Jun 18, 2013 by

by Donna Garner




For people who are still struggling to understand what Type #1 and Type #2  mean (the two different philosophies of education), below is a link to an excellent article from Eagle Forum Education Reporter (February 1999) that is still current today except for the term OBE which means Outcomes Based Education.


OBE was big during the 1990’s and is still used today except that the terminology has changed.  OBE is where students learn at their own pace, work in cooperative learning groups, and work in untimed situations where there is almost no emphasis on individual learning, timed activities/tests, fact-based automaticity of the math functions and of grammar, and individual accountability.


OBE has morphed today into classrooms in which students work in groups, receive group grades, and that emphasize project-based learning (constructivism) and blended learning (dependent upon technology).


To view a chart that shows the differences between Type #1 and Type #2, please go to:  http://educationviews.org/2-types-of-education-philosophies-chart/


Below is an excellent explanation of the differences between achievement tests and assessments, and this along with the chart should give the public a better understanding of what was at stake in Texas during this last Legislative Session (83rd).


Texas had it right before the Texas Legislature decided to destroy it and send our public schools right back to Type #2.  Texas had Type #1 curriculum standards (TEKS) and Type #1 tests that tested students over those grade-level-specific, knowledge-based, academic TEKS.


The STAAR/End-of-Course tests are Type #1 because they are built upon the Type #1 TEKS.  The STAAR/EOC’s are largely scored objectively with right-or-wrong answers; and until the 83rd Legislative Session did its damage, students were held individually accountable (and also teachers) at the end of each grade level (Grades 3 – 8) and at the end of each high-school core course.


Until the 83rd Legislative Session, Texas high-school students had to take the 4 x 4  Recommended or Distinguished Achievement plans (26 credits with 5 ½ elective credits or more) unless they had special written permission by various parties to take the Minimum.  A very small percentage of students took the Minimum.


The Recommended Plan was the default plan, and the largest percentage of students took 4 years of English, Science, Social Studies, and Math.  The Social Studies included

U. S. History, World History, World Geography, Government, Economics with an emphasis on Free Enterprise.  Most states have no such requirement in Social Studies, and that is why so many students are graduating without sufficient knowledge and appreciation for the Founding Fathers, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and American exceptionalism.


Now that HB 5 and HB 866 have been passed in Texas and signed into law by Gov. Perry, the whole Type #1 system has been destroyed because now students (and their teachers) will not be held accountable at each grade level/course.  All students will no longer be required to take 4 years of TEKS-based Social Studies, English, Science, and Math.  The emphasis in high school will now move away from rigorous academic knowledge and skills and will be “dumbed down” to project-based learning, escape routes from the STAAR/EOC testing program, Type #2 in the “off-STAAR/EOC” courses, and applied courses with lowered academic expectations.  The default is the Foundation plan with only 22 credits.


In K-8 under HB 5/HB 866, instead of students being tested on the STAAR tests at each grade level so that students and teachers alike are accountable to learn/teach the Type #1 TEKS, students will only be state-tested twice in Writing (Grades 4 and 7), Math and Reading (Grades 3, 5, 8), Social Studies (Grade 8), Science (Grades 5, 8).  Teachers in the “on-STAAR” grade levels can no longer be sure that the teachers in the “off-STAAR” years have held students accountable to learn the Type #1 TEKS.  This means that students could easily go to the next grade level without the prerequisite skills needed for success in the new grade level, and parents (and administrators) would not be able to hold individual teachers accountable for not having taught the Type #1 TEKS. In the “off-STAAR” years teachers could easily keep teaching their Type #2 units without people knowing about it.


Because the teaching of correct, cohesive, and content-rich writing is a difficult and time-consuming task and one that requires much practice, teachers in the “off-STAAR” years of Grades 3, 5, 6, and 8 could easily shirk off the importance of requiring their students to write and write well.  Because Writing (grammar/usage/spelling and essay) has been the lowest score on the STAAR/EOC’s and is such an important skill in college and the workplace, it is imperative that teachers from K-12 hold their students accountable to become good writers.


As I have stated repeatedly, Texas will rue the day when the 83rd Legislative Session destroyed the path to authentic education reform for our Texas public school students. Not only will students be dumbed down, but Texas colleges/universities and the workplace will suffer with a preponderance of adults who are not proficient in English nor are high-information citizens.


2.99 – “Assessment vs. Achievement Tests” – by Eleanor G. Campbell – Eagle Forum Education Reporterhttp://www.eagleforum.org/educate/1999/feb99/focus.html



Donna Garner


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