Part 3 of the Series: “Common Core Math War Rages in Texas”
By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D.
Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – Donald Trump beat all odds in his Presidential campaign against a crooked candidate who showed she would stop at nothing to win the nation’s highest office. The left wing bullies underestimated the deep dissatisfaction of millions of Americans who want their “shiny city on the hill” back and will “drain the swamp” to get it.
Those at the highest levels of office in Texas, who continue to ignore the will of the people regarding the math education problems in Texas, need to pay close attention to this grassroots movement which is just beginning.
In the November meeting of the State Board of Education (SBOE), public testimony was heard about the deep anger of Texans over the Common–Core Compliant Math Curriculum Standards that are inflicting permanent damage to the ability of children to develop math fluency. The SBOE has continued to ignore the pleas of the people. Pat Hardy prefers to take the cowardly way out by saying she does not want to “open a can of worms.” Translation: Just ignore the cries of parents who are worried sick about their children’s math proficiency.
In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series I explored what is so bad about the Texas math standards adopted in 2012 and how the adoption process went terribly awry. In this third post, we’ll discuss the options for solving the math standards crisis, and look at the role of the Texas Legislature and governor in this mess in Texas education.
Dr. James Milgram, the world-renowned research mathematician who served as the national expert reviewer for the Texas math standards review, has stated that students who are exposed to the corruptive math standards for three or more years will have difficulty in being remediated by traditional math functions.
Niki Hayes (right,) who sat on the math review panel for Grades 3-5 and publicly testified at the September SBOE meeting about the shenanigans of the TEA, agrees with Dr. James Milgram that the Math TEKS contain process standards. However, she offers that there may be a short term solution.
Under the Texas Education Code, the SBOE is forbidden to insert methodology into the TEKS; the SBOE is tasked with adopting TEKS that tell teachers WHAT to teach but not HOW to do it. As a short term solution, Niki Hayes believes that the Common Core math processes – methodology – can be stripped out of the standards.
Fault for this shipwreck of a Math TEKS document lies not only with the TEA and SBOE, but also with the Texas Legislature and Governor Rick Perry.
In 2008 the Texas College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) were created by an unelected committee, consisting mostly of college professors and/or college administrators. Therefore, CCRS did not go through the public adoption process. Only the TEKS have gone through that SBOE process.
The 2008 CCRS were the opinions of the committee members but were never scrutinized in a public hearing process by the public, and no vote was taken by the publicly elected SBOE. Therefore, the CCRS are not an official set of Texas standards.
In June 2013, House Bill 462 was passed and signed into law by Governor Perry to limit the use of Common Core Standards in Texas public education. Unfortunately, this ban is in name only.
Because there is no penalty for non-compliance of HB 462, Common Core standards are being used widely in Texas schools while loud protests continue to be ignored by Texas high officials. Since Section 39.023 of the bill exempted high school college readiness end-of-course (EOC) exams for Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB), Common Core can also be found in any Texas classroom that teaches these Common Core aligned courses.
On June 14, 2013, four days after the passage of HB 462, House Bill 5 was passed and signed into law by Governor Perry. Included were the new non-SBOE approved College & Career Readiness Standards along with new high school graduation requirements.
Unlike HB 462, HB 5 is clear that non-compliance carries a criminal penalty. However, that penalty is not identified in the bill.
So even though Texas did not adopt Common Core, HB 5 did reconfigure the state’s existing college and career readiness standards into what appears to be more of an alignment with the Common Core Standards.
This is confirmed by Texas Education Agency (TEA) spokeswoman Deborah Ratcliffe who proudly stated,
“We have tried to mirror the state and federal standards as much as possible.”
This is a very damning statement for a state that boasts it did not adopt the Common Core Standards Initiative. But the problems don’t end there.
In Part 1 of this series, I exposed Hillary’s master plan for the Clinton Administration to seize the entire U.S. Educational System to serve national economic planning of the workforce. The plan is “to remold the entire American system” into “a seamless web that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same system for everyone,” coordinated by “a system of labor market boards at the local, state and federal levels” where curriculum and “job matching” will be handled by counselors “accessing the integrated computer-based program.”
Public schools have been gradually changed from teaching academic basics and knowledge to training for the global economy in jobs selected by workforce boards – training for American collectivism. This has required radical changes in attitudes, values, and beliefs.
When Texas legislators passed HB 5, they placed Texas in lockstep with Hillary’s plan for America.
As for our mathematics standards shipwreck, merely stripping out the Common Core process standards won’t really cure the problem. But it will halt teachers from using idiotic Common Core methods for teaching math and placing emphasis on the process of solving a math problem rather than finding a correct math solution.
To create superior math standards, Texas must at some point return to the drawing board – as recommended by Dr. Milgram – and write new math standards that will prepare our students for an America that is competing in the world market against highly achieving nations with world class math scholars.
Texas cannot integrate both Common Core Standards and Classical Academic-based Standards. The philosophies are so radically different that it is impossible to merge them.
The Classical Academic-based platform, highly successful for centuries, is designed to prepare students broadly for life as well as for fields of study that require mathematics in their work. The Common Core Progressive philosophy focuses on non-academic, social/emotional learning that now uses mathematics education for social justice goals. The focus on feelings, emotions, and opinions causes students to believe that right or wrong is relative only to one’s perceptions.
This leads into anarchy and lack of respect of authority figures. (See the differences in the two philosophies.)
This is a critical junction for Texans.
- What is the purpose of Texas education? Is it to provide an academic education or to conduct social justice and political engineering?
- How can the ban on Common Core be enforced?
- Has the TEA forgotten it is beholden to the taxpayers who fund the organization and the salaries of their employees?
- How are the actions of the TEA and the Education Service Centers any different from the deceit and corruption of Washington?
- Why is the Texas Legislature adopting curriculum standards? Why are they passing left wing education policy, revising our Texas Education Code to implement Common Core?
What you can do:
- Call or write your SBOE representative and tell them you expect them to uphold Texas law and remove the Common Core Process Standards from our Math TEKS during upcoming meetings.
- Stop violating the Texas Education Code
- Stop passing education policy that implements the social justice agenda of Common Core – away from an academic-based education
- Penalize districts that use Common Core, and
- Rein in the subterfuge of TEA employees and hold them accountable for their actions in adding Common Core to our math standards.
Additional articles by Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D. include:
- Part 2: COMMON CORE MATH IN TEXAS? DID THE TEA OVERSTEP ITS’ AUTHORITY ON MATH CURRICULUM STANDARDS?
- Part 1: COMMON CORE MATH IN TEXAS? WHY TEXAS SCHOOLS SHOULD NOT USE CENTRALIZED GOVERNMENT CONTROL
- WHY TEXAS MUST START EDUCATION SAVINGS ACCOUNTS
- WILL TEXAS STATE BOARD OF ED ADOPT ‘COMMON CORE-COMPLIANT’ STANDARDS?
Follow Carole Hornsby Haynes at www.drcarolehhaynes.com