Permanent School Fund Hits Record High Value

Dear Friends,

Great news about the Kid’s Textbook Fund.

AUSTIN – The Permanent School Fund, the second largest educational endowment in the country, reached a record high value in 2013 and posted the highest return of any major state of Texas investment fund for the fiscal year.

Created by the state in 1854 with a $2 million investment, the endowment topped $29 billion in market value by the end of December.

In fiscal year 2013, which ended Aug. 31, the fund earned a return of 10.16 percent. That was the highest return earned by any major state of Texas investment fund. As a result of recent strong returns, the Permanent School Fund was also the best performing major state fund over a three-year period ending on Aug. 31, 2013, with a return of 11.07 percent.

“Last year was a golden year for the Permanent School Fund,” said Pat Hardy, chair of the State Board of Education’s Committee on School Finance/Permanent School Fund. “The board’s careful and prudent investment of the fund’s increasingly diverse portfolio resulted in top-of-the-line returns and that’s great news for our public schools,” she said.

The fund helps Texas schools and the state’s citizens in two ways. A distribution from the fund is made every year to help pay a portion of education costs in each school district. During the 2012-2013 biennium, the fund distributed more than $2 billion to the schools. Since 1960, it has distributed more than $23 billion to the schools.

The fund also provides a guarantee for bonds issued by local school districts and this important support will soon be extended to charter schools. As a result of the fund maintaining the AAA bond rating through the global financial crisis, qualified districts are able to pay lower interest rates when issuing bonds.

At the end of 2013, the fund’s assets guaranteed $55.2 billion in school district bonds, providing a cost savings to 810 public school districts.


Tincy Miller
SBOE District 12


Dear Friends,

I need your help.


Now is the time for you to make a difference in how history is recorded in the textbooks used in Texas classrooms! Please contact me if you are interested in being part of a textbook review;
board members can nominate people to serve on a panel and they are given priority consideration.

We especially need help reviewing the history textbooks. Please spread the work; we need our grassroots citizens to read the content in our children’s textbooks!

Please contact me at

Here is the information about the nomination form:

The Texas Education Agency is now accepting nominations to the state review panels that will evaluate instructional materials for:

Social Studies, grades K-12 and social studies (Spanish), grades K-5
Mathematics, grades 9-12
Fine Arts, grades K-12

1. To nominate yourself or someone else to serve on a state review panel, please complete the form posted at and submit it to the TEA on or before Friday, January 24, 2014


A few details are listed here; there are more when you open the link:

State review panels are scheduled to convene in Austin for one week during the summer of 2014 to review instructional materials. The TEA will reserve hotel lodging and reimburse panel members for all travel expenses, as allowable by law.

Panel members will be asked to complete an initial review of instructional materials prior to the in-person review. This will be done online

Because many of the samples will be delivered electronically, panel members should be comfortable reviewing materials on-screen rather than in print. Nominations are due on or before Friday, January 24, 2014

If you have any questions, please contact

Tincy Miller
SBOE, District 12

Common Core Doesn’t Add Up to STEM Success

Friday | January 3, 2014
Dear Friends,

A most timely and informative article written by well known respected educator Sandra Stotsky.

Friday January 3, 2014 Wall Street Journal

As a former member of the Common Core Validation Committee and the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, I am one of the few mothers to have heard the full sales pitch for this latest educational reform, which has been adopted by 45 states.

I know the Common Core buzz words, from “deeper learning” and “critical thinking” to “fewer, clearer, and higher standards.” It all sounds impressive, but I’m worried that the students who study under these standards won’t receive anywhere near the quality of education that children in the U.S. did even a few years ago.

President Obama correctly noted in September 2012 that “leadership tomorrow depends on how we educate our students today—especially in science, technology, engineering and math.” He has placed a priority on increasing the number of students and teachers who are proficient in these vital STEM fields. And the president’s National Math and Science Initiative is strongly supported by people like Suzanne McCarron, president of the Exxon Mobil Foundation, who has said she wants to “inspire our nation’s youth to pursue STEM careers by capturing their interest at an early age.”

Yet the basic mission of Common Core, as Jason Zimba, its leading mathematics standards writer, explained at a videotaped board meeting in March 2010, is to provide students with enough mathematics to make them ready for a nonselective college—”not for STEM,” as he put it. During that meeting, he didn’t tell us why Common Core aimed so low in mathematics. But in a September 2013 article published in the Hechinger Report, an education news website affiliated with Columbia University’s Teachers College, Mr. Zimba admitted: “If you want to take calculus your freshman year in college, you will need to take more mathematics than is in the Common Core.”

The high-school math standards are too weak
to give us more engineers or scientists.

As Stanford mathematics professor James Milgram noted in “Lowering the Bar,” a report the two of us co-wrote for the Pioneer Institute in September, the Common Core deliberately leaves out “major topics in trigonometry and precalculus.” Contrast that with the status quo before the Common Core, when states like Massachusetts and California provided precalculus standards for high-school students. The implications of this are dramatic. “It is extremely rare for students who begin their undergraduate years with coursework in precalculus or an even lower level of mathematical knowledge to achieve a bachelor’s degree in a STEM area,” Mr. Milgram added.

Common Core’s deficiencies also plague its English standards, though its proponents have been selling the opposite line. Under the Common Core, complex literary study—literature close to or at a college reading level—is reduced to about 50% of reading instructional time in high school English class. The rest of the time is to be spent on “informational” texts, and more writing than reading is required at all grade levels.

Excerpts will have to do when reading “The Great Gatsby” so students can spend more time on the Teapot Dome Scandal. Yes, that’s a real suggestion for informational reading from the National Council of Teachers of English, the professional organization of English teachers that aims to support teachers under the Common Core.

In its November 2013 Council Chronicle, a teacher argued that learning about this 1920s government oil scandal is the proper way to “contextualize” Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age characters. But reducing the time students spend studying complex literature means fewer opportunities to learn how to read between the lines—the fundamental way teenagers learn how to analyze a text.

Still, no major English or humanities organizations have endorsed the Common Core state standards for English language arts. Not so in mathematics.

Despite the dramatic mismatch of the Common Core math standards with the White House goal of preparing more students for a STEM career, all the heads of major professional mathematics associations expressed “strong support for the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics” in a July 2013 letter solicited and posted by William McCallum, professor of mathematics at the University of Arizona and a Common Core math standards writer. Other signers include the presidents of the American Mathematical Society, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the Association for Women in Mathematics, the Benjamin Banneker Association, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and TODOS: Mathematics for ALL.

Why leaders of these organizations would endorse standards that will not prepare students for college majors in mathematics, science, engineering and mathematics-dependent fields is a puzzle. But no educational reform that leads to fewer engineers, scientists and doctors is worthy of the name.
Ms. Stotsky was a member of Common Core’s Validation Committee from 2009-10. She is professor emerita at the University of Arkansas.


Tincy Miller
SBOE, District 12


Thursday | December 12, 2013

Dear Friends,
A most timely and informative report on CSCOPE, written by a highly respected member of the Ad Hoc Review Committee, Bill Ames.Published December 3, 2013

CSCOPE critics have done admirable work in exposing lesson plans that reveal CSCOPE as anti-American, anti-Christian, and a rogue implementation of the legislatively-banned common core philosophy in Texas.But CSCOPE proponents publicly claim that its lesson plans are aligned with the SBOE-adopted TEKS.The pro-CSCOPE folks are wrong.

Yes, the CSCOPE lesson plans that categorized Boston Tea Party patriots as terrorists, and Islamic 911 terrorists as freedom fighters, have been quietly removed from the CSCOPE arsenal.

But those lessons have been replaced by more subtle and clever ways to indoctrinate Texas’ students.

As a CSCOPE volunteer lesson plan reviewer, I recently reviewed eleven CSCOPE U. S. history lessons.  My past experience gives me a wealth of knowledge regarding TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) content and curriculum evaluations.


Tincy Miller
SBOE, Member Dist. 12

Great Hearts Charter Academy Article by DMN

Tuesday | December 3, 2013

Dear Friends,

The following is an editorial from The Dallas Morning News published November 27, 2013 about Great Hearts Charter Academy. I support this Charter because it emphasizes a classical liberal arts curriculum, focusing on the Great Books and the Socratic teaching method.

Limiting School Options
North Texans lose out on choice of charters

Call us confused.
One year ago, the State Board of Education approved an application for Great Hearts Academies of Arizona to open a charter school in San Antonio. But last week that same panel denied the same charter organization the right to open campuses in North Texas.

What was that flip-flop about? And did the nine dissenting board members consider that their flip-flop might give pause to other out-of-state charter operators who might have something to offer Texas?

On Friday, the elected education panel denied Great Hearts an opportunity to open four North Texas schools. The organization’s liberal arts curriculum emphasizes the classics, character education and the arts.

Great Hearts also has a proven academic record in Arizona, its home state. The network of public but autonomous schools wanted to bring its rigorous model to Irving, Oak Cliff/West Dallas and Old East Dallas.

Irving’s mayor even invited Great Hearts to locate in her city. Two hundred people turned up for an informational meeting. And some Irving supporters went to Austin to tell board members of their interest. (Similarly, San Antonio leaders and families asked Great Hearts to open a campus last year.)

Irving supports has reason to hope for victory. Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams already had approved Great Hearts’ expansion into North Texas. Plus, a State Board of Education committee last week approved Great Hearts’ North Texas application.

The groundwork was laid, or so it seemed. Great Hearts than lost 6-9 at the full board level.

Opponents cited the organization’s predominance of white students in Arizona as a concern. Great Hearts has 33 percent minority student population across its network.

That may not seem representative of the Dallas situation, but it shouldn’t be a deal breaker. Great Hearts’ minority population has increased as the network has grown.

For example, 75 percent of the students at Maryvale Prep in west Phoenix are either African-American or Latino. Sixty-seven percent of the students qualify for free or reduced lunches. Yet, their academic performance has been superb. The school earned an A- grade from the state, plus some of the highest standardized test scores within the network of schools.

Great Hearts was planning to open its first North Texas charters in diverse neighborhoods in Irving and Oak Cliff. Those moves would have followed the San Antonio model, where Great Hearts is opening its first Texas campus. Keep in mind that the operator would have to abide by state rules and have an open admission policy. A lottery would have determined admission.

Some families may not prefer a liberal arts curriculum. But clearly the state will benefit from a broad range of proven charter school operators. That way, parents and students will have a menu from which to select.

Unfortunately, the State Board of Education just took a potentially attractive set of schools off the North Texas menu.

Review the numbers
What is the Great Hearts Academies?
The charter school network was founded in Arizona, where it manages a dozen schools with more than 5,000 students in grades K-12.
The schools emphasize liberal arts curriculum, focusing on the Great Books and the Socratic teaching method.
What results have the academies produced?
Great Hearts’ schools rank in the top 1 percent of all Arizona public schools.
Students in the network’s six high schools outpaced Arizona peers on the state’s 10th grade reading, writing, math and science tests by as much as 13 percent to 37 percent.
95 percent of graduates attend a four-year college


Votes as recorded at Texas Education Agency

Votes as recorded at Texas Education Agency
Veto vote (9)                                       Yes votes (6)
Lawrence Allen (D)                                Tincy Miller(R)
Ruben Cortez (D)                                  Barbara Cargill(R)
Martha Dominguez (D)                          Donna Bahorich(R)
Pat Hardy (R)                                         Marty Rowley (R)
Mavis Knight (D)                                    Ken Mercer (R)
Tom Maynard (R)                                   David Bradley(R)
Sue Melton (R)
Thomas Ratliff (R)
Marisa Perez (D)


Tincy Miller
SBOE, Member Dist. 12

House Bill 462/Common Core

Tuesday | November 19, 2013

Dear Friends,
A timely and informative letter from the Commissioner Michael Williams to each school district in Texas in regard to House Bill 462/Common Core.

As you consider funding opportunities, especially those offered by the United States Department of Education, I want to remind you of the provisions in a new law prohibiting the adoption or use of the Common Core State Standards.

The 83rd Texas Legislature passed House Bill 462 (HB 462)/Common Core, which contains several important prohibitions relating to curriculum standards. The bill:
prohibits the State Board of Education (SBOE) from adopting Common Core State Standards
prohibits school districts from using Common Core State Standards to meet the requirements to provide instruction in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TELS);
prohibits a school district or open enrollment charter school from being required to offer the Common Core; and
prohibits the Texas Education Agency from adopting or developing assessments based on Common Core State Standards
You may read the full text of HB 462 by clicking here

Chapter 28 of the Texas Education Code requires the SBOE to develop the essential knowledge and skills that Texas schools are required to teach. Additionally, the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) are based entirely on those TEKS developed and adopted by the SBOE.

To the extent that you pursue funding that requires your district to use college and career readiness standards, please remember that the Texas Legislature required the adoption of college and career readiness standards in 2006, making Texas the first state to mandate the development and use of college readiness standards. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board adopted the Texas College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) in 2008, and the SBOE has since embedded the CCRS within the TEKS.

You may review the CCRS by clicking here

# # #

Tincy Miller
SBOE, Member Dist. 12

Draft Rules on HB 5 Graduation Program Released

Monday | October 21st, 2013

Draft Rules on HB 5 Graduation Program Released

(Texas Education Agency; October 17, 2013)
TEA News Releases Online

(Austin, TX) Based on direction from the State Board of Education (SBOE), the Texas Education Agency (TEA) today released draft rules to be considered by the SBOE at its November meeting regarding the new high school graduation program under House Bill 5 (HB 5). Passed by the 83rd Texas Legislature, HB 5 revises the graduation program for students entering Grade 9 in the 2014-2015 school year and all subsequent years.

The draft rules represent an initial proposal created directly from State Board member input and processed by TEA staff on the Board’s behalf. The Board is scheduled vote to authorize the agency to file the draft for official public comment at its November meeting. A public hearing on the graduation program is scheduled for Nov. 20.

As part of its process, State Board members have already been accepting public comments regarding the graduation program via email at A final vote on new HB 5 graduation program by the State Board of Education is expected in January 2014.

To review the draft proposed rules for consideration by the State Board of Education at its November meeting, visit

# # #

Tincy Miller
SBOE, Member Dist. 12

Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia Gets Boost from Dyslexia Professionals

October 7th, 2013

Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia Gets
Boost from Dyslexia Professionals

(Press Release written on September 24, 2013)

(Dallas, TX) Five organizations known for their expertise in dyslexia are banding together for a special screening of the movie Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia on October 16, 7:30 p.m. at Angelika Film Center Plano.

“This is the perfect opportunity to give everyone the real picture about dyslexia during Dyslexia Awareness Month,” says Mary Alexander, National Director of Programs for Learning Ally, a cornerstone national and local partner in the movie roadshow project. Other local partners include Dallas Branch International Dyslexia Association, Decoding Dyslexia – TX, Shelton School, and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children / Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders.

The movie, which plays at eight other cities in October, captures the myths, stigmas and truths about dyslexia, and seeks to create a positive culture for dyslexic learners. Directed by James Redford, the movie has been hailed by the New York Times as “busting any preconceptions on what people with dyslexia can achieve.”

The event also features introductory remarks by Andrew Friedman, CEO, Learning Ally, and Geraldine (Tincy) Miller, Representative District 12, Texas State Board of Education. Also included is a panel comprising students, parents, and educators, each with a personal experience related to dyslexia. The panel will engage attendees with conversation following the movie.

“Dyslexia is a learning disability, not an intelligence disability,” says Suzanne Stell, Executive Director at Shelton School. The most important thing we can do with this movie is to expose the creativity and intelligence of dyslexic students, as well as provide help to parents and share the many resources available to educators. We hope to sell out the theater.”

National partners for the project include Learning Ally, Decoding Dyslexia, Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity, Eye to Eye, The 1 in 5 Initiative, Literate Nation, and International Dyslexia Association.

Tickets may be purchased
online at

for more information about the national project.

Contact: Anne Hendrick-Thomas, APR
Director Public Relations, Shelton School
(972) 774-1772 Ext. 2241

Tincy Miller
SBOE, Member Dist. 12

Press Release – Geraldine “Tincy” Miller Running for Re-Election

PRESS RELEASE – - September 11th, 2013

Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, a Republican member of the State Board of Education, will seek another term to District 12.

“I’m running for re-election. I will continue to work hard to promote a conservative agenda and to provide the best education in the world for the children of Texas, while being a strong fiscal conservative for the tax payers. I have dedicated my life to education, but there is more work to do” said, Mrs. Miller.

During her tenure in office, Tincy Miller has accomplished many things including helping pass the first phonics based reading curriculum in Texas. She also developed the first dyslexia program for parents, teachers and students in Texas including a handbook. Tincy protected the permanent school fund from being raided by special interest groups. She also saved Texas tax payers millions of dollars by eliminating certain outside consultants. She led the charge to help insure that American exceptionalism and Western cultural values are taught in our History classes.

“The citizens know that I will always fight to protect our children’s textbooks fund, the permanent school fund, from special interest groups. And I will continue to always make sure the Texas tax payer gets the very best return on their tax dollars invested in education in our public school system” said, Mrs. Miller.

State Board of Education District 12 includes all of Collin County and most of North, East and Central parts of Dallas County. The Republican Primary will be held in March 2014 and the General Election will be held in November 2014.

Written by: Hank Clements


Tincy Miller
SBOE, Member Dist. 12

TIME CHANGE! • CSCOPE Social Studies Lesson Plans Review • Tincy Miller State Board of Education District 12

September 11, 2013

Dear Friends,

Friday, September 13, 2013 – 9 a.m….CSCOPE Social Studies lesson plans
review by SBOE’s Ad Hoc Review Committee. (Please note the time change!)

Tincy Miller
SBOE, Member Dist. 12