Parents- Pick Your Child’s Poison; The “SHIFT” in Education and Assessments

By Alice Linahan 

February 3, 2016

There is a fundamental “SHIFT” occurring in education today. Some will say it is 21st Century Learning. The truth is, there is nothing 21st Century about it. It is the same battles that were fought in the late ’60s and early ’70s and again in the late ’80s and early ’90s. It is what was coined back then- Outcome Based/School to Work education. What pushed it out in the past?


Why, because parents understood just how harmful this is to their child. 

The “SHIFT” is NOT liberal vs conservative. Many liberal parents and educators are horrified by what they are seeing in the classrooms. The fundamental shift in education we are talking about is changing from a transmission of knowledge, that parents still expect from our schools to an emphasis on altering the students world-views, their values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

When education is focused on how students perceive the world, that is known as critical theory or cultural Marxism. Two great exposes that clearly show the effects of this emphasis in history and literature can be found in these two books by university professors, Keith Windschuttle, The Killing of History and John Ellis’, Literature Lost: Social Agendas and the Corruption of the Humanities.

The College Board’s SAT and AP (Advanced Placement) assessments and conceptual frameworks can be described as “Transdisiplinary” in their purpose. Transdisiplinary is when the function of the subject matter, concept themes in the syllabus, and course frameworks are all used to guide how a student views the world. The technical term most commonly used is lenses. Effectively these lenses become the values, attitudes, and beliefs the students are to be taking away from the curriculum.

It is about equalizing and controlling the economy of America in the world. You are no longer that boy from Argyle, Texas who played baseball and was a Boy Scout. You are now a global citizen. Not an Individual and Not an AMERICAN.

Nationalism is destroyed.

As my friend Michael Bohr correctly states…

“Parents, who are the first and forever educators of their children, are the only people who hold the right to determine “the best interests of their child”.

Everyone one else has an agenda that puts their best interests over those of the child and they have done so by taking control of our government.

Their hope is that we continue to fight the false battles they lay down before us and forget that we, the parents, are the sole authority in determining the education and upbringing of our children.

Did you know that the US Department of Ed has a report: Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance: Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century which came out February 14, 2013.

There is money to be made on new education products when education shifts from Reading, Writing and Arithmetic to Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships or promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perseverance. The challenge is, these products are based around teaching strategies that are not about teaching knowledge, they are about controlling the minds of the next generation. 

In Texas, we said “No” to the Common Core National Standards. Our legislators actually wrote legislation making it appear to be illegal. BUT….. Ask your child or grandchild in Texas WHAT and HOW they are learning in school and I can guarantee you they are being taught using the teaching strategies grounded in “Outcome Based Education.” Why is that? Because our elected officials are approving funding for TASA’s New Vision of Texas Public Schools, which is first and foremost involved in the professional development of Superintendents and in the development of  Texas High-Performance Standards for College and Career Ready- 21st Century Learning funneling through the 20 Education Service Centers (ESCs).

I did a Public Information Request (PIR) regarding the Education Service Center (ESC 11) training given to math teachers in the summer of 2013 that was supposed to get them ready to teach the new 2012 Math TEKS – Texas’ curriculum standards. 

This one document shows clearly how teachers are being trained to teach. The Vision Article II – New Learning Standards –– — ESC 11 avoided the actual content of the Math TEKS that are just after the process standards. Where does this “Vision” document say one thing about teaching children how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide? Where does the “Vision” document discuss the fact that Texas K-5 students are not to use calculators but are supposed to learn to automaticity the basic math functions?

The reality of what the College and Career Ready/Workforce Development/TASA “VISIONING” philosophy of education does to our children is becoming more and more clear every day.

As Dr. Jim Milgram told us on the Women on the Wall Communication Team Conference Call the Math flooding into the Texas Math Schools has a history of failure and are actually very harmful to students.


@2:18 Dr. Milgram states the following: “About 18 years ago we were in the middle of ….we were about 6 years in or 5 years in on the old CA standards that had been written in 1992. They are referred to as the old CA standards of 1992 – The lead author of those standards was a guy by the name of Phil Daro – and those standards – the most important thing about those standards – they weren’t mathematics – they were all about motivations and what it is mathematicians do, but Phil Daro has no background with delivering math and hasn’t a clue about what mathematicians do and the effects of these things was that when we started in 1992 with those standards CA was in the middle of the pack amongst all the states which is reasonable because since by far it’s the largest state by population. 4 years in by 1996 CA had dropped to 49th in the country. The comment in CA was thank God for Mississippi. So here we were with these bad standards – I mean there’s some talk in the standards about things that were mathematics but mostly these standards were motivational and made no sense and the books attached to them were actually destructive. 

What you need to do – I really don’t know – you need to scream – that’s what you need to do – hopefully that will have an affect – I can’t guarantee that but believe me your instincts are right – If things look crazy in math they surely are crazy – and as I said the Common Core – the thing you want to compare the Common Core to is the 1992 CA standards – within 4 years of their adoption CA math instruction had completely collapsed.”

Parents with children in school today do you hear that message?

Now that we’ve talked about the “Math Wars” in the past. Let’s talk about the “Reading Wars” –  English and Language Arts ELA.  Below is a perfect example of the “SHIFT” in education from knowledge-based and age appropriate to “Equity” based-  Attitudes, Values, Beliefs, and Behaviors!! This is Superintendent Elia’s presentation of the new Common Core first grade reading curriculum.

1st Grade ELA

As my friend Lidia Larson pointed out….
“The first asks a question on a fact from the book. The second is asking you to form an opinion from the book, say rainforests are being harmed as an example, then put that into writing (action).  The process discloses if you may have changed any thoughts or beliefs based on the reading.”

Eileen Collins wrote: “The “Old” problem is age appropriate for first graders; The “New” problem is not. Most first graders would have difficulty with the use of the word evidence and really do not understand the difference between a “fact” and an “opinion”. In an attempt to be more academically rigorous, Common Core disregards Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. The result of this is that instead of “No Child Left Behind” we have “Most Children Left Behind”. 

The biggest difference between the battles against Out Come Based/ School To Work in the past and today is… TECHNOLOGY.

Gates Grant to TASADid you know that in 2000 the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave TASA (Texas Association of Superintendents) a grant for 6.3 Million dollars.

TASA and TASB (Texas Association of School Boards) have been tied to the vendors/lobbyists for many years; and, of course, they pay for their agenda by using local taxpayers’ dollars which cover  TASA/TASB dues, conventions, etc. 

Texas Leadership Center Date: June 2000  The purpose of the grant to TASA: to provide superintendents and principals from public and private schools access to quality leadership development focused on technology integration and whole systems change 

In the 2013 legislative session, HB 5 was passed and set up the School To Work/Workforce Development model of education in full force in Texas!

Your children are now Human Capital for the State. 

While attending the SXSW Ed U back in 2014 I had the opportunity to attend a panel discussion titled: Votes Matter More Than Money: Grassroots Advocacy

The panel description:As the US faces the challenges of an increasingly global market and fast-paced technology evolution, educating our children is paramount. However, in recent years, our nation and state have moved toward high-stakes testing in lieu of innovative, project-based education. To meet these demands, educators are pressured to focus on testing, not teaching. Nationwide, parents have expressed backlash in opposition to this approach and, in response, Texas recently passed into law a major education reform bill, House Bill 5. The new law was defined with considerable input from parents and educators. Grassroots involvement ensured that legislators knew voters strongly supported reducing state-mandated tests. This panel will discuss: 
• how voters can make a difference at the legislative level 
• a case study of civic advocacy in education (TAMSA) 
• why now is the appropriate time to strike a better balance between testing and engaging students with more course flexibility and relevance. – 

Now, if you asked any teachers or moms what HB5 was about they will say… It is about getting rid of teaching to the test and those big bad High-Stakes STAAR tests.

The reality is, that is not what HB5 was really ALL about. According to Houston ISD- “This year’s eighth-graders —the Class of 2018 —will be the first to experience a whole new path to graduation under a new law designed to personalize learning. Students will identify career fields that interest them, and will take courses that will prepare them for success in college and the job market.”

The Workforce Development (HB5) just like the Common Core National Standards, expands the target from K-12 (Kindergarten through 12th grade) to a P-20 (Pre-school through College, Trade or Graduate School) system in order to control the economy and control our children by funneling them into certain career pathways.

Parents are you really Okay with that? Your children are now “HUMAN CAPITAL” FOR THE STATE OF TEXAS! 

As a Texas Mom and Tax Payer, I have to ask myself-  WHAT is TASA, TASB and TAMSA’s AGENDA  in fundamentally transforming Texas Education? 

The real question parents need to start asking is…. What is going to replace those Big BAD STAAR EOC (End of Course) tests?

The College and Career Ready/Workforce Development Assessments shift from the“Mental” (Academics and Knowledge-Based Tests) to “Behaviors”(Performance Standards and Competency for the workforce).

What the Opt. Out movement, while well-intentioned and right in many ways about testing and Education Testing Services (ETS), publisher of the STAAR state EOC’s (End of Course) exams,) may very well be ushering in, the very thing (Data Collection) we are fighting. Let’s focus on what happens the day the Texas STAAR EOC’s are gone. TASA, TASB, the ESC’s and TAMSA all want assessments that no longer test knowledge but assess behavior, competency and worldview.

How will parents know what their children are being taught in class? Will they actually have a solid “Education of Opportunity” (Equal Opportunity) because they can read well, write well, do math and know history? Or will they have a progressive “Education of Equity” (Equal Outcomes) based on attitudes, values, beliefs and behaviors?  

As I told a mother today when she asked can we opt. our children out of the devices they use to track and collect data on our children, when I posted about HB5? You can, but the problem is, they are implementing the technology TEKS (Texas Essential  Knowledge and Skills) standards through Math, English and other classes. That is why I was so upset about the I-Pads and Chrome books being used. The new assessments that will replace the STAAR EOCs will be assessing our children daily through the curriculum. Yes the STAAR is bad, but what they will replace it with is Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and behavioral and psychological testing. Basically, Pick Your Childs Poison!  

Don’t believe me? They are actually mandating in by law federally through the re-authorization of ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) now known as ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act).

Watch the video below and ask yourself – WHO are the GREEN, YELLOW and RED people in Education today?

 Jenny White I think made a huge point at the#CANiSEE the Solution Conference about “WHO IS WRITING LEGISLATION?” 

Our goal is to figure out who the GREEN, YELLOW and RED people are in education and in capitols across our nation. 


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