Archive for the ‘Arne Duncan, Common Core and the Witchery of Wordplay’ Category
The shortest, most important post I’ve written:
In addition to the Constitution’s 10th Amendment, a federal law called The General Educational Provisons Act (G.E.P.A.)
prohibits the federal government from directing education –very, very clearly:
“No provision of any applicable program shall be construed to authorize any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, or over the selection of library resources, textbooks, or other printed or published instructional materials by any educational institution or school system…“
Read the rest here: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/20/1232a
Please ask an honest legislator to notice that Obama and Secretary Duncan openly promote Common Core –and use our taxes to give out grants for common core tests. Someone has to stop this.
Worth watching to the end.
By Susie Schnell
Education Week reports that hackers got into the Department of Education’s site and so they shut their site down indefinitely.
Baloney! No hackers got into the system. I’ll tell you what’s going on.
Researchers from around the nation have been gathering research from US Dept of Ed documents so we can get them to you directly from the source to prove everything we say. Because everyone is now linking to this site and because now we have so many national groups joining the fight, they pulled the curtain closed and are hiding behind it.
The Dept of Ed is hiding from US citizens! Not only do we have huge groups in every state looking daily at these documents now, but we also have the research crews of Michelle Malkin, Glenn Beck, Freedom Works, Fox News, United Families International and many others all across the nation for the FIRST TIME this week paying attention to what is going on with our education system and realizing we’re being lied to.
The same thing happened a few days after Agenda 21 was exposed nationally. After a year of researching the U.N. site easily, all of a sudden they went dark and no one can access their pages anymore. How dare they blame their lack of transparency on hackers. You know you are onto something really big when the entire U.S. Department of Education website closes down because you have exposed them. What a smokescreen!
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Thank you, Susie Schnell, for researching and writing this post. I agree with Susie. Time will prove it to everyone, one way or another. In a reasonable amount of time, if the Department reposts what was there before, we’ll be proven wrong. Then there really were hackers desperate to get to the educational secrets that hadn’t been posted openly. Hmm.
But if time passes and the documents and speeches never resurface, then the Dept. of Ed really is deliberately hiding from the American citizen-researcher. Can you believe it?
Either way, we are not shut down, because we’ve saved the important documents and speeches offline.
The show will go on.
Today, Alisa and I spoke with Chicago History teacher Paul Horton about Common Core and his group, Citizens Against Corporate Collusion. A few highlights:
1. What’s wrong with high stakes testing?
2. How does Common Core turn teacher artisans into teacher widgets?
3. Dept. of Ed Secretary Arne Duncan graduated from the high school where Horton teaches; what does Horton say about Sec. Duncan?
4. Why does Pearson Company stand to face legal trouble?
5. What does Horton see Bill Gates doing Common Core pushing for?
6. Why are Democrats and Republicans increasingly seeing eye to eye on the need to stop common core?
Here’s the segment.
Arne Duncan: U.S. Secretary of Education
This is the third in a countdown series of introductions, a list of the top ten scariest people leading education reform in America. For number 9 and 10 click here.
Before I begin, let’s remember a few pesky laws that make it illegal for Arne Duncan’s Department of Education (as part of the Executive Branch) to tell any state what to do about any aspect of education. States, not the federal government, hold authority over education. Period.
Under 1) the General Educational Provisions Act (GEPA law) and 2) the U.S. Constitution, the Department of Education has zero authority. You already know the Constitution gives states authority over education in the tenth amendment. But did you know that federal GEPA law states this?
“No provision of any applicable program shall be construed to authorize any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, or over the selection of library resources, textbooks, or other printed or published instructional materials by any educational institution or school system”) Translation: the Department of Education has no authority and nobody really knows why it exists at all.
This is, in some circles, common knowledge.
So topping the list of reasons that U.S. Secretary of Education Duncan is on the “Top Ten Scariest People in Education Reform” list is this: he’s doing the wrong thing –and he knows it.
SECRETARY DUNCAN’S MICROMANAGEMENT PLANS
“…We have tried to flip the traditional tight-loose relationship between the federal government and the states, where the federal government had been loose“
“…We have pursued a cradle-to-career agenda, from early childhood programs through postsecondary graduation… [the] final core element in our strategy is promoting a career-to-cradle agenda.”
Part of that agenda involves the creation of a school-centered rather than a family-centered nation. Duncan aims to make the schools the community center, to include health care clinics and after school programs and to extend school to fourteen hours a day, seven days a week. He insists that America needs to extend learning time and says, “we have to learn to think very, very differently about time. I think our school day is too short. I think our school week is too short. I think our school year is too short.”
- In a June 2009 speech Duncan showed his aim to centralize power over education through tracking and data collection:
“[No Child Left Behind] let every state set its own bar and we now have 50 states, 50 different states all measuring success differently, and that’s starting to change. We want to flip that.”
“Hopefully, some day, we can track children from preschool to high school and from high school to college and college to career. We must track high growth children in classrooms to their great teachers and great teachers to their schools of education.”
“Robust data gives us the roadmap to reform.” (Who exactly is the “us” in a country that constitutionally gives zero authority to the executive branch over education?)
- In 2010 speech to Unesco Duncan showed how he consciously –though illegally– grows the federal intrusion into states’ running of education:
“Our goal for the coming year will be to work closely with global partners, including UNESCO” –Wait a minute. What business does UNESCO have in my state’s right to educate? It’s almost unbelievable that Duncan dares say this stuff out loud. But it does get worse.
“Traditionally, the federal government in the U.S. has had a limited role in education policy. The Obama administration has sought to fundamentally shift the federal role, so that the Department is doing much more…”
Reread that quote. Then check G.E.P.A. law, above. Really, Mr. Duncan?
Duncan has also admitted that the Common Core Standards were not state-led: “President Obama called on the nation’s governors and state school chiefs to develop standards and assessments,” he said, adding, “America is now in the midst of a “quiet revolution” in school reform… To cite just one example, the department’s Race to the Top Program…”
–Quiet revolution is right. Virtually no one knows what Common Core really is.
In the most ironic line, Duncan called Common Core assessments the tests teachers have longed for. Seriously, Mr. Duncan. “Teachers will have the assessments they have longed for“? The truth is, teachers are lining up to sign a Dump Duncan petition because –the petition states– Duncan coerces states into using high-stakes tests and student test scores in the evaluation of teachers, as well as using test scores as a basis for closing schools; Duncan excludes and demoralizes teachers and discourages creative pedagogy, instead pushing assessments and “teaching to the test.”
- Most tellingly, we read Duncan’s Cooperative Agreement with the Common Core testing groups and we see even more micromanagement and data collection to come:
The Cooperative Agreement mandates that “the recipient [all the states under Common Core testing] will …provide updated, detailed work plans and budgets for all major activities… use and validation of artificial intelligence for scoring…. actively participate in any meetings and telephone conferences with ED staff… collaboration with the other RTTA recipient… be responsive to requests from ED for information… Comply with, and where applicable coordinate with the ED staff … working with the Department to develop a strategy to make student-level data that results from the assessment system available on an ongoing basis… foster synchronized development of assessment systems”
SECRETARY DUNCAN’S PRIVACY-KILLING FERPA ALTERATIONS
Secretary Duncan altered longstanding federal privacy law (FERPA) and loosened its parental consent rules and redefined its key terms. These alterations got his Department of Education sued by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, but for some reason, that doesn’t seem to be newsworthy. According to Khalia Barnes, the lead lawyer on the E.P.I.C. case, they’ve had virtually no press on the law suit.
She also told me that few people realize that it’s not just children who will be hurt by the alterations to privacy law. Any one, of any age, whose records are archived at any university that ever received federal funding, can have their data seen without their knowledge or consent.
The Department of Education has lied. It said that the FERPA alterations would improve student privacy, while the opposite is true. The regulations exceed the agency’s legal authority and expose students to huge privacy risks. The new rules permit educational institutions to release student records to non-governmental agencies without obtaining parents’ consent. The rules broaden the permissible purposes for which third parties can access students records. The rules also fail to safeguard students from the risk of re-identification.
Not newsworthy at all.
SECRETARY DUNCAN’S REDEFINITIONS OF TERMS
Next, let’s look at the terms that our U.S. Secretary of Education has had redefined to better suit his purposes:
1) COLLEGE AND CAREER READINESS. Did you know that ”college and career readiness” can now officially mean only one thing? It means having the same standards as other states. Odd! Check it out on the ed.gov website.
2) AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE – Did you know that an “authorized representative” has been redefined by the Dept. of Education (without Congressional approval) to expand privacy exemptions that had previously protected student privacy under FERPA law? And reinterpretations ”remove affirmative legal duties for state and local educational facilities to protect private student data.” Yes, the Dept. has been sued over this. Yet, ”authorized representative” can now mean anyone who wants to see student data, even “a contractor, consultant, volunteer, or other party to whom an agency or institution has outsourced institutional services or functions…” A volunteer can be “authorized” to see personally identifiable data without parental consent.
3) EDUCATION PROGRAM – Did you know that Sec. Duncan’s redefinition of “education program” now ”includes, but is not limited to” early childhood education, elementary and secondary education, postsecondary education, special education, job training, career and technical education, and adult education, “regardless of whether the program is administered by an educational authority.” That last part is almost funny. But not.
4) DIRECTORY INFORMATION – Sec. Duncan made sure it would be allowable to “nonconsensually disclose a studentnumber or other unique personal identifier” and that directory information could include a name; address; telephone listing; electronic mail address; photograph; date and place of birth; major field of study; grade level; enrollment status, dates of attendance; participation in activities and sports; weight and height; degrees, honors and awards received; and educational institution attended.
5) BIOMETRIC DATA - in the Dept. of Education’s definition of “personally identifiable information,” biometric data means a record of one or more measurable biological or behavioral characteristics that can be used for automated recognition of an individual. Examples include fingerprints; retina and iris patterns; voiceprints; DNA sequence; facial characteristics; and handwriting. That one wins the creepy award.
SECRETARY DUNCAN’S ROLE IN WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION
Of all the reasons Secretary Duncan is scary, the cherry on top is his role in the Obama wealth redistribution agenda. With the help of Congressman Fattah (PA) and Congressman Honda (CA) Sec. Duncan was an architect of the wealth redistribution program known as The Equity and Excellence Commission, which is sliding under the public radar disguised as education reform.
Congressman Fattah explained what he and Duncan and Honda created: “The Equity and Excellence Commission I worked with Congressman Honda to initiate and that has been established by Secretary Arne Duncan will begin to close the gap in resource distribution between rich and poor…” The commission presents “a big and bold new vision on the federal role in education by recommending transformations in school funding structures.”
While Duncan more often employs the term “social justice” than the term “wealth redistribution,” the documents of his Equity and Excellence Commission reveal that they are one and the same. And Duncan does push for both. At a University of Virginia speech, Duncan said: “Great teaching is about so much more than education; it is a daily fight for social justice.” At an IES research conference, he said: “The fight for quality education is about so much more than education. It’s a fight for social justice.”
FYI, social justice means governmentally-enforced financial equality; it means wealth and property redistribution.
We are not talking about philanthropy, compassionate, voluntary giving. We are talking about force.
Michelle Rhee: Putting Students Last
Countdown # 10:
Top Ten Scariest People in Education Reform
This is the first in a countdown series of introductions, a list of the Top Ten Scariest People Leading American Education.
It’s so troubling to see local and state leaders put their trust –and our childrens’ minds– in the hands of people who openly work to destroy the great American tradition.
It’s been said –and I agree– that American liberties are being lost because of the strange coalition of three unlikely groups: the well-intentioned, the slothful, and the subversive.
This series will focus on the third group, the subversive.
Watch the antics of the people who lead the educational philosophies of our nation. Topping my list of educational subversives: Common Core architect/College Board President David Coleman; Common Core testing advisor /Obama campaign advisor Linda Darling-Hammond; Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Sir Michael Barber, who is CEA of Pearson Education; and Dept. of Education consultant Bill Ayers.
Today I will introduce Michelle Rhee, President of StudentsFirst. She is a self-proclaimed radical left wing progressive “change agent”. This Harvard graduate, former chancellor of D.C. schools and White House darling is rumored to be the logical replacement for Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
Her book, “Radical,” was published last month.
It is troubling to read about the scandal in which Rhee was accused and partially acknowledged the erasing by adults of wrong answers and correcting student tests dishonestly to make the scores appear higher than they really were.
And it is very troubling to see how little student learning really means to her. From American Thinker:
“Michelle Rhee, founder of StudentsFirst, had gotten into a discussion with former teacher Robert Pondiscio, of the website Core Knowledge, about curriculum. Pondiscio had just finished listening to a speech Rhee gave at the Manhattan Institute on December 16, 2010, when he asked her if she could comment on the importance of curriculum.
Here’s the exchange:
Pondisco: ”I had the opportunity to talk briefly with Rhee about my reform game -curriculum, teaching and learning…
“I know you have a lot on your plate,” I concluded. “But I’d urge you to at least keep curriculum in mind.”
“The last thing we’re going to do,” she replied with a chuckle, “is get wrapped up in curriculum battles.”
A stunning reply if you think about it.
The poster child for bare-knuckle reform, who moments earlier was urging her listeners to “embrace conflict,” has no stomach for a debate about what kids should learn in school.
Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/03/suspect_common_core_standards_linked_to_studentsfirst_former_board_members.html#.UUkTCyJvIaY.email#ixzz2O62fGLq3
Rhee has been criticized endlessly by a California teacher whose blog about absurd education reforms includes posts decrying common core, data madness, and Michelle Rhee. At that blog I also found this Dr. Seuss-styled satire –about Michelle Rhee.
Glenn Beck’s TV show, The Blaze, will be interviewing teachers who are speaking out against Common Core on tomorrow afternoon’s show. 4:00 their time; 3:00 Utah time. One of those teachers will be me.
(You can get a free two week trial membership to the Blaze TV at the link above.)
David Cox, a fifth grade teacher from American Fork, Utah will also be on the show.
I hope many, many people tune in. We need everybody in the nation to be talking about Common Core so we can push back, repeal it, reclaim our lost freedom over education, get student privacy back, and ensure real education for our children and grandchildren in years to come.
I’m posting the bills from South Carolina, Indiana, and Missouri which have attempted to reclaim state educational decision-making for those states. I’m also posting the resolution unanimously passed by the Alabama Republican Women’s Federation, cosponsored by the Republican Women’s Federations from Delaware, Tennessee, Nebraska, etc.
So far, we have nothing like this in Utah, although at every political meeting I go to or hear about, the majority of citizens are extremely interested in getting our state free of Common Core.
Utah representatives, do you hear your constitutents?
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SOUTH CAROLINA S.604
South Carolina General Assembly
119th Session, 2011-2012
Download This Bill in Microsoft Word format
Sponsors: Senators Fair, Grooms, Bryant, Campsen, Bright and S. Martin
Introduced in the Senate on February 23, 2011
Summary: Common Core State Standards
2/23/2011 Senate Introduced and read first time (Senate Journal-page 19)
2/23/2011 Senate Referred to Committee on Education
A BILL TO AMEND ARTICLE 5, CHAPTER 1, TITLE 59 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO GENERAL PROVISIONS CONCERNING EDUCATION, BY ADDING SECTION 59-1-490 TO PROVIDE THAT THE COMMON CORE STANDARDS MAY NOT BE IMPOSED ON SOUTH CAROLINA.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Article 5, Chapter 1, Title 59 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
“Section 59-1-490. The State Board may not adopt and the State Department may not implement the Common Core State Standards developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Any actions taken to adopt or implement the Common Core State Standards as of the effective date of this section are void ab initio.”
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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INDIANA SENATE BILL No. 193
DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL
Citations Affected: IC 20-19-2-14.5.
Synopsis: Common core state educational standards. Provides that the state board of education may not adopt as standards for the state any common core educational standards developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Voids any action taken to adopt common core educational standards.
Effective: July 1, 2013.
January 7, 2013, read first time and referred to Committee on Education and Career Development.
First Regular Session 118th General Assembly (2013)
SENATE BILL No. 193
A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning education.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:
SOURCE: IC 20-19-2-14.5; (13)IN0193.1.1. –> SECTION 1. IC 20-19-2-14.5 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW SECTION TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2013]: Sec. 14.5. (a) As used in this section, “common core standards” refers to educational standards developed for kindergarten through grade 12 by the Common Core State Standards Initiative. (b) Notwithstanding section 14 of this chapter, the state board may not adopt as standards for the state or direct the department to implement any common core standards developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative. (c) After June 30, 2013, any action taken by the state board before July 1, 2013, to adopt common core standards as standards for the state is void.
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MISSOURI SENATE BILL 210
FIRST REGULAR SESSION
SENATE BILL NO. 210
97TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
INTRODUCED BY SENATORS LAMPING AND NIEVES.
Read 1st time January 24, 2013, and ordered printed.
TERRY L. SPIELER, Secretary.
To amend chapter 161, RSMo, by adding thereto one new section relating to the
Common Core Standards Initiative.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Missouri, as follows:
Section A. Chapter 161, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new
2 section, to be known as section 161.855, to read as follows: 161.855.
Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary,
2 the state board of education and the department of elementary and
3 secondary education shall not implement the Common Core State
4 Standards developed by the Common Core Standards Initiative. Any
5 actions taken to adopt or implement the Common Core State Standards
6 as of the effective date of this section are void. Common Core State
7 Standards or any other statewide education standards shall not be
8 adopted or implemented without the approval of the general assembly.
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NATIONAL FEDERATION OF REPUBLICAN WOMEN RESOLUTION
Defeat National Standards for State Schools
Passed Unanimously at the NFRW36th Biennial Convention Kansas City, MO – October 1, 2011
WHEREAS, The national standards-based “Common Core State Standards” initiative is the centerpiece of the Obama’s Administration’s agenda to centralize education decisions at the federal level;
WHEREAS, The Obama Administration is using the same model to take over education as it used for healthcare by using national standards and boards of bureaucrats, whom the public didn’t elect and can’t fire or otherwise hold accountable;
WHEREAS, National standards remove authority from States over what is taught in the classroom and how it is tested;
WHEREAS, National standards undercut the principle of federalism on which our nation was founded;
WHEREAS, There is no constitutional or statutory authority for national standards, national curricula, or national assessments and in fact the federal government is expressly prohibited from endorsing or dictating state/local decisions about curricula; and
WHEREAS, The Obama Administration is attempting to evade constitutional and statutory prohibitions to move toward a nationalized public-school system by (1) funding to date more than $345 million for the development of national curriculum and test questions, (2) tying national standards to the Race to the Top charter schools initiative in the amount of $4.35 billion, (3) using the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) to pressure State Boards of Education to adopt national standards with the threat of losing Title 1 Funds if they do not, and (4) requesting Congress to include national standards as a requirement in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary School Act (No Child Left Behind);
BE IT RESOLVED, That the National Federation of Republican Women vote to encourage all State Federation Presidents to share information about national standards with their local clubs; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That State Federation Presidents ask their members to (1) contact their State Boards of Education members and request that they retain control over academic standards, curriculum, instruction and testing, (2) contact their Congress Members and request that they (i) protect the constitutional and statutory prohibitions against the federal government endorsing or dictating national standards, (ii) to refuse to tie national standards to any reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, (iii) defund “Race to the Top” money, and (iv) prohibit any more federal funds for the Common Core State Standards Initiative, including funds to assessment and curriculum writing consortia, and (3) spread the word about the threat of a federal government takeover of education.
Submitted by: Alabama Federation of Republican Women
Elois Zeanah, President
Nebraska Federation of Republican Women, Delaware Federation of Republican Women, Wisconsin Federation of Republican Women, Georgia Federation of Republican Women, Tennessee Federation of Republican Women
Robert Scott was the Texas Commissioner of Education when Common Core rolled into town on the Race to the Top grant application train.
In this video, he says many important things. None are more important than his opening, where he states that his experience with the Common Core started: ”when I was asked to sign on to them before they were written. I was told I needed to sign a letter agreeing to the Common Core and I asked if I might read them first, which is, I think, appropriate and I was told they hadn’t been written but they still wanted my signature on the letter. And I said, ‘That’s absurd; first of all I don’t have the legal authority to do that because our law requires our elected state board of education to adopt curriculum standards to be done with the direct input of Texas teachers, parents and business. So adopting something that was written behind closed doors in another state would not meet my state law.”
This is an extremely important testimony for anyone weighing the decision of remaining tied to Common Core rules, or breaking free.
California Republicans and Democrats are coming together to fight a common problem: the Common Core takeover of education.
At the Californians United Against Common Core website (CUACC) you can purchase Orlean Koehle’s book, “Common Core: A Trojan Horse for Education Reform” and see the growing list of Californian individuals and organizations opposing the Obama-backed initiative:
Eagle Forum of California – Orlean Koehle, President
Eagle Forum of Long Beach – Jeanne Goodin, President
Eagle Forum of Sonoma County – Carol Pascoe, Vice President
Pacific Justice Institute – Brad Dacus, President
Pacific Research Institute – Lance T. Izumi
David Geer – City Council Member Modesto
Redding Tea Party – Erin Ryan
Angela Weinzinger – President of Travis Unified School Board
Rosa Koire – Director of postsustainabilityinstitute.org – democratsagainstUNAgenda21.com
Nina Pellegrini – Californians For Property Rights
Heather Gass – President CitizensTownHall.org and East Bay Tea Party
Michelle Malkin is determined to wake America up to recognize what harm Common Core is doing to American K-12 education.
Most parents don’t even know what Common Core is.
In part II of her analysis of the Common Core, a nationalized education program heavily promoted, overseen and incentivized by President Obama’s administration, Malkin emphasizes the fact that the Common Core’s “cheerleaders’ claim that their agenda came from the bottom up is false. Flat-out false.”
She says that although the Washington, D.C., board of education “earned widespread mockery this week when it proposed allowing high school students — in the nation’s own capital — to skip a basic U.S. government course to graduate,” that this proposal ”is fiddlesticks compared to what the federal government is doing to eliminate American children’s core knowledge base in English, language arts and history.”
Read Malkin’s article: http://michellemalkin.com/2013/01/25/rotten-to-the-core-part-2-readin-writin-and-deconstructionism/
Here are highlights from a great article written to anyone who doesn’t understand what the problems are with common core math: Full text: http://betrayed-whyeducationisfailing.blogspot.com/2013/01/common-core-leading-districts-to-adopt.html
In the article, Laurie Rogers, Washington educator, explains the term “student-centered” and shows why Common Core’s “student-centered” math is failing us. She writes that:
“Many of America’s public schools have incorporated “student-centered learning” models into their math programs. An adoption committee in Spokane appears poised to recommend the adoption of yet another version of a “student-centered” program for Grades 3-8 mathematics.
It’s critically important that American citizens know what that term means.
… Student-centered learning has largely replaced direct instruction in the public-school classroom. It was pushed on the country beginning in the 1980s by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the federal government, colleges of education, and various corporations and foundations. Despite its abject failure to produce well-educated students, student-centered learning is coming back around, again pushed by the NCTM, colleges of education, the federal government and various corporations and foundations.
Despite the lack of supporting research for the approach, trillions of taxpayer dollars were spent on implementing it across the nation. Despite its grim results, trillions more will be spent on it via the Common Core initiatives….
Student-centered learning is designed to “engage” students in discussion, debate, critical thinking, exploration and group work, all supposedly to gain “deeper conceptual understanding” and the ability to apply concepts to “real world” situations. New teachers receive instruction in student-centered learning in colleges of education, and their instruction in the approach (i.e. their indoctrination) continues non-stop at state and district levels.
The popularity of student-centered learning in the education community rests on: a) constant indoctrination, b) ego, c) money, and d) the ability to hide weak outcomes from the public.
Ask yourself this: How does one actually quantify “exploration,” “deeper conceptual understanding” and “application to real world situations”? How do we test for that? We can’t, really, which helps explain why math test scores can soar even as actual math skills deteriorate.
With student-centered learning, teachers are not to be a “sage on the stage” – they are to be a “guide on the side.” Students are to innovate and create, come up with their own methods, develop their own understanding, work in groups, talk problems out, teach each other, and depend on their classmates for help before asking the teacher. Student-centered learning is supposed to be a challenge for teachers, whereas direct instruction is considered to be too easy (basically handing information over to students on a silver platter).
Ask yourself this: How much learning can be done in a class with 28 students of different abilities and backgrounds, all talking; a teacher who guides but doesn’t teach; and classmates who must teach each other things they don’t understand? How do students get help with this approach at home? What happens to students who don’t have a textbook, don’t have proper guidance, and don’t have any help at home? Direct instruction does make learning easier; that’s a positive for it, not a negative. Learning can be efficient and easy. How is it better to purposefully make children struggle, fail and doubt themselves?
…In student-centered learning, student discussion and debate precedes (and often replaces) teacher instruction. “Deeper conceptual understanding” is supposed to precede the learning of skills. But placing application before the learning puts the “why” before the “how,” thus asking students to apply something they don’t know how to do. How does that make sense?
In student-centered learning, it’s thought to be bad practice to instruct, answer student questions, provide a template for the students, teach efficient processes, insist on proper structure or correct answers, or have students practice a skill to mastery. It’s OK for a class to take all day “exploring” because exploration supposedly promotes learning, whereas efficient instruction is supposedly counterproductive. Children are supposed to “muddle” along, get it wrong and depend on classmates for advice and guidance. Struggling is seen as critical to learning. Getting correct answers in an efficient manner is seen as unhelpful.
Ask yourself this: How can “efficient” instruction be counterproductive? Math is a tool, used to get a job done. Correct answers are critical, and efficiency is prized in the workforce. Quick, correct solutions reflect a depth of understanding that slow, incorrect solutions do not. Students do not enjoy struggling and getting things wrong. For children, struggle and failure are motivation killers.
The focus of a student-centered classroom is on supposed “real-world application.” (My experience with “real-world application” is that it’s typically a very adult world rather than a child world, and that now, it’s also a political world with a heavily partisan focus.)
Ask yourself this: How does it help children to be enmeshed in an adult world of worries, prevented from learning enough academics, and basted in a politically partisan outlook? (It doesn’t help them, but it suits adults who want a certain kind of voter when the students turn 18.)
All of this is at the expense of learning sufficient skills in mathematics…
Gaps in perception:
•Proponents of the “student-centered” approach see themselves as hard workers, suffering with opponents who are stuck in the 18th century. The “deeper conceptual understanding” that they believe they foster in students seems more important to them than building math skills that consistently lead to correct answers.
•Proponents of direct instruction see the students’ weakening self-image and poor skills, and we view the student-centered approach as limiting and even unkind. Math skills and correct answers are the point of math instruction, and we don’t believe students can have “deeper conceptual understanding” if they lack procedural skills.
Proponents of student-centered learning like to call their approach “best practices,” “research-based,” “evidence-based,” and so on, but no one has ever provided verifiable, replicable proof that student-centered learning works better than direct instruction as a method for teaching math. There is actually a wealth of solid evidence to indicate the contrary.
… the stated mission of Spokane’s adoption committee is to “deeply” align to the Common Core. (Not to choose a curriculum that will – oh, I don’t know – lead students to college or career readiness?) In supporting their stated mission, committee members asserted that the Common Core was vetted by “experts,” so they believe the initiatives will produce internationally competitive graduates. They provided no data, no proof, no solid research or studies for their belief. And they can’t because there aren’t any. The Common Core initiatives are an obscenely expensive, nation-wide pilot of unproved products.
Welcome to public education: Another day, another experiment on our children, except that this time, there is strong evidence that this experiment – a rehashing of the last experiment – will again fail. Try telling that to education and political leaders. No one seems to see the evidence. When you tell leaders about it or show it to them, no one seems to care. Meanwhile, many of those leaders get tutoring or outside help for their own children. (FYI: I have never seen a professional tutor use the “student-centered” method to teach math to any child.)
The Spokane adoption committee’s mission of “deep” alignment to the Common Core has caused them to choose to pilot – you guessed it – several sets of new (and unproved) materials that are distinctly more “student-centered” in their approach, heavy on words and discovery, and light on actual math.
Kicked to the bottom of their preferences were proved and rigorous programs favored by homeschooling parents and tutors, including Saxon Mathematics* and Singapore Math*. Saxon got my own daughter almost all of the way through Algebra II by the end of 8th grade, most of that without a calculator. When I asked my email list and various online contacts for their preferences, the majority picked Saxon over every other math program, and by a wide margin.
But a member of the Spokane adoption committee – a district employee – told me the Saxon representative called Saxon “parochial” and that the publisher initially refused to send Saxon to Spokane because it was unlikely to be adopted. (“Parochial” means provincial, narrow-minded, or “limited in range or scope.”) Do you believe the Saxon rep would call his product narrow-minded and limited in scope? Saxon is efficient, thorough, clear and concise. If there is a stronger K-8 math program out there, I don’t know of it. Naturally, the Spokane adoption committee does not want Saxon.
One of the programs the committee did choose to pilot is Connected Mathematics, a curriculum already being used in Spokane, one of the worst programs on the planet, excoriated for decades by mathematicians from border to border and from coast to coast. The district employee assured me the committee is hiding nothing from the public, but the committee didn’t mention to the public that it is again piloting Connected Mathematics. They don’t seem to see its failure. They love its focus on student-centered learning. The devastation it wreaks on math skills appears to matter naught to them…”
Full text here: http://betrayed-whyeducationisfailing.blogspot.com
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Thanks to Laurie Rogers for her research and her blog.
* Note: Both Saxon math and Singapore math are now being rewritten to “align” with Common Core. Only the older texts may be really trustworthy. -Christel
Watch out, Common Core. Political analysis Michelle Malkin has stepped up to the plate.
Malkin’s New Year’s resolution is to use her syndicated column and blog space “to expose how progressive “reformers” — mal-formers — are corrupting our schools.”
Rotten to the Core: Obama’s War on Academic Standards
By Michelle Malkin – (Part 1)
January 23, 2013 09:43 AM
…This is the first in an ongoing series on “Common Core,” the stealthy federal takeover of school curriculum and standards across the country.
…. Under President Obama, these top-down mal-formers — empowered by Washington education bureaucrats and backed by misguided liberal philanthropists led by billionaire Bill Gates — are now presiding over a radical makeover of your children’s school curriculum. It’s being done in the name of federal “Common Core” standards that do anything but raise achievement standards.
… In practice, Common Core’s dubious “college- and career”-ready standards undermine local control of education, usurp state autonomy over curricular materials, and foist untested, mediocre and incoherent pedagogical theories on America’s schoolchildren.
Over the next several weeks and months, I’ll use this column space to expose who’s behind this disastrous scheme in D.C. backrooms. I’ll tell you who’s fighting it in grassroots tea party and parental revolts across the country from Massachusetts to Indiana, Texas, Georgia and Utah. And most importantly, I’ll explain how this unprecedented federal meddling is corrupting our children’s classrooms and textbooks…
Before you read the article from Idaho Reporter—
Idaho mother-of-eight, Stephanie Zimmerman, reported that prior to her five minute testimony, those gathered had to watch a 50-min. infomercial about the wonders of Common Core. Then, after Zimmerman was allotted five minutes, there was additional time given for rebuttals.
“Something seems out of balance here,” Stephanie Zimmerman wrote.
Here’s the link to the report, which I’ve reposted below as well:
“This will do to education in Idaho, what Obamacare is doing to health care in Idaho,” believes Boise resident Stephanie Zimmerman concerning a national education program, the Common Core Standards Initiative.
A mother of eight children, Zimmerman was offering testimony before the House Education Committee Thursday during an informational hearing about common core, which the state Department of Education supports.
At issue is the idea of Idaho becoming compliant with the program. The goal is to have K-12 curriculum standards of all 50 states. Begun in June of 2009, the initiative is supported by both the National Governors Association, and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna is the immediate past president of the schools’ group.
“Shouldn’t we all come together, to improve the educational opportunities of students nationwide?” asked Luci Willits, of the Idaho Department of Education. Willits was promoting Idaho’s compliance with the nationwide initiative, but called it a “state-led initiative.” According to her, Idaho is already compliant with the nationwide standards in the areas of English, Language Arts and Mathematics.
The common core agenda is being adopted in states as diverse as Vermont and Oklahoma. In 2010, state officials in neighboring Utah adopted the common core standards in both the disciplines of mathematics and language arts. But, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, controversy erupted there once evidence of standardization emerged in classrooms.
Zimmerman, who is affiliated with the nonprofit Pioneer Institute in Massachusetts (a group that opposes the common core initiative), told members of the committee that her son is a freshman in high school and is already studying calculus. “Calculus isn’t supposed to happen during the freshman year (under common core), but he’s advanced,” Zimmerman told the committee, and noted that in her view, her younger children will be held back from advancing beyond their grade level as the common core initiatives are more fully implemented.
Rep. Steven Harris, R-Meridian, asked Dr. Carissa Miller of the Idaho Department of Education, who was present at the hearing, to respond to Zimmerman’s concerns. Miller denied that the initiatives hold students back, or interfere with their advancement.
“Right out of the gate, I shared some of her concerns,” Rep. Wendy Horman, R-Idaho Falls, told IdahoReporter.com after the committee hearing about Zimmerman’s apprehension. “I don’t want to see us adopt a national curriculum, but I don’t think this (common core) is a national curriculum. I believe this truly is a state-driven effort.” Horman has served on the Bonneville School Board for 11 years, and said she wanted to know more about Zimmerman’s concerns.
“I voted for the common core standards, but I agree that we have to watch these things very carefully,” said Rep. Linden Bateman, R-Idaho Falls, in the committee hearing. “More innovation comes from a de-centralized system, rather than a centralized system. Let’s watch this very carefully, and not move towards a national curriculum.”
“Candidly, there have been efforts by the U.S. Department of Education to co-opt this state-led initiative,” noted education committee chairman Rep. Reed DeMordaunt, R-Eagle. “I’ve spoken about this with Superintendent Luna, and he’s spoken about it with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Superintendent Luna assures me that if this moves towards a nationalized curriculum, Idaho will back out of the initiative.”
Math Teacher Stephanie Sawyer
speaks out about the weak math in Common Core Standards.
Math Teacher Stephanie Sawyer was quoted on Diane Ravitch’s website saying the following about Common Core:
“…They pay lip service to actually practicing standard algorithms.
Seriously, students don’t have to be fluent in addition and subtraction with the standard algorithms until 4th grade?
I teach high school math. I took a break to work in the private sector from 2002 to 2009. Since my return, I have been stunned by my students’ lack of basic skills. How can I teach algebra 2 students about rational expressions when they can’t even deal with fractions with numbers?
Please don’t tell me this is a result of the rote learning that goes on in grade- and middle-school math classes, because I’m pretty sure that’s not what is happening at all. If that were true, I would have a room full of students who could divide fractions. But for some reason, most of them can’t, and don’t even know where to start.
I find it fascinating that students who have been looking at fractions from 3rd grade through 8th grade still can’t actually do anything with them. Yet I can ask adults over 35 how to add fractions and most can tell me. And do it. And I’m fairly certain they get the concept. There is something to be said for “traditional” methods and curriculum when looked at from this perspective.
Grade schools have been using Everyday Math and other incarnations for a good 5 to 10 years now, even more in some parts of the country. These are kids who have been taught the concept way before the algorithm, which is basically what the Common Core seems to promote. I have a 4th grade son who attends a school using Everyday Math. Luckily, he’s sharp enough to overcome the deficits inherent in the program. When asked to convert 568 inches to feet, he told me he needed to divide by 12, since he had to split the 568 into groups of 12. Yippee. He gets the concept. So I said to him, well, do it already! He explained that he couldn’t, since he only knew up to 12 times 12. But he did, after 7 agonizing minutes of developing his own iterated-subtraction-while-tallying system, tell me that 568 inches was 47 feet, 4 inches. Well, he got it right. But to be honest, I was mad; he could’ve done in a minute what ended up taking 7. And he already got the concept, since he knew he had to divide; he just needed to know how to actually do it. From my reading of the common core, that’s a great story. I can’t say I feel the same.
If Everyday Math and similar programs are what is in store for implementing the common core standards for math, then I think we will continue to see an increase in remedial math instruction in high schools and colleges. Or at least an increase in the clientele of the private tutoring centers, which do teach basic math skills.”
Stop Common Core
Talk given by Christel Swasey at the Weber County Republican Women’s Meeting Jan.7, 2013
A few months ago, a University of Utah exhibit displayed original documents, newspapers, books and letters written by Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin and many others. The exhibit did not only show the freedom fighters’ side of the argument, but also displayed articulate, meaningful debate from the other side. The heated 1700s argument boiled down to either standing for local freedom or standing for America remaining a managed colony under England’s non-representative government.
In retrospect, how obvious it is to us which side was correct; America should be free. But at the time it was not so clear to all. Both sides had strong arguments that made some sense.
There is a similar, heated battle going on in America over education now. Will we retain local freedom or will we be a managed colony under the Department of Education’s rule, with no say over testing, education standards and innovation? Unconstitutional though it is, this is the battle we face today– a battle for control of American classrooms. Most parents, students, teachers, governors and even State School Board Members seem unaware that it is going on at all.
It’s a battle for constitutional education with local decision making, versus nationalized education without representation. It’s a battle between states retaining the freedom to soar, versus having mediocre sameness of education across states. It’s a battle between teaching the traditional academics versus teaching the extreme political agendas of the Obama Administration; it’s a battle for who gets to decide what is to be planted in the mind of the child.
One of America’s strengths has long been its educated people. The world flocks to our universities. We have had one of the most intellectually diverse public education systems in the world.
But this is changing dramatically.
The Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) leads the changes. The vast majority of states have already replaced previous education standards with Common Core. These national standards standardize– McDonaldize– a dreary and mediocre education plan for the country that lies far below the previous standards of top-ranking states, such as Massachusetts. Although many respected organizations have pledged support for the Common Core, evidence is painfully lacking to support Common Core’s claims. The common core proponents are quick to make sweet-sounding claims, but their claims are not referenced and are, in fact, false.
Many independent reviews suggest supporters of Common Core are sorely misguided. Dr. Michael Kirst of Stanford University pointed out that the standards define college readiness as being the same for 4-year, 2-year, and vocational colleges, essentially dumbing down expectations for university students.
Dr. Christopher Tienken of Seton Hall University pointed out that the standards are meant to save us from what is a myth– the idea that American students are lagging behind international peers; Tienken writes: “When school administrators implement programs and policies built on faulty arguments, they commit education malpractice.”
Despite claims to the contrary, Common Core Standards do not meaningfully increase academic rigor, are not internationally benchmarked, do not adequately prepare students for 4-year universities, were never assessed by top curriculum research universities, were never voted upon by teachers nor the public, do not allow a voice for the individual; have no amendment process, and do rob states of control of education and students of privacy.
The Common Core is an untested, federally promoted, unfunded experiment.
The standards creators (NGA/CCSSO) have not set up a monitoring plan to test this national experiment, to see what unintended consequences the Core will have on children. The standards slash the vast majority of classic literature, especially from high school English classes; minimize narrative writing skills acquisition, and push student-investigative, rather than instructive, math at all levels.
COMMON CORE HISTORY:
The Constitution and 10th amendment have long made it clear that only states –not any federal agency– have the right to direct education. Americans seem to have forgotten that we do not live in a top down kingdom but in a Constitutional republic. Many believe the federal government has power to rule over the state governments. This is false. States alone hold the right to educate.
Our Constitution was set up with a vital balance of powers between states and federal powers, and each maintains separate roles and authorities. Nowhere is any authority given to the federal government to direct education.
In addition to the Constitution’s and the tenth amendment’s giving states sole authority to direct education, another law called the General Educational Provisions Act (GEPA) states: “No provision of any applicable program shall be construed to authorize any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, or over the selection of library resources, textbooks, or other printed or published instructional materials by any educational institution or school system…”
So the Common Core standards are a set of national education standards which the federal government are forbidden, by law, to control or supervise. Yet the standards were foisted upon the states by the federal government with the repeated assertion that they were state-led standards.
The Dept. of Education paid others to do what they were forbidden to do. The common standards were not written by the federal government, but they were financially incentivized by the federal government and then were promoted by private interests. Bill Gates, for example, spent $100M and plans to spend $150M more to push Common Core.
He gave the national PTA $@ million to promote it in schools. Common Core represents an ongoing cash cow for many groups, which explains why the media does not cover this issue. Many media outlets, even Fox News via Wireless Generation, are entangled in the massive money-making factory that is Common Core implementation. Microsoft and Pearson and others are seeing what a huge opportunity it presents them, as they benefit financially from the newly created false need: millions of new textbooks, teacher development programs, and new testing technologies are called for under the common core and its nationalized tests.
The standards were solely developed –and copyrighted– by nonacademic groups– the National Governors’ Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Neither state education agencies nor major curriculum research universities were asked for meaningful input.
We were told that the Common Core was voluntary and “state led,” but it was a case of arm-twisting and financial bribery on the part of the Dept. of Education. States did not come together to write and share great ideas. (If that had been the case, we would likely have adopted high standards, instead, like those previously had in Massachusetts.)
The first time states were introduced to these national standards was when the federal government bribed states with a shot at a huge grant (our own tax money) in 2009. It was called Race to the Top, a grant for states. The Department of Education made a state’s promise to adopt common standards –sight unseen– a prerequisite to getting points in the grant contest called “Race to the Top”. There were 500 points possible. Adopting Common Core and its tests gave us some 70 points. Making the federal tracking database on students, the State Longitudinal Database System (SLDS) gave us 47 additional points.
Not by any authority of Congress, but by the lure of money –the Stimulus Bill– was Obama’s Race to the Top funded. States were given only two months to apply.
States competed for this money like a taxpayers’ lottery with a points system. There were 500 points possible. By adopting Common Core tests and standards, a state could earn 70 points. By implementing the SLDS (State Longitudinal Database System that serves as surveillance on citizens) a state could earn 47 points. Even though Utah didn’t win any money at all, we took the Race to the Top bait. Then we were stuck with Common Core standards as well as the SLDS database which would track and control citizens.
We were repeatedly assured, “states can get out of Common Core any time they like” but, like the story of Gulliver, tied down by many strings, we are in fact bound– unless we realize our rights and privileges and assert them firmly to free ourselves while we still may, to shake off the ties that bind us down.
Gulliver’s First String: No cost analysis
One of the strings that ties us down is the financial obligation of Common Core. No cost analysis has been done by Utah to date. It’s like a family agreeing to build a house without knowing what it will cost beforehand. It’s absurd. Virginia and Texas rejected Common Core, citing on both educational and financial reasons.
While textbook companies without exception are on a marketing spree with “Common Core Alignment,” it is taxpayers who will carry the burden for the unwanted texts, tests, the professional development, testing technology, data centers, administration and more.
If corporations were getting wealthy at taxpayer expense yet we had agreed to it, by a vote after thorough public vetting, that would be acceptable.
But Common Core never had pre-adoption teacher or parent or media attention, had no public vetting, no vote, and now we see that some of the corporations providing implementation of the common core standards have alarming political agendas that will harm our children. One example is Pearson, headed by Sir Michael Barber, with whom the Utah State Office of Education has multiple contracts.
Gulliver’s Second String:
The myth: that Common Core solves educational problems
The second string tying states down, Gulliver-like, is the problem-solving myth, the myth that our many educational problems, such as low expectations or college remediation, are to be solved by Common Core. Without a doubt, Common Core will worsen our educational problems.
Professor Sandra Stotsky and James Milgram, English and Math professors who refused to sign off on the adequacy of the common standards when they served on the official Common Core validation committee, have written and have testified before legislatures that the standards are not sufficiently rigorous at all.
Students in our schools and universities are required to provide references for their reports. Yet the information provided by official Common Core sites, as well as by our state office of education, is unreferenced and contains half truths and false claims about Common Core.
I asked the Utah State Office of Education to provide me, a Utah teacher, with references to verify the “facts” about Common Core, but the office refused to do so. Why?
The myth that Common Core solves educational problems is far-reaching and is far from being harmless.
There’s a questionnaire that must be answered by any person wishing to be a candidate for Utah’s state school board. The first question on it is: Do you support the Common Core State Standards?
So anyone who for any reason opposes Common Core may not even stand in the candidates’ pool to run for this vital, elected position as a member of the state school board.
The emperor of Common Core is wearing no clothes. Yet, the myth that Common Core solves educational problems is so widespread that most teachers and principals fear raising concerns.
We are experiencing a huge Spiral of Silence. The Spiral of Silence is a well-known communications theory by Elizabeth Noelle-Neumann. The Spiral of Silence phenomenon happens when people fear separation or isolation from those around them, and, believing they are in the minority, they keep their concerns to themselves.
The Spiral theory arose as an explanation for why many Germans remained silent while their Jewish neighbors were being persecuted in the 1940s. This silence extends to parents and legislators who do not know enough about the common standards to feel comfortable arguing that we should be free of them. Truly, this movement has slid under the public radar.
Gulliver’s Third String: One Size Forever, For All
The third string tying us down, Gulliver-like, is the fact that we will never have a vote or a voice in the one-size-fits-all-standards.
Common Core’s copyright, placed on the standards by the National Governors’ Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, takes away educational flexibility. There is no way a local voice or voices can alter the standards when we discover the system doesn’t fit our needs. There is no amendment process.
Additionally, the NGA/CCSSO has zero transparency. Though the Council of Chief State School Officers holds over one hundred meetings per year, CCSSO meetings are closed to teachers, taxpayers, and the general public.
I asked a lawyer at the Utah State Office of Education what the process would be to amend the standards. She told me, “Why would there need to be [an amendment process]? The whole point is to be common.”
Her response illustrates the tragic fact that many of our state education leaders do not appreciate local, constitutional control over education for our state.
There is a 15% cap placed on the NGA/CCSSO’s copyrighted standards, a cap placed on top of the copyright by the Department of Education. We may delete nothing. We may add no more than 15% to any standard.
So when we run into a disaster –such as the rule that 12th grade reading material in an English class can contain no more than 30 percent classic literature, and must be 70% informational text, we are stuck. When we run into another disaster –such as the rule that Algebra I be introduced in 9th grade, when it used to be an 8th grade topic, we are stuck. We are literally voiceless and bound by the 15% rule plus the copyright it is based upon. But it gets worse:
Gulliver’s Fourth String: Problems with national testing
The fourth string tying us down, Gulliver-like, is nationalized, federally-supervised, compulsory testing. It commits our dollars without our input. And the content of the tests will be dictated by the NGA/CCSSO to test writers.
There isn’t even the tiny bit of 15% wiggle room on tests. I wrote to a test writer how they would incorporate the 15% variation in state standards and they told me that it is “in each state’s best interest” not to have “two sets of standards.” Why? Because the test won’t be incorporating anything in addition to the national standards.
Why is this bad? What we are valuing and testing is extremely narrow and cannot be altered by any state, but only by the NGA/CCSSO. It opens the door for a one-track, politicized agenda to be taught and tested.
Our local leaders continue to refer to “The Utah Core” as if it were not the exact same core as all the other states. This is misleading.
Teachers and principals will be evaluated and compared using these national tests’ results, so what would motivate them to teach anything beyond or different than what will be tested? The motivation to be an innovative educator is gone with the high stakes national tests. Right now Utah has only adopted math and English standards, but soon the NGA/CCSSO will be releasing social studies and science standards. One can only imagine how these subjects will be framed by the “progressive” groups who write the tests and shape the curriculum. And the test writers will be providing model curriculum for states to follow to prepare students for the tests.
Gulliver’s Fifth String: Common Core English:
David Coleman’s version of what is appropriate for the rest of the nation
The fifth string tying us down, Gulliver-like, was wrought almost singlehandedly by one wrongheaded man with too much power, named David Coleman.
Coleman was the main architect of the English standards for Common Core, despite never having been a teacher himself, and is now president of the College board. He is now aligning the national college entrance exams with Common Core standards. He holds a dreary, utilitarian vision of the language, without appreciation for classic literature or narrative writing. He has deleted much of it, and has deleted all cursive for students.
It was Coleman’s idea to make all children read 50% informational texts and 50% fiction in English classes, and then gradually to get rid of more and more fiction and classic literature, so that when a student is in 12th grade, he or she is reading 70% informational text and very little classic literature.
Does this differ from actual book burning?
It is as if Coleman mandated that all English teachers must put 70% of their classic textbooks outside the classroom door to be picked up for burning. Would the teachers put Dickens, Austen, Shakespeare, Melville, or O’Connor on the pile? Which classic books would you remove from a high school English classroom? And what informational texts are being recommended by Common Core proponents to replace the classics? Among the suggestions: Executive Order 13423. Writings by the Federal Reserve Bank. And more. (See: http://www.corestandards.org/assets/Appendix_B.pdf )
David Coleman explained why he decided that narrative writing should not be taught:
“As you grow up in this world you realize that people really don’t give a sh__ about what you feel or what you think… it is rare in a working environment that someone says, ‘Johnson I need a market analysis by Friday but before that I need a compelling account of your childhood.’”
If Coleman were to value a diamond, he would base its worth solely on the fact that it’s the hardest substance in nature. The diamond’s beauty, or its history as the symbol of eternal romance, would not matter. Just so long as the darn rock can drill. That’s how he thinks about reading and writing.
This is why he has gotten rid of all things beautiful in education:
• No more cursive.
• Very little classic literature, to make room for mostly informational text.
• Informational texts to include Executive Order 13423, in the English classroom.
Gulliver’s Sixth String: Weakening Math
The sixth string tying us down, Gulliver-style, down is weak math. While the Common Core math standards may be an improvement over previous standards in some states, they are deficient for most, including for Utah.
Scholars have written extensively about these standards in reports published by Pioneer Institute and others. They say:
– Common Core replaces the traditional foundations of Euclidean geometry with an experimental approach. This approach has never been successfully used but Common Core imposes this experiment on the country.
– Common Core excludes certain Algebra II and Geometry content that is currently a prerequisite at almost every four-year state college. This effectively redefines “college-readiness” to mean readiness for a nonselective community college, as a member of the Common Core writing team acknowledged in his testimony before the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
– Common Core fails to teach prime factorization and consequently does not include teaching about least common denominators or greatest common factors.
– Common Core fails to include conversions among fractions, decimals, and percents, identified as a key skill by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
– Common Core de-emphasizes algebraic manipulation, which is a prerequisite for advanced mathematics, and instead effectively redefines algebra as “functional algebra”, which does not prepare students for STEM careers.
– Common Core does not require proficiency with addition and subtraction until grade 4, a grade behind the expectations of the high-performing states and our international competitors.
– Common Core does not require proficiency with multiplication using the standard algorithm (step-by-step procedure for calculations) until grade 5, a grade behind the expectations of the high-performing states and our international competitors.
– Common Core does not require proficiency with division using the standard algorithm until grade 6, a grade behind the expectations of the high-performing states and our international competitors.
– Common Core starts teaching decimals only in grade 4, about two years behind the more rigorous state standards, and fails to use money as a natural introduction to this concept.
– Common Core fails to teach in K-8 about key geometrical concepts such as the area of a triangle, sum of angles in a triangle, isosceles and equilateral triangles, or constructions with a straightedge and compass that good state standards include.
There is already evidence that book publishers’ revisions to texts that align with the standards are highly likely to be “inquiry-based”. Discovery and group learning approaches to math have had poor results when they have been used in classrooms across the country.
Gulliver’s Seventh String:
Neither Local Education Leaders Nor Federal Educational Leaders Value American Rights
• A current Utah State School Board member said to me, “I have always understood it is the principle of “equality” not “freedom” that was the guiding principle of our constitution… I have always understood the theme to be equality… you continue to reference freedom over equality.”
• The Dept. of Education has created regions for all America. These regions are to be answerable to the Department of Education. The creation of regional identities ignores the existence of states and consequently, of states’ rights, under the Constitution. This is a dangerous affront to our rights as states.
• Predestining kids: Secretary Arne Duncan says the government needs to control education and teachers via data-driven decisions. The data will be collected: “… so that every child knows on every step of their educational trajectory what they’re going to do.” He says, “You should know in fifth and sixth and seventh and eighth grade what your strengths are, what you weaknesses are.” He’s talking about a managed society, not a free society, where children are to be compliant tools for the government’s purposes, not the other way around.
• The Utah Data Alliance, SLDS system, and the federal Department of Education each seek data at all costs, even without parental consent. Sec. Duncan often says, ”We have to be transparent about our data.” (What Duncan really means is, states have to be transparent about their data to be supervised by the federal government– which is not Constitutional by any stretch of the imagination.)
Duncan’s data transparency statement explains much: why Duncan aims to triangulate data Common Core tests which will be collected and compared under his (unconstitutionally) watchful eye; why Duncan rewrote FERPA regulations without authority or Congressional oversight, why the Department of Education paid states to create SLDS systems to track citizens; why federally, states are pushed to have P-20 tracking councils, and more.
Duncan’s desire to grab private data is further illustrated by the changes Duncan has led in redefining key terms.
For example, you may notice that federal education leaders seldom refer to this movement as the Common Core. They use a code phrase (you can verify this on the definitions page at ed.gov) which is “college and career readiness”. But that code phrase is a deception. College and Career Readiness does not mean what you think it means; there is a new mediocrity to the standards which has made the same standards appropriate for 4 year universities, 2 year colleges, and technical colleges. It has essentially dumbed down the expectations for 4 year universities. So college readiness actually means nothing other than common and mediocre standards. By this definition, states can’t be preparing students for college unless standards are the same as every other state’s and country’s standards. It’s like the old Ford Advertisement: You can Have Any Color As Long as it’s Black.” Secretary Duncan’s version is– “You can have any standards as long as they are the exact same as all other states’ standards.”
Another phrase you’ll hear a lot is “world class education” which doesn’t mean “excellent education.” It means “non-competitive education.” Yikes. Some other phrases that have been officially redefined by the Dept. of Education in federal regulations are: “authorized representative” “education program” and “directory information”
What is the effect of these re-definings?
According to a group that has sued the Dept. of Education, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, this redefining has removed legal duties for state and local educational facilities that used to be in place to protect private student data.
The redefinings open up what used to be tightly protected. But why?
Because the Dept. of Education is using the testing consortia to triangulate the tests and to oversee the data collection. They want access to the data. Words give them access. This brings me to Gulliver’s string, and it’s a whopper.
Gulliver’s Eighth String: Invading Citizen Privacy
The eighth string tying us down, Gulliver-like, is a set of horrific privacy violations. It begins with the fact that Utah built a State Longitudinal Database System (SLDS) system, as required by the federal government in exchange for money. The SLDS was supposed to be a benefit to Utahns. The argument was that the more data they collect, the smarter decisions could be made about education. It sounded logical at first.
But the SLDS tracks children from preschool through workforce. It interacts with six other Utah state governmental agencies, beyond the K-12 system. It essentially guides and monitors citizens.
When I found out about this, I wanted to opt out for my children. I asked the Utah State Office of Education myself whether it is even allowed to have a student attend a school without being tracked by the Utah Data Alliance and the federal SLDS.
They finally gave me a straight answer, after I nagged them many a time, finally, and it was simply ”No.”No child, no citizen may escape tracking. We are all being closely tracked. Schools are the starting point.
Unknown to most parents, children’s data is being shared beyond the school district with six agencies inside the Utah Data Alliance and with UTREX, according to Utah Technology Director John Brandt. The student data is further to be “mashed” with federal databases, according to federal Education Dept. Chief of Staff Joanne Weiss: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/2012/07/ed_urges_states_to_make_data_s.html
While Utah’s John Brandt assures us that only a handful of people in Utah have access to the personally identifiable data of children, recent alterations to federal FERPA (Famly Education Rights Privacy Act) regulations which were made by the U.S. Dept of Education, as we noted earlier, have radically redefined terms and widened the window of groups who can access private data without parental consent. (For more on that, see the lawsuit against the U.S. Dept of Education on the subject: http://epic.org/apa/ferpa/default.html)
In America, a law is a representative thing. Laws are made by people who either directly vote for that law, or who vote for a representative who votes for a law. Then the people must obey the law, or be forcibly punished.
But watch out for rules and regulations, which are not laws, and which come from unelected boards with appointed members who cannot be repealed by us. Rules and regulations are a form of nonrepresentation, and can be dangerous. Common Core is quickly becoming a snare because of its rules and regulations. FERPA regulatory changes are a prime example. Congress never changed the privacy law that FERPA was written originally to be. But the Department of Education made un-approved regulatory changes to FERPA that are being treated as if they were law today.
Our schools (teachers, adminstrators, and even State Office of Education workers) are being used: used to collect private data, both academic and nonacademic, about our children and their families.
I choose the word “used” because I do not believe they are maliciously going behind parents’ backs. They are simply expected to comply with whatever the U.S. Dept. of Education asks them to do. And the Dept. of Education is all for the “open data” push as are some notable Utahns, such as Utah Technology Director John Brandt and even some BYU Education professors, notably David Wiley. I have heard these men speak and they are passionate about getting data at all costs, even at the cost of not pausing for students’ parental consent.
What it means: Courses taken, grades earned, every demographic piece of information, including family names, attitudes and income, can now legally be known by the government via schools.
The U.S. Dept. of Education’s own explanation is here, showing why SLDS systems exist: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/slds/factsheet.html
There are 12 elements that states had to share or they would not have received ARRA stimulus money. The twelve elements of the SLDS (State longitudinal data system) include enrollment history, demographic characteristics, student’s scores on tests; info on students, even those who are not tested; transcripts, grades earned; whether they enrolled in remedial courses; and the sharing of data from preschool through postsecondary systems.
While all this data gathering could theoretically, somehow, benefit a child, or community, it can definitely hurt a child. Denial of future opportunities, based on ancient academic or behavioral history, comes to mind. The databases are to share data with anybody they define as “authorized.”
The now-authorized groups who will access student data will most likely include the A-list “philanthropists” like Bill Gates, as well as corporate educational sales groups (Microsoft, Pearson, Wireless Generation, and K-12 Inc., Achieve, Inc., SBAC, PARCC, NGA, CCSSO, for example) as well as federal departments that are far outside of education, such as the military, the workforce agencies, etc.)
Furthermore, even psychometric and biometric data (such as student behavioral qualities, DNA, iris and fingerprints) are also acceptable data collection points, to the Dept. of Education (verify: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/pdf/ferparegs.pdf )
Verify these facts on the government’s public sites, such as:
Our country is a miracle in the history of the earth. No other country has ever had such a Constitution that limits and spreads out the power of the government to ensure the maximum liberty of each individual, balancing the need for limited government to prevent anarchy. It is important to understand the document. “The powers not delegated to the United States Government are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Nothing could be more clear. It is unconstitutional for the federal government to exercise any power over education.
Our Department of Education is aware of this. Recent speeches by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan include the fact that the Department is “limited” in this country. Yes, very limited. Like, not allowed at all.
We may not be able to take back all the ground we have lost by allowing the federal government to dictate regulations to us in return for our own tax money. But we must not allow them any further ground.
The states (except for the handful of states that rejected Common Core) are otherwise like the neighbor who does not know where his rights are and can never know when they are taken and is thus unable to defend them. This neighbor believes he owns a piece of ground which his neighbor also claims, but he doesn’t know its boundaries. The other neighbor continues to encroach further and further onto land which the first neighbor suspects is his, but since he is never certain where the boundary is, he cannot stop the encroachment.
Until we take a firm position and say: “no further,” there is no line. Unless we remember our rights, we have none. My hope is that as a state, we will say “no further,” and hold onto our own right to educate our own children without interference.
Common Core does not improve college readiness. The educational value of the standards is low. And even if they were to be significantly improved, remember that educational standards are meaningless without political freedom.
There is no amendment process for Common Core. The standards have no checks and balances. Common Core was never voted upon. Common Core administrators cannot be recalled by a vote. Common Core represents an assumption of power never delegated by the voice of the people. The Common Core Initiative has transferred sovereignty from states to a collective controlled by the National Governors’ Association and by the Council of Chief State School Officers. It also transferred educational sovereignty from states to testing groups to be overseen by the Department of Education.
We must realize the strength of our position as states under the U.S. Constitution, and must hold up the Constitution, thus holding the Dept. of Education away from monitoring and directing states’ education.
Senator Mike Fair of South Carolina stated: In adopting Common Core, states have sold their birthright without even getting the mess of pottage. He is right.
Currently, thousands of people have signed the petition at Utahns Against Common Core. Websites and organizations are forming all over the country to fight Common Core. At least six U.S. Governors staunchly oppose Common Core. The majority of Utah legislators have said they oppose it. Americans deserve high quality education without federal interference and this will not happen without first dropping all ties to the Common Core Initiative.
Please let state leaders and school boards know we expect them to be valiant in that effort.
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Contact information: Utah Governor Herbert 801-538-1000 Utah State School Board. Board@schools.utah.gov
State Technology Director / leader of Utah Data Alliance: firstname.lastname@example.org“
Utah State Superintendent: email@example.com
Assistant Superintendent: firstname.lastname@example.org
Utah State Office of Education: Brenda.Hales@schools.utah.gov
Senate Education Committee members – (801) 538-1035
Stuart C. Reid email@example.com“
Patricia W. Jones firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark B. Madsen email@example.com“
Wayne L. Niederhauser firstname.lastname@example.org
Aaron Osmond – email@example.com
Howard A. Stephenson firstname.lastname@example.org
Jerry W. Stevenson – :email@example.com
Stephen H. Urquhart – firstname.lastname@example.org
New York teacher William Johnson writes “classroom dispatches” for the Gotham Schools website.
Many teachers are caught in the spiral of silence, afraid to speak about the problems of Common Core for fear of losing their jobs.
I understand why they don’t want to make waves. But I deeply respect the teachers like Susan Wilcox, David Cox, Kris Nielsen, Stephen Round and William Johnson, who do dare to speak their minds. Today I’m highlighting New York teacher William Johnson who writes at the Gotham Schools website.
His observations about the absurd vocabulary requirements of Common Core and its disrespect of the English teacher and the English classroom are insightful.
“Thanks to the Common Core, this year a series of “Shifts in ELA/Literacy” will be imposed upon English teachers across the country. These shifts require, among other things, that English teachers spend less time on “esoteric literary terms … such as ‘onomatopoeia’ or ‘homonym’” and more time on “pivotal and commonly found words…such as ‘discourse,’ ‘generation,’ ‘theory,’ and ‘principled.’”
It’s worth noting that not one of the terms identified as “pivotal” under these common core shifts is specific to the discipline of English. This is particularly interesting given the Common Core’s insistence on “domain-specific” vocabulary….
Why do the folks behind the Common Core think domain-specific vocabulary isn’t important when it comes to English? Again, the language used to describe the new Common Core approach highlights the ways that these standards will change the goal of English study from understanding and mastery of literature and literary writing to “constantly build[ing] students’ ability to access more complex texts across the content areas.” In other words, the goal of English class will become helping students read texts for their other subject areas — the ones that really matter, like math.
…Unfortunately, the folks behind the Common Core have made it abundantly clear that they see little value in having students understand literature.
Over and over again, Common Core advocates have promoted teaching “informational texts” over literature. According to the Common Core, more than 50 percent of high school English curricula are supposed to consist of informational texts.
By 12th grade, the Common Core recommends that 70 percent of the texts students read in English be informational, not literary.”
Full Text: http://gothamschools.org/2012/11/14/common-english-and-its-domain-specific-vocabulary/
In another article, Johnson writes:
“The truth is, teachers don’t need elected officials to motivate us. If our students are not learning, they let us know. … Good administrators use the evaluation processes to support teachers and help them avoid those painful classroom moments — not to weed out the teachers who don’t produce good test scores or adhere to their pedagogical beliefs.
Worst of all, the more intense the pressure gets, the worse we teach. When I had administrators breathing down my neck, the students became a secondary concern. … I was scared of losing my job, and my students suffered for it.”
Full Text: http://gothamschools.org/2012/03/05/from-near-and-far-responses-pour-in-to-bad-teacher-essay/
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Thank you, William Johnson.
Our schools (teachers, adminstrators, and even State Office of Education workers) are being used. –Used to collect private data, both academic and nonacademic, about our children and their families. I choose the word “used” because I do not believe they are maliciously going behind parents’ backs. They are simply expected to comply with whatever the U.S. Dept. of Education asks them to do. And the Dept. of Education is all for the “open data” push.
Unknown to most parents, children’s data is being shared beyond the school district with six agencies inside the Utah Data Alliance and UTREX, according to Utah Technology Director John Brandt. The student data is further being “mashed” with federal databases, according to federal Education Dept. Chief of Staff Joanne Weiss: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/2012/07/ed_urges_states_to_make_data_s.html While John Brandt assures us that only a handful of people in Utah have access to the personally identifiable data of children, recent alterations to federal FERPA (Famly Education Rights Privacy Act) regulations which were made by the U.S. Dept of Education, have radically redefined terms and widened the window of groups who can access private data without parental consent. For more on that, see the lawsuit against the U.S. Dept of Education on the subject: http://epic.org/apa/ferpa/default.html
But first, an interjection: I want to introduce this article: http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/your-students-privacy/
I like this article because it exposes the facts plainly, that parents are unaware that their children’s information is being shared without parental permission, beyond the school, beyond the district, and even beyond the state. It is verifiable and true.
What it means: Courses taken, grades earned, every demographic piece of information, including family names and income, is being watched by the U.S. government via schools.
Verify for yourself: The U.S. Dept. of Education’s own explanation is here, showing why SLDS systems exist: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/slds/factsheet.html
There are 12 elements that states had to share or they would not have received ARRA stimulus money. The twelve elements of the SLDS (State longitudinal data system) include enrollment history, demographic characteristics, student’s scores on tests; info on students who are not tested; transcripts, grades earned; whether they enrolled in remedial courses; and the sharing of data from preschool through postsecondary systems.
While all this data gathering could theoretically, somehow, benefit a child, or community, it can definitely hurt a child. Denial of future opportunities, based on ancient academic or behavioral history, comes to mind…
These databases (State Longitudinal Database Systems, SLDS; also, P-20 and state data combinations such as the Utah Data Alliance) are to share data with anybody they define as “authorized,” according to alterations made to FERPA (Family Education Privacy Act) regulations by the Dept. of Education.
These now-authorized groups who will access student data will most likely include the A-list “philanthropists” like Bill Gates, as well as corporate snoops (Microsoft, Pearson, Wireless Generation, and K-12 Inc., Achieve, Inc., SBAC, PARCC, NGA, CCSSO, for examples) as well as federal departments that are far outside of education, such as the military, the workforce agencies, etc.)
Furthermore, even psychometric and biometric data (behavioral qualities, dna, iris and fingerprints) are also acceptable data collection points, to the Dept. of Education (verify: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/pdf/ferparegs.pdf )
This is a nightmare of Big Brother in action, except it’s not a fiction. You can verify it all on the government’s own public sites, such as:
States would not get stimulus money if they didn’t agree to build the SLDS system.
So they all agreed. All.
I happened to ask the Utah State Office of Education myself whether it is even allowed to have a student attend a school without being tracked by the Utah Data Alliance and the federal SLDS.
They finally gave me a straight answer, after I nagged them many a time, finally, and it was simply “No.”
No child, no citizen may escape tracking. We are and will be tracked.
I ask you, dear readers, to turn your feelings about this intrusion toward positive action.
Call your governor.
If you are from Utah, Governor Herbert is here 801 538-1000 and here: http://demo.utah.gov/governor/contact/index.html
Public feeling and individual actions are the only, only chance we have to alter the course we are currently traveling.
The independent voices of New York City public school parents have published an article about the ridiculous quota –under Common Core’s mandated chopping of that which is valuable– which calls for using 50% less classic literature for elementary schools and 70% less classic literature for high school students.
They make the point that David Coleman has never taught a day in his life, yet he’s the man who dictated this quota.
They make the point that Common Core is being widely promoted as the miracle that will cure all that ails education, everywhere.
Great article. http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com/2012/12/what-we-talk-about-when-we-talk-about.html
Remember Inigo Montoya’s quote in The Princess Bride? ”You keep using that word; I do not think it means what you think it means.”
The way that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and the writers of the education chapters of the United Nations’ Agenda 21, use words, remind me of that quote –continually.
They keep using these words. I do not think they mean what we think they mean.
Examples of words that mean the exact opposite of how they sound:
- “social justice” – it really means stealing, the “redistribution of weath”
- “college and career readiness” – it really means Common Core, having the exact same standards as virtually everyone else on earth (See Ed.gov definitions: http://www.ed.gov/race-top/district-competition/definitions
- “accountability” – it really means top-down control, not mutual accountability
- “world class education” – it really means having the same –which is mediocre at best– the same education as every other country in the world
- “globally competent” – it really means acting out the “sustainable development” agenda which seeks to erase individual sovereignty.
- “teacher improvement” – it really means getting rid of the teachers –and teachings– that do not agree with the fanatical “sustainable development” agenda, as agreed upon by the United Nations and the U.S. Department of Education.
Alisa Ellis made this last point, about “teacher improvement” in her talk. –Among many, many other important things.
The following (shortened) statements from Chapter 36 of the U.N.’s Agenda 21 shows the openness with which the globalists intend to indoctrinate all of us. They’ll use schools, museums, theatres, media, anything.
Basic education is redefined by the Agenda 21, reduced to only an “underpinning” to their obsession with promoting all things ”sustainable”.
In the words of the United Nations itself– “Basic education is the underpinning for environment and development education…” That’s the motive for all this global education pushed by UNESCO, Bill Gates, Sir Michael Barber of Pearson, and the U.S. Dept. of Education. The goal has never been to endow the illiterate with literacy and numeracy because they need it; the goal is using basic education as a necessary steppingstone to promoting the sustainable development agenda –which includes taking away nations’ rights and individuals’ rights over their own property, their own children, and their own bodies.
It’s really, really bad.
Agenda 21 For Change (shortened here)
Complete text of Agenda 21: Chapter 36 here
Chapter 36: Education, Training and Public Awareness
“… Education can give people the environmental and ethical awareness, values and attitudes, skills and behaviour needed for sustainable development.”
“Basic education is the underpinning for environment and development education…”
“To improve sustainable development education, nations should seek to:
- Make environment and development education available to people of all ages.
- Work environment and development concepts, including those of population, into all educational programmes… There should be a special emphasis on training decision makers.
- Involve schoolchildren in local and regional studies on environmental health…”
“The world needs a flexible and adaptable work force… Countries should:
- Set up training programmes for school and university graduates to help them achieve sustainable livelihoods.
- Encourage all sectors of society, including industry, universities, governments, non-governmental organizations and community organizations, to train people in environmental management.
- Provide locally trained and recruited environmental technicians..
- Work with the media, theatre groups, entertainment and advertising industries, to promote a more active public debate on the environment.”
Anyone who still believes that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is on the same team as students, parents, teachers, and the American way, please do your homework. Read his speeches.
He is all for “global citizenship,” international “sustainability” and top-down control of what’s taught and who teaches it. He is obviously an Agenda 21 follower. He even overuses the exact same phrases that the United Nations overuses in reference to education. Consistently.
When State Boards of Education wake up to what is going on in U.S. education today, they will run as fast as they can in the opposite direction from anything Arne Duncan is praising and promoting:
Common Core (most often called “college and career readiness,”)
The P-20 citizen tracking system (often called “accountability”)
- Educational Equity and/or Social Justice (those are their words; it’s plainer to call them communism)
The States’ Longitudinal Database Systems (SLDS) –spying-on-citizens network
The term “World Class Education”
The U.S. Dept. of Education now has “Communications Regions”. http://www2.ed.gov/about/contacts/gen/regions.html
( FYI, regionalism and “Regional Equality” are tenets of the United Nations’ Agenda 21. –Because people are easier to control en masse than in smaller localities.)
So, I asked the Region 9 Education Service Center Public Information Officer, Debbie Cummings, to explain things to me. (Does her title not sound so Orwellian?)
I asked her how the U.S. Constitution works with the notion of regions, of U.S. states’ boundaries being less relevant, with the federal departments working with regions instead.
And Debbie Cummings dodged the actual question but answered a related issue that’s also important: ”…in regard to your concern regarding “federal and state powers having checks and balances” It is through the Governor’s Office and the Texas Education Agency that the state’s rights are reviewed for compatibility with federal priorities prior to the state making application for any federal funds. It is then through the Texas Education Agency that the use of these funds are tracked to ensure adherence to both the federal and state priorities and requirements. However, if the priorities do not reflect a state’s priorities, then the State is not obligated to apply for the federal funds.
[So, states won't be funded, even though they paid taxes federally.
They may not have access to their own tax money for their own schools,
if their priorities don't match federal priorities?]
Cummings taught me something I didn’t know: “Many times they carry a different title from state to state, i.e., in New York they are called BOCES (Boards of Cooperative Educational Services); whereas in Texas, they have been named by the legislature as Regional Education Service Centers.” Ok. Harder to see the federal uniformity when states name their federal, regional education headquarters differently, I suppose.
So, I asked a Texas friend, Donna Garner, what she thought of all of this.
Donna Garner said, “The lawyers who set up the TESCCC (who own CSCOPE) knew full well what the laws are regarding the Education Service Centers (ESC), and they deliberately set up this corporation to get around the laws. They think they have figured out a way to make CSCOPE untouchable, but we are working with Texas Legislators to figure out some bills that will counteract the TESCCC. ”
“The ESC’s were not set up to become marketing mouthpieces for CSCOPE curriculum. It was never the intent of the Texas Legislature that set up the ESC’s to make them into money-making organizations that suck money from local taxpayers. We already pay school taxes to our local districts; we do not need to be paying extra dollars far-and-above those local taxes to help ESC’s make huge profits! Notice the ESC buildings around the state. The one locally has turned into a state-of-the-art, huge complex; and within those walls is where the CSCOPE marketing and training is being conducted locally. What a huge waste of our tax dollars!”
“Just yesterday on the Jason Moore talk show in Odessa, a current classroom teacher called in and said what a total waste of time the CSCOPE training is at the ESC. She said that the ESC staffers have little subject content knowledge and that the teachers who attend know so much more than the ESC staffers do.”
“Because the new TEKS curriculum standards (adopted since May 2008) are grade-level-specific for every grade level and for every core course (ELAR, Science, Social Studies, and Math), there is no need for the ESC’s to hire numerous staffers to train teachers. The teachers now know what is to be taught, and it is their purview to decide how to teach it. Even teachers in small school districts can get together with the teachers in the districts around them and share great teaching ideas of how to teach the TEKS. Why should those teachers go to the ESC’s when once they get there, they hardly ever come back with any practical ideas that can be used in their classrooms?”
“Next, the Race to the Top grants now coming from the USDOE go directly to the school districts and the ESC entities; those grants are not dispersed through the TEA. The funds go directly to the school districts/ESC’s if they are chosen in the final round of federal RTTT grants.”
How do I interpret these things? I think corporations and federal entitites should stay out of education, just the way the U.S. Constitution set it up.
U.S. Dept. of Education Arne Duncan
It looks to me like the corporations that make money from Common Core, and the federal Secretary who wants Common Core to be the national uniform, are chasing after Texas. It’s a control problem.
I remember seeing U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan speaking on a t.v. show way back when Texas rejected Common Core. He belittled the state’s education system and said that he felt so sorry for the children there, who would not be getting to learn the Common Core. Oh, yes he did.
And Texas’ Robert Scott called Secretary Duncan out for it: http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallasnews.com/2011/08/robert-scott-fi.html/
The supposedly non-federal program, the supposedly state-led initiative of Common Core, when rejected by Texas, angered the U.S. Secretary of Education. Hmmm. So he decided that if the state (that is, Governor Rick Perry and Superintendent Robert Scott) were to reject Common Core, he would push it another way– he then started offering Race To The Top funds directly to school districts, bypassing the state completely. And of course, you can’t have Race to the Top funding unless you agree to Common Core. That’s how it works.
The elite D.C. educrats and corporations want their way, and they push and push and push. We must keep pushing back.
Just take a peek at what the U.S. Department of Education is pushing in this document. http://www2.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/internationaled/international-strategy-2012-16.pdf
Then compare it to Agenda 21 of the United Nations. It’s ”Reorienting Education” globally, here: http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/res_agenda21_36.shtml and
Then tell me there’s not an active attack happening against U.S. freedom, using our schools and our school children.
This short video clip shows our U.S. Secretary of Education dodging the question and veering off into the role he wants to keep playing– controlling and “rewarding” local education systems, rather than staying out of their business as the Constitution directs.
Why’s Obama allocating money to pay local teachers with federal money? Hmm.
It’s gotten to the point that I automatically search the United Nations’ website any time I wonder why Obama or Arne Duncan are coming up with a new reform. It’s the fastest way to figure out what they are really doing. They have no interest in local sovereignty, whether state or national.
Look at this:
From the White House, July 2012:
“Today, the Obama Administration announced
the President’s plan to create a national Science, Math, Technology, and Engineering (STEM) Master Teacher Corps
. The STEM Master Teacher Corps will begin in 50 locations across the country… Over the next four years the Corps will expand to include 10,000 of the best STEM teachers in the nation… STEM education is one of President Obama’s top priorities
… In a roundtable today with a group of K-12 math and science teachers at the White House, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz, OSTP Director Dr. John Holdren, and PCAST Co-Chair Dr. Eric Lander announced the proposal, which the Administration will launch with the $1 billion allocated in President Obama’s 2013 budget plan
currently before Congress…”The rest of the text: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/07/18/president-obama-announces-new-plan-create-stem-master-teaching-corps
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What does it mean?
The entity providing the paycheck is the entity that gets to call the shots. That means, the feds will be telling those local teachers who “qualify” as master teachers, what to do and how to do it.
For those of you who have been under a rock, Common Core math (Obama-and-co.’s -approved math) is much different than traditional, time-tested math. Common Core math is fuzzy-styled, student-and group-work-centered and highly controversial math that pooh-poohs excellent traditions of teaching such as drilling math facts and actually showing students how to do algorithms. Common Core has students waste energy guessing and fumbling toward the formulas, often working in collective groups.
But it’s the math that Obama and Secretary Duncan believe in.
Secondly, Common Core science will be far different from traditional, empirically-based science. It will be politicized version of science that focuses on “green” education, “sustainability” and on “global,” rather than local, citizenship. It’s a globalist, anti-Constitution indoctrination that uses the smokescreen of “sustainability” as if that word defines real science, but it’s based not on widely recognized scientific truth but rather is based on control-and-politics based “green” science, Al Gore style.
Our American STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) teachers will teach that socialists’ version of these subjects to our children. It’s political indoctrination, absolutely.
Think it’s a conspiracy theory? Then fact-check me. Read Obama’s, Duncan’s, Sir Michael Barber’s, and the United Nations’ own words on education reform and see if it’s not all built on the foundation of “sustainability” indoctrination.
This is the reason Obama’s pushing STEM Master Teacher Corps and allocating taxes (or debts) for it; he wants to “transform” education according to the education chapter of the United Nations’ agenda for our century.
Fact-check here: http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/res_agenda21_25.shtml and http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?menu=218
Bill Gates: Common Core promoter, United Nations promoter, Unesco’s Constitution promoter.
And, for another article, this one from the Heritage Foundation, on the same subject:
Obama Proposes Federal Paychecks for Local Teachers
Did you miss the last Senate Education Committee Meeting for the state of Utah?
Anyone can subscribe, free, to a report of the meeting’s minutes. I do.
—After I rant and rave about what the heck they’re doing at the Utah State Capitol I’ll paste the official meeting minutes, below.
1. Senator Aaron Osmond disclosed that he now works for Certiport/Pearson. If any of you know anything about Common Core and Pearson, or the CEA of Pearson, Sir Michael Barber, your spidey senses could be ringing. (For more, see http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/sir-michael-barber-leads-common-cores-deliverology-via-edi-and-pearson/ )
This Pearson sales employment could appear to be potential conflict for Senator Osmond; he is the Chair of the Senate Education Committee, while he is also a salesman for the company that has already set up major contracts with the Utah State Office of Education. But Osmond stated that he has recused himself from negotiating or influencing contracts in Utah and has recused himself from any interim committee votes or decisions relating to the Common Core or any topic that would benefit his employer. Osmond’s employer provides software to test and certify students in software applications.
Pearson Publishing develops curriculum and training for Common Core. For Utahns like me who hope and pray for a statewide repeal of Common Core, this is not pretty.
Pearson has a dramatically pro-Common Core marketing angle; so, this sales position of the Chair of the Senate Education Committee calls into question whether Osmond can be fair and detached in the heated pro- and anti- Common Core arguments that are happening in Utah. What do you think?
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2. Next issue: it was announced that the “Utah State Office of Education has instructional materials that may be used for parent education on health and human sexuality.“
Has anyone else detected a “de-parenting” attitude coming from the state (and federal) leaders? It really bothers me.
Perfect example of that here: Utah bureaucrats feel the need to educate parents about sex and how to explain sex to their children? Why? Parents can’t be trusted? They depend on the Utah State Office of Education? And in the nick of time, USOE swoops in to save the day from bumbling fools? Left to our own devices, we parents would not teach our own children where babies come from? What is the USOE thinking?
It reminds me of Reagan’s line: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’ “
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U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan
3. Next issue:
Brenda Hales and Ms. Shumway discussed how to fund Career and Technical Education (CTE). I don’t like CTE, Career Academies, SLDS systems, P-20 tracking, or any of the pushy ways in which government tells kids who to be –and who they’ll never be.
President Obama and Arne Duncan have huge plans to make CTE take center stage in an effort to control individual choices as early as possible in each citizen’s life. And Brenda Hales and Ms. Shumway, apparently, couldn’t agree more. (To see Sec. Duncan’s white house speech and what CTE and Career Academies are about, see: http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/obamas-career-tracking-and-education-reforms-so-much-more-than-common-core/ )
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4. Next point: Brenda Hales also discussed Civic and Character Education. Double sigh.
If you’ve ever see her leading a state school board breakout meeting, you’ll hear the chattiest, bubbliest, won’t-let-others-get-a-word-in, but least sinister-seeming person, of the entire USOE. She’s nice, okay? Brenda comes across as very, very nice.
But “nice” is not enough. We need “valiant”.
Brenda said that she is “the most apolitical creature you will ever meet.”
1. Having no interest in or association with politics.
2. Having no political relevance or importance
I don’t know if Ms. Hales meant to categorize herself in the first or the second definition of “apolitical.” If she meant she has no interest in politics, that’s not good; we need politically valiant people leading our educational system not naiive leaders who swallow whatever the propaganda ministers (Secretary Duncan) cook up.
But if Brenda Hales meant the second definition, “having no political relevance or importance,” then she is a stranger to the truth. Nice or not!
Her own published, written assertions about Common Core are extremely political. http://utahpubliceducation.org/2012/07/10/utahs-core-standards-assessments-and-privacy-regulations/, She agrees with Obama about the supposedly improved quality of Common Core standards/curriculum and makes assertions I don’t believe, that student private data are being protected (study Utah’s IT director John Brandt, SLDS, P-20 to see why it’s not believable) and –she still says Common Core’s not under federal control and that Utah’s autonomy under Common Core is unharmed. If her claims were true, I could sleep better at night. But they aren’t correct, and part of the proof of that pudding is the fact that even though I (and others) have asked her to provide references for her claims, she never responds to that vital request. Why? If her claims are true, why won’t she reference them?
Here’s my rebuttal and her unreferenced assertion which she never did respond to, even though I asked her to, SO many times: http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/christel-swasey-responds-to-brenda-hales/
But I see now that again, I got way off topic.
Brenda Hales. Civic and Character Education. Sounds good?
According to Stanford University’s Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the difference between character education and character indoctrination is:
“Indoctrination is a form of socializing persons… to hold the“right” values. Education, on the other hand, implies some critical distance from the topics so that persons can reflect on different aspects of and on alternatives to what’s presented.”
Which will our students be receiving? The type that allows freedom to determine what is right individually, or the one that shoves an agenda down the student’s throat?
The good or bad effect of ”civic and character education” depends on who gets to call the shots. Who gets to determine what will be taught? Parents? Doubtful.
If the philosophies of President Obama and Secretary Duncan lead the charge, as they have been in Utah educational circles, you know what we’ll see.
Students will be molded to hold the “right” values as defined by those ”progressing” society toward collectivism and socialism, far away from the Constitution and far away from Judeo-Christian tradition.
How I wish the schools would quit going out on socialist limbs and would just teach. Teach time-tested, old-fashioned math, teach writing, teach classic literature– yes, actual academics! Leave the indoctrination to the churches and the families. (And while you’re at it, since you’ll have more time once you quit taking over the responsibilities of parents and churches, why not shorten the school day?! I miss my high school student. I want more time to teach her values and skills I know and believe in, and I don’t believe it takes thirty-five hours a week, twelve years consecutively, to prepare a human being for college.)
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I’m finished with my commentary; below are the official minutes.
MINUTES OF THE
EDUCATION INTERIM COMMITTEE
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 – 2:00 p.m. – Room 30 House Building
Sen. Howard A. Stephenson, Senate Chair
Rep. Francis D. Gibson, House Chair
Sen. Lyle W. Hillyard
Sen. Karen W. Morgan
Sen. Wayne L. Niederhauser
Sen. Aaron Osmond
Sen. Jerry W. Stevenson
Sen. Daniel W. Thatcher
Rep. Johnny Anderson
Rep. Patrice M. Arent
Rep. LaVar Christensen
Rep. Steven Eliason
Rep. Gregory H. Hughes
Rep. John G. Mathis
Rep. Kay L. McIff
Rep. Carol Spackman Moss
Rep. Merlynn T. Newbold
Rep. Jim Nielson
Rep. Val L. Peterson
Rep. Marie H. Poulson
Rep. Kenneth W. Sumsion
Rep. Bill Wright
Ms. Allison M. Nicholson, Policy Analyst
Ms. Constance C. Steffen, Policy Analyst
Ms. Angela Oakes Stallings, Associate General Counsel
Ms. Debra Hale, Legislative Secretary
Note: A list of others present, a copy of related materials, and an audio recording of the meeting can be found at www.le.utah.gov.
1. Committee Business
Chair Gibson called the meeting to order at 2:26 p.m.
Sen. Osmond took a point of personal privilege and stated that, because of his role as Chair of the Senate Education Committee and to ensure complete transparency in his public service, he would like to verbally disclose potential conflicts due to a recent job change. He described his recent job change as Vice President of Sales for Certiport, Inc., a company that provides software to test and certify students in popular software applications. He stated that he has recused himself from negotiating or influencing contracts in Utah. He noted that Certiport was acquired in May 2012 by Pearson Publishing, which owns Pearson Education, a company that is developing curriculum for the Common Core standards.
Sen. Osmond noted that he has reviewed these potential conflicts with Senate leadership, who concluded that no change in committee assignment is necessary at this time. Sen. Osmond stated that he has also recused himself from any interim committee votes or decisions relating to the Common Core or any topic that would benefit his employer or its related companies.
MOTION: Sen. Hillyard moved to approve the minutes of the September 19, 2012, meeting. The motion passed unanimously. Sen. Stevenson, Rep. Hughes, Rep. Newbold, Rep. Peterson, and Rep. Sumsion were absent for the vote.
2. Consider Draft Legislation “Parental Responsibility for Sex Education Training”
Reid discussed draft legislation “Parental Responsibility for Sex Education Training” (2013FL-0007/010), which requires the Utah State Board of Education to offer training and instructional resources to parents to assist them in providing instruction in health and human sexuality to their children.
Dr. Martell Menlove, Deputy Superintendent, Utah State Office of Education (USOE), noted that the USOE has instructional materials that may be used for parent education on health and human sexuality.
3. Consider Draft Legislation “Voted and Board Levy Program Amendments”
Ms. Steffen distributed the most recent version of draft legislation “Voted and Board Levy Program Amendments” (2013FL-0315/006).
Rep. Stephen Handy discussed draft legislation “Voted and Board Levy Program Amendments,” which requires the full amount of the state contribution appropriated for the Voted and Board Levy Programs to be distributed each year. He distributed a handout, “Voted & Board Leeway Program Amendments,” which contains a chart and a table that show the effect of fully distributing the state contribution appropriated for the Voted and Board Levy Programs. Rep. Handy stated that, in FY 2012, the value of the state guarantee for the Voted and Board Levy Programs would have increased by $1.78 per weighted pupil unit, and three more school districts would have qualified for the state guarantee.
Mr. Bruce Williams, Associate Superintendent, Utah State Office of Education, noted there may be a timing problem with one aspect of the bill. School district tax collections are not finalized until May, so the information needed to adjust the state guarantee for the next fiscal year would not be available for the 2013 General Session.
Dr. Menlove stated that the bill is supported by several districts.
Chair Gibson turned the chair to Sen. Stephenson.
4. School Performance Report
Dr. Menlove and Dr. Judy Park, Associate Superintendent, Utah State Office of Education, discussed plans for complying with statutory requirements pertaining to school performance reports. Dr. Park distributed a chart, “School Performance Report Data Reported for the 2010-11 School Year,” which indicates data that will be reported in 2012 school performance reports and data that is not available. She also distributed a chart, “School Performance Report – Components – Annual Filing,” which addresses the process for creating and delivering school performance reports, as well as a document containing suggested amendments to Utah Code Section 53A-3-602.5. Dr. Park also showed an example of a school performance report on the USOE website.
Chair Stephenson invited members of the committee to work with the USOE and committee staff in drafting legislation pertaining to school performance reports for consideration at the committee’s November meeting.
MOTION: Sen. Osmond moved to open a committee bill file regarding school performance reports. The motion passed unanimously.
5. Elimination or Modification of Reports Required by Local Education Agencies
Dr. Menlove reviewed “USOE Report on H.B. 500 – Education Reporting Efficiency Amendments,” distributed in the mailing packet, which describes reports school districts and charter schools are required to make. He noted that most reports are required by federal law or state statute and asserted that many of the reports are burdensome for smaller districts and charter schools.
In responding to committee comments and questions, Dr. Menlove assured committee members that they will be invited to join him on visits to Utah schools.
6. Career and Technology Education Funding Model
Ms. Brenda Hales, Associate Superintendent, Utah State Office of Education, assisted Ms. Mary Shumway, Director, Career, Technical, and Adult Education, Utah State Office of Education, as they distributed and reviewed a report, “Student and Course Based Funding for Career and Technical Education” (CTE), which included funding formulas for CTE. They discussed a method of funding CTE courses based on a weighting of job demand, wages, and skill level. Ms. Shumway noted that other factors may be appropriate and requested feedback from the Legislature.
A.Civic and Character Education
Rep. Christensen, Mr. Robert Austin, Education Specialist, Utah State Office of Education, and Ms. Hales reviewed the requirements of Utah Code Section 53A-13-109, which provides for civic and character education. Ms. Hales discussed some of the projects in which schools are engaged.
B.Financial and Economic Literacy
Ms. Hales reviewed Utah Code Sections 53A-13-103 and 53A-13-110, which address financial and economic literacy education.
C.New Century and Regents’ Scholarship Programs
Mr. David L. Buhler, Commissioner of Higher Education, due to a time restraint, referred the committee to the “New Century and Regents’ Scholarship Annual Report,” which was included in the mailing packet.
8. Other Items/Adjourn
Chair Stephenson adjourned the meeting at 5:48 p.m.
(This one’s Jenni White, of Oklahoma’s Restore Oklahoma Public Education)
(This one is today’s GooglePlus Hangout –about Sir Michael Barber, Pearson and Common Core– with Alisa Ellis, Renee Braddy, and me (Christel)
(This one is the video Renee Braddy and Alisa Ellis made before I’d even met them; in fact, watching this video brought me into the anti-Common Core fight.)
(This one is Red Meat Radio’s Utah interview with Boston’s Jamie Gass of Pioneer Institute)
(This one is a radio show interviewing Heather Crossin of Indiana)
(This one Impact, a Heber, Utah radio show, with Bob Wren and Paul Royall interviewing Renee Braddy and me (Christel).
(This one’s Professor John Seddon, speaking to California State University faculty on why they will ruin education if they use Sir Michael Barber’s “Deliverology” methodology, which harmed the UK.)
This one’s Sir Michael Barber, speaking at the August 2012 Education Summit about how education reform is a global, not a local, control issue; and that every child in every country should learn exactly the same thing, and that all learning in every land should be underpinned by one “ethic,” that of environmental sustainability. See 2:55- 5:30 at least.
(This one’s me speaking to the Heber City Council about “Communities That Care” as a federally controlled, top-down, agenda-laden program we don’t want in Heber.
(This one is Jenni White of Oklahoma’s ROPE (Restore Oklahoma Public Education) being interviewed by the three moms about P-20 councils, data collection via schools, and common core.)
(This one’s Jenni White’s presentation about Common Core to Oklahoma legislature)
In an ongoing quest to comprehend what (and why) Common Core is what it is, I’ve found Sir Michael Barber, Chief Education Advisor at Pearson PLC.
Sir Barber, a passionate Common Core promoter with a nice British accent, is all about top-down, global McEducation –and global McEverything, actually, from transportation to jails.
“McEverything” is not Barber’s word. His word is “Deliverology.”
His book, ”Deliverology 101,” is purposed, oddly, “specifically for leaders of American Education reform.” But what motivates a British citizen to write a manual on American states’ nationalized standards?
At last month’s British Education Summit, Barber gave a speech entitled “Whole System Revolution: The Education Challenge For the Next Decade”.
He spoke as if he’d just finished reading the United Nations Agenda 21 before coming onstage. Creepy ideas, but said in such a nice way. http://youtu.be/T3ErTaP8rTA – (This is Barber’s recent, August 2012, international speech.)
Barber comes across as a nice, slightly weird, old British knight. Actually, he is a knight: Sir Michael Barber was knighted for producing education reforms in England.
Yet some (who are also repected far and wide) scorn his philosophies. John Seddon, British management guru and president of Vanguard, has a multi-part YouTube series entitled “Why Deliverology Made Things Worse in the UK.”
“I don’t go around the world bashing Deliverology, but I think I should,” said Seddon.
Seddon defines “deliverology” as “a top-down method by which you undermine achievement of purpose and demoralize people.” http://youtu.be/2sIFvpRilSc
Seddon says ”deliverology” imposes arbitrary targets that damage morale. Just like Common Core.
But Barber will have none of that. He seems to feel that education reform is too big an issue to pause for things like individual morale.
In Barber’s view, education reform is a “global phenomenon,” so reform is no longer to be managed by individuals or sovereign countries; education reform has “no more frontiers, no more barriers.” Hmm.
Barber shows a chart during his summit speech, displayed at 12:06 minutes, which he calls a goal of ”whole system revolution,” pinpointed as the sum of the following addends: systemic innovation + sameness of standards + structure + human capital. –Whole system revolution? Human capital? What awful word choices, even for a chart.
Sir Michael Barber adds: “We want data about how people are doing. We want every child on the agenda.” (6:05) –But who are the ”we” that will control global data? That one he does not answer.
Barber’s collectivist, global-governance philosophy is everywhere.
In this clip, Barber praises Common Core (CC) at a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) interview, calling CC among other things, “internationally benchmarked.” (That oft-repeated phrase, “internationally benchmarked” is one that Common Core Validation Committee Member, Professor Stotsky, calls false. See http://pioneerinstitute.org/pdf/120510_ControllingEducation.pdf)
In another interview with the CFR, Barber says, “Can I congratulate the CFR for getting into this issue? I think it’s great to see education as an issue of national security and foreign policy as well as economic and domestic policy.” http://castroller.com/Podcasts/InsideCfrEvents/2695637
Then there’s the BBC interview.
In this clip, on the BBC show Hardtalk, Barber outlines the benefits of “private and public partnership,” which just happens to be yet another United Nations Agenda 21 bullet point. (See http://www.un.org/partnerships/unfip_partner.html)
Pearson ”invests,” says Barber, by purchasing cheap schools in developing countries in partnership with governments. (PPP)
Pearson works hand in hand with both nongovernmental agencies (NGA and CCSSO) and with governmental agencies (U.S. Department of Education) to promote global education and Common Core. Because they see global education and Common Core as one and the same.
Evidence? Look at 6:05 on http://youtu.be/T3ErTaP8rTA –the August Summit speech. Barber says that every country should have exactly the same definition of what it means to be good at “maths”.
At 4:00 he says that “citizens of the world” including every single child, “all 9 billion people who will be alive in 2050″ must know E(K+T+L) –which stands for (Knowledge + Thinking + Leadership) multiplied by “ethical underpinnings.”
Then Barber explains that the “ethical underpinning” is “shared understanding” of earth and “sustainability” that every child in every school around the world will learn. Ethics, to Barber, have nothing to do with the supreme sanctity of human life, the idea of God, of individual liberty or the Golden Rule. Nope, it’s about the collective, the earth-oneness.
So, now that we know where Barber stands, what do we do about Pearson? Keep buying what they’re peddling, of course.
Pearson is very successful in selling Common Core curriculum, online assessments, teacher professional development, and technological resources nationwide. http://commoncore.pearsoned.com/index.cfm?locator=PS11Uz
Common Core is big business. The Wall Street Journal quotes Pearson’s CEO:
“‘It’s a really big deal,’ says Peter Cohen, CEO of Pearson’s K-12 division, Pearson School. ‘The Common Core standards are affecting literally every part of the business we’re involved in.’” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303674004577434430304060586.html
And Pearson has long been partnered with Achieve Inc., which also happens to be a co-author of Barber’s “Deliverology 101″ which happens also to partner “with NGA and CCSSO on the [Common Core] Initiative and a number of Achieve staff and consultants served on the writing and review teams”. http://www.achieve.org/achieving-common-core
These combinations of corporations, governments, NGOs and elite philanthropists (Bill Gates) appear to literally be taking over the globe’s educational decision-making.
When the BBC interviewer accused Barber of leading Pearson to take over nations’ educational systems as a huge corporation, Barber said, as a defense, “I worked for government. I love government. I think government is a really important, a big part of the solution.”
Well, yes indeed. Advising countries from the U.S. to Pakistan on how to implement nationalized education, is his specialty.
As the UK Guardian writes:
“…Barber and his graphs have gone global. As McKinsey’s hubristically titled “head of global education practice”, he has set up a US Education Delivery Unit (albeit as a private sector rather than government venture), co-authored books that claim to identify what makes national education systems successful, and taken the joint chairmanship of a taskforce in Pakistan to establish “national standards” in basic subjects. Now he’s becoming chief education adviser to Pearson, owner of Penguin Books and the Financial Times and also, in its own description, “the world’s leading learning company”, with interests in 70 countries…” http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/jun/14/michael-barber-education-guru
Will any of this be easy to reverse? Sir Michael Barber emphasizes the importance of what he’s dubbed “irreversible reform.” He defines “sustainable reform” as “irreversible reform” and aims to “make it so it can never go back to how it was before.”
“If you want irreversible reforms, work on the culture and the minds of teachers and parents,” Barber says. Otherwise parents or traditionalists might repeal what’s been done because of their ”wish for the past.”
Heaven help us.
Lindsey Burke of Heritage Foundation exposes misrepresentations of the financial/educational truth.
FACT CHECK: Secretary Arne Duncan on Education Cuts
Lindsey Burke September 10, 2012 at 2:00 pm
During remarks to attendees in Charlotte last week, Education Secretary Arne Duncan claimed that the budget passed by the House of Representatives would mean “fewer teachers in the classroom, fewer resources for poor kids and students with disabilities, [and] fewer after school programs.”
However, the House budget does not designate specific cuts to K-12 education programs; it simply calls for reductions in non-defense discretionary spending over the next decade. Duncan, as he did in testimony earlier this year, is using unspecified spending reductions suggested in the budget to assume reductions in specific education programs—something the budget proposal does not do.
But even if federal education spending were to be cut by 20 percent—a goal worth pursuing—would that mean fewer teachers, fewer resources for poor and disabled students, and fewer after-school programs, as Duncan suggests?
Since the 1970s, federal per-pupil expenditures have more than doubled (after adjusting for inflation). Those increases haven’t all gone to the classroom or toward teacher salaries. Much of that money has gone toward expanding bureaucracy and non-teaching administrative positions in our nation’s public schools.
From 1970 to 2010, student enrollment increased a modest 7.8 percent, while the number of non-teaching staff positions increased 138 percent. But the number of teachers has also been increasing steadily over the decades.
In fact, if preliminary data from the National Center for Education Statistics is accurate, the student-teacher ratio in our nation’s public schools, at 15.2 to 1, will be lower this year than at any other point in history. Since 1970, the number of public school teachers increased 60 percent, while the number of students increased by only about 7 percent.
Duncan also claimed in his remarks that “10 million students could see their Pell Grants reduced, putting higher education further out of reach.”
What has put higher education “further out of reach” is ever-escalating college costs, which federal subsidies have exacerbated over the years. The House-approved budget aims to better target Pell funding to the low-income students it was originally designed to help while limiting the growth of the grants.
There is ample room to trim bureaucracy at the Department of Education. And it would be bad policy to continue blindly increasing federal education spending. The Obama Administration has been on an education spending binge for the past three and a half years: a nearly $100 billion bonus to the department in 2009 through the “stimulus,” a $10 billion public education bailout the year after that, and now a proposed $70 billion education budget (up from $68 billion) with $60 billion in supplemental spending.
Taxpayers cannot afford to continue financing the federal government’s failed experiment in education intervention. Like most federal policy areas, some fiscal restraint is needed in education spending.
A better approach would be to give states more control of their share of federal education funding and allow for flexibility. Schools would get far more bang for their bucks with flexibility than by continuing to filter money through 150 bureaucratic federal education programs.
HONG KONG BEIJING
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443779404577641371073452032.html -”Friction Fuels Big Turnout” by Te-Ping Chen
The Wall Street Journal (by Te-Ping Chen) reports that tens of thousands of citizens protested Friday night after a week of hunger strikes and demonstrations at Hong Kong’s government offices. Why?
Because Beijing –not Hong Kong, mind you, but Beijing, communist China– was planning to change the local curriculum in schools. Sound familiar at all? Big, (and distant) government usurps local authority to take control over students’ educational standards? Hmmmm.
The article goes on to explain that “public discontent with issues like school curriculum” was one reason for the protests. The government plan would require schools to add ‘moral and national’ education to curricula. (Whose version of morality? Whose version of patriotism? Communist China’s, of course.)
One 63-year-old retired English teacher had fasted for more than 170 hours to defy the administration’s plans to teach what has been dubbed “patriotism” (toward Beijing) in Hong Kong schools..
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Meanwhile, The New American Magazine also reports on the Chinese curriculum push to Hong Kong: http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/asia/item/12785-hong-kong-votes-amid-protests-against-beijings-communist-%E2%80%9Cbrainwashing%E2%80%9D
“…Despite the apparent retreat on the brainwashing scheme, many analysts and activists are still not convinced that the education battle is over. “We are also worried about whether the education bureau will funnel lots of funding to encourage the schools to teach the curriculum,” activist Yip Po Lam with the Justice and Peace Commission of the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese was quoted as saying.
The Civil Alliance Against National Education, which strongly opposed the brainwashing scheme, welcomed the decision to drop the mandatory curriculum as well. However, a spokesperson for the organization still expressed numerous concerns about it even after officially becoming “optional.”
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This sounds too familiar. U.S. Department of Education, like the Chinese communist “Education Bureau” is funneling lots of funding to encourage schools to teach “the curriculum.”
In fact, the U.S. Dept. of Education has even begun to offer money directly to school districts in its desperation to have everyone implement the Common Core.
(Several Utah School Districts have already applied, allowing the federal government to bypass state legislatures and the state school board.)
–And, like the U.S. Dept. of Education, the communist Chinese are smilingly calling the new curriculum “optional.” But of course.
Wake up, wake up, wake up.