“Texans: Stop Race to the Top in Our State” by Donna Garner #txlege #txed

10.29.13

 

In 2012, only two Texas education entities (i.e., public schools, charter schools, education service centers) were awarded funds under the federal government’s Race to the Top – District grant (RTT-D1).  These were the Harmony and Idea Charter Schools. (8.15.13 – “Dilemma for Turkish Gulen Harmony Charter Schools…” – by Donna Garner — http://educationviews.org/dilemma-for-gulen-harmony-charters-under-sb-2-hb-462/

 

 

This year (FY 2013), however, 81 Texas education entities have applied for the RTT-D2 grants.  Finalists will be announced by Dec. 31, 2013. 

 

These 81 Texas education entities that have applied for the RTT-D2 grant have decided that for a few “pieces of silver,” they will be willing to “sell their soul” (and our children’s minds) to the federal government! 

 

 

To get any Race to the Top funds, the applicants have to swear they will follow the Common Core Standards Initiative (CCSI).  In actuality, this means:  national standards, national assessments, national curriculum, teachers’ salaries tied to their students’ test scores, teachers teaching to the test each and every day, national indoctrination of our public school children, national database of students and teachers.

 

 

What makes this particularly disturbing is that during the 83rd Legislative Session, the Texas Legislature passed HB HB 462 which expressly prohibits Texas public schools (both regular public schools and charters) from following the Common Core Standards Initiative: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=HB462).  

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1.  Section 28.002, Education Code, is amended by adding Subsections (b-1), (b-2), (b-3), and (b-4) to read as follows:

(b-1)  In this section, “common core state standards” means the national curriculum standards developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

(b-2)  The State Board of Education may not adopt common core state standards to comply with a duty imposed under this chapter.

(b-3)  A school district may not use common core state standards to comply with the requirement to provide instruction in the essential knowledge and skills at appropriate grade levels under Subsection (c).

(b-4)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, a school district or open-enrollment charter school may not be required to offer any aspect of a common core state standards curriculum.

 

ACTION STEPS BY CONCERNED TEXANS

 

First, the public needs to see if their Texas education entity is on the list (posted at the bottom of this page).  

 

 

Second, even though we may or may not support the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) itself, we can still come alongside their members who have voiced their concerns over the RTT-D 2 grant application  (excerpts taken from http://texasaftblog.com/hotline/?p=3289 ):

   

As we have previously reported, the RTT-D2 grant competition is for both local school districts and charter schools.  It allows the U.S. Department of Education to bypass state governments like the one here in Texas that have refused to participate in the Race to the Top program because of federal regulatory strings attached[Common Core Standards Initiative – CCSI]

…it carries with it a heavy load of federal requirements, some of which imply an end run around state law…

One safeguard for teachers in the grant process is a requirement of “meaningful stakeholder engagement.” Under this requirement, districts can improve their chances of securing a grant by, among other things, demonstrating support for their grant proposal from at least 70 percent or more of the teachers at campuses that would be affected.

If you see your district listed below among those that have applied for a Race to the Top grant, and you think your campus would be affected by the program, please let us know via a short survey  —https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/racetothetop2

 

Therefore, if we see our Texas school districts on the following list, we need to spread the word among the teachers in those districts because for the U. S. Dept. of Ed. to award the RTT-D2, at least 70% of the teachers in the district must have been surveyed and must have indicated their support for the RTT-D2 grant.  AFT is rightfully questioning whether the teachers in these districts have indeed had a voice in this decision. 

 

Let’s encourage teachers (whose districts are on this list) to go to this link where they can indicate whether or not they have been asked by their administrators about the RTT-D2 grant application:https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/racetothetop2

 

If the AFT can get enough survey responses to indicate the “meaningful stakeholder engagement” provision was not followed and that indeed at least 70% of teachers in a school district were either not asked or did not support the RTT-D2 grant, then the AFT can file formal complaints, asking the districts to withdraw their applications. 

 

From what I understand, if the AFT gets enough feedback, they also plan to file a formal complaint with the U. S. Department of Education.  If the USDOE were to find out that the RTT-D2 applications were filed with inaccurate information in them, it would take points away from the scores and perhaps even make those applications ineligible for the grants.

 

By building a strong coalition of parents, taxpayers, moms, pops, and grandparents working together with local school district teachers, these RTT-D2 grants can be sidelined.  We must take action right now. Remember that the scoring by the USDOE is going on right now with the final decisions to be announced by the end of Dec. 2013.  

    

LIST OF TEXAS EDUCATION ENTITIES THAT HAVE APPLIED FOR THE 2013 RTT-D2 GRANTS

 

10.2.13 – http://texasaftblog.com/hotline/?p=3289

 

Abilene Independent School District

Texas

Aubrey Independent School District

Texas

Argyle ISD

Texas

Calallen ISD

Texas

Celina ISD

Texas

Everman ISD

Texas

Grand Prairie ISD

Texas

Krum ISD

Texas

Lake Dallas ISD

Texas

Marble Falls ISD

Texas

Mart ISD

Texas

Odem-Edroy ISD

Texas

Pilot Point ISD

Texas

Stamford ISD

Texas

Taft ISD

Texas

Bryan ISD

Texas

Crockett ISD

Texas

Goodrich ISD

Texas

Clear Creek Independent School District

Texas

Dallas Independent School District

Texas

DeSoto ISD

Texas

Edgewood Independent School District of San Antonio

Texas

Carrizo Springs CSID

Texas

Cotulla ISD

Texas

Devine ISD

Texas

Eagle Pass ISD

Texas

La Pryor ISD

Texas

Natalia ISD

Texas

Pearsall ISD

Texas

Poth ISD

Texas

Edinburg Consolidated Ind. School District

Texas

Education Services Center Region 12

Texas

Connally ISD

Texas

La Vega ISD

Texas

Waco Independent School District

Texas

Galveston ISD

Texas

Harlingen CISD

Texas

Houston Independent School District

Texas

La Joya Independent School District

Texas

Lubbock-Cooper ISD

Texas

Bovina ISD (BoISD)

Texas

Brownfield ISD (BrISD)

Texas

Dimmitt ISD (DISD)

Texas

Farwell ISD (FaISD)

Texas

Floydada ISD (FlISD)

Texas

Hale Center ISD (HCISD)

Texas

La Feria ISD (LFISD)

Texas

Levelland ISD (LeISD)

Texas

Littlefield ISD (LiISD)

Texas

Meridian ISD (MISD)

Texas

O’Donnell ISD (OISD)

Texas

Petersburg ISD (PISD)

Texas

Seagraves ISD (SeISD)

Texas

Slaton ISD (SlISD)

Texas

Smyer ISD (SmISD)

Texas

South Plains Academy (SPA)

Texas

Mabank Independent School District

Texas

Monte Alto Independent School District

Texas

Lasara ISD

Texas

Santa Maria ISD

Texas

Pasadena Independent School District

Texas

Region 5 Education Service Center

Texas

Burkeville ISD

Texas

High Island ISD

Texas

Newton ISD

Texas

West Hardin ISD

Texas

Region One Education Service Center (ESC1)

Texas

Brownsville ISD

Texas

Donna ISD

Texas

Freer ISD

Texas

Lyford CISD

Texas

San Isidro ISD

Texas

McAllen Independent ISD           Texas

Sharyland ISD

Texas

Weslaco ISD

Texas

Rio Grande City C.I.S.D.

Texas

San Benito Consolidated Independent School District

Texas

Santa Rosa ISD

Texas

Rio Hondo ISD

Texas

United Independent School District

Texas

Uplift Education – Peak Preparatory

Texas

 

 

Donna Garner

Wgarner1@hot.rr.com

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s