Saturday, May 9, 2009

Election Statement

Election Statement from Robert Canright, 2009 School Board Election.

Our newspapers help cover up the problems in the Plano school district, but those problems do not go away and do not get solved. I demonstrated that the Allen, Frisco, and Richardson school districts are better managed than PISD and provide a better education for the average student than PISD, but the citizens of Plano could not see that proof in most of their newspapers and the PISD censored the data from the taped broadcast of their candidates forum.

More and more parents are voting against the school board. In the year 2000, Susan Sarhady ran against Allan Bird. I received 75% more votes than Ms Sarhady did in 2000. There is a growing discontent in Plano with our school board.

Our curriculum problems continue to fester. Small numbers of perceptive parents continue to discover the truth about our problems, but they usually pull their children from PISD schools. Only 5% of Plano voters participated in the school board election. If the citizens ever learn the truth about our problems, I believe they will finally go vote and we can begin fixing our problems.

I will continue trying to fix the problems in PISD because I love Plano and do not want to give up on it.

We should applaud the local paper, My Crescent, because it was the only newspaper to publish an article about the true performance of the PISD.

My thanks to everyone who voted for me and worked to help my campaign!

Robert Canright

Better Leaders for a Better Future

My platform is

I say our economic problems today are not a normal economic downturn. This is not a normal recession. Our problems were created by poor leadership on Wall Street in Washington.

For our children to have a good future, we need to educate them to become tomorrow's leaders. This means they must understand economics, and they must understand history. I have given one example of an improved history course: on the U.S. Constitution. Studying Plato would be better for developing leaders than studying one more year of Math.

I have developed the Texas Ascendant campaign as a road map for prosperous future for our children.

Vote for Robert Canright for the sake of your children's future!

Robert Canright

Plano is Special

I think Plano is a great city and the schools are almost great. We need to fix some problems before the problems become too big to fix. I want to work to fix those problems and give our kids a great education.

I changed careers in order to stay in Plano and permit my children to grow up here. I have seen our high school seniors holding pinkies and singing their Alma Mater with heart. We have a great spirit.

Plano has been a great town, but we need to keep up the quality of our schools. As the schools slip, so will Plano slip.

Vote for Robert Canright to maintain school quality!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Texas 4x4 Graduation Requirements Part 2

The Texas Legislature thinks it can mold the future by forcing more Math and Science upon our students at a time when the study of Economics and History are for more critical for our survival than Math and Science.

The Texas Legislature loves centralized planning, but it does not care that its plans are failures. Once they identified under performing schools with the TAKS test, they could never figure out how to improve those schools. They do not care that their plans are consistent failures, they just love to plot and scheme and shove awful programs down the throats of voters who lack the backbone to go vote them out of office.

The famous economist Friedrich von Hayek, a favorite of Ronald Reagan & Margaret Thatcher, has constructed a compelling argument that centralized planning is always inferior to a free market.

The Texas Legislature needs to dump the 4x4 and let the free market -- parents and students and communities -- choose a 4th year of Math and Science when it fits their needs. Alfred North Whitehead, in "The Aims of Education," said that central governments need to let the schools set their own curriculum to fit their communities.

The Texas Legislature lacks the competence to make detailed policy about education. The advice the Legislature is getting regarding education is bad advice. The Legislature needs to fire its advisers before the voters fire the Legislators.

Robert Canright

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Texas 4x4 Graduation Requirements

I recently spoke with at telecom executive about the Texas 4x4 graduation requirements that will force all the children of Texas to take a fourth year of math and science. This executive has a child in Plano schools who is artistically inclined. This mother feels that a fourth year of math and a fourth year of science will remove courses from her child's schedule that would be good for her child and force her child to take classes she does not need.

Freedom of choice in education has been stripped away from this mother and her child, and that is wrong!

This telecom executive went on to say, "Why more math and science? We don't need more engineers! I've laid off between 600 and 700 engineers. We're sending the work overseas!"

People who say we do need more engineers are misinformed. There might be engineering executives who say there is a shortage, but they are wrong. When Erich Bloch, an ex-IBM vice president was director of the National Science Foundation he made a lot of noise about an engineering shortage in order to bring in many foreign engineers on H1-B visas while companies were laying off American engineers. After Bloch left the National Science Foundation the staffers at the Foundation admitted there was no evidence to support an engineering shortage, that Erich Bloch made up the alleged shortage on his own.

Then there are people who say our students are not all college ready when they graduate because they need remedial work in math. Adding one more year of math to children already far behind in math skills will never make up for a poor elementary school math program.

People concerned about college ready students have the solution backwards. The answer is not in 12th grade, the answer is in elementary school. Fix instruction at the beginning of the pipeline, where the problems are created, not at the end of the pipeline where damage is irreversible.

Some people believe our children will be better employees if they have more math and science. But the Texas Legislature should not seek to subjugate our children to the service of others. What the Texas Legislature should seek is a growing economy with good jobs. We need better employers, not better employees.

A fourth year of math and science is less that worthless for most children, it is an unnecessary burden on the schools and an incentive for marginal students to drop-out.

Here is a quote from a supporter of the 4x4: "I foresee much weeping among students and their parents." Supporters of the 4x4 do not have the best interests of our children in mind.

Our children need a better understanding of history, economics, and finance, not more math and science.

When I saw a U.S. Congressman on C-Span explain why he voted for the bank bailout, the Troubled Asset Relief Fund, he explained that he did not understand economics, so he had to trust the Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Paulson. Notice the Congressman did not say he did not understand math, he did not say he did not understand science, he said he did not understand economics.

A lack of knowledge on economics is crippling the U.S. Congress and Senate, but economics is taught in the Social Studies department, so it gets pushed back for math and science.

Our economy is in the toilet because Wall Street CEOs were ignorant of the history of the Great Depression. They repeated the mistakes of the past and you and I are paying the price for their ignorance with our life's savings. History is taught in the Social Sciences department and will get pushed back with the 4x4 requierments.

A number of special interest groups have conspired to push 4x4 down our throats.

The 4x4 graduation requirements are not for the benefit of our children.

As long as voters gripe but do not vote, our legislators will continue serve the special interst groups at the expense of our children and their future.

Our PISD Board of Trustees has sold us out by embracing Senate Bill SB3 to keep the 4x4 and water-down the school accountability system. Of course they want to water-down the accountability system: The TAKS/TEKS system proves the Plano ISD provides a mediocre education for the average student and PISD wants to cover up their failings!

Robert Canright

Sunday, May 3, 2009

U.S. Constitution Rediscovered

I have said repeatedly that the 4x4 law is wrong. An example of an important course that could be pushed off our children's schedules would be a history elective on the U.S. Constitution.

If you think high school teachers could not teach a course on the US Constitution, I say that with the use of a course from the Teaching Company that our teachers could do it. The Teaching Company has a course, The Great Debate, Advocates and Opponents of the American Constitution by Dr. Thomas Pangle of the University of Texas, Austin, that could serve as the foundation of a course on the Constitution.

Supplementing this lecture would be an examination of the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers. Morton Borden has matched an Anti-Federalist paper against every Federalist Paper so contrasting views on every Federalist paper can be studied. The class or the teacher could pick some of the Federalist papers, read them and their corresponding Anti-Federalist papers and discuss them.

The best way to study the U.S. Constitution is to go beyond reading the words. The best way to study the meaning of the Constitution is to study the both sides of the argument over the ratification of our Constitution.

In addition, the Plano public library has a video on DVD that could be used in a class on the Constitution: "Key Constitutional Concepts", DVD 342.73029 KEY. This DVD has 3 segments. The 1st segment is inane, but segment #2 on "Gideon vs Wainwright" and segment #3 on "Youngstown vs Sawyer" are educational and intellectually stimulating. I believe there are other resources that could help our students understand and value the U.S. Constitution.

Our Constitution is a national treasure. We should all know it better. Our government will not respect the Constitution if we do not know when the Constitution is being violated and then demand it be followed.

The four-by-four law, requiring a 4th year of Math and a 4th year of Science, will push history electives off our children's schedules. History can be more valuable at times that Science or Math.

We need better leaders for a better future. Understanding and valuing the U.S. Constitution will make for better leaders.

Robert Canright

Capitalism Rediscovered

I have said before that forcing all our children into taking a fourth year of Math and Science is bad. Students that will benefit from a 4th year will already be taking those courses. Most students would benefit from other courses.

Capitalism, for example, would be an elective that could be far more valuable to some students. I have a more detailed description on how Capitalism could be studied at this web page. A course on Capitalism would be an academic course, not part of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses that have been made substitutes for Math and Science in 4x4. This shows how the "compromise" on 4x4 in Senate Bill SB3 is a failure.

The PISD lists Business courses on their excellent web site. A course on Entrepreneurship would be a worthwhile addition to prepare our children to become successful business owners.

We need to prepare our children for leadership, not servitude. Four-by-four prepares our children for servitude and that is wrong.

We need better leaders for a better future. A course on Capitalism would be superior in that regard than courses in Math and Science.

You need a person of vision on the Board of Trustees. Vote for Robert Canright.

Breaking Through the Wall of Humbug

I have offered many reasons why voters should vote for me:

  • The elementary school Math curriculum is flawed.
  • The elementary school English Language Arts curriculum is flawed.
  • The Connected Math curriculum in middle school is dumbing down math.
  • Our schools are mismanaged when you compare them to our neighbors.
  • I have demonstrated the Board of Trustees is not providing the oversight they should.
  • I am better qualified than any member on the board to help fix curriculum problems.
  • I have identified a Tutoring Divide in Plano that needs to be addressed.
  • I have a vision for combating cheating with the Pledge to Justice.
  • I have identified problems with the 4x4 curriculum being pushed by our legislators.
  • I have identified problems with the "growth model" of grading proposed by the PISD Administration.
  • I have a vision for goals of education to help guide our district to greatness: the Texas Ascendant Campaign.

But I still get asked this question: "Yes, but why should I vote for you?"

Obviously I think I can work to solve the problems I have identified. So what is it that I am not getting across to some people? Communication is not that easy.

Here is something I have not said yet that some voters might be waiting to hear: You should vote for Robert Canright because I will break down the Wall of Humbug that surrounds the PISD administration.

Here is a link to a description of what happened years ago when Timothy Soh presented his findings to the Board of Trustees that PISD was possibly spending money it did not need to spend: Trustee Gary Base refused to even consider the facts. I have found the same facts true today, years later. The Board has erected a Wall of Humbug to protect the Administration from any need to improve its performance.

After I presented data showing the Allen, Frisco, and Richardson ISDs outperform Plano ISD, the Administration published a very nice article on their website about 42 of the Plano schools receiving high ratings from a group called "Just for the Kids". (If the PISD website does not have the link I referenced, try here at this link.) That sounds great, almost like saying my data is wrong. Well, the TEA data has 47 Plano schools rated Recognized or Exemplary: 47 from the TEA is better than the 42 from Just for the Kids (69% vs. 62%). But Allen ISD has 90% of their schools rated Recognized or Exemplary, and 90% is a lot better that either 69% or 62%. Yes, I understand the Administration feels defensive, but it is still humbug to pretend there are no problems at PISD.

The Board and Administration are not the only ones creating the Wall of Humbug. The local papers also are part of the Wall of Humbug. Here is a link to a good article about the election that you can read in a periodical called My Crescent. Think about it. The Dallas Morning News does not have this article, and neither do the Plano Star Courier nor the Murphy Monitor. But as a testament to the greatness of America we have new source of news in Plano from a man to traveled across the ocean to seek the American dream of starting his own business. This is the true glory of Capitalism: that competition can improve our lives and our society by providing competition in delivering news to our community.

The establishment newspapers are part of the Wall of Humbug, so I am relieved that Capitalism is alive and well in Texas, providing competition for the existing papers.

Vote for Robert Canright and you can have an honest two-way communication with a member of the Board of Trustees instead of running into the Wall of Humbug.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Hear Canright Speak on Video

One of the candidates forums was video taped, the one hosted by the Plano Mosque. Part of that video, showing Robert Canright's speech, is available for viewing in this on-line article.

The video follows the 2nd chart.

I am impressed to see real independent news media in town. The establishment newspapers suppress the news more often than report it.


The Dumbing Down Disease

Plano ISD is infected with the Dumbing Down Disease. Is this a problem? Go to and search for "dumbing down" and you will see many books on the topic. Even Wikipedia has an article about dumbing down.

Connected Math is part of the Dumbing Down Disease. The elementary school math curriculum in PISD has been in trouble for years, but the middle school curriculum used to be okay. The kids received real math instruction in middle school and moved on to a good education in high school and senior high.

Connected Math will make the kids unprepared for high school. Connected Math means instead of providing private tutoring for elementary school, now private tutoring will be necessary all the way throught 8th grade. For those children who have not had private tutoring (which can be done by parents or tutors), PISD will eventually want to dumb down high school math. Then they will dumb down senior high math.

Once the PISD has dumbed down the math curriculum all the way through 12th grade, our private tutoring system will be overwhelmed and the PISD will crumble and fall: Plano will be a little Dallas in the middle of better managed suburban ISDs.

The high school math curriculum is a treasure. We must protect our high school math curriculum. We must get rid of Connected Math from the middle schools before it is too late. If we fix the problems we have had for so many years in the elementary schools, then our administrators will not need to dumb down the middle school curriculum.

SOS: Save our schools! Vote for Robert Canright for Place 7.

Friday, May 1, 2009

How Does One Vote in the School Board Election?

I believe the majority of the registered voters in Plano have never voted in a school board election. A question I hear often is, "does it matter where I live?" No, the election is at-large. This means that every year you get to vote in a school board election.

The election is always on a Saturday in the first half of May. The candidates file for election 60 days before the election, so by the middle of March you can fish around the PISD website to find the names of the candidates. The PISD Communications office is very well run and has the best website of any district around us.

Find the candidates names and look for their websites and blogs. Newspapers are a very poor way of staying informed.

What about early voting? Every year you can check, early April is good, with the Collin County Elections Department at their website:

You can find the early voting calendar and locations at their website.

Voter turn out in Plano is very poor. Last election there was a 4.5% turnout in Plano for the school board while Allen and Frisco had 10% turnouts. Notice that districts with better voter turnout are better managed.

Please vote every year!

Robert Canright