TFN Defends Ratliff and Hardy

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Texas Freedom Network (TFN) embraces the Thomas Ratliff and Patricia Hardy stand to indoctrinate public school children with CSCOPE’s progressive, socialist ideology.

Below is an article in the TFN Insider online website. The article vilifies blogger Ginger Russell. You can see Ginger’s blog here—- www.RedHotConservative.com site.

I have copied and pasted this article and added comments for readers who want to know more about CSCOPE. A link to the article is provided and credit to the author.

I have added my comments in bold capital letters. I have done this for the conservative readers viewing this site.

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 Right-Wingers Target Two GOP Texas Ed Board Members,
Accuse Them of Promoting ‘Socialist Ideology’

Right-wing activists are angry with a couple of Republican members of the State Board of Education who have refused to hop on their crazy train.

I HAVE TO OFTEN READ THINGS MORE THAN ONCE  AND MY FIRST READ ON THIS MADE ME LAUGH.  I THOUGHT RATLIFF AND HARDY HAVE CRAZY TRAINS AND WERE REFUSING TO HOP ON THEM.

WHAT IS A CRAZY TRAIN?   

The source of their anger (right now, anyway) is CSCOPE, the curriculum management tool that we reported about last month. CSCOPE is a product of a collaboration of regional Education Service Centers created by the state in the 1960s.

Many Texas school districts use CSCOPE. Some teachers have found it very helpful, while others don’t like it for a variety of pedagogical reasons.

TEACHERS HAD TO SIGN A NON-DISCLOSURE DOCUMENT THAT THEY WOULDN’T SAY ANYTHING BAD ABOUT CSCOPE. WHY GAG TEACHERS IF CSCOPE IS A GOOD PRODUCT?

But during a state board committee hearing on November 15, right-wing political activists attacked the program for supposedly promoting Marxism and radical Islam while trying to undermine America and Christianity. One speaker even compared CSCOPE to Nazi Germany.

Some board members — not surprisingly, considering the board’s recent history as a “culture war” battleground — encouraged and even fed off of those outrageous attacks.

Other board members, however, defended the program or at least tried to separate legitimate concerns from the hysterical political claims.

For example, they insisted that CSCOPE developers do a better job making sure school districts understand that parents can review the curriculum materials used by their children.

YES, PARENTS MAY VIEW THE CSCOPE CURRICULUM MATERIALS, WHICH CONTAIN COPIES OF THE TEKS AND A SCHEDULE WHEN THE TEKS WILL BE PRESENTED IN CLASS. CSCOPE LESSONS AND STUDENT WORKSHEETS HAVE YET TO BE MADE AVAILABLE TO PARENTS. 

They (HARDy–RATLIFF DIDN’T STAY FOR THE MEETING) also probed CSCOPE’s processes for identifying errors and making any necessary corrections.

WHILE THERE IS A PROCESS, CSCOPE WAS PUBLISHED IN 2006 AND MANY ERRORS HAVE YET TO BE CORRECTED. 

That’s all good, of course, but enough for the political extremists who might have brought pitchforks and torches to the meeting if they had been allowed. Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen a variety of emails and online rants that continue the political attacks on CSCOPE.

I AM AN EDUCATOR. CSCOPE IS DEFINED BY TEA AS A SUPPLEMENTAL INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIAL. WHAT MAKES COMMENTS ABOUT CSCOPE POLITICAL? 

 Then last weekend an activist published a post on her blog — Red Hot Conservative — attacking two Republican board members in particular: Pat Hardy of Fort Worth and Thomas Ratliff of Mount Pleasant. Hardy, an educator, has said that the quality of CSCOPE has improved over the years and that many teachers and districts find it useful. Ratliff tried to dispel some of the myths being circulated by CSCOPE critics.

HAS THE TERM ACTIVIST BEEN GIVEN A NEW MEANING? ISN’T THE AUTHOR OF THIS TFN ARTICLE AN ACTIVIST? AREN’T PAT HARDY AND THOMAS RATLIFF ACTIVISTS? 

ISN’T RATLIFF ILLEGALLY ON THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION? AM I CORRECT THAT RATLIFF AND HARDY, IDENTIFYING THEMSELVES AS SBOE MEMBER, PUBLICIZED CSCOPE, THUS GIVING THIS PRODUCT AN UNFAIR MARKET ADVANTAGE IN TEXAS.

HARDY IS NOT ON THE SBOE INSTRUCTION COMMITTEE, BUT SHE CAME AND TOOK THE FLOOR FOR A VERY LENGTHY PROMOTION SPEECH ABOUT CSCOPE. MS. HARDY EVEN ACKNOWLEDGED THAT SHE HAD COMPARED THE CSCOPE ASSESSMENTS TO THE QUESTIONS ON THE STAAR. CSCOPE DIRECTORS ADMIT THAT THE CSCOPE ASSESSMENTS HAVE PROBLEMS–NOT MATCHING LESSONS AND BEING INCORRECT. MS. HARDY DID NOT POINT THIS OUT.

RATLIFF, ON SBOE STATIONARY, WROTE A LETTER ACCUSING THOSE TESTIFYING AGAINST CSCOPE OF BEING CONSPIRATORS AND HAVING AMNESIA. MUST ADMIT THAT THIS DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. AMNESIA? CONSPIRATORS? RATLIFF DID NOT ATTEND THE SBOE MEETING AND MUST HAVE LISTENED TO THE WRONG WEBCAST.

“Ginger,” Red Hot Conservative’s blogger, calls Hardy and Ratliff “RINOs,” or “Republicans In Name Only.” Excerpts from her post:

“The curriculum [CSCOPE] is pro Islamic, anti Christian with a globalist agenda from K-12.”

MAYBE GINGER BASES THIS ON THE 24 SLIDE POWER POINT THAT WAS PART OF THE CSCOPE INSTRUCTION MATERIAL UNTIL GINGER POINTED IT OUT TO THE STATE CSCOPE DIRECTOR. THE POWER POINT AND THE ISLAMIC EXPANSION LESSONS WAS REMOVED FROM THE CSCOPE WEBSITE. BUT SINCE CSCOPE LESSONS ARE NOT TRANSPARENT, AND BEING A “VIABLE” ONLINE MATERIAL, THE ISLAMIC LESSONS WITH VERSES FROM THE QUA’RAN CAN BE ADDED AT ANY TIME. 

“RINO RATLIFF supports Indoctrinating Tx School Children with socialist ideology.”

MAYBE GINGER BASES THIS ON THE FACT THAT CSCOPE IS PATTERNED AFTER THE SOCIALIST IDEOLOGY NOW CALLED PROGRESSIVE OR CONSTRUCTIVIST EDUCATION. 

“Patricia Hardy promotes the indoctrination of a progressive, socialist curriculum called Cscope in Texas Schools.”

Religious-righters have been critical of Hardy for years, especially after she refused to bow to their demands that science curriculum standards adopted in 2009 require students to study so-called “weaknesses” of evolution — creationist arguments that scientists long ago debunked.

AS A SCIENTISTS, I STRONGLY OBJECT TO THE TUNNEL VISION OF ANYONE THAT UNQUESTIONABLY ACCEPTS EVOLUTION AS FACT. SHOW ME THE PROOF. NO, I DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE BIG BANG THEORY. NO, I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT ANY SPECIE EVOLVED INTO ANOTHER.

EVOLUTIONISTS BELIEVE THAT SPECIES DID EVOLVE INTO OTHER SPECIES. I DON’T MIND THIS THEORY BEING PRESENTED AS SOMETHING THAT SOME SCIENTISTS BELIEVE .  BUT I DO OBJECT TO EVOLUTION BEING PRESENTED AS A CONFIRMED –EXPERIMENTALLY PROVEN FACT.   BY DOING THIS, SCIENTISTS ARE FORCED TO FIT THEIR EVIDENCE INTO THE “EVOLUTION MOLD.” JUST IMAGINE A SITUATION IN WHICH A SCIENTIST FOUND EVIDENCE THAT CONTRADICTED EVOLUTION. WHAT WOULD THE SCIENTISTS DO WITH THIS EVIDENCE?

They hate Ratliff even more because he defeated arch-creationist Don McLeroy’s re-election bid in the 2010 Republican Primary.

HATE? I DON’T HATE RATLIFF. I DON’T HATE THE CSCOPE DIRECTORS. I DISLIKE WHAT THEY ARE DOING BECAUSE THEY ARE HURTING THE CHILDREN IN OUR STATE. CHILDREN IN THE FIRST GRADE ARE NOT TAUGHT TO FORM LETTERS CORRECTLY. CSCOPE PUSHES THE TEACHERS VIA THE MICROMANAGING OF TEACHERS TO FOLLOW THE CSCOPE SCOPE AND SEQUENCE. THUS, THESE YOUNG CHILDREN DO NOT PROPERLY DEVELOP MOTOR SKILLS NECESSARY FOR MANY TASKS OTHER THAN FORMING LETTERS. 

Anyone who really knows Hardy and Ratliff, however, will laugh at absurd claims that they favor teaching “socialist ideology” or anything of the like in classrooms. Hardy traces her Republican roots back at least to Barry Goldwater’s conservative run for the presidency in 1964.

I DO NOT SUPPORT THE IDEA OF BEING A YELLOW DOG DEMOCRAT–A PERSON THAT WOULD VOTE FOR A YELLOW DOG INSTEAD OF A REPUBLICAN OR VISE VERSA. SENATOR STRAUSS IS A REPUBLICAN, YET HE IS VOTED IN BY DEMOCRATS. BEING A REPUBLICAN HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RATLIFF AND HARDY SUPPORTING CSCOPE. BUT BECAUSE THEY ARE SUPPORTING CSCOPE, WHICH PROMOTES A SOCIALIST IDEOLOGY, THEN IT IS FAIR TO SAY THEY PROMOTE A SOCIALIST TEACHING IDEOLOGY.

Ratliff comes from a prominent Republican family in East Texas and has spent the last two years criticizing what he sees as government overreach that is undermining local control over public schools.

IF RATLIFF PROMOTES LOCAL CONTROL OF SCHOOLS, WHY IS RATLIFF PROMOTING CSCOPE? CSCOPE IS A PROGRAM THAT WANTS  EVERY SCHOOL TO BE CLONES OF EACH OTHER.  CSCOPE CALLS THIS COMMON LANGUAGE, MEANING THAT TEACHERS ARE TEACHING THE SAME THING SO THAT A 5TH GRADE STUDENT IN AUSTIN CAN TRANSFER TO A SCHOOL IN HOUSTON AND ENTER ON THE SAME PAGE AS THE STUDENTS IN THIS NEW SCHOOL.

WHILE CSCOPE DIRECTORS ADVERTISE THIS, IN EACH LESSON TEACHERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO ADD THEIR OWN MATERIALS AND IDEAS. THERE IS A BIT OF CONTRADICTION ABOUT COMMON LANGUAGE. 

And the two share something else: a disdain for political hysteria. Unfortunately for them, when the crazy crawls out of the fever swamps in Texas, it often makes a beeline for the State Board of Education.

THIS IS TOO FUNNY TO COMMENT ABOUT. 

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