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The BIG Elephants in the SBOE Meeting- SB6 and Chairman of Education Dan Patrick

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I have a question for the Chairman of the Education (R) Sen. Dan Patrick.  
Why was fixing SB6 “NOT” a priority for you in the last legislative session?
Will it be in the next?
Do you not understand the big picture? 
SB 6 allows textbook publishers to bypass the state adoption process. If we had oversight and knew that the Instructional Materials (IM) used in Texas schools covered our Texas TEKS there would not be a need for the High Stakes Testing and corruption of state testing by corporations like Pearson. 

BEFORE SB 6 (2011)

 Before SB 6 (2011), the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) adopted a list of conforming textbooks (i.e., *instructional materials – IM’s).  The conforming IM’s were required  to cover 100% of TEKS for the subject and grade level.  Nonconforming IM’s were required to cover at least 50% of the TEKS for the subject and grade level. 

School districts could adopt IM’s that covered at least 70% of the TEKS for the enrichment curriculum (i.e., CTE, fine arts, health education, languages other than English, P. E., and technology applications). 

All of the aforementioned IM’s allowed school districts to use state funding to pay for them.   

However, if a school district bought any IM’s outside of those adopted by the SBOE, the district had to pay for them out of its own local funds.

*Definition of “instructional materials” – “The term includes a book, supplementary materials, a combination of a book, workbook, and supplementary materials, computer software, magnetic media, DVD, CD-ROM, computer courseware, on-line services, or an electronic medium, or other means of conveying information to the student or otherwise contributing to the learning process through electronic means, including open-source instructional material. (Texas Education Code, Title 2. Public Education, Subtitle F. Curriculum, Programs, and Services, Chapter 31. Instructional Materials, Subchapter A. General Provisions, Sec. 31.002, Definitions, Instructional Material –

Now under SB 6, the IM’s only have to cover 50% of the TEKS (even though school districts by law are required to cover 100% of the TEKS). 

Ratliff PetitionPlease remember that one of the people who openly testified in support of SB 6 and who worked to push SB 6 through the Texas Legislature was Thomas Ratliff, ineligible SBOE member.  It is SB 6 that opened the door for CSCOPE and other instructional materials that are not aligned with the SBOE-approved-and-mandated TEKS to proliferate our public schools.

What the Texas Legislature controlled by Republicans has affectively done on the issue of Education is bring the Common Core philosophy of education into Texas with every bill they have passed. Yet, Sen. Dan Patrick wants us to vote for him for the most powerful position in Texas.  REALLY? I don’t think my kids can take much more. 

It is time for a little UP- TIME Texas Legislature! It is time to CLEAN IT UP!! 

We have a situation where the Texas SBOE (State Board of Education) is being bullied by Democrats.

‘MEXICAN AMERICAN STUDIES’ AND RADICAL REQUIRED READING

 

“The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) wrapped up their decision to maintain Mexican American studies on an elective status and not to elevate it into mandated coursework on April 11 despite a strong push from activists, who also worked overtime in creating a false perception that Texas was living in the Stone Age by not offering ethnic study classes at all.  Breitbart Texas reported on the situation; however, a lot of other headlines rallied behind this erroneous narrative.”

Sen. Dan Patrick has been  in lockstep with Democrats with every bill he has sponsored, pushed or passed. 

From SB6 to HB5 and even in creating the Illusion of No Common Core in lock step with Democrats with HB462! 
Case in point!
Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 1.33.42 PMDid you know…. The Hispanic Caucus with over 50 legislators, including 11 senators, signed a letter to the State Board of Education (SBOE) demanding that the SBOE vote to develop a Mexican American Studies Course. Thankfully they did not. But they have as reported by Donna Garner below given validity to Hyphenated-American Studies courses in our public school. Which as I have said before is a vote to divide not a vote to unite us as Texans and Americans. 
By Donna Garner 
Texas State Board of Education completed its final vote on the issue of whether or not to adopt at the state level hyphenated-American studies courses for our public schools. The Motion actually occurred when the SBOE voted on instructional materials to be included under Proclamation 2016. (The term “Proclamation 2016” means the newly produced textbooks – instructional materials – that will reach students’ classrooms in 2016.)
The SBOE voted 12 to 2 (Bradley and Miller) with 1 absent (Mercer) “To amend Proclamation 2016 to include a call for instructional materials for Special Topics in Social Studies including but not limited to [wording added today] Mexican-American Studies, African-American Studies, Native-American Studies, and Asian-American Studies.” 
 
In reality, the Special Topics in Social Studies has been a part of the Social Studies TEKS (Texas’ curriculum standards) since 2010, and school districts have been allowed to develop new Social Studies courses so long as they follow the TEKS.(Link to TEKS for Special Topics in Social Studies:  http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter113/ch113c.html#113.47
 
What the SBOE members who voted for the Motion hoped to do was to encourage publishers to produce instructional materials (IM’s – textbooks, ancillary materials, digitized materials, etc.) under the wording listed in the Motion (“Mexican-American Studies,” etc.) and to put those IM’s through the state-level, SBOE-public-adoption process.
During the meeting, SBOE Chair Barbara Cargill put out a plea for publishers to submit their IM’s under this new Motion. She said that during this last SBOE adoption process (K-12 Science, Math, and Technology Applications), 800 IM’s did not go through the public vetting process, allowing school districts to purchase them through the provisions in SB 6.  Some 416 products successfully completed the SBOE public vetting process. Cargill explained that she thought publishers would want to put their Proclamation 2016 products through the public vetting process so that errors could be found/corrected and documentation provided to show that at least 50% of the TEKS had been met.   
THE REAL ISSUE – SB 6
The “elephant/gorilla in the room” is actually SB 6 passed by the Texas Legislature in 2011.  Before SB 6, all Texas’ instructional materials had to be publicly vetted through the elected members of the SBOE and had to follow the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) as adopted by the SBOE. This meant that Texas, the largest purchaser of IM’s K-12 in the nation, had huge leverage with the publishers; and the publishers worked very hard to satisfy the demands as set forth by the SBOE and the TEKS. 
After SB 6 was passed in 2011, everything changed.  Now the dollars for IM’s (taken from the Permanent School Fund) are sent directly to the local school districts; and local school administrators can choose IM’s that have not gone through the SBOE vetting process.  Under SB 6 the IM’s themselves only have to meet 50% of the TEKS although districts are still supposed to cover 100% of the curriculum standards.
Case in point:  It is because of SB 6 and its “loose” regulations that CSCOPE managed to slip into 875 Texas school districts.  CSCOPE never passed through the public SBOE vetting process; and consequently, CSCOPE experienced little-if-any close scrutiny.
Under SB 6, Texas has now lost its leverage with the publishers; and they no longer produce IM’s that are totally based upon our TEKS.  Instead many publishers are producing IM’s aligned with Common Core (e.g., CSCOPE), and they are “tweaking” their materials to make them look as if they are aligned with the TEKS. Local school administrators are using SB 6 to do a “work around” by deliberately choosing IM’s that have not gone through the SBOE public vetting process, and the very same thing could happen with the hyphenated-American studies courses.
Meme.001I understand why some of the SBOE members wanted to create a state-level, public vetting process through which the Mexican-American Studies Courses, etc. would have to pass; but I fear that the well-meaning SBOE members are being very naïve. Because of SB 6 and the fear that publishers have of getting into a contentious, public debate at the SBOE level, I believe that they will not subject themselves to the public vetting process of the SBOE and will choose to go through the SB 6 “work around” route instead.  This means that the hyphenated-American courses could slip right into our Texas schools just as CSCOPE did without close scrutiny of the curriculum content. 
Today one of the SBOE members actually alluded to the fact that these ethnic courses would be just the first “baby steps” for other such courses to follow (e.g., women’s studies, lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender studies, etc.). 
Before SB 6, Texans could trust that such IM’s would have to go through the public vetting process at the SBOE level where objectionable content could be located such as the type of alarming content found in the Tucson United School District.  There it was found that the Mexican-American Studies Courses were promoting the overthrow of the U. S. government, resentment toward a race or class of people, and the establishment by Chicanos of a separate part of the U. S. called Aztlan.

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Protect Texas Children
Impeach Thomas Ratliff

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