“Texans: Speaking out Made Easy – Just Cut, Copy, Paste”
by Donna Garner
The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) is poised to vote this Friday (4.4.14) as to whether or not to adopt officially a Mexican-American Studies Course. If you care about the future of our state and nation, you will contact the 15 Texas State Board of Education members at the following e-mail address so that all 15 will hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yesterday a carefully orchestrated group of 44 people testified before the SBOE in favor of the course with only 1 person representing our side. NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD!
Because everyone is busy, I am making it easy for you to express yourselves to the SBOE. I have prepared paragraphs that give logical reasons why we do not want a Mexican-American Studies Course to be adopted by the SBOE.
If you concur with any of these paragraphs, please feel free to cut/copy/paste the ones that express your views, place them in your e-mail, indicate the name of your SBOE member in the subject line, place your name as the sender, and e-mail to email@example.com . Because the SBOE in Texas is made up of elected members, they carefully track the numbers of pros and cons, particularly on controversial issues. Your e-mails will make a difference!
REASONS AGAINST THE SBOE ADOPTING A MEXICAN-AMERICAN STUDIES COURSE
The Common Core End Game
CSCOPE review by:
Heather Liggett – New Revolution Now Co-Founder/Director
Issues found when reviewing 6th grade Social Studies units 7 thru 13.... Here is the link to see all lesson plans for each grade and subject http://www.texastribune.org/interactive/search-cscope-lesson-plans/
Below are excerpts from my evaluation forms turned in Sunday 10-27-13 to the review panel facilitator for the last half of lesson plans for 6th grade social studies (Units 7 thru 13)...
Unit 07 Lesson 01 Addendum A Page 9 states China is a market-oriented economy. China is a communist country ranking 136th overall or 29th out of 41 in the Asian Pacific region for free markets. China has made small improvements towards a free market but remains well below the global and regional average for freedom in the markets. A market-oriented economy implies letting the market decide price/wage/quantity and this cannot happen in a communist or managed economy.
Unit 07 Lesson 01 Addendum F Page 2 falsely states Japan is a democratic republic. Japan is a Constitutional Monarchy. We must accurately teach students the differing types of governments so they will better understand the freedoms grated the individual in our own constitution.
Unit 07 Lesson 02 the lesson synopsis falsely states China is an unlimited one-party system with a rapidly growing system of free enterprise. In 2013 China made a 0.07% shift to a free enterprise economy making China still mostly unfree.
Unit 07 Lesson 02 Addendum A page 3 -- Falsely implies Socialism is a mixed (controlled and free) economy. When the government has the power to seize what you produce to distribute as they deem… it is not free. It is ONLY controlled.
Unit 07 Lesson um grade and subject 02 Addendum B page 2 – The lesson is misleading by claiming China has moved from a closed economic system to a more market-oriented one. A 0.07% shift is not a noteworthy move when the economy is still mostly unfree.
Unit 07 Lesson 02 Addendum B page 2 – Falsely states financial institutions are privately owned when in fact China owns and controls all large financial institutions. The above info for Unit 07 Lesson 02 is from the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom.
Unit 08 Lesson 02 -- In the “Performance indicator” the students are asked to write a letter to the UN asking for funding for Angkor Wat as a World Heritage Site. Later in the lesson the students are to discuss if they think Angkor Wat should be deemed a WHS. Why are they being told to ask for funding prior to using discussion and critical analysis to form an individual view? The students are told to do the activity prior to coming to their own conclusion. The materials also do not mention the World Monuments Fund (under the UN) already takes a portion of Cambodia’s tourism revenue to fund the maintenance for Angkor Wat.
Unit 09 Lesson 01 Addendum B page 4 states; “ The region experienced colonialism by European Nations… “ Later in Unit 11 Colonialism is tied to Imperialism. To interchange colonialism and imperialism is not only false but a revision of World History.
Unit 09Lesson 01 Addendum B page 5 falsely states India is a democracy. India is in fact a Federal Republic.
0901 page 1 – The Performance indicator wants students to write a PSA explaining how government can “work to meet their needs”. India is a Federal Republic with a constitution and therefore the government should limit itself and allow them to meet their own needs in t.
0903B page 1 – The lesson states if you work for the government wages and prices will be great but if you work for a foreign private company wages will be low and workers will be overworked. This is not only false but a revision of history and economics.
0903B page 1 – Group 4 expects students to make a determination about a state religion without giving students the constitution of India to see if this scenario is even allowed under the constitution.
1003B States, “…powerless people in a country that is filled with economic and political turmoil likely perceive their country very differently than the wealthy or political leaders…” why is disagreement assumed while promoting economic disparity? The above assumes the wealthy and the political leaders are in agreement (possibly against those with limited means). The founding of our own nation proves this statement to be false. The founding fathers were wealthy men and under the above premise should have agreed with the crown, but here we are today because they vowed to give their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. The above statement tries to persuade students to a false way of thinking while revising the facts of history.
1101 page 2 – “Background Information” Falsely states the region was “dominated” by Europe and “European Imperialism”.
1101 page 3 – Continuation of the lesson falsely trying to equate Colonialism to Imperialism.
1101A page 4 -- The picture of a British Man standing over the continent of Africa leaves a false impression in the minds of students. These students are capable of hearing the presented facts from all sides and coming to their own view and the lesson should be for them to defend their view based on facts not revised history.
1102 page 1 – The lesson synopsis asks students to “understand the idea of human rights by reading excerpts from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”. In 2001 the UN voted the USA off the Human Rights council while allowing the China, Sudan, Sierra Leon and other nations with high violations of human rights abuse on the council. Having students use an organization that allows countries where genocide is performed on the council but not the USA shows a negative bias towards the USA. The UN has consistently been opposed to many aspects of the American Justice System, the Constitution and State’s Rights.
1202 -- The lesson falsely states there is a hole in the ozone layer over Australia. The Theory of a hole is simply a theory and has failed each attempt to be proven. When there are two varying theories on an issue students should be given the basis for each theory and allowed to develop their own individual conclusion and support their conclusion. There is contrary evidence to the lesson plan and both ideas need to be shared. Many scientific bodies say they have disproved the “Ozone Hole” theory and this is not mentioned in the lesson.
1301 -- This lesson is derived from all previous lessons. The prior lessons are flawed with false statements, bias and persuasion. Until all prior lessons are corrected or stopped this lesson cannot be successful. At this age students have the ability to hear all sides of an issue and through discussion, research and critical thinking they can formulate their own individual view. Their views will be their formulation and therefore they can successfully articulate and defend their view.
Addendums on China for 6th grade social studies....
Wikipedia is used as a reference material several times in the addendums below. Using Wikipedia as a source… no teacher at my ISD allows Wiki as a source and no teacher in this nation should.
Third paragraph says, “Puberty tends to start earlier as countries develop and children's diets improve; in China, the starting age has fallen from about 14.5 in the 1970s to 12 ½ years old. Meanwhile, the average marriage age has edged up, from 20 in the 1970s to 22 now, extending the time that many young people can be sexually active but unmarried. Li Shuzhuo, a demographer at the Institute for Population and Development Studies in Xian, says it is clear that there has been a big shift from post-marriage to pre-marriage abortions.”
Sixth paragraph, “The manager at one family-planning clinic told AP that she has wanted to tell young people how to use pills and condoms properly when she lectures at high schools and colleges, but administrators often force her to stick to dating etiquette and menstruation. "They don't want me to mention contraception," she says. "They are afraid I will corrupt the students." The question is why on earth are teachers in Texas trying to push this agenda on 11-12 year olds that China won’t allow for students in college!?!?
Under Young Chinese Women Getting an Abortion…”The manager, explains that the pills will kill the foetus and soften Yin's cervix. "It's like preparing the ground before you pull out a sapling," she says. "If you pour water on the ground first, it will loosen the soil and make it much easier." WHAT!?! Regardless of one’s view on abortion this is NOT appropriate material for 11-12 year olds.
http://www.elizabethinchina.com/2006/09/15/birth-control-in-china/ ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! These are 6th graders many have not even gone through puberty and you are going to push sex, abortion and birth control (the pill, IUD’s, condoms, RU486) on them along with a blog as culture!?!?
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1215519/ “children from illegal pregnancies may not be registered or treated equally until their parents pay the fines imposed as punishment. Especially in urban areas registration with the local authority is required for medical care, schooling and employment. One incentive from 1988 is the "one-child certificate" which is a contract between a couple and the local government. It gives parents who agree to have only one child certain economic rewards, such as a monthly stipend, free obstetric care, increased maternity leave, highest priority in education and health care for the child, preferential treatment when one is applying for housing, and a supplementary pension [15,30,35]. Disincentives for violators include losing housing and school benefits or having to pay higher fees and fines. Fines, currently called extra tax, may be substantial: according to one source, they amount to 10–20 % of a family's annual income; and according to another, they exceed the average annual income . Qian  reports fines of 2.5 times the village's per capita income. Payment period and how actively the fines are collected have varied by place .” Goes on to push abortions as a form of dealing with the one-child policy… UGH! “women may have been forced to have an abortion if an illegal pregnancy occurred” How is this considered appropriate material for 11-12 year olds? There are so many aspects making up the culture of a people and this lesson is focusing on abortion in China!?!?
The Issue of Education on a National Level
Education of our children is one of the most crucial battles conservatives must engage in. Since the incorporation of our schools in the 1970’s overhead has grown at a rate 3X that of student growth proving the inefficiency of the federal government over local and state government. This failed government bureaucracy has created stagnant test scores with double the expense, increased numbers of drop-outs, the revision of core curriculum, low teacher morale and a non-existent pool of good teachers. Teachers used to be the best and brightest students colleges had to offer but with the current failed union tactics the majority of new teachers are from the bottom third of all college graduates. There are many reasons for this outcome from the regulations placed on teachers to the ancient pay structure of the union, and the bottom line is our Texas students become the innocent victims of the overbearing bureaucracy. The Department of Education continues to be a burden on what was once an envied educational system. The larger the DOE grows the less accountability parents and teachers have. Texans must stand up to the over-reaching arm of the Federal Government and put the control back into the hands of parents, teachers and citizens when it involves education of Texas children. Solving this situation is not as difficult as many would think, it will require concerned Texans to engage in the education process of our youth and remain vigilant in the oversight of their education.
Concerned Texans must demand the State Board of Education change the current process for curriculum reviewers. Currently there are only 4 reviewers from outside the TEA (Texas Education Agency) structure. Parents and local citizens must be actively involved in reviewing the accuracy of education materials for Texas students. Look at the voting record of your SBOE (state board of education) member, ask questions and support your SBOE member. The 15 SBOE members are elected but UNPAID and need support from Texas citizens. Many of the current members are doing a great job and can do better with parental support. It is up to you to provide that support and voice to keep revisionism out of Texas curriculum.
Concerned Texans must demand a new pay structure for teachers based on performance not seniority. The union has fought against performance pay as it does not reward mediocrity. The time has come to demand only those able to perform gather the reward.
Concerned Texas must demand school choice via charter schools, vouchers, scholarships and tax-incentives. Florida has pioneered an impressive program that more than doubled the achievement rate of students in reading. Texas students have enjoyed the success of Charter Schools but we can do more. Allowing parents the freedom of choice through their tax dollars will create completion and raise standards.
Concerned Texas must participate in all curriculum hearings to demand unbiased, accurate and measurable standards are adopted. Texas Code calls for input from parents and tax-payers in curriculum adoption by the SBOE, this is your chance to make your voice heard and play an important role in the education of Texas youth.
The incorporation of the above initiatives will pave the way for the best and brightest graduates to return to the teaching profession and for our Texas students to reap the benefits of a solid educational foundation.
NRN Success on the State Level
In 2010 New Revolution Now members testified before the State Board of Education on the term American Exceptionalism and held the “America IS Exceptional” press conference. They were joined by many of the amazing groups and individuals successful in past curriculum battles and a couple new to process. Bill Ames a current reviewer for the state of Texas, Ken Mercer current SBOE member, Peggy Venable Texas Dir. Of Americans for Prosperity, Jonathan Saenz of Free Market Foundation, Connie Sandowski of CEO Austin Foundation, Jason Moore “Captain Watchdog” KWEL, Jim Cardel Texas Insider, Lela Pittenger, Carole Haynes and Dr. Donna Campbell.
The results of the public testimony and press conference have been tremendous! We have been successful at giving Texas children a more accurate and un-biased view of the history of our nation. The battle is not over and will resume in March and you can bet NRN members will stand ready to make sure our Texas students have the most accurate account of our great nation’s history!
New Revolution Now worked with Americans for Prosperity, Austin CEO Foundation, Texas Public Policy Foundation, Texas Insider, SBOE member Ken Mercer and Free Market Foundation during the January SBOE hearings and success was obtained with the following items being added or remaining in the state curriculum:
Dallas Morning News
Austin American Statesman
NRN Institute Initiatives
State's Rights Initiative
Citizens Impact Initiative
Our American Heritage
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