Leading the Charge?!

Anti CCSS/ESSA Warriors, Have you made your public comments on the Proposed ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) Regulations yet? We only have until August 1, 2016.

What’s Up:
Lately, I have been overwhelmed with family health care needs, research, working on a special anti CCSS/ESSA project, and mentoring Warriors across the nation. While I’ve not been as active in writing the past couple of weeks, I have NOT been slacking when it comes to what CCSS Machine members are ramping up their propaganda to support the ESSA. The most ‘in our face’ push, is the public comment period surrounding the Proposed ESSA Regulations for State Accountability.

Why This Matters:
If you missed the late May 2016 announcement about the Proposed Regulations, I am including my published article about it, https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/05/31/hear-ye-hear-ye/
In this article, I shared with you how, another pro CCSS group, ASCD was hot on the heels of this announcement. I have to stop and wonder sometimes, why these pro CCSS groups seemingly trip over each other to be the first one at spewing propaganda..

What Other Groups Are Commenting/Spewing:
We Warriors should know what the supportive side for ESSA is saying so we can best counter the fallacies with precise TRUTH! So far, the public comments surrounding the proposed regulations for state accountability are either just over 800 or 1700, depending on which website you access. The 821 number comes from The Federal Registry:
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/05/31/2016-12451/elementary-and-secondary-education-act-of-1965-as-amended-by-the-every-student-succeed
The just over 1700 number is from the Regulations Docket,
https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=ED-2016-OESE-0032

I hope you catch the irony of the numbers gap in reporting.
essacomments

Did you notice the pro CCSS/ESSA group leading? It is the NEA! The National Education Association. If you want to see how the NEA is sending a mixed message, simply access their website. A screen shot is below. The mixed message explanation will be below it.
neaessa
To access the website: http://www.nea.org/essabegins
Mixed messages: While the NEA is accurate in stating the ESSA will continue NCLB (No Child Left Behind) style of assessments with its rewards and punishments for all, that is about all they are accurate on.
Those ‘opportunity gaps’ ESSA is supposed to close? Nope, a BIG fallacy! When you read the ESSA as in-depth as I have, you can point to the sections where gaps will NOT be closed.

Notice how the NEA is also lifting up ‘weighted evidence’ is needed in the forms of early childhood education, AP courses, etc. Again, if you have truly read the fine print of the ESSA, you will know these ‘education opportunities’ will be used AGAINST the students AND teachers when accountability enters the picture! How? The ESSA plainly points to everything learned and taught MUST be in preparation for post-secondary readiness! Funding for early education through high school will be weighed against how many students in your States are enrolled in post-secondary education! All this doesn’t even begin to address the levels of data collection, mining, and sharing that MUST occur (and is mandated) via the ESSA!

Let’s also remember, Warriors, the NEA was a banner heralding group publicly thanked by Senators Lamar Alexander AND Patti Murray after the ESSA was passed. Alexander’s fallacy is the ‘state led’; Murray’s is the ‘quality early education’ which is double speak for mandatory (and universal) birth to PreK education!

So, what are the leading comments the NEA is leaving when it comes to these Proposed Regulations? It appears to be a ‘canned’ message. You have the option to leave your name, as I saw some folks who did, or you can remain anonymous (as seen below). You can also choose from ‘educator’, ‘paraeducator’, and other titles when commenting.

“I am an educator and a member of the National Education Association and I urge the U.S. Department of Education to support the flexibility afforded to local stakeholders, including educators like me, by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Educators are experts at working with students and helping them reach their potential and we are ready to lead implementation efforts in our communities so students have access to the public schools they deserve. I am hopeful about the Department’s support and promotion of ESSA’s stakeholder engagement requirements in the proposed regulations, and recommend that these provisions be strengthened to ensure not just input, but two-way dialogue aimed at reaching consensus among stakeholders. Additionally, the final regulations should explicitly say that stakeholder engagement should include meetings that educators actually can attend, and that the engagement extends throughout the implementation process. However, I implore the Department not to short-circuit the stakeholder engagement process it professes to support by taking away from that process the very decisions that ESSA says states, districts, educators, parents, and other stakeholders should make – with the aim of that engagement being providing all students a better education. I urge the Department to promote transparency about school quality by dropping language in the regulations that would reduce the entirety of a school’s performance to a summative number or grade. The Department should instead promote a rich data dashboard on multiple academic and school quality indicators that will truly inform parents and others charged with helping students and improving schools. I urge the Department to promote equity by dropping the proposed regulations’ new restrictions on the use of school quality and student support indicators (“Opportunity Indicators”) in the accountability system. ESSA for the first time requires an Opportunity Indicator, not just test scores and graduation rates, to be an indicator for measuring and improving schools. The Department should promote, not undermine, school quality and student support indicators since they are the best way to ensure every student has access to a quality public school. I urge the Department not to take away my voice in the implementation process by using the regulatory process to restrict our community-led innovative solutions and opting to add requirements in the regulations that, according to ESSA, were left to states and districts in consultation with stakeholders. For example, the Department should drop the timelines for improvement, limits on interventions, and definitions of consistently underperforming that conflict with ESSA. I urge the Department to learn the lessons of NCLB’s failed interventions by dropping its list of recommendations for draconian interventions in schools, such as school closure, and allow stakeholders to determine appropriate creative, community-based interventions for struggling, under-resourced public schools as envisioned and outlined by ESSA so that all students have greater opportunities for a good education. I urge the Department to respect the decision by Congress to let states determine the weight and impact of any students who are opted out of testing by their parents instead of inserting proposed penalties into the regulations. The best way for the Department to promote test participation is to continue its campaign for better and fewer tests, which will create confidence in parents that tests have a role beyond labeling and punishing schools. In closing, I look forward to seeing my views and those of educators across the country reflected in the final regulations. I have every confidence in my fellow educators to help come up with strong, creative solutions that help all students excel and reach their full potential.”

Is the NEA alone in sending mixed messages about the ‘greatness’ of ESSA?! No! Remember, ASCD is already publicizing much. But what OTHER groups are there?

Enter, the LCEF (Leadership Conference Education Fund) Organization:
Back in March 2016, The Leadership Conference Education Fund (uses the web address of ‘civilrights.org’) sent a supportive ESSA letter to the Secretary of Education. It is signed by a big collection of OTHER supportive groups. Access the letter:
http://www.civilrights.org/press/2016/ESSA-Oversight-Letter.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/

If you are a bit confused about the LCEF and CivilRights.org, here is a direct quote from the fine print at the bottom of the website’s page, “CivilRights.org is a project of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights & The Leadership Conference Education Fund.”

If you question how tied to the CCSS Machine the LCEF is, read their college/career ready toolkit: Education-Equity-Toolkit-FOR-WEB
Then check out their take on what constitutes civil rights in education (*Note: almost every one of the ESSA mandates):
http://www.civilrights.org/education/equity/

The CivilRights.org folks will be hosting an ESSA Proposed Regulations Webinar in early July 2016. It is by invitation only, from what I can find.

Other groups giving webinars in support of ESSA, or more, pointedly, shaping your mind toward ESSA are iNACOL, Parent Central Hub, The School Superintendents Association, ASCD, White Board Advisors, EdWeek, and the U.S. Dept. of Education. You can find more when you type in a general search for ‘ESSA Regualtions Webinars’ on your own.

Contrast all this with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and THEIR take on how ‘great’ ESSA is: http://www.publiccharters.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/NAPCS-ESSA-Overview-Webinar-3.10.2016.pdf

Warriors, remember, charter schools, as per the ESSA language will see a huge increase in growth. This is very important! From my March 2016 article about the Warriors Guide to Private Education and ESSA, you will find all the details for charters (both public AND private) in “Sections 4301-4311 will address the Charters Schools” (entire article:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/03/01/warriors-guide-to-essa-and-private-education/

Here is a related article with evidence of how the charter schools are being used against the  true improvement of education,
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/learning-from-our-neighbors/

What is a Warrior To Do?
When it comes to the Proposed Regulations for ESSA?! Protest them! Provide truth based evidence as to WHY the Regulations are toxic in nature. Show HOW the Regulations support the CCSS Machine. Be sure to keep reading my blog, in about 2 weeks, I will be able to tell you much more about how we CAN STRIKE a blow to the CCSS Machine’s prize law, ESSA!

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6 thoughts on “Leading the Charge?!

  1. Add these guys as ESSA supporters:

    Council of Chief State School Officers
    National PTA
    American Federation of Teachers
    National Association of Federally Impacted Schools (NAFIS)
    Magnet Schools of America
    Council for American Private Education
    National School Boards Association
    National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
    The Schools Superintendents Association
    National Education Association
    National Governors Association
    National Catholic Educational Association
    Business Roundtable
    National Association of State Boards of Education
    National Association of Charter School Authorizers
    ACT
    Committee on Catholic Education
    National Conference of State Legislatures
    Association of Christian Schools International
    US Chamber of Commerce
    Agudath Israel of America
    Chiefs for Change
    National Association of Secondary School Principals
    National Association of Elementary School Principals
    American Federation of School Administrators
    Source: http://edworkforce.house.gov/k12education/
    New Mexico Association for the Gifted
    Source: http://www.nmgifted.org/mission/letter-governor-martinez
    Illinois Education Association
    Source: http://www.kirk.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1594
    National Association for Gifted Children
    Source: http://www.nagc.org/get-involved/advocate-high-ability-learners/nagc-advocacy/federal-legislative-update/every-student
    Illinois Federation of Public Employees Local 4408
    Source: http://ifpe.il.aft.org/news/weingarten-seize-moment-and-reset-policy-through-essa
    The Federation for Community Schools
    Source: http://www.ilcommunityschools.org/
    GLSEN
    Source: http://www.glsen.org/blog/open-letter-every-student-succeeds-act
    ConnCan
    Source: http://www.conncan.org/Community/media-room/conncanofferscommentoneverychildsucceeds
    Stand for Children
    Source: http://stand.org/national/blog/2015/12/09/every-student-succeeds-act-passes-congress
    Democrats for Education Reform
    Source: http://dfer.org/shavar-jeffries-sends-essa-letter-of-support-to-house-education-committee-chairman-john-kline-and-ranking-member-bobby-scott/
    Educators4Excellence
    Source: http://www.educators4excellence.org/news/2015-12-educators-4-excellence-applauds-long-overdue-passage-of-the-every-student-succeeds-act
    The National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools (NCSECS)
    Source: http://static1.squarespace.com/static/52feb326e4b069fc72abb0c8/t/565f5d5be4b04c5d15d6be59/1449090395133/NCSECS+statement+on+ESSA.pdf
    Foundation for Excellence in Education
    Source: http://www.excelined.org/wp-content/uploads/ExcelinEd-Senate-ESEA-Markup-April-13-2015-final.pdf
    Business Roundtable
    Source: http://businessroundtable.org/media/news-releases/senate-essa-passage-brt-pledges-support-implementation
    Exxon Mobil Corporation
    Source: http://businessroundtable.org/media/news-releases/brt-house-esea-passage-%E2%80%98marks-milestone-moment%E2%80%99
    Texas Association of School Administrators
    Source: http://tasanet.org/cms/lib07/TX01923126/Centricity/Domain/4/TASA-ESSA-Support-Letter.pdf

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