Federal Secretary of Education: “To Phase Out the Authority of States”   40 comments

Have you seen the new regulations that just came out of the White House?

Americans who see these must run screaming to legislators for protection against the Department of Education.

The new regulations declare that Secretary Arne Duncan will amend ESEA to “phase out the authority of States to define modified academic achievement standards and develop alternate assessments based on those modified academic achievement standards in order to satisfy ESEA accountability requirements. These amendments will permit, as a transitional measure, States that meet certain criteria to continue to administer alternate assessments… for a limited period of time.”


“Phasing out the authority of the states” has been precisely the point for every last one of Duncan’s promoted education reforms, from Common Core to Common Data Standards to State Longitudinal Database Systems to P-20 programs to Common Core Assessments to teacher and school evaluations.

It’s been the shared vision of non-governmental education reformers as well, from Marc Tucker to Michael Barber to Linda Darling Hammond to the Center for American Progress.

Utahns Against Common Core have been pointing out this phase-out of local authority for over two years. Others have been saying it for decades.

But fat cats (Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, School Improvement Network, Prosperity 2020, Education First, Pearson Inc., Microsoft) –each of whom wants to sell fat educational products to the fat, “uniform customer base of Common Core” (as Gates put it) will not listen, and will mock and scorn critics because they want to get fatter and fatter on the taxpayer’s dime.

Why does such a supposedly conservative state allow the educational authority of the state to be “phased out” –because of businesses’ greed and lack of care for our children?  Where are our children’s educational defenders when we need them?  Where is the action behind all the flag-waving speeches that we’ve heard, now, Governor Herbert, Education Advisor Pyfer, Senator Stephenson, Representative Powell?

Why doesn’t our Governor, our legislature, our state school board, lift a finger to fight for our Constitutional right to educational self governance?

I cannot understand the apathy and the complacency and the tolerance– even at the legislative level– of all reforms aligned to the Common Core.

Is it not tragically crazy that we, as a state, willingly allow liberties –guaranteed under the supreme law of the land– to slip so easily out of our lives?  We allow ourselves to be lied to by our leaders, who cradle these education reform lies in positive, appealing language, and only for one reason:  cash flow.   Not for our children, at all.

When will Utah, when will America, wake up to this devastation of liberty and education?


To Phase Out the Authority of States Screenshot

40 responses to “Federal Secretary of Education: “To Phase Out the Authority of States”

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  1. My heart, as well as my head, aches from these unjust, and unlawful shenanigans of this Administration. When will the people Wake UP! When I look at the sweet faces of my grandchildren, I shudder at the thought of what they may hav eto endure in their futures. We must not stop this fight to end Common Core and all it’s atrocities. Keep strong and see God’s guidance.

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  3. Do you have the link to the final regs? The link on the new regulations is broken.

  4. Pingback: What Steve read… |

  5. More of Obama’s thinking. Don’t anyone know that it is not too late to remove him and his Cronies.

  6. Under new regulations proposed by US. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, the federal government would “phase out the authority of States” to create or choose their own “modified academic achievement standards” for learning-disabled students and also phase out the states’ authority to create or choose their own “alternate assessments” based on those modified academic achievement standards for learning-disabled students. These standards and tests would be used “to satisfy ESEA accountability requirements.”

  7. It’s time to take the whole thing to the Supreme Court for its in-your-face violations of the 10th Amendment of the Constitution. According to it, the federal government has no business being involved in education anyway; but now to go so far as to eliminate the States’ authority is an absolute total 100% violation. No, Mr. Duncan, & Mr. O., you are not above the supreme law of the land which is the Constitution.

  8. This is a sin beyond anything I could ever have imagined. I thought what was going on in my own state was bad. This is Federal intrusion on education at the Highest Level! Thank you so much for getting this out there. We need to rally as a country and say HELL NO!

  9. Starve the beast…remove your children from the government schools and form community homeschool networks/schools! The government does not own your children…yet…make a stand!

  10. Several of the links do not seem to be working properly when I click them…

  11. This is so very brazen, even for Arne Duncan. Although I don’t think this would be an actual violation of the 10th amendment, as they don’t seem to be telling states what they can and cannot do…but rather, they’re telling them “do this, or we won’t give you Title I funding”. Certainly an affront to the spirit of the 10th amendment and principles of liberty and self-governance none the less. Title 1 is another rotten issue all together…states shouldn’t be lining up at the federal trough to beg for our OWN money. My children will be going NOWHERE near common core…there’s a reason why home schooling has grown exponentially in the past 2 years. ***I do have one question: does this rule/regulation apply specifically to Special Education only, or the general student population?

  12. Your link to the regs is broken.

  13. Thank you for your work! Please continue to keep us informed 🙂

  14. Reblogged this on Minding My Matters and commented:
    We need to deal with this before education gets ruined beyond repair.

  15. I added the screen shot of the regulation so if the links don’t work, people can still see it.

  16. Christel, could you speak to the question about Special Ed vs general student population? Thanks very much for all you do.

  17. Reblogged this on Home's Cool! and commented:
    Wake up, friends!

  18. Don, thanks for your comment. This regulation says that for a limited amount of time, some states, who jump through some federally-created hoops, will be “allowed” by the unauthorized federal Dept. of Ed to create their own standards and tests for students who receive special education, but that the phase-out of state authority of modified standards and modified tests based on the modified standards, is happening. In other words, soon, states will have zero say in what special education students will learn nor how they will be tested. Read this article, brought to you by the same federal and private partnered groups that created Common Core, for clarification: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED499402.pdf

    Dr. Gary Thompson, a Utah clinical child psychologist, has made it clear that already, the group of very, very few students who are exempted from federally approved (Common Core/SAGE) tests because of mental or social characteristics, should be much larger to be humane. Right now, students who are expected to take the tests alongside regular students and whose test scores will be included in grading teachers and schools, include students who are autistic, have Asperger’s, have learning disorders, are suicidal, ADHD (and the list goes on) http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/dr-thompsons-letter-to-superintendent-menlove/ . This is, in part, why Dr. Thompson calls SAGE/Common Core testing child abuse.

    But to me, the key is this: why do we sit and allow the federal agency to tell us that states are not allowed to define these terms and then live by them, regardless of the damage to our children and our freedom? The regulation says “to phase out the authority of states to define” standards and tests for special needs kids. Why on earth would it be any different if the regulation said, “to phase out the authority of states to define” standards and tests for “regular” kids? Our children are OUR children, regardless of the labels placed on them for government inventories, and constitutional local control has to be fiercely defended, regardless of the label put on the group of children/teachers/administrators from whom that control has been taken.

    • Thanks so much, Christel. We have 4 boys, 2 which are still elementary age, and one is autistic. He currently attends a private school that hasn’t adopted CC, but it’s through a school district special needs scholarship, which is undoubtedly coming from T1 funds. I expect that this new rule (is it a rule? A regulation?) would affect his private school as well as all regular public school special ed students. And honestly, I think this is step 1 to creating this same order for ALL students. This is outrageous. FYI, I am a county coordinator with an organization called Campaign for Liberty…I have sent an email to our national leadership to get their take on this as well. I can’t thank you enough, and I’ve bookmarked your page. I’d be curious to know what your group is thinking about regarding an action plan. Being a national issue rather than a state or local issue (for combatting purposes; it certainly does affect us all), it can be hard for small local groups to have an impact. But certainly not impossible if pressure is applied in the right places…

  19. I went to look at the public comment section. The time is already passed. I love how open and transparent they are.

  20. Noticed that too, Stephanie. Although it says it was originated in 2013, it’s curious that they’re just now posting this. Snakes.

  21. Parents of students in special education could form a group to specifically defend their needs and rights. Let me know because I would join even though my children are not in special ed. Please contact Dr. Gary Thompson for advice on this. But it’s not just special needs parents; all parents, all Americans, are affected by the consequences of these regulations and need to know that the tidal wave of rewriting American education to exclude the voice of the people has already hit, hard.

  22. The links need to work, for fact-checking reasons.

  23. Yes, Amyleebell! Tell this to the developers of that web site– in this case, the US Dept. of Ed. It is remarkable how many times after something pops up on the Department of Education website, or the National Data Collection Model website, or the official Common Core sites, the links suddenly disappear. This is why we do screen shots. It can’t all be legitimate technical difficulty. There are many organizations who are invested in keeping the ed takeover agenda out of the spotlight.

  24. If we were to contact our legislators, and we need to, what specifically do we need to tell them? They have to be spoon fed. They do not research. So this is an amendment to ESEA requirements that Duncan made or will make? Does Congress have authority to do anything about this? What specifically do we need to urge our representatives to do??? Once we have a message we need to start a campaign.

  25. Its appears to be a repeal to temporary regulations created in 2007 concerning the 2% rule. It was proposed in 2013 and had 157 public comments. To avoid re-inventing the wheel, it might be helpful to see what the orgs opposed to it have in the works campaign wise. Public commentary is available in the NRPM docket on regulations.gov. I’ll include a link, but I’m not sure if your blog commenting software allows it, so you might have to manually search it out.

  26. You were on WordPress’ Blog of the Day earlier! Thank you for getting the word out on this. Many special needs parents are FURIOUS!

  27. For more details on this, please, read what the Home School Legal Defense Association and Breitbart News have written: http://www.hslda.org/docs/news/2014/201411250.asp and http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/11/25/Happy-Thanksgiving-Federal-Government-Serves-Up-Bountiful-Regulatory-Agenda

  28. Pingback: Federal Secretary of Education: “To Phase Out the Authority of States” | CarolinaSistah

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  30. While I don’t have much use for the current administration, I find the headline here misleading as the regulation in question only covers a federal program for special needs students funded with federal $$$, which seems pretty normal in our convoluted system. This regulation would not usurp States from controlling any education programs funded with state tax $$$. Or am I misreading the regulation?This regulation seems to have been posted in 2013 & I recall some mention then. So, it is still in limbo & not on a fast track by any stretch. With Arne Duncan’s resignation due no later than Jan 20, 2017, any thing he decrees today can be reversed under the next administration. What am I missing? So, while frustrated, I’m neither surprised by this Administration’s shenanigans nor hopeless or filled with fear over this.

    • Steven, I think what you might not be reading is the fact that this does usurp state’s rights. Just because it’s only limited to special needs students doesn’t make it any less nefarious. And once this is in place, the greater student population is next…it’s very common for the Fed to strip state’s rights in a small way at first, then once people are used to the idea, they strip a little more. It’s a slippery slope. And I would argue that if this weren’t just limited to special needs students, there would be a lot more uproar over it. I myself have a typical child and a special needs child…I am no less pissed off that my ability to have a local voice over my autistic son’s education than I would be if this were applied to my typical child’s education.

  31. Pingback: Arne Duncan's Latest Education Power Grab from States | Caffeinated Thoughts

  32. Arne Duncan musta spent his summer reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:
    “Speak roughly to your little boy,
    And beat him when he sneezes:
    He only does it to annoy,
    Because he knows it teases.

    Wow! wow! wow!

    I speak severely to my boy,
    And beat him when he sneezes:
    For he can thoroughly enjoy
    The pepper when he pleases

    Wow! wow! wow!”

    …and I’d be happy to help toss Messr. Duncan in the deepest rabbit hole that can be found.

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