Skip to comments.Gov. Perry: Texas Knows Best How to Educate Our Students
Posted on 12/30/2011 1:05:11 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
January 13, 2010: Gov. Perry: Texas Knows Best How to Educate Our Students - Texas will not apply for Federal Race to the Top Funding
Gov. Rick Perry today announced that Texas will not submit an application for federal Race to the Top education funds. Despite tremendous education successes, Texas application would be penalized by the U.S. Department of Education for refusing to commit to adopt national curriculum standards and tests and to incur ongoing costs.
Texas is on the right path toward improved education, and we would be foolish and irresponsible to place our childrens future in the hands of unelected bureaucrats and special interest groups thousands of miles away in Washington, virtually eliminating parents participation in their childrens education, Gov. Perry said. If Washington were truly concerned about funding education with solutions that match local challenges, they would make the money available to states with no strings attached.
Texas curriculum standards, which determine what students are taught in Texas classrooms, are set by the elected State Board of Education (SBOE). The SBOE recently adopted one of the nations first college- and career-ready curriculum standards in core subjects after receiving widespread input from Texas education and business leaders.
I wholeheartedly support the governors decision, Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott said. This one-time grant program would result in mandates for districts that would last for decades.
Through Race to the Top funding, the U.S. Department of Education seems to be coercing states like Texas to suddenly abandon their own locally established curriculum standards in favor of adopting national standards spearheaded by organizations in Washington, D.C. While Texas could be eligible for up to $750 million in Race to the Top funding, it would cost Texas taxpayers upwards of $3 billion to realign our education system to conform to the U.S. Department of Educations uniform vision for public education.
Texas has been working to implement research-based education reforms for years, culminating with great solutions for Texas children, and we should qualify for Race to the Top funding based on what we have already accomplished, Rep. Rob Eissler, Public Education Committee chairman, said. Instead, Texas will be penalized in its Race to the Top application for not complying with the federal governments concepts about what is best for the children of Texas. In short, the two things I worry about in education are fads and feds, and this combines both.
Developing Texas workforce is imperative to maintaining our position as a national leader in job creation and our future prosperity. Texas was recently praised in Education Week magazine for its adoption of college- and career-ready standards, and for holding schools accountable for ensuring students are college-ready. Additionally, the governor recently announced a $160 million initiative to expand the number and scope of Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (T-STEM) academies, an initiative he established in 2005, as well as fund STEM scholarships. Building on successful initiatives like T-STEM academies helps ensure future generations of Texans have the educational foundation necessary to compete and excel in the increasingly competitive global economy.
What Others Are Saying
I support Governor Perry's decision to not apply for the Race to the Top grant funds, which is another example of heavy handed Washington politics. Its clear that they are more concerned about expanding their power than helping kids in Texas schools. -Sen. Dan Patrick
Race to the Top is the first step in federalizing our Texas school systems and imposing a national high-stakes test on our children and teachers. This is not acceptable. We support Governor Perry in his refusal to sell our schools to Washington for less than $75 per student. -Gayle Fallon, president, Houston Federation of Teachers
The Texas Classroom Teachers Association supports the decision of Governor Perry and Commissioner Scott to decline to seek funds under the federal Race to the Top program. Texas public schools need enhanced funding, but the limited funding and potentially harmful policy requirements associated with Race to the Top are, in our view, likely to result in a net cost to Texas education. The loss of autonomy and flexibility that are essential to meet the needs of Texas students is simply not worth it. -Jeri Stone, executive director and general counsel, Texas Classroom Teachers Association
The governor is right to refuse federal dollars that could drive down results and hinder academic achievement. While some might prefer to spend their time chasing federal funds at any cost, the price of the Race to the Top dollars could send Texas school children to the bottom and our taxpayers to the poor house. -Michael Quinn Sullivan, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility
In Texas, we have increased the rigor of our K-12 curriculum to better prepare students for college, and these federal funds come with strings that could undo these improvements and hurt our childrens ability to learn. Education is a state issue, and the federal government has no business dictating academic standards or curriculum to states. -Brooke Terry, senior education policy analyst, Texas Public Policy Foundation
Education should be left to the states and should not be a top-down but a bottom-up process. Texas has an open, collaborative process including public hearings and input. The Lone Star State has invested considerable time and millions of dollars into curriculum development and has set some rigorous standards to which we are committed. This is another federal government bait and switch, and states that buy in will end up footing the bill. -Peggy Venable, Texas director, Americans for Prosperity
While TAB believes that maintaining a strong and competitive workforce through education is a high priority for the state, we support the governors decision to keep decisions about our public education system at the state level. Gov. Perry is right to be concerned about mandates coming from the federal government that are tied to this relatively small amount of funding, which will commit the state to increased costs in the future. -Bill Hammond, president and CEO, Texas Association of Business
The potential Texas grant under Race to the Top rules would at most add a one-time bump equaling less than 2 percent of the states current biennial funding for public education. The prospect of such a modest and fleeting contribution to the state budget for public schools cannot justify the adoption of policies that would be detrimental to Texas public education for the long term. Texas AFT remains ready and willing to partner with the state and local school districts in the pursuit of education reform. And we dont need Race to the Top grants, with unwise strings attached, to carry on this important work. -Linda Bridges, president, Texas American Federation of Teachers
Gov. Perry has long advocated for Homeschooling families: Gov. Perry Encourages Home School Families............"For more and more students every day, the best educational option is a classroom in the home.
Every child is entitled to a public education, but public education is not entitled to every child.
Whatever decision is made on the location and style of a childs education, I believe the responsibility and freedom of that choice resides with a childs parent.
For those who choose to teach their children at home, I believe government regulation should stop at the front door.
That is why I encourage our legislators to take a close look at the Texas Parental Rights Restoration Act sponsored by Representative King. The family unit is the essential building block of our society and we should do our best to protect it here in Texas.
I am proud of the steps we have taken in Texas to protect the freedoms of home school families, and encourage this essential segment of our states overall approach to education.
We have worked with the Texas Education Agency to clarify the rights of home schoolers, including the process for awarding transfer credits.
In 2003, we passed a law that requires state colleges and universities to use the same admission standards for all students, regardless of the type of school they graduated from.
I hope that this session is remembered for our success in clarifying even more protections for home school families.
Parental involvement is essential to every childs success, and its hard to imagine a more involved parent than one who makes the sacrifices required to teach their child at home.
This investment in your childrens education will not only improve their future... but the future of this entire state.
Thank you all for your commitment. May God bless you and, through you, may He continue to bless the great state of Texas."
Meet Barbara Cargill, the SBOE's Latest Chief ..>>>Her supporters say the Baylor University graduate is a mild-tempered, fair leader who is well suited to lead the 15-member board. Her critics say she is a dangerous culture warrior who injects her religious and political agenda into the classrooms of the countrys second largest public school system. But for those who follow the boards every movement, theres agreement on one point: For better or worse, Cargills tenure will likely bring more of the same.
Cargills immediate predecessors in the chair were, like her, a part of the majority-Republican boards tightly knit gang of six social conservatives.
Because of that, her appointment doesnt change a lot, said Dan Quinn, the spokesman for the Texas Freedom Network, a liberal watchdog of the board and fierce opponent of its social conservatives.
She has voted in lockstep with Gail Lowe and Don McLeroy in the past," he said. "There's no real space between them."
McLeroy held the chairmanship from 2007 to 2009 and said Lowe and Cargill share many qualities. She is so similar to Gail with her complete integrity and honesty," he said. "Those two ladies are some of the finest I ever met."
McLeroy suffered the same fate as Lowe during the 2009 legislative session. The Bryan dentist, who lost to current member Thomas Ratliff in the 2010 Republican primary, describes Cargill and Lowe as some of his best friends. He said Cargill was the scientist on the board and that she was known for independently investigating all the issues that came before it.
The boards longest-serving current member, David Bradley, echoed McLeroy. She does her homework, said Bradley, who consistently votes with Cargill. Sometimes she would make light of the fact that when I get to the meeting I'm just opening my agenda for the first time.
He also praised her modesty, a quality he said would serve her well as chairwoman. I don't think you'll ever find her using the word 'I,' he said. She blushes at the drop of a hat, quicker than Gail Lowe. So the guys on the board have to be very careful.
Cargills critics point to her role in the rewrite of science curriculum as evidence that she has used her position on the board to promote her own political and religious beliefs. She was instrumental in pushing the new science standards that students "analyze, evaluate, and critique" evidence for scientific explanations for theories like evolution a move praised by the Discovery Institute, which supports research challenging what its website refers to as "neo-Darwinian theory." During the debate on science curriculum, she also passed an amendment that added the discussion of different scientific estimates on the age of the universe to the standards. <<<<
Rick Santorum home schools his children but he does not stand alone on this important issue.
Rick Perry has been advocating for homeschooling families for a very long time.
............”Perry and Santorum are now fighting a virtual tug of war over Iowa’s evangelicals. Reuters reports that Iowa’s evangelicals are moving over to Santorum, because he’s been actively lobbying the homeschool network, and preachers there like him. They like him so much, they want Bachmann to either drop out entirely, or fold her campaign into his. With the departure of Bachmann’s campaign chairman Kent Sorenson over to Paul’s campaign, and the loss of her political director Wes Enos, it would seem it’s time for Bachmann to throw in the towel. Does this mean that she misheard God?
It’s a sticky situation that evangelicals are in. They are splitting the GOP vote to the point where Obama might just win. FOXNews has been very vocal with that fear, but who knows? Only God knows.”
Thanks for all of your research and posting of items about Gov. Perry, CW!
Perhaps, some of his detractors here on FR will become aware that they have been in error for a long time, as they seem to frequently post that Perry has accepted government subsidies for various things.
In fact, he has refused subsidies from the Feds because of all of the strings attached and his belief in the 10th Amendment; wherein Texas knows better what needs to be done for it’s citizens and residents than D.C. does.
Keep up the good work. Iowa is just a pimple on the huge Primary process and the results of a few people standing in different corners of rooms for nose-counting to indicate their choices of candidates is laughable in the overall process of selecting a nominee for the GOP.
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Imagine how much money would be saved if all states did what Texas did.
And education would probably be better.