The Devastating Lesson of SB6 – The Reality of School Choice Could be the Same
Let my start by saying School Choice must be defined as a mother, father or guardian has the right to give their child the best education possible. I will repeat this below. I hope you will take the time to read this full post and the call to action at the bottom of the page.
This past week I posted two thank you posts to Representative Dwayne Bohac and Senator Donna Campbell, thanking them for filing their companion bills to help fix the devastation caused from SB 6 which passed back in 2011.
As I asked during the campaign for Lt. Gov…..
“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.
*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,) and be used for online curriculum management systems such as (CSCOPE) and can be used for professional development of teachers to use the IM’s purchased by the school district.
Please 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, paid Microsoft lobbyist and 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 affectively did through SB6 was bring the Common Core aligned IMs flooding into Texas schools.
While Bohac and Campbell’s bills are not perfect- They are a start into fixing the devastation caused by the passage of SB6. Therefore, I applaud their efforts. I just hope this bill is actually fortified with a punishment not just a statement to prevent. Much like HB462 said it was illegal to mandate Common Core in Texas, there is no consequences for it being used.
That being said. I am strongly opposed to Representative Bohac and Senator Donna Campbell’s bill’s on School Choice.
When will our elected representatives learn from their mistakes of passing bad legislation? When will our elected officials actually do their due diligence in clearly understanding the reality on the ground before they pass laws that bind and take our freedom away.
Let my start by saying School Choice must be defined.
As a Mom, I do not get my right to choose a school for my child from the state or federal government. That right comes from God. There is no question that as a parent I have the right to choose what the best school is in my community for my child to attend.
The fact is, the vision to Nationalize education clearly laid out the pathway to the nationalization of education is through “School Choice.” That is, if you define “School Choice” as rights given to parents by the state and federal government.
I was sent this PDF on the support for “School Choice” in Texas by many grassroots conservative groups. While I know many of the people involved in these groups and have great respect for them, I must speak out in opposition of their support for “School Choice” as defined through legislation currently working it’s way through the Texas Legislature. I personally think many of these good people are “GREEN” and are being used to push through an agenda that will, as SB6 has been, DEVASTATING to Texas students their teachers and all of our schools, public, private and charter.
Did you know that going back into the 70s it turns out many of the major “Radical” Ed Reform advocates have seen school choice and the money following the child in the form of vouchers as the means to force the Radical Ed vision on everyone?
The books are quite explicit. Ted Sizer wrote a book in 2004, The New American High School, which laid out the vision with cites to books going back to the 70’s. I ask again what I asked last week- Why are Republicans in Texas implementing the Progressive plan for education?
CALL TO ACTION: CONTACT YOUR TEXAS STATE REPRESENTATIVE AND STATE SENATORS AND SAY…
AS MY REPRESENTATIVE I ASK YOU- PLEASE REPRESENT ME AND VOTE NO ON SB 276 (“Taxpayer Savings Grants”) and HB 1043 & SB 642 (“Tax Credit Scholarships”). Although they sound good and make us feel good the reality on the ground for Texas students is anything but good.
Questions that must be asked of our elected representatives: Hat tip to Donna Garner for help me understand the ramifications and realities on the ground.
- What compromises will be made to get this legislation passed?
- If low-income students are given the Tax Payer Savings Grants; will the the OCR (civil rights) laws under Obama and his Justice Department regarding anti-discrimination will go into effect?
- What court precedent protects the private school from the strings attached if any “public” dollars are accepted from outside the school for which tax deductions apply.
- SB 276, states, when the bill passes, the Comptroller and Appointed Commissioner of Ed will write the rules and administer the program. Why are we passing a bill where the rules are not clearly laid out so that elected official understand the reality on their constituents?
- Will federal mandates in legislation like WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) that have already passed and moved governing authority from the Dep. of Ed to Health and Human Services (HSS), which binds our K-12 public schools under career and college competency’s and assessments now be mandated on entities who take the money that follows the child?
Public schools are in crisis, not because they are failing but because they are being set up to fail.
Federal mandates have been paired with tests designed to fail 70% of children to pave the way for corporate America to “save” education. Investors have set their sights on the $700 million/year K-12 education industry, and they will stop at nothing. We need you. Kids need you.
Non-profit charters, being run by for-profit Charter Management Organizations (CMOs), have lobbyists ensuring legislation is passed to enable funneling of public funds into their pockets.
Government funds are being used forcibly to “expand” charter schools, at the state and federal levels. In the name of “innovation” charters are not held to the same standards as traditional public schools…the “accountability” standards that are killing public schools.
Traditional public schools have publicly elected school boards. Charter schools and CMOs have CEOs. Which will be responsive to the parent and voter?
Traditional public schools offer special education services to meet the needs of all children. Charter schools are legally required to, but use the excuse that they lack the specialized staff to offer adequate special ed services.
Traditional public schools have to accept all students. Charter schools say they do, but there are applications and lotteries, meaning only children with the most engaged parents enroll.
Re-segregation is occurring as a result of the practices above. Charter school operators target low income areas, where parents are least likely to fight back. Look to New Orleans, Philadelphia, Oakland and more to see how this has worked out for these students.