Vanderbilt Law Review: Duncan’s Waivers Illegal   1 comment



Peter Greene, teacher, blogger and Huffington Post writer, has written another funny and fascinating ed reform article.  In this one, he highlights the findings of University of South Carolina law professor Derek W. Black.  Black’s soon-to-be-published findings include the following:

Two of the most significant events in the history of public education occurred over the last year. First, after two centuries of local control and variation, states adopted a national curriculum. Second, states changed the way they would evaluate and retain teachers, significantly altering teachers’ most revered right, tenure. Not all states adopted these changes of their own free will. The changes were the result of the United States Secretary of Education exercising unprecedented agency power in the midst of an educational crisis: the impending failure of almost all of the nation’s schools under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The Secretary invoked the power to impose new conditions on states in exchange for waiving their obligations under NCLB…. As a practical matter, he federalized education in just a few short months.”

Peter Greene divides the law journal article into four simple, easy-to-digest segments, and explains them.  You will laugh as you learn.

For example, under “Part I:  No Changing the Rules” Greene writes:  “When the feds pass a law, they have to lay out all the rules that do and will apply to that law. You can’t pass a law, start folks working under it, and then years later announce, ‘Oh, yeah, and by the way, we’ve changed this law about making cheese sandwiches so that it also covers sloppy joes, and also, if you don’t go along with us on this, we get to take your car.”Also, you can’t suddenly say, ‘We’ve given my brother-in-law the power to judge your sloppy joes.’  Conditions for receiving federal fund must be “unambiguous” and non-coercive.”

Both the funny and easy-to-understand analysis of Duncan’s illegal waiver-waving, and the official law journal publication by Dr. Derek Black, as soon as it becomes available to the public, must be read and shared.

Let’s stop the Department of Education’s lawless disrespect for constitutional local control of education –and protect our children– by learning and then sharing these facts widely.

One response to “Vanderbilt Law Review: Duncan’s Waivers Illegal

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  1. Oh my goodness!! Eureka! Eureka! Finally, I can begin to understand how in the world 45 some states give or take, all of a sudden like within a year?, decided that Common Core was just the best thing since sliced bread, some state Board of Eds even approving it before the final version was unveiled.

    It feels sometimes like we are to think that Common Core was handed down by God like the 10 commandments; not simply a contract awarded by the National Governor’s Association, led by Vermont Governor Jim Rodgers at one point, to 3 people … 2 at least had ties to Vermont. David Coleman whose mother was President of Bennington College in Vermont and the Bennington College Math/Physics professor (they only have 700 some students at Bennington .) Vermont, a wonderful place but not a state with a diverse population. So how is everyone so sure that the Common Core is the answer to the achievement gap?

    Jimminee crickets…. so we may not be imagining things when it looks on the ground level like Common Core and all of things that are tied with it.. 3 times the standardized testing with PARCC testing, MAP testing, data collection for PreK – 20 (the money this takes away from public education awful) , may be worse for all of our students and especially worse for students whose parents are not able to compensate with tutors and/or at home help. As the rumor goes…. after a student asked a teacher over and over for help and the teacher had to keep saying “work it out with your group”…. in frustration the teacher said “go home and ask your tutor.”.

    So the children who will get through Common Core are the ones whose parents can afford to pay tutors or can help their children at home. Disadvantaged children whose parents either don’t know to intervene or can’t intervene will fall farther and farther behind over time.

    New York is 3 years ahead of us on this and finding out rapidly that just because someone has the power to make you do something and the power to drown out other voices and to say this is really good for you!!, doesn’t make them right.

    PTA Mom from Maryland

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