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”
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.)
Because 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.
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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.