Yesterday’s excellent editorial in the Deseret News by JaKell Sullivan translates the four innocent-sounding pillars of Obama’s education reforms into plain English.
The article points out: (The electronic links are mine)
“The US Department of Education’s website details the four federal education reforms that 46 states are almost done implementing:
1 Adopt College-and-Career Ready standards and high-quality, valid and reliable assessments for all students.
2 Develop and use pre-K through post-secondary and career data systems.
3 Increase teacher effectiveness and ensure equitable distribution of qualified teachers.
4 Turn around the lowest-performing schools.
These reforms sound somewhat innocuous until one starts reading… original source documents. The translation of the reforms appears to be:
1. Adopt 2-year college and job-ready national standards to ensure that college diplomas are “equitable” and more attainable to the masses through a Common Core that is not internationally benchmarked.
Use federally-required Computer Adaptive Tests that will not be accessible to local teachers or administrators — or parents at a set point after they are given. Meanwhile, federal reformers are remaking America’s entire testing system by aligning all K-12 testing — including the GED, SAT and ACT — to Common Core so that subjective questions can assess real world knowledge as the means for social change. This overhaul is being orchestrated by the new head of the College Board, David Coleman, who is considered the architect of Common Core.
2. Develop interoperable data systems to track students from “cradle to career.”
The federal executive branch revised regulations within FERPA —privacy law — so that data tracking could occur without Congressional approval and so student identifiable data can be shared with stakeholders without parental consent. According to the Data Quality Campaign, student data should be linked with health, social services and criminal justice data systems.
3. Tie teacher pay to student test scores on Common Core tests and redistribute “highly effective” teachers by federal mandate.
The federal government’s idea of “highly effective” teachers means people who complete 5 weeks of training through Teach for America, or teachers who are accredited in programs dedicated to equit, diversity and social justice — not student achievement.)
4. Create new school grading systems to enforce the federal government’s equity measures on schools.
This explains why West High and other outstanding schools recently received failing grades. They are “underperforming” in equity measures. The system is not set up to evaluate the student achievement that local parents value, but rather the equity measures that social justice reformers demand.“
The article also points out that since governors were directed by the White House to spend the stimulus funds quickly, the directive “has allowed the federal government to remake K-12 education in three years time without public knowledge, without using our representative form of government and without vetting the ongoing costs to states.”
Read the whole article here: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865589745/Education-reforms-Obamacare-destabilize-state-budgets.html
THANK YOU, JAKELL SULLIVAN.