Will Attorney General Barry Smitherman Protect Texas Children in the Classroom?
Last session, the Texas Legislature passed HB 462 which bans Common Core in our Texas public schools. The U. S. Dept. of Ed. under Obama has created a work-around in which Race to the Top funds are sent directly to Texas public school districts. RTTT-D demands that schools implement the Common Core Standards Initiative. Last year Harmony and Idea Charters received the RTTT-D1 funds, and this year Houston ISD and Pasadena ISD are in the running for the RTTT-D2 funds. This puts these schools directly in opposition to Texas law under HB 462.
Barry Smitherman has issued a strong commitment to uphold Texas laws, including HB 462:
“As the chief law enforcement officer for the State of Texas, the Attorney General must ensure that the laws of Texas are obeyed and enforced.
When the Texas legislature passes a bill, in this case HB 462, which forbids Common Core Standards in Texas Schools, then the Attorney General should ensure that Common Core Standards are not utilized by Texas schools.
We cannot let the enticement of federal dollars cause our school districts to ignore state law. I have personally reviewed CSCOPE curricula which is extremely biased against fossil fuels; describing, for example, only the “harmful effects” of oil, natural gas, and coal. The State of Texas is the leading provider of fossil fuels in America, driving our economy forward, lowering energy costs, and eliminating our country’s dependence on fuel from countries that are hostile to America and her ideals.
I have stood strong for Texans by suing the Obama EPA 7 times to stop the implementation of poorly scienced, boneheaded environmental regulations. I will continue to fight for all Texans against an ever encroaching federal government, and as the next Attorney General, I will vigorously defend all of the laws of the state of Texas.” Barry Smitherman
In Contrast AG candidate Ken Paxton states….
At a Q&A session Texas Attorney General candidate Ken Paxton was asked about how he would approach Common Core Standards and CSCOPE.
“That’s more of a legislative function…The Attorney General probably won’t get too involved in that.”
Then Paxton referenced “lawsuits” as a reason he would avoid taking action on Common Core Standards/CSCOPE issues.
On May 6, 2013, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott came to the assistance of Texas parents by sending an official letter to TESCCC, the corporate owner of CSCOPE, in which Abbott reminded them of Section 26.006(a) in the Texas Education Code which gives parents the right to review all teaching materials, lessons, etc. that are utilized in their children’s classrooms. https://www.oag.state.tx.us/oagnews/release.php?id=4394
As stated in the Dallas Morning News on 7.17.13, “Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott is a fierce critic of CSCOPE and has threatened to subpoena its records.” —http://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/headlines/20130717-texas-criticized-cscope-curriculum-system-may-live-again.ece
COMMON CORE IS A TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL ISSUE – COMMON CORE BANNED BY TEXAS LEGISLATURE FROM TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOLS – HB 462
Following is a statement sent to Texas public school personnel on 11.7.13 by Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams in which he explains the ramifications of HB 462 recently passed by the Texas Legislature: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=25769808124
As you consider funding opportunities, especially those offered by the United States Department of Education, I want to remind you of the provisions in a new law prohibiting the adoption or use of the Common Core State Standards.
The 83rd Texas Legislature passed House Bill 462 (HB 462), which contains several important prohibitions relating to curriculum standards. The bill:
1. prohibits the State Board of Education (SBOE) from adopting Common Core State Standards;
2. prohibits school districts from using Common Core State Standards to meet the requirements to provide instruction in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS);
3. prohibits a school district or open enrollment charter school from being required to offer the Common Core; and
4. prohibits the Texas Education Agency from adopting or developing assessments based on Common Core State Standards.
You may read the full text of HB 462 at: http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/83R/billtext/pdf/HB00462F.pdf#navpanes=0.
Chapter 28 of the Texas Education Code requires the SBOE to develop the essential knowledge and skills that Texas schools are required to teach. Additionally, the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) are based entirely on those TEKS developed and adopted by the SBOE.
To the extent that you pursue funding that requires your district to use college and career readiness standards, please remember that the Texas Legislature required the adoption of college and career readiness standards in 2006, making Texas the first state to mandate the development and use of college readiness standards. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board adopted the Texas College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) in 2008, and the SBOE has since embedded the CCRS within the TEKS.
You may review the CCRS at: http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/collegereadiness/crs.pdf.