Please take the time to read this. It is a mammoth read. With PDFs, if you right-click you can search for specific words or phrases. I strongly recommend every single parent, teacher, staff members, legislator, and US citizen read this. It will change everything forever. If there is anything in here you don’t like, call your state Congress representatives and tell them to vote NO!!!! I know what I will be doing when I get home from work tonight…
This is an urgent message to every single public school teacher in America. You need to fight for your jobs. That’s right. You need to STOP this ESEA bill coming to a vote on Wednesday. If you don’t, it will weigh on your conscience when all the bad stuff in the bill is implemented and you have even less control than you do now. This legislation actually changes the future of teaching. You will no longer be a teacher, giving instruction to your students. You will become a data coach. A facilitator. Is this what you want? If it is, then you can certainly stay the course. If you want to stand around while children are plugged into computers all day and you base your very brief interaction with students on what will amount to a corporate written script, then stay the course. But I urge you to read this legislation when it is made public tomorrow. You need to act fast once you do. Call your Congress representatives immediately if you do not think this is a good thing.
You have been under-minded by numerous companies and “leaders” in America. Between No Child Left Behind, Common Core, Race To The Top, VAM, Standardized Testing, and so forth. Are you really going to sit back and let this happen again? You have a voice. A very powerful voice. Use it. And not through the lips of your leaders. Use your own voices. But do it now before it is too late.
Just because your union presidents are endorsing this sham of an education bill does not mean you have to. This bill is designed solely for the corporate education reformers. The very same ones who pushed VAM and hardcore evaluations on you. If you want to see the escalation of more money going out to companies instead of your classrooms, than doing nothing or endorsing this bill is your best course of action. But if you believe that this is not education, but a nightmare being inflicted on kids and teachers, than you need to get on the phone, email, social media and any way or method you have to put a stop to this bill.
I am sure many of you are thinking “It’s no use. There is nothing I can do.” If you have that attitude, you are absolutely right. But there are many of you fighting this fight and using their voice. They will not quit. They will not let public education be destroyed by greed and corruption. If you truly believe in public education, then you need to fight. And even if you like some parts of this bill, you need to nuke the whole package with your voice. All of you.
For those reading this who have no clue who I am, I will tell you. I’m just a dad. A very angry and upset father who has watched the fall of education happen before my very eyes. I watched it affect my own son with disabilities in the worst ways possible. I acted. I researched. I dove in to the data and the very diabolical events happening at my state’s Department of Education. I saw how they pushed stuff through that was damaging to teachers and students and schools with no one the wiser. I got wise. I made it my mission to upset their plans as much as humanly possible. I speak because so many of you can’t. But it has reached a point where those of us who are fighting the good fight need you to rise. If you have to march on your state capital or actually drive to D.C., do it. Use social media as your weapon pointed right at those who would disrespect you and destroy what you enjoy. But for the love of public education, do something!
You don’t have time to do nothing. It is 11:59 on the public education doomsday clock!
The above picture was originally on Amazing Stories Mag
We only have three days to make a VERY strong impression on the members of Congress before they vote on the ESEA Reauthorization on 12/2. Three days. They won’t even be releasing the final bill until tomorrow. I saw somewhere, either on Facebook or Twitter, someone put out a plea to have the members of Congress let the public view this for 60 days. For something as important as the future of education I am inclined to agree. I don’t think it will happen. This is the bill that the corporate education reformers are salivating over. As well as the politicians who have the most to gain.
It wouldn’t shock me if Delaware Governor Jack Markell has known for months what is going to be in the final draft. Because all indications point to the very agendas he has been having HIS Department of Education and HIS Secretary of Education inflict on Delaware. These are crafty and sneaky people, whose sole existence is to do the Governor’s bidding. Like little minions without a mind of their own. I love how this bill “allows” states to create their own accountability systems but the ESEA Flexibility waivers demanded it from most states. Even though it wasn’t congressionally approved and merely “guidance”. It’s almost like the US DOE and the States knew exactly what was going to be in this bill…
Call your state members of Congress TODAY! Time is running out!
To the members of the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teacher, and the Badass Teachers Association:
I know many of you are torn over the latest edition of the Elementary/Secondary Education Act reauthorization. It looks great on the surface. But embedded within are numerous “easter eggs” designed to steal your jobs right out from under you. It won’t happen tomorrow. It won’t happen a month from now. This is the long con. This bill will eventually replace the jobs you rightfully deserve, and will put data facilitators in your place. Students will be plugged into their personalized learning modules, striving to pass their current unit standardized assessment. K-12 will become a thing of the past. The need for teacher instruction will be gone. I’m going to take a wild guess that most of you don’t see this as a great leap forward in your profession. So I have to ask, why are the leaders of the NEA and AFT urging members to endorse this reauthorization? Why are they considering this the great change that will bring back the respect and standing you have lost over the years? Start at your local level and bring it all the way up the food chain straight to NEA President Lily Eskelen Garcia and AFT President Randi Weingarten. Let your locals know you are not happy with this. The devil is in the details, and while many of you are glad teacher evaluations are being looked at in different lights, do not think for one second that the entire profession of teaching as you know it is not in serious jeopardy. And I would urge Garcia and Weingarten to look out for their members and not play politics with so much at stake. Our children’s teachers deserve better than this bill, and I think you both know this.
To the Badass Teachers: you are all awesome and I love your dedication to education! Don’t change a thing about what you do, but do not endorse this horrible legislation!
Rep. John Carney, Senator Carper and Senator Coons:
We need you to vote NO on the ESEA Reauthorization. This is not about children. It is about companies, and their endless invasion into public education. They want to turn our children into their testing guinea pigs with their personalized learning and competency-based education. We know this is just an even more invasive method for them to break up Common Core and standardized tests into micro-chunks through their digital platforms. We know lobbyists in Delaware and across America have been pounding you and your offices with all the reasons you need to vote yes. We know the Delaware DOE, the Delaware State Board of Education, the Rodel Foundation, the Delaware Charter Schools Network, and Governor Markell have most likely been calling you non-stop to vote yes. That is not good enough to sell the souls of our children down the river. You represent the people of Delaware. Not companies like Schoology and Achieve. Not American Institutes for Research and all their sub-companies. Not the Council of Chief State School Officers. Not the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and the University of California.
I am quite sure all three of you have aspirations to continue in government, whether it is at a state or federal level. The people of Delaware are fast becoming aware of the dangers in this legislation. Those in the know don’t want this. They don’t want their children broken down into data points and tested incessantly. This is what this bill is all about. It is not about the students. It will only serve to kill the illusion of helping those who need it the most. Vote with your conscience, not your future prospects. Vote with the knowledge that if you let this bill pass, your chances of re-election or your campaign for Governor will meet with very serious resistance. This is not a threat, this is a fact. When you start messing with children, you hold your fate in the hands of parents. The same parents who press buttons at the voting booth. Some of you may think it is a foregone conclusion that your political lives will continue based on voting patterns in Delaware. This smoke and mirrors is evaporating faster than you realize. The polls may say one thing, but the reality is a parent’s love for their child is bi-partisan.
Do the right thing for the children of Delaware and America. We the people are counting on you.
In a press release today, the Education and Workforce Committee in the United States Congress stated the next step in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is about to begin:
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 13, 2015
|CONTACT: Press Office
|Joint Statement on Efforts to Reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Ranking Member Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), along with Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), issued the following joint statement on efforts to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act:
We believe we have a path forward that can lead to a successful conference, and that is why we are recommending to our leadership to appoint conferees to take the next step in replacing No Child Left Behind. This is a law that everyone wants fixed, and teachers, parents, and students are counting on us to succeed. Our efforts to improve K-12 education will continue to reflect regular order, providing conference members an opportunity to share their views and offer their ideas. Because of the framework we’ve developed, we are optimistic that the members of the conference committee can reach agreement on a final bill that Congress will approve and the president will sign.
# # #
The details of this are going to be watched by many. No one is going to get everything they want. That is certain. But many people are going to be looking at what is sacrificed and what is rammed in there at the last minute. I believe they should honor opt-out if they keep the standardized assessments, or just get rid of them entirely. I don’t think they should do anything that continues the road we are on because the past 15 years have clearly shown us it is not good for students.
Today, a coalition of advocates from nearly every state in the USA joined together to write a letter asking the United States Congress to suspend committee meetings on the ESEA Reauthorization until a new President is elected. Delaware is included in this, as Refuse The Test Delaware and Delaware Against Common Core. Please read the document below to see why so many are opposed to this particular ESEA Reauthorization.
President Obama, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and Delaware Governor Jack Markell continue to pull the issue of race into education. Every time they talk about the proficiency gaps in low-income schools, they fail to mention the very mechanism by which these gaps are allowed to flourish: standardized assessments. It’s a Catch-22 for a lot of folks. If you disagree with them or their minions, you are accused of not caring about black kids. If you agree with them, it looks like you are selling out traditional public school districts.
As Civil Rights groups speak out on the ESEA reauthorization, we already have veto threats by President Obama on either the House or Senate acts. He has not come right out and said it, but he is given strong notions he doesn’t support either legislation. Arne Duncan is pulling the Urban League president to support not getting rid of standardized assessments. Delaware Governor Jack Markell openly said he “doesn’t like” a parent opt-out bill that would codify a parent’s right to opt their children out of the state standardized assessment, citing as one of his reasons that minority children would be disadvantaged.
I take great issue with even the tiniest implication that I don’t care about minorities. As my son is a special needs student, he already is a minority just by the very nature of his rare disability. Many of the children in the schools that need TRUE help the most, have all three: poverty, disabilities, and a minority status.
The bottom line is this: there is far too much federal and state control in education. The result of this is students who are tested incessantly, teachers who are judged based on these test scores, and an out of control charter school industry that doesn’t play by the rules and the states and feds allow it. By openly stating the bottom schools aren’t doing well in the environment Obama, Duncan, and many state governors created, is all the proof we need that what we have now just isn’t working.
As Smarter Balanced and PARCC scores start to trickle in from assessments given in Spring, we are seeing these great tests are no better than what came before. It will show standardized assessments with high-stakes are not a true measurement of student’s abilities. But it will show they need improvement, allowing more state and federal dollars to go to “consultants” who will “fix” our schools. And the cycle does on and on, unless Congress finally steps up and does what is truly right for America’s public school students.
The first step they need to take is implementing all promised Title I and IDEA funding as originally approved. Until they do that, nothing is going to improve for low-income, minority, and students with disabilities until they get the proper resources they need: lower classroom sizes, more special education services tailored for their individual IEPs, more education regarding these issues to educators and staff, and true educator-parent-student relationships with a collaborative effort. It doesn’t matter what you call a curriculum or a standard, if you don’t have the basics down in terms of having an equitable school, nothing else matters.
Yesterday, 175 Civil Rights Groups and associations of the Journey For Justice Alliance wrote the U.S. Senate about their demands for reauthorization of the Elementary & Secondary Education Act. This is in sharp contrast to the small number of civil rights groups who have spoke out against parent opt-out the past few months. These groups say what so many of us have been saying all along: high-stakes testing is extremely dangerous for students with low-income and/or minority status and students with disabilities. From the press release, announced today:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 7, 2015
CONTACT: Rachel Tardiff, Rachel@FitzGibbonMedia.com, 202.746.1507
Nearly 200 Civil Rights, Community Groups Send Letter to Senate Demanding Fair & Equitable Reforms to ESEA Reauthorization
Groups Highlight Disproportionate Consequences of Testing for Black & Brown Students, Demand End to High Stakes Testing in Public Schools
This week, the Journey for Justice Alliance—a coalition of parents, students, teachers, and community & civil rights organizations—along with 175 other national and local grassroots, youth, and civil rights organizations, sent a letter to Senators Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid demanding that high stakes tested be removed from the civil rights provisions within the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization bill currently being debated in Congress. Instead, the groups are calling for an end to school closures and privatization and investment in sustainable community schools with well-balanced assessments and challenging and varied curriculum.
In the letter, the groups state: “We respectfully disagree that the proliferation of high stakes assessments and top-down interventions are needed in order to improve our schools. We live in the communities where these schools exist. What, from our vantage point, happens because of these tests is not improvement. It’s destruction.”
Read the full letter here: http://www.j4jalliance.com/media/openletter/
The letter continues: “High stakes standardized tests have been proven to harm Black and Brown children, adults, schools and communities. Curriculum is narrowed. Their results purport to show that our children are failures. They also claim to show that our schools are failures, leading to closures or wholesale dismissal of staff. Children in low-income communities lose important relationships with caring adults when this happens. Other good schools are destabilized as they receive hundreds of children from closed schools. Large proportions of Black teachers lose their jobs in this process, because it is Black teachers who are often drawn to commit their skills and energies to Black children. Standardized testing, whether intentionally or not, has negatively impacted the Black middle class, because they are the teachers, lunchroom workers, teacher aides, counselors, security staff and custodians who are fired when schools close.”
“The organizations that join us in this letter represent thousands of students who have peacefully walked out of school to protest discriminatory practices, the tens of thousands of parents who have protested school closings and demanded equity. These are the people who know that they don’t have the choice of a strong neighborhood school. They know that we deserve better,” said Jitu Brown, the director of the Journey for Justice Alliance.
The groups reaffirm four primary ESEA demands established in a letter sent by the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (AROS)—a signatory on this week’s letter—to House and Senate leadership in March. Those demands include:
· $1 billion in funding to increase the number of sustainable community schools, which provide an array of wrap around services and after school programs and engaging, relevant, challenging curriculum while supporting quality teaching and transformative parent & community engagement;
· $500 million for restorative justice coordinators and training to promote positive approached to discipline;
· Full resourcing of Title I of the ESEA, including $20 billion in funding this year for schools that serve the most low income students, building to the 40% increase in funding for poor schools originally envisioned in the legislation;
· A moratorium on the federal Charter Schools Program.
Journey for Justice (J4J) is an alliance of grassroots community, youth, and parent-led organizations demanding community-driven alternatives to the privatization of and dismantling of public schools systems and organizing in our neighborhoods, in our cities, and nationally, for an equitable and just education system.
In reviewing the list of organizations on the website, I see NO mention of any Delaware Civil Rights groups or organizations. In fact, they have openly opposed the parent opt-out bill, House Bill 50, even going so far as to take out a full-page ad along with The Rodel Foundation and the Delaware Business Roundtable, who have long supported charter expansion and high-stakes testing in Delaware.
In the past couple days, a very ominous message about the reauthorization of the Elementary Secondary Education Act has been making the rounds over the internet. We all need to know what our Federal Government is about to unleash on our country. I see danger signs everywhere! This seems to be a bi-partisan effort to keep what is hurting students, teachers, and schools the most.
Subject: ALERT: Stop the ReAuthorization of ESEA
IMPORTANT: ACTION REQUIRED: PLEASE POST EVERY WHERE!
We have heard that Lamar Alexander’s bill to Reauthorize ESEA ( No Child Left Behind but no number yet) is on such a fast track, a aide in the office said…lightning speed. This federal mandate is just like Obamacare…mandating that individual children must meet Common Core and be given individual remediation by IDEA interventions. This will Nationalize Education in the United States. We must contact everyone across the U.S. and particularly Senators Casey and Toomey in Pennsylvania to STOP THE REAUTHORIZATION OF ESEA until an investigation ensues that:
1. We must investigate the change of funding that funds an individual through money from TITLE I that follows the child. This is a state’s rights issue. Unconstitutional.
2. We must investigate the entire TITLE I BLANKET of psychological manipulation of redefining a disability under IDEA and the rehabilitation Act which allows a disability to have interventions….not meeting social and emotional outcomes in Common Core. We can prove this through the contracts revealed in Pennsylvania in our ESEA Flex Waiver. (Interpersonal Skills)
3. We must investigate CHOICE using TITLE I monies that will be used as the voucher that will mandate Common Core to every private school. This will be the destruction of private and religious schools.
4. We must investigate the expansion of Charter Schools attached to Choice that impacts every private and religious school. There will be an exodus out of public schools that will crash when private schools accept a choice Title I voucher child. However, our property taxes fund a public school. A charter school has no voice and no vote and no elected school board but uses public funds and your tax dollars. Taxation without representation. (takeover by Charter Schools)
4. We must investigate the State longitudinal data systems (funded by NCES) tracking individuals with a unique national ID and evaluating ALL TITLE I CHILDREN ( that’s ALL children under this legislation.)
Everyone should explain that because of the ESEA Flexibility Waivers issued by Duncan, we already have felt the pangs of erosion of our rights because of Common Core, no local control, the huge data base in NCES collecting personally identifiable information because of unlocking FERPA by an Executive Order by Obama.
Stop the nationalizing of education. This is Obama’s Equity Plan.