Share Button


An editorial opinion by A. Patrick Huff, Ph.D.:

This past week the Texas Education Agency took the school accountability system to a new low, releasing a “what if” letter grade tabulation for each school and school district in the state of Texas.  This report has sent shock waves across virtually every public school district in the state.  The report was a “what if” because the letter grades are not official.  It was only released to let all the public school officials, teachers, parents and students know what their school and school district would receive if the official results were released this year.  The letter grades are based on the 2015-2016 school report card and other factors.  I say other factors because to figure out all the other factors and understand them, you could be eligible to work at mission control in NASA.  Yes, it is that complicated.  I have looked at the formulas and, trust me, I feel pretty stupid right about now.  I’m not going to bore you with the details of how each grade was determined in this article, but I am going to try and make sense of it (or nonsense).

Here is a little background to bring everyone up to speed on what all of this means.  To begin with, Texas did not invent the A-F system.  The first state to use it was Florida, under Governor Jeb Bush.  It is now in at least 15 states.  In early 2016 the Texas Legislature under House Bill 2804, established guidelines for a new state education assessment and accountability system.  The purpose of the new program was to conform to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that had previously been passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Obama in December of 2015.  HB 2804 also established a commission to review the bill and make recommendations before anything became official.  This review board was called The Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessment and Accountability.  They met in Austin seven times with each meeting dedicated to hearing from “experts” in the field testifying about what the research and practices demonstrate about each phase of the bill’s mandates.  At some of these meetings the Commission allowed public testimony.  I went to Austin and testified in one of these meetings so I got a first hand look at how it operated.  Here is the TEA website where you can read about the Commission and pull up the Commission’s Final Report to the Governor:

In the Commission report is the recommendation to approve what had already been written in HB 2804 regarding using an A-F grading format for schools and school districts.  Consider the language used in the Commission Draft Report under Long Term Vision, item 6, page 10.

6. Align the state accountability system with ESSA requirements.  Align the state    and federal accountability systems to ensure that the results are consistent and      share common goals. When the federal regulations regarding ESSA are released    in fall 2016, Texas will be able to use the guidance provided by the  specific federal regulations as it develops the A–F accountability system. An A–F accountability system to identify underperforming schools in Texas is scheduled to be implemented in the 2017–2018 school year  (Texas Education Agency, Next Generation Assessment Accountability, 2016, p. 10).

To note the importance of the first sentence is to state the obviously ridiculous.  The move to change the accountability system for schools and school districts to an A-F format is a federal requirement.  Once again, as I have stated time and time again, Texas is but a mini-federal U.S. Department of Education.  This is why we cannot seem to get away from doing what the federal government wants us to do when it comes to education policy.  The loss of all sovereignty occurred when each state came under the federal waiver to get out from under impossible mandates of No Child Left Behind.  Texas applied for and received their waiver in 2013.  Here is the link where you can read the entire waiver request if you so desire.  file://localhost/Users/huff_fitness/Downloads/TEA_Final_ESEA_Waiver_091613 (2).pdf

(You may get a warning on this website since it comes from my documents.  Don’t worry, it is safe to open).

If you are interested in how we moved from No Child Left Behind into ESSA and some how fell under Common Core, even though the Texas Legislature passed a law saying we would never come under Common Core, it’s all in this waiver application.  Please note, College and Career Ready Standards are the Common Core Standards.  Also in this application is where schools fell under Priority and Focus categories.  The federal Annual Measureable Objectives (updated Adequate Yearly Progress) is also in this waiver request.

Let me now turn your attention to the most important part of this article.  Superintendents across the state are decrying the issuance of the A-F ratings.  Rightfully so, I might add, they are putting out memorandums and videos that denounce these ratings and point to the unfairness of reducing a schools overall worth to a letter grade.  Yes, it’s true, a school cannot be judged based on the outcomes of a standardized test given once a year.  Here, though, is the issue. Where have the superintendents been on the outcry?  This has been going on since the early 90’s and with more high stakes involved since 2002 with the passage of No Child Left Behind.  Schools cannot be judged as Exemplary, Recognized, Acceptable, Met Standard, Unacceptable, or Needs Improvement based upon the yearly given standardized test.  It is a flawed policy and it increasingly affects schools negatively who have high percentages of low socio-economic students.  It discriminates with sanctions and endless shaming of the students, the teachers, the administration, the parents and the community where the school is located.  It is unacceptable that this horrid accountability system continues.  Now with the A-F system the lobbyist controlled congress (both state and federal) implements their latest in a long series of heavy handed tactics to demonstrate their disdain for the education system.  I mention lobbyist because education is an industry that makes billions of dollars every year off the backs of our children, and more specifically, by off the backs of our children in Title One schools.  Everyone knows this, everyone discusses this issue; but nothing gets done.  Our students are but guinea pigs forced to swallow the latest magic bullet curriculum program that the school district purchases for thousands of dollars.  I mention disdain by the legislators because I have been in the committee meetings, and I have testified before both the Texas House and the Texas Senate Education Committees only to be told my time is up and thank you very much.  Senator Larry Taylor did allow me more than the customary three minutes to speak, but my recommendations fell on deaf ears, just as every recommendation that came from a public speaker.  The only recommendations that were followed were those that came from the invited speakers, many of which came from the corporate sector.  The Education Committees in both houses of congress and the State Board of Education in Texas feel as though it is their duty to save public education.  The Lt. Governor and Governor feel the same.  To them, teachers can’t be trusted to teach the students.  Principals can’t be trusted to lead and manage.  Superintendents can’t be trusted to organize and implement the best, most trusted method of instruction.  No, it is the state and federal governments, the lobbyist, and the corporations that must be in charge of teaching our students.  After all, as Senator Taylor said to me when I testified to his committee, before the legislators took control students were graduating that could not read.  There was a crisis in the nation.  The government had to step in and take control.  I told him that students are still graduating that can’t read.  We don’t like it, every teacher is working to keep that from happening, but that is what happens in a free and democratic society.  A student can choose to fail if they so choose.  We don’t like it, but it is always going to be that way in a free and democratic society.  We have been under this system of accountability for going on three decades and what do we have?  We have a failed system where the controllers have their boot on the throat of every teacher, principal and superintendent and the pressure is increasing with each new phase of the accountability system.

So now we have the A-F system of school accountability.  Let me give you some examples of how some school districts did around the state.  The grading system of schools is broken down into four domains.  There will be a fifth added next year, but for now we will just discuss the four.  They are broken down as:

Domain I:    Student Achievement (how all the students performed on the STAAR test)

Domain II:   Student Progress (evaluating student progress in 10 student subgroup         categories, broken down into 7 ethnic groups, Special Education,  and English Language Learners, and their progress from the previous year’s results).

Domain III:  All tests from all grades results in the economically disadvantaged student       population only (These scores are compared with those from the previous  year and judged by improvement or regression).

Domain IV:  Post-Secondary Readiness (Elementary evaluated on absentee rate.

Middle Schools evaluated on absentee rate and dropout rate.

High Schools graded on a number of indicators, including absentee rate,       graduation rate, dropout rate, career and tech programs offered, AP and IB   courses offered, and a few other indicators).

Of course this is a simplified version and no mathematical statistical formulas are given to determine the outcome, so keep that in mind as I run down these results.  Keep in mind, also, that these results in no way indicate the worth or value of the education the students are receiving in these school districts.  Any comparison needs to be made with the understanding that the district with the most challenges have the most difficulty with this very flawed system that needs to be eliminated.


I hope that I have represented each district’s scores accurately.  My apologies if there are any errors.

Of course, this list is very brief and only represents a small portion of the school districts in the state.  They are, however, all large school districts with the exception of Highland Park.  Highland Park was included in this list simply to point out the disparity of the system.  This is not a slam against Highland Park.  They are a very good school district.  They do, however, have zero economically disadvantaged students.  At least none show up on the school report card.  This is why they did not receive a score in Domain III.  Highland Park received a “C” in Domain IV only because they went down in their Post Secondary Readiness Index from 96 in 2015 to 92 in 2016.  The score of 92 in Domain IV is an excellent score, but because Highland Park went down from a score of 96 in 2015 (the target score for Domain IV is 57 for high schools), they were shamed with a grade of “C”.  So, the public assumes Highland Park is just average in Domain IV, yet they had a very high score of 92.

Looking at the list provided in this article, I’m sure, makes you scratch your head and wonder how a district received the grade it did in each of the domains.  Some of the grades you can understand and others you can’t figure out how the grade could be what it is.  Due to the ramifications that go along with a letter grade, and the impressions it makes in the eyes of the public, you can see why the school officials are yelling from the rooftops that this is an unfair system and in no way reflects their districts quality and worth.  Yet it has been this way from the beginning of the Accountability System.  Those of you who have followed my articles and read my book, The Takeover of Public Education in America: The Agenda to Control Information and Knowledge Through the Accountability System, know that the central theme I keep repeating is the unjust nature and discriminatory practice the accountability system is for the entire nation, not just Texas.  But Texas is my state, so I concentrate on Texas, where I live and work.

Superintendents of the great State of Texas, I put this situation in your hands.  I think this is personal to you now.  Before, the old system of “met standards” or “needs improvement” didn’t quite have the sting of a letter grade.  Everyone identifies with a letter grade.  The Congress of Texas thinks this will motivate everyone directly involved with student testing outcomes to improve.  What Congress doesn’t realize is that school officials and teachers have been doing everything in their power to get the scores up, yet with little effect.  This is because no matter what program is brought in, or what guru is provided to help teachers teach better, the same demographic factors are almost impossible to overcome.  This, also, has nothing to do with ethnicity.  Nothing!  The schools success rises or falls with the percentages of students in Eco-Disadvantaged, English Language Learners, and the Mobility Rate for the school and school district.  The Mobility Rate indicates the number of students that arrive after school begins and/or leaves before the school year ends.

Superintendents, I call on you to organize.  Organize not around TASA.  In my opinion, The Texas Association of School Administrators has not served you well.  They have kept you in the status quo.  You must have an independent voice in order to get the attention of the state legislators.  Yes, the federal government wants this A-F system, but they have also said they want states to have more autonomy in determining their accountability systems.  Use this as your leverage point.  Apart from the parents of the state, whom the legislators have already demonstrated they do not listen to, the superintendents of the state are the only hope for reversing the A-F grading system, and the entire accountability system.  The whole system is flawed to its core and needs to be eliminated.  Let’s all come together and speak in one voice to eliminate the A-F grading system first, then the entire accountability system.

Dr. Patrick Huff is the author of “The Takeover of Public Education in America: The Agenda to Control Information and Knowledge Through the Accountability System”, 2015. The book can be found at  Dr. Huff is a retired middle and high school principal with 34 years in the public education profession. He currently works as an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas in Houston.  He lives with his wife, Connie, of 35 years in Tomball, Texas and can be reached at


Share Button
Read More

Common Core Math In Texas?

Share Button

common core


Part 1 of the Series: Common Core Math War Rages in Texas

By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D.     

Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – In 2012 the Texas State Board of Education approved new math curriculum standards.  Since then, chaos has erupted over these standards.

Randy Houchins and John Pendergraff, two mechanical engineers with children in Texas public schools, are very adamant that the Common Core process standards have managed to creep into their children’s math materials and STAAR tests.

Since Common Core is illegal in Texas, how could this happen? 

And why shouldn’t Texas schools use Common Core math if they prefer?  This series seeks an answer to these questions.

One of the national experts for the Texas math curriculum standards review was Dr. James Milgram, who has been highly critical of Common Core math.   Milgram, professor of mathematics emeritus, Stanford University who was a member of Common Core’s Validation Committee and the only content expert in mathematics for the standards, refused to approve the standards.

Core Math Standards, according to Milgram, have very low expectations.

Milgram compares U.S. requirements with those in high achieving countries where students study Algebra I and the first semester of Geometry in Grades 6, 7 or 8 and by Grade 9 will have completed much of our Algebra II content and Geometry at a more sophisticated level than U.S. students.  Students from high achieving countries are expected to complete a standard Calculus course to graduate from high school with over 90% of the populations typically being high school graduates.

By the end of 7th Grade, Core Standards are roughly two years behind.  Common Core math includes “most — but not all — of Algebra I and about 50% of regular Algebra II, as well a ‘strange’ Geometry course,” says Milgram.

Milgram notes that Calculus is required for most critical areas such as engineering, medicine, computer science, economics and the sciences.  (Milgram & Stotsky, “Lowering the Bar:  How Common Core Math Fails to Prepare High School Students for STEM,”)

Professor Jason Zimba, lead writer of Common Core’s mathematics standards, has admitted that Common Core prepares students only for a two-year college. When asked whether Common Core prepares students for a STEM career, Zimba replied, “Not only not for STEM, it’s also not for selective colleges.” (Emphasis added)

Why did writers of Common Core Math decide only Algebra I is essential?

The answer to this question lies buried in the history of the birthing of Common Core – which is linked directly to Hillary Clinton.

In 1989, the National Center for Education and the Economy formed a commission under the U.S. Department of Labor.  The NCEE is a highly connected “nonprofit” with a role akin to that of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s funding of Common Core.

Along with other key players, the commission included Hillary Rodham Clinton, NCEE leader Marc Tucker, Michael Cohen (key in Clinton’s Goals 2000 and later Common Core), and HillaryCore architect, Ira Magaziner.

On November 11, 1991, Marc Tucker sent the famous “Dear Hillary” letter, laying out a master plan for the Clinton administration to seize the entire U.S. educational system to serve national economic planning of the workforce.

Tucker’s plan is “to remold the entire American system” into “a seamless web that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same system for everyone,” coordinated by “a system of labor market boards at the local, state and federal levels” where curriculum and “job matching” will be handled by counselors “accessing the integrated computer-based program.”

This ambitious plan does not address teaching children how to read, write, or calculate.  Instead, public schools will change from teaching academic basics and knowledge to training for the global economy in jobs selected by workforce boards – training for American collectivism.

Tucker told Hillary that “radical changes in attitudes, values, and beliefs are required.” He said the way to overcome this resistance was “consensus building” among governors and Congress.  

It was this same game plan, along with many of the same people and organizations, of Common Core.

Tucker’s comprehensive plan was implemented in three laws signed by President Bill Clinton in 1994:

1.     The Goals 2000 Act

2.     The School-to-Work Act, and

3.     The Reauthorized Elementary & Secondary Education Act.

These three laws create the following mechanisms to restructure public schools:

·         All elected officials on school boards and in state legislatures would be bypassed by making federal funds flow to the Governor and his appointees on workforce development boards.


·         A computer database, a.k.a. “a labor market information system,” would be established so school personnel could compile and track personal information for each student and his family from birth or preschool onward, identified by the child’s social security number: academic, medical, mental, psychological, behavioral, and interrogations by counselors. The school, the government, and future employers would have access to the computerized data.


·         Centralized government control would come through “national standards” and “national testing” that take over tests, assessments, school honors and rewards, financial aid, and the Certificate of Initial Mastery (CIM), designed to replace the high school diploma.

Tucker’s plan uses the German system which trains children for specific jobs to serve the workforce and the global economy  instead of educating them to make their own choices.  Marc Tucker’s plan prepares public school students for the workforce only – our “worker bees.”

This education structure that Hillary helped to design is the forerunner of Common Core.  It was Hillary who sold the idea of national standards to Obama.  Common Core fulfills some of the education agenda that she failed to get passed.

In 2013 Marc Tucker discussed the key findings of the NCEE study about college and career readiness.  Of the students in U.S. colleges, 45 percent attend community colleges which provide not only most of the nation’s vocational education, but are also a main pathway to four-year colleges. Algebra II is not a prerequisite of community colleges so NCEE recommended that schools abandon the requirement that all high school students be required to take Algebra II.

Further, Algebra I should be delayed until Grade 10.  Of critical importance is that this delay precludes high school students being able to take Calculus. 

Also of critical importance, says Dr. Milgram, is that,

“This [NCEE] report does not consider the question of which four-year colleges will accept just one year (Algebra I) of high school math.  Virtually all the higher rated ones…require at least four years.

“The study ignores what will happen if the community college student transfers to a four-year college.”  

In my next posting, I’ll explore what happened during the math TEKS review.  Dr. Milgram, Niki Hayes, Randy Houchins and many others have candidly spoken with me about the events surrounding this curriculum review and how things went awry.

Follow Carole Hornsby Haynes at


Share Button
Read More

Is “School Choice” a Scam?

Share Button



Senator Larry Taylor is making his rounds across the great state of Texas promoting
“School Choice”. Sounds terrific doesn’t it? So did the “Affordable Care Act”. What parents would not want choices when it comes to schooling their children.  In reality parents have the choices today to educate their children however they wish, they just do not receive tax dollars for doing so. Can that be good?  Well it depends on how much your want the government entrenched in your daily affairs. To be honest I don’t know of one government handout that if strings are not attached initially they will be eventually.



Is this another government trick of hanging out the money carrot to rein in those that are not accountable to the government now? For example those homeschooling or those in private schools?

I will cover the financial aspect of this at another time.

What is confusing is the agenda of supposed”Conservative” school choice advocate,  Texas Senator Taylor. Taylor who sits on the Texas Commission on Next Generation of Assessment of Accountability just called for the State of Texas to align its student accountability standards with that of the Federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The ESSA steers away for academics to implementing, testing and data mining your children on Social Emotional Learning (SEL). What could be his motive. Does he really have the students best interest at heart here? Does he care that our Texas public schools are abusing the children with the social, emotional crap. Has he proposed any legislation to fix any of it? Getting rid of the TEXAS ASSOCIATION of SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS (TASA) and TEXAS ASSOCIATION of SCHOOL BOARDS (TASB) and their progressive, liberal, federal agenda would be a great start.

Senator Taylor and all the other republicans in the Texas Legislation have authored and sponsored bill after bill that have our Texas Public Schools implementing progressive teaching philosophies as well as data mining our children. Now they are looking for a way out. Not so fast guys!  In reality these guys/gals have created a problem and now they are going to create another government bureaucracy to fix it?

Lord help us.


More about the true “School Choice” agenda.


Share Button
Read More

Moms Arrested if they Walk Kids Home from School

Share Button

hand cuffs

The Education Gestapo is at it again. The days of walking to the school or riding your bike are now over at least in Magnolia ISD. Principal, Holly Ray of Bear Branch Elementary had the bike rack removed prior to the beginning of the school year to stop children from riding their bike to and from school. Parents are not allowed to walk from their homes to pick up their children either. I find this ridiculous and hypocritical to the core. Our education system is busy brainwashing our children with the Global Warming agenda in limiting carbon emissions but then they turn around and demand you drive your car and sit in a long car line and emit carbon into the atmosphere (Disclaimer: I think Global Warming/Climate Change is a HOAX).


holly ray

Holly Ray


Parents in the Lake Windcrest subdivision which backs up to the school property have been issued warnings and restraining orders for walking and retrieving their children at the end of a school day. I would like to note these parents volunteer at the school on a regular basis. What are their options? They have to get in their gas guzzling cars and sit in the long car line or their children have to ride the bus even if their home backs right up to the school. As you can see in the diagram below the houses in Lake Windcrest are in great walking distance which I am sure was a positive when purchasing their home.



bear branch houses





I am not an attorney but this law might need to be looked at by the Magnolia ISD administration.

Federal Law Now Says Kids Can Walk to School Alone

Parent, Frank Young was issued a Trespass Warning to not step foot on any MISD campus in the Fall of 2015 without prior warning when he disagreed with Principal, Holly’s Ray’s policy. Frank later confronted the school board and has since removed his children from the district.



I would like to mention that the 3 following Magnolia ISD Board Members live in the Lake Windcrest Subdivision. Do you think they have stood up and helped the parents (the voters who put them in office)? Not in the least. Like I have always said school board members do not represent those that elect them. They become rubber stampers for the ISD administration.

travis moffattkristi MHGary Blizzard

UPDATE: Parents upset over policy banning walking kids to school

Share Button
Read More

Texas Education joins with “Nation of Islam”

Share Button

texas & islam


This past October Texas Association of Curriculum Development (TEXAS ASCD) joined forces with the Nation of Islam in hosting a conference on transforming Texas Education.

texas ascd

Their guest speaker was Dr. Anthony S. Muhammad, CEO of New Frontier 21 Consulting.

Dr. Muhammad is on friendly terms with Nation of Islam Leader, Louis Farrakhan as you will see from their business affiliations and social media behavior.

Anthony Muhammad

The photo below is from the Nation of Islam’s online newspaper, Final Call dated August 17, 2011 where Dr. Muhammad joined with Farrakhan for a speaking engagement at the Nation of Islam’s First Ministry of Education Conference.

The final Call. Nation


In 2009, Dr. Muhammad  joined with the Nation of Islam and the Muhammad Universities for speaking engagements in transforming education. You can read about it HERE.


love you bro


muhammad mom


Minister Farrakan


Another consultant for Dr. Anthony Muhammad’s New Frontier 21 Consulting firm is

Shahid Muhammad.

Shahid Muhammad


Shahid Muhammad, often referred to as the Math Dr. joined Louis Farrahkan at the University of Islam (MUI) for speaking engagements as well. Shahid is quoted the following when asked what is Mathematics.

what is mathematics

You can find the full interview at …..The FINAL CALL


shaid 2


shahid twitter

shahid twitter 2

Dr Math Bear Witness of Farrakhan.



Those responsible for teaming up with the Nation of Islam agenda are the board members for Texas Association of Curriculum and Supervision.





If one thinks our Texas education agency and its many affiliates are not radically working to transform our education system you have your head in the sand.

Why our Texas legislators let this transformation transpire is beyond me but I can tell you most are totally unaware of the transformation taking place. While others are complicit in it.

Where is your legislator?


Share Button
Read More

In Texas, C is for Conservative….. or Communist?

Share Button


Open Letter to the Texas State Board of Education and Texas Legislature 02.24.16


It is with profound sadness, frustration and concern for what is next that I write to you, following the viewing of the hearing by the Commission on Next Generation Assessments and Accountability that was held in Austin yesterday.

I am appalled by Governor Greg Abbott’s choice of appointment of Texas Education Commissioner, Mike Morath.  While we witnessed a despicable display of arrogance by the Commissioner, I was grateful to finally hear him take ownership of the Common Core  and national alignment in our state standards.  Not only did he grace us with his humor and his wit as it pertains to being dismissive of our State laws, but he took a gleeful sort of pride in his ownership of this behemoth.

We learned from the Governor’s Commissioner and some of his supporters that our children are a profit and loss tick for the end game of Education Reform. We learned that he fully intends to comply with Federal mandates and “what the Federal government expects.” We now understand that he fully intends to monitor our children from cradle to grave for the purposes of “workforce development.”  These measures are not just of academic performance, but actual physical responses to circumstances in the classroom.  I was taken aback by the number of times “real time” was referred to and the number of metrics that will be supplied by this real time data initiative.

This Commission and any of our elected bodies that do not stand against are working toward pitting the people of this State against the government.

This is a pivotal point for education in our State because the powers that be are no longer hiding their intentions.  Monitoring of our children at a Federal level, while denigrating the quality of their education is reminiscent of Communist models that the world has experienced in the past.

Social engineering, diminishing reading, writing and arithmetic in exchange for teaching values, attitudes and beliefs, tracking the moment by moment performance and emotion of school children, dictating the outcomes of their adult lives through the use of data, nanny state government in education… these things are the antithesis of Liberty.  Remember Liberty?  Remember the Republic?  Remember individual sovereignty?  Remember the enumerated powers?

This is a historical movement that will have your names on it.  Which side of the equation will you be on?  We know what to expect of the Beltran’s in this shift, but several of you identify yourselves to your constituents as Conservatives.  Conservatives are liberty minded and understand the rights of the individual. Are you going to sign off on this knowing that it violates every premise that this country was founded upon?  Will you let that rest on your shoulders?  Will you be able to sleep at night knowing that you didn’t at least attempt to stand up for our kids, our state and our nation?

We will soon see because the time to stop it is now, before it fully makes its way into the classroom.  You are either with the children or you are not. Make your position known today.

Share Button
Read More

Texas Magnolia ISD teaching Islam is Tolerant of other Faiths?

Share Button


12072606_10153638424131779_2859395518654333288_nWhile the powers at be have purged our American education system of prayer and biblical teaching there is  movement to indoctrinate our children with a positive view of Islam.  The following is an excerpt from a study guide given to students at Magnolia ISD from their History teacher.

Does this teacher not listen to the news and the thousands of Christians that are being slaughtered for their Christian faith?

And we wonder what is wrong with this country.


magnolia teacher Islam


Learn the true intent of Islam.


Share Button
Read More

Texas Grocery Magnate Forbids ‘Open Carry,’ Opposes School Choice, Supports Sanctuary Cities

Share Button


open carry

by Merrill Hope 3 Jan 2016


Charles Butt, the Texas billionaire magnate behind the H-E-B supermarket chain which forbid the open carry of firearms law that went into effect January 1, 2016, opposes school choice, funds anti-school choice lobbyists, and is even credited for his role in killing a 2011 state bill banning “sanctuary cities.”

Butt is the 2015 fourth richest Texan and Forbes’ 44th wealthiest person in America with a net worth of $10.7 billion known for funneling hard earned assets into educational lobby groups that fight school choice, although the 77-year-old grocer received a private Ivy League college education that included an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton School and a master’s in business administration from Harvard. Texas Watchdog stated Butt believes that private competition “undermines government schools.”

His vested interest in Texas public education includes H-E-B handing out $800,000 a year to public education pursuits through the Excellence in Education Awards. In 2006, he founded Raise Your Hand Texas, which lists Butt as an advisor. The Texas Tribune describes Raise Your Hand Texas as a “seasoned lobbying force on education issues at the Capitol.”

However, Raise Your Hand Texas is a corporate sponsor of the Texas Tribune and Butt contributed $500,000 to the Tribune in 2014, with his all-time contribution to them at $1,150,000. Last year, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, primary funder of the Common Core State Standards, donated $249,763 to the Tribune.

Texas Watchdog charged Raise Your Hand Texas “pushes for increased public school funding while opposing every substantive education reform at the state legislature,” including supporting and funding candidates who oppose reform efforts to the state’s education system, and measures that expand parental rights.” The dubbed Butt a key player blocking school choice instead “propping up a faltering public monopoly.”

David Anthony, who heads up Raise Your Hand Texas, was one of 35 Texas public school superintendents instrumental in formulating a new vision for “future ready” classrooms under the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA), another powerful education lobby.

In 2015, Breitbart Texas reported on the jarring conflict-of-interest that arose at the onset of the state’s last legislative session because House Education Committee Chairman Jimmie Don Aycock’s daughter, Michelle Smith, works for Austin-based lobbyist powerhouse HillCo Partners, which Texas Monthly placed “at the top of the lobby pyramid” since 1998. Smith’s two key clients were Raise Your Hand Texas and Fast Growth School Coalition (FGSC), which promotes rapid growth and spending on building new public schools statewide. Public outcry over the father-daughter connection put Aycock’s chairmanship at risk. Breitbart Texas reported that Smith withdrew her lobbyist registration status at the onset of the 84th Legislature to thwart that outcome.

Butt also funds the Texas Parent PAC, the largest recipient of his 2014 contributions at $1,498,000 and recognized as a top “power PAC” in the state. Texas House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio), who appoints the House Education Committee, received $168,000 from Butt that year. Butt contributed $161,458 directly to the committee members, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Texas Watchdog highlighted that the largest contribution chunk, $76,920 went to Straus’ committee chair pick Aycock (R-Killeen), also the lead author on the state’s 2013 college and career ready standards, House Bill 5.

Texas Parent PAC contributed another $81,931 to House Education Committee members, according to Texas Watchdog. The Parent PAC has proudly endorsed Aycock since his 2006 election, although he announced last summer he would not run again. In 2013, he voted against vouchers. Last year, Senate Bill 4, an education tax credit scholarship bill designed to help low-income and at risk K-12 students, was sidelined in the House Ways and Means Committee after passing in the Senate. The House never gave it a hearing.

Yet, in the 11th hour of the legislative session, the House flung House Bill 1891 out for a vote. This big government community schools initiative backed by the Texas American Federation of Teachers was the union’s solution to combat public charters, Breitbart Texas reported. Its inspiration was the American Federation of Teachers Promise Schools, a co-initiative with the Albert Shanker Institute, a proponent of Common Core state standards.

Like Raise Your Hand Texas, Texas Parent PAC opposes school choice, which means different things to different advocates on both sides of the debate. Breitbart Texas reported the premise behind “school choice” as educational options decided upon by families and not educrats whether that choice is public, charter, private, parochial, or home school. School choice opponents often depict advocates as trying to dismantle public education and privatize schooling, attack teachers, and drain taxpayer funds from public schools.

“Not so,” Americans for Prosperity State Director Michael Hasson told Breitbart Texas last year. He said the point of school choice was to “maximize” educational opportunities. “Education is the gateway to the American Dream. It’s ridiculous to assume we can eradicate the system. We want to strengthen it,” he said.

In 2013, Raise Your Hand Texas supported virtual (online) education and adding more charter schools, although they pushed for legislation that limited the reach of the proposals backed by pro-school choice advocates, the Texas Tribune reported, saying Butt created Raise Your Hand Texas to “combat private school vouchers.” Groups like Texas Freedom Network oppose school choice because they do not want taxpayer dollars to move out of the system with the child. Arizona, Florida, and Nevada embraced education savings style “voucher” accounts (ESA) as a means to flee failing schools and empower parents in making educational decisions for their children.

In December, the Texas Education Agency released its Public Education Grant (PEG) list for its 5.2 million publicly educated K-12 students and it identified the degree to which the system failed — 1,532 campuses landed on the list for poor test scores or unacceptable ratings, an increase from the previous year’s 1,199 failing schools. Texas has approximately 8,600 campuses totalling 1,200 school districts and charters.

Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Kent Grusendorf described a core conundrum of the public education “monopoly.” He wrote: “Thousands of great people work in the field of public education. Unfortunately, union leaders, bureaucrats and politicians all think they can tell teachers what is best. We must set educators free. We must set our children free.” He underscored that historically “monopolies are inherently inefficient in the allocation of resources,” adding that Texans spend over a quarter of a million dollars per year for a classroom of 25 students where the average teacher earns $50,000. “In order to advance professionally, great teachers must leave the classroom, where they have great value to the institution, and move into administration, where in many cases, they add less value,” he noted.

In 2011, Butt, along with Houston homebuilder Bob Perry, no relation to former Gov. Rick Perry, worked to kill important legislation in the fight against illegal immigration. H-E-B operates 300-plus markets in Texas and also 52 in Mexico. Through HillCo Partners, they applied pressure to the state’s House panel to block Perry’s anti-sanctuary cities measure. The supermarket mogul gave nearly $2.2 million to squash the bill, the Dallas Morning News reported, footnoting that Texans for Public Justice ranked Butt third among givers to legislative candidates in 2008.

That blocked legislation would have allowed law enforcement officers to inquire about the immigration status of people they detained, the Houston Chronicle reported. Since the Texas legislature failed to pass any anti-sanctuary cities measures, Gov. Greg Abbott made this a 2015 priority, coming up with his own plan to deal with law enforcement officials who won’t enforce the law, Breitbart Texas’ Bob Price reported. In October, Abbott called to end sanctuary city policies in Texas, Price also reported. That came in response to a Dallas County Sheriff who intended to lighten up on immigration holds for jailed illegals and legal aliens, no longer detaining them for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Abbott said these types of sanctuary city policies will “no longer be tolerated in Texas.” A week later, he announced a new plan to strip state grant funding from county sheriffs with a Sanctuary City policy of not honoring ICE detainers, Breitbart Texas reported.

The Texas H-E-B stores will continue to abide by state CHL laws and allow concealed carry of handguns in stores..

Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.

Share Button
Read More

Texas School Board Member….Treats Constituent Like A Dog!

Share Button



I have been saying for years that school board members do not represent their constituents, that they have morphed into being “rubber stampers” for ISD administrations. School Boards now are a “team of 8”, a superintendent and 7 elected board members (or in Magnolia’s case appointed) geared towards “Group Think”. You will rarely find a school board where there will be a dissenting vote on any matter. The Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) is to blame for brainwashing our school boards through their conference training. They frown upon a board member that actually can think for themselves and have labeled them as “trouble makers”. As matter of fact during the 2014 TASB/TASA conference there was a break-out session titled: “Dealing with Mavericks, Malcontents and Mutineers” led my TASB consultant, David Koempel. School board members are unapproachable, they will not return phone calls if they have knowledge you are not on board with the ISD’s agenda. This attitude is represented in Magnolia ISD school board member Ms. Kristi Baker’s retweet on twitter.

kristi tweet

On the heels of exposing Cscope (more on Cscope)  and the corruption within the Texas Education system in 2013, I then decided to run for school board in hopes of making a difference. I could see our country was at stake. So I applied to run for position 4 of the Magnolia ISD board, my opponent was incumbent Kristi Baker. Ms. Baker was appointed to the Magnolia ISD School Board, August 2013 a position vacated by member Brent O’Neil.

I did not know and never met Ms. Baker so I had no personal vendetta.  My running had to do with the education system as a whole “state wide” knowing how the federal and state mandates were changing our public schools and not for the better. I truly wanted to make a difference.  I even reached out to Ms. Baker after announcing my candidacy in hopes of telling her why I was running and my knowledge of the Texas Education system. She never responded and it became apparent Ms. Baker took it personally.

If there were to be an ugly, hateful, spiteful race this race could win hands down with the help of the Magnolia ISD administration. Magnolia ISD superintendent, Todd Stephens visited his campuses and told the administrations they needed to get their teachers out to vote. Substitutes and parent subs were sought so teachers could vote during the school day. Students and teachers were utilized and on behalf of the Magnolia ISD High School principal, Jeff Springer and a bullying campaign was raged against me also  during class time throughout the whole school day. I can only assume no school work needed to be done.

Over a year has passed since the election and I am regularly contacted by disgruntled parents and teaches around the state that are seeing the changes I have been alerting them to. Last spring a church member informed me that Magnolia ISD was working on implementing the International Baccalaureate Program (IB). For those that will do their research you will find that the IB program is affiliated with the United Nations Marxist ideology (collectivism) and the handing over the education of our students to a foreign entity, Switzerland. Magnolia ISD has already spent over 50K on implementing the program with plans of spending that or more this year though the program will not be in effect until the fall of 2016. I have been speaking out about this waste of taxpayers funds at school board meetings and alerting the uninformed public. As expected no school board member or the administration will have an intelligent conversation regarding the program, at least not with me. What would I know?

This leads me back to Ms. Baker who has not been active in politics until the school board race and is now knee deep in it. LOL  She recently joined the board of directors of the “NEW” Magnolia Area Republican Women’s Group and seems to regularly show up at meetings that I have regularly attended.  I am glad that our race prompted her to become more involved in the political process. As a matter of fact I saw Ms. Baker at a Rep. Kevin Brady town hall meeting last night. Since these board members are unapproachable I found an opportune time to approach her and asked, “Kristi, where are you on this UN International Baccalaureate Program?” She looked at me and said, “Run Along Ginger.” as if I were some dog. I was not phased I knew she would be rude so I asked her again. She fumbled around for the words to say and responded with, “Good Night Ginger.”  I gladly left. As expected Ms. Baker was dismissive of my question. Why? Isn’t she is a “conservative” republican? Now that Ms. Baker is on the board of the Magnolia Area Republican Women’s Group one could only assume she would not want the United Nations Program in our local  school district indoctrinating our children.  Or does she? As Kristi would parrot “Let’s do it for the babies.”

Why you should be concerned about International Baccalaureate

More on our school board race.




Kristi Baker



Kristi Baker









Share Button
Read More

Texas Governor Abbott is Two for Two

Share Button


“Amazing News: Tex. Gov. Greg Abbott Is Two for Two”

By Donna Garner



Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is “two for two.”  Not only did Gov. Abbott make a wise choice in appointing Donna Bahorich to be the new Chair of the Texas State Board of Education, but today Gov. Abbott also vetoed SB 313 (please see both articles posted at the bottom of this page).   


With these two critical moves, Gov. Abbott has helped to stabilize two important structures in Texas upon which education reform is built – a strong SBOE Chair and the Type #1 curriculum standards (TEKS) that make our state the most unique and patriotic state in the United States.   


Besides giving our heartfelt thanks to Gov. Abbott, we also need to thank so many of the grassroots citizens of Texas who took their time to contact him and request that he (1) appoint Donna Bahorich as Chair and (2) veto SB 313.  


These are the comments about SB 313 that I sent to Gov. Abbott on 6.18.15, and many other concerned Texans did the same thing:


Gov. Abbott, we beg of you to veto SB 313 so that Texas can retain the most fact-based, patriotic curriculum standards (TEKS) in the entire United States.  No other state set up the parameters BEFORE a single word of their curriculum standards was written.  Texas did.



We said that our TEKS had to be knowledge-based, academic, grade-level-specific, clearly worded, increasing in depth and complexity from one grade-level to the next grade level, and measurable with largely right-or-wrong answers. This is what is called the Type #1 philosophy of education. 



If allowed to go forward, SB 313 would open up all of the TEKS in a helter-skelter, rushed manner and would invite those on the Board who are not conservatives to delete/change the wording, moving the TEKS into the same Type #2 philosophy as seen in the Common Core/CSCOPE products. 



Type #2 (instead of emphasizing facts and academic knowledge) emphasizes process over the right answer, emphasizes feelings, opinions, beliefs over facts. Type #2 stresses subjectivity, relativism, and opens the door to the social justice agenda to indoctrinate children’s minds.  SB 313 is not needed, and its only purpose is to trash our present TEKS.



The Texas State Board of Education and the Texas Education Agency have a well-orchestrated plan for revisiting the TEKS; and the English / Language Arts / Reading TEKS are beginning that process right now with the other TEKS in Science, Social, Studies, and Math going through that same, well-planned, systematic process in years to come.



SB 313 with its unrealistic mandates would throw that well-planned process into mass chaos. Chaos always breeds chaos which is exactly what the Type #2 proponents want to happen. Again, we beg of you to do the right thing and to veto SB 313.  Thank you.



6.20.15  — “Abbott Wields Veto Pen in Final Days of Decision Period” by Patrick Svitek  – Texas Tribune –

Excerpts from this article:

Senate Bill 313 was one of the more visible ones nixed by Abbott. The bill, by state GOP Sen. Kel Seliger of Amarillo, aimed to tailor the state’s K-12 standards, but critics considered it a potential back door to the Common Core national education standards dreaded by the GOP base. 

Many in Abbott’s own party had urged him to veto the bill, including the Texas GOP leaders who had unanimously passed a resolution urging him to reject it. On Saturday, Abbott took to Twitter to announce his veto of SB 313 before releasing his veto statement, which said the bill “potentially restricts the ability of the State Board of Education to address the needs of Texas classrooms.” 

…Abbott wrapped up his work on vetoes by 2 a.m. Saturday, well ahead of the deadline at midnight Sunday to take action.



To learn more details about why these two decisions by Gov. Abbott are so important to the future of our Texas public school children, please see these two articles:



6.19.15 – “Texas Governor Names Conservative As State Ed. Board Chair, News Upsets Board’s Lone Lobbyist” — by Merrill Hope – Breitbart Texas



6.1.15 — “Emergency Alert: SB 313 To Mess with Texas School Children” — by Donna Garner –




Donna Garner


Share Button
Read More

WARNING: Texas Parents of Children in Public Schools!

Share Button



Unfortunately, our Texas public school system are masters of deception in lots of instances. My first finding of this was the discovery of over 900+ school districts out of 1200 hiding the Cscope curriculum from parents and threatening teachers with legal action if they disclosed the contents. The deception continues on all levels rather it is a school bond, summer school, what curriculum they are implementing, etc….

I was informed yesterday that Aransas County ISD was sending home letters informing parents that their child had to take summer school for failing the math STAAR TEST. Why would they do this when the Education Commissioner stated at the start of this school year that the math STAAR was excluded from the accountability system this year for 3-8 grades. STORY HERE.

Parents have got to be vigilant in asking questions and not intimidated by the education system. They are YOUR CHILDREN not THEIRS.  They keep parents at bay and they love them uninformed unless of course they agree with them.

Share Button
Read More


Share Button


In light of the Cscope Audit released by the Texas Attorney General’s office 6/14, it is apparent that our Texas Education Service Centers are negligent with their our tax dollars. The report verified that there is 6.1 Million unaccounted for. Do our Texas legislators care? As for as I know no one has been held accountable and we keep shoveling money their direction with no oversight. This is ludicrous and needs to STOP!

We have 2 Cscope directors (Ervin Knezek and Wade Labay)  and other Cscope employee’s that have left ESC X III (home of Cscope)  and have created their own business called Lead4ward.  They now are selling their services back to the ESC’s and school district for thousands on top of thousands of dollars. ESC XIII has even funneled money to this company owned by their former employees. Seems like a conflict of interest to me. You may wonder where this business is located. Well just like Cscope it has no official business office or address. The Secretary of State has the business address in a Residence in Austin, Texas. John Fessenden also a former ESC XIII employee has partnered with Ervin Knezek in forming Lead4ward.

Wade Labay was the Cscope director during the Cscope Senate hearings during the 83rd Legislature defending the product.

150 Million was given to Texas Education for professional development PD) through the Rider 42 Professional Development Grants. Millions were given to the ESC’s to train district teachers. Seems strange that Ervin Knezek and Fessenden would need to sell (PD) to the ESC’s and school districts after they were trained to implement PD through the ESC’s to districts.  Texas taxpayers are being ripped off!!



Cscope is still being sold to school districts by the name TEKS RESOURCE SYSTEM. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$




****After reading this I am sure the ESC directors and the other powers at be will be traveling to Austin to suck up to legislators, staying is plush hotels, eating at the nicest restaurants all on the back of the taxpayer’s dime. You can bet on it! Texas Education is a Cash Cow for the powers at be and the children and teachers suffer.

Share Button
Read More


Share Button



By Janice VanCleave


The Texas State Auditor, John Keel, investigated the ESCs and following is a part of the report. Notice that the ESCs admit to a hap hazard method of record keeping. Remember that the ESCs are suppose to be non-profit agencies.

“During the 2012-2013 school year, the 20 education service centers in Texas provided access to a curriculum management system known as CSCOPE to 70 percent of school districts in the state, according to information that the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative (Collaborative) provided. Those education service centers reported they collected a total of $73.9 million in revenue from the sale of CSCOPE services to school districts, charter schools, and private schools from September 2005 through August 2013. For that same time period, the education service centers reported a total of $67.8 million in CSCOPE-related expenditures.”

“However, auditors were not able to verify the total amount that education service centers reported they paid for the development, installation, distribution, and marketing of CSCOPE because some of the education service centers did not separately track CSCOPE-related expenditure transactions. Some of them also did not separately track CSCOPE-related revenue transactions. As a result, auditors were not able to fully answer the audit objective to determine the amount of revenue and expenditures related to the development, installation, distribution, and marketing of CSCOPE.”


With just a very surface investigation of the ESC’s finances, $6.1 Million dollars cannot be accounted for. Yet, state and federal funding continues to pour into the 20  ESCs. How much of the money received by the 20  ESCs is being “misplaced?”


The state auditor discovered that the 20 ESCs make no effort to have accurate financial records. No doubt the ESCs were surprised to have the state auditor investigate some of their books. For years the Sunset Reviews as well as the State Comptrollers have given the ESCs not only passing grades, but praised these state agencies for providing such economical services to Texas schools.

The fee of $73.9 million is considered inexpensive because, according to ESC 11 director, Clyde Steelman, school districts using the CSCOPE materials do not need to hire a district instructional director. CSCOPE has everything needed.

The State Senate Education Committee Hearing resulted in the ESCs being banned from selling CSCOPE lessons or even having the lessons in their possessions. The CSCOPE lessons were found to contain Un-American, pro-Islamic, and incorrect content. Director Steelman as well as all 20 ESC directors are still promoting the gutted CSCOPE materials now called the TRS Curriculum.

In 2011, the Marlin ISD district instruction director, Jamie Johnson and district superintendent, Marsha Riddlehuber, informed me that I could not see the 5th grade science or math CSCOPE lessons.I requested the lessons because I was tutoring kids after school.

I asked about textbooks. NOPE! Marlin ISD no longer used textbooks because the CSCOPE Instructional Materials were so comprehensive. Also, CSCOPE  was an online product and was more current than textbooks. The CSCOPE lessons were copyrighted and not visible to anyone unless they signed a non-disclosure contract stating they would not reveal the content of the lessons.

The ESCs threatened Legal action against teachers if they told parents the content of the CSCOPE lessons.

Q2  How much evidence does it take for a thorough investigation of the Texas Education Centers to be required?

A2 Our Texas leaders have smiled as they falsify reported praise for the 20 ESCs. Yet, all the while, like a child, have their fingers crossed behind their backs. It is time to step up to the plate and take action. Lobbyist DO NOT represent our children or their parents. Get out of the Ivory Towers in Austin and spend some time in classrooms. Don’t arrive like the King or Queen of England, take clues from the TV program called, Undercover Boss. Apply for a teaching position at different school districts. Ask to visit classrooms. Get contact info and call the teachers later. Some will tell you the truth, others are too afraid of losing their jobs. There is little job security for teachers.

How long this will continue depends on our newly elected Governor and Lt. Governor. Will they follow through on their promises to improve Education? It also depends on who the Governor appoints as the Commissioner of Education.

Q3 How much longer are the leaders of Texas going to allow the ESCs to have any input or control over what is taught or how it is taught in our Texas classrooms?

A3  Like the previous Answer, the ball is in the court of the Governor and Lt. Governor.

Things for the Governor and Lt. Governor to think about:

1. The 20 ESCs created an illegal company claiming this company owned CSCOPE. The name of the company was TESCCC. Each of the 20 ESCs directors paid $200,000 each to be a member of the collaborative who owned TESCCC. Where did this money come from?

2. The trustees of TESCCC (ESC directors) filed with the state a change showing that if TESCCC was ever dissolved the Federal Government would receive any proceeds. Originally, the state of Texas was listed. Not only were the ESC directors creating what they thought was a company unconnected to the ESCs, but they wanted the company to not be associated with Texas.






Share Button
Read More


Share Button


Most parents want their children to grow up to be kind, compassionate, charitable adults. So when schools sponsor activities which foster giving, most parents are supportive.

In the past few years, a new “giving program” has been developed called “Giving Tuesday.” The group’s website states:

We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

Sounds good. After all, the Christmas Season has always been known in America as our most charitable time of year.
Giving Tuesday” even provides k-12 school curriculum free on their website to help teachers and schools develop “giving” programs and “encourage” everyone – students, staff, parents and the community – to participate.
Sounds like something most Texas parents could support.

But when President Obama issued a “Giving Tuesday” message and Harris County Department of Education (HCDE -the federal government’s back door into Texas public schools) pushed “Giving Tuesday” and linked to the “Giving Tuesday” website for schools to “get ideas,” I decided to look deeper. After all, it wasn’t just a coincidence that Arne Duncan visited HCDE in person.

(Note: HCDE is a leftover government entity from 1889 and a past era of Texas education when counties operated our public schools. It still exists only because of a loophole democrats passed back in 1995. HCDE does not answer to the Texas Education Agency, the Commissioner of Education, or the County Commissioners so they have made themselves the federal government’s liaison into Texas public schools. They by-pass TEA and push the federal “cradle to grave” programs across the state.)

 HCDE not only posted the link to the “Giving Tuesday” website, they encouraged Texas public schools to participate saying:
  • Giving Tuesday” Get Your Campus Involved
  • Teachers will want to know about #GivingTuesday, a global   day for giving back….
  • As a teacher, you can encourage your students and parents to take action
  • Organize an event on your campus
  • Announce a new fundraising initiative for your school that day
  • Please don’t forget about #Giving Tuesday Dec. 2
  • Share your #Unselfie.

But a closer look shows the “Giving Tuesday” free curriculum teaches “lessons” that would not be acceptable to many parents, and certainly not to any conservative ones.

What is this curriculum teaching?
Here are some quotes from the lessons:
Investigate the idea of Privilege in order to raise awareness about the way that both you and others DO and DO NOT experience Privilege in your communities.
Text: “I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege. So I have begun in an untutored way to ask what it is like to have white privilege. I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was “meant” to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools, and blank checks.” – McIntosh, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
1. What does McIntosh mean by “white privilege”? Why is it invisible?
2. What might be in that “invisible package”? Create a list.
3. Why does McIntosh state that white privilege is “meant” to be something that one does not recognize?

ANSWER: “Charity is just writing checks and not being engaged. Philanthropy, to me, is being engaged, not only with your resources but getting people involved and doing things that haven’t been done before.” — Eli Broad
In contrast to 19th century “charity,” which had been destined for the needy (it was a form of social welfare), philanthropy of the 20th century was “for mankind.” The shift from charity to philanthropy occurred when the Rich partnered with progressive elites of the academic world, local governments, and professional associations. They all worked together to generate progress in science, education, human rights and public health…The “foundation” was created at the beginning of the 20th century as a way to channel big money to important social causes designed to promote human progress…Our nation has come to view philanthropy as both a quintessential part of being American and another means of achieving major objectives. American citizens embrace the idea that with rights come duties; we have the duty to work for social justice as members of a larger community.

Do research on the Internet to find out how BIG philanthropy has helped and will continue to help everyone—even those who donate the money. You may want to begin with the following names: Johns Hopkins, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie,
George Soros, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet.

Prior to the airing of a BBC documentary in October 1984, Americans had heard very little about the Ethiopian famine. Since the Reagan administration was reluctant to send provisions directly to this socialist regime, it actually cut its food assistance – to zero – in 1984…After it aired, the BBC film shocked the world: 10 to 12 million people were starving or on the verge of starvation in Ethiopia….The LIVE AID rock concerts in London and Philadelphia in July 1985 sought to raise money for the starving of Ethiopia. An estimated global audience of 1.9 billion, across 150 nations, watched the live broadcast. Famous singers such as Elton John, Madonna, and Phil Collins participated…Mass fundraising efforts led to the distribution of 20,000 tons of food to two million people each month…After the concerts, the Reagan administration changed course and approved $45 million for USAID to buy and transport 80,000 metric tons of food…This event led to the passing of the African Relief and Recovery Act (1985), whereby aid for “rehabilitation” was deemed by Congress to be legal – even in socialist countries. Funding for irrigation projects, seeds and tools, and training in health skills became possible…
Using the following historical notes, teach students about the backlash against President Johnson’s approach to eradicating poverty in the United States.
“In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson launched a War on Poverty: his goal was to create better schools, health, homes, and job opportunities. To attain this goal, the federal government created programs like Head Start, Legal Services, the Job Corps, Medicaid and improvements in Social Security. It was the responsibility of the government to lend a helping hand to the poor. Yet ever since this War on Poverty, conservatives have championed the idea that the poor are responsible themselves for their own poverty with bad attitudes and faulty lifestyles.”
How can you persuade others that your ideas are valid, relevant, and infused with a sense of purpose – without coming across as pushy and without offending your audience?
“Giving Tuesday” states that the purpose of teachers using their curriculum is NOT to foster charity in the hearts of school children, it is to use the students to FUND RAISE. 
Quotes from the curriculum guide:
1. The primary goal of this curriculum is to generate a genuine and authentic commitment to service in your school community by energizing students about fundraising for a specific cause in preparation for #Giving Tuesday….
(You can read the entire curriculum here.)My Observations

Besides being extremely biased, left leaning material, which may be objectionable to many Texas parents, it is questionable if this curriculum is even legal in Texas.
Texas Education Code Sec. 29.906 outlines character education restrictions for Texas public schools. “Charity” (not philanthropy) is a character trait listed in the statute and requires curriculum be approved by a school district committee before being used in the classroom. This committee must consist of:
  • parents of district students;
  • educators; and
  • other members of the community, including community leaders.

Statute also includes the following statement:

This section does not … authorize proselytizing or indoctrinating concerning any specific … political belief.

Texas Education Agency makes no mention of the  “Giving Tuesday” curriculum.
But “Giving Tuesday” was still encouraged by Harris County Department of Education (HCDE) – with a link to the website offering the free curriculum.
In a quick search, I found two other Texas School districts which mention “Giving Tuesday”:


Humble ISD participated through their Education Foundation and offered the link to the “Giving Tuesday” curriculum on their website

An Austin ISD press release states, “Schools put philanthropy curriculum into action…”

If your school district participated in “Giving Tuesday,” you can file a request for public information to find out:

  • Which curriculum was used
  • If the curriculum was pre-approved by your school district committee and
  • Who serves on your district’s committee

You can get more involved by volunteering to serve on your district’s Character Education Committee in the future.

A final note: Texas Representative Debbie Riddle has been trying to close the loophole which allows HCDE to continue to operate. Last Session she authored HB945  (with Fletcher/Miller, Rick/ Elkins/Toth) but the Texas House Public Education Committee blocked her efforts.
You may contact the Texas House and Senate Education Committees as well as your own representatives and let them know Texas conservatives want the Harris County Department of Education (HCDE) closed.Colleen Vera

Share Button
Read More

“Federal Report: Special-Needs students, English learners ‘significantly underrepresented’ at Harmony Schools”

Share Button


11.26.14 – Dallas Morning News


“Federal report: Special-needs students, English learners ‘significantly underrepresented’ at Harmony charter schools”


By Holly K. Hacker 

Updated at 3:19 p.m.: I just spoke with Robert Schulman, a lawyer who represents Harmony. He called the agreement “a very positive thing.” Harmony does not discriminate against students, he stressed. “They had to make the appropriate policy and process changes that were necessary for full compliance, and they did.”

Original post: Harmony Public Schools, one of Texas’ biggest charter school networks, reached an agreement today with the U.S. Department of Education over how it enrolls and teaches children who have disabilities or are learning English.

The department’s Office for Civil Rights investigated the Harmony network and found that English-language learners (ELL) and students with disabilities “are significantly underrepresented in their enrollment in (Harmony) charter schools . . . compared to the enrollment of ELL students and students with disabilities in the public school districts in the same geographic area.”

In the Harmony schools examined, 11.5% of students were learning English, compared to 22.5% of students in the neighboring traditional school districts. Students with disabilities comprised 2.7% of Harmony’s enrollment, compared to 7.3% of students in neighboring districts. Of the four Harmony school districts studied, three are in the Houston area. The fourth has campuses in Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, Euless and Duncanville.

Charter schools, which are public schools run by private non-profit groups, cannot exclude or discriminate against students based on their race, disability or language. They’re supposed to educate the same kinds of kids as traditional public schools — including students who may be more difficult or costly to educate.

The Department of Education did not find that Harmony blatantly tried to exclude certain students. But it did find practices and policies at Harmony that could have that effect. From the department’s letter to Harmony:

OCR (Office for Civil Rights) is concerned, however, that the exclusion from admission and enrollment in HPS (Harmony Public Schools) charter schools of students with a documented history of a criminal offense, juvenile court adjudication or discipline problems may improperly contribute to the lower enrollment of students with disabilities or ELL students in the HPS charter schools. Statistics show that students with disabilities and ELL students tend to be overrepresented among students subject to school discipline in Texas.

In addition, the published enrollment procedures (which require students to provide their birth certificates and social security numbers, among other documents) may chill or lead to the exclusion of students based on their or their parents’ citizenship or immigration status. OCR is also concerned that the publication of these procedures alone may dissuade some parents of ELL students from applying to HPS charter schools.

I called Harmony’s main office in Houston for comment. The voice mailbox is full. I’ve emailed the school system for comment, too. As soon as I hear something from them, I’ll post an update.

The Department of Education’s letter notes that before the investigation was complete, Harmony Public Schools “expressed an interest in voluntarily resolving the review” and proposed an agreement to resolve compliance problems.

You can read Harmony’s agreement with the Department of Education below. It spells out the steps that Harmony will take. Below that, I’ve posted the letter.

Harmony Agreement 11.26.14

Share Button
Read More

Has Your Child Failed the TX Math STAAR TEST?

Share Button
Many students across the State of Texas failed by record numbers the State STAAR test during the following 2 school years  2012/2013 & 2013/2014. Since passing scores for the STAAR test are not decided until after all the STAAR test have been completed, in response to the failing scores the passing grade was then lowered.
Who is actually in charge over what is going on in Education has yet to be determined. Why are students failing is outlined below. It would appear to me that a child that was held back due to their failing math scores have grounds for a lawsuit.
In 2006 Math TEKs K-12 were written. They were written for the current state TAKS test.
Problem: These same TEKS were used for the STAAR Tests given in April 2012, April 2013, and April 2014.
Changing from the TAKS to the STAAR was done so that a more rigorous math test would be given. The problem is that the TEKS were not revised to prepare students for the more rigorous STAAR math tests.
2012 Revised Math TEKS K-12 were Approved by the SBOE and shelved so that textbook companies had time to prepare their products so they aligned with the new revised math TEKS.
Problem: The SBOE knew the math TEKS used for the TAKS tests were being used for the math STAAR tests, which was given for the first time in April 2012.
TEA and the SBOE as well as the Commissioner of Education knew that students were taking more rigorous math STAAR tests and teachers were given the same math TEKS used for the less rigorous TAKS tests.
The ESCs also knew this and yet sold new CSCOPE math lessons that were to be used to prepare kids for the more rigorous STAAR tests.
The Math TEKS approved in 2006 are Word for Word the same as the TEKS used last year to prepare kids for the STAAR 2014 math TESTs.
Commissioner Williams had the guts to say that Texas students are not receiving rigorous class instructions thus are not prepared for the more rigorous STAAR tests. He did not point out that the Math TEKS for the TAKS tests were used for the STAAR math tests in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

2014 Revised math TEKS K-8 implemented. These are the math TEKS that were approved in April 2012 and shelved by the SBOE until the 2014-2015. While waiting for the book publishers, TEA use the old 2006 math TEKS to prepare kids for the more rigorous STAAR math tests. Thus, TEA was assured that more kids would fail the math STAAR tests and more kids would have to be retested.  Who benefited financially by this? 
2015 Revised math Teks 9-12 will be implemented.
This means that students in 9-12 will again be taking math STAAR tests using the old math TEKS.
*5th grade new math teks are exactly aligned with Common Core.
* after the 3rd edition a different company purchased Saxon and they have now aligned it with Common Core.


Share Button
Read More

Texas Virtual School……Another CSCOPE?

Share Button

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

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

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

asked to get involved.

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

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

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

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

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

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

picture 3

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

least the minimum in standard contracting and accounting procedures.

But we were wrong.

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

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

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

I chose the:

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

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

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

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

operations with state funds.

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

ESC for  the ESC to operate the network.”

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

  assigned by the legislature.” (8.220)

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

View the full Board discussion video: here

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

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

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

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

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




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












ESC 10 immediately
  subcontracted with HCDE

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

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

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

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

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

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

landscape architecture
land surveying
professional engineering
real estate appraising
professional nursing

Technology is not listed.

Appendix 1 of the TEA contract reads:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The result?   HCDE

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

Whose address is it?     HCDE


If you call the TxVSN Central Operations Help Desk…

Where is the phone answered?


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

picture14 picture17

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

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

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

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

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

One of those old laws, TEC 17.94 states:

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

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

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

They might.

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

Much less likely.

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

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

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

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

1st Payment to Scott in HCDE Check Registry

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

1st Payment to Eissler in HCDE Check Registry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Colleen Vera


Share Button
Read More

Education 101

Share Button


“Education 101”

by Donna Garner



Where should concerned parents and the public start when it comes to understanding the educational jargon used by the schools? Having taught for more than 33 years, I know the confusion that abounds as people attempt to enter the world of education acronyms!


I receive frequent queries from people who make this type of statement: “Donna, I am so worried about my child. I know he is not learning what he should, but I do not know what to do.  I feel inadequate to talk about Common Core/CSCOPE to the teacher and/or administrators, yet I believe I should be fighting to protect my child.”




First, we have to understand the two education philosophies – Type #1 vs. Type #2:




Second, we need to understand the realities of those who are involved in the education world that surrounds Common Core/CSCOPE.  I call it “the RED, YELLOW, and  GREEN” people.  


The “RED” people working in the background are using the “YELLOW” and the“GREEN” people as pawns to make sure that America is dumbed down so that future voters and the destiny of our country are completely changed from the Great American Way.  


The “RED”  people know exactly what they are doing. They have long-term goals to change America, and they realize that the best way to do this is to indoctrinate this and succeeding generations of school children into the Common Core philosophy.    


Into the “RED” group fall the proponents of the Common Core Standards/CSCOPE, Obama, Arne Duncan, Bill Gates, Linda Darling-Hammond, Bill Ayers, liberal-left politicians, the drive-by media, national education organizations, and many other left-leaners.   


The YELLOW people are those who are driven by greed, money, power, and fame. Many of these people are vendors, lobbyists, or school employees who overlook the egregious content of their products so long as they themselves are benefitting.  Into this group fall Bill Gates, Pearson, U. S. Dept. of Education employees, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Common Core/CSCOPE/Education Service Centers/TEKS Resource System employees, Thomas Ratliff (Texas State Board of Education member), TASA, TASB, the Ratliff and Moses clans, Achieve, Inc., Fordham Institute, etc.  


The “GREEN” people (many of whom are educators)are those who go-along to get-along; they follow the status quo and are content to go along with whatever teaching fad is in vogue at the present time. These people are not bad people but are easily deceived by those who have ulterior motives (i.e., the “RED” and “YELLOW” people). 


Politicians can come in all different colors – RED, YELLOW, or GREEN.


Those politicians whose aim is to change America from a capitalistic, free-market Republic into a Socialist, Communist, Marxist country are “RED” people. 


Those politicians who seek fame, fortune, and/or control for themselves are YELLOW” people.


Those politicians who choose to be blind followers are “GREEN” people.




We here in Texas should be very pleased with our Type #1 TEKS (Texas’ curriculum standards). We realize the new TEKS (adopted since 2008) in ELAR, Science, Social Studies, and Math are not perfect; but at least a high percentage of the elements are intentionally explicit, knowledge-based, academic, clearly worded, grade-level specific, and measurable. That is more than can be said of the Common Core Standards and of the other states’ standards that are built upon Type #2.  


Because our Texas law requires the state-mandated tests to follow the TEKS, then our STAAR/End-of-Course Tests (EOC’s) are largely Type #1 tests.  Type #1 State Board of Education members have taken the STAAR/EOC’s and have affirmed they are aligned with the Type #1 TEKS. 


Pearson, who normally is totally in league with Type #2, has the Texas contract for the STAAR/EOC’s; but Pearson has been monitored very closely by the past Texas Commissioner of Education (Robert Scott), the present Texas Commissioner of Education (Michael Williams), and by Type #1 SBOE members to make sure the Pearson test bank is aligned with the Type #1 TEKS. 


We have been told that even though Pearson had to create a different test bank for Texas from that of the Type #2 test bank used in other states, the Pearson staffers actually found it was much easier to create good test questions for the STAAR/EOC’s because of the explicit/grade-levelspecific/measurable Type #1 wording in the new TEKS.




The STAAR/EOC’s are not perfect, but they are built upon the best Type #1 curriculum standards in the entire U. S. 


We are telling parents IN TEXAS NOT TO OPT THEIR CHILDREN OUT OF THE STAAR-EOC’S because it is those Type #1 tests that are the only way we have to force Texas educators (many of whom are “GREEN” people) to follow the Type #1 TEKS.


How will parents know whether their child’s teacher has actually taught the new Type #1 TEKS and taught them well if there is no objective measurement (e.g., STAAR/EOC’s) at each grade level/course except for the teacher’s own grading system?


What if a huge number of Texans opt out their children from the STAAR/EOC’s, and the state testing data from the Texas Education Agency is no longer valid?


What if the child’s teacher taught Type #2 curriculum materials instead (e.g., Guided Reading, CSCOPE, Safari Montage, TASA iCLOUD, Lead4Ward, Pat Jacoby’s, Expeditionary Learning, etc.), and the parents opted out their child from the STAAR/EOC tests?  How will parents know before it is too late and their child has been indoctrinated and/or “dumbed down”?


What if parents find out too late that their Suzy Q. had teachers in several untested STAAR/EOC grade levels/courses who taught Type #2 lessons instead of the Type #1 TEKS?  Example:  Type #2 — no systematic teaching of phonemic awareness/phonics, no systematic teaching of grammar/usage/correct spelling/cursive writing, no emphasis on learning the four math functions to automaticity  –


Now Suzy Q. is in Grade XXX and is several grade levels behind in her pre-requisite skills because her Type #2 teachers have been passing her right along because of their subjective evaluations.  Suzy Q.’s parents have opted to keep her out of STAAR/EOC testing, and they have not had an objective “measuring stick” to help them to know that Suzy Q. is academically being left behind.  Now it is almost too late, and it will be close to impossible to go back and help Suzy Q. to learn the Type #1 skills that she should have been learning all along.


This same scenario could happen if the grade-level-specific STAAR/EOC’s are not required yearly and/or if parents opt out their children from taking them. The way to get teachers to teach the Type #1 academic knowledge and skills mandated by the Texas Education Code at each grade level/course is to hold them and their students publicly accountable on the STAAR/EOC’s.  “What gets tested gets taught.  What gets measured gets treasured.”     


HB 5 passed by the last legislative session decimated the high-school STAAR/EOC tests (reducing the number of EOC’s from 15 to 5), but the Grades 3 – 8 STAAR tests are still in place.  If we lose the leverage that those tests give the public, Texas teachers (many of whom are the “GREEN” people) will go right back to their Type #2 curriculum units that the old 1997 TEKS/TAKS utilizedWithout the STAAR/EOC test results, parents will have no way to prove whether Suzy Q. was taught Type #1 or Type #2. 


Sadly, Texas was right on the cusp of authentic education reform with all students K – 12 moving into the new TEKS/STAAR/EOC’s and the rigorous but doable 4 x 4 graduation plan when our legislature dominated by “YELLOW” people (and by powerful “RED” people) dumbed things down with HB 5. The vendors and lobbyists (“YELLOW” people) got their way which suited the “RED” people perfectly. 




On the other hand, people WHOSE CHILDREN ARE IN THE COMMON CORE STATES SHOULD DEFINITELY OPT OUT THEIR CHILDREN FROM THE PARCC/SMARTER BALANCED ASSESSMENTS AND FROM THE ACCOMPANYING COMMON CORE NATIONAL AND PERSONALLY INTRUSIVE DATABASE. Those assessments are meant to indoctrinate children’s minds, and there are over 400 data points of personal information that are set to be collected by the national database if the Common Core roll-out is allowed to go forward. 




Type #2 CSCOPE (the Texas version of Type #2 Common Core Standards) came slithering into Texas under the radar and captured 845 school districts during the time that the rest of us were fighting to get the Type #1 TEKS passed(2008 – 2012).


The reason CSCOPE successfully infused itself into so many Texas schools is because 20 of the 19 Education Service Center (ESC) directors formed a corporation (TESCCC) and then began selling CSCOPE and its curriculum management system through the ESC’s. These are mostly “YELLOW” people.


Administrators (mostly “GREEN” people) fell for the “YELLOW” people’s plan and took their local taxpayers’ dollars and poured them into CSCOPE.  


SB 6 was passed in 2011 by the Texas Legislature, and SB 6 made it possible for locals to purchase instructional materials (IM’s – digitized curriculum, textbooks, etc.) such as CSCOPE by utilizing the Permanent School Funds. 


SB 6 took away the authority over IM’s from the elected members of the SBOE.  SB 6 basically set up a “work around” so that locals no longer have to purchase the IM’s that have gone through the SBOE public hearing process. The SBOE public hearing process catches factual errors that are documented, and publishers have to correct them or else pay a monetary penalty. 


SB 6 provides for no such SBOE public process, and the IM’s that are sold to schools under SB 6 (e.g., CSCOPE) have not been through careful public scrutiny. In fact, CSCOPE materials could not be viewed by the public because teachers had to sign agreements saying that they would not show CSCOPE materials to Texas parents.


Once we were sufficiently able to publicize the Texas law (TEC Title 2, Subtitle E, Chap. 26, Sec. 26.006 ) which requires parents to be able to see all curriculumtheir children are taught (even digitized materials), then the TESCCC shut itself down.


Many Texans thought the problem was resolved only to find out a few months later that the TESCCC had rebranded itself as the TEKS Resource System. The “YELLOW” people put CSCOPE lessons into the public domain, but districts who purchase the TEKS Resource System are basically using the Type #2 CSCOPE lessons and making sure teachers utilize them by forcing their students to take the assessments sold by the TEKS Resource System.




The reason that Texas public school students are struggling on the STAAR/EOC tests is that they have not been taught the Type #1 TEKS at each grade level/course during the years leading up to the first administration of the STAAR/EOC tests. How do we force the “GREEN” people to start teaching the Type #1 TEKS?  It is to use the “measuring stick” – the Type #1 STAAR/EOC tests – to pressure the “GREEN” people through public disclosure of those test scores to teach children Type #1 curriculum.


By doing this, we will divest ourselves of the “RED” people with their Type #2 indoctrination and the “YELLOW” people who are involved because of greed, money, power, and fame.


Parents in Common Core states must opt their children out of the Common Core assessments to protect their children from the indoctrination of the computer-adaptive tests. Parents in Common Core states must battle to keep their own family’s personally identifiable data from being poured into the Common Core national database which can be shared with third parties without parental permission.  




6.6.14 — “We Have the Answer: #CANiSEE Solutions Conf. On Demand for a Year” — by Donna Garner —




Donna Garner





Share Button
Read More

Common Core Exposed in Texas @ CAN I SEE CONFERENCE, JUNE

Share Button

common core exposed


Please join us and register for this wonderful educational conference exposing the transformation taking place across the state of Texas in every school district. Not only are Texas Schools using and implementing the Common Core philosophy they are Data Mining your children without your knowledge. The CAN I SEE Conference is being held in Austin June 20-21.


– Merrill Hope, Breitbart News

The PTA (Parent Teacher Association) will hold its annual national convention in Austin June 19th-22nd. Their keynote speaker is Arne Duncan, U. S. Sect. of Education, who, in conjunction with the national PTA, are cheerleaders for the Common Core.

In response to that event, we have a tremendous opportunity to hold the #CANiSEE™© the Solution counter-event on June 20-21, 2014. The Solution conference will feature some of the most prominent voices who have come together to end the federal takeover of K-12 public education.


Dr. Sandra StotskyProfessor Emerita, U of Arkansas

Dr. James Milgram Professor Emeritus, Stanford U.

Jane RobbinsAmerican Principles Project

Dr. Peg LuksikFounded on Truth 

Phyllis Schlafly – Eagle Forum 


Dr. Duke PestaFreedom Project Education

Dr. Terrence Moore – Author of The Story Killers: A Common Sense Case Against the Common Core

Dr. Chris Tienken– Author of The School Reform Landscape: Fraud, Myth, and Lies


Jenni WhiteRestoring Oklahoma Public Education (ROPE)

Anita MoncriefTrue the Vote

Nakonia Hayes“The Story of John Saxon”

Glyn Wright – Eagle Forum 

MerryLynn GerstenschlagerTexas Eagle Forum

Mary BowenTexas Teacher and Education Advisor

Dr. Stan Hartzler- Classroom Applications of Cognitive Psychology   

Henry W. Contributor

Lisa BensonLisa Benson Radio for National Security Matters 

Karen Schroeder Advocates for Academic Freedom

Jeanine MacGregor – Writer, researcher, cognitive learning expert


Share Button
Read More

Traditional Math Professor Dr. Stan Hartzler vs Progressive Educator Dr. Cathy Moak ….Huntsville ISD

Share Button

Dr. Stan Hartzler is a veteran Math professor who quit teaching at Luling ISD due to being forced to teach the controversial Cscope curriculum. After quitting his position he ran for school board and won.  Hartzler felt like he was committing a crime using Cscope due to it failing to educate the students properly in mathematics.

Dr. Cathy Moak  employed at Texas Education Service VI wrote some of the math lessons within Cscope. Moak has shown her indignation to those of us that have exposed the substandard Cscope program.


Dr. Moak posted the following Facebook message accusing those that teach from the math curriculum Saxon do not understand the academics of mathematics are they are lazy.






As a home school mother who taught Saxon math I would have to say it is one of the best programs out there. My oldest graduated from Texas A&M in accounting and my son-in-law also a home schooler educated with Saxon graduated #1 academically from the Engineering school at Texas A&M. Saxon is self explanatory and great for those parents whose expertise may not be math. You can find their books @




Share Button
Read More

Hit Counter provided by Skylight