"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

Search This Blog

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Do You Know Which Teachers have "Friended" Your Child? Soon The School District Will

In case you missed it (this being summer and all), Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation last week, sponsored by Sen. Jane Cunningham, R-Chesterfield, aimed at providing important safeguards that will help to protect students from sexual misconduct by school employees. For instance, part of the legislation prevents school districts from unknowingly hiring someone with a history of substantiated sex abuse allegations by requiring school districts to disclose that information about a former employee if contacted for a reference. The legislation also requires annual background checks for teachers, bars registered sex offenders from serving on school boards and creates a new task force of lawmakers and state child welfare officials to focus on sexual abuse of children that and complete a study by 2013.

Another piece of the legislation requires school districts to develop policies by 2012 for communication between teachers and students that includes text messages, social networking websites and other electronic devices. Those polices are to restrict teachers from interacting with students on websites or in ways that are not also accessible to others, including school administrators and parents.

Being a parent today has challenges that did not exist even 15 years ago. Responsible parents now must, in addition to checking out their children's friends and their friends' parents, make time to monitor their children's on-line contacts. While this legislation appears to put the onus for the latter on the school district, it does give parents a legitimate reason to complain if they find questionable communication between their child and a school official in those mediums.

I personally resist much of the social networking being pushed today. Matthew Schaffer wrote the best rationale for this resistance in his recent National Review article Ages Apart in which he first referred to C. S. Lewis’s vision of Hell in The Great Divorce.

In Lewis's Hell, the damned suffer not a fire, or any physical torment or confinement, but absolute dominion and inalienable rights: the liberty to roam an infinite and borderless land, and to freely and instantaneously build castles wherever they like. Lewis’s damned enjoy this freedom by abandoning locations and acquaintances the moment they become inconvenient. So after a few years’ stay in Hell, each of the damned is thousands of miles away from any other, pacing solitarily in his castle.

Of course the end result is eternal isolation and loneliness which the individual has created.

The political moral is that unchosen obligations, restraints, and dependencies are the things that push people together, despite our irritableness and our inconvenience to each other. Our limitations and inadequacies counter our selfish bent, and become a foundation for community.
Given this point of view, Facebook can easily be seen as the road to Hell, paved with good intentions.

Facebook is the acme of modernized society, allowing us unrestrained control over our relationships — we literally choose the face that others see, and can start or end a friendship by tapping a finger. These friendships never become inconvenient, because no obligation can impose itself through the digital medium. The irony of Facebook, and of modernity’s expansion of social autonomy generally, is that total, unlimited cosmopolitanism in the end produces more parochialism, homogenization, and even chauvinism than geographical confinement does: I can now commune with people all over the world of all nationalities and tongues and races who are just like me.

The legislation specifically recognizes teachers' use of social networking sites, like Facebook, as a means of communication with students. In searching for a rationale why any teacher would need to communicate with a student through a site like FB or MS, I am forced to admit that there are some students who are addicted to these sites and seem to only be reachable through that medium (parents, if this describes your child, please read all of Matthew Shaffer's article). A teacher down in Joplin MO defended the use of social networking sites noting, "teachers used social networking websites to confirm their students were OK after a deadly tornado struck the southwestern Missouri city in May. He said the restrictions in the legislation would have made that same process far more difficult."

That is one extreme example, but I am hard pressed to come up with another more common reason why teachers need to contact students other than through official school channels. If anything, it should be students trying to contact teachers for missing assignments and the like, in which case it might do their overall organizational strategy some good to lose that crutch. Teacher websites and e-mail allow today's students' concentration to wander because they can always get the information later. School districts will have to come up with policies regarding text messages, social networking websites and other electronic devices. Should be a simple policy, "Don't use them."

Friday, July 22, 2011

Didn't They Tell Us Common Core Standards Wouldn't Create a Common Curriculum? Is This a Shell Game?

Common Core standards have been adopted by more than 40 states. While it has been heralded as voluntary, Title I funding was threatened to be withheld if states did not sign onto the standards. Critics of the standards have been vocal about the adoption process and the standards themselves. Here are some issues about the standards from Truth in American Education:

The CCSS Mathematics Standards:

  • Delay development of some key concepts and skills.
  • Include significant mathematical sophistication written at a level beyond understanding of most parents, students, administrators, decision makers and many teachers.
  • Lack coherence and clarity to be consistently interpreted by students, parents, teachers, administrators, curriculum developers, textbook developers/publishers, and assessment developers. Will this lead to consistent expectations and equity?
  • Have standards inappropriately placed, including delayed requirement for standard algorithms, which will hinder student success and waste valuable instructional time.
  • Treat important topics unevenly. This will result in inefficient use of instructional and practice time.
  • Are not well organized at the high school level. Some important topics are insufficiently covered. The standards are not divided into defined courses.
  • Place emphasis on Standards for Mathematical Practice which supports a constructivist approach. This approach is typical of “reform” math programs to which many parents across the country object.
  • Publishers of reform programs are aligning them with the CCSS Standards for Mathematical Practice. The CCSS will not necessarily improve the math programs being used in many schools.
  • Unusual and unproven approach to geometry.

The Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (ELA):

  • Use confusing language in some standards.
  • Are not always clear or measureable on expected student outcomes.
  • Are not always organized in a logical way and are difficult to follow.
  • Treat literary elements inconsistently.
  • Have some writing standards that are general and do not specify what a student should be able to know or do.
  • Focus on skills over content in reading.
  • Do not address or require cursive writing.
Truth in American Education also points out these concerns about the standards:

The move towards Common Core State Standards and the two consortia developing assessments have led some to advocate for a common core or national curriculum, as called for by the Albert Shanker Institute in A Call for Common Content: Core Curriculum Must Build A Bridge From Standards to Achievement. A national curriculum would further erode local control and raises other serious issues as indicated in Closing the Door on Innovation: Why One National Curriculum is Bad for America. This response includes the following concerns:
  1. No constitutional or statutory basis for national standards, national assessments, or national curricula.
  2. No consistent evidence indicates that a national curriculum leads to high academic achievement.
  3. Developed national standards are inadequate for basing a national curriculum as planned by the administration.
  4. No body of evidence recommends a “best” design for curriculum sequences in any subject.
  5. No body of evidence justifies a single high school curriculum for all students.

So why the rush to adopt unproven and unfunded standards? As one of the main sponsors and financial supporters of the Common Core standards (who also will benefit financially from this educational arrangement), this statement comes from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as noted by EdWeek:

The Gates Foundation expressly admits that its intention is to align learning tools with the Common Core State Standards and “to fundamentally change the way students and teachers interact in the classroom, and ultimately, how education works in America.”

Why should the Gates Foundation determine the educational direction of ALL American students? Why is the DOE and Arne Duncan cozying up with the Gates Foundation allowing a private company to dictate education services? Why should the Gates Foundation and other private organizations such as the National Governor's Association (NGA) and CCSSO (Chief Council of State School Officers) direct the standards for American students?

Administrators and teachers are beginning to ask these type of questions:

New guidelines on crafting curriculum materials for the common standards in English/language arts are reigniting debate about how to ensure a marketplace of good instructional materials for the new standards without crossing the line into telling teachers how to teach.

The two publishers’ criteria documents, totaling 24 pages, land in a swirl of discussion about how to create good curricula for the common-core standards, which emerged from an initiative led by the nation’s governors and state schools chiefs. One central tension in the discussion has been trying to address the need for instructional tools without dictating pedagogy; another has been the question of who should shape curriculum design.

Why should you, as a taxpayer who may have a child in the public school system, be concerned about pedagogy or curriculum design? Here is a statement of "philanthropic" intent from the Gates Foundation:

The Gates Foundation, for instance, has convened conversations that included representatives from other sectors, among them the environmental-protection and food industries, to talk about how their certification processes might inform parallel work in the curriculum world.

Jamie McKee, who helps lead common-standards work for the Seattle-based Gates Foundation, said that while the foundation “cares deeply about the quality of the [instructional] materials that come from the common core,” it hasn’t yet decided whether it favors a panel or process for validating such materials.

The foundation continues to listen to a range of views about “what comes next for the standards, and how to find the right balance” between helping the field produce a range of sound instructional materials and wading into judgments about products, she said.

Think about it. You now have common core standards directing the teaching of whatever social issue the Gates Foundation thinks important! The Foundation wants to "align learning tools with the common core curriculum". What control and what power over student learning certain crony capitalists possess.

Concern also arises about how and what teachers can teach:

“The very people writing [the standards] are the ones telling everyone else how you’re supposed to comply,” said Walt Chappell, a member of the Kansas state board of education. “What we have is a group of people dictating to everyone else what’s to be taught in every classroom, to every student.”

Can the designers of the common core standards continue the shell game routine and keep pretending they can set standards for the majority of American students without telling teachers how to teach? Maybe even the Gates Foundation can't pull off this sham much longer. Just remember their goal: it's looking into combining standards into curriculum it deems important. Tell us again how you can combine standards and curriculum and insist you're not telling teachers how/what to teach?

And again, we ask: why does a private organization have such power to make public policy?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Arne Duncan Sued by Private College Association

Arne Duncan is being sued by the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities. Why is the association suing the Secretary of Education?

The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU), on behalf of its more than 1,650 member institutions, today filed a lawsuit in the federal District Court in Washington, DC seeking to block the Department of Education's final “Gainful Employment” regulations. APSCU's complaint asserts that the regulations represent regulatory overreach, conflict with congressional intent, were developed through a flawed process, and implemented without adequately exploring the impact on minorities, women, and jobs.
"This lawsuit is necessary in order to protect 3.8 million students who attend private sector colleges and universities today and those who will attend our schools in the future,” said APSCU Interim President and CEO Brian Moran. “By issuing the Gainful Employment regulations, the Department of Education has clearly exceeded its statutory authority. The Department's overreach employs metrics that are at odds with those Congress enacted to determine Title IV eligibility. The Department has promulgated hundreds of pages of text to define two words. Adding complexity not clarity, the Department's unlawful regulations will hurt students and jobs, a consequence made still worse by a very uncertain economy. (emphasis added)

As you read from the link above, you can make the connections between the overreach of the DOE for these for-profit colleges and the mandates handed down to the states regarding public schools. ASPCU maintains Duncan doesn't have the constitutional authority to do what he is doing, it's all vague, and impossible to attain. Does that sound familiar?

Maybe it's time for the states to follow ASPCU's lead and sue the Department of Education regarding the mandates handed down by the DOE. If providing "gainful employment" is vague and unreachable and is a basis for a lawsuit, wouldn't you think the DOE goal of children being 100% proficient by 2014 set the stage for a lawsuit seeking relief from the impossible?

What will happen if the students don't reach this goal?

To make matters worse for states, the law calls for all schools to demonstrate 100 percent proficiency by 2014–or else face federally mandated sanctions. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan stirred controversy in March when he estimated that 80 percent of the nation’s schools would be labeled failing under the current law by fall 2011. While many agree this number is an exaggeration, it’s likely that most states will be identifying more than 30 percent or 40 percent of schools as “failing” to make Adequate Yearly Progress by 2013.

About a month ago, Duncan switched to “Plan B,” laying out a plan in which states could apply for waivers from the accountability requirements under NCLB in exchange for adopting a “basket of reforms.” The plan drew harsh criticism from those questioning the legality and prudence of such an option. A recent Congressional Research Service report about the proposal, for example, found, “Under such circumstances, a reviewing court could deem the conditional waiver to be arbitrary and capricious or in excess of the agency’s statutory authority.”

There is a theme running throughout the DOE on all levels of education: arbitrary, capricious or in access of the agency's statutory authority.

Has the time come for states to start pushing back on the DOE?

Duncan’s dilemma is twofold. First, he’s fighting a losing battle in the court of public opinion when it comes to NCLB and the role of Washington in school reform. In the most recent
PDK/Gallup poll, nearly 50 percent of respondents said they held either an unfavorable or very unfavorable view of NCLB, while just 30 percent felt favorably towards NCLB. This is a marked shift since 2008, when the percentages of those favorable and unfavorable towards the law both hovered around 30 percent. When asked who should hold schools accountable for what students learn, state and local government were preferred to the feds by an overwhelming margin of 80-19. Considering that many of these leaders were elected to push back on the Washington establishment, it may very well be a political win for these leaders to turn their back on NCLB and replace it with a state-devised solution.

The state consortia need to regroup and instead of focusing on unconstitutional common core standards, they should focus on suing the DOE to regain state and local school control.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

This is Your Student's Brain on this "Drug" Pushed by the Department of Education

Can the increased use of computer technology be considered "drug abuse" and can we halt this addiction before it rewires students' brains?

Schools are being mandated to provide computer assessments and students are projected to learn 50% of their curriculum online by 2020. Arne Duncan believes this will allow our students to learn more efficiently.

Not so fast. Could the push to become globally competitive and send everyone to college have negative effects? (That's overlooking the minor facts that the country is broke and not everyone has the intelligence and/or desire to attend college). This is the story of unintended consequences from the New York Times.

This is your brain on computers.

Scientists say juggling e-mail, phone calls and other incoming information can change how people think and behave. They say our ability to focus is being undermined by bursts of information.
These play to a primitive impulse to respond to immediate opportunities and threats. The stimulation provokes excitement — a dopamine squirt — that researchers say can be addictive. In its absence, people feel bored.

The resulting distractions can have deadly consequences, as when cellphone-wielding drivers and train engineers cause wrecks. And for millions of people like Mr. Campbell, these urges can inflict nicks and cuts on creativity and deep thought, interrupting work and family life.

While many people say multitasking makes them more productive, research shows otherwise. Heavy multitaskers actually have more trouble focusing and shutting out irrelevant information, scientists say, and they experience more stress.

And scientists are discovering that even after the multitasking ends, fractured thinking and lack of focus persist. In other words, this is also your brain off computers.

“The technology is rewiring our brains,” said Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse and one of the world’s leading brain scientists. She and other researchers compare the lure of digital stimulation less to that of drugs and alcohol than to food and sex, which are essential but counterproductive in excess.

Is this what we will attain for the ultimate STEM quest?

Mr. Nass at Stanford thinks the ultimate risk of heavy technology use is that it diminishes empathy by limiting how much people engage with one another, even in the same room.

“The way we become more human is by paying attention to each other,” he said. “It shows how much you care.”

That empathy, Mr. Nass said, is essential to the human condition. “We are at an inflection point,” he said. “A significant fraction of people’s experiences are now fragmented.”

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Another Call to Action. Register Your Written Opposition to Common Core Standards.

I received the attached email today asking for comments on the second draft of common core standards. These comments will be gathered until August 15 and are directed to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) which compiles data information on your child. This email is from the Common Education Data Standards Initiative which promotes the implementation of common core standards, and receives support from pro-common core organizations, such as the Melissa and Bill Gates Foundation and the Department of Education.

The email states: It is the Initiative's hope that the standards will garner wide acceptance and voluntary adoption across all sectors of the education community to increase the ability to share and compare data consistently, allow more informed decision-making at all levels, and promote better educational outcomes for all students through early childhood, K12, postsecondary completion, and the workforce.

Remember, the common core standard initiative will allow intrusive personal data to be gathered on families and students when and if the FERPA regulations are amended. It truly is a cradle to grave program facilitated by the Federal Government. Make your opinion known the role of government is NOT to track citizens. We are against common core standards and would hope you would make your comments against the takeover of state education rights and unfunded mandates. You can read about Common Core standards at this non partisan site devoted to standards issues, Race to the Top mandates and longitudinal data system information:


"Truth in American Education" was started by educational advocates across the country who are not lobbyists for common core standards and have no financial interest in their implementation. This information will give you the FACTS about these standards which are unproven, costly, and unconstitutional.

You may also find an anti-common core manifesto signed by educational advocates and citizens here. We would urge you to add your name to this manifesto to show your support for stopping this nationalization of education.

Here is YOUR chance as a taxpayer, student and/or parent to comment on the implementation of common core standards. YOU are the one paying for educational services, YOU are THE MOST important stakeholder. This invitation should be shared in all school districts to ALL taxpayers. Let your opinion be recorded. After all, it's your money and your child. YOU should have some decision making power in how your tax dollars are being spent.


Common Education Data Standards Public Comment Period Begins Today


The Common Education Data Standards Initiative announced today the release of Draft One of the Version 2 Common Education Data Standards (CEDS). Everyone is encouraged to review this draft of the standards and make comments - the draft can be found here.

CEDS supports the development of a common vocabulary. It is a collection of definitions and formats for the most commonly used education data elements. CEDS does not dictate how individual data systems collect, store, and report data. It is the Initiative's hope that the standards will garner wide acceptance and voluntary adoption across all sectors of the education community to increase the ability to share and compare data consistently, allow more informed decision-making at all levels, and promote better educational outcomes for all students through early childhood, K12, postsecondary completion, and the workforce.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is leading the development of CEDS with the guidance, input and participation of a broad range of education stakeholders. Version 1 of CEDS was released in September 2010. The first draft of Version 2, released today, includes additional elements of interest to both K12 and postsecondary stakeholders. The second draft of Version 2 is scheduled to be released for public comment in the fall of 2011 and will include: additions to the K12 and postsecondary elements seen in the first draft; early learning data elements; assessment elements; and changes to the first draft based on this public comment period.


  • Follow up with your staff to be sure they comment on the standards. We have shared this information with your staff - please be sure they go here to review and comment on CEDS. NCES is logging and reviewing every comment made so your voice will be heard. In order for comments to be considered prior to the release of draft 2 of Version 2, they must be submitted by August 15, 2011.
  • Review and improve the policy landscape for CEDS. Are there policies or other barriers that will affect the implementation of CEDS in your state? What opportunities for collaboration are available with your colleagues and other stakeholders to improve the political environment for adoption and implementation of CEDS? Please let us hear from you.
  • Keep up with CEDS' progress. Stay informed about all of the work of the CEDS Initiative by frequently visiting our website.

The CEDS Initiative is made up of stakeholders from all levels and sectors of education in a collaborative effort to develop the Common Education Data Standards. The initiative consists of a two-pronged approach:

  • The CEDS Consortium, facilitated by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the State Higher Education School Officers (SHEEO), participates in the development of the standards and is responsible for their advocacy, communications, adoption and implementation. The Consortium is comprised of representatives from CCSSO, SHEEO, Data Quality Campaign (DQC), Schools Interoperability Framework Association (SIFA), Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council (PESC), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education (ex officio).
  • The CEDS Stakeholder Group is coordinated by NCES and is responsible for prioritizing the scope of the CEDS based on community feedback, reviewing existing data definitions and standards, publishing draft CEDS elements for comment, incorporating comments and finalizing each version.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Cradle to Grave Agenda is Closer Than Ever. Read this Action Alert from Louisiana. If This Doesn't Frighten You, Nothing Will.

I received the following email today. You must act NOW to stop the total takeover of education by the Federal Government. This expansion of Race to the Top into Early Childhood truly makes our children "cradle to grave" human capital the Federal Government will track. Even if your state did not receive RTTT money, it is receiving (as Missouri is) mandates disguised as Federal grants.

Folks, the following information shows you how quickly the states' sovereignty is disappearing and your civil liberties are becoming extinct. You MUST contact your legislators and demand they act constitutionally. We truly are becoming a tracked population by our Federal Government and our states are becoming powerless due to federal control.


The National Governors Association meets this week, so if you have family and friends in other States, please send this to them as it effects us all.

UPDATE: Your calls and faxes have had a positive effect! Please, use this weekend to educate family, friends, and neighbors on this issue; because our children and grandchildren need us to stay in this fight.

It is urgent you call your governor and ask that he/she refuse to participate in Race To The Top: Early Learning Challenge AND that the governor speak against it and speak-up FOR our families at the NGA meeting. As always, encourage as many as possible to do the same.

This week the National Governors Association will be meeting---they have a committee specifically to put all of this in place! Let the governor know that we are educated AND that this issue will NOT go away.


This from a previous email (ThePeopleLLC) as a reminder of what we are fighting.

Dear Friends & Family,

If you are unfamiliar with the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) Anti-bias curriculum, I encourage you to become familiar with it. It is the basis for teacher training, curriculum, and accreditation for our current system of childcare. I am sure that, once you get a look at this curriculum, you will understand why we are fighting to get it out of our state. The following is a link which will give you a peek into what NAEYC followers refer to as "the bible":


The examples are not even the worst that this "bible" has to offer.

I want to share the alert which has been sent out by the Greater New Orleans Tea Party. The reference to "HR 82" is regarding a resolution which the Tea Parties in Louisiana were recently instrumental in getting passed-- despite the fact that opposition was so strong intially that we had to "discharge the committee" late in the session to accomplish this. The final vote was a landslide, however: 67 yeas to 20 nays. Many Democrats, including Black Caucus members, joined us at the end. This resolution deals with the same concerns that we ask for you to
express to your congressmen today:

Thanks to Rep LaBruzzo's HR 82 and hundreds of Louisiana Patriots....... we are on the way to stopping the forced "unionization" and federalization of Day Care providers in our state.

HOWEVER, the progressives are continuing their attempts to control and federalize Early Childhood Education (ages 0-5 ) and families at the national level with identical bills in the House and Senate:

S 1156 and HR 2331

****** Thank goodness Rep. Scalise has offered to inform other legislators on The Hill; and, that his office is working with us to stop this attempt. It is imperative that we send him thanks and encouragement in taking this lead, because he'll need our support against the progressive machine just as Rep. Labruzzo did--

What these bills do:

  • Amend the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965)
  • Form a coalition between DHHS, Dept of Education, SEIU, NAEYC .... and others
  • Extend MORE Federal control over the lives of American families through their children
  • Provide FEDERAL (taxpayer) dollars to Early Childhood Education "Day Care providers".
  • States will "compete" for grants using FEDERAL guidelines through "Race To The Top"
  • Feds pay 50 % of costs...... states must pay the other 50 % "in cash"Bulleted List
  • NO $$$ amount mentioned in either bill. NO CBO cost estimate -Fed $$$ goes to programs serving the "poor and disadvantaged" (up to 200% of poverty level) and those that are "community based"
  • Incorporates parts of Obamacare which allow FEDS to enter private homes to observe children
  • Designates "funds" to be used for "full day" care, educational equipment,NAEYC standards and teacher training, transportation of students, "professional"training for teachers and day care workers
  • Creates disadvantage for "free market", privately owned Day Care Providers
  • Once a state accepts Fed $$$..... it MUST spend at least as much as it spent in the PREVIOUS year(!!); thus, trampling on "states' rights" and increasing states' costs

Pre-K: Race to the Top is attached to the Patient Protection Act (Obamacare) through its provision for "home visitation" (Sec. 511. Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs). Home Visitation is a critical tool through which the famous "Joe-the-Plumber"-"spread the money around"-income redistribution is to be implemented. Simply put, the Race to the Top ECE covers prenatal to age 5 and mandates comprehensive services for health care, social services, parent education and early childhood education.

Nancy Pelosi breathlessly told the Congress, (paraphrase) Pass it now so we can find out what's in it later. Likewise the Race to the Top: ECE Pre-K Grant to the states is a mandate from Washington directing the governors to join the economic redistribution agenda of the Obama administration.

Progressive groups are encouraging citizens to call Congress and push FOR this legislation therefore, WE MUST CONTACT CONGRESS TO PUSH AGAINST IT!

Contact your Governor, Congressional Reps. and Senators and express opposition to these bills (and similar ones including S 959, S 1170)

Thank Rep Scalise for his help thus far......
We do NOT want the federal government interfering in the education and supervision of our children ages 0-5 !!!

These bills are currently in Committees (see links above) so you can also contact Committee members NOW to oppose this legislation!!! Show all

Finally, I will give you some talking points which your congressman may find helpful:


S1156 (and/or HR 2331)

(Mr. Casey, Mr. Begich, Mr. Fanken, Ms. Milkulski)

The Pre-K Coalition is the chief advocate organization for the Prepare All Kids Act of 2011.

It refers to itself as a collaboration of the: American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, Council of Chief State School Officers, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of State Boards of Education, National Education Association, and the National School Boards Association.

The purpose of the Prepare All Kids Act of 2011 together with the Race to the Top: Early Childhood Care: Education Competition and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care (Obamacare) Act’s, Home Visiting Program is to create a federal, full-service, comprehensive Family and Child Services system.

Policy for the system will come from the federalized State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care. The governance will be with appointed state and local early care and education boards. (Sharon Kagan, Collaboration: Cornerstone of an Early Childhood System, Yale University, 1992.

Talking Points

National Incentive (Mandate) Fund
Prekindergarten Incentive Fund: States rights would be violated by the federal requirement that states comply with grant guidelines (mandates) in order to receive funding. [Sec. 1843. Program Authorization –(a)].

21st Century Schools Movement: Expansion of Head Start into the Middle Class
U.S.Dept Health and Human Services (USDHHS) and U.S. Dept of Education (USDE) would collaborate on incentive guidelines (mandates). The U.S.D.E. would administer the Act thereby building the infrastructure that could formalize a linkage between education and social services. This could lead to the 21st Century Schools movement for comprehensive services to preschool children as envisioned by Yale University’s, retired Edward Zigler and modeled by Head Start. [Sec. 1843. Program Authorization – (a)]

“Partnership” With Federalized State Advisory Council
State Agency administering the Act must collaborate and coordinate activities with the federally mandated State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care thereby superseding states rights. [Sec. 1844. State Applications & Requirements – (b) 5].

Federalization of ECE Through Head Start Collaboration
[Note: The State Advisory Council on Early Education and Care was established by the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007 (Head Start Collaboration: State Early Education & Care.). It requires the governor of each state to designate or establish a council to serve as the state Advisory Council on Early Education and Care for children from birth to school entry (referred to as State Advisory Council). The authority of the federalized State Advisory Council goes beyond Head Start to include childcare, IDEA preschool and infants and families programs and prekindergarten programs and services to the USDHSS Administration for Children and Families works with the Department of Education to carry out the activities of the State Advisory Councils.]

Support for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (SEIU)
The Infant and Toddler Set-Aside calls for 15% to be dedicated to the early care and education private infrastructure of the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies and the accreditation system of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. [Sec. 1845. State Set Asides and Expenditures, (a)]

Interference with Private Business
Only state providers cooperating with the federalized State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care will successfully meet the standards of the Act. (Sec. 1846. Local Applications (5)]

Interference with Private Business Operations
Providers must purchase educational equipment including education materials to comply with the requirements of NAEYC curriculum and accreditation standards. (Sec. 1847 Local Prekindergarten Requirements (1) (2).]

Coercing Private Business
Utilizing a prekindergarten curriculum that is “research based” and “developmentally appropriate” means NAEYC by definition of the federal grant writers. [Sec. 1847-Local rekindergarten Program Requirements (3)].

Union-like Policies Embedded Within the Incentive-Based Act.
Teachers must meet teaching requirements for the NAEYC certification. Provider could be forced to participate in the T.E.A.C.H. program which is a training program with salary enhancement requirements. [Sec. 1847. Local Prekindergarten Program Requirements. (4)]

Federal Breach of Business Ethics
The reporting of the prekindergarten provider business requires the business person to report 1) data on children and families and 2) funding sources acquired by the private business.

Federal Breach of States’ Rights
National Governors’ Association and the National Council of State Legislators
Breach of State’s Rights
The NGA and the NCSL have for years recommended to governors and state legislators that they relinquish their state powers by turning their stewardship over to national foundation, academicians and special interests.

The Race to the Top
Governors could reclaim stewardship of their states now. They could reject the Race to the Top: Early Care Competition before the Request for Proposal is written in August and competed from September through December 2011. (Contact your governor NOW)

I know that this is alot of information all at once; but, we do not have the luxury of time. Your representatives and senators need to get up to speed quickly and inform as many members in both chambers of the urgency.

This is a fight that will not go away; so, we need to educate as many as possible. It is imperative that our congressmen ensure that this fight remains at the state level where citizens can be more helpful in getting this progressive agenda out of their children's daycare centers, schools, and homes.

Please, use the following link to contact your legislators. Cut & paste at will from this email---let them know that you expect them to fight against this agenda: http://www.congressmerge.com/onlinedb/

Please, share with all of your contacts.

Site Meter