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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. 

_____________________________________________________________
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.

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___________________________________________

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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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Texas Teachers and Parents Beware~ Ratliff “Raise Your Hand” Non-Profit is buying Ads

Date posted: April 8, 2013

I had an inquire about who the “Raise Your Hand” organization is that  put out a full page ad in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram. 

It is interesting what I discovered. Below is the ad incase you ran across it in your neck of the woods. It is interesting to note the family connection. Bill Ratliff is the father of Thomas Ratliff illegal SBOE elected official  and Bennett Ratliff the freshman State Representative who is now on the Education committee during this legislative session. Looks like the family business is doing well and intrenched in Texas Education and Politics. Also interesting to note it was in the Ratliff families district that CSCOPE was first implemented. 

Raise Your Hand Ad

Below is an article by Donna Garner from February 18th, 2007 who I thank God for everyday for helping us to connect the dots. 

“Raise Your Hand for a Hand Out”

by Donna Garner

February 18, 2007

Ex-Texas Senator Bill Ratliff and Ex-Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Moses must believe that Texas citizens are all brain dead. These two men evidently think we have forgotten their role in Texas’ public school problems.  

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.  

Due to SB 1, Texas teachers have lost control over their day-to-day instruction and instead must follow the poorly constructed Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards. 

The English / Language Arts / Reading TEKS are particularly egregious because they are not explicit, measurable, or specific for each grade level; and the curriculum requirements listed in the ELAR/TEKS are much too numerous for a teacher to cover thoroughly in a year’s time.  Therefore, teachers flit from one TEKS element to the next, never really having time to make sure students gain mastery.   

It is these poorly written standards (the opposite of back-to-the-basics curriculum requirements) upon which the much-despised TAKS tests are based.

 

RATLIFF: LOSS OF CONTROL BY LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS

As the author of SB 1, Ratliff is also responsible for taking the authority away from electedlocal 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 theunelected 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!

MOSES: HIT-AND-RUN ARTIST

As Texas Commissioner of Education, Mike Moses oversaw the creation of course standards (TEKS) which have proven dysfunctional, particularly in English / Language Arts / Reading (ELAR).  Now the Texas State Board of Education and the Texas Education Agency are trying to undo the damage by rewriting these TEKS. 

MOSES: THE TAKS MONSTER

The public tends to vent its wrath against the TAKS tests, but TAKS tests are based on the faulty TEKS.  If the foundation (TEKS) is weak, then the house (TAKS) built upon that foundation cannot stand.

Mike Moses was directly responsible for the entire TEKS process, thus making him responsible for the TAKS.  Students, parents, and educators dislike intensely the unfair accountability system built on these tests. 

Parents, students, and educators are obsessed with the TAKS –TAKS units, TAKS practice tests, TAKS preparation tools, TAKS information booklets, TAKS activities, TAKS projects, TAKS data, TAKS testing strategies, TAKS benchmarks, TAKS tutors, TAKS tests. 

This constant emphasis on the TAKS is destroying teachers’ creativity and students’ interest in school, thus contributing to the drop-out problem.  According to Jamie Story, education policy analyst at TPPF, “Every hour of every school day, 93 students drop out of Texas public schools.” 

It is disingenuous of Moses to expect the taxpayers to pour more money into the public schools to fix the mess that he helped to create. 

MOSES:  TAINTED ADMINISTRATION IN DALLAS ISD

The Dallas Morning News has found multiple dubious behavior patterns during Mike Moses’ watch as Dallas ISD superintendent.

Allegations have surfaced about out-of-control spending with school credit cards, lost dollars for health plans, abuse of federal e-rate funds, irregular technology vendor contracts, misspent federal bilingual education funds, costly deals with Kinko’s, apparent conflicts of interest involving Voyager Expanded Learning, contributions by computer vendors, questionable bond sales, multiple teacher grievances, eyebrow-raising private consultancies, lucrative Coca-Cola contracts, and special privileges for vendors participating in the Education Research and Development Institute (ERDI) conferences.  

MOSES: GOLDEN PARACHUTE


Meanwhile, Moses received the highest superintendent’s salary in the nation ($340,000 per year, excluding benefits) even though eleven school districts in the country were larger than Dallas ISD. 

When the DISD problems began to surface in 2004, Moses resigned and walked away with an additional $480,850.  Along with his ongoing and lucrative superintendent search business, he now receives a yearly TRS pension of $224,400 per year.  Note that Moses’ wealth comes from taxpayers’ dollars.

MY RECOMMENDATION 

Instead of expecting the taxpayers to pour more millions into our public schools, why not expect the schools to live within their means. 

Before the last legislative session, Texas was already spending over $10,400 per public school student (http://www.governor.state.tx.us/priorities/education/facts_figures), and those figures have increased substantially since then.  I agree with Peggy Venable of Americans for Prosperity who has said, “Texas schools do not have a funding problem. We have a spending problem.”  Case in point:  The education dollars heaped upon Ratliff and Moses by our state —

MY QUESTION TO RATLIFF AND MOSES

Sen. Ratliff and Dr. Moses: Before we taxpayers decide to support Raise Your Hand with you two altruists at the helm, how about disclosing your lobbying contracts (and benefits) with the companies who stand to profit if more taxpayers’ dollars are given to the public schools? 

 

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Join the Movement to Stop CSCOPE

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

Women On the Wall  takes on the issues that matter. Sharing information and updates on our weekly radio show on Monday mornings at 10 am CST. You will not want to miss this show. We will have up to date information on CSCOPE  and guests who are the experts on education and other issues that are effecting our children and grandchildren.

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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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CSCOPE ~ Responding the the “Stakeholders”

Date posted: February 21, 2013

It truly is amazing how blatant they are.

I was writing on WomenOnTheWall.org  about how I was  just as insulted as Colleen Vera was that we were not included with some of the heroes of the #StopCSCOPE movement Ginger Russell and her Mom Janice VanCleave  in a power point presentation made for the CSCOPE State Conference in San Antonio. You can read about it here and sign on with myself and so many other Moms and Dads demanding that your name be included in the CSCOPE power point slide #8 as a critic opposing CSCOPE and the TESCCC. You can also email or contact Mason Moses and demand you be put on slide #8.  

Mason Moses
Public Information Officer
Texas System of Education Service Centers

Mason.Moses@esc13.txed.net

Office: 512-919-5349
Fax: 512-919-5232

While looking through the power point presentation for this upcoming Summer Statewide CSCOPE Conference linked here>>.CSCOPE Intimidating Citizens. I came across slide #9 Why is Thomas Ratliff giving commentary on CSCOPE and defending it? 

 

Thomas Ratliff - Registered Lobbyist - SBOE Rep.

Thomas Ratliff – Registered Lobbyist – SBOE Rep.

Isn’t this interesting? Below is what Slide #9  says……

Controversy in the Media

Responding to Stakeholders…

    • Guidelines for providing CSCOPE access to stakeholders
    • Adhere to district policy and guidelines for how CSCOPE content should or may be shared/displayed.
    • Adhere to the TESCCC DULA and Terms of Use by not

The key word being “Stakeholders”. Isn’t that an interesting choice of a word- “Stakeholder”? My friends over at Agendawise.com wrote a piece that I believe hits the nail on the head. Weston Hicks asks the question……

Why would CSCOPE be allowed to stay? 

On what basis should CSCOPE receive political support from government officials to stay in Texas classrooms, and profit from Texas taxpayers?

CSCOPE has been exposed engaging in the worst educational malpractice possible.

With disregard for the rules in the State of Texas, CSCOPE brought curriculum into our children’s classrooms that:

  1. Calls the Boston Tea Party a terrorist act,
  2. Makes kids create a communist/socialist flag,
  3. Christianity is called a cult, and treated as illegitimate,
  4. Communism is placed at the top of the ladder of big ideas of the last 2 centuries, capitalism is at the bottom and socialism is in the middle,
  5. Free Enterprise is framed as a selfish system
  6. Islam is taught under the cover of “cultural understanding”

This is just a few things CSCOPE is guilty of. It is hard to imagine a higher level of educational malpractice or broken trust.

Action is currently being taken against CSCOPE, but so far “regulate them better” is the only message out there. Hopefully, the grassroots changes that soon.

What would it say to other bad actors trying to infiltrate our schools if mighty Texas can’t kick CSCOPE out of classrooms, and off of taxpayer bill?

The progress the grassroots has made against CSCOPE so far is great, but good things are never easy. The grassroots should stay involved to make sure the punishment fits the crime, and to make sure the punishment advertised is followed through on. Words guarantee very little these days.

Especially now, Texas needs to show that there is still a government somewhere that knows how to match a problem with the correct solution. 

So who are the Stakeholders? 

In another article by the team at Agendawise.com Ruling class funtime (judges, and educrats, and ParentPACs, oh my!) I believe the money quote as my friend Adam Cahnman says is….. “Straus has done his part to ward off reform to the public education system in Texas, a system that is broken in one sense and high-performance in another. It is broken for the purposes of education, but it is lean, mean, and high performance as a political special interest juggernaut.” 

CSCOPE Ratliff audio

 

 

 

 

That brings me back to the CSCOPE power point presentation and Thomas Ratliff who recorded a response to the critics of CSCOPE. You can listen to it here.

http://www.reg8.net/users/0012/docs/CSCOPE.mp3

Who is Thomas Ratliff? Why is he a Stakeholder to CSCOPE?

Ratliff is the son of former moderate Lt. Governor Bill Ratliff and brother of Freshman House of Representative Bennett Ratliff who it just so happens was named by moderate Speaker of the House Joe Straus to the  2013 Public Education Committee.

Oh by the way….

Thomas Ratliff was ruled to be an illegal member of the SBOE  – registered lobbyist with conflict of interest

Ratliff is a registered lobbyist for Microsoft who sells to clients who do business with the Texas State Board of Education and with the Texas Education Agency, and was ruled by Attorney General Greg Abbott  to be  ineligible to serve on the SBOE.

The AG went even further and stated that because Ratliff is ineligible even to be on the SBOE, then Ratliff’s argument in which he says he can recuse himself from certain votes involving his clients is actually mute and void because Ratliff should not be on the SBOE in the first place.  

Teachers come firstSo now the question becomes…. is it about educating Texas children or is it about a ruling class of special interest groups who are making millions of dollars off of our Tax dollars and taking money that should be going to hire good teachers who actually know how to educate children with solid Type 1 education and who know how to write a scope and sequence instead of depending on an ineffective curriculum like CSCOPE. 

Here is a little financial information you may be interested in. 

“CSCOPE: How Much Have Taxpayers Paid?”

Statement from Tom Fabry:

These two areas alone — $13 Million for CSCOPE and $30 Million for TASA/TASB — add up to more than $43 Million tax dollars – all going [each year] to unelected organizations outside the control of the SBOE. 

Many of these are the same Texas school districts that have filed a lawsuit to force the Texas Legislature to give them more of our tax dollars.

Maybe that is why so many were working hard to try and prevent Barbara Cargill from fulfilling her postion as the Chairman of the SBOE. 

2012BarbaraCargillBlessings are abundant though, Barbara Cargill stood strong  and with a huge ground swell of support from the Grassroots I am happy to report that today the Full Senate approved Chairman Barbara Cargill. 

I totally agree with Ms. Mac. Please email or call and send a message of congratulations and support to Chairman Barbara Cargill…. 

She is not paid.  She works long hours.

She is often away from home.

She is carrying a huge load on her shoulders.  She is dealing with unprecedented problems.

She is constantly being labeled or demonized because of her conservative views and her faith.

She needs to hear from us.   Please forward this request to your members and urge them to take a minute out of their day to make

Barbara Cargill feel that she has an army of support watching her back.

Her Contact information is:

Barbara Cargill (R)
The Woodlands, TX 
 (512) 463-9007 
sboesupport@tea.state.tx.us

Key Steps to take to protect our children and grandchildren!  

Conservatives must stand strong in the race for Speaker of the Texas House ACTION STEP: #1 ~ Join the Movement to#StopCSCOPE ~ Sign the Petition NOW – http://womenonthewall.org/cscope-petition

ACTION STEP: #2 Start helping REP. STEVE TOTH with his very important bill HB 760 — The CSCOPE Transparency Act To Ensure Consistent Oversight of Public School Curriculum  

*Note:  Janice VanCleave regularly updates her CSCOPE website:www.TxCscopeReview.com

Women On The Wall Radio ~ WBTM Guest Lisa Benson

Women On the Wall will be taking on this issue and sharing information and updates on our weekly radio show on Monday mornings at 10 am CST. You will not want to miss this show. We will have up to date information on CSCOPE  and guests who are the experts on education and other issues that are effecting our children and grandchildren.

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!

Texas Freedom Network Trying To Stir up Trouble

Date posted: July 20, 2011

By Donna Garner

DONNA GARNER - Educator for 33 years, appointed by President Reagan, Now Activist Writer

TFN is up to its usual tricks (link to 7.18.11 article in Houston Chronicle posted below), but the good news is that more and more Texans know who and what TFN really is. America-loving Texans are no longer listening to the junk that TFN puts out there through their liberal mouthpieces.

TFN, Bob Craig, and Thomas Ratliff have chosen to castigate new Texas State Board of Education Chair Barbara Cargill for having spoken at a friendly meeting in which she stated that she believes the SBOE needs more conservative Christians on it.

Never mind that the term “conservative Christians” (and far worse) is used as a derogatory term by the liberal leftists to describe anyone and everyone with whom their ruinous agenda does not agree.

The truth is that the voters of Texas do need to elect more conservative “Christians” to the SBOE because it is they who have led out in the efforts to produce the new-and-much-improved English, Science, and Social Studies standards (Math coming soon) for our public schools to follow. [Are we to assume that the Left wants voters to elect conservative “atheists”?]

We Texans want our children to be able to discuss and ask questions in their classes about the strengths and weaknesses of leading scientific theories, including evolution and also the contradictions between various evolutionary trees of life.

We Texans expect the publishers in their new Science instructional materials to follow the new Science TEKS that were carefully worded and passed by a majority of our elected SBOE members after extensive public hearings.

Nowhere in the new Science standards (TEKS) does it mention the words “intelligent design” or anything faintly religious.  It is TFN that loves to whip up “fears” that the SBOE members are miraculously going to wave their magic wands and thrust “intelligent design” onto each page in the new Science instructional materials!  Ridiculous!  The battle over the new Science TEKS was fought two years ago, and the standards were finalized then.  Nothing has changed.  Interestingly enough, the ACLU knows Texas’ Science TEKS are Constitutional and has never challenged them.

WHO AND WHAT TFN REALLY IS

Please take a look at the organizations that support Texas Freedom Network, and this should tell you everything you need to know about their true intent:

Planned Parenthood; the Human Rights Campaign (largest homosexual organization in the U. S.); the ACLU Texas; Alliance for Clean Texas; People for the American Way; Center for Public Policy Priorities; Equality Texas; NARAL Pro-Choice; Sierra Club; Freedom From Religion Foundation; Stand Down Texas; Texas Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates (TAPPA); Texas Impact; The Texas Observer; MECha (who wants to eliminate the border with Mexico entirely and honor Mexican revolutionary war hero Ernesto Zapata and Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara); the Center for Inquiry (CFI) who fought to make the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional.

Do we want Texas Freedom Network to influence Texas’ education standards, textbooks, and curriculum?

Let’s consider the answer to that question:

Dan Quinn is the Communications Director for Texas Freedom Network (TFN).  Dan “outed” himself in an article in the Austin American-Statesman (6.3.01 – The Voices of Gay Austin – 

Photo Courtesy of Huffington Post

Cecile Richards founded Texas Freedom Network in 1995.  She is now the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. When Cecile left for Washington, D. C., Samantha Smoot took Cecile’s place.

When Samantha left for Washington, D. C. in 2005, she went to work for the Human Rights Campaign, the largest homosexual organization in the country.

Another far, leftwing organization has recently been added to the TFN alliance: MEChA.

Now we have Texas Freedom Network, Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Campaign (largest homosexual organization in the country), and MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan) all speaking as one voice.  Who is MEChA?

On 3.25.10, The Daily Texan reported:  A UT-based group called Save Our History, an alliance between University Democrats, a Chicano civil rights group called MEChA and the Texas Freedom Network, a nonprofit that works to combat the radical right voice in education, staged a march and press conference on March 10. Garrett Mize, a member of the Texas Freedom Network and the coalition, said the group plans to continue its activism and hopes to expand its membership in preparation for the May meetings.

MEChA wants to eliminate the border with Mexico entirely. They honor Mexican revolutionary war hero Ernesto Zapata and Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara.

MEChA has held rallies to pressure the University of Texas not to celebrate Texas Independence Day on campus, and they advocate for  “La Reconquista” or the retaking of the Southwestern states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah) to form an independent nation called “Aztlan.” (http://97.74.65.51/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=16439)

What parent in his right mind would want the TFN alliance to have any influence whatsover over what impressionable and vulnerable public school students are taught?

Photo Courtsey of Texas Tribune

BOB CRAIG

I find it ironic that Bob Craig had the nerve to rail against Barbara Cargill as indicated in the 7.18.11 article in the Houston Chronicle.  Back in March 2009 when the Science TEKS were being finalized and Barbara and the other conservative SBOE members were working tirelessly to make them the best in the United States, it was Bob Craig and others who mucked up the clarity of the standards.

It was Bob Craig who insisted on a language insertion into conservative SBOE Member Cynthia Dunbar’s amendment.  It was Craig who insisted on the wording “all sides” of leading scientific theories instead of saying “supportive or non-supportive” or “scientific strengths and weaknesses.”

The 13 SBOE members were finally able to come together and pass the amendment.  However, as a lawyer, Bob Craig certainly should have known that saying “all sides” is ambiguous and sets up a frustrating situation for classroom teachers. When a person says a teacher is to present “all sides,” then this wording technically means every opinion/report ever written.  How could a teacher realistically teach “all sides” of any issue?

The social conservatives were forced to compromise in order to get the amendment passed, but we still need to hold Bob Craig accountable for creating havoc and implementing lack of clarity into the standards.

At the bottom of this article, I have posted a chart showing Bob Craig’s voting record.  It shows that he has clearly obstructed the hard work of the conservatives on the Board who have produced three of the finest standards documents in the entire United States.  It is the conservatives on the SBOE who have led the way for our Texas public school students to follow the path to authentic education reform.

THOMAS RATLIFF

Then there is Thomas Ratliff who always manages to get himself quoted in the left-leaning newspapers.  He also rails against Barbara Cargill and just as Bob Craig did, Ratliff touts his church membership as if that is what proves a person is a Christian.  [I may attend a professional football game, but that does not mean I am a professional football player.]

For Thomas Ratliff to use the term “divisiveness” really takes gall.  Just by his presence on the SBOE, he has created divisiveness.

Please read my 4.3.11 article entitled “Thomas Ratliff’s Brazen Gall” —

In this article I explain that Thomas Ratliff is currently under investigation by the Texas Attorney General’s office because Ratliff was elected to the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) even though the Texas Education Code says clearly that a person who is a registered lobbyist is not eligible to serve on the SBOE.

Thomas Ratliff has been a registered lobbyist with the Texas Ethics Commission since 1998.  One of his most lucrative clients is Microsoft earning him between $25,000 – $50,000 each year since 1998.  The SBOE is the caretaker of the Permanent School Fund (PSF), and Thomas Ratliff managed to get himself appointed to the PSF committee.  On May 30, 2010, Microsoft was one of the PSF’s top five stocks at $157.16 million. If this is not a direct conflict of interest, I do not know what is!

YE SHALL KNOW THEM BY THEIR FRUITS

Since it is Bob Craig and Thomas Ratliff who are self-righteously touting their Christianity in today’s Houston Chronicle article, I guess it is safe for me to make mention of the Biblical scripture, “You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. (New Living Translation)”  I will leave it to the reader to see if this applies to Bob Craig and Thomas Ratliff.   The truth is that no man can serve two masters, and we know in whose camp these two men really are.

CONGRATULATIONS TO BARBARA CARGILL

I congratulate Barbara Cargill for being the new chair of the SBOE; and I have full confidence that with her magnificent teaching background, particularly in math and science, she will lead the Board with wisdom and dexterity. To read more about Barbara’s background, please go to this link: http://www.barbaracargill.com/bio.htm

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To read the 7.18.11 article written by Gary Scharrer in the Houston Chronicle entitled “State Education Board Chair Already in Hot Seat,” please go to the following link:

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BOB CRAIG — OBSTRUCTIONIST VOTING RECORD

*Provided by unnamed person on 2.12.10: This individual tabulated what happened during a single hour of voting at the Texas State Board of Education meeting on the Science standards, January 2009.  He said he did not cherry-pick the votes but tabulated all of them during a one-hour period.  In EVERY single vote below (which were ten consecutive ones…no omissions), Craig voted against the 7 conservatives, and in EVERY case where their motion failed, Craig switching his vote would have made it pass.  Note that some motions DID PASS, but without Craig’s vote.

This is indicative of what Bob Craig has repeatedly done for years to obstruct the conservatives on the Board.

Item

Vote

Pass Fail

7 Conserv-atives

Rino-Bob Craig

Voted With Conservatives

Date

Video

Dunbar “supportive and not supportive”, “analyze, evaluate, & critique”  (Hardy refers to “Mrs. Dunbar’s Amendment”)

7-8-0

FAIL

FOR

AGAINST

none

Jan 22 2009

20090122142523.m2ts

Cargill:  ESS to make origin of universe more tentative rather than dogmatic

8-7-0

PASS

FOR

AGAINST

Pat Hardy

Jan 22 2009

20090122142523.m2ts

Cargill:  ESS replace dogmatic language with that of College Readiness Standards for consistency

7-7-1

FAIL

FOR

AGAINST

none

Jan 22 2009

20090122142523.m2ts

Cargill:  ESS insert “is thought to” rather than dogmatic statement of supernovas formation

7-7-1

FAIL

FOR

AGAINST

none

Jan 22 2009

20090122142523.m2ts

Cargill:  ESS “Understand” instead of “know” (solar model)

8-6-1

PASS

FOR

AGAINST

Pat Hardy

Jan 22 2009

20090122142523.m2ts

Cargill:  ESS “thought to” instead of “can”–less dogmatic

7-8-0

FAIL

FOR

AGAINST

none

Jan 22 2009

20090122142523.m2ts

Cargill:  ESS softened planet formation language — less dogmatic

8-7-0

PASS

FOR

AGAINST

Pat Hardy

Jan 22 2009

20090122142523.m2ts

Cargill:  ESS softened language regarding creation of earth’s atmosphere

7-7-1

FAIL

FOR

AGAINST

Hardy abstain

Jan 22 2009

20090122142523.m2ts

Cargill:  ESS Volcanic out gassing — soften dogmatic language

7-7-1

FAIL

FOR

AGAINST

Hardy abstain

Jan 22 2009

20090122142523.m2ts

Cargill:  ESS Earth’s cooling-> Tectonics…focus on evidence (rather than model/possible explanation)

8-6-1

PASS

FOR

AGAINST

Miller abstain

Jan 22 2009

20090122142523.m2ts

 

 

 

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