Tag Archives: state board of education

Sunday, April 3, 2016 – Why you should vote. Or Read Who Else is on the Ballot. Mary Lou Brunor

Sunday, April 3, 2016 – Why you should vote. Or Read Who Else is on the Ballot. Mary Lou Brunor

A little something to discuss tomorrow – post STAAR Hangover Monday.

This is long, but if you care about what children learn and what teachers teach then keep reading and know this name – Mary Lou Brunor.

Boat (800x333)

Copyright Delia R. Duffey

This is for those of you who have stated “I do not like the candidates running for president so I am not going to vote.” I would ask that you reconsider especially if you teach and/or have children or grandchildren in school or pay taxes. Here are some reasons why you should exercise your right to vote.

  • It is a right given to us in our democracy.
  • Men and woman across the world have sacrificed their lives and continue to sacrifice daily to ensure our right to vote and to provide and protect this so others are able to vote.
  • When you do not vote, it is a vote of sorts and Candidate Apathy always wins.
  • Another idiot is about to leave her village and make decisions in Austin, Texas about education.

It is these other races on that ballot that should be examined and voted on. Membership on the State Board of Education is an example. One wonders how “we” as an educational institution got into this mess. Not voting is one way of how and why.

The 15-member elected State Board of Education (SBOE) sets policies and standards for Texas public schools. Its primary responsibilities include:

  • setting curriculum standards,
  • reviewing and adopting instructional materials (textbooks and other resources),
  • approving all things assessments and the testing corporations who administer the tests,
  • establishing high school graduation requirements,
  • overseeing the Texas Permanent School Fund,
  • praying and bible thumping, and
  • other duties as defined by the elected governor and the elected legislature.

As said, the SBOE’s responsibilities include all things assessment related. So please put the majority of the STAAR SNAFUS on the State Board of Education , the Texas Legislature and of course the testing company and not the Texas Education Agency.

This November there will be a ballot in East Texas, SBOE District 9. This is DEEEEP East Texas behind The Pine Curtain where dueling banjo music can still be heard in the twilight zone and rattlesnakes can be a part of a church service.


The ballot will have the presidential candidates running for election, local candidates running for local offices and candidates running for state offices. The name Mary Lou Brunor will appear as a candidate to be elected to the State Board of Education. This woman if elected will have significant say in to what the textbooks, policies and standards are used in schools across the nation. This could include public schools, charter schools, home schools, private schools and all other entities that use K-12 educational resources. The chance of her being elected to the SBOE is a distinct probability and possibility.

From her website, let me share some of her beliefs and I really wish I was making this up.

  • George W. Bush is a closet homosexual.
  • Barack Obama worked his way to pay for his drug habit as a gay prostitute.
  • Rick Perry is a closet homosexual.
  • School shootings are a result of The Ten Commandments being removed from school buildings.
  • Global warming is a “Marxist hoax.”
  • Dinosaurs and humans roamed the earth at the same time humans and Noah took dinosaurs on the ark. The dinosaurs were baby dinosaurs and did not live to reproduction age and that is why they are extinct.
  • “Islam is not a religion. Islam is an inhumane totalitarian political ideology with radical religious rules and laws and barbaric punishments for breaking the religious rules. If Islam is a religion it is a cult religion .…The USA should ban Islam and stop all immigration from Muslim countries because Islam’s stated goal is to conquer the USA and kill the infidels (nonbelievers).” From her web page.
  • Terrorists mass murderers are results of Liberals and Democrats.

If you do not vote, your county or parish could send one more of these koo koo birds to join others in making decisions about the content of what children are taught.

Just a reminder to educators in Texas, the current Chair of the SBOE has never taught in the public school system and home schooled her children. The governor appoints the chair of the SBOE. Of course he or she must be approved by the legislature.

The Commissioner of the Texas Education Agency is appointed by the governor. The current commissioner is a proponent of vouchers – known in some circles as “economic busing.” If you have the funds, you can send your child out of those schools that are not performing well, are high minority and have bad football teams. Yes, the football team transfer is true.

If you wonder how we as an educational institution got into this mess, not voting is one of the ways. Please reconsider and exercise your right to vote. Makes you miss the Gablers from Longview, doesn’t it? And we thought they were crazy.




Wednesday, July 29, 2015 – STAAR, TEA, SBOE and Goodbye Pearson

Wednesday, July 29, 2015 – STAAR, TEA, SBOE and Goodbye Pearson

Fighting Texas Aggie Band

I see where there is a dialog among teachers regarding next year’s STAAR assessment.

We, as employees of the Texas Education Agency, used to say “Your perspective depends on what altitude your aircraft flies.” There are those whose perspective of education is that viewed from a crop duster. These are teachers and principals – the ones actually doing the work to make “crops” grow.

Then there are people, such as the State Board of Education and the Texas Legislature whose aircraft is the Space Shuttle. This also includes those who believe they can evaluate an educational institution by the sheer fact they attended one.

As you express your well stated concerns please keep in mind:

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) works at the pleasure of the Texas Legislature. By statute in the Texas Education Code (help me RL and Joan for exact citation) it is the agency’s responsibility to develop and/or monitor legislation passed and signed into law or something like that.

In addition, there is statutorily defined, The State Board of Education. The Texas Legislature and the SBOE are both elected bodies. Together, they have an IQ equal to the temperature on a hot day in July in Texas.

Therefore, please ensure your comments regarding all assessments are directed to the appropriate entity.

However, you may also inform the Texas Education Agency of your concerns by calling the complaint division whose phone number is 512-463-9290. I remember this because my phone number there was 512-463-9092. I was chewed out enough by superintendents and higher ups with better titles who made way more money than I did, without being chewed out by people trying to reach the general complaint division.

It was commented that “It (STAAR) is a moving target.” I can assure you that following a legislative session everything at TEA is a moving target. This includes, but it is not limited to the creation of a Kindergarten funding program and assessment strategies for awarding schools, those letter grades of A, B, C, D, and “bottom of the barrel.” (V. Bergin, TEA, when it was fun).

In addition, I am sure the graphics department is busy making big old capital letters to hang on the front of the school.

And last, but certainly not least, we say good bye to Pearson, or Big P.

In May, the Texas Education Agency announced that Pearson Education would no longer be the exclusive standardized testing vendor, a position the British mega-company had held for more than three decades.

Which part of that hangs you up? British mega-company or three decades?


The largest provider of testing services in Texas, education giant Pearson confirmed Thursday that it will lay off more than 200 Texas employees after the state chose another vendor for the majority of its new standardized testing contract.

Nikki, don’t you love Karma?

Of course the audit did not help either. http://kut.org/post/what-s-texas-500-million-testing-contract-pearson

Still tattooed on the inside of my eyelids – “you do not have to defend the results; you have to defend the process.” And when there is no process other than “Here, you go, my friend and supporter,” it is hard to defend.

So as you express your concerns, please:

  • Ensure you are complaining to and about the correct entities.
  • Remember, the Commission of Education at TEA and the Chair of the State Board of Education are political appointees by the governor.
  • Note that the chair of the SBOE at this time home schooled her son and has no public school background or experience.
  • With New Jersey Testing replacing Big P, it’s a new bubble to color.
  • Keep your voter registration card current.

Friday, June 26, 2015 – Snarky Friday

Friday, June 26, 2015 – Snarky Friday

What have you done for the boys and girls of Texas? Are you kidding me?

Last week Gooberner Abbott named a new chairperson to the State Board of Education who has never sent her own children to a public school. He appointed Houston Republican Donna Bahorich, a former communications director for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, to chair the Board of Education.

According to Texas Public Radio, Bahorich homeschooled her own sons before sending them to a private high school.

Just goes to show you – it ain’t what you know, but who you know. Isn’t this called the Spoils System? It was used by President William McKinley and the Republicans at the turn of the century. That would be the 1900’s where today’s group appear to be frozen in time. How much money did the new chair donate to the various campaigns?

Why don’t you just fast forward and declare vouchers for schooling? Then let the Supreme Court declare it unconstitutional because it is economic segregation. That will be a time saver.

Perhaps Chairperson Bahorich can get Bristol Palin to address the board and speak on family values and no sex education classes in school.

God Bless Texas and God Bless Texas Education.

Friday, February 20, 2015 – Snarky Friday – PRE-K Assessment

Friday, February 20, 2015 – Snarky Friday – PRE-K Assessment

I do believe that I have once again channeled in Molly Ivins and some famous audio/visual maker. For Snarky Friday, I recommend to the Governor of Texas, the following Pre-Kindergarten Assessment Instrument for his consideration.

Pre K Assessment Instrument – Flash Card

Teacher Instructions – Have two instructional aides and one parent volunteer conduct the class.  Meanwhile, you take each student individually into the hall.  Show the student the following flash card.  Have the student point to items that are good for you and items that are bad for you. Then have the student identify each item aloud first in their native language and then in English.

PreK Assessment

And now the Pre-K Assessment Instrument as defined by the Texas State Board of Education

Teacher Instructions – Have the home school or charter school administrators and parents conduct the class.  Meanwhile, you take each student individually into the hall. Pray with them with your religious beliefs. Show the student the following flash card.  Have the student point to items that are good for you and items that are bad for you. Then have the student identify each item aloud in English only. Say Amen after each correct response.


Happy Weekend.