This one is such a betrayal.
I’ve never been so shocked and angry over a proposed Congressional bill that I burst into tears. Not until tonight.
I’d been quietly reading and taking notes on H.R. 5, “Student Success Act” (SSA) when my husband simply, offhandedly asked me how I was doing. Though I’d been quiet, I was boiling over as I read tucked-away portions of this 600+ page bill which, despite the local-control-touting, anti-Common Core-sounding words (on page 10 and elsewhere), is terrible. When my husband asked how I was doing, I stood up, walked to the couch and explained through my hot, angry tears what destruction and reduction of vital freedoms will take place if this bill passes:
It ends private schools’ religious freedom from government control. It harms funding freedom in private schools. It puts into question parental rights and control over education. It pushes sameness of testing. Those are just a few things. There are more.
We have conscious deceivers in D.C. pushing this bill: its damages are so painfully ironic. The bill is touted specifically to “reduce the federal footprint and restore local control while empowering parents“. What a poignant lie.
If H.R. 5 passes this week, in exchange for billions in federal funding, we will be crushed in the following ways. The federal Department of Education aims to take over:
1. STATE AUTHORITIES AND RIGHTS
2. PARENTAL RIGHTS TO DIRECT EDUCATION OF A CHILD
3. RELIGIOUS FREEDOM – NO MORE RELIGIOUS COUNSELING, MENTORING OR TECHNOLOGIES ALLOWED IN PRIVATE SCHOOLS
4. PRIVATE SCHOOL AUTONOMY: GOVERNMENT-APPOINTED OMBUDSMEN WILL MONITOR COMPLIANCE
5. PRIVATE SCHOOL FUNDING – PRIVATE SCHOOLS MUST CONSULT WITH PUBLIC DISTRICTS WHICH ENFORCE EQUALITY
H.R. 5 the “Student Success Act” won’t be enforced for five years– plenty of time for its promoters to plan implementation, and for the opposition to burn out, give up, to feel there’s no way to rein it in.
The bill is 600-plus-pages long but was just barely introduced this month; and it’s being fast-tracked for a vote this week. Those whose lives will be changed by it have likely never heard of it and elected reps haven’t had time to debate intended and unintended consequences.
Would our representatives vote to pass this bill if they knew that it included such hidden away, serious damages to Americans’ freedoms?
I want to thank Ann Marie Banfield of Stop Common Core in New Hampshire, who sent me her summary and pointed to specific paragraphs and pages in this huge bill, to focus attention on where vital freedoms are being slashed. I have included her notes following mine. I invite you to verify for yourself.
If you read no further, here’s the bottom line:
H.R. 5 is not a viable alternative to the terrible “Every Child Ready for College and Career” bill.
Please call reps and senators:
Vote NO on H.R. 5, the Student Success Act.
Here are highlights with pages, sections and direct quotes:
1. FEDERAL TAKEOVER OF STATE AUTHORITIES AND RIGHTS
Subpart 4, Section 6561 (page 564 on the pdf) says:
“STATES TO RETAIN RIGHTS AND AUTHORITIES THEY DO NOT EXPRESSLY WAIVE” –How will a state “expressly waive” its authorities and rights? –Answer from the bill: simply by having a state legislature accept federal money.
A state that acts “inconsistently with any requirement that might be imposed by the Secretary as a condition of receiving that assistance” will waive its authority because the legislature of that state would have “expressly approved that [federal] program”. If a state’s or a parent’s rights conflicted with a requirement, too bad: the federal bill claims authority to enforce obedience from states because the states take the money.
Read: “…nor shall any authority of a State have any obligation to obey… unless the legislature…. approved that program and in so doing, have waived the state’s rights and authorities to act inconsistently with any requirement that might be imposed by the Secretary...” So states have no obligation to obey unless they approved federally promoted programs (which the states have done in multiple ways).
As Ann Marie Banfield wrote: “What is going on here? The Secretary of Education can’t enforce any requirements under the program that would violate states’ rights UNLESS the state legislature gives its consent to participate in the ESEA, which encompasses around $25 Billion in aid to states. Essentially, participating in the program to receive funds requires states to waive their states’ rights and those of the parent over their child if they conflict with ANY requirements of the program.”
2. FEDERAL TAKEOVER OF PARENTAL RIGHTS
On page 567, Section 6564, we read that “…Other than the terms and conditions expressly approved by State law under the terms of this subpart, control over public education and parental rights to control the education of their children are vested exclusively within the autonomous zone of independent authority reserved to the states and individual Americans by the United States Constitution, other than the Federal Government’s undiminishable obligation to enforce minimum Federal standards of equal protection and due process.”
By tying inalienable parental rights to the receipt of funds and federal “obligations,” the bill just claimed authority to take parental rights away, under conditions it has just defined.
Even in the statement of purpose on page 11, the bill minimizes parents and maximizes itself, by “affording parents substantial and meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children”.
To reduce parents to a recipient of government-granted “opportunities to participate in” the education of a child is de-parenting. It’s far, far different from Utah’s legal code, which states in multiple places that: “A student’s parent or guardian is the primary person responsible for the education of the student, and the state is in a secondary and supportive role to the parent or guardian.”
3. GOVERNMENT CONTROL IN PRIVATE AND RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS – NEUTRALIZATION OF RELIGION
Read pages 78-82. It mandates that private schools: “ensure that teachers and families of the children participate, on an equitable basis, in services and activities… SECULAR, NEUTRAL, NONIDEOLOGICAL.— Such educational services or other benefits, including materials and equipment, shall be secular, neutral and nonideological.”
What’s a private Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, Baptist, or any other private religious school to do? –Alter its beliefs to match mandates for altered materials, equipment and services?
This is the price we pay for “school choice” and “backpack funding,” folks. It’s not what they make it out to be. Where federal money goes, federal chokeholds follow.
The federal government has no right to mandate that private schools must give services that are secular and non-religious. (See page 79: it includes in its definition of services: one on one counseling, mentoring, educational television, computer technology and more).
4. GOVERNMENT APPOINTED MONITORS FOR PRIVATE SCHOOLS
An ombudsman, if you haven’t heard the term, is a paid position, a role in which a person investigates and mediates official complaints for a living. This bill mandates that private schools will be assigned a state-appointed ombudsman to monitor private schools: “The State educational agency involved shall designate an ombudsman to monitor and enforce the requirements.”
On page 82 the bill states that the LEA (school district) must consult with private school officials and must transmit results of their “agreement” to a state-appointed ombudsman. On page 86 the federal bill allows a private school to complain to the government: “private school official shall have the right to file a complaint with the State educational agency that the local educational agency did not engage in consultation that was meaningful and timely”. These are private schools. They never, ever have had any legal mandate to report to, complain to, speak to, or even think about state or federal governments. These are private schools; private means not public, not under government mandates.
5. FEDERAL TAKEOVER OF PRIVATE SCHOOL FUNDING AND BENEFITS
On page 535, the bill slashes freedom by mandating equity for private and public schools. “Benefits provided under this section for private school children, teachers, and other educational personnel shall be equitable in comparison to services and other benefits for public school children, teachers, and other educational personnel”. The government has no right to command a private school to give more benefits, nor to withhold benefits, from private school teachers, staff or children. The same page states: “Expenditures for educational services and other benefits to eligible private school children, teachers, and other service personnel shall be equal to the expenditures for participating public school children.” The ombudsman’s job, according to page 80, is to “monitor and enforce” such “equity for private school children”.
Additional Information, provided below, comes from Ann Marie Banfield of Stop Common Core in New Hampshire:
Kline/ Rokita Student Success Act
Title 1 Part A- 16,245,163,000
Title 1 Part B- $710,000
Title 11 $2,766,356,000
Title 111 Part A (1)- $300,000,000
Title 111 Part A (2)- $91,647,000
Title 111 Part A (3) $25,000,000
Title 111 Part B $2,302,287,000
Title 4 (1) $66,813,000
Title 4 (2) Basic Payments for Impacted LEAs- $1,151,233,000
Title 4(3) Payments for children with disabilities- $48,316,000
Title4 (4) Construction $17,406,000
Title 4 (5) Facilities Maintenance $4,835,000
Sec. 7 Sense of the Congress:
(a)(1) This paragraphs details how the ESEA prohibits the fed. Government from “mandating, directing, or controlling a State, a local educational agency, or school’s curriculum, program of instruction, or allocation of state and local resources, and from mandating a State or any subdivision thereof to spend any funds or incur any costs not paid for under such Act.”
Problem: Language doesn’t include standards
(b) Sense of the Congress: It is the sense of the Congress that States and local educational agencies should maintain the rights and responsibilities of determining educational curriculum, programs of instruction, and assessments for elementary and secondary education.”
Problem: Language doesn’t include standards.
Sec. 1001. Statement of Purpose
“The purpose of this title is to provide all children the opportunity to graduate high school prepared for postsecondary education or the workforce. -“
Problem: To fulfill the purpose of this Act, or submit a plan that meets the intended purpose of this Act, a state technically would have to align their standards and assessments to the Common Core. In the state applications for Race to the Top and in NCLB waivers, state post-secondary institutions made assurances that the Common Core standards and assessments would be used to place students into entry-level courses without remediation, thus prepared for college or careers.
- Many states have already completed the alignment of postsecondary institutions to the Common Core. For example, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington are all participating states in a grant (Rockefeller) called Core to College, which states its goal as: “Preparing Students for College Readiness and Success, aimed to foster long-term collaborations between state higher education and K-12 entities that will improve student achievement and college readiness and ultimately, increased rates of enrollment and graduation. One key to this success was using the Common Core State Standards and assessments to establish a statewide common definition of college readiness to signal a student’s preparedness for credit-bearing college courses. Having such a baseline informed processes to transition students successfully between high school and higher education environments.”
Core to College is only one of many similar programs establishing alignment of postsecondary institutions to Common Core, and they have been well underway since 2011. If the expectations for postsecondary institutions are the Common Core, how would a state prepare students for it without aligning their entire system to it?
- There are general educational expectations of knowledge and skills that high schools provide to students who choose to join the workforce after high school, such as basic math, reading skills, etc., but “to provide all children the opportunity to graduate high school prepared for ….the workforce” could mean something more than this and could vary dramatically between states.
As used in the Statement of Purpose above, does “prepared” mean a student acquiring an industry certification, a license for a trade, or industry specific training and classes? If so, that would prescribe a great deal to the state regarding the organization, funding, and structure of their entire education system beyond the programs served under this Act.
- While the Act authorizes the Secretary to “disapprove a State plan for not meeting the requirements of this subpart’” he does “not have the authority to require a State, as a condition of approval of the State plan, to include in, or delete from, such plan one or more specific elements of the State’s academic standards or State accountability system, or to use specific academic assessments or other indicators.” Would the Secretary have to authority to deny a State plan if through the peer review process, which he controls, determines that the state standards, assessments, or accountability system isn’t aligned to college and career established benchmarks and fails to “prepare students for post-secondary education or careers?” He wouldn’t have to condition his approval on including or deleting items concerning standards, assessments or accountability systems, he could simply deny it for failure to meet the purpose of the Act and send them back to the drawing board for the required revisions.
This section is on page 552, towards the very end, but it needs to be addressed first, as it negates so much of the entire Act.
‘Subpart 4—Restoration of State Sovereignty Over Public Education and Parental Rights Over the Education of Their Children
12 ‘‘SEC. 6561. STATES TO RETAIN RIGHTS AND AUTHORITIES THEY DO NOT EXPRESSLY WAIVE.
‘‘(a) RETENTION OF RIGHTS AND AUTHORITIES.— No officer, employee, or other authority of the Secretary shall enforce against an authority of a State, nor shall any authority of a State have any obligation to obey, any requirement imposed as a condition of receiving assistance under a grant program established under this Act, nor shall such program operate within a State, unless the legislature of that State shall have by law expressly approved that program and, in doing so, have waived the State’s rights and authorities to act inconsistently with any requirement that might be imposed by the Secretary as a condition of receiving that assistance.
‘‘(b) AMENDMENT OF TERMS OF RECEIPT OF FEDERAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE.—An officer, employee, or other authority of the Secretary may release assistance under a grant program established under this Act to a State only after the legislature of the State has by law expressly approved the program (as described in subsection (a)). This approval may be accomplished by a vote to affirm a State budget that includes the use of such Federal funds and any such State budget must expressly include any requirement imposed as a condition of receiving assistance under a grant program established under this Act so that by approving the budget, the State legislature is expressly approving the grant program and, in doing so, waiving the State’s rights and authorities to act inconsistently with any requirement that might be imposed by the Secretary as a condition of receiving that assistance.
Subpart 4, section 6561 What is going on here? It states that the Secretary of Education can’t enforce any requirements under the program that would violate states’ rights unless the state legislature gives its consent to participate in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which encompasses around $25 BILLION dollars in aid to states. Essentially, participating in the program to receive funds requires states to waive their state’s rights and those of the parent over their child if they conflict with ANY requirements of the program.
“[The US Department of Education may not violate states’ rights] unless the legislature of that State shall have by law expressly approved that program and, in doing so, have waived the State’s rights and authorities to act inconsistently with any requirement that might be imposed by the Secretary as a condition of receiving that assistance. “
The state will not be able to act inconsistently with ANY requirement that the Secretary of Education MAY impose through this program if they want to receive funding. Geez, I thought the NCLB waivers and Race to the Top grants were coercive!
“This approval may be accomplished by a vote to affirm a State budget that includes the use of such Federal funds……….. by approving the budget, the State legislature is expressly approving the grant program and, in doing so, waiving the State’s rights and authorities to act inconsistently with any requirement that might be imposed by the Secretary as a condition of receiving that assistance.”
This is sneaky. They want states to be able to pass this without any fanfare, sort of like how Common Core was adopted- under the radar.
(e) EFFECTIVE DATE.—This section applies in each State beginning on the 90th day after the end of the first regular session of the legislature of that State that begins 5 years after the date of the enactment of the Student Success Act and shall continue to apply in subsequent years until otherwise provided by law.
Why is it not effective until 5 years after SSA is enacted? Seems like Obamacare- let the nightmare unravel slowly….
‘‘SEC. 6564. INTENT OF CONGRESS.
‘‘It is the intent of Congress that other than the terms and conditions expressly approved by State law under the terms of this subpart, control over public education and parental rights to control the education of their children are vested exclusively within the autonomous zone of independent authority reserved to the States and individual Americans by the United States Constitution, other than the Federal Government’s undiminishable obligation to enforce minimum Federal standards of equal protection and due process.
After the bill details how your states’ rights over education will be violated, they include this weak assurance that unless the rights were waived by participation in the program, “state control over public education and parental rights to control the education of their children are vested exclusively within the autonomous zone of independent authority reserved to the States and individual Americans by the United States Constitution.
Gosh, thanks, guys. It’s so kind of you to have the “intent” to let me keep any constitutional and inalienable rights over parental control that you didn’t illegally revoke by tying them to the receipt of federal funding. This is laughable.
Replaces the school improvement section under NCLB, yet still requires school choice transportation services and SES. The new language calls these two services “direct student services.”
“Part A- Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantage”
“Subpart 1- Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Educational Agencies”
Chapter B- Allocations
Sec.1111. State Plans:
- (A) “In General. Each State plan shall demonstrate that the State has adopted academic content standards and academic achievement standards aligned with such content standards that comply with such content standards that comply with the requirements of this paragraph.”
(C) Requirements, The standards described in subparagraph (A) shall:
- apply to all public schools and public school students in the State; and
- with respect to academic achievement standards, include the same knowledge, skills, and levels of achievement expected of all public school students in the state.
(B) REQUIREMENTS- Such assessments shall-
(ii) be the same academic assessments used to measure the academic achievement of all public school students in the State:
I think this should be amended to allow LEAs to use a comparable test, or nationally norm-referenced test that can be compared for accountability purposes, this allows for greater local control and freedom in testing necessary to prevent a one-size-fits-all curriculum, enforced by a single test as we witnessed with Common Core tests.
(viii) “include measures that assess higher-order thinking skill and understanding”
This language should be struck. It was also included in original NCLB text and has led to the incorporation of testing thinking skills and process of thought, which in younger grades is not developmentally appropriate. Young children’s brains, until age 11 or 12, have yet to fully develop the brain structures (pre-frontal cortex) needed to think abstractly which is required for high-order thinking- their thinking is still too concrete at this stage.
Additionally, assessing “high-order thinking” has been the impetus for mandating state assessments measure students’ thinking and process skills at the expense of measuring knowledge. The higher-order thinking skills are very difficult to accurately measure on a standardized test, and require test items like open-ended responses, constructed performance items, and technology-enhanced items that are expensive to develop and score, and don’t provide valid or reliable measurements of student knowledge. High-order skills are more accurately assessed by teachers in the classroom.
(xiv) where practicable, be developed using the principles of universal design for learning as defined in section 103(24) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 USC 1003(24) which describes an assessment that provides for multiple ways answering questions
What is Universal Design? In education circles in means “Embedding continuous assessment in instructional materials and methods themselves through the kind of technology-rich, UDL-based curriculum recommended by the National Educational Technology Plan would make it possible to assess not only students and their teachers but the curriculum itself. This would allow the collection of voluminous and timely data on the effectiveness of every element in the curriculum: what works, what doesn’t work, and what works for whom. The result: comprehensive accountability systems and instructional reforms that could support robust learning opportunities for all.”
This language should be struck. It is too prescriptive to states and prevents them from having full control over the type of assessments they develop.
(e) PEER REVIEW AND SECRETARIAL APPROVAL
(1) ESTABLISHMENT- Notwithstanding section 6543, the Secretary shall-
(A) establish a peer-review process to assist in the review of State plans; and
If the Secretary shall establish the process the peer-reviewers use it allows him to set the criteria for how a State plan must meet the requirements of this section. This is an overreach of federal authority and negates all the language which prohibits the Secretary from mandating the states to use particular standards, assessments, and accountability systems. This is how the criteria will be set to evaluate whether State plans are approved or not approved.
(D) have the authority to disapprove a State plan for not meeting the requirements of this subpart, but shall not have the authority to require a State, as a condition of approval of the State plan, to include in, or delete from, such plan one or more specific elements of the State’s academic standards or State accountability system, or to use specific academic assessments or other indicators.
This sounds great, but as long as the Secretary sets up the process to judge whether the State plan meets the requirements it is weakened.
(g) FAILURE TO MEET REQUIREMENTS.- If a State fails to meet any of the requirements of this section then the Secretary shall withhold funds for State administration under this subpart until the Secretary determines that the State has fulfilled those requirements.
This make it clear that there is no financial penalty directly incurred by LEAs or individual schools. The financial loss is strictly at SEA level. The State administration funds are noted in SEC 1004. STATE ADMINISTRATION. (a) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in subsection (b), to carry out administrative duties assigned under subparts 1,2, and 3 of part A if this title, each State may reserve the greater of
- 1 percent of the amounts received under such subparts; or
- $400,000 ($50,000 in the case of each outlying area)
Section1112. LOCAL EDUCATIONAL AGENCY PLANS.
(b) PLAN PROVISIONS Each local educational agency plan shall describe
(12) if appropriate, how the local educational agency will use funds under this subpart to support preschool programs for children, particularly children participating in Head Start program, which services may be provided directly by the local educational agency or through a subcontract with the local Head Start agency designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services under section 641 of the Hard Start Act, or another comparable early childhood development program;
This section allows funds to be used for preschool programs and preferences Head Start instead of for the disadvantaged students the Act is intended to serve in K-12 public education. There is finite amount of money allotted to schools, to give to preschool programs reduces the amount available for K-12.
(13) how the lea through incentive for voluntary transfers, the provision of professional development, recruitment programs, incentive pay, performance pay, or other effective strategies, will address disparities in the rates of low-income and minority students and other students being taught by ineffective teachers.
Why should the federal government dictate how the lea will manage its personnel?
(14) if appropriate, how the lea will use funds under this subpart to support programs that coordinate and integrate-
(A) career and technical education aligned with State technical standards that promote skills attainment important to in-demand occupations or industries in the State and the State’s acadmic standards under section 1111(b)(1); AND
(B) Work-based learning opportunities that provide students in-depth interaction with industry professionals; AND
(15) if appropriate, how the lea will use funds under this subpart to support dual enrollment programs, early high schools, and AP or IB programs.
While it says “if appropriate” leas should not have to use funds to support anything besides the basic education of students. This clause doesn’t stipulate high school, thus it would include K-8 schools. This dilutes the purpose and intended use of Title 1 funds away from supplementing the education of disadvantaged students.
(c) ASSURANCES Each lea plan shall provide assurances that the local lea will-
(3) provide technical assistance to schoolwide programs
Why not to targeted? Does this create an incentive for targeted schools to implement schoolwide programs?
(5) In the case of a lea that chooses to use funds under this subpart to provide early childhood development services to low-income children below the age of compulsory school attendance, ensure that such services comply with the performance standards established under section 641 (a) of Head Start Act
Again, why would title 1 funds be used for children outside the K-12 system, further, why would they choose to align with the performance standards of Head Start which has a failed record to improve student long term achievement?
(6) inform eligible schools of the lea’s authority to request waivers on the school’s behalf under Title VI and
Part B of Title 1 (sec141) NATIONAL ASSESSMENT OF TITLE I
Amendments to section 1301(which use to be section 1501) to do the following:
- In subsection (a)
- In paragraph (1) , by inserting “acting through the Director of the Institute of Education Sciences (in this section and section 1302 referred to as the ‘Director’) after “The Secretary”’
- In paragraph (A) strike “reaching the proficient level” and all that follows and insert “graduating high school prepared for postsecondary education or the workforce.”
It would read as follows: A) The implementation of programs assisted under this title and the impact of such implementation on increasing student academic achievement (particularly in schools with high concentrations of children living in poverty), relative to the goal of all students reaching the proficient level of achievement based on State academic assessments, challenging State academic content standards, and challenging State student academic achievement standards under section 1111.graduating from high school prepared for postsecondary education of the workforce.
They have been very careful to switch the expectation and the goal of the Act from being proficient on assessments that measure the State standards to attaining the necessary preparation of entering college or the workforce- which is already defined through the waivers and RttT as being the end expectations of CC. Even if the reauthorization voids those agreements, the end result of them remains- public universities are, or have already, aligned their expectations to the CC. Those who wrote this had to have a measurable way to judge if in mind to measure whether or not the new goal would be met by states. What other measure will the IES Director use to see if students are prepared for postsecondary schools or workforce?
- The types of programs and services that have demonstrated the greatest likelihood of helping students reach the proficient and advanced levels of achievement based on State student academic achievement standards and State academic content standards. meet State academic standards.
If the Director of IES is no longer using the measures of proficient, advanced, what will he use to gauge if the standard is met? Will he use the 1,2,3,4 score from CC aligned tests?
(v) used State educational agency and local educational agency funds and resources to help schools in which 50 percent or more of the students are from families with incomes below the poverty line meet the requirement described in section 1119 of having all teachers highly qualified not later than the end of the 2005-2006 school year. address disparities in the percentages of effective teachers teaching in low-income schools.
GENERAL CONCERNS ABOUT THE DIRECTOR OF IES AS ARBITRATOR OF WHAT IS EFFECTIVE AND INCREASES STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT: What happens to the approval process of State plans that don’t address issues in accordance with the analyses of the Director of IES based on his analyses the data collected from schools and students? It is very likely that the Secretary could say the State plan doesn’t fulfill the requirements of the Act because the methods they choose are ones that the IES data report as “ineffective.” IT will become reversed- the Director of the IES will tell states what the data says regarding effective standards, school improvement efforts, assessments, etc. and the State plan will be formed accordingly, instead of the State presenting a fresh plan and the Secretary evaluating it.
(c) NATIONAL LONGITUDINAL STUDY-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary Director shall conduct a longitudinal study of schools receiving assistance under part A. subpart 1 of Part A
(2) ISSUES TO BE EXAMINED- In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary Director shall ensure that the study referred to in paragraph (1) provides Congress and educators with each of the following:
(A) An accurate description and analysis of the short- and long-term effect of the assistance made available under this title on academic achievement.
(B) Information that can be used to improve the effectiveness of the assistance made available under this title in enabling students to meet challenging academic achievement standards. State academic standards.
(C) An analysis of educational practices or model programs that are effective in improving the achievement of disadvantaged children.
(D) An analysis of the costs as compared to the benefits of the assistance made available under this title in improving the achievement of disadvantaged children.
(E) An analysis of the effects of the availability of school choice options under section 1116 on the academic achievement of disadvantaged students, on schools in school improvement, and on schools from which students have transferred under such options. extent to which actions authorized under section 1111(b) (3)(B)(iii) improve the academic achievement of disadvantaged students and low-performing schools.
(F) Such other information as the Secretary Director considers appropriate.
(3) SCOPE- In conducting the study referred to in paragraph (1), the Secretary shall ensure that the study —
(A) bases its analysis on a nationally representative sample of schools participating in programs under this title;
(B) to the extent practicable, includes in its analysis students who transfer to different schools during the course of the study; and
(C) analyzes varying models or strategies for delivering school services, including —
(i) schoolwide and targeted services; and
(ii) comprehensive school reform models
- Analyses varying models or strategies for delivering school services, including schoolwide and targeted services.
SEC. 1503. ASSESSMENT EVALUATION.
(a) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall conduct an independent study of assessments used for State accountability purposes and for making decisions about the promotion and graduation of students. Such research shall be conducted over a period not to exceed 5 years and shall address the components described in subsection (d).
(b) CONTRACT AUTHORIZED- The Secretary is authorized to award a contract, through a peer review process process consistent with section 1206, to an organization or entity capable of conducting rigorous, independent research. The Assistant Secretary of Educational Research and Improvement Director shall appoint peer reviewers to evaluate the applications for this contract.
(c) STUDY- The study shall —
(1) synthesize and analyze existing research that meets standards of quality and scientific rigor; and
(2) evaluate academic assessment and accountability systems in State educational agencies, local educational agencies, and schools; and
(3) make recommendations to the Department and to the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the United States House of Representatives and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the United States Senate, based on the findings of the study.
(d) COMPONENTS OF THE RESEARCH PROGRAM- The study described in subsection (a) shall examine —
(1) the effect of the assessment and accountability systems described in section (c) on students, teachers, parents, families, schools, school districts, and States, including correlations between such systems and —
(A) student academic achievement, progress to the State-defined level of proficiency, toward meeting the State academic standards and progress toward closing achievement gaps, based on independent measures;
(B) changes in course offerings, teaching practices, course content, and instructional material;
(C) changes in turnover rates among teachers, principals, and pupil-services personnel; specialized instructional support services.
(D) changes in dropout, grade-retention, and graduation rates for students; and
(E) such other effects as may be appropriate;
(2) the effect of the academic assessments on students with disabilities;
(3) the effect of the academic assessments on low, middle, and high socioeconomic status students, limited and nonlimited English proficient students, racial and ethnic minority students, and nonracial or nonethnic minority students;
(4) guidelines for assessing the validity, reliability, and consistency of those systems using nationally recognized professional and technical standards;
(5) the relationship between accountability systems and the inclusion or exclusion of students from the assessment system; and
(6) such other factors as the Secretary finds appropriate.
(e) REPORTING- Not later than 3 years after the contract described in subsection (b) is awarded, the organization or entity conducting the study shall submit an interim report to the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the United States House of Representatives and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions of the United States Senate, and to the President and the States, and shall make the report widely available to the public. The organization or entity shall submit a final report to the same recipients as soon as possible after the completion of the study. Additional reports may be periodically prepared and released as necessary.
(f) RESERVATION OF FUNDS- The Secretary may reserve up to 15 percent of the funds authorized to be appropriated for this part appropriated under section 3(a)(2) to carry out the study, except such reservation of funds shall not exceed $1,500,000.
Sec 1403 STATE ADMINISTRATION
- In general, Each state that receives funds under this title shall:
- Ensure that any State rules, regulations, and policies relating to this title conform to the purposes of this title and provide any such proposed rules, regulations, and policies to the committee of practioners created under subsection (b) for review and comment.
- Minimize such rules, regs, and policies to which the State’s local educational agencies and school are subject;
- Eliminate or modify State and local fiscal accounting requirements in ,,,,,,,
- Identify any such rule as State imposed
- Identify any duplicative or contrasting requirements between State and Federal rules or regulations
- Eliminate the rules and regulations that are duplicative of Federal requirements
- Report any conflicting requirements to the Secretary and determine which Fed or State rule or regulation shall be followed.
How is it ensuring the rights of states and local school districts to govern education policy if all rules and regulations required under this act are to be evaluated by a committee that the USDOE picks the types of people who will sit on it, and further that they recommend which state rules will be followed if the conflict with fed rules or regs under this title. This is an attempt to have one set of federal rules and regs that govern all aspects of the state in relation to programs under this Act.
The Act requires the state to appoint the majority of the committee from representative of local education agencies. It must include administrators of other federal programs under the Title, this would include IDEA, Head Start, Health and Human Services, etc; teachers from public charter schools, traditional public, and career and technical educators; parents; members of local school boards; reps form charter school authorizers, public charter school leaders, reps of private school children, and specialized instructional support personnel ( this category includes people who are school counselors, school social workers, school psychologists, and other qualified professional personnel involved in providing assessment, diagnosis, counseling, educational, therapeutic, and other necessary services, including related services as that term is defined in section 602 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as part of a comprehensive program to meet student needs.)
In an emergency situation where such rules or regs must be issued within a very short period of time, the State education agency can issue a regulation without prior consultation, but shall immediately thereafter convene the State committee of practioners to review it before issuance in final form. Great, if the State educ, agency needs to it can act unilaterally, without the consent of the non-elected committee of practioners required to be formed by the Secretary of Education under this title.
TITLE II TEACHER PREPARATION AND EFFECTIVENESS
Section 2113. the state must make available 95% of the funds received under this section as grants to LEAs to do the following:
Section 2122: If state doesn’t have a statewide teacher and school leader evaluation system, the funds must be used to create and implement one. (1)(B) The LEA must show how the “activities to be carried out by the lea under this subpart will be evidence-based, improve student academic achievement, and improve teacher and school leader effectiveness.”
Section 2132: The teacher evaluation system may (1)(A)“use student achievement data derived frk a variety of sources as a significant factor in determining a teacher’s evaluation, with the weight given to such data defined by the lea.;(1)(B) use multiple measures(1)(C) have more than 2 categories for rating the performance of teachers(1)(D) be used to make personnel decisions,
Really? State autonomy is restored or enhanced by a grant telling the State how the leas may constitute their evaluation systems? Also, it is worth mentioning that the extensive rulemaking authority of the Secretary allows for him to decide what are “evidence-based,” and what data shows it has “imporved teacher and school leader effectiveness.” This is also related to the new authority granted under this Act to the Director of the Institute for Educational Sciences to access data through a cariety of sources, including state and local reporting, to conduct studies to show which practices are effective and have positive impacts. This will become a loop, where schools must report data, that data will be analyzed and recommendations will be made, through the rulemaking authority, those recommendations will become necessary for approval of state plans, etc.
The funds may also be used to under (6) for professional development for teachers and school leaders that is “evidence based, job embedded, and continuous” such as
(B) aligned to State’s academic standards
(E) professional development based on the current science of learning, which includes research on positive brain change and cognitive skill development
(G) professional development on intergrated, interdisciplinary, and project-based teaching strategies, ..
Section 2131 REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
The lea must report to the state education agency on an annual basis the following:
(a)(1) how the lea is meeting the purpose of this part described in sect 2101
(2) how the lea is using the funds
(3) if the lea is implementing a teacher evaluation system, the results of of such evaluation system, except if individually identifiable
(4) any such other information as the State educ. Agency may require
This takes complete authority away from local school districts and will require them to report any student or teacher information/data that is required by the state.
Section 2132 NATIONAL ACTIVITIES
“From the funds reserved to the Secretary under section 2111(b)(1)(A) the Secretary shall, directly or through grants and contracts-
- Provide technical assistance to States and local educational agencies in carrying out these activities under this Act; and
- Acting through the Director of IES, conduct national evaluations of activities carries out by the state educational agency and local educational agency under this part
RED FLAG: This gives the director of IES authority to request any data from both the State and LEA to “evaluate” the program. Remember that under FERPA, personally identifiable information is allowed to be shared- without consent- for an audit or evaluation – to authorized representatives of Federal, State, and local educational agencies. FERPA 99.31- authorities conducting an audit, evaluation, or enforcement of education programs.
18 ‘‘SEC. 6601. EVALUATIONS.
19 ‘‘(a) RESERVATION OF FUNDS.—Except as provided in subsections (c) and (d), the Secretary may reserve not more than 0.5 percent of the amount appropriated to carry out each categorical program authorized under this Act.
The reserved amounts shall be used by the Secretary, acting through the Director of the Institute of Education Sciences to 1. Conduct an evaluation of the program of the effectiveness of the and long and short term impact to local schools and state, and performance of grant recipients.
Title 1 funds can’t be reserved for sec 6601 or other programs under this act where funds have already been reserved for an evaluation
‘‘Subpart 2—Education of Migratory Children
12 ‘‘SEC. 1131. PROGRAM PURPOSES.
13 ‘‘The purposes of this subpart are as follows:
14 ‘‘(1) To assist States in supporting high-quality
15 and comprehensive educational programs and serv-
16 ices during the school year, and as applicable, during
17 summer or intercession periods, that address the
18 unique educational needs of migratory children
Will they propose to offer year-round school for these kids or provide free child care when school is not in session?
‘‘(4) To help such children overcome edu-
5 cational disruption, cultural and language barriers,
6 social isolation, various health-related problems, and
7 other factors that inhibit the ability of such children
8 to succeed in school.
9 ‘‘(5) To help such children benefit from State
10 and local systemic reforms.
(4) allows the federal funding to establish “wrap around services for mental and physical medical treatment through the schools, and (5) requires schools to help the children, and I suppose their families, to access public assistance programs offered through the State and localities.
In Section 1001 the Statement of Purpose is to provide “all” children with the opportunity to graduate high school prepared for postsecondary education or the workforce. Of course this must be done by 1) meeting the needs of low income children, 2) closing achievement gaps, 3) affording parents meaningful participation, 4) “challenging states to local educational agenices to embrace meaningful, evidence based education reform, while encouraging state and local innovation.”
I take issue with the purpose of the title to be for “all” children and that it will be accomplished by, among other things, number 4, -“challenging states to embrace reform policies” that will affect all schools. This means all students, regardless of benefitting or qualifying for the program, will be stuck with statewide reforms necessary for federal compliance.
Private schools are eligible to receive a “direct student service” provided by the LEA to offer choice transportation and tutoring services on an equal basis to children in public schools.
Section 1120 PARTICIPATION OF CHILDREN ENROLLED IN PRIVATE SCHOOLS
(1)(A) an lea shall “provide such service on an equitable basis and individually or in combination, as requested by the officials or representatives to best meet the needs of such children, special education services, instructional services, counseling, mentoring, one-on-one tutoring, or other benefits under this subpart (such as dual enrollment, educational radio and television, computer equipment and materials, other technology, and mobile educational services and equipment) that address their needs and
(B) “To help ensure equity for such private school children, teachers and other educational personnel, the SEA involved shall designate an ombudsman to monitor and enforce the requirements of this subpart.
(5) PROVISION OF SERVICES- The local educational agency or, in a case described in subsection (b)(6)(C), the State educational agency involved, may provide services under this section directly or through contracts with public or private agencies, organiztions, and institutions.
Any provision that comes with the assignment of an ombudsman to monitor and enforece compliance of private school’s adherence is problematic.
(b) IN GENERAL- “…….the lea shall consult with appropriate private school officials during the design and development of such agency’s programs under this subpart to reach agreement about equitable and effective programs for private school children……the results will be transmitted to the omsbudsman….
I’m not sure whether or not there many provisions that stop Title 1 money from following the child into private schools. The range of services is the same and it is to be on an equitable monetary amount. IT is concerning that the provision of these services must be delivered to the children in a manner prescribed by the lea in “consultation with the private school.”
The consultation must discuss:
“how children’s needs are identified (will they be assessed and data collected)
What services are offered (Can a private school reject certain services or will lea have the say)
How, where, and by whom the services are provided (School can’t provide it themselves- must be done by a third party or the lea, or Sea if lea can’t provide)
How the services will be academically assessed and how the results of that assessment will be used to improve those services. (Assessment, data collection, changes made based on that data)
The provision of services must be from a secular provider:
(d) PUBLIC CONTROL OF FUNDS (2)(B) REQUIREMENTS- In the provision of such services, such employee, individual, association, agency or organization shall be independent of such private school and of any religious organization, and such employment or contract shall be under the control and supervision of such public agency.
(e) If a local educational agency is prohibited by law from providing for participation on an equitable basis to children enrolled in private schools…….or determines the lea has failed or is unwilling, the Secretary waives the requirement and shall arrange for the provision of services to such children
The Secretary will take over the provision of equitable services to private schools if the lea refuses?
‘‘SEC. 6302. OPTIONAL CONSOLIDATED STATE PLANS OR APPLICATIONS.
- IN GENERAL.—In establishing criteria and procedures under this section, the Secretary shall collaborate with State educational agencies and, as appropriate, with other State agencies, local educational agencies, public and private agencies, organizations, and institutions, private schools, and parents, students, and teachers.
Looks like private school children, not just teachers, are part of this Act in such a substantial way that the Secretary would want to consult them on forming the State plan? I think Title 1 funds are portable to private schools, regardless of the lack of language stating it. There is nothing that prevents it.
- —Through the collaborative process described in paragraph (1), the Secretary shall establish, for each program under this Act to which this section applies, the descriptions, information, assurances, and other material required to be included in a consolidated State plan or consolidated State application.
This seems to allow the Secretary broad discretion to require additional assurances, information, and “other material” in a consolidated State plan. Why should this be different than a State plan where it is submitted for each program?
- NECESSARY MATERIALS.—The Secretary shall require only descriptions, information, assurances (including assurances of compliance with applicable provisions regarding participation by private school children and teachers), and other materials that are absolutely necessary for the consideration of the consolidated State plan or consolidated State application.
Again, here is the private school children language.
Thank you, Ann Marie Banfield and Stop Common Core New Hampshire.
By JaKell Sullivan and Christel Swasey
Common science standards, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are gleefully trending all over the nation now, birthed by the same folks who pushed Common Core English and Math (Achieve, Inc., David Coleman’s baby and US Delivery Institute, Pearson CEA Michael Barber’s baby.
Many states have rejected, or are wisely in the middle of debating rejecting, the common science standards.
South Carolina utterly rejected them. Wyoming’s legislature rejected them, in a move Truth in American Education called “a victory for objectivity and neutrality in science education.” (Read Wyoming citizens’ testimonies and more on Wyoming’s decision here.)
Meanwhile, in Kansas, Citizens for Objective Public Education (COPE) have filed a federal law suit against the state school board and the state department of education for pushing NGSS in violation of the first and fourth amendments to the Constitution. In Kentucky, legislators wrote a bill to potentially reject the NGSS science standards, while Ohio passed a bill that made multi-state control of standards — including science standards– illegal.
So what about Utah? Aren’t we discussing this and vetting these standards thoroughly here? No, we are not.
Here in Utah, no legislator has written any bill to consider rejecting NGSS. Search the internet, and you’ll find there’s nothing in the legislature nor in recent news at all about NGSS in Utah.
A year ago there was. The then-chairwoman of the state school board Debra Roberts promised that Utah had no plans to adopt the NGSS standards although Utah would revise science standards. She said, “they will be uniquely Utah standards”. That turned out to be untrue.
Quietly, under the public radar, Utah’s Office of Education (USOE) is rushing forward to align with the national science standards without public knowledge. I did a quick word search on the Utah State Office of Education website for “Next generation science standards” and found 143 references to it in USOE-published pdf’s and professional development conferences. Right now, a Utah science standards review committee is reviewing Utah’s current science standards and is comparing them with NGSS national science standards.
According to a Utah law HB342, a committee including a handful of parents must “review and recommend” to the board any new revisions to curriculum. Some of those parents aren’t happy about being herded toward approving matching Utah’s science standards to NGSS science. They say it’s abundantly clear that the Utah State Office of Education wants the NGSS standards here in Utah.
Of course, the feeling is mutual; NGSS wants to be in Utah. That’s obvious since “Education First” of Utah (partner of NGSS) rolled out their (uncalled-for) five-year plan for Utah’s education system recently– and it so happens that “Education First” is not only partnered with the co-creators of NGSS: Achieve and US Delivery Institute but it also heavily promoted Common Core in propaganda mailings to the Utah legislature last year. Most likely, Education First will be promoting NGSS in similar legislator mailings and Prosperity 2020 radio spots– after they’ve been adopted, as was the case with Common Core.
Still, by law, it’s not Education First or its partners who have authority to set education policy or standards or create five-year plans. Even the USOE lacks that authority. It’s only the State School Board –with the assistance of the parent committee– who is supposed to weigh in.
Profound problems are being reported by the few parents who are allowed to weigh in on these standards.
1- First, oddly, some of the same individuals are serving on both the new science standards writing committee and the review committee. That is like the judge judging himself.
2- Second, the “new and improved” Utah science standards currently being “reviewed” by parents just so happen to be 99.9% the same as the national, standardized Next Generation Science Standards, according to parents currently on that committee.
3- Third, parents note that even thought the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) does not have legal authority to make new science standards for Utah schools; the Utah State School Board does; yet the board has not been in charge of this science standards-altering process; the USOE took it over.
4- Fourth: NGSS science standards –to which Utah’s aiming to align– do come from the same private business people who brought us Common Core math and English standards: Achieve Inc., David Coleman, etc. , yet the claim is that these science standards have nothing to do with Common Core.
5- Fifth: Most importantly– NGSS are not scientifically neutral or objective. The NGSS Frameworks and Standards promote every tenet of a belief system called secular humanism, as listed in Humanist Manifesto III. This is not separating church and state; it is creating a dogma of anti-religion as a religion.
To understand #5, jump to the Kansas law suit on this issue.
In December of last year, Citizens for Objective Public Education (COPE) filed suit in federal court against the Kansas State Board of Education and the Kansas Department of Education to stop implementation of science standards designed for every child in the United States. Why?
The suit says that NGSS science standards aren’t objective nor neutral science standards. Rather than showing multiple beliefs about the origin and end of life, they adhere religiously to the humanistic/atheistic view of science, which is, ironically, pushing religion: the anti-religion religion. This violates the Constitution’s first and fourteenth amendments. NGSS pushers try to argue that anyone opposed to NGSS is for teaching another religion in the classroom. Actually, the opposite is true. It is the NGSS which promotes its religion of atheism and secular humanism represented in NGSS. That’s not only not objective, not neutral, and not scientific; it’s also a violation of law. Pushing secular humanism and atheism (and controversial environmental issues) as if they were settled facts is, ironically, unscientific.
In the words of John Calvert, lead counsel for the plaintiffs:
“This case is actually about a concealed Orthodoxy that requires all explanations provided by science to be materialistic/atheistic.”
A press release from Citizens for Objective Public Education states, “The Orthodoxy is not religiously neutral as it permits only the materialistic/atheistic answers to ultimate religious questions. The concealed use of the Orthodoxy in [Frameworks & Standards] has the effect of promoting the core tenets of non-theistic religions like Atheism and Religious (secular) Humanism.”
The press release lists mechanisms and strategies used by the NGSS Frameworks and Standards to establish the materialistic/atheistic worldview:
- Systematic omissions and misrepresentations
- Teaching materialistic/atheistic ideas to primary children whose minds are susceptible to blindly accepting them
- Programs designed to become habits of mind
- Implicit exclusion of theists from provisions that require education to promote “equity,” diversity and non-discrimination
How did NGSS (and how did Common Core) make such strides across America? Here’s how.
1. State Offices of Education now only exist to pedal federal programs that are administrative in nature, not Constitutional. We’ve strayed not only from our national Constitution but from our Utah Constitution also. Rather than allow the state school board to truly set standards, the USOE offices run the educational show, unaccountable to anyone.
2. Both the Common Core Standards and NGSS and the new AP History Standards come with Appendices and Federal Frameworks and implementation handbooks to control adoption, curriculum and how teachers teach.
The NGSS come with a written Framework in order to control what/how teachers teach. What is tested is what will have to be taught.
Does anyone wonder why SAGE tests, already administered statewide last year, INCLUDED SCIENCE questions? Wasn’t the original claim that Common Core standards just included math and English? Nope. The AIR/SAGE tests were already set up to test the NGSS from the start. The Utah State Office of Education (USOE) knew that we would essentially be adopting the NGSS.
The USOE’s deceptive relationship with AIR and deceptions to the State Board and to parents of Utah have to be stopped. The USOE knows that the Common Core Standards’ Appendices and NGSS Framework will control what/how teachers teach and they know that SAGE tests are already set up to test NGSS.
The parent committee to review the science standards is a mockery of the Utah law that set it up. Meanwhile, NGSS also goes out of its way to create, in its NGSS Implementation workbook a long list for states of useful “Members of a Guiding Coalition” but parents are excluded from the recommended coalition member list. Oversight? Hardly.
The guiding coalition of those who should adopt and implement NGSS standards is officially defined this way: “a small group of highly visible and credible leaders who share your aspiration and will sustain your effort and will implement NGSS in the face of pushback...” (This reminds me of the way the USOE has gone out of its way to marginalize, demonize, or simply ignore parent pushback while it told the public that appendices and frameworks would not control Utah education at the local level.) Here are those links, for reference:
Common Core Appendices (For English Standards):
Common Core Appendix (For Math):
Common Core Framework (Next Generation Science Standards):
Note that the Science Standards report admits the purpose of its framework: “Students will make the greatest strides in learning science and engineering when all components of the system—from professional development for teachers to curricula and assessments to time allocated for these subjects during the school day—are aligned with the vision of the framework.”
3. The College Board, under the direction of David Coleman, Common Core’s architect, is revamping ALL AP Courses to include Federal Frameworks to control curriculum and pedagogy. For example:
AP U.S. History Curriculum Framework
AP U.S. History Curriculum Framework Evidence Planner for Teachers (teachers manual)
4. Big-Government and Big-Business both within Utah and elsewhere are profiting from federal reforms that these Appendices and Frameworks require of states. This includes federal programs to retrain principals and teachers to “trust that data” and federally funded programs to implement 1-to-1 technology in schools.
Last week, the Governor’s committee chair, Rich Kendall, along with the Salt Lake Chamber and Education First, unveiled their 5-year education plan. No teacher or school board or parental input was needed. This plan hinges on Common Core’s English and math standards now (and will no doubt eventually include all of Utah’s standards that will be aligned to Common Core for the profit of business, not to profit or protect our children.
Education First and the Governor’s Prosperity 2020 really must believe that parents don’t see what’s going on. The entire standards review process is political theater—and parents, teachers, and local school districts are being played for patsies.
5. The Appendices and Federal Frameworks function to dismantle local education control because he who controls the testing, controls the teachers. These Frameworks are embedded into the AIR/SAGE tests and in 1-to-1 technology, coming to our schools via federal funding.
6. As the Federal Frameworks work with business powers to dismantle local education control, we will see our representative form of government dismantled. The Federal Executive Branch is effectively corralling states by using administrative law, bypassing Constitutional law.
Let’s stop the “Next Generation Science Standards”.