Thank you for coming to listen.  The majority of information this afternoon centers on various concerns most of us have with regard to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills and the overall process leading up to this culminating activity. 


The concerns that we have center on the viability of this document as it currently exists and how we got to this point in time.  My remarks focus on  questions many of us have regarding the straightforwardness of this process, the use of taxpayer dollars, the honesty of those in charge of our central education agency and its satellite regional centers, the removal of all vestiges of academics from the TEKS, and the overall integrity of this process.


The presentation you will hear in a moment highlights the most important area of concern for all of us:  the reading portion of the language arts TEKS.  This critical area is paramount for with a careful study, and a transfer of applications, one can see the overall weakness of the entire TEKS effort. 


However, I urge you to review specifically, not only this area but all others, for the entire document is flawed. 


The element of common sense has been missing since the beginnings of this restructured education effort.  For five or six years, many of us have watched helplessly as the central education agency in this state railroaded an effort for educational restructuring which removes all vestiges of academics from the curriculum.  Initially almost $700,000 was spent to train Texas Education Agency personnel in the manipulative methods of the Delphi technique.  Most of us were not aware of those efforts at the time they occurred.  My interest was piqued when I responded to a press release in the Katy Times  and attended a training session for prospective “Real World” team leaders.  I was appalled at what I saw at this meeting.  The trainer, Bill Daggett, led a session of pure manipulation.  Supposedly, following that summer in 1993, 1000 of these “real world forums” were held around the state with 25,500 participants (and the implication was that these participants were mostly parents)  who told the state what they thought students “needed to know and be able to do so they might compete in the ‘real world’ of the 21st Century.”  I believe I have proof that only 375 actual meetings were held with maybe 9,000 participants, and quoting Cynthia Levinson (the director of the project) “more than half” of those in attendance were educators and 15% were from “business, industry, and labor.”  Using happy math, she is also quoted as saying that  “40% were parents.” 


Applied math then tells us that 24 participants at each of the meetings in only one-third of our school districts actually had any input.  Continuing with Ms. Levinson’s figures, at least 12 of the 24 were educators and four were business representatives, leaving maybe eight parents in each of 375 (not 1,061) school districts who supposedly decided the thrust of public education in Texas!


I have burdened you with this minutia because it is important for you to see that this process has never been what it was purported to be.  You as legislators were fooled as was the public, and I think you should be offended by that.


Using that questionable base, writing teams were appointed by Commissioner Meno and left in place by Commissioner Moses.  Their makeup reflected the bias of the Texas Education Agency and their work has been manipulated from the outset.


I also believe that the TEKS that will really be used were already composed a  long time ago by members of the TEA, because as a school board member I was given a draft copy of some of them ( for Algebra I) on December 7, 1993, long before the “real world needs” results were tabulated.


That having been said, I trust you can understand my great alarm over this entire process.  Any worthwhile endeavor does not begin in deceit and fraud that are perpetrated upon the public. 


You must act quickly in a bipartisan manner to stop this process until it can be rectified.  The citizens of Texas do not deserve to have their children’s education dumbed down for political reasons.