Category Archives: Common Core

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The Conservative Problem With the Latest Version of No Child Left Behind

The Conservative Problem With the Latest Version of No Child Left Behind

Daily Signal Kelsey Harkness / @kelseyjharkness / February 25, 2015
Infographic: Kelsey Harris

This week, the House of Representatives will vote on an ambitious rewrite of the No Child Left Behind Act, which is the most far-reaching K-12 federal education law ever created.

Under consideration is a 620-page proposal called the Student Success Act (H.R. 5), which Republican leadership says will scale back Washington’s involvement in local education.

But conservatives say the measure doesn’t go far enough in doing that.

“This proposal spends nearly as much as No Child Left Behind, is nearly as long in page length, and fails to give states an option to opt out of the law,” said Lindsey Burke, The Heritage Foundation’s Will Skillman Fellow in Education. “As it stands, it’s a huge missed opportunity to restore state and local control of education.”

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The Obama administration also opposes the legislation, fearing that it would be detrimental to schools nationwide. If the bill were to reach his desk, the president’s education secretary, Arne Duncan, suggested that Obama would issue a veto.

“As of today, this isn’t something we could support,” he told a group of reporters on Monday.

The Student Success Act would consolidate dozens of programs authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (now known as No Child Left Behind) and grant states more flexibility in how they use roughly $2.3 billion federal education dollars.

The problem, conservatives say, is that the legislation only gives states flexibility within a limited range of the programs that fall under No Child Left Behind, and more importantly, it does not allow states to completely opt out of the law, which has long been their goal.

In an effort to fix that, Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., and Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., introduced an amendment to the Student Success Act that would allow states to withdraw completely from almost every aspect of No Child Left Behind—if they so choose.

A-PLUS

“Innovation starts locally—not in Washington,” said Walker of the conservative amendment, called Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success (A-PLUS).

Teachers and parents know best how to meet the unique needs of their children and students, and we have seen time and time again that Washington’s top-down approach does not work.

A-PLUS has been introduced in various Congresses and was intended to provide an alternative to states that did not want to participate in No Child Left Behind. For years, states have pushed back against No Child Left Behind due to its mandates and unworkable policies.

DeSantis said the amendment “liberates states from burdensome and ineffective regulations, providing local communities with the flexibility to use federal education funding for programs that they believe will best increase the success of students in the classroom.”

Now, with Republican control of both the House and Senate, conservatives argue that Congress has an opportunity to gives states a way out from federal control of K-12 education.
Infographic: Kelsey Harris

Infographic: Kelsey Harris

Portability

In addition to allowing states to withdraw from the 80-plus programs created under No Child Left Behind, conservatives are also advocating for policies that expand the concept of portability, which is perhaps the opposition’s biggest point of contention with the Student Success Act.

As it’s currently written, the Student Success Act would allow states to make Title I dollars allocated to low-income school districts to be portable to public and charter schools.

In a perfect world for conservatives, students could use Title I dollars in a private school of their choice.

In doing so, money could follow a student to an education option that best suits his or her unique learning needs, which proponents argue provides students who are trapped in failing schools a way out.

“Title I formula funding is some of the most complex in education law and all too often, does not reach the students who it was intended to help,” said Burke. “Portability would move towards funding students instead of districts and empower families with control over education policies that affect their children every day.”

Democrats believe portability robs funds from vulnerable, low-income school districts, and instead directs them to wealthier school districts that don’t need Title I dollars.

Duncan said the current portability provision included in the Student Success Act would be “devastating” to the nation’s poorest schools, stripping them of education funding they can’t afford to lose.

“Rather than helping improve the schools that need it most, the Republican bill would actually cut investments in these schools while increasing funds for some of the wealthiest areas in the country,” he said in a statement.

That approach is backward. We can’t just cut our way to opportunity. Our kids deserve better. Every child—no matter his or her ZIP code—deserves a quality education, including access to high-quality preschool and a fair shot at getting ahead.

Bipartisan Solution?

As an alternative, the Senate Education Committee is drafting their own version of the Student Success Act, one that they believe could pass with bipartisan support.

“Bipartisan discussions between [Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.,] and [Sen. Patty Murray’s, D-Wash.,] staffs on fixing No Child Left Behind are moving along well, and Sen. Alexander remains positive that they can reach agreement on key issues,” an aide for Alexander, who chairs the Senate Education Committee, told The Daily Signal yesterday.

“Sen. Alexander remains positive that they can reach agreement on key issues. [He] hopes to fix this broken law to help states, school districts, and schools better serve all students,” she added.

Alexander and Murray have not released details of the proposal.

With the Obama administration already suggesting that the president would veto the Student Success Act—and the Senate working on their own bipartisan version—the chances of enacting any legislation that includes the conservative A-PLUS solution are bleak.

But that won’t stop Walker from trying.

“The president has threatened to veto practically everything under the sun and yesterday’s veto of Keystone clearly showed he is more interested in playing politics than working with Congress,” said Walker, adding:

Parents and teachers—not government bureaucrats—should have the ultimate say in education. They know best how to meet the unique needs of their children and students. A-PLUS further empowers states and offers greater flexibility in federal education spending. It is smart, conservative education reform that strengthens the broader goal of the Student Success Act to remove the federal government from classrooms.

Action Alert – Common Core (Must Read)

ACTION ALERT: STOP HR 5

Parents Against Common Core

Congressional Leadership Is Bull-Rushing Through HR5, the 600 Page Reauthorization of No Child Left Behind (rebranded the “Student Success Act”)

The House votes this week.  Call your Representative and call the Speaker of the House and tell them to vote “NO” on HR 5! 202-224-3121. 

Below are just a few of the problems.

1. HR5 Denigrates Parental Rights and Seizes State Sovereignty

  • No program shall “operate within a State, unless the legislature of that State shall 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.” (Sec. 6561) (emphasis added).
  • Federal requirements will trump the rights “reserved to the States and individual Americans by the United States Constitution” to lead in the education of their child. (Sec. 6564)
  • Requires states to change laws and regulations to “conform” to HR5. (Sec. 1403)
  • Alters the governance structures of states by requiring them to form “Committees of Practitioners” to whom the state must submit rules and regulations. (Sec. 1403)

2. HR5 Does Nothing to Relieve Children From No Child Left Behind’s (NCLB’s) Oppressive Testing Requirements.

3. Feds Will Effectively Direct State Education Policy through Enhanced Continuation of Heavy-Handed NCLB Policies

  • Requires states to demonstrate to the federal government that their standards, assessments, and state accountability systems meet the goal of “prepar[ing] all students to graduate high school for postsecondary education or the workforce.” (Sec. 1001)
  • Requires states to submit comprehensive state plans, which the Secretary can disapprove. (Sec. 1111)
  • States had to make the same showing and meet the same definitional goal to receive NCLB waivers and Race to the Top grants.. HR5 allows for a Common Core “rebrand.”  (Sec. 1001) and (Sec. 1111(3)(A))
  • Prohibitions against the Secretary forcing states into adopting Common Core are meaningless.

4. Increases Federal Data Collection To Control Curriculum

  • Empowers the Department of Education to request individual student and teacher data from State and Local Education Agencies.
  • Authorizes substantial new funding to use this data to evaluate whether schools are using “effective” instructional methods.  (Sec. 2111(b)(1)(A)) and (Sec. 2132)

Governor Pence takes a stand for Freedom and Local Control of Education

Governor Pence takes a stand for freedom and local control of education

Heather Crossin • February 18, 2015 •                                                     Hoosiers Against Common Core

Last week, Governor Pence took a stand for restoring freedom and local control to Indiana schools, when he chose to publicly support Senator Schneider’s “Freedom in Testing” bill, SB470. The bill, which would allow private schools that accept vouchers to choose from a variety of nationally norm-referenced assessments to comply with state accountability measures, rather than being forced to administer the New ISTEP, passed the Senate Education and Career Committee by a vote of 7-3. It did so with the public support of Governor Mike Pence, whose education advisor, Chad Timmerman, testified on its behalf. It is now headed to the Appropriations Committee, where it will be heard this Thursday morning, February 19th, at 9:00am in room 431 of the Statehouse.

During the hearing, democrat committee members questioned Senator Schneider over the bill’s exclusion of public schools, and asked if it would provide an unfair advantage to voucher schools over public schools. While Senator Schneider explained that accountability measures can be maintained using multiple tests, and stated that he would welcome an amendment to include public schools if that was amenable to them, none was offered. Instead, democrats opposed the bill, preferring that all schools function under the control of the New ISTEP, which has been denounced by public and private schools alike. While at this point, SB470 pertains only to private schools that accept vouchers, we believe it is an important first step, which will pave the way for liberating public and charter schools, as well, from the New ISTEP assessment that binds them.

The fact that Indiana’s School Choice program was rated by the Center for Education Reform as the “second worst in the country on infringing on private school autonomy,” speaks volumes about the need for SB470. Only one-third of Indiana’s private schools (317 out of 969) are currently registered to participate in Indiana’s Choice Scholarship Program, according to a report released by the Friedman Foundation this past November.

Likewise, an American Enterprise Institute (AEI) report released last month, corroborates that a major impediment to private school participation in Indiana’s voucher program is the concern over testing requirements and over-regulation. A full 62% of private school leaders who were surveyed cited “concerns about future regulations” as a major factor in their decision not to participate, while an additional 19 percent cited it as a minor factor. Not surprisingly, the AEI report recommends that Indiana “hold private schools accountable in ways that do not threaten their independence and autonomy…private schools value their autonomy and ability to provide an alternative to public schooling. Regulations that require the adoption of state criterion-referenced tests or state curriculum standards impede their ability to offer alternative educational approaches.”

In short, without providing greater freedom to private voucher schools, the general public is quickly beginning to view vouchers as a vehicle not to increase parental choice, but as a lasso with which the government intends to corral private schools into their one-size fits all system. If Republican lawmakers truly believe in the concept of school choice and local control, schools that accept vouchers must be afforded the same liberty as those participating under the Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) program.

Please call or email your legislators, Senate Pro Tem David Long, and members of the Senate Appropriations Committee and ask them to support SB470, which puts the word “choice” back into the meaning of “school choice” in Indiana!

 

Common Core and UN Agenda 21: Mass Producing Green Global Serfs

Thursday, 27 March 2014

As the Obama administration, Bill Gates, the United Nations, and other forces seek to finalize the decades-old effort to nationalize — and even globalize — education by bribing and bludgeoning state governments to imposeCommon Core, one of the key agendas behind the deeply controversial standards has been largely overlooked. In essence, official UN documents and statements by top administration officials reveal a plan to transform American children, and students around the globe, into what globalists refer to as “global citizens” ready for the coming “green” and “sustainable” world order.

In recent years especially, UN reports and top world leaders have been openly boasting of their globalist plot to create a top-down, planned, and regimented society that is completely at odds with the U.S. Constitution, national sovereignty, individual liberty, God-given rights, Judeo-Christian values, and Western traditions. A major component of the scheme surrounds so-called “sustainability”and a radical UN program known as Agenda 21 encompassing virtually every facet of life. To prepare humanity for their vision, however, requires a new form of “education,” globalists admit. UNESCO calls it “Education for Sustainable Development.”

On its website, UNESCO, the self-styled global education agency, actually boasts of its plans. “The UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) seeks to mobilize the educational resources of the world to help create a more sustainable future,” the UN outfit explains. “Many paths to sustainability … exist and are mentioned in the 40 chapters of Agenda 21, the official document of the 1992 Earth Summit. Education is one of these paths. Education alone cannot achieve a more sustainable future; however, without education and learning for sustainable development, we will not be able to reach that goal.”

Before the term “sustainability” was in vogue, the late UN Deputy Secretary General Robert Muller, the architect of UNESCO’s “World Core Curriculum,” also offered some insight into the purpose of UN-led, globalized pseudo-education. The goals: “Assisting the child in becoming an integrated individual who can deal with personal experience while seeing himself as a part of ‘the greater whole.’ In other words, promote growth of the group idea, so that group good, group understanding, group interrelations and group goodwill replace all limited, self-centered objectives, leading to group consciousness.” Put another way, smash individualism and notions of individual rights, replacing them with collectivism.

Meanwhile, actually educating children in the traditional sense — teaching them reading, writing, critical thinking, math, real history, actual science, and more — is on its way out, as globalists openly admit in official documents and all across UN websites. In its place, UNESCO, Bill Gates, the Obama administration, and other powerful globalist forces are working quietly but fiendishly to impose global education standards on humanity. Among other schemes is a UN plot known as the “World Core Curriculum” that has been in the works for decades.

(For additional information on planetary efforts to standardize schooling, please see “UN, Obama, and Gates Are Globalizing Education Via Common Core.”)

So what will children learn in the “green” world order? In a 2010 speech at a “Sustainability Summit,” Obama Education Secretary Arne Duncan offered more than a few hints. Openly proclaiming the administration’s loyalty to the globalist UN “sustainability” agenda, Duncan boasts of how the U.S. government is foisting it all on American children via the Common Core national standards and a wide range of related federal and international programs.

In fact, he said, the U.S. Department of Education “is taking a leadership role in the work of educating the next generation of green citizens and preparing them to contribute to the workforce through green jobs.” Obama’s former “Green Jobs” Czar, Van Jones, of course, was eventually forced to resign after his own words exposed him as a self-described “communist.” The notion of a centrally planned, UN-directed “green” economy and “green” world order, however, never went anywhere. As Duncan makes clear, central planners will determine what jobs citizens will have, and central planners will train them accordingly.

Of course, the unconstitutional federal education bureaucracy is not alone in the plot to transform America’s youth, Duncan continued, pointing to numerous other U.S. agencies and departments that “have made important contributions linking education and sustainability.” In the United States, like the imposition of Common Core on state governments, Duncan explained that much of the federal effort to indoctrinate young Americans into the “sustainable development” agenda is being funded by the so-called “stimulus” plan.

At the global level, the World Bank, multiple UN agencies, Big Labor, Big Business, tax-funded so-called “non-governmental organizations,” and more are all involved in harmonizing and globalizing education as well. As Duncan made clear in a separate 2010 speech to UNESCO, the Obama administration is fully on board with the planetary schemes as well. “Our goal for the coming year will be to work closely with global partners, including UNESCO, to promote qualitative improvements and system-strengthening,” he said, quoting former South African President Nelson Mandela to add that education “is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

With the Obama administration as well as the nationalization and globalization of education via Common Core, domestic efforts will only intensify as well. “Historically, the Department of Education hasn’t been doing enough in the sustainability movement,” Duncan explained in his speech, omitting the fact that the federal government has been lawlessly pushing similar schemes to transform and undermine values on U.S. schools for decades now — under Republican and Democrat presidential administrations. “Today, I promise you that we will be a committed partner in the national effort to build a more environmentally literate and responsible society.”

The new “green” world order will be imposed using federal power over schools, Duncan re-iterated in the speech. “We must advance the sustainability movement through education,” he explained, perhaps unaware that the vast majority of parents send their children to school to be educated, not to advance the sustainability movement. “We at the Education Department are energized about joining these leaders in their commitment to preparing today’s students to participate in the green economy, and to be well-educated about the science of sustainability.”

The language may sound innocent enough to those who know little or nothing about what globalists mean when they refer to “sustainability” and the “green economy.” After all, taxpayers unwittingly spent many millions of dollars on “focus groups” and “market research” to help the schemers conceal the true agenda by identifying language and terms that the public would be most likely to embrace. But what exactly is it that Duncan, UNESCO, Common Core, and the Obama administration admit they are training your children to participate in?

In essence, according to UN documents and reports, the idea is to re-structure human civilization into a centrally planned global society under the control of international institutions such as the UN — all under the guise of “sustainable development.” In fact, they say so themselves in countless reports and documents; even though, ironically enough, central planning has always and everywhere produced environmental devastation in addition to human misery.

Official UN documents show, for example, that under the “green economy” banner, literally everything about human existence must dramatically change: Lifestyles, opinions, education, health, consumption, production, agriculture, diet, law, taxation, industry, governance, and much more. “Transitioning to a green economy requires a fundamental shift in the way we think and act,” explains a 2012 UN report entitled “Working towards a Balanced and Inclusive Green Economy.” A more recent UN report, developed with help from Obama policy architect John Podesta, noted that the “worldview and behavior” of every person on Earth must be “dramatically altered.”

On the other hand, national sovereignty, individual liberty, free markets, unalienable rights, traditional values, self-government, Biblical Christianity, and more must all be pushed aside. “But our commitment has to be about even more than career pathways,” explained U.S. Education boss Duncan, sounding like a Soviet commissar claiming that schools must “prepare workers” for jobs in the new green world order. “It also has to prepare all students with the knowledge they need to be green citizens.”

To that end, Duncan continued in his speech at the “Sustainability Summit,” the Obama administration is working to “build the science of sustainability into the curriculum, starting in kindergarten and extending until the students graduate from high school.” While the Common Core standards and related establishment schemes are solidifying that in the United States, the same phenomenon is taking place at break-neck speed around the world.

At the 2012 UN “Conference on Sustainable Development” in Rio, for instance — chaired by an anti-American Chinese Communist — virtually every national government on Earth committed to do what Duncan described in the countries they rule. “We therefore resolve to improve the capacity of our education systems to prepare people to pursue sustainable development, including through enhanced teacher training, the development of curricula around sustainability, the development of training programs that prepare students for careers in fields related to sustainability,” reads the text of the final agreement, dubbed “The Future We Want.” The “we,” of course, refers to the legions of bureaucrats, dictators, presidents, and mass-murderers at the UN sustainability summit — not the public.

Traditional and classical notions of education, however, have no place in the sustainable “green” world order. In a stunning admission posted directly on UNESCO’s website in a document about the agency’s “Education for Sustainable Development” machinations, the outfit makes that abundantly clear. “Generally, more highly educated people, who have higher incomes, consume more resources than poorly educated people, who tend to have lower incomes,” the UN “toolkit” for global “sustainable” education explains. “In this case, more education increases the threat to sustainability.”

Read that sentence again, and again: More education threatens their vision of “sustainability” (as do freedom, prosperity, humans, and more). Lest there be any doubt about the purpose of Common Core, the broader globalist vision for education, and the fact that it has been burrowing its way into U.S. schools for decades, consider a 1989 speech given to the federally funded National Governor’s Association — the unaccountable D.C.-based trade group that helped develop and impose Common Core on America — by a prominent player in the “reform” movement under contract with the U.S. Department of Education.

“What is happening in America today and what is happening to Kansas in the Great Plains is not simply a chance situation in the usual winds of change. What it amounts to is a total transformation of our society,” Dr. Shirley McCune, a senior official with a little-known education outfit involved in writing national standards, told the governors. “So we have to anticipate what the future is and then move back and figure out what it is we need to do today. That’s called anticipatory socialization or the social change function of schools.” Governors applauded.

Dr. McCune, who also worked with the National Education Association, the U.S. Department of Education, and more, was not shy about sharing the long-term agenda with the nation’s governors. “You have to understand the breadth of the task that’s before us,” she continued. “You cannot think about restructuring of education without understanding that our total society is in a crisis of restructuring and you can’t get away from it … what we are facing is a total restructuring of the society.”

Some two decades after that speech, following a long series of federal and international programs to pave the way, Common Core was officially born. It was developed by establishment forces infamous for openly advocating the nationalization of schooling, with funding from prominent globalists, and using federal bribes to foist it on states. So far, some 45 state governments have imposed the poor-quality national standards in exchange for “stimulus”-funded bribes and threats.

With the ongoing globalization of education under UN and Obama administration guidance, Americans are at a crossroads. One alternative is putting a stop to it all now, withdrawing from Common Core, rejecting unconstitutional federal bribes and mandates, and restoring proper education to promote a well-educated citizenry capable of critical thinking and maintaining liberty. The other option, as globalist voices have made clear, is a “green” economy — and everything that radical vision entails. Choose wisely.

Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, and more. He can be reached at

. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU.

Related articles:

UN, Obama, and Gates Are Globalizing Education Via Common Core

Common Core: A Scheme to Rewrite Education

Orwellian Nightmare: Data-mining Your Kids

The Real Agenda Behind UN “Sustainability” Unmasked

UN Academic Impact Joins CFR to Infiltrate U.S. Classrooms

Debunking Myth of Common Core Education as “State Led” (Video)

Achievement of UNESCO’s Agenda Stalled by Loss of U.S. Funding

UNESCO’s Rotten Track Record

UN Plotting to “Dramatically Alter” Your Views and Behavior

UN Seeks New Powers to Remake World at Rio Sustainability Summit

UN Bosses Secretly Plot Global Govt Through “Green Economy” for Rio+20

Exposing the Green World Order

UN Plans $45 Trillion Cost for “Going Green”

Hoosiers Call To Action – Common Core – The Battle Continues

HOOSIERS CALL TO ACTION

COMMON CORE – THE BATTLE CONTINUES
While many are aware that Indiana’s “new” standards are a Common Core rebrand, some may be in the dark.  Common Core lives through the newly adopted Indiana Core Standards. Our rebranded standards were approved by the Governor’s office and voted on and passed by the Education Roundtable and the State Board of Education.

Tuesday, November 18th is organization day at the State House. This is a perfect day to call our elected officials to let them know that opposition to Common Core in Indiana remains strong!  The calls we made on PARCC made a difference. They did hear us, so we need to continue to let them know we’re watching.

Please take the time to make three phone calls – one to your State Representative, one to your State Senator, and one to Governor Pence.

Politely tell them that Hoosier children across the state continue to be shackled to the Common Core, despite the passage of the repeal bill last session.  Let them know that it is THEIR job to do what is necessary to make good on the pledge that Indiana would have internationally benchmarked standards, among the highest in the nation, as we did prior to the adoption of Common Core. 

Also please let them know that it is time for Indiana to truly reclaim its sovereignty over K-12 education, by kicking the federal No Child Left Behind Waiver to the curb.  Until Indiana frees itself from the NCLB waiver, it will be the federal government who remains in control of education policy, rather than elected officials at the state level.

Please follow up with letters and emails. DON’T STOP. Keep the contacts going and ask your friends to do the same.
 
Governor Pence – (317)232-4567

IN House of Reps. – (317)232-9400

IN Senate – (317)232-9600

One More Way To Impose Common Core: The National Association of State Boards of Education

Common Core will make its citizens compliant to the demands of the corporations that now control the government, which in turn grants them special favors.  As the federal government controls the state government, it takes away the freedom of parents to direct their children’s education. Go to one state school board meeting and you will see and hear how much board members toe the line from the federal Department of Education, as they grasp for federal funds.
Read more here