Warriors, late yesterday, America was witness to one of the worst performances of a ‘reality show’ I think we’ve ever seen.
What am I referring to? The ‘reality show’ was the DeVos Hearing ‘produced’ by the U.S. Senate HELP Committee. Almost completely ‘directed’ under the leadership of Sen. Lamar Alexander. Rather than seeing ‘contestants’ voted off one by one, we saw how Alexander manipulated the clock.
I’m not about to recap the entire debacle, there is plenty of evidence out there. There are also several anti Fed Ed Warrior reactions already published, too. Most of the anti Fed Ed Warrior articles I’ve seen have suggested we spare ourselves watching the ‘reality show’.
So, instead, let’s look at Mrs. DeVos’ ‘script’ for Hearing.
The Lessons We Can Learn From DeVos’ ‘Script’:
If you’d like a copy of her testimony (aka ‘script’) from the Hearing, visit:
Lesson #1: Knowing your stance is an absolute requirement in leadership.
“I am honored that President-elect Trump asked me to join his team and am grateful for his dedication to education. If confirmed, I look forward to working with him, Vice President-elect Pence and all of you to bring educational opportunity to every family in this great nation.”
Why this is a lesson. First off, when contacted by concerned citizens and leaders from across America, President-elect Trump shut them down and ignored their voices. In spite of credible fact based evidence as to why DeVos was a horrid choice, Trump was unrelenting. As far as his knowledge on education in America? Go back and look at his campaign.
Secondly, Trump has set Americans up to continue ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act)/WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act)/HEA (Higher Education Act*) aligned education! Sure he said he’d rid the land of ‘Common Core’, but when you factor in his Vice Presidential choice (Pence) is one of the American ‘champions’ for Career Tech Education (CTE), otherwise known as ‘adult Common Core’ and geared for 100% workforce based education, Trump gave us a HUGE clue as to the agenda’s grinding on; not stopping, like he promised! Like most politicians in D.C., Trump appears to be fairly clueless when it comes to how far reaching the Common Core reform is.
(*HEA of 2008 is currently up for rewriting. At the helm? Sen. Lamar Alexander.)
Lesson #2: Correctly identifying your groups is a sign of a great leader.
“The schools in which they (teachers) work are as diverse as the students they educate. In fact, all of us here – and our children – have attended a mix of traditional publicly-funded and private schools. This is a reflection of the diversity that is today’s American public education.”
Why this is a lesson: If you’re going to make the statement that we are diverse in education, don’t lump those differences into one group, specifically, ‘American public education’! The better statement would be to honor all that diversity with ‘reflecting this is today’s American education.’
Lesson #3: Parental choice is from the heart. Establishment’s choice is ‘no choice’.
“I share President-elect Trump’s view that it’s time to shift the debate from what the system thinks is best for kids to what moms and dads want, expect and deserve. Parents no longer believe that a one-size-fits-all model of learning meets the needs of every child, and they know other options exist, whether magnet, virtual, charter, home, religious, or any combination thereof.” Before I get to the point we need to recognize, DeVos does go on to state that too many are denied ‘true choice’ in these options.
Why this is a lesson: First off, I don’t know any parent who isn’t getting the opportunity to be their BEST child’s advocate when it comes to choosing education. We either do it or we don’t. It’s really that simple. However, I do see many CCSS Machine members and educrats telling US we NEED ‘choice’ and that our tax dollars will pay for it all, too!
Secondly, ANYTIME your tax dollars are dangled in front of you as a ‘opportunity’, those holding your tax dollars will have control of those opportunities in the long run. The ‘choice’ is a false positive. It’s happened repeatedly down through history. Warriors, our system hasn’t changed in this aspect and it WON’T!
Lesson #4: ESSA and all its connected federal laws aren’t going away.
“Every parent in America dreams of a future when their children have access to schools with the rigor, challenges, and safe environments that successfully prepare them for a brighter, more hopeful tomorrow. And every teacher in America dreams of breaking free from standardization, so that they can deploy their unique creativity and innovate with their students. Our nation’s schools are filled with talented, devoted professionals, who successfully meet the needs of many, many children.”
Why this is a lesson: Look at the ESSA code words (which are also code words for Common Core; College and Career Readiness; Career Tech Education): “rigor”; “standardization”; and, “professional development”. Every one of these is embedded in ESSA! If they are not a direct mandate, they are part of the ‘accountability measures’ each State will have to perform to satisfy the Secretary of Education AND to receive federal funding.
Lesson #5: If you’ve heard one educratic leader, you’ve heard them all.
“For starters, we need to embrace new pathways of learning. For too long a college degree has been pushed as the only avenue for a better life. The old and expensive brick-mortar-and-ivy model is not the only one that will lead to a prosperous future. Craftsmanship is not a fallback – but a noble pursuit. Students should make informed choices about what type of education they want to pursue post high school and have access to high quality options. President-elect Trump and I agree we need to support all post-secondary avenues, including trade and vocational schools, and community colleges. Of course, on every one of these issues, Congress will play a vital role.”
Why this is a lesson: We’ve heard these words spoken by so many preceding DeVos, we can spot the load of educratic B.S. a mile away! I guess we are to be impressed that these words are now being spewed by a mom and a grandma as opposed to the Duncan/King duo of educrats. Trouble is students are NOT making THEIR own decisions about their futures after high school when a requirement of graduation is the skill based assessments used to determine not only your future AFTER high school BUT what courses you must take to get there!
If you aren’t in an educational choice where this happens at the moment, thanks to ESSA, you will be seeing it soon. Why? Because ALL education/teaching MUST be conformed to post-secondary readiness AND its assessments! Currently, those is non public education get these skill based assessments in the post-secondary institutions, especially community colleges. Thanks to WIOA and HEA, ALL educational choices beyond high school age, are already 100% aligned to the adult Common Core/College and Career Readiness. So, what the DeVos/Trump/Pence trio is telling us is that they will continue this shift!
Lesson #6: Status Quo education? Yes, please!
“We will work together to ensure the Every Student Succeeds Act is implemented as Congress intended — with local communities freed from burdensome regulations from Washington. And I look forward to working with Congress and all stakeholders to reauthorize the Higher Education Act to meet the needs of today’s college students.”
Why this is a lesson: DeVos makes a great Alexander puppet, don’t you think? Sen. Alexander has uttered those exact words (ensuring ESSA implemented as written/passed) on several occasions. Optional delivery make find him pounding his fists on a podium for effective bullying, however. If we’ve heard these words before, we have a big clue as to what to prepare for, don’t we? ESSA has been proven to lie about the State control being restored, among other points of importance. Does D.C. assume we, as Warriors, are too inept to notice all the recycled speeches?!
Words of Waring, Warriors! No matter who is the Secretary of Education, they oversee ALL educational groups: birth to Kindergarten; 1st grade through 12th grade; and, post-secondary institutions. If you’re educational choice isn’t directly under the thumb of this leader, you’re being kept tabs on (data collection).
The Secretary also directly works with the U.S. Dept. of Labor for the streamlined workforce based education. The Secretary also works with the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services for the streamlined social justice agenda shift in education.
No matter who becomes the Secretary of Education, knowing all the Common Core/Career Tech Bills currently in Congress, if passed, will be terrible for education in America! Especially the LADDER Act. Basically it creates a new Executive branch, independent Council (of which the U.S. Secretary of Ed (or their appointee) will have a seat on this Council! The Council’s purpose? A National Workforce/Education Plan!