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Texas Teachers Cloned

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cloning
Texas is Cloning Teachers
The Texas’ education system is made up of different groups that are supposed to work together. If they actually did work together, Texas would be providing the the best education in the world.

The Texas Education Service Centers are Cloning Teachers

Texas ESCs Are
Cloning Teachers

One reason the different parts of the Texas Education System do not work together is that the Commissioner of Education has allowed the different agencies to basically do their own thing.

1. The State Board of Education (SBOE) is in charge of the TEKs-state standards. There is no verification that these standards are correct. No verification that the groups writing the TEKS are qualified.
2. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is in charge of STAAR/EOC tests that are suppose to be aligned to the TEKS. TEA test writers make their own interpretation of the TEKS but do not share this with Texas educators. There is no verification that these TESTs are valid to assess students.
3. The ESCs –Education Service Centers have taken control of interpreting the TEKS and school superintendents are responsible for purchasing the ESCs TEKS interpretations. The Commissioner of Education, Michael Williams allows the 20 ESCs to govern themselves. Governor Perry chose the Railroad Commissioner, Michael Williams to be the Commissioner of Education.
The ESCs now train teachers with a minimum of five years of teaching experience to be Instruction Coaches. These Coaches are given authority to govern what teachers teach. These coaches mandate that the ESC interpretation of the TEKS, AKA Unpackaged TEKS, are used with fidelity. Meaning that not one word that is not in the TEKS may be included in lessons. These Instruction Coaches are part of the PLC program.
The diagram of people with no facial features is a good representation of the cloned teachers that the Texas Education Centers are now creating with their new PLC program.
The PLC program is not restricted to Texas. In fact it is more of a common core program that the ESCs are implementing.
Following is a teacher’s comment about working in a school with a PLC Instruction Coach.
AnonymousSeptember 28, 2014 at 2:29 PM

I transferred to a campus with the “PLC” mentality after eight reasonably successful years of teaching. I had been used to a system where we’d share ideas once a week, we’d be teaching the same SE, some of the materials we used were the same because they worked well for all of us. However, we were always free to review or extend as needed, and to use alternate texts if we felt they would work better with our particular students – as long as we were teaching the skill and could show results.

On this new campus, I was immediately thrown into a world in which I not only no longer had an opinion, but was essentially prohibited from adding any personal touches to the lessons that were given to us by the department heads under the guise of “collaboration”. It was same day, same story, same “foldable”, same power-point for everyone in the department – and none of it was near the standard of quality that I had previously implemented in my classroom. A lot of it was disjointed, or shallow, or only loosely connected to the SE… but saying as much made me a huge target.

On the first common assessment, I was “caught”, as my students scored significantly higher in some areas than my colleagues – and instead of being questioned about my methods in some positive way, I was reprimanded, because they knew I was tweaking what they had been giving me. The team leader began a vicious campaign against me, interrogating me during meetings, accusing me of doing a poor job, etc. – and the administrators were right with her. They began visiting my classroom several times a week, e-mailing me about the words or bits of assignments that didn’t seem to be consistent with my colleagues…

Additionally, we were required to use 4 out of 5 of our weekly planning periods (which are legally protected in my state from organized activities by the administration) to attend these “planning meetings” in which we were told what to do, how to do it, and interrogated as to whether we were in lock step.

To make a long story short, I lasted 3 months, began having panic attacks, and was reprimanded for it. This worsened the anxiety, and despite being under medical care, they panic attacks increased in frequency… The constant threat of visits, the interrogation, being told I was not doing well after years of being respected by former colleagues… it was all too much. I resigned for medical reasons, and I’m unsure if I’ll ever teach again.

 

by Janice VanCleave

www.txcscopereview.com

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Don’t Mess With Texas Preachers

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Houston Mayor Annise Parker is an unrepentant lesbian.   She married her “significant other” Kathy Hubbard in Palm Springs California last January in Palm Springs, California. Parker is a bully and has subpoenaed 5 Houston Pastors for their sermons/speeches, text messages, any and all communication in relation to homosexuality or opposition to the mayors  “Bathroom Bill” aka Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (H.E.R.O.). The law which is not in effect would allow men to who may identify as a women use restrooms of their choice. The bill was met with opposition from voters who ran a petition drive to have the law put on the ballot.

ANNISE PARKER

Surprisingly the city threw out the petitions claiming there were not enough signatures; though there were 50K signatures taken and only 17K needed.  Opponents have now filed a lawsuit which led the mayor and City Attorney, David Feldman to proceed with their bullying tactics of infringing on 5 Houston Pastor’s Constitutional 1st Amendment Right.

 

 

lesbian mayor

 

I know that many pastors have taken to the pulpit to denounce the Mayors actions. Pastor Gary Ladd of Grace Point Fellowship took to the pulpit explaining to his congregation the actions of the Black Robe Regiment, pastor who led their congregations into the battle for freedom during the Revolutionary War.

 

 

 

Historian David Barton explains the Black Robe Regiment on the below video.

 

 

ACTION PLAN.

Join Christians across America for I Stand Sunday on November 2, 2014. Hosted by Family Research Council and other partners, speakers from across the nation will gather at Grace Church in Houston, Texas to focus on the freedom to live out our faith free of government intrusion or monitoring. We will stand with pastors and churches in Houston, Texas who have been unduly intimidated by the city’s Mayor in demanding they hand over private church communication.

 

ADDITIONAL INFO

 

 

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TEXAS PASTOR JAILED BUY WHY? NO ONE KNOWS

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save pastor holcomb

 

San Jacinto Judge Fritz Faulkner  for no apparent   reason removed “public comments” off the city council agenda for their Oct. 14, 2014 meeting. Pastor Terry Holbomb challenged the judge after the meeting adjorned for executive session as to why the public comments were not being allowed. Judge Faulkner obviously doesn’t like being challenged and had Pastor Holcomb arrested for some “unknown charge”. As of this morning the Pastor has not been formally charged and those at the jail have been instructed to not inform callers why he is being held.  I personally have made two calls to the jail and they were not able to inform me why Pastor Holbomb was being held.

 

You can read more about the situation and watch the videos below.

PLEASE REPORT JUDGE FAULKNER HERE

PLEASE CALL THE JAIL AND DEMAND PASTOR HOLCOMB’S RELEASE

SHERIFF David Clark
75 W. Cedar Avenue
Coldspring, TX 77331
Phone: 936-653-4367 #2 to reach jail.
Fax: 936-653-5058
Terry Holcomb Sr:
“Fixing to challenge the county judge on his unconstitutional silencing of the people’s first amendment right to petition the government for redress of grievances.
Tyranny at its finest. It is time to stand up!
Terry Holcomb is accused of disrupting the meeting because he was not allowed to make public comments as the regular portion of the meeting was adjourned for an executive session.
“We’re not gonna allow public comments today?” Holcomb said to the four county commissioners and County Judge Fritz Faulkner.
“It’s not on the agenda,” Faulkner replied.
“That’s unacceptable,” Holcomb said.
Faulkner then told Holcomb he could “go outside and discuss it,” but the meeting was moving forward with an executive session.
Saying again that the situation was “unacceptable,” Holcomb accused the court of taking the rights of the people.
When Holcomb made no effort to leave the courtroom, Faulkner said to him, “You’re dangerously close to disrupting a public meeting.”
Holcomb told the judge that he was denying the people their right to have their voice heard.
Faulkner responded by saying, “You can go out there and talk to the people. We’re fixing to have executive session.”
Still seated in his chair, Holcomb said, “You didn’t want to hear from the citizens and you’re gonna hear from them. You are gonna hear from me. You are not going to silence us by your abuse.”
At that point, Faulkner called for Pct. 2 Constable Roy Pippin Jr. to remove Holcomb from the meeting chamber.
“You have been requested to remove from the court,” Pippin told Holcomb.
“I am not leaving. I am not leaving,” he replied.
Directing his comments to commissioners, Holcomb then said, “And y’all commissioners that are allowing this, you are all cowards. All of you.”
Pippin implored Holcomb to leave the room but Holcomb remained in his chair and demanded to know what law he had broken.
“No law is broken. You were given an order to remove from court,” said Pippin, adding moments later, “By not following my order, you are resisting arrest. Do you want to go to jail for resisting arrest?”
Faulkner told Holcomb that commissioners court meetings are not a political stomping ground.
“That’s all you want to do,” he said.
Outside of the courtroom, Holcomb was confronted by Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Sowell who asked to have a “private word” with him.
Holcomb asked if he was being detained and Sowell replied, “You’re about to be,” prompting Holcomb to ask if he had committed a crime.
“I didn’t say you committed a crime,” said Sowell.
Sowell placed Holcomb in handcuffs and escorted him away from the premises.
-Jacob McAdams
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Texas Virtual School……Another CSCOPE?

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When CSCOPE hit the news, most of the attention was focused on the lessons.

Much less attention was paid to the money side of CSCOPE.

picture 2  But there were so many questionable practices from contracting to accounting, that the Texas State Auditor was

asked to get involved.

The Auditor’s report stated that the ESCs had such poor accounting practices that:

“auditors were not able to fully answer the audit objective to determine the amount of revenue and expenditures

    related to the development, installation, distribution, and marketing of CSCOPE.”

The ESCs collected $73.9 million for CSCOPE, but they couldn’t account for over $6 million of public funds.

No one involved suffered any consequences. They are all still on the public payroll because, according to the Auditors report:

  • “the education service centers do not have specific contract laws that they must follow “
  • “there were no specific state funds appropriated for the development, implementation, and operation of CSCOPE.”
  • And even though the CSCOPE contracts “lacked fundamental provisions to help protect the State’s and taxpayers’ interests,” none of it was illegal because
  • “education service centers are not required to comply with the contracting processes in the State of Texas Contract Management Guide.”

picture 3

That was a surprise to many Texans, like myself, who assumed that our public education dollars were being protected by at

least the minimum in standard contracting and accounting procedures.

But we were wrong.

Were these practices unique to CSCOPE or was this the way ESCs operate in general?

To find the answer I decided to investigate an ESC program that:

  1. does have specific state funds allocated by the Legislature,
  2. is contracted through TEA (thus required to meet State of Texas contract standards) and
  3. does have legislation outlining specifications.

I chose the:

picture 5What I found, from the standpoint of financial accountability, is another “CSCOPE.”

But this time, instead of just having poor contracting and accounting procedures with public funds, I have a video of a government entity explaining how they defied the Legislature and by-passed Texas law in order to operate TxVSN, and their elected officials rationalizing their actions.

I don’t have enough room to print everything, so I have chosen a few highlights of my findings to share here.

picture7
The Texas Legislature passed SB 1788 in 2007 establishing the Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN) and funding the

operations with state funds.

The Commissioner of Education was given authority over the network resources and instructed in statute to contract with an

ESC for  the ESC to operate the network.”

The Legislature chose ESCs to operate the network because one of their statutory purposes is to   “implement initiatives

  assigned by the legislature.” (8.220)

picture8Texas Education Agency (TEA) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) entitled “Central Operations for the Texas Virtual School Network” with the deadline for submission 3/5/08. Eligible proposers were limited to the 20 Texas ESCs.

The purpose was to “identify the regional service center to operate the network.” The RFP stated, “a collaborative of ESCs will also be considered.”

picture9
The RFP included other qualifications such as HUB percentages, an understanding of

TxVSN, etc. as well as a statement that the proposer had not
communicated directly or indirectly the proposal or bid made to any competitor or any 

   other person engaged in such line of business during the procurement process for this

  contract.”

According to discussions held in a public meeting on 2/26/13, The Harris County Department of Education (HCDE) wanted

to bid for Central Operations of TxVSN, but was excluded by the mandates of the legislation because they are not an ESC.

Excerpts from HCDE’s public discussion concerning TxVSN:
(Note: Translation is approximate because some is difficult to understand. Please watch video for exact wording.)

John Sawyer (HCDE Superintendent): “… we wanted to bid on the contract. So I negotiated with (ESC)Region 10 who said, “We don’t know how to do it.” And I said, “We do. But we can’t bid.” So they bid and we are doing about 70% of the infrastructure work. And they are the front of the Texas School. And they handle the money and the student registrations and all that. ..“

Angie Chesnut (HCDE Board President): “You might explain why we couldn’t bid directly.”

John Sawyer (HCDE Superintendent):“…When the law was passed the wording in the law said that the only people who could bid were Regional Service Centers…We don’t qualify as a Regional Service Center. I never could decide if that was purposeful or accidental, but it didn’t matter. We got our share of the business anyway…”

Kay Smith (HCDE Trustee): “I have a question just for clarification. We could not bid on this directly?”
Sawyer:That is correct”
Smith:So they bid on it and then they sub it out to us?”
Sawyer: “The director at Region 10 is a former school superintendent that I happen to know pretty well… When I realized that we were not going to be allowed to bid on the project, and the bid was due in Austin on Tuesday of (the) next week…I called Buddy and said, “OK. Here is the deal.” I told you that conversation. He said, “John, we don’t know how to do this.” I said, “We do. But we can’t bid.” So we sent a team to Dallas…And spent the weekend. Wrote the proposal. We delivered it to TEA on Tuesday. Jointly. I mean we helped them with the proposal. And they got awarded the contract and we get about 70% …”
 

View the full Board discussion video: here

(Note: After the discussion, only one Trustee, Kay Smith, voted not to approve the contract.)


Three weeks before the final proposal for Central Operations of TxVSN was due, TEA held a conference in Austin “to assist potential proposers in clarifying their understanding of the scope and nature of the work…” It was open to “all potential proposers.

Records show exactly who attended:
picture 10
ESC-11  sent 3 people
ESC- 4   sent 1 person
ESC-12  sent 1 person
HCDE – not qualified to bid – sent 6 people

 ESC 10 – DID NOT ATTEND
Yet, TEA awarded the contract to operate the Texas statewide on-line school to ESC-10, an ESC that:
  • did not even attend TEA’s proposers conference, and
  • John Sawyer claims said, “We don’t know how to do it.”

(Note: I requested to view the winning bid from ESC-10, but TEA asked for a ruling from the Texas Attorney General Open Records Division – brings back more memories of CSCOPE.)

 

 

picture11

Esc-10’s first TxVSN contract period was 4/10/2008 through 8/31/2008 for $750,000.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

picture11

 

ESC 10 immediately
  subcontracted with HCDE

 (NOT an ESC and NOT an HUB) to provide 74.5% of the work for $559,138.
picture 13
 The first sub-contract with HCDE covered the same dates, 4/10/2008 through 8/31/2008.But records show the work began months before the contract was formally signed.

  HCDE’s Board didn’t even vote to approve the contract until 2 WEEKS BEFORE IT ENDED.
  • 4/10/08 – Sub-contract began
  • 7/15/08 – HCDE’s expenditure sheet for $325,997.98
  • 7/24/08 – ESC-10 signed sub-contract
  • 7/28/08 – ESC-10 received $325,997.98 HCDE invoice
  • 8/19/08 – HCDE’s Board approved sub-contract
  • 8/31/08 – Sub-contract ended
picture20 picture15 picture21
(Note: I did not find records showing the date HCDE signed the contract.)This sub-contract has been renewed or extended every year with the same discrepancies repeating themselves.During HCDE’s February 2013 Board meeting, HCDE Trustee Erica Lee Carter asks this question about their 12/13 TxVSN contract:“Why are we voting on a contract that started last September?”

But dates and signatures are only part of the contracting concerns.

picture22  Documents show that ESC-10 did not request bids before it sub-contracted the development of TxVSN Central Operations

  to HCDE.
Instead, ESC-10 claimed, “No bid required since professional services.”

But this was a TEA contract which had to follow State of Texas contract guidelines. Texas Government Code 2254 defines “profession services” as services within the scope of the following professions:

accounting
architecture
landscape architecture
land surveying
medicine
optometry
professional engineering
real estate appraising
professional nursing

Technology is not listed.

Appendix 1 of the TEA contract reads:

picture25

“No funds shall be used to pay for food costs (ie refreshments, banquets, group meals, etc.) unless requested as a specific line item in the budget by the contractor and approved (prior to expenditures occurring) by TEA.

I did not find budget line items or TEA prior approval documentation, but I did find the following purchases in the HCDE check registry under TxVSN budget codes:

picture 4
(Note: HCDE has removed links to its check registries online so I was only able to collect data from a link I had saved.)



Statute dictates that an ESC will operate the network and TEA awarded ESC 10 the Central Operations contract.

But I found multiple contradictory statements as to who is actually “operating” the network:

  • The TEA website claims: “ESC Region 10 serves as central operations for the TXVSN” and “oversees the day to day operations of the network
  • The ESC 10 website claims:ESC Region 10, in collaboration with the Harris County Department of Education, has been awarded Central Operations of the TxVSN”
  • The TXVSN website claims:ESC Region 10, in collaboration with the Harris County Department of Education, is Central Operations.”
  • The HCDE website claims: “Harris County Department of Education, in collaboration with the Education Service Center (ESC) 10, has been awarded central operations of the TxVSN.”
Harris County Department of Education was awarded Central Operations of the TxVSN.”

Since TxVSN is online school for thousands of students across Texas, I decided to see who is really operating the network by checking who registered and owns “txvsn.org.”

The result?   HCDE

picture31I checked the form participating school districts need to send to TxVSN Central Operations for the mailing address.

Whose address is it?     HCDE

picture30

If you call the TxVSN Central Operations Help Desk…

Where is the phone answered?

HCDE

Then I looked at the original “Scope of Work” descriptions spelled out in ESC-10’s sub-contract with HCDE, it is obvious who is actually “operating” the TxVSN.

TEA / ESC -10 HCDE
picture14 picture17

But there are two major issues with HCDE operating the TxVSN.

First – State statue dictates that an ESC will operate TxVSN. HCDE is NOT an ESC. (30A.052)

Second – Documents show the name “HCDE” is actually an “aka” of the “County School Trustees of Harris County.”

picture40
Why would a government entity go down to the county courthouse and file documents in order to conduct business under an assumed name?

Well, HCDE is actually an old county school board leftover from the days when counties still ran the public schools (1889 to mid-1900s) – before Texas instituted our current ISD system. They still exist in Harris County because of a loophole in the law which allows them to remain in operation under old, repealed county school statutes.(11.301)

One of those old laws, TEC 17.94 states:

“After December 31, 1978, no state funds shall be used to support … a board of county school trustees…”


TxVSN central operations is funded with state dollars. (30A.152)

Would someone question a contract using state funds being issued to “County School Trustees of Harris County?”

They might.

Would someone question a contract using state funds being issued to “HCDE?”

Much less likely.

Just as with CSCOPE, I end up asking a whole series of questions….

  • When it comes to Texas education dollars, who is watching the store?
  • Do the ESCs and other government business enterprises like HCDE really operate unchecked?
  • Do the Commissioner of Education, TEA and the Legislature really not know what is going on – or are they part of the problem?

Could the answers to all of these questions be something as simple as… … follow the money?

Is it just a coincidence that less than a year after leaving TEA, Robert Scott, the Commissioner of Education from 2007-2012, became a paid “consultant” for HCDE?

1st Payment to Scott in HCDE Check Registry

Is it just a coincidence that when leaving the Legislature Rob Eissler, Chairman of the House Public Education Committee from 2007-2012, also became a paid “consultant” for HCDE ?

1st Payment to Eissler in HCDE Check Registry

(Note: Notice this first payment from HCDE to Rob Eissler was 12/21/12  – while he was still officially the Chairman of the House Public Education Committee??? )


sawyer emails day 3 170
Is it also just a coincidence that emails show when HCDE’s Superintendent warned Rob Eissler this past May that his lobbying group’s $269,500 HCDE “consulting” contract may be in jeopardy, Eissler called a current member of the Texas House Public Education Committee, Rep. Dan Huberty, who then called HCDE Board President, Angie Chesnut, and the contract remained intact?

I am sure, just like the HCDE name change, they are all just remarkable coincidences.

With CSCOPE, the ESCs got off scott free because the Legislature left so many loopholes in the statute governing them.

But with TxVSN, the Legislature dictated the funding and the operations in statute so I have personally asked the State Auditor’s Office to investigate the contracting of the TxVSN.

If you agree, you may contact the State Auditor’s Office and urge them to investigate Texas Education Agency’s TxVSN contracting with ESC-10 and HCDE @ 512-936-9500 or email.

You may contact the Texas Senate Education Committee and urge them to request a state audit of TxVSN contracting @ 512-463-0355 or email

You may contact the Texas House Public Education Committee and urge them to request a state audit of TxVSN contracting @ 512-463-0804 or email

Colleen Vera

 

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‘Beheading’ threat made against Rhode Island school children

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EAG NEWSkyle olson

 

 

 

 

Kyle Olson
Kyle founded Education Action Group in 2007.

Find Kyle on Twitter.

WARWICK, R.I. – A specific – and graphic – threat was made against school children in three Rhode Island communities.

generic-cranston-policeJohnston, Cranston and Warwick are on alert after a threat was issued that involved “beheading.”

The threat, which was delivered by mail, said, “Beheading is planned.”

Warwick police Col. Steven McCartney called the message “chilling.”

Many parents are reportedly keeping their children at home.

“Some parents are keeping their kids at home. Right now we just ran our attendance data, we have about a third,” Cranston School Superintendent Judith Lundsten tells WPRO.

“I was at Gladstone this morning and in one of their rooms they almost had 100% attendance.”

According to the Providence Journal, Lundsten canceled recess and students will not wait outside but will enter immediately.

Cranston police chief Michael Winquist tells the radio station there will be an increased police presence around both public and private schools, but that there patrols will not disrupt the school day.

“When these threats come in we take them very serious, at the same time we don’t want these threats to disrupt our daily lives including the important work they do here educating students,” Winquist says.

“We’re in constant communication is absolutely critical from not only a law enforcement standpoint, but most importantly the schools and the administrations because we want to ensure there is a safe environment for our students as they are going to our schools,” Cranston Mayor Allan Fung tells WPRO.

The mailed threat reportedly said children would be targeted Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

 

 

 

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Texas: 6th Graders taught about ISIS Beheading

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6th grade

 

There are boundaries in our public schools today as to what is age appropriate or inappropriate when it comes to teaching children.An Alvin ISD Junior High 6gh grade class was asked to read the following paper put out by MTV on ISIS and the beheading of the American Journalist and then ask to reflect on it and write a one page paper. I have taken the time to look over the TEK requirements and do not find any requirement to learn about Islam or Terrorism in 6th grade.

 

isis 1

 

isis 2

 

Alvin ISD released the following statement….”The sad reality is that Jr. High students are confronted with and are aware of the details related to ISIS, our intent is to provide students with a supportive learning environment where they are able to discuss factual events and gain better understanding of the world around them. Seriously? This world is a mess and there are factual events taken place on a daily basis that many parents do not want their children knowing. EX: homosexuals parading down the street in drag protesting for homosexual rights, women aborting their unborn children daily, etc, etc, etc…. School administrations have the expertise at scape-goating and not taking responsibility for what happens on campus on their clock.

 

 

WILLIAM

 

WHAT EVERY AMERICAN NEEDS TO KNOW

ABOUT THE QURAN

THAT YOU WANT LEARN IN YOUR PUBLIC SCHOOL

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TEXAS STUDENTS MATH SCORES at 22 YEAR LOW

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failing

[10.7.14 -- I wonder when reporters such as Terrence Stutz are going to try to investigate exactly why Texas’ public school students have lost ground on the SAT.  Could it be (duh?)  that leading up to this last round of SAT testing, at least 893 ISD’s, charters, and private schools in Texas have been using the Texas version of Common Core called “CSCOPE”? 

 

CSCOPE was sold to Texas educators as being the answer to all problems!  It was started in 2006; and in 2013 alone, the Education Service Centers collected over $15,000,000 ANNUAL fees from taxpayers for CSCOPE license fees.  

 

With that huge amount of funding and the large numbers of schools using CSCOPE, Texas should have seen dramatic academic results on the SAT if CSCOPE (now referred to as the TEKS Resource System) were really working. 

 

Obviously, CSCOPE (a.k.a., Common Core Standards) is not raising students’ SAT scores but instead is causing them to drop.

 

Texas has good Type #1 curriculum standards (TEKS).  That is not the problem. The problem is that CSCOPE and Common Core are Type #2; and the subjective, constructivist philosophy of education is causing chaos in our schools and decreasing students’ academic results.

 

Taxpayers and parents should demand that their tax dollars not go to pay for CSCOPE, TEKS Resource System, Common Core, or any other Type #2 curriculum (progressive).  Not only is that money down the drain, but students’ academic achievement is suffering because of the wrong-headed Type #2 philosophy advocated by those products.   – Donna Garner]

 

 

10.7.14 – Dallas Morning News

 

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/local-news/20141007-texas-sat-math-scores-hit-a-22-year-low.ece

 

Texas’ SAT math scores hit a 22-year low

 

Excerpts from this article:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By TERRENCE STUTZ

Austin Bureau

tstutz@dallasnews.com

Published: 07 October 2014 05:37 AM

Updated: 07 October 2014 05:39 AM

 

AUSTIN — Texas high school students slipped to their lowest SAT math scores in more than two decades this year, while reading scores on the college entrance exam were the second lowest during that period.

 

Results being released Tuesday by the College Board, which administers the exam, showed that the average score on the math section of the SAT dropped four points from last year to 495. That was the lowest figure since 1992, when Texas students recorded an average score of 493. A perfect score is 800.

 

In reading, the Class of 2014 in Texas scored an average 476. That was down slightly from last year but still two points better than their worst showing in the past two decades. That occurred in 2012.

 

In writing, Texas students registered an average 461 for the third year in a row.

 

Students across the U.S. saw their scores in math drop slightly. But the long-standing achievement gap between Texas and the nation grew significantly this year. In reading, the average score nationwide increased slightly and remained well above the average in Texas.

 

State education officials have attributed the declining SAT scores in Texas to an increase in the number of minority students taking the exam. Minorities generally perform worse than white students on standardized achievement tests like the SAT and ACT, the nation’s two leading college entrance exams.

 

However, California students outperformed Texans by big margins this year — 15 points in math and 22 points in reading. Demographics of the student populations in the two states are similar: California is 52.7 percent Hispanic and 25.5 percent white, while Texas is 51.3 percent Hispanic and 30 percent white.

 

In addition, more than 60 percent of seniors in both states took the SAT. School districts have in recent years encouraged students to take either the SAT or ACT to get them thinking about what to do after high school.

 

The drop in SAT math scores is likely to rekindle debate over the state’s recent decision to no longer require that all high school students take Algebra II. Over the objections of business and minority-rights groups, the Legislature and State Board of Education dropped Algebra II as a requirement except for students in advanced graduation plans.

 

Among those groups were the Texas Association of Business and Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

 

Bill Hammond, a former Texas House member who leads the influential business group, said at the time that the state’s retreat on Algebra II and other more challenging courses “dooms generations of students to a mediocre education and low-wage jobs.” Hammond also pointed out that research shows students who skip the course get lower scores in math on the SAT and ACT and are less prepared for college.

 

Officials for the College Board said an analysis of this year’s results shows that too many students missed opportunities that would have helped them do better on the exam and be better prepared for college-level classes.

 

Foremost is a more challenging lineup of courses that includes four or more years of English, and three or more years of math, science and social studies.

 

“The latest SAT results reaffirm that we must address the issue of preparedness much earlier and in a more focused way,” said Cyndie Schmeiser, chief of assessment for the College Board. “Students in the Class of 2014 missed opportunities that could have helped more of them make successful transitions to college and career.”

 

The College Board reported that just over a third of the 179,036 Texas students who took the SAT met its college and career readiness benchmark, which requires a score of 1,550 out of a possible total of 2,400. That was well under the national average of 42.6 percent who hit the benchmark.

 

Most minority students, as in the past, fell far short of the benchmark. Only 19 percent of Hispanic and 14 percent of black students in Texas met the college readiness standard. Both percentages trailed the national averages for those groups.

 

…In Texas, about 61 percent of high school seniors who took the SAT were minorities, compared with a national average of 47.5 percent.

 

Follow Terrence Stutz on Twitter at @tstutz.

 

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TEXAS STUDENT LEFT IN HIS URINE

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alpine pictureVery few things are as repulsive to me than a superintendent to accuse parents of lying when it comes to bringing to light districts mistreatment of their children. Many things have taken place within the Alpine ISD school district. One parent stated to me personally “There is a huge list of parents who have much much much more serious problems with the school. Such as children left on the side of the highway alone. Four year old and an eight year old!!!“.

This past week a PreK down syndrome child was left in his urine until his socks were socked. The child wears pullups and is not able to speak yet. Superintendent Steve White says the school district is falsely accused. In other words he is stating the parent  is LYING. Seriously? How unprofessional.

 

Steve white 1

alpine 4EMAIL

Link to Steve Whites press release

Steve White

KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

 

 

********************Alpine ISD still rents and utilizes the CSCOPE curriculum.********************


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FREE, FREE, FREE….FOOD FOR ALL!!!

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FREE FOOD

 SOCIALISM IN ACTION!!

 

NORTHSIDE ISD sent out the following flyer to parents of 51 schools informing them of the GREAT NEWS of being able to receive FREE BRECKFAST & LUNCHES for their children. FREE? Is the food being donated? NO!! The taxpayers are funding this project. The form states that there is no application to fill out in order to receive the free food though parents did receive another flyer asking parents their income and if they qualify for the program.

I response to this questionnaire is “IT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS HOW MUCH MONEY WE MAKE”.

 

NISD CEP letter Aug 2014-1.bmp  2Northside

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TEXAS ISD’s Implement MARXIST IDEOLOGY

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marxism

Texas Associati0n of School Administrators (TASA) along with Texas School Districts and Texas Education Service Centers (ESC’s) are implementing what they would call a “Necessary Revolution” a plan to Transform Texas Education. TASA’s “Creating a New Vision” for public education has been working within Texas School districts by implementing a “Marxist” constructivist philosophy of teaching called “Student Centered Learning” or “Project Based Learning”.  Teachers and Students hate it. Unfortunately, teachers are silenced out of fear of losing their jobs.

District Superintendents that have signed onto this TRANSFORMATION are called Future Ready Superintendents. Has your district signed on.. check HERE. This transformation is not only hurtful to students and teacher morale but it cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.

a revolution

 

TASA has sought the help of  Shannon Buerk and her company “Engage2Learn” to help implement this “new revolution”. School districts will contract with Engage2Learn and have them hold a community “consensus” meetings.  They already have their agenda and plan in place and want the community to have the impression that their input is needed. With the use of the DELPHI TECHNIQUE public input is controlled. These meeting are a waste of time and taxpayers money.  Learn how to diffuse the Delphi Technique here. 

 

Now who runs Engage2Learn. Husband and wife team Shannon & Clark Buerk. Shannon worked for Coppell ISD and worked with Keith Sockwell @ Cambridge Strategic Services. More on Mr. Sockwell HERE.

Shannon’s goal is to transform Texas Education to a progressive/liberal one with Project Based Learning (PBL). PBL implement a collaborative learning style where absolute truth and American Exceptionalism isn’t taught. Students work on computer and in collective groups.

 

Be on the look out for Engage2Learn community meetings in your local school district

 

More on Engage2Learn

 

                            Please print out copies of the diagram below and pass out to friends and family.

http://www.redhotconservative.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/PBL-RHC.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Harris County Department of Education Helping Turn Texas Blue??

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HCDE

On May 19, 2014 I filed a simple request for public information –

to view the emails (from a 6 week period) of John Sawyer, the now former Superintendent ofthe Harris County Schools (aka-HCDE.)

All I really wanted was an outline of the day to day activities of HCDE. Instead, I got an outline of how HCDE is using our tax dollars to influence elections.

The first email attachment to raise my concern was sent on 2/26/14 from the HCDE Board President, Angie Chesnut, to George H Scott.  Scott is a media/public policy consultant who writes a blog entitled “George Scott Reports.”

George Scott’s emails to Sawyer give you a glimpse of his work history. One reads:

“…In the meantime,

I just helped Alton’s school board candidates tea party email

win a clean sweep by dumping on the idiots

from the TEA Party… “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 President Chesnut’s email to Scott concerning the HCDE Republican primary  is below:

tea party email 2

Chesnut ends her email with:

 “George, my request is that you help get the word out to your readers to vote for Dianne Williams and RW Bray for the HCDE Board of Trustees.   Please let me know if I can help in any way.   Thank you for all you have already done.” 

(Note: Chesnut ran for office as a Republican; yet she supports expanding government spending, government programs such as Head Start, government pre-k, government after school care, etc;  Wolfe and Summers positions were actually the more conservative in the race. They both questioned how HCDE uses tax dollars. They both won their primaries.)

Records show Scott has received funds numerous times from HCDE.

tea party 3

As a matter of fact, HCDE’s response to an open records request to view publications paid for by HCDE in 2013, included blog posts written by George H Scott. Some were posts critical of the Harris County Appraisal District and the rest were stories flattering to HCDE.

It does appear, however, that Scott did not have a contract tea party 4

with HCDE at the time of Chesnut’s request.

Emails show Scott did submit a new proposal to HCDE for more consulting work by May.

If Chesnut had asked a blogger who did not contract with HCDE, there would not be an issue.

But, for an elected official, who casts votes on government contacts, to ask an off-on-again contractor to “help” her influence the outcome of the Republican primary election of her own board is, to say the least, inappropriate.

Lack of ethics to influence elections is one thing. Use of public employees and public funds is a whole different ballgame.

The following email shows:

HCDE Board’s Executive Assistant setting up a conference call

for 9:00am on 5/12/14 between the HCDE Superintendent, two

HCDE paid consultants, an addressee redacted by HCDE, and

two paid staffers for the Wendy Davis for Governor Campaign.

Angie Chesnut (R), the HCDE Board President, is listed as  “optional.”

 

number 5

It appears the call took place on schedule because an email was sent3 hours later from HCDE Board member Diane Trautman (D) to Wendy Davis Campaign staffer, RoyceBrooks, stating,

“I enjoyed meeting you this morning on our conference call.” image 6

She also adds,

Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with…”

She attached her own quarterly newsletter which ended with:

Pd. Pol. Adv. By the Diane Trautman Campaign…”

 

image 7

If the call had been to Sen. Wendy Davis in her capacity as a State Senator, there would not be an issue.

If the call had been on their personal time using their personal phone systems,  there would not be an issue.

But, the taxpayers paying for the facilities, the phone and emails systems, the salary to set up the call, as well as the salaries and consulting fees for HCDE to participate in a call with the campaign of the Democrat candidate for governor is, to say the least, HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE.

Texas Statute does not allow the use of school district facilities and/or personnel to support candidates or parties.

(Note: When the Legislature  repealed the laws governing county schools, it allowed Harris County to remain open under the old laws plus any current laws governing ISDs. TEC 11.301)

On 3/27/14 HCDE’s  Education Foundation Board of Directors held their meeting at the HCDE Administration Building, a building supported completely with public funds.

HCDE’s Education Foundation is registered with the

IRS as a 501(c)(3).

In their Articles of Incorporation filed with the Texas Secretary of State the Foundation claims:

The corporation is organized exclusively for educational

purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3)

of the Internal revenue Code

 

 

 

…the corporation shall not participate in or intervene in

(including the publishing or distribution of statements)

any political campaign of any candidate for public office

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yet, the review of emails shows that meeting minutes were distributed using HCDE’s email system which included the following statement on page #3:

“4. The primary elections are over and the two candidates for HCDE Trustee positions I would ask you to endorse and vote for in the upcoming November election are Debra Kerner, current HCDE board vice president and Melissa Noriega, former Houston city councilwomen and administrator at HISD. The opponents for both of these women support the abolishment of HCDE, Michael Wolfe and Don Sumners.”

(Note: the candidates the foundation asked members to endorse and vote for are both Democrats. Both opponents are Republicans.)

   

 

In this case, not only did taxpayers pay for the facilities to hold the meeting and the email system to distribute the Democrat candidate endorsements, this year HCDE Board of Trustees donated $202,107 of our tax dollars to the Foundation just to fund the position of Director as well as to provide his office facilities in the HCDE Administration Building.

 

Texas Statute also does not allow school district email systems or other public funds to be used for political advertising.

IRS rules do not allow a 501(c)(3) to endorse candidates.

HCDE’s Foundation’s charter does not allow them to participate in publishing or distributing statements relating to campaigns.



In a quick look at the alphabetical list of Directors/Members of the Board on the Foundation website, the first name you see is Judge Eric Andell, Senior Justice, First Court of Appeals. This makes one question why a Senior Justice didn’t stop the Foundation from breaking the rules.

But a google search might explain it. In 2005. The Houston Chronicle reported the following:

“Former judge Eric Andell of Houston was sentenced to one year of probation and fined $5,000 Friday after pleading guilty to charges that related to cheating taxpayers out of thousands of dollars in bogus expenses charged to the federal government while he served as a top official in the U.S. Department of Education.”

A check of current judges serving the Texas Appellate Courts does not list Eric Andell.

Makes me wonder what else on the Foundation website might be questionable, or at least, slightly inaccurate.

Note: The Foundation just changed its website removing Judge Andell from their Director’s list. That was fast! On the left you will see the screen shot I took on 9/13/14. On the right you will see the page today.

               On 9/13/14           On 9/20/14

 

Pat Strong, who participated in the conference call with the Wendy Davis Campaign, is owner of Strong Strategies. HCDE pays her $82,000 per year (plus expenses) to serve as one of their many political consultants. She oversees the HCDE Board’s “government relations” committee. Her website lists some of the politicians she has worked for:

  • Congressman Ken Bentsen (D)
  • Governor Ann Richards (D)
  • Clinton/Gore (D)
  • Democratic National Committee
  • Vince Ryan (D)
  • Congressman Al Green (D)
  • Senator Rodney Ellis (D)
  • Melissa Noriega (D)  – current candidate for HCDE Board

Her HCDE duties also include keeping the board “informed” on pressing  issues. The email review shows the type of “information” she sends to the HCDE Board in their weekly packet as well as the personal comments she writes in the upper right hand corners. Two examples are below.

Article from: The Texas Observer Article from: The Texas Observer

Should taxpayers really be paying for a political consultant to forward a story to a school board that reads…..?

“…We love Wendy Davis. You love Wendy Davis. We and you want to do very sexy things to Wendy Davis, even the straight chicks…”

Reviewing all these emails made me very curious as to what

Pat Strong reports to the HCDE Board Government Relations

Committee. So when HCDE posted a public meeting of the committee

on their website for 11:00 am on 9/16/14, I attended.

I arrived a few minutes early with my cell phone camera fully charged. Pat Strong (lady on the left with the white hair) was already seated with her report ready to present. At 11:00,  President Angie Chesnut opened the meeting.
(Note: The following is an approximate transcription. Some was difficult to understand.)

Chesnut: Good morning everyone. Well, I guess the meeting is now in order. What…It is not a meeting. (difficult to understand) That’s right. It is a committee meeting.

Board Attorney: (something I can’t make out about not having a quorum.)

Chesnut:  Oh true. So, with no further ado, let’s get started with Pat giving us an update on different things that have happened.

Board Attorney: (something I can’t make out)

Chesnut: Oh, since this is not an open meeting, I am going to have to ask you to leave Ms Vera, if you don’t mind. It is a closed committee meeting.

Board Attorney: It is not a meeting under the Open Meetings Act since there is no quorum.

Chesnut:  It is not a posted meeting.

I complied.

Watch the short video.

AFTER Pat Strong completed her report, President Chesnut changed her mind and decided the public could view the rest of the committee meeting, even though they still did not have a quorum. By the end of the committee meeting, a board quorum was present.

You may watch the video of the meeting after Pat Strong was finished with her report and I was allowed to re-enter the room: here

Was Chesnut accurate when she stated, “This is not a posted meeting?”

In a quick check of the HCDE website, under Board Agendas, you will find the official posting of the meeting with Angie Chesnut’s signature.

Link 1 Link 2 Link 3

What was in Pat Strong’s report to the committee that President Chesnut felt the need to hide from the public? I may never know.

But I do know that if this was a government entity using government funds and a 501(c)(3) to promote conservative Republican candidates and issues, the IRS would remove their tax exemption immediately and I’d bet our County Attorney would order an investigation.

But these government funds and the 501(c)(3) are being used to support liberal Democrat candidates and issues, so I won’t hold my breath waiting for any investigation.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee’s daughter, Erica Lee Carter, is a current HCDE Board Trustee so I don’t expect to see any action from the IRS.
In his most recent campaign financial report, our County Attorney, Vince Ryan (D) lists payments to Pat Strong for “fundraising and compliance services” so I don’t foresee any action coming from that office either.

 

It’s stunning to me that a cursory review of emails turned up so many examples of apparent violations of state and federal statutes. I will certainly dig deeper before drawing any final conclusions.
But the fact that all this goes on right
under the nose of a Board President
who is a self-proclaimed

“conservative Republican”

in my opinion, is nothing short of shameful.

Absolutely shameful.

Arne Duncan and Angie Chesnut

If you agree, you may contact HCDE Board President Angie Chesnut at:  achesnut@hcde-texas.org

Colleen Vera

www.texastrashtalk.com

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Math TEKS: More Data Mining

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pandora's box

Has Texas Opened Pandora’s Box?

 

By Janice VanCleave

www.txcscopereview.com

Kinder Financial LiteracyThe Texas Commissioner of Educator and the Texas State Board of Education are responsible for all the state content standards.

Having “Personal” in the title of the newly added math TEKS about finances is a clue that parents need to be more involved in the content of the instructions in Texas public schools.

While identified as math standards, the list for the Personal Financial Literacy for Kindergarten students is more like an upper level study for economics.

What does a list of skills required for jobs have to do with math for kindergarten children?

What does income mean to a kindergarten child?

Children in K-8 are only familiar with their own family income.

Its no secret that the government welfare system has gotten out of control. It is no secret that many people receiving welfare payments could and should be working to earn their income. It is no secret that welfare payments for some is higher than income from an entry job. Yes, politicians buy votes by promising higher welfare payments.

Is the intent of the Personal Financial Literacy TEKS suppose to fix the Welfare System?

Yes, there are families that need help, and the welfare system was set up for this purpose. Like anything that is “not earned” the welfare program is being abused. The financial literacy standards added to the Texas math TEKS is not going to solve this problem. If anything, it will make it worse.

Sadly if teachers have students to  make a list comparing all the wonderful things about working and earning money vs. receiving welfare, which path do you think young children will think the best choice? Work or not work and receive equal or more money? UMMMM!

Mining CartTexas has opened Pandora’s Box with the Personal Financial Literacy TEKS. Instead of including these TEKS as part of school standards they need to be posted on the office walls of every politician in Austin as well as in Washington DC. Our students need to know the fundamentals of math.

Are the new Financial Literacy Standards another way to add data to the state DATA Mining CART?

Most of the Texas Public School Districts are using school taxes to pay the personal membership fees of Administrators and school board members into private organizations. The State Board of Education has a lobbyists as its vice-chairman, which is illegal. The Texas education system as a whole needs to teach students by example about financial responsibility.

By definition, unearned income is considered to be that income which is not from wages, salaries, tips, or self-employment business income. Thus welfare is unearned income. Since a large percent of Texans receive welfare, how do teachers instruct 5 year old children about jobs and earning an income when the family income is by definition unearned?

Elementary children should not be stressed over getting jobs, going to college, earning income.

What is the real reason that the Commissioner of Education and the State Board of Education have come up with standards about personal income? Why have they dumped the TEKS and STAAR/EOC tests that cost so many millions of dollars to develop and suddenly introduce the most bizzare set of Math standards ever?

The Timeline for 5th grade math TEKs shows what the Texas Commissioner of Education and the State Board of Education members are not revealing to the public. On top of the line is the progression of what were called the transition TEKs for STAAR. Millions and millions of dollars were spent developing these math standards. The Control for scoring the math TEKS was set in 2012. Thus, the STAAR  tests  aligned with these TEKS have only been given for two years 2013 and 2014.

Now the Commissioner of Education announces that this transition from TAKS testing to STAAR testing was a minor change. REALLY? If so, why was $200 million dollars given by the Rider 42 grant just to prepare training materials for teachers to make this transition.

The Texas Commissioner of Education and the SBOE are not providing Texans with the real truth.

Why was the Texas Commissioner of Education and the SBOE secretly developing a second set of math TEKS at the same time the transition set of math TEKS were being developed? WHY develop two sets of TEKS during the same time period?

Please ask your state representatives to find out why two sets of math standards were developed.

Timeline for 5th Grade TEKS

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TEXAS: Teachers Speak….STUDENTS SUFFER!

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I hate school

 

Texas Teachers have had enough of the bureaucracy “crap” in their schools but unfortunately need a job and live in fear of losing it if they speak up. Many have gone to social media to vent under a pseudo name. Below are a few comments from Texas teachers who are concerned with the Texas Eduction Transformation. Who is responsible for this? The whole Texas Education Bureaucracy, Texas Education Agency, Schools, School Boards, Texas Education Service Centers, Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA), Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), Texas Higher Education Board, Texas Legislators, SBOE,  etc… etc… etc…It is all about money and ideology today not students and what is best for them.

Texas School Administrators and School Board are trained and are experienced in intimidating questioning parents and citizens. DON’T STOP ASKING QUESTIONS…ASK THEM CAN I SEE WHAT YOU ARE TEACHING MY CHILD AND DO NOT BACK DOWN.

They are data mining any/all info on you child and your family. This has to stop!

 

Texas Teacher 1

Teachers 2

 

Teachers 3

 

 

Texas Teacher

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FED LED DAYCARE for TEXAS SCHOOLS

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daycare

I am outraged that once thought conservative Texas Education Commissioner, Michael Williams       has applied a 30.8 million dollar federal grant to implement Obama’s universal Pre-K  program in Texas Schools, a federal daycare system.  This is nothing more than SOCIALISM in action, take from the “haves and give to the have nots”. Williams was appointed Texas Education Commissioner by Gov. Perry, Sept. 1, 2012. Commissioner Williams  past experience was not public education and many conservative activist thought that was a positive when dealing with the Texas education bureaucracy. After meeting personally and discovering how liberal Gov. Perry’s education staff were I am not surprised  Williams joined ranks with the Obama administration.

 

Editor, Merrill Hope with Breitbart News outlines the details of this debacle.

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Texas/2014/09/14/Education-Commisioner-Vies-For-30-million-in-contest-that-will-bring-obamas-prek-into-texas

 

 

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TEXAS: STOP the STAAR/EOC TESTS

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Children-Walking-Away-300x218Texas Education was Better Before STAAR/EOC

 

by Janice VanCleave

WWW. TXCSCOPEREVIEW.COM

 

 

Children enjoyed school and were better educated before the STAAR/EOC tests.

The Texas Commissioner of Education has no concern for children. It is all about the STATE testing, which have been shown not to be correct, yet these tests are used to determine whether students are promoted.

Students in Texas public schools are only taught information that could be on the state tests. Nothing else is important. Thus, Texas children are being dumbed down by the state educational officials.

Did you know that parent rights are limited in the Texas Code of Education? Read the following from this code and you will find this statement: The decision of the grade placement committee is final and may not be appealed. There is no one reviewing the STAAR/EOC tests other than TEA and Pearson Publishing who is being paid millions to do this.

One way to improve Texas Education is to stop the STAAR/EOC tests. Please opt your children out of the

STAAR/EOC tests.

Texas Education Code – Section 28.0211. Satisfactory Performance On Assessment Instruments Required; Accelerated Instruction

(e) A student who, after at least three attempts, fails to perform satisfactorily on an assessment instrument specified under Subsection (a) shall be retained at the same grade level for the next school year in accordance with Subsection (a). The student’s parent or guardian may appeal the student’s retention by submitting a request to the grade placement committee established under Subsection (c). The school district shall give the parent or guardian written notice of the opportunity to appeal. The grade placement committee may decide in favor of a student’s promotion only if the committee concludes, using standards adopted by the board of trustees, that if promoted and given accelerated instruction, the student is likely to perform at grade level. A student may not be promoted on the basis of the grade placement committee’s decision unless that decision is unanimous. The commissioner by rule shall establish a time line for making the placement determination. This subsection does not create a property interest in promotion. The decision of the grade placement committee is final and may not be appealed.

What about this situation:

A child passed all class assignments and tests but failed all three STAAR 5th grade reading tests. The placement committee decided to retain the child in the 5th grade.

During the summer, the child attended a private reading academy. The child’s reading level was raised to meet requirements for the 6th grade. Do the parents not have the right to appeal the decision of the grade placement committee?

 

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Texas Textbook Adoption Process Criticized By Texas Freedom Network President

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breitbart school

BRIGHTDALLAS, Texas — Splashed onto the cover of September 6, 2014 Outlook section of the Houston Chronicle was an opinion piece penned by Kathy Miller, Texas Freedom Network (TFN) president, in which she slammed the state’s textbook adoption policy, namely the current review of Social Studies instructional materials, calling it “deeply flawed and politicized” and that “Texas families simply can’t trust it.”

Right now, the State Board of Education (SBOE) is in the process of Proclamation 2015, reviewing the textbooks for next year as part of the policy written into Chapter 28 of the Texas Education Code (TEC) relating to Chapters 31 and 39. Section 28.002 (c) ensures the “the direct participation of educators, parents, business and industry representatives, and employers.” This process will continue until November.

In a brief overview of the textbook adoption process, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) explains that the SBOE calls for bids from publishers, listing curriculum standards, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skill (TEKS), and other requirements. The publishers then submit completed textbooks to the TEA, 20 regional service centers (for public review), and state review panel, all of whom, make recommendations to the Commissioner of Education who prepares a preliminary report on the textbooks for the SBOE, who will vote to accept or reject these title.

However, Miller voiced, if given her druthers, she would prefer the process to be less transparent because she wants it to be for “teachers and scholars” only. Miller’s griped about a low level of college level scholars on the panel yet there have been a total of 144 Social Studies textbook panelists of which 136 are education professionals who work in a variety of capacities including on a university level, based on data provided to Breitbart Texas by the TEA. That means there are only a miniscule eight parent or business community members on these panels.

Then Miller balked that the “panels include a number of people with no relevant qualifications or teaching experiences” and “political activists” descending on the process in the last Social Studies materials adoption process, 2002.

State Board of Education (SBOE) chair Barbara Cargill, told Breitbart Texas “We are told to nominate parents, industry leaders as well as educators.” She added, in reference to Miller’s complaints, “But when we do they are never deemed good enough. They can’t have it both ways.”

Last year, Miller did not like how the committee review panels were structured for the Science curriculum standards either and railed against the process and specifically against Cargill, a certified science teacher who taught high-school biology in the Texas public education system. She is also the creator of a reputable summer science camp.

Miller tried to play “gotcha” by glomming onto the conservatively challenged Thomas B. Fordham Institute to prove her points about the “right.” Using this policy wonk-house to slam the Texas standards in 2011, she accused the education of being a ‘politicized distortion of history’ filled with contempt for historians and scholars “whom they derided as insidious activists for a liberal academic establishment.”

It is a weak stretch, though, to use the Fordham Institute to try to smack down conservative Texas textbook reviewers by using a group that embraced the Common Core State Standards.

Miller also back peddled on panelist credentials in her written rant, groaning that it is not that panelists are not qualified but those poor qualified scholars must “spend their limited time debating panel colleagues who have an ideological agenda but lack any real qualifications” like the one she razzed as being “retired from a career in car sales.”

She likely meant business community member Mark Keough, also the Republican candidate for Texas House of Representatives, District 15. He’s a history buff who applied to review textbooks through the TEA formal application process. Cargill commented that Keough would not have gotten onto a history panel without the agency deeming his knowledge base was proficient.

“The agency considers all applications and chooses reviewers based on their content knowledge, background, and adequate geographic representation. They try to form panels that are well rounded with educators, parents, business leaders, and other interested citizens,” Cargill added, emphasizing that Texas has an elected state board, which means that the board is held accountable to their constituents.

Miller’s name calling is an extension of when in January, the TFN reminded the Texas Federation of Teachers, the state’s chapter affiliated with the second largest union in the nation, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), about the upcoming Social Studies textbook review process. Texas AFT issued their own APB for citizen textbook reviewers that read:

“There’s an unfortunate tradition in Texas of undue influence on textbook selection by nincompoops with an ax to grind. Hence, as the folks at TFN have said, ‘It’s critical that truly qualified individuals serve on the review teams and counter far-right efforts to politicize the textbooks.”

Interestingly, it was a handful of the very people the Texas AFT called “nincompoops” who exposed the politicized radical left lessons being taught like the Boston Tea Party as an “act of terrorism” under the highly biased and controversial curriculum management system CSCOPE, which Breitbart News reported.

Miller also falsely asserted that the state requires its official reviewers to determine only whether proposed textbooks cover the curriculum standards. While reviewers might note some factual errors, “there is no requirement that they do so. Making matters worse, there is not sufficient time for diligent reviewers to examine the materials for errors in any systematic and thorough way. So most reviewers don’t do it.”

Cargill corrected Miller. She told Breitbart Texas, “Reviewers are absolutely told to check for factual errors! I’m not sure how she could get this so wrong.”

According to Cargill, reviewers work in teams so that if one panel member misses an error, there are other sets of eyes to catch it. Besides, she said, “Now that we know what college professors want our children to learn, as evidenced in the APUSH framework, now more than ever we need parents and other citizen patriots to take a stand.”

Cargill referred to the national firestorm started by the College Board’s radical rewrite of the Advanced Placement US History (APUSH) framework. SBOE member Ken Mercer will present the Mercer Resolution requiring that the College Board acknowledge and accommodate TEKS alignment.

The rhetoric coming from Miller is expected. Prior to heading up TFN, she served as TFN’s deputy director from 1996-2000. She’s also been Public Affairs Director for Austin’s Planned Parenthood Federation. In 2005, she returned to head up TFN and is the registered agent on file for the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund (TFNEF).

In 2006, TFNEF created Texas Rising, seeking out “young leaders (ages 18-29)” on college campuses throughout Texas. The group states its mission “to this work because developing an emerging generation of social justice-minded, informed and engaged leaders is essential to the long-term health of our communities and the development of progressive public policy in Texas.”

TFN was founded by Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood and the daughter of the late Governor, Democrat Ann Richards.

Throughout her arguments, Miller attacks the SBOE nominated panelists alleging they demonstrate an “open contempt for expertise.” She dismisses findings from “general public book review committee members” or watchdog groups, chalking them up to “ideological objections from people with strong opinions but few (if any) actual facts to back them up.”

Retired Lt. Col. Roy White chairs up such a group, the Truth in Texas Textbooks (TTT). This coalition of concerned citizens is participating in the Texas Social Studies textbook review.

White gave Breitbart Texas an exclusive sneak peak at the preliminary Social Studies textbook findings TTT has found including distortions, omissions and half-truths all passing for accurate high school history.

In a mild example, Edmentum’s “World History Since 1815″ contains a passage:

“Before Lincoln could carry out his policy towards the conquered South, he was assassinated by a disgruntled Southerner.”

This lightly nuanced passage didn’t even acknowledge President Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth, by name nor did it mention the venue, Ford’s Theatre, which TTT highlighted.

Meanwhile, Perfection’s “Basic Principles of American Government” displays open bias in an excerpt:

“The radical right consists of groups that sometimes gather under the flag of militant anticommunism. Often known as reactionaries, they denounce most forms of government regulation, including progressive taxation and restrictions and industry. Strangely enough, these radicals would not hesitate to use the government’s police power to enforce the changes they desire. Examples of political groups on the radical right are the John Birch Society, the National States & Rights party, The Christian Crusade, and the Tea Party movement.

TTT called this “editorial opinion stated as fact” noting there is no evidence that the Tea Party movement is militant or has used the government’s police power to enforce anything. “Identifying the Tea Party as radical and fascist is false and without merit,” they noted.

TTT also questioned the definition of “radical,” posing that if it means using the government’s police power to enforce desires changes, then the modern IRS, EPA, NSA and other federal departments bureaucracies which have used the police power of the government should be included.

The complete list of TTT’s preliminary Social Studies textbook review findings follow this report.

Texas Social Studies Textbooks Under Review 2015

 

Texas Social

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FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL EXPOSES THE DANGERS OF COMMON CORE

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FRC

 

REGISTER HERE

 

 

Program guests include:

  • Host Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
  • Co-Host Sarah Perry, Senior Fellow, Family Research Council
  • Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.)
  • Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.)
  • Dr. Sandra Stotsky, Professor, University of Arkansas
  • Jane Robbins, Esq., American Principles Project
  • Dr. Neal McCluskey, CATO Institute
  • Will Estrada, Esq., Home School Legal Defense Association

Please don’t miss what our guests have to say about these educational standards and learn how you can reverse Common Core state-by-state.

We want to hear from you! Please send your questions to commoncore@frc.org, or Tweet them to @frcdc, using the hashtag #ccquestions. We’ll answer as many of your questions as possible during the webcast.

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Texas Gestapo Thought Police

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Texas Education Service Centers (ESCs): Over Funded Education Agencies.

gestapo

By Janice VanCleave

txcscopereview.com

 

Millions of unregulated dollars pour into the coffers of the ESCs yearly. More unregulated money comes from the sell of instructional products to Texas schools. In fact, the ESCs  have an unfair market advantage over the sell of education instruction materials–isn’t this called a monopoly?

In January, 2013, Senator Patrick instructed the ESCs to void the User contract with Texas Teachers which forbid teachers to disclose the content of CSCOPE lessons used in classrooms. The ESCs didn’t want the incorrect, biased CSCOPE lessons viewed by parents.

Seems the ESC directors didn’t take Senator Patrick serious. On August 12, 2014 Jerry Maze described some of the newly implemented perks offered by the ESC. Maze is the Chair of the “Texas Curriculum Management Program Cooperative.”

Maze said,

“Teachers are no longer required to sign a user agreement. We trust teachers and want to make sure they are able to maximize the utility of the site.”

The ESCs are a bit slow in responding to Senator Patrick’s request. Or is it that the ESCs want the idea to be theirs instead of having to void the user agreement. Or maybe the ESCs just forgot like they have forgotten where the paper for millions of dollars of expenses are.

I am convinced that the ESCs are doing everything possible to rid Texas schools of veteran teachers. The ESCs want educators that are willing to  do what they are told and not care if students are being educated or not. The Texas Education Service Centers are now making money training  “PLC education coaches.” Pull away the smoke screen and you will find that these coaches are actually gestapo-like thought police, which stop teachers who have ideas other than what the coaches approve of.

The cartoon PLC coach in the diagram is sadly too close to the truth. Teachers are being halted from thinking outside the “box,” which is the approved scripted lesson plan. Any teacher not following the scripted lessons approved by the PLC coach is reported to  “Thought Control Head Quarters” as not being a team-player.

The PLC program adds a more gestapo-type atmosphere to the classroom. At this time, this is not so much for the students, but teachers are every vigilant in what they say or do for fear the “Thought Police” are listening.

What are the Thought Police listening for?

One teacher was caught selecting a student to answer a question. Sounds like what all teachers do. But the Thought Police Coaches mandate that teachers use some kind of system so that students are selected at random. A system such as pulling names out of a hat, but the teacher is not allowed to make the choice.

Another teacher was warned because he had gotten ahead of the cloned script. So, if your children complain about having to do things over and over it is because the teacher is not allowed to progress even if students understand the material.

The reason all  lessons must be the same is so that all students receive exactly the same information in the same way and on the same day.

The PLC “gestapo-coaches” closely monitors teachers so that teachers do not add any enrichment to their lessons.

Another thing the gestapo-coaches are looking for is  a teachers that provides facts to students. Students are to do activities in groups and discover the facts on their own. This is erroneously called discovery learning. This constructivist type of education has many flaws. One being that students do not always make the correct conclusions, thus discovery learning is a way that students “teach themselves” incorrect information.

Even so, Discovery Learning is touted as being the “Best Learning Practice” for students. When something that is obviously wrong is being promoted, one should ask–“Who is making money by promoting Discovery Learning?” 

The PLC program is promoting the idea that there should be no outstanding teachers because this indicates that some students receive better instruction.  Any teacher caught enriching their lessons is reported to the administration as NOT BEING A TEAM PLAYER, which mean an uncooperative teacher.  Principals with uncooperative teachers are reported to the “Thought Police” at Thought Police Head Quarters somewhere.

The answer to an instant improvement in Texas education is to link the salaries of all school superintendents with the scores of students in their school district. Low scores–low superintendent salaries. They would be begging veteran teachers to return.

 

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Magnolia ISD: “Common Core: Studying Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. — in Name Only”

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americandream

by Donna Garner

9.5.14

 

http://www.educationviews.org/common-core-studying-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-name/

 

 

Someone has shared with me this teaching unit on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that is posted on a Texas school district’s website. 

 

This teaching unit on the MISD website illustrates the Common Core “cold” reading method: http://mhs.magnoliaisd.org/apps/classes/show_class.jsp?classREC_ID=623021  

 

This is a typical Type #2 Common Core technique; and English teachers all across America are being pressured to utilize this method (pedagogy) with their students.  

 

“Cold” reading means reading historical text with little-to-no prior background knowledge.  Students are not taught deep content knowledge by the teacher with a fact-based emphasis but are put in groups where they discuss among themselves what they think, what are their opinions, and how they feel about the selection. The students are expected to react and respond to text without having the background knowledge upon which to base their statements.  (This is the same as telling students to “fix the tire” without giving them the tire tools needed to do the job.)

 

Oftentimes, the Common Core also emphasizes excerpts, snippets, or paraphrased versions instead of having students read the originaltext.

 

Now let’s look at this teaching unit as posted on the MISD website.  First, please notice that the students do not actually read Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s entire nor original “I Have a Dream” speech – only a paraphrased “excerpt.”

 

Here is Dr. Martin Luther King’s ORIGINAL speech: http://www.archives.gov/press/exhibits/dream-speech.pdf

 

Here is the excerpt as shown on the MISD website:

http://mhs.magnoliaisd.org/apps/classes/show_class.jsp?classREC_ID=623021

 

Right off it is obvious that the excerpt version to which the MISD students will be exposed does not convey the magnificent pace, rhythmic repetition, cadence, and deeply held emotions that Dr. King’s original speech conveyed.  

 

The “stripped down” version that is on the MISD website does a real disservice to the students by reducing King’s speech to a mere shadow of his original text.

 

A true study of Dr. King’s speech should have started with an in-depth investigation of the mores, values, and historical events of the time. 

 

Dr. King gave this speech on August 28, 1963, and called for an end to racism in the U. S.  He  stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington in which 250,000 civil rights supporters were present.  When Mahalia Jackson yelled from the crowd, “Tell them about the  dream, Martin,” Dr. King left his prepared speech and in his impassioned style, reiterated his dream of liberation and equality in America for all. 

 

It was Dr. King’s speech which shaped modern America and led him to be named the Man of the Year by Time magazine in 1963 and to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

 

Instead of studying the rich background behind Dr. King’s speech and listening to the actual recording of the entire speech, the MISD students are to be taught with the Common Core “cold reading” method in which they do not even read the entire, original speech; and the SOAPSTone Chart gives students only two lines upon which to write their “surface” responses.  

 

This “fill in the blank” assignment will not elicit the depth of understanding that students should gain from studying Dr. King and his famous speech.  Instead, students will come away with no real appreciation of the stature of this courageous man and of the part he played in the civil rights movement.

 

Students are not taught how this speech impacted the contemporary writers of Dr. King’s day, how the speech was perceived by other Americans, nor how the speech is still influencing society today after some 51 years.  

 

MISD students are not even expected to learn more about Dr. King’s life nor about his tragic death by assassination – nothing about Dr. King as a man, his childhood experiences, his family, his education, his lifetime struggles.  

 

Cold reading is indeed pedagogy, and it is highly illegal for the federal government (U. S. Department of Education under Arne Duncan) to force pedagogy upon states and locals.

 

As an ex-English teacher of more than 33 years, my heart aches when I think about how this “cold reading” assignment will kill students’ love of reading, exploring, soaking in great literature, and learning about the historical impact that expert writers can have.  

 

The end result is that students will come out of this shallow unit without experiencing the beauty of Dr. King’s rhetoric nor the literary and historical aspects that surround him and the civil rights movement.   

 

Of course, now MISD can rightly say, “Yes, our  students have studied Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”  However, the real truth is “No, they have not.”  Students have studied Dr. King in name only.  What MISD has really done is to check off a few boxes on their Common Core curriculum guides, but their students have not actually studied Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. nor the noble “dream” he had for America.  

american dream

Link to the following DOC with questionable  group questioning.

Exploring 2

governement

 9.4.14 – “Texas Parents Stunned by Common Core Materials Coming Home from School”

by Merrill Hope – Breitbart Texashttp://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Texas/2014/09/4/Texas-Parents-Stunned-by-Common-Core-Materials-Coming-Home-From-School

 

6.18.14 – “Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott: No Common Core in Texas” – by Merrill Hope – by Merrill Hope – Breitbart Texashttp://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Texas/2014/06/18/Abbott-No-Common-Core-in-Texas

 

 

5.28.14 – “Is There Common Core in Texas? Donna Garner Counters Cathy Moak’s Comments” — http://www.educationviews.org/common-core-texas/

 

 

 

 

Donna Garner

Wgarner1@hot.rr.com

 

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Communist Howard Zinn’s History Book read by Bellaire High School Students.

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hammer_and_sickle-svg-med2

 

Howard Zinn, was a card-carrying member of the communist party. Zinn authored a book titled “The People’s History of the United States“. Unfortunately for our country his book is read throughout numerous College and High School classes as in the AP History Class of Bellaire High School in Houston, Texas.

Zinn is bent on destroying the fabric of America with his revisionist history and unfortunately his ideals of America are promoted as truth on many impressionable minds.  The new AP History written and sold by an outside agency, the College Board  has taken a radical leftist view and has been purchased and implemented in most high schools throughout the country. Texas State Board of Education Member Ken Mercer has been fighting  to have the new AP History removed from Texas class rooms. Unbeknownst to parents and taxpayers Texas superintendents and school administrators have pushed forward with purchasing and implementing the curriculum.

I personally have notified my local school district’s superintendent and school board  of Magnolia ISD and have received no response from any school board member. I did receive one email from the superintendent, Todd Stephens informing me  they will teach the TEKS. There are 181+ TEK requirements missing out the of the curriculum. So in other words the AP Test will not cover much of the TEK’s requirements and will be aligned with Common Core. Parents are going to have to wake up and find out what is going on in their schools and districts. Our country is in peril. zinns

Ken Mercer on AP History

A Case Against Howard Zinn

 

Below is a copy of Round Rock ISD’s AP US History recommended reading of Howard Zinn.

 

McNeil

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