The Federal Register is collecting comments on and International Early Learning Study (IELS) that’s scheduled to be conducted next year. The deadline for these comments is midnight tonight, February 13, 2017! Here’s the link:
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/12/13/2016-29749/agency-information-collection-activities-comment-request-international-early-learning-study-iels#open-comment For more information, Dr. Karen Effrem explains more about IELS and early childhood data mining here: http://edlibertywatch.org/2017/02/urgent-submit-comments-against-global-pre-k-sel-data-mining/
The IELS is a proposed international study that seeks to collect data on kindergarteners about their academic competencies. This might sound harmless, but the most problematic aspect of this study is the effort to collect data on the children’s SEL: “social-emotional skills.” This opens the door to invasive analysis of the students’ home life and personal beliefs. It turns untrained and already overworked teachers into psychoanalysts.
Jonas Himmelstrand, Phyllis Schafly, Mireja Institute and many others have published studies about the lack of benefit and the terrible potential harms that early childhood education can do.
Student data collection also undermines parental authority and citizen privacy.
Please send a brief comment to oppose this study — today.
Below is a longer comment, submitted to the Federal Register’s call for comments by Joan Landes, a Utah clinical mental health counselor. She submitted these comments to the Federal Register’s comment site this week and gave permission to publish them here.
I am a Master’s Level Clinical Mental Health Counselor, fully licensed in my state to assess, diagnose and treat emotional and cognitive problems in individuals, couples and families. I have served as a Mental Health Counselor to treat stress, anxiety, suicidality and depression in students grade 1-12 in a charter school during school hours. I currently work in a residential treatment center for troubled teen girls. I also have a private practice which includes children and adolescents. I have served as the church leader for hundreds of youth over the last 30 years. I have taught homeschool, private school and charter schools. Finally, I have seven children of my own who are grown except one daughter in seventh grade. I think you could say I am an expert of children — what they need to be happy and how things can go terribly wrong. Along with academic training, I have spent my life in the trenches dedicated to the emotional and intellectual growth of children.
Governments should not abrogate the rights of parents to rear their children without significant interference from bureaucrats. Governments should not exploit schools as data-sweat shops, and abuse children as unpaid fodder for Big Data. If Governments and corporations adhered to minimally ethical practices, all children would be compensated a living wage ($25.00 per hour) for the data they are working to provide for the benefit of entities who will profit from the labors of these small children. Since this compensation has never been discussed, it will be no surprise that every other ethical protection for vulnerable children and their data will be violated in the rush to profit from the involuntary servitude of the young.
If entities are interested in gleaning data from children the following protections MUST be required:
1. The entire research project must pass review by a research ethics review board.
2. Parental notification and review is required of all assessments prior to the administration.
3. No surveys, questions or assessment in violation of United States Code, Title 20 1232h which prohibits (among other things), questions eliciting responses regarding parental beliefs, income, sexual mores etc.
4. All assessments to be previously researched and normed on the appropriate population and will meet superior criterion validity and reliability standards.
5. All assessments to be administered by licensed mental health professionals on an individual basis.
6. All assessments to take less than 1% of the child’s learning time per day so as to limit the child’s stressors.
7. All assessments to be interpreted by fully licensed mental health experts and research psychologists.
8. All data to be disaggregated at every point with no personally identifying information attached.
9. All children will be compensated a living wage ($25.00 per hour) for parts of every hour they are subjected to the assessments.
Without these protections in place, the object of the data accumulation becomes obvious to all who understand such things, and this purpose is absolutely unacceptable to those who hold even a shred of ethical integrity.
Joan Landes, CMHC
This must-read article is partially reposted from Emily Talmage’s blog (Maine mom against common core). I think my favorite part is the video clip at the end, depicting a real cat and a real alligator, where the cat swats and intimidates the alligator, causing it to retreat in fear. What an iconic metaphor for what we the little people are trying to do as we fight the machine.
Read the whole article at EmilyTalmage.com.
Several weeks ago, I wondered in a blog post whether or not public education would survive the next administration. Admittedly, I was all but certain at the time that Hillary Clinton would be our next president, and my predictions were more than dismal: more screen time for even our youngest children, inflated local budgets, invasive school-wide and individual data collection, a proliferation of low-quality online K-12 and higher education programs, etc.
Ever since the big shock of Tuesday night, however, I’ve been scrambling to say something coherent about what we can expect now that Donald Trump really is going to be our next president.
Will public education survive?
Here’s the funny (and by that I mean incredibly scary) thing about federal public education policy: the big agenda – the real agenda – seems to survive no matter who is put in charge.
The real agenda – the ongoing march toward a cradle-to-grave system of human capital development that relies on the most sophisticated data collection and tracking technologies to serve its unthinkably profitable end – is fueled and directed by a multi-billion dollar education-industrial-complex that has been built over the course of decades.
It’s an absolute beast, an army of epic scale, and it’s a system that has the same uncanny ability to blend in with its surroundings as a chameleon.
Take, for example, the new “innovative assessment systems” that are being thrust on us every which way in the wake of ESSA. Under the banner of free market ideology, the far-right American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is promoting the very same assessment policies that far-left groups like the national unions and the National Center for Fair and Open Testing are now pushing. And though some claim that one ideology is merely “co-opting” the ideas of the other, the reality is that they lead to the same data-mining, cradle-to-career tracking end.
Consider, too, the massive push for blended, competency-based, and digital learning – all unproven methods of educating children, but highly favored by ed-tech providers and data-miners.
Most of these corporate-backed policies were cooked up in Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education, and then made their way not only to the far-right ALEC, but also to left-leaning groups like the Center for Collaborative Education, the Coalition for Essential Schools, and the Great Schools Partnership. Depending on what sort of population each group is targeting, these wolves will dress themselves up in sheep’s clothing and make appeals to different values. For the right, they will package their policies in the language of the free market and choice; for the left, they will wrap them in a blanket of social-justice terminology.
Pull back the curtain far enough, however, and you will see they are selling the same thing.
There is, of course, no question that Hillary Clinton has been deeply entrenched in the education-industrial-complex for many, many years – even profiting from it personally – and that the big agenda was going to move full speed ahead if she were elected.
But what will happen now that we’re guaranteed to have a President Trump?
Unfortunately, we need look no further than the man leading Trump’s education transition team to understand how much trouble we are in.
Not long ago, Gerard Robinson, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, was one of only eleven members of the Executive Team of Jeb Bush’s “Digital Learning Now!” council, along with Joel Klein of NYC Public Schools, Gregory McGinity of the Broad Foundation, and Susan Patrick of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning.
Former Gates Foundation executive Tom Vander Ark, who sits on the board of the world’s creepiest education organizations while overseeing a giant portfolio of digital and online learning companies, picked Robinson as one of his top ten reformers to watch back in 2010.
It should be no surprise, then, that Robinson recently told EdWeek: “I see [Trump] supporting blended learning models, alternative learning models,” and that he will “likely want to continue significant investments in colleges and universities, but also closely track how well graduates do in the labor market.”
That’s all part of the big agenda right there, and here is no big surprise: for-profit education chains are already seeing their stocks rise.
For those of you now protesting that Trump said he would get rid of the Department of Education, well, President Reagan said that too, but then he sponsored a report called “A Nation at Risk” which kicked the role of the federal government in education into high gear. According to Robinson, Trump may “streamline” the department …whatever that means.
As for rumors circulating that either Ben Carson or William Evers of the Hoover Institute will be tapped for the role of Education Secretary under Trump, I think we’re more likely to get someone akin to what Robinson told Edweek: “Someone from the private sector, who may not have worked in education directly, but may be involved in philanthropy or some kind of reform.”
So what does this mean for us? For our kids, our schools and our communities?
More than likely, it won’t be much different nor any less dismal than what I wrote when I assumed Hillary would be president: more screen time for even our youngest children, inflated local budgets to support one-to-one tech initiatives, invasive (way more invasive) school-wide and individual data collection, and a proliferation of low-quality online K-12 and higher education programs.
And this is a big unless..
Unless parents and activists from across the political spectrum can mobilize now and stand up now to say enough is enough. We knowwhat the big agenda is, and we aren’t going to manipulated by superficial policy change anymore.
This means that those who lean right can’t afford to go back to sleep once they hear talk of school choice and vouchers and the elimination of Common Core, and those leaning left can’t afford to throw in the towel or be led astray by phony anti-privatization movements run by neoliberal groups pushing the same darn thing as everyone else…
Read the rest here…
If you live in Utah, and if you are concerned about the “global governance” (U.N. over U.S.) agenda in books and many schools, please contact your senator and tell them we want to AMEND OUT the part of the bill that gives advantages to students who enroll in the IB (a global governance indoctrination program) International Baccalaureate (IB).
We will want to defeat the bill if it stays in its present form, but we are asking for AN AMENDMENT to take the expensive and not-America-centered “IB” portion out. Why? Because IB teaches our kids that no country is blessed with a superior system; all governments are equally acceptable. (That includes communist, socialist, dictatorship-based and all other systems.)
Children should hold our U.S. Constitution and our nation’s great, God-fearing founders in a place of honor. IB does not teach this.
PLEASE CONTACT UTAH SENATORS – START WITH YOUR OWN SENATOR — be sure to let them know you are a constituent. (See contact info below)
SB-100 HIGHER EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIP AMENDMENTS (Sponsor: Jerry Stevenson)
See bill text here: http://le.utah.gov/~2013/bills/sbillint/sb0100.pdf
This bill passed committee and will be debated and voted on in the Senate. It “allows the Board of Regents to assign additional weights to grades earned in International Baccalaureate program courses in determining scholarship eligibility in the Regents’ Scholarship Program.” We must educate our Senators about the downsides of the International Baccalaureate program.
Facts About International Baccalaureate (IB)
(International Baccalaureate Organization — IB Diploma Programme) http://www.ibo.org/become/guidance/
http://youtu.be/n_6u9a6xiKo?t=45s -news broadcast on I.B. in Idaho
IB Magazine: http://www.ibo.org/ibworld/jan2010/index.cfm
•The IB is neither transparent nor accountable to the Utah State Office of Education or the Utah State Legislature.
•The IB is expensive and lacks fiscal restraint when Utah shows nearly $20 billion in debt.
•The IB requires an international contract with arbitration under Swiss law.
•The IB is over-rated and lacks substantive research and shows no significant difference against competitive programs such as the Advanced Placement Program to justify its costly materials and professional development.
•In 1924 at Oxford University the finest progressive political/philosophical minds founded the IB with the intent to educate children of League of Nations, and later U.N., employees and ambassadors from many nations.
•In 1984 President Ronald Reagan withdrew US membership from UNESCO, calling it “un-American.”
•UNESCO was a founding sponsor and continues to be its close ally and collaborator.
•Until it became unpopular, the IB publicly endorsed the UN’s radical Earth Charter as its foundational philosophy, crafted by Mikhail Gorbachev and Maurice Strong, chairman of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit whose declaration document was entitled Agenda 21.
•Both The Earth Charter and Agenda 21 share the same tenets: ◦Global unilateral disarmament (a violation of the Second Amendment);
◦Population control (including abortion on demand);
◦Extremist environmental policies that infringe on private property rights and that do not need scientific research to prove they are valid;
◦Redistribution of wealth through a global environmental tax, already in force federally and through foreign aid to eradicate poverty, undercutting domestic prosperity and free enterprise.
Because of all of the links to UN organizations and the global agenda indoctrination that is part of the IB curriculum, many parents will opt to keep their children out of IB programs. It is NOT fair that their students will then be at a disadvantage when applying for scholarships!
(go here to find your Senator: http://le.utah.gov/GIS/findDistrict.jsp)
Express concerns over giving weighted consideration to IB, and ask them to VOTE “YES” on Amendments to take IB out of the bill!
Sen. Luz Robles 801-550-6434 cell
Sen. Jim Dabakis 801-815-3533 cell
Sen. Gene Davis 801-647-8924 cell
Sen. Pat Jones 801-278-7667 hm
Sen. Karen Mayne 801-968-7756 hm
Sen. Wayne Harper 801-566-5466 hm
Sen. Deidre Henderson 801-787-6197 cell
Sen. Brian Shiozawa 801-230-3406 hm
Sen. Wayne Niederhauser 801-942-3398 hm
Sen. Aaron Osmond 801-888-8742 cell
Sen. Howard Stephenson 801-572-1038 hm
Sen. Daniel Thatcher 801-759-4746 cell
Sen. Mark Madsen 801-361-4787 wk
Sen. John Valentine 801-224-1693 hm
Sen. Margaret Dayton 801-221-0623 hm * NO NEED TO CALL HER – SHE GETS IT!
Sen. Curt Bramble 801-361-5802 cell
Sen. Peter Knudson 435-730-4569 cell
Sen. Stuart Reid 801-337-4182 cell
Sen. Allen Christensen 801-782-5600 hm
Sen. Scott Jenkins 801-731-5120 hm
Sen. Stuart Adams 801-593-1776 hm
Sen. Todd Weiler 801-599-9823 cell
Sen. Ralph Okerlund 435-979-7077 cell
Sen. Lyle Hillyard 435-753-0043 hm
Sen. Kevin VanTassell 435-790-0675 cell
Sen. David Hinkins 435-384-5550 hm
Sen. Evan Vickers 435-817-5565 cell
Sen. Steven Urquhart 435-668-7759 wk
The Bill Sponsor is Sen. Jerry Stevenson 801-678-3147 cell
Make sure he understands IB and is willing to amend it out of the bill!
HERE ARE E-MAIL ADDRESSES
Video from Nevada Principal – How I.B. compares to A.P.
This video assesses the qualities of I.B. and A.P., tells which program most universities prefer, which program offers more choices to students, what similarities exist between A.P. and I.B. programs; the principal prefers A.P.