Nov 23, 2012 by

By Donna Garner –

Until today I had not seen this article from May 29, 2012 (link to EdWeek article posted below).  I am so disappointed in Michelle Rhee and her support for Common Core Standards.   At one time, I had such high hopes for her.

We also need to notice that David Coleman (new head of the College Board that owns and operates the SAT) helped to launch Rhee’s advocacy group.  Coleman has already indicated that he is going to try to change the SAT to match the Common Core Standards.

Linda Darling-Hammond, who is Obama’s right-hand person behind Common Core Standards, is listed as one of the writers for CSCOPE which is used now in 70% to 80% of our Texas public schools. CSCOPE is Type #2 and has been working under the radar right here in Texas.


All of these people – Obama, Darling-Hammond, Coleman, Rhee —  share the same philosophy of education — Type #2.  We here in Texas thankfully have another philosophy of education which our Texas State Board of Education working with the Texas Education Agency staff are implementing  – Type #1.  The SBOE has adopted new Type #1 TEKS (ELAR, Science, Social Studies, Math), and new STAAR/End-of-Course tests have been built upon these new TEKS.  All Texas public school teachers are expected to teach what is in the new Type #1 TEKS to get their students prepared to take the new Type #1 STAAR/EOC’s.


*My terminology and definitions:


(1)  Type #1 Philosophy of Education: Knowledge-based, academic, clearly worded, grade-level-specific content that is tested largely through objectively scored tests  — These standards are built from K through Grade 12 and are taught mostly through direct, systematic instruction.


Type #1 standards could be referred to as the traditional method – the method of teaching that people perhaps 50 years old and older experienced when they were in school.  This included the teaching of phonics, grammar, correct usage/spelling, cursive handwriting, classical literature, expository/persuasive/research writing, the four math functions taught to automaticity, fact-based and discreet courses in Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Calculus, U. S. History, World History, Botany, Biology, Physics, and Chemistry.


(2) Type #2 Philosophy of Education (adopted in July 1997 and reflected in the TEKS and TAKS) — Project-based, subjective (emphasize cognitive domain – beliefs, opinions, emotions), subjectively assessed based upon the value system of the evaluator — emphasize multiculturalism, political correctness,  environmental extremism, diversity, social justice agenda  — These standards are built backwards from Grade 12 down to K (similar to trying to build a house from the roof down) and are taught mostly using the constructivist (project-based) approach.

Type #2 can be seen in Obama’s social justice agenda (i.e., Common Core Standards) that includes an emphasis on subjectivity, feelings, emotions, beliefs, multiculturalism, political correctness, social engineering, globalism, evolution, sexual freedom/contraceptives instead of abstinence, environmental extremism, global warming, victimization, diversity, an acceptance of the normalcy of the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender lifestyle, redistribution of wealth, a de-emphasis on — factual knowledge, the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Founding Fathers, and American exceptionalism.


  • If we want our Texas public school children to learn to read well, we must have Type #1.
  • If we want them to be able to speak and write English well, then we must have Type #1.
  • If we want them to be patriotic citizens who revere the Founding Fathers and know and honor the Constitution, then we must have Type #1.
  • If we want our graduates to be knowledgeable voters who know history and can analyze current events based upon the past and the present, then we must have Type #1.
  • If we want our public school children to recognize that they and the whole world were created by a Higher Being, then we must have Type #1.
  • If we want our public school children to know their math facts to automaticity, then we must have Type #1.
  • If we want our public school children to be able to do well in foreign languages, then we must have Type #1 that teaches the phonetic sound system and grammar/usage in English so that they can apply that to their foreign language learning.
  • If we want our public school children to read the great pieces of literature that have connected our country to past generations, then we must have Type #1.
  • If we want our public school children to have the skills and knowledge they need for college and/or the workplace, then we must have Type #1.
  • If we want to turn out scientists who are well read, logical, analytical, and who can write down their scientific conclusions, then we must have Type #1.
  • If we want our graduates to be able to write compositions built upon facts and persuasive techniques, then we must have Type #1.
  • If we want our high-school students to know how to research a topic and then put that information into well-written text, we must have Type #1.
  • If we want legislators who are well read and who have a deep understanding of world history/American history/U. S. legal system and how those apply to current events, then we must have Type #1.



We in Texas must remain as independent as humanly possible from the Type #2 tentacles if we are ever going to preserve the authentic education reform being implemented into our Texas public schools through the new Type #1 TEKS and STAAR/EOC’s.  This means we must resist Rep. Dan Flynn’s pre-filed HB 44; we must insist that our Texas administrators and education service centers push back from Obama’s direct-local-funding  of Common Core Standards/Race to the Top; and we have to figure out a way to divest CSCOPE from our public schools.


Donna Garner






Common-Core Architect Helped Launch Rhee Advocacy Group

By Stephen Sawchuk on May 29, 2012 12:30 PM


Excerpts from this article:

One of the key architects of the Common Core State Standards, David Coleman, is listed as a director on the board of StudentsFirst, the advocacy group begun by former D.C. schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee…

“I helped the organization get started and have discussed with them that a new board will be beginning in June,” Coleman told me in an email. He declined to elaborate.

“Why pick Coleman initially?, I asked.

“He’s a really impressive guy,” Zuckerbrod [spokeswoman for StudentsFirst] said. “Michelle is totally on board with the common core. She’s a big fan.”

A bunch of other groups have also lent StudentsFirst support in its early days. The Broad Foundation gave the group about half a million in start-up funding, while Education Reform Now, another advocacy group affiliated with Democrats for Education Reform, was at one point listed as its financial sponsor. DFER President Joe Williams told me that was done in the haste to get the StudentsFirst group set up before Rhee appeared on “Oprah” to formally announce its launch.

Coleman, who was recently tapped to lead the College Board


Donna Garner


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