10.6.11 -- “The Roadmap to Winning a NCLB Waiver” – Donna Garner’s response to this article:
Bottomline: The Obama administration will pick the “judges” and “set the definitions.” Whoever has that kind of control will determine the outcomes. In other words, the Obama administration will be able to decide beforehand which states get the NCLB waivers and which ones won’t. Those states that dance to the Obama administration’s tune (meaning the adoption of Common Core Standards and its accompanying national standards, national curriculum, national assessments, teachers’ salaries tied to students’ test scores, teachers teaching to the test each and every day, national indoctrination of our public school children, national database with student/educator/family-identifiable data) will get the NCLB waivers. AND all of this will be done right under the noses of Congress without their ever having taken a single vote.
I beg of you to contact your Congressmen. (I have posted various Congressional e-mail addresses at the bottom of this page.) All they have to do is to cut the funding for Common Core Standards/Race to the Top RIGHT NOW, and the whole Obama scheme would come falling down in ashes.
States and locals can work together to write their own standards that are explicit, grade-level-specific, knowledge-based, academic, and measurable. Then these standards can be tested with a majority of objective (instead of subjective), right-or-wrong answers so that the resulting student scores can be trusted.
In May 2008 Texas began redoing its curriculum standards and is in the process of redoing its testing and accountability system. Other states could do the same. The Texas Education Agency has even offered to help other states to develop their own state-specific process.
Roadmap to Winning an NCLB Waiver
By Michele McNeil on September 29, 2011 6:01 AM
Although Education Secretary Arne Duncan holds the ultimate power in choosing which states get a No Child Left Behind waiver and which don't, a group of outside judges will wield a tremendous amount of influence in deciding states' fates.
And now, the very important peer review guidebook is out from the department, which issues instructions to the judges as they evaluate each state's waiver plan. This document outlines (almost) exactly what states have to do to win the judges over and get coveted flexibility under NCLB.
The judges have not been selected yet, and it's unclear how many will be needed and if their names will be made public before the judging starts. (If you'll remember, in Race to the Top, their identities were kept secret until after the winners were announced by the department, they said, to prevent undue influence.)
In the guidance, there are a lot of clear-cut, yes or no questions that will be easy for the judges to answer: Is the state part of the Common Core or has its university system certified that its standards are college- and career-ready? Does a state's school turnaround strategy include a provision for additional student learning time? Did a state attach its guidelines for its teacher and principal evaluation systems?
But then come the more complicated, nuanced, and even controversial decisions and judgments peer reviewers will have to make.
Overall, peer reviewers for the waiver package will be deciding whether a plan is "high-quality," and "comprehensive and coherent." They will also be looking for whether the plan will increase the quality of instruction and improve student achievement.
The judges also will examine whether the state "meaningfully" engaged and solicited input from teachers and their representatives. More importantly, the judges will be told to ask: Will implementation be successful because of the input and "commitment" of teachers and their representatives? Commitment seems like a pretty strong word, and seems akin to the buy-in the department stressed as part of Race to the Top.
Then, the peer reviewers will drill down and focus on the three main commitments states have to make to get more freedom under NCLB.
On adopting college and career ready standards
Judges will ask: Is there a plan to provide professional development to teachers and principals? Will the state disseminate high-quality instructional materials to accompany the new standards? Is the state planning to increase access to college-level courses, dual-enrollment courses, and other accelerated learning opportunities? Is the state going to work with colleges of education to better prepare teachers for the new standards?
On creating a differentiated accountability system
Are the state's new proficiency targets ambitious but achievable given the state's existing proficiency rates? In identifying rewards for successful schools, has the state made the case that the rewards will actually be meaningful and worthwhile to schools? For the "focus schools" (those that aren't in the bottom 5 percent, but are within another 10 percent of the state's most-troubled schools), has the state justified that the interventions selected will actually increase student achievement? Has the state outlined a rigorous review process for outside providers who will help with school turnaround work?
On adopting guidelines to improve teacher and principal effectiveness
Is student growth a significant enough part of the new evaluation system to differentiate among teachers who have made "significantly different contributions" (emphasis added) to student growth or closing achievement gaps? Will evaluations be frequent enough? Is there a plan for differentiated professional development based on evaluations? Will the state's plan ensure that local school districts will actually be able to put these new evaluation systems into place by 2013-14 (as a pilot), and 2014-15 (full implementation)?
What's missing? The guidance offers zero help to peer reviewers (or states) as to what it means for a state to have to use its new evaluation system to "inform personnel decisions." So, what does that mean? Can you give the poorly performing teachers lunch duty, and does that count? Will you need to hire and fire based on the evaluations? This is a huge question mark.
The Politics K-12 initial takeaway: The extensive number of questions in the Common Core section makes it clear that the department sees implementing standards as a huge challenge. There seems to be a lot of room for interpretation, especially in the teacher evaluation section, and in deciding whether state-designed interventions in low-performing schools are appropriate. If it wasn't clear before, it is now: The people chosen to be peer reviewers—their backgrounds, their ideologies, their employers—will matter greatly.
Senators -- E-Mail Addresses
Senate -- Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee
Senator Tom Harkin Committee Chairman (D-IA) Democrat
Senator Michael Enzi (R-WY)
Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Senator Richard Burr (R-NC)
Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL)
Senators -- Other
Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK)
Congressmen -- E-Mail Addresses
Congressmen -- Education & the Workforce Committee
Congressman John Kline Chairman (R-MN)
Congressman Tom Petri (R-WI)
Congressman Buck McKeon (R-CA)
Congresswoman Judy Biggert (R-IL)
Congressman Todd Platts (R-PA)
Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC)
Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA)
Congressman David Roe (R-TN)
Congressman Glenn Thompson (R-PA)
Congressmen -- Other
Congressman Eric Cantor Majority Leader (R-VA)
Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) Chm. -- House Budget Comm.
Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) Comm. on Oversight, Comm. on Judiciary
Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) 2008 -- Chm. House Repub. Conf.
We’ve always thought Massachusetts should stay out of national curriculum standards in math and English because our standards were better, but the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education signed up anyway. We did say national standards were bound to be an improvement for many states. Now we’re no longer so sure.
An influential body has proposed new science curriculum standards (“frameworks” in education jargon). The state board plans to align the Massachusetts standards with whatever national ones emerge. Both the board and the national organizations sponsoring the “Common Core” project should reject this bewildering effort from the National Academy of Sciences.
We were alerted to this by Ze’ev Wurman, a software expert who helped develop California’s standards and who commented critically on the new Massachusetts standards. In his blog comment on the Academy’s proposal he said: “The framework does not expect students to use any kind of analytical mathematics while studying science.”
The document only expects students by grade 12 to be competent in recognizing this and expressing that, and in using “simple mathematical expressions’” to see if something “makes sense,” Wurman wrote.
Wurman could find only one equation in all 280 pages of the proposal. A careful reading of the 29 pages of the physical sciences section, where equations would be most important, found none at all.
This is baffling. Mathematics, to which the authors devoted much praise, is the language of science. Wurman’s conclusion, which we share: The document “simply teaches our students science appreciation.”
The size of the document is a disqualifier, too. Teachers and principals need a concise document that will tell them what students need to know and how to learn it, not endless streams of sludgy prose.
[Just in case any of you read the Wall Street Journal today in which Jeb Bush and Joel Klein lauded CCSS/RTTT -- Donna Garner]
“The Three-Legged Stool: Obama, Duncan, Gates”
by Donna Garner
The one thing that this New York Times article (posted below) “forgets” to mention is that Obama shares the same agenda with Bill Gates and Arne Duncan. All three have worked together to take the public schools of America away from local control and put them under the control of the federal government. All three share a big-government, Socialist agenda. Gates had the money; Obama and Duncan had the power. Obama, Gates, and Duncan are “the three-legged stool.”
To learn the inner details about the takeover of the public schools by the Obama administration (including Bill Gates), please go to my 5.16.11 article entitled “Rising Chorus of Voices Against Federal Takeover of U. S. Public Schools:
5.22.11 -- Here is a quick summary of this New York Times article. I have listed the individuals and organizations who were “paid off” by Bill Gates to carry out the Obama/Duncan takeover of the public schools.
INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS “PAID OFF” BY BILL GATES TO CARRY OUT THE OBAMA AGENDA
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Allan C. Golston, president of U. S. Program for Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Frederick M. Hess, American Enterprise Institute
Education Equality Project and Education Trust
Bill Gates and Eli Broad -- influenced Presidential candidates -- 2008
National Governors Association, Council of Chief School Officers -- promoted and developed Common Core Standards (CCS)
Achieve, Inc. -- coordinating national assessments aligned with CCS
Alliance for Excellent Education -- to grow support for CCS
Fordham Institute -- received $959,000 to review and develop supportive materials for CCS
Chester E. Finn Jr. (president of Fordham Institute) --promoted CCS when released in March 2010
Center on Education Policy (president Jack Jennings) -- tracked states who committed to CCS
New Teacher Project -- wrote report faulting teacher evaluation systems -- led to development of national teacher evaluation system for CCS/RTTT
$2 Million to produce “Waiting for Superman”
American Federation of Teachers
National Education Association
Foundation for Education Excellence (founded by Jeb Bush) -- advocacy group -- established strong ties to journalists
Educators for Excellence and Teach Plus -- pressures new teachers -- mouthpieces for Gates
Behind Grass-Roots School Advocacy, Bill Gates
By SAM DILLON
Published: May 21, 2011
INDIANAPOLIS — A handful of outspoken teachers helped persuade state lawmakers this spring to eliminate seniority-based layoff policies. They testified before the legislature, wrote briefing papers and published an op-ed article in The Indianapolis Star.
They described themselves simply as local teachers who favored school reform — one sympathetic state representative, Mary Ann Sullivan, said, “They seemed like genuine, real people versus the teachers’ union lobbyists.” They were, but they were also recruits in a national organization, Teach Plus, financed significantly by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Read more
“He’s not the nation’s superintendent,” Rep John Kline said of Arne Duncan-Those Who Does Not Want To Lose Local Controls Has A Hero In John Kline
Rep John Kline, chairman of the House education committee on Thursday challenged plans by the education secretary to override provisions of the No Child Left Behind Law.
Responding to Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s promise to grant states waivers if Congress failed to rewrite it, Representative John Kline of Minnesota, sent Mr. Duncan a letter on Thursday with a demand of an explanation by July 1 the legal authority that he believed he had to issue the waivers.
Mr. Kline went further in a conference call with reporters, criticizing the administration’s use of the $5 billion Race to the Top grant competition to get states to adopt its reform agenda.
“He’s not the nation’s superintendent,” Mr. Kline said of Mr. Duncan, who increased his reach when in 2009, Congress gave $100 billion in economic stimulus money for Education for Mr. Duncan to use at his discretion.
Rep Kline said--“Unquestionably, Congress gave the secretary way too much authority in the stimulus bill when it said, ‘Here’s $5 billion, go do good things for education,’ ”
Indeed, this should be a wake up call to all the states to start looking at the truth--common core states standards was a well thought of plan to use federal money to nationalize education and it certainly was not to raise the nation's standards as facts speak loud and clear even the best standards in California's math and Massachusetts ELA are now dumbed down thanks to blind leading the blind syndrome. Thank God for Rep John Kline, Texas Gov Rick Perry, Donna Garner, Peyton Wolcott and others who are trying to shine the light. In today's economic suicide that this Administration have us heading for--it is time to put the brakes and isn't it ironic--it must start in the Dept of Education!
Visit and find the truth in