Monday, August 12, 2013

Thomas Ratliff: A Documented Liar

Today's Austin American-Statesman has dueling Op-Eds on CSCOPE.  Peggy Venable of Americans for Prosperity has a fantastic piece outlining the problems of CSCOPE.  State Board of Education member Thomas Ratliff (R(ino) -- Microsoft) counters with a fraudulent and mendacious defense.

Ratliff asserts:
The allegations are also when extremists claim that CSCOPE is aligned with the Common Core curriculum promoted by the federal government. It’s simply not true. CSCOPE was developed by Texas educators for Texas educators to teach Texas standards to Texas kids. Period. Again, more fear-mongering.
Except for the fact that Linda Darling-Hammond helped design both:
CSCOPE documents also claim connection to Linda Hammond, a proponent of the nationalized Common Core movement that Texas has rejected in favor of its own standards.
 (Sidenote: Back in December, we broke a pretty big story on LDH's background).


Ratliff also claims:
The allegations are also when extremists talk about parents being denied access to what their children are being taught. If that’s the case, schools are breaking the law and should be held accountable. Chapter 26 of the Texas Education Code provides for “Parental Rights and Responsibilities,” including the right to see what happens in their child’s classroom. The fact is many of these extremists are not parents of public school students. Don’t blame CSCOPE for following Texas law. In fact, CSCOPE lessons are now online for anyone to see. Yet the extremists still want it banned from the classrooms. Transparency obviously isn’t the issue. Censorship and winning a political battle is the issue.
 Cue Peggy Venable:
Last year, it took State Board of Education Chairman Barbara Cargill six months before she was finally granted access to the lesson plans. Parents were denied access to CSCOPE material in violation of state law, which requires lesson plans be available to them. [Emphasis Ours]
 In other words, Ratliff's co-board member experienced what Ratliff claims never happened.


In another whopper, Ratliff alleges:
The allegations are when the extremists talk about the “Communist” “Marxist” “Socialist” “anti-American” “pro-Muslim” curriculum. First, they need to make up their mind if it’s Communist, Marxist or Socialist. In a state as “red” as Texas, do people really believe kids are being taught to hate America?...These allegations are simply fear-mongering designed to incite a mob.
 Funny, because you can see these lessons here, or here, or here, or here, or here.


Thomas Ratliff is a smart guy.  He knows that what's he's saying isn't true, but he says it anyway.  That's why Thomas Ratliff is now a documented liar.

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