Archive for the ‘private schools’ Tag

From Caffeinated Thoughts Blog: Private Schools Are No Longer Free Under Common Core Constraints   6 comments

http://caffeinatedthoughts.com/2012/12/private-schools-you-should-be-concerned-about-the-common-core/

I’m reposting Shane Vander Hart’s blog post.  I think it’s important that people understand his point: that even private schools will no longer enjoy the freedoms they have enjoyed previously if they accept federal monies in the form of school choice vouchers, because they will then be forced to obey the mandates and curricular guidance of the Common Core Initiative.  This desperately needs attention and discussion among among parents and voters nationally.

 

Private Schools – You Should Be Concerned About the Common Core

|December 12, 2012 | 2 Replies

Through popular school choice efforts several states like Indiana and Louisiana have adopted school vouchers.  While that seems great, and I am a proponent of school choice, vouchers seem to have unintended consequences for those who pushed for them – in that they give government a foot-in-the-door so to speak.  Because of this I’m concerned about a collective silence from private schools about the Common Core State Standards.

And Florida Governor Rick Scott is pushing for that very thing.  He said that students who receive tax dollars should be held to the same standards that apply to public schools.

That would be the Common Core folks.

Florida has adopted them.  Louisiana has some strings attached with their voucher program in the form of assessments.  Iowa even though they don’t have a voucher system (they offer a tax credit for donations made to school tuition organizations) private schools who are accredited through the Iowa Department of Education.  This is the only body who can accredit non-public schools at the moment.  Let’s put this in perspective failing public schools in Iowa are accredited.  Parents also can only access school tuition organization money if they are sending their child to an accredited non-public school.  Non-public schools don’t have to be accredited, but their parents can’t receive the tuition assistance.

So private school parents, teachers, administrators and boards – wake up.  You need to be concerned about the Common Core State Standards.  If you are forced to adopt these standards what choice will we really have?

-  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  -

Shane Vander Hart is the founder and editor-in-chief of Caffeinated Thoughts.  He is also the President of 4:15 Communications, LLC, a social media & communications consulting/management firm.  He is a communications director for American Principles Project’s Preserve Innocence Initiative.  Prior to this Shane spent 20 years in youth ministry serving in church, parachurch, and school settings.  He has also served as an interim pastor and is a sought after speaker and pulpit fill-in.  Shane has been married to his wife Cheryl since 1993 and they have three kids.  Shane and his family reside near Des Moines, IA.  You can connect with Shane on Facebook or follow him on Twitter and Google +.

Education Liberty Watch: On Grading Schools and its Impact on Freedom of Setting Standards   3 comments

Education Liberty Watch Introduces New Freedom Grading Scale for Private School Choice Laws

The concept of trying to rescue poor and minority students from failing  public schools is a noble one.  However, if the private schools are  forced to teach the public school standards, which are at grave risk of  becoming nationalized via the Common Core and its accompanying tests in  45-1/2 states and the District of Columbia (Minnesota accepted the  English standards but not the math), in order for their students to pass  the state tests, private schools will no longer be a meaningful  alternative to the public schools.

This danger was detailed in our 2011 alert Imposing a Federal Curriculum on Private Schools – Why Voucher Programs that Require State Tests Are So Dangerous. At that time, we mentioned Minnesota’s proposed law that has not yet  passed (that would have received a D grade on our scale) and Indiana’s  enacted law (that did receive an F grade) that both require state tests  to be given to private school students receiving vouchers or to the  entire private school.  Since then, I have reviewed the testing  accountability requirements for all of the 30 school choice laws that  have passed in 18 states and the District of Columbia through 2012 based  on the Alliance for School Choice’s annual report  and looking at the  newest 2012 laws passed since that report was written.

And, since grading scales are becoming de rigeur,  I though that Education Liberty Watch should join in on the trend and  provide a freedom grading scale based on how well each statute protects  private school autonomy.  My hope is that you will see where your state  falls and contact your policymakers to either improve your own state law  if needed, make sure that any school choice bill offered in your state  is as strongly pro-freedom as possible, and if nothing else, warn the  private schools in your area what may be coming and urge them to speak  up as this type of legislation is considered.

Before the table  with the grades is presented however, it is important to also mention  the education plan of presidential candidate Mitt Romney on this issue.   Thankfully his plan is a just a plan right now that was likely mostly  written  or at least heavily influenced by former Governor Jeb Bush.   Mr. Bush, whose organization is funded by the Bill Gates Foundation, is a  huge fan of the Common Core to the point of trying to prevent model legislation against the standards from being supported by ALEC. He also seems to be completely tied in with the corporate interests such as the US Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, and the  Business Partnership and the Gates Foundation, which has funded his own organization, that seem not at all concerned or even determined  to bring about the usurpation of private school curriculum with the  national standards. The Romney plan, A Chance for Every Child, speaks of the federal government promoting and paying for both public and private school choice.  It says on pages 23-24:

Romney  Administration will work with Congress to overhaul Title I and IDEA so  that low-income and special-needs students can choose which school to  attend and bring their funding with them. The choices  offered to students under this policy will include any district or  public charter school in the state, as well as private schools if  permitted by state law… To  ensure accountability, students using federal funds to attend private  schools will be required to participate in the state’s testing system. (Emphasis added.)

Aside  from the fact that the federal government has no constitutional  authority to be involved in education, a fact both parties have  completely forgotten, this would be an utter disaster for education  freedom.  It would bring the full force of the federal government to  impose the federal curriculum of the Common Core on private and  religious schools.  It would also negate the laboratories of democracy  in the states that have passed good state laws that do not require this  public school testing accountability.  On Education Liberty Watch’s Freedom Grading Scale, the Romney education plan, as currently written,  would receive a D grade for requiring students to participate in the  state tests.  If the plan is meant to require that all of the students  in a private school attended by voucher recipients take the state  (Common Core) tests, we would give it a failing grade.

However, the good news is that Governor Romney has recently made some important and very good statements opposing the Common Core and government expansion of preschool, which we  will outline in our next alert. It is therefore hoped that the more  pro-freedom members of his education team are beginning to hold sway and  that Governor Romney can be educated about the perils to private  schools in his plan.

 

EDUCATION LIBERTY WATCH FREEDOM GRADING SCALE FOR PRIVATE SCHOOL CHOICE LAWS:

The chart form of the grading scale with more detail is available here. Here is the scale broken down by grade:

 

A+= NO testing requirements & accountability is specifically to PARENTS.

-Georgia (2001 – special needs voucher)
-New Hampshire (2012 – means tested tax credit scholarships, including for home schooled students)
-Oklahoma (2012 – special needs voucher)
A = No testing requirements for special needs vouchers or scholarships -Arizona (2011 – education savings accounts for special needs children)
-Florida (1995 and expanded in 2011) -Louisiana (2010) -North Carolina (2011) 

-Ohio (2003)
-Oklahoma (2010) 

A = No testing requirements for corporate or individual scholarships, including scholarships for foster children

-Arizona (2006- corporate scholarship tax credit) -Arizona (1997 – individual scholarship tax credit)
-Georgia (2008)
-Iowa  (2006 & expanded in 2011)
-Pennsylvania (2001)
-Rhode Island (2006) 

B+  = Private schools with voucher or scholarship recipients must  administer a nationally norm-referenced test but report only to parents  &/or the state in aggregate

-Virginia (2012)
-Washington, DC (2004) 

B  = Requiring private schools with voucher or scholarship recipients to  administer a nationally norm-referenced test & reporting results to  the state.

-Arizona (2006)
-Utah (2005) 

C  = States that require private schools to offer either the state tests  or nationally norm-referenced tests to voucher or scholarship recipients

-Florida (2001 and expanded in 2011 & 2012 – Corporate tax credit scholarship)
-Indiana (2009) 

D+  = States that require the state tests to be administered to voucher or  scholarship recipients in private schools & scores are reported to  parents or other entity beside the state

-Louisiana (2012 – statewide means tested voucher)
-Wisconsin (1990 – means tested voucher in Milwaukee) -Wisconsin (2011 – means tested voucher in Racine) 

D = States that require the state tests to be administered to voucher or scholarship recipients in private schools

-Colorado (2011 – means tested voucher in Douglas County)
-Louisiana (2008 – means tested voucher in New Orleans)
-Ohio (2011 – special needs voucher) 

F  = States require the state tests to be administered to ALL the students  in a private school that have any students that receive a voucher

-Indiana (2011 – means tested voucher)
-Ohio (1995 – Cleveland voucher) -Ohio (2005 – failing school voucher)

United States Starting To Rebel Against Common Core Standards   2 comments

States Starting To Rebel Against Common Core Standards

   –Reposted Sept. 27, 2012 from Donna Garner, Texas Educator, at http://nocompromisepac.ning.com/

Although the Common Core national standards have been accepted in 46-1/2 states,    implementation is going slower than advocates had hoped.  One group of  states actually introduced legislation to withdraw from the Common Core or  disapprove the standards, others have failed or refused to pass the  legislation necessary to fund or align them with state tests, higher education or professional development and still others are doing more  formal reviews of either cost or curriculum.  In all, nearly  three-fifths of the states that have accepted the Common Core fall into one  of these groups. Please read on to find out what you can do both to stop the further implementation of the Common Core in your state as well as what you   can do to stop the nationalization of education.

Although education has not been a front burner issue in this election cycle, there is some evidence that word about the dangers of and problems with the Common Core national standards, about which we have warned you for a long  time, is slowly getting out.  In addition to Education Liberty Watch,  the group of academics, policy makers and individuals that developed and gained over 100 original signatures on a counter-manifesto against the Common Core, The Cato Institute,  The Heritage FoundationTruth in American Education, teachers, parents, and policy makers are working hard to educate and to  protest this loss of autonomy, local control and academic rigor.  Stanley Kurtz, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, in      interviews on Fox News and the Mike Huckabee show      pointed out the constitutional and academic dangers of the Common Core in  his new book Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to  Pay for the Cities. In it, he said:

The core of the hard-left’s education agenda – a program shared by Obama, Ayers, and      Darling-Hammond alike – has three parts: 1) a politicized curriculum that  promotes leftist notions of “social justice,” 2) reducing “disparate outcomes” between students in different districts by undercutting standards, and 3) a redistribution of suburban education funding to less-well-off urban schools. Achieving these goals on a broad scale requires the federal government to usurp local control of K-12 schooling. 

Obama is half-way there.

   How did he do it?  Instead of submitting his controversial education proposals to Congress and kicking off a vigorous national debate, Obama quietly marked  $4.35 billion of federal stimulus spending for his Race to the Top education initiative. Since the stimulus bill was rushed through Congress  with barely any debate on economic policy, much less education, Obama      never had to go public with his plans.

By coordinating with outside groups not accountable to the voters, like the  deep-pocketed Gates Foundation, the White House then orchestrated the   creation of a national Common Core of education standards, with an  accompanying curriculum and tests.

Supposedly,  these standards have been voluntarily adopted by more than 40 states. In      fact, by effectively conditioning eligibility for Race to the Top grants  on participation in the Common Core, the Obama administration has forced economically pinched states to surrender control of their school  curricula to the federal government. Cleverly, states have been pressed  to sign on to the Common Core before the actual standards, curricula, and tests are revealed in a second Obama term. The entire scheme is arguably  both illegal and unconstitutional. Yet it is moving forward, and the public knows virtually nothing about it.

In addition, state legislators and governors are also starting to respond to this unconstitutional federal takeover of  education curriculum. According to the states listed or not listed on  this comprehensive review table by  Daniel Thatcher of the National Conference of State Legislatures, the  breakdown of how states are dealing with the Common Core is as follows:

  • Twelve of the 46-1/2  states and Washington DC (Minnesota has accepted the English and reading  standards) or almost 25% have actively sought through legislation to           withdraw from, disapprove, require legislative input or other  negative measures regarding the Common Core.  Four of these  measures were enacted. 
    • The strongest of the  four measures that passed was enacted in Utah which allows the  state to withdraw from any kind of arrangement that cedes Utah’s            control over its own standards and curriculum. 
    • Indiana enacted  a  resolution to urge a state board review of the CCSS.
    • Kansas requires a cost  analysis and formal review before implementation 
    • South Dakota implemented a requirement of four public hearings before enactment of the  standards. 
    • Other states had bills disapproving or rejecting the Common Core or future adoption fail in the legislature (Alaska, Alabama, Georgia, Missouri,            Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Washington) 
    • Minnesota’s bill to  require legislative approval of new standards passed both chambers of the legislature but was vetoed by the liberal governor. 
  • Four other states have  required a formal review of the curriculum or cost analysis.        (California, Iowa, Maryland, and New Mexico).  
  • Twelve states (Alabama*,  Arizona, California*, Hawaii, Indiana*, Kansas*, Minnesota*,  Missouri*, New Jersey, New Mexico*, Pennsylvania, and Vermont),           including seven on one of these other lists (*), have rejected, either by failure in the legislature,  by gubernatorial veto,  or by failure to introduce a bill, any legislative implementation of  the appropriation, enabling, or alignment of the Common Core in      their states.
  • Five other states  (Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin) and    Washington DC were not listed in the review as having even introduced any kind of Common Core related legislation at all in 2012.  

That brings the total to twenty-six out of forty-six and  one half states that have accepted them or 56% who are rejecting or  showing some kind of hesitancy or concern with implementing these  unconstitutional, illegal and dumbed down, politically correct standards    and their accompanying tests.  This is very important good news  for state and local autonomy, academic excellence, constitutionality and  state budgets  It is also very important for the the maintenance of  private and home schooling as viable alternatives to government      education. (More new details on the dangers to private school autonomy  via the Common Core and how the Romney education plan affects this issue  will come next week. In the meantime, please see Imposing a Federal Curriculum      on Private Schools – Why Voucher Programs that Require State Tests Are So      Dangerous)

After speaking at Phyllis Schlafley’s Eagle Council along      with Education Liberty Watch’s Dr. Karen Effrem, The American Principles      Project’s Emmett McGroarty, and Heather Crossin, the Indiana mom who led      the rebellion against the Common Core in that state, Kurtz wrote more      about the problems with the Common Core and the coming parental revolt in      National Review Online:

  

Crossin has  successfully galvanized Indiana’s tea-party groups into fighting the Common Core. It’s a taste of what’s going to happen across the country  once Obama’s new national school curriculum hits the ground. Angry  parents like Crossin will be multiplied many times over, and they won’t  just be making funny protest videos. They’ll be marching on state      legislatures and giving the federal government an earful as well. 

The resistance to the Common Core seems to be following  the same state level resistance or inertia that is happening with the health insurance exchanges that unless stopped will serve as the implementation portals for the life robbing, health endangering, tax  increasing and economy wrecking mandates of Obamacare.

     It is therefore critical to make education freedom part of  the consideration as we choose not only a new president, but members of Congress, governors, and state legislators.  Please do not be shy about asking candidates where they stand on the implementation of the  Common Core and what they will do to stop it at both the state and federal levels.  If officials or candidates are not interested in  discussing the lack of constitutionality or terrible quality of the  standards, remind them that Common Core implementation cost estimates vary between $16 and $60 BILLION dollars that will not be available from  the federal government given current debt levels of $16 TRILLION dollars  and the state deficits that many states have accumulated. Please also consider a generous donation to Education Liberty Watch as we join with  groups and individuals across the nation to try to stop this other major usurpation of rights.  The future ability of our children to be the  thinking, reasoning citizens that will know how to maintain our heritage  of freedom depends on being able to stop this Obamacare for education gambit.   -Donna Garner

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,110 other followers

%d bloggers like this: