"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Race to the Top is renamed "Vision for Missouri Public Education"

I received an interesting email from a watchdog about a recent meeting of Missouri educators and administrators. Here is the link from the SE Missourian noting the meeting:

This watchdog asked, "Does anyone know WHO was at this meeting"? Of COURSE we DON'T. Everything this state department of education does is behind closed doors and under the radar. The Missouri State School Board voted on adopting common core standards two months before the stated agenda. This was done because this adoption of standards needed to have been done before the second round of Race to the Top was closed.

This meeting was "to develop a plan for the future of public education in the state". Let's discover what Chris Nicastro thinks the "future of public education in the state" might just look like:
This is a different name for Race to the Top. The goals are the same. We have common core standards. We have charter school funding coming in to the state. We have consortium of states or "coalitions". We are again talking about competing in a global economy. We are "transforming" our educational systems which was the goal of Race to the Top.

Remember the language of Race to the Top...transformation, distribution, consortium, human capital, global economy and competitiveness, world class education. The language in "The Vision for Missouri Public Education" is eerily similar. You can find Missouri's original proposal for Race to the Top here:

Pay close and particular attention to what Chris Nicastro writes on page 40:

"Implementation of the reform plan described in this proposal will not stop if the state does not win Race to the Top funding...In the absence of Race to the Top funding, the state and its partners would continue moving forward but will do so over a longer time-period and, in some areas, will have to adopt a more incremental approach".

I can answer the question "Vision for Missouri Public Education" poses underneath its logo..."why are we undertaking this initiative"? Chris Nicastro has made it clear from November 2009 that she always intended to adopt Race to the Top goals, even if no funding would be made available by Arne Duncan. She has always intended to cede state sovereignty. That is why she signed common core standards. The state has received separate funding for charter schools and funding to ostensibly hire back laid off teachers. Why does Missouri need Race to the Top funding? State control is already gone.

The question remains: "WHO was at this meeting in Jefferson City? What school board members and administrators were present in selling our sovereignty to the Federal government"?

Were the parents and taxpayers represented in this meeting? Are parents and taxpayers ever invited on the planning stages for transformational changes in the schools they pay for? They were not included in the planning for Race to the Top and I would hazard to guess they are not included in these meetings either.

I suggest you contact your legislators and demand an answer. Do they know the actions of this out of control commissioner of education? Do they realize we are not being represented in this "transformational" plan for Missouri education?

Do your legislators understand the enormous spending bypasses them? The governor, Nicastro, and the State Board are making financial and legislative decisions without legislative process. Demand your legislators stop the state department of education, State Board of Education, and Governor Jay Nixon. They are overstepping and overreaching. They are giving away our sovereignty and putting us further into debt. This is outrageous.

Once again, you don't have any input on your child's education. You just provide the child and pay the bill. You have no voice in the process. Contact your legislators today. This march to the takeover of the Missouri educational system must be stopped.

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