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AGENDA — TEXAS SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE – CSCOPE

Date posted: January 31, 2013

AGENDA  — TEXAS SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE – CSCOPE

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Capitol Extension, E1.028

8:30 a.m.

CSCOPE

Photo Courtesy of Times Record News

 

I. Call to Order

II. Committee Business

III. Opening remarks from Chair and members

IV. SB 135 Patrick

Relating to the use of a public school student’s performance on an end-of-course assessment instrument in determining the student’s final grade for the course.

IMG_7114V. CSCOPE Review

Panel 1:

• Dr. Linda Villareal, Executive Director, Region 2 ESC

• Dr. Terry Smith, Executive Director, Region 13 ESC

• Dr. Wade Labay, Ed.D., Director, State CSCOPE

 Panel 2:

• Ms. Mac (Jeanine McGregor), Education Researcher, K-12 Teacher (GT& Special-ED), Author

• Mary Bowen , Educator

• Dr. Stan Hartzler, Educator

• Peggy Venable, Director, Americans for Prosperity-Texas

• Carlos Charlie Garza, Former Member, State Board of Education, District 1Principal

Panel 3:

• Dr. Doug Killian, Superintendent, Hutto ISD

• Dr. Marc Williamson, Superintendent, Fredericksburg ISD

• Dr. Susan Simpson Hull, Superintendent, Grand Prairie ISD

Panel 4:

• Barbara Cargill, Chair, State Board of Education

• Patricia Ann Hardy, Texas State Board of Education, District 11

• Holly Eaton, Director of Professional Development and Advocacy, Texas Classroom Teachers Association

 

VI. Public Testimony  [This hearing may go for many hours because if the full Senate is called into session, this Senate Ed. public hearing will be delayed.  We have been told that every person who wants to testify will be heard.  — Donna Garner]

VII. Recess

The issue of CSCOPE is very important and Donna Garner does an exceptional job of explaining the history of CSCOPE and why it is so important that we push back against it. 

 

 WOMEN ON THE WALL RADIO TAKES ON CSCOPE WITH EDUCATION EXPERT DONNA GARNER.

 

WBTM Women On The Wall Radio with Donna Garner

 

You can find out HERE if your district is using CSCOPE! 

Knowledge is Power and together we can make the difference!!

Alice Linahan

Follow @AliceLinahan on twitter and Facebook 

Join the movement expose corruption in Texas Politics go to Tea Party 911 for a daily briefing.

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Be sure and listen to all the great shows on WBTM Radio!

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Texas Education in the Crosshairs ~ Texas vs. No CHild Left Behind

Date posted: January 30, 2013

Connecting the Dots….

Hat tip to Adam Cahnman for the excellent information he pushed out on Tom Paulkin’s article. 

No Child Left BehindTexas vs. No Child Left Behind

The state where it all began turns against the Cult of Educational Testing–and the interests behind it.

I encourage you to read Adam’s blog because he picks up on things most of us don’t. Thank you Adam. Click Here to check it out. 

Texas Workforce Commissioner Tom Pauken has a must-read piece on the unintended consequences of No Child Left Behind and the revolt against the education legacy of (Governor) George W. Bush in Texas; money quote:

For the past two decades, excessive emphasis on high-stakes standardized testing and a one-size-fits-all focus on preparing all students for college came to dominate education policy in Texas and later, in Washington, D.C. with the passage of the Bush-Kennedy “No Child Left Behind” legislation. In addition, vocational education came to be neglected—even denigrated—in this massive push to make all students “college-ready.” Meanwhile, the principle of local control over education (which historically had been a deeply-held belief of Goldwater-Reagan Conservatives) was abandoned by Republican politicians in Texas and Washington, D.C., in their rush to be known as “educational reformers.”

….

The principal architect of Texas’s accountability system was a lawyer from Dallas named Sandy Kress. The most thorough analysis of Kress’s role in pushing Texas’s education policy in the direction of a high-stakes testing system was one written by Mark Donald for the October 19, 2000 issue in the Dallas Observer right before George W. Bush’s election to the presidency. Entitled “The Resurrection of Sandy Kress,” Donald’sarticle described how Democrat Kress and Republican Bush came to be close allies in pushing Kress’s vision of “educational accountability.”

I had gotten to know Sandy Kress when he was the Dallas County Democratic Chairman, and I was an active Republican. Later, I was elected State Chairman of the Texas Republican Party in 1994, the year in which George W. Bush defeated Ann Richards in the race for governor of Texas. What I didn’t know at the time—but soon learned after the November election—was that Sandy Kress already had been a major advisor to George W. Bush on education issues for some period of time. I found that unusual since Sandy Kress was a liberal Democrat whose views on education and other domestic policy issues were very much at odds with the views of conservatives like myself who believed in local control of education and decentralization of governmental power, wherever possible. Moreover, Sandy had not exactly distinguished himself in the early 1990s when he chaired the board of the Dallas Independent School District (DISD), during one of the most tumultuous periods in DISD history.

….

Nonetheless, Sandy Kress remained a key strategic advisor to the governor. He worked closely with Margaret LaMontagne (later Margaret Spellings), who was Gov. Bush’s education advisor, in expanding the statewide accountability system. During Bush’s tenure as Governor, the state consolidated power over education in the office of the Texas Education Agency and the Education Commissioner who was appointed by the Governor. Meaningful local control over education in Texas continued to erode as the accountability ratings system caused local school districts to focus more attention on the performance measurements put in place by the state particularly the testing system. Since that system did not include evaluation of the effectiveness of vocational education instruction, that area of preparation became de-emphasized in many Texas school districts.

Just as Texas started this failed approach to educational accountability, the Texas Legislature has the opportunity to replace it with a common-sense system that focuses on real learning and opportunities for all.

CSCOPE 3For some great news….

Aside from the fact that Sen. Dan Patrick has called for a hearing on CSCOPE that is Thursday Jan. 31st at 8:30 am……

 

REP. STEVE TOTH’S HB 760 — The CSCOPE Transparency Act To Ensure Consistent Oversight of Public School Curriculum: 

AUSTIN – State Rep. Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands) filed HB 760 in a joint effort with other law makers and constituents to ensure that e-learning (on-line or cloud based teaching material) curriculum used in public schools falls under the oversight and approval of the State Board of Education.

Many of Toth’s constituents have a growing concern over the lack of accountability for the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative, also known as CSCOPE. CSCOPE does not fall under the same oversight and approval as other printed materials because of its digital format. HB 760 would bring the digitized materials under the same publicly vetted process through the State Board of Education adoption process.

To this date, CSCOPE has not gone through the intense Texas textbook adoption process in which public hearings are held and factual errors are documented, discussed, and verified.

CSCOPE is in use by over 70 percent of Texas public schools. The curriculum suffers from two main areas, transparency and accountability. The most important problem is the lack of quality teaching material.

“I had one teacher call me and said that she had met with five other math teachers. They were all looking at the same math-word problem and the disappointing thing is that they came up with 6 different and very defensible answers.”

Toth continued, “teachers live in fear not only of the problematic errors but also in fear of mistakenly sharing with a parent what’s being taught in CSCOPE. Teachers are actually forced to sign non-disclosure agreements before they use it in the classroom. Why? Because the Education Service Centers know how angry parents would be to hear that the participants in the Boston Tea Party of 1773 are referred to as Terrorists by CSCOPE and that’s just the beginning.”

Sen. Dan Patrick, CSCOPE HearingOther factual errors found throughout the curriculum have not been corrected and have been used to teach millions of children faulty math, reading, science, and history. Educators who sign a non-disclosure agreement are forced to administer poor tests which force good educators to either put up with the bad curriculum or quit altogether.

Algebra teacher, Dr. Stan Hartzler of Luling ISD was quoted, “As good testing motivates and informs good students and teachers, so too bad testing discourages everyone and that’s the problem with CSCOPE.”

“Dr. Hartzler is the kind of man we want and need in the classroom, but he can’t fight CSCOPE any longer so he left teaching. Great teachers should be free to make truth come alive in the hearts and minds of our youth rather than handcuffing them to a failed product. HB 760 moves to correct this problem”, said Representative Toth.

Thomas Jefferson said “If a nation expects to be ignorant & free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be”. We cannot afford to cripple the next generations by overlooking the education of our children. Please stand with me by contacting your Elected Officials and asking them to support HB 760 for our children.

Steve Toth is State Representative for District 15, which includes The Woodlands, Shenandoah, Imperial Oaks, Oak Ridge North and Benders Landing along with some of the surrounding areas. He lives and works in District 15 and is establishing a House District 15 Office in Alden Bridge near the corner of Research Forest and Kuykendahl that he hopes to open by February of this coming year. 

Knowledge is Power and together we can make the difference!!

Alice Linahan

Follow @AliceLinahan on twitter and Facebook 

Voices Empower has partnered the Freedom Trailer Teams to Educate, Inspire and Motivate.

Join the movement expose corruption in Texas Politics go to Tea Party 911 for a daily briefing.

Tea Party 911

Be sure and listen to all the great shows on WBTM Radio!

Chaos Radio with Mel Moss and Rick Rose

Women On The Wall.org

 
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Amnesty ~ Workers ~ National Security Threat

Date posted:


By Michael Cutler

It is not “anti-immigrant” to want to secure America’s borders or enforce America’s immigration laws- our borders and our immigration laws exist for just two primary purposes- to protect innocent lives and protect the jobs of American and lawful immigrant workers of every race, religion and ethnicity by preventing the entry of aliens into the United States whose presence would be harmful to America and Americans and to seek their removal if they succeed in entering the United States and/or violate the terms of their admission after they are admitted into the United States.

Title 8, United States Code, Section 1182 enumerates the various categories of aliens who are to be excluded from the United States. A review of those categories makes the intention and importance of our immigration laws, our borders and the inspections process crystal clear. Among the classes of aliens who are supposed to be excluded from the United States are who suffer from dangerous communicable diseases. Aliens who suffer extreme mental illness and are prone to violence or are sex offenders (rapists and pedophiles). Additional categories of excludible aliens include convicted felons, drug traffickers, human traffickers, money launderers, human rights violators, war criminals, terrorists and spies.

Finally, aliens who would seek to work illegally or become public charges are also to be kept out of the United States.

Immigration is not a single issue but a singular issue that impacts nearly every challenge and threat confronting the United States today! The two primary goals of our country’s immigration laws are to protect innocent lives and protect the jobs of American and lawful immigrant workers. Our armed forces are charged with securing America’s borders externally while the DHS is supposed to secure those same borders from within!

If our government’s failures to protect American jobs by securing our nation’s borders and effectively enforcing our immigration laws concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative.

This is not only your right- it is your obligation!

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Check out Michael’s website  www.TalkBorder.com  

Republican Propaganda

 

Knowledge is Power and together we can make the difference!!

Alice Linahan

Follow @AliceLinahan on twitter and Facebook 

Voices Empower has partnered the Freedom Trailer Teams to Educate, Inspire and Motivate.

Women On The Wall.org

 
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Share The Truth~
Stand for the Truth~
Protect Our Nation for Future Generations
___________________________________________

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Who controls the minds of our children?

Date posted: January 29, 2013

CSCOPE

Photo Courtesy of Times Record News

The Answer ~ Those who control what the teacher teaches. 

 

CScope- Taking a Closer look

A lot of questions have arisen around this digital instruction curriculum in the state of Texas. I decided to take a look at the “foundation” of this teaching tool. Where did it come from? What vendors are involved?

 

How many states have similar programs or the actual CScope program? Due to a lack of transparency and controversial pieces of lessons that are surfacing, just as many questions have arisen, as partial answers.

  

Who are the vendors involved in the CScope program? In this article, the primary focus will be on those vendors who supply educational materials. I won’t address the vendors who provide other auxiliary functions such as assessment. 

 

Hand 2 Mind

The first vendor is Hand 2 Mind. Going to their website, it was vague. I went to their frequently asked questions to learn more about this key vendor in the CScope program. This company changed their name in recent years. The original name is: etacuisinaire. Information about this name change is here: www.hand2mind.com/newname/

I went looking for the original site to gain additional information about the origin of the materials. This is the website where information can be gleaned: www.etacuisinaire.com .

  

What did I learn from the original site? Iowa, New York, New Jersey, and Texas have state contracts with this company for educational materials. It has different names in two of the states. ETA Cuisinaire was founded in 1965. It is based in Vernon Hills, Illinois. It is a subsidiary of the A. Daigger & Company, Inc.In the archive of old press releases, there is a partnership between ETA Cuisinaire and Character Counts. This is curriculum that builds on character lessons from a world perspective based on various cultures. You can get the details of it here: http://www.hand2mind.com/aboutus/press/ccweek_0908.jsp

 

The grades 3 through 6 receive this as a part of their key learning components. It has not yet been verified if it is used in the Texas CScope program (this is a primary provider of CScope Curriculum.

 

Because multiculturism can be interpreted in so many ways, wouldn’t it be good for this to have the oversight of the State Board of Education?Additional useful background on Hand 2 

 

Mind (formerly ETA Cuisinaire)

Business week review of eta cuisinaire

http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=7622208CEO of ETA Cusinaire steps down

http://vernonhills.suntimes.com/news/9398920-418/newsmakers-etacuisenaire-chief-to-step-down.html 

Dr. Hartzler loves teaching and seeing students excitement when they realize their potential but due to the controlled teaching that Cscope demands Dr. Hartzler quit his job from Luling ISD over the Christmas Holidays. He would love to go back to teaching but not with Cscope in place. 

Knowledge is Power and together we can make the difference!!

Alice Linahan

Follow @AliceLinahan on twitter and Facebook 

Voices Empower has partnered the Freedom Trailer Teams to Educate, Inspire and Motivate.

Women On The Wall.org

 
Women On The Wall
Click Photo above:
Seek the Truth~
Share The Truth~
Stand for the Truth~
Protect Our Nation for Future Generations
___________________________________________

Voices Empower

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  Please attribute to Alice Linahan  with Voices Empower

 

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“Some Texas Legislators Being Duped”

Date posted: January 28, 2013

by Donna Garner 

School BusI hate to say it, but some of our Texas Legislators are being duped! They want to delay/stop the new STAAR/End-of-Course tests from being implemented into our public schools.  These duped Legislators do not realize that if they want our public schools to teach what all students need to know, then the STAAR/EOC’s must continue as scheduled.  

 

 TEXAS TO REMAIN INDEPENDENT

Texas has chosen to remain independent of the Obama administration’s takeover of the public schools through the Common Core Standards/Race to the Top.  Even though 45 states and D. C. signed on to the CCS, Texas did not.  

Gov. Perry and former-Commissioner of Education Robert Scott said “No.”  The new Commissioner of Education Michael Williams said “No.” Our elected Texas State Board of Education said “No.”

 

 TEXAS’ NEW EDUCATION PLAN

 The SBOE not only said “No” but set about developing the best fact-based curriculum standards in the entire United States.  We now have four, new curriculum documents (adopted since May 2008) called “TEKS” that tell teachers WHAT to teach (not HOW to teach it) at each grade level K through 12 in the following four subject areas: English/Language/Arts/Reading, Science, Social Studies, and Math.

 New tests (STAAR/End-of-Course) based upon our new curriculum standards were administered on a “trial basis” last school year to give students and their teachers an idea of the type of fact-based questions that would be asked.

This school year the sophomores on down will be given the STAAR/EOC’s, and the results will  become a part of the new public accountability system for schools.

As the sophomores advance through high school, the old TAKS tests (built upon the 1997 subjective, mushy TEKS) will vanish. In fact, when this year’s juniors take the TAKS, it will be the last time that Texas high schools have to administer the TAKS to a large number of students. After this year, only those juniors who failed the TAKS will have to be retested; and the rest of the high school students and their teachers can focus totally on the new TEKS and STAAR/EOC’s. 

Because the new STAAR/EOC’s are timed (4 hours per test) and the TAKS tests are untimed (takes all day to administer one test), high schools will have a much less time-consuming and complicated testing schedule after this school year.

The new TEKS and the new STAAR/EOC’s are guiding teachers to develop new curriculum units, and students in our Texas public schools from K to 12 will eventually move completely away from the highly subjective and mushy 1997 TEKS curriculum standards and the subjectively scored TAKS tests. 

Texas’ new plan will require students to be taught traditional, back-to-the-basics skills that, once learned, will equip them to think, analyze, and reason based upon a large body of foundational knowledge. This is what every parent should want for his children.

 

TeacherLEFT-LEANERS FURIOUS WITH TEXAS 

The Obama administration and the left-leaners are furious with Texas’ independent spirit and wants to entrap our state. They fear that if our Texas public school students can be taught a large body of academic knowledge and then can think independently for themselves, they will be “nobody’s fool” and will not be easily manipulated by those who support the social justice agenda that is trying to destroy American exceptionalism.  

 

BASIC PRINCIPLE OF EDUCATION

This is a basic principle of education: “Whatever gets tested, gets taught.”  This has been true throughout the history of schooling; and it is not necessarily a bad thing.  It is important for both teachers and students to be held accountable to a high standard because the tests spur everyone to strive to reach that high standard.

The catch is that those standards (the new TEKS) must be very clear and specific for each grade level/course level;  they are.  They must be based upon objective standards that can be tested mostly through right-or-wrong answers; the new STAAR/EOC’s are.

It is the subjectivity of the 1997 TEKS and TAKS that destroyed the fairness aspect because the value system of the evaluator became the deciding factor – not right-or-wrong answers.  The student’s TAKS scores could not be trusted to prove how much he had learned in his courses but rather indicated whether he had learned ways to get the evaluator to give him a good score.     

MEDIA AND EDUCATION ESTABLISHMENT JOINING FORCES

Some Republicans in the Texas Legislature (even a few conservatives) are being duped by the very agenda that they supposedly are against. The left-leaning media loves subjectivity in our public schools because that is the way for the social justice agenda to be promoted through students’ curriculum and testing materials – no right-or wrong, no good-or-evil, everything relative to the situation. 

Subjectivity tied to project-based learning have combined to infuse multiculturalism, political correctness, diversity, environmental extremism, redistribution of wealth, and the entire social justice agenda into the classroom.

Most news agencies instead of supporting unbiased news reporting have become indoctrination tools of the Left.  Therefore, it should not be a surprise that so many of our Texas newspapers have joined up with the national press to try to promote Obama’s Common Core Standards/Race to the Top.

HOW TO BRING DOWN TEXAS’ NEW PLAN

But in Texas, to get that agenda into our public schools, the media first has to prejudice the public through biased reporting against our new fact-based TEKS and largely objectively scored STAAR/EOC’s.  Unfortunately, many in the education establishment have joined forces with the media.

The new TEKS and STAAR/EOC’s require public schools to teach such important academic skills as:

  • Phonemic awareness/phonics (instead of whole language/balanced literacy/guided reading)
  • Correct grammar/usage/spelling (instead of invented spelling and writing the way you “feel”)
  • Expository and persuasive writing (instead of the subjective, touchy-feely personal essay)
  • Research skills (instead of emphasizing students’ feelings, emotions, and beliefs)
  • Addition/subtraction/multiplication/division (instead of reform math that emphasizes the process more than the right answer)
  • American exceptionalism/heroes/heroines/Founding Fathers/Constitution (instead of revisionist history)
  • The origin of man (instead of evolution being taught as fact instead of theory)  

For the Texas public schools to move into the teaching of the new curriculum requirements and new tests, educators will have to put the 1997 TEKS and TAKS behind them and develop new teaching units.  

Many in the education establishment are vendors who have made huge profits from the 1997 TEKS and TAKS. 

Others in the education establishment are simply afraid for parents to find out that “The Emperor Has No Clothes.” They are afraid that when the fact-based, right-or-wrong STAAR/EOC results are made public and the new accountability system goes into effect, students will not measure up to a more rigorous standard! 

However, isn’t this what parents need to know?  If a student has not learned to sound out words with ease so that he can read well, don’t parents need to know that?  If their child cannot write a complete sentence correctly, shouldn’t parents find this out before it is too late?  If a child does not know his math facts well enough to calculate the right answer, shouldn’t parents be made aware of that through an objective instrument such as the STAAR/EOC’s rather than waiting too long and allowing the student to become a math derelict?

 

HIDING FROM THE TRUTH IS WRONG

Hiding from the truth solves no problems.  Getting rid of the STAAR/EOC’s serves no purpose except to allow the education establishment to continue with the 1997 TEKS and TAKS.

It is the public accountability of the STAAR/EOC’s that will force teachers to put aside the subjective, mushy ways of the past and move their classrooms into solid, fact-based, academic curriculum from which will arise educated high-school graduates who will become the educated college students and/or workforce that Texas so badly needs.   

in a nutshellIN A NUTSHELL

We must require the Texas public schools to teach the new TEKS with fidelity.

We must leave the STAAR/EOC’s in place.

Even though Pearson (largest publishing company in the world) produced the STAAR/EOC’s, the former Commissioner of Education Robert Scott and the people who were close to him at the Texas Education Agency monitored the STAAR/EOC’s very carefully to make sure that they followed Texas law and are aligned with the new TEKS adopted by the elected members of the Texas State Board of Education.

GET EXCITED ABOUT NEW TEKS AND TESTS

  • Parents should be excited that their children are taking the STAAR/EOC’s which will finally give them and their children an objective way to measure their children’s academic progress. 

 

  • Teachers should be excited because they now have clear, academic, fact-based, objectively measured goals to meet at each grade level and in each course. They should feel secure in knowing that the STAAR/EOC’s which their students take will contain questions (largely objectively scored) that they have prepared their students to answer. Teachers will no longer have to worry about teaching their students “to play the TAKS game” as they have since 1997. 
  • Administrators should be excited because if they encourage their teaching staffs to follow the new TEKS, students’ scores on the STAAR/EOC’s will reflect success; and their school ratings will climb.   

 

 

We Texans must fight hard to keep our state out of the clutches of the federal government, and the STAAR/EOC’s are a way to make sure that Texas students receive the quality education that will make them the insightful future leaders of our country.  

SIDE NOTE

Now many of the 45 states and D. C. are having “buyers’ remorse” because the parents in those states are realizing their children will be dumbed down by Obama’s Common Core Standards.  The states’ taxpayers will be left to pay for the millions of dollars in technology required to administer the national assessments and to create a national database that will collect personally intrusive information sent to D. C.  

 

“Common Core Corrupts” – 1.23.13 – Part 1 —

 

“Rotten to the Core” – 1.25.13 – Part 2 —  

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON TEXAS’ PLAN FOR SUCCESS

 

1.10.13 – “To Gripers: Let New Plan for Texas Public Schools Continue” — 

 

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