Archive for the ‘empowering local control’ Tag

Education44: Obama’s Shadow Government Posing as Department of Education   2 comments

 

Obama has set up a shadow educational governance system.

It’s called Education44 –in honor of the Fed-Ed programs of Obama, 44th president of the United States.

Shadow governments are creepy.

Shadow governments are not elected, so they can’t be un-elected.  They aren’t accountable.  They aren’t subject to sunshine laws– no transparency.  They have nothing to fear except the great American wake-up.

They get their power by pretense, by assuming power roles, rather than earning legitimate power through an actual election.  Education44 has power because it is so connected to the big ed-tech money funneled in Common Core-aligned systems from the U.S. taxpayer.

You’ve heard of political correctness?  How about educational correctness?  If you are educationally correct, you are aligned with Education44 and the ed-tech industry as defined by Bill Gates/Microsoft/Pearson/Obama; you are in ed reform for money, but you pretend that you are in it for the kids.

The Education44 website promotes socialist ear candy in programs such as the  “Promise Neighborhoods” that will provide “wraparound services through school communities” for “access to longer school days and year, affordable food and healthcare, and extracurricular activities”.

Education44 also  promotes “guidance letters” that Obama, Secretary King and Secretary Duncan pushed on American schools. It promotes many, many other education “reforms” that are controlling and/or harmful to American autonomy and freedom, but for each program, it uses “ear candy” terminology so that each appears, on the surface, harmless.

I have learned to beware of vague “ear candy” terminology.

For example, Education44’s supposed priority (and apparent motto) is “protecting students“.  Where in the U.S. Constitution did we ever delegate any  role over children to the federal government?  That’s the job of a family, not of a federal bureaucrat –and not of business owners (Bill Gates) in greedy partnership with government.

Education44 seems less about protecting students and more about dividing and controlling students.

Check it out:  one of its programs “My Brother’s Keeper” focuses on male students “of color” only; too bad if you are a female child or are not seen as an “of color” child.  Another of its “guidance letter” programs focuses on protecting only certain religious/ethnic groups –with no mention at all of “protecting” the rest of the students; protected are the “Syrian, Muslim, Middle Eastern, or Arab… Sikh, Jewish, or students of color”.  Another program is called, simply, the Enforcement Unit.  It sues private schools and colleges.

Its website promotes common core in the same code-phraseology for common core that the ed reformers always have: (College and Career Ready, or College and Career Standards, or College and Career Grants).  It admonishes all to continue the [Common Core] goals via Obama’s Race to the Top:

  • “Adopting college-ready, globally competitive academic standards and tests
  • Building data systems…”

From promoting school-collected data for the “School Climate” program, to the twenty three pages of links to articles about data collection, Education44 seems to focus on data collection, in order to administer these Obama-approved programs.

What does it all mean?

 

We can only guess. No citizen is allowed, no reporter is allowed, to visit secret meetings of self appointed shadow governments, such as Obama’s new Education44.  No citizen has ever been able to attend any of the closed-door meetings:  of the Council of Chief State School Officers, of the National Governors Association, of the partnership meetings between the U.S. Department of Education and EIMAC;  nor of the partnership meetings between Microsoft and Pearson,  Bill Gates and the Department of Education, nor of the Global Silicon Valley and Obama’s darling Quazzo…  These meetings, though, function as shadow governments to education, because the unelected are running the education shows –and are using education tax dollars to function.

These partnerships can’t be called conspiracies.  They are openly acknowledged.  Yet they are conspiratorial in nature because they work their greedy, money-grubbing agenda under the radar of the average person.  And the agenda is so sadly, always anti-local control, anti-individual autonomy, anti-classical education, anti-privacy… and none of it was ever subjected to a vote.

If you think I am just opining that there’s an actual, evil agenda to really remove local control from Americans, please think again;  the ed tech conference of the year, to be held here in Utah in a few weeks, is founded on the GSV’s core principals –which do include GSV’s stated goal of “Eliminating Elected School Boards”.)  And Marc Tucker (of the Obama-approved Center for American Progress) has been spouting for years about the goal of removing what he calls the beloved American emblem: local control.

None of these ed “partners” are elected to do education reforms, any more than Education44 is.   An elected school board has that job;  in some states, legislators do.

But neither rich pants Bill Gates, nor the now-nobodies Obama,  Duncan and King, nor ed-tech lobbyists near or far have any authority to be telling you what to teach your child.

They do it anyway.  Because they can.  Because so few stand up to them.

I wish more legislators would put on their big-boy pants and take back the reins of control, as Rep. Massie, Rep. Chaffetz, Rep. Jones, Rep. Biggs, Rep. Amash, Rep. Hice, Rep. Labrador, and Rep. Gaetz are aiming to do with H.R. 899.

Neither the federal USDOE nor these shadow governments and wannabe business-education partnerships have any basis in the Constitution.  Let’s give education back to WE THE PEOPLE, where the Constitution assigned it in the first place.

 

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A Million Alternatives to Common Core and Regular Public School   19 comments

 

Some people think that unless you have large wads of cash for insanely expensive private schools, you are limited to two choices:  public school, or home school at the kitchen table.  Today I’m going to describe a handful of alternatives and there are probably many, many more.  (Add links in the comment section if you know of some.)

But first:  DO NOT FEAR.  Whatever you choose can work.   If your family’s circumstances mean that you have to send your child to public school, still do not fear.

As I teach my children, they can pretty easily discern the p.c. indoctrination at school and do come home reporting the silly propaganda.

You and your child can and will roll your eyes together, after you’ve taught him/her:

  • That your child is a child of God, not just “human capital” meant to serve the collective economy and compete in a global economy.
  • That there’s a world of difference between voluntary sharing (God’s way) and forced sharing (social justice or socialism.)
  • That your child is an American (or Canadian or Swedish or Bolivian) citizen, not a global citizen– because global citizenship does not guarantee sacred, sacred American rights.
  • How to use traditional math tools (algorithms, multiplication tables, formulas) if all he/she’s getting in school is fuzzy math and silly ways of wasting time to find solutions.
  • How to read and write in cursive, even if it looks like chicken scratch.
  • To love imagination and reading and learning –by having really, really interesting books on your home library shelf.  Really, really great books.
  • To be anchored in truth.  Read at the very least one verse of scripture at the breakfast table as he/she gets ready for school.  Talk about why it matters.
  • To politely refuse school surveys and standardized testing unless the school has parental, written consent.  Teach them to excuse themselves and call you if they ever feel “not okay” about something even if they can’t explain why to the school.
  • That you, the parent, are the resident expert on your child and nobody but God can claim to be a “stakeholder” over a child –ever.

 

Here are the schooling alternatives that I have found and have liked:

 

Traditional Home School –  From the myriad of home school helps, here are just a few:  Thomas Jefferson Education,  American Heritage Prep,  Ron Paul CurriculumKimber Academy, Easy Peasy All In One Home School.

Aspire Scholar Academy – This is a remarkable face to face home school co-op that caters to teenagers, located in Orem, Utah.  No one under age 12 may attend.  In addition to traditional classes based on classic principles of education and morality, this school offers a speech and debate program with teams that compete statewide against public school debate teams.  They also offer a “socializing only” option, where your student can attend many social events without attending classes at Aspire.  (The classes have filled up for this year, but the social-only option is still available.)

 

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Freedom Project Education (FPE) – This private, online, Common Core-free school is free of any government influence — so there’s no standardized testing, no U.N. or “sustainability” worship, no anti-American or anti-religious agenda hiding in the assignments, no “human capital” here.

I’m excited that I’ll be joining FPE this year, teaching three filmed and live sections of tenth grade English at this wonderful school. We’re learning how to write clearly. We’re reading imaginative literature: Mark Twain, Agatha Christie, Ernest Hemingway, William Shakespeare, Nathaniel Hawthorne… Details below.  There are still openings if you know a tenth grader in need of an online English class and an enthusiastic teacher. They have classes for every age.   And for a private school, it’s inexpensive.

George Mueller Academy –  This remarkable school is in person, not online.  It’s in Lehi, Utah, and I’m sharing it here because it’s a great model for those in other places who are aiming to build something that goes way beyond a home schooling co-op and becomes much like a traditional private school (but cheaper) with a physical building, face-to-face classes, specialists in advanced subjects, field trips and parties.   There is no state oversight of this school, either, so like FPE above,  there’s no political agenda and no standardized testing required.   It’s called the George Mueller Academy Center for Educational Liberty.  See the incredible list of classes– biology, coding, martial arts, U.S. history, logic, languages– with prices set by individual teachers and varying greatly.

I’m teaching an English class at GMA for twelve-and-up (year olds) that meets for two hours, once a week.  It’s called “I Love My English Class”.  I’m also co-teaching a kindergarten-first grade class that meets for two hours, twice a week, for four hours total per week, called “Little Red School House.”

My Tech High – This is both an online school for students in any location, and a Utah-specific program that can reimburse homeschoolers who take classes outside the home with certain conditions (the class can’t be religious, must be offered to a group of students, etc.)

Home School Support Group – For those pursuing hybrid schools or home schools, Marlene Fletcher offers a home school support group both on Facebook and in mini conferences where people can learn about the myriad of ways that parents and co-ops are creating the kind of education they want for their children.

On Data Mining:

The schools I’ve listed above are data-mining free!  Your child won’t be hooked into the Big Brother SLDS at all, with one partial exception:  MyTechHigh is connected to the data collection system of the government, but data mining there is minimal there since students can choose the “custom built” class option, thus attending classes that do not report to the government SLDS databases.  My Tech High does require students to report periodically about what they are accomplishing in their classes, but SAGE opt outs are available and there is no daily SIS data upload about your child there (which you will find in all public and charter schools, including most online charter schools.)

 

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Video: Utah Dad Oak Norton’s Solution: 116 School Districts, Parents Empowered   Leave a comment

Utah Dad Oak Norton runs a yearly freedom-in-education conference and website called “Agency Based Education (ABE).”  At this year’s ABE conference in Provo, Utah, he presented an exciting, specific solution that could go a long way toward reclaiming local power over education.

He explained that if every high school in the state were to become its own district, rather than having 40 districts Utah would have 116.  This would almost triple the number of elected, local school board members, allowing much more personal, accountable leadership to take place.  It would mean that each board would be directly responsible to about 4,000 students rather than the current average of over 13,000 students.

Norton explained that empowering local parents by electing far, far greater numbers of them to local school boards, over smaller districts, echoes what the founders promoted, (which is exactly the opposite of what education reforms are doing today).

Jefferson said, “the way to have good and safe government, is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many…   What has destroyed liberty and the rights of man in every government which has ever existed under the sun? The generalizing and concentrating all cares and power into one body.”

This screen shot, from Norton’s presentation, shows the current Utah system versus what could be:

 

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The principles and ideas presented in this video could dramatically empower local control if legislators, encouraged by their consituents, would take notice.   Please watch and share this video.

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