Archive for the ‘illegal actions by the Department of Education’ Tag

Education isn’t Neutral   Leave a comment

What does Obama really mean when he says that he created education reforms in 46 states during his presidency?

Words need context.

The word “education” and the concept of “education reform” as Obama and others use the terms, rest on our false assumption that reforms are positive in all contexts.

Many education reforms are being done under the public radar, without public knowledge, without any vote or citizen agreement, and they actually negatively affect student/citizen privacy –as well as harming certain academic –and also non-academic– outcomes.

We misplace our trust when we buy the idea that “education reforms” never make things worse, or never indoctrinate, or never promote dumbing-down, or  never push unconstitutional or ungodly agendas, or that educational systems are never used to promote nice-sounding surface ideas that ultimately prove harmful.  This misplaced trust will hurt us.  Why don’t more people study and pay attention to what the government is doing to our educational freedoms and educational standards?!

Violations of good education are happening behind the unassailed assumption that “education” always means “good for children”.  But it doesn’t.  We have to study what the people behind the reforms stand for, to see where their trajectories are taking our children and ultimately, this nation. (Arne Duncan, David Coleman, Bill Ayers, Linda Darling-Hammond, Sir Michael Barber, Bill Gates, Joanne Weiss, Michelle Rhee…. the cast of characters is long, colorful and frightening.)

Obama and his cast of educational characters speak about pouring more money into “education” as if that is always beneficial.  Well, that all depends on what they’re buying.  (With our tax dollars and without our consent and without constitutional authority.)

Many assume he’s just talking about buying pencils, salaries and books.  But new reforms do include indoctrination, corporate enrichment and yes, even dumbing down in some cases.

The recent Common Core reforms include DELETING most classic literature at the high school level, DELETING cursive for all ages, DUMBING Algebra I to 9th grade rather than introducing it to 8th graders, ending FERPA’s previously protective parental consent requirements before agencies and business people can access private student data; pushing the assumption that the United Nations are a positive force on earth; pushing the “green” extremist political agenda, and pushing most anything Bill Gates/Microsoft touches.  To name a few.  The data surveillance bothers me the most.  Even though I am a lifelong English teacher and hate the fact that they’re slashing the literature increasingly, as the children work toward graduation.  The closer to graduation they get, the less literature they will be allowed to read and write.  It’s got to be info-texts, they say.

There are some ideas that some parents and teachers might like, and some we definitely don’t, but the fact remains that we never get a chance to weigh in on them via a vote.  That’s what nationalized education means: the elite at the top determine what is good and true for all.  Oh, for the days of local control over education to be back in my state again!

Wearing the shield of “education reform,” guess what the education reformists on the left have wielded?

– a war on student data privacy

– a war on classic literature

– a war on traditional, time-tested math

-a national set of educational standards that is without an amendment process, so nobody can change anything.

-a national set of standards that are under copyright by an unelected group called CCSSO/NGA

-a national set of standards that the Dept. of Education has put a cap on; you can’t teach more than 15% above the Common Core

-a war against transparency;

Parents and teachers are in the dark; very few people know what all the consequences of adopting Common Core really are. And it’s deliberate.  The Common Core is supposed to be “state-led” (because it’s illegal and unconstitutional for the executive branch to supervise or direct curriculum).  So they are trying to make it appear to be so.  They even invite people to help “write” the standards, even though the public license on Common Core says that CCSSO/NGA are the “sole developers” and “no claims to the contrary shall be made.”  The half-truths are empowering the radical transformation and, ultimately, indoctrination of our kids to be government-centric collectivists stripped of the ability to self-determine, or to soar.

May I share the words of a great American?  Ezra Taft Benson (who served as the Secretary of Agriculture under President Eisenhower in the 1950’s-1960’s and later as a Latter-day Saint prophet) said:

“As a watchman on the tower, I feel to warn you that one of the chief means of misleading our youth and destroying the family unit is our educational institutions. President Joseph F. Smith referred to false educational ideas as one of the three threatening dangers among our Church members… if [parents] have become alert and informed as President McKay admonished us last year, these parents can help expose some of the deceptions of men like Sigmund Freud, Charles Darwin, John Dewey, Karl Marx, John Keynes, and others. Today there are much worse things that can happen to a child than not getting a full college education. In fact, some of the worst things have happened to our children while attending colleges led by administrators who wink at subversion and amorality.”   – In Conference Report, Ezra Taft Benson, 1970

President Benson also warned that communism was and is still a great, satanical threat.

How could communism ever become a real threat unless somehow people were taught to like its principles?  How could it ever take root in freedom-loving America unless it were widely promoted as something good, diseminated via an information dissemination system (like government schools?)

One-size-fits-all is the name of the common core/socialist game.  Individuality is marginalized or deleted; all is collective that is considered good.  It’s the redistribution of educational funding and educational sovereignty. Common Core is a huge step toward socialism in America today, accepted because it’s sugar coated with pretty words: “education reform,” “rigorous standards” and “common core.”

I noticed that a political flier for a local Utah representative came in the mailbox yesterday.  It touted as one of the candidate’s bragging points the fact that this candidate/incumbent had “protected public education from extremists.”  I think he was referring to me, and the whole anti-Common Core crowd, thousands of us that will soon be millions, I venture to guess, as the truth trickles out almost completely unaided by mainstream media.

But my point is this: the candidate did not protect the public as he claimed to have done.  He didn’t protect public education from extremists — Arne Duncan, Bill Ayers, Bill Gates, Michelle Rhee, Linda Darling-Hammond, Sir Michael Barber, and the rest got their wicked way.  This local candidate did not understand who the enemy of quality education and educational sovereignty is.  He thought the extremists were those who want us to sticking close to the spirit of freedom and individuality as supported in the U.S. Constitution.  This is why I could not vote for him.  I did a write-in vote.  But he’ll win anyway, because most people do not have time to really care.  And the Common Core’s moment of impact hasn’t happened for them yet.

State School Board Meeting Today: To Bare Or Not To Bare Private Student And Family Data For Feds?   1 comment

 

 

Sent today–

TO: Board@schools.utah.gov

Dear Board,

I am writing to second Renee Braddy’s attached email.  As you are aware, a lawsuit is in full gear right now between the Department of Education and the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which alleges that the Department of Education overstepped statutory authority by redefining terms and loosening parental consent law in the federal FERPA regulations; remember, federal FERPA laws have not been altered by Congress.  Nor has state FERPA law been altered.  These oversteps by the Dept. of Education are illegal under GEPA law and under the U.S. Constitution.

If the Utah board supports this illegality, they will be held accountable under the Utah Constitution as well.

More importantly, the core issue here is that student privacy, a civil right, is being shoved aside to further empower federal and corporate forces in the nonconsensual access to private academic and nonacademic data.  Let’s do the right thing.

Christel Swasey

———- Forwarded message ———- From: Renee Braddy

Dear State School Board Members,

I just reviewed your agenda for today’s meeting and I amvery concerned about the action item regarding data.  On line 213 where the document is referring to studentinformation, it reads that it will be released in accordance with the FERPA, 34 CFR 99-31.  This is the new regulation that went into effect Jan. 3, 2012 and was written by the US DEPT of ED and DID NOT pass through the US congress.  This regulation is currently being challenged by EPIC in a lawsuit.  Ithink it would be wise to have our children’s data dispersed in accordance withFederal LAW 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, not the regulation.

There are LOTS of concerns with this new regulation and I believe it would be a BIG mistake to pass this rule change without further study.  Please DO NOT vote for this, but rather please table the item for further discussion.

I have extensively study the new FERPA regulation due to anincidence in Wasatch County.  This new regulation literally turns the FERPA law on its head and DOES NOT protect our children’s personal information.  This is a very serious matter.

It further states online 216 that such responses may (not SHALL) include:

1. de-identified data

2. agreements with recipients of student data where recipients agree not to report or publish students identities (the way I read this is that this is personally identifiable student data– otherwise there wouldn’t have to be an agreement to protect it, right?)

3. release  of student  data,  with  appropriate  binding agreements,  for  state  or  federal accountability or  for  the purpose  of  improving  instruction to  specific  student (this would mean that personally identifiable student data is being released with parental knowledge).

Much thanks,

Renee’ Braddy

6.    Board Committee Meetings

ACTION: R277-487 Public School Data Confidentiality and Disclosure Tab 6-L

R277-502-8 EducatorLicensing and Data Retention –

Comprehensive Administration of Credentials for Teachers in Utah

Schools (CACTUS)

R277-484-9 Data Standards – Disclosure of Data for Research

(Amendment and Continuation for all)

And when I click on the tab for more info.  Is this really what I think it is and they are changing the rules to come into compliance with the FERPA Regulation?!?!?  Someone, please help me if I’m off on this. If it’s underlined, does that mean it’s being added to the rule?

187 R277-487-6. Public Education Research Data.

188 A.  The USOE may provide limited or extensive data sets

189 for research and analysis purposes to qualified researchersor

190 organizations.

191 (1)  A  reasonable  method  shall be  used  to  qualify

192 researchers or organizations to receive data, such asevidence

193 that  a  research  proposal  has been  approved  by  a  federally

194 recognized Institutional Review Board (IRB).

195 (2)  Aggregate  student  assessment data  are  available

196 through  the  USOE website.  Individual student  data  are

197 protected.

198 (3) The USOE is not obligated to fill every request for

199 data and has procedures to determine which requests will be

6200 filled  or  to assign  priorities  to multiple  requests.  The

201 USOE/Board understands that it will respond in a timelymanner

202 to  all  requests  submitted  under Section  63G-2-101  et  seq.,

203 Government Records Access and Management Act.  Infilling data

204 requests, higher priority may be given to requests that will

205 help improve instruction in Utah’s public schools.

206 (4) A fee may be charged to prepare data or to deliver

207 data, particularly if the preparation requires originalwork.

208 The  USOE  shall  comply  with Section  63G-2-203  in  assessing

209 fees.

210 (5) The researcher or organization shall provide a copy

211 of the report or publication produced using USOE data to the

212 USOE at least 10 business days prior to the public release.

213 B.  Student information:  Requests for data thatdisclose

214 student information shall be provided in accordance with the

215 Family  Educational  Rights and  Privacy Act  (FERPA),  34  CFR

216 99-31(a)(6); such responses may include:

217 (1)  individual  student  data  that are  de-identified,

218 meaning it is not  possible to trace  the data to individual

219 students;

220 (2)  agreements  with  recipients  of student  data  where

221 recipients agree  not  to report  or publishdata in a manner

222 that discloses  students’ identities.  For example, reporting

223 test scores for a race subgroup that has a count, also known

224 as n-size, of less than 10 could enable someone to identify

225 the actual students and shall not be published;

226 (3)  release  of  student  data, with  appropriate  binding

227 agreements,  for  state  or  federal accountability  or  for  the

228 purpose  of  improving  instruction  to specific  student

229 subgroups.

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