"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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Friday, March 23, 2012

The Adminstration Goes For the Education Hat Trick

They started with RTTT for K-12 education. Their stated goal was to help states with the problems created by NCLB which specifically addressed K-12.  It was the first wedge into the public school system  for Common Core Standards. However, in the RTTT grant application was a requirement for developing early childhood (pre-K) education programs. They had no intention of being limited to K-12.  States like Missouri, who did not receive RTTT funding, still began implementing pre-school programs because more money would be available in the future and they had to show they were really committed to what the feds wanted.  Given the lightening pace of standards developments, we know have standards for pre-K.  But last week the administration went for the hat trick of education and proposed RTTT type funding for higher education.
At a hearing of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, Duncan summarized the administration’s plans for higher education, including a Race to the Top-like program for college affordability and completion and a major expansion of the Perkins Loan Program. While much of the discussion was about elementary and secondary education, many of the most pointed questions from members of Congress dealt with the administration’s proposed new spending on higher education.
Much of the administration's proposed $70 billion increase in the Education Department's budget for 2013 will go to higher education, including the Perkins loan expansion, the Race to the Top for College Affordability and Completion, and Obama’s proposal to spend $8 billion on community colleges over the next two years, Duncan said. What it won’t do, in many cases, is add new money to existing programs, including the TRIO and GEAR UP programs for college readiness and federal aid that helps minority-serving colleges.
Aside from the Department of Education's blatant intrusion into state run education, which they are forbidden to do, the biggest problem with the administration's proposal is that it would penalize colleges for the actions of their state legislatures.
If enacted, though, the fiscal 2013 budget would lead to more money for traditional four-year colleges as well. The budget would create a $1 billion “Race to the Top” fund to reward colleges that keep their net price low and their value high, as the president proposed in his State of the Union address in January (though details of how that would be measured remain unclear).
Because state budgets have been cut, the subsidies to state schools have dropped which has forced colleges to raise tuition. This latest administration proposal would penalize schools for being fiscally responsible and would, in essence, force federally mandated spending/allocation changes on state legislatures. As if we don't have enough unfunded federal mandates to deal with.

The $8 billion price tag for the next two years may seem like a deal, but when you consider the pre-K education requirements from RTTT will cost our state alone $1.6 billion, you have to wonder how far that $8B will go for all 50 states.Legislators at the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies where Arne Duncan testified about this program, questioned why the administration was funneling money into new untested programs, when existing programs with proven track records existed. Mr. Duncan's response was to defend the community college spending as absolutely necessary to addressing the problem of unemployment.
This administration can't seem to remember their goal:  is it college graduation or jobs training? Duncan said the new Race to the Top program, as well as a similar competition to encourage innovation, are needed to encourage colleges to keep prices down and states to spend more on higher education.  But perhaps his most telling comment was,
“We at the federal level can’t do it by ourselves. We have to put some incentives out there to try to encourage them.”
Who has been telling the people over at the Education Department that they have to do it by themselves.... or even at all?
Also inlcuded in the administration's proposal was a $55 million competition for colleges and nonprofit institutions called “First in the World,”
"that encourage productivity and efficiency, with up to $20 million reserved for minority-serving institutions. The “First in the World” grants would be administered through the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, according to a person briefed on the administration’s plan, so no Congressional action would be needed to make that happen, beyond funding FIPSE."
Here's an interesting little fact about FIPSE.  One of the programs it supports is an EU-U.S. one-semester study program which provides opportunities for seniors and graduate students to study at one of the EU partner institutions by completing coursework and/or research, and broadens the field of study from food to non-food agricultural  materials and applications. One of the EU partnering institutions is Ghent University, Belgium who has departments in cutting edge fields like genetics, biotechnology, and physical land resources. You may recognize the name Ghent if you are familiar with Agenda 21. Their Centre for Sustainable Development is world renowned for its work on developing systems to aid localities in implementing the objectives of Agenda 21.  Given that this particular grant program focuses on biomaterial production and utilization, we now know that your American tax dollars, through the funnel of the department of education, are going towards developing biofuels.  Apparently nothing is beyond the grasp of Mr. Duncan's department, even energy research.

Combine all this with the Community Education schools proposed and we will truly have cradle to the grave big government indoctrination and oversight of everyone in this country.

1 comment:

  1. omg- RED Flags should be going all over the place. I was just reading about Agenda 21 and all that will change in our future. This is very, very serious. Please spread the info around that now the education dept thinks they can spread the Agenda-21 disease. The un and our gov wants to herd us all into cities, limit our families, control our food andyes our lives


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