Today, the White House released a very long report on school discipline entitled “The Continuing Need to Rethink Discipline”. The report has a plethora of recommendations for public schools in America. I agree with most of them based on a cursory glance, but like many reports of this nature that I write about, it fails to recognize the fact that Common Core State Standards or other similar standards along with the high-stakes testing environment accompanying those standards are causing more problems than they are worth in our schools. I will write more about this as I go through the report in the coming days.
The Every Student Succeeds Act addresses school discipline and how our schools carry out punishment for negative behaviors. On Monday evening, the ESSA Discussion Group I am a member of in Delaware addressed this very issue. As well, a Delaware newspaper is working on an extensive article about bullying in Delaware and how our schools respond to bullying reporting.
It remains unclear how the incoming Trump administration will view this report.
For now, please read the below report.
In a letter sent to all states in America, the United States Department of Education is pulling the lever towards federal funding cuts to states who have participation rates below 95% on state assessments two years in a row.
If a State with participation rates below 95% in the 2014−2015 school year fails to assess at least 95% of
its students on the statewide assessment in the 2015−2016 school year, ED will take one or more of the
following actions: (1) withhold Title I, Part A State administrative funds; (2) place the State’s Title I,
Part A grant on high-risk status and direct the State to use a portion of its Title I State administrative
funds to address low participation rates; or (3) withhold or redirect Title VI State assessment funds.
Yes, they are actually doing it. I would go with option number 3 for Delaware. We don’t want your stupid state assessment funds. Go ahead. I dare you to do this US DOE. You are nothing but bullies, flexing your muscles in direct opposition to parental rights. You are complete idiots if you think parents are going to take this lying down. We challenge you. Miss Ann Whalen, “delegated the authority to perform the functions and duties of Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education”. Who gave you this authority? The departing Arne Duncan or the incoming John King? You still don’t get it, do you? Schools cannot and should not be punished for parents exercising their God-given, fundamental and constitutional rights for their children when it comes to education. Yes, all schools are required to make sure students participate in the test. That means the schools can’t tell parents to opt out. There is nothing in your insane, ridiculous, mind-boggling, hateful, punitive, and disrespectful law about parents exercising their rights. You are twisting the knife in public education. America is tired of your high-stakes assessments meant to punish schools and feed the wallets of corporate education reformers. You have sold your soul to Wall Street.
President Obama, you are a lame-duck. Are you really going to have this be your education legacy? Choosing business over children? Cutting funds to schools where standardized testing doesn’t mean a damn thing to students whose lives have not improved under your presidency? You disrespect parents. You disrespect minorities. You disrespect students with disabilities. You disrespect teachers. You disrespect schools. You disrespect state rights. You disrespect those in low-income or poverty. I disrespect you if this is really the route you want to take. If this is something you are okay with, if this is something you allow, you should be prepared to take the heat for it. I invite every single parent of a child in public school in America to call you now, until this mandate is GONE, and voice their vehement opposition to this totalitarian rule from the federal government on education. Call today. The phone number for the White House is 202-456-1111. You can email President Obama here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact and tweet him at @WhiteHouse or you can comment on every single article the White House puts out here: https://www.facebook.com/WhiteHouse/timeline. Tell the President your child is not his child. Your child is not the property of the United States Department of Education. Tell him your child is YOUR CHILD. And you know what is best for them in determining YOUR CHILD’S education.
To read the US DOE’s ultimate bully letter to the states, please see below: