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.