When Elected Employees of the People Sell Out- Our Children Suffer- Dangerous #TxEd Bills
As I wrote about last week, we have a huge problem in Texas Public Schools.
If we allow the School Choice bills to pass in Texas, it will not only be in Public schools, but it will most likely end up in our private schools as well. By the way….. Charter schools are public schools, they are just run by an appointed board where local parents and tax payers no longer have a voice via a locally elected school board. For the truth on school choice please listen to this short audio.
There is a political coup happening in Texas education and it is being led in large part by “Republicans,” who’ve sold out our children’s education and future. Texas children will merely be “Human Capital” for the state.
In Texas we said “No” to the Common Core National Standards. Our legislators actually wrote legislation making it illegal. BUT….. Ask your child or grandchild in Texas HOW and WHAT they are learning in school and I can guarantee you they are being taught using the teaching strategies grounded in “Outcome Based/ Competency Assessed Education.” Why is that?
One of the reasons is our elected officials are working in lock step with shifting away from knowledge based EOCs (End of Course) exams that public schools are required by law to follow, which are aligned to the Texas TEKS, (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills). Many worked very hard to make sure the (TEKS) were grounded in direct instruction parameters rather than the constructivist, equity based standards, but there are currently major forces such as TASA (Texas Association of Superintendents) implementing the Global push for “High Performance Standards” being piloted and approved by the Texas Legislature using our tax dollars.
Currently working it’s way through the Texas legislature, there is legislation being championed by Sen. Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) and Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Houston) and fast tracked under Republican control, that are clearly aligned with the agenda to shift from the “Mental” (Academics and Knowledge Based Tests) to “Behaviors” (Performance Standards and Competency for the workforce.) When Texas Republicans and Democrats overwhelmingly passed HB5 it completely undermined all the work done to lay out a clear strategy of implementation with the new STAAR EOCs (End of Course) knowledge based exams. HB5 set up the School To Work/Workforce Development model of education in full force in Texas. Basically Seliger and Huberty are the ones to put the nail in the coffin for the progressive shift in education from a “Knowledge” based Education of Opportunity- (Equal Opportunity) for individuals to an Education of “Equity”- (Equal Outcomes) based on Attitudes, Values, Beliefs and Behaviors for the good of the community, that is a progressive template to fundamentally change America.
Why are Texas Schools failing? It is because of the Legislation passed by Texas elected officials along with the Professional development and curriculum management products produced by the 20 Education Service Centers that service our districts and because of TASA’s Visioning Institute’s New Vision for Texas Public Education.
Sen. Kel Seliger works closely with TASA, TASB, TAMSA, Raise Your Hand Texas, and Teacher Parent PAC . All of these organizations have common interests because they want to destroy the present knowledge based curriculum standards (TEKS) adopted by the SBOE from 2008 -2012 for each grade level and for each course.
By destroying the End-of-Course tests (the “measuring stick”) that by law are aligned with the TEKS, then schools would be free to teach undeterred by the cognitive knowledge based requirements. Without a measuring stick based upon the measurable/objective data of the STAAR/EOC’s, schools would be rated on the soft data produced by subjective measurements and easily manipulated criteria.
Yes, if these legislative bills to destroy the STAAR/EOC’s were to get passed, there would be massive celebrations all across Texas; however, the next day after the celebrations and the reality hits parents, they would be furious.
WHY? Because, then the door is WIDE open for your child to be assessed daily using adaptive interpretive, diagnostic assessments, collecting data on not only your child’s attitudes, values, beliefs and behaviors, but your family and their teachers.
You think I’m crazy… Why was Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams meeting at a SXSW lunch with GlassLab?
GlassLab is an organization focused on helping students learn via digital games, and it has partnered with experts from commercial gaming and learning and assessment to further that goal. Counted among its partners are Electronic Arts, Zynga, ETS, Pearson, the Institute of Play, and the Entertainment Software Association. The company has also received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation.
One of the posited benefits of game-based learning is that it places kids in a less-high-stakes environment where they feel more comfortable with making a mistake or failing, encouraging them to persevere until they succeed. The format also provides immediate feedback and can potentially be used to measure more qualitative things like the ability to think critically. Among the games GlassLab had on display during the luncheon were SimCityEDU, which is aligned to 21st Century skills framework and the Next Generation Science Standards, puts students in the mayoral office of a fictional city where they must balance its employment needs, the happiness of its citizens, and its environmental impact. Another game, Argubot Academy EDU, is focused on English Language Arts and has middle schoolers roleplay as citizens in a futuristic city on Mars where arguments, which must be developed with sound claims and evidence, are settled using robots.
As Robin Eubanks, author of Credentialed to Destroy stated on her blog InvisibleSurfsCollar.com .
“The model of Next Generation Learning and Competency-based is to get rid of traditional tests altogether, opting out may be the proverbial jump from the frying skillet into the fire itself. Let’s quote an April 2013 Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) document called “The Pathway to Possibility” on the new type of “measures of learning” desired.
“Different approaches to learning and revised definitions of success require new metrics that accurately reflect both the process [of personal change] and the product [the changes in the student] of learning and attainment. Such a shift would mean enormous changes in measurement design by itself, but that level of change is compounded by new thinking about the role of assessment in learning, both in the United States and internationally. Rather than being used primarily (often solely) for summative purposes–e.g., an on-demand final exam–assessment is increasingly understood to be an essential, ongoing, highly integrated component of the learning process.”
Embedded then in classwork like gaming or the online software increasingly ubiquitous in classrooms, this change the student capability goes by the names “assessing for learning” and “formative assessment.” If parents are unaware that changing how the student perceives the world from the inside out is the new purpose of curricula and what happens in the classroom, they may miss that the Opt Out hype aids this always intended transition. I personally believe that the pain of constant testing has been deliberately heightened precisely so that frustrated parents will proclaim no more objective measuring of what is happening in the classroom. It’s too frustrating for the kids. Then the real extent of the psychological shifts and the lack of real factual knowledge will be easy to miss. At least until the transformation is irreversible.
It’s just a matter of social science theory and our children and society itself are the intended guinea pigs for real-world testing. Wish we could opt out of this. Maybe we can if enough people are aware in time.”
If the (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) ESEA/(No Child Left Behind)NCLB/(Student Success Act)HR5 federal legislation is passed that data will be mandated to go directly to the federal government.
If school choice is passed at a national and state level where the money follows the child. It is likely those private schools will also be mandated to provide what is described in Federal legislation as “Direct Student Services.”
ALL TEXAS CHILDREN are now HUMAN CAPITAL for the STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
SELIGER’S BAD EDUCATION BILLS
SB 149 (http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=84R&Bill=SB149) offers an escape mechanism for students not to learn and teachers not to teach the knowledge based curriculum standards (TEKS) adopted by the elected members of the Texas State Board of Education after numerous public hearings and thousands of grassroots citizens’ input.
SB 149 allows students to graduate without passing the five STAAR/End-of-Course tests(English I, English II, Biology, U.S. History, and Algebra I) even though students have years to do so with released test questions, intensive remediation, and many different administrations of the test.
SB 313 (http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=84R&Bill=SB313) requires the SBOE to review and modify all of the TEKS for every subject and every grade level by Sept. 2018. Of course, this is an impossible task for the SBOE to do it thoroughly and well in that short length of time along with the myriads of other responsibilities that the SBOE has. The SBOE members are unpaid volunteers who receive no remuneration for staffers nor offices.
Sen. Seliger’s SB 313 would disrupt the well-organized plan already put in motion by the Texas Education Agency and the SBOE to review/modify the TEKS in a systematic order (http://tea.texas.gov/index2.aspx?id=25769817636). As indicated on the TEA website, currently the TEKS for English / Language Arts / Reading (ELAR) are up for consideration with writing teams being selected to review and modify them if necessary. Seliger’s SB 313 is not needed and would be duplicative and confusing.
SB 451 authored by Sen. Seliger (http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=84R&Bill=SB451) and its House companion piece HB 774 (Mary Gonzalez – D —http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/Companions.aspx?LegSess=84R&Bill=SB451) would not require students to be STAAR tested on writing, spelling, and grammar in Grades 4 and 7. SB 451 also would not require students to take the STAAR Social Studies test in Grade 8. “What gets tested gets taught.” It is the STAAR/EOC’s that hold teachers and their students accountable for having taught/learned the Knowledge based TEKS.
For years, Texas students have done worse on the writing portion of the STAAR/EOC’s (and the TAKS tests) than on any other section. On the SAT in 2014, Texas students scored the lowest writing scores for the third consecutive year since the writing section was added to the SAT in 2006. (This is before the SAT has been aligned to the Common Core National Standards.)
It is hard for any thinking Texan to figure out why Sen. Seliger and Rep. Gonzalez would possibly want to pass legislation that would weaken our Texas students’ skills in writing/spelling/grammar.
HB 742 by Rep. Dan Huberty (R — http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=84R&Bill=HB742) is similar to SB 451/HB 774 but even goes a step further by REMOVING U.S HISTORY from the STAAR/End-of-Course list.
It is also hard for any thinking Texan to figure out why Sen. Seliger, Rep. Gonzalez, and Rep. Huberty would want to de-emphasize the STAAR Social Studies test in Grade 8 and the U. S. History STAAR/EOC in high school. Texas’ Social Studies TEKS are the most fact-based, patriotic curriculum standards in the entire United States. “What gets tested gets taught.” Why would Sen. Seliger/Gonzalez/Huberty possibly want to hurt our Texas students’ chances to become patriotic American citizens?
Good bill – Sen. Bob Hall SB 447 — http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=84R&Bill=SB447 — to make English the official language of Texas. With our state becoming more diversified as time goes on, the number of languages that proliferate Texas is increasing exponentially. To make sure that everyone in our state can communicate well with one another, we must make English the official language of Texas in government as well as in our public schools. Being able to communicate in the same language is an important unifying principle of a strong society.
From a Texas Mom who sees Texas children suffering and hating school daily because of the shift in education from knowledge based to attitudes, values, beliefs and behaviors and knows our tax dollars are being used to line the pockets of the education establishment and corporations like Pearson and Microsoft. I do not blame our local public schools teachers. I blame our elected officials on both sides of the political aisle and organizations like TASA, TASB, TAMSA, Raise Your Hand and the Texas Parent PAC who have set up our children to fail and are blaming it on their teachers. Frankly, I am livid and I am not going away!!
I hope you will join me in calling your Texas Senators and State Reps and say. STOP our children are not your Human Capital!! VOTE NO on Seliger and Huberty’s bills along with all of the school choice bills that will then completely take away my families choice for a solid education of opportunity for our children!!