"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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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Parents Now Can't Be Trusted on Sunscreen Decisions for their Children?

"If you have ten thousand regulations, you destroy all respect for the law."

Winston Churchill must be turning over in his grave.  

Although the school summer holidays are less than two months away, many children are at risk of sunburn while governing bodies – schools and local education authorities – remain hesitant about what they can and can't do when it comes to applying sunscreen to pupils. Clearly parents have a responsibility to dress their child appropriately for the weather, but there are no fixed sun safety guidelines or policies for schools in England to follow. The British Skin Foundation is looking to change this and has launched a petition for the government to clarify this issue – epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/32565 – and thus reduce the number of children who will burn during school hours.  We need to tackle this issue; otherwise the skin cancer problem we face in the UK is likely to keep repeating itself for years to come.

Matthew Patey
Chief executive, British Skin Foundation

And just when the government rules on the petition and provides clarification on how much and when sunscreen should be applied to children by parents (because the parents can't figure it out themselves),  whatever will the government experts say when they read the report that sunscreen can contain carcinogens that may cause cancer and other health problems?

Common chemicals found in household products, cosmetics and medicines may be causing cancers, fertility problems and other illnesses including diabetes and obesity, according to a study.

Jacqueline McGlade, executive director of the EEA, said: "Scientific research gathered over the last few decades shows us that endocrine disruption is a real problem, with serious effects on wildlife, and possibly people. It would be prudent to take a precautionary approach to many of these chemicals until their effects are more fully understood."

She singled out for particular scrutiny five classes of chemicals: phthalates, often found in pesticides; bisphenol A and other PCBs, used to make plastics and sometimes, controversially, used to make baby's feeding bottles; parabens, found increasingly in sunscreen; and the chemicals used in contraceptive pills.

So what's a parent to do?  Wait for the school to receive guidance from the government so as to instruct parents on whether and how to apply sunscreen for their children...or not?  Either way, children can't be totally protected by the government.  The nanny state can only do so much.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Republican Education Policy Coming From Florida?

If you want to know where Missouri's republican platform for education came from, you may not have to look any further than the Foundation for Florida's Future. FFF was started by Jeb Bush in 1994 as an education think tank. Here is their education formula for student achievement,
The Florida Formula encompasses a combination of reforms – rigorous academic standards, standardized measurement, data-based accountability, effective teaching, outcome-based funding, school choice – to improve the quality of education for Sunshine State students.  
Every one of these reforms was listed on the Missouri Republican platform.
The influence of FFF is dramatic. Its policies have been implemented through the legislature, despite opposition from the teachers union and parent groups, though both sides argue how influential the foundation actually is.  Last term, a parent trigger bill designed by FFF, which would have given parents the choice of how they wanted to turn around their failing school, died in session. 
Kathleen Oropeza who started a parent group Fund Education Now in 2009 said, "I was guilty of not really understanding how deeply Tallahassee affects me in my house and my kids' education, and so once I became more aware, it was startling. It became clear that every policy and every law and every new rule was somehow influenced by the Foundation for Florida's Future and was in fact, a continuation of Jeb Bush's governorship. It seemed to be an uninterrupted flow of policy."

Overall, however, the foundation claims that their policies have led to successful turn around in student academic performance in Florida.
Florida’s success dispels common myths about education.  Poverty, an absence of parental involvement, language barriers, disabilities, broken homes, even catastrophic natural disasters like hurricanes, are not valid excuses for a lack of learning in the classroom.
A bold statement in light of the fact that there was a dramatic drop in Florida's FCAT (standardized assessment) scores this year. For reading, it was 52 percent failing this year vs. 39 percent last year. For math, it was 47 percent failing this year vs. 26 percent failing last year. The drop was blamed on changes to the way the test was graded. The schools could have survived the adjustment except that teacher pay and retention decisions are now based on those scores. This had the Florida Board of Education scrambling to keep their school system from falling apart.

The changes in the grading may have been triggered by the desire to have more students ready for college. One of the Foundation's goals is to

make high school more rigorous to better prepare students for college and careers. Florida lawmakers provided state funding for all Florida 10th graders to take the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) or the equivalent PLAN exam for the ACT. Officials forged a partnership with the College Board to use this data to identify students with the potential to pass Advance Placement (AP) coursework and exams. Was the recent drop in student scores simply a sign that the Board of Education (in conjunction with Pearson who designed and scored the test) bit off more than they can chew when they changed the standardized tests so rapidly? The schools did not have time to prepare the students for the tougher standard, but shouldn't a think tank and major assessment supplier have anticipated this a little better? Makes one wonder what other unintended consequences they have not considered.

The Foundation has worthwhile goals, but the latest news from Florida shows that education reform enthusiasm may have outstripped student reality. Ideally this is a short term problem that leaves minimum damage for the classes graduating high school in the next couple of years. But time will tell if locking schools into tight formulas which can cause these types of outcomes is the right thing to do for the students. Good teachers may be let go through no fault of their own. Many more teachers may decide to abandon the profession rather than wait for the random swing of the scoring ax to catch them.

In addition, rapid changes in standards create an uncertain environment for students. Those who had been receiving good grades in school who are suddenly rated very low by the standardized assessment are dealt a demoralizing blow. And there is already plenty of criticism for the way the Florida 3rd grade literacy requirement is handled.Those aren't suited for the college path may become discouraged by the rigor of the tests and drop out. It will be important for school districts to provide guidance counseling and alternatives for such students.

The reason Missouri voters should pay attention to this is because Jeb Bush may have his sights on being Education Secretary under a Republican president. A bit worrisome when considering the results of the reforms FFF has pushed for in Florida. Even more worrisome when you realize that J. Bush has praised the job Arne Duncan on the Charlie Rose show for the job he has done in the Obama administration. 

Both Romney and Bush stand on their records for improving student test scores by evaluating teachers, holding firm on standards and the testing of students. Evaluating the effectiveness of these reforms is tricky and a bit like predicting global warming based on a few years worth of data. Small gains may be achieved, but the losses must also be considered. It is just as important to constantly evaluate the effectiveness of your reforms and be willing to alter or remove them if they create more problems than they solve (i.e. one of the best math teachers in NYC was rated as the worst  due to the way rating was handled causing her to leave public teaching.) If those in charge of education policy would just hold this simple philosophy we might not still be dealing with NCLB.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Technology in Education

Among the many education reform measures is the call for increased technology in the classroom. To most people this means things like more computers and Smart boards. In extreme cases it means iPads for all the kindergarteners. Of course hardware is only one aspect of technology. Software is the driving force for the actual education and there is no shortage of companies vying for that business. In some sense it is the wild west of education, unsettled and barely regulated. It is a field ripe for innovation and snake oil salesman.

Take this program being marketed to teachers.

Qtopia by Qwizdom
(Marketing may be about making yourself stand out from the crowd, but the abuse of English spelling rules in the corporate name alone should make true educators cringe.)

The quasi text speak of the names is a dead giveaway to this company's product and corporate culture. They follow the fad of the young, using gimmicky technology to distract the learner from the learning process. Children answer questions, not because knowing how to do multiplication will enable them to function in the world beyond the classroom, but because it will enable them to purchase virtual items. They are rewarded by the program (and the teacher) with being able to select her avatar, telling the teacher how they, the students, would like her to be. In this video, apparently the students would prefer the teacher be the image of the sexual celebrity icon. They do not focus on her intelligence, leadership or ability to motivate them. Granted, a digital avatar does not exactly allow you to bestow those qualities, but it is obvious from her discomfort in the video, that the very activity has made her uncomfortable and forced her into a self image she does not like.

The particular activity chosen alternates between math facts and 20 seconds of game play. The entire time a fast paced music track runs in the background continuously stimulating the child. They make no bones that this uses the same features that feed gamers obsessive tendencies. The activity chosen does not actually teach, it assesses. Students who do not know their multiplication facts would simply be faced with an endless stream of problems with no reward. Studies have shown that students quickly tire of this type of activity. These studies show that when the immediate reward for academic performance is removed, the students stop participating in the learning process.

The role of the teacher is completely transformed by this software. Note that she does not need to know the standards to prepare her lessons. The program can select from either state standards or national ones. It develops the work and grades the students responses. This teacher says she can choose portions that complement what she is already teaching, but keep in mind this software is new. Over time it will expand to encompass more of what the teacher teaches. There will be less of what she does with students and more of this stuff. Is this what we want for education - A teacher marginalized to the role of game show model who turns the answer blocks?

Kid Electric at The Silicon Tower suggests these guidelines when considering technology in education:
It is extremely important that we evaluate and understand the advantages of educational technology tools before spending valuable resources (time and/or money) on them. Software tools need to be purposefully selected and integrated into instruction not based on how "new", "cool", or "powerful" they are, but based on whether the technology provides an advantage in meeting an educational goal. Let us consider some of the ramifications of jumping headfirst into using a technology before evaluating its purpose or advantage for the educational task:
  1. If the software is poorly designed, or is brand new but untested or unproven, it may be worse than using traditional methods or older technologies.
  2. If the software is a good tool, but not the right tool for the lesson at hand, student performance will suffer and students will learn less than if they didn't use the technology at all.
  3. If the teacher is untrained, unwilling, or unable to teach and guide students in effective use of the software, it will not be effectively integrated.
  4. If using traditional methods (pens, pencils, books, paper, verbal discussions, etc) would result in superior performance or better learning, then it is a waste to use technology.
  5. If any of the above occur, instructional time is wasted, learning is impeded, and the reputation of using educational technology is harmed. If low performance is perceived to occur in spite of (or even "because of") technology, this will make it difficult to convince anyone to invest future time, money, or effort in acquiring and using educational technology.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Common Core = Educational Equity, NOT Educational Excellence.

...two words NOT allowed in Common Core standards. "Uncommon" & "Creative"

Jamie Gass from Pioneer Institute writes about current DOEd education reform and common core standards in an article entitled "Leaves of Memory Going Dark":

Gov. Patrick, Secretary Reville, and other state officials must realize the damage the national standards are doing to the high school English curriculum and require yearlong courses in American and British literature, as well as classical literature in Grade 9 or 10. If they do not, their lasting legacy to the Bay State’s schoolchildren will be one of trading that which is beautiful and enduring for the jargon-filled dead language of educationists.

Here are some of the buzz words and jargon-filled dead language of educationists sprinkled in Arne Duncan's, Michelle Rhee's and David Coleman's statements about education and education reform:
  • Educational equity
  • Common core
  • School choice
  • Global competitiveness
  • STEM ready
  • College ready
What the educationists don't tell you but what is becoming apparent is this is not about individual education and teaching to each child.   That which is beautiful and enduring is being replaced with data driven assessments and conformity.  What is obvious is when the DOEd pushes common core, the emphasis is on common.  Education is not geared to excellence and surpassing goals.  Education's emphasis is for all students to be the same according to Arne Duncan:

His record of achievement is already secure. After talking about national standards for decades, the U.S. has finally adopted them. This is an example of Duncan’s quiet skills. By deleting the word “national” and working through the governors, he bested conservatives who have long refused to accept standards from Washington. Using the lever of Race to the Top, 41 states have adopted “common core” standards in just two years. “For the first time, a child in Mississippi and a child in Massachusetts will be judged by the same yardstick,” he says.

States won't be judged by the same yardstick, students will judged by the same yardstick.  This means children with low, middle and high IQ scores will be judged on the same common standards and assessments.  How's that working out for gifted or highly motivated students?  Common core is determined to make these kids common and services are being curtailed for them according to Insidehighered.com:

The College Board, facing widespread criticism, on Tuesday announced that it was abandoning plans to test out an August administration of the SAT this year. Many high school students want a summer option for taking the SAT, but many college and high school officials were upset by the College Board's plan to try out the idea with a summer program of the National Society for the Gifted and Talented -- a program whose $4,500 price tag led many educators to call the pilot a "rich kids SAT."

Initially the College Board defended the idea of using that group to test an August SAT. But on Tuesday, the board issued a statement that said in part that "certain aspects" of the summer program whose participants would gain the August SAT opportunity "run counter to our mission of promoting equity and access, as well as to our beliefs about SAT performance." The statement added, however, that the organization was "still very much committed to exploring the concept of a summer administration," and would look for ways in the future to do so "in a manner that better aligns with our mission and the students we serve. Steps also are being taken internally to ensure that future initiatives receive the appropriate level of senior management review."

This statement of equity and access from the College Board, soon to be headed by David Coleman, one of the primary architects of Common Core, is not surprising and is a foundational belief (if not the foundational belief) of educational reform.  What can gifted students expect in North Carolina thanks to Common Core?  From educationviews.org:

Under new education reforms adopted by North Carolina, gifted elementary school students will no longer be able to take middle school courses formerly available to them.

In an effort to phase in a set of national education reforms knows as the Common Core — an educational initiative that seeks to improve American education through unified and rigorous teaching across state lines — North Carolina has voted to install a more difficult curriculum for the 2012-2013 academic year.

Officials say that middle school math courses currently taken by gifted elementary school students will be too difficult for them after the curriculum changes, the McClatchy-Tribune reports. As a result, middle school courses will no longer be available to advanced elementary school students.

These changes fuel an already heated national debate on education reform. They raise the question of whether compliance to national educational standards such as the Common Core can stifle individual schools, preventing them from being able to push — and conversely, alienating — their brightest pupils.

This is reminiscent of Nancy Pelosi's statement about Obamacare:

"We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it...away from the fog of the controversy"

Now that the governors, state boards of education, and the common core architects are telling you what's in Common Core and educational reform, if you have a student whose learning style/ability is not "common"... good luck.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

MO GOP Passes Platform Resolution Against Common Core Standards

The Missouri GOP convention was held last weekend in Springfield.  In addition to delegates to the national convention, the convention also voted on the state GOP platform. The education portion of the platform was a mixture of the expected GOP issues like; restricting access to porn on public school computers, rejecting school based clinics that dispense contraceptives or abortion counseling, and acknowledging the right of parents to raise their children according to their own convictions, but also some planks that could have come right out of the liberal left's playbook like merit pay and supporting policies to reduce bullying in school. The comments that were submitted by the MEW editors which were widely circulated and supported prior to the convention were not included in the platform presented Saturday.  All of this begs the question: Who wrote this portion of the platform and what criteria did they use to decide what went in there?

Any conservative who has been paying attention to education lately knows that anti-bullying policies are one of the prime tools for pushing a LGBT agenda into schools. It was therefore surprising to see this plank in the MO GOP platform and I can honestly say there were many tried an true republicans there who were shocked to see it in there last Saturday. They were also none too happy about the plank that said republicans would support systems that grant parents the ability to help their children "escape" failing schools. This statement says so much about what is wrong in the thinking today about our school system, even in the republican party.

First of all, the average parent does not want to look at the school system as a prison to be escaped from. If they do feel locked into it, that is the first problem that should be addressed. Schools should be a community developed and supported service, not a mandatory sentence to an inadequate government designed and run system. If it is not working, most parents do not want to escape from it, as that implies having to move away from their community or abandoning one aspect of their community while still living there. Most parents want to "fix" their failing schools and be given tools and options for doing so. Fixing their schools is also part of a plan to fix their community which is good for everyone.  Escaping failing communities is what causes urban blight which does not seem to be something republicans would want to support.  It may just seem like semantics, but the word choice reveals the underlying beliefs about education.

(The full text of the education platform is included at the end of this post.)

Before the final gavel fell, however, there was one shining moment for education. Some very diligent republicans would not let the education platform stand as is and submitted a resolution calling for republicans to reject Common Core Standards or any national standard being imposed upon the state from outside Missouri. The resolution also called on Missouri republicans to push for the abolishment of the US Dept of Education. The only discussion on the resolution was in favor of it so it was quickly put to a vote and almost unanimously passed by the delegates. 

Here is the actual text of the resolution.

As Republicans, we reject Jimmy Carter’s U.S. Department of Education and vow to eliminate the department. Also, we reject President Obama’s Race to the Top and Common Core Curriculum to establish a national curriculum.

The establishment clearly has its own agenda. But what happened Saturday shows that the voice of the people can be heard. We just have to keep standing up and standing together.

  1. From the Missouri Republican Platform
    Educating Our Children

    Education is a true vehicle of opportunity. The education of Missouri's children is much more than the first fiscal priority mandated in the Missouri Constitution. It is our moral imperative. Therefore, the Missouri Republican Party SUPPORTS:
  • Efforts at the state and federal levels to adopt a fair system that grants parents the ability to help their children escape failing schools and attend schools of their choice—whether private, charter, or public.
  • Quick action to address the urban education crisis that has already sacrificed the futures of generations of young people.
  • The foundation formula that funds education based on the needs of our children rather than the taxing capacity of a school district.
  • Education savings accounts that are tax exempt and may be used for meeting education expenses for each individual or family member without penalty for withdrawal.
  • Local school boards in their efforts to guarantee quality instruction and to remove an unfit teacher.
  • Reforming teacher tenure to ensure that the best teachers, regardless of their length of employment, remain in classrooms.
  • Establishing a merit pay system that rewards the most effective teachers.
  • Policies to reduce bullying in schools.
  • Policies that stress the importance of parents in the education system and allow and encourage parents to play an active role in their local education system.
  • The authority of parents as the primary educators of their children in all matters, including morality and sexual responsibility.
  • The fundamental right of parents to raise their children according to the convictions of their family and faith, to be the primary authority to determine and direct the nurturing, health care, education, guidance, discipline, and moral upbringing of their children including, the ability to home-school or send children to faith-based schools free of burdensome government regulations.
  • Protecting children in our public schools and any public entity where computers and the Internet are made readily available from pornography on the Internet, with local entities choosing the proper filter.
  • Rejecting the establishment of school-based clinics/health links that dispense contraceptives and provide abortion counseling.
  • Requiring the informed consent of a parent or guardian before providing health, mental health or substance abuse treatment services to minor students in public schools.
  • Empowering local school districts to determine how best to handle the teaching of creationism and the theory of evolution.
  • Encouraging people to use their real life experience to teach in elementary and secondary schools.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Let's Go Ahead and Chip Babies at Birth. It will be a More Efficient Way to Supply Information to the P20 Pipeline. Science Fiction or Real Possibility?

Insert a lifeclock chip or barcode into humans.  What's the difference?

How many of you remember the movie "Logan's Run"?  If you missed it the first time around or were too young, here's a recap:

Logan's Run is a 1976 science fiction film directed by Michael Anderson and starring Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan, Roscoe Lee Browne, Farrah Fawcett and Peter Ustinov. The screenplay by David Zelag Goodman was based on the novel of the same name by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson. It depicts a dystopian future society in which population and the consumption of resources are managed and maintained in equilibrium by the simple expedient of killing everyone who reaches the age of thirty, preventing overpopulation. The story follows the actions of Logan 5, a "Sandman", as he runs from society's lethal demand.

In the year 2274, the remnants of human civilization live in a sealed domed city, a utopia run by a computer that takes care of all aspects of their life, including reproduction. The citizens live a mostly hedonistic lifestyle but have been told that in order to maintain the city, every resident must undergo the ritual of "Carrousel" at the age of 30, where they are vaporized with the promise of being "Renewed." To track this, the humans are implanted at birth with a Lifeclock crystal in the palm of their hand that changes colors as they approach their "Last Day."

Most residents accept this loose promise of rebirth, but some sense that it is simply execution for the sake of population control, and go into hiding to avoid Carrousel. These fugitives are known as Runners, and the city's computer assigns Sandmen (officially known as DS agents, de facto executioners), who pursue and terminate them.

The character of Michael York becomes a runner via a computer assigning him to find other runners and his Lifeclock crystal advances four years, making him close to that dreaded age 30 level.  He sets out and what does he find?

Once outside, Logan and Jessica notice that their Lifeclocks are now clear and no longer operational. Venturing further, they discover that vegetation has overrun much of the remains of human civilization, and explore the nearby area, once the National Mall in Washington D.C. Within the ruins of the United States Senate chamber, they discover an elderly man, a surprise to them both, neither having ever seen a person this old before. The old man explains what he knows has happened to humanity outside of the city; Logan and Jessica realize Sanctuary is a myth.

The scene of the ruined Senate chamber resonated with me when I saw this movie in 1976.  I thought "oh, this would never happen" but three decades later, I'm wondering if the book's author and the screenwriter were clairvoyants.  Privacy rights and the rule of law protecting citizen information is quickly disappearing.

We are to embrace and accept government tracking our children from birth to the grave via Longitudinal Data Systems connecting various federal agencies to supply our babies as human capital to the workforce.  Arne Duncan demands "data-driven" statistics to make American students globally competitive.  Human personalities are unimportant as hundreds of data sets determine where your child will be placed, either on a career or college track.  Studies of women prior to even becoming pregnant (but planning on becoming mothers) are taking place in the St. Louis area and other parts of the country: 

 Here is some of the information they will gather on children in this study. (For a more detailed report you can access the 76 page brochure here). It seems as if it will indeed ask and answer hundreds of questions about children. Combined with the data sets from the schools, it appears there isn't much varying Federal agencies (over 40 Federal entities in the Children's study alone) won't know about your family or your child. Do you believe this is a positive development? Why do all these federal agencies need to garner information on families and individuals? Is this the role of government?

Whether you think it is a valid role or not, the government is already studying its first baby in the region. Here is an article about the first St. Louis infant born into the National Children's Study: http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/news/2011/03/08/first-baby-born-into-national.html

There have been subsequent attempts to remake "Logan's Run".  Inserting a Lifeclock crystal in a baby's hand to track them from birth to "renewal" was a cutting edge technology thought in 1976 but tracking humans now would be easier and more cost effective.  In 2012, we could just microchip babies at birth or barcode them.  From the nydailynews.com and "Human barcode could make society more organized, but invades privacy, civil liberties":

Science fiction author Elizabeth Moon last week rekindled the debate on whether it's a good idea to "barcode" infants at birth in an interview on a BBC radio program.

“I would insist on every individual having a unique ID permanently attached — a barcode if you will — an implanted chip to provide an easy, fast inexpensive way to identify individuals,” she said on The Forum, a weekly show that features "a global thinking" discussing a "radical, inspiring or controversial idea" for 60 seconds.

Moon believes the tools most commonly used for surveillance and identification — like video cameras and DNA testing — are slow, costly and often ineffective.

In her opinion, human barcoding would save a lot of time and money.

Is the Longitudinal Data System information mandated by Race to the Top and Common Core standards the first step toward a Logan's Run society?   Should the government have the right to track your life from birth to death and make decisions on who has access to this information for workforce (or other) purposes?  Do you exist to supply the workforce?   

I thought "Logan's Run" in 1976 was science fiction.  I'm not so sure now.  I wonder if Roger Ebert and the NY Times would alter their reviews of this movie based on the current push to gather human capital information for the government's use:

Roger Ebert gave the film a three star rating, calling the film a "vast, silly extravaganza", with a plot that's a "cross between Arthur C. Clarke's The City and the Stars and elements of Planet of the Apes," but "that delivers a certain amount of fun."[1]
The New York Times was less positive:[9]
Just why and for what particular purpose Logan makes his run is anything but clear after you've sat through nearly two hours of this stuff. Logan's Run is less interested in logic than in gadgets and spectacle, but these are sometimes jazzily effective and even poetic. Had more attention been paid to the screenplay, the movie might have been a stunner.

What's a stunner is how Americans are evolving from human beings into human capital to be used by the government and its purposes. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Bush = Obama = Duncan and the Sunday Education Weekly Reader 06.03.12

Jeb Bush (R) loves Obama's (D) & Duncan's (D) education plan.

Welcome to the Sunday Education Weekly Reader for 06.03.12.  The elections are quickly approaching.  Will Republicans change the tide (either on the state or national level) and stop the centralization of education?

It looks doubtful, according to these tweets:

  •  Can Romney dismantle Dept of Education <-No, he supports RTTT & CCSS. Romney & Obama like collecting kids' data.  

What's the best option for education?  It is the antithesis of the current educational reform:

Instead of the current buzz words of data driven, educational equity, school choice, common.....how about school districts (not the DOEd or consortia) adopt the goals of providing:
  • Individualism
  • Personal relationships
  • Engaging teaching and learning
  • Quality instruction and curriculum
  • Excellence...instead of making all students the same
Aren't the goals listed by Sir Ken Robinson what taxpayers/parents/students want and deserve from tax dollars?  So why is the trio of Bush, Obama and Duncan pushing something vastly different?
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