick together have been playing the class warfare card in pushing School Choice.

 

Here is another list of funders and the dollar amounts.

 

NOTE:  The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a key supporter and promoter of School Choice. The following three individuals sit on the TPPF board of directors.

 

Kyle Stallings gave THSC $27,000.00kyle

 

 

 

mayes

 

Mayes Middleton gave THSC $30,000

 

 

stacy hock

 

Stacy Hock    “Contribution amount unknown”

 

School Choice Debate, Tim Lambert, Peggy Venable (pro school choice) debate Alice Linahan and Ginger Russell (pro Liberty) on School Choice.

 

Tim Lambert fails to see state mandated testing and data collection as regulations on homeschooolers. He compares it to what Texas have to do now in order to open carry stating those are not regulationsor infringments on our 2nd ammendment rights.

 

 

 

Senator Don Huffines is also pushing School Choice.

 

 

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Texans For Homeschool Freedom has in opposing any legislation that will infringe on our homeschool freedom. Please join us on Facebook and Twitter.
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TEXAS: SCHOOL CHOICE…. PAY FOR PLAY

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pay to play

I have NEVER witnessed so much political corruption and pay to play politics as I have with the School Choice agenda in Texas. This past September, I attended a School Choice Policy Summit hosted by the the not so TEXAS CONSERVATIVE COALITION. This meeting was nothing but a rally cry to promote the agenda of School Choice in Texas through the use of government subsidies titled “Education Savings Accounts” (ESA). Both School Choice and Education Savings Accounts are misnomers. We already have school choice in Texas and Education Savings Accounts (ESA) are government subsidies.

Speakers at the Pro School Choice Policy Summit were Lt Gov Dan Patrick, Senator Larry Taylor, Senator Bettencourt, State Representatives Rick Miller, Dennis Paul, Mike Schofield, and Dwayne Bohac.  Stacy Hock with Texas for Educational Opportunity and Empower Texas Board member, Mayes Middleton their “money buddies” joined them. Middleton also sits on the board of Texas Public Policy Foundation. TPPF is also a huge advocate of School Choice. Texas Public Policy Foundation provided a brochure titled “The Archilles Heel of Texas. Improving College Eligibility Rates through K-12 Education Savings Accounts.”

I could not help but notice on the bottom of the brochure was Mr. Common Core (aka) Jeb Bush’s company “ExcelinEd” listed as one of the sponsors.

 

EXCELINED

 

 

Below you can see a few who fund ExcelinEd.  NOTE: BILL & MELINDA GATES

 

EXcelineddonors

 

Stacy Hock

STACY HOCK

 

DAVID MAYES  MIDDLETON

 

 

I listened for almost 2 hours to them pushing for School Choice. As the meeting wrapped up they did not welcome questions from those in the audience. I approached Senator Bettencourt afterwards and mentioned to him “I as a homeschool mother am concerned about this due to Government encroachment.  Also I do not like the government in my business knowing what I am doing and where I am”.  When I said this to him  he walked away waving his mobile phone in the air stating “you need to be more concerned about this, (the mobile phone) which always knows where your are”.  I was shocked at his response and lack of professionalism and disturbed that I had paid his company thousands over the years to protest my property taxes. NEVER AGAIN.

After further research into the money. I was shocked at the thousands of dollars that Stacy Hock and Mayes Middleton combined, have contributed to Texas politicians. I am also well aware today March 16, 2017 that Mayes makes regular visits to those legislators in Austin that he has funded to encourage them to support School Choice.

 

NOTE: The Montgomery County Tea Party held a debate on School Choice on March 6th. Scheduled to sit on the panel in favor of School Choice was Peggy Venable and Mayes Middleton, against school choice was Alice Linahan and myself (Ginger Russell). The tea party was notified one week prior my our modeator Dale Huls that Mayes would not make the debate and Tim Lambert from the Texas Homeschool Coalition would sit in his place.  Here is the video from that debate.

**NOTE** Stacy Hock recently returned from New York, She has no education experience. Her experience in Technology. With that said she has made her way up into the helms of the Texas Education Establishment. Governor Abbott, Mr. Pro School Choice advocate, appointed Stacy Hock to the Texas Commission of Next Generation of Assessments and Accountability. Senator Larry Taylor (author of School Choice SB 3)  also sits on this Commission. The Commission just turned over their final report in September asking Gov Abbott to align our State Standards/Accountability with the Federal Every Student Succeeds Act.

You may wonder how Stacy Hock can arrive out of nowhere and be placed in such a position to make recommendations regarding the education of Thousands of Texas Children. Look no further.

greg abbott stacy

 

 

I will highlight our new Texas Representative Briscoe Cain. Mr. Money man, Mayes Middleton and Briscoe seem to be tied at the hip on the School Choice policy issue. Could it be due to his campaign funding? Mayes Middleton, other Empower Texans board members, and unfortunately school choice advocate Texas Home School Coalition have contributed thousands to Briscoe’s campaign. Despite the fact that this is another government program reigning in Texas Home Schoolers and placing all those under the umbrella of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act,  through campaign donations,  Liberty Caucus member Briscoe Cain is part of School “Choice” elite special interest group.

 

Briscoe money trail

                                          Rep. Briscoe Cain Money Trail

 

Representative Bricoe went on  Twitter calling Texas moms that are busy schooling their children and are genuinely concerned that School Choice legislation will affect their homeschooling freedom Kool-Aid Drinkers. Briscoe Kool=Aid

 

David “Mayes” Middleton funded Konni Burton’s campaign $5000.00.

 

2017-02-17_9-28-07

 

To make matters worse School Choice advocate, Peggy Venable, posts the following photo on her Face Book page cheering their lavish dinner this week hosted by the not so Texas Conservative Coalition.  Are you seeing a pattern here?

Bricoe is holding a sign up titled EDCHOICE. EDCHOICE is a national School Choice policy pusher aligned with none other than Jeb Bush and ExcelinEd funded by Bill Gates.

 

So when our Texas Representatives go to Austin claiming they are conservative. I believe it will be few are far between that truly represent their constituents and adhere to their values. Sad but true.

 

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Oh the tangled web we weave. 

 

Afterwards Peggy posted the following on facebook. Many responded including myself of our concerns and the money ties to this School Choice shenanigan.  Peggy Venable deleted all the post and blocked many of us. Some of the things we posted are below.

PEGGY VENABLE

 

nickii truesdall

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PLAIN UMBRELLA

 

 

It is with much regret that the Texas Home School Coalition is no longer looking out for Texas homeschoolers now or those in the future when it comes to government infringement. We value our liberty and freedom in educating our children as see fit.

 

THSC has lost their way.

 

 

 

 

 

Mayes Middleton/Empower Texans  Money Flow Chart Coming soon.

 

If you are interesting in who is funding your state rep or senator check out the following links.

 

This is an easy one. Type in their name and click funding on the right.

https://votesmart.org/education/campaign-finances#.WKdFMX_cDIY

 

If there funding is not listed you  can go to the Texas Ethics Commission and see all their contribution and expenditures. It is just a more time consuming. If you will go to the link on the left titled Search Campaign Finance and Lobbying Reports. You will click Campaign Finance once again and do the simple form. Enter their last/first name and your good to go. If you have trouble navigating your way through their call their office. They have always been more than willing to help.

https://www.ethics.state.tx.us/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Conservative Parent’s Thoughts on School Choice

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This is a very long, but very important post. I hope you will read and consider it as our current legislative session rolls forward. Yes I wrote it.

Most of you know my political leanings. I’m not shy about sharing them. Most of you are shocked when you hear me say I am against school choice. I want to first say that this is a political issue only because it has been made one. In reality, it is a family issue, a parent issue, and most importantly a child issue. That is what matters and it matters far more than politics.

In it’s current form – or at least the form that is being bantered about in Texas in recent days, ESA (or voucher) funds would be used to provide money to charter schools, private schools and even some homeschoolers. These funds would be derived from public money – your tax dollars. There is, theoretically, a limited amount of tax dollars available to entities for the public good. ie: hospital districts, school districts etc. They operate under budgets constrained by the amount of tax money they have available to them.

Some people want to divvy these funds up, taking them away from public schools and redistribute them to private entities for the purpose of educating kids. On the surface this sounds like a phenomenal idea. Maybe some underprivileged kids could go to private schools. Maybe we can have great charter schools in our communities that will do a better job than the public schools. And even homeschoolers could afford to spend more on curriculum and online education, or hire private teachers with that money. Admittedly there are some low performing public schools, so privatizing schools will force them to compete for students, thereby shutting down the bad schools, and providing alternatives. Please bear with me here, I really want you to understand why so many think this is a great idea. It all sounds wonderful.

Before we go on – please name any instance in history where acceptance of money from the government (dug directly out of taxpayer’s pockets) has not been accompanied with strings or conditions. It does not exist. There is no free government money without restrictions, rules or regulations. Even the money you overpay to the IRS has some condition attached in that you must file a return to get it back. They don’t just hand it back willingly.

Let’s talk about charter schools first. There are some great charter schools. Now suppose that those charters will accept vouchers or ESA funds. Now they are subject to additional rules, regulations and restrictions. What might those strings look like? Limits on curriculum choices for one. Subjecting of charter students to whatever standardized testing the government deems best, and a school grading/rating system for another. STAAR. Sound familiar yet? Salary caps on teachers, excess administrative personnel. Charter schools – even the best charters with the greatest of intentions – would soon start to be just like the public schools we already have. If you love your charter school, you do not want school choice. You want it left alone. So now charter schools have rapidly narrowing profit margins. Eventually charters will begin to go belly up, as regulations increase overhead and decrease profit margins. How will that benefit our kids, or education or the public at large? And how will it benefit the taxpayers who are funding all of this? Are we to bail out these private entities with more tax dollars?

Private schools will not be left out of the red tape either. They don’t have to take the ESA funds – at least not now. EEOC, ACLU, et al will likely come into play at some point, how could they not? The funds are government funds after all. Someone is bound to deem themselves slighted. You have chosen a private school in keeping with your families religious or cultural beliefs. You have paid dearly in tuition and fees, it would be great to have some help with that. But now your carefully chosen private school will be limited to certain curriculums, chosen by the government of course. Add STAAR testing or some iteration of it to that formula. And now what of the separation of state and religion? Here we go again. Furthermore, what family who can’t afford a $16,000 a year private school can now afford it on $3000.00 to $4800.00 in voucher or ESA funds?

Homeschool? Many families do it successfully if not exceptionally well. The Texas State Homeschool Association won’t tell you this as they jump through the hoops of school “choice”, but homeschool families do NOT want government controls, interference or regulation. And the majority of them don’t want voucher or ESA funds either. The tax money paid into schools that they don’t use is frequently thought of as “just leave me alone” money. They don’t have it back now, they don’t want it back later. They simply want to be left alone to keep doing what they are doing. They do not want the state’s involvement and resultant oversight of home education. They do not want any infringement upon a child’s right to learn in a way that works for THAT child. They don’t want anyone to step on their rights to teach their kids whatever they darn well please, without the interference of entities who have no real interest in their kids or families. Furthermore, is 4k in voucher funds the deal breaker in being able to not work so you can homeschool? There are many families who do both successfully.

So lets say this all passes, and that the ESA or voucher system is a great success. We have kids learning great things in charter schools and private schools, homeschool families are scoring great on those tests. Are those charter and private and home schools required to provide special education services? If so, to what percentage of their students? At what cost? Who bears the additional cost? What if the charter (and only) school close to you can’t provide the special education services your child needs? What if the nearest one that can, is 48 miles away? Rationing special education services worked well for kids in Houston, no? So many great charters though. Specialized schools like Winston or Shelton school are only 20k a year – give or take a few thousand. Well there are so many great charter schools that your local public elementary school is now down to 72 students on campus. All in special education programs. Mainstreamed. Like a boss.

If you have not figured it out by now, I am pretty straight forward about it. I am a very conservative leaning libertarian for the most part. That means I want less government involvement in my life wherever I can get it. I find it absurd that our Republican representatives are making this a hill to die on. What part of being a true conservative involves redistributing our money and turning it into other people’s money in a card game? I am still trying to figure that one out. It has the very smelly appearance of a sham that results in the hiding or transfer of tax dollars under the tables of private entities without transparency or accountability.

Why do I care about public schools? If I am so libertarian, why do I care at all about public education? Why should the state even be allowed to educate kids at all? Less government, right? So let’s say the entire public education system – including current charters and public schools, shut down tomorrow. Would people just stop educating their children? There would be some period of chaos and confusion. Some kids would fall through the cracks for certain. But at some point, communities would work together to come up with their own solutions. It would happen. Eventually. How does that serve our kids now though? Oh – and does that mean they will then give us back our tax money? They will. Right?

I can go all the way to the conspiracy theories – Bill Gates, Pearson and the rest. It’s a conspiracy to make society obedient, dumb, dependent blah blah blah. Honestly, if we allow school choice to weasel its way in, in the way it appears to be planned, none of that will matter. What will matter is the absolute and total loss of parental input into the education of our children. Our school rating system and STAAR testing is already a glaring case of the emperor’s new clothes. Parents are beginning to remember THEY have control of their kids – they are waking up. It appears at this point however many of our legislators are resolutely and deliberately blind to these issues. They are doing a great job of creating the biggest elephant in a room I have ever seen. They are choosing instead to focus on the diversion of school “choice” instead of focusing on fixing the things that are actually wrong with our public schools. And data collection on our kids, social emotional learning… I could write an entire OTHER diatribe on these issues but they aren’t what we need to address right now. By pouring the concrete foundation first, those things get eliminated on their own, for lack of merit.

School choice is a misnomer because it is not choice at all – it is more control and intrusion in schools, it is the definancing and debasing of the public school system. It is the dumbing down of the kids in our society who most need to NOT be dumbed down. It is the overarching infiltration, like a cancer, of common core and agendaized education. There is nothing Grassroots about this school choice movement, don’t be fooled. It is being heavily funded by the entities who have a stake in getting their hands on your tax money – YOUR KIDS education money. I don’t know of any better way to say it than that. And for those who are proponents of this “free market” school “choice” solution – how is anything that the government or tax dollars is involved in, a free market, ever?

If you know me, you also know that I don’t mind speaking up about a problem, call it griping if you will. If I gripe about a problem, I also like to propose solutions. So let’s think about this. What could be the fallout if we did the following instead?

– Find a way for public schools within a district and neighboring districts, to compete against each other based on types of curriculum, innovative course offerings, sports or other activities limited to this school or that school. (Does every high school need a drama department?) and gasp – yes – even test scores and graduation rates. A real, validated, proven and experienced test like the IOWA test – not STAAR.

– Do away with federal funding in Texas schools. It is 9% of the budget. It is 100% handcuffs.

– Do away with most standardized testing – this would eliminate the need for the federal handcuff money

– LET TEACHERS TEACH. Teachers are the trained and experienced experts in this equation. Administrators and self-important small time politicians are not. Great teachers do not need a standardized test to know where their students are and what they need – this is even more true when you have smaller classes

– Privatize extracurricular activities and sports. Seems the YMCA and the local leagues are pretty good at that. Let’s let them do it. We don’t really need more coaches or million-dollar football stadiums. We need more teachers. Let’s get our priorities straight. Sell bonds to pay for those things if the place you live desires to do it. But the schools and taxpayers don’t need to fund the rest of the infrastructure and equipment. Not every sport needs to be select or elite either. What happened to fun? Teamwork? Camaraderie?

– Cut down class sizes. Send early elementary kids to class for half a day instead of all day so there can be classes of 10 or 12 kids instead of 22? Or 28, or… 30? In any case, the schools should be focused on education, not on providing taxpayer funded daycare. Schedule high school classes like college classes. There can still be afterschool care programs for parents who work, but kids should have time to be kids. More recess, fewer worksheets.

– Toss the TEA out on it’s ear. defund it, unlegislate it, sundown it, whatever it takes. Leave school districts alone to choose their curriculum and manage their affairs. After all, if they have to compete with bordering or neighboring districts, they will find a way to perform and be cost effective about it. They won’t survive if they don’t. Understandably, some will need some help to do so, and there should be a way to do that, but there should not be endless funding of nepotism, corruption or negligence. A little more stand and deliver, on all levels, a little less pomp, would go a long way towards improving the real foundations of our public schools.

– On the stand and deliver note – give teachers the tools, resources and backing they need to be THAT kind of teacher. There are a lot of them out there. It is the reason why they teach. They can’t be THAT teacher when their hands are tied and test scores are being held over their heads.

In Texas – we already have school choice. We can charter, public, private or home school without anybody telling us which of them we are required to do, and we can currently do it without a lot of government interference. The current public school system has been strangled by over regulation and the handing over of tax money to corporations who provide NO benefit to kids or education. Why do we want MORE of that? Without school “choice”, charters can be free to do what they do, private schools can carry on in private, and homeschoolers can do as they please. Parents can choose for their children whatever they think best. That is true choice. I don’t stand for “School Choice”. I stand for freedom.

PS. I am not a teacher or school administrator, I am a nurse practitioner and I am not employed in education. I am a mother of 5 kids, 4 of whom went to public schools and 1 of whom is home schooled. I have 2 grandchildren in public schools. My interest is personal, not political.

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TEXAS HOME SCHOOL COALITION FLIP FLOPS ON STUDENT TESTING

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FLIP FLOP

In April 2005 Tim Lambert president of the Texas Home School Coalition was contacted by homeschool mother, Kim Hartman with concerns that the passsing of UIL legislation had negative effects on Texas Home School Freedom through testing.  Mr. Lambert responded and assured Mrs. Hartman that there would not be any testing requirement and that they the Texas Home School Coalition would work in killing any such legislation. Unfortunately the Texas Home School Coalition has taken a political flip flop position regarding policy.  The organization has shifted away from protecting Texas Home Schoolers from state testing mandates and data collection to promoting such policies.

 

Tim Lambert’s response letter below….

 

no tebow

 

The Texas Home School Coalition fought unsuccessfully during the 2015 legislative session to pass HB 347 referred to as the TEBOW bill that would require homeschooled students participating in UIL to adhere to state testing. Along with state testing comes Data Collection. Most are not aware of the Texas Student Data System that collects an enormous amount of data on all Texas public school children. This data is available to 3rd parties and is worth big bucks.

Again this past week on January 26th, a Tebow was filed by Texas Senator Van Taylor  SB 640 and the house version was filed by Rep James Frank HB 1323. Once again we now have legislation filed and if passed placing Texas Home School Students under state testing mandates and data collection of home school students for those that choose to participate in UIL. This is a slippery slope to reigning in Texas Home School Students. It is quite unfortunate that Texas Home School Coalition has lost their way.

The home school grassroots are working in forming another group, TEXANS FOR HOME SCHOOL FREEDOM.

Here is their website

Join the Facebook group page…..TEXANS FOR HOMESCHOOL FREEDOM.

follow on Twitter

 

Photo below from Taylor’s SB 640. tebow testing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below Tim Lambert equates College Placement testing with State Mandated testing of public school students. Seriously?

 

 

Please call your Texas Senators Representatives and tell them to vote NO on the TEBOW bill.

WHO IS MY TEXAS REP?

 

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Does Texas Need School Choice?

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by Texas Science Author and Educator, Janice VanCleave

momTexas parents have the right to select educational opportunities other than public school for their children NOW!!

In Texas, under current state legislation:

1. Parents can freely choose to take their children out of public school. If their local public school has a below average state rating, at no expense to parents, their children can be bused to other local schools with higher ratings.

2. Parents can freely choose to homeschool or send their children to private schools or to a public charter school.

So why does Texas need a School Choice Program?

The proposed Texas School Choice Program Offers one thing: MONEY
Yes, School Choice is all about money. Education Saving Account, ESA, is the name of the funding states are offering parents to remove their children from public schools.

Government money always has strings, and the amount of strings attached to ESA funding could be woven into large elaborate macrame tapestries.

Some some of these strings include how parents spend ESA funding. The state sets guidelines about the educational curriculum that can be used. In fact, the state dictates the curriculum choices. Also, ESA funding may only be used pay fees to approved private schools.

Yes, there is lots of paper work that parents will have to provide to prove the ESA funding is being used properly. For example, while the money can be used for transportation, the total amount per year allowed is set by the state. Parents will have to provide copies of maps showing the path from start to finish for each trip. ETC…ETC…..Receipts–you bet.

Monkey looks confused.mom

So why does Texas need a School Choice Program?

Texas legislatures say that parents of students in poor communities do not have the funding to homeschool or to send their children to private schools. Thus, the children of these parents must continue to attend public schools that do not offer a diverse quality education for their children. (FYI: This is because the Texas Education Association, TEA, has dictated that all public schools prepare every child for college.)

Make note that ESA funds cannot be used to send children to charter schools. This is because the state considers charter schools as public schools.

 

So why does Texas need a School Choice Program?

ESA funds will first go to low income parents with children having any type of disability, learning or physical. Other parents will receive less ESA funding. Texas legislatures contend that a School Choice Program will improve the education Monkey looks confused.of all Texas children. Parents who take ESA funding will be able to take their children out of public schools and some how the children left in public schools will receive a better education. No, I do not understand how this proposed miracle solution to improving Texas education is suppose to happen. Unless, our state legislatures promote school choice so fewer students with learning disabilities will be taking STAAR tests. Generally, these students make lower scores on these tests, which bring down the average of school districts. If this is the plan, School Choice will not improve the education of students, instead it will improve school STAAR test averages.

Why will only children in public schools take STAAR tests? Children receiving ESA funds will not be required to take the STAAR test? So, how can legislature claim that these children will be receiving a quality education?

So why does Texas need a School Choice Program?

Children who are now being homeschooled or are in private schools may not receive ESA funding. To be qualified they must enroll in their local public school for no less than 100 days.

Think about it: The School Choice program is being set up so that parents can remove their children from public schools that are not providing a high standard of education for students. Yet, to be qualified to receive School Choice ESA funding, children must first attend one of the less than adequate pubic school for 100 days. Why? Is it for data collection on all children in the US?

 

For Homeschoolers ……..

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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PROPOSED A-F ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM

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afaccountabilityslide1

An editorial opinion by A. Patrick Huff, Ph.D.:

This past week the Texas Education Agency took the school accountability system to a new low, releasing a “what if” letter grade tabulation for each school and school district in the state of Texas.  This report has sent shock waves across virtually every public school district in the state.  The report was a “what if” because the letter grades are not official.  It was only released to let all the public school officials, teachers, parents and students know what their school and school district would receive if the official results were released this year.  The letter grades are based on the 2015-2016 school report card and other factors.  I say other factors because to figure out all the other factors and understand them, you could be eligible to work at mission control in NASA.  Yes, it is that complicated.  I have looked at the formulas and, trust me, I feel pretty stupid right about now.  I’m not going to bore you with the details of how each grade was determined in this article, but I am going to try and make sense of it (or nonsense).

Here is a little background to bring everyone up to speed on what all of this means.  To begin with, Texas did not invent the A-F system.  The first state to use it was Florida, under Governor Jeb Bush.  It is now in at least 15 states.  In early 2016 the Texas Legislature under House Bill 2804, established guidelines for a new state education assessment and accountability system.  The purpose of the new program was to conform to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that had previously been passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Obama in December of 2015.  HB 2804 also established a commission to review the bill and make recommendations before anything became official.  This review board was called The Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessment and Accountability.  They met in Austin seven times with each meeting dedicated to hearing from “experts” in the field testifying about what the research and practices demonstrate about each phase of the bill’s mandates.  At some of these meetings the Commission allowed public testimony.  I went to Austin and testified in one of these meetings so I got a first hand look at how it operated.  Here is the TEA website where you can read about the Commission and pull up the Commission’s Final Report to the Governor:  http://tea.texas.gov/2804Commission.aspx

In the Commission report is the recommendation to approve what had already been written in HB 2804 regarding using an A-F grading format for schools and school districts.  Consider the language used in the Commission Draft Report under Long Term Vision, item 6, page 10.

6. Align the state accountability system with ESSA requirements.  Align the state    and federal accountability systems to ensure that the results are consistent and      share common goals. When the federal regulations regarding ESSA are released    in fall 2016, Texas will be able to use the guidance provided by the  specific federal regulations as it develops the A–F accountability system. An A–F accountability system to identify underperforming schools in Texas is scheduled to be implemented in the 2017–2018 school year  (Texas Education Agency, Next Generation Assessment Accountability, 2016, p. 10).

To note the importance of the first sentence is to state the obviously ridiculous.  The move to change the accountability system for schools and school districts to an A-F format is a federal requirement.  Once again, as I have stated time and time again, Texas is but a mini-federal U.S. Department of Education.  This is why we cannot seem to get away from doing what the federal government wants us to do when it comes to education policy.  The loss of all sovereignty occurred when each state came under the federal waiver to get out from under impossible mandates of No Child Left Behind.  Texas applied for and received their waiver in 2013.  Here is the link where you can read the entire waiver request if you so desire.  file://localhost/Users/huff_fitness/Downloads/TEA_Final_ESEA_Waiver_091613 (2).pdf

(You may get a warning on this website since it comes from my documents.  Don’t worry, it is safe to open).

If you are interested in how we moved from No Child Left Behind into ESSA and some how fell under Common Core, even though the Texas Legislature passed a law saying we would never come under Common Core, it’s all in this waiver application.  Please note, College and Career Ready Standards are the Common Core Standards.  Also in this application is where schools fell under Priority and Focus categories.  The federal Annual Measureable Objectives (updated Adequate Yearly Progress) is also in this waiver request.

Let me now turn your attention to the most important part of this article.  Superintendents across the state are decrying the issuance of the A-F ratings.  Rightfully so, I might add, they are putting out memorandums and videos that denounce these ratings and point to the unfairness of reducing a schools overall worth to a letter grade.  Yes, it’s true, a school cannot be judged based on the outcomes of a standardized test given once a year.  Here, though, is the issue. Where have the superintendents been on the outcry?  This has been going on since the early 90’s and with more high stakes involved since 2002 with the passage of No Child Left Behind.  Schools cannot be judged as Exemplary, Recognized, Acceptable, Met Standard, Unacceptable, or Needs Improvement based upon the yearly given standardized test.  It is a flawed policy and it increasingly affects schools negatively who have high percentages of low socio-economic students.  It discriminates with sanctions and endless shaming of the students, the teachers, the administration, the parents and the community where the school is located.  It is unacceptable that this horrid accountability system continues.  Now with the A-F system the lobbyist controlled congress (both state and federal) implements their latest in a long series of heavy handed tactics to demonstrate their disdain for the education system.  I mention lobbyist because education is an industry that makes billions of dollars every year off the backs of our children, and more specifically, by off the backs of our children in Title One schools.  Everyone knows this, everyone discusses this issue; but nothing gets done.  Our students are but guinea pigs forced to swallow the latest magic bullet curriculum program that the school district purchases for thousands of dollars.  I mention disdain by the legislators because I have been in the committee meetings, and I have testified before both the Texas House and the Texas Senate Education Committees only to be told my time is up and thank you very much.  Senator Larry Taylor did allow me more than the customary three minutes to speak, but my recommendations fell on deaf ears, just as every recommendation that came from a public speaker.  The only recommendations that were followed were those that came from the invited speakers, many of which came from the corporate sector.  The Education Committees in both houses of congress and the State Board of Education in Texas feel as though it is their duty to save public education.  The Lt. Governor and Governor feel the same.  To them, teachers can’t be trusted to teach the students.  Principals can’t be trusted to lead and manage.  Superintendents can’t be trusted to organize and implement the best, most trusted method of instruction.  No, it is the state and federal governments, the lobbyist, and the corporations that must be in charge of teaching our students.  After all, as Senator Taylor said to me when I testified to his committee, before the legislators took control students were graduating that could not read.  There was a crisis in the nation.  The government had to step in and take control.  I told him that students are still graduating that can’t read.  We don’t like it, every teacher is working to keep that from happening, but that is what happens in a free and democratic society.  A student can choose to fail if they so choose.  We don’t like it, but it is always going to be that way in a free and democratic society.  We have been under this system of accountability for going on three decades and what do we have?  We have a failed system where the controllers have their boot on the throat of every teacher, principal and superintendent and the pressure is increasing with each new phase of the accountability system.

So now we have the A-F system of school accountability.  Let me give you some examples of how some school districts did around the state.  The grading system of schools is broken down into four domains.  There will be a fifth added next year, but for now we will just discuss the four.  They are broken down as:

Domain I:    Student Achievement (how all the students performed on the STAAR test)

Domain II:   Student Progress (evaluating student progress in 10 student subgroup         categories, broken down into 7 ethnic groups, Special Education,  and English Language Learners, and their progress from the previous year’s results).

Domain III:  All tests from all grades results in the economically disadvantaged student       population only (These scores are compared with those from the previous  year and judged by improvement or regression).

Domain IV:  Post-Secondary Readiness (Elementary evaluated on absentee rate.

Middle Schools evaluated on absentee rate and dropout rate.

High Schools graded on a number of indicators, including absentee rate,       graduation rate, dropout rate, career and tech programs offered, AP and IB   courses offered, and a few other indicators).

Of course this is a simplified version and no mathematical statistical formulas are given to determine the outcome, so keep that in mind as I run down these results.  Keep in mind, also, that these results in no way indicate the worth or value of the education the students are receiving in these school districts.  Any comparison needs to be made with the understanding that the district with the most challenges have the most difficulty with this very flawed system that needs to be eliminated.

SCHOOL DISTRICT  DOMAIN I  DOMAIN II  DOMAIN III DOMAIN IV
ALDINE ISD D D B C
AMARILLO ISD C C B F
ARLINGTON C B B D
AUSTIN ISD B B C D
BEAUMONT ISD D C D D
BROWNSVILLE ISD C A A C
CONROE ISD B A B C
CY-FAIR B A B C
DALLAS ISD D B B B
EL PASO C B B D
FORT BEND B A C D
HIGHLAND PARK A A C
HOUSTON ISD C B B D
KLEIN ISD B B C C
LEWISVILLE ISD B B D C
MAGNOLIA ISD B C D D
PORT ARTHUR F C D D
ROUND ROCK A A C C
SAN ANTONIO F C D F
SPRING ISD D C D C
SPRING BRANCH B B D C
TOMBALL ISD A A B C

I hope that I have represented each district’s scores accurately.  My apologies if there are any errors.

Of course, this list is very brief and only represents a small portion of the school districts in the state.  They are, however, all large school districts with the exception of Highland Park.  Highland Park was included in this list simply to point out the disparity of the system.  This is not a slam against Highland Park.  They are a very good school district.  They do, however, have zero economically disadvantaged students.  At least none show up on the school report card.  This is why they did not receive a score in Domain III.  Highland Park received a “C” in Domain IV only because they went down in their Post Secondary Readiness Index from 96 in 2015 to 92 in 2016.  The score of 92 in Domain IV is an excellent score, but because Highland Park went down from a score of 96 in 2015 (the target score for Domain IV is 57 for high schools), they were shamed with a grade of “C”.  So, the public assumes Highland Park is just average in Domain IV, yet they had a very high score of 92.

Looking at the list provided in this article, I’m sure, makes you scratch your head and wonder how a district received the grade it did in each of the domains.  Some of the grades you can understand and others you can’t figure out how the grade could be what it is.  Due to the ramifications that go along with a letter grade, and the impressions it makes in the eyes of the public, you can see why the school officials are yelling from the rooftops that this is an unfair system and in no way reflects their districts quality and worth.  Yet it has been this way from the beginning of the Accountability System.  Those of you who have followed my articles and read my book, The Takeover of Public Education in America: The Agenda to Control Information and Knowledge Through the Accountability System, know that the central theme I keep repeating is the unjust nature and discriminatory practice the accountability system is for the entire nation, not just Texas.  But Texas is my state, so I concentrate on Texas, where I live and work.

Superintendents of the great State of Texas, I put this situation in your hands.  I think this is personal to you now.  Before, the old system of “met standards” or “needs improvement” didn’t quite have the sting of a letter grade.  Everyone identifies with a letter grade.  The Congress of Texas thinks this will motivate everyone directly involved with student testing outcomes to improve.  What Congress doesn’t realize is that school officials and teachers have been doing everything in their power to get the scores up, yet with little effect.  This is because no matter what program is brought in, or what guru is provided to help teachers teach better, the same demographic factors are almost impossible to overcome.  This, also, has nothing to do with ethnicity.  Nothing!  The schools success rises or falls with the percentages of students in Eco-Disadvantaged, English Language Learners, and the Mobility Rate for the school and school district.  The Mobility Rate indicates the number of students that arrive after school begins and/or leaves before the school year ends.

Superintendents, I call on you to organize.  Organize not around TASA.  In my opinion, The Texas Association of School Administrators has not served you well.  They have kept you in the status quo.  You must have an independent voice in order to get the attention of the state legislators.  Yes, the federal government wants this A-F system, but they have also said they want states to have more autonomy in determining their accountability systems.  Use this as your leverage point.  Apart from the parents of the state, whom the legislators have already demonstrated they do not listen to, the superintendents of the state are the only hope for reversing the A-F grading system, and the entire accountability system.  The whole system is flawed to its core and needs to be eliminated.  Let’s all come together and speak in one voice to eliminate the A-F grading system first, then the entire accountability system.

Dr. Patrick Huff is the author of “The Takeover of Public Education in America: The Agenda to Control Information and Knowledge Through the Accountability System”, 2015. The book can be found at http://www.aphuff.com.  Dr. Huff is a retired middle and high school principal with 34 years in the public education profession. He currently works as an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas in Houston.  He lives with his wife, Connie, of 35 years in Tomball, Texas and can be reached at aphuff51@gmail.com

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Texas Legislator are you Complicit?

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LT GOV DAN PATRICK THROWS TX HOME SCHOOLERS UNDER THE BUS!

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UPDATE: SENATOR LARRY TAYLOR HAS FILED SCHOOL CHOICE SB 3. PUBLIC HEARING SCHEDULED IN AUSTIN, TUESDAY, MARCH 21 9am ROOM E1:028

Unfortunately our “supposedly” conservative Texas Lt Governor Dan Patrick and many of our Texas Senators and Representatives are throwing the future generation of Texas Home School families under the bus.  For months now Lt Gov Dan Patrick and other senators and representatives have been making their rounds across the state in hopes of selling their legislative priority of “School Choice” which will ultimately change the landscape of home schooling in Texas.  Though the words “School Choice” sound great please do not be deceived. This “School Choice” initiative should alarm any freedom loving home school family.

 

dan-patrick

Texas Lt Gov Dan Patrick

The proposed Legislation that has yet to be filed intends to set up a State Funded Education Savings Account (ESA) for any student approved. NOTE: This is not you saving your own money like a Health Savings Account. This is the state funding quarterly an undetermined dollar amount to your (ESA) account. This money can be used to attend private school, purchase “STATE APPROVED” curriculum, classes, computers, etc, etc.

 

WHY HOME SCHOOL FAMILIES NEED TO BE CONCERNED

 

  1. With state funds comes govt control and STRINGS with yearly mandated state or norm reference testing. “What if they fail the test are they still eligible for funding”?
  2. ***With testing comes the Data Mining of your child. For those unaware there is a TEXAS STUDENT LONGITUDINAL DATA SYSTEM where public school students personal information is stored and available to 3rd parties. Billions of dollars have been spent from the federal level in collecting student data across the US. Most parents are unaware of this un-nerving fact. Due to a change in the FERPA law there is no longer student privacy.
  3. The funds can only be used to purchase state approved material. Will we able to continue to purchase Christian material in educating our children? If “yes” how long will that last? BELIEVE ME THE LIBERAL ACLU WILL BE ALL OVER THIS!                                                                                                                                                                                                 
  4. NOTE:  In 2011 the state passed SB 6 allowing School Districts to purchase any curriculum they wanted being text books, online learning, etc WITHOUT STATE APPROVAL.  With THE SCHOOL CHOICE program you can only purchase  TEACHING MATERIAL FROM STATE APPROVED VENDORS. Who are these approved vendors and who is approving them?
  5. Current home school or private school students will not be eligible to apply for the program. Students would have to enroll and attend public school for and undetermined amount of days prior to being eligible for the funds. A child has to be in the system one year prior to being qualified for the program (They have to get you into their student data system first.) Remember this is DATA. DATA DATA DATA!   EX: If you are a current homeschooler and you have a 2nd & 3rd grader they would not be able to receive funding. You have to put them back in the public school system for one year to be qualified. Now if you have a child entering K or 1st grade they would qualified.
  6. ESA accounts will be audited annually (randomly) by a State office to review the “educational expenses” parents pay for with the account in an effort to prevent fraud and abuse. (talk about up front and in your business)

 

Just a few thoughts.

  1. This is just another Socialist liberal wealth redistribution plan under the disguise of “School Choice” More SOCIALISM.
  2. Many of the same state legislators  that have our public schools in shambles today are now pushing school choice. Check out this blog about Senator Larry Taylor who chairs the Texas Senate Education Committee and the role he has played in Texas Education. He did read my blog and left the following comment for me. I did ask hoping he would respond why was my post  considered a conspiracy and that he thought I created in my own mind. I have yet to receive a response. larry-taylor-school-choice
  3. Our legislators have been spending months with paid lobbyist promoting this agenda. Seems to me they are more concerned with funding their pockets and not with their constituents.
  4. You will hear repeatedly the verbiage “This will EMPOWER THE PARENTS to become more involved in their child’s education. I don’t know about you but I was empowered to pull my kids out of the public school without state $$$. Parents who are going to be involved in their child’s education do not need state funds to empower them.

 

 

A MUST SEE… THE REAL GOALS OF SCHOOL CHOICE!!

 

Action Needed

 

  1. Find out who your local Senators and House Reps are and tell them NO to School Choice. Here is a link to find out who they are. http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.asp
  2. Call Lt Governor Dan Patrick’s office @  (512) 463-0001   EMAI: @ LTGConstituent.Affairs@ltgov.state.tx.us
  3. Join this facebook group TEXAS FOR HOMESCHOOL FREEDOM.
  4. I will talk about this more later but I have been very unhappy with the position that Texas Home School Coalition has taken on this initiative. They have come out supporting it and have censored those of us that do not agree by blocking us on their facebook page. I personally left a message for Tim Lambert and have yet to hear from him. I finally called and asked them to refund my membership money which they did. Call and let them know your concerns as well. Ph# (806) 744-4441
  5. Educate your friends and family as to what is taking place.

 

 

UPDATE 1/25/17

I attended the school choice rally in Austin yesterday (Tuesday). I stood there in shock as our Texas Lt.Governor Dan Patrick proclaimed to all these children mostly minorities that “You have to be rich to have school choice” (see video below).  Wow. Did he go to Bernie Sanders Training classes? And we wonder why the younger generation today has the give me mentality that the government owes them everything.

 

 

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Common Core Math In Texas?

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COMMON CORE MATH IN TEXAS? WHY TEXAS SCHOOLS SHOULD NOT USE CENTRALIZED GOVERNMENT CONTROL

Part 1 of the Series: Common Core Math War Rages in Texas

By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D.     

Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – In 2012 the Texas State Board of Education approved new math curriculum standards.  Since then, chaos has erupted over these standards.

Randy Houchins and John Pendergraff, two mechanical engineers with children in Texas public schools, are very adamant that the Common Core process standards have managed to creep into their children’s math materials and STAAR tests.

Since Common Core is illegal in Texas, how could this happen? 

And why shouldn’t Texas schools use Common Core math if they prefer?  This series seeks an answer to these questions.

One of the national experts for the Texas math curriculum standards review was Dr. James Milgram, who has been highly critical of Common Core math.   Milgram, professor of mathematics emeritus, Stanford University who was a member of Common Core’s Validation Committee and the only content expert in mathematics for the standards, refused to approve the standards.

Core Math Standards, according to Milgram, have very low expectations.

Milgram compares U.S. requirements with those in high achieving countries where students study Algebra I and the first semester of Geometry in Grades 6, 7 or 8 and by Grade 9 will have completed much of our Algebra II content and Geometry at a more sophisticated level than U.S. students.  Students from high achieving countries are expected to complete a standard Calculus course to graduate from high school with over 90% of the populations typically being high school graduates.

By the end of 7th Grade, Core Standards are roughly two years behind.  Common Core math includes “most — but not all — of Algebra I and about 50% of regular Algebra II, as well a ‘strange’ Geometry course,” says Milgram.

Milgram notes that Calculus is required for most critical areas such as engineering, medicine, computer science, economics and the sciences.  (Milgram & Stotsky, “Lowering the Bar:  How Common Core Math Fails to Prepare High School Students for STEM,”)

Professor Jason Zimba, lead writer of Common Core’s mathematics standards, has admitted that Common Core prepares students only for a two-year college. When asked whether Common Core prepares students for a STEM career, Zimba replied, “Not only not for STEM, it’s also not for selective colleges.” (Emphasis added)

Why did writers of Common Core Math decide only Algebra I is essential?

The answer to this question lies buried in the history of the birthing of Common Core – which is linked directly to Hillary Clinton.

In 1989, the National Center for Education and the Economy formed a commission under the U.S. Department of Labor.  The NCEE is a highly connected “nonprofit” with a role akin to that of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s funding of Common Core.

Along with other key players, the commission included Hillary Rodham Clinton, NCEE leader Marc Tucker, Michael Cohen (key in Clinton’s Goals 2000 and later Common Core), and HillaryCore architect, Ira Magaziner.

On November 11, 1991, Marc Tucker sent the famous “Dear Hillary” letter, laying out a master plan for the Clinton administration to seize the entire U.S. educational system to serve national economic planning of the workforce.

Tucker’s plan is “to remold the entire American system” into “a seamless web that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same system for everyone,” coordinated by “a system of labor market boards at the local, state and federal levels” where curriculum and “job matching” will be handled by counselors “accessing the integrated computer-based program.”

This ambitious plan does not address teaching children how to read, write, or calculate.  Instead, public schools will change from teaching academic basics and knowledge to training for the global economy in jobs selected by workforce boards – training for American collectivism.

Tucker told Hillary that “radical changes in attitudes, values, and beliefs are required.” He said the way to overcome this resistance was “consensus building” among governors and Congress.  

It was this same game plan, along with many of the same people and organizations, of Common Core.

Tucker’s comprehensive plan was implemented in three laws signed by President Bill Clinton in 1994:

1.     The Goals 2000 Act

2.     The School-to-Work Act, and

3.     The Reauthorized Elementary & Secondary Education Act.

These three laws create the following mechanisms to restructure public schools:

·         All elected officials on school boards and in state legislatures would be bypassed by making federal funds flow to the Governor and his appointees on workforce development boards.

·          

·         A computer database, a.k.a. “a labor market information system,” would be established so school personnel could compile and track personal information for each student and his family from birth or preschool onward, identified by the child’s social security number: academic, medical, mental, psychological, behavioral, and interrogations by counselors. The school, the government, and future employers would have access to the computerized data.

·          

·         Centralized government control would come through “national standards” and “national testing” that take over tests, assessments, school honors and rewards, financial aid, and the Certificate of Initial Mastery (CIM), designed to replace the high school diploma.

Tucker’s plan uses the German system which trains children for specific jobs to serve the workforce and the global economy  instead of educating them to make their own choices.  Marc Tucker’s plan prepares public school students for the workforce only – our “worker bees.”

This education structure that Hillary helped to design is the forerunner of Common Core.  It was Hillary who sold the idea of national standards to Obama.  Common Core fulfills some of the education agenda that she failed to get passed.

In 2013 Marc Tucker discussed the key findings of the NCEE study about college and career readiness.  Of the students in U.S. colleges, 45 percent attend community colleges which provide not only most of the nation’s vocational education, but are also a main pathway to four-year colleges. Algebra II is not a prerequisite of community colleges so NCEE recommended that schools abandon the requirement that all high school students be required to take Algebra II.

Further, Algebra I should be delayed until Grade 10.  Of critical importance is that this delay precludes high school students being able to take Calculus. 

Also of critical importance, says Dr. Milgram, is that,

“This [NCEE] report does not consider the question of which four-year colleges will accept just one year (Algebra I) of high school math.  Virtually all the higher rated ones…require at least four years.

“The study ignores what will happen if the community college student transfers to a four-year college.”  

In my next posting, I’ll explore what happened during the math TEKS review.  Dr. Milgram, Niki Hayes, Randy Houchins and many others have candidly spoken with me about the events surrounding this curriculum review and how things went awry.

Follow Carole Hornsby Haynes at www.drcarolehhaynes.com

 

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Is “School Choice” a Scam?

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Senator Larry Taylor is making his rounds across the great state of Texas promoting
“School Choice”. Sounds terrific doesn’t it? So did the “Affordable Care Act”. What parents would not want choices when it comes to schooling their children.  In reality parents have the choices today to educate their children however they wish, they just do not receive tax dollars for doing so. Can that be good?  Well it depends on how much your want the government entrenched in your daily affairs. To be honest I don’t know of one government handout that if strings are not attached initially they will be eventually.

money-carrot

 

Is this another government trick of hanging out the money carrot to rein in those that are not accountable to the government now? For example those homeschooling or those in private schools?

I will cover the financial aspect of this at another time.

What is confusing is the agenda of supposed”Conservative” school choice advocate,  Texas Senator Taylor. Taylor who sits on the Texas Commission on Next Generation of Assessment of Accountability just called for the State of Texas to align its student accountability standards with that of the Federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The ESSA steers away for academics to implementing, testing and data mining your children on Social Emotional Learning (SEL). What could be his motive. Does he really have the students best interest at heart here? Does he care that our Texas public schools are abusing the children with the social, emotional crap. Has he proposed any legislation to fix any of it? Getting rid of the TEXAS ASSOCIATION of SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS (TASA) and TEXAS ASSOCIATION of SCHOOL BOARDS (TASB) and their progressive, liberal, federal agenda would be a great start.

Senator Taylor and all the other republicans in the Texas Legislation have authored and sponsored bill after bill that have our Texas Public Schools implementing progressive teaching philosophies as well as data mining our children. Now they are looking for a way out. Not so fast guys!  In reality these guys/gals have created a problem and now they are going to create another government bureaucracy to fix it?

Lord help us.

 

More about the true “School Choice” agenda.

http://www.newswithviews.com/iserbyt/iserbyt112.htm

 

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CYFAIR ISD SUPPRESSING INFORMATION

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CYFAIR ISD School Board made the decision without a board vote to remove prayer from their school board meeting and replace it with “movement of silence”.

Cyfair’s recent school board meeting was Sept 12th. The community came in protest to the board’s decision and during the moment of silence quoted the “Lords Prayer”.

 

In trying to figure out how and what prompted the school board to eliminate prayer from their meetings I then submitted a Public Information Requesting asking for the following….

“Any/All communication, emails, text messages with board, administration, communications director relating to the CYFAIR ISD SCHOOL BOARD removing the Invocation/Prayer from their school board meeting and replacing with a Moment of Silence.” 

Today I received an email from  CYFAIR ISD stating the following..

Ms. Russell, your request has been processed, however, it appears the responsive documents are required to be withheld under provisions of the TPIA addressing attorney-client privileged communications and the deliberative process privilege.  A request will be submitted to the Texas Attorney General in order to confirm.  You will be copied on the correspondence.  Once the applicability of the privileges has been determined, any responsive documents that are releasable will be provided to you. 

Thank you,

Marney Collins Sims,

General Counsel

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

My gut feeling is the TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL BOARDS (TASB) is behind it but we will find out.

I later received the following letter that was sent to the Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton.

cyfair-ag

Image result for those who deny me before men, him i also will

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Lewis Carroll Once Again Explains Texas Education Policymaking

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9/16/2016
Image result for “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?" "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to." "I don't much care where –" "Then it doesn't matter which way you go.”
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where –”
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

I am very grateful to Lewis Carroll. Every time I find myself frustrated at what seems to be inexplicable nonsense at the Texas State Capitol, I turn to Alice in Wonderland to find both answers and comfort.

This time a legislator – whose name will go unmentioned – proudly announced recently that he intends to introduce a bill to eliminate the state’s tests of students’ knowledge and skills and allow local districts to have the pick of a variety of tests from national vendors. To be fair, this legislator, who is otherwise a pretty smart fellow, acknowledges that he has some details to work out before he presents a bill.

But, still, he has me scratching my head. I realize that there are lots of folks out there who don’t like testing. But unless legislating these days amounts mostly to tickling constituents’ tummies, that’s no basis for this proposal. Further, this legislator somewhat incoherently explains his action in part as a response to the terrible administration of tests by the state’s current vendor. He seems to have forgotten that his angry constituents pushed to replace the former unpopular, but competent vendor with the current incompetent vendor.  One wonders why he doesn’t simply demand that the commissioner either get the current vendor to shape up or ship out.

No, instead, he wants to get rid of the state tests. Before this poorly conceived proposal goes much further, its serious problems and consequences should be fully considered.

First, is this plan legal under Federal law? Why get the folks all excited, waste the time of the legislature, and risk hundreds of millions of dollars in Federal aid, if it’s not? The Every Student Succeeds Act is about as clear as it can be. States have the authority to permit a variety of exams for high school testing. But, unless a state is accepted into a very small pilot program, all states must use criterion-referenced, statewide tests for grades 3-8. Suffice to say, as to the pilot, the legislator’s proposal doesn’t even come close to being eligible.

Second, has this legislator bothered to examine the innards of the state tests versus those of the national tests he’s proposing? Indeed, has the state agency ever bothered to open up its vaults to show the public all the data it has on the state tests – how they were constructed, by whom, and to what effect?

Whenever the data are examined, the public will see many interesting things. For one, the state tests are significantly more aligned to Texas’ excellent learning standards than are the other tests. Indeed, the publishers of most of the tests that would be newly eligible brag that their tests are highly aligned instead to the much-criticized Common Core standards. Does this legislator and his Republican colleagues know that? Do the Speaker, Lieutenant Governor, and the Governor?

What difference does it make that the current tests are better aligned to state standards? To begin, it makes state accountability fair and appropriate. Can you see the state trying to hold districts and schools accountable when they’re all using different measures? Further, it gives better guidance to educators in knowing that what they’re being asked to teach is closely in line with what is tested.

I appreciate the legislator’s desire to maximize local control. But the one area the state has always taken an interest in, and the area in which federal law insists it continue to, is to measure and implement consequences, on a statewide basis, for how well students are learning to state standards.

Finally, is it too much to ask that we let the crowd-pleasing issues pass by for a session and instead try to find solutions to our most serious challenges?

The state spends billions of dollars each year on educating our students, yet the trajectory of achievement in recent years has gone flat. Are our dollars being spent effectively and efficiently? Are we paying for strategies and programs that are proven to work? Are we holding the key players properly accountable? Do we prepare and support teachers with research-based strategies, and do we promote effective teachers and teaching?

I realize there are no huzzahs and social media kisses for tackling these and other tough questions that actually make a difference. But, as Lewis Carroll makes clear, which way we go only matters if we truly care where we want to go.

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CYFAIR ISD PARTNERS WITH “NATION OF ISLAM”

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This school year the CYFAIR ISD school board decided to no longer open their school board meetings with prayer. Appalling as that is it is equally appalling that they have chosen to spend taxpayer dollars on a progressive education consulting firm that are friendly with the “Nation of Islam” and its leader Louis Farrakhan who has called for the “STALKING and KILLING” of white people.

This past June Texas School District, Cyfair ISD held a progressive Education Conference titled “Leadership RRR”. The RRR stands for Rigor, Relationship and Relevance. One thing you will learn when you actually study what “educrats” are up to,  behind the scenes they will change the definitions of words to accomplish their liberal progressive agenda. “Rigor” is NOT defined in our education system today as making students study and working harder. Today “Rigor” is the diminishing of academic content and creating an education system of “Social, Emotional, Learning” (SEL) in transforming our society. Note: Rigor, Relationship, Relevance. Where is the READING WRITING and ARITHMETIC? None of the speakers or consulting firms invited to speak at this conference were to address academic content. It was all about transforming how/what students are taught.

Cyfair’s “Leadership Conference” hired an progressive consulting firm “New Frontier 21” for the June Conference. New Frontier 21 came under my radar last school year after learning the Texas (ASCD) Association of Academic Development invited them to their conference. Note: ASCD was also invited to the CYFAIR conference.

CYFAIR paid New Frontier 21 a $6,500.00 speaking fee. I also have found where CYFAIR paid them a $5,500 in 2011. OUTRAGEOUS!

New Frontier 21 is owned and operated  by Dr. Anthoney Muhammad and operated out of Dearborn, Michigan area.

cyfair-rrr

 

 

Dr. Muhammad is on friendly terms with Nation of Islam Leader, Louis Farrakhan as you will see from their business affiliations and social media behavior.

 

Anthony Muhammad

 

The photo below is from the Nation of Islam’s online newspaper, Final Call dated August 17, 2011 where Dr. Muhammad joined with Farrakhan for a speaking engagement at the Nation of Islam’s First Ministry of Education Conference.

 

 

In 2009, Dr. Muhammad joined with the Nation of Islam and the Muhammad Universities for speaking engagements in transforming education. You can read about it HERE.

 

love you bro

 

muhammad mom

 

Another consultant for Dr. Anthony Muhammad’s New Frontier 21 Consulting firm is

Shahid Muhammad.

Shahid Muhammad

 

Shahid Muhammad, often referred to as the Math Dr. joined Louis Farrahkan at the University of Islam (MUI) for speaking engagements as well. Shahid is quoted the following when asked what is Mathematics.

 

what is mathematics

You can find the full interview at …..The FINAL CALL

 

shahid

 

shahid twitter

 

shahid twitter 2

 

Dr Math Bear Witness of Farrakhan.

 

Those responsible for teaming up with the Nation of Islam agenda are the board members for.

Texas Association of Curriculum and Supervision.

 

 

ACTION ITEM!!!

 

Contact the CYFAIR ISD SUPERINTENDENT MARK HENRY AND SCHOOL BOARD AND TELL THEM THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE.

 

SCHOOL BOARD EMAIL 

 

CYFAIR ISD SCHOOL BOARD

Image result for mark henry cyfair isd

Cyfair ISD Superintendent

Mark Henry

mark.henry@cfisd.net

Phone: 281-897-4077

TOM JACKSON

hartley

CHRISTINE HARTLEY

Board Member: Darcy Mingoia

DARCY MINGOIA

Board Member: Debbie Blackshear

DEBBIE BLACKSHEAR

Ogletree

JOHN OGLETREE

DON RYAN

covey

BOB R. COVEY

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