Stopping President Obamas Federally Funded Curriculum and the Expansion of Government Control
By: Linda Murphy
President Obama said, "If you like your school with local control you can keep your school with local control." Well, the President didn't actually say that but the message was the same. Parents, students, teachers, administrators, community leaders and state legislators were all told the education reform that began with the state's acceptance of Common Core State Standards was JUST STANDARDS..... that's it..... nothing else. Eight years later, we now have disclosure from the federal government that Common Core Standards are just the tip of the iceberg which is actually a total transformation of education.
Common Core Standards are just one component in the "transformation" of education designed to produce an aligned system centrally controlled for workforce training. (1)
There are seven foundational components of the transformational system:
1. Common Core State Standards
2. Common Core Curriculum
3. Student testing on mastery of standards
4. Teacher evaluations based on student test performance
5. School evaluation ratings based on student test performance
6. State Longitudinal Data System -- preschool thru 8 years after high school
7. Teachers trained to work in groups and as monitors of the predetermined process
This system is controlled outside the local school district through the student and teacher data which is collected, analyzed, stored, evaluated and used to plan the "best" placement for each student in education and the workforce. This system when fully implemented is a very efficient "pipeline" for the most productive use of human resources/ talent/ raw material in the economic plans of the state. This is the terminology being used by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, governors, global corporate partners and others speaking and promoting the system.
President Obama and his Secretary of Education Arne Duncan used excessive amounts of "stimulus" money to push the biggest ever advancement of federal control over the classrooms across America and now we know that control extends to what our children will learn. The federal control of curriculum has been documented in a published article from Stanford University. Federally funded testing and curriculum are aligned to Common Core Standards, even while states are repealing Common Core Standards from their state law, as we have in the state of Oklahoma.
One of the most basic guarantees of our American Constitution is that States have all rights of government not specifically given to the federal government. Education policy is a local and state right, NOT a federal government right and most importantly it is the right of parents to determine education for their own child. Parents' rights can only be maintained if we preserve local control of education, where a locally elected school board is accountable to the citizens of the local school district.
This is especially important today because of the increased curriculum changes that contain political and even religious worldviews which are pushed into textbooks, worksheets and online (where parents and teachers may never see them). These materials are intentionally designed to "change" the attitudes, values and beliefs of students. President Obama has announced that he is changing the NAEP -- National Assessment of Education Progress testing given in public schools since 1969 to include behavioral (affective) assessment items in the future. (2)
At the same time, Congress is in the process of rewriting the huge and ever expanding federal government education bill, ESEA -- Elementary and Secondary Education Act, including NCLB -- No Child Left Behind. The battle and debates surrounding the bill are centered on States' Rights and Local Control vs Federal Control. Some leaders support an even greater role for the federal government, while others want the federal government out of the classroom.
Presidential candidates are also staking out their positions on education, with Common Core State Standards at the top of the list. Candidates supporting Common Core are suffering in the polls. In November 2016 we will have a new president who will set the direction for the U.S. Department of Education. Candidates who are listening to the American people are voicing their strong opposition to the standards and to federal education. Other candidates are barreling ahead with their agenda for education in spite of wide-spread opposition.
Those of us fighting to STOP federal government control of education will continue to work to educate, expose and assert state, local and parents' rights while we continue to urge U.S. Senate and House members to help us set our children free from the centrally controlled Common Core aligned system.
As we see the "wheels keep coming off" of the Common Core Standards "bandwagon," another level of federal involvement has come to the surface. The following statements are published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review by author Joanne Weiss, who boasts of her accomplishments in advancing the social engineering agenda of President Obama. (3)
â€¦.. "New curriculum materials funded through Race to the Top and released in 2014 are already in use in 20 percent of classrooms nationwide." Weiss was in charge of the program at the federal Department of Education.
Weiss said "Working with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, I led Race to the Top from its inception through 2010. At that point, we had awarded all of the grant money that was available under the program. I then served as chief of staff to the secretary through mid-2013, and during that period I remained involved in the program's implementation. Today, six years after the launch of the initiative, we can start to place its achievements-and, in some cases, its missteps-in perspective." Without missing a beat Weiss wrote that the federal government is directly funding curriculum materials. In the same way the federal Department of Education has control of Common Core Testing which it funds, it also has control over the Common Core Curriculum it funds.
Education Week published Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's announcement in the spring of 2013, that the government would "review and revise" federal testing for Common Core being created by the two testing Consortia: Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Career and College (PARCC) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC).
The majority of governors with the recommendations from the National Governors Association accepted and agreed to the plans of the Obama administration for Common Core State Standards when they signed the application for Race to the Top. They also accepted "stimulus" funding for their state through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). That funding required states to set up a State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) which is now in place to gather, collect, store and share data. For the first time in history, American students are in danger of having their personal and private information kept for years after high school graduation to be used by government and corporate entities to plan educational and job opportunities for them.
Oklahoma Schools began the destructive transformation of our system under Governor Brad Henry and State Superintendent Sandy Garrett. Our State legislators in 2014 heard the public outcry, repealed Common Core Standards from law and continue to work to provide education that is accountable to the public and not to the federal government, the bi-partisan National Governors Association or to corporate global interests.
(1) "The Chamber of Commerce and National Governors Association Global Workforce Plans":
(2) "Stop President Obama's Move into The Dark Side of National Testing"
(3) "Competing Principles" -- Stanford University Report on RTTT and federally funded curriculum:
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