|Exam Name||:||State of Texas Assessments ofAcademic Readiness|
|Questions and Answers||:||217 Q & A|
|Updated On||:||November 21, 2017|
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First of all
Section 34: Sec Thirty Four (208-217) Details: US History Test Questions
What grassroots political movement, started by southern and western farmers, arose in the 1890s US to fight banks, railroads, large corporations and other "elites"?
Social Gospel Movement
Which turning point event in the Spanish-American War occurred in 1898?
America gave financial support to Cuban nationalists' revolution against Spain.t
Americans blamed Spain for the sinking of the USS Maine.t
The Philippines declared independence from US rule after Spain had transferred their rule of the Philippines to the US t
The US withdrew from Cuba.
What was one main purpose of a Victory Garden in the US during World War II?
To ensure that the domestic food supply was not being poisoned by foreign spies or infiltrators
To decrease demand on commercial vegetable growers, making more food available to soldiers
To provide more nutritious food for poor immigrant populations
To sell grown foods at markets and raise money for war bonds
What was the primary purpose of the Chinese Exclusion Act passed by the US Congress in 1882?
To ban Chinese from immigrating to the US
To exclude Chinese Americans from joining unions in the US
To ban Chinese Americans from working on railroads in the US
To exclude Chinese from claiming settlement lands in the western US
The Great Seal of the United States that was first used in 1782 included the motto E Pluribus Unum. The same motto appeared on federal coins in 1795. What is the meaning of this motto?
In God We Trust
In Union We Trust
Out of Many, One
The Many are United
In 1997, President Clinton presented the Congressional Medal of Honor to Vernon J. Baker, a 78-year-old African American, for his courage and leadership in attacks on the enemy in Italy during a previous war. Racial prejudice during the time of this war had prevented Baker from receiving the award previously. In which war did Vernon Baker bravely fight?
World War I
World War II
In Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that a recount in that year's presidential election must take place by midnight of December 12th, 2000. The ruling came hours before the deadline, making it too late for a recount to actually occur. What is the BEST way to describe the historical aspect of this Supreme Court case?
This case caused states to make drastic changes in the ways that they supervised recounts in federal elections.
This case made history as the first time that a US President had his name and cause appear in a Supreme Court case.
This case showed for the first time that presidential candidates needed to hire lawyers even before their campaigns started.
This case marked the first time that the judicial branch of government involved itself in a federal election, and critics said that the Supreme Court rather than the electorate had determined the winner of a presidential election.
The Ethics in Government Act of 1978 required elected public officials to make public some of their financial information. What could be considered a source of public demand for increased ethics in government at that time period?
The Watergate Scandal of the early 1970s had eroded some public trust in government officials.
The Teapot Dome Scandal of the late 1960s had eroded some public trust in government officials.
Newspapers had been making up stories in the early 1970s about public officials misusing government money.
Gerald Ford was not considered an ethical president.
When the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) declared an oil embargo against the United States from 1973 to 1974, what was an effect on the US free enterprise system?
Car owners stocked up on gasoline.
Auto manufacturers in the US started selling cars to European customers instead of to US customers.
The effect on the US free enterprise system was minor; the US had stockpiles of oil reserves and was actively drilling for oil in Texas and Alaska.
The US experienced inflation, economic recession, and restrictions on gasoline purchases; auto manufacturers started making smaller and more fuel-efficient cars.
President Franklin D Roosevelt said his New Deal programs would use the authority of the federal government to help all classes and groups of people in the country. Who was one opponent of the New Deal programs, and why?
The American public: they felt the programs were not helping enough, and a majority planned to not re-elect President Roosevelt.
Herbert Hoover: he felt the federal government should not assume so much responsibility or deficit spending.
1933 Congress: they did not pass the New Deal programs proposed by the President.
1935 Congress: they did not pass the "Second Hundred Days" New Deal programs proposed by the President.
At the request of the author, this post was briefly taken down in order to obscure the name of the school and of one student.
Do students have the right not to be subjected to emotional and psychological abuse? If pressure and chronic stress raise test scores, are they acceptable?
A group of mental health professionals prepared the following report. It is long. It is painful to read. This is what many schools are doing to our children. They must be stopped. This borders on criminality. Wake up. It is happening in many states and communities.
This is very Orwellian, but we wanted you to know about it.
I have attached a copy of report that I and several other university and mental health professionals in Texas schools have prepared.
We would like to ask your help in bringing awareness to this problem.
Joyce Feilke, Counselor Austin Independent School District
15 October 2013
To: Senator Jane Nelson & Committee for Health & Human Services
From: Joyce Murdock Feilke, Counselor, Austin ISD
Re: Report of Psychological Abuse in An AISD Elementary School
Dear Senator Nelson & HHS Committee,
I am writing to report my observations of psychological abuse in a public elementary school in AISD. I am providing this report to your committeeas my professional responsibility and according to the Texas Family Code. The conditions and methods described in this report can be confirmed by mental health experts as factors which are known to contribute to mental illness and criminality when used for conditioning and shaping behavior in young children.
During the past 30 years as a school counselor, I have observed a steady decline in the elementary school environment. This decline has resulted from complex reasons, but primarily from the obsession with statewide testing and corrosive school politics. Children in most elementary schools of Texas are being forced to function in an environment of chronic stress. Chronic stress is known to change brain chemistry in children and can lead to mental illness. Many of these young children with genetic predisposition to autism and other neurological, sensory, and developmental delays are experiencing chronic traumatic stress and will suffer even greater psychological harm. The demands for high test performance ratings are causing these children to be exploited and experimented on as if they were caged mice in a science lab. They are being psychologically abused on a grand scale that will impact the mental health of future generations.
It is common knowledge among educators in Texas that punitive methods of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), which are known to cause psychological harm, are being used in many elementary schools across Texas to enhance test performance; however, I will focus my report on the one school where I have observed this psychological abuse – XXXXX Elementary school in Austin ISD.
XXXXXX Elementary School is a Title I School, which means it has a low socio economic population of minority students. Last May it received anExemplary performance rating on statewide testing as a result of a system that was implemented into the school over a three year period. That system, called The New 3 R’s, is said to mean: The Right Resources, The Right People, and The Right Systems.
The New 3 R’s System was designed by a former structural engineer who became a principal in AISD. He designed his own program of behavioralengineering and experimented on the general elementary school population of minority students ages 4 – 11. It was a successful and efficient method of getting high performance on tests, and led to his school receiving an Exemplary performance rating on statewide testing and national recognition for his school. This high performance recognition led to the Austin ISD allowing another Title I school principal to implement the same New 3 R’s System. After the 2nd school implemented the program over three years and received an Exemplary rating on statewide testing, AISD allowed the principal to train other principals in Title I schools. AISD allowed this program to be implemented into Title I schools without adequate review by mental health experts who would have recognized the potential for psychological harm to young children.
The New 3 R’s System of behavioral engineering that AISD is celebrating and perpetuating uses the same methods of punitive classic conditioning that are known to enslave children for child labor and sex trafficking, and for obedience training for dogs and zoo animals. It is the same dysfunctional system that kept the black culture of the South submissive to oppression for the hundred years after the Civil War. It is the same dysfunctional system that led to the Nazi Regime in Germany prior to WWII. The New 3 R’s System has the same sophisticated dysfunctional dynamics and abuse of power that can be observed in every poisonous pedagogy that has ever woven its way through history. It can be observed in families, cults, and countries. It is efficient, and it does result in high performance, but at the expense of great psychological damage to its victims.
The use of punitive ABA methods for conditioning young children in a controlled environment is a violation of human rights. It is unethical,immoral, and illegal. It is psychological abuse which research has shown to have high potential for mental illness and personality disorders that will manifest in young adulthood, but are known to have roots in childhood.
Positive methods of ABA are designed for use in specific educational settings by specialists with demonstrated expertise in the field of psychology and behavioral sciences. They are required to have certification by a regulatory board: Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB). ABA uses therapeutic methods of re-learning and management for autistic, disabled, andor violent children with special needs, addictions, OCD, and other disabilities which may respond to positive ABA treatment. When ABA methods of punitive classical conditioning are used in a controlled environment on healthy young children whose brains are still developing, it can lead to permanent psychological damage. Those same methods can be observed in the dysfunctional dynamics of families with battered-person syndrome, and are sometimes known as mind control, or Stockholm syndrome.
What the New 3 R’s System calls good discipline, is actually punitive ABA. The signs of psychological abuse that I have observed from chronic stress in this system usually begin by age 6 – 8. The most common symptoms begin with signs of desensitization, anxiety, loss of imagination,loss of spontaneity, loss of humor, regression, irritability, self injury, inability to concentrate, and dissociation. However, the most destructive effects of this psychological abuse will not manifest until the children reach their teenage years, or early adulthood. At that time, their conditioned emotional repression from victimization of institutional bullying and positivenegative ambivalent role modeling can lead to mental illness and criminality.
Children’s symptoms from chronic traumatic stress are the same symptoms as High Functioning Autism. It is the observation of this counselor, as well as a growing number of other mental health experts, that there is a relationship between the elementary school environment of chronic traumatic stress and the increase in psychiatric disorders that are known to co-occur with High Functioning Autism, especially anxiety, depression, mood disorders, and thought disorders. It is our believe that the elementary school environment of chronic traumatic stress is the environmental factor causing soaring rates of High Functioning Autism in children who have a neurological genetic predisposition to autism.
The elementary school environment of chronic traumatic stress is believed to be a cause of the increase in personality disorders, especially Narcissistic, Borderline, and Antisocial Disorders, which often lead to criminality and violence. These disorders do not manifest until adulthood, but are known to have roots in early childhood, with symptoms beginning around age 5. These symptoms can be observed in children who have no emotions of empathy or guilt, no emotions of pleasure, imaginative play, spontaneity, or humor.
In addition, symptoms of complex chronic traumatic stress can result from entrapment in dual environments of institutional bullying and ambivalent role modeling at school, and also at home. The psychological damage can increase with a lack of positive behavior modeling from teachercaregivers and a lack of social and emotional attachments to teachercaregivers and peers. This entrapment from psychological abuse in their total environment, and expectations which the child can never fully meet, are thought to lead to Dissociative Disorder as well as personality disorders.
Mental health professionals categorize these disorders into the following types:
Antisocial Personality DisorderAvoidant Personality DisorderBorderline Personality DisorderDependent Personality DisorderHistrionic Personality DisorderNarcissistic Personality DisorderObessiveCompulsive Personality DisorderParanoid Personality DisorderSchizoid Personality DisorderSchizotypal Personality Disorder
In 2008 the rate of personality disorders in the US was estimated at 1 in 10, and described as a major public health concern requiring attention byresearchers and clinicians. It is estimated to have steadily increased during the last five years and an elementary school environment of chronic traumatic stress is highly suspect as a leading cause.
The following descriptions are methods of the New 3 R’s System that I have observed in use at XXXXXXXX Elementary during the past two years. These methods are recognized as having potential for psychological harm.
ABSOLUTE CONTROL IN A CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT
Absolute teachercaregiver dominance in a controlled environment using punitive classical conditioning to shape behavior through fear, humiliation, and shame are the hallmarks of the New 3 R’s System. This poisonous pedagogy has been demonstrated throughout history to produce efficiency in human systems and gain desired performance, but at the same time repressing vitality, creativity, and emotions in children. This extreme form of discipline takes away any opportunity for self directed learning or original thinking. It represses children’s individuality and independence. It causes them to feel helpless and dependent. It breaks a child’s spirit and represses their imagination. It prevents the development of higher level thinking skills. Research has shown this pedagogy to cause children to become obedient to abusive authority, self destructive, codependent, addictive, mentally ill, and have deviant behaviors. It is institutional bullying.
PUBLIC HUMILIATION IN THE CHILD’S COMMUNITY
Any child with unfinished homework on any given day is singled out in the cafeteria during their lunch, in front of their school community, as punishment for not having completed their work. This method of shaming and humiliating a child during their lunch, in front of their peers, teachers, mentors, school staff, parents, and others, is a method known to cause psychological harm to children. It causes scapegoating and social isolation, and causes a child to become labeled as an “offender”. Many of the younger children cry when forced to sit in isolation by themselves in front of everyone in the cafeteria. Some of their peers show signs of sympathy, while others make sarcastic comments or looks, and others fear the same could happen to them. Most of the children see the injustice, and feel helpless and sad for the victims. This method of humiliating children causes strong emotions of shame, anger, and resentment for both the victim and the bystanders. By using this method, teachers are modeling negative behavior of “bullying”, while presenting it to the child as “good discipline”.
The cognitive and emotional conflict from such ambivalent positivenegative role modeling from teachercaregivers causes confusion and distorted thinking in young children. They do not have adequate coping mechanisms to process the strong emotions this victimization produces. This ambivalent role modeling by teachercaregivers is sometimes called “crazy making” by psychologists. The child who is victim of this institutional bullying will try to save face in front of his peers by denying his strong emotions of shame, anger, resentment, and self pity. Both the child who is victim and the children who are bystanders will learn that cruelty and disrespect from teachercaregivers is acceptable and normal. It teaches children to deny and repress their own strong emotions, while keeping up the positive appearance and expectations of the teachercaregiver. This “splitting” or distorted thinking (separating cognitive and affective) is considered a defense mechanism leading to personality disorders and regression. It distorts perception of reality. This method of the New 3 R’s is strongly associated with psychological abuse causing Narcissistic, Borderline, and Antisocial Personality Disorders.
Since children perceive themselves as they think others see them, this method of public humiliation and disrespect teaches them to devalue and disrespect themselves and their needs. It teaches them to fear and disrespect their teachercaregivers, while at the same time working hard to gain their acceptance through their own performance and appearance of compliance. Teachercaregivers who abuse their power and manipulate children’s emotions with this ambivalent method are demonstrating a lack of empathy and disregard for the dignity of the child. Teachercaregivers who use this method are recognized as insensitive and cruel. They are modeling unhealthy behavior, while presenting it as positive discipline. They are teaching children to trust and depend on authorities who mistreat and disrespect them.
Since young children still have a developing brain and a fragile sense of self and identity, experiencing the strong emotions of victimization of institutional bullying over time will cause desensitization to cruelty and mistreatment that was modeled by teachercaregivers. Years of this chronic psychological abuse can cause a child to become emotionally desensitized to the point of having no empathy for others who are mistreated. The child will be conditioned to perpetuate the same cruelty to themselves or others without guilt, since they learned this behavior to be normal and acceptable.
The child who suffered the most punishment with this method last year due to chronic homework problems, was also a victim of impoverished family circumstances. Her name is XXXX, and she is the oldest of five siblings. Her mother is intellectually handicapped. As a forth grader, XXXXX had assumed the role of parenting her younger siblings. They were a homeless family and had slept on the floor of a friend’s two room shed for two years. XXXXX spent time in cafeteria isolation on a regular basis. She was the victim of a cruel method which only increased her social isolation anddistrust for her teachercaregiver, and enhanced her feelings of helplessness and worthlessness.
As counselor, my efforts to point out the harm in using this method and the psychological damage it could cause were ignored. I protested to both theprincipal and the Social Emotional Learning Chairperson, and to higher AISD administration. The principal defended this method by calling it good discipline and one of her methods of success in the 3 R’s System.Later, I was told by an AISD legal administrator to either support all the principal’s policies or leave. This punitive method of ABA illustrates callous disregard and professional ignorance by any administrator who would approve it to be used with young children and call it good discipline.
The discipline called Friday Assessments is a marathon of weekly testing sessions lasting up to four hours every Friday. This non stop testing begins at the start of the school day on Friday and lasts until lunch and up to four hours. This weekly four hour test is said to be a need to check student progress; however, it has all the characteristics of a simulated ">STAAR test, which last four hours. The children work in isolation behind triboards as they do during the ">STAAR for security. This disguised Simulated ">STAAR is mentally and physically exhausting for young children. It causes them to become desensitized and lethargic. While the purpose is apparently to condition them with test stamina for ">STAAR, it is robbing them of imagination and original thinking. This Simulated ">STAAR is an example of exploitation of children for the unrealistic demands of an administrator who lacks empathy for children and who does not understand their developmental needs. If the Friday Assessments were actually for the purpose of determining children’s weekly progress, then the children could be tested on different days for shorter periods of time. Four consecutive hours of testing every Friday for young children is not developmentally age appropriate or healthy, nor does it illustrate good professional judgement from an administrator. It is mental and physical cruelty. For children, it is torture.
NEW 3 R’S DAILY TIMED MATH DRILLS
The New 3 R’s uses morning math timed drills to start each day. These daily drills generate anxiety and set the pace for capturing absolute control of the child’s thinking and attention for the remainder of the day’s drill.Many children develop anxiety disorders from being hurried on work that can be frustrating when they are not developmentally ready for excessive timed tasks. The chronic frustration of excessive tasks with limited time at an early age can lead to anxiety and somatic disorders, performance anxiety, fear of making mistakes, perfectionism, and self defeating behaviors. Such rigid regimens cause children to become passive and pressured. They lose the capacity for spontaneous imaginative play and a pleasure in intellectual discovery. This method of beginning each day with a regimen of anxiety, then holding children’s attention captive with absolute teacher dominated forced rote learning of test material for the rest of the day, resembles brainwashing. It creates feelings of helplessness and entrapment. Children are conditioned to shut down their own original thoughts and ideas and become a receptor for the teacher’s programming.
PUBLIC DISPLAY OF CHILDREN’S DAILY BEHAVIOR REPORT
Each child’s daily behavior report from the teacher is posted on the board for peers and others in the school to see. This is a punitive method of ABA for motivating children with fear and intimidation. This causes a child shame, anger, and resentment, as well as fear of additional punishment from home. This method serves as a threat throughout the day, and causes chronic stress and loss of trust in the teachercaregiver. This method singles out a child for scapegoating by peers, and it conflicts with a child’s need for healthy attachment to the teachercaregiver. This method of the New 3 R’s is a violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FER).
EXCESSIVE REWARD & PUNISHMENT FOR PERFORMANCE
The 3 R’s method of emphasis on performance rewards for young children neglects their most primary social and emotional developmental needs. Emphasis on performance rewards creates competition too early and hampers development of authentic self and identity. Young children perceive themselves as they think others see them; therefore, when only performance is rewarded with neglect of ongoing emotional validation, they begin to think of themselves as a test score, since that is what matters most to their teachercaregiver. They will become conditioned to perform for their teachercaregiver, while denying their own emotions and needs. Young children are not developmentally ready to have their performance depend on rewardspunishment since they have not yet learned coping skills for disappointment. They learn from behavior modeled by teachercaregivers. When a young child sees others rewarded for performance while they are not, they are left with the strong emotions of sadness, jealousy, anger, resentment, and failure, which they are unable to process. The method of constant rewards for test performance reinforces negative emotions of winnerloser and competition for children too young to process the emotions. It does not allow children to learn intrinsic motivation.
MESSAGES OF MISTRUST AND INCOMPETENCE
There is intimidation and fear from constant surveillance, requiring children to carry a behavior checklist with them for all movement outside their contained classroom, such as library or lunch when supervised by someone other than their primary teachercaregiver. This punitive method creates disrespect and lack of emotional attachment to the teachercaregiver. It teaches children that the teachercaregiver does not trust or believe in them to control their own behavior. The children will learn to think of themselves as incapable of controlling their own behavior without someone always monitoring it. It validates the teachercaregiver’s mistrust and diminishes opportunity to learn self regulation and to function independently. It does not illustrate mutual respect. This method leads to paranoia and fear of making mistakes, as well as creating dependency and lack of opportunity for behavioral decision making.
THE RIGHT PEOPLE
The New 3 R’s uses a selective process for teachers and staff in order toimplement the program effectively into a school. There is a process of weeding out all teachers and staff who have objections to the methods of the system or who have recognition of the potential for psychological harm.The Right People means that everyone on the faculty must agree with the principal and not express any opposition or disagreement to the methods.
The gradual selective process of the Right People begins with flight, fight, or freeze, which are the normal reactions to a threat of abuse of power.
FLIGHT: Those teachers who were not indoctrinated into the system by the end of the second year, either transferred, retired, or were terminated.
FIGHT: The school counselor is the only one left on the faculty at present who has continued to point out the psychological abuse in the system. The counselor filed two formal grievances of child mistreatment to AISD Human Resources last school year, but no changes were made in the system. At this time the counselor has experienced the full victimization of bullying by the principal and AISD higher administration: Threats, scapegoating, alienation of faculty, and retaliation continued until the counselor was forced to take leave on 17 September. The counselor filed an EEOCgrievance against AISD for retaliation on 17 September 2013, and is continuing to advocate for the children who are being exploited in anenvironment of psychological abuse.
FREEZE: Teachers who remained in the school are desensitized and loyalto the principal and the New 3 R’s System. They do not object to any of the punitive harmful methods nor do they empathize with the students. Teachers who function in chronic stress have similar symptoms as the students. They function in a “survive” mode rather than a “thrive” mode. They are robotic and scripted, emotionless, lack spontaneity and imagination, lack humor and flexibility. They are rigid and controlled. Their performance is measured by the test scores of their students, so they are dedicated to programming their students according to administrative directives. They obey orders without question. Many walk on eggshells for fear of making mistakes or displeasing the principal. They work very hard to keep up with the principal’s expectations and focus on their own performance. They are stern and demanding. They have lost the ability for imaginative play.
The New 3 R’s System is a rigid system of behavioral engineering that uses punitive methods of ABA which are known to cause psychological harm to young children. Some of the methods are known to cause mental illness and criminality. The New 3 R’s is a sophisticated system of bullying.
AISD administrators allowed the New 3 R’s System to be used in elementary schools for the purpose of obtaining high performance ratings on statewide tests, but without adequate oversight of mental health experts who would have recognized the potential for psychological abuse.
AISD has allowed administrators to use punitive methods of ABA in violation of certification requirements and with methods known to causepsychological damage to young children.
AISD administrators ignored the counselor’s reports of the New 3 R’s methods as being psychologically abusive to children, and retaliated against the counselor.
Children in Texas public elementary schools are entitled to have their mental and physical health protected by state law. There are currentlyno agencies with adequate laws in place to protect the rights of these children.
On Friday, June 10, 2016, I announced that as a result of ongoing reporting issues with the state’s testing vendor, the state will be removing student consequences attached to State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (">STAAR) for fifth and eighth-grade students for the 2015-2016 school year. In addition, I also announced that fifth and eighth-grade retest administration scheduled for June 21st and 22nd would be cancelled.
My decision sparked many questions from parents, teachers and school administrators. To provide greater context into what led to my decision, I’m sharing a few of those questions – with my response – on my blog.
1. What were the circumstances that led your decision?School districts are in the beginning stages of implementing accelerated instruction for students struggling to demonstrate grade-level proficiency on the ">STAAR exam. For many, this means summer school, but ETS has not returned ">STAAR scores from the May 5th & 8th grade retest for some students in a number of districts. This has caused many districts and parents a large amount of confusion, as the districts don’t precisely know which students would be statutorily required to enroll in these summer learning programs and parents haven’t had results for their kids. Early last week, we were actively monitoring the situation, and we believed that all results would be returned to schools by Thursday. On Friday, we were given additional information confirming that hadn’t happened; therefore we had to take action to provide clarity to districts and parents for the affected students. Given the delays from ETS, we issued guidance encouraging districts to make accelerated instruction decisions entirely on their own, rather than wait and attempt to guess at ">STAAR results that hadn’t yet been received. Effectively, this meant exempting districts and their students from using ">STAAR results for this process.
2. How do these ">STAAR issues differ for Grades 5 and 8 versus those in Grades 3, 4, 6, and 7?The reporting delays apply equally to all grades and subjects. But 5th and 8th grade students are the only grades in 3-8 subject to retest. It is the follow-up required actions from ">STAAR that we’ve suspended, not the tests themselves.3. Do you plan to use these scores for any other purposes such as school accountability?At present, yes. We will proceed with campus and district accountability ratings as outlined in statute for the 2015-2016 school year. However, we will continue to monitor the situation, and we will provide any additional updates regarding accountability.
4. Why announce your decision on a Friday?With regard to the timing of the announcement, we decided to issue the letter and news release immediately – right after the decision was made – to inform parents and ensure school systems had as much time as possible to decide on summer school enrollment.
I hope this provides some additional context for my decision. As a parent, I certainly understand the interest regarding all public education issues – but particularly those that relate to testing. To read the June 10th announcement on the Texas Education Agency website, visit
Commissioner of Education Mike Morath June 13, 2016
Updated: Andra Barton successfully appealed this case, and the state's reprimand was reversed by the Texas Supreme Court in 2013.
SOUTHLAKE — Saying she wants "complete clearance," a former Carroll school district principal plans to appeal a state reprimand issued over her helping prepare special-education students for the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills.
The State Board for Educator Certification ruled last week that Andra Barton can keep her education credentials and ordered the lightest punishment it could impose in the case, in which she was accused of violating more than 20 federal and state laws in handling the TAKS at Old Union Elementary School in Southlake in 2007-08.
The Texas Education Agency's Educator Certification and Standards division is the office that accused Barton of the violations after, she says, the school district forced her to resign or face termination.
"I want a complete clearance," Barton said Friday. "I didn't do anything wrong."
Among other charges, Barton was accused of manipulating student education plans to ensure that the school kept its exemplary rating. An investigation by Carroll ISD attorneys concluded that she violated special-education law and state testing procedures.
Old Union received a label of "not rated: data integrity issues" from the state that year.
State Administrative Law Judge Shannon Kilgore concluded in March that most of the charges against Barton were not proved, and she rejected the TEA's request to have Barton's educational certificate revoked or suspended and proposed that she be reprimanded for improperly notifying parents about changes to the educational plans for their children.
As a result, at a June 18 hearing, the certification board ordered a lesser "non-inscribed reprimand," which is noted in an internal employee file but does not appear in online records, TEA spokeswoman Suzanne Marchman said.
For the past two years, Barton's online records showed that her educator certificates were valid but under review, making it difficult for her to get a job in education. The flag on her record was removed Thursday, she said.
"I can now go back to work in the public schools," Barton said. "I want to get back into working with kids. It's extremely rewarding to work with kids."
Bonny L. Cain, chairwoman of the educator certification board, declined to comment on the case Friday.
Meanwhile, Barton is going forward with a wrongful-termination lawsuit against Carroll ISD.
The lawsuit alleges that she was coerced and forced to resign from her job in April 2008 after being "wrongfully accused of skewing TAKS tests and testing accommodations for certain students ... so that the campus rating would be maintained at an 'exemplary level.' " She seeks reinstatement with back pay.
Carroll ISD spokeswoman Julie Thannum declined to comment Friday because the litigation is pending. She pointed to an April statement in which the district stood by its findings and actions.
"We stopped our investigation when it became clear we had enough information to accept a resignation or take action," the statement said. "We believe our Dragon families know and understand that many of the details of this case could not, and will not, ever be made a part of public or media discussion."
Jessamy Brown, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Kashmere High School alumna Janice Wright has fond memories of her experience at the Trinity Gardens area school, where she graduated in 1978.
Now, with a $17 million renovation project about to break ground, she is excited about the future for the campus and the opportunities for future generations of students.
“I think it’s great for the children,” she said. “It’s going to make the kids want to come to class.”
Wright was one of about three dozen people — including Board of Education Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones and representatives from the offices of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Commissioner Gene L. Locke of Harris County Precinct One — who turned out Wednesday for an update on the 2012 Bond project.
Work on the campus is slated to start this summer, with the construction of an addition that will create a new front entrance to the school that is better defined and more secure. The next stage of work will be to renovate the academic areas to provide natural light, updated technology and spaces that enhance collaboration.
Another major component will be to enclose the interior center courtyard to create a large indoor flexible space that can be used throughout the day for different activities. By removing many of the ornamental columns and adding glass throughout that area, the goal is to create visual connections, according to Architect John Haugen of Natex Corp. The contractor on the project is DT Construction.
More information on the Kashmere High School project
Other highlights include expanding the JROTC area, relocating and renovating the dance studio, adding new bleachers to the gym, expanding the weight room, upgrading the school’s snack bar and opening up the auditorium and gymnasium visually to allow for better supervision.
“This is a big improvement,” said Master Sgt. Michael McAneney, who leads the school’s JROTC program, which attracts about 150 students each year. “It’s perfect.”
So that work can begin as soon as possible, Kashmere will relocate for the summer to Key Middle School, where it will hold summer school classes and have temporary administrative offices until July 31.
Principal Nancy Blackwell opened the meeting by talking about Kashmere’s overall plans to strengthen its academic program to boost academic achievement. A major focus will be placed on hiring effective teachers and providing more professional development to improve classroom practices, she said.
Blackwell said the renovations will only serve to help with those academic efforts. All construction work is slated for completion during the third quarter of 2017.
“I’m looking forward to it all being done,” Blackwell said. “It really is a comprehensive turn- around plan, inside and out.”
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One of the tests required for someone aiming to begin a career as a Certified Pharmacy Technician is the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, or PTCB, test. The 90-question exam consists of 10 trial questions and 80 scored questions. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam assesses your skills and knowledge of each objective, while the PTCB trial test provides the board with a standard of qualification to use. Your career plan may depend heavily upon this exam, so proper preparation is key to helping yourself get a good score. Varsity Tutors’ Learning Tools like flashcards offer a flexible, interactive way to study for your PTCB test. Whether used individually, or together, these tools can serve as a solid reinforcement for your coursework, or simply for a quick review before the exam.
Learning Tools Flashcards are one of the options to choose from. You are given thousands of flashcards that are based on the concepts you will be tested on to become a Certified Pharmacy Technician. Through the flashcards, you can see what information you have down pat, and what concepts you need to work with more. With each flashcard, you can review medical terminology with ease. As you answer questions, the card tells you an explanation of the proper answer, as well as what concept the question stems from.
You don't have to spend a specific amount of time working with Learning Tools Flashcards. You can start and stop at your leisure. The cards can be accessed from any mobile device that has an Internet connection, meaning you can study on the bus, before class, or during lunch breaks. If you find that you need some extra work with a particular area of the PTCB test, you can use the flashcards template to make your own questions. These are great to use for homework questions that you may be unfamiliar with.
You can also use Learning Tools Practice Tests to assess your current skills in each concept that you'll see. These tests have questions similar to what you’ll see on the PTCB exam, ensuring that you have the opportunity for in-depth practice. Additionally, Question of the Day poses a random question each day from PTCB study materials for you to answer. Both Learning Tools are great for some extra practice in each concept, or to test your general knowledge.
You will be tested in a few primary areas with the PTCB exam. Sixty-six percent of the test covers assisting the pharmacist with patients, where you will see questions pertaining to confidentiality, instructions, and more. Twenty-two percent of the PTCB exam is on maintaining medication and inventory systems. Twelve percent of the test focuses on participating in management and administration aspects of pharmacy practices. You can find these concepts are well-covered in the different Learning Tools, including the flashcards, practice tests, and Question of the Day for a comprehensive test review. You can focus on one concept at a time, or review through them at random.
Varsity Tutors’ Learning Tools provide you with an efficient means of studying for your PTCB test. If you are serious in your career goals, you will want to develop a secure, free PTCB review plan. You can use Learning Tools with your current coursework, or as a means of studying during your downtime.
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