Archive for category Education

Union Concessions Not So…Concessional

This morning, the Douglas County Federation of Teachers responded to the School Board’s thoughts on the state of contract negotiations. The response is notable, because it appears to walk back a number of concessions that the union had made in earlier negotiations.

The union’s justification, laid out in a letter to its membership (see below), is that since the Board wasn’t negotiating in good faith, it has the right to rescind these concessions pending either mediation, arbitration, confrontation, or litigation.

Particularly, it appears to renege on two issues that it had agreed to defer to to the courts: the matter of union heads being full-time employees on the the district payroll (although all current expenses would be borne by the union), and union dues collection by the district.

The language concerning the dues actually suggests that the union may feel that, because of this week’s Supreme Court decision slapping down the SEIU in California, it has no choice but to go to war over the issue.  The phrase no “legally cognizable justification” in this context basically means, “we think you’re wrong, but we can’t say why.”  By dropping the specious 1st Amendment claim they had made before, the union is essentially dropping the notion that this is contestable in court.  They may try, but they can’t win on those grounds and they know it.
Ironically, that may have made it harder to reach an agreement, if there were one there to be reached.  The union, realizing that it has no chance in the courts, is now turning to the NLRB or the CDLE for help, and is doing two things here.  First, it’s taking back the concessions, putting them back on the table in the case of mediation or arbitration.  (Of course, there is nothing to prevent the district from doing the same.)  Second, intervention by the NLRB requires that management not be negotiating in good faith, so the union is beginning to lay out its case.
They’re clearly doing so in the section on Full-Time Employees, where they continue to demand that their unions head stay on the district payroll, with the union picking up current expenses, even if they aren’t actually doing any teaching.  They do this by claiming that management is practicing an “unwarranted interference” in the union’s ability to choose its own representatives, which would be a violation of 29 U.S.C. § 157.  Any judge in his right mind would dismiss this out of hand; the fact is that the union could make up the benefit by providing its own pension plan for its own employees, or by setting up a 401(k).  Many unions do this, although the AFT currently does not, and the Ohio affiliate has even tried to argue that a pension plan is better both for the employee and the employer than a 401(k).  Any decent judge would rule this out of bounds; there’s no telling what the CDLE or the NLRB would do.
As for the ER&D training mentioned in that paragraph, this is a red herring, but it’s a complicated little red herring.  It appears that the union is also trying to argue that, by preventing the union heads from being “teachers,” it’s also preventing them from taking advantage of the union-developed ER&D training.  In fact, the ER&D training is paid for and owned by the district, while the content and administration are controlled by the AFT.  It appears that the union’s argument is that since the program is mandated by and paid for by the district, it can’t have oversight of how well that program is implemented – or establish the requirement – unless the person it’s overseeing is a teacher.  But it seems to me that this could be easily solved by a contractual relationship with the ER&D supervisor, with certain standards of performance.  The union has already agreed to supervision of its union heads in their roles of ER&D delivery; why this can’t be continued under a contractual relationship is beyond me.   But in claiming that the ER&D program is proprietary to the national AFT, and that those supervising it must be teachers, it’s probably trying to further its claim that the district is interfering in union affairs by refusing to employ the union heads as teachers at all.
In short, this letter isn’t a serious response, but it’s certainly a walk-back of previous concessions, not in preparation for a court battle it knows it can’t win, or for negotiations in which it has forfeited public support, but for mediation or arbitration that it hopes takes place on the friendly turf of the CDLE or the NLRB.
They’re planning to do this at least in part because the overwhelming majority of teachers have already signed individual contracts.  In the absence of a CBA, those individual contracts indicate that a strike would be considered “abandonment,” a costly process for the abandoner, who would have to reimburse the district up to 150% of salary for the cost of having to find a replacement.  It’s unclear to me as to whether or not arbitration or mediation would have to start before the expiration of the current CBA at the end of the month.

, , , , ,

No Comments

PERA, the Unions, and You

One of the less-noticed points of contention at Douglas County’s open negotiations the other week was the status of school district employees who are actually on the union payroll.  Basically, union heads leave the classroom to spend their time representing teachers and the union, yet remain officially school district employees.  The district wants to end this practice, and in fact, pick-slipped the union heads a couple of weeks ago.  The union wants to retain them as district employees, and claims that this is a non-issue, as the union reimburses the district for the employees’ salaries and PERA contributions.

The problem isn’t the current costs – although there may be some conflicts of interest in having a union boss refuse supervision and evaluation by the district, while still remaining nominally an employee.  The problem is PERA, and its something that the retirement plan ought to look at.

What happens here is that the unions, the national, state, and local, pay this employee’s salary.  That salary is no longer determined by the seniority or performance measures that apply to all other teachers, but by the people actually paying the salary.  So that employee is no longer being paid on their value to the district, or to the students, but to the union.  Their PERA benefits, which, over their lifetime, are calculated based on that salary.  Which means that PERA is paying benefits to potentially hundreds of employees statewide based not on their service to the taxpayers, but on their service to the union.  And since those benefits will, as currently constituted, far exceed the amount paid into the system, they constitute a net payout to the union, which doesn’t have to cover their own employees’ retirement benefits for those year.

The union will say that it’s unfair that a teacher should have to give up earned retirement benefits when they become a union rep.  But of course, they don’t have to give up anything they’re vested in.  This is, in the end, no different from a bureaucrat or a regulator leaving to take a job as a lobbyist.  They’re no longer directly serving the state government, and should no longer be a part of the state government retirement system, except for the benefits they have earned.  The union will argue that this will make becoming a union rep a much less desirable position, but never explain why that desirability should come at the direct expense of the taxpayer rather than the union and the teachers it represents.


, , ,

No Comments

What I Saw At The Open Negotiations

Last night I attended the Douglas County teachers union contract negotiations conducted under the county’s new Open Negotiations policy.  This was the first meeting which teachers were able to attend, and the Douglas County Federation of Teachers – the local for the American Federation of Teachers – had called for teachers to show up in force.  There was the hope that a large, unruly audience might prove more entertaining than a philosophically incoherent negotiating team.

In the event, I had to settle for the incoherence, but it was illuminating enough.

The crowd itself was large – eventually reaching about 350 people – but well-fed, and thus, well-behaved.  Nobody tried to start a drum circle in the back of the room, for instance.  After some early applause, one of the union negotiators reminded the group that they were there are spectators, not participants, and more like spectators at the Masters or Wimbledon than the Super Bowl, at that.  The teachers resorted to mass waving a couple of times, but that’s the sort of thing that comes with hanging around grade-schoolers all day, I suppose, and the novelty quickly wore off.  No Pinkertons were needed.

Aside from the 1% – no, not that 1% – the 1% pay raise that the Board had proposed, the two most contentious issues were the district’s desire to stop collecting union dues, and the desire to stop paying the salaries of union heads who aren’t in the classroom.

The union tried to turn the first issue into a 1st Amendment fight, essentially arguing four things: 1) the union speaks for the teachers, so stopping the collections amounts to trying to squelch free speech, 2) the union is being singled out for this treatment because 3) it opposed the election of the current Board members, even though 4) it didn’t contribute dues money to their opponents’ political campaigns.

It should be fairly easy to ridicule these arguments and dispose of them.  A union, recognized by the district or not, is just an organization, and it should be responsible for contacting its own members and collecting its own dues.  There’s no good reason to spend taxpayer resources doing that, and the fact that the dues money goes right back into political campaigns to determine the unions’ negotiating partners and (evidently) collections agents, is just all the more reason to put that burden on the union itself.  It’s not a free speech issue, any more than Denver’s reluctance to come by and put a lein on my property against my shul dues is a free exercise issue.

Unfortunately, a federal judge in Wisconsin disagrees.  Thus the reason for Jed Palmer’s claim that this issue had been “extensively litigated in Wisconsin,” and the specific line of questioning trying to establish the same facts in Douglas County.  Unfortunately for the union, the Board showed that dues money had been used in campaigns, and also said that since each contract was negotiated separately, if they found evidence of similar activity on the part of, say, the bus drivers, they’d try to negotiate the same disengagement from them.  (You can see some of the raw video of this exchange.)

Since this is a negotiation, and not legislation, the union was basically arguing that they didn’t have the power to bargain away their members’ 1st Amendment rights, and claimed that this was an issue of working conditions.  There are, of course, all sorts of restrictions on teachers’ 1st Amendment rights when they’re working.  They get fired all the time for pushing their political views in the classroom, for instance.  They were trying to find legal backup for their position, claiming that not only was the district wrong, but that the negotiators couldn’t concede the point even if they wanted to.  Whether this is setting the stage for a strike or a lawsuit remains to be seen.

More interesting, although probably a slightly lower priority for the teachers, was to stop having the union heads be district employees, as they are no longer in the classroom, but have as their sole job representing the teachers.  The union has already offered to reimburse the district for all of the salary, and all of the PERA contribution costs, of those positions, which run to several hundred thousand dollars a year.

What’s the issue here, since the union has offered to reimburse all the expenses, and the salary will get paid whether or not the union leader is working for the union or for the district?  It seems as though either side could give way without any loss.

Not so fast.  The key here is the PERA benefits, which are calculated by a formula based on earnings, which are set by the union.  Making a union head leave PERA for the duration of his service would certainly make union leadership a less desirable task.  But it’s also unfair on the face of it to put taxpayers on the hook for benefits they can’t limit, for services not being rendered to them.  (Somehow, and I’m really not sure how, this issue got tied up with the national AFT’s Education Research & Dissemination program, sort of a classroom best-practices training that they run.  But it appears that that, too, is paid for by dues and not by the district.)

At one point, in the middle of the discussions, Jed Palmer decided to launch an all-out blitz on the American Legislative Exchange Council, a national organization of conservative state legislators, and its supposed marionette-like control over the board.  While hypocrisy is always one of the easiest political charges to level, it’s worth pointing out that teachers unions – including the AFT – have a long history of collaborating with outside groups, as well.

Van Jones and other assorted fellow-travelers have attempted to make ALEC toxic, with a little success, mostly because it’s a very successful way for conservatives to coordinate legislative policy nationally, as the left has done for decades.  I doubt that ALEC’s toxicity extends to the general public, though, and it seemed to be more of a way of both building on that campaign, and rallying the troops.

Therein lies one of the dangers of open negotiations, but also one of the opportunities.  The crowd Thursday night was well-behaved.  But it’s still early. If the union finds that it has over-stated its position on, say dues collection, it’s going to find it more difficult to walk back a public position than a private one.  Even when teachers were well-informed of what was going on behind closed doors, while the public wasn’t, they weren’t a physical presence in the negotiating room.  The presence of a large number of angry teachers – and if things drag out, they could get angry – could serve to intimidate their own negotiators as much as the school board.

On the other hand, assuming that the sessions don’t have to move behind shatter-proof glass, the open sessions will allow an interested public to see what positions are taken, what justifications are used, and may ultimately, over time, have the effect of forcing both parties to engage in more persuasion, less posturing.

UPDATE: I tweeted as much of the proceedings as I could stay for; once the negotiations moved into salaries and benefits, I just didn’t have the numbers or understanding of the issues to be able to comment intelligently.  You can see the thread, my tweets, and the very illuminating tweets from @parentLEDreform.

UPDATE II: From someone more familiar with the FTE issue than I:

Here is the ironic thing. Earlier this year, the administration realized that although we were paying half the union leadership’s salary (actual compensation for particular individuals varies), they were not doing anything that we could see for the District. Dr. Fagen asked them to be accountable for the half we were paying, i.e. spend time with an assigned administrator completing special projects. Initially, the president agreed, but then she backed off the statement. She said she was not interested in such an arrangement. Dr. Fagen sent her an email documenting their conversation, reiterating their understanding that the union would now be paying 100% instead of participating in a collaborative relationship for partial pay. The union agreed… then backtracked again, calling in attorneys. Eventually the Board thought we might be better off divesting ourselves of this torturous relationship. We would not be talking about union salary reimbursement, PERA, etc. right now if they had simply agreed to accountability for the 50% of pay.

, , , , ,

No Comments

“Local Control” – Absolute or Absolut?

Recently, WhoSaidYouSaid showed Colorado state Rep. John Soper, D-Thornton, telling public school employees to “go someplace else” if they didn’t like being due-paying members of the Colorado Education Association. Soper was speaking in opposition to HB12-1333, a bill that would have permitted teachers to opt out of union membership any time, with a 30-day notice.

The Democrats’ opposition, as you can see from our distilled video above, was largely based on the idea of local control of schools, enshrined in the Colorado state constitution. The repetition of the phrase by Rep. Millie Hamner, D-Summit, and Rep. Judy Solano, D-Brighton, struck me as a drinking game.

The problem is that “local control,” while it does extend beyond curriculum, is not absolute. According to the Colorado Department of Education, “local control” encompasses:

“Both by citizen preference and law, Colorado is a ‘local control’ state. This means that many pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public education decisions – on issues such as curriculum, personnel, school calendars, graduation requirements, and classroom policy – are made by the 176 school district administrations and their school boards.”

Local control would, according to the categories listed above, include things that actually affect the relationship among teachers, schools, parents, and children, but doesn’t seem to include the internal relationship between the teachers and their union.

In practice, according to David Kopel, research director for the Independence Institute, Colorado case law limits exclusive local control more than this definition – and Reps. Solano’s and Hamner’s insistence – would presume.

The state legislature can set ground rules for teacher dismissals. (Blaine v. Moffat County School Dist. Re No. 1, 1988, 748 P.2d 1280.)

Therefore, sect. 15 does not grant school districts absolutely immunity from legislative regulation of employee relations.

“For purposes of state constitutional provision giving ‘control of instruction’ to local school boards, local board discretion can be restricted or limited, where specific local board decisions are likely to implicate important education policy, by statutory criteria, judicial review, or both.” (Board of Educ. of School Dist. No. 1 in City and County of Denver v. Booth, 1999, 984 P.2d 639.)

As for Rep. Solano’s somewhat snarky assertion that, “If you’re for local control for one thing, it’s very difficult to be against local control for something else,” historically, that’s been far from true for either party. Insistent on local control in this case, the Democrats have, in the past, overridden it to press for Race to the Top funds, establish an arts curriculum requirement, and set sex education standards.

However, what has been true is that the left has been all too willing to use the facade of “local control” as an excuse to stifle reforms both large – as in the statewide school choice program struck down by the courts – and small, as in this case of letting teachers escape unwanted union membership, when they see them as a threat to the entrenched power of the teachers’ union.

No Comments

Legislating (Not) By The Numbers

Thursday’s discussion of the proposed in-state tuition for children of illegal immigrants in the Jewish Community Relations Council (where I represent the Denver Academy of Torah as a school), provided an object lesson in the difference between government and the real world.

This bill differs from prior years’ efforts in that it creates a third category of student rates.  Currently, there is Out of State, which is supposed to be priced higher than the cost of educating the student and in-state with the COFF subsidy, which is supposed to be less than the educational cost.  The third category would be “In-state without the COFF subsidy,” which would supposedly be, Goldilocks-style, exactly the cost of educating the student.  In this way, claim SB12-015’s advocates, the new law would cost neither the university nor the taxpayer.

The problem is that this claim is completely unverifiable.

The legislature has been trying for years to get the University of Colorado to tell it how much it costs to deliver a bachelors degree-quality education to a student, without result.  The university either can’t or won’t calculate and divulge that number.  While it’s true that there’s no immediate outlay from the state treasury, there’s simply no way to guarantee that the bill won’t end up as a net cost to the state’s already-strapped public universities.

The bill pretends to get to the “at-cost” number programatically, rather than through actual accounting. The program numbers can’t be any better than guesses.  At the state capitol, this is what passes for reality.

Whatever one thinks of the politics and the wisdom of passing such a bill – and there are strong arguments on both sides – it’s clear that the proponents’ arithmetical arguments don’t add up.

No Comments

Build a Fence Around the Bubble

Looks as though a lot of The Occupation could use a good college-level education.  Someone’s noticed that The Occupation of those without an occupation is as much about the Higher Education Bubble as much as anything else (h/t Instapundit), only those involved don’t even realize it.

There’s just one thing that confuses me: a lot of these POWS seem to be mad that they were forced to accumulate a ton of debt with the stew-dent loans that they were tricked into taking to support them for 7 years while completing their degrees in Recycling Studies and beer pong. Now they find out – not only can they not get a job in the field that they picked to “follow their bliss” butt they’re expected to pay their loans back too! That is so unfair. No wonder they want to spread the the other 1%’s wealth around.

Butt seriously: why are they occupying Wall Street? Shouldn’t they be occupying the administration buildings of the universities? Aren’t they the ones cranking out worthless degrees that they’re charging $10-100,000 a year for? How, exactly, is this Colgate-Palmolive’s fault? Other than the fact they’re successful, greedy capitalists?

Actually, the American Association of University Professors noticed, too:

The dedicated students whom we teach at institutions of higher education are being forced to pay more for tuition and go deeper into debt because of cuts in state funding, only to find themselves unemployed when they graduate.

The majority of college and university faculty positions are now insecure, part-time jobs. In addition, attacks on collective bargaining have been rampant throughout the nation, as our job security, wages, health benefits, and pensions have been either reduced or slated for elimination.

Therefore, it is time to stand up for what is right.

Evidently, what’s “right” doesn’t include university faculty – or their former students – having to live in the real world, where all jobs are always insecure, health benefits have been disappearing for decades, and most of us have had to provide for our own pensions for our whole working lives.  We actually accept these economic realities for ourselves, and bristle at the notion that someone else feels entitled get a lifelong scholarship for them, on our dime.

In fact, they’d like the laws of economics not to apply to higher education at all.  Heavily subsidized, colleges have not necessarily put this money towards decreasing class sizes or improving instruction.  Instead, they have raised tuition to match the subsidies, and put the money towards branding and administrative bloat.  In Colorado, at least, they’ve managed to avoid accountability for their spending.  Look at the University of Colorado website, and while you’ll have no trouble at all finding out where the money comes from, good luck figuring out how it gets spent.  For years, the legislature has tried to get a straight answer to the question, “how much does it cost to educate a student from enrollment to awarding of a bachelor’s degree?”  No dice.

Worse, as far as the students are concerned, colleges & universities have been marketing the generic bachelors degree as the key to lifetime employment security, regardless of the degree.  This, at the same time as they have been marketing themselves to the taxpayers as the engines of technological growth.  That 25%-30% of CU’s bachelor’s degrees over the last decade have been in psychology, the social sciences, or area & ethnic studies somewhat undermines both claims.

Now, I know of some sociology majors who, after have complete four years of college, have returned home to help out with the family business, and find the work fascinating.  That’s fine if you’re expecting a $50,000 debt for finishing school.  But I’m guessing that most people don’t have that opportunity.  They, like their parents, have to work for someone else, and “Bring Your Kids To Work Day” is pretty much over by the time they’re 22.  So they need a degree that will help prepare them for that.

This is not an attack on the liberal arts, or to suggest that math and science be studied solely in preparation for an engineering career.  The wild success of The Teaching Company is proof that adults, with real financial obligations, can be enticed to pay hundreds of dollars for quality courses in history, philosophy, literature, music, and science.  It’s proof that adults, with real world experience, realize the value of those subjects in helping them make sense of the world and grapple with tough issues.

The whining of the professors and their former students is, on the contrary, evidence of how the modern university instead cheats its current students by utterly failing them in this regard, and how easy it is to prey on college-bound students and their parents who only want the best for them.

That they have been the victims of a swindle almost as colossal as Social Security is undeniable.  Too many students have been sold a bill of goods by their government and the universities they attend.  Too bad they don’t have the critical thinking skills to be protesting at the right address.


No Comments

The 49th Parallel

How many states can be 49th?  Let us count the ways.

A few years ago, my friend Ben DeGrow noticed that whenever the subject of budget restraint touched on public education, the state teachers union would immediately make one of two claims: either the state was 49th in school spending, or would be after the change was made.

You’ll notice that I declined to name the state in question just now.  That’s because this claim was being made, simultaneously, all over the country by various Education Associations.  Apparently, we are all 49th now.

Nebraska, welcome to the club:

Two of the state’s largest public employee unions gave a hearty thumbs down Monday to a new proposal generated by state business groups to reform the state’s much criticized labor court, the Commission of Industrial Relations.

Officials who represent state K-12 teachers and state employees said the new plan would “eviscerate” collective bargaining and force down public employees’ wages as much as 15 percent.

Karen Kilgarin, a spokeswoman for the Nebraska State Education Association, said the plan would put Nebraska at 49th in the nation in teachers’ salaries.

First of all, there’s the obvious question of who’s 50th.  I mean, if you’re the least bit skeptical about this claim, you’d think that would be the first thing you’d ask, if only so that you could have a good laugh at their expense when you were filing your story.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , ,

No Comments

Keeping the Higher Ed Bubble Inflated

UPDATE: I am advised that this was the closest vote in 20 years on a tuition increase: 5-4.  I don’t have the names of those who had the courage to vote No, but kudos to them for doing so.  Even though Regents are elected, it’s relatively easy for them to roll over to an appointed administration on tuition votes, especially given the (at least perceived) centrality of higher education to opportunity for advancement.

The CU Regents have approved a 9.3% tuition increase for in-state students, and a 3% increase for out-of-state students.  No doubt it’ll take special scientific instruments to measure the time that elapsed between this announcement and certain legislators’ bemoaning the fact that we “don’t fund higher ed.”  But higher ed, even here in Colorado, has done a pretty terrible job of accounting exactly what it is we’re supposed to be funding.

The core mission of the university is the education of students, culminating in a degree that is supposed to represent the mastery of the material.  It is almost impossible to get a straight answer as to what that actually costs.  Go to the CU website, and you’ll be provided with a wealth of information about their sources of funding.  Detailed information about spending is almost impossible to find.

Read the rest of this entry »

No Comments

Colorado UpLift

Kathy Emmons, an erstwhile campaign volunteer, but also a volunteer for a terrific organization, Colorado Uplift.  It started out as a way to find jobs for inner-city youths, but they quickly saw that the kids were bringing all the bad habits of their young lifetimes to these jobs, and thus weren’t doing themselves or their employers any good, and certainly weren’t enhancing the reputation of the program.  So they decided instead to mentor the kids in-school and after-school in character traits and life skills for their success.

This is exactly the kind of program that’s worthy of your support; give it a look.

No Comments

Has the AP or the Denver Post Read the New Texas Curriculum?

Probably no more than Janet Napolitano or Eric Holder has read the new Arizona SB1070.  Ann Althouse has described the Washington Post‘s dereliction of duty in its description of the Texas curriculum.  The AP articles are no better.

In two articles over the last two weeks, the AP has written the following (sometimes more than once) about the new Texas curriculum:

A far-right faction of the Texas State Board of Education gained a giant step forward Friday in injecting conservative ideals into social studies, history and economics lessons that will be taught to millions of students for the next decade.  (Emphasis added.  Nothing like setting the tone up front.)

Teachers in Texas will probably be required to cover the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation’s Founding Fathers — but not highlight the philosophical rationale for the separation of church and state.

Curriculum standards also will describe the U.S. government as a “constitutional republic,” rather than as “democratic.”

Students will be required to study the decline in value of the U.S. dollar, including the abandonment of the gold standard.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir [will] be required learning (these last two are listed together, as though to imply an excessive interest in Israel; if only the AP applied the same standards to the UN)

Amend or water down the teaching of the civil rights movement, slavery (“amend” is a neutral term; here it’s used to mean “water-down”)

They also required that public school students in Texas evaluate efforts by global organizations such as the United Nations to undermine U.S. sovereignty

Looking at the actual curriculum documents (elementary school, middle school, high school, and economics), here’s what they actually say about these issues:

Teachers in Texas will probably be required to cover the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation’s Founding Fathers — but not highlight the philosophical rationale for the separation of church and state.

Curriculum standards also will describe the U.S. government as a “constitutional republic,” rather than as “democratic.”  (In fact, we are a “constitutional republic,” and the term, “democratic” is all through the curriculum, as in, “democratic process.”)

Students will be required to study the decline in value of the U.S. dollar, including the abandonment of the gold standard. (In the context of a discussion of the Fed and the monetary system; assuming students can read a paper, they know that prices go up, which means that dollars buy less)

Economics. The student understands the role of the Federal Reserve System in establishing monetary policy. The student is expected to|

(A) explain the structure of the Federal Reserve System
(B) analyze the three basic tools used to implement U.S. monetary policy, including reserve requirements, the discount rate and the federal funds rate target, and open market operations
(C) explain how the actions of the Federal Reserve System affect the nation’s money supply; and
(D) analyze the decline in value of the U.S. dollar, including the abandonment of the gold standard.

Students [will] be required to explain the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its impact on global politics (wrong; this mis-states what’s required, and although one might argue that the actual requirement is biased, there’s nothing about the “impact on global politics,” just a discussion of the conflict in context)

explain how Arab rejection of the State of Israel has led to ongoing conflict

Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir [will] be required learning – this is in a section on important women in history, not tied to Israel, and in fact, does not require that the students learn about Golda Meir; she’s listed as one of a number of possible subjects of study

Culture. The student understands the roles of women, children, and families in different historical cultures. The student is expected to:

  • (A) describe the changing roles of women, children, and families during major eras of world history; and
  • (B) describe the major influences of women during major eras of world history such as Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria, Mother Teresa, Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher, and Golda Meir.

Amend or water down the teaching of the civil rights movement,…  (if this is watered-down, how much time were they spending on it before?)

History. The student understands the impact of the American civil rights movement. The student is expected to:
(A) trace the historical development of the civil rights movement in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, including the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 19th amendments;
(B) describe the roles of political organizations that promoted civil rights, including ones from African American, Chicano, American Indian, women’s, and other civil rights movements
;(C) identify the roles of significant leaders who supported various rights movements, including Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez, Rosa Parks, and Betty Friedan;
(D) analyze the effectiveness of the approach taken by some civil rights groups such as the Black Panthers versus the philosophically persuasive tone of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and his “Letter from the Birmingham Jail”;
(E) describe presidential actions and congressional votes to address minority rights in the United States, including desegregation of the armed forces, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965;
(F) describe the role of individuals such as governors George Wallace, Orval Faubus, and Lester Maddox and groups, including the Congressional bloc of southern Democrats, that sought to maintain the status quo;
(G) evaluate changes and events in the United States that have resulted from the civil rights movement, including increased participation of minorities in the political process; and
(H) describe how litigation such as the landmark cases of Brown v. Board of Education, Mendez v. Westminster, Hernandez v. Texas, Edgewood I.S.D. v. Kirby, and Sweatt v. Painter played a role in protecting the rights of the minority during the civil rights movement.

…slavery (no, it’s in there, in both the state and national curriculum)

identify the causes of the Civil War, including sectionalism, states’ rights, and slavery, and the effects of the Civil War, including Reconstruction and the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution;

explain reasons for the involvement of Texas in the Civil War such as states’ rights, slavery, sectionalism, and tariffs;

(B) compare the effects of political, economic, and social factors on slaves and free blacks;
(C) analyze the impact of slavery on different sections of the United States

They also required that public school students in Texas evaluate efforts by global organizations such as the United Nations to undermine U.S. sovereignty

analyze the human and physical factors that influence the power to control territory, create conflict/war, and impact international political relations such as the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), or the control of resources

(D) explain the significance of the League of Nations and the United Nations

Describe the fundamental rights guaranteed by each amendment in the Bill of Rights, including freedom of religion, speech, and press; the right to assemble and petition the government; the right to keep and bear arms; the right to trial by jury; and the right to an attorney;

Compare the causes, characteristics, and consequences of the American and French revolutions, emphasizing the role of the Enlightenment, the Glorious Revolution, and religion;

Culture. The student understands the impact of religion on the American way of life. The student is expected to:

(A) trace the development of religious freedom in the United States;

(B) describe religious motivation for immigration and influence on social movements, including the impact of the first and second Great Awakenings; and

(C) analyze the impact of the First Amendment guarantees of religious freedom on the American way of life. (Intermediate school)

No Comments