Following is an article written by Donna Garner. I have made comments in red.
“What Parents Should Want for Their Children”
by Donna Garner 8.30.14
Below is a suggested document for parents to take to their child’s teachers to make the parents’ expectations clear to the teachers:
Sadly teachers in most schools in Texas have little control over what they teach. In fact, the new 21st Century Technology Education philosophy is that all teachers do and say the same thing. The Texas Education Commissioner has allowed the 20 Education Education Service Centers (ESCs) to take over instruction in Texas schools. Since 2006, The ESCs have been selling Constructivist instructional materials to Texas Schools which require teachers to be monitored so that they follow a script. The ESCs are still in control of many Texas schools and the quality of the instructional material has resulted in low STAAR/EOC state scores.
1. I want my child’s papers to be evaluated for correct grammar, usage, spelling, and content.
2. I want my child to read from hardcover textbooks so that he can comprehend deeply rather than scanning as is so often the case with digitized materials.
The ESCs do not support hardcover textbooks because they sell online instructional materials. The Commissioner of Education has allowed the ESCs to control the instructions in Texas classes. Teachers have no control over what they teach. Teachers don’t even have control over when they can stand in the classroom. School districts use title money to pay for what is called a professional development program called “Lead Your School.” This program has specific “Power Zones” where teachers can stand within the classroom. Teachers may never sit at their desk. Teachers are mandated to praise students after completing other fundamental steps.
In Marlin ISD, hardcover textbooks have been stored away since 2011 when the ESC instruction material called CSCOPE was implemented. This was mandated by TEA conservator, Elizabeth Rowland, who worked at the ESCs when CSCOPE was developed. Teachers were not to use textbooks.
I want him to read the great literary, historical, and scientific pieces that have connected generations of Americans for centuries.
This is all part of the traditional education and teachers are not allowed to use this material because it is not part of the 21st Century Technology Education material. The ESCs control the instruction of many Texas Schools. The instructional material created and sold by the ESCs is the gutted CSCOPE curriculum–same material without the CSCOPE lessons and is called the TRS Curriculum. The Texas Commissioner, Michael Williams blamed the low education of Texas students on classroom instruction. He is so correct– the ESCs have been allowed to control classroom instruction and the results is that our students read and print poorly. PRINT–not write.
I want my child to memorize important foundational information and then to model correct examples until he learns the material with facility.
WOW! This is really an “oldie goldie.” Memorize information? Any teacher caught doing this just might be hanged at dawn. The New 21st Century Technology teaching methods do not have kids memorizing information. Kids are to use their smart phones.
Parents, you have absolutely no control over what is being taught in the Texas public schools. You have been mislead by your school administrators into thinking they know what is best for your child’s education. Most Texas public school administrators as well as Texas School board members just do what they are told to do by TASA and TASB. TASA is the Texas Association of School Administrators. A private organization that has since 2006 worked to overthrow and take over–transform Texas education by implementing Common Core teaching philosophy. TASB is the Texas Association of School Boards that is joined at the hip with TASA.
Then I want him to construct his own original statements and problems based upon that knowledge.
OOPS! This is tabu in the New 21st Century Discovery Learning which TEA promotes and is just more of the common core constructivist education methods being used in the Texas schools under the name of CSCOPE and now TRS.
Students work in groups. But students take the STAAR tests all by themselves. UUM! Do you think there is money being made because kids fail the STAAR tests and have to take retests? UMM!
I want to see evidence that my child is able to take memorized content and use it to think logically and analytically.
I do not believe that this type of rigorous knowledge-based, academic content can be learned from an app because this inanimate object does not require the individual accountability that my child needs to reach the higher-level thinking skills. Only a teacher working directly with my child can provide that level of accountability.
Higher-level thinking is talked about, but this is not the goal of the ESCs Constructivist program.
First, teachers have students with all ability levels, this is called inclusion and is suppose to benefit all students.
Second, teachers across the state are suppose to be teaching the same thing-script –so that all students across the state are learning the exact same thing. How does a teacher accomplish this when the ability of the students is so varied. Some do not read at grade level. Some suffer from ADDHD etc…… Some are bored because they do understand the concepts and have to wait for those who need more time. But the teacher must present the lesson and go on no matter if some don’t understand. According to ESCs directors, those lagging behind will catch up sooner or later. These directors have had a lot of training and can actually look you in the eye when they say such stupid stuff.
I strongly object to the many class hours that teachers and students spend on the technology itself (e.g., making sure it works right, fixing technological glitches, explaining “how to play the games,” etc.). Instead I want that time to be spent on direct, systematic instruction of traditional, time-honored, academic content.
Say the word traditional and are immediately considered some nut that doesn’t really understand what 21st Century Education is all about.
Each minute of class time is precious to the future of my child, and these precious minutes are too important to waste on dithering with technological glitches and fixes.
Donna has spelled out the type of education that our Texas children deserve and the type of education our tax money should be paying for. I have made comments in red hopefully to alert the public that our schools are using a constructivist Education Philosophy. The physical problems with computers and other technology is a small problem. The dependency on technology to store information instead of memorizing it is a big problem.