Voices Empower
 

Tactics of those who control what YOUR CHILD is LEARNING- Complete Deception and Deceit!

Date posted: June 30, 2013

Let me preface this with- it is not teachers doing the deception it is those who control teachers via fear and intimidation of losing jobs. 

From Janice VanCleave over at TXSCSOPEReview.com  

ESCs Tricked Senator Patrick

Everything about the CSCOPE Lessons has been hidden and guarded from the public -tax payers who are funding the ESC (Education Service Centers) (NGO). Non-government organization that gain access to the public’s tax dollars. 

Now the public has been led to believe that the CSCOPE lesson are gone–deleted–   NOT SO! 

It appears that there has been another slight of hand and the CSCOPE lessons are being deleted from one file and being added to another–on the same website. Was Senator Patrick deceived? 

Yes, the CSCOPE lessons will be deleted from the part of the CSCOPE user website managed by the Texas Education Service Centers (ESCs). In the diagram, this is the “CSCOPE Curriculum” tab. But school districts have until Aug. 31, 2013 to transfer the CSCOPE Lessons to the District Content tab.

Let me explain. School Districts pay a fee each year to the ESCs to have access to the CSCOPE Curriculum materials posted on what is called the CSCOPE User Website. The CSCOPE Curriculum material is the same for every registered (pays a fee) school district. But, each school has a code so that they have their own user website that has a section called the District Content. This material  can be accessed by educators and staff, but not by other school districts. School districts store their own schedules, information about lessons, etc..in the District Content section of their CSCOPE User Website. The My Stuff is where teachers store their own personal lessons and notes, etc…. This material belongs to the school district. But, since this material may be a revised version of the copyrighted CSCOPE Instruction Material, school districts only have access to this material as long as they continue to pay the yearly fee. A school district gives up its rights to this material if it chooses not to pay the yearly fee.

My hypothesis is that the ESC CSCOPE Consortium agreed to delete the CSCOPE lessons from their CSCOPE Curriculum files. But, they didn’t agree to delete what school districts have in their District Content files. I am not sure the ESCs have the right to do this. Thus, while the CSCOPE lessons will be deleted from the part of the CSCOPE User Website owned by the ESCs, any CSCOPE lessons saved in District Content files will continue to be available and used by school districts. 

I base my hypothesis on this evidence:

CSCOPE Download Instructions

1. On April 16, 2013, the CSCOPE User Website provided specific directions for saving the entire 2012-2013 CSCOPE content to their “My Stuff” aka My Favorites.

Has this been done in the past? No evidence for this.

2. On May 17, 2013, the ESC governing group presented a“Let’s Make a Deal” letter to Senator Patrick. The accepted deal requires the ESCs to delete all the CSCOPE lesson from the CSCOPE User Website (CSCOPE Content Section) as well as other files belonging to the ESCs by Aug. 31, 2013. 

After Senator Patrick’s announcement that the ERA of the CSCOPE Lessons is over, some schools got serious about saving the CSCOPE lessons to their District Content Section of the CSCOPE User Website.

Teachers have reported school administrators requesting that they save the CSCOPE lessons so they can be used during the 2013-2014 school year. One administrator informed the teaching staff that the CSCOPE lessons would be saved for them. Doesn’t sound like the ERA of the CSCOPE lessons is over after all.

 This is the announcement notifying teachers to save the CSCOPE Lessons. There were specific step-by-step instructions posted on the CSCOPE website. 

Is your school district whining about the CSCOPE lessons being taken away when they have secretly stored them for use in the fall?

Some school administrators are so distraught over the loss of the CSCOPE lessons that they have filed hardship reports with TEA asking to be exempt from state testing next year, 2012-2103.

Why is it some districts are saving the lessons and other are crying over the loss of the CSCOPE lessons? Even school districts claiming never to have used the lessons are finding the removal of the CSCOPE lessons devastating. What ever did these administrators do prior to CSCOPE?

Even with CSCOPE lessons some administrators are finding ways to cheat on the STAAR tests, but that is another story. Even so,  adds to the need for parents to focus on the administration who is in charge of the quality of education in our schools.

Without the CSCOPE lessons the ESC CSCOPE Consortium is collecting fees for their  CSCOPE Managing System  Guidelines. In Marlin, 25 of the 30 high school teachers fled the district. They had had enough of the CSCOPE micromanaging system.

Since part of the deal that Senator Patrick made with the ESC CSCOPE Consortium was to support delaying any outside review if the 20 ESCs. The bill passed and Governor Perry signed it. The Texas Education System got the short end of the stick! CSCOPE lessons will be in the schools next year and the ESCs are still governing themselves. TEA is still pouring millions of dollars of grant money into the CSCOPE coffers. Are your schools benefiting from this?  

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Follow the money! 

Listen to this audio and then keep reading….

 

The Ratliffs are the Education Clan of Texas.

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.

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What is Common Core and What it is not ~ States Across America are beginning to ask the questions….

Date posted: June 15, 2013

What is Common Core  and What it is not ~

Common Core is a complete transformation of Education in the United States led by the federal Department of Education and the corporate education business machine. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, financed the Common Core. Two private entities, the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, direct the initiative and actually own and copyrighted the Common Core.

Hat Tip to Utah Teacher Christel Swasey for the break down below of what Common Core is not….

It’s not “state-led. The authors of the copyrighted Common Core are private entities, not subject to open meetings, accountability to voters or other proof being state-led.  Conditions of the federal ESEA waiver and Race to the Top application show how federally-pushed the Common Core agenda was. Now Obama has announced a tax to pay for Common Core technology in a ConnectEd Initiative, and has announced that he will redesign U.S. high schools.

It’s not academically legitimate. There’s no evidence to back up claims that the standards increase college readiness as they are experimental.  The standards were written by D.C. groups who opined that classic literature should be curtailed to favor information texts. These groups felt that basic algorithms should be taught at delayed times. The unvetted ideas, unsupported by academic research, formed Common Core.

It’s not minimalistic.  Proponents call it a set of minimum standards. But a 15%  cap was placed over the copyrighted standards by the federal government, limiting Washington from adding much.  Worse, the Common Core tests, with teacher evaluations geared to them, act as the ultimate enforcement mechanism.

It’s not amendable.  The D.C.-based system defines and narrows learning yet has no amendment process.

It’s not protective of privacy. Along with asking us to adopt Common Core, the federal government pushed the State Longitudinal Database Systems (SLDS) which now exist in each state.  These give aggregate information to an Edfacts Data Exchange.  Although private information gathered by schools, found in an SLDS, is not required to be given to D.C.,  it is requested. Federal entities request that states share identifiable student information: see the Common Education Data Standards, the Data Quality Campaign, and the National Data Collection Model.

The Department of Education altered federal regulations in the Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA) reducing parental consent requirements and redefining “authorized representative,” “directory information” and “education agency” to obliterate privacy.

These pieces form a yet-unfinished puzzle that will destroy student privacy, but we are told the puzzle will not be put together.  Then why did Washington build an SLDS to federal specifications?

Parents should opt their children out of the SLDS tracking and the Common Core tests, and should find answers to important questions, such as:

  • Where is the legal authority for entities to set school standards and to monitor tests?
  • Where is a line-item, discussion of the cost of Common Core technologies, teacher trainings, and textbooks?
  • Why didn’t Common Core States follow the U.S. leader in education, Massachusetts, rather than adopting the mediocre Core?
  • How is Common Core state-led when boards who are not accountable to the public bypassed parents and 99% of all teachers and legislators, operating behind closed doors to develop and copyright the experiment?

In speaking on the dangers of the philosophy of education found in Common Core I have been intrigued by the passion behind those in Education who are pushing for Common Core. I believe that comes from a dynamic speaker and the voice behind Common Core.

Barack Obama, Sarah Brown Wessling, Arne DuncanHer name is Sarah Brown Wessling. 

Here is a little background on Wessling…….

Sarah Brown Wessling is a high school English teacher in Johnston, Iowa. She is the 2010 National Teacher of the Year and is the Teacher Laureate for Teaching Channel. She also hosts “Teaching Channel Presents” on public television stations around the country. 

Ms. Wessling is a wonderful speaker and makes ideas and common core come alive. She makes you feel so good about 21st Century Learning. The question is, is the Common Core philosophy a danger to your child’s education and well being. Wessling states…

“We need 21st century teachers, not just adults teaching in the 21st Century.”

“When we embrase this open model of learning the consumers of our curriculum will become the designers of their own learning experiences.”

Please take note of what she says in the video below at time stamp 4:28 about what you would see when you come into her classroom.

Texas Mom and classical educator Cathy Wells  takes a look at the Constructionist theory in education.

Child gpig“I wanted to elucidate once again for those who have missed it or are new, what the real problem with Common Core/CSCOPE is. This happens to also explain why, once CSCOPE lessons are gone, that we have to remain vigilant against programs such as icloud or anything else that is non-traditional or based on social constructivism. 

Here is a link to a good explanation of social/educational constructivism:
http://improve-education.org/id55.html

Essentially, social constructivism posits that the best way to learn something is to invent it or “discover” it yourself. I concede that this is certainly a very thorough way to learn something. I’ve had to do it myself in ranching many times. However, in terms of academics, it’s a really bad idea. You’re basically suggesting that kids spend their entire school day “discovering” information. The volume of information that you can cover in a day is sharply reduced. Which, according to Common Core standards is not only acceptable but the desired result. The idea is that this “deep” learning of concepts/principles will somehow transfer itself to other learning areas. 

The primary problem with this theory is that it does not work. Veteran teachers know this. Try factoring out an algebra problem without knowing your times tables by the dread ROTE that Common Core proponents despise. What typically frustrates advanced math teachers is the lack of fact memorization. 

Classically and traditionally, younger years were spent in rote memorization because that is the concrete learning phase of childhood in which young children excel at just tucking away bits of information in their heads. The alphabet song, tunes on the radio, languages, etc. are most easily picked up during this stage. When the child reached the middle years, they began putting those facts to greater use, applying logic and making synergistic connections. The high school years would be spent in mastery of subjects and learning to argue a point using all the facts and logic applied theretofore.

It appears that what modern education would like to do is completely skip the young “grammar” stage of learning, skip the memorization of any facts, and head straight to the logical thought period. If we lived in the Matrix and could have programs instantly loaded into our brains, that might work great (given our brains were born at the abstract level of maturity, which they are not). Since we live in the real world…sadly, this is not an effective methodology. 

Many modern educrats like to say that we traditionalists are against “thinking skills” or “critical thinking.” Absolutely false. We are for the proper ordering of such skills in the progression of educational life. We know that it actually CONFUSES children to flip-flop things around and DAMAGES their ability to have critical thinking. After all, what will they be thinking ABOUT if their heads are not full of facts but merely their own opinions and constructions?” 

 

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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. 

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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

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Check Out Voices Empower Articles .

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Stop CSCOPE

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

 

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Who is the Passion behind Common Core? Sarah Brown Wessling

Date posted: June 8, 2013

In traveling across the state speaking on the dangers of the philosophy of education found in Common Core I have been intrigued by the passion behind those in Education who are pushing for CSCOPE in Texas and Common Core in other states. I believe that comes from a dynamic speaker and the voice behind Common Core.

Barack Obama, Sarah Brown Wessling, Arne DuncanHer name is Sarah Brown Wessling. 

Here is a little background on Wessling…….

Sarah Brown Wessling is a high school English teacher in Johnston, Iowa. She is the 2010 National Teacher of the Year and is the Teacher Laureate for Teaching Channel. She also hosts “Teaching Channel Presents” on public television stations around the country. 

Ms. Wessling is a wonderful speaker and makes ideas and common core come alive. She makes you feel so good about 21st Century Learning. And she is a danger to your child’s education and well being. Wessling states… 

“We need 21st century teachers, not just adults teaching in the 21st Century.”  

“When we embrase this open model of learning the consumers of our curriculum will become the designers of their own learning experiences.” 

Please take note of what she says in the video below at time stamp 4:28 about what you would see when you come into her classroom. 

 

Now let’s break down what she is actually saying. 

Texas Mom and classical educator Cathy Wells said it best recently in a post she made on Facebook. Cathy takes a look at the Constructionist theory in education. 

Child gpig“I wanted to elucidate once again for those who have missed it or are new, what the real problem with Common Core/CSCOPE is. This happens to also explain why, once CSCOPE lessons are gone, that we have to remain vigilant against programs such as icloud or anything else that is non-traditional or based on social constructivism. 

Here is a link to a good explanation of social/educational constructivism:
http://improve-education.org/id55.html

Essentially, social constructivism posits that the best way to learn something is to invent it or “discover” it yourself. I concede that this is certainly a very thorough way to learn something. I’ve had to do it myself in ranching many times. However, in terms of academics, it’s a really bad idea. You’re basically suggesting that kids spend their entire school day “discovering” information. The volume of information that you can cover in a day is sharply reduced. Which, according to Common Core standards is not only acceptable but the desired result. The idea is that this “deep” learning of concepts/principles will somehow transfer itself to other learning areas. 

The primary problem with this theory is that it’s just bunk. It doesn’t work. Veteran teachers know this. It seems to me that the new teachers are the ones having the wool pulled over their eyes. Try factoring out an algebra problem without knowing your times tables by the dread ROTE that Common Core proponents despise. What typically frustrates advanced math teachers is the lack of fact memorization. 

Classically and traditionally, younger years were spent in rote memorization because that is the concrete learning phase of childhood in which young children excel at just tucking away bits of information in their heads. The alphabet song, tunes on the radio, languages, etc. are most easily picked up during this stage. When the child reached the middle years, they began putting those facts to greater use, applying logic and making synergistic connections. The high school years would be spent in mastery of subjects and learning to argue a point using all the facts and logic applied theretofore.

It appears that what modern education would like to do is completely skip the young “grammar” stage of learning, skip the memorization of any facts, and head straight to the logical thought period. If we lived in the Matrix and could have programs instantly loaded into our brains, that might work great (given our brains were born at the abstract level of maturity, which they are not). Since we live in the real world…sadly, this is not an effective methodology. 

Many modern educrats like to say that we traditionalists are against “thinking skills” or “critical thinking.” Absolutely false. We are for the proper ordering of such skills in the progression of educational life. We know that it actually CONFUSES children to flip-flop things around and DAMAGES their ability to have critical thinking. After all, what will they be thinking ABOUT if their heads are not full of facts but merely their own opinions and constructions?” 

I encourage you to also watch the video below and ask yourself….Is the Common Core/CSCOPE philosophy of education good for the mental health of your child? Listen and you decide. 

Knowledge is power ~ In order to protect your children you must understand what they are being fed in the classroom. It is your responsibility to decide if you want your child to be a victim of the 21st Century Learning experiment or if you believe in the Classical Traditional philosophy  of education. Then it is your responsibility to take action to protect your child. 

 

Knowledge is Power~ Click and share with your friends!

Will our Children know this? June 6th. D Day. 69 years ago today, Allied troops stormed the beaches on the Normandy

Date posted: June 6, 2013

Bachmann

Photo Courtesy of Michele Bachmann

 

As Author Bill Ames posted today…. 

June 6th. D Day. 69 years ago today, Allied troops stormed the beaches on the Normandy coast of France. But in spite of Texas social studies TEKS standards to the contrary, our public schools are not teaching about the bravery and patriotism of those men, and the sacrifices they endured to preserve our freedom.

Leftist educators will never give up their attempts to diminish our students’ respect for America. Although grassroots conservatives have dealt a blow to the offensive CSCOPE lesson plans in Texas, the same egregious, offensive material will reincarnate itself in another form. The left will never give up its agenda to portray America as an oppressive, exploitative, racist, and imperialistic country. 

We must stay aware of what our local school districts are doing, not just at the school board and superintendent level, but at the classroom, teacher, and student level as well. By exposing the offending content for all to see, perhaps we can take back our public schools, one district at a time. 

I had the honor of hearing Michele Bachmann tell a story of America’s greatness at the Texas Republican convention. From that moment on I have committed to fight daily to preserve the blessings of America!!

As Michele Bachmann tells this story we see that when great men with values from different theologies come together to fight for America, America wins!!

“That is the Greatness of our Nation and the Greatness of our people.” Michele Bachmann

Is Common Core in Texas? You Bet it is. 
The graphic below can be used for Yard signs in your local area to Stop Common Core in Texas!

 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!

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