No Need for Another Appointed Commission – Tex. SB 1200

Mar 18, 2015 by

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“No Need for Another Appointed Commission – Tex. SB 1200”

By Donna Garner

3.18.15

 

 

SB 1200 – Author – Tex. Sen. Larry Taylor, Chair of Senate Committee on Education – filed on 3.10.15

 

Content:  Relating to the creation of an appointed commission to recommend a new system for student assessment and public school accountability

 

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=84R&Bill=SB1200

 

COMMENTS FROM DONNA GARNER:

 

I see no need for another appointed commission to handle assessments and accountability.  Please remember that the people who wrote the Common Core Standards Initiative were appointed.  Nobody ever voted on who the writers of the Common Core Standards should be.  Congress never once voted on the CCSI nor on the Common Core standards themselves. In fact, different from ObamaCare, there may be no actual way to repeal the CCSI because Congress never passed it.  Everything about the CCSI was done with appointees – a very dangerous practice indeed.  Congress could and should cut all funding for CCSI.  Based upon comments made by those on the inside of the CCSI process, the direction of the entire process including the drafts of the Common Core Standards themselves was “controlled” by a certain select group “appointed” by Obama and Arne Duncan.  

 

Another appointed commission in Texas to decide on assessments and public school accountability is only going to take more authority away from the elected members of the Texas State Board of Education. At least with an elected Board, “we the people” still have a say. In appointed boards or commissions, “we the people” have no say; and the only people the appointees listen to are the people who appointed them, thus leaving out the grassroots citizens.

 

In the first place, even the word “assessments” is a dead giveaway. Tests generally have right-or-wrong answers and are tied to the Type #1 philosophy of education.  The word “assessments” generally means subjective, project-based, fuzzy, relativistic, evaluations tied to the Type #2 philosophy of education.

 

I have seen too many of these so-called appointed “experts” take control of such groups. I was a part of the ELAR/TEKS writing team in 1995-97, and I saw close-up-and-personal how these so-called “experts” take over and run with the group.  I also saw the same efforts by the Type #2 proponents to take over during the 2008 – 2012 writing of the new TEKS.  (Fortunately for Texas, we had 7 out of 15 strong conservative members of the SBOE during most of that time, and they were able to fight off the Type #2 proponents.)

 

Everybody on these appointed commissions jockeys for position, and so often the very ones who are the closest to the ed establishment gain the microphone. Our STAAR/EOC’s are not the problem. Our TEKS are not the problem.

 

The implementation of the TEKS is the problem, and I believe the Education Service Centers (ESC’s) are to blame for not carrying out the teacher in-service training correctly. The ESC’s are filled with these so-called “experts.”  For some strange reason, the people who float to the top of the ESC’s are almost always the wrong people. The Type #1 proponents who know how real kids in real classrooms should be taught never seem to have the clout to gain the microphone. 

 

SB 6 is also the problem because it opened the door for administrators to purchase anything and everything using the Permanent School Funds to do it. This is why we need the public and our elected leaders to get behind HB 3571 and SB 1711. If publishers knew that ALL of their products would have to go through the public hearing scrutiny by the SBOE, then publishers could not take the backdoor/under the radar path of SB 6 to put their CSCOPE and Common Core-aligned products into our public schools.

 

Previous to the passage of SB 6 in 2011, if ISD’s wished to purchase instructional materials (IM’s) with state funds, they had to select from a list of IM’s approved by the elected members of the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) after public hearings in which those IM’s were put through a strenuous public state adoption process to make sure that they were aligned with the SBOE-approved curriculum standards (TEKS) and that factual errors had been corrected.   Then a list was made of the IM’s that had met the requirements, and school administrators could use state funds to purchase IM’s from that approved list. 

 

However, all of that changed once SB 6 was passed in 2011.  SB 6 made it possible for school administrators to use state funds to purchase IM’s that had not been through the strenuous SBOE public adoption process.

 

Under Rep. Bohac’s HB 3571 (and Sen. Campbell’s identical bill – SB 1711), all IM’s to be purchased with state funds, whether or not those IM’s had been state-approved, would be placed under the same transparent public adoption scrutiny. The non-state adopted IM’s to be purchased by ISD’s with state funds would have to meet the same local-adoption requirements as the state-adopted IM’s.

 

 

Link to Type #1 vs. Type #2 chart: http://www.educationviews.org/comparison-types-education-type-1-traditional-vs-type-2-cscope-common-core/

 

Please go to this link to read the details of Rep. Bohac’s HB 3571: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=84R&Bill=HB3571

Please go to this link to read the details of Sen. Campbell’s SB 1711: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=84R&Bill=SB1711

 

 

Donna Garner

Wgarner1@hot.rr.com

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