Pay attention in class: Texas public education makes it more important than ever

Red Hot Conservative has gathered much good information and analysis of what’s happening in Texas public schools.  A recent post entitled The Destruction of Texas Education! PARENTS WAKE UP! discusses a “Creating a New Vision for Texas Public Education” program that in seeking to “transform” Texas education stirs ever-present concerns regarding both fiscal and ideological issues.

The video below characterizes the Public Education Visioning Institute as a collaborative effort between the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) and SHW Group, an education-focused architectural, engineering and planning firm “dedicated to designing environments that inspire, support, and promote the discovery and exchange of knowledge through our commitment to learning, stewardship, and craft” – or in non-eduspeak, a commercial design firm that works with many public (i.e., taxpayer-funded) school districts.

TASA, meanwhile, is an organization financially supported by school district memberships (i.e. more taxpayer funds). Along with other groups like Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), Texas Municipal League (TML) and Texas Association of Counties (TAC), TASA’s “deliverables” include developing tactics and working aggressively to ensure member government agencies – like school districts – garner increased amounts of taxpayer dollars.

New spending on education transformation and the new environments required goes a long way to support the infrastructure and mission of retired school district personnel that TASA employs.

New spending also contrives new funding needs – needs that can be addressed both through legislative lobbying efforts and by local spending measures (i.e., school bond/tax ratification elections), areas in which TASA routinely offers support.

The “New Vision” program, a “Work in Progress for Conversation and Further Development” that is “Respectfully Offered by Superintendent Participants in the Public Education Visioning Institute” was released in a May 2008 document.


While the fiscal impact of public education policy always bears watching, Red Hot Conservative addresses another troubling aspect:

Across the state of Texas there is a movement by Texas Superintendents and others to totally transform Texas Education. This transformation is not in the best interest for our children or our country. With millions of dollars from the Obama stimulus packages, Dell and Gates Foundation there are numerous liberal/progressive groups working unbeknownst to many in transforming the way students will be taught. A traditional education where “absolute truth” and American Exceptionalism is taught is quietly being eliminated in you local school with the implementation of Project Based Learning (PBL) with the use of technology & the elimination of text books.  Project Based Learning has established roots in the United Nations. Please read more about it here.

The site offers this additional information on Texas’ education transformation plans:

TASA has created the group Future-Ready Superintendents Leadership Institute. The institute is working hand in hand with ENGAGE2LEARN, a consulting firm to further implement the progressive/liberal transformation. Clark and Shannon Buerk run Engage2Learn and Shannon’s goal is education TRANSFORMATION. Engage2Learn will be invited by your superintendent to come to the district to hold community meetings using the Delphi technique, which actually controls the group discussion  giving the impression the groups input is valid and needed. The superintendent and Engage2Learn already have their plan in place and this meeting is nothing more than a consensus meeting.

More on the Delphi Techique here and how to diffuse it.

And once again tying the fiscal and the ideological:

Before Shannon Burke started Engage2Learn she worked with Cambridge Strategic Services (another consulting firm) working to transform education as well. Those involved in most of these consulting firms originally worked with local school districts and the education service centers. They have found ways to break away and continue to make money off of the local school districts. Education is big business. There is so much financial corruption and no accountability at all levels

The bottom line. Today’s public education industry is involving your children and your tax dollars in a lot activities – activities not always related to substantive, traditional education practices and goals. Parents, students and taxpayers: paying attention to what’s going on in classrooms has never been more important.

Lou Ann Anderson is an information activist and the editor of Watchdog Wire – Texas. As also a contributor at Raging Elephants Radio and a policy analyst with Americans for Prosperity – Texas, she writes and speaks on a variety of public policy topics. Lou Ann is the creator and online producer at Estate of Denial®, a website that addresses probate abuse via wills, trusts, guardianships and powers of attorney as well as other taxpayer advocacy issues.

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  • surita

    in regard to our schools,wherever YOU reside,one absolutely MUST get together with other conservatives,make a schedule ensuring that someone IS ALWAYS PRESENT at the hallowed sKOOl board meetings AND SPEAK UP. “”They”" get “their” way and “their ” elite bs will gets done BECAUSE THEY ARE ALWAYS PRESENT AND GO UNCHALLENGED.

    This is not complicated and the exact SAME ROUTINE goes for community board and any other OPEN TO THE PUBLIC meetings.
    WAKE UP.