Nov 16, 2015 by


“Vigilance Needed by Parents Over Children’s Schools”

By Donna Garner



PODCAST: Alice Linahan’s Women on the Wall –



Guests: Emily Talmage (Maine public school classroom teacher – and Lynn Turner (




An important basic principle to remember:  Charter schools have no elected school boards. Without an elected board, there is no democratic process in place. 


Obama, Bill Gates, Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education, and other private organizations are behind the attempt to move our nation’s schools from the Type #1 philosophy of education (traditional) to Type #2 (digitized, social justice agenda). 




With millions of federal “carrot and stick” dollars to pressure states into compliance, the Common Core Standards Initiative (i.e., national standards, national curriculum, national tests, national evaluations of teachers based upon individual student’s scores, and a nationally intrusive database) have taken over nearly all public schools’ curriculum through digitizing learning, most of which is Type #2.  


Now the push is on to drive states and communities toward charter schools where parents think their children can get a quality education. What parents may not understand is that once established in a charter school, these parents will have no elected school board members to whom to turn.  


School choice is wonderful so long as there is an authentic choice. If everything is Common Core, then there is no school choice!


A tool being used to influence parents to move their children to charter schools is Education Savings Accounts (ESA’s).  Parents can use ESA’s to put their children in charters (or private schools) of their choice.  However, parents probably do not understand that a large percentage of these charters are owned by private organizations that are sold out to Type #2 digitized learning. 


Not only that, but most of the charters are connected to private/public partnerships that have ties to  federal and third-party databases which gather students’ private information including their dispositions (e.g., students’ opinions, beliefs, feelings).  Similar to the public schools, charter school teachers may be required to rate each student’s disposition against a standard of normalcy created by a nonentity.


Troubling also is that most teachers are not trained psychologists or psychiatrists.  Through these digitized student data tracking mechanisms linked together with federal agencies and third-parties, a student’s private information goes with him from cradle-to-grave. The data cannot be changed nor eradicated and can easily be used to force him into a career pathway not freely chosen by him nor his parents. 


As classroom teacher Emily Talmage describes on Alice Linahan’s podcast, public school teachers are being forced to use competency-based (proficiency-based) education instruction (a.k.a., personalized instruction).  In such a system, the student is assessed constantly on digitized curriculum which destroys the teacher as the authority figure in the classroom.  The techie device becomes the “teacher,” and the curriculum presented to the child is tied to the Type #2 Common Core social justice agenda.  The teacher only serves to monitor the student as he works on the online programs. 


Direct, systematic instruction where the teacher is the authority figure in the classroom and teaches knowledge-based, academic content with objective testing (right-or-wrong answers) is lost under competency-based education instruction.


Public as well as charter schools are “selling” the idea of personalized learning which is code for the above-described classroom model.


ALEC, the Goldwater Institute, TPPF, TER, etc. are all viable organizations that have fallen for the ruse. With them, charter schools are in; ESA’s are in; Taxpayers’ Savings Grants are in; end-of-course testing is out; constant digitized assessments are in; personal learning is in. Unfortunately, if this learning is digitized and is Type #2, then parents have moved their children “from the fire into the frying pan.”


The good news is that some charters use Type #1 classical education curriculum; but parents need to make sure that the curriculum is delivered almost totally through direct, systematic instruction from the teacher to the student rather than through digitized curriculum. If the curriculum is digitized, then chances are it is going to be Type #2; and personally identifiable and intrusive information is going to be sent through the digitized curriculum to unknown entities.


Still to be considered is that a charter school does not have an elected school board, and the curriculum can easily be taken over by an aggressive Type #2 private organization.


Vigilance is necessary for all parents who have children in all types of schools.




Donna Garner

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