[7.19.13 — From Donna Garner – I will try to give the public some background on Sen. Dan Patrick’s press release issued a few minutes ago. To read what I sent out yesterday about Thomas Ratliff and the SBOE, please go to: http://educationviews.org/contact-tea-sboe-cscope/
Here goes: On 6.6.13, Alice Linahan invited Sen. Dan Patrick to come on her community conversation show. During that show, Alice read a letter from a parent in a Texas school district who was questioning the fact that her local school district was downloading the CSCOPE lessons off the CSCOPE website and putting them onto their own computers so that they could continue to teach the CSCOPE lessons in the future.
Furthermore, Alice played a voice recording of Thomas Ratliff, Texas State Board of Education member, verifying that he was the very one who had been telling teachers to download and keep using the CSCOPE lessons. Here is the link to that part of the podcast: https://soundcloud.com/alice-linahan/sboe-elected-official-thomas-1
Thomas Ratliff has been advising teachers to defy the will of the Texas legislature as stated in Sen. Dan Patrick’s press release on 5.20.13 in which CSCOPE lessons were not to be utilized after the Aug. 31, 2013 contract runs out. If teachers follow Ratliff’s advice and continue to use the CSCOPE lessons, this could leave their school districts open to lawsuits or worse.
Why would Thomas Ratliff do such a thing? We must remember that Ratliff is serving on the SBOE illegally. He has been a registered lobbyist for Gates/Microsoft for at least 13 years, and the TEA/SBOE purchases products from Gates/Microsoft. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has ruled that Ratliff is in violation of the law because of this obvious conflict of interest and that there is nothing short of resigning from the SBOE that Ratliff could do to “cure” his situation. Defiantly, Ratliff has still continued to remain on the SBOE; and even though Texas citizens begged the House to begin impeachment proceedings (which by law is where such proceedings must begin), they chose not to do so, probably because Ratliff’s brother is now in the Legislature.
Gates/Microsoft has been pushing Type #2 Common Core Standards (CCS) from the very beginning of Obama’s Presidency. Gates is a leftist progressive and believes personally in Type #2, and he also stands to make billions off the technology used to implement the Common Core Standards. (Please go to this link to see a chart explaining Type #1 and Type #2 — http://educationviews.org/2-types-of-education-philosophies-chart/ )
CSCOPE follows the same Type #2 philosophy and is closely linked to Common Core Standards. Thomas Ratliff knows that if he can keep the Type #2 CSCOPE lessons going, he can continue to indoctrinate Texas children into the Type #2 philosophy used in the Common Core Standards; and anything Ratliff can do to increase online lessons/software/systems/databases will benefit his pocketbook and that of his boss, Bill Gates/Microsoft.
Because Thomas Ratliff has no limits to the brazen gall he will demonstrate, he conned The Texas Tribune into writing an article on 7.17.13 that appears to make it look as if he is coming alongside the education establishment and is blaming Sen. Patrick and the chair of the SBOE for the demise of the CSCOPE lessons. Ratliff is trying to act shocked that teachers are downloading the CSCOPE lessons even though it was he who has been encouraging them to do just this which, in essence, defies the will of the legislature. Alice Linahan has Ratliff on tape saying this! Now Sen. Dan Patrick has answered back today with the following press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Logan Spence (512) 463-0107
July 18, 2013
Senator Patrick Seeks Audit of CSCOPE
AUSTIN— Today, Senator Dan Patrick sent a letter to State Auditor John Keel asking for his review of the operations of the TESCCC, governing board of the CSCOPE program. This letter follows a similar letter submitted to the State Auditor by the Office of the Attorney General last week.
“While my initial concerns with CSCOPE focused on the content of their lesson plans,” said Patrick, “further review revealed that CSCOPE had potential underlying legal issues that need to be addressed.”
Among the concerns outlined in his letter to State Auditor John Keel are the facts that the Education Service Centers failed to comply with state law requiring a bidding process and the adoption of formal contracts with state government vendors.
In part, the letter reads:
“In light of these issues, I am writing to ask you to exercise your authority as State Auditor and determine if the Education Services Centers acted appropriately under state law when they paid NER to produce the CSCOPE materials without a bidding process and without the protections of a legally binding contract.”
“Texans deserve an open and transparent state government and that is particularly true of our public education system,” said Patrick. “The curriculum in our classrooms must be open to public scrutiny as well as the contracts to publish them.”
In response to TEA’s suggestion to the SBOE that CSCOPE lesson plans could be used because they are in the public domain, Senator Patrick said, “I disagree with that analysis but I am looking into the issue further. Until I started asking questions, and holding hearings, parents weren’t even allowed to view these materials.”
“Until this question is resolved, parents need to continue to make their voices heard at the local school district level that they want CSCOPE out of their schools.”
“The vast majority of parents, teachers, and ldegislators have made it clear they want CSCOPE out of their schools. I stand with them and intend to make sure no one tries to slide CSCOPE lesson plans under the classroom door, ” said Senator Patrick.