Voices Empower
 

The Straus and Ratliff Clan are at it again~

Date posted: June 21, 2013

Redistricting out Conservatives they see as a threat in the Primary!

The Texas Education Ratliff Clan - Thomas, Bill and Bennett Ratliff

The Texas Education Ratliff Clan

The word down in Austin is that there’s a move by Straus and the Ratliff clan  to redraw House District lines to carve one or more potential conservative challengers into Democrat districts.

 
The House conservatives are fighting this, as reported by the Austin American Statesman. 

American-Statesman Staff

“A House Republican screamed at a fellow member of his own party as they emerged Thursday afternoon from a longer-than-expected GOP caucus meeting.

The argument appeared to be about proposed changes to House districts. The chamber is debating redistricting bills Thursday.

“You’re a liar,” state Rep. Pat Fallon of Frisco yelled at his colleague, state Rep. Bennett Ratliff of Coppell.

Other House Republicans tried to hush Fallon, but his fury wouldn’t ebb.

“Touch your buddy Gene because you’re in the same party as him,” a red-faced Fallon loudly continued, as Ratliff walked away and placed a hand on state Rep. Gene Wu, D-Houston, as he passed by.

Asked a few moments later what the dust-up was all about, Fallon said simply, “Forgot.”

The hollering could have stemmed from a quiet dispute brewing during the redistricting debate. On Thursday afternoon, some tea party-affiliated members of the House had been upset about an amendment that removed one of Ratliff’s primary opponents from his district. The amendment, which passed earlier in the day without much trouble, put tea party favorite Matt Rinaldi into the safely Democratic district of state Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas.” 

The question is why are Straus and the Ratliff Clan desperate to protect Bennett Ratliff? Well they know that Texans are onto their tactics to enrich many of the educrats at  TASA (Texas Association of School Administrators), TASB (Texas Association of School Boards) and the ESCs (Education Service Centers) all using Texan’s tax dollars. They know Texans are preparing  to take them out of office so they use the tactics of folks like Obama, they use the system to remove their competition. 

So who is the Ratliff Clan you may ask….. Do these terms mean anything to you. Robin-hood, No Child Left Behind, CSCOPE~ Below was the latest before we found out about Straus’ stunt at the Capitol to protect Bennett  Ratliff by redistricting out his primary opponent Matt Rinaldi….. 

 

Looks like SBOE (State Board of Education) Vice Chairman Thomas Ratliff is a little testy. Interesting isn’t it? Please see the press release below that came out by Thomas Ratliff. Although, before I get to that please let me connect a few dots for you with the Education Bureaucracy in Texas. The Ratliffs are the Education Clan of Texas.

Listen to this audio and then keep reading….

 

Let me introduce you to Daddy Ratliff – Ex-Texas Senator Bill Ratliff

Raise Your Hand AdBill along with Ex-Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Moses founded the “Raise Your Hand” non-profit back in 2007 which raised eyebrows because they had a history in Education that many will not forget. Below are excerpts from Donna Garner’s 2007 article Raise Your Hand for a Hand Out”

NEW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP FORMED

Ratliff and Moses are continuing to swill from the education trough by forming a new organization called Raise Your Hand to pressure the people for more tax dollars for Texas’ public schools.  Have these two gentlemen any credibility on the subject?   

William Murchison said it best in the 2.16.07 Lone Star Report, “…keep a country mile away from Raise Your Hand, and from Bill Ratliff, and from Mike Moses, whose solution for dealing with a sinking boat is to pour some more water in the gunwales.”

Before we citizens put our trust in Raise Your Hand, let’s do a quick study of its leaders, Ratliff and Moses. 

RATLIFF: ROBIN HOOD, LOSS OF LOCAL CONTROL BY TEACHERS

Not only did Ratliff author the failed and oft-maligned Robin Hood Plan, but he also drafted SB 1 in 1995 which stripped local teachers of control over what they taught.  

RATLIFF: LOSS OF CONTROL BY LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS

As the author of SB 1, Ratliff is also responsible for taking the authority away from elected local school boards and placing that power into the hands of unelected superintendents. 

No longer do locally elected school board members have any real control over the all-important issues of personnel hiring and district curriculum decisions.

Local school board members’ duties have basically been reduced to (1) hiring and firing the superintendent, (2) buying and selling property, and (3) setting board policy (e.g., those items which involve board members themselves – elections, vacancies on the board, travel and reimbursement policies, etc.).  

RATLIFF:  LOSS OF CONTROL BY ELECTED SBOE

At the state level, Ratliff tried for years to replace the elected State Board of Education (SBOE) with an appointed one.  Appointed boards really do not care what voters want. They will do the will of whoever appoints them and of the lobbyists who orchestrate from a distance.    

 Ratliff’s SB 1 reduced the authority of the elected SBOE and enhanced the power of the unelected Texas Commissioner of Education who at the time was Ratliff’s joined-at-the-hip ally, Mike Moses. 

 Ratliff always pretended that the SBOE had lost control over textbook content; and until Attorney General Greg Abbott’s 2006 opinion, the SBOE was shut out of fulfilling its lawful responsibilities.  For eleven years the Board labored under Ratliff’s false interpretation; and during that time, numerous inferior textbooks were placed in front of our Texas students.   

Because of Ratliff’s influence on SB 1, elected SBOE members cannot even elect their own chairperson; the Governor appoints one.  

RATLIFF: TAXPAYER-ENRICHED OPPORTUNIST

Ratliff is a registered lobbyist (http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/dfs/loblists.htm) and has made large sums of money from a number of clients including the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB).  Having retired from the Texas Senate in 2003, he began representing TASB on May 10, 2004.  That year he received up to $99,999.99 from TASB, and again in 2005, and 2006.  

We taxpayers paid Ratliff’s rich lobbying fees because the membership dues that education entities pay to join TASB come from our taxpayers’ dollars. 

Because the TASB dues come from public funds, we taxpayers are actually paying TASB to lobby Legislators for more school funding so that our taxes will increase.  We are paying to lobby ourselves!

 

It just so happens that Bennett Ratliff the youngest brother in the Ratliff clan is a Freshman State Representative that the infamous Speaker of the House Joe Straus appointed to the Education Committee. Wow isn’t that a coincidence. Oh by the way the chair of the House Ed. Comm., Rep. Jimmy Don Aycock, has a daughter who is a lobbyist for Raise Your Hand as well.  No wonder Senator Dan Patrick believed there was no way that Rep. Steve Toth’s bill which gave the SBOE over-site of CSCOPE would ever pass in the house.  Thank goodness for Texas Mom Kara Sands who worked the bill  through and got it passed with tenacity and conviction.

THE RATLIFF CLAN AND THEIR COHORTS 

“Unfortunately, the Ratliff family (Bill, Thomas, Bennett, Shannon) are heavily vested in Raise Your Hand and in other political entities that have managed to influence our Texas Legislators, particularly during this 83rd Session.”

So let’s get to Thomas Ratliff and why he may be a little testy. You see Thomas Ratliff;Bill’s son -you know the one who was ruled by the Attorney General to be on the State Board of Education illegally because he is a paid lobbyist for Microsoft,  yea that one. He had a press release that came out today… see below.

He is not very happy that CSCOPE has been brought under the microscope and lessons have been pulled. Connect this dot – The RATLIFF’S  ARE TIED TO BILL GATES AND MICROSOFT

You know the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that is the lead funder for the transformation of Education in America called Common Core.  It has been reported that “a Gates Foundation-funded project  is storing an unprecedented amount of personal information about millions of students in a $100 million database that cannot guarantee complete security.”

Even in Texas a state that rejected Common Core just passed HB2103. This bill which was not vetoed by Gov. Perry’s. HB2103 sets up three P20 education research centers that in the name of education research have access to private data on both students and teachers.  Please listen to this short audio explaining it. https://soundcloud.com/alice-linahan/donna-garner-hb-2103

CSCOPE in Texas was the testing ground for the platform that is to be used in other states.

From Texas Mom Colleen Vera’s article here are Three examples from their business models:

  • CSCOPE uses public funds to run a private non-profit corporation to hide its operations from the public
  • CSCOPE started as a simple service to local school districts and spread to over 800 districts statewide with plans of expanding out of state.
  • The legality of CSCOPE’s actions are highly suspect, access local tax dollars to give to a private non-profit corporation instead of distributing the funds directly to the ISDs  as dictated by Texas Education Code 18.14.

So now the light is being shined and the Ratliff Clan is not happy. After listening to the recommendation of SBOE Thomas Ratliff for districts to download CSCOPE lessons and then listening to Sen. Dan Patrick’s response linked here. I would suggest we all call Attorney General Greg Abbott and let him know it is time for the Ratcliff clan to be held responsible. Let’s start with removing Thomas Ratliff from the SBOE. 

Contact the Attorney General Greg Abbott to the following addresses: greg.abbott@oag.state.tx.us or public.information@oag.state.tx.us 

Greg Abbott Campaign Office: 512.477.2002

You can tweet the AG at @GregAbbott_TX or post in the comments section on his FBAttorney General Greg Abbott

 

See Thomas Ratliff’s press release and article written in the Long View News Journal- “WHAT A BULLY” I encourage you to click on the article and then voice your opinion of Thomas Ratliff’s opinion piece which basically defends the authors of the CSCOPE lessons which have been proven to be Anti-American, Anti-Christian and caused a great many of students to fail the STAAR test. It was not the teachers it was the philosophy of education of people like Linda Darling Hammond  which gives the illusion of helping Texas School Children and Sarah Brown Wessling who parents have an issue with.

Thomas Ratliff

P.O. Box 232        State Board of Education

Mt. Pleasant, TX 75456        Vice-Chairman        www.thomasratliff.com

NO BULLYING POLICIES AND BURNING BOOKS   

Listen to what Bill Ayers says in the video below carefully….. 

“If we want change to come we could do well not to look to the seats of power we have no access to. The white house even the congress the pentagon these are not the sites that we have access to.  But lo and behold we have complete access to the community the school the neighborhood the street the classroom the workplace, the shop, the farm. That’s what we have direct access to…..”

________________________________________________ 

Join the Movement to Stop CSCOPE

Click the photo to sign the Petition and Join the movement to#StopCSCOPE

Women On The Wall Radio ~ WBTM

Join WomenOnTheWall.org WBTM radio show Monday morning from 10 am to 11 am. 

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

___________________________________________

Voices Empower

Check Out Voices Empower Articles .

  Please attribute to Alice Linahan  with Voices Empower

 

Knowledge is Power~ Click and share with your friends!

Looks like SBOE Vice Chairman Thomas Ratliff is a little Testy over CSCOPE

Date posted: June 14, 2013

Looks like SBOE (State Board of Education) Vice Chairman Thomas Ratliff is a little testy today. Interesting isn’t it? Please see the press release below that came out today by Ratliff. Although, before I get to that please let me connect a few dots for you with the Education Bureaucracy in Texas. The Ratliffs are the Education Clan of Texas.

Listen to this audio and then keep reading….

 

Let me introduce you to Daddy Ratliff – Ex-Texas Senator Bill Ratliff

Raise Your Hand AdBill along with Ex-Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Moses founded the “Raise Your Hand” non-profit back in 2007 which raised eyebrows because they had a history in Education that many will not forget. Below are excerpts from Donna Garner’s 2007 article Raise Your Hand for a Hand Out”

NEW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP FORMED

Ratliff and Moses are continuing to swill from the education trough by forming a new organization called Raise Your Hand to pressure the people for more tax dollars for Texas’ public schools.  Have these two gentlemen any credibility on the subject?   

William Murchison said it best in the 2.16.07 Lone Star Report, “…keep a country mile away from Raise Your Hand, and from Bill Ratliff, and from Mike Moses, whose solution for dealing with a sinking boat is to pour some more water in the gunwales.”

Before we citizens put our trust in Raise Your Hand, let’s do a quick study of its leaders, Ratliff and Moses. 

RATLIFF: ROBIN HOOD, LOSS OF LOCAL CONTROL BY TEACHERS

Not only did Ratliff author the failed and oft-maligned Robin Hood Plan, but he also drafted SB 1 in 1995 which stripped local teachers of control over what they taught.  

RATLIFF: LOSS OF CONTROL BY LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS

As the author of SB 1, Ratliff is also responsible for taking the authority away from elected local school boards and placing that power into the hands of unelected superintendents. 

No longer do locally elected school board members have any real control over the all-important issues of personnel hiring and district curriculum decisions.

Local school board members’ duties have basically been reduced to (1) hiring and firing the superintendent, (2) buying and selling property, and (3) setting board policy (e.g., those items which involve board members themselves – elections, vacancies on the board, travel and reimbursement policies, etc.).  

RATLIFF:  LOSS OF CONTROL BY ELECTED SBOE

At the state level, Ratliff tried for years to replace the elected State Board of Education (SBOE) with an appointed one.  Appointed boards really do not care what voters want. They will do the will of whoever appoints them and of the lobbyists who orchestrate from a distance.    

 Ratliff’s SB 1 reduced the authority of the elected SBOE and enhanced the power of the unelected Texas Commissioner of Education who at the time was Ratliff’s joined-at-the-hip ally, Mike Moses. 

 Ratliff always pretended that the SBOE had lost control over textbook content; and until Attorney General Greg Abbott’s 2006 opinion, the SBOE was shut out of fulfilling its lawful responsibilities.  For eleven years the Board labored under Ratliff’s false interpretation; and during that time, numerous inferior textbooks were placed in front of our Texas students.   

Because of Ratliff’s influence on SB 1, elected SBOE members cannot even elect their own chairperson; the Governor appoints one.  

RATLIFF: TAXPAYER-ENRICHED OPPORTUNIST

Ratliff is a registered lobbyist (http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/dfs/loblists.htm) and has made large sums of money from a number of clients including the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB).  Having retired from the Texas Senate in 2003, he began representing TASB on May 10, 2004.  That year he received up to $99,999.99 from TASB, and again in 2005, and 2006.  

We taxpayers paid Ratliff’s rich lobbying fees because the membership dues that education entities pay to join TASB come from our taxpayers’ dollars. 

Because the TASB dues come from public funds, we taxpayers are actually paying TASB to lobby Legislators for more school funding so that our taxes will increase.  We are paying to lobby ourselves!

It just so happens that Bennett Ratliff the youngest brother in the Ratliff clan is a Freshman State Representative that the infamous Speaker of the House Joe Straus appointed to the Education Committee. Wow isn’t that a coincidence. Oh by the way the chair of the House Ed. Comm., Rep. Jimmy Don Aycock, has a daughter who is a lobbyist for Raise Your Hand as well.  No wonder Senator Dan Patrick believed there was no way that Rep. Steve Toth’s bill which gave the SBOE over-site of CSCOPE would ever pass in the house.  Thank goodness for Texas Mom Kara Sands who worked the bill  through and got it passed with tenacity and conviction.

THE RATLIFF CLAN AND THEIR COHORTS 

“Unfortunately, the Ratliff family (Bill, Thomas, Bennett, Shannon) are heavily vested in Raise Your Hand and in other political entities that have managed to influence our Texas Legislators, particularly during this 83rd Session.”

So let’s get to Thomas Ratliff and why he may be a little testy. You see Thomas Ratliff; Bill’s son -you know the one who was ruled by the Attorney General to be on the State Board of Education illegally because he is a paid lobbyist for Microsoft,  yea that one. He had a press release that came out today… see below.

He is not very happy that CSCOPE has been brought under the microscope and lessons have been pulled. Connect this dot – The RATLIFF’S  ARE TIED TO BILL GATES AND MICROSOFT

You know the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that is the lead funder for the transformation of Education in America called Common Core.  It has been reported that “a Gates Foundation-funded project  is storing an unprecedented amount of personal information about millions of students in a $100 million database that cannot guarantee complete security.”

Even in Texas a state that rejected Common Core just passed HB2103. This bill is sitting on Gov. Perry’s desk for his signature. HB2103 sets up three P20 education research centers that in the name of education research have access to private data on both students and teachers.  Please listen to this short audio explaining it. https://soundcloud.com/alice-linahan/donna-garner-hb-2103

CSCOPE in Texas was the testing ground for the platform that is to be used in other states.

From Texas Mom Colleen Vera’s article here are Three examples from their business models:

  • CSCOPE uses public funds to run a private non-profit corporation to hide its operations from the public
  • CSCOPE started as a simple service to local school districts and spread to over 800 districts statewide with plans of expanding out of state.
  • The legality of CSCOPE’s actions are highly suspect, access local tax dollars to give to a private non-profit corporation instead of distributing the funds directly to the ISDs  as dictated by Texas Education Code 18.14.

So now the light is being shined and the Ratliff Clan is not happy. After listening to the recommendation of SBOE Thomas Ratliff for districts to download CSCOPE lessons and then listening to Sen. Dan Patrick’s response linked here. I would suggest we all call Attorney General Greg Abbott and let him know it is time for the Ratcliff clan to be held responsible. Let’s start with removing Thomas Ratliff from the SBOE. 

Contact the Attorney General Greg Abbott to the following addresses: greg.abbott@oag.state.tx.us or public.information@oag.state.tx.us 

Greg Abbott Campaign Office: 512.477.2002

You can tweet the AG at @GregAbbott_TX or post in the comments section on his FB Attorney General Greg Abbott

 

See Thomas Ratliff’s press release today – “WHAT A BULLY”

Thomas Ratliff

P.O. Box 232        State Board of Education        tel:  (903) 717-1190

Mt. Pleasant, TX 75456        Vice-Chairman        www.thomasratliff.com

 

NO BULLYING POLICIES AND BURNING BOOKS

By Thomas Ratliff, Vice Chairman, Texas State Board of Education

Our country was founded on a “no-bullying” policy when our founders stood up to an English King who tried to bully us. Our military has helped other countries stand up to bullies throughout history. Even today, every Texas public school has a “no bullying” policy for protection of their students.

It’s time for parents, educators, and school board members to stand up to another bully. Senator Dan Patrick. To be fair, there are some things he has done to help public education. However, the majority of his efforts are designed to bully all of us to agree with him on things like vouchers, taxpayer savings grants, charter schools, and finally CSCOPE. Senator Patrick, who has no schools who use CSCOPE in his district, first set out to “improve” but ultimately destroyed a tool used by 80% of the school districts in Texas. I have referred to his effort as a “21st century book burning.” Let me explain.

In 1933, the German Student Association proclaimed a nationwide “Action against the Un-German Spirit”, which was to climax in a literary purge or “cleansing” by fire. The students described the “action” as a response to a worldwide “smear campaign” against Germany and an affirmation of “traditional German values.” In a symbolic act, the students burned upwards of 25,000 volumes of “un-German” books, presaging an era of state censorship and control of culture. At the meeting places, students threw the pillaged and unwanted books into the bonfires with great joyous ceremony.

Let’s fast-forward 80 years. Earlier this year, Senator Patrick held Senate hearings intended to grill supporters and creators of CSCOPE about a variety of issues. Some of the issues were legitimate, others contrived, exaggerated or taken out of context. He later went on Fox News to talk about the hearings and there was a banner below the Senator’s face that read, “Texas Lawmakers hold hearings into allegedly anti-American curriculum.” Then, just last month he held a press conference celebrating the “end of the CSCOPE era.” You could even call it a joyous ceremony. At the press conference, Senator Patrick even said, “What the legislature has learned…is we have to monitor what is being taught in our classrooms before the fact very closely with the same scrutiny as we did with our textbooks in the past.”

Back to 1933. The burning of the books represented a culmination of the persecution of those authors whose verbal or written opinions were opposed to a particular ideology. Many artists, writers and scientists were banned from working and publication. Their works could no longer be found in libraries or in the curricula of schools or universities. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?

Who were some of the persecuted authors? Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Earnest Hemingway and Upton Sinclair. Not exactly radicals.

I think a quote by Upton Sinclair clearly describes what is happening here. His quote, “It’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his paycheck depends on his not understanding it.” If you substitute the word “paycheck” with “re-election” “conservative rating” or “number of Facebook friends,” you start to understand the motive behind Senator Patrick wanting to eliminate CSCOPE lessons.

Censorship is censorship, regardless of who’s calling the shots. This is a core belief of our country and we shouldn’t stand for it.

To be clear, of the 1,300 lessons in CSCOPE, there have only been a small handful of “controversial” examples talked about. Is CSCOPE perfect? No. I would doubt any curriculum of any school, public or private, is perfect. But, in an effort to get rid of the few lessons he didn’t like, Senator Patrick threatened the Regional Service Centers who created CSCOPE to pull it down or he would take his bullying to the next level.

But, apparently even after CSCOPE agreed to pull down the lessons, Senator Patrick still isn’t done. Now he is asking people to “report” school districts that want to continue to use CSCOPE lessons that they helped develop. He says he will “share” that information with the Attorney General for some sort of enforcement action I guess. This looks like the Social Studies police, or SS for short. What’s next? Will the state start barging in the door of a teacher’s room to destroy or confiscate her “controversial” lesson plans. Where does it stop?

Join me in standing up to this kind of bullying. Texas has more than 7,000 locally elected school board members who are responsible for overseeing their local INDEPENDENT school districts. We don’t need more state sanctioned censorship of our classrooms. We need the state to set reasonable standards and then get out of the way and let our local public schools do their job. We need tools like CSCOPE to be available as options for teachers to choose, not forced upon them or taken from them by a bully. 

_____________________________________________________________
Is Common Core in Texas? You Bet it is. 
 

 Stop Common Core Presser 

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

___________________________________________

Voices Empower

Check Out Voices Empower Articles .

  Please attribute to Alice Linahan  with Voices Empower

Stop CSCOPE

Ask the question…..Education- who is taking control over our children using our tax dollars? 

 

Knowledge is Power~ Click and share with your friends!

Early Speaker race chatter

Date posted: August 12, 2011

By Daniel Greer from Agenda Wise Reports

 

Election pairings in Texas are already being described as proxy battles pitting embattled Texas Speaker Joe Straus against insurgent conservative challengers. Conservatives again expect a likeminded conservative leader in 2013.

House District 115, formerly held by Republican Mike Jackson is being touted by the media as one of these races.

According to Mike Hailey of Capitol Inside, a capitol-centric subscription publication, the Speaker and his team are lining up behind Bennett Ratliff in HD 115. Ratliff has a pedigree as he is the son of former Lt. Govenor Bill Ratliff. Hailey speculates that the endorsements of key Straus cardinals including Charlie Geren, Jim Pitts and Burt Solomons mark Ratliff as the establishment’s pick.

Squaring off against Ratliff is Matt Rinaldi a Dallas area lawyer how has been involved in Republican politics for 20 years. Along with conservative activists and elected officials from his area Rinaldi’s press release announcing his candidacy included a word of endorsement from Representative Ken Paxton. In 2011 the conservative Paxton mounted an unsuccessful campaign to replace Straus as speaker in the first speaker race open to the public in over 35 years.

The fact that Ratliff is involved in school district politics is interesting given the tactics employed by Jim Pitts during the 2011 budgeting process. Pitts, in a play to make life more difficult for conservatives, drafted a budget that was intentionally brutal on education spending. His original budget was eventually overhauled and schools ended up with more funding then ever but the damage was done.

The Pitts maneuver was repeated by liberals and moderates all session long when seeking higher taxes and access to the states’ savings. During the upcoming election education spending is expected to be a major theme.

Over the next 7 months several of these leadership races will emerge and this primary will mark the first in which speaker politics will be on display. Candidates should be open with Texans about their allegiances and intentions so that accurate representation is achieved.

Link to Matt Rinaldi HD 115 press release

 

 

Daniel Greer

Daniel Greer is Executive Director of AgendaWise. Previously, Daniel worked for Empower Texans, a non-profit direct advocacy group focused on fiscal policy in Texas. He holds a B.A. in Government from the University of Texas at Austin. A native Texan, Daniel is a member of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, played baseball at St. Edwards University, and lives in Austin with his wife Karen and their two dogs. You can reach him at dgreer@agendawise.com

 

Knowledge is Power~ Click and share with your friends!