HR5 Passed the House. Don’t let S1177 Pass the Senate. Look at its Language.   4 comments

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Yesterday, the House unfortunately voted to pass HR5, the “Student Success Act” which is a No Child Left Behind rewrite with horns.  More on that here.

Although HR5 did pass with some nice amendments aimed to 1)  give parental opt-out rights more power, and 2) give states’ Common Core-opt-out-ability more likelihood,  it  seems to me that these amendments are little optimistic corks stuffed hopefully into the side of the Titanic.

The mass of the language in HR5 was not on our side. (Neither is the language in twin senate bill S1177)

Some say that HR5’s section 6521 can protect us against all the other language that contradicts it in the bill.   Section 6521 has a “Prohibition against Federal mandates, direction, or control.”  

It sounds magnificent:  “No officer or employee of the Federal Government shall, directly or indirectly, through grants, contracts, or other cooperative agreements, mandate, direct, incentivize, or control a State, local educational agency, or school’s specific instructional content, academic standards and assessments, curricula, or program of instruction, (including any requirement, direction, incentive, or mandate to adopt the Common Core State Standards developed under the Common Core State Standards Initiative or any other academic standards common to a significant number of States), nor shall anything in this Act be construed to authorize such officer or employee to do so.”

But, sadly, bills that are hundreds of pages long are designed to deceive well meaning people– and they do.  That prohibition section is a very thin burger, and the oversized buns have taken over that sandwich: there is SO much language in the bill that contradicts that one sentence!  Not only in the bill:  the whole structure of ed reform dwarfs that little, good sentence.  The whole Race to the Top  set up a federal power structure over testing and standards that one sentence cannot now overcome.

Using the precedent of the Obama administration and its pure robbery of liberty, educational autonomy and student privacy rights– and the shrugging off of that fact, or lack of knowledge of it, by most members of our current Congress, we can predict that the feds will use whatever “authority” they can bluff up to do whatever they want with ed policy.  The Supreme Court clearly is not going to protect us from ambiguous or contradictory language.  If HR5 and Congress really wanted something, it had to say so in this bill, in uncontradictory, uncertain terms, and not allow the mass of the bill to dictate master-and-servant style rules, where the feds are the master and the states are the servant, while one sentence prohibits it.  Talk about cognitive dissonance.

Contradiction and soft language begs for federal and corporate overreach, which Congress has sadly shown it lacks the interest to rebuff. 

So, HR5 passed the house.   See how your representative voted.  Call and ask him/her why.

HR5 could still get vetoed.  I’m crossing my fingers.

Meanwhile, its twin bill, S1177, sits in the Senate!

So below, republished, are key problems with S1177 “The Every Child Achieves Act” with the number references and key language “bites.  If you want a more thorough, lawyerly version (which is much better, but not as easily readable)  see the PDF on S1177 from American Principles in Action.

Please share these as you call and write to your Senators.  And find more!   As you do word searches and spend time in this bill, you will find awfulness.  When you do, please share those language bites in the comments section here and with your senators in D.C.

Many hands make light work.



S.1177  “THE EVERY CHILD ACHIEVES ACT”  (duplicated on another post.)

  • Pretending to protect states and parents from federal overreach using redundant, nonhelpful (and contradictory) language:

First the bill raises our hopes; the talking points sound good; maybe this won’t be a federal sledgehammer to parents and states.  The bill’s sections 5001-5010 (a large chunk of the very large bill)  even go under the title “Empowering Parents and Expanding Opportunity Through Innovation”.  Sounds good.

But deep inside, the S1177  (almost) conceals ugly and unconstitutional words like this:

“State plan disapproval: The Secretary shall have the authority to disapprove a State plan” –1004

“If the Secretary determines that a State plan does not meet the requirements of this subsection or subsection (b) or (c), the Secretary shall, prior to declining to approve the State plan immediately notify the State of such determination… offer the State an opportunity to revise” –1111

“A State educational agency may use not more than 5 percent of the amount made available to the State… for the following activities…”

“Closing student achievement gaps, and preparing more students to be college and career ready” -2501(4)    (Making everyone common does tend to close the achievement gaps, by slowing those who would otherwise soar ahead of the mediocre and the slow.)

  • Cementing the unconstitutional Fed-Master/State-Servant relationship:

“State plan disapproval: The Secretary shall have the authority to disapprove a State plan” –1004

“For any State desiring to receive a grant under this part, the State educational agency shall submit to the Secretary a plan…” – 1111

  • Retaining federal testing and standards mandates:

“Same standards: … standards required by subparagraph (A) shall be the same standards that the State applies to all public schools and public school students” –1111   (Do you want to give the feds the authority to dictate uniformity to us?  What if a state wants to be innovative and diverse and various? That won’t be allowed by this federal law.)

“Alignment: Each State shall demonstrate that the challenging State academic standards are aligned with entrance requirements, without the need for academic remediation, for the system of public higher education in the State; relevant State career and technical education standards; and relevant State early learning guidelines” –1111

“Measures the annual progress of not less than 95 percent of all students, and students in each of the categories of students” -1204

“Measure the annual progress of not less than 95 percent of all students and students in each of the categories of students” – 1205

  • Adding to the list of programs States must consult, and aligning with workforce socialism program:

“(aa) student readiness to enter postsecondary education or the workforce” -1111  (repeated many times)

“an application … shall include the following: A description of… assets, identified by the State… which shall include— an analysis of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education quality and outcomes in the State…  labor market information regarding the industry and business workforce needs within the State….”  –2504

  • Dictating types of testing– including using nonacademic, interpretive, and diagnostic student reports:

“produce individual student interpretive, descriptive, and diagnostic reports…  include information regarding achievement on academic assessments aligned with challenging State academic achievement standards… in  uniform format” –1111(b) (2) (B) (vi) (xiii)

“(vi) involve multiple up-to-date measures of student academic achievement, including measures that assess higher-order thinking skills and understanding, which may include measures of student academic growth and may be partially delivered in the form of portfolios, projects, or extended performance tasks” –1111 (b) (2) (B) (vi)

Assessments must  “be administered through a single summative assessment; or be administered through multiple statewide assessments during the course of the year if the State can demonstrate that the results of these multiple assessments, taken in their totality, provide a summative score” – 1111 (b) (2) (B) (viii)

“(xiii) be developed, to the extent practicable, using the principles of universal design for learning.” – 1111 (b) (2) (B) (xiii)

  • Forcing out the parental opt-out movement; also, booting family out and putting government in to the center of the universe:

Crushing opt outs, each state test must “Measures the annual progress of not less than 95 percent of all students, and students in each of the categories of students” -1204

Same:  “Measure the annual progress of not less than 95 percent of all students and students in each of the categories of students” – 1205

Schools to be far, far more than places to learn numeracy and literacy:  “21st Century Learning Centers… an array of additional services, programs, and activities, such as youth development activities, service learning, nutrition and health education, drug and violence prevention programs, counseling programs, art, music, physical fitness and wellness programs, technology education programs, financial literacy programs, math, science, career and technical programs, internship or apprenticeship programs, and other ties to an in-demand industry sector” – 4201

“address family instability, school climate, trauma, safety, and nonacademic learning.”  -7304

4 responses to “HR5 Passed the House. Don’t let S1177 Pass the Senate. Look at its Language.

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  1. Reblogged this on stopcommoncorenys.

  2. Pingback: HR 5 ESEA Passed. What does this mean for children of New York State? | stopcommoncorenys

  3. As someone who has actually read both ECAA and the Student Success Act and WIOA and is horrified by the false talking points on how it works, Let me link to the conclusion of what turned into a quartet of posts on ECAA.

    I not only read this language as a lawyer, but as the author of a book Credentialed to destroy that not only looked at the actual implementation coming in under the Common Core banner, but also what constructivism itself meant to do. The constructivism work in Chapters 2 and 3 heavily impact how 1177 will actually work. The Competency discussion in Chapter 4 is also crucial to understanding 1177.

    Remember beliefs are known by the behavioral science at the true core of all these initiatives to be the drivers of behavior. What we are seeing with the Student Success Act and 1177 are deliberate attempts to create false beliefs to guide political behavior in desired ways. We parents and taxpayers will have to fund all this. It is our childrens minds and personalities that personalized learning, specifically in 1177, is intended to alter.

    This is Totalitarian Manipulation once we delve into the creators of these practices and theories. Those intentions travel even when the implementers or politicians are unaware of them. We have to be the cavalry.

  4. Pingback: House Representation Disappoints! Don’t LET Wyoming Senators Do the SAME! CALL NOW! | Wyoming Against the Common Core

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