A Moms Open Letter to SBOE Ratliff

ImageMr. Ratliff:

As Vice Chair of the SBOE, what is your responsibility regarding the content of our textbooks?

You say you do not want another level of government involved from the state.  According to SB 1406, there is a level involved; the SBOE. Taking into consideration that SB 1406 is current law, I submit oversight of CSCOPE IS your job.

Furthermore, your website appears to assert same:

 SBOE History and Duties:  Establishing policy and providing leadership for the Texas public school system are the responsibilities of the State Board of Education. By adopting policies and setting standards for educational programs, the Board provides the direction necessary to enable Texas public schools to prepare today’s schoolchildren for a successful future.

Composed of 15 members elected from roughly equally populous State Board of Education districts, the Board adopts rules and establishes policies that govern a wide range of educational programs and services provided by Texas public schools.

The SBOE is responsible for the TEKS, is it not?  When an education program does not adhere to the SBOE’s adopted policies and standards, as well as philosophy, exactly how is that rectified?

Respectfully, I fail to see how you know for a fact that the status of the lessons in question are no longer in the system for: 1) you have not investigated same and 2) Per Dr. LeBay, CSCOPE Director, some of the lessons in question were taught in our schools as of late January 2013, with some lessons existence still in question.  Further,  Dr. LeBay admitted that not all of the lessons in question were from ‘old standards/TEKS’.  You joined the SBOE in 2010, correct?

Too, do you represent me, region centers or superintendents?  I am not seeking blame.  As a mom, I am SEEKING representation!

Mr. Ratliff, do you support your constituency’s children being taught the following:

1) Do you support only 3 weeks of total multiplication table instruction (1 week in 3rd grade/2 weeks in 4th) in CSCOPE?

2) Do you support the exclusion of a spelling component in CSCOPE?

3)  Do you support the exclusion of a vocabulary component in CSCOPE?

4) Do you support the Second Amendment taught as a collective right?

5) Do you support the 5th grade lesson to chart a road to Mecca and Medina?

6) Do you support the Declaration of Independence being compared to a TIME Magazine article on the Arab Spring?

7) Do you support the instruction to review The Communist Manifesto?

8) Do you support the lesson to design a new Communist/Socialist flag?

9) Do you support the lesson placing Communism in a successful/positive light?

10) Do you support the exclusion of the Ten Commandments;

11) Do you support the lesson wherein Christianity is referred to as a ‘cult’?

12) Do you support 3rd graders being instructed to role play being hungry, naked and homeless?

13) Do you support the lesson that livestock “Gas” is contributing to pollution?

14) Do you support the lesson that solar cookers are going to save the World?

15) Do you support the countless error in CSCOPE’s algebra lessons as attested to in the Senate hearing of 1/31/13;

16) Do you support your Superintendents being trained to instruct their district teachers to not deviate from CSCOPE’s lessons?

17) Do you support the Texas Classroom Teacher Association and Ms. Holly Eaton’s testimony that her members have expressed exasperation with CSCOPE’s lack of quality and forced implementation?

18) Do you think your ‘conservative’ constituency views any of the above as productive ‘critical thinking’?

19) And most importantly, do you think your ‘conservative’ constituents support any of the above?

I find it exceptionally troubling that our Superintendents (acknowledged by LeBay) are trained, pursuant to CSCOPE’s 2013 training material, to instruct their districts to NOT DEVIATE from CSCOPE lessons. How exactly does such an instruction allow for local control? [Note: A large number of parents that oppose the substandard CSCOPE lessons view ‘local control’ as school boards, teachers and parents.]

Furthermore,  you repeatedly state that the CSCOPE errors illuminated by veteran teachers, moms, dads, and grandparents are ‘myths’, ‘lies’, ‘conspiracy theories’ and/or ‘Tea Party rhetoric’.  Please help me understand what possible positive outcome you seek in utilizing such labels other than to feed sneering deniers as exhibited HERE.  And how does that represent your ‘conservative’ constituency?

As to my thoughts on fixing or ending CSCOPE, I cannot imagine how same may be obtained if you’re too busy — 1 out of 15 SBOE members  —  pushing this substandard program onto our children, not ensuring the blatant errors are GONE, bullying parents and representatives, and name-calling those in your district.

Thomas, are you knee deep involved in setting up a review board to ensure the CSCOPE lesson plans adhere to the TEKS? Have you met with any veteran teachers on the other side of this issue?  Have you reviewed countless examples of errors?  Are you demanding a spelling and vocabulary component be installed in CSCOPE?  What about fixing the disastrous algebra program? How are you going to ensure your District that this will not happen again ?

Sir, as my Representative, I passionately and respectfully request that you FIX or STOP CSCOPE.

District 9


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