Parents say “NO” to CSCOPE~ Superintendents dig in their Heels……

News on the ground from Rockwall ISD ~ According to CWA’s (Concerned Women for America) Michelle Smith…..

“I have been told just this morning of 25 students who will be pulled from RISD if RISD does not pull CSCOPE..that list is growing everyday. Lets see that’s 175,000 dollars the district will lose. Text books are looking better everyday.” 

News on the ground from Carthage ISD ~ Superintendents Dig in their Heels…..

Sups dig inLast night the Friday before Women On The Wall’s Alice Linahan is scheduled to speak in Carthage, Texas an article by: Three local superintendents has been published in the Panola County Watchman. 

Glenn Hambrick, Ed.D., Superintendent, Carthage ISD

Donna Porter, Ed.D., Asst. Superintendent, Carthage ISD

Mary Ann Whitaker, M.Ed., Superintendent, Hudson ISD

Before you read their article read about the Green, Yellow and Red People and ask yourself where are they in the analogy of the Green, Yellow or Red people. 

There are three different types of individuals involved in Common Core/CSCOPE; and we can see this all across America.

Green Yellow and Red CSCOPE People

Green Yellow and Red CSCOPE People

The “green” people are those who go-along to get-along; they go with the status quo and are content to follow 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 (e.g., drive-by media, national educator organizations, left-leaning politicians, CSCOPE, Common Core Standards).

 

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 look past the egregious content of their products so long as they themselves are benefitting.  Into this group fall some CSCOPE/TESCCC/ESC employees, Thomas Ratliff, Mike Moses, Pat Jacoby, TASA, TASB, etc.

 

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 in their classrooms.  Into this group fall such people as Obama, Arne Duncan, Linda Darling-Hammond, Bill Ayers, the National Education Organization, and many other left-leaners.

Now, here is a link to their article.

CSCOPE and Carthage ISD

“It is sometimes mindboggling how some controversies begin. Certainly, the wildfire that has swept across Texas concerning the CSCOPE curriculum has our heads spinning. Misinformation has spread rampantly and the truth backed by factual information has been difficult to get out in front of the folks that are taking small excerpts and lessons out of context. In some cases, the CSCOPE curriculum has been attacked with reckless, unsubstantiated accusations.

The shame is that CSCOPE should be a success story of how 870 public school districts, average enrollment of 2000 students, working together with the twenty Education Service Centers (ESCs) created a 21st century curriculum based on the state mandated Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Prior to selecting this curriculum for CISD, an extensive investigation was conducted to assure that it was a good fit for our district.”Please read the rest of the article here……

Women On The Wall encourages parents, grandparents and community members to show up and find out the truth about CSCOPE the Common Core philosophy of education that is being forced into our Texas Schools.

As Alice Linahan said today in response to this article….. “I will be happy to give them time to defend and will encourage their participation in the meeting on Monday night in Carthage, Tx. I am not looking for a fight, I am looking for debate and solutions. I hope we have the room filled and that good will come out of a hearty debate.” 

Here are some great resources for those looking into CSCOPE in Texas.

Compare Traditional Type 1 vs Type 2 CSCOPE Methods of Teaching

Click here for a list Texas School Districts using CSCOPE.  Although this list is in the process of changing. I know school boards in districts such as Argyle ISD have voted to not fund CSCOPE. 

Women On The Wall’s Stop CSCOPE Tool Box

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Join the Movement to Stop CSCOPE

Click the photo to sign the Petition and Join the movement to#StopCSCOPE 

Women On the Wall  takes on the issues that matter. Sharing information and updates on our weekly radio show on Monday mornings at 10 am CST. You will not want to miss this show. We will have up to date information on CSCOPE  and guests who are the experts on education and other issues that are effecting our children and grandchildren.

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Knowledge is Power and together we can make the difference!!

Alice Linahan

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Voices Empower has partnered the Freedom Trailer Teams to Educate, Inspire and Motivate.

Women On The Wall.org

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Betrayed by the Governor of Texas

Betrayed! 

JoAnn FlemingBy JoAnn Fleming, Executive Director, Grassroots America – We the People PAC; and for identification purposes – Chair, TX Legislature’s TEA Party Caucus Advisory Committee
Today, Governor Rick Perry made a sharp left turn. According to sources inside the GOP Caucus meeting, Perry has decided to abandon his own promises to the people of Texas. One year ago – on Tax Day 2012, no less – Gov. Perry unveiled a “State Budget Compact” and promised us he would champion and push for these five principles:
1. Practice Truth in Budgeting
2. Support a Constitutional limit of spending to the growth of population & inflation
3. Oppose any new taxes or tax increases; make the small business tax exemption
   permanent
4. Preserve a strong Rainy Day Fund
5. Cut unnecessary and duplicative government programs and agencies
One year later, due to a lack of leadership, these promises won’t likely survive the legislative session. Once again, we get a lot of talk, but little real action. Today, Perry signaled to Texas House Republicans that these promises really no longer matter.
If that’s not bad enough, Gov. Perry is asking House Republicans to walk the plank for him in support of busting the spending capputting Texas further into debt, and raiding the Rainy Day Fund. In exchange, Perry promised to campaign for those legislators who would follow him in this reckless quest to betray the conservative base and to violate foundational conservative principles.
Our answer? Anyone thinking about following this unprincipled approach should remember the “Cruz Missile” that blew up all conventional political wisdom last year and sent an earthquake through the middle of Austin.
The conservative grassroots of Texas that united to send Ted Cruz to the United States Senate is more committed than ever to protect this state from the establishment ruling class in both parties. We will consider any votes to bust the spending limit, to drive Texas further into debt, and to drain the Rainy Day Fund to be a declaration of war on our children and grandchildren. Texas is NOT Washington, DC, and we don’t take kindly to betrayal.

Women On the Wall  takes on the issues that matter. Sharing information and updates on our weekly radio show on Monday mornings at 10 am CST. You will not want to miss this show. We take on the issues that are effecting the safety and security of our children and grandchildren.

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Knowledge is Power and together we can make the difference!!

Alice Linahan

Follow @AliceLinahan on twitter and Facebook 

Voices Empower has partnered the Freedom Trailer Teams to Educate, Inspire and Motivate.

Women On The Wall.org

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  Please attribute to Alice Linahan  with Voices Empower

 

Not So Fast Mike Villarreal and Dan Branch~ HB 2103 Must be Stopped!

BILL ANALYSIS ~ Texas HB2103 

Texas Representative Mike Villarreal and Rep. Dan Branch have introduced HB 2103.

Bill has been Placed on General State Calendar for 

 

 04/24/2013 

  

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE

Interested parties assert that student data collected by the Texas Education Agency should be made more accessible to researchers so that it can be used to improve the state’s education system. C.S.H.B. 2103 aims to provide for this increased accessibility and also seeks to establish an education research center advisory board and set limits on who can request research, which would allow the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to sift through fewer requests and approve researchers in a more timely manner.

Jason, why

I called Cathy Adams President of Texas Eagle Forum and she said quote:

“This would deepen the impact of “school-to-work” which is the German / Prussian education system.”. Ok Moms and Dads are you really ok with this?

What is a P20 Workforce Council ~

The P20 Council is to create a State DATA Base for Education Researchers.

The P20 will among other things – collect data P = Pre-kindergarten through 20 = 20 years of age
P20 database is tasked with collecting information (data points) on Texas students from early childhood to workforce-aged youngsters.
 
FERPA (Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act) laws changed in January of 2012, allowing PII to be used in more than 11 different ways WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM PARENTS OR STUDENTS
Call your Representative Today and Say NO to HB 2103. Why would we trust a P20 Board with our children and their Teacher’s private data when things like this are happening in Texas. 

________________________________________________ 

Join the Movement to Stop CSCOPE

Click the photo to sign the Petition and Join the movement to#StopCSCOPE 

Women On the Wall  takes on the issues that matter. Sharing information and updates on our weekly radio show on Monday mornings at 10 am CST. You will not want to miss this show. We will have up to date information on CSCOPE  and guests who are the experts on education and other issues that are effecting our children and grandchildren.

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Knowledge is Power and together we can make the difference!!

Alice Linahan

Follow @AliceLinahan on twitter and Facebook 

Voices Empower has partnered the Freedom Trailer Teams to Educate, Inspire and Motivate.

Women On The Wall.org

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“Show Us The Money ~ TEA and ESC”

By Janice VanCleave TxCSCOPEReview.com 

I need a hero to stop CSCOPE in Texas

I need a hero to stop CSCOPE in Texas

TEA (Texas Education Agency) and the ESC (Education Service Centers) spent $31,900,000 from a grant to develop a training program for educators and administrators. The objective being that Texas teachers would be given specifics about the TEKS.

Teachers attending the sessions would leave with a scope of the TEKS (descriptions of the TEKS for the grades and subjects they teach).

With information about the TEKS and their school calendar, teachers would have all the tools they need to develop a sequence (yearly schedule) for each subject.

CSCOPE Senate HearingDuring the senate ed committee meeting, the superintendents didn’t say a thing about this material. In fact they gave testimony that without CSCOPE they have no specifics about the TEKS.

The ESCs had to have spent much time developing TEKS training material for K-12 in all subjects.

What is the difference in the CSCOPE scopes and sequences and the TEKS Profession Development Initiatives scopes and sequences? 

Every Texan needs to know just how their tax money is being spent. Every Texan needs to know that those in charge of the ESCs are not being governed and are free to spend our tax money as they see fit.

Every Texan needs to contact their ESC and ask for original copies of the TEKS Professional Development Initiatives paid for by a $32 million grant–their tax money provides this.

Rider42 Texas Professional Development Research Study

 

 

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Join the Movement to Stop CSCOPE

Click the photo to sign the Petition and Join the movement to#StopCSCOPE 

Women On the Wall  takes on the issues that matter. Sharing information and updates on our weekly radio show on Monday mornings at 10 am CST. You will not want to miss this show. We will have up to date information on CSCOPE  and guests who are the experts on education and other issues that are effecting our children and grandchildren.

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Knowledge is Power and together we can make the difference!!

Alice Linahan

Follow @AliceLinahan on twitter and Facebook 

Voices Empower has partnered the Freedom Trailer Teams to Educate, Inspire and Motivate.

Women On The Wall.org

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Voices Empower

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CAIR WORKING HARD TO KILL TEXAS ALAC BILL

At the Capital in Austin on Jan. 31st the photo below was taken. It was Texas Muslim Day. Of the 12 sponsoring groups 8 have direct ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Texas Muslim Day at the Capital CAIR

So it is not surprising to find out…..

When it comes to Senator John Carona’s legislation, SB1639, Texas’ American Laws for American Courts legislation, our opponents become more vocal as we get closer to victory.And we are VERY close to victory in Texas.

One such opponent is the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), an unindicted conspirator in the Texas Holy Land Foundation terror finance trial and a Muslim Brotherhood front group operating right here in the U.S.

Just the other day, CAIR put out a “Texas Action Alert” asking legislators to “put a stop to anti-Muslim legislation in the Senate.” Specifically, CAIR tells its members that “if 11 Senators vote to block the measure, it can be stopped….” And they ask them to “call your Texas Senator today and ask that they block SB1639 from reaching the floor.

Pro-ALAC patriots: We need the voices of Texas to tell the ALL State Senators what the bill REALLY does…and what it does NOT do. We need your voice today.

As a reminder, SB1639 is merely common-sense proposal protects Texans’ individual constitutional rights from foreign laws or legal doctrines in cases related to marriage, divorce, or parent-child relationships, where the application of those laws/doctrines would violate those constitutional rights. No particular foreign law is singled out. The legislation applies to them all.

SB 1639 was recently passed out of the Texas Senate Business & Commerce Committee by a vote of 5 to 4. The next step is for the Rules Committee to send the legislation to the Senate floor for a final vote.

At this time, we need all of our Texas members to relay their strong support for SB 1639 to their individual state Senator. By continuing to work together, we can see American Laws for American Courts legislation passed in Texas this session!

In order to see ALAC passed into law in Texas, can we count on you to perform the following easy action today?

** IMPORTANT ACTION ITEM **

We need your help TODAY in contacting YOUR STATE SENATOR to relay your strong support for SB 1639 and your desire to see the bill reach the Senate floor as soon as possible for a vote.

(Click HERE to locate your state Senator and his/her contact information.)

Please respectfully relay the sentiments below, either via phone call

or e-mail:Senator,

I urge you to support SB 1639, introduced by Senator John Carona, in order to protect the constitutional rights of Texans from the incursion of foreign laws and foreign legal doctrines.

Further, I ask that you do all you can to see this important bill brought before the full Senate so it can receive the vote it deserves.

To-date, four other states have passed legislation like SB 1639. Texas needs to be next, as we must maintain the authority of the Texas and U.S. Constitutions.

As a Texas voter, this bill is of the utmost importance to me!

Thank you for your leadership on this vital matter.

Sincerely,

(Your name and city)

Again, many thanks for all of your efforts, Texas. You ARE making a difference!

 

 

 

Join the Movement to #StopCSCOPE ~ New Way To Fight – HB 945

Stop CSCOPE graphic
Do you want to help put a big dent in the development of CSCOPE courses in the Texas Virtual School Network?
 
The obsolete government entity (Harris County Department of Education) that I have been trying to shut down for the past two years is the developer/provider of the CSCOPE courses in the Texas Virtual School Network. Now I know why there are so many educational big shots trying to keep them open.
They are actually the Harris County School Trustees, an entity left over from the days when counties operated our public schools in Texas – before the onset of the ISD. Believe it or not, Harris County still elects County School Trustees over 50 years after our last countywide school closed! I have been fighting to shut them down because they are a duplicate of ESCs – thus a waste of our local tax dollars. I had no idea I was fighting CSCOPE too.
Fighting CSCOPE in TexasThe bill to close them down will be heard on Tuesday April 16th. If you will be in Austin (or know someone who will be) who also wants to take down CSCOPE, you can help by simply signing in at the Capital on Tuesday  morning in support of HB 945.
Hearing:  Tuesday, April 16, 2013
                  House Public Education Committee
                  Texas Capital Extension – Second Floor (E2)  –  Room E2.036
                  Upon final adjourn./recess. Before 10:00am
House Bill 945
Purpose:  Abolish Office of Harris County School Trustee / County Superintendent
Author:    Rep. Debbie Riddle
You must come in person to register your support “For” the bill to have your name in the public record. You do NOT need to speak.
·        You must register electronically using a House Witness Registration  kiosk or your own IPAD inside the Capital Building the day of the hearing – BEFORE your bill is heard  –
Ø  Select Hearing: House Public Education Committee
Ø  Select Agenda Item:  HB 945
Ø  Register Your Position:  FOR
Ø  Select  – you do NOT wish to testify
That’s all you have to do. You do not have to attend the hearing. Just a large number of people registering support FOR the bill would be very helpful.
Funny that I have been working on two bills, this one and CSCOPE and had no idea they were related until now.
Colleen Vera

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Join the Movement to Stop CSCOPE

Click the photo to sign the Petition and Join the movement to#StopCSCOPE 

Women On the Wall  takes on the issues that matter. Sharing information and updates on our weekly radio show on Monday mornings at 10 am CST. You will not want to miss this show. We will have up to date information on CSCOPE  and guests who are the experts on education and other issues that are effecting our children and grandchildren.

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Knowledge is Power and together we can make the difference!!

Alice Linahan

Follow @AliceLinahan on twitter and Facebook 

Voices Empower has partnered the Freedom Trailer Teams to Educate, Inspire and Motivate.

Women On The Wall.org

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Voices Empower

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Just Breaking: Power of the People!! Republican Win Against Common Core

The National Republican Party passed a resolution against Common Core in their platform. Yeah!

Common Core

Photo Courtesy of Left, right unite against Common Core

Hat Tip to Dawn Wildman – San Diego Tea Party organizer Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition Inc. www.socaltaxrevoltcoalition.org California Co-Coordinator Tea Party Groups www.Californiateapartygroups.org Guest Host of City on a Hill radio show http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cityonahill

and to Truth in American Education 

Here is the original draft:

RESOLUTION CONCERNING COMMON CORE EDUCATION STANDARDS

WHEREAS, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a set of academic standards, promoted and supported by two private membership organizations, the National Governor’s Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) as a method for conforming American students to uniform (“one size fits all”) achievement goals to make them more competitive in a global marketplace, (1.) and

WHEREAS, the NGA and the CCSSO, received tens of millions of dollars from private third parties to advocate for and develop the CCSS strategy, subsequently created the CCSS through a process that was not subject to any freedom of information acts or other sunshine laws, and never piloted the CCSS, and

WHEREAS, even though Federal Law prohibits the federalizing of curriculum (2.), the Obama Administration accepted the CCSS plan and used 2009 Stimulus Bill money to reward the states that were most committed to the president’s CCSS agenda; but, they failed to give states, their legislatures and their citizens time to evaluate the CCSS before having to commit to them, and

WHEREAS, the NGA and CCSSO in concert with the same corporations developing the CCSS ‘assessments’ have created new textbooks, digital media and other teaching materials aligned to the standards which must be purchased and adopted by local school districts in order that students may effectively compete on CCSS ‘assessments’, and

WHEREAS, the CCSS program includes federally funded testing and the collection and sharing of massive amounts of personal student and teacher data, and

WHEREAS, the CCSS effectively removes educational choice and competition since all schools and all districts must use Common Core ‘assessments’ based on the Common Core standards to allow all students to advance in the school system and to advance to higher education pursuits; therefore be it

RESOLVED, the Republican National Committee, as stated in the 2012 Republican Party Platform, “do not believe in a one size fits all approach to education and support providing broad education choices to parents and children at the State and local level,” (p35)(3.), which is best based on a free market approach to education for students to achieve individual excellence; and, be it further

RESOLVED, the Republican National Committee recognizes the CCSS for what it is– an inappropriate overreach to standardize and control the education of our children so they will conform to a preconceived “normal,” and, be it further

RESOLVED, That the Republican National Committee rejects the collection of personal student data for any non-educational purpose without the prior written consent of an adult student or a child student’s parent and that it rejects the sharing of such personal data, without the prior written consent of an adult student or a child student’s parent, with any person or entity other than schools or education agencies within the state, and be it finally

RESOLVED, the 2012 Republican Party Platform specifically states the need to repeal the numerous federal regulations which interfere with State and local control of public schools, (p36) (3.); and therefore, the Republican National Committee rejects this CCSS plan which creates and fits the country with a nationwide straitjacket on academic freedom and achievement.

References:

1. www.corestandards.org

2.  Federal Law 20 USC 1232a-Sec. 1232a. and The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Pub.L. 89-10, 79 Stat. 27, 20 US.C. ch. 70.

http://us-code.vlex.com/vid/prohibition-against-federal-control-19195093

3.  http://www.gop.com/rnc_counsel/

 ________________________________________________ 

Join the Movement to Stop CSCOPE

Click the photo to sign the Petition and Join the movement to#StopCSCOPE 

Women On the Wall  takes on the issues that matter. Sharing information and updates on our weekly radio show on Monday mornings at 10 am CST. You will not want to miss this show. We will have up to date information on CSCOPE  and guests who are the experts on education and other issues that are effecting our children and grandchildren.

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Knowledge is Power and together we can make the difference!!

Alice Linahan

Follow @AliceLinahan on twitter and Facebook 

Voices Empower has partnered the Freedom Trailer Teams to Educate, Inspire and Motivate.

Women On The Wall.org

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  Please attribute to Alice Linahan  with Voices Empower

“Education Is Serious Business: Green, Yellow, and Red People”

By Donna Garner 

GREEN, YELLOW, AND RED PEOPLE:  CATEGORIES IN EDUCATION

Generally, I believe there are two different types of philosophies of education; and nearly all educators, curriculum, vendors, organizations, and advocacy groups fall into one of these two categories.  (3.3.13 — “Traditional vs Progressive— Two Completely Different Philosophies of Education”

Green Yellow and Red CSCOPE People

Green Yellow and Red CSCOPE People

Next, there are also three different types of individuals involved; and we can see this all across America.

The “green” people are those who go-along to get-along; they go with the status quo and are content to follow 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 (e.g., drive-by media, national educator organizations, left-leaning politicians, CSCOPE, Common Core Standards).

 

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 look past the egregious content of their products so long as they themselves are benefitting.  Into this group fall some CSCOPE/TESCCC/ESC employees, Thomas Ratliff, Mike Moses, Pat Jacoby, TASA, TASB, etc.

 

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 in their classrooms.  Into this group fall such people as Obama, Arne Duncan, Linda Darling-Hammond, Bill Ayers, the National Education Organization, and many other left-leaners.

Politicians can come in all different colors – green, yellow, and red. Those who blindly follow are green. Those who seek fame, fortune, and/or control for themselves are yellow. Those whose aim is to change America from a capitalist, free-market Republic into a Socialist, Communist, Marxist country are red.

I do not believe that very many of our Texas Legislators fall into the “red” category, but I do believe many of them do fall into the “green” or “yellow” categories.

 TEXAS’ NEW TYPE #1 CURRICULUM STANDARDS (TEKS)

Here are the links to the TEKS as posted on the official Texas Education Agency website for the four core courses adopted by the SBOE starting in May 2008 through May 2012:

ELAR TEKS –http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter110/index.html

SCIENCE TEKS –http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter112/index.html

SOCIAL STUDIES  TEKS –http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter113/index.html

MATH TEKS –http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter111/index.html

The TEKS (curriculum standards – not curriculum) tell school districts/educators WHAT to teach. It is left up to the local teachers to decide HOW to teach them.

As you look over the TEKS, you will find that most of them are knowledge-based, academic, grade-level-specific for each grade level or each course; and the standards (i.e., elements) are largely measurable. Those were the parameters set by the elected SBOE back in 2005-2006 before they started adopting the new set of TEKS. These specific parameters were set so that the writing teams would be forced into Type #1.

As you scan through the various subjects and grade levels in the new TEKS, please notice the verbs used at the beginning of the standards. The verbs have deliberately been chosen to bring measurability to the standards such as identify, create, interpret, locate, examine, describe, explain, compare, summarize, master, demonstrate, follow, communicate, incorporate, use, apply, evaluate, organize, etc.

This is the Type #1 philosophy of education – no subjectivity, feelings, opinions, etc. The new Type #1 TEKS emphasize academic knowledge – the right answer – instead of the “process.”  This is why school districts that have become totally fixated on constructivist, project-based learning (e.g., CSCOPE districts) are not in alignment with the Type #1 TEKS because the constructivist/project-based  activities glorify the process rather than the right answer.

Can you find any of the new TEKS that say discover, give your opinion, what do you think, etc.?  These are Type #2 verbiage.

(One of our SBOE members made it a habit each time he visited a school district and viewed a technology demonstration or a science experiment of some kind to go up to a student afterwards and ask him to verbally explain what he just proved. The SBOE member said he hardly ever found a student who could actually explain the concepts underlying the demonstration/experiment.)

Measuring StickBecause of the parameters set by the SBOE for the new TEKS before the writing teams even met, the new Type #1 TEKS elements can be measured on the STAAR/End-of-Course tests largely through objective questions and answers.  Because of these parameters, the constructivist, project-based philosophy of education as seen in CSCOPE does not align well with these new TEKS and explains why the CSCOPE schools did worse on their STAAR/EOC’s than did the non-CSCOPE schools. This also should help us to understand why we must not lose the “measuring stick”  – the STAAR/EOC’s.

If the truth were known, I imagine Pearson really enjoyed producing and then setting up the “answer keys” for the STAAR/EOC tests for Texas because our standards are clear, precise, and measurable.  Producing a test for a “road map” (Type #1) is much easier than producing a test for a “wish list” (Type #2).

RESULTS OF TYPE #1

If we want our public school children to learn to read well, we must have Type #1.

If we want them to be able to speak and write English well, then we must have Type #1.

If we want them to be patriotic citizens who revere the Founding Fathers and know and honor the Constitution, then we must have Type #1.

If we want our graduates to be knowledgeable voters who know history and can analyze current events based upon the past and the present, then we must have Type #1.

If we want our public school children to recognize that they and the whole world were created by a Higher Being, then we must have Type #1.

If we want our public school children to know their math facts to automaticity, then we must have Type #1.

If we want our public school children to be able to do well in foreign languages, then we must have Type #1 that teaches the phonetic sound system and grammar/usage in English so that they can apply that to their foreign language learning.

If we want our public school children to read the great pieces of literature that have connected our country to past generations, then we must have Type #1.

If we want our public school children to have the skills and knowledge they need for college and/or the workplace, then we must have Type #1.

If we want to turn out scientists who are well read, logical, analytical, and who can write down their scientific conclusions, then we must have Type #1.

If we want our graduates to be able to write compositions built upon facts and persuasive techniques, then we must have Type #1.

If we want our high-school students to know how to research a topic and then put that information into well-written text, we must have Type #1.

If we want legislators who are well read and who have a deep understanding of world history/American history/U. S. legal system and how those apply to current events, then we must have Type #1.

________________________________________________

Join the Movement to Stop CSCOPE

Click the photo to sign the Petition and Join the movement to#StopCSCOPE 

Women On the Wall  takes on the issues that matter. Sharing information and updates on our weekly radio show on Monday mornings at 10 am CST. You will not want to miss this show. We will have up to date information on CSCOPE  and guests who are the experts on education and other issues that are effecting our children and grandchildren.

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The SBOE (State Board of Education) CSCOPE Review Process needs YOU!

I need a hero to stop CSCOPE!!

This is a call for Texas Citizens who care about what our children are learning- be on the CSCOPE review teams across Texas.

Interested citizens may submit a nomination form through April 29.  The CSCOPE Ad Hoc Committee expects to make committee assignments in May. The review panels would then work June 3-16 to review the material.

Click here to see the CSCOPE review timeline.

State Board of Education – CSCOPE

The State Board of Education has launched its review of CSCOPE, a curriculum which has been a lightning rod for controversy for content that is alleged to erode fundamental American values, devalue Christianity and favor Islam. The State Board of Education will be seeking public participation in the review process, beginning with review team member nominations which open this week.

“We are committed to a vigorous, thorough, transparent and fair review process,” says District 10 SBOE Member Tom Maynard (R-Florence) who is a member of the ad hoc committee appointed by SBOE chair Barbara Cargill to coordinate the CSCOPE review process. Maynard also chairs the board’s Committee on Instruction.

The board will use the same criteria to evaluate CSCOPE content as it does traditional textbooks.

CSCOPE is an online program that assists districts in aligning curriculum with state standards. In question are the more than 1,600 model lesson plans called “exemplar lessons” and the accompanying tests.

The review process will begin with social studies.

“We anticipate the appointment of 14 review teams to tackle the 431 social studies lessons and assessments, which range from kindergarten to 12th grade government,” Maynard says.

“We want a broad cross-section of parents, teachers, content experts and other stakeholders involved in the process, which will begin in early June and finish in late July,” he says.

The Texas Education Agency will open the nomination system for reviewers on Tuesday, April 9. Interested parties can access the nomination form from the State Board of Education page of the Texas Education Agency website. The application deadline is April 29.

 

Steps in the Nomination and Review Process 

 

Step 1:  The public will be notified about the nomination process.  Nominees must fill out an application document and submit a current resume.  The administrator sends the nominees’ applications and resumes to the SBOE member that represents their district.

 

Step 2:  SBOE members may submit nominations for the review panels to include parents, classroom teachers, curriculum specialists, school administrators, and other stakeholders in Texas education.  SBOE members should ensure that nominations represent at least 4 different grade levels.  SBOE members should list nominations in priority order.  The Ad Hoc committee will make every effort to see that there is fair representation for all board members who submit nominations.

 

Step 3:  The Ad Hoc committee reviews the applications and recommends to the SBOE Chair nominees to each review panel. Each review panel will have 3-9 members based upon the recommendations of the Ad Hoc committee.

 

Step 4:  From each Panel, one Facilitator is selected by the Chair of the Ad Hoc committee. This person serves as the coordinator of the meetings of that particular panel, reports to the Committee as needed and facilitates the report coming from that panel.

 

Step 5:  The Ad Hoc committee charges the review panels to review the instructional content in CSCOPE in accordance with the guidelines set by the SBOE Chair with input from the Ad Hoc committee.

 

Step 6:  Individual reviews, once they are complete, will be sent to the review panel facilitator by a date determined by the Ad Hoc committee.  The facilitators will compile a review panel report and send the review panel documents to the administrator.

 

Step 7:  The Ad Hoc committee will receive the reports from the administrator; the reports will also be sent to the SBOE and the CSCOPE governing body.  The review panel reports will be posted on line for the public.

 

Step 8:  The CSCOPE governing body will consider the feedback of the review panel members and determine how to use those comments to improve the lesson content offered by CSCOPE.

 

Step 9:  The CSCOPE governing body will report back to the Ad Hoc committee

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There are two different types of philosophies of education; and nearly all educators, curriculum, vendors, organizations, and advocacy groups fall into one of these two categories.  (3.3.13 — “Type #1 and Type #2 — Two Completely Different Philosophies of Education” by Donna Garner

CSCOPE, Dan Patrick, Women On The Wall and the 2nd Amendment.Protect Type 1 Traditional Education in Texas! Get involved.  

  • If we want our public school children to learn to read well, we must have Type #1.

 

  • If we want them to be able to speak and write English well, then we must have Type #1.

 

  • If we want them to be patriotic citizens who revere the Founding Fathers and know and honor the Constitution, then we must have Type #1.

 

  • If we want our graduates to be knowledgeable voters who know history and can analyze current events based upon the past and the present, then we must have Type #1.

 

  • If we want our public school children to recognize that they and the whole world were created by a Higher Being, then we must have Type #1.

 

  • If we want our public school children to know their math facts to automaticity, then we must have Type #1.

 

  • If we want our public school children to be able to do well in foreign languages, then we must have Type #1 that teaches the phonetic sound system and grammar/usage in English so that they can apply that to their foreign language learning.

 

  • If we want our public school children to read the great pieces of literature that have connected our country to past generations, then we must have Type #1.

 

  • If we want our public school children to have the skills and knowledge they need for college and/or the workplace, then we must have Type #1.

 

  • If we want to turn out scientists who are well read, logical, analytical, and who can write down their scientific conclusions, then we must have Type #1.

 

  • If we want our graduates to be able to write compositions built upon facts and persuasive techniques, then we must have Type #1.

 

  • If we want our high-school students to know how to research a topic and then put that information into well-written text, we must have Type #1.If we want legislators who are well read and who have a deep understanding of world history/American history/U. S. legal system and how those apply to current events, then we must have Type #1.

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Join the Movement to Stop CSCOPE

Click the photo to sign the Petition and Join the movement to#StopCSCOPE 

Women On the Wall  takes on the issues that matter. Sharing information and updates on our weekly radio show on Monday mornings at 10 am CST. You will not want to miss this show. We will have up to date information on CSCOPE  and guests who are the experts on education and other issues that are effecting our children and grandchildren.

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Knowledge is Power and together we can make the difference!!

“Hogwash Alert to National Review Online”

[4.4.13 – I have never read a more thorough and well-documented discrediting of Common Core Standards than what Christel has presented below.  This article is a keeper because she has undoubtedly spent hours gathering and inputting the links to her sources so that all who read this article can verify its accuracy.  Our sincere thanks goes out to Christel for providing this elucidating rebuttal to the National Review’s “hogwash.”  – Donna Garner]

 

“Hogwash Alert to National Review Online”

By Christel Swasey

I’m calling for a hogwash alert on today’s National Review article about Common Core.

The ironically titled The Truth About Common Core article cannot be taken seriously. It’s written without any links or references for its Common Core-promoting claims, and it’s written by two authors whose employers are largely funded by the main funder of all things Common Core.

Can anyone take seriously those who praise Common Core while being paid to do so?

The article makes “truth” claims that include the notion that Common Core is “more rigorous,” (where’s the proof?) and that the standards allow policymaking to happen locally. How can that be? The standards are written behind closed doors in D.C. The standards are copyrighted and are unamendable by locals. There is a 15% cap on adding to them, written into the ESEA Flexibility Waiver Request. And there is no amendment process; thus, no local control.

For anyone who has been living under an education reform rock, know this: Gates is the single biggest promoter and funder of Common Core, bar none.) So, Fordham’s and Manhattan Institute’s writers should not be expected to be objective about Common Core.

If it seems like practically everyone supports Common Core, Gates’ money is why. Bill Gates has said he’s spent $5 BILLION pushing (his version of) education reform. He’s bribed the national PTA to advocate for Common Core to parents; he’s paid the CCSSO to develop Common Core; and he owns opinion maker Education Weekmagazine. There’s a near-endless list of Gates’ attempts (very successful, I might add) to foist his vision of education without voter input.

The National Review writes that it is a “right-of-center” organization, as if that claim is a “trust-me” pass. This is meaningless in Common Core land because, as Emmett McGroarty of the American Principles Project, has said, “Opposition to Common Core cuts across the left-right spectrum. It gets back to who should control our children’s education — people in Indiana or people in Washington?”

But we should clarify that oodles of Democrats and Republicans sell or benefit from Common Core implementation. That is the top reason for the gold rush anxiety to promote the national standards. A secondary reason is lemminghood (misplaced and unproven trust).

Republican Jeb Bush is behind the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a nongovernmental group which pushes Common Core and is, of course, funded by Gates. Republican Rupert Murdoch owns not only Fox News, but also the common core implementation company Wireless Generation that’s creating common core testing technology. Republican Senator Todd Huston of Indiana got his largestcampaign donation from David Coleman, common core ELA architect; then, after Huston was elected to the Indiana Senate and placed on its education committee, Coleman hired Huston to be on the College Board. They are profiting from the alignment of the SAT to Common Core. And of course, Huston is on Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education, too. Even my own Republican Governor Herbert of Utah serves on the elite executive committee of NGA, the Common Core founding group. He doesn’t make money this way, but he does make lots of corporations happy.

I could go on and on about the Common Core gold-and-glory rush. I haven’t even touched on all the Democrats who promote Common Core for gain. But I don’t want to be up all night.

So, on to the liberals and/or not-right wing radicals who oppose Common Core:

California Democrat/author Rosa Koire and respected educator like Diane Ravitchoppose Common Core as an untested academic and political experiment that increases the high-stakes of standardized testing. They see that Common Core is promoting unrepresentative formations of public-private-partnerships, and promotes teacher-micromanagement. Chicago history teacher Paul Horton says Common Core turns teacher-artisans into teacher-widgets; he also sees it as a Pearson anti-trust issue. Teacher Kris Nielsen has written “Children of the Core” and teacher Paul Bogush calls teaching Common Core sleeping with the enemy. Math teacher Stephanie Sawyer predicts that with Common Core, there will be an increase in remedial math instruction and an increase in the clientele of tutoring centers. Writing teacher Laura Gibbs calls the writing standards an inspid brew of gobbledygook. Anonymously, many teachers have published other concerns in a survey produced by Utahns Against Common Core.

Still, political funders of the standards and corporations selling its implementation try to get away with marginalizing the opposition. But it can’t be done honestly. Because it’s not a fight between left and right.

This battle is between the collusion of corporate greed and political muscle versus the individual voter.

It’s a battle between the individual student, teacher, or parent– versus hugepublic/private partnerships. That’s the David and Goliath here.

The Common Core movement is not about what’s best for children. It’s about greed and political control. A simple test: if Common Core was about helping students achieve legitimate classical education, wouldn’t the Common Core experiment have been based on empirical study and solid educator backing?

Did the authors of the Hogwash article really not know that Common Core wasn’t based on anything like empirical data but simply fluffed up on empty promises and rhetoric, from the beginning.

Where’s the basis for what proponents call “rigorous,” “internationally competitive,” and “research-based?” Why won’t the proponents point to proof of “increased rigor” the way the opponents point to proof of increased dumbing down? We know they are fibbing because we know there is no empirical evidence for imposing this experiment on students in America. The emperor of Common Core is wearing no clothes.

Many educators are crying out –even testifying to legislatures— that Common Core is an academic disaster. I’m thinking of Professors Christopher TienkenSandra StotskyThomas NewkirkZe’ev WurmanJames Milgram, William Mathis, Susan Ohanian, Charlotte Iserbyt, Alan Manning, and others.

The National Review authors insist that Common Core is not a stealth “leftist indoctrination” plot by the Obama administration. But that’s what it looks like when you study the reformers and what they create.

First, let’s look at the Common Core textbooks. Virtually every textbook company in America is aligning now with Common Core. (So even the states who rejected Common Core, and even private schools and home schools are in trouble; how will they find new textbooks that reflect Massachusetts-high standards?)

Pearson’s latest textbooks show extreme environmentalism and a global citizen creating agenda that marginalizes national constitutions and individual rights in favor of global collectivism. The biggest education sales company of all the Common Core textbook and technology sales monsters on the planet is Pearson, which is led by mad “Deliverology” globalist Sir Michael Barber. Watch his speeches.

He doesn’t just lead Pearson, the company that is so huge it’s becoming an anti-trust issue. Sir Michael Barber also speaks glowingly of public private partnerships, of political “revolution,” “global citizenship” and a need for having global datacollection and one set of educational standards for the entire planet. He’s a political machine. Under his global common core, diversity, freedom and local control of education need not apply.

Along with some of the gold-rushing colluders chasing Common Core-alignment product sales, there are political individuals calling educational shots, and these are without exception on the far, far left. And of these, the National Review is correct in saying that their goal to nationalize U.S. education has been happening since long before Obama came to power.

But they are wrong in saying that Common Core isn’t a road map to indoctrinating students into far left philosophy. Power players like Linda Darling-Hammond and Congressman Chaka Fattah ram socialism and redistribution down America’s throat in education policy, while Pearson pushes it in the curriculum.

It’s safe to say that Linda Darling-Hammond has as much say as anyone in this country when it comes to education policy. She focuses on “equity” and “social justice” –that is, redistribution of wealth using schools. Reread that last sentence.

Darling-Hammond has worked for CCSSO (Common Core developer) since long before the standards were even written. She served on the standards validation committee. She now works for SBAC (the Common Core test writer); she also consults with AIR (Utah’s Common Core test producer) and advises Obama’s administration; she promotes the secretive CSCOPE curriculum and more.

Study her further here to learn the groups she works for, what’s in the books she writes, how many times she quoted herself in her report for the U.S. equity commission, and what she said in last summer’s speech to UNESCO about the need to take swimming pools away from students.

So yes, there is an undeniable socialism push in Common Core textbooks and in the Department of Education.

Next.

The National Review’s authors claim Common Core won’t “eliminate American children’s core knowledge base in English, language arts and history.” By cutting classic literature by 70% for high school seniors, they are absolutely doing exactly that. The article says that Common Core doesn’t mandate the slashing of literature. Maybe not. But the tests sure will.

What teacher, constricted by the knowledge that her job is on the line, will risk lowering the high stakes student scores by teaching beyond what is recommended in the model curriculum of the national test writers?

And that’s the tragic part for me as an English teacher.

Classic literature is sacred. Its removal from American schools is an affront to our humanity.

Common Core doesn’t mandate which books to cut; the National Review is correct on that point; but it does pressure English teachers to cut out large selections of great literature, somewhere. And not just a little bit. Tons.

Informational text belongs in other classes, not in English. To read boring, non-literary articles even if they are not all required to be Executive Orders, insulation manuals, or environmental studies (as the major portion of the English language curriculum) is to kill the love of reading.

What will the slashing do to the students’ appreciation for the beauty of the language, to the acquisition of rich vocabulary, to the appreciation for the battle between good and evil?

We become compassionate humans by receiving and passing on classic stories. Souls are enlarged by exposure to the characters, the imagery, the rich vocabulary, the poetic language and the endless forms of the battle between good and evil, that live in classic literature.

Classic stories create a love for books that cannot be acquired in any other way. Dickens, Shakespeare, Hugo, Orwell, Dostoevsky, Rand, Marquez, Cisneros, Faulkner, Fitzgerald– where would we be without the gifts of these great writers and their writings? Which ones will English teachers cut away first to make room for informational text?

The sly and subtle change will have the same effect on our children as if Common Core had mandated the destruction of a certain percentage of all classic literature.

How does it differ from book burning in its ultimate effects?

Cutting out basic math skills, such as being able to convert fractions to decimals, is criminal. Proponents call this learning “fewer but deeper” concepts. I call it a sin. Common Core also delays the age at which students should be able to work with certain algorithms, putting students years behind our mathematical competitors in Asia.

For specific curricular reviews of Common Core standards, read Dr. Sandra Stotsky’s and Dr. Ze’ev Wurman’s math and literature reviews in the appendix of the white paper by Pioneer Institute. (See exhibit A and exhibit B, page 24.)

Next.

The National Review claims that the standards “simply delineate what children should know at each grade level and describe the skills that they must acquire to stay on course toward college or career readiness” and claim they are not a ceiling but a floor. This is a lie. The standards are bound by a 15% rule; there’s no adding to them beyond 15%. That’s not a ceiling?

The article claims that “college and career readiness” doesn’t necessarily mean Common Core. Well, it does, actually. The phrase has been defined on the ed. gov website as meaning sameness of standards to a significant number of states. I would give you a link but this week, so oddly, the Department of Education has removed most of its previous pages. You can see it reposted here:

The article insists that Common Core is not a curriculum; it’s up to school districts to choose curricula that comply with the standards. Sure. But as previously noted: 1) all the big textbook companies have aligned to Common Core. Where are the options? 2) Common core tests and the new accountability measures put on teachers who will lose their jobs if students don’t score well on Common Core tests will ensure that teachers will only teach Common Core standards. 3) Test writers are making model curriculum and it’s going to be for sale, for sure.

The article falsely claims that “curriculum experts began to devise” the standards. Not so: the architect of Common Core ELA standards (and current College Board president) is not, nor ever has been, an educator. In fact, that architect made the list of Top Ten Scariest People in Education Reform. A top curriculum professor has pointed out that the developers of Common Core never consulted with top curricular universities at all.

The article claims that states who have adopted Common Core could opt out, “and they shouldn’t lose a dime if they do” –but Title I monies have been threatened, and the No Child Left Behind waiver is temporary on conditions of following Common Core, and for those states who did get Race to the Top money (not my state, thank goodness) the money would have to be returned. Additionally, every state got ARRA stimulus money to build a federally interoperable State Longitudinal Database System. Do we want to give back millions and millions to ensure that we aren’t part of the de facto national database of children’s longitudinal school-collected, personally identifiable information?

The article states that the goal is to have children read challenging texts that will build their vocabulary and background knowledge. So then why not read more –not less– actual literature?

The article also leaves out any analysis of the illegality of Common Core. The arrangement appears to be illegal. Under the Constitution and under the General Educational Provisions Act (GEPA) the federal government is restricted from even supervising education.

GEPA states: “No provision of any applicable program shall be construed to authorize any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, or over the selection of library resources, textbooks, or other printed or published instructional materials by any educational institution or school system…”

And for those still believing the federal government isn’t “exercising direction, supervision or control” of the school system, look at two things.

1. The federal technical review of tests being mandated by the Department of Education.

2. The federal mandate that testing consoria must synchronize “across consortia,” that status updates and phone conferences must be made available to the Dept. of Education regularly, and that data collected must be shared with the federal government “on an ongoing basis”

3. The recent federal alteration of privacy laws that have taken away parental consent over student data collection.

Finally: the “most annoying manipulation tactic” award for the National Review Article is a tie between the last two sentences of the National Review article, which, combined, say, “Conservatives used to be in favor of holding students to high standards… aren’t they still?” Please.

Let’s rephrase it:

Americans used to be in favor of legitimate, nonexperimental standards for children that were unattached to corporate greed and that were constitutionally legal… Aren’t we still?

 

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“Texans Must Be Patient: Help Is on the Way”

By Donna Garner 4.3.13

I listened to the Senate Education Committee’s public hearing on various bills yesterday morning.  One of the first people to testify was Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams, and various responses between him and Sen. Dan Patrick occurred as they discussed the present high-school graduation requirements vs. Sen. Patrick’s SB 3 and SB 1724.

 HB 5, SB 3, SB 1724 – DUMBING DOWN BILLS

Sen. Patrick tried to justify SB 3 by saying it increases academic requirements.  However, Tex. Ed. Comm. Michael Williams explained that presently only 20% of our high-school students elect to go into the least rigorous Minimum graduation plan because the default plan (the norm) is the more rigorous Recommended 4 x 4 plan (4 years each of English, Math, Science, and Social Studies). 

Under Sen. Patrick’s SB 3, the Foundation plan would become the default plan (the norm).  This would undoubtedly result in a much larger percentage of students choosing to take only the Foundation courses instead of taking the more rigorous Recommended or Advanced (i.e., Distinguished) courses.  

Sen. Patrick’s Foundation plan is only slightly more rigorous than the present Minimum plan. By allowing a large swath of our Texas high-school students to graduate under the Foundation plan rather than the more rigorous plans, we can expect the largest percentage of graduates under SB 3 to walk across the stage at graduation having a lower level of foundational knowledge and skills.

WHY WE MUST NOT LET OUR STANDARDS DOWN NOW

Right now, 80% of Texas students are in the Recommended degree plan; none have walked across the stage yet because they are presently high-school sophomores and freshmen. 

Out of those students who have graduated under the “old” plan, only 48% have gone on to higher education in Texas.  Sadly, 30% of those have required college remediation.  

It is for this reason that the SBOE working with the Texas Education Agency decided to implement the 15 STAAR/End-of-Course tests in English/Math/Science/Social Studies – to measure, show, and push toward better teaching and learning in these courses.

Like it or not, the fact is that high-stakes STAAR/End-of-Course tests motivate both teachers and students to strive for a higher standard.

If the legislature decides to gut these EOC’s in the four core courses (Grades 9 – 11), then how can we possibly believe that the educational level of students graduating from our Texas high schools will improve over what is occurring right now?  Presently less than half of our high school graduates go on to college (48%), and 30% of those require remediation before they can even get started receiving college credit.

THE WRONG DEBATE

A debate over Algebra II occurred at the hearing.  Sen. Patrick said he had heard that colleges/universities no longer consider Algebra II to be an indicator of college readiness. Comm. Williams said he had heard that rumor but had not seen anything definitive. Sen. Patrick asked Comm. Williams to gather data on this issue.

What the public and legislators need to understand is that the reason colleges/universities may have lost confidence in the Algebra II course is that the “old” dumbed-down TEKS (curriculum standards) have been in our schools since 1997.  The majority of students graduating under those standards (today’s juniors and seniors) most likely do not have the college-ready skills that they need. 

The requirement for students to take Algebra II is not the problem; the problem is that the rigor in math all the way through school under the old Math TEKS (passed in 1997) simply has not been there. 

TOO SOON TO BACK OFF

The new more rigorous TEKS (adopted starting in May 2008) and the more rigorous STAAR/EOC’s have not even produced any high-school graduates yet.  Only sophomores on down have been exposed to the more rigorous TEKS and STAAR/EOC’s. 

If the legislature will just take their hands off the present New Plan (15 EOC’s, 4 x 4 course requirements) and allow it to go forward, the graduates who emerge from this year’s sophomores will prove that taking Algebra II, the other 4 x 4 courses, and the15 End-of-Course tests have indeed elevated their college-ready/workforce status.

SAYING THE OBVIOUS

At yesterday morning’s Senate hearing, another discussion ensued over Pearson(the largest publishing company in the world and the producer of the STAAR/EOC’s). Sen. Patrick asked Comm. Williams to produce data to show how many tests each year Pearson scores nationally and how much time each evaluator spends on each subjectively scored question.   

Exactly!  That is why Type #1 TEKS are so important and why we fought to get Type #1 TEKS adopted by the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) starting in May 2008.  The old Type #2 TEKS and TAKS tests were very subjective, and that is why teachers had to teach their students “to play the TAKS game” in order to help them pass those subjectively graded TAKS tests.

The Type #1 STAAR/EOC tests are a “different animal.”   These new tests contain a majority of objectively scored questions with right-or-wrong answers.  Subjectivity is a bad thing on high-stakes tests given at the state (or national) level because the value system of whoever evaluates the questions is an all-important and subjective factor.

On the new Type #1 ELAR-STAAR/EOC alone there are some 40 right-or-wrong grammar/usage objectively scored questions. This was not the case on the old TAKS tests in which much more subjectivity was the norm. The new, fact-based, academic, Type #1 TEKS have made it much easier for Pearson to create right-or-wrong, objectively scored questions; and this has cut down on the subjectivity in grading the STAAR/EOC’s.   

PATIENCE NEEDED

Comm. Williams explained that the STAAR/EOC’s have only been given for one year (School Year 2011-12) and that over time, the teachers will adjust by increasing their own content knowledge so that they are able to raise the level of instruction in their classrooms. 

The key word here is “patience.”

Parents need to be patient while the New Plan begins to take hold in their children’s classrooms.

Students need to be patient while they move steadily into learning more content knowledge at each grade level.  This in turn will eventually raise their academic levels so that the STAAR/EOC’s will not frighten them anymore.

Administrators need to be patient also.  After this year’s juniors have taken the TAKS tests, high schools will not have to worry about giving both the TAKS and the STAAR/EOC’s. By this time next year when this year’s sophomores and freshmen pass to the next grade levels, the New Plan will largely be in place except for the seniors IF only the legislature will back away from gutting what we who care about children and their future have worked ten years to accomplish – authentic education reform in Texas.

Legislators need to be patient and give the New Plan time to work. At this point only the high school sophomores on down have experienced the rigor and depth of instruction in the new Type #1 TEKS.

It would be a terrible shame for this group of Texas Legislators to go down in history as the ones who prevented Texas from leading the country in education reform.

Even worse yet, it would be a blot on these legislators’ heads if the colleges, universities, and the workforce in years to come were able to lay the blame for the downfall of the Texas economy on the 83rd Legislative Session.  

P. S.  In listening to the Senate Education Committee public hearing yesterday morning, I heard Sen. Dan Patrick say that Sen. Van de Putte is going to come forth with an amendment to SB 3 that would make it a requirement for all high-schoolstudents to get an endorsement. Perhaps the legislators have begun to hear us on this one point…  (Please see “The Toxic Trio of Bad Bills: HB 5, SB 3, SB 1724” – 4.1.13 —  http://educationviews.org/the-toxic-trio-of-bad-bills/ )

 

*If CSCOPE had not slithered into our Texas public schools as an outgrowth of SB 6 (passed in the last legislative session), the education reform begun in Texas in May 2008 would have already elevated the academic achievement in our Texas classrooms.  However, because CSCOPE is Type #2, it has impeded the progress that was meant to be seen in our Texas classrooms by now.  According to the test results posted on the Texas Tribune website, CSCOPE schools did worse than non-CSCOPE schools on the STAAR/End-of-Course tests (2011-12 School Year)

“CSCOPE HEARING: Two Sides of the Coin”

by Donna Garner

4.2.13 *I took notes of this meeting as fast as I could, and I trust that the information presented is accurate.

Same story, second verse — Back on Jan. 31, 2013, the Texas Senate Education Committee held a public hearing on CSCOPE. Today, April 2, 2013, another public hearing on CSCOPE was held by the same Sen. Education Committee; but this time the hearing was tied to a piece of legislation — SB 1406.

SB 1406 seeks to give the elected members of the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) oversight and direction over CSCOPE.

Photo by Scott Butner

TWO SIDES OF THE COIN

Basically two groups of people testified today.  One group was made up of the school administrators and school boards who think they cannot live without CSCOPE.  They claim CSCOPE is a much-needed management tool and that their districts cannot possibly afford the expense of writing their own curriculum. Hence, CSCOPE is the answer to all their problems!  Never mind that qualified teachers have always been able to write their own excellent lesson plans for eons.

The other group was made up of the parents and the citizens of Texas who are concerned with the many very troubling aspects of CSCOPE and who either want the Texas State Board of Education to be given oversight and direction over CSCOPE or else want to put CSCOPE completely out of business.

The first group seemed more concerned about CSCOPE giving them a system to micromanage classroom teachers while the latter group talked about their concerns over what their children and other Texas children are actually learning in the CSCOPE lessons.

In other words, the first group was concerned about control; while the latter group was focused on students’ learning and the damage done to children’s

vulnerable minds from being taught erroneous and sometimes biased CSCOPE lessons.

It is important to point out that all of the many school administrators who came to testify were getting paid for their mileage, meals, time away from school, and overnight accommodations.

The parents and the public who came to testify did so on their own dime. They took off work or else left their families to drive all the way down to Austin. If I were a Texas Senator, I would take much more seriously the concerns of those people with no vested interests.

The school administrators all talked from the same playbook (as usual). Most of them had been misinformed about the bill and thought it was a bill to take local control away from their districts.

As Senator Dan Patrick stated, “Wouldn’t it make you sleep better in the future if you knew that the SBOE had looked over the lesson plans so that you won’t have to worry about what’s in them?”

Senator Campbell explained to the school administrators that legislators appropriate dollars for education and are accountable constitutionally (1) to make sure those funds are spent efficiently and (2) to see that an adequate education is provided for Texas’ public school students.

The Senator said that since CSCOPE is flawed with errors and had been shrouded in secrecy that a light needed to be shined on it.  She emphasized that SB 1406 does not take away local control.  It makes sure that legislators are held accountable for the funds that are entrusted to them by the taxpayers.

 

SBOE CHAIR REVEALED CSCOPE EVALUATION PLANS FOR SOCIAL STUDIES

 Barbara Cargill, chair of the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE), described how she had been asked by Senator Patrick to appoint an ad-hoc committee. It met on Friday, March 29, in Dallas, Texas. The ad-hoc committee is made up of four SBOE members and three CSCOPE directors including the state TESCCC director.

Cargill explained that on April 22 – April 29, the public can start applying to be on the review panels.  May 13 is the hard deadline for SBOE members to submit their panel nominations. Three to nine people will be chosen for each panel based upon the number of CSCOPE lessons assigned to them.  Selected panel members will be notified by May 20, and passwords will be assigned. All of the reviews will be done virtually.

The end goal is to review all of the 400 lessons and tests in the Social Studies component of CSCOPE.  (The total of CSCOPE lessons in all four subject areas is close to 1,600).

The panels are to finish going through the first two six weeks of lessons between June 3 – 16.  If the panel members need to meet, they can go to their nearest Education Service Centers and participate through videoconferencing.  This will keep the costs down and will keep the panel members from having to travel and be gone from home.

The SBOE approved operating board rules in its January 2013 meeting; and taking the objectives for instructional materials approved by the Board, Cargill hopes to combine these to form an easy-to-use, objective checklist that the panels can utilize in their evaluations.

SB 1406 does not require TESCCC/CSCOPE to implement the recommendations of the review panels, but it is hoped that TESCCC/CSCOPE will choose to do so rather than experience the public’s animosity if the SBOE’s good faith gesture is ignored.  Cargill pointed out that the SBOE is doing this review without any cost to TESCCC/CSCOPE and that they should be glad to utilize the panels’ findings.

TROUBLESOME EXAMPLES PRESENTED FROM CSCOPE LESSONS

Barbara Cargill came prepared with a large packet made up of copies of CSCOPE lessons that contained factual errors, grammar/spelling mistakes, and questionably left-leaning examples from CSCOPE lessons.  These included such examples as:

  •  Readability problems with Grades 1 – 5 lessons written above grade level and Grades 6 – 12 written below grade level 
  • Many sentences with no periods, improper punctuation, incorrect usage such as “affects” instead of “effects”
  • Two diagrams (triangles) in an Algebra I lesson that math teachers say is an impossible problem to solve
  • A Grade 5 science unit on forces that contains incorrect examples of a hypothesis vs. observations
  • A diagram of a circuit without the wires being wrapped around the ends of the bulb
  • A lesson on law and motion using a hammer but pictured with an incorrect angle
  • A lesson using a spinner to graft the data of a student’s blood sugar level but that indicates incorrect medical information that could put a person’s life in danger
  • Incorrect medical information about running a fever or vomiting
  • A lesson which puts the U. S. under a questionable label that should say “free enterprise and capitalism”
  • A lesson with a very tiny picture of the U. S. Capitol under a label that could lead children to disrespect America
  • A derogatory term used to describe a family member
  • A deliberately prejudicial reference to the SBOE and its authority over instructional materials (i.e., textbooks)
  • A diagram of a man climbing a staircase that shows Communism as superior

Throughout the five-hour hearing on SB 1406, it did not seem to matter how many mistakes, flaws, misspellings, grammatical errors, factual errors, inappropriate, and biased statements were documented.  The school administrators sang CSCOPE’s praises as if they had not even heard any of the  negatives that were presented.  Hardly any of the administrators seemed bothered about CSCOPE’s secrecy, lack of transparency, the teacher “gag” order, and the highly unethical (or illegal) incorporation of TESCCC  operating as a shell company after using taxpayers’ dollars to create its product — all done without permission from the Texas Legislature.

Under questioning by the Senators, an ESC/TESCCC director indicated that a list of about 200 CSCOPE writers had been provided to the Senators and that some of these wrote entire lessons and some wrote only parts of lessons.  He also admitted that insufficient oversight and review of the CSCOPE lessons had occurred

Sen. Patrick asked one of the ESC directors to provide the Senators with a breakdown of how the $15 to $16 Million paid to CSCOPE last year was utilized (e.g., how much was paid to the writers, etc.)  The director stated that the people at the ESC’s who work on CSCOPE draw their salaries from the ESC’s and that their jobs are dependent upon CSCOPE’s success.

Since the Jan. 2013 public hearing, TESCCC has agreed to dissolve itself; but Sen. Patrick said that if CSCOPE continues to stay in the lesson plan business, it may be necessary to create a statute that will make sure no backtracking occurs.

TESTIMONY OF VARIOUS CSCOPE CRITICS

 Witness Colleen Vera presented documents she was finally able to get from TESCCC’s released board minutes that showed the directors had talked about selling CSCOPE to other states. She also found a statement from a 2011 meeting in which the directors were discussing whether CSCOPE’s primary goal should be just making money or serving the children of Texas.

 John Griffing provided testimony that proved that CSCOPE schools did worse than non-CSCOPE schools on the STAAR/End-of-Course tests (2011-12 School Year).  He stated, “CSCOPE does not work on STAAR/EOC.  Why remake the wheel?  Why not emulate the schools that are succeeding?  Why trust something that has shown us only failure?”

Testifier Peggy Venable who travels widely around the state of Texas said she has heard CSCOPE complaints everywhere she has gone.  She said she has yet to meet any citizens and/or parents who like CSCOPE.

Jeanine MacGregor presented the Senators with actual examples of CSCOPE lessons that have been plagiarized.  She also showed the Senators a slide (Slide #8) from a CSCOPE/TESCCC power point that vilified by name some of the people who had come to the Jan. 31, 2013 Senate Education Committee  hearing and had testified against CSCOPE.

Sen. Patrick was visibly upset that such a list had been circulated and said the Texas Attorney General would be notified so that he could track down who (ESC, TESCCC, local school district, individual) had initiated Slide #8.

Neal Fry offered a replacement bill for SB 1406 that would take care of the glaring double standard that exists in SB 6 regarding textbooks vs. online curriculum.

Deborah Parrish presented her concerns about the lack of phonics instruction in CSCOPE. She said that research from Johns Hopkins shows phonics is a major tool especially with low-income students. She stated that the 60% of Texas children who come from low-economic homes are the ones who are being hurt by CSCOPE the most because of the lack of phonics instruction.

FURTHER COMMENTS FROM SENATORS

Senator Campbell voiced her concern about the questionable CSCOPE lessons that have been removed by TESCCC once located but that have misinformed students for many years.

Sen. Patrick indicated his concern with the large number of curriculum standards that are found in the TEKS and wants the next legislative session to consider reducing the number of TEKS elements.

A number of people chose to register their positions rather than to testify, and the total number of people for and against SB 1406 appeared to be about equal.

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Women On the Wall  takes on the issues that matter. Sharing information and updates on our weekly radio show on Monday mornings at 10 am CST. You will not want to miss this show. We will have up to date information on CSCOPE  and guests who are the experts on education and other issues that are effecting our children and grandchildren.

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Alice Linahan

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