Tag Archives: federal government

BEGIN LIMITING LOCAL CONTROL OF SCHOOLS TO ADVANCE GLOBAL INTERDEPENDENCE

by Karen Schroeder of Advocates for Academic Freedom

Leaders of educational policy have found that local control of schools hinders their ability to convince students that America’s success and well-being is interdependent with other nations. Before interdependence can gain acceptance, American citizens must abandon their present life style.

The Aspen Institute prepared a succinct document called A New Civic Literacy; American Education and Global Interdependence which shows that educational and political leaders believed that local control of education had been slowing public acceptance of interdependence. Never-the-less, Dr. Ward Morehouse, who developed educational programs for world citizenship for the New York State Department of Education, explained that interdependence may impose burdens that must be widely shared. “We the people are ready to make major adjustments in our life styles and work-ways if (a) someone with credibility tells us that it is in the public interest and (b) the distribution of the burden is obviously fair.”

Does this position sound familiar?

Dr. Morehouse assumes that interdependence is a goal of the American people and that its implementation simply needs the guidance of a leader with credibility. He warns that the American educational system is “caught in a bind” created by state and local control of schools. He joins a myriad of educational theorists who explain that only the federal government can handle the major issues involving energy, food, population, global environment, oceans, communications, trade, investment, and money.

Believing the federal government should control money and salaries, the American public allowed political leaders to create the Federal Reserve and pass the 16th and 17th Amendments to the Constitution. Simultaneously, educational and political leadership assumed that Americans had been well prepared to accept interdependence and all of the educational and political implications involved.

Therefore, increasing federal funding and creating policies which place the federal government in greater control of educational policy have been essential steps toward assuring the success of this agenda. Justification is based on the premise that interdependence issues are “perceived as national concerns”.

The American public has been conditioned to believe that perceptions must be respected as truth. This manipulation of language discourages discussion of interdependence, a relationship in which the individual owns and controls nothing because everything he accomplishes depends upon the generosity and talents of collective world nations. He must surrender private property and freedom. Our founding fathers would be appalled that our citizenry would surrender so much.

Those imposing social or political agendas upon the classroom are not held accountable for the impact their policies have on the academic success of students. One example is Cooperative grouping of children. That is a method of instruction which encourages children to surrender their individual dreams and academic goals for the collective. College professors continue to recommend cooperative grouping of students as an essential method of instruction although academic achievement suffers in the process. The First Days of School by Harry and Rosemary Wong and Handbook of Social Justice in Education by William Ayers and others are examples of works which advocate cooperative grouping as a technique for new teachers. Both books are also required reading during professional seminars.

Most important to these educational experts are the social and political changes being developed in American society. Many Americans have been conditioned to accept a President who says:

If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on

your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart.

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.

When the American public cheers a President who advocates these collectivistic values, the policy wonks at the Aspen Institute have good reason to smile for they have successfully changed American values, standards, and expectations. This they accomplished without spilling a drop of blood or taking a life.

They destroyed the dreams of many Americans, and they used the educational system to do it. Taxpayers who want to stop the destruction of America’s Republic must demand that federal mandates be removed from the educational system and the funds be re-allocated to the states.

Please consider financially supporting Advocates for Academic Freedom! Your donations are used to contribute conservative current-events materials to school libraries and to provide informational materials to parents, educators, and taxpayers about social and political policies which impact the educational system. AAF works with grassroots groups to address educational issues at the federal, state, and local level. Donations can be made online via PayPal or checks can be made payable to: AAF and mailed to: 331 South Main Street; Suite 307, Rice Lake, WI 54868

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Your Children Belong to the Government via their Personal Data. The Holy Grail of Education Realized?

by Gretchen Logue of Missouri Education Watchdog

Do you like your data being shared on Facebook?  No?  Then why is it permissible for the Federal Government to track your child from birth and this information shared with various agencies and private researchers?  Does your family belong to the government?  Should the Federal Government establish educational policies and mandates for states to accomplish this data tracking?  From Portals, Dashboards and Universal IDs: Improving Early Ed Data:

States around the country have big plans to improve the collection and coordination of data on young children, including data dashboards, scorecards and tools for tracking the well-being of children from the day they are born. But how — and if —  these plans turn into reality depends on whether they can win support from federal  grants, state funds or private philanthropy, according to a report released today by the Early Childhood Data Collaborative.

The Collaborative’s analysis starts by pointing out that timely, reliable data is scarce, with policymakers often unable to get answers to basic questions on the number of children participating in high-quality programs. In fact, as we reported last week, it’s even difficult to get comprehensive information at the local level on the number of children participating in pre-K programs or gaining access to full-day kindergarten at all, let alone whether they are enrolled in classrooms or centers that meet a high bar for quality.

The report spotlights several ideas states have put forward to improve the ability to link data between databases and enable the tracking of individual children’s progress over time, across multiple providers of child care, preschool and, in places where links are made to K-12 education data, to the public school system.

 Rhode Island, for example, plans to build a universal database that includes data on individual children starting at birth. It proposes to build on its public health data system called KIDSNET that tracks immunizations and data from newborn screenings and connect that data to the statewide longitudinal data system for K-12 education.  Rhode Island is a triple winner – winning an RTT-ELC grant, a K-12 Race to the Top grant and a competitive grant from the Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program – so it may actually have the dollars to bring this kind of longitudinal database to fruition.

Other innovations revolve around the creation of portals or dashboards. Minnesota, for example, proposed the creation of a web-based dashboard that can create reports tailored for different audiences of parents, administrators and teachers. Pennsylvania wants to develop a “provider scorecard” that includes data on individual preschool and child care providers, such as how many stars they have earned in the state’s quality improvement and rating system (Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), the credentials of members of the workforce and data on  children’s growth and development.

I submit Rhode Island is NOT a winner, but a state totally owned by the Federal Government in the educational delivery for its state citizens.  Is establishing a “longitudinal database to fruition” the Holy Grail in education reform?  We at MEW believe the implementation of data systems IS the key to establishing a managed workforce and circumvents the fundamental right of Americans to pursue their individual paths, rather than a life path mapped out by government/private businesses based on personal data from birth.

Understand the doublespeak from the article above:

  • “it’s even difficult to get comprehensive information at the local level on the number of children participating in pre-K programs or gaining access to full-day kindergarten at all, let alone whether they are enrolled in classrooms or centers that meet a high bar for quality” means private centers may be subject to government’s “high bar for quality” (common core must be used in private businesses for a high rating)
  • “…ideas states have put forward to improve the ability to link data between databases and enable the tracking of individual children’s progress over time, across multiple providers of child care,”means again, the intrusion of common core standards/assessments into private child care delivery
  •  “Pennsylvania wants to develop a “provider scorecard” that includes data on individual preschool and child care providers, such as how many stars they have earned in the state’s quality improvement and rating system (QRIS), the credentials of members of the workforce and data on  children’s growth and development” again means a group intent on a managed workforce will decide if private preschool and child care providers will be credentialed based on common core standards and assessments
  • “…reliable data is scarce, with policymakers often unable to get answers to basic questions on the number of children participating in high-quality programs” raises the concern, “who/what is determining what a “high-quality program” is? The government?  Is the belief a pre-school must follow common core assessments/standards to be deemed high quality?  Why does the government need to track pre-K programs when most states don’t even mandate education for children until the age of 6 or 7?

Why does the government want to track your child from birth?  Do you know where this information will be stored or who will have access to personal information?  Even if you buy into the idea “the government is here to help you”, understand the assistance is whatever the government  deigns to provide your child.  But what’s even worse, the government will decide if private organizations will receive it’s coveted “stars” via QRIS and if your child’s growth and development fits its needs for the workforce.

Here are two goals from a 2009 document (An Actionable Federal Framework to Promote QRIS in the States)detailing how the federal government can and should force states to adopt a nationalized system of education in state public schools and private schools and the establishment of data systems to track children from birth:

The requirement that states establish a QRIS, as well as funding and supports targeted to this purpose, should be included in all federal legislation, rule or regulation that authorizes, funds or creates early care and education programs or initiatives. This would include, but is not limited to, the following: the proposed Early Learning Challenge Fund, the state Early Childhood Advisory Councils, the Child Care and Development Fund, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, ESEA Title I, Head Start/Early Head Start, the State Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems initiative, early intervention (IDEA), and family support initiatives. Such action at the federal level will model for and support the states in their effort to align their early care and education policy, funding and systems in a collaborative manner around a core set of agreed upon program standards.

The Child Care Bureau and the Department of Education should jointly prepare a biennial “State of QRIS” report that includes data on state QRIS systems and participation levels. In addition to information on state QRIS standards and how they align with national benchmarks, the report should include, at a minimum, data on:
• the proportionate level of participation, at each quality level, of each type of ECE  provider in the state (including regulated center-and home-based child care programs, public and private preschools, programs that receive Head Start funding and programs that provide early intervention services)

Why doesn’t QRIS establish a goal that children should be chipped at birth?  It probably would be more cost effective and less labor intensive.  If a child has no right to privacy, then let’s go ahead and get that child connected to the government from day one with a tracking chip.  What’s the difference between what the QRIS currently recommends vs tracking a child via an internal chip?

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Filed under Data Systems, National Standards (Common Core)

Follow Obama’s/Duncan’s North Star to Educational Disaster via Common Core

This is a guest post from Gretchen Logue of Missouri Education Watchdog:

From a reader via an on line educational group and reprinted with permission:
When I received the picture (above), I did not think it appropriate to send to our education network group.  I ended up deciding to send it anyway—it is appropriate.  No matter where you stand politically, there are some interesting quotes used in this picture.  The one that really got my attention is the Duncan quote, “The North Star guiding the alignment of our cradle-to-career education agenda is President Obama’s goal…”  
 
It brought Marc Tucker’s cradle to grave agenda to mind.  This quote piqued my interest enough to search for it in context.  I had seen the quote before but not where it came from.  My search yielded a scary find….

It is worth your time to read this Duncan September 2010 speech in its entirety.  It is scarier than just the cradle-to-career quote.  I will pull some quotes out and present them here.  When you read the speech for yourself, you may find other quotes that jump out at you.  These are the ones that jumped out at me.

 The four assurances got their name from the requirement that each governor in the 50 states had to provide an “assurance” they would pursue reforms in these four areas, in exchange for their share of $49 billion in a Recovery Act program designed to largely stem job loss among teachers and principals.
 In my eyes, this is an admission of bribery.
 The second assurance governors provided was in the area of data systems. The department has supported states and provided several hundred million dollars to build longitudinal data systems that measure student progress over time. More robust state data systems and a new generation of assessments can assist teachers and principals to improve their practices and tailor their instruction to students in ways that were largely unthinkable in the past.
Duncan clearly ties the longitudinal data systems to the assessments.  Since the assessments are directly related to the Cash Cow State Standards, it is not a leap of faith to make the connection between the CCSS and the data systems, it is a logical deduction.
Traditionally, the federal government in the United States has had a limited role in education policy.
He neglects to say why and does not acknowledge the constitution (which he and many others like to ignore).
 We have sought to fundamentally shift the federal role so that the Department is playing a greater role in supporting reform and innovation in states, districts, and local communities across the nation.
This statement along with this one…
We are similarly overhauling the way the department provides technical assistance, so that it focuses on helping states build the capacity to implement programs successfully—instead of focusing on compliance monitoring, as we have done in the past. I said earlier that the United States now has an unprecedented opportunity to transform education in ways that will resonate for decades to come.
give indication that the department will now be directing states on how and what to implement. The Obama administration’s transformation of education will resonate for decades to come.  I only hope we can recover from the disharmonious resonation ironically brought about by the Recovery Act ($98 billion worth).
In the end, transforming education is not just about raising expectations. It has to be about creating greater capacity at all levels of the system to implement reform. It has to be about results. And that is one reason why Sir Michael Barber’s book, Instruction to Deliver, is so valuable.
Another network member has been putting Barber’s name in front of us.  He was brought to my attention more than a year ago.  His involvement and influence is becoming more evident.  Has he been directly involved as an architect of ed reform in this country or only having an indirect influence on it?
But we are committed to establishing a different relationship with states–one more focused on providing tailored support to improve program outcomes.
Interpretation:  We are committed to establishing a controlling relationship with the states—one more focused on providing tailored support for implementing policies and practices desired by the federal government without regard for evidence of effectiveness.  (as might be used the the federal government, desired is simply a nicer way of saying required…  much like voluntary means the same as required in federal speak).
I thought it was bad in 2004, when Sec. of Education Rod Paige called the teachers’ union a “terrorist organization” and in my eyes, by extension dubbed all teachers as terrorists.  While I was outraged at the time, I now see it as a mild insult relative to the action that goes beyond the words of Arne Duncan.  Duncan’s (and the Obama administration’s) actions are more than an insult to teachers…his actions will directly have a negative impact on the lives and livelihood of all students and the freedom and liberty of every American.
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This Duncan quote caught my eye regarding the “transformation of education”:
Transformational reform especially takes time in the United States, which has more than 100,000 public schools, 49 million K-12 students, more than three million teachers, and 13,800 school districts–all of it largely administered and funded by local governments. Systemic change, in short, takes time.

The Constitution gives the power to the states for the administration and funding of education.  The Federal government does not have this power.  Would politicians remind Arne Duncan that the systemic change he and Obama crave is illegal?  Have all the politicians on the local, state and national levels forgotten the Federal government has no right to this power?

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Filed under National Standards (Common Core)

Common Core Standards and the Federalization of Education

By Karen Schroeder, President of Advocates for Academic Freedom

Common Core Standards are a federal program in which the federal government will define the curricula and the academic standards for each subject taught in the every school setting. These Federal Standards will basically eliminate local control of schools and provide unfettered access to curricula by the Federal Government and by the United Nations eventually. To date, 46 states have adopted Common Core Standards. The cost for implementing these standards may require a new method of taxation that is more accommodating for federal control of the educational system.

President Obama’s federal program Race to the Top provides bonus points to states that institute common learning goals. Common Core Standards represent about $16 billion in new unfunded mandates. It imposes mediocre standards upon the states which must be accepted or the states are threatened with loss of present funding. Federal mandating of these standards bypasses any congressional scrutiny and the state legislative process as well as violating the public trust by preventing any school board, parental, or teacher approval of these programs.

The federal government has been encouraged to implement these standards by educational policy experts because, as A New Civic Literacy: American Education and Global Interdependence provided by the Aspen Institute explains, “decentralization” of education (local control) makes educational change difficult to introduce.” Therefore, policy experts recommend that the federal government be given the responsibility to assure the implementation of global interdependence. Advancing global interdependence has replaced the original educational goal and that is why our schools are failing academically, but schools are succeeding to advance our population’s acceptance of surrendering our border, our right to secure elections, and respect for our founding documents.

Common Core Standards have been written for math and English and are currently being written for social studies curricula. The standards for this subject are key to the successful advancement of the social and political policy of global interdependence which these standards are intended to help implement. According to A New Civic Literacy the “students in our public schools constitute the nation’s greatest and most attractive sucker list. Everybody with anything to sell—a global perspective—would naturally like to get at this market of future American adults, and get them as early in life as possible.” The document identifies teachers of social studies and the publishers of text books as key points of leverage. Because of the importance of this access to the American public, these policy experts defined education as “the most important subject we as a people are engaged in.”

Teachers, parents, and some legislators have been discouraging the implementation of Common Core Standards because the standards are weak. They eliminate oversight by school boards, teachers, and parents and any control parents and educators would have over academics in the classroom. The Wall Street Journal reported on May 8, 2012, in “School-Standards Pushback” that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is concerned that these standards will “relinquish control of education to the federal government” and that Emmett McGroarty, executive director of American Principles in Action, called the standards “mediocre and costly to implement.”

Many are concerned that the Common Core Standards, once successfully implemented, will provide unfettered access of our educational system by the United Nations. Some textbooks and curricula for our public schools have already been written by UNESCO and the International Baccalaureate program that is currently in many school districts across the United States. Grabbing additional access is a natural next step. Once they write the curricula, they must have authority to develop all testing tools. They will decide who becomes a teacher and what preparation will be provided for that teacher. The International Baccalaureate curriculum upsets parents and teachers because the focus includes sustainable development, abortion rights, gay marriage, universal disarmament and social justice curricula.

The UN involvement in the American educational system has already been facilitated by treaties signed by American presidents from both parties. Those documents include but are not limited to: Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Treaty on the Rights of the Child, Civic Education: Classroom Connections, and Agenda 21.

EdWatch.org published “Marc Tucker’s New Education Initiative” written by Professor Allen Quist in 2007 in which the professor explains that experts representing the National Center for Education and the Economy (NCEE) seem to believe that it will be easier for the public to accept a new method of funding education once schools are burdened under these unfunded mandates. According to professor Quist, the NCEE suggests that regional development authorities be created and given power to tax removing all remaining local control of schools. Once the federal government has total control of education, what will happen to school choice?

For effective educational reform, citizens must unite around a single mission: eliminate federal mandates and federal funding of education and reallocate those funds to the states.

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Karen Schroeder is the President of Advocates for Academic Freedom (AAF) which is a proponent for a return to fact-based curricula, accountability, and academic excellent in public education. Karen was appointed to the Governor’s Educational Communications Board on May 1, 2012.  She provides seminars designed to inform and motivate citizens to reclaim their responsibility to become involved in the decisions made at the local and state levels of the educational system. Karen is regularly interviewed by Wisconsin radio personalities. 

With a BA degree in education and a Master’s Degree in Special Education, Ms. Schroeder has taught in suburban public schools for thirty-six years. During her teaching career, she became a free-lance writer to provide citizens with information revealing the impact of social and political policies on the educational system. Her works are published in the Eau Claire Journal and numerous other newspapers across Wisconsin.

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Filed under Education Reform, Federal Department of Education, National Standards (Common Core)