Archive for the ‘missouri education watchdog’ Tag

Missouri Common Core Test Use Altered by Restraining Order   4 comments

missouri

A judge has issued a restraining order in Missouri that says that Missouri is “restrained from making any payments in the form of membership fees to the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium… including but not limited to disbursements pursuant to “Invoice #1″ issued to the State.”  The restraining order is, at least temporarily, halting [some aspects of] Common Core SBAC tests in the state.

According to the Missouri Education Watchdog, “the Solicitor General, in arguing for the state defendant, argued that  if the fees were not paid, there would be no assessments available in Missouri schools this year at all.  This contradicts what an SBAC spokesperson said on the phone to legal counsel for the plaintiff when she said  that the membership fees are separate and distinct from the charge for using the assessments.  It also seems to contradict provisions of federal regulations that require the assessments developed by the consortia to be generally available to non-member states…  if other states were to withdraw their membership based on the same grounds, this would require a significant reorganization of the test supplier into a commercial venture as opposed to a testing consortia…  it would weaken the federal government’s requirement that states use the consortia tests in order to comply with federal regulation or waivers, because then the federal government would be granting a monopoly to a particular private company.

This ruling is a sign that the court sees some merit in the case, that SBAC may be an illegal interstate compact and thus the state’s membership in it should be null and void.

Update:  Missouri Education Watchdog has asked to make the following clarification/correction.  Here it is:

The TRO does not stop the state from implementing the SBAC test. It simply stops the state from paying any money to SBAC in the form of membership payments. The state will continue with its plans to administer the SBAC test in spring 2015, but the recently passed HB1490 prohibits the student scores from that test from being used in teacher evaluations or district accreditation determinations. They call it a “Pilot” test. The money we pay them would have to be classified as a purchase of SBAC… 

We were stuck in an odd situation where the company that serviced our previous test (we called it MAP) stopped providing that test in 2014 so continuing with that for another year while we develop new standards was not even an option. The legislature went for the easier temporary fix of allowing the state to use SBAC for our NCLB accountability while the new standards are being developed. They didn’t have the guts of KY to simply say we won’t be providing test data for a year. “

 

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President of College Board: I Convinced the Governors   2 comments

In the video posted here, David Coleman speaks. (Coleman is current president of the College Board, a non-educator, who was the chief architect of Common Core English Language Arts standards.)

Coleman says in this 2013 video: “When I was involved in convincing governors and others around this country to adopt these standards, it was not ‘Obama likes them.’ Do you think that would have gone well with the Republican crowd?

Special interests, meaning money-hungry businessmen like David Coleman and Bill Gates, led Common Core. I hope this video clip helps put to rest the oft-repeated mantra that Common Core was in any way “state-led” or that it in any way represented the actual will of the American voters, teachers, principals, parents or students.

Watch the video.

More detailed commentary is available at the Missouri Education Watchdog about this David Coleman video, too. See it here.

Common Core Is A Business Plan Without A Budget Plan Or Cost Accountability   Leave a comment

From Gretchen Logue, Missouri Education Watchdog:

“I would have thought astute business people would have realized a long time ago that you shouldn’t sign on to any public school plan that had no price tag, had no specifics and would be controlled by private corporations held unaccountable to the taxpayers whose money they were using.

Would the Chamber of Commerce endorse such a plan in private industry? Would they support a business plan that had no budget, no oversight? Would they endorse a construction project with no blueprint and only promises of grandeur?

Of course not. Then why is the Chamber endorsing CCSS? The processes used and the product promised by CCSS is what I described above. If the Chamber endorses such pie in the sky promises of CCSS that have no research to back them up, and the Chamber thinks THAT is common sense, Indiana is in deep trouble.” -Gretchen Logue, Missouri Education Watchdog, commenting on an Indiana Barrister editorial.

That ridiculous editorial is here: http://www.indianabarrister.com/archives/2013/01/indiana_chamber_show_common_sense_on_common_core.html,

Gretchen Logue also points out that the editorial insinuates taxpayers should like the fact that  private corporations now have authority “to own the copyright to the standards and assessments used in teaching their children…and if a parent or a school district should find some of these items objectionable, they have no due process to stop using it in their schools.”

Well said.

Full blog post here: http://www.missourieducationwatchdog.com/2013/01/common-core-wars-heating-up-in-indiana.html

Christopher Tienken on Common Core as Education Malpractice   4 comments

Professor Tienken of Seton Hall University has been writing about the follies of education reform for many years. He simply doesn’t put up with the ongoing unreferenced claims that proponents of Common Core are parroting one to another.  He writes:

“Connecting an individual’s education achievement on a standardized test to a nation’s economic future is not empirically or logically acceptable and using that mythical connection for large-scale policymaking is civically reckless. When education leaders and those who prepare them parrot that argument they actually provide credence to that anti-intellectual myth. When school administrators implement programs and policies built on those faulty arguments, they commit education malpractice.”

-Dr. Christopher Tienken, Seton Hall University

More by Dr. Tienken:

http://mathforum.org/kb/servlet/JiveServlet/download/323-2289422-7524512-690019/att1.html

http://www.aasa.org/uploadedFiles/Publications/Newsletters/JSP_Winter2011.FINAL.pdf

http://www.aasa.org/uploadedFiles/Publications/Journals/AASA_Journal_of_Scholarship_and_Practice/Winter_10_FINAL.pdf

More about Dr. Tienken:

http://thebellnews.com/2013/01/07/debunking-the-common-core-the-emperors-new-clothes-narrative/

http://www.missourieducationwatchdog.com/2013/01/best-research-award-winner-says-common.html?spref=fb

Just Say No to Arne Duncan’s “Green” Curriculum   3 comments

                                  My fourth grader saw this poster.  He asked me what a carbon footprint was.

I told him that some scientists think carbon hurts our earth, while other scientists say that is not actually true.  Some people think that the government wants to tax people so much that they use, as an excuse, the idea of carbon footprints.  They will tax people more if they do an activity that increases carbon on earth.

I told him that I have not studied it enough yet to have an opinion of my own.  I do not know which scientists are closer to the truth, but because it’s not settled, schools should not be teaching it as if it were a fact.

And people should not be hanging posters like this where children will see and assume one side of the argument is the only true side.

This anecdote is just a forward to the reason I’m writing today.  The original reason is this link:

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:leMYpC7VZ40J:www.chesapeakebay.net/channel_files/18256/affiliate_update_-_epa_region_3_sub-award.ppt+&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEEShjVUlWcJ_QXczKpqycvtgsx_sH58TXfd0eCMafK1wcpvSaEm7OTOcXyrpPqStPJYlzNnDHe6H1Kf4XX6KAb4T_K00Fr_QiX922VCkZtSlVJT28EroJEG3Vg3M10doX6XVAI-XF&sig=AHIEtbSOtdWRC-f4oItTEg-l-pnCSdDCTQ

Thanks to the Missouri Education Watchdogs publicizing it, here:  http://www.missourieducationwatchdog.com/2012/12/wading-into-standards-weeds.html

If you click on that top link, you’ll find a powerpoint presentation entitled: “EPA Region 3 Sub-Award Update.”

So what?

EPA means Environmental Protection Agency.  And Region 3 refers to a region –not a state– that the US Dept. of Education is now recognizing (moving away from the concept of states which can be such a pesky reminder of Constitutional rights).  “Sub-Award update” means that money is being accounted for, having been awarded by the federal government to “region 3” to alter local education to align with EPA goals –rather than previously held academic priorities for schools, which were previously determined by local entities like school boards and principals.

Yes, it’s creepy. It is propaganda, pure and simple.  And the head of all public schools in our country, Arne Duncan, has promised us he’s going to push for more and more of it.

US Sec. of Education Arne Duncan announced,  “Education plays a vital role in the sustainability movement… education must be part of the solution… This week’s sustainability summit represents the first time that the Department is… educating the next generation of green citizens and preparing them to contribute to the workforce through green jobs… Educators have a central role in this…  teach students about how the climate is changing… explain the science behind climate change and how we can change our daily practices…. prepar[e] students for jobs in the green economy… the Department of Education hasn’t been doing enough in the sustainability movement. Today, I promise you that we will be a committed partner…”

You’re kidding, right, Arne?  You are saying that you will use schools to promote green propaganda despite the fact that millions of scientists, teachers, students and parents don’t believe a word of the “global warming” and “climate change” science?

http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/greening-department-education-secretary-duncans-remarks-sustainability-summit

Not only is he not kidding, he’s now paying the EPA to “align” with Common Core.

Link: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:leMYpC7VZ40J:www.chesapeakebay.net/channel_files/18256/affiliate_update_-_epa_region_3_sub-award.ppt+&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEEShjVUlWcJ_QXczKpqycvtgsx_sH58TXfd0eCMafK1wcpvSaEm7OTOcXyrpPqStPJYlzNnDHe6H1Kf4XX6KAb4T_K00Fr_QiX922VCkZtSlVJT28EroJEG3Vg3M10doX6XVAI-XF&sig=AHIEtbSOtdWRC-f4oItTEg-l-pnCSdDCTQ

It’s interesting that “Green Schools” are being promoted by the U.S. Department of Education.  On the surface,  greening schools sounds a little bit boring but not bad.  Students learn wonders like “turn off the lights when you leave the room” and “eat healthy food”.

But along with that, they also learn things that are not science, not high-quality, uncontroversial, settled science.  Teachers are being told to teach sustainable propaganda and call it science. Controversial points will be taught as if they were absolutes.  It goes against the whole spirit of what education is about:  students are not told to weigh information, study empirical evidence from many sources, and judge truth from fiction, fact from opinion.

They are just told that the sustainablility movement is true.

Schools will get grants if they push the green curriculum.

And teachers better teach it.

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