Archive for the ‘202-224-3121’ Tag

#STOPSETRA – Congress! Protect the Psychological Privacy of Children   1 comment

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Here’s a must-read, new article at Townhall.com (here) by Emmett McGroarty and Jane Robbins, “Why Does Your Congressman Want to Psychologically Profile Your Children?”

The article begins:

“If the GOP-led Congress had not done enough damage to public education by passing the statist Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), it’s poised to make things even worse. The new threat is theStrengthening Education Through Research Act (SETRA). If SETRA passes in its current form, the federal government will be empowered to expand psychological profiling of our children. Parents must understand this threat so they can mobilize to stop it.”

It also states:  “Section 132 of SETRA expands authorized research to include ‘research on social and emotional learning [SEL] . . . .’

“SEL is defined as ‘the process through which children . . . acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.’  SEL is all the rage in public education…”

“…SETRA would authorize the federal government to sponsor research on these social and emotional attributes. This means the government may analyze a child’s psychological makeup…”

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Another important point:

“…even if there were real, measurable educational value in analyzing every child’s psyche, do members of Congress really believe government has any business doing this?… SETRA also allows the approved bureaucracy to ‘establish . . . cooperative education statistics systems for the purpose of producing and maintaining . . . data on early childhood education, elementary and secondary education, postsecondary education, adult education…‘”

The article concludes:  “SETRA passed the Senate on a voice vote and now awaits action in the House. House members, take note: A vote for SETRA in its current form is a vote for psychological profiling of innocent children. It’s bad enough that so-called conservatives in Congress voted for ESSA; it will be unforgivable if they vote for SETRA.”

Read the entire article at Townhall.com.

Call US Congress at 202-224-3121 to influence your elected representatives.

crying stopesea

 

#StopSetra: Child Data Mining Bill in US House of Representatives: Family Privacy and Autonomy Matters   2 comments

crying stopesea

 

Here we go again.

“Education reformists” (corporate, federal, and state) use this pattern repeatedly.  This is how they get fat with power and money at the expense of freedom and good policy.

They:

1) Write a bill (this time, SETRA) that does not do the same thing that its talking points claim it will do, so that when busy congressmen rely on its talking points, and not on the text itself, they’ll vote for it.

2) They make sure to keep it so quiet that nobody talks about it:  not the mainstream media, not the Department of Education.

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(Remember last month, when Secretary Duncan said, “We were intentionally quiet on the bill – they asked us specifically not to praise it – and to let it get through. And so we went into radio silence and then talked about it after the fact. . . . Our goal was to get this bill passed – intentionally silent…”)

 

3) In the dark, without debate, and if possible, without a recorded vote (so that voters won’t know which representative voted for it) —  they just pass it.

Remember Senator Lee’s words last month, days before ESSA passed:

mike lee

“So from the surface, it will still look like the conference process is happening the way it’s supposed to. But beneath the surface we know that all of this has already been pre-arranged, pre-cooked, pre-determined… by a select few members of Congress, working behind closed doors, free from scrutiny. And we know that this vote was scheduled on extremely short notice, so that it would be difficult – if not impossible – for the rest of us to influence the substance of the conference”.

4) Then they laugh and reap the financial and power-grabbing rewards.

 

We can stop them.  Ask your Representative to Stop SETRA.  Ask him or her to call for a recorded vote on SETRA.  Call 202-224-3121.  Call repeatedly.

SETRA has passed the US Senate already.

In an article at Pulse2016, Karen Effrem, MD, explained that SETRA appears to prohibit a national database on children, but lacking any enforcement mechanism, will do the opposite. In fact, she points out:

“SETRA seeks to expand federal psychological profiling of our children.  Section 132 of the bill (page 28, line 16-21) inserts the following: ‘and which may include research on social and emotional learning, and the acquisition of competencies and skills…’ ”

Reading Dr. Effrem’s article and sharing it with members of the House of Representatives feels especially imperative considering the recent policy draft, a joint action by the Department of Education with the Department of Health and Human Services, that says that it will:

  • Implement a vision for family engagement that begins PRENATALLY and continues across settings and throughout a child’s developmental and educational experiences.
  • Develop and integrate family engagement indicators into existing data systems 
  • Local schools and programs should track progress on family engagement goals, as detailed in family engagement plans.

Want family autonomy to continue?  Stop SETRA.  Without the authority to data mine children and families, they cannot expand the SLDS systems.  SERTA will increase the stalking already taking place on each public school attending child and family.  SETRA is the data mining assistant of ESSA.

On Facebook today, a friend said that fighting SETRA didn’t matter; that data mining was already a done deal, so why fight it?

It’s true that each state already has a federally designed, federally funded, federally interoperable database called a State Longitudinal Database System, but thus far, the SLDS are, at least theoretically, limited to collecting academic data. The SETRA bill spells out that the government will authorize psychological, belief based data (aka social, emotional data).  We don’t want this to be national law.

#StopSetra.

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Here is a link to the bill: http://edworkforce.house.gov/educationresearch/

ESSA 101: Or, Why Call the U.S. Senate and Scream?   8 comments

crying stopesea

 

#1  WHO CARES ABOUT ESSA/ESEA?

While Utah Senator Mike Lee warned that the ESSA/ESEA bill is dangerously bad (both in policy and in its corrupt passing process) the Deseret News, Lee’s home newspaper, published a loudly pro-ESSA editorial.

While Reps Mia Love, Jason Chaffetz, Rob Bishop and Chris Stewart– all four of Utah’s delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives– rightly voted “no” on the bill just a few days ago, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, who still has to vote, is aggressively pushing pro-ESSA talking points on his twitter feed.

Obama’s got his Secretary of Education pushing ESSA.   In agreement with Obama and Duncan is Utah’s Governor Herbert, and the countless ed-alignment  moneymakers, and so is the Utah PTA.  Check out their shared talking points; then look at the actual bill.  Disconnected.  Are they deliberately lying or do they just not read bills, preferring talking points?  Either way, they are promoting the wrong thing.

 

#2 WHO  HAS READ IT AND WARNS THAT IT IS BAD?  To name  a few that come to mind:

Amash
Babin
Bishop (UT)
Blackburn
Brat
Bridenstine
Brooks (AL)
Buck
Chabot
Chaffetz
Clawson (FL)
Culberson
DeSantis
DesJarlais
Duncan (SC)
Farenthold
Fleming
Franks (AZ)
Gohmert
Gosar
Gowdy
Graves (LA)
Guinta
Harper
Harris
Hice, Jody B.
Holding
Huelskamp
Johnson, Sam
Jones
Jordan
Kelly (MS)
King (IA)
Labrador
Lamborn
Loudermilk
Love
Lummis
Marchant
Massie
Meadows
Miller (FL)
Mooney (WV)
Mulvaney
Palazzo
Palmer
Perry
Poe (TX)
Ratcliffe
Rogers (AL)
Rohrabacher
Rothfus
Salmon
Sanford
Schweikert
Smith (MO)
Smith (NE)
Stewart
Stutzman
Walker
Weber (TX)
Wenstrup
Yoder
Yoho

There are many more,  of course.

There are enough testifiers out there now, that the Senate cannot honestly pretend not to know how bad it is.

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#3 WHAT’S IN IT?

The ESSA/ESEA  bill imposes federal dictates on localities, loads many new federal programs on the nation, authorizes the feds to veto what states want to do; increases testing and data mining, cements common standards and common data (“universal principles of design”) shifts power to put the feds in charge of babies’ educationveers into private  school decision making; and  is as utterly out of harmony with the freedoms outlined in the U.S. Constitution as Obamacarein no way blessing children’s lives.

It is not better; it is worse than No Child Left Behind.

Not only is it over 1000 pages long; it was hidden from public view until two days before the House of Representatives voted on it.

If it’s so good, why hide it?

(The pretenses of Governor Herbert, Senator Hatch, Secretary Duncan,  President Obama, Bill Gates, the National PTA and the Chamber of Commerce, about the supposed goodness of education reforms as cemented by this ESSA, are on very thin ice. So are any senators who will vote yes.)

#4  WHEN’S THE VOTE?

This is voting eve.

The US Senate is going to vote on it tomorrow.  Look for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)  — a rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) also known as No Child Left Behind, aka the Frankenstein ugly bill.

May truth somehow prevail in the U.S. Senate tomorrow.

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If you haven’t yet, please call senators at 202-224-3121 (switchboard) or look for their numbers here.

 

Today ESEA Finally Released; Congress to Vote in Two Days Without Reading or Debating It   9 comments

crying stopesea

 

Over a thousand pages long, the ESEA bill is now online for all to see.  [UPDATE:  another new version was re-released on Tuesday, a day after the first version, a day before the vote.]

You can divide it up among your friends and read it.  [Newest version here] Or you can call Congress (202-224-3121) and tell them that this is a familiar (Obamacare) recipe for disaster:   A thousand pages.  No debate.  Vote in two days. Strike that; vote in one day.

Did you know that the average reader can read nontechnical information at about two minutes per page?  (This bill is highly technical, legalistic, ed reform language)  So it will take a genius  reader at least 2118 minutes (over 35 hours) to read the bill.

That’s without stopping for a meal or a potty break, without having his or her mind wander from the sheer absurdity of the reading marathon– reading this breathtaking page-turner straight for about nine hours.  That’s without stopping to define terms, research context, look at background on policies and initiatives and programs that a reader will come across.

Next, that genius Congressman or woman who will read the ESEA bill without pause, without proper sleep or food, in 48 hours, will have analyzed it thoroughly, from Constitutional, pedagogical, technological, logistical, financial and moral angles; not missing any key clause that could alter the meaning of a section; and then collect constituent (teacher) input, while finding time to discuss this with fellow members of Congress– which will at best happen at Burger King or on the phone, because there’s no time being put aside for a real debate on the actual floor of the House.  Simultanesously, he or she is responsible for other issues and other bills.

Ridiculous is not a strong enough word.

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And valiant is not a strong enough word for the Indiana moms who, on their own dime, have flown to Washington D.C. this week to plead for sanity from Congressmen in this ESEA reauthorization process.  God bless them.

Something is rotten in the state of the Republican party when such disgraceful processes and policies are presented as good and right.

Call their bluff.  Let them know that we are onto them.

It’s so obvious!  It’s all about top down, centralized control, and the crony partnerships and so-called philanthropies and chambers of commerce that make so much money standardizing our educational universe— without a thought for the effect on actual knowledge, actual education; children, teachers, and American liberty.

CALL THEM.  202-224-3121.  Hold them accountable.  Tweet them.  Call again.  Call again.  Tweet and Tweet.

If this bill passes, I predict that there will be political careers lost that will trace their demise back to this moment.

This is the moment, Congress.  We are watching you.

 

 

Look Who’s Making #STOPESEA Videos   5 comments

#STOPESEA VIDEOS – More have been added each day, and more will be added as they are made.

If you have made, or are willing to make, a #STOPESEA video, please post a link to it in the comments section below so I can repost it, or you can post it to the YouTube playlist linked here with the hashtag #STOPESEA.

Thank you to all those who are beginning to post their #STOPESEA videos. I know that there will be more.

My husband, a computer guy, used one of his programming metaphors on me when I was remarking to him that I wish I was pro, that I wish I had at least had the time to practice.

He said, “It’s better to make bridge just two lanes wide that actually goes all the way across than an eight lane bridge that only goes a quarter of the way.”  In other words, I (and all of you) are right to post our message before we’ve polished the presentation.

Just do it.

–And please keep calling!  202-224-3121

 

Michelle Malkin’s video is at her facebook page and linked with written highlights here: https://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/michelle-malkins-stopesea-video/

#STOPESEA News:

You now have to wait on hold as often as not when you call the D.C. capital switchboard to leave a message for your Congressional reps (202-224-3121) and I’m hopeful, so I think that many of those calls are about #STOPESEA.

My rep Senator Chaffetz’ voice mailbox is full and cannot accept any more messages.

I’m not calling Sen. Lee (except to thank him) since I know where he stands on ESEA– with unclouded dedication to principles of liberty, proper representation and due process.

(I like to leave messages for other Congressmen that are out of my state, both the ones I like (Amash) and the ones I half mistrust (Ryan).)

And more people are making #STOPESEA videos.  This means that not only is there a greater possibility that we might impact this vote by pushing this bill out of its secretive, speed-without-debate path (what one videomaker, Jenny Hatch, called adding “the sunshine, the absolute disinfectant of debate“) that this bill so desperately lacks– but it also means that all of our friends are learning why we do what we do, and why they might want to join us.  Think about it:  Every day, big corporations and wealthy factions pay full time lobbyists big bucks to make sure politicians see these bills their way.  We, on the other hand, have nothing.  We are mothers.  We are teachers.  We do not have time or money or connections like the monied lobbies do.

But we have two things they don’t have, things more powerful by far.  One is the mother (or father) bear instinct.  The parental passion is unstoppable.  We love our kids.

The other is dedication that springs from the love we have for American liberty.  That dedication comes from appreciating the freedoms that we, as Year 2015 Americans, can still enjoy– freedoms that millennia of humans through history have not experienced because they were subject to the whims of kings, and not the rule of law like the incomparable U.S. Constitution, which acknowledges God, which acknowledges that we human beings do tend to control, dominate, bully and rob from one another, but by separating the powers of government, by providing representation and rule of law, by using due process of thoughtful debate, and checks and balances– in this way, we leash that dangerous tendency and that is why America has created unparalleled prosperity and peace in this freedom under God.

 

 

SENATOR MIKE LEE: HOW SENATOR ALEXANDER’S ESEA/NCLB IS TO BE RAMMED DOWN CONGRESS’ THROAT   4 comments

mike lee

Even if you had time to read the final version of the new ESEA bill  which will get released days from now –which you won’t, because you’ll be eating turkey– and even if you agreed with every word (which I’m betting you won’t, because Senator Alexander’s view of ed reform is sick and wrong) –but even if you liked it– shouldn’t you, on principle, still oppose its passage, based on the devious  process being used, a pushing of  laws into their cemented form without representative debate– very fast, and mostly in the dark?

Senator Mike Lee’s fight against this now-brewing, corrupt, “new” No Child Left Behind, inspires me.  His backbone in standing up to the corruptos in Congress that are pushing ESEA is a rare treasure in politics.  Do you realize that he’s fighting for the actual freedom of our children and grandchildren?  This is real.  Listen to him. 

Senator Lee’s railed against some of the corruption; for example, its $250 million plan to hurt good preschools by pushing loser-federal preschools on all; its cementing of Common Core standards,  etc.  There’s more brewing that he hasn’t taken time to denounce yet, such as  its creepy, parent-ditching “community school” program that puts government ahead of families, churches or anyone else in influencing kids and eating up too much of kids’ time; and its cementing of common, kid-stalking data tags (CEDS) –but you can study all of that.

Lee’s big focus is on something more basic:  the dark, un-American process  by which ESEA/NCLB is about to pass into law.

(I keep calling the other members of the Utah delegation to leave messages asking them to join his fight.  Please do, too.)

This process that Senator Lee speaks of is so corrupt.

It is un-American to make Congress  vote on something so fast that it hasn’t been  vetted or understood by voters.   It is un-American to skip debate and to ditch input.  We all know that this law will weigh heavily on everyone who will be ruled by it afterward.  Shouldn’t voters have a real opportunity to look at the bill from all angles and then take the vote?

Senator Lee has pointed out that the process creates the policy.  This is how ESEA/NCLB is to be rammed down the throat of Congress (and all of us) next week.

Step one: right now, a tiny handful of pro-reauthorization members of Congress, behind closed doors, are cooking up the poison pill.

Step 2:  They’ll speed it to a vote so fast that the rest of Congress has no time to think before swallowing, no chance to offer what they are supposed to be allowed to offer:  “motions to instruct the conferees” (input).

Step 3:   They’ll market it under the banner of good-sounding lies and slanted press releases and news stories that will successfully deceive Americans (including our politicians) into believing that control has been returned to the localities.  It won’t be true.  But we’ll figure it out too late to easily reverse it.  Because nobody’s going to really read the bill before they vote yes.

The draft was released a few day ago.  The bill won’t be released until next week, the same week that the vote will be taken: December 2.

The draft bill itself, still called what Sen. Alexander named it years ago, “The Every Child Ready for College and Career Act of 2015” will pass out of draft form into final form as a concoction, mixing  what the house passed plus what the senate passed, both of which were, to freedom lovers, pure ugly.

Now, superglued together under the supervision of those working in the dark with Senator Alexander, it will surely have even a worse blast radius than its past incarnations.

This hurried method is a sick pattern used by the Obama administration.  We saw Secretary Duncan push states with the monetary lure of “Race to the Top” millions to adopt Common Core and its tests and SLDS systems for a chance in that race.  Before that, there was the ARRA funding that was tied, among other things, to governors agreeing to get federally-approved student data collection systems and standards.

Now, the speed of ESEA will similarly  maim freedom, pushing these  controversial programs into  nation-binding law.

I’m reposting Senator Lee’s entire speech below.

After you read it, please call. This monster will affect all Americans for years to come.

Ask for any senator and representative in D.C. at 202-224-3121.  Say, “VOTE NO ON ESEA.”  Done? Thank you!!  Please call again.  Then call for your neighbor who isn’t taking the time to call.  Skip the gym or the crochet project and call some who aren’t your direct reps, too.  Leave them messages — ask them to call you to account for how they plan to vote on December 2.

Politicians need constituents’ support to get re-elected.  Tell them that this is a make or break issue; you won’t vote for them again if they vote yes on ESEA.  Your voice and vote are  leverage.

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Speeches

At some point today the Senate will vote on the motion to appoint conferees – or what’s often called the motion to go to conference – for a bill that reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or the ESEA, which is the legislation governing our federal K-12 education policy.

Because most Americans have probably never heard of this obscure parliamentary procedure – the motion to appoint conferees – I’d like to take a moment to explain how it works… or at least, how it’s supposed to work.

When the House and the Senate each pass separate, but similar, bills, the two chambers convene what’s called “a conference.”

A conference is essentially a meeting where delegates from each chamber come together to iron out the differences between their respective bills, and put together what’s called “a conference report” – which is a single piece of legislation that reconciles any disparities between the House-passed bill and the Senate-passed bill.

Once the delegates to the conference – the conferees – agree on a conference report, they bring it back to their respective chambers, to the House and to the Senate, for a final vote.

It’s important to note here that, once the conference report is sent to the House and the Senate for a final vote, there’s no opportunity to amend the legislation. It’s an up-or-down vote: each chamber can either approve or reject the conference report in its entirety.

If each chamber votes to approve the conference report, it’s then sent to the president, who can either sign it into law or veto it.

So what we’re doing today is voting on the motion to appoint conferees for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Earlier this year, both the House and the Senate passed their own ESEA reauthorizations. And now, we’re voting to proceed to the conference process and to appoint certain senators to participate in that process as conferees.

Historically, and according to the way the conference process is supposed to work, this vote is not that big of a deal. Voting on the motion to appoint conferees is usually, and mostly, a matter of routine.

But it’s not a vote that should be rushed through on a moment’s notice, because it is the last opportunity for senators and representatives who are not conferees – such as myself – to influence the outcome of the conference process.

We can do that by offering what are called “motions to instruct the conferees.”

For example, let’s say I was not chosen to be a conferee to a particular bill, but there was an issue related to the bill that was important to me and to the people I represent – in that case, I could ask the Senate to vote on a set of instructions that would be sent to the conference to inform their deliberations and influence the substance of the conference report.

Mr. President, this is how the conference process is supposed to work.

But it is not how the conference process has been conducted with respect to this bill, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization.

Sure, we’re still voting to appoint conferees.

And those conferees will still convene a conference.

And that conference will still produce a conference report.

So from the surface, it will still look like the conference process is happening the way it’s supposed to.

But beneath the surface we know that all of this has already been pre-arranged, pre-cooked, pre-determined… by a select few members of Congress, working behind closed doors, free from scrutiny.

And we know that this vote was scheduled on extremely short notice, so that it would be difficult – if not impossible – for the rest of us to influence the substance of the conference report through motions to instruct.

Now, why does this matter?

We know the American people care deeply about K-12 education policy. But why should they care about this obscure parliamentary procedure in the Senate?

They should care – and Mr./Madam President, we know that they do care – because the process influences the policy.

In this case, the process expedites the passage of policies that we know don’t work – policies to which the American people are strongly opposed.

For instance, it’s my understanding that this pre-agreement may authorize $250 million in new spending on federal pre-K programs – what amounts to a down-payment on the kind of universal, federally-run pre-K programs advocated by President Obama.

This would be a disaster not only for American children and families, but for our 21st-century economy that increasingly requires investments in human capital.

We know that a good education starting at a young age is an essential ingredient for upward economic mobility later in life. A mountain of recent social science research proves what experience and intuition have been teaching mankind for millennia: that a child’s first few years of life are critical in their cognitive and emotional development.

Yet we also know that too many of America’s public schools, especially those in low-income and disadvantaged neighborhoods, fail to prepare their students to succeed.

Nowhere has the top-down, centrally planned model of public education failed more emphatically than in our nation’s public pre-K programs. The epitome of federal preschool programs is Head Start, which has consistently failed to improve the lives and educational achievements of the children it ostensibly serves.

According to a 2012 study by President Obama’s own Department of Health and Human Services, whatever benefits children gain from the program disappear by the time they reach the third grade.

But because bureaucracies invariably measure success in terms of inputs, instead of outcomes, Head Start and its $8 billion annual budget is the model for Democrats as they seek to expand federal control over child care programs in communities all across the country.

This bill also doubles down on the discredited common-core approach to elementary and secondary education that the American people have roundly, and consistently, rejected.

Mr. President, parents and teachers across America are frustrated by Washington, D.C.’s heavy-handed, overly prescriptive approach to education policy.

I’ve heard from countless moms and dads in Utah who feel as though anonymous government officials living and working 2,000 miles away have a greater say in the education of their children than they do.

The only way to improve our K-12 education system in America is to empower parents, educators, and local policymakers to meet the unique needs of their communities and serve the low-income families the status quo is leaving behind.

With early childhood education, we could start block granting the Head Start budget to the states.

This would allow those closest to the children and families being served to design their own programs – rather than spending all their time complying with onerous, one-size-fits-all federal mandates – and designate eligible public and private pre-schools to receive grants.

We know this works because many states are already doing it. In my home state of Utah, for instance, United Way of Salt Lake has partnered with two private financial institutions, Goldman Sachs and J.B. Pritzker, to provide first rate early education programs to thousands of Utah children.

They call it a “pay-for-success” loan.

With no upfront cost or risk to the taxpayers, private capital is invested in the Utah High Quality Preschool Program, which is implemented and overseen by United Way.

If, as expected, the preschool program results in increased school readiness and improved academic performance, the state of Utah repays the private investors with the public funds it would have spent on remedial services that the children would have needed between kindergarten and the twelfth grade, had they not participated in the program.

Washington policymakers should not look at Utah’s pay-for-success initiatives – and other local success stories like them – as potential federal programs, but as a testament to the power of local control.

Mr. President, we shouldn’t expand Washington’s control over America’s schools and pre-K programs. Instead, Congress must advance reforms that empower parents – with flexibility and choice – to do what’s in the best interest of their children.

The policies in this bill move in the opposite direction.

You Shall Not Pass: Utah Senator Mike Lee Isn’t Fooled by No Child Left Behind Reauthorization   Leave a comment

Legendary US Dept of Education whistleblower Charlotte Iserbyt  has  pointed out at her blog, ABCs of Dumbdown, that some members of Congress are deliberately concealing machinations of No Child Left Behind/ESEA  and are planning a rushed vote so that no time is allotted for public scrutiny nor for full Congressional analysis of the huge federal law.  She also points out that others, like Utah Senator Mike Lee, aren’t falling for the ruse.

In the official Congressional Record of two days ago, you can read the entire statement of Utah Senator Mike Lee, who said (see page S8032):

So from the surface it will still look like the conference process is happening, is unfolding in the manner in which it is supposed to, but beneath the surface we know that all of this has already been prearranged, precooked, predetermined by a select few Members of Congress working behind closed doors free from scrutiny, and we know this vote was scheduled on extremely short notice so it would be difficult, if not impossible, for the rest of us to influence the substance of the conference report through motions to instruct.”

Senator Lee also stated that the new ESEA/NCLB aims to spend $250 million on federal preschool, even though:

“Nowhere has the top-down, centrally planned model of public education failed more emphatically than in our nation’s public pre-K programs. The epitome of federal preschool programs is Headstart, which has consistently failed.”

Senator Lee noted that the bill must be stopped because it cements Common Core:

“The bill also doubles down on the discredited common core approach to elementary and secondary education the American people have roundly and consistently rejected. Parents and teachers across America are frustrated by the heavy-handed, overly prescriptive approach to education policy by Washington, D.C.   I have heard from countless moms and dads in Utah who feel as though anonymous government officials living and working 2,000 miles away have a greater say in the education of their own children than they do.”

Please call the US Capital in D.C. to ask your senators and representatives to VOTE NO on ESEA/NCLB reauthorization.  202-224-3121. 

For additional information and details on who is fighting with us and why we must stop the bill, click here.

A Titanic NO on Twin Ed Bills – Children Deserve Better Than HR5 and S1177   9 comments

titanic

 

 

You can’t stick corks into the side of the Titanic to save the people on the ship, and you can’t stick amendments into evil bills and then in good conscience vote yes on them. We are building and voting for our own children’s cages in the belly of a sinking ship.

Read the current ed reform bill amendments here; some are dancing about the Zeldin amendment  because it “allows” states to opt out of Common Core. STATES ALREADY CAN do that.  The point is that the feds bribe states not to, and states don’t.  Then the feds push out data systems that nobody is smart enough to not build.

If I sound a little bit angry, that’s because I am typing.  If you were here in the room you would want earplugs.  I am very angry, very disappointed.  Very loud inside my own little furious head and home.

I’m speaking about the twin bills in the House and Senate to be voted on; one today, HR5 which we all shot down in April; the other bill, S1177, will get a vote soon.

See American Principles Project’s excellent, short pdf (with references) on HR5 here;  the their pdf on S.1177 here.

I know I’m not smarter than my senators and representatives.  I can read, and so can they.  So why, why, why are they NOT telling we, the people, who call their offices that they are unequivocally voting NO on these bad twin ed reform bills, HR5 and S1177?  I have to assume that the represenatives are not studying these 300, 600, 800 page monsters; that they are relying on the talking points of the bill’s authors.  If so, the reps are revealing dangerous  incompetence–   carelessness with our precious liberty and our precious children.

I do realize that our representatives are busy.  But these are dire circumstances that affect children so negatively.  We elected and pay these friends.  We entrust them with the futures of our public school children.  Yet, I don’t know if I believe they are reading the bills.  Orrin Hatch is promoting S1177.  But I’m concerned about the entire Utah delegation of senators and representatives -and many others outside Utah.

In what universe is it okay for a senator or a representative to vote yes on a bill that does what HR 5 does?**   It:

  • Cements the unconstutitional Fed Master- State Servant relationship
  • Attacks parental opt out movement – kills parental opt out rights
  • Hacks off religious freedom and autonomy for any private schools that receive federal dollars for any of their programs
  • Pretends that federal FERPA hasn’t been shot full of holes and depends on FERPA for privacy rights (what privacy rights?)
  • Fails to require parental consent for state data mining of children’s personally identifiable data
  • Creates unelected committees that have real power over state citizens who did not elect them
  • Fails to provide enforcement for autonomy which means there won’t be any state autonomy
  • Extends federal tentacles and data collection to preschoolers
  • Reinforces socialist alignment of schools to workforce, putting economy first without regard for students
  • Retains federal testing mandates
  • Promotes psychological profiling of students

**Below, I am posting section numbers for the reference of those who want to see the language with their own eyes.

 

In what universe is it okay for a senator or a representative to vote yes on a bill that does what S1177 does?***

  • Pretends to protect us from federal overreach with redundant, nonhelpful language
  • Aligns us to “college and career ready” standard which ARE Common Core, federally defined elsewhere
  • Cements the unconstutitional Fed Master- State Servant relationship
  • Mandates that States answer to the Feds even on altering state standards
  • Retains federal testing mandates
  • Adds to the list of programs a state must consult and aligns with workforce (socialism) program
  • Dictates types of testing
  • Forces out the parental opt out movement
  • Narrows the definition of “mental health” and “school climate” that reduces student religious and political expression
  • Probes into psychological data collection on children without parental consent
  • Fails to require parental consent for state data mining of children’s personally identifiable data
  • Extends federal tentacles and data collection to preschool

***Below, I am posting section numbers for the reference of those who want to see the language with their own eyes.

The list could go on and on and on.

I don’t get it.  I really do not understand these politicians.  I really do not.

Our children deserve better.  So much better!

I’ll be wasting spending time and breath all day today, again, calling 202-224-3121 to get my senators’ and reps’ attention.  Feel free to join me.  Even though it feels like we are sticking corks into the side of the Titanic.  May God help us.

titanic side

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“THE STUDENT SUCCESS ACT”

**HR5 section numbers for reference:

  • Master and Servant unconstitutional relationship in cement:

“For any State desiring to receive a grant under this subpart, the State educational agency file with the Secretary a plan,” “Each State plan shall demonstrate [to the federal agents]” – 1111(a)1 –

“Approval: The Secretary shall approve a State plan within 120 days of its submission; disapprove of the State plan only if the Secretary demonstrates how the State plan fails” – 1111(e)1B

“The Secretary [federal] shall have the authority to disapprove a State plan” – 1111(e)2 D

“If a State makes significant changes to its State plan, such as the adoption of new State academic standards or new academic assessments, or adopts a new State accountability system, such information shall be submitted to the Secretary under subsection (e)(2) for approval.” – 1111 (f)

“If a State fails to meet any of the requirements of this section then the Secretary shall withhold funds” – 1111(g)

  • Attack on parental rights via stopping opt out movement:

“Assessments shall… be administered to not less than 95 percent of all students, and not less than 95 percent of each subgroup of students”- 1111(b)(2)(B)(xiii)

 

  • Hacking off religious freedom and autonomy for any private school receiving any federal dollars for programs:

“The control of funds provided under this subpart, and title to materials, equipment, and property purchased with such funds, shall be in a public agency, and a public agency shall administer such funds, materials, equipment, and property…  independent of such private school and of any religious organization.” 1120(d)(2)(B)

  •  Pretending that federal FERPA hasn’t been shot full of holes and depending on FERPA for privacy rights (what privacy rights?)

“Information collected under this section shall be collected and disseminated in a manner that protects the privacy of individuals consistent with section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act and this Act.” – 1111(i)  For more on FERPA’s deliberate loosening (destruction) by the Dept. of Ed, see the E.P.I.C. lawsuit.

  • Failing to require parental consent for state data mining of children’s personally identifable information

Nada.  Do a word search for “SLDS” or “State Longitudinal Database Systems” or “SIF” or “CEDS” and you will find nothing.  There is no protection.  There is no informed consent.  There is no parental-consent requirement–  not here and not in FERPA.

  • Creating unelected committees that have real power over state citizens who did not elect them. (And using these unelected groups to eliminate policies that don’t match federal policies)

“State rules, regulations, and policies… conform to… the committee of practitioners”

“Each State educational agency that receives funds under this title shall create a State committee of practitioners”

“Eliminate the rules and regulations that are duplicative of Federal requirements… identify any duplicative or contrasting requirements between the State and Federal rules or regulations; report any conflicting requirements to the Secretary… (1403)

  • Failing to provide enforcement for autonomy which means there won’t be any state autonomy from the feds.

State autonomy is in no way enforceable by HR5.  It’s not in there.  That is the problem.  It’s just talking points about state’s rights, with no support.

  • Extending federal tentacles and data collection to preschoolers.

“perform child-find screening services for the preschool-aged children of the tribe” – 5133 a

“assessment of  family-based, early childhood, and preschool programs for Native Hawaiians” – 5304 (c) 2

“evaluate the aggregate short- and long-term effects and cost efficiencies across Federal programs… under this Act and related Federal preschool, elementary, and secondary programs”  – 6601

 “improve the identification of homeless children (including preschool-aged homeless children and youths) ” – 702

“Coordinator for Education of Homeless Children and Youths established in each State shall— gather and make publically available… comprehensive information on— the number of homeless children and youths identified… the nature and extent of the problems homeless children and youths have in gaining access to public preschool programs” – 702

collect data for and transmit to the Secretary, at such time and in such manner as the Secretary may require, a report containing information necessary to assess the educational needs of homeless children and youths within the State, including data necessary for the Secretary to fulfill the responsibilities… including teachers, special education personnel, administrators, and child development and preschool program personnel – 702

“Plans required:  … how the local educational agency will use funds under this subpart to support preschool programs”  – 1112

  • Reinforcing socialist alignment of schools to workforce, putting economy first without regard for students

“Each State plan shall demonstrate [to the feds] that the State has developed and is implementing a single, statewide accountability system to ensure that all public school students graduate from high school prepared for postsecondary education or the workforce” -1111  (This is repeated and repeated. A word search for “workforce” turns up 22 times in this bill.)

  • Retaining federal testing mandates

“Academic assessments… shall—  be used in determining the performance of each local educational agency and public school… be aligned with the State’s academic standards and provide coherent and timely information about student attainment of such standards… be consistent with… nationally recognized… technical standards… be administered in each of grades 3 through 8 and at least once in grades 9 through 12… in the case of science, be administered not less than one time during—grades 3 through 5;  grades 6 through 9; and in the case of any other subject chosen by the State, be administered at the discretion of the State; measure individual student academic proficiency and, at the State’s discretion, growth…  be administered through multiple assessments during the course of the academic year that result in a single summative score that provides valid, reliable, and transparent information on student achievement … enable results to be disaggregated… be administered to not less than 95 percent of all students, and not less than 95 percent of each subgroup of students described in paragraph (3)(B)(ii)(II); and be the same academic assessments used to measure the academic achievement of all public school students… provide for— the participation in such assessments of all students… produce individual student interpretive, descriptive, and diagnostic reports regarding achievement on such assessments in … uniform format…” –1111

  • Promoting psychological profiling of students 

“Assessments … (xi) “produce individual student interpretive, descriptive, and diagnostic reports regarding achievement on such assessments” -1111

As American Principles in Action pointed out, “HR5 does nothing to stop NAEP from implementing its planned and unconstitutional affective probing of students’ “mindsets,” “grit,” or other psychological traits.  (To see the Dept. of Education’s recommendation that schools engage in psychological and biometric profiling, read its report here, especially page 44.)

 cry

“THE EVERY CHILD ACHIEVES ACT”

***S1177 section numbers for reference: 

  • 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 nice.  But deep inside, the bill 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

Gross Violation of Civic Procedure in ESEA: Call 202 224 3121 Today   4 comments

 

 

 

Action time.

This video, which comes from parents in Massachusetts and Dr. Sandra Stotsky, is important.

Its message is:

Please call 202-224-3121 –the number to call all senators in Washington, D.C.  Ask that your senators stop the reauthorization of ESEA also known as No Child Left Behind.  Passing this bill violates civil procedure.  Ask to speak your national Senators (both of them) –or just ask for Sen. LaMar Alexander of TN and Sen. Patty Murray of Washington State, who are the bipartisan sponsors of the ESEA reauthorization.

Why?

“No Child Left Behind” is ESEA.  It should NOT have been reauthorized!  The reauthorization of this awful, 800 page bill (that hardly anyone has read; ask your senators if they’ve read it!) –is a gross violation of civic procedure: there been no public hearings for the parents of U.S. children, those who will be affected most.  There should have been many opportunities for parents to read and testify for or against this bill.

 

People are being fooled by the bill’s talking points, saying that it takes power away from the federal government –but this bill does not do what it says it will do.  It puts power into the hands of state commissioners, giving parents even less power than they now have.

Know this:  the power struggle is no longer between the Republicans and the Democrats.  It is between the Democratic and Republican voters who love children, value academic freedom, cherish time-tested classical education and liberty versus those Democrats and Republican businessmen and politicians who profit (with money and with the power that data mining provides) by the standardization of all testing, data standards, education standards, accountability measures, and aligned curriculum.

Don’t be fooled by the word “bipartisan.”

Please call.  Defend the constitutional right to have a REAL voice and vote in education.  This is for the children, the future citizens of this nation.

 

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