Two Education Philosophies with Two Different Goals

Mar 27, 2012 by

by Donna Garner –

[Please notice the ACTION STEPS as posted at the bottom of this e-mail. – Donna Garner]

In education there are basically two different philosophies of education, and each type has a different end goal.

Type #1’s end goal is academic achievement. Type #2’s end goal is the indoctrination and manipulation of students’ minds:

(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.

The English / Language Arts / Reading (ELAR) curriculum standards document that our group of Texas classroom teachers wrote in 1997 called the Texas Alternative Document (TAD) followed the Type #1 philosophy but was not adopted by the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) in July 1997 because politics trumped education; our Governor was running for the Presidency; and any controversy had to be squelched immediately.

Therefore, the following philosophy of education (Type #2) was adopted when the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) voted on the curriculum standards called the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) in 1997.

The TAKS tests were built upon the Type #2 TEKS adopted in 1997.

It was that wrong-headed philosophy which prevailed in our Texas public schools until May 2008 when the new-and-improved English / Language Arts / Reading (ELAR) TEKS document with the Type #1 philosophy was adopted.

Since May 2008, new-and-improved Science and Social Studies TEKS have also been approved; and much improved Math TEKS will be adopted by the Texas State Board of Education in the next couple of months.

All four core curriculum areas (ELAR, Science, Social Studies, Math) are built upon the Type #1 philosophy of education in which the curriculum standards (and the new STAAR/End-of-Course tests aligned with them) are explicit, grade-level-specific (or course specific), fact-based, academic, and measurable (most test questions have objectively scored, right-or-wrong answers).

(2) Type #2 Philosophy of Education — 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.

The Type #2 Philosophy of Education was adopted when the July 1997 TEKS were passed by the SBOE. These TEKS (and similar curriculum standards adopted across the United States during the late 90’s) opened the door for the social justice agenda to begin to move into our public schools. Type #2 primed the “social justice” pump.

Now Obama’s Common Core Standards (Type #2) are being forced into our public schools (except for states such as Texas, Alaska, South Carolina, Virginia, Minnesota, and Nebraska that refused to commit to CCS) and will follow the Type #2 philosophy of education in which the process will be emphasized more than the correct answer, and the social justice agenda will become more important than academic achievement.

Obama’s social justice agenda 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.

The Obama social justice agenda will be enmeshed into students’ curricula by way of math word problems, textbook examples, practice sets, questions at the end of chapters, informational text selections, essay assignments, student projects, formative and summative assessments (written and scored at the national level), community service at nationally approved sites, etc.


[The arrows mean “lead(s) to.”]


National standards → national assessments → national curriculum → teachers’ salaries tied to students’ test scores → national teacher evaluation system → teachers teaching to the test each and every day → national indoctrination of our public school children → national database of students and teachers including student/teacher identifiable data




Type #1 Philosophy of Education: Please look at Texas’ new-and-improved curriculum standards (TEKS) in English / Language Arts / Reading (ELAR) – K-12:



The Texas ELAR’s in the early grade levels emphasize phonemic awareness/decoding skills (i.e., phonics) and literary as well as informational text. Instead of the personal essay, Texas’ public schools are now emphasizing expository/persuasive/research writing starting in the early grade levels clear through high school. Texas also has a well-developed strand K-12 on Oral and Written Conventions (e.g., grammar, usage, spelling, handwriting including cursive, capitalization, punctuation).


Now let’s compare Texas’ ELAR/TEKS to the Obama administration’s Common Core Standards:


First, notice that Texas’ ELAR/TEKS are explicit and grade-level-specific all the way from K through Grade 12. In high school, Texas has English I, English II, English III, and English IV; each grade level is distinct from the previous ones with the skills learned in the earlier grades forming the prerequisites for the higher grade levels.


To view a sample grade level, please go to the Texas ELAR’s for English IV:



Now let’s compare the Texas ELAR’s for English IV to the Common Core Standards for English IV. Problem! Right off we notice that there is not a distinct set of curriculum standards for English I, English II, English III, and English IV. The Common Core Standards are grouped in high school in clusters of (English 9 through 10) and (English 11 through 12). This means that high-school teachers and students in the capstone levels of English do not have explicit and clearly worded goals to meet at each grade level. The lack of explicitness and specificity in the CCS will create confusion and will also cost the taxpayers large amounts of money because of all the “consultants” who will have to be hired to “interpret” the CCS and work out the vertical and horizontal alignment for the classroom teachers.


CCS English 9 and 10 —


CCS English 11 and 12 —




Now let’s do a direct comparison of one strand to show the differences between English 7 ELAR and English 7 CCS:





(19) Oral and Written Conventions/Conventions. Students understand the function of and use the conventions of academic language when speaking and writing. Students will continue to apply earlier standards with greater complexity. Students are expected to:

(A) identify, use, and understand the function of the following parts of speech in the context of reading, writing, and speaking:

(i) verbs (perfect and progressive tenses) and participles;

(ii) appositive phrases;

(iii) adverbial and adjectival phrases and clauses;

(iv) conjunctive adverbs (e.g., consequently, furthermore, indeed);

(v) prepositions and prepositional phrases and their influence on subject-verb agreement;

(vi) relative pronouns (e.g., whose, that, which);

(vii) subordinating conjunctions (e.g., because, since); and

(viii) transitions for sentence to sentence or paragraph to paragraph coherence;

(B) write complex sentences and differentiate between main versus subordinate clauses; and

(C) use a variety of complete sentences (e.g., simple, compound, complex) that include properly placed modifiers, correctly identified antecedents, parallel structures, and consistent tenses.

(20) Oral and Written Conventions/Handwriting, Capitalization, and Punctuation. Students write legibly and use appropriate capitalization and punctuation conventions in their compositions. Students are expected to:

(A) use conventions of capitalization; and

(B) recognize and use punctuation marks including:

(i) commas after introductory words, phrases, and clauses; and

(ii) semicolons, colons, and hyphens.

(21) Oral and Written Conventions/Spelling. Students spell correctly. Students are expected to spell correctly, including using various resources to determine and check correct spellings.




Commmon Core Standards — Conventions of Standard English – English 7


Conventions of Standard English

  • · L.7.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • o Explain the function of phrases and clauses in general and their function in specific sentences.
  • o Choose among simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences to signal differing relationships among ideas.
  • o Place phrases and clauses within a sentence, recognizing and correcting misplaced and dangling modifiers.*
  • · L.7.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • o Use a comma to separate coordinate adjectives (e.g., It was a fascinating, enjoyable moviebut not He wore an old[,] green shirt).
  • o Spell correctly.




Every parent and every taxpayer in every state that has committed to the Common Core Standards should listen to the following video entitled “Two Moms Against Common Core Standards.” Even though this video is specifically directed at Utah, the concerns voiced are the same concerns that people all across this country should be voicing.


ObamaCare is the federal takeover of our healthcare system, but the Common Core Standards Initiative is the federal takeover of something even more precious – our children!


“Two Moms Against Common Core Standards” – link to video:



The following article by Sherena Arrington offers even more information about the Common Core Standards:


3.19.12 — An Uncommon Approach to Costly Common Core Education Standards

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