"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, March 15, 2012

Kansas Board of Education Experiencing the Ramifications of "State Led" Common Core Standards. We're Not in Kansas Anymore, Toto, We're in Federal Regulatory Land. Welcome to the Land of Oz.

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Kansas is learning the ugly truth about Common Core State Standards.  From KC Education Enterprise:

Next Monday, when students in the Kansas City, Kansas (KCK) district return to school after spring break, they're going to get some bad news. Those enrolled in grades three through seven are going to have to take about three more weeks of standardized tests this spring.

Unfortunately, these students are caught in the middle of a battle between the federal government and the Kansas State Board of Education over local control of public schools.

"How much learning takes place during those three weeks?" state board member Ken Willard asked KCK Assistant Superintendent Jayson Strickland during today's meeting in Topeka.

The response: "Students are learning how to take assessments. Schools become assessment factories at this time."
The board and district administrators today voiced the opinion that this additional testing is -- in board member Kathy Martin's words -- "wasting money and time for our students."

The pity is legislators could have stopped this madness, at least in Missouri, by refusing the implementation of the change of standards and assessments.  Science and history standards have not yet been finalized.  Could legislatures be PRO ACTIVE and begin the process of taking away State Boards' of Education powers to adopt unconstitutional, unproven, untested and unfunded mandates to ensure these standards are not adopted as well?

State Board Walt Chappell apparently is the only member to understand about this takeover:

During today's meeting, state Board of Education members voted unanimously to extend this year's state testing window until the middle of May to allow KCK additional time to test their students. Board members also voted 9-1 (with Walt Chappell voting against the motion) to support an appeal of the U.S. Department of Education's decision in this matter.

Chappell said he voted against supporting an appeal, because he objected to "un-elected federal officials making decisions about our kids."

Other board members, including chairman David T. Dennis, agreed with Chappell's insistence on the importance of local control of schools. However, if the board and KCK refuse to accept the U.S. Department of Education's decision, the district might lose all Title I funding from the federal government.

"There's a big difference between 'might' and 'will'," Chappell said. "This is blackmail, pure and simple. We don't need to keep playing this game."
KCK Assistant Superintendent Jayson Strickland has a great sense of humor....or disconnect:

"We're trying to do the right thing for kids," Strickland said, speaking on behalf of KCK. "Tell the feds, 'Learn from us.'"

Strickland's statement is like Dorothy talking to the Wicked Witch.  The Wicked Witch didn't want to learn from Dorothy and company, she wanted control.   The Wicked Witch had her flying monkeys and soldiers to do her bidding.  The Federal Government has the states and schools doing their bidding.  Arne Duncan has no desire to "learn from the states".  Doesn't Mr. Strickland understand the new interpretation of the Constitution?  States don't set educational standards and districts certainly don't have the authority from the DOEd to make their own decisions.

Welcome to the Land over the Rainbow.  It's time to throw water on the Wicked Witch, call the bluff of the Federal Government's threat of withholding Title I money and return to reality, instead of fantasy land of common core standards.

1 comment:

  1. (Closes eyes, clicks heels) "There's no place like home, There's no place like home, There's no place like home" (opens one eye to take a peak)

    "Gah! Still here!"

    This place is especially no place like home.

    The only way back is through actual Education, and I'm afraid that our schools are the last place that'll be found in.


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