Will Texas Lawmakers Adopt Common Core Student Assessments?
By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D. | March 1, 2017 Texas Insider
The 84th Texas Legislature House Bill 2804 created the Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessments and Accountability (NGAA) to prepare recommendations for statutory changes for the student assessment and public school accountability programs. An analysis finds that if these recommendations are implemented, Texas curriculum standards will be Common Core-compliant, placing Texas on the road to National Assessments.
Dumbed down national curriculum standards, national curriculum, and national test were the requirements of Goals 2000. This was one of three federal laws passed during the Clinton administration that replace the American free market economy with a system that concentrates power in the federal government to centrally plan and manage our economy. This system adopts the failed ideas of a state planned economy similar to those of the former Soviet Union.
Although the Commission claims Common Core is not recommended, their recommendations cannot be implemented without employing Common Core and/or Common Core-aligned materials and instruction.
The Commission’s August 31, 2016 Report includes implementing requirements forced on states by the unconstitutional federal law, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Despite the Commission’s willingness to implement ESSA in Texas, under the 10th Amendment the federal government has no authority to “allow a state” or to “require a state” to do anything in education.
1. Competency-based Education (CBE)
CBE will replace academic education with a psychologically manipulative teaching strategy that is Common Core-compliant. This “personalized” approach is computerized learning for lower level workforce programs and psychological/behavioral skills. The “academically enriched”-- watered down -- workforce training will result in the literacy rate of students dropping even further.
According to Paul Thomas, author about public educational methods, “Teaching is a human experience… technology is a distraction when we need literacy, numeracy and critical thinking.”
2. Expand Digital Learning
Texas Insider reported the pitfalls of digital devices: lower scores on computerized assessments, lower reading comprehension, shallow reading, distraction, negative impact on social and emotional skills, and screen addiction from video games and screen technologies (akin to “heroin addiction”). A North Carolina study found that the more E-Rate funding a school received under the federal government’s 1996 Telecommunications Act, the worse its students performed.
Google executive Alan Eagle told the New York Times there’s no need to rush children into technology. “It is super easy. It’s like learning to use toothpaste.” He believes kids can figure out technology when they are older. “At Google and all these places, we make technology as brain dead easy to use as possible.”
3. Implement Computer Adaptive Assessments (CAA)
The Commission wants to implement online tests given throughout the year. Research shows students have lower scores on computerized assessments. CAA can be used to change a student’s beliefs, attitudes, and values to a worldview and anti-national sovereignty being promoted by the United Nations for establishing a one world government.
These CAA tests can be aligned with SBOE unapproved instructional materials, including Common Core mate-rials, paid with state funds allowed under SB6. Because these tests will be given during the regular class schedule, parents will not be able to opt their children out.
4. Adopt “challenging academic standards that align to college and career readiness.
The Commission has no “obligation” to implement this ESSA requirement because the federal government has no authority to require a state to adopt any standards. ESSA’s statement of purpose is clearly a euphemism for Common Core Standards. The U.S. Congress did not get rid of Common Core; they codified it in ESSA.
If ESSA is implemented in Texas, then Common Core -- or a reasonable imitation under a different name -- will be implemented in Texas.
5. Adopt alternate accountability tests
The Commission suggests using SAT, ACT, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Aspire as alternatives to the STAAR / End of Course tests. These tests are aligned with Common Core, NOT with Texas curriculum standards.
Texas politicians are doing a kneejerk reaction to public demand to eliminate the STAAR / End of Course tests that measure a student’s knowledge of the Texas standards. As Texas Insider reported, the real problem is wast-ing class time with Common Core type groupthink projects and social engineering, allowing teachers very little time to teach the subject content of the standards. Teachers must conduct “crash courses” to help their students memorize material.
6. Align the state accountability system with ESSA’s requirements
The federal government has NO authority to require Texas to align our accountability program with ESSA’s requirements. Texas lawmakers are required by law to establish an accountability program that aligns with Texas standards, not ESSA’s Common Core “college and career readiness” standards.
7. Explore obtaining an Innovative Assessment/Accountability Demonstration Authority grant under ESSA. This is illegal since ESSA prohibits this funding. USDOE is using its proposed regulations for the Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority (IADA) to establish a national assessment aligned to Common Core Standards. Texas legislators must steer clear of this radical IAADA grant completely.
The Texas assessment and accountability program for public education is desperately in need of a major over-haul. However, if the Texas legislators adopt the August 31, 2016 recommendations of the NGAA Commission, our public education will be radically changed forever, following that of the ultra liberal state of California.