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Jan 10, 2017 by

By Bill Ames –

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) recently released its initial “what if” A through F grades for Texas public schools.


The new grading system was designed to allow parents and district taxpayers to finally understand school performance measurements, using the universally understood, familiar A-F grading method.


These initial grades, based upon school performance data as of July 2016, caused an immediate backlash from superintendents.


The January 7 Dallas Morning News (DMN) reported that 152 Texas school districts have adopted resolutions to repeal the A-F system.  It appears that districts do not want the public to have clear measurements of their performance.


For good reason.  The January 10 Texas Tribune reports “The 10 most populous (public school) districts in the state received more Ds than As in the new A-F rating system, according to a preliminary report out to educators Friday. By comparison, the 10 biggest charters saw more As and a smattering of Fs”.


It is unfortunate common knowledge that Texas K-12 public school curriculum has been refocused.  Gone is the emphasis on transmitting academic knowledge, replaced by the social & emotional learning (SEL) indoctrination agenda aimed at shaping progressive student attitudes and behaviors.


Let’s review examples of the refocus in a couple of districts.


Desoto ISD superintendent James Harris, whose four district-level grades consisted of  two Ds and two Fs, was quoted in the DMN article.  Harris said, “This is a direct attack on education”.


But superintendent Harris’s direct attack on education actually occurred in September, when his Desoto cheerleaders took a knee during the National Anthem, thus insulting America’s armed forces, disrespecting the American flag, and echoing disgraced Collin Kaepernick’s attack on American law enforcement.


Bad timing.  The cheerleaders action occurred only two months after five Dallas police officers were murdered during a Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Dallas.


In response to the cheerleaders action, Harris issued the statement that he “respects the students’ First Amendment rights”, and called the action a peaceful, non-confrontational action for students to communicate their frustrations and fears.


In a second example, Fort Worth ISD superintendent Kent Scribner’s four district-level grades were three Ds and a C, with six of his schools receiving all F grades.


Scribner had caused a parent and citizen firestorm in May when he unilaterally declared that transgender students would be allowed to use the bathroom of their choice in FWISD schools.


Scribner’s bizarre, unapproved action was challenged by both lieutenant governor Dan Patrick and attorney general Ken Paxton.  Citizen groups organized to protest the policy.


But Scribner doubled down, responding “I’m proud of these guidelines.  I think they provide educators with the ability to make all students more comfortable and confident in a learning environment”


Excuse me!  I seriously doubt that young girls and their parents “feel comfortable” with boys in the girls bathroom.


Perhaps if superintendents in Desoto, Fort Worth, and other rogue districts around the state were to focus on teaching our kids the TEKS based material required to pass the STAAR tests, rather than filling impressionable minds with their contempt for Judeo-Christian and American traditional values, Texas public schools might be able to earn successful grades in the new A through F grading process.


In the meantime, the proposed school choice legislation is an excellent approach to liberate kids from leftist shenanigans in Texas public schools.


Bill Ames is a conservative education activist who lives in Dallas, within the boundaries of Richardson ISD.  RISD opposes A through F grading, and considers taking a knee during the National Anthem as a First Amendment right, with no consequences for the offending student.  RISD has yet to comment on transgender bathrooms.

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1 Comment

  1. Bill:

    Thanks for putting a spotlight on Superintendents who don’t do their job properly. Too often clever superintendents manipulate their Boards and don’t get held accountable.

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