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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by  14 Mar 2014, 4:36 AM

AUSTIN, TEXAS–TAMSA (Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessment) is the mom-pack posing as the grassroots on the Texas education advocacy front that Breitbart Texas reported flew under the radar when working with elected officials Representative Jimmy Don Aycock (R-Killeen) and State Board of Education Vice Chair Thomas Ratliff on HB 5. Although TAMSA identifies itself as a non-partisan organization, campaign and other financial contributions made by TAMSA leadership and core members tells a story that supports a very progressive educational agenda in Texas.

In public records housed on the Texas Tribune’s Texas Campaign Finance Database 2000-14, a non-grassroots public education picture emerges from 2012-13 where TAMSA–the darlings of HB5–supported a variety of Democratic and progressive causes in Texas. Among the cash recipients were Battleground Texas, Wendy Davis, and Ratliff, a paid Microsoft lobbyist. Microsoft is neck deep in the implementation of 21st Century learning through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Texas’ 21st Century learning and College and Career Readiness Standards are all a part of the federal agenda, the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

TAMSA president Dineen Majcher  contributed a diminutive $300 to Texas Parent PAC, however, the records show that the PAC’s top contributors also included TAMSA agitator-at-large Susan Kellner and former Lt. Governor Bill Ratliff, who sits on the Parents for Public Schools advisory board with Linda Darling-Hammond, a key education policy ideologue and influencer behind both the controversial Common Core State and CSCOPE.

Furthermore, Texas Parent PAC is an organization that endorses Save Texas Schools and whose advisory committee chairman Allen Weeks was featured on the “Reclaiming the Promise through Community Schools” SXSWedu 2014 panel with Randi Weingarten, president of the largest and most powerful teacher’s union in the United States — the American Federation of Teachers.

Breitbart Texas was there when Weingarten told attendees on March 3, 2014 that she had been in Austin since January with Weeks to work on a “community schools strategy.”  This is the same strategy Breitbart Texas recently reported on that New York Governor Cuomoexecutive ordered into aligning education, health and social services into the one convenient hub–the public school.

At the conference, Weeks made no mention about his ties to Save Texas Schools. He was listed as executive director of Austin Voices for Education and Youth. However, to donate online to Save Texas Schools, the check needs to be made out to Austin Voices for Education and Youth where it also states that Austin Voices for Education and Youth is the nonprofit organization that is the fiscal sponsor for Save Texas Schools. Reclaiming the Promise is AFT initiative lead by Weingarten.

Also in the 2012-13 records, TAMSA Treasurer Laura Yeager contributed to the most likely Democratic candidates and groups to champion Fed Led Ed right into Texas. Shedonated to the campaigns of Wendy R. Davis for Governor, Inc.; Battleground Texas and the Leticia Van Putte for Lieutenant Governor Campaign Committee.

TAMSA mouth piece Kellner, who is the former Spring Branch ISD Board of Trustees, along with husband Larry Kellner, former chairman and chief executive officer of Continental Airlines, made generous contributions to Democratic causes, candidates and legislators in Texas according to the online records.

The Kellners, however, landed on the top recipients list, contributing a combined total of $40,000 to Texans for Joe Straus, straddling the 2012-13 period at $10,000 per contribution. In 2012, they also ranked among the top contributors to SBOE Vice Chair Thomas Ratliff, flanked by the Texas State Teachers Association PAC and Charles Butt, HEB grocery chain magnate. Among their 2013 contributions listed, they plunked down $20,000 to the Harris County based Citizens for School Readiness, a 527 political organization, busy pushing the federal pre-kindergarten program in a CATO Institutereport posted by EAG News.

Thomas Ratliff has been tagged a controversial figure because of questions that have arisen about his lobbyist status and the legitimacy for him to serve on the Texas State Board of Education. Although the Texas Education Code (Title 2. Public Education, Subtitle B, Section 7.103) states in as eligibility for membership that “a person who is required to register as a lobbyist under Chapter 305, Government Code, by virtue of the person’s activities for compensation in or on behalf of a profession, business, or association related to the operation of the board, may not serve as a member of the board or act as the general counsel to the board,” Ratliff continues to sit on the Texas State Board of Education despite a 2011 opinion rendered on the matter from the Texas Attorney General’s office.

Also, the son of the former Lieutenant Governor, Ratliff’s top contributors over the same period have been Butt, the Kellners, and Chris Huckabee, appointed to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board by Governor Rick Perry.

The dollars on record do not lie. They tell the story of a well-organized machine and a lot of disconcerting ties that may not reflect Texas values after all.

Currently, TAMSA lists among their latest plank-of-action opting out of the Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills (TEKS) aligned STAAR testing but not necessarily in the grassroots spirit of “teaching to the test.” Rather, their goal is to replace the Texas exams with the “nationally recognized tests” a.k.a. the Common Core assessments in grades 3-8.  It’s right on their website. They are who Thomas Ratliff praised as the “real grassroots” at SXSWedu 2014.

Original records source credited is the Texas Ethics Commission.

Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom


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