“Disappointed with Greg Abbott’s Phase 3 on Education”

May 9, 2014 by


Abbott0747closeup_jpg_800x1000_q100“Disappointed with Greg Abbott’s Phase 3 on Education”

by Donna Garner



Even though I would not even think about voting for Abortion Barbie (Wendy Davis) for Governor, I have to admit that I am stunned by Greg Abbott’s Phase 3 on education (excerpts posted further on down the page). 


Unfortunately, Abbott has bought into the “lie” about 21st Century learning, lacks insight into SB 6, and is evidently not up-to-date on the latest research on technology and learning.   


For School Year 2014-2015, SB 6 provides $406,285,208 for Texas public schools to purchase instructional materials (including software, hardware, salaries for tech support and training, all sorts of digitized products, etc.).  This link lists the amount of  Instructional Materials Allocation (IMA) by district — https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3MASIJ5s_dLMWc4MzdUa2lwYzQ/edit


The following link explains how the IMA funds can be purchased under SB 6: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=2147501653


The really disturbing part about SB 6 is that it allows IM’s to be purchased by school districts without those IM’s ever having to go through the public hearing/vetting process at the Texas State Board of Education level where alignment with Texas’ curriculum standards (TEKS – adopted by the elected members of the SBOE) is verified and factual errors in the IM’s are documented and corrected.


It is SB 6 that provided the financial means for CSCOPE, Common Core, and other Type #2 products to slither right into a majority of Texas public schools and co-opt the teaching of the new Type #1 curriculum standards (TEKS). 


The Type #1 TEKS, if taught with fidelity, would have put Texas schools on the road to authentic education reform. Instead a majority of Texas school districts are continuing right on teaching Type #2 (which is tied to the “old” 1997 TEKS).


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



Now Greg Abbott wants to give schools even more money — $164 Million —  to throw down the bottomless pit of technology.  As documented above, Texas schools have plenty of money for technology.  It is not the lack of technology that is the problem. The lack of consistent discipline and quality curriculum based on the Type #1 TEKS are the two problems that keep our Texas public schools from reaching academic excellence.


I do not know who is giving Greg Abbott advice on education issues, but whoever it is needs to be fired for not making sure that Abbott is fully conversant on SB 6, understands its damaging impact, and knows what the latest research on technology and learning actually says:


5.7.14 – “Digital Reading Poses Learning Challenges for Students” — By Benjamin Herold — Education Week




4.15.14 – “Infants Unable To Use Toy Building Blocks Due to iPad Addiction” – by Graeme Paton, Education Editor, The Telegraphhttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10767878/Infants-unable-to-use-toy-building-blocks-due-to-iPad-addiction.html




3.6.14 – “10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12” – by Cris Rowan, pediatric occupational therapist — Huffington Posthttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/cris-rowan/10-reasons-why-handheld-devices-should-be-banned_b_4899218.html



8.9.13 – “Confusing Technology with Teaching” —  by Galen Bruman – InfoWorldhttp://www.infoworld.com/d/consumerization-of-it/giving-kids-ipads-wont-solve-the-education-challenge-224485?source=IFWNLE_nlt_mobilehdwr_2013-08-12




7.6.13 – “Research Done on Online Learning vs. Face-to-Face Classroom Learning” — Community College Research Center (CCRC), Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times — http://educationviews.org/research-online-learning-vs-face-to-face-classroom-learning/


12.27.12 (Republished) – “Research: Laptops Do Not Increase Academic Achievement in Reading and Writing” – by Donna Garner — http://educationviews.org/research-laptops-do-not-increase-academic-achievement-in-reading-and-writing/




I, and many other people who are concerned with the instructional materials being taught to our Texas students, are encouraging citizens to advocate strongly for their local school district administrators to adopt ONLY those instructional materials that have gone through the public SBOE vetting process.




5.8.14 – Tyler Morning Telegraph



Greg Abbott unveils third phase of his education plan in Tyler

by Adam Russell arussell@tylerpaper.com


Excerpts from this article:

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott said digital technology is the future for Texas’ classrooms.

Abbott unveiled the third phase of his public education plan during a Thursday tour of Jack Elementary School in Tyler, and its digital teaching tools, including “SMART boards,” which help student-teacher interaction and response. He announced a $164 million plan to increase accessibility to technological teaching tools, online courses, teacher and student tutoring modules and state grants to improve digital learning.

The first two phases of Abbott’s four-pronged public education plan included focusing on kindergarten to third-graders and producing “grade level,” students in math and reading. The second includes returning “genuine local control,” such as allowing school boards, superintendents and principals exemptions from state mandates…

Abbott said preparing students for tomorrow’s jobs now is the only way to maintain Texas’ growth and prosperity.

Digital learning tools will help students keep pace and accelerate learning, he said. He said high school students should have more learning options, from trade skills, and online courses. Students in poor-performing schools should have choices and access to learning tools and the best teachers regardless of what campus they are enrolled, he said.

Digital learning would aid and augment rather than substitute for teachers in the classroom, he said.

Abbott said his plan would provide $250,000 to $650,000 competitive grants to reward excelling districts and

Abbott said the state must stop teaching using methods five decades old. He said new technology will give students access to better teachers, better classroom experiences, better learning arcs for individuals and better prepare students for the workforce or university.

There also may be opportunity for public-private partnerships between districts and industry to provide educational opportunities, he added.

Abbott said technology would end the decades-old “one-size-fits-all” education system.

“We want to leverage technology today and prepare for the future so Texans are at the forefront of technology tomorrow,” he said.


Donna Garner


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Related Posts


Share This