WHAT’S GOING ON? TEXAS STATE BD. OF ED.

Feb 25, 2012 by

Donna Garner

BARBARA CARGILL, CHAIR-

[The following newsletter comes from Barbara Cargill, the chairman of the Texas State Board of Education. Barbara is one of five conservatives presently on the SBOE and was one of seven – before the Nov. 2010 elections – who battled so hard to adopt new-and-improved curriculum standards for Texas. It is these standards (TEKS) coupled with the new curriculum, instructional materials (textbooks), and new STAAR and End-of-Course tests that have put our Texas public schools on the road to authentic education reform.

 

Nearly all parents want their children to learn the basics (phonics, grammar, usage, correct spelling, penmanship, math facts, heroes/heroines of history, origins of life in science, etc.) rather than to have classrooms that are focused on the social justice agenda. Texas’ new curriculum standards (TEKS) are what most parents support.

 

These parents believe that knowing the right answers is more important in life than focusing on the process. When the airline pilot is in the cockpit, it is more important for him to know exactly how to bring the plane down safely than for him to be able to write a glowing account of the trip.

 

Knowledge-based, academic content should be the emphasis in our classrooms, and this is the philosophy of Barbara Cargill and those on the SBOE who want Texas to decide what needs to be taught to its public school children rather than to have the Obama administration through Common Core Standards/Race to the Top decide.

 

You will love reading Barbara Cargill’s newsletter. It is filled with interesting and valuable pieces of information. – Donna Garner]

 

THE CARGILL CONNECTION, February 2012

Dear friends and supporters,

Between chairing the board, campaigning, and being the mom of a high school senior (who I will miss desperately next year!), it has been a busy new year. I have been campaigning diligently for my re-election bid. My opponent has been busy too, so I need your help to win this race. Please visit www.barbaracargill.com to endorse me, to print an information card about me, to ask for a sign, or to make a donation to my campaign. Donations whether large or small are needed and appreciated so I can purchase signs and mailers.

I would like to continue serving our children especially as we see what is happening with education at the national level. Have you heard of President Obama’s Race to the Top program? See http://www2.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2009/07/07242009.html. All but five states, including Texas, have adopted the National Common Core Standards (NCCS). Here is what the NCSS website promotes. My comments are in red.

  • Make expectations for students clear to parents, teachers, and the general public; (The Texas State Board of Education has overseen excellent revisions made to our rigorous state curriculum standards for English, social studies, science, and math. The NCCS are less rigorous and they lower expectations for academic progress at each grade level. We do not need the federal government telling us what and when to teach our children.)
  • Encourage the development of textbooks, digital media, and other teaching materials aligned to the standards; (This means that publishers will now offer instructional materials that are written to meet the less rigorous Common Core Standards. These are the materials from which Texas teachers will have to choose unless publishers write materials just for Texas.)
  • Develop and implement comprehensive assessment systems to measure student performance against the common core state standards that will replace the existing testing systems that too often are inconsistent, burdensome and confusing; (A national assessment? The federal government will test our students and collect that data. Think about that.)
  • Evaluate policy changes needed to help students and educators meet the standards. (The federal government will dictate more policies for school districts. Don’t we all want less government involvement especially when it comes to our children?)

I know this is a lot to take in, but it is what is happening in our country. Please join my re-election team so that I can continue to stand with our Governor and Commissioner of Education against the National Common Core Standards being adopted in Texas.

What can you do?
Please help get the word out to people in the new parts of my district: The new SBOE District 8 represents the counties of Houston, Trinity, Polk, San Jacinto, Walker, Montgomery, Grimes, Brazos and East Harris County (including Humble, Deer Park, Pasadena, LaPorte, Baytown, Channelview, Morgan’s Point, Seabrook, Kemah, Lake Shores, Nassau Bay, Webster, and Friendswood) and West Harris County (between I-10 and 290 including Waller).

Another way you can help is to go to my Facebook page and “like” me so that your friends learn about me. facebook.com/BarbaraCargillTXSBO

 

RECAP OF THE JANUARY SBOE MEETING:

These are highlights of actions taken by the State Board of Education at its January 26-27 meeting. A complete listing of all actions is posted at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=5161. (*This is a copy of the information I sent to each member of the legislature; I do this after each board meeting so that they can be informed as well.)

 

The board gave preliminary approval to new mathematics curriculum standards for kindergarten through grade 12. Final approval of the math standards will be under consideration on the April agenda.

 

The board approved on second reading and final adoption proposed amendments to the state’s graduation requirements. The changes will be effective beginning with the 2012-2013 school year. The new subchapter updates the graduation requirements to align with recently passed legislation and allows additional courses to satisfy certain graduation requirements.

 

In light of the changes made to the state textbook adoption process by SB 6, the board updated its rules dealing with the instructional materials adoption and distribution process. (**SB 6 brought about many changes to the adoption of instructional materials. Districts may now use state money to purchase textbooks and other materials that are not on the SBOE approved list. That means those textbooks or other instructional materials have not been vetted by our state’s rigorous adoption process. I will talk about this in more detail in a future newsletter.)

 

It also updated the adoption schedule for this material. Proclamation 2014 is scheduled to be issued at the April 2012 State Board of Education meeting. Proclamation 2014, which is essentially a call for bids, will seek new science materials for all grades; mathematics materials for kindergarten through eighth grade; and technology applications material.

 

A committee of the board discussed current statutory language associated with a Permanent School Fund non-profit corporation. Many years ago, a bill was passed that allowed the PSF to set up a non-profit corporation to run the fund, similar to the set-up used by the Permanent University Fund with UTIMCO. Some current board members expressed an interest in examining this action again. This was a discussion item so no action was taken.

 

 

ACTION ITEMS:

 

Math: This is a link to the draft version of the K-12 math curriculum standards: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&ItemID=2147505083&libID=2147505078 . Final approval of the math standards will take place at the April SBOE meeting. The public online comment period begins February 24th. (**Please take a look and let me know of any concerns that you have with the revised math standards!)

 

 

 

 

UPDATE ON SBOE ISSUES:

 

*If you are interested in having me speak to a group in your area, please contact me at sboecargill@sbcglobal.net. Concerned parents and citizens are always interested in what the State Board of Education is doing on behalf of our schoolchildren.

 

*In honor of my appointment as Chair, Governor Perry graciously recorded a message that you can view on this link. Please take a minute to enjoy it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qONMp2Eo6xc

*There has been much confusion about the new STAAR and End-of-Course exams. I suggest that all parents whose children attend public schools watch the video clip of the first 44 minutes of the SBOE meeting on Jan. 26th. Commissioner of Education Robert Scott and board members discuss this issue. Go to the TEA link (below); click on SBOE Committee of the Full Board – 1.26.12; click on Archive Video Part 1; and then go to marker 0:17 through 44:28. The TEA link is here: http://www.texasadmin.com/tea.shtml

*This is a very interesting article about early textbook wars.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/oct/10/culture-war-heroine-gets-her-due/

Quote from the article: “In Texas, the state textbook committee in 2010 angered liberals by rejecting a review panel’s recommendations to kick out Christmas and Independence Day and ignore such famous Americans as Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein and Neil Armstrong. Texas, the largest purchaser of textbooks after California, has been a thorn in liberals’ sides since 1961, when the late Mel and Norma Gabler began exposing errors and bias. Famous example: One history book had six pages on Marilyn Monroe and only a brief mention of George Washington. The Gablers helped pave the way for the West Virginia revolt in 1974, and they spoke there during the protests.”

*****************************************************************

 

The State Board of Education will meet April 19-20 in Austin. You can always watch a live webcast of the board meetings. We welcome that! Here is the link: http://www.texasadmin.com/cgi-bin/tea.cgi

 

I would like to leave you with these thoughts that were sent to me by a dear friend.

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.

Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD..

Thank you again for your support and for allowing me the privilege of representing you and your children.

For our children,

Barbara Cargill

Chair, State Board of Education

sboecargill@sbcglobal.net

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Related Posts

Tags

Share This

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.