PIC is the Parent Information Center of Delaware. Subsidized by the Delaware Department of Education, PIC is a federally mandated organization for parents to use as a resource center for special education. Every state is required to have this type of entity under IDEA, the federal special education law. Why is PIC of Delaware advertising Alliance For Excellent Education and “personalized learning”? Personalized learning, if implemented full scale, would diminish the role of special education in schools by giving every single student their own individual education program, otherwise known as an IEP.
As anyone in Delaware who regularly read this blog know, the biggest supporter for personalized learning has been the Rodel Foundation of Delaware. I get very concerned when I see special education groups pushing what Rodel pushes. As I’ve said before, personalized learning in its true context is light years away from the 21st Century push for it. It would turn teacher-led instruction into screen time for students with teachers becoming glorified moderators. This would take place in a competency-based education environment where a student doesn’t move on until they have “mastered” the material. All in a digital classroom with education technology that reaps high rewards for those who invest in them. Without any regard for the psychological and physical health effects on any student, much less those who have disabilities. As anyone who keeps track of progress for students with disabilities can tell you, special education students would be the last ones to “move along” in this type of classroom. Which makes it even more puzzling that PIC would promote this type of education. When I clicked on the link in the Alliance For Excellent Education ad, it brought me to a YouTube video.
Whatever the intentions were for the Every Student Succeeds Act, it was hijacked by corporate education reformers and they are taking full advantage of inserting what they want in every single state. States are working on their ESSA plans this fall and those who wish to profit off education at the expense of student futures are getting louder than ever.
PIC does a lot of good things. They can be a good resource. But I truly wish they would distance themselves from corporate Kool-Aid like this. It is misleading to parents who don’t know any better. There are enough issues with special education in Delaware. We really don’t want or welcome, for those of us who see these kind of education fix it companies as the charlatans they are, these kind of intrusions in our children’s lives.
Alliance For Excellent Education is led by former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise with funding by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Wise pushes the “Future Ready Schools” initiative, as detailed in the biography on the All4ed.org website:
Don’t let the fancy talk fool you. Future Ready Schools requires district Superintendents to sign a “Future Ready Pledge”, heavily pushed by the U.S. Department of Education, to turn classrooms into an ed tech wonderland. Five current or former Delaware Superintendents signed this pledge: Dr. Merv Daugherty with Red Clay Consolidated, Dr. Victoria Gehrt with New Castle County Vo-Tech, Alan Lathbury with Sussex Tech, Phyllis Kohel with Milford, and John Ewald with Laurel. I have to wonder if they got the consent of their school boards, teachers, students, parents, and citizens of their districts before they committed themselves to this bogus “pledge”. All you have to do is look at Future Ready’s “partners” to understand what this really is.
Remember when you were a child and someone, at one point in your life, told you “If I told you to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you?” Apparently, far too many of those in charge of school districts take the plunge with no regard for students whatsoever. And it looks like PIC of Delaware is pretty wet already…