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A SAD DAY FOR TEXAS THANKS TO 83RD LEGISLATIVE SESSION

May 29, 2013 by

by Donna Garner

5.29.13

 

A coalition of whiny parents, well-funded vendors/lobbyists, and the nationally influenced education establishment was able to co-opt our less-than-discerning Texas legislators to decimate the New Plan set in place to put our Texas public schools on the path to authentic education reform.

 

crying

This coalition of “green,” “yellow,” and “red”  people has won, but it is our Texas children who will be the losers now that the New Plan has been destroyed.

 

The “red” people working in the background are using the “green” and “yellow” people as pawns to make sure that the number of low-information voters multiplies and elects  more Obamas in the years to come, thus changing America forever from the Great American Way.

 

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 capitalistic, free-market Republic into a Socialist, Communist, Marxist country are red.

 

 

It took those of us in Texas who believe in Type #1 well over 10 years to move this New Plan into place, one piece at a time.  What do the terms Type #1 and Type #2 mean?

 

COMPARISON OF TWO TYPES OF EDUCATION

TRADITIONAL (TYPE #1) vs. CSCOPE/COMMON CORE STANDARDS (TYPE #2)*

TRADITIONAL TYPE #1 – CLASSICAL LEARNING

CSCOPE TYPE #2

PROGRESSIVE, RADICAL

COMMON CORE STANDARDS – TYPE #2

SOCIAL JUSTICE AGENDA

Instruction Direct instruction by teacher Self-directed learning, group-think Emphasis on subjectivity, feelings, emotions, beliefs, multiculturalism, political correctness, social engineering, globalism, evolution, sexual freedom, contraceptives, environmental extremism, global warming/climate change, victimization, diversity, acceptance of homosexuality as normal, redistribution of wealth 

De-emphasis on Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, Constitution, national sovereignty, Founding Fathers, American exceptionalism,

Curriculum Academic, fact-based, skills, research Social concerns, project-based, constructivism, subjective, uses unproven fads and theories
Teacher’s role Authority figure, sets the plan for the class, academic instruction Facilitator
Student’s role Learn from teacher, focus on factual learning, develop foundation skills for logical & analytical reasoning, independent thinking Students teach each other; focus on feelings, emotions, opinions; group-think
English, Language Arts, Reading (ELAR) Phonics; classical literature; cursive handwriting; grammar; usage; correct spelling; expository, persuasive, research writing Whole language, balanced literacy, Guided Reading; no cursive writing instruction so can’t read primary documents of Founding Fathers
Math “Drill and skill,” four math functions learned to automaticity Fuzzy math, rejects drill and memorization of math facts, dependent on calculators
Social Studies Focus on American heritage/exceptionalism, national sovereignty, Founding documents Diversity, multiculturalism, globalization, revisionist history, political correctness
Character development Pro-faith, self-control, personal responsibility, self-discipline, solid work ethic Secular, moral relativism, anti-faith, victimization
Equality Equal opportunities Equal outcomes
Assessment Students evaluated by earned grades, objective tests Inflated grades, subjective assessments evaluated based upon value-system of grader
Outcomes Objective tests (right-or-wrong answers), emphasis on academic skills and knowledge Subjective assessments;   emphasis on holistic, “feel good” scoring

 

*Chart produced by Carole H. Haynes, Ph.D. – chaynes777@gmail.com

 

What did we first accomplish during those ten years to put the New Plan into place for our Texas public school students?  First, the new Type #1 curriculum standards (TEKS) were passed in English, Science, Social Studies, and Math.  This took six years of battling against all odds to accomplish.

 

 

Second, the new Type #1 STAAR tests at each grade level (3-8) and STAAR/End-of-Course tests in each high-school core course were developed and administered to this year’s 10th graders on down to Grade 3.

 

 

 

 

Third, the 4 x 4 graduation plan became the default plan for almost all 9th and 10th graders and, if allowed to remain in place, would have eventually produced graduates who had completed 4 years of English, science, social studies, and math.  No other state in the entire country had such a New Plan.

 

Because of CSCOPE, the “green, yellow, and red” people, and the disastrous 83rd Legislative Session, that New Plan has been destroyed at least at the state level. Now it will be left up to the local citizens to address Type #1 curriculum, testing, and graduation issues at the local school district level, but it will be very difficult forge ahead with changes at the local level because most of the public accountability at the state level has been either removed or reduced significantly.  In other words, the pressure is off the public schools; and without that pressure to force them to follow the Type #1 TEKS, it is doubtful whether local educators will throw their Type #2 units out and implement new Type #1 units.

 

In five years or less when parents’ finally wake up and realize that their public school children (including charter school students) have been dumbed down and indoctrinated by Type #2 because of the loss of the New Plan, it will be too late.

 

At some point down the line, the public will finally realize that it was the STAAR/EOC’s that served as a measuring stick to pressure teachers at each grade level to teach the new Type #1 TEKS.  Without that pressure, classrooms will revert right back to Type #2 and will ignore the Type #1 TEKS.

 

These same people will also realize eventually that the high schools have lost their vision for a more rigorous academic plan and that because of the changes made by this 83rd Legislative Session, many high-school students will walk across that stage at graduation with a loss of foundational knowledge and skills needed to become college-and- workforce-ready citizens.

 

Eventually the college and business interests in Texas will complain even louder about the diminishing abilities of these graduates and will look back and wish that the New Plan had been allowed to go forward undeterred without getting sidelined by the 83rd Legislative Session. Such a great loss for our wonderful Texas.

 

I hold the members of the 83rd Legislative Session personally responsible, and I will not forget how this group destroyed an opportunity for Texas to lead the nation back to Type #1.

 

TEXAS HAD IT RIGHT – NOW HAS SETTLED FOR LOW EXPECTATIONS

 

Our state is the only state in the entire United States that had it right. We were the only state that had resisted the Type #2 Common Core Standards, had implemented Type #1 curriculum standards and tests, and were right in the midst of raising students’ academic achievement (10th graders on down).  Had the New Plan been left in place, our graduates would have become the most well-informed, logical, and analytical voters in the entire United States because they would have had a firm liberal arts background; and our Texas colleges and workforce would have been like unto none. Now Texas has lost its way thanks to the 83rd Legislative Session.  This is a sad day for Texas.

 

 

 

Donna Garner

wgarner1@hot.rr.com

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