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White House starting to control curriculum — in Utah

Oct 23, 2015 by

By JaKell Sullivan –

The federal government has absolutely no constitutional right to control curriculum, but that’s not stopping the White House.

In 2011, the White House launched its online Learning Registry. The registry “helps content and information get between websites” to filter the curriculum that reaches teachers and track what they use, according to Steve Midgley, the deputy director of education technology for the U.S. Department of Education. Midgley helped the Department of Education and the Federal Communications Commission change broadband Internet regulations — part of net neutrality — to get federally sanctioned curriculum into every child’s classroom.

The head of President Barack Obama’s Race to the Top program, Joanne Weiss, recently wrote an essay in which she said, “New curriculum materials funded through Race to the Top and released in 2014 are already in use in 20 percent of classrooms nationwide.”

So where does Utah’s State School Board stand on federalizing curriculum? Apparently, with the White House. Its website touts adoption of “the nation’s first statewide digital teaching and learning master plan.” It claims this is a Utah plan, but the main advisors to the state school board are from Common Sense Education — whose founder, James Steyer, was hand-picked by the White House to rate curriculum and help federally sanctioned curriculum rise to the top when teachers search resources online.


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