“Here be Dragons”… 21st Century Education Reform…” Hic Sunt Dracones”

By Alice Linahan 9.20.2019

Something just does not add up.

I want to start this article by stating that I am forever grateful to ALL those women and men who have been fighting the battle to protect American children from the evils of Education Reform known as Outcome/Mastery/Competency/Personalized/College and Career Readiness, Common Core-aligned government-regulated STANDARDS. Your work and research have been invaluable to me over the years. So, I say thank you!!

What has been very hard to come to grips with is when one of the very people I respected, who I thought was leading me down the right pathway, turned and went completely off track.

When I was growing up, my all-time favorite movie was Pete’s Dragon.

With a conflict emerging between those I respect in education reform, I began to use my favorite childhood movie to…
“Critically Think” – I began to ask myself…

Was I Pete? Was Elliot really real? Was Elliot actually a dangerous Dragon? Was Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath really a Dr. Terminus and Airick West, now known as A J Crabil, really the character, Hoagy?


I was confused, “It’s Not Easy”; when the conflict emerged between education researchers I respected. One even threatened me with a lawsuit if I didn’t get my head straight. They seemed to be saying the same thing on so much of what I was researching and seeing in my own children’s schools and I just could not seem to get it.

I didn’t like the person so much who was throwing that shot across the bow, warning me by threatening a lawsuit against me for sharing information. I was in shock, I thought she wanted people to know what she had discovered.

But, I just kept digging because as I said, something just did not add up. And lo and behold, the person I wanted least to be right, damn it, was right.
I COULD SEE! I COULD SEE! “There Be Dragons”!!

I was re-reading this blog post and it all became clear.  “Hic Sunt Dracones”- Hic Sunt Dracones is Latin for the warning phrase “Here be Dragons” “Here be Dragons” was a phrase frequently used in the 1700s and earlier by cartographers (map makers) on faraway, uncharted corners of the map. It was meant to warn people away from dangerous areas where sea monsters were believed to exist. It’s now used metaphorically to warn people away from unexplored areas or untried actions. There are no actual dragons, but it is still dangerous.

In Texas, “Here Be Dragons”-  we have Republicans and so-called conservatives who are actively promoting Obama’s Education Reform as we laid out here.  That’s crazy because I thought Obama, in the eyes of Conservative Republicans, was the ultimate bad guy or “Dragon”. 

A view from the classroom of today would astound onlookers that mental health and social, emotional, and behavioral interventions have replaced academics. With these wrap-around mental health services and interventions into personalities, values, beliefs, and dispositions at school, teachers are expected and forced to monitor and collect personal behavioral data on our children that has nothing to do with education. Data is collected, logged into state longitudinal data systems, shared, and ultimately, exposes our children to ‘surveillance capitalism.’ This personal data is freely given and used by outside contractors, foundations, and businesses to create software, curricula, activities, and programs that delve into changing the personal qualities of children and their families according to a government set of objectives.

Schools represent a “captive audience” and as such, prime targets for social policy change.

Remember when Obama gave his historic speech in Cairo, Egypt in June 2009? President Obama expressed his desire to “create a new online network, so a young person in Kansas can communicate instantly with a young person in Cairo.”

As I warned here: Obama’s Secretary of State Clinton and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan both emphasized the importance of learning other languages, gaining a global competency and traveling to other countries.  A number of organizations linking US schools with others around the world are coming together in a new “Connect All Schools” consortium to meet a very specific goal: to connect every school in the US with the world by 2016.

We warned here and then over and over again on the Women On the Wall Conference calls about: President Obama’s Executive Order (EO 12866) allowing personally identifiable information to be collected, dispersed for research, and given to third-party contractors by “unlocking” the Family Education Rights in Privacy Act, FERPAYour state is no exceptionThis is the collection of information on your “whole child.” If your child is 28 years or younger, they have a national ID and a federal dossier. This data system has been announced by the National Assessment of Educational Progress as a prototype for a new kind of Census – a psychometric dossier, on every child, adolescent, and adult including information on their child’s attitudes, values, opinions, and beliefs, “womb to the workplace.”

Interestingly, Jeb Bush seems to be right in lockstep with Obama’s College and Career Readiness Common Core-aligned GLOBAL DATA STANDARDS as we discussed here.   Jeb Bush and his “Learner in a Networked World” plan…

“We can create an education system where instead of time being the constant with learning the variable, the constant is mastery of content and the variable is time. If the opportunity for personalized learning were made available to all students—and we believe that it can be—we could realize the potential for improving academic performance for all students, substantially reducing the disparities that have long been a troubling aspect of the American educational system.

This is the education every student can and should receive.”

In Texas, we’ve got a big, big problem. We’ve got 30 something yr. old billionaires who’ve partnered with Bill and Melinda Gates to, as I see it, create this 21st Century GLOBAL Learning “system”. Which is all about INNOVATION.

It all sounds great, doesn’t it? But remember, the definition of INNOVATION is EXPERIMENTATION.

Meaning our kids are their lab rats.

Now we know the reality of what that actually means.

It is becoming clear- Robin Eubanks was right and “the process theory of the law” as laid out here:   is how they are locking this P-20W system in place.

…”When we read references to the ‘rule of law’ now, most times it actually (and invisibly) references an affirmative, normative use of the law to bind individuals to a vision selected for them, whether they recognize this reality or not.” 

I have been debating Donna Garner and am frankly dumbfounded by her support of Gov. Abbott’s School Safety- Mental Health legislation and her support of Commissioner of Education Mike Morath, I could not understand why she has taken such an about-face and is supporting Morath and NOW even Jeb Bush’s A-F accountability rating system.

It is crazy, WHY is she completely disregarding facts and connections? That is NOT like her. WHY does she not understand what is happening is completely unethical and a complete violation of privacy and UNCONSTITUTIONAL?

Is she actually complicit?

I could not understand HOW she and other so-called Conservative Republicans could set aside the documented evidence showing Commissioner Morath was completely unqualified to be head of the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and frankly, unethical in his restructuring of the TEA and the No-Bid public-private contracts Morath is signing off on. It was so obviously wrong and unethical.

Donna’s latest push to support what Morath is doing in saying it is “Progress”. Her willingness to push out talking points that those of us questioning Morath and Abbott are just “Misinformed and Confused about Education Terminology”. WHAT? 

The HB3 X 30 series of videos, seen below, clearly show the Governor and his appointed Commissioner of Education, Morath is fully implementing UNESCO’s GLOBAL Workforce model of Competency-Based/Outcome-based learning. AS TEXAS HAS BEEN DOING FOR THE LAST 20+ YEARS.

As I told Donna, if you refuse to take the time to understand what is going on outside of Texas, you will lack “situational awareness” and fall for the false hope of “Reading Academies” teaching phonics. We’ve done this before, as seen here, it was unconstitutional under Bush when Donna was appointed to be the lead writer on the TAD ELA document, and it is unconstitutional now! It was a HUGE disaster, not only because progressives took it over, but because it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. She will not see what is actually being implemented when TEXAS takes federal GRANT $$ and sets up Morath’s UNCONSTITUTIONAL Public/Private Partnerships such as Sen. Van Taylor and Rep. Tan Parker’s Math Innovation Zones.

Do Texans actually know that in 2014 the Texas Association of Workforce Boards created the vision for all P-12 in Texas?

This should give us a clue that, that is why we did not need to participate and actually say we had Common Core in Texas.

We have been implementing the plan all along.
It is pretty explicit in this document on page 670- Transforming US Workforce Development Policies for the 21st Century.

“The Workforce in Texas: Aligning education to meet the needs of Texas employers.”

As Robin Eubanks stated…

 “The Warcry to officials and politicians at every level of government to restructure the nature of the political and economic structure in the US, with an emphasis on Public-Private Partnerships. They touted the Texas Statement and especially the vision of economic and community development created by Project Quest in San Antonio, Texas. When the people in charge of a nation’s money supply proclaim Saul Alinsky’s community organizing tactics to be a national model, maybe we should look at documents, found by those who live outside of Texas. Chapter 4 in particular covers the “Connecting Education to Careers in the 21st Century,” which has become the sales pitch, as we have seen, for an education grounded in ignorance and manipulation.” 

Speaking of Community Organizers…

It is not by happenstance that the Education Commission of the States and Commissioner of Education Mike Morath’s Deputy of Governance (making $180k+ w/TEA), AJ Crabill, (formerly known as Airick West; uses the same language warned about in Andrew Pollack’s recently released book, ‘Why Meadow Died”. In this book, Andrew Pollack exposes the Education Reform policies that caused the murder of his daughter Meadow. 

Mike Morath and his former Deputy of Governance, AJ Crabill are connected through the Council of Great City Schools (CGS). CGS is a national nonprofit whose funding streams comes from school districts. Crabill and Michael Casserly, Executive Director of CGS have had a very cozy relationship for years – hardly arm’s length. In fact, back when Crabill was Airick West and a Kansas City Public School board member, he, Crabill failed to report thousands in campaign $ he received from Casserly – and was later sanctioned by the state Ethics Commission. In this CGS schools 2013-2014 annual report, you will see Morath (page 24) is
a board member.

As seen in this document, Airick West was an Executive Board Member of the Council of Great City Schools, which Parkland Superintendent Robert Runcie was a Board of Director for as well.
Interestingly, Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath was the Dallas ISD board representative of the Council of Great City Schools under Superintendent Mike Miles.

Airick West, now known as AJ Crabill was put in place to implement these policies in Texas.

We warned about this here:

I know Donna is strongly against the Texas Freedom Networks Sex Education programs aligned to Planned Parenthood.
So it is inconceivable to me how she can support AJ Crabill, formerly known as Airick West.

She stated in an e-mail to me… “So far as A. J. Crabill is concerned, I have followed his work at the TEA very carefully. He, along with the rest of the leaders at the TEA, are on my e-mail list; therefore, they have been receiving my articles for years. I have watched his presentations to school boards; I have watched him develop an excellent presentation in which school board members have been carefully taught to utilize the STAAR/EOC data in conjunction with other data to improve what is happening in students’ classrooms. He has helped administrators to focus on academic instruction in individual classrooms. In all my years of being involved closely with Texas education, I have never before seen administrators who have been trained and focused on ACADEMICS. Then the TEA developed the A – F Report Card accountability system which is built upon quantifiable data – that means hard data instead of soft, subjective, manipulative, feel-good data.

The challenge is, Texas’ so-called TYPE 1 Standards MUST align to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) College and Career Ready, Common Core-aligned global data STANDARDS. AND…

As was discovered in the ’90s, the Direct Instruction/ Mastery Learning in Donna Garner’s 1997 TAD document supported, can be used to implement the Skinnerian Type 2 method of instruction. To simply call it Type 1 and Type 2, in fact, continues the deception.

“Type 1 direct instruction can be used to instill what John Hattie called ‘visible learning’ that is designed to implement this Vygotskyian approach to get at the desired Constructs, Principles, and Concepts that guide a student’s thinking going forward.”

Which is why we must NOT push aside the fact that one of the most controversial hires by Commissioner of Ed Mike Morath was AJ Crabill, former Deputy of Governance of the TEA making $180k a year and whose highest attainment of education is a high school diploma:  

As noted here: “In 2008, West ran for, and won the at-large seat on the Kansas City, Mo., School Board. He says he is getting along with his fellow board members well, and he plans to set foot in every school in the district during his tenure.

One of the first things Kansas City, Mo., School Board Member Airick Leonard West wanted to discuss was his idea for adding transgender-inclusive language to the school district’s nondiscrimination policy. West wants to follow K.C. Councilwoman Beth Gottstein’s lead, and make discrimination based on gender identity/gender expression within the Kansas City, Mo., School District a thing of the past.The issue of broaching the gender identity/gender expression oversight was brought to West by one of his YLI delegates, Timothy Sallee. Another salient topic for West and his constituents is the return to community schools.” 

Something just does not add up.

Airick West, now known as AJ Crabill was put in place to implement these policies.

Our children and our families can not afford for Donna to continue to be deceived and to deceive.

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