Archive for the ‘mitt romney’ Tag

Flashreport from Pacific Research Institute: On Common Core   Leave a comment

Reposted highlights from:

http://www.flashreport.org/featured-columns-library0b.php?faID=2012100907463885

ROMNEY BASHES OBAMA’S NATIONAL ED STANDARDS THAT DUMB DOWN CALIFORNIA MATH

by Lance T. Izumi

October 9, 2012

Governor Jerry Brown recently approved a new law that will eliminate algebra from California’s eighth-grade math standards.  While troubling, even more disturbing is the fact that this move is dictated by Sacramento’s adoption of less rigorous national standards supported by President Obama.

Thankfully, in the first presidential debate and in recent interviews, it’s clear that Mitt Romney realizes what Barack Obama can’t seem to fathom: the federal government is not the nation’s school board.
SB 1200, which Gov. Brown just signed, says that the state Board of Education shall ensure “One set of standards is adopted at each grade level.”  Those standards will be the Obama-backed national standards.  As education journalist John Fensterwald points out, the law will remove California’s algebra requirement and “will leave [the national] Common Core pre-algebra standards as the default course for eighth grade.”

Why did California opt for the lower national standards?

In the debate, President Obama touted his Race to the Top grant program, which requires applying states to implement the national standards.  California applied for a grant, didn’t win one, but was still stuck with Obama’s standards…
In an interview with NBC News prior to the debate, Romney said, “I don’t subscribe to the idea of the federal government trying to push a common core on various states.”  Why are national standards dangerous?  Chief among the reasons is that they will lead to a national curriculum.


As California’s experience proves, changing over to a national-standards system will affect what’s being taught in every classroom.  According to Fensterwald, “Last year, about two-thirds of California students had taken Algebra 1 by the eighth grade.”  Now, because the national standards will change the state’s math curriculum, relatively few students will likely take algebra in the eighth grade.
Romney says that for the Obama administration “to financially reward states based upon accepting the federal government’s idea of a curriculum, I think, is a mistake.”  Specifically, Romney says that he worries about the federal government promoting an agenda through national standards, tests and curricula.  For the Obama administration, its agenda neatly coincides with the agenda of the teacher unions.


The American Federation of Teachers is a longtime supporter of national standards and its members helped write the Obama-supported standards.  In legislative testimony, Stanford University math professor James Milgram, who served on an advisory committee for the national standards, said that special-interest groups, like the unions, “were mainly focused on things like making the standards as non-challenging as possible.”  He said that the national math standards “are written to reflect very low expectations.”

Obama and his union allies have triumphed by overturning California’s rigorous state standards.

During the debate, Romney articulated a very different strategy that would empower, not special interests, but parents.  Rather than a top-down Washington-centric approach, Romney proposed attaching federal funds, such as Title I money for disadvantaged children, directly to students.  These dollars would “follow the child and let the parent decide where to send their student” and allow children “to go to the school of their choice”, where school-choice programs have been enacted.

When asked by debate moderator Jim Lehrer about the federal government’s role in education, President Obama said, “I think that it has a significant role to play.”

Indeed, his nationalization of education has already altered and distorted math education in California.  In contrast, Mitt Romney envisions more local control and more parental choice.

It is now up to Americans to decide which future they want for their children.

___________________________________________________
Lance T. Izumi is Koret Senior Fellow and Senior Director of Education  Studies at the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy (PRI), California’s premier free-market public-policy think tank based in  San Francisco.

Education Liberty Watch: On Grading Schools and its Impact on Freedom of Setting Standards   3 comments

Education Liberty Watch Introduces New Freedom Grading Scale for Private School Choice Laws

The concept of trying to rescue poor and minority students from failing  public schools is a noble one.  However, if the private schools are  forced to teach the public school standards, which are at grave risk of  becoming nationalized via the Common Core and its accompanying tests in  45-1/2 states and the District of Columbia (Minnesota accepted the  English standards but not the math), in order for their students to pass  the state tests, private schools will no longer be a meaningful  alternative to the public schools.

This danger was detailed in our 2011 alert Imposing a Federal Curriculum on Private Schools – Why Voucher Programs that Require State Tests Are So Dangerous. At that time, we mentioned Minnesota’s proposed law that has not yet  passed (that would have received a D grade on our scale) and Indiana’s  enacted law (that did receive an F grade) that both require state tests  to be given to private school students receiving vouchers or to the  entire private school.  Since then, I have reviewed the testing  accountability requirements for all of the 30 school choice laws that  have passed in 18 states and the District of Columbia through 2012 based  on the Alliance for School Choice’s annual report  and looking at the  newest 2012 laws passed since that report was written.

And, since grading scales are becoming de rigeur,  I though that Education Liberty Watch should join in on the trend and  provide a freedom grading scale based on how well each statute protects  private school autonomy.  My hope is that you will see where your state  falls and contact your policymakers to either improve your own state law  if needed, make sure that any school choice bill offered in your state  is as strongly pro-freedom as possible, and if nothing else, warn the  private schools in your area what may be coming and urge them to speak  up as this type of legislation is considered.

Before the table  with the grades is presented however, it is important to also mention  the education plan of presidential candidate Mitt Romney on this issue.   Thankfully his plan is a just a plan right now that was likely mostly  written  or at least heavily influenced by former Governor Jeb Bush.   Mr. Bush, whose organization is funded by the Bill Gates Foundation, is a  huge fan of the Common Core to the point of trying to prevent model legislation against the standards from being supported by ALEC. He also seems to be completely tied in with the corporate interests such as the US Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, and the  Business Partnership and the Gates Foundation, which has funded his own organization, that seem not at all concerned or even determined  to bring about the usurpation of private school curriculum with the  national standards. The Romney plan, A Chance for Every Child, speaks of the federal government promoting and paying for both public and private school choice.  It says on pages 23-24:

Romney  Administration will work with Congress to overhaul Title I and IDEA so  that low-income and special-needs students can choose which school to  attend and bring their funding with them. The choices  offered to students under this policy will include any district or  public charter school in the state, as well as private schools if  permitted by state law… To  ensure accountability, students using federal funds to attend private  schools will be required to participate in the state’s testing system. (Emphasis added.)

Aside  from the fact that the federal government has no constitutional  authority to be involved in education, a fact both parties have  completely forgotten, this would be an utter disaster for education  freedom.  It would bring the full force of the federal government to  impose the federal curriculum of the Common Core on private and  religious schools.  It would also negate the laboratories of democracy  in the states that have passed good state laws that do not require this  public school testing accountability.  On Education Liberty Watch’s Freedom Grading Scale, the Romney education plan, as currently written,  would receive a D grade for requiring students to participate in the  state tests.  If the plan is meant to require that all of the students  in a private school attended by voucher recipients take the state  (Common Core) tests, we would give it a failing grade.

However, the good news is that Governor Romney has recently made some important and very good statements opposing the Common Core and government expansion of preschool, which we  will outline in our next alert. It is therefore hoped that the more  pro-freedom members of his education team are beginning to hold sway and  that Governor Romney can be educated about the perils to private  schools in his plan.

 

EDUCATION LIBERTY WATCH FREEDOM GRADING SCALE FOR PRIVATE SCHOOL CHOICE LAWS:

The chart form of the grading scale with more detail is available here. Here is the scale broken down by grade:

 

A+= NO testing requirements & accountability is specifically to PARENTS.

-Georgia (2001 – special needs voucher)
-New Hampshire (2012 – means tested tax credit scholarships, including for home schooled students)
-Oklahoma (2012 – special needs voucher)
A = No testing requirements for special needs vouchers or scholarships -Arizona (2011 – education savings accounts for special needs children)
-Florida (1995 and expanded in 2011) -Louisiana (2010) -North Carolina (2011) 

-Ohio (2003)
-Oklahoma (2010) 

A = No testing requirements for corporate or individual scholarships, including scholarships for foster children

-Arizona (2006- corporate scholarship tax credit) -Arizona (1997 – individual scholarship tax credit)
-Georgia (2008)
-Iowa  (2006 & expanded in 2011)
-Pennsylvania (2001)
-Rhode Island (2006) 

B+  = Private schools with voucher or scholarship recipients must  administer a nationally norm-referenced test but report only to parents  &/or the state in aggregate

-Virginia (2012)
-Washington, DC (2004) 

B  = Requiring private schools with voucher or scholarship recipients to  administer a nationally norm-referenced test & reporting results to  the state.

-Arizona (2006)
-Utah (2005) 

C  = States that require private schools to offer either the state tests  or nationally norm-referenced tests to voucher or scholarship recipients

-Florida (2001 and expanded in 2011 & 2012 – Corporate tax credit scholarship)
-Indiana (2009) 

D+  = States that require the state tests to be administered to voucher or  scholarship recipients in private schools & scores are reported to  parents or other entity beside the state

-Louisiana (2012 – statewide means tested voucher)
-Wisconsin (1990 – means tested voucher in Milwaukee) -Wisconsin (2011 – means tested voucher in Racine) 

D = States that require the state tests to be administered to voucher or scholarship recipients in private schools

-Colorado (2011 – means tested voucher in Douglas County)
-Louisiana (2008 – means tested voucher in New Orleans)
-Ohio (2011 – special needs voucher) 

F  = States require the state tests to be administered to ALL the students  in a private school that have any students that receive a voucher

-Indiana (2011 – means tested voucher)
-Ohio (1995 – Cleveland voucher) -Ohio (2005 – failing school voucher)

Romney v. Obama on Common Core   1 comment

Washington Post: Common Core a “mistake” -in Mitt Romney’s words   Leave a comment

The Washington Post reports:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet  (full text)

Excerpt:

 

“WILLIAMS:     Governor, what do you make of ‘Common Core’?

ROMNEY:    You know,  I think it’s fine for people to lay out what they think core subjects might be  and to suggest a pedagogy and being able to provide that learning to our kids. I  don’t subscribe to the idea of the federal government trying to push a common  core on various states.

It’s one thing to put it out as a model and let  people adopt it as they will, but to financially reward states based upon  accepting the federal government’s idea of a curriculum, I think, is a mistake.  And the reason I say that is that there may be a time when the government has an  agenda that it wants to promote.

And I’m not wild about the federal  government having some kind of agenda that it then compensates states to teach  their kids. I’d rather let education and what is taught state by state be  determined state by state, not by the federal government…”

Romney Takes a Stand Against Common Core   Leave a comment

    Romney Takes Stand Against

                                         National Curriculum Standards

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet  (Full text of Romney interview mentioning opposition to Common Core)

Reposted from American Principles in Action site:  apiasite September 25, 2012

http://www.americanprinciplesinaction.org/blog/preserving-innocence/education/romney-takes-stand-against-national-curriculum-standards/

Supports Local Control of Curricula at Education Nation Summit

Washington, DC – Today, American Principles in Action (APIA) praised Governor Romney’s stated opposition to a national curriculum, commonly known as the Common Core, choosing instead to let states and communities decide public school curricula.

“We applaud Governor Romney’s bold support for states and local communities to decide what’s best for their children, restoring power over education from the hands of the federal government to where it belongs,” said APIA’s Emmett McGroarty. “He is right to warn that the national authorities may have an agenda and should be prevented from pushing it on the states. Unfortunately, just as with Medicare reform, the federal government has resorted to coercing now more than 40 states into adopting the Common Core.

“Congress intended the 2009 Stimulus Bill as a life-line for the states, but President Obama turned it into a weapon through his Race to the Top program. In order to compete for Race to the Top money, states had to quickly sign onto the Common Core and related assessments without having a chance to meaningfully review the Standards and before the assessments were even developed.

“States competed in Race to the Top by demonstrating their commitment to President Obama’s education policy, in effect surrendering to an education monopoly. Their citizens were cut out of the process.

“President Obama has continued to coerce the states by requiring them to sign onto his education policies in order to get relief from No Child Left Behind.

“We urge both candidates to commit themselves to ending the federal government’s political coercion of the states and their citizens, and to ending the Race to the Top program.”

American Principles in Action is a 501 c (4) political advocacy group affiliated with American Principles Project, a 501 c (3) policy organization committed to rededicating the United States to its founding principles.

Common Core Splits GOP?   Leave a comment

   We were watching Paul Ryan’s incredible Republican National Convention speech last night on t.v. when I got a text message that a reporter who was at the convention wanted to talk to me.  Me?

I had submitted the idea to “Eliminate Common Core Collective Education” at the GOP website when they were soliciting grassroots input a few days ago.  So the reporter was fast, and the article’s published, and here’s the link to that article: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2012/08/common_core_state_standards_di.html

    But the link to my educational topic for the GOP input is gone now; I guess, since the convention’s going on, they don’t want more platform input.  But here’s the text of what I wrote, which was seconded by 39 people in the one day that it was there before they took down the site:

ELIMINATE COMMON CORE COLLECTIVE EDUCATION

I. COMMON CORE IS NOT ACADEMICALLY SOUND

It is a fact that the only math professor on the official Common Core Validation Committee, Dr. James Milgram, flatly refused to sign off on the standards as being valid.  The math standards lack a coherent sequence and do the opposite of what they claim to do (make USA students more internationally competitive).  The Asian Tigers have Alg. I in 8th grade.  Common Core has it in 9th.  By junior high, Common Core places students one to two years behind what they should be. 
In the English department, Dr. Sandra Stotsky, who also served on the Common Core Validation Committee, also refused to sign off on the standards being adequate.  They are not legitimate college prep because they slash narrative writing and classic, time-tested story reading to make room for info-texts.  This is almost like book burning in its refusal to make generous room for literature in American classrooms. Under mandate.

Dr. Kirst of Stanford University said his concern was that the standards call 4 year, 2 year, and vocational school preparation the same thing.  Is college prep to be dumbed down? Yes, absolutely. That is how we will make all our students common. 
This Harrison Bergeron-esque attempt to make all students equal and common is absurd. 

II. EDUCATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION:

Local educational decision-making capacity is severely reduced by Common Core.

Common Core is education without representation: the federal government incentivized its adoption by states but the public did not vote on the initiative, did not know what it was until after state school boards and governors implemented it, and has no means to amend the standards, as they are under NGA/CCSSO copyright.  (Source:   http://www.corestandards.org/terms-of-use
There is no means provided for voters to recall Common Core standards-setting administrators.  And the Dept. of Ed put a 15% cap on how much states can add.

We can do better. 

So, I hope somebody read it.  I hope the truth about Common Core comes out for all citizens, teachers, and within both parties, as more and more people study what it does and does not do.

 

Common Core Gets Small Mention at Republican Convention   Leave a comment

   “A solid education should be the second rung on the ladder to success, but the system is failing. President Obama’s solution has been to deny parents choice, attack private schools and nationalize curriculum and student loans. Mitt Romney believes that parents and the local community must be put in charge — not the Department of Education.”  (See 5:50 on http://youtu.be/sJB6TVfz8-E )

– Rick Santorum’s speech at Republican Convention this week

     “Under Mitt, Massachusetts’schools were the best in the nation.  The best.” Ann Romney’s   speech   from last night at the convention

(Ann’s past tense use of “schools were the best” refers to the fact that since Common Core was adopted, Massachusetts’ stellar standards have been dramatically lowered to match the Common Core national standards.)

Mr. President, I’m here to tell you the American people are awake. And we’re not buying what you’re selling in 2012.” -Mia Love  (Mia Love told me, when I met her in Heber this spring, “I am educated on Common Core.” She knows what it’s really about.)

Mia Love’s Speech  http://youtu.be/FQ8Utno-f4g

Ann Romney’s Speech  http://youtu.be/4p3GFBdnCGo

Rick Santorum’s Speech  http://youtu.be/sJB6TVfz8-E

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