Archive for the ‘rttt’ Tag

Common Core Lawsuit: Teachers and Parents v. Utah State School Board   2 comments

 

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So many Utahns have become so hopping mad* about Common Core in our schools that a few weeks ago, Governor Herbert publically announced that the state Attorney General will now conduct a “thorough legal review” of the rapidly adopted, unvetted education and testing standards.  He’s got a public input website  on the academic aspects of the Common Core.  But his main question is:  do the standards represent “federal entanglement”?

Well, that seems like an easy question  for the Attorney General!  Just read Utah’s Race to the Top application, with its federal points system based, in large part, on a state agreeing to take on the Common Core.  Or check out Obama’s four pillars of education reform.  Or check out Obama’s and Secretary Duncan’s speeches on the subject.  Or read the federal definition of “college and career ready standards.”  Not hard.

But federal entanglement’s not the only question.  A new Libertas Institute lawsuit  asks this key question:  Did the Board violate state law in rushing through Common Core’s adoption without legally required input from parents, teachers, employers, superintendents and school boards?  At least one public school has openly declared that not even slightly were they consulted.  And they’re not happy about it.

The lawsuit asks for a declaratory judgment, saying that the Board failed to consult with local school boards, superintendents, teachers, employers and parents as required by law (53A-1-402.6).  It asks for an order enjoining the Board from further implementing Common Core, from requiring schools to implement Common Core, and from enforcing Common Core.

I am happy to be one of the parents/educators who are the plaintiffs in this case, and grateful to Libertas Institute for footing the bill.

Go, fight, win.

 

libertas

 

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* Remember to attend  if at all possible this month’s public state school board meeting and the big protest THIS WEEK at the State Board of Education offices in downtown Salt Lake City:  August 8th, at 9 a.m.  Many Utahns against Common Core will be protesting with signs outside the building while others will be making public comment later, during the public comment segment around 10:30 inside the building.  See you there.

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Source Documents for Common Core   11 comments

Nobody has to choose between relying on the proponents of Common Core, or relying on the opponents of Common Core.

To find out what Common Core really is and does to education and to liberty, study for yourself.

These are just a starter batch. There are more!  Some of these are Utah-specific.  If you are in another state, do a related word search to easily find your own.

 

DOCUMENTS:

The Race to the Top Grant Application

The No Child Left Behind Waiver

The State Longitudinal Database System Grant

The lawsuit against the Department of Education

The copyright on Common Core held by CCSSO/NGA

The report entitled “For Each And Every Child” from the Equity and Excellence Commission

The Cooperative Agreements between the Dept. of Education and the testing consortia

The speeches of Secretary Arne Duncan on education

The speeches of President Obama on education

The speeches of the CEA of Pearson Ed, Sir Michael Barber

The speeches of the main funder of Common Core, Bill Gates

The speeches of David Coleman, a noneducator, the architect of the Common Core ELA standards and now promoted to College Board President

The Dept. of Ed report: Promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perserverance

The federal websites such as the EdFacts Exchange,  the Common Education Data Standards, the National Data Collection Model, and the Data Quality Campaign, sites because three of these four ask us to give personally identifiable information on students, from our state database.

The Common Core English and Math standards

The full contract that Utah has signed with the American Institutes for Research (if you can get a copy from the USOE; it is not online yet). Here is AIR’s common core implementation document.

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Here are some explanations of each of the documents, and what you can learn from them.

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The Race to the Top Grant Application  – Utah got points for having a kid-tracking SLDS database system.  Utah got more points for having adopted Common Core.  This was how we got into it.  Despite not winning the grant money, we remained in these systems.

The No Child Left Behind Waiver  – This shows the 15% cap the federal government put on top of the copyrighted, unamendable Common Core standards.

The State Longitudinal Database System Grant  – This is a federally paid-for database that every state in the US now has.  It tracks students within the state.  Aggregated data ion students is sent from this system to the federal EdFacts Exchange.

The lawsuit against the Department of Education  – The Electronic Privacy Information Center has sued the DOE for destroying the previously data-privacy protective federal FERPA. The lawsuit explains which terms were redefined, which agencies now have legal access to the private data of students, and much more.

The copyright on Common Core held by CCSSO/NGA  – The fact that there are “terms of use” and a copyright shows that we have no local control over the standards which are written behind closed doors in D.C.

The report entitled “For Each And Every Child” from the Equity and Excellence Commission – This report was commissioned by Obama.  It reveals that redistribution of wealth is the real reason that Obama wants a national education system.

The Cooperative Agreements between the Dept. of Education and the testing consortia – Even though Utah escaped the SBAC and is not bound by the Cooperative Agreement directly, Utah’s current testing group, A.I.R., works closely with SBAC.  This document shows how clearly the DOE has broken laws like the General Educational Provisions Act and the 10th Amendment.  It mandates the synchronizing of tests and the sharing of data to triangulate the SBAC, PARCC and DOE.

The speeches of Secretary Arne Duncan on education – He seems to believe Common Core was Obama’s idea from the start.

The speeches of President Obama on education – Obama’s goal is total control of everything– teachers, tests, money, and toddlers.

The speeches of the CEA of Pearson Ed, Sir Michael Barber – Barber wants every  school on the globe to have the exact same academic standards and to underpin every standard with environmental propaganda.  He also likes having global data on kids and stresses the term “sustainable reform” which is “irreversible reform”.

The speeches of the main funder of Common Core, Bill Gates – He’s funded Common Core almost completely on his own; he’s partnered with Pearson; he says “we won’t know it works until all the tests and curriculum aligns with the standards” so he’s writing curriculum for us all.

The speeches of David Coleman, a noneducator, the architect of the Common Core ELA standards and now promoted to College Board President –He mocks narrative writing, he’s diminished the percentage of classic literature that’s allowable in the standards, he’s not been elected, he’s never taught school, yet he’s almost singlehandedly destroyed the quality and liberty of an English teacher’s classroom. And as he’s now the College Board President, he’s aligning the SAT to his version of what Common standards should be.  This will hurt colleges.

The Dept. of Ed report: Promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perserverance  – behavioral indicators of students are wanted by the federal government.  It’s all about control.

The federal websites such as the EdFacts Exchange, the Common Education Data Standards, the National Data Collection Model, and the Data Quality Campaign, sites because three of these four ask us to give personally identifiable information on students, from our state database.  -The first link shows what we already give to the federal government; the others show what the federal government is requesting that we share, which does include intimate, personally identifiable information.

The Common Core English and Math standards – These are the actual standards.

The full contract that Utah has signed with the American Institutes for Research (if you can get a copy from the USOE; it is not online yet). Here is AIR’s common core implementation document.  – This shows that AIR is not an academic testing group but a behavioral research institute.  Parents and teachers may not see the test questions.

Sec. Duncans Aims at Texas Education (After Texas Rejected the Common Core Initiative)   1 comment

The U.S. Dept. of Education now has “Communications Regions”. http://www2.ed.gov/about/contacts/gen/regions.html

( FYI, regionalism and “Regional Equality” are tenets of the United Nations’ Agenda 21.  –Because people are easier to control en masse than in smaller localities.)

So, I asked the Region 9 Education Service Center Public Information Officer, Debbie Cummings, to explain things to me.  (Does her title not sound so Orwellian?)

I asked her how the U.S. Constitution works with the notion of regions, of U.S. states’ boundaries being less relevant, with the federal departments working with regions instead.

And Debbie Cummings dodged the actual question but answered a related issue that’s also important:  “…in regard to your concern regarding “federal and state powers having checks and balances”  It is through the Governor’s Office and the Texas Education Agency that the state’s rights are reviewed for compatibility with federal priorities prior to the state making application for any federal funds.  It is then through the Texas Education Agency that the use of these funds are tracked to ensure adherence to both the federal and state priorities and requirements.  However, if the priorities do not reflect a state’s priorities, then the State is not obligated to apply for the federal funds. 

[So, states won’t be funded, even though they paid taxes federally. 

They may not have access to their own tax money for their own schools,

if their priorities don’t match federal priorities?]

Cummings taught me something I didn’t know:  “Many times they carry a different title from state to state, i.e., in New York they are called BOCES (Boards of Cooperative Educational Services); whereas in Texas, they have been named by the legislature as Regional Education Service Centers.”  Ok.  Harder to see the federal uniformity when states name their federal, regional education headquarters differently, I suppose.

So, I asked a Texas friend, Donna Garner, what she thought of all of this.

Donna Garner said, “The lawyers who set up the TESCCC (who own CSCOPE) knew full well what the laws are regarding the Education Service Centers (ESC), and they deliberately set up this corporation to get around the laws. They think they have figured out a way to make CSCOPE untouchable, but we are working with Texas Legislators to figure out some bills that will counteract the TESCCC. ”

“The ESC’s were not set up to become marketing mouthpieces for CSCOPE curriculum. It was never the intent of the Texas Legislature that set up the ESC’s to make them into money-making organizations that suck money from local taxpayers. We already pay school taxes to our local districts; we do not need to be paying extra dollars far-and-above those local taxes to help ESC’s make huge profits!  Notice the ESC buildings around the state. The one locally has turned into a state-of-the-art, huge complex; and within those walls is where the CSCOPE marketing and training is being conducted locally.  What a huge waste of our tax dollars!”

“Just yesterday on the Jason Moore talk show in Odessa, a current classroom teacher called in and said what a total waste of time the CSCOPE training is at the ESC.  She said that the ESC staffers have little subject content knowledge and that the teachers who attend know so much more than the ESC staffers do.”

“Because the new TEKS curriculum standards (adopted since May 2008) are grade-level-specific for every grade level and for every core course (ELAR, Science, Social Studies, and Math), there is no need for the ESC’s to hire numerous staffers to train teachers. The teachers now know what is to be taught, and it is their purview to decide how to teach it. Even teachers in small school districts can get together with the teachers in the districts around them and share great teaching ideas of how to teach the TEKS.  Why should those teachers go to the ESC’s when once they get there, they hardly ever come back with any practical ideas that can be used in their classrooms?”  

“Next, the Race to the Top grants now coming from the USDOE go directly to the school districts and the ESC entities; those grants are not dispersed through the TEA.  The funds go directly to the school districts/ESC’s if they are chosen in the final round of federal RTTT grants.” 

How do I interpret these things?  I think corporations and federal entitites should stay out of education, just the way the U.S. Constitution set it up.

U.S. Dept. of Education Arne Duncan

It looks to me like the corporations that make money from Common Core, and the federal Secretary who wants Common Core to be the national uniform, are chasing after Texas.  It’s a control problem.

I remember seeing U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan speaking on a t.v. show way back when Texas rejected Common Core.  He belittled the state’s education system and said that he felt so sorry for the children there, who would not be getting to learn the Common Core.  Oh, yes he did.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/08/arne-duncan-i-feel-very-very-badly-for-kids-in-rick-perrys-texas-schools/

And Texas’ Robert Scott called Secretary Duncan out for it: http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallasnews.com/2011/08/robert-scott-fi.html/

Robert Scott

The supposedly non-federal program, the supposedly state-led initiative of Common Core, when rejected by Texas, angered the U.S. Secretary of Education.  Hmmm.  So he decided that if the state (that is, Governor Rick Perry and Superintendent Robert Scott) were to reject Common Core, he would push it another way– he then started offering Race To The Top funds directly to school districts, bypassing the state completely.  And of course, you can’t have Race to the Top funding unless you agree to Common Core.  That’s how it works.

The elite D.C. educrats and corporations want their way, and they push and push and push.  We must keep pushing back.

Provo, Ogden, Granite, Washington County School Districts: WHAT are you THINKING?!   1 comment

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/54806451-78/million-districts-apply-department.html.csp
 
  According to the Salt Lake Tribune article linked above, five Utah school districts are applying for Race To The Top funds. Granite, Ogden, Provo, Morgan and Washington County school districts are applying for tens of millions of dollars each, to be accepted directly from the U.S. Department of Education in exchange for making certain federally-determined “reforms.”
 
      
 
Nationwide, the Tribune states, 893 districts are applying, but only 15 to 25 will win the grants. 
 
If the rules of the district Race to the Top grant game are the same as the rules were for the states’ Race to the Top grants, then even those applicants who do not win the grant money will still have been “reformed” in ways pleasing to the Federal Department of Education.  (For example, when Utah applied for, but did not win, its original Race to the Top grant, it made policy changes to enhance its eligibility toward winning.  It adopted Common Core standards.  It joined a testing consortium. Today, Utah has dropped its consortium membership but it still hasn’t dropped Common Core, and students are paying the price for the mediocre standards that slow down math learning, eliminate cursive, dramatically diminish classic literature, homogenize what college and career readiness standards used to be, yet go by the self-appointed title of “rigorous” college prep.)
 
Contrary to popular belief, grants are not “free money.” They come with rules, mandates, requirements, and legally binding chains created by the grantor.
 
The Dept. of Education’s decision, to dangle the carrot of Race to the Top for districts, is particularly alarming to many Texans.  Texas was one of the few states independent-minded enough to reject joining the Common Core movement. But today, 64 Texas school districts are applying for the Race to the Top for districts, effectively creating the federal dependence for many districts which Texas had worked hard to avoid as a state.
 
   Donna Garner, Texas educator, explains:” On Jan. 13, 2010, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and the former Commissioner of Education Robert Scott announced their decision that Texas should not enter the statewide Race to the Top competition for $700 Million because they knew the federal strings attached to the money would require school districts to follow theCommon Core Standards Initiative.Not to be deterred, the Obama administration and Sect. of Ed. Arne Duncan came up with a “work around” so that the RTTT funds (requiring schools to follow theCommon Core Standards Initiative) could be sent directly to the local school districts in spite of being blocked by the state agencies.Unfortunately, local Texas school administrators are ignoring the dangers of the federalstrings and are salivating over the federal funding. Nationwide, there are 893school districts (and other eligible entities) that have indicated their intent to apply for the RTTT’s $400 Million “workaround.” The deadline for these entities to file their formalapplications is Oct. 30, 2012.

This is what happens: Even though most of these local entities do not have a chanceto receive the RTTT federal funds, the applications themselves end up driving school district decisions.

School administrators know their schools’ grant applications will not have a chance ofbeing accepted unless the districts can prove the federally desired changes are already in place (or well on their way to being implemented) in their districts; therefore, the administrators, acting like little robots, configure their districts to match the USDOE’s agenda. They swear to do such things as implement the Common Core Standards, base teacher evaluations upon student improvement on the CCS assessments, and collect the personally intrusive information on students, parents, and educators that is required for the national database.

Thus, the USDOE ends up nationalizing the public schools without ever giving the districts the RTTT grant funding.  Entire states such as California applied for the statewide RTTT funds in 2011 andreconfigured their school district policies to match the USDOE’s application requirements; but in the end, California found out that their state was notselected to receive the RTTT grants.  The same outcomes will occur with the RTTT’s direct-to-school funding.  Many locals will implement the USDOE’s changes but will not receive the RTTT funds.

 The“carrot and stick” used by the USDOE – RTTT federal funds:

[The arrows mean “lead to.”]

National standards  →  national assessments  → national curriculum → national teacher evaluations with teachers’ salaries tied to students’ test scores  →  teachers teaching to thetest each and every day  →  national indoctrination of our publicschool children  →  national database of students and teachers

Please go to the following links to read more about the Common Core Standards Initiative:

3.26.12 — “Two Education Philosophies with Two Different Goals” — http://libertylinked.com/posts/9703/2-education-philosophies-with/View.aspx

9.14.12 – “Nationalized Public Schools Almost Here in America” —  http://educationviews.org/nationalized-public-schools-almost-here-in-america/

ACTION STEP:  Parents and taxpayers, please take the time to go to administrators and school board members in your district and demand that they not apply for these RTTT grants nor make any of the changes that the USDOE applications require schools to make to get the funds.”

Federal Government Bypasses States and Approaches School Districts with Cash for Compliance   1 comment

Excerpts from a Heritage Foundation article by Lindsey Burke  – August 17, 2012  http://blog.heritage.org/2012/08/17/race-to-the-top-for-school-districts-more-federal-education-intervention/

Race to the Top for School Districts: More Federal Education Intervention

The Obama Administration’s new Race to the Top District (RTT-D) competition, a competitive grant program on top of the more than 100 programs the Department of Education (DOE) already operates, entices cash-strapped school districts with another $400 million to implement the Obama education agenda…

The last thing our struggling education system needs is for local school districts to become dependent on Washington for education funding, further centralizing school-level policies in the hands of federal bureaucrats.

RTT-D is an offshoot of the original Race to the Top (RTT), the Obama Administration’s $4.35 billion competitive grant program to states carved out of the “stimulus.” The DOE says the new district-level program will “help schools become engines of innovation”…

Concern about the Administration’s push to nationalize the content taught in schools across America through the Common Core State Standards led some states to pass on the original RTT competition. States like Alaska, Texas, and North Dakota have never applied for RTT grants. Under the new district-level competition, the feds will appeal directly to school districts, offering up millions in exchange for adoption of the White House’s preferred policies.

    Applicant districts must agree to implement the four core components of RTT (common standards, teacher evaluations, data systems, and the Administration’s school turn-around model), and must secure school board and teacher union buy-in for their application.

The DOE notes that all school districts with more than 2,000 students are eligible to apply, including those districts in states that did not apply for RTT grants. While smaller school districts may pull together to apply for a grant, the 2,000-student minimum biases larger districts, making it unlikely that small rural school districts will be winners of one of the 15–25 grants that are awarded.

The Administration has demonstrated a pattern of circumventing Congress on key education policy issues. It set an arbitrary deadline for No Child Left Behind reauthorization, and when Congress (in the midst of a thoughtful debate about the future of the nation’s largest education law) failed to meet it, began offering strings-attached waivers to states that agreed to implement the White House’s education agenda. Now the Administration will circumvent states that have chosen not to apply for RTT grants and dangle up to $40 million each to districts willing to toe the line.

It’s another step in centralizing education control and a continuance of Washington-centric education policy that has burdened taxpayers, encumbered states, and failed students for the last half-century.

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