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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.





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




Stacy Hock






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.




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.




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.



nickii truesdall






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.


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.


























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College and Career Readiness Scam

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TEA keeps dreaming up new ways to disrupt the focus of the core curriculum: reading, writing, math, science, and social studies.
TEA and the 20 Texas Education Service Centers have more than 80% of the Texas School Districts indoctrinated with the progressive common core education philosophy –AKA– Discovery Learning. This method of education puts the student in charge of his/her education. The teacher just present problems and the students on their own discover the necessary facts to solve the problem. Discovery learning  is successful with gifted and talented students, but only if they are self-disciplined and self-motivated.Thus, discovery learning is unsuccessful with the majority of students.
Discovery learning  is a method where students take charge of their education and teachers are only to be  “guides on the side.”
What is the point of requiring teachers to have college degrees if students are to take charge of their own education?
The discover learning method depends on students coming to school with a desire to learn and information that they can share with other students. The idea is that each student has something different to contribute, thus by brain storming students can solve problems themselves. I started my teaching career in 1966. Teachers were expected to be in control of their classes. Teachers were expected to be knowledgeable about the subjects they taught and they were to provide students with the basic facts necessary to solve problems. During my teaching career I taught many different sciences at different grade levels and in different school districts. I started out with one if not the best mentor ever, Ms. Marcille Hollingsworth, who wisely taught me that a teacher must have control of the class in order to present the concepts necessary for problem solving. That was 49 years ago and now veteran teachers like Ms. Hollingsworth are encouraged to leave the teaching profession. They are considered trouble makers because they do not agree with what is being called the “Twenty First Century Progressive Discovery Method” of teaching.
How is the 21st Century Progressive Discovery Method working out?
I recently volunteered to mentor a new 8th grade science teacher and help create a science lab room. To say that I was shocked at the behavior of the students doesn’t come close to describing my experiences. Teacher friends had told me that students were difficult and the new teaching philosophies made it next to impossible to maintain order in the classroom. You cannot come close to imagining how the progressive discovery method has destroyed the learning environment of our public schools.
Some of these 8th grade students must have their tests read to them. Yes, there are 8th grade students who cannot read well enough to read their tests and are in regular class rooms without any particular assistance. The idea is that by being in regular classes these non-readers will learn more than if in a small class with teachers trained to help them. It is really sad to see a student making every effort for other students not to know they cannot read. By working in groups non-readers have learned to copy the work of other students even though they cannot read and understand what they write. Some are behavior problems. Some misbehave instead of doing any work because they cannot read and their writing skills are so poor. They would rather be viewed as being disobedient instead of thought of as being dumb.
Mixing students of different abilities is called Inclusion and is hailed as a system to provide equal education to all students.
I do understand that parents want their children to have the best education. Parents of students who have learning disabilities have fought for the rights of their children. They won the right for their children to be in the same classes with children having no specific learning disability. Now, instead of their children being in small classes with several specially trained teachers to help overcome and/or learn in special ways, children with learning disabilities have less special assistance. All inclusive classrooms move at the same pace.  Administrators promote the idea that teachers are able to provide individual assistance to students who need extra assistance. Teachers are to prepare lessons for students with different abilities, thus gifted students and students with learning as well as emotional disabilities all receive lessons designed especially for them.


First of all students are suppose to be taking charge of their own education–working in groups and sharing ideas with teachers not giving them facts—remember teachers are to be guides on the side. But with inclusion there are students who are not capable of taking charge of their education. The truth is that no student can do this in elementary and few in upper grades. When questions about students with learning disabilities, administrators “craw-fish” and put the responsibility of providing special lessons for these students.

Public education is a mess.

Some of the 8th graders I work with can read but have little comprehension. Most of the students have little self-discipline. None of the students have the skills to design a science investigation to discover the answer to a problem. This is because all of the students have very little science knowledge to draw on. They have been in charge of their own education for so many years that many have such a poor education they could not apply for the most basic jobs.
The teachers are also trained to use the Fundamental Five Steps of teaching taught by “Lead Your School.” This requires teachers to have students working in groups among other things, such as having the perform critical writing at the end of every class period. I read the book for this course and it gives no clue what is considered critical writing. Basically students are to summarize what they learned during the class period.
 Students do not have textbooks that they bring to class. Instead, a worktext is issued and it remains in the classroom. The pages in this book are perforated so they easily tear out. These books were originally developed for common core standards. The publisher had a group of Texas educators to revise some of the sections so that these worktexts can be said to align with Texas standards called TEKS. These hodgepodge revised worktexts have students doing mindless busy work. A few students who are either self-disciplined enough to want to learn and/or have parents who encourage them to learn do the work and those in their group copy the answers.
In Waco ISD, students who want to learn are allowed to attend classes with other students of the same mind set. Waco ISD has a special school for these students. I’ve had the honor of being invited to work with these students. It was like stepping back a few years when teachers were in charge of their classes. Yes, traditional education, which has been described by our Texas Educational service systems as old fashion, not acceptable in our modern 21st century technology education systems. What a joke.
In classes where  teachers are not in charge, students often tend to be loud and not focused on the lesson. .Why are teachers being blamed for the failure of our education system when those at the state level force teachers to allow students to be in charge of their own education. The 8th graders that I work with would not have a clue how to behave in the event of a true emergency. During one of the labs, I tripped and fell on the floor hitting my head on the edge of a cabinet. There were students near me but none made an effort to help me. I was not badly injured and purposely remained on the floor as I screamed–
“I’ve fallen, will someone help me.”
The teacher in the adjoining room came in immediately, but most of the my students never acknowledged my cry for help because they were loudly talking to each other. I cannot control the behavior of these students. I ask the administration for help and was told to have a discipline plan–rules for students to follow and consequences. There are no consequences that these students fear.
Are is there? I recently observed something I’d never seen in the school before.
A substitute teacher who has never been indoctrinated with all the CSCOPE and Lead Your School nonsense monitored classes for one of the 8th grade teachers. For the first time I saw 8th grade students sitting quietly as they did their individual work. The substitute was busy assisting the teacher by grading papers. Had the teacher been there, he would have been reprimanded for sitting at his desk and grading papers.
It appears that only substitute teachers are allowed to have a quiet classroom. Only substitute teachers are not allowed to sit at their desks. Regular teachers must be walking around the room guiding and encouraging students who are working nosily in groups or making poster board projects etc…… Students are to appear to be enjoying the class. A quiet class with students doing individual work is only to be observed during the multitude of testings.
All the TEKS are to be taught before the STAAR tests in April
I am discovering that there is really not enough time to teach students the content of the TEKS before the assessments (STAAR/EOCs) are given.
Think about it:
     Some days are cut short so that teachers can be trained to encourage students to go to college. This is called “No Excuses University.” Teachers are given a book to read so they can better encourage students to go to college. This book has nothing to do with the content that each teacher is hired to teach. I read the book—It would be good for teachers training to be teachers. Those in the professions should know everything in the book. But, since our 20 Education Service Centers are now training people to be teachers, principals, and even superintendents, maybe they do not know how to teach–or lead.
Think about this:
The 20 ESCs are forbidden to write and sell lessons to schools because of the faulty, antiAmerican, anti-Christian CESCOPE lessons. Yet, these same people who purposely created instruction materials that were never reviewed are in charge of training people to teach our children; training people to be principals and superintendents as well as training school board members. In other words, the 20 ESCs have more control over Texas Public Education than TEA, the Commissioner of Education, and all the legislative education committees.
Since many students cannot read well and have little comprehension of what they read, TEA has solution for these problems:
1. Make the TEKS and STAAR/EOC tests more rigorous.
2. Add more for teachers to present as they guide from the side.
Now teachers are to incorporate College and Career Readiness into their “lessons.”This is another education scam–meaning that more material can be sold to schools–more programs sold to schools for college and career readiness when time needs to be spent teaching students to read.







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Five Pillars of Islam taught by Texas ISD’s!

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Thanks Donna Garner. I wanted to share this with everyone, as you may need it too.

VIDEO – 2.51 minutes — Andrew Bennett — Upset Father – Northwest ISD, Ft. Worth, Texas – 5 Pillars of Islam and Common Core in Texas (video below)

Published on Feb 10, 2014

Northwest ISD Parents and Teachers Against Common Core, address school board regarding the heavy focus of Islam, while just briefly touching on primary religions. Common Core is in Texas, just by another name — College and Career Ready, CSCOPE, Springboard, 21st Century Learning Skills…

To read through the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for Social Studies, please go to the following link:

The World History Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) start at:
§113.42. Notice that Islam is only one of the many elements that Texas students are to be taught:
(23) Culture. The student understands the history and relevance of major religious and philosophical traditions. The student is expected to:
(A) describe the historical origins, central ideas, and spread of major religious and philosophical traditions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, and the development of monotheism; and
(B) identify examples of religious influence on various events referenced in the major eras of world history.

Donna Garner


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       “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” ~Lenin 

Texas Trash Talk
by Colleen Vera

Many thought that when TESCCC promised to remove lesson plans from CSCOPE the children of Texas were safe – for now.

The plan by the liberals to bypass our Governor and State Board of Education  in order to slip Federal Common Core Standards into Texas schools through the backdoor – secretly using public funds hidden within a private non-profit corporation – had been uncovered, investigated and thwarted.

For the time being, Texas kids were safe from Bill Ayers and Linda Darling Hammond. Lessons designed to brainwash Texas kids against Capitalism, American Exceptionalism,  Christianity, etc. were gone.  Texas teachers were no longer forced to teach all kids the same CSCOPE lessons on the same day in the exact same way.

All was well. Right?

I am sorry to report that a more sinister web is now being quickly spun as you read. A plan that includes:


  • Implementing Obama’s new pre-K plan to
  • Use local Harris County tax dollars to fund a
  • Private non-profit corporation to
  • Grab Harris County kids from birth to 4
  • Including HOME VISITS…. then
  • Gradually expand statewide until the
  • State has control of all day care programs
  • Under Federal pre-school Common Core standards.

Thus leading to the ultimate utopia for liberals – government control of child rearing – hidden behind the guise of “kindergarten readiness.”

This is all being planned secretly behind closed doors at the Harris County Department of Education.(HCDE)

What makes it worse is that the HCDE  Board President, Angie Chesnut143-Chestnut_09.jpg  is supposed to be a Republican. She even serves as Vice President  of the Kingwood Area Republican Women – who list CSCOPE as a “hot topic” on their website.

Yet Ms Chesnut is allowing each board member to meet privately with the team planning Obama’s Pre-K Common Core program so they can gain information and ask questions WITHOUT having to discuss the plan in front of the public in an open meeting.

I guess she has never read the “Republican Philosophy” document nor the “Republican vs Democrat” beliefs page posted by her own club.

More troubling is that at the HCDE meeting to  replace a resigning board member, Ms. Chesnut threw out board policy, introduced a new Democrat to the list of board candidates, and proceeded to vote with the Democrats to approve the new candidate –  thus guaranteeing a Democrat majority – and the passage of Obama’s Pre-K Common Core plan.

But thanks to the one true Republican on the HCDE Board, Kay Smith, the public is no longer being kept in the dark about the plan. She shared it with me so I could share it with Texas.

I have scanned the documents outlining the program and posted them below:

angie 18 angie 20

Some will say I can’t call this “CSCOPE for Babies” because a computer product is not being sold. But the  similarities of this plan to CSCOPE are too remarkable to be a coincidence.

Three examples from their business models are:

  • Just as CSCOPE uses public funds to run a private non-profit corporation to hide its operations from the public, HCDE plans to more than double its tax rate to raise $24-30 million per year and GIVE IT via contract to a start-up non-profit to be called “Harris County School Readiness Corporation (HCSRC)” to operate the program.
  • Just as CSCOPE started as a simple service to local school districts and spread to over 800 districts statewide with plans of expanding out of state, HCSRC plans to start in Harris County with “on-line resources, parenting classes and in-home visitations” and grow to create “ a single state entity” to “GOVERN ALL early childhood education functions.”
  • Just as the legality of CSCOPE’s actions were suspect, the legality of Harris County School Trustees collecting the Equalization Tax to give to a private non-profit corporation instead of distributing the funds directly to the ISDs  as dictated by Texas Education Code 18.14, is highly questionable.

But the most remarkable similarities are in the people connected to this program.

James J Heckman from the University of Chicagowho was an advisor to President Obama’s 2008 campaign, provides the evaluation claiming this program will “strengthen Texas’s economy.”

The link in his material to  shows the organization to be theAlliance for Excellent Education who just happens to have Linda Darling Hammond (of CSCOPE fame) on their board. Like Heckman, Hammond served as President Obama’s education advisor during his 2008 campaign.

chesnut 11

Even though her own charter school at Stanford failed academically, Bill Ayres thought so highly of Ms. Hammond that he posted a petition on to have her named as Secretary of Education.


Some other  Alliance Board members of interest are:

  • Vijay Ravindran who was the chief technology officer of Catalist LLC—a  political technology company started with $1 million from George Soros that built a national progressive voter database of  more than 260 million people. During the 2008 election, Catalist worked with ninety progressive organizations, including Planned Parenthood, SEIU,  and the Obama presidential campaign, to name a few.
  • Daniel Leeds is founder and chair of Education Voters of America,the Education Funders Strategy Group, and the Alliance for Excellent Education, for which he serves as chair of its governing board. Mr. Leeds is also president of Fulcrum Investments LLC.

The Alliance was a founding partner in the Data Quality Campaign to develop education data systems in every state to “improve student achievement.”CSCOPE is a data mining program.

The Alliance partners with Learning Forward to provide standards training.

Learning Forward published one of Hammonds reports for SCOPE –Stanford Center for Opportunity in Education.

ESCs link to the Alliance and to Learning Forward on their websites.

Presenting for Learning Forward Texas in June and July is Ervin Knezek  (ofCSCOPE fame –) who now owns his own company called lead4ward.  Currently working for him are:

angie 12

Note: As a retired teacher I find it odd that Learning Forward Texas, an organization that specializes in training educators, has no training programs listed on their calendar for the entire summer – the busiest season for teacher workshops.

The brochure produced to promote this new program in Harris County lists the board members of the Texas Gulf Coast School Readiness Committee on the last page.

The Chair of the committee, Stephen M Kaufman, is the Managing Director ofFulcrum Investments LLC  whose President just happens to be the founder and chair of the Alliance for Excellent Education, Education Voters of America and the Education Funders Strategy Group.

Corporation wiki lists Mr. Kaufman as the President of the Rauch Foundationwhich focuses on similar education issues on Long Island, NY. The small program there appears to be the model for what they want to do in Texas.

And what a coincidence that it is all right in step with President Obama’s newPre-K Initiative.

angie 14

This includes  national standards for preschool – thus the phrase “Common Core for Babies.” Then there is the plan to grow this Harris County program into a statewide government entity. A look at Colorado shows us what we have to look forward to if we allow this to move forward.

“Legislators in Colorado …  passed an additional 96 pages of regulations in attempt to reduce regulations for preschools. These new laws banned whole milk for preschoolers, require a certain percentage of “ethnic dolls” in dollhouses, and mandates state reports of how many crayons per child the daycare provider offers. And preschools like Montessori have to get state board approvals to operate in Colorado if they use wooden stools or puzzles, because these are just too much of a safety risk.”                                                          Karin Piper

But I think the scariest part of this plan is the Home Visitation Programwhich provides regular home visits to families from pregnancy through the child’s second birthday, ”intended to promote good health and parenting practices.”

It is bad enough when the bureaucrats over-regulate schools and businesses, but when they have the right to enter your home and regulate how you care for yourself and your children, they have crossed the line.

This program may not be a computer only product, but it is a control mechanism and data mining process just like CSCOPE.

It is the Federal government trying to sneak in the back door just as they tried with CSCOPE, but this time they have come for our babies.

We are kicking them out of our ISDs and now we need to make sure we keep them out of our pre-schools and our homes.

What you can do?

Because Angie Chesnut sold out the HCDE Board to the Democrats, contacting HCDE is a waste of time.

This will need to be stopped in Austin.

You can contact:

  • Senator Patrick, Chair of the Senate Education Committee

    (512) 463-0107 … email

  • Rep. Aycock, Chair of the House Education Committee

   (512) 463-0684 … email

Ask them to investigate the Harris County Department of Education (HCDE) and stop their plan to bring the federal pre-k “Common Core for babies” program in the back door by funding a private non-profit corporation with equalization tax dollars.

Note: For those who don’t know what HCDE is, it is the assumed name of the Harris County School Trustees.  Years ago, county boards ran public schools in Texas. When Texas moved to ISDs, every county but two, Harris and Dallas, closed their county boards when they no longer had schools to run.

Harris County still elects County School Trustees who  still have the authority to collect a countywide education property tax (called the equalization tax) almost 50 years after all students in Harris County moved out of the countywide school system and into ISDs. It is the only school board in Texas elected by Party.  You can read more here.

Colleen Vera


As you know, Linda Darlng-Hammond is tied to Columbia Teachers’ College. Yes, the data mining that will be utilized if HB 2103 is signed into law right here in Texas is enough to make any person scared, and the national database under Common Core Standards is a similar entity.  All the data from 20 years back that is contained in PEIMS, in the TEA, in the Texas Higher Education Commission, and in the Texas Workforce Commission will be subject to sharing with government and private entities even  outside Texas. From this data, the Obama administration will be able to screen out people who have a freckle on their left earlobe! – Donna Garner


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