PRESENTATION TO THE SBOE BY RICHARD WATSON ON MARCH 4, 1997:

Many of us from Katy attended this meeting.  We witnessed Mike Moses lie and squirm trying to parry the charges against him and the TEA.  A wonderful speech on the matter was delivered by Richard Watson at the March meeting of the SBOE.  Everyone should have been there to watch Mr. Moses THEN!

The State Board of Education is the organization, composed of elected representatives, which should oversee the education of Texas public school students.  Thanks to progressives in the Texas Legislature, much of the SBOE's authority has been taken away.  The SBOE has recently prevailed in taking the TEKS back from the Progressives and created a more conservative, main stream form of education for our students. [It remains to be seen if that more traditional form will be used.  Just last year the Regional Service Centers were exposed for their creation of CSCOPE, a manipulated progressive curriculum that had been implemented in most Texas school districts before Senator Dan Patrick tried to put a stop to it. The Common Core curriculum is more of the same, and the Texas Attorney General has made it against the law for that curriculum to be used in Texas.  In the spring of 2014 at least two verified examples of Common Core worksheets being used in Katy ISD elementary schools have been reported. MM]

I have testified before the SBOE on various occasions (once after midnight) in support of various efforts to stop these measures initiated by Governor Bush and Commissioner of Education Mike Moses.

State Board Member Richard Watson made one of the best speeches ever.  We had all just discovered that the TEA, under the direction of the infamous Mike Moses, the Commissioner of Education, and his predecessor Skip Meno, had imbedded the School to Work agenda by going through the state labor department instead of the education department so no one would know what they were doing.  Mr. Watson cleverly outlined their path through the years.

The deviousness of these Texas Education Agency administrators in undermining the academic education of  millions of Texas students is reprehensible. Those who wish to understand how and why education in our state has been dumbed down, should read this presentation. It is obvious that the progressives had taken over Texas' education system and made it their own, and a few people like Richard Watson were all that stood between them and their final actions.

Presentation to State Board of Education
by Board Member Richard Watson - March 4, 1997

I will state at the outset that it is the right -- but more than the right-- it is the responsibility of those in elective office to bring forward legitimate concerns and ask whatever questions are necessary in the interest of their constituents. When all parties involved have the goal of what is best for children in our schools, it would seem to me that the adversarial nature of the discussion should be greatly diminished. Let me go on the record that I believe that what is best for children in our schools IS the goal of every member of this Board, and I have stated that publicly many times.

There will always be, in a free society, differing ideologies and philosophies brought to the table. That is as it should be. We don't need to fear that. I have read in print numerous times a statement that was made in our meeting last month, something to the effect of, "Sometime we have to talk about what children will learn." This is precisely what this whole discussion is about. What will children learn? What will children be taught? Who decides?

Last month I gave you a short presentation of things I had learned in my study of the Report of the Committee on Student Learning. I won't go back over that entire presentation, but because it is pertinent to where we are today in the TEKS process, I will recap just a portion of it.

The Committee on Student Learning heard and discussed Dr. William Spady's overview of Outcome-Based Education (OBE), the goal of which is to redefine the paradigm of American education. IF education is to be outcome based, there must be a process to derive outcomes. The minutes [of the report] state that that process would be facilitated by leaders in OBE, and that the committee might want to coin a new term as they moved forward such things as "real world outcomes."

Thus was born the process of outcome derivation which was dubbed the "Real World Forums" (RWF). The Report states (p.38) that part of the process of the RWF would be to train the facilitators to work with the Forum groups to develop a vision of the future. Dr. Spady noted that the development of this vision of the future would be very important, and it could be guided by how the questions were framed. Each group would be asked what the world of the future would look like and then develop knowledge and skills to fit into that world. It was determined that the groups needed to see a "global view of the future." And all of a sudden we started hearing how our students need to be prepared to operate in a "global economy." Folks, we've been operating in a global economy since we dumped the tea overboard in Boston Harbor.

Again, I am questioning the wisdom of allowing a FEW people to take THEIR vision of the future and promote THAT world view as the presuppositional base for our public education system. That IS the Spady model of transformational OBE. Design the future you want and work back from there. That is what the RWF did as it derived outcomes for our education system. The argument is presented that that was four years ago, and things are different. I accept that, and frankly, I am grateful for the difference. But here is the critical point. There were some OBE foundations laid and some OBE directions set in motion during that time that we ARE still following. The challenge has been given me to connect what happened then with what we are
doing now. The connection is quite clear. It is made in our State Application for a School to Work Implementation Grant submitted to the U.S. Department of Education in 1996. On page nine of that grant application, there is the heading and paragraph: Real-World Expectations. The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills --TEKS-- is infusing "real world expectations" into academic subjects at grades K-12. In 1994, over 25,000 citizens participated in 1000 town meetings to identify the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in a changing world." So, the RWF results, which were guided by OBE trained facilitators, became the starting point for the TEKS. Granted, numerous changes have been made, some of them significant, in some of the subject areas. But the foundation upon which the TEKS are built remains.
That foundation is the transformational OBE base of William Spady.

Last month, questions were raised about the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE), its director Marc Tucker and their influence on education in Texas. Additional questions were raised about one of the programs of NCEE, the New Standards Project, and what influence it has had in the development of the TEKS. If we were influenced by these outside forces, the fundamental issue becomes: "Texans do not want the federal government and national special interest groups developing curriculum for Texas children."

Again, the challenge to me is to prove that our process has been impacted. A very brief history is in order and will lead to a conclusive answer to this issue. In 1991, the Legislature created the COSL (Committee on Student Learning). We have talked about that Committee. Appearing before that committee on April 24, 1992 was Dr. Lauren Rescind to present the New Standards Project (p.28)-- a review of the NCEE's major publication America's Choice: High Skills or Low Wages!, was given to the COSL ... . This is the publication that the COSL was told was a "key" document for implementing OBE. It lays out the complete strategy for School to Work:

1991: Governor Richards mandated the Smart Jobs Plan. Smart Jobs recommended restructuring education with a Certificate of Initial Mastery
(CIM). The CIM is the cornerstone of the Marc Tucker/NCEE agenda as stated in America's Choice.
1992: TEA funds model STW programs. The Blueprint for Integration of Academic and Occupational Education states the importance of training all teachers in OBE.
1992: Texas joins NCEE's New Standards Project.
1992: It is during this time that Dr. Spady speaks to the COSL and does some staff training in OBE.
1993: COSL decides on pursuing an outcomes derivation process which is named Real World Forums. RWF are conducted using OBE facilitators trained in Spady's advice on framing the questions to obtain the "correct" vision of the future.
1993: Texas renews its partnership with NCEE/Marc Tucker's New Standards Project.
1993: The SBOE approves the Master Plan for Career and Technical Education.
The Master Plan called for a new curriculum based upon competency, a Certificate of Initial Mastery, an outcome-based assessment and total integration of health and human services into the schools.
1993: SB 642 creates the Texas Council on Workforce and Economic Competitiveness (TCWEC) which ultimately is given authority over TEA to implement STW as described in NCEE's America's Choice.
1993: HB 367 creates the Design Committee for the STW plan. Marc Tucker consults and assists the committee. (School to Work Transition, A Texas Perspective, p. 56)
1993: SB 7 calls for the development of "Essential Knowledge and Skills." This is the first official legislative use of the term.
1993: TEA produces School to Work Transition, A Texas Perspective, incorporating much of the Tucker/NCEE agenda.
1994: Texas joins the NCEE Workforce Skills Program.
1994: Texas renews partnership with NCEE's New Standards Project.
1994: Federal School to Work Opportunities Act passes. NCEE assists Texas in apply for a planning grant. (.School to Work Transition, A Texas Perspective, p. 56)
1994: SBOE approves "clarification" of the Essential Elements to align with TAAS [test]. (SBOE minutes, July 1994)
1994: Texas applies for and later receives Goals 2000 federal money to help fund what is now the REWRITE of the Essential Elements.
1994: TEKS contractors receive training from NCEE's New Standards Project. [This training cost $1.5 Million., and this expenditure was never voted on by the SBOE. They did not find out about this expenditure until after-the-fact.]

1995: SB 1 passes. It mandates that Texas' standards must be comparable to national standards. It mandates federal regulations for Career and Technology Programs. [SB1 takes away local board authority and hands it to the superintendent.  Boards are no longer allowed to "govern and manage."  Now they are allowed to govern and "oversee the management of" the school district."  Also control of the budget (the MONEY) is taken away from the local board and given to the superintendent.  The perpetrators (and trators is the key part of that word) of the bill are Senator Bill Ratliff and State Representative Paul Sadler. MM]
1995: Texas Develops STW professional development plan which calls for training in OBE (Professional Development plan for STW, 1995)
1995: The Design Committee (Block 10) Plan is attached to Welfare Reform Bill and passed. It gives authority over STW to TCWEC, an appointed panel. It puts TCE+WEC in authority over TEA. Skills Panel and Local Workforce Boards are created -- all in accordance with NCEE/Tucker agenda laid out in
America's Choice.
1995: Goals 2000 plan with School to Work component is approved.
1996: Texas continues partnership with NCEE's New Standards Project. NCEE chooses San Antonio, Texas as site for its First Annual Standards Based Reform Conference called, "Moving the Agenda Forward."
1996: Texas submits application for STW grant. Application includes all the NCEE/Tucker components for implementing a STW system. Included as a
supporting document to the application is the Master Plan for Career and Technical Education that calls for a CIM. The STW plan requires coordination
with Goals 2000. (STW Grant application, p. 10)
1997: SBOE votes on first reading for adoption of TEKS for an unprecedented 160 Career and Technology courses.
And the NCEE/Tucker agenda is poised to change our education system into job training programs, which in fact, is stated in Goal 1 on page 1 of the STW Grant Applications and says that this is the purpose of the essential knowledge and skills. This makes employers "customers" of our system rather than parents. Those are radical, fundamental changes.

The influence of the NCEE/Tucker agenda on what we are doing in Texas, coupled with federal legislation, leads me to state again the fundamental issue. Texans do not want the federal government and national special interest groups overseeing the writing of curriculum for their children.

One of the strategies on page two of the STW Grant application is to have "instructional programs which lead to a transportable skill certificate, i.e., Tucker's CIM. And page 1 says that "Texas is committed to developing a comprehensive ... School to Work system that engages all youth. That means all students are to participate in a curriculum with a work component. That means fewer hours in the classroom because of hours in the workplace which means less emphasis on academic instruction, all in line with the NCEE/Tucker agenda.

This is one of the reasons why Texans do not want the federal government and national special interest groups overseeing the writing of curriculum for their children. The National Education Goals Panel Report for 1996 was released about a month ago. It stated that NCEE's NSP is working with 17 states, of which Texas is one, to develop a National system of standards and assessments. This is a top-down system that is the antithesis of local control. You see, these are the changes for which there has been a public outcry. The indication of this is the fact that the COSL talked at length about how to PROMOTE this change to OBE to the public. The STW grant application talks about a market-driven system, yet it too addresses at length how to get the various parties to buy in! If something is driven by the demand of the market, you do not have to expend energies and resources convincing people to BUY IN!
Money was also put aside in the TEKS process and an RFP put out for an entity to promote the TEKS to the public. The reason that all that promotionis necessary is that Texans do not want the federal government and national special interest groups overseeing the writing of curriculum for their children.

A summary of all STW in all the states was reported in the National Governors Association Stateline on 12/9/96. That report noted that there are three major barriers to the implementation of STW:
1. Local control of school districts
.
2. Public belief in the importance of college.
3. Traditional ACADEMIC structure.

Our structure for teaching our children academics is a barrier. Listen to this quote from Marc Tucker: "What is essential is that we create a seamless web of opportunities to develop one's skill that literally extends from the cradle to the grave and is the same system for everyone." Pressing everyone into the same mold is not what made this nation the envy of the world. Opportunity for everyone is something you protect, not something you impose. And the imposition of a nationalized curriculum written by the federal government and national organizations is not what Texas want for their children.