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Education ReformWhat Does It Mean To Be Educated?

I posit that compelling children to sit in crowded classrooms and prepare them to take high stakes standardized tests utilizing Skinnerian based behaviour modification methodology is not an education. It is instruction and training to prepare for standardized tests.

In the view of R. S. Peters, education involves the development of a cognitive perspective, or mind, whilst instruction hints at information and training lends itself to the development of competence in a limited mode of skills; whilst ‘education’ aims at a wider view of knowledge and system of beliefs.

Common CoreCommon core is agenda 21

Common Core is the ‘new’ inventory and control system adopted by nearly every state in the US to fully implement Skinnerian Training. This system creates people who will go along to get along, who will be ‘good obedient citizens.’

RESIST! TELL YOUR SCHOOL BOARD THAT YOU WANT OUT OF COMMON CORE. This is a top down federal/global system for pseudo-education and is a tremendous threat to our independence as individuals and as a nation.

Bill Gates: Scary Philanthropy

For anyone who has been living under an education reform rock, know this:   Gates is the single biggest promoter and funder of Common Core, bar none.

If it seems like practically everyone supports Common Core, Gates’ money is why. Bill Gates has said he’s spent $5 BILLION  pushing (his version of) education reform.  He’s bribed the national PTA to advocate for Common Core to parents; he’s paid the CCSSO to develop Common Core; and he owns opinion maker Education Week magazine. There’s a near-endless list of Gates’ attempts   (very successful, I might add) to foist his vision of education without voter input. In 2004, Gates signed a 26 page agreement with UNESCO to develop a master curriculum for global teacher training. Robert Muller, the former assistant secretary general of the U.N. is the grandfather of Global Education & World Core Curriculum, the goal being to have all schools in all nations under one core curriculum.

The National Review writes that it is a ”right-of-center” organization, as if that claim is a “trust-me” pass.   This is meaningless in Common Core land because, as Emmett McGroarty  of the American Principles Project, has said, ”Opposition to Common Core cuts across the left-right spectrum.  It gets back to who should control our children’s education — people in Indiana or people in Washington?”

But we should clarify that oodles of Democrats and Republicans sell or benefit from Common Core implementation.  That is the top reason for the gold rush anxiety to promote the national standards. A secondary reason is lemminghood (misplaced and unproven trust).

Republican Jeb Bush is behind the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a nongovernmental group which pushes Common Core and is, of course, funded by Gates. Republican Rupert Murdoch owns not only Fox News, but also the common core implementation company Wireless Generation that’s creating common core testing technology.

Democrat David Coleman, President of GE Foundation (author of cap and trade and carbon footprint taxes to profit GE on green tech) and 49% owner of NBC also bribed the PTA to promote Common Core, and gave an additional $18 million to the states to push common core implementation. Corcoran was seen recently hobnobbing with Utah’s Republican Lt. Governor Greg Bell, business leaders in the Chamber of Commerce, and has testified in the education committee that the opponents of Common Core in Utah “are liars”.  Meanwhile, Republican Todd Huston of Indiana got his largest campaign donation from David Coleman, common core ELA architect;  then, after Huston was elected as an Indiana State Representative and placed on Indiana’s education committee, Coleman hired Huston to be on the College Board.  They are both profiting from the alignment of  and AP courses and alignment of the SAT to the Common Core. And then there’s Jeb Bush’s controversial Foundation for Excellence in Education. Even Republican Governor Herbert of Utah serves on the elite executive committee of the National Governors Association (NGA), the Common Core founding group. He doesn’t make money this way, but he does make lots of corporations happy.

https://i1.wp.com/www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/MSE-pic-4.jpg

I could go on and on about the Common Core gold-and-glory rush. I have barely touched the countless Democrats who promote Common Core for gain. But I don’t want to be up all night.

So, on to the liberals and/or not-right wing radicals who oppose Common Core:

California Democrat/author Rosa Koire and respected educator, Diane Ravitch  oppose Common Core as an untested academic and political experiment that increases the high-stakes of standardized testing. They see that Common Core is promoting unrepresentative formations of public-private-partnerships, and promotes teacher-micromanagement. Chicago history teacher Paul Horton says Common Core turns teacher-artisans into teacher-widgets; he also sees it as a Pearson – Antitrust and Regulation issue. Teacher Kris Nielsen has written “Children of the Core” and teacher Paul Bogush  calls teaching Common Core sleeping with the enemy. Math teacher Stephanie Sawyer  predicts that with Common Core, there will be an increase in remedial math instruction and an increase in the clientele of tutoring centers. Writing teacher Laura Gibbs calls the writing standards an insipid brew of gobbledygook. Anonymously, many teachers have published other concerns in a survey produced by Utahns Against Common Core.

Still, political funders of the standards and corporations selling its implementation try to get away with marginalizing the opposition. But it can’t be done honestly.  Because it’s not a fight between left and right.

This battle is between the collusion of corporate greed and political muscle versus the individual voter.

It’s a battle between the individual student, teacher, or parent– versus huge public/private partnerships That’s the David and Goliath here.

RTTT Grant ConnectionsThe Common Core movement is not about what’s best for children.  It’s about greed and political control. A simple test:  if Common Core was about helping students achieve legitimate classical education, wouldn’t the Common Core experiment have been based on empirical study and solid educator backing?

Did the authors of the Hogwash article really not know that Common Core wasn’t based on anything like empirical data but simply fluffed up on empty promises and rhetoric, from the beginning.

Where’s the basis for what proponents call  ”rigorous,” ”internationally competitive,”  and “research-based?”  Why won’t the proponents point to proof of “increased rigor” the way the opponents point to proof of increased dumbing downWe know they are fibbing because we know there is no empirical evidence for imposing this experiment on students  in America.  The emperor of Common Core  is wearing no clothes.

Many educators are crying out –even  testifying to legislatures– that Common Core is an academic disaster.  I’m thinking of  Professors Christopher Tienken, Sandra StotskyThomas Newkirk, Ze’ev Wurman, James Milgram, William Mathis, Susan Ohanian, Charlotte Iserbyt, Alan Manning, and others.

The National Review authors insist that Common Core is not a stealth “leftist indoctrination” plot by the Obama administration.  But that’s what it looks like when you study the reformers and what they create.

First, let’s look at the Common Core textbooks.  Virtually every textbook company in America is aligning now with Common Core.  (So even the states who rejected Common Core, and even private schools and home schools are in trouble; how will they find new textbooks that reflect Massachusetts-high standards?)

Pearson’s latest textbooks show extreme environmentalism and a global citizen creating agenda that marginalizes national constitutions and individual rights in favor of global collectivism. The biggest education sales company of all the Common Core textbook and technology sales monsters on the planet is Pearson, which is led by  mad ”Deliverology” globalist Sir Michael Barber.

See his videos:

British Education Summit, Barber gave a speech entitled “Whole System Revolution” in which he taught principles from his book, “Deliverology 101″.

http://youtu.be/T3ErTaP8rTA

John Seddon, British management guru and president of Vanguard, has a series entitled “Why Deliverology Made Things Worse in the UK.” (“Deliverology 101,” Barber’s book, was written specifically for American education reform.)

“I don’t go around the world bashing Deliverology, but I think I should,” said Seddon, who defines Barber’s “deliverology” as “a top-down method by which you undermine achievement of purpose and demoralize people.”

http://youtu.be/2sIFvpRilSc

Seddon says “deliverology” imposes arbitrary targets that damage morale.

But in Barber’s view, top-down education reform is necessary, a “global phenomenon,” no longer to be managed by individuals or sovereign countries; education reform has “no more frontiers, no more barriers,” he said at the August summit on education.

http://youtu.be/T3ErTaP8rTA

Barber showed a chart during his summit speech, displayed at 12:06 minutes, which he calls a goal of “whole system revolution,” pinpointed as the sum of the following addends: systemic innovation + sameness of standards + structure + human capital.

Sir Michael Barber said: “We want data about how people are doing. We want every child on the agenda.” (6:05) He specifies that “every child” means every “global citizen.”

http://youtu.be/ltAeLXUCqaQ.

He doesn’t just lead Pearson, the company that is so huge it’s becoming an anti-trust issue. Sir Michael Barber also speaks glowingly of public private partnerships, of political “revolution,” ”global citizenship” and a need for having global data collection and one set of educational standards for the entire planet.  He’s a political machine.  Under his global common core, diversity, freedom and local control of education need not apply.

Along with some of the gold-rushing colluders chasing Common Core-alignment  product sales, there are political individuals calling educational shots, and these are without exception on the far, far left.  And of these, the National Review is correct in saying that their goal to nationalize U.S. education has been happening   since long before Obama came to power.

But they are wrong in saying that Common Core isn’t a road map to indoctrinating students into far left philosophy.  Power players like Linda Darling-Hammond and Congressman Chaka Fattah  ram socialism and redistribution down America’s throat in education policy, while Pearson pushes it in the curriculum.

It’s safe to say that Linda Darling-Hammond has as much say as anyone in this country when it comes to education policy.  She focuses on “equity” and “social justice” –that is, redistribution of wealth using schools.  Reread that last sentence.

Darling-Hammond has worked for CCSSO (Common Core developer) since long before the standards were even written.  She served on the standards validation committee.  She now works for SBAC (the Common Core test writer); she also consults with AIR (Utah’s Common Core test producer) and advises Obama’s administration;  she promotes the secretive CSCOPE curriculum and more.

Study her further here to learn the groups she works for, what’s in the books she writes, how many times she quoted herself in her report for the U.S. equity commission, and what she said in last summer’s speech to UNESCO about the need to take swimming pools  away from students.

So yes, there is an undeniable socialism push in Common Core textbooks and in the Department of Education.

The National Review’s authors claim Common Core won’t “eliminate American children’s core knowledge base in English, language arts and history.”  By cutting classic literature by 70% for high school seniors, they are absolutely doing exactly that.  The article says that Common Core doesn’t mandate the slashing of literature.  Maybe not.  But the tests sure will.

What teacher, constricted by the knowledge that her job is on the line, will risk lowering the high stakes student scores by teaching beyond what is recommended in the model curriculum  of the national test writers?

And that’s the tragic part for me as a teacher.

Classic literature is sacred.  Its removal from American schools is an affront to our humanity.

Common Core doesn’t mandate which books to cut; the National Review is correct on that point; but it does pressure English teachers to cut out large selections of great literature, somewhere.  And not just a little bit.  Tons!

Informational text belongs in other classes, not in English.  To read boring, non-literary articles even if they are not all required to be Executive Orders, insulation manuals, or environmental studies (as the major portion of the English language curriculum) is to kill the love of reading.

What will the slashing do to the students’ appreciation for the beauty of the language, to the acquisition of rich vocabulary, to the appreciation for the battle between good and evil?

We become compassionate humans by receiving and passing on classic stories.  Souls are enlarged by exposure to the characters, the imagery, the rich vocabulary, the poetic language and the endless forms of the battle between good and evil, that live in classic literature.

Classic stories create a love for books that cannot be acquired in any other way.  Dickens, Shakespeare, Hugo, Orwell, Dostoevsky, Rand, Marquez, Cisneros, Faulkner, Fitzgerald– where would we be without the gifts of these great writers and their writings?  Which ones will English teachers cut away first to make room for informational text?

The sly and subtle change will have the same effect on our children as if Common Core had mandated the destruction of  a certain percentage of all classic literature.

How does it differ from book burning in its ultimate effects?

Cutting out basic math skills, such as being able to convert fractions to decimals, is criminal.  Proponents call this learning “fewer but deeper” concepts.  I call it a sin. Common Core also delays the age  at which students should be able to work with certain algorithms, putting students years behind our mathematical competitors in Asia.

For specific curricular reviews of Common Core standards, read Dr. Sandra Stotsky’s and Dr. Ze’ev Wurman’s math and literature reviews in the appendix  of the white paper by Pioneer Institute. (See exhibit A and exhibit B, page 24.)

The National Review claims that the standards “simply delineate what children should know at each grade level and describe the skills that they must acquire to stay on course toward college or career readiness” and claim they are not a ceiling but a floor.  This is a lie. The standards are bound by a 15% rule; there’s no adding to them beyond 15%.  That’s not a ceiling?

The article claims that ”college and career readiness” doesn’t necessarily mean Common Core.  Well, it does, actually.  The phrase has been defined on the ed. gov website as meaning sameness of standards to a significant number of states.  I would give you a link but this week, so oddly, the Department of Education has removed most of its previous pages.  You can see it reposted here:

The article insists that Common Core is not a curriculum; it’s up to school districts to choose curricula that comply with the standards.  Sure.  But as previously noted: 1) all the big textbook companies have aligned to Common Core.  Where are the options?   2) Common core tests and the new accountability measures put on teachers who will lose their jobs if students don’t score well on Common Core tests will ensure that teachers will only teach Common Core standards.  3) Test writers are making model curriculum and it’s going to be for sale, for sure.

The article falsely claims that “curriculum experts began to devise” the standards.  Not so: the architect of Common Core ELA standards (and current College Board president) is not, nor ever has been, an educator.  In fact, that architect made the list of Top Ten Scariest People in Education Reform.   A top curriculum professor has pointed out that the developers of Common Core never consulted with top curricular universities at all.

The article claims that states who have adopted Common Core could opt out, “and they shouldn’t lose a dime if they do” –but Title I monies have been threatened, and the No Child Left Behind waiver is temporary on conditions of following Common Core, and for those states who did get Race to the Top money (not my state, thank goodness) the money would have to be returned.  Additionally, every state got ARRA stimulus money to build a federally interoperable State Longitudinal Database System.  Do we want to give back millions and millions to ensure that we aren’t part of the de facto national database of children’s longitudinal school-collected, personally identifiable information?

The article states that the goal is to have children read challenging texts that will build their vocabulary and background knowledge.  So then why not read more –not less– actual literature?

The article also leaves out any analysis of the illegality of Common Core. The arrangement appears to be  illegal. Under the Constitution and under the General Educational Provisions Act (GEPA) the federal government is restricted from even supervising education.

GEPA states: “No provision of any applicable program shall be construed to authorize any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, or over the selection of library resources, textbooks, or other printed or published instructional materials by any educational institution or school system…”

And for those still believing the federal government isn’t “exercising direction, supervision or control” of the school system, look at a few things.

1.  The federal technical review of tests being mandated by the Department of Education.

2.  The federal mandate that testing consoria must synchronize “across consortia,” that status updates and phone conferences must be made  available to the Dept. of Education regularly, and that data collected must be shared with the federal government “on an ongoing basis”

3.  The recent federal alteration of privacy laws that have taken away parental consent over student data collection.

Finally:  the “most annoying manipulation tactic” award for the National Review Article is a tie between the last two sentences of the National Review article, which, combined, say, “Conservatives used to be in favor of holding students to high standards… aren’t they still?”  Please.

Let’s rephrase it:

Americans used to be in favor of legitimate, nonexperimental standards for children that were unattached to corporate greed and that were constitutionally legal…  Aren’t we still?

Our schools instill blind obedience to authority..

There are very few families that even think we have a problem with our schools.

Communitarian Education Agenda U.N.‘s Agenda 21 Education Mandate

Obama’s call for the U.S. to pay for education of the world.  It’s ”A Global Fund for Education: Achieving Education for All

Its summary states: “In order to realize the world’s commitment to ensuring education for all by 2015, important innovations and reforms will be needed in the governance and financing of global education. In 2008, Presidential Candidate Barack Obama committed to making sure that every child has the chance to learn by creating a Global Fund for Education. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has recently called for a new architecture of global cooperation…  A new Global Fund for Education… must be capable of mobilizing the approximately $7 billion annually still needed to achieve education for all, while holding all stakeholders accountable for achieving results with these resources. None of these objectives will be achieved without a major rethinking of the global education architecture and an evolution of current mechanisms for financing education… Achieving these two Millennium Development Goals, and the broader Education for All Goals… will require more capable international institutions.

I have to ask three questions:

  • Since when do nations collectively finance global education?
  • Since when has the whole world agreed on what should be taught to the whole world?
  • Since when is the United States of America reduced to “accountable stakeholder” status over its own educational and financial decision-making?

So Obama created a global education fund, using U.S. taxpayer money.  I don’t remember voting on this.

And Hilary Clinton is misusing the word “inclusiveness” to now mean “no more independent sovereignty for anyone.”  Meanwhile, there’s a United Nations/UNESCO program called “Education For All” that involves the same ideas and the very same key people as “Common Core”.  And there’s also an “Education, Public Awareness and Training” chapter in the U.N.’s Agenda 21 goals.

Both the U.N.’s educational goals (via UNESCO and “Education for All” ) and “Common Core” do sound very appealing on the surface.  Each seeks to educate by teaching the exact same standards to all children (and adults) on a national or a global scale.  But both supercede local control over what is taught to students, and both dismiss the validity and importance of the U.S. Constitution implicitly.

common core

How’s Your Common Core Knowledge?

An interesting quiz was published at The Progressive… they challenge readers to test their public ed savvy.  These are the last four questions and answers:

7. Common Core Standards were developed because
a) parents worry that US children score far below other countries on international tests.
b) teachers lack the skills to craft adequate curriculum and wanted help.
c) state departments of education asked for them.
d) of grass-roots concern that children need special tools to compete in the Global Economy.
e) the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation paid for them


8. Common Core Standards in literacy were written by
a) classroom teachers.
b) child psychologists.
c) university researchers.
d) business leaders.
e) a lawyer who specializes in “standards-driven reform” and someone whose background is in Management Consulting, who once tutored children while studying at Yale.


9. The new Common Core tests
a) let the teachers know exactly what each student needs to learn next.
b) give parents evidence teachers are doing their job.
c) ensure that standards are being met.
d) give principals a fair way to evaluate teachers.
e) make fiscal demands many districts cannot meet.


10. The new online feature of Common Core testing
a) will reduce administration costs.
b) will streamline student evaluation.
c) offers new opportunities for creativity.
d) will lead to more individualized learning.
e) means students will be tested many more times each year.

Here are the answers:

7. E
“Is the Gates Foundation Involved in bribery,” July 23, 2010
http://prorevnews.blogspot.com/2010/07/is-gates-foundation-involved-in-bribery.html
“JoLLE Forum–Rotten to the (Common) Core,” Nov. 1, 2012
http://www.susanohanian.org/core.php?id=364
8. E
David Coleman bio; Susan Pimentel bio
http://about.collegeboard.org/leadership/president
http://www.nagb.org/who-we-are/members/bios/b_pimentel.html
9. E
“Federal Mandates on Local Education: Costs and Consequences–Yes, it’s a Race, but is it in the Right Direction?”
http://www.newpaltz.edu/crreo/brief_8_education.pdf
10. E
“Common Core Assessments”
http://truthinamericaneducation.com/common-core-assessments/
http://dianeravitch.net/2012/07/25/stephen-krashen-how-much-testing/

Resources:

Public School Students – Prisoners of the State | lisaleaks

UN, Obama, and Gates Are Globalizing Education

Agenda 21 and Communitarianism | lisaleaks

Rotten To the Core

A terrific website for analysis of Common Core http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/

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