SEEMINGLY CLUELESS ABOUT EDUCATION
“Seemingly Clueless About Education”
By Donna Garner
I watched the Heritage Foundation (HF) video (12.5.16 — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bG4Sm7wh5x8) and thought to myself how shallow, how clueless, and how little real understanding so many people have about the Common Core Standards Initiative (CCSI).
The public has shortened the term “Common Core Standards Initiative” to “Common Core” for ease in conversation, but it is indeed the CCSI tentacles that are so deeply rooted throughout our country.
CCSI means (1) national standards, (2) national curriculum, (3) national assessments, (4) national teacher evaluations based upon each teacher’s students’ scores on the assessments (which forces teachers to teach day-to-day the national curriculum), and (5) the national database which collects hundreds of pieces of personally identifiable and intrusive data points on each student (and student’s family) and on each educator. This information can then be shared with third party entities.
It is those CCSI tentacles (particularly the digitized, day-by-day, Common Core-compliant curriculum produced by profit-driven entities) that will be hard — but not impossible — to remove.
Through the digitized curriculum on students’ techie devices, almost everything that comes into today’s classrooms follows the Common-Core compliant (CCC), subjective, collaborative, project-based, process-driven, social justice philosophy of education.
What Sect. DeVos must do is to figure out how to move the CCSI/CCC out and put the traditional, knowledge-based, fact-based, academic, measurable (with largely right-or- wrong answers) philosophy back into our nation’s schools.
Unfortunately, the Heritage Foundation’s video gives not one single, substantive idea as to how the Trump/DeVos administration can remove the CCSI. Trump, HF, and Betsy DeVos’s answer is “school choice.” That sounds good at first blush; but if everything is polluted and controlled by the Common-Core compliant (CCC) philosophy of education, then there is no real school choice for anyone. Process becomes more important than the right answer.
Advanced Placement, Pre-AP, SAT and the rest of the College Board products are now aligned to the CCC philosophy of education thanks to David Coleman, president of the College Board and the same man who was the architect of the Common Core. Once hired by the College Board, Coleman promised that all College Board products would become aligned to the Common Core; unfortunately, he is a man of his word.
The College Board has received over $300 million over the last 10 years in federal funding that is first laundered through the states (e.g., the AP Test Fee program and the AP Incentive program).
The undeniable truth is that hundreds of millions of federal taxpayer dollars end up in the coffers of the College Board. Trump and DeVos should aggressively pressure the U. S. House to cut the funding for AP and let the College Board pay for its own marketing and testing expenses. After all, why is the federal government helping a private organization make a profit?
(Unfortunately, the ACT and its test bank are also aligned to the CCC as is the new GED.)
Taking all of these profit-making testing companies together, it is obvious that almost all students in America whether in the public schools, private schools, or homeschools are being indoctrinated by the influence of the CCC upon their lives.
It is for this reason that privately developed tests such as VECTOR and the Classical Learning Test (CLT) should become strong alternatives to drive the College Board and other CCC testing companies out of business because tests/assessments drive the day-by-day curriculum that is taught in the classroom. Change the tests/assessments…change what is taught day-by-day in the classroom.
SUGGESTED ACTION STEPS FOR SECT. OF ED. BETSY DE VOS
*Trump/Sect. DeVos should pull out the Common Core Standards Initiative by its roots from all federal regulations; and the laws that “prohibit federal departments or agencies from directing, supervising, or controlling elementary and secondary school curricula, programs of instruction, and instructional materials” should be enforced. (2.9.12 — Pioneer Institute — http://tinyurl.com/nbeo6yq)
*Sect. DeVos should remove every federal misinterpretation and overreach made by the Obama administration including those contained in the Title IX “Dear Colleague” letters pertaining to transgender bathrooms, gender identity/gender fluidity, and sexual assault allegations not requiring due process nor a preponderance of evidence that could stand up in a court of law).
*Importantly, all duplicative federal programs should be dumped.
*Programs such as Title I, bilingual education, Section 504, and IDEA should be analyzed to see if they increase individual student accountability or decrease individual student accountability. Do these programs increase student academic achievement or do they decrease student academic achievement? DeVos should cut those that are ineffective in meeting these goals.
*The number of U. S. Dept. of Education employees should be cut. If the federal programs are dumped, then those employees who go with those programs should lose their jobs.
*Since the Constitution of the United States says nothing about the federal government controlling state/local education, the end game for Sect. DeVos and the USDOE employees should be “to work themselves out of a job.” That would save our country billions of dollars and would give locals back the authority over the academic learning of their students.
To quote myself, “The further away that education decisions are made from the teacher’s desk (whether located in a public, private, or homeschool), the more the special interest groups will end up taking over the hearts, souls, and minds of our nation’s children.”