Pastors for Texas Children is an outstanding group of clergy who strongly support public education.

 

Their executive director, Reverend Charles Foster Johnson issued a statement remarking on Governor Greg Abbott’s appointment of a businessman as State Commissioner of Education and expressing the group’s earnest hope that he would recognize his responsibility to protect the children and to listen to experienced educators. The new commissioner served on the Dallas school board.

 

 

We wish Mike Morath all the best as he assumes the position of Commissioner of the Texas Education Agency. We look forward to working closely with him to ensure quality public education for all 5.2 million schoolchildren entrusted to our social responsibility, and to oppose any attempt to privatize this essential public trust.

 

We stand with our highly qualified, well-trained, and thoroughly experienced educators in Texas and trust their judgment on what is best for our schoolchildren. Education is a sacred servant-calling before God. We are privileged to submit to the authority and expert testimony of our proven educational leaders. We exhort our policymakers to do the same.

 
It is somewhat puzzling that Gov. Abbott would choose as our state educational leader someone from outside the field of public education, who has no formal training as an educator, no classroom experience as an educator, and no direct administrative experience in stewarding and shepherding the education of students. We hardly believe that such an individual could not be found among the 1200 active superintendents of our great state alone, not to mention the thousands more Texans who possess sterling educational credentials. Therefore, as we congratulate our new Commissioner, we invite him to join us in full cooperation with our established educational leaders.

 
We are eager to join Mr. Morath in empowering schoolteachers and school administrators in our 8500 community and neighborhood schools, in advocating for the proper funding of those schools, and in opposing any measure to privatize this public and communal trust. To take a center of learning overseen by the public interest and turn it into a center of profit controlled by private entities is a violation of God’s common good. We have every full expectation that Mr. Morath will join us in the protection of the fundamental provision of universal education for all Texas children by the public and at the public expense.

 

 

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And here is a withering condemnation of this choice by Governor Abbott, written by Donna Garner, a conservative teacher-blogger in Texas:

 

As a conservative, I appreciate Gov. Greg Abbott for the many courageous positions he has taken for Texas; but he really missed it on this one!

 

I cannot think of very many people whom Gov. Greg Abbott could have appointed who would have been a worse choice than Mike Morath as Texas Commissioner of Education. (12.14.15 — Press release- “Gov. Abbott Appoints Mike Morath As Texas Education Commissioner — http://gov.texas.gov/news/appointment/21773 )

 

Mike Morath is supporting almost everything bad in education – the same Type #2 philosophy of education that opens the door to subjective, digitized curriculum and assessments found in Common Core/CSCOPE; the same “innovative” school model pushed by TASB and TASA with their 21st century transformational “visioning” approach to education; and the greedy consultants, lobbyists, and vendors who make a fortune off education’s “Golden Goose” of public dollars.

 

Gov. Abbott had previously appointed Mike Morath as the chairman of the Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessments and Accountability (NGAA). It seems clear to me that the purpose of this commission is to recommend to the Texas Legislature that they replace the traditional public school classroom (where teachers teach fact-based curriculum directly and systematically while face-to-face with their students) WITH the 21st century transformational model where students receive all their instruction through digitized curriculum. Grading is done through subjective assessments (e.g., portfolios, projects, group work); and curriculum focuses on students’ feelings, emotions, and opinions – not on hard facts with right-or-wrong answers. Students graduate through online and dual credit courses with wishy-washy accountability standards and unsecure testing procedures.

 

Obviously if Mike Morath was chosen as the chair of this NGAA commission, he intends to implement this same Type #2 philosophy across Texas as the newly appointed Commissioner of Education.

 

America has hundreds of years of historical data to prove that the traditional Type #1 philosophy of education produces success. Americans became the leader of the world because of the many scientists, inventors, technicians, entrepreneurs, engineers, writers, historians, and businessmen who used their Type #1 education to elevate themselves to great heights. They were educated on a Big Chief Tablet.

 

Where is the proof that the Type #2 digitized “global citizen of the world” approach will make America great? In fact, there is no long-term, independent, peer-reviewed research to prove that that method of education works.