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.
through specific legislation.
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."