Parents Speak Out

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Texas Legislatures Provide Millions of Dollars for Education.

POOF! The ESCs can seemingly magically make things disappear.
Education money seems to magically disappear before reaching classrooms. There are too many hands that education money sifts through before it gets to the classroom. The Texas Education Agency receives the lion’s share and distributes the money around. I inquired about the Rider 42 grant money of about $200 million dollars specifically designated for teacher professional development to translate the TEKS for STAAR. First of all, why does Texas have state standards called TEKS that have to be interpreted? Second, for Two Hundred Million dollars one would think that every teacher in Texas was wined and dined during the TEKS workshops. NOT SO!. While the 20 ESCs were paid with the grant money, they produced materials that were basically cut and pasted from the TEA website and did not meet the qualifications of the Rider 42 grant. Out of 20 separate Education Service Centers, not one of them remembered to advertise the Rider 42 TEKS workshops they received $200 million dollars  to write materials for and present workshops. OOPS! We forgot was their excuse. But they didn’t forget to promote the CSCOPE workshops they sold to Texas Public schools with specificities for the TEKS.

You can make a difference.

To make changes in Texas Education, parents, teachers and concerned citizens must speak out.

Following is a Comment from a parent about   “Rider 42” post published on this website.

The post  “Rider 42” makes me mad and sad all at the same time. Its makes me mad because our children are being taught this garbage (CSCOPE) in school. Our tax dollars are not be used affectingly and these grants TEA or LEAs get aren’t being used under the current house bill 5.

Most Texas schools are using CSCOPE as a resource. What is that? A resource? The materials is total garbage. In my opinion its a stepping tool for actually putting in the common core garbage later on.

I totally agree our children are screwed when it comes to learning technology. I am a child of the 80s and 90s. I am 31 years old (class of 2001 WHOOP!) with a child that is going into the 4th grade. My son knows more about computer programing than most of this teachers do. He goes around fixing their classrooms computers for them. That was something under Bush and Clinton Administration that technology got pushed in public schools. I am glad that it did.

Comments by Janice
When school districts talk about using 21st Century technology programs rarely does this include more than kids using ipads, finding things on Google, texting or having a facebook page. Technology is more about using online instructional materials, such as CSCOPE (TRS) and instructional material from TASA called Vision Learning.

Does your school teach students how to write computer programs? Does your school teach students how create animated programs or to even use programs like Excell.

Careers are the big push now. Does your school teach students anything about computers that would help them in a future career?

What is sad about rider 42 that is was for  free professional teacher programs! The money was wasted.

STAAR Testing

Comment by Janice

State testing can be useful, but little about the STAAR test benefits students. The STAAR test is more about collecting data than assessing students so they can be better educated.

No elementary student should spend four hours in a room with the walls covered with sheets or paper to take a test.

No elementary child should have to take a test for four hours with “guards” watching them to make sure they do not receive or give clues to answers. 

No one test should be used to determine whether a student is promoted. Even honor roll students failing the STAAR test can be retained if they do not attend accelerated instructions and pass the STAAR tests.

Parent comment continued……..

I think if you have a great teacher that teacher will do everything in his/her power to make sure that the children are taught and practice for STAAR Testing.

Comments by Janice VanCleave

The problem is that in some schools our great teachers have been encouraged to leave because they have resisted using the unedited CSCOPE(TRS) instructional materials shown to have errors.

A very big problem is that the STAAR Tests have errors.

Pearson, Inc., the testing company that contracts with the Texas Education Agency, has a long history of public embarrassment over testing errors, including scoring.  In addition to questions that contain no correct answer, there are also questions that are rendered invalid because they do not appropriately match the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skill.  In some cases, the question is developmentally inappropriate.  Pearson has also been cited for lifting test questions from their preparatory materials, thus creating an unfair advantage for students in areas that purchase materials from Pearson.  These improprieties render Pearson suspect in the large numbers of students across Texas that have failed STAAR testing.

 I urge parents to send this information to their district representatives and senators. Ask these state legislatures to open an investigation into STAAR testing. It is unlikely that the Texas Education Agency will regulate itself, and this warrants oversight, on behalf of the school children of Texas. Sincerely, Janice VanCleave

Parent comment continued……………..

Our son took the STAAR last year in the 3rd grade and passed it. The results gave us a snapshot of what specific areas he needed more instruction in. He is in special education which is frosting on the cake for us.

Janice thank you for enlightening  us parents over the last several years on the CSCOPE garbage. To parents who are fighting the school on the STAAR testing opt out movement—-I say its your right to opt out your child. BRING IT ON I say!.

Please if any parent is having a problem with their school district please direct them to Partners Resource Network.  I got certified to be a Parent Training Leader. I help train parents to advocate for their children.

Comment from Janice VanCleave

How sad it is that parents with disabilities  have had to fight for legislation so that their children can receive an education. TEA swoops in like a vulture on road kill if there is a complaint about a school district abusing laws dealing with special education. Since there is so much money available for special education, school districts have been evaluated because of the percent of students in the special education program.

Partners Resource Network is for parents with special needs.

ATTENTION to Parents with Children Not Identified with any Special Needs

Gifted and Talented students receive the least attention. In fact, these are the students expected to assist other students in their work. The GT students often become unpaid teacher aids.

Is your child receiving the best education available? Is your child allowed to draft on the work of others. Group collaboration is good but should not replace individual work. Teachers are being forced to have students work in collaborative groups. The STAAR test is not a collaborative effort.

It saddens me to say this, but parents cannot trust that their children are receiving quality education no matter what their class grades are. Parents must be attentive to what is being taught, who is teaching, who is deciding on what is being taught. The new 21st Century technology progressive education promotes the idea that students teach –this is called a turn-around-class. Students are supp9se to make their own discoveries instead of teachers giving facts. This is some of the CSCOPE educational philosophy. Who is teaching your child. Are kids teaching each other?

Use the Partners Resource Network to establish help for all parents. 

 

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