"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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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

National School Board Association Concerned about Unfunded Federal Mandates. Common Core Unplugged?

Common Core MANDATES: Unproven, Untested, Unconstitutional and UNDERFUNDED.  Unless you live in Missouri.  Missouri taxpayers are special.  Our common core implementation will have no additional cost.

Are the local school districts going to refuse to implement the Common Core mandate because of cost?  Forget that they are unproven, untested and unconstitutional...they are also severely underfunded and will cause tax increases to school districts.  The National School Board Association writes how unfunded mandates impact local districts and how this lack of funding will mean unsuccessful implementation of federal laws:

The National School Board Association’s (NSBA) President C. Ed Massey, a member of the Boone County, Ky., school board, spoke to his local Rotary Club about the need to relieve local school systems from inflexible federal laws that do not come with enough funding to successfully implement.

Massey explained the need for local school board members and other education advocates to become involved in lobbying their members of Congress in a presentation to members of the Florence, Ky. Rotary Club last week.

“A lot of congressional members just get snippets of information,” he said in a story published at the Cincinnati Enquirer’s community website. “Because they are not educators, they don’t understand the issues in depth.”

The Boone County school board and members of the Kentucky School Boards Association have recently worked with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on issues related to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization.

This doesn't coincide with the information published in Missouri last year about the cost of mandates.  From "FAQ-CCSS-2-10-2011", produced by Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 2.11.11 and now pulled off the Internet.  (Contact the Commissioner's office at comedu@dese.mo.gov to receive a copy of the entire FAQ pdf).

Q. What about cost? 

As stated earlier, the Department has not requested additional or new funding for the implementation or professional development associated with revised standards and assessments. Though the Department’s staff has been reduced significantly in the past few ears, the efficient use of technology, including webinars, teleconferences, and other tools is allowing us to communicate with stakeholders and provide support. Districts also should not have additional costs over and above their current investments in ongoing curriculum and professional development. These costs are built into current budgets and devoted to current activities related to instructional improvement. In addition, districts will be able to use the new tools and resources available to them—model curriculum, learning activities, interim and benchmark assessments—which many districts have to spend time and resources developing, or pay a vendor for now.

 Maybe the president of the NSBA remembered history and accessed the 2005 Department of Education in Virginia's study on the cost to districts to implement previous federal mandates in NCLB.  From its report on the cost of fullfilling the requirements of NCLB Act for School and the Congressional testimony provided  on the cost:

Even the federal funds that reach school districts are not immune from the administrative compliance burden. Reports from school districts provide real-life examples of the administrative burden felt from heavy-handed federal regulations. A Fairfax County, Virginia, school district, for example, noted:

―The school division lengthened the standard teacher contract from 194 days to 195 just to allow for extra [NCLB] training time. The cost of setting aside a single day to train the roughly 14,000 teachers in the division on the law‘s complex requirements is equivalent to the cost of hiring 72 additional teachers. The law also affects paraprofessionals: an extra day‘s training equates to the cost of hiring about ten additional instructional assistants. There are roughly 1,000 administrators who require training as well. A day‘s training represents the cost for four additional assistant principals. Thus, each day out of the year that is set aside to explain the law results in a missed opportunity to assign 86 instructional personnel year-round to interface directly with the community‘s children and work directly to address their academic needs.


In 2006, the Office of Management and Budget found that No Child Left Behind cost states an additional 7 million hours in paperwork at a cost of $141 million.

There is no difference between the training needed for NCLB and Common Core....the teachers and administrators must be taught the new standards and assessments...just like they had to when NCLB started. It is stunning to see the costs associated with NCLB in 2005 and it is even more stunning that DESE states it will cost nothing in 2012 to implement Common Core standards and the waiver just granted in Missouri. Many of these new reforms have been labelled "NCLB on steroids" and it is indefensible for bureaucrats to tell legislators, taxpayers and school districts these reforms will not cost money.

You can access the Pioneer Institute white paper detailing costs to states here.

School districts could in the past decide what assessments they wanted to use for testing and teacher evaluations. Now they have no choice. They will have to have the computers or hand held devices (provided by the school districts) for student assessments (those assessments will account for 50% of teachers' accountability calculations) because that is what is mandated.   Assessments can be done every 3 weeks. The high stakes testing will be an endless cycle.  The cost of the MAP testing was about $1.80 per student. These new assessments are projected to cost about $19.00 per student in Missouri. That's a cost to the districts.

It's time for the school boards and districts to push back and refuse to implement or even partially fund these federal mandates that will not reform education. These reforms and mandates will bankrupt districts. Look how well NCLB worked for education reform (states begged to get out of the mandates) and cost. Now the same districts are having to pay for even more onerous and costly mandates via RTTT and Common Core standards. Don't repeat the same Federal experiment twice. It won't work.

1 comment:

  1. "These reforms and mandates will bankrupt districts."

    Will they do to the schools, what they are doing to the oil industry? https://swordattheready.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/epa-being-used-to-destroy-oil-gas-and-coal-industry/
    Will they then be declared a failure because of no implementation, and closed?

    They DO want to change EVERYTHING!


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