"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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Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Education Reformer Cabal (Rhee, Duncan, Gates) Gets Called out at a Data Quality Campaign Conference. It was NOT Appreciated.

The Data Quality Campaign group had a meeting in Washington DC yesterday about the data to be extracted and supplied by public school children.  From the DQC website:
Over the next three years, the DQC will continue to assist states in developing data systems based on the 10 essential elements and in using the information to improve student performance. To help ensure that states benefit from their infrastructure investments, the DQC will focus on two high-priority needs: building demand for the newly available information and helping state agencies assist all stakeholders in harnessing this powerful source of information.

Students are now seen as possessing powerful sources of information for the state agencies.  They are not kids eager to learn, they are now to be data driven widgets to supply the workforce.  Visit the website and surf around.  You can see the tentacles grabbing the data starting in Pre-K on your human capital, sharing it with other states and federal agencies.  Do you still think the common core standards (enacted and necessary for data to be shared across state lines) are state led when the data is mandated to be shared with the Federal government?

In 2005, the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) identified the 10 Essential Elements of a Statewide Longitudinal Data System to provide a roadmap for state policymakers as they built statewide longitudinal data systems designed to collect, store, and use longitudinal data to improve student achievement and outcomes. In 2007, through the America COMPETES Act (Public Law 110–69), the federal government codified twelve “Required Elements of a P-16 Education Data System.” In 2009, through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the federal government required states, as a condition of receiving State Fiscal Stabilization Funds, to commit to building a data system which consists of these elements. The subsequent cycle of the federal Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) program, known as the FY 2009 ARRA grants, required that any statewide longitudinal data system supported with the funds must include the 12 COMPETES Act elements. States are required to report annually on their progress in implementing a statewide longitudinal data system that includes the 12 COMPETES elements.

Anyone who still believes the adoption of Common Core Standards was state led must write on the board 100 times (do they still have chalkboards in school?) the definition of "coercion".  In fact, the adoption of common core standards should not be labeled state "led", it is state "coerced":

The intimidation of a victim to compel the individual to do some act against his or her will by the use of psychological pressure, physical force, or threats.

DQC provides the roadmap.  The states didn't come up with the road map.  States are following a script.  That's not leading any reform.  DQC is partially funded by the Bill Gates Foundation.  That's a clever way to make more money, isn't it?  Fund a company which provides services as a result of the mandates from the Federal Government....and the taxpayers have to pay for the mandates.  This is the new definition of entrepreneurship.  Don't use your own money to risk success.  Use taxpayer funding to provide money for mandated programs you helped create that will ultimately provide your company with increased business.

One brave retired math teacher (who should know something about numbers and how research is gathered and interpreted) showed up yesterday at the DQC conference providing information on data quality and information about some of the speakers.  He gave pamphlets to attendees on how data is easily skewed so education reformers such as Michelle Rhee and Arne Duncan can make their claims that data and technology are imperative to ensure education excellence.  The DQC didn't want any other research other than theirs presented.  He was asked to leave by a policeman and he complied.

So much for the critical learning and research skills these same education reformers claim they want to impart to students.  The lesson really is: If you have enough money, lobbyists and politicians in your pocket, your data is what you want it to represent.

From GFBrandenberg's Blog:

So much for freedom of speech…

…  if it goes against the agenda of the ultra-rich and their acolytes, one might somehow suspect.
There I was, in a neatly pressed and clean suit and tie, having registered early on-line. I had still had my registration documents (not much) and was holding some pieces of paper, just like many others there. The problem is that I was giving some of those papers out.

At a conference on data quality.

What is this world coming to?

I was giving out a leaflet discussing — data quality and information about some of the speakers. Not positive towards a couple of the speakers, to be accurate. Someone in the conference administration asked me to give up the leaflets, which I declined to do. Soon I was talking to security officers, who told me that I was not allowed to be in the hotel, at the specific request of the tenant — that is, the “Data Quality Campaign” management.

Guess that someone over there reads my blog pretty carefully? Just wonderful … wish I didn’t have readers like that.

Let me also point out that DCQ is a Gates-funded group. Arne Duncan, and Michelle Rhee are both on the agenda of this conference today as speakers… I have been highly critical of them and have given the press and the public access to a lot of data that I could only find by pretty hard searching myself, and that most likely, most other people wouldn’t have found out on their own. Data which shows that the goals and methods and conclusions of this Gates/Duncan/Rhee group are all mistaken at best or perhaps malign.

Nobody beat me up or anything, but I was only able to give out a dozen or so leaflets while I was standing near the front of the auditorium, just outside the Kinko’s where I had my leaflets copied. (Most expensive Kinko’s I’ve ever been to! DAAG! 20 cents per page, per side!) So these things I was giving away were worth forty cents each, plus tax. Man, I was being generous! (Or that’s what I should have said, but didn’t think of saying at the time.)

I wasn’t interested in getting into a shoving match or being picked up or arrested.

So I walked outside and gave out a few there and went home and then wrote this.

You can read the "subversive" pamphlet hereWhy would DQC be so concerned about a retired math teacher's data?


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