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One Conservative Parent’s Thoughts on School Choice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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CYFAIR ISD SUPPRESSING INFORMATION

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pray-together

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Thank you,

Marney Collins Sims,

General Counsel

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

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

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

cyfair-ag

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

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HUDSON ISD: FBI RESPONSIBLE for US TERRORIST ATTACKS……SERIOUSLY?

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Our country’s political landscape has been transforming before out very eyes and you can thank our public education system for the vast majority of it. The progressive ideology running rampant through our our government and education system will more than likely solidify the destruction of the United State’s freedom. Texas’s own Hudson’s superintendent Mary Ann Whitaker is a proponent of transforming our Texas Education System into a progressive one.

Image result for mary ann whitaker

 

Mary Ann Whitaker thought one students article on “Presidential Candidates Positions on Syrian Refugees” was so news worthy they have posted in on the school’s website. You can read it for yourself below. All I can add is “LORD HELP US”.

 

Presidential candidates positions on Syrian refugees

By: (I have removed students name)

 

Time’s 2015 Person of the Year award was given to Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany. Merkel has many accomplishments qualifying her for the title, including her handling of European economic crises and her response to the terror activities occurring too frequently in the region. By far, her most outstanding act has been Germany’s acceptance of nearly one million – 964, 574 to be exact – refugees from Syria and other unstable regions of the Middle East. Merkel’s ability to see migrants as who they actually are – innocent families fleeing religious and social persecution – rather than who the Islamic State wishes for them to be – terrorists – not only makes her an outstanding leader on a global scale but a champion of tolerance and humility second to none.

There are skewed responses to the refugee crisis around the world, the United States being the center for such confusion. With ten popular Republican presidential contenders and three popular Democrats all professing different opinions and solutions, it’s no wonder Americans have a difficult time taking a stance on the issue. Even more upsetting is the fact that the responses of most Republicans are discriminatory based on race, religion, or gender and the actions suggested by Democrats are not nearly enough.

Donald Trump, America’s favorite presidential contender and human being in general, is the epitome of bigotry and ignorance. Trump has announced, and defended, his stance on the ban of Muslim migration to the United States. Two comments. First, this idea senseless as a vast majority of Muslims condemn Islamic extremism, those fleeing IS especially exhibiting disapproval of radicalization. The people running from the terrorists are not the terrorists! Second, this action would be unconstitutional as it violates the First Amendment. Americans have the right to “freedom of religion,” and prohibiting people of a particular religion from entering and practicing their beliefs in this country grossly defies this basic liberty.

Freedom of religion can also be defined as freedom from religion. Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush have both proposed an idea in which only Christians from Syria and the Middle East would be allowed to enter the United States. The first flaw with this reasoning is the belief that Christians will be less violent than Muslims. As mentioned earlier, the Muslims in the region are not terrorists and will not behave in a way more threatening than the Christians of the region. The second flaw is that there is no guarantee those migrating are actually Christians. How does one prove he’s a Christian? A relationship with God is on a personal level and as a result there is no possible way for screening agencies to determine who is and is not Christian. In addition, it is ridiculous, inhumane, and even unChristian to value a particular group over another and leave the less valuable one helpless and ready to die. Let me point out the most obvious issue at hand: this would be unconstitutional. It is ironic that these “Republicans,” who supposedly value strict adherence to the constitution which is evident through their call to abolish Obamacare and defend the rights of gun owners, would so easily damn the very document and its influence to protect those following America’s religion – Christianity.

Marco Rubio has suggested to only allow women, children, and the elderly to enter the United States. This is offensive on so many levels. First is the fact that the sentence reads women then children as if the two are equally incapable of taking care of themselves. These dependents most definitely need a brave, religious man like Mr. Rubio to step in and save them from the Muslims. Rubio’s statement is a gross display of benevolent sexism. Mr. Rubio is willing give women “special” (by that I mean unequal) treatment if women embrace their subordination. The tragic reality is that so many women would accept this offer, at the expense of their husbands, sons, and dignity, to continue their lives. It’s this rhetoric that holds back females and forces them to embrace their current social standings rather than strive for equality.

Ben Carson and Donald Trump both advocate increased surveillance. Islamophobic Trump has called for separate databases for Muslims. Ben Carson says, “In the larger capacity, we should monitor anything – mosques, church, school, you know, shopping centers – where there is a lot of radicalization going on.” There is a commonality between the two stances: both call for increased surveillance of American Muslims, who do not support terrorism in the slightest. The few that may have in the past likely did so only because an FBI informant illegally tricked them into committing a crime. Pursuing American Muslims increases distrust in the government and alienates an essential ally in stopping terrorism.

All of these stances are hypocritical. The true Republican party, the one I would identify with if it existed, believes that a limited government is necessary for the maintenance of individual liberties. This party would condemn a national endorsement or ban of a particular religion as this is unconstitutional, would never pass legislation which subordinates women and potentially limits their rights, and would be an adamant advocate of decreased government surveillance. Unfortunately, none of the candidates above share these values. Maybe the Democrats have a better stance…

Martin O’Malley, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders have all called for the acceptance of 65,000 refugees. This may be the figure suggested by the U.N. but it is not nearly enough. There are an estimated 4 million people displaced by the chaos in Syria. Democrats suggest we take 65,000 while Germany is accepting 964, 574. This acceptance rate is extremely disproportionate and unfair to Germany and other European countries attempting to support the refugees. John Kerry, the current Secretary of State, has suggested that the U.S. should take a minimum of 100,000 refugees, and this figure is likely a better starting point. At least these candidates don’t exhibit intolerant or even hostile, in Trump’s case, sentiment toward the refugees.

The Islamic State wins when America does not have an adequate response. Innocent Syrian and Iraqi families continue to be slaughtered, Muslims around the globe begin to despise American leaders for their lack of response as Islam adherents face these atrocities, and Islamophobic sentiment grows in America, alienating a crucial ally and cultural benefactor. It is important for the public to know and understand the values of presidential candidates, as their beliefs impact legislation and action in the future. An improper character perception could be the difference between the tragic outcome listed above and the endurance of American ideals.

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ESCs Exposed-Part 2: No Accountability

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ostrich

by Janice VanCleave

Texas Education Service Centers (ESCs) were established to provide service to school districts in different regions of Texas. Schools in rural areas have different needs than do schools in cities.Thus, 20 ESCs were established to provide specific services to met the needs of school districts within each region.

The ESCs were originally supported by the state. In 2003 the state legislature allowed the ESCs to sell products and services to bring in more funding. This ended these agencies being a service to schools and opened the door for poor quality products and programs to be produced and sold to public schools.

The ESCs are allowed to be self-governed, thus there has and still is no one who evaluates the quality of the ESC products.

State legislatures, TEA and the State Commissioner of Education, like the ostrich in the illustration seem to keep their head buried in the sand. They certainly were not paying attention when the ESCs created a one-size-fits-all K-12 instruction material for core curriculum (math, science, ELAR, social studies).  To add a touch of credibility to this unvetted material called CSCOPE, the ESCs advertised the CSCOPE lessons as being “state lessons.” This is printed on the original CSCOPE materials. Since the ESCs are not held accountable for what they do, the original CSCOPE lessons had plagiarized content. This was not discovered because Texas school superintendents forced their teachers to sign a non-disclosure contract with the ESCs. Teachers signed or they had no job. They agreed to reveal the content of the CSCOPE lessons.  The penalty could be legal court action. This divided the staff in Texas schools. As a teacher, I would not respect a superintendent who cared so little for his/her staff that such a contract was mandatory for employment.

Q1 Who is suppose to oversees the ESCs to confirm that state grant money is spent as directed?

A1 TEA is responsible for confirming that grants from the state are used as described. I cannot testify to all grants given to the ESCs from the state of Texas, but the outside evaluation of the Rider 42 PD grant of $150 Million dollars was spent and the product and services were far below par, yet
yet TEA paid the ESCs the grant money.

Q2 Are the boards of trustees for each of the ESCs doing their job?

A2 Some of the ESC employees say having a board of trustees for the ESCs is a joke. The ESC directors handpick these trustees for their ESC.

Q3 Isn’t the Commissioner of Education suppose to oversee the ESCs to make sure they use money correctly?

A3  State Commission of Education, Michael Williams, allowed the ESCs to develop the rules governing the ESCs.

Basically all the Texas Education Service Centers are given “blank checks” with no real checks-and- balances for verifying what money is used for. Only a very small handful of top directors within each Education Service Center are privy to what happens to the yearly inflow of multi-millions of dollars received by each ESC.  The ESCs receive Federal Grants as well as grant money from the state. How much and what the money is to be used for is only known by the elite few within the ESCs.

The long and short of it is that the  ESCs have evolved from service centers to being part of a  very corrupt network. It is difficult to follow the money trail because of the secrecy and misappropriation of funds.  It is all hush hush when it comes to where grant money goes.

Q4 Why did Robert Scott resign from being the state commissioner of education?

A4  Scott resigned soon after the midwinter TASA conference when he basically did an 180 degree turn from where we all thought he was on many things. Most people considered Robert Scott to stand behind conservative education values.

When the superintendents at the TASA conference gave Scott a standing ovation for supporting TASA’s goals,  we realized that he had been a wolf in sheep clothing or had for some reason been persuaded to support TASA’s goals of implementing Common Core and its assessments.

Q5  I personally think the TEKS and the STAAR do not meet the expectations described. The science TEKS are very vague, and some science TEKS are not correct. When I ask for clarification or to report an error, the answer is always that I just do not understand the objective of the TEKS. Is this attitude the same for everyone who asks questions?

A4 Their patronizing attitude is how TEA and the ESCs get away with so much. It intimidates so many including good educators who might work at TEA or the ESCs. We are patted on the head like we just don’t understand the big picture. We get the picture, shut up and do what we say and don’t ask questions.

 

 

ESC’S EXPOSED-PART 1

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Texas ESCs Exposed-Part 1

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Unpacking-the-ESCs

 

 

Texas Education Service Centers (ESCs)

 

Some of the present and past employees of the Texas Education Service Centers (ESCs) want the public, the  Texas legislatures, the Lt. Governor, the Attorney General as well as the Governor to know the truth about the ineffective use of money poured into the ESCs each year.

The ESC employees providing answers include directors, specialists, consultants, and general staff representing many of the ESC regions. While remaining anonymous in this report, those providing answers assure me they will gladly speak directly to state legislatures, the Lt. Governor, the Attorney General as well as the Governor. The Commissioner of Education is not on this list because he as did his predecessor, Robert Scott, supports the actions of the 20 ESCs directly or indirectly by allowing these agencies to govern themselves.

Not everyone who works at the ESCs is involved in the misappropriation of funds or the creation and promotions of Anti-American instructional materials. Many ESC employees would like the Commissioner of Education and the state legislatures to cut off all funding to the ESCs. When the “chee$e” is removed, the rats will look for “chee$e elsewhere. The ESCs can then return to being Service Centers, instead of vendors with a monopoly over instructional materials.

When action is taken against the ESCs, school supervisors will no longer have any reason for not doing their jobs. They will no longer have the “common core” look-alike programs produced and sold by the ESCs promoted by TASA. WOW! I remember how wonderful Texas education was before TASA and long before TEKS and TAKS and STAAR. Texas education was modeled by other states. The textbooks that Texas selected were also selected by other states. Now few Texas schools have real textbooks and the education standards are at rock bottom. How can our Texas Commissioner of Education show his face when students can pass state math assessments by only answering less than 40% of the questions, yet many students fail?

Q1 & Q2 refer to CSCOPE, which the ESCs now refer to as TEKS Resource Service (TRS). The ESCs have been banned from selling CSCOPE lessons.

Q1

What was the objective of the CSCOPE conventions (now called the TRS conventions)?

A1

The ESC staffers who actually present CSCOPE workshops that have been describe them as cheer-leading sessions to build support for CSCOPE or provide general overviews that use ppts that are within the CSCOPE site.

The ESC staffers who present CSCOPE workshops generally are not invited to the CSCOPE conventions. Instead, mostly the ESCs send about a dozen ESC consultants who do no CSCOPE support work with schools using CSCOPE. These are Special Education and other specialists that never work with districts in regard to CSCOPE. We did ask why they were going and got no answer.

FYI: There is a lot of unnecessary money spent sending ESC specialists to conventions and workshops that have nothing to do with the area they work with. No one confirms that money spend on travel is necessary. No one confirms that training, even in other states, is ever used to train educators.

ESC staffers are basically kept in the dark, but are supposed to do CSCOPE workshops as well as our regular ESC workshops. No compensation is given for the extra work. As previously stated, many who attend the CSCOPE conferences do not present CSCOPE training to educators.

Q2

When the ESCs were banned from selling CSCOPE lessons, were the ESC staffers aware that the CSCOPE lessons were to be given to school districts? Also, were staffers aware that the gutted CSCOPE instruction material would continue to be sold to Texas schools?

Q2

We get few to no answers when we ask about CSCOPE. This program was brought in and we were told that it would be used. No questions asked. I can tell you that what we know about CSCOPE in-house is  different from the verbiage given to the public. We get little to no clarification about what is going on —basically we know to just keep our mouths shut and don’t ask questions.

Q3

Project Share– Is this something established by TEA?

FYI: Project Share is a website where Texas teachers should be able to find free instructional materials for all  grades and subjects. The first materials mandated by the 81st legislature in the Rider 42 grant to be posted on the Project Share website were TEKS transition materials. These were professional development materials that compared the old TEKS for TAKS with the new revised TEKS for STAAR. Academies or teacher professional TEKS training were to be given free and the training materials were to be posted in the Project Share website. $150 MILLION dollars was given to develop materials for the Rider 42 grant math, science, ELAR, and social studies academies as well as create the Project Share website. To this day, 2/18/2015, there are Texas teachers and Texas school superintendents who are not aware that Project Share exists. Few Texas teachers attended or even knew about the Rider 42 PD academies.

Ervin Knezek was an ESC employee when CSCOPE was developed as well as when the Rider 42 grant of  $150 MILLION dollars was being spent developing the Rider 42 academies and “Project Share.”  Knezek resigned from ESC 13 in June, 2010 and established the company Lead4Ward in Washington, State in June, 2010. What was suppose to be part of CSCOPE and wasn’t is on Knezek’s Lead4Ward website. What was suppose to posted on the Project Share website can be found on Knezek’s Lead4Ward website.

A3

Yes, TEA rolled Project Share out and every school district is supposed to have access.
But there are levels of access to the Project Share website. ESC staffers used Project Share  like a linked-in account to share ideas or materials. This was the original idea for Project Share. Not only were the Rider 42 academy PD materials to be available, but teachers were to be able to publish materials that they found successful. Also, teachers were suppose to be able to have accounts where they could share ideas with other educators.

Interestingly, some of the ESC staffers have now been blocked to our share boxes. We had access to these share boxes last year, but now there is a public outcry about the CSCOPE lessons, a lot of information is no longer available. We are not sure why except that there is such paranoia in all the ESCs. If what is being told to the public is true about the CSCOPE lessons, why has the ESC  leadership become so secretive about files that were freely accessible last year?  What was open is not very hush hush and private. The directors of the ESCs seem to be concerned about information shared on the Project Share website. They must be trying to keep up with the answers they are giving about CSCOPE  since they give different answers depending on who asks the question.

Overall, most consider Project Share, like the Rider 42 PD academies expensive projects that have been very ineffective. This is due to the ESCs not developing the website and TEA not following up to see that they do. Like all grant money, once the money is gone regardless if the project is not complete, the ESCs are on to doing what ever brings in more money.

The “jig” will be over if the ESCs are ever thoroughly investigated by someone who doesn’t  benefit in some way from the actions of the ESCs.

Q4

Did State Education Commissioner Robert Scott initiate the idea for Project Share?

A4

The plans for Project Share apparently have been bubbling for a while. Scott was so focused on internal issues that we are not sure he was very aware of Project Share, sad to say.

Q5

The Rider 42 grant provided the initial money for Project Share, thus the ESCs were to develop the content posted on this website. Project Share is affiliated with Epsilen, which is a Common Core company. Why is TEA and the ESCs using a Common Core Company when Texas is forbidden to implement Common Core? Has everyone just turned a blind eye to what grant money is used for?

A5

We totally agree with this– No one asks or even watches what the ESCs do. As to Common Core, TASA promotes Common Core and TASA and the ESCs work together. In fact, wha ever the ESCs sell, Texas school superintendents generally buy it because TASA promotes what the ESCs sell. TASA is after all the Texas Association of School Administrators.

Comment from Janice

Think About This!

1. The ESCs provide superintendent certification training as well as training required for School Board Members. Thus, school superintendents and school board members are indoctrinated with constructists (common core progressive) education philosophy used in creating the CSCOPE instructional materials as well as the “Vision Learning” materials sold by TASA. Of course Common Core education philosophy is used in Texas Schools, but it has different titles, such as CSCOPE a.k.a. TRS Instructional Material, and Vision Learning.

2. Texas School Superintendents and School Board Members use district school taxes to pay for their personal membership fees  into private organizations (TASA/TASB) who lobby for different education bills that benefit the primary objective of TASA/TASB, which is to TRANSFORM TEXAS EDUCATION.

Yes, our Texas legislatures are swayed by TASA lobbyists as well as the Microsoft lobbyist Thomas Ratliff (illegal member of the State Board of Education) to pass bills that promote Transforming Texas Education so that it is comparable to common core.

 

This is part I of a series of Questions  from me and Answers from ESC # 1-20 staff past and present. The following will be addressed in following parts of this series on the “Unpacking of the ESCs.”

 

1. In Nov. 2011, Marlin school superintendent Marsha Riddlehuber and the district instructional director, Jamie Johnson would not allow me to view the content of the CSCOPE lessons used in Marlin ISD. Becca Bell the CSCOPE director also refused me access to the content of the CSCOPE lessons. Why? What were they hiding?

2. During the time that CSCOPE lessons were being sold to Texas public schools, the state comptroller,      , allowed the ESCs to write their own evaluation. This is obvious since the wording of the comptrollers evaluations were word-for-word the same as publicity written by the ESCs to promote the CSCOPE materials. Did the comptroller ever ask anyone about the CSCOPE product that was not benefiting in some way?

These questions and many more will be coming soon.

 

ESC’S EXPOSED PART 2

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Bonds for Crony Contractors, Not Kids

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VLK

 

Bonds for Crony Contractors, Not Kids

Not only did Keller ISD conduct a pre-bond campaign research poll specifically designed to manipulate November’s voters in potential conflict with state law, but the crony contractors they will hire if the proposition passes are also funding the pro-bond PAC operating the “Vote YES” campaign.

According to campaign finance reports, over 96% of the $25,890 in contributions to “Vote Yes for Keller Schools” came from either employees of contractors who will be hired by KISD, or directly from the companies themselves.

VLK Architects, Pogue Construction, TNP, Corgan Associates, Northstar Builders Group and Eric Hanfield were the largest contributors, with each contributing $1000 to $5000. The United Education Association, Inc. also gave $500 to the cause.

We’ve previously reported on the collusive relationship between the Fast Growth School Coalition (FGSC), school board trustees, the “educrat” establishment, and the construction industry who all profit off bonds filled with over-priced projects.

In fact, Keller ISD Superintendent Dr. Reid, is Vice President of the FGSC, a voluntary association of ISDs who’ve organized for the explicit purpose of lobbying legislators to raise your property taxes and eliminate existing borrowing limits. And yes, the lending, investing, design and construction firms like Pogue who stand to profit are also FGSC’s “Corporate Partners”, according to their own website.

Due to excessive debt, districts like KISD are near the current $0.50 property tax limit, with a total taxpayer liability of over $1.4 billion (including principal & interest), or over $42,000 per student. That’s nearly three times the state average in a state with the second highest, per capita local debt.

Without property tax limits, districts like KISD will be able to continue their endless borrowing binge, providing plenty of capital to contractors who then turn around and finance future “Vote YES” PACs to pressure voters into approving even more.

It’s a vicious cycle…but the corruption has much deeper roots.

At this year’s Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) Convention, companies like VLK Architects schmoozed school board trustees at Pappas Brothers’ Steakhouse with wildly expensive steak dinners…and unlimited bar tabs.

Even worse, since each district pays for their own officials and bureaucrats to attend the convention, hard-working taxpayers are on the hook for both event admission and a four-night stay at luxurious hotels, which can total over $1400 per attendee.

Not only do voters need to see the total cost of bond propositions on the actual ballot (which Keller ISD refused to do), they should understand that ominous bond projects largely benefit crony contractors, not kids.

Next time you see a “Vote YES” sign, remember, an architectural firm likely paid for it.

On November 4th, help kids and their tax-paying parents, not contractors.

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TEXAS SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS ….IRRESPONSIBLE

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sCHOOL BOARD

Sadly, the education system in Texas is no longer about educating  children. It is all political and the powers at be are working overtime establishing a progressive/centralized education system throughout the state. During the last legislative session a curriculum used in over 800+ school districts by the name of  CSCOPE/TEKS Resource System Curriculum was exposed, not only for its controversial lessons but concerns in regard to their financials. Senator Dan Patrick then requested a state audit and  Texas State Auditor John Keel released his report this month. The report was telling of how shaky our Texas Education Service Centers (ESC’s) handle our tax money.

The Texas Education Service Centers (ESC’s) that created CSCOPE which has renamed their product TEKS Resource System were found to be incompetent in handling millions of taxpayers dollars and lacked internal and external financial controls. The auditors were not a able to determine the actual revenue and expenditures of the taxpayer funded organization (ESC’s).

CSCOPE has requested that teachers sign a non-disclosure statement stating they would not release the contents or say anything negative about it or face legal action. Seriously!

Despite the controversy and the state auditors report Texas School Boards continue to show irresponsibility in voting to continue leasing the CSCOPE product and funding the entity (ESC’s) deemed incompetent in their accounting practices.

This past week Grand Prairie ISD’s school board voted unanimously to throw more taxpayer funds at this faulty product and incompetent organization. Public input was given at the beginning of the meeting voicing concern in regards to the curriculum and the financials and those concerns were ignored once again.  School Board members no longer represent the people who have put them in office they are brain washed through the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) that is funded with our tax dollars and they have become more of rubber-stampers of the superintendents agenda.

During the Grand Prairie ISD school board member Steve Pryor steve   made final comments insinuating that the concerns surrounding CSCOPE are a myth. So let me get this right. The original CSCOPE lessons are removed, the name is changed to re-brand their image, the managing company disbands and regrouped with a new name, the state auditor releases a bad report in regard to the financials surrounding CSCOPE and Mr. Pryor calls it a myth? Seriously?

Mr. Pryor also made a comment that none of Grand Prairie teachers have used any of the controversial material that was in CSCOPE. 1) Mr. Pryor I am sure isn’t in every classroom monitoring what is and isn’t used 2)  In light of all the controversy Mr. Pryor deems it acceptable to throw money at it none the less.

Parents and taxpayers once again have got to take control of their local schools boards once again. The rubber stamping taken place is unacceptable and it will not change without the involvement of the grassroots.

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Dan Patrick Cscope is Still in Texas Schools!!

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cscope is still here

Early in my fight to expose Cscope I met with Lt. Governor David Dewhurst who said he would get with Dan Patrick and have a Senate hearing. Senator Dan Patrick stated in the following press release that Cscope was gone. That could not be further from the truth. Cscope is still being leased by school districts under the new name TEKS Resource System from the Texas Educators Service Centers (ESC). The lessons were downloaded by the school disticts and some ESC’s are selling the Cscope lessons on USB flash drives. I got an email from a parent this week asking why schools are still using the lessons? The lessons were not outlawed contrary to public opinion.

dan patrick Cscope is Gone!

 

Senate bill #1406 that put the Cscope lessons under SBOE re

 

 

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Warning Texas: Coppell ISD Superintendent Dr. Jeff Turner to Transform Education!

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Dr. Jeff Turner.. photo

 

Texas Superintendent Dr. Jeff Turner of Coppell ISD  is determined to transform the the way students will be taught. The transformation is of a progressive nature where “absolute truth” & “American Exceptionalism” is not taught. Students create their own learning in collaborative groups called Project Based Learning (PBL) (aka outcome based education). This year Coppell opened the New Tech High School applying PBL teaching philosophy. New Tech is  part of the New Tech Network based in Napa California and funded mainly by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation with the goal of transforming education nation wide. New Tech Network has partnered with Educate Texas.

 

coppell new tech

 

new tech.. pbl
Turner on the Transformation

 

 

MISSION: School Transformation—Realizing the Vision by Forming Regional Consortia from Texas Assoc of School Admin on Vimeo.

 

tasa new vision

 

 

 

 

Who does Jeff Turner actually work for? TASA, TASA’s New Transformation, Texas High Performance School Consortium,

 

 

 

 

 

TURNER TWEET 1

 

         TASA NEW VISION DOCUMENT

 

Dr. Jeff Turner was also a speaker for Discovery Education @Future Now also involved in transforming Texas Education.

 

Future

 

Engage 2 Learn is an outside consultant company ran by Clark & Shannon Buerk that is working with the TASA’s New Vision to further implement their transformation plan.  Shannon is the former assistant superintendent attendant of curriculum & instruction of Coppell ISD. Their community meetings are a “consensus” meeting with the Delphi Technique used. They already have their plan/agenda in place and want lead the community to believe their input in valuable in their decision. It is a smoke screen being utilized across the state of Texas.

 

1) JEFF TURNER GOES TO WASHINGTON DC. 

2) JEFF TURNER PLAYS GOLF

3) JEFF TURNER CALL SAN ANTONIO MAYOR A STATESMAN

4) Coppell ISD Improvement Plan

 

 

PBL RHC

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Education Dollors: Golden Goose for Administrators!

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thief
“Education Dollars: Golden Goose for Administrators”
by Donna Garner
1.18.14

It seems to me that the following are examples of how careless school administrators and personnel can be with other people’s money (i.e., taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars).

Herman G. Wilks, who was the director of the workers’ compensation claims administration for the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), pleaded guilty on 1.8.14 to federal charges of embezzling more than half a million dollars ($514,400) from TASB covering a period of April 2008 to March 2013. Wilks did this through the TASB Risk Management Fund by creating a bogus company (Medco Implantable Supply) and then submitting fraudulent workers’ group claims for various services and products that were never ordered or executed. Wilks faces 20 years in federal prison because of the 10 counts of mail fraud; he is presently out on bond while he waits for his sentencing. TASB is working with its crime insurance carrier to try to regain some of the funds and says the TASB Risk Management Fund and TASB are still financially sound. [It is amazing to me that the TASB administration could miss such a bogus scheme that was taking place right under their well-paid noses.]

=========
On Jan. 8, 2014, Beaumont ISD Finance Director Devin Wayne McCraney and the former BISD Comptroller Sharika Baksh Allison were indicted on 18 counts that gained them over $4 Million. They set up a bogus company and diverted wire transfers from BISD accounts into a fake bank account controlled by McCraney/Allison. Then they would write themselves checks. [Again, how could BISD have let such a scheme operate right under their watch?]

==========

Jerome Oberlton, Dallas ISD Chief of Staff under Dallas ISD Supe Mike Miles, resigned back in May when it was discovered that he had been indicted in Georgia for taking kickbacks while in charge of technology in the Atlanta Public Schools. Oberlton has since pled guilty and will serve 41 months in prison.

(My summary taken from Texas Education News, 1.20.14)

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Why There is no Money for Texas Teachers!

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You constantly hear that there isn’t enough funding for education. That is a BIG LIE! There is no problem with funding there is a major problem with with how those funds are spent! Your have Texas ISD spending thousands on a yearly bases leasing the controversial curriculum CSCOPE. Combined Texas school superintendents spend millions funding the  progressive associations Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) and Texas Association of School Board (TASB), two associations whose agenda is a education reform and implementing radical transformation in Texas Schools! These two groups also have offices a couple of blocks from the Texas Capital and lobby the Texas legislature for more progressive policies and money.  Yes they fund these two groups with TAXPAYER MONEY!!no money

 

We also have school districts hiring an outside company called “Lead Your School” (LYS) for a great cost. LYS comes in to the school and trains administrators and teachers how to change their teaching techniques along with  implementing “Power Walks” aka walkthroughs. These walkthroughs are nothing more than having observers coming into the teachers classroom frequently to assure they are on task of totally transforming the way they teach. Talk about disrupting a classroom!! Teachers HATE IT!!

powerwalks

Marlin Independent School District teamed up with “Lead Your School”  in 2011 at a cost of between $53,000 -71,000. How is Marlin doing after this so called wonderful professional development? Marlin ISD is the worst school in the state of Texas. Students are bused off to another local school and teachers have left the school in droves.

Waco ISD hired LYS for a cost of $1.6M  Invoices &Checks

LEAD YOUR SCHOOL $$$ waco

Mesquite ISD hired LYS for a cost of $780,000.

Tidehave ISD hired LYS for a cost of $34,400

Manor ISD hired LYS for a cost of over a Million

 There are many more district in Texas that has paid these astronomical fees and continue to do so. 

 

 

 

Lead Your School owned and operated by Sean Cain .

Lead Your School is the assumed name for “Blue Daisy Consulting” owned by his wife Lesa Cain.

Lead Your School’s official business address is 124365 FM 1960, #124. I drove to see this wonderful office where millions of taxpayer funds are being mailed and found Lead Your School’s official address to be a Postal Center.

IMG_0632

IMG_0631

Below is a video of what Texas ISD’s are paying up in the millions for. Wake up Texas!!

 

 

A comment in a local paper regarding Lead Your School.

Lead Your School comment

Sean Cain is also the author of one of the stupidest propaganda ridden books I have ever read.  “Look At Me”

 

In the book Sean is the “Prince” that has such wonderful news for school districts only if the Ranking Officials (school board) welcomes the Prince.

Below is an excerpt from his book.

Once upon a time a moronic king decided that supporting the schools that educated the children of his subjects would be too much of a burden for himself and his rich friends. And so he closed the royal coffers and school funding slowed down to but a trickle.

Due to the king’s actions, many schools in his land were in despair. The humble teaches and earnest principal’s cried out to the townsfolk and villagers to take up their cause. But the ears of these people were as deaf to the needs of  schools  and school children as the head of the king was empty.

 

Most teachers and principals  resigned themselves to the fact that the promise of success and reward had withered and died. Many left their schools. Those who remained toiled in misery.

All I can say is, Unbelievable!

 

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Huntsville ISD Throws Money Down Toilet

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money down toilet

HUNTSVILLE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT under the leadership of Dr. Steve Johnson dr. johnson.jpg along with the school board have spent an enormous amount of thousands money of taxpayers money. ON WHAT? To educate teachers to better instruct students in math, english, science or social studies? NO! It was teducate administrators(superintendents, principals, technology personnel) on how to radically change the way children are taught. It will no longer be about reading writing and arithmetic but RIGOR, RELEVANCE & RELATIONSHIP, stemming from implementing the progressive teaching/learning technique referred to as  Project Based Learning/CSCOPE.

School Transformation Network is working with Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) to implement Creating a New Vision for Public Education in Texas, aka School Transformation: New Vision. Millions of taxpayer’s dollars are spent through our local school districts funding this radical progressive “TRANSFORMATION“. You can look below and see what Huntsville ISD spent just in the last two school years up to 2/13. Do not overlook their spending on

Please get involved in your local school districts and find out why they are funding this progressive ideology.

8-6-2013 11-57-01 AM

8-6-2013 11-58-54 AM

Huntsville ISD and every school district in the state is funding  TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS (TASA) and TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL BOARDS (TASB) and their RADICAL PROGRESSIVE AGENDA with our TAX MONEY. This has got to  STOP!!! And it will when more and more people get involved and demand school districts be held accountable.  WHY ARE THEY USING OUR TAX MONEY TO FUND THESE TWO PROGRESSIVE/LIBERAL LOBBYING ASSOCIATIONS?

WAKE UP TEXANS!!

8-6-2013 11-54-38 AM

8-6-2013 11-54-38 AM

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TEXAS EDUCATION MONEY TRAIL

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by Janice VanCleave
www.txcscopereview.com

TEXAS EDUCATION MONEY TRAIL

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Texas Educators Thumb Noses @ Gov Perry, Taxpayers and Parents!

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TEXAS EDUCATORS

 

Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) and Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) are funded with tax money through local school districts and are behind implementing a progressive TRANSFORMATION of the Texas School System.

You will read in the following News Release from TASB stating their agenda to pursue their liberal agenda despite Gov Perry’s Veto of HB 2824 which was sponsored “Bennet Ratliff”, whose brother Thomas Ratliff serves on the State Board of Education illegally.

Why are tax payers funding TASA and TASB who are lobbying groups for progressive ideology? Wake up Texas Tax Payers!

consortium

Despite the outrage state wide over the progressive curriculum CSCOPE,  the majority of school systems will continue to purchase and use it despite parents concern. Though CSCOPE was filled with controversial lessons the system is controversial as well. CSCOPE was the stepping stone for implementing Project Based Learning (PBL). Please inform your friends and family and taxpayers in your district as to what your local school district is doing. Ask your school board members why they are spending your tax dollars to fund TASA and TASB.

 

PBL RHC

 

For additional info on CSCOPE go to WWW.TXCSCOPEREVIEW.COM

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TEXAS Taxpayers Fund Their Own DEMISE!

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TEXAS TAXPAYER

The saying goes “Follow the Money” to find the corruption as goes with Texas Education. Texas taxpayers are funding their own DEMISE through their local school districts. How you might ask? School superintendents are paying membership dues for themselves as well as other administrators  to join the progressive liberal non-governmental entities, Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) and Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) . These two groups lobby the Texas legislature to write and pass policy in hopes of promoting  their progressive agenda. TASA & TASB are just a few blocks away from the Texas Capitol making the job of lobbying convenient during the legislative session.

Why would school districts be funding lobbying groups? Texas school administrators not only vote and pay the funds to TASA and TASB but they also make up the governing board of these two organizations. SERIOUSLY? It appears to be to be a conflict of interest and unethical for school officials to fund and govern the same organization with Tax Payer funds.

Not only do Texas taxpayers fund ISD membership fees but they also pay for administrators to attend TASA & TASB conferences and pay their hotel and food bills as well. TASA is an off shoot of the national group American Association of School Administrators (AASA). This past February AASA held a conference in California where Humanist Linda Darling Hammond was the key speaker. Hammond is associated with Communist Bill Ayers, the Weather Underground Bomber. Texas Taxpayers paid for various ISD administrators to attend this conference as well.

Please contact your state reps and ask them to look into this mismanagement of taxpayer money.

tasamembership

tasa governing board

 

 

 

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Texas Association of School Administrators Support a Progressive Education

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texas flag

Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA)  which is funded with your tax dollars through you local school district is behind a progressive global education for all Texas Students. TASA holds conferences throughout the year with various break out sessions speaking on different topics. This years TASA/TASB conference had a sessions where Global Encounter presented their progressive curriculum/learning technique. Here is the powerpoint slide show they presented. The following is an excerpt from that powerpoint. You will see they are promoting the progressive ideology of  Project Based Learing/Self Directed Learning. Below you will see a comparison between a Traditional Education and Project Based Learning.

global experience

 

 

 


PBL COMPARISON

Most Texas schools  are moving to a un-vetted online learning with the use of laptops/ipads, with the help and influence of TASA/TASB.  They are working on removing textbooks and creating a learning where the teacher is nothing more than a facilitator. Absolute truth is not taught and students create their own learning. American Exceptionalism will become a thing of the past. CSCOPE was setting the foundation for Project Based Learning that is why numerous school district despite the controversy of lesson are holding on the “management” system of CSCOPE. Here is CSCOPE’S Primer on Project Based Learning

Parents & Taxpayers need to get involved in your local school districts.  We all pay taxes and your school officials need to be held accountable as to where they are spending our tax dollars and what they are teaching our children.

 

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To Pray or Not to Pray?

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praying hands

I have been warning you about the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) and their agenda of Transforming the Texas Education System. School Administrators across the state of Texas are spending millions of tax dollars that could be utilized to hire teachers or help students but instead they are funding this  liberal/progressive organization. It is imperative that YOU (children or no children in the school district) get involved  and find out the amount of money your district is spending on TASA and Texas Association of School Boards (TASB).

 CSCOPE, unfortunately laid the foundation for project based learning (PBL) in our Texas schools. TASA now has lessons on I TUNES to help teachers further implement PBL.  The first I Tune lesson I read is titled “A  Question of Faith” which was developed with The Learning Network of the New York Times. (YIKES). The lesson is out of the High School Government course and instructs students to discuss and ultimately decide individually and collectively if prayer should be aloud at an upcoming school event. They also are to engage in other questioning which put students on the spot as to their faith and beliefs.

Below is an excerpt from the lesson where students are perform a school-wide survey regarding other’s opinion on school prayer.

Students are also asked to tasa math

I find this totally unacceptable! GET INVOLVED NOW!!

 

Below is a snap shot from TASA’s website on their I TUNES online lessons. Believe me this group is not about children they are out to implement and agenda and indoctrinate our kids. They want to TRANSFORM TEXAS EDUCATION with a progressive/marxist ideology.
(more…)

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Texas Superintendents…..$$$$ and more $$

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6-10-2013 6-51-20 PM

 

Texas progressive liberal superintendents are working over time to transform the Texas Education System They have been laying the foundation for this Education Transformation with a Marxist/Progressive teaching philosophy called Project Based Learning (PBL). Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) & Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) which are funded with your TAX DOLLARS through membership fees and conferences, contribute to this transformation. Why are taxpayers having to pay membership fees and conference expenses to fund these progressive liberal organizations that are contributing to the demise of our children and country with a leftist progressive ideology that does not cherish America’s Heritage and views Communism in a positive light? We have seen this with the CSCOPE lessons where they had Texas students drawing a new Communist flag.

The 2012 TASA/TASB Conference was held last Sept. I am not sure what the fee was for last years conference but if the cost is near what they are charging for the 2013 TASA/TASB conference this September taxpayers need to be speaking out.   This is the attendee list of those who attended the 2012 TASA/TASB conference. Check out the number of individuals that have attended from your school district. Why are taxpayers having to pay for their registration fees along with meals and hotel expenses? OUTRAGEOUS! There is nothing about this conference that is truly going to benefit students

The following is a snapshot of TASA/TASB 2013 Conference Fee schedule.

tasa2013

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OBAMA & TEXAS EDUCATION TRANSFORMATION

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 6-6-2013 10-55-44 AM

Business woman LYDIA DOBYNS is president of  NEW TECH NETWORK a progressive organization in California working across the country on implementing Project Based Learning (PBL). I am not quite sure if Dobyns has ever taught in the classroom. New Tech Network is working along side others progressive companies and educators in hopes of radically changing our education system as we know it.  Ms. Doybys states the following in her bio  “New Tech is emerging as one of the fastest-growing approaches to transforming high school education in the U.S”. Sound familiar? Sadly So!

 

Manor New Technology High School outside of Austin, Texas welcomed his truly President Obama in early May. Ms. Dobyns must of flown in for this heart felt moment and later wrote about it in the Huffington Post. WAKE UP TEXAS PARENTS, TAXPAYERS!!! Do you want your Texas School System TRANSFORMED?

 

6-5-2013 7-46-21 PM

images

Lydia Dobyns

New Tech Network

No one loves a happy ending more than me. Today was a personal once-in-a-lifetime movie moment: I welcomed President Obama to Manor New Technology High School. Before the president spent 45 minutes with students showing off Project Based Learning, I got to engage in a conversation with him about the kind of innovation taking place in 100+ public school districts across New Tech Network.

 

It was no accident that Manor was selected for its transformative educational methods and focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The faculty and founding principal Steve Zipkes epitomize the persistence, vision and creativity needed to re-imagine a high school that truly prepares learners to be the innovators of tomorrow. They did not achieve this remarkable success on their own or overnight.

At New Tech schools, we have found a way to close the achievement gap regardless of whether students reside in urban, suburban, rural or underserved areas. Our 2013 Student Outcomes Report offers compelling evidence that the vision we have to transform schools within public school districts is being realized.

The President said about Manor New Tech, “Every day this school is proving that every child has the potential to learn the real-world skills they need to succeed in college and beyond. You’re doing things a little differently around here than a lot of high schools, and it’s working.” He went on to say: “We also have to make sure we help every student get the skills like they do here at Manor New Tech to compete in a high tech economy.”

Back to my fervent hope for a happy ending. The President today called again for support for the $300 Million High School Redesign he proposed in the State of the Union speech. He also reiterated that he wants to see universal access to quality public pre-school and to make college more affordable. For my happy ending to come true, three things have to happen. Congress and the White House have to agree on the best ways to invest in education innovation. State policy-makers and the business communities around this country have to come together to provide financial and material support in K-12 education innovation. And school district leaders need to move from asking, “should we innovate?” to “how do we find the funds to invest in innovation”? Should all three of these things happen, I will get my wish. And children everywhere will be able to experience the kind of education that enables them to thrive in ways we can’t even imagine.

As President Obama said today, “Every young person in America deserves a world-class education.”

I wholeheartedly agree. Let’s do this and do it now.

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The following is an except from the 2012 TASA/TASB Convention program. You will see that TASA and TASB are working along side other progressive organization on implementing their radical progressive Agenda through ‘ Visioning Network”.  I have highlighted some of the “buzz words”. 

 

6-6-2013 10-22-12 AM

 

The Obama is working deligently to transform the political landscape of America and they are doing it though our Education System as you will see in the Article below

May 9, 2013     Bloomberg

Obama Austin Tech Tour Raises Democrat Profile in Texas

President Barack Obama urged lawmakers to approve more federal spending for technology education, training and jobs, holding up the Austin, Texas, area’s economic boom as an example for the rest of the country.

The Texas visit today was one of a series of events across the country that the administration says are meant to build pressure on Congress to adopt economic ideas laid out in Obama’s State of the Union address this year.

“We’re poised for a time of progress, if we’re willing to seize it,” Obama said in an address to executives and workers at Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT), which makes products for the semiconductor, display panel and solar industries worldwide.

Obama met with students, local residents, investors and entrepreneurs as he made his way across the city. He announced competitions for three manufacturing innovation centers and an executive order requiring government data to be released in a form that entrepreneurs and researchers can use to generate applications and new services.

Obama blamed political posturing in Congress for blocking his proposals, which he said would foster research that benefits technology companies and help train workers for those industries.
Sending Message

Obama told company workers that when they talk to their elected officials, “You’ve got to remind them, we don’t want government to do everything for us but it’s got a role to play” on infrastructure and research funding.

Addressing a group of “angel investors” during an earlier stop at an incubator for technology startups, Obama said government can play a “beneficial” role in helping the private sector spur job creation.

He said he was concerned about the impact of the automatic, across-the-board federal spending cuts known as sequestration. The cuts are “effectively freezing basic research” spending over the next one to two years.

“We could end up losing our edge” to economic competitors in Asia, he said.

Obama said Austin is an example of the kind of cooperation between government and business that can foster innovation.
Austin Economy

The metropolitan area centered by the state capital, which has about 820,600 residents, had a March jobless rate of 5.3 percent, compared with 7.6 percent nationwide. Computer manufacturer Dell Inc. (DELL) is based in nearby Round Rock, and Apple Inc. (AAPL) has announced plans to double the size of its 3,500-employee customer-support center in Austin over the next decade.

“I’ve come to listen and learn and highlight some of the good work that’s being done,” Obama said at Manor New Technology High School in the Austin suburb of East Manor, where he inspected solar and robotic projects developed by students. “Folks around here are doing something right.”

Education Secretary Arne Duncan in 2010 cited the school as boosting opportunities for low-income and minority youth. Of the school’s 341 students last year, 46 percent were economically disadvantaged, 48 percent were Latino, 25 percent were white and 21 percent were black, according to data provided by the school district.

TAXPAYERS & PARENTS WAKE UP AND GET INVOLVED

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WARNING: PROJECT BASED LEARNING

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5-29-2013 12-48-29 PM

 

It became apparent to me that CSCOPE was part of a bigger problem and would lay a foundation for Project Based Learning (PBL). PBL is based on the teaching philosphy of Marxist Lev Vygotsky and Progressive educator John Dewey. The Texas Education Service Centers, Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) and Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) are running full speed ahead to implement PBL  Parents and Taxpayers need to be very concerned about PBL. Here is a comparison between a Traditional Education and Project Based Learning,  The comparison is the same as traditional vs CSCOPE.

PBL COMPARISON

In reading the following statement copied from this webpage, makes you wonder why we have teachers go to school for years if the new goal is to have students teach themselves and teachers job is to become a facilitator.

5-29-2013 1-51-37 PM

 

May 9th, President Obama visited and praised Manor ISD’s New Tech High School which is has fully implemented Project Based Learning.  (His visit speaks volumes to those who value a traditional education).

 

manor isd

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