"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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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Republicans Applauded by a Democratic Lawmaker for Supporting Obama's Educational Agenda

On the heels of our last posting, Republicans are Supporting the Federal Takeover of Education, a blogger in Nashville confirmed (from a Democratic congressman's lips) the alliance of conservative Republican legislators and Obama's educational plan.  From Enclave:

Democrat Jim Cooper celebrates conservatives supporting President Obama on charter schools

Congressman Jim Cooper has been making the interview rounds. Yesterday he met with the press and characterized the feather in Obama's domestic cap as charter schools:

In domestic policy, it's amazing what you find here. If you talk to folks in Nashville, some of the most conservative folks in Nashville who are, for example, charter school advocates, real education reform advocates, are thrilled with Obama. Thrilled. And [Education Secretary] Arne Duncan has done a great job, and this isn't just Race To The Top money, but it's an amazing change in policy at the federal level with very little fanfare, that Congress didn't have anything to do with, really.

Those of us who are not "real education reform advocates", that is those of us who question the warping influence of venture philanthropy wealth in public education, are not quite as thrilled as the conservatives and Rep. Cooper is with President Obama move to the right. (Photo credit: The Entrepreneur Center). 

We aren't the only ones mystified about this marriage of conservatives and progressives.  Charters (privatization) and amazing changes at the federal level (nationalization of standards and unconstitutional powers to the Department of Education) are the educational reforms du jour.  Both of these "reforms" take power away from the taxpayers. 

Are you starting to believe this is an alliance of the elite?  No wonder Congressman Cooper, Jeb Bush, Obama, Arne Duncan, School Choice Week, and other educational reform proponents are celebrating.  It's fun having all the money and power.  The taxpayers are mandated to pay for unproven, untested, underfunded and unconstitutional mandates that result in a financial windfall for the companies providing services for the mandates.

Congressman Cooper states the change in federal policy had very little fanfare.  He's correct.  The circumvention of existing FERPA laws was accomplished via regulatory action allowing invasive personal data on children to be shared with other federal agencies and private organizations.  Instead of celebrating, Congressman Cooper and other state legislators should be fighting tooth and nail to make certain their citizens are not forced to share their personal data with the government.
I'm not holding my breath. 

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