KEN PAXTON WANTS TO IGNORE COMMON CORE AND CSCOPE ISSUES

Nov 23, 2013 by

Ken Paxton Speaker

by Donna Garner

11.23.13

Summary of this article: Ken Paxton and Barry Smitherman are running for Texas Attorney General.  Paxton does not think that Common Core Standards and CSCOPE are issues with which he would want to get involved even though Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has been pro-active on the issue of CSCOPE. 

Last session, the Texas Legislature passed HB 462 which bans Common Core in our Texas public schools.  The U. S. Dept. of Ed. under Obama has created a work-around in which Race to the Top funds are sent directly to Texas public school districts.  RTTT-D demands that schools implement the Common Core Standards Initiative. Last year Harmony and Idea Charters received the RTTT-D1 funds, and this year Houston ISD and Pasadena ISD are in the running for the RTTT-D2 funds. This puts these schools directly in opposition to Texas law under HB 462. 

In contrast to Ken Paxton’s lackadaisical position on Common Core/CSCOPE, Barry Smitherman has issued a strong commitment to uphold Texas laws, including HB 462:    

As the chief law enforcement officer for the State of Texas, the Attorney General must ensure that the laws of Texas are obeyed and enforced.  When the Texas legislature passes a bill, in this case HB 462, which forbids Common Core Standards in Texas Schools,  then the Attorney General should ensure that Common Core Standards are not utilized by Texas schools.  We cannot let the enticement of federal dollars cause our school districts to ignore state law.  I have personally reviewed CSCOPE curricula which is extremely biased against fossil fuels; describing, for example, only the “harmful effects” of oil, natural gas, and coal.  The State of Texas is the leading provider of fossil fuels in America, driving our economy forward, lowering energy costs, and eliminating our country’s dependence on fuel from countries that are hostile to America and her ideals. I have stood strong for Texans by suing the Obama EPA 7 times to stop the implementation of poorly scienced, boneheaded environmental regulations. I will continue to fight for all Texans against an ever encroaching federal government, and as the next Attorney General, I will vigorously defend all of the laws of the state of Texas. Barry

 

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DETAILS AND DOCUMENTATION FOR THIS ARTICLE

At a Q&A session on Nov. 18, 2013, in Denton, Texas, Texas Attorney General candidate Ken Paxton was asked about how he would approach Common Core Standards and CSCOPE. Please listen to the itunes attachment:

“That’s more of a legislative function…The Attorney General probably won’t get too involved in that.” 

 

Then Paxton referenced “lawsuits” as a reason he would avoid taking action on Common Core Standards/CSCOPE issues.

Ken Paxton:

 

TEX. ATTORNEY GEN. GREG ABBOTT AND CSCOPE

On May 6, 2013, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott came to the assistance of Texas parents by sending an official letter to TESCCC, the corporate owner of CSCOPE, in which Abbott reminded them of Section 26.006(a) in the Texas Education Code which gives parents the right to review all teaching materials, lessons, etc. that are utilized in their children’s classrooms.  https://www.oag.state.tx.us/oagnews/release.php?id=4394

 

As stated in the Dallas Morning News on 7.17.13, “Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott is a fierce critic of CSCOPE and has threatened to subpoena its records.”  — http://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/headlines/20130717-texas-criticized-cscope-curriculum-system-may-live-again.ece

 

MY CONCERN WITH KEN PAXTON AND COMMON CORE/CSCOPE

By listening to Ken Paxton’s statements regarding Common Core/CSCOPE, it sounds as if he thinks TAG Greg Abbott was out of line to take action. 

Now I am wondering if Ken Paxton is the kind of person we want to be the Texas Attorney General which is the highest legal officer in Texas.   

 

 

COMMON CORE IS A TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL ISSUE – COMMON CORE BANNED BY TEXAS LEGISLATURE FROM TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOLS – HB 462

 

Following is a statement sent to Texas public school personnel on 11.7.13 by Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams in which he explains the ramifications of HB 462 recently passed by the Texas Legislature:  http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=25769808124

 

As you consider funding opportunities, especially those offered by the United States Department of Education, I want to remind you of the provisions in a new law prohibiting the adoption or use of the Common Core State Standards.

 

The 83rd Texas Legislature passed House Bill 462 (HB 462), which contains several important prohibitions relating to curriculum standards. The bill:

  1. 1.     prohibits the State Board of Education (SBOE) from adopting Common Core State Standards;
  2. 2.     prohibits school districts from using Common Core State Standards to meet the requirements to provide instruction in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS);
  3. 3.     prohibits a school district or open enrollment charter school from being required to offer the Common Core; and
  4. 4.     prohibits the Texas Education Agency from adopting or developing assessments based on Common Core State Standards.

 

You may read the full text of HB 462 at: http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/83R/billtext/pdf/HB00462F.pdf#navpanes=0.

 

Chapter 28 of the Texas Education Code requires the SBOE to develop the essential knowledge and skills that Texas schools are required to teach. Additionally, the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) are based entirely on those TEKS developed and adopted by the SBOE.

 

To the extent that you pursue funding that requires your district to use college and career readiness standards, please remember that the Texas Legislature required the adoption of college and career readiness standards in 2006, making Texas the first state to mandate the development and use of college readiness standards. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board adopted the Texas College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) in 2008, and the SBOE has since embedded the CCRS within the TEKS.

 

You may review the CCRS at: http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/collegereadiness/crs.pdf.

 

 

Sincerely,

Michael Williams
Commissioner of Education

 

 

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TWO TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICTS STILL IN THE RUNNING FOR RACE TO TOP FUNDS WHICH REQUIRE COMMON CORE STANDARDS

 

 

[11.21.13 – Explanation from Donna Garner — The only Texas school districts that are still left in the running for the final RTTT-D2 grants are Houston ISD and Pasadena ISD. This is great news for Texas school districts! Now let’s hope that Houston ISD and Pasadena ISD get cut from the list also. – Donna Garner]

 

LIST OF 31 FINALISTS STILL LEFT IN RACE TO THE TOP – DIRECT TO DISTRICT (RTTT-D):  

http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-district/2013-finalists.pdf

 

 

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10.29.13 — “Texans: Stop Race to the Top in Our State: RTTT-D2”  — by Donna Garner —

http://nocompromisepac.ning.com/profiles/blogs/texans-stop-race-to-the-top-in-our-state-by-donna-garner-10-29-13

 

Excerpts from this article:

 

 

To get any Race to the Top funds, the applicants have to swear they will follow the Common Core Standards Initiative (CCSI).  In actuality, this means:  national standards, national assessments, national curriculum, teachers’ salaries tied to their students’ test scores, teachers teaching to the test each and every day, national indoctrination of our public school children, national database of students and teachers.

 

 

What makes this particularly disturbing is that during the 83rd Legislative Session, the Texas Legislature passed HB HB 462 which expressly prohibits Texas public schools (both regular public schools and charters) from following the Common Core Standards Initiative:  http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=HB462).  

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1.  Section 28.002, Education Code, is amended by adding Subsections (b-1), (b-2), (b-3), and (b-4) to read as follows:

(b-1)  In this section, “common core state standards” means the national curriculum standards developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

(b-2)  The State Board of Education may not adopt common core state standards to comply with a duty imposed under this chapter.

(b-3)  A school district may not use common core state standards to comply with the requirement to provide instruction in the essential knowledge and skills at appropriate grade levels under Subsection (c).

(b-4)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, a school district or open-enrollment charter school may not be required to offer any aspect of a common core state standards curriculum.

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11.19.13 – “U. S. Department of Education Announces 31 Applications as Finalists for $120 Million Race to the Top – – District Competition” — http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-announces-31-applications-finalists-120-million-race-top

 

 

HARMONY AND IDEA CHARTERS TOOK RTTT-D1 FEDERAL FUNDS LAST YEAR – NOW AGAINST TEXAS LAW

 

8.15.13 – “Dilemma for Turkish Gulen Harmony Charter Schools…” – by Donna Garner — http://educationviews.org/dilemma-for-gulen-harmony-charters-under-sb-2-hb-462/

 

Excerpts from this article:

 

 

The RTTT–D1 grant funds were sent directly from the U. S. Dept. of Ed. to the Harmony/Idea Charters without the purview of the state education agency.  These RTTT-D requirements basically mean that Harmony/Idea Charters are compelled to follow the Common Core Standards Initiative (i.e., national standards, national curriculum, national assessments, national teacher evaluation system tied to individual student scores, and national database). 

 

 

DILEMMA FOR HARMONY AND IDEA CHARTER SCHOOLS

 

The 83rd Legislative Session passed HB 462 — http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=HB462.  HB 462 became effective on 6.14.13 and bans local public school districts (and the Texas State Board of Education) from utilizing Common Core Standards (CCS) and national CCS assessments.

 

How are Harmony and Idea Charters (considered to be public schools because they take public dollars) going to live up to the RTTT-D that requires schools to follow the Common Core Standards Initiative (Type #2) while at the same time Harmony and Idea Charters must follow Texas law in HB 462 that bans the Common Core Standards Initiative in Texas public schools?  All public schools in Texas, including charters, are mandated to teach the SBOE-adopted curriculum standards (TEKS) which are Type #1. (Type #1 vs. Type #2 —   http://educationviews.org/2-types-of-education-philosophies-chart/  ).  

 

How can children effectively learn Type #1 curriculum that emphasizes correct, fact-based answers while at the same time they are learning subjective, opinion-based, project-driven, group-think, Type #2 curriculum that emphasizes the process over right answers and seeks to indoctrinate children into the social justice agenda?

 

 

Bottom line:  No thinking, caring parent should put his/her children into the Turkish Gulen Harmony Charter Schools or the Idea Schools because the students in those schools will be indoctrinated into the Common Core Standards. 

 

 

RTTT-D APPLICANTS MUST:

      4.  Applicants must demonstrate a track record of commitment to the core education assurance areas (as defined in this document), including, for each LEA included in an application, an assurance signed by the LEA’s authorized legal representative that–

 

a.  The LEA has, at a minimum, designed and committed to implement no later than the 2014-15 school year–

      i.  a teacher evaluation system (as defined in this document);

      ii.  a principal evaluation system (as defined in this document);

      iii.  a LEA superintendent evaluation (as defined in this document); and

      iv.  a LEA school board evaluation (as defined in this document).

      b.  The LEA has a robust data system that has, at a minimum,–

      i.  An individual teacher identifier with a teacher-student match; and

      ii.  The ability to match student level P-12 and higher education data.

      c.  The LEA has policy and regulatory protections in place that ensure Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) compliant privacy and information protection while enabling access and use by stakeholders.

 

<< SNIP >>

 

Core educational assurance areas:

• Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace and to compete in the global economy;

• Building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals about how they can improve instruction;

• Recruiting, developing, rewarding, and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most; and

• Turning around our lowest-achieving schools.

 

 

Donna Garner

Wgarner1@hot.rr.com

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar
    Kelly Young

    Sir…Common Core appears to be educationally detrimental for our children…it is an issue that MUST be addressed and the People have the right to have input as to whether or not they want their children to be taught using Common Core standards

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