Sic’ ‘Em Saturday: No Laurels to Rest On Yet

There's no time like NOW to fight the CCSS overreach.
There’s no time like NOW to fight the CCSS overreach.

If you’ve been following the news lately, you’ll note that a victory (of sorts) was gained by those fighting CCSS.

The Good News:

The controversial HR5 (Student Success Act) was put on hold. HOWEVER, that’s not the end. As long as the federal overreach and P3 money flows, you can bet your crown of laurels, a new version of the SSA will be just around the corner. So many news sources/anti CCSS warriors have reported this. I’ll not repeat them in this post, BUT we will look at the action steps we MUST continue to take!

Our hard work and tweeting messages were just a portion of the victory the anti CCSS warriors have experienced.
Our hard work and tweeting messages were just a portion of the victory the anti CCSS warriors have experienced.

The Not So Good News:

We also suffered a loss, of sorts. How? The newly passed overtaking of the Internet. This happened just one day BEFORE the HR5 derailment.

If you’re not clear on exactly what this means for the anti CCSS effort, please consider my article published on “Prevent Common Core”, titled “A Cup of Coffee Can Now Data Mine”. (see: http://preventcommoncore.com/?p=1223)

When I originally wrote this in November of 2014, I shared with you the seemingly unlimited power the FCC has and how it will impact not only schools, but our public libraries as well. I shared with you the data mining aspect, the way STEM education was laced in. (yes, contrary to popular opinion, STEM is the master agenda to which CCSS is the method. My “PCAST, STEM, and CCSS” article lay out all the facts AND give you the links to the documents.) If you read that “Cup/Coffee” article you were able to learn that with about the cost of a simple cup of coffee added to your phone bill fees every month, you’d be able to help pay for all this activity. I don’t know about you, but I’m rather tired of seeing my tax money put to such ill use in education.

The original article gave  you 4 distinct areas The CCSS Machine is directly embedded.
I shared that the “ConnectED” was part and parcel to this.

Since then, others have also shared much about this.

When D.C. allowed this overall effort to proceed (much to the glee of the FCC), we, the citizens, have lost a sizable amount of freedom. We also gained a sizable amount of educational mess.

Actions:

So, what’s a warrior to do? Plenty!

1) Keep contacting your Congress men and women. Why? See the screen shot from the US Gov Tracker:

See: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr5
See: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr5

2) Not sure what to write your members in Congress? A fellow warrior has allowed me to share a sample letter. The encouragement was to use whatever portion you feel applicable for your state. I want to thank Glenda for her tireless effort in not only writing this but allowing me to pass it on to you.

“I’m posting a letter that I’m sending to all my Local and State Representatives as well as the Speaker of the House and all Congressmen involved in drafting this Bill that will take away States as well as our Parental rights concerning our Children’s education.. This is so very important for us ALL to take a few moments and speak out against this Bill until it is DEAD! Please feel free to copy and modify this letter and send it out to your own Representatives.. I share a grave concern with Parents and Teachers across this Country concerning this HR5 Student Success Act 2015 Bill.”


“Dear_______________ I am urging a “No” Vote to HR5 Student Success Act 2015. This bill is deceptive and is not what it is portrayed to be. This bill actually “takes away” States as well as Parental Rights concerning our Childrens Education!

  • Professor Sandra Stotsky Prepared the Following Response to Speaker John Boehner’s Memo Praising HR 5 “10 Things You Should Know About the Student Success Act [HR5]” [View Speaker Boehner’s Claims Here: http://www.speaker.gov/./10-things-you-should-know-about-st.]

    10 Things NCLB/ESEA Supporters Want You to Think About the Student Success Act: A Modification of What Was Issued by House Speaker John Boehner’s Office.

    Fictional Purposes: This week, the House is set to vote on the Student Success Act, legislation to replace No Child Left Behind and expand opportunity in education so that every student can get ahead – no matter where they’re from. Read the text here, and a fact sheet from the Education & the Workforce Committee here. This measure contains a number of conservative reforms to reduce the federal footprint, restore local control, and empower parents and local leaders to hold schools accountable.

    Actual Purposes: HR 5 deliberately takes away most authority by parents and locally elected school boards, makes departments of education the conduits for federal policy, and does not seek standards that prepare students for a STEM career.

    FICTION 1. The bill replaces No Child Left Behind with conservative reforms to restore local control and stop top-down education mandates. In the absence of congressional action, the Secretary of Education has been using waivers and pet programs to dictate national education policies and increase the federal foothold in the classroom. The Student Success Act will put a stop to this.

    FACT: The bill removes almost all acts of local control, including what is on the report card local schools give local parents. It doesn’t empower parents or local school boards at all. It doesn’t allow any school district to opt out of a state’s assessment system.

    FICTION 2. The bill replaces the current national accountability testing scheme. The Student Success Act will establish a state-led accountability system, returning responsibility for measuring performance to states and school districts.

    FACT: This state-led system will be identical from state to state and determined by the US ED, because states have to use US ED-approved standards, tests, and other tools IF THEY WANT TITLE I MONEY. It doesn’t give states or local school districts any options in the grades and subjects they want tested, even though there is no clear case to be made for the benefits of annual testing in all major subjects, for any students but especially for low-income students. See an excellent article on this subject: http://nonpartisaneducation.org/./no-child-left-behind-ren./

    FICTION 3. The bill eliminates dozens of federal programs and downsizes the education bureaucracy. All told, the Student Success Act will eliminate more than 65 existing federal programs that have been declared duplicative, ineffective, or were never funded. It also requires the Secretary of Education to take steps to reduce the department’s workforce.

    FACT: It may well eliminate 65 existing programs, but it won’t give a block grant to the states to let them decide how to use their own Title I money.

    FICTION 4. The bill establishes funding flexibility for local school districts. The Student Success Act replaces the current maze of programs with a Local Academic Flexible Grant, which allows school leaders to dedicate funding where it’s needed most rather than having these decisions dictated by federal bureaucrats.

    FACT: The bill does not specify one single kind of activity or program that local schools can use Title I money for if they so choose. They can’t even design their own report cards.

    FICTION 5. The bill expands school choice and empowers parents. The Student Success Act supports magnet schools, expands high-quality charter schools, and allows Title I funds to follow low-income children to the public or charter school of the parent’s choosing.

    FACT: Federal mandates attached to Title I also follow the child so that the child ends up with NO choice in curriculum, instruction, or standards. Whatever the state DoE has been approved for by the US ED is what the vouchered child will have in the new school, no matter what else the parent wants.

    FICTION 6. The bill prevents the feds from imposing common standards. The Student Success Act protects state and local autonomy over decisions by preventing the Secretary of Education from coercing states into adopting Common Core or any other common standards or assessments.

    FACT: The bill mandates that state DoE’s submit their plans for standards to the US ED, where they will be approved BY US ED-APPOINTED REVIEWERS. The PLANS FOR STATE STANDARDS will all look suspiciously like Common Core because the Common Core-based tests are ready to use and are being used. The bill also mandates who will review these state “plans” and not one academic expert from higher education in the state is to be used.

    FICTION 7. The bill repeals federal requirements for teacher quality. The Student Success Act supports local and state efforts to recruit and retain the best teachers.

    FACT: In one of the most blatant acts of dishonesty, the bill eliminates the NCLB stress on teachers demonstrating mastery of the subject content they teach (the only research evidence we have for teacher effectiveness), and simply says they must be “licensed.” Most licensure tests for K-8 are at the middle school level and demonstrate no mastery of subject content at all. This is a huge disaster for low-income kids. They will be taught by minimally competent teachers, as will other children. But they will not have parents who can compensate for minimally-knowledgeable teachers.

    8. FICTION: The bill supports private sector initiatives. The Student Success Act puts aside resources to support state and local programs that operate outside of traditional public school systems, providing a much-needed infusion of private sector innovation.

    FACT. Private schools must admit vouchered children who apply and provide them with the “services” they would get in public schools. Private schools are to lose their autonomy, deliberately. There is no language preventing federal mandates from following Title I money.

    9. FICTION: The bill boosts transparency and accountability for the Department of Education. The Student Success Act prevents the Secretary of Education from creating additional burdens on states and districts, and outlines the specific steps the Secretary must take when issuing new regulations so as to maximize public scrutiny.

    FACT: There will be no accountability by the states or the federal government for the academic competence of Title I teachers and aides. That is how 90% of Title I money is used.

    FICTION 10. The bill empowers parents and taxpayers with meaningful information they can use to hold their schools accountable and ensure that every dollar spent makes a direct and lasting impact for students.

    FACT: The bill dictates what local report cards must look like and contain. In no way can parents and their local schools negotiate about the kind of information parents want on their schools’ report cards. Nor can parents/local school boards require teacher-made tests of what they teach, to be graded and sent home regularly to parents.

    Parents, Grandparents and students are asking you to stop the REAUTHORIZATION of ESEA, HR 5, the Student Success Act of 2015 which will amend No Child Left Behind.

    . HR 5 denies parents their rights over their children. References page 488; 522-555.

    . HR 5 legislation creates the radical transformation of tax collection through the assigned destruction and hostile takeover of our local neighborhood schools.

    . HR 5 violates states’ rights under the United States Constitution and is in violation of Federal law.

    . HR 5 is designed to destroy local, public neighborhood schools through usurpation of elected school boards’ authorities and responsibilities.

    . HR 5 will destroy all private education in America, as well, legislating Title I “choice” vouchers that will “follow the child,” enforcing HR 5 compliance in EVERY PRIVATE AND RELIGIOUS SCHOOL.

    . HR 5 would legislate services to these Title I “choice” children called DIRECT STUDENT SERVICES AS A VOUCHER that must be equitable and comparable to any public school, which is needed to satisfy Common Core.

    . HR 5 will destroy representative government, all non-governmental schools, and standardize education across this nation. This overreach of the federal government is in direct violation of our United States Constitution which dictates separation of federal jurisdiction vs. State jurisdiction.

    A Very Upset and Concerned Parent/Grandparent & Citizen, Glenda Madaris Czaplinski (OH)”

    Closing: 
    As far as the FCC’s moves, be sure to note that that battle may not be over yet either.  See this article by ComputerWorld:
    http://www.computerworld.com/article/2888789/broadband-backers-push-gop-led-congress-to-overturn-fcc-on-net-neutrality.html
    THEN, re-read OR read for the first time my Prevent CC article.
    Also of note, the warriors at the “What is CC?” Blog also have a great article that’s related.
    See: https://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/federal-control-of-technology-and-data-on-internet-neutralitythe-connected-initiative-and-setra/
    More Resources:
    FCC moves:
    U.S. Budget moves:
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