My Open Letter Back to Concerned Katy ISD Mother

Mar 18, 2016 by

openletter1

“My Open Letter Back to Concerned Katy ISD Mother”

By Donna Garner

3.17.16

 

My heart truly agonizes with this Katy ISD mother who has expressed her deep concerns over the public school experiences her children are having (link to her letter posted at the bottom of this page).

 

 

Unfortunately, this Katy ISD mother’s children are reaping the consequences of bad decisions made by the Texas Legislature and of other leaders in places of responsibility.

 

 

I also fault the voters of Texas who have elected Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) members who clearly support the Type #2 philosophy of education. 

 

 

Definitions of Type #1 vs. Type # — Chart  – http://www.educationviews.org/comparison-types-education-type-1-traditional-vs-type-2-cscope-common-core/

 

 

THE ADOPTION OF TYPE #1 CURRICULUM STANDARDS FOR TEXAS

 

In 2008, we were blessed enough to have seven strong supporters of Type #1 (a.k.a., traditionalists, conservatives) and Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott, who was determined to “make the playing field level.”  This combination allowed the SBOE during the years of 2008 – 2012 to adopt Type #1 curriculum standards (TEKS) in English/Language Arts/Reading (ELAR), Science, and Social Studies.

 

 

The Math TEKS are Type #1 except for the Introduction sections which, unfortunately, contain Type #2 process standards statements.  These were sneaked into the final Math TEKS version by powerful interest groups tied to a Type #2 math center in Austin.

 

 

By Texas law (Texas Education Code – TEC), the state-mandated tests (STAAR/End-of-Course) must be built upon the Type #1 TEKS; and the STAAR/EOC’s are Type #1 except for the few Type #2 process standards questions in the Math STAAR/EOC’s.  (Unfortunately, the number of Type #2 process standards in the Math STAAR/EOC’s seems to be increasing from 2014 to 2015 as verified by recent public testimony to the SBOE.)

 

 

THE ADOPTION OF THE 4 X 4 GRADUATION PLAN

 

During 2008 – 2012, the SBOE working with Texas Education Commissioner Scott and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) put authentic education reform into place when the 4 x 4 graduation plan was adopted.  This meant that the large majority of Texas graduates would be required to complete four years of college-and-career-ready ELAR, Science, Social Studies, and Math courses.

 

 

Everything was finally in place to move our Texas school children away from the Type #2 TEKS (adopted in 1997) and into the new Type #1 TEKS.

 

 

ENTER CSCOPE AND THE EDUCATION SERVICE CENTERS

 

Enter CSCOPE and the Education Service Centers (ESC’s):  Instead of providing teachers with the content skills to help them change their teaching units from 1997-Type #2 to the 2008-Type #1 philosophy of education, the ESC’s decided to sell schools the Type #2 CSCOPE system. CSCOPE curriculum is Common Core-compliant.  

 

 

The intent of the ESC’s was to make money for themselves; and even to this very day, much of the money they made is unaccounted for.

 

Please see 6.10.14 “CSCOPE Audit Done…Grassroots Vindicated” by Donna Garner – EdViews.org — http://www.educationviews.org/cscope-audit-done-grassroots-vindicated/ .

 

Also please read the attached report dated 5.7.13 — “White Paper on CSCOPE Funding Analysis.”

 

 

To market their CSCOPE/Common Core-compliant system, the ESC’s (which also provided most of the teacher training over the new Type #1 TEKS) decided to emphasize the Type #2 process standards found in the CSCOPE/Common Core-compliant materials.  The ESC’s chose to do this rather than to provide teachers with the traditional, fact-based, academic, subject-content knowledge and skills to enable them to be better able to teach their students the Type #1 TEKS.

 

 

The ESC’s marketed their CSCOPE product to the entire education establishment to pressure them into purchasing the CSCOPE system.  More than 80% of Texas public schools purchased the CSCOPE system using taxpayers’ dollars to do so.  

 

 

ENTER THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE WITH SB 6

 

Enter the Texas Legislature: In June 2011, SB 6 was passed almost unanimously against the public concerns voiced by many of us: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=821&Bill=SB6

 

 

SB 6 opened the door for school administrators to use an allotment coming from taxpayers’ dollars (Permanent School Funds) to purchase instructional materials (IM’s) that had not been through the public scrutiny of the SBOE-adoption process. This meant that taxpayers’ dollars could be used to purchase the CSCOPE system (and Common Core-compliant IM’s) without their ever having to undergo the public adoption scrutiny of the SBOE.  

 

 

SB 6 also broadened the allotment to include not just “textbooks” but “instructional materials” (IM’s). IM’s now include books, supplementary materials, workbooks, computer software, digital media, digital courseware, and online services – in other words, almost all of the expenses that surround technology and/or digitized curriculum systems.

 

 

ENTER THE LEGISLATURE’S HB 5

 

After passing SB 6, the Texas Legislature was not done yet with their attempts to destroy the authentic education reform begun in our Texas public schools starting in 2008. The Legislature then passed HB 5 on 6.10.13 which destroyed the 4 x 4 graduation plan that was in the process of making sure that the majority of Texas high school graduates finished K-12 with the foundational knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in college, careers, and society.  

 

 

HB 5 (1) de-emphasized the importance of teachers teaching the Type #1 TEKS at all grade levels, (2) reduced the number of STAAR/EOC’s from 15 to 5, (3) allowed  students to duck out of challenging courses, and (4) required students to choose career pathways much too early in their lives, thus limiting their foundational background knowledge and hindering their flexibility to change careers later in life.  Please read my article posted on 6.17.13 – “For the Historical Record: Texas Will Rue This Day” –– EdViews.orghttp://educationviews.org/for-the-historical-record-texas-will-rue-this-day/

 

 

STUDENTS PAYING THE PRICE FOR ADULTS’ BAD DECISIONS

 

What is the result of the interference by vested adults into education decisions that have harmed our Texas public school children?

     

 

5.30.14 – “Duh! Even a Dummy Could Figure This Out:  STAAR-EOC’s” – by Donna Garner – EdViews.orghttp://www.educationviews.org/duh-dummy-figure-out-staar-eocs/

 

 

TAG RULING AGAINST COMMON CORE

 

On 6.17.14, Former-Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott tried to help stem the downward trend in our Texas public schools by issuing his opinion to keep Common Core curriculum from being used in Texas (RQ-1175-GA — https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/opinions/opinions/50abbott/op/2014/pdf/ga1067.pdf). 

 

 

The TAG opinion makes it clear:  “Texas school districts are required to provide instruction in the essential knowledge and skills at appropriate grade levels, and pursuant to subsection 28.002 (b-3) of the Education Code, they may not use the Common Core State Standards Initiative to comply with this requirement.”

 

 

The “education establishment” figured out a way to do a work-around to sideline the TAG opinion; and whenever parents come to complain about Common Core being taught in their children’s classrooms, the Type #2 proponents tell parents that the Common Core lessons are simply teaching what is mandated by the TEKS.   

 

 

The following article explains what is happening in Texas and how the Common Core is flowing into our Texas public schools: 5.28.14 — “Is There Common Core in Texas? — Donna Garner Counters Cathy Moak’s Comments” —  EdViews.orghttp://www.educationviews.org/common-core-texas/

 

 

ACTION STEPS

 

Because “knowledge is power,” it is vitally important that all Texas public school parents and the public know the facts about the past history of our state. By knowing what has happened in the past, it should give people the tools with which to advocate for today’s Texas public school children.

 

 

Also, knowing this past history should energize parents and the public to realize that what happens in faraway Austin with the decisions made by our elected leaders has a direct impact on what later takes place in our own local public school classrooms.  

 

 

The urgency of electing such people as Mary Lou Bruner (SBOE District 9) in the upcoming primary run-off on May 24 should take on more significance.  3.16.16 – “Mary Lou Bruner, Standing Against Common Core Way of Thinking” – EdViews.orghttp://www.educationviews.org/mary-lou-bruner-standing-common-core-thinking/

 

 

Parents and the general public should be vitally concerned and involved with the ELAR/TEKS which are presently in the process of being reviewed. Unfortunately, this review has turned into a REWRITE by Type #2 advocates.  2.10.16 —  “Texas’ New English Curriculum Standards Spiraling out of Control” — by Donna Garner – EdViews.orghttp://www.educationviews.org/texas-english-curriculum-standards-spiraling-control/

 

 

Also, the public should be vitally involved in testifying at the Next Generation Assessments and Accountability (NGAA) meetings being held around the state of Texas. The next meeting of the NGAA will be March 23 at 10:00 A. M. to 5:00 P. M. in Austin. Please go to this link to learn vital information about NGAA — http://tea.texas.gov/2804Commission.aspx

 

 

 

1.24.16 — “Update: Gathering Input on Student Testing and Accountability in Texas” – by Donna Garner — EdViews.orghttp://www.educationviews.org/update-gathering-input-student-testing-accountability-texas/

 

===============

 

OPEN LETTER FROM CONCERNED KATY ISD MOTHER

 

3.17.16 — From a Texas mother whose children go to Katy ISD:

https://mykidzliberty.wordpress.com/2016/03/15/open-letter-from-texas-parent-to-state-board-what-is-rigor  

White Paper – CSCOPE

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