"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, April 19, 2011

McCaskill's "Invitational Only" Roundtable Discussion in the Ft. Zumwalt District

Regular citizens aren't invited to this week's roundtable education discussions held by Senator Claire McCaskill. The press was allowed a question and answer period after the meeting, however, and you can read about her meeting in O'Fallon here from the St. Louis Beacon about the discussion.

I found this paragraph particularly interesting:

In an interview after the hour-long roundtable discussion, McCaskill said she thinks Washington's role in education should primarily be one of support, while main decisions are best left to local communities. Noting that federal financing for education is not likely to grow any time soon, given the recent emphasis on cutting the budget and the deficit, she said whatever dollars come from Washington have to be used in the wisest way. (emphasis added)

It sounds good, right? Main decisions are best left to local communities while the Federal government pays for those local decisions. Does anyone think this is really happening? Common core standards allow NO local decisions, or even state decisions. We are now in a consortia that will be making standards and assessment decisions and the Federal government is busy crafting a national curriculum framework.

If states did not sign onto Common Core standards, the Federal government threatened states' Title I money could be withheld. How's that for local control? Does that sound like a support role...or coercion by the Federal branch? McCaskill says money received by the districts should be used in the wisest way. How can districts use money in that way when stimulus money given to schools was prescribed by the Federal government for specific projects determined by the Feds? Was the senator aware that the monies did not go to schools based on what the school needed, but what was ordered by the DOE?

More from the Beacon:

The meeting came on the first day of a four-day education tour of the state that McCaskill is doing while the Senate is in recess, as part of what her office called an "opportunity to gather common-sense ideas on a variety of education-related topics to bring back to Washington."

I'm thrilled she wants to gather "common-sense ideas on education-related topics". I would suggest she ask for common-sense ideas from regular parents who have to pay the taxes and supply the children for the system she wants to improve. Perhaps she should expand her "invitation only" list to include all concerned parents from all districts.

If the Senator would hold another town hall meeting as she did last year, she would hear from the "average" parent who has no lobbying or special interest ties....you know, a "regular" American taxpayer. It is this group of people, the "regular" American taxpayers, who are paying for these educators and federal officials making decisions for their children and pocketbook. And again, this group has limited or no voice.

1 comment:

  1. None of them(politicians)want to hear from us. They want to go along as they always have, pretending they know what we want and need which, magically, turns out to be what THEY want and need. The only time they want to hear from us is on election day. They're playing with education, playing AT education and doing nothing to make it better or more cost efficient. They all sicken me.


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