It’s Back: The No Child Left Behind Rewrite   6 comments

american mom


You can’t blame people– even Congressmen themselves–  for not wanting to get involved in the current rewrite of ESEA/NCLB.  The hundreds of pages of bill language and amendments are intimidating –and boring.

But boring and intimidating or not, if we believe in “consent by the governed” then, as the governed, we must pay attention.   If we ignore what D.C.  –mostly without constituent knowledge or input –are rewriting for the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law also known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)– we may regret it.

ESEA/NCLB is such a mangled mess.  HR5, this year’s earlier rewrite of NCLB/ESEA, was remarkably stopped in its tracks.  But now I’m worried that the new rewrite may not be better.  Here’s why.

1.)  The U.S. Constitution never gives any authority to the federal government to boss states around in educational matters.  Congress does not seem to remember this at all.

The premise of creating or altering a federal education law, in a country governed by the Constitution, is a hopelessly flawed premise.  Each state is supposed to be each doing its own separate –not standardized, nor nationalized– education dance.  Freedom thrives on distinction and variety and on spreading out the decision making power– not on top-down, heavy handed, one-law-fits-all sameness.  So felt the Constitution writers.

Now, the distraction of a debate over NCLB/ESEA manipulates today’s debaters into forgetting that there shouldn’t even be a NCLB/ESEA.

For example, when my toddler doesn’t want to go to bed, I enforce my mandate by distracting his focus:  I ask him for input on my mandate:  “Do you want to read three stories or four?”  “Should we read our bedtime stories in your room or my room?”  “Which pajamas do you like the best?”  Our family constitution says that parents know best.  —Not so in the case of ESEA/NCLB.   States are not toddlers and the federal government is not a nanny or a parent –unless we are states united under federal dictatorship  rather than a constitutional republic of United States.

Should we actually stoop to discuss their questions such as this one?  “Should Title I dollars follow low-income children to schools of their choice, or should they go to poor schools?”  The taking and redistributing of state taxpayers’ money to education in the first place is unconstitutional, to me.  Discussion about it seems wrong-headed since it’s falsely appropriated money.  It’s unconstitutionally appropriated money. It’s “legalized” plunder by the government, at the people.

If you happen to approve of that–  if there’s a socialist within you that can go along with it– know this:   Obama’s blueprint for education reform shows his intent in a 2011 press release: “Under President Obama’s Blueprint for Reform of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act [ESEA], the Title I comparability provision would be revised to ensure that state and local funding levels are distributed equitably between Title I and non-Title I schools.”  (Obama doesn’t seem to be the “charitable socialist” helping the poor but a noncharitable socialist bent on forcing the states to force equality, instead.)  Please comment below if you see this differently.

Failure to remember and honor the rights and rules of the Constitution is one very serious problem.  The second reason for the manged mess is also very sobering– it’s dishonesty (by some) and failure to detect and call out that dishonesty (by others).

2.)  Dishonesty and deliberate lengthiness makes bill discussion difficult.

During this year’s first rewrite and push of NCLB/ESEA, called HR5, which failed recently, we saw honest-to-goodness grassroots conservatives, arms linked with grassroots liberals, saying NO to Congress’ HR5 and crying out: “The talking points aren’t true.”

Speaker Boehner’s HR5 talking points, “Ten Things You Should Know About the Student Success Act” made a great sounding sales pitch to the voters of Congress, but when grassroots researchers then pointed out to their reps that  that Boehner’s points were false, the reps stopped HR5.  Score!

Sadly, it seems that legislators really don’t make time for reading bills.  True, bills and their amendments are as long as Dostoevsky novels minus the interesting dramas,  yet legislators pass them (or not) only depending on other legislators or on lists of bill-talking-points to decide how they’ll vote.  A misleading or outright dishonest set of talking points can get a bill passed.  This madness must stop.  It’s like taking a pill when even the pharmacists and doctors haven’t read the ingredient list.

Congressmen should be defending us with deep research –and with the knowledge that standing on the Constitution, they have power.

Congress should be standing up to the Executive Branch and standing up against the endless unconstitutional federal agencies.


 cute kids


I want NCLB/ESEA to be repealed entirely.  But if it’s not repealed, then I want a SERIOUS rewrite.

I want to see and hear my Utah representatives, Mike Lee, Mia Love, Orrin Hatch, Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz, standing in ESEA discussion meetings in D.C. saying:

  • “We just remembered that our nation’s supreme law for education is the U.S. Constitution and we’re sticking with that.  So taxes for education will be staying inside the state.  Utah won’t be complying with rules about, nor asking for, Title I monies –because our state taxpayers will be keeping the taxes locally, not sending them to D.C.  and we’ll be deciding locally where our own tax dollars go.”

I want to hear them saying:

  • “If we allow the writing of any federal education law at all,  it will be only to reinforce Constitutional rights, to reclaim individual rights and to stop big government encroachment. “

I want to hear them saying:

  • “Individual privacy matters.  So we won’t allow the collective State Longitudinal Database System (created by all fifty states’ individuals SLDS’s)  to be used by corporations partnered with the government, nor by the federal government itself in its Edfacts Data Exchange.  We won’t allow national Common Educational Data Standards (CEDS) nor SLDS systems to bind student privacy rights.   We won’t use a national Common Core of standards nor data mining tags.”

I want to hear them saying:

  • “Teachers are professionals.  Government should keep its snoopy unwanted nose out of the business of professionals who are accountable to the parents and principals whom they serve, and to the local taxpayers who support them– not to Big Government.”

I want to hear them saying:

  • “Under no condition will private schools, their standards or their data ever, ever be “accountable” to anyone other than the parents who pay for them and the teachers who work there.  Period, end of story.”

I want to hear them saying:

  • “Regional Educational Laboratories and Centers for School Turnaround, as branches of the federal network of an unconstitutional management of education, will no longer be funded by American tax dollars nor supported by federal government policy.”

I want to hear them saying:

  • “Children and their parents are the most important core of society.  They are not “human capital” to be inventoried, surveyed, tested, guided, used and controlled by a government nor its corporate partners. Every family has the right to opt out of government’s databases.”


Please contact your local and D.C. representatives.  Tell them what you want in the ESEA/NCLB rewrite.  Make your influence strong.  Because we frankly outnumber them.








6 responses to “It’s Back: The No Child Left Behind Rewrite

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  1. How is it that it can be percieved by anyone, that this legislation, following common core lies and deception, is a good thing for parents citizens and Americans? When the tearful republican sidekick of the brash narcissist democrat potus are thinking as one, when southern republican Lamar Alexandar shows his collectivist new age spaceship to Utopia alongside democrat leftists aligned with Bill Ayers….. better get educated parents!
    turn off tv and read the real news.
    the secrets are out!,Jc_G5GmigkY/machu-picchu/Anita-Hoge-The-End-Game-of-Assessment

  2. Copied a comment by May King on this topic from website:
    A commenter May King (m4potw) wrote:
    April 7, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    I am not lawyer, I am an electrician. I never make any assumption or interpret procedure, but thoroughly understand step by step because any wrong connection will electrocute me.

    I hope that Dr. Ravitch and all educational Gurus will help me to clarify the implication OF ALL UPPER CASE WORDS in Title I (4 paragraphs) and II (2 paragraphs), as follows:( I find that the meaning and its implication of these words are contradicted between “prohibit”, “disapprove”, “eliminate the definition of HIGHLY QUALIFIED TEACHER” (= veteran teacher?), and “HIGH QUALITY INDUCTION PROGRAM” to recruit new educators to the profession (forTFA?)

    Please accept my heartfelt thanks for your precious time and wisdom in educating and cultivating me who love to learn more about MORAL COMPASS in education.

    Respectfully yours,

    May King

    TITLE I –

    1) Maintains important information for parents, teachers, and communities – The bill maintains the federally required:

    *two tests in reading and math per child per year in grades 3 through 8 and
    *once in high school,
    *as well as science tests given three times between grades 3 and 12.

    These important measures of student achievement ensure that parents know how their children are performing and help teachers support students who are struggling to meet standards. States will be given additional flexibility to PILOT INNOVATIVE ASSESSEMENT systems in school districts across the state.

    2) Strengthens state and local control – The bill recognizes that states, working with school districts, teachers, and others, have the responsibility for CREATING ACCOUNTABILITY systems to ensure all students are learning and prepared for success.

    These accountability systems will be entirely state-designed but MUST MEET FEDERAL PARAMETERS, including ensuring all students and subgroups of students are included in the accountability system, dis-aggregating student achievement data, and establishing challenging academic standards for all students. The federal government IS PROHIBIT

    3) Affirms state control over standards – The bill affirms that states decide what academic standards they will adopt, without interference from Washington. The federal government MAY NOT mandate or incentivize states to adopt or maintain any particular set of standards, including Common Core. States will be free to decide what academic standards they will maintain in their states.

    4) Improves peer review process – The bill REQUIRES the Secretary TO APPROVE a State plan within 90 days of its submission unless the U.S. Department of Education can present substantial evidence that clearly demonstrates that such State plan does not meet the bill’s requirements. The U.S. Department of Education must conduct a peer review comprised of a variety of experts and practitioners with school-level and classroom experience. If a State plan receives DISAPPROVAL, the bill maintains the State’s right to an opportunity for a hearing and to RESUBMIT A PLAN FOR REVIEW.

    TITLE II –

    1) Helps states support teachers– The bill provides resources to states and school districts to implement various activities to support teachers, principals, and other educators, including allowable uses of funds for HIGH QUALITY induction programs for new teachers, ongoing professional development opportunities for teachers, and programs to recruit new educators to the profession.

    2) Ends federal mandates on evaluations, allows states to innovate – The bill allows, but does not require, states to develop and implement teacher evaluation systems.

    This bill ELIMINATES THE DEFINITION OF a HIGHLY QUALIFIED TEACHER—which has proven onerous to states and school districts—

    and provides states with the opportunity to define this term.

    The whole discussion is here:

  3. Well said! I will be contacting my reps tonight! Thanks for the post!

  4. I agree… Very well said! Thank you for the talking points. I will also be contacting my representatives!

  5. Reblogged this on lifeofgraceandpeace and commented:
    “States are not toddlers and the federal government is not a nanny or a parent – unless we are states united under federal dictatorship rather than a constitutional republic of United States”

    Every person, especially parents, should be aware of this gross overstepping of our government. Please take the time to educate yourself on the current brainwashing our children are enduring at the hands of our federal government. It is unconstitutional for our federal government to be involved in our children’s education.

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