"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

Search This Blog

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

NSBA Pushes Back Against Arne Duncan but Supports Common Core Standards?

National School Board Association issues press release:

Alexandria, Va. (Jan. 29, 2013) – More than 700 school board members and state school boards association leaders will be meeting with their members of Congress and urging them to co-sponsor legislation, developed by the National School Boards Association (NSBA), to protect local school district governance from unnecessary and counter-productive federal intrusion from the U.S. Department of Education.

...“We must ensure that the decisions made at the federal level will best support the needs and goals of local school systems and the communities they serve,” said Gentzel. “Local school boards must have the ability to make on-the-ground decisions that serve the best interests of our school districts.”

The NSBA is pushing back against Arne Duncan's policies mandating school district policies.   It has prepared draft legislation stopping the increasing Federal encroachment into local districts and states:

The proposed legislation would ensure that the Department of Education’s actions are consistent with the specific intent of federal law and are educationally, operationally, and financially supportable at the local level. This would also establish several procedural steps that the Department of Education would need to take prior to initiating regulations, rules, grant requirements, guidance documents, and other regulatory materials.

“In recent years, the U.S. Department of Education has engaged in a variety of activities to reshape the educational delivery system,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, NSBA’s Executive Director. “All too often these activities have impacted local school district policy and programs in ways that have been beyond the specific legislative intent. School board leaders are simply asking that local flexibility and decision-making not be eroded through regulatory actions.”

This press release sounds encouraging for those against CCSS.  I particularly like this on page 3:

Ensure that national policy in education is established by Congress
through specific legislation.

Congress wrote a blank check to the Obama administration for education reform but legislation for this reform was circumvented. This proposed legislation would ensure such massive federal programs like RTTT would not occur again without legislative approval and sounds promising.  But take a look at this NSBA powerpoint presentation, Getting Ready for the Common Core.  It is not a presentation on how to resist CCSS.  It doesn't urge districts to not implement the standards/assessments.  It is a presentation for districts on how to use CCSS and promote them in your school district and business community.  

I'm curious.  How can NSBA want less federal intrusion into local school district policy and programming and then support CCSS which mandate standards, assessments and ultimately the curricula necessary to use with these standards and assessments?  The two consortia are supported by Federal funding and contain federal mandates.  Should states/districts be able to choose what Federal intrusion is "good" and which should be resisted?  Or should the Federal Government be involved in a state's educational direction/delivery for any reason?

Diane Ravitch's readers had quite a lively discussion on her blog about the role of the Federal government in education and federalism.  Perhaps it's time for NSBA to rethink its support of these national standards that aren't really "state led".  Private corporations own the copyright to the standards and assessments that the "states" were allegedly crafting.  The school districts/states can't change them even if they prove destructive to student learning and achievement.

Shouldn't the NSBA be supporting the revocation of the CCSS since they have been proven to be the blueprint of private organizations using taxpayer money to create a managed workforce?  How can the NSBA support CCSS when it strips local districts of autonomous decision making abilities and governance?   We applaud NSBA for the proposed legislation but urge them to call for the rescinding of CCSS as well.

Susan Ohanian Tweets - "It's been 3 1/2 years since NSBA got $755,603 from Gates. Maybe they're angling for more."

1 comment:

  1. There is a lot of inaccuracy and inconsistency in the NSBA presentation which tells me they are still trying to figure out what their position is. Slide 3 is accurately titled "Common Core Standards are INTENDED to Be", not what they actually are. Yet slide 4 inaccurately claims there were no federal dollars for development. So stimulus money wasn't used? Then slide 6 would seem to indicate the only thing NSBA cares about is not being held accountable for the results. They say they want flexibility and control for local districts yet the only flexibility local districts have with CCSS is on accountability. Lastly on slide 7 they say they oppose a national test. The best way to avoid that is to not set up a permanent bureaucracy that will continually expand until they develop a national test. The presentation tells me that NSBA knows there is something inherently wrong with this set up, but they are still trying to find a way to be good soldiers.


Keep it clean and constructive. We reserve the right to delete comments that are profane, off topic, or spam.

Site Meter