COMMON CORE, CHOICE, AND CHARTER SCHOOLS

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Anita B. Hoge

Ani­ta B. Hoge

While every­one is out there debat­ing Com­mon Core, there is a sys­tem of stan­dard­iza­tion being put in place. And, if you are unaware of this sys­tem, what you don’t know about Com­mon Core, Choice, and Char­ter Schools CAN hurt you.

This sto­ry tells a dif­fer­ent Com­mon Core tale with a much dif­fer­ent end­ing than those who sup­port choice might want. What most peo­ple are NOT think­ing about is why edu­ca­tion is one of the most impor­tant func­tions of our Repub­lic. The answer to this ques­tion is impor­tant for all of us. Not only are we edu­cat­ing our future cit­i­zens, but through the local elec­tions of our school board mem­bers they have the ulti­mate author­i­ty over our tax­ing sys­tem through prop­er­ty tax­es. How do these “edu­ca­tion reforms” impact our rep­re­sen­ta­tive gov­ern­ment?

When you con­sid­er that there is a move­ment to destroy our rep­re­sen­ta­tive gov­ern­ment, “com­mon core, choice and char­ter school ini­tia­tives” become the per­fect impe­tus to change our Amer­i­can sys­tem by (1) mov­ing away from teach­ing con­tent to a “con­di­tion­ing” process, and (2) chang­ing how elect­ed local school board mem­bers will no longer be mind­ing our local trea­sury, prop­er­ty tax­es. This overview tells a dif­fer­ent sto­ry about where we are in this process than what you will find in most oth­er debates about Com­mon Core and Choice. Lets focus on the facts and think about how Char­ter Schools will impact the future of Amer­i­ca.

Think about this. If we no longer have pub­lic schools with local­ly elect­ed school board mem­bers, what will hap­pen to your tax­es? What hap­pens to your vote and your voice in gov­ern­ment? If our pub­lic school sys­tem is changed to a pri­va­tized “choice” sys­tem that uses our hard earned tax­es with no elect­ed boards, who con­trols what is taught? The par­ents? The cit­i­zen vot­ers? Char­ter Schools are the ulti­mate goal for the takeover of pub­lic edu­ca­tion. Char­ter schools are pri­vate­ly owned, usu­al­ly for prof­it, with no elect­ed local school board mem­bers, and they use pub­lic tax mon­ey. Plus, par­ents have no say in how they are run or what is taught.

Think about this. There were three major actions under the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion, with­out leg­isla­tive approval, to change two hun­dred years of tra­di­tion­al pub­lic edu­ca­tion in the Unit­ed States. (1) The Com­mon Core copy­right, which cre­at­ed a nation­al cur­ricu­lum and nation­al test­ing man­dat­ing that indi­vid­ual stu­dents meet indi­vid­ual stan­dards (sim­i­lar to the Oba­macare indi­vid­ual man­date). (2) Unlock­ing data ‘to flow’ through the Fam­i­ly Edu­ca­tion Rights in Pri­va­cy Act, FERPA, which allows per­son­al­ly iden­ti­fi­able infor­ma­tion on our chil­dren to flow to out­side 3rd par­ty con­trac­tors for research and cur­ricu­lum devel­op­ment to match Com­mon Core. And, (3) No Child Left Behind Flex­i­bil­i­ty Waiv­er, (ESEA, Ele­men­tary and Sec­ondary Edu­ca­tion Act), that is re-train­ing teach­ers to teach to Com­mon Core. This also allowed ALL chil­dren in pub­lic school to be fund­ed under Title I by chang­ing the def­i­n­i­tion of who is poor or edu­ca­tion­al­ly deprived to any­one not meet­ing Com­mon Core. (Free and reduced lunch guide­lines of 40% school­wide were dropped to 0%.) These three impor­tant points con­trol stan­dards and test­ing, cur­ricu­lum, and teach­ers with all pub­lic school chil­dren being fund­ed under Title I.

So the ques­tion that must be asked is what else must be changed to move toward this direc­tion – this plan to destroy pub­lic edu­ca­tion and col­lapse our old sys­tem of rep­re­sen­ta­tive gov­ern­ment? A key ele­ment is fed­er­al “choice” which is vehe­ment­ly sup­port­ed by Repub­li­cans. The stage has already been set with char­ter schools. Caps have been removed on estab­lish­ing char­ter schools in many states because of promis­es made to Oba­ma when accept­ing Race to the Top grants. Sec­re­tary of Edu­ca­tion Dun­can dealt out ille­gal No Child Left Behind Flex­i­bil­i­ty Waivers (ESEA) that changed Title I fund­ing to blan­ket an entire pub­lic school. Every child becomes Title I where mon­ey ‘fol­lows the child’ and this tar­gets EVERY child in pub­lic school to change toward Com­mon Core with­out a law being passed.

Now con­sid­er this! How can Repub­li­cans and Democ­rats, with the help of Pres­i­dent Oba­ma and Sec­re­tary Dun­can, be sure that ALL chil­dren in the Unit­ed States—ALL CHILDREN, even in every pri­vate and reli­gious school—come under the fed­er­al thumb of Com­mon Core? They are going to GIVE those Title I funds to EVERY child in pri­vate and reli­gious schools with FEDERAL CHOICE. With fed­er­al choice ALL schools become gov­ern­ment schools and all schools must teach Com­mon Core. This is what fed­er­al choice is all about—getting con­trol of all Catholic, Chris­t­ian, and pri­vate schools.

Add to this fed­er­al over-reach, the sys­tem for com­pli­ance, Total Qual­i­ty Man­age­ment [TQM], a busi­ness mod­el for account­abil­i­ty, is the sys­tem for con­trol. Data col­lec­tion is the key to TQM by mon­i­tor­ing and assess­ing indi­vid­u­als con­tin­u­ous­ly. By link­ing and cross-ref­er­enc­ing all data in the fol­low­ing com­po­nents, this will allow each area to be an easy tar­get for gov­ern­ment inter­ven­tion for equi­ty in edu­ca­tion. This is a sys­tem where indi­vid­u­als are mon­i­tored for gov­ern­ment com­pli­ance and where char­ter schools become the mod­el for a gov­ern­ment takeover. Nation­al­iz­ing edu­ca­tion in the Unit­ed States and remov­ing local­ly elect­ed offi­cials ARE the pri­ma­ry tar­gets of the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion.

This mod­el is some­times very dif­fi­cult for Amer­i­cans to under­stand because there are so many mov­ing parts and name changes, espe­cial­ly under Demo­c­ra­t­ic and Repub­li­can admin­is­tra­tions who both want the same thing. The fol­low­ing expla­na­tion of our present con­di­tion in edu­ca­tion, and how it relates to dimin­ish­ing our rep­re­sen­ta­tive gov­ern­ment, tells what is need­ed to col­lapse our sys­tem of local gov­ern­ment. This will give you an idea of how close we are to los­ing Amer­i­ca as we know it.

The fol­low­ing list is what is need­ed to accom­plish the goals of ‘Obama’s Equi­ty in Edu­ca­tion Plan’ for our entire coun­try:

• char­ter schools replace pub­lic schools:
• every­one has fed­er­al Title I choice funds to go to any school (char­ter, pri­vate or reli­gious schools):
• every child is taught the same stan­dards:
• every teacher must teach the same stan­dards:
• every test must be aligned to these stan­dards:
• cur­ricu­lum and soft­ware is aligned to stan­dards:
• every­thing list­ed here is aligned to gov­ern­ment data col­lec­tion com­pli­ance.

Here are the details of this plan and its imple­men­ta­tion:

The Goal: Align huge amounts of fed­er­al mon­ey toward stan­dards, test­ing, teacher eval­u­a­tions, data col­lec­tion, and inter­ven­tions to con­trol what stu­dents know and what they can do.

The Answer: Race to the Top ($4.35 bil­lion), No Child Left Behind (ESEA Flex­i­bil­i­ty Waivers and Title I), the pro­posed ESEA Re-Autho­riza­tion (No Child Left Behind, Ele­men­tary and Sec­ondary Edu­ca­tion Act), Amer­i­ca Com­petes Act, and all chil­dren will be screened using Spe­cial Edu­ca­tion fund­ing, IDEA, Indi­vid­u­als with Dis­abil­i­ties in Edu­ca­tion Act.

The Goal: Make sure all stu­dents are taught the same by flat­ten­ing the bell curve (every stu­dent meets the same stan­dards) and destroy­ing com­pe­ti­tion (no ABCDF’s). Change the edu­ca­tion­al sys­tem away from aca­d­e­m­ic con­tent to con­trol over what is taught through an indi­vid­ual career path­way. Expand stan­dards to the affec­tive domain (con­di­tion­ing) which means teach­ing and test­ing to reme­di­ate a child’s val­ues, atti­tudes and beliefs to a gov­ern­ment desired out­come.

The Answer: Com­mon Core cre­ates a nation­al cur­ricu­lum and a nation­al test nation­al­iz­ing edu­ca­tion in the US stan­dard­iz­ing and con­trol­ling the stan­dards in each state through a copy­right which removed local con­trol of the cur­ricu­lum. The Col­lege Career Cit­i­zen­ship Stan­dards adds “readi­ness” to the stan­dards expand­ing to dis­po­si­tions, atti­tudes, val­ues, social and emo­tion­al learn­ing or grit for easy con­di­tion­ing (brain­wash­ing, men­tal health cleans­ing, and social engi­neer­ing). Since con­trol has been removed from the local lev­el, now the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment con­trols what the stan­dards are and what will be taught in every school.

The Goal: Make sure all cur­ricu­lum and soft­ware is val­i­dat­ed and matched to exact same Com­mon Core stan­dards.

The Answer: Allow per­son­al­ly iden­ti­fi­able infor­ma­tion to be released on stu­dents with­out parental knowl­edge or con­sent for research to val­i­date cur­ricu­lum matched to stan­dards. Oba­ma issues an Exec­u­tive Order that “unlocks” FERPA, Fam­i­ly Edu­ca­tion­al Rights in Pri­va­cy Act, that allows third-par­ty ven­dors access to a child’s per­son­al data, includ­ing DNA sequences. Mas­sive research is being done in the non-cog­ni­tive and affec­tive domain. Men­tal health and mas­tery learn­ing (func­tion­al lit­er­a­cy) for work­force train­ing replaces con­tent based on aca­d­e­mics. Per­son­al­i­ty change and behav­ioral soft skills are decep­tive­ly named grit, deep­er learn­ing, school cli­mate, safe envi­ron­ments, code of con­duct, social and emo­tion­al learn­ing, emo­tion­al intel­li­gence, and inter­per­son­al skills. Research and data traf­fick­ing of per­son­al­ly iden­ti­fi­able infor­ma­tion on your child is ram­pant.

The Goal: Use ille­gal tac­tics to change fed­er­al law by using ESEA Flex­i­bil­i­ty Waivers to change the cri­te­ria so that ALL STUDENTS in pub­lic schools are iden­ti­fied under Title I.

The Answer: Pres­i­dent Oba­ma and Sec­re­tary of Edu­ca­tion Dun­can removed pover­ty guide­line lev­els, thus mak­ing ALL chil­dren Title I, so ALL chil­dren in the pub­lic schools can be fund­ed to meet the same Com­mon Core gov­ern­ment stan­dards bypass­ing Con­gres­sion­al author­i­ty.

The Goal: Make sure EVERY stu­dent is achiev­ing Com­mon Core stan­dards.

The Answer: Make sure the nation­al test mea­sures Com­mon Core (func­tion­al lit­er­a­cy and behav­ioral out­comes) for account­abil­i­ty. Test, then reme­di­ate. Every child will have a ‘career path­way’ sim­i­lar to an IEP in Spe­cial Ed. (Every child has a dis­abil­i­ty if they are not meet­ing Com­mon Core stan­dards.) Cre­ate inter­ven­tions forc­ing com­pli­ance to Com­mon Core (includ­ing men­tal health stan­dards) for each stu­dent through IDEA, Indi­vid­u­als with Dis­abil­i­ties in Edu­ca­tion Act. ALL chil­dren must be screened and reme­di­at­ed to meet gov­ern­ment Com­mon Core stan­dards with inter­ven­tions in the reg­u­lar class­room, paid for through Spe­cial Ed funding—called Response to Inter­ven­tions or Mul­ti-tiered Sys­tem of Sup­port. Both aca­d­e­mics and per­son­al­i­ty change are the tar­gets for each child under a career path­way. Brain­wash­ing com­mences to gov­ern­ment con­trolled behav­ioral stan­dards.

The Goal: Make sure all teach­ers are teach­ing the same stan­dards and make sure all test­ing mea­sures teacher per­for­mance for account­abil­i­ty.

The Answer: Teach to the test by cre­at­ing teacher val­ue added mod­els (VAM). All teach­ers must be forced to teach Com­mon Core. This is done by eval­u­at­ing teach­ers on how their stu­dents score on tests, thus forc­ing them into com­pli­ance. ALL teach­ers must com­ply to teach gov­ern­ment Com­mon Core Stan­dards and teach to the test. Train­ing for teach­ers is a MUST, because if teach­ers are not teach­ing Com­mon Core exact­ly per the gov­ern­ment cri­te­ria, chil­dren will not meet the stan­dards. Teach­ers are penal­ized for vari­ables out of their con­trol. (Exten­sive teacher train­ing in the ESEA Flex­i­bil­i­ty Waiv­er: train­ing includes: Char­lotte Daniel­son Teacher Eval­u­a­tions, Robert Marzano, Pelligrino’s 21st Cen­tu­ry Skills, and Webb’s Deep­er Learn­ing.)

The Goal: Make ALL stu­dents in the Unit­ed States fund­ed as Title I via ‘fol­low the child’ vouch­ers in Obama’s Equi­ty in Edu­ca­tion Plan:

The Answer: Fed­er­al “choice” is not yet achieved, but, this is how it will be done. The Oba­ma Equi­ty Agen­da is in the Re-Autho­riza­tion of No Child Left Behind, ESEA, (out of com­mit­tee and ready to be leg­is­lat­ed into law) for fund­ing that will “fol­low the child” under Title I, where ALL indi­vid­ual chil­dren must be iden­ti­fied and fund­ed for meet­ing gov­ern­ment Com­mon Core Stan­dards. The waivers have already changed Title I in pub­lic schools. So, the Repub­li­cans have attached amend­ments onto ESEA allow­ing a “CHOICE” vouch­er that equal­izes the fund­ing for EVERY child. This vouch­er will have a student’s name on it and is in every back­pack of EVERY child. These amend­ments to ESEA call for fed­er­al “choice” vouch­ers to go to any child to go to any school they choose, includ­ing pri­vate and reli­gious schools. Think about the impact.

There will be an exo­dus out of the pub­lic school sys­tem into char­ter and pri­vate schools. This wipes out zip codes being des­ti­na­tions for a “bet­ter” education—no more wealthy school dis­tricts. Pub­lic schools will col­lapse. This wipes out local­ly elect­ed school boards. Any pri­vate or reli­gious school accept­ing a “choice” child must teach Com­mon Core. Oba­ma calls this “fis­cal smooth­ing” when every child is fund­ed the same way. All schools—private, char­ter and reli­gious schools—become gov­ern­ment schools that must teach Com­mon Core. Also keep in mind the states fil­ing law­suits against the leg­is­la­tures for the uncon­sti­tu­tion­al­i­ty of fund­ing schools, where judges are rul­ing inequities in rich and poor school dis­tricts.

The Goal: Make sure elect­ed school boards are destroyed.

The Answer: Cre­ate no caps on char­ter schools on the state lev­el to replace pub­lic schools. Removal of local­ly elect­ed school boards is a must for the private/public pri­va­ti­za­tion scheme to work. Char­ter school investors, like Reed Hast­ings of Net­flix, want to get rid of local­ly elect­ed school boards (He has open­ly stat­ed this, watch him HERE). Oba­ma wants bold fed­er­al action to dis­trib­ute funds based on stu­dent need, not zip code, and estab­lish a process for replac­ing chron­i­cal­ly inef­fec­tive local­ly elect­ed school boards. This is the set-up to destroy our rep­re­sen­ta­tive form of gov­ern­ment at the local lev­el.

The Goal: Make it very prof­itable for pri­vate enter­pris­es and busi­ness to invest in Char­ter Schools.

The Answer: The U.S. Sec­re­tary of Edu­ca­tion can award grants for the “Cred­it Enhance­ment for Char­ter School Facil­i­ties” pro­gram which sub­si­dizes and awards pri­vate enti­ties with fed­er­al fund­ing. Char­ter schools are pri­vate­ly run but receive pub­lic mon­ey and, as already not­ed, an increas­ing pro­por­tion of them are being run on a for-prof­it basis. Char­ter schools can access pri­vate sec­tor and oth­er non-Fed­er­al cap­i­tal in order to acquire, con­struct, and ren­o­vate facil­i­ties at a rea­son­able cost. The tax code makes char­ter schools very lucra­tive.

Sta­tis­tics have proven that where char­ter schools have pro­lif­er­at­ed, it is more like­ly that the pub­lic schools will expe­ri­ence finan­cial stress. This is espe­cial­ly dif­fi­cult for local school boards with the trans­fer of pub­lic assets and insti­tu­tions into the hands of pri­vate cor­po­ra­tions. The “New Mar­kets Tax Cred­it” pro­gram that became law toward the end of the Clin­ton pres­i­den­cy, allows firms to invest in char­ters and oth­er projects locat­ed in “under­served” areas. They can col­lect a gen­er­ous tax cred­it up to 39% to off­set their costs. No won­der pri­vate investors are flock­ing to char­ter schools! There is a huge risk fac­tor for any local school dis­trict in a state that passed laws pro­mot­ing “choice” along with an easy approval process for new char­ters, espe­cial­ly with no caps on expan­sion. Race to the Top grants accen­tu­at­ed this process with states promis­ing to drop their caps on char­ter schools when they took the mon­ey. This is the plan for con­fis­cat­ing our tax mon­ey. Your hard-earned mon­ey will come out of your pock­et and go into the pock­ets of cor­po­ra­tions.

The Goal: Elim­i­nate pub­lic schools that aren’t meet­ing Com­mon Core.

The Answer: Gov­ern­ment takeover of schools not meet­ing Com­mon Core gov­ern­ment stan­dards is called aca­d­e­m­ic bank­rupt­cy, pri­or­i­ty or focus schools, and turn-around schools under ESEA Flex­i­bil­i­ty Waivers. These fail­ing schools are a tar­get for takeover if they do not improve their scores on Com­mon Core nation­al tests which ulti­mate­ly points the fin­ger at teach­ers. These schools will be turned into char­ter schools. Par­ent Trig­ger Laws also cre­ate a char­ter school. This con­tin­ues the elim­i­na­tion of local­ly elect­ed school board mem­bers and con­tin­ues expand­ing char­ter schools that have no elect­ed boards account­able to par­ents, cit­i­zens and tax­pay­ers.

The Goal: Col­lapse the tax­ing struc­ture in your neigh­bor­hood.

The Answer: When pub­lic schools col­lapse because of char­ter school expan­sion and fed­er­al “choice,” this will elim­i­nate tax­es based on prop­er­ty. This will seem to equal­ize rich and poor school dis­tricts by fund­ing all chil­dren the same. Oba­ma doesn’t think it is “fair” that there are rich school dis­tricts and poor school dis­tricts. Region­al­iz­ing where your tax mon­ey goes, and pulling the tax­ing author­i­ty away from the local lev­el toward region­al indus­try clus­ters, is the plan. Obama’s Equi­ty in Edu­ca­tion Plan or “fis­cal smooth­ing” and the Work­force Inno­va­tion and Oppor­tu­ni­ty Act align the skill needs of indus­tries in each state econ­o­my or region­al econ­o­my and places deci­sion-mak­ing author­i­ty in the hands of unelect­ed work­force devel­op­ment boards.

The Goal: Cre­ate a lon­gi­tu­di­nal data­base to mon­i­tor EVERY indi­vid­ual in the sys­tem fund­ed from the Amer­i­ca Com­petes Act.

The Answer: The state lon­gi­tu­di­nal data sys­tem, SLDS, with cross-ref­er­enc­ing capa­bil­i­ties to mon­i­tor stu­dents, teach­ers, test­ing, cur­ricu­lum, prin­ci­pals, super­in­ten­dents, schools, school dis­tricts, and states, with an over­all fis­cal respon­si­bil­i­ty, will pin­point each aspect and every per­son in the sys­tem above for account­abil­i­ty and com­pli­ance. Updat­ing tech­nol­o­gy in every school a must. This is the oner­ous enforce­ment mech­a­nism.

The Goal: Elim­i­nate states’ rights con­trol of fund­ing.

The Answer: Fed­er­al “choice” will elim­i­nate state-lev­el author­i­ty because of flow-through Title I funds when fund­ing direct­ly ‘fol­lows the child’ from the fed­er­al lev­el, thus elim­i­nat­ing states’ rights. Vouch­ers are now direct­ed to the indi­vid­ual child. Thus the removal of states rights’ when fed­er­al Title I funds pass-through direct­ly to the child.

No voice. No vote. Gov­ern­ment con­trols every­thing in edu­ca­tion.
An equi­table gov­ern­ment con­trolled sys­tem, with only pri­va­tized con­tract schools, that teach­es only a gov­ern­ment con­trolled cur­ricu­lum, and forces every­one to com­ply to gov­ern­ment con­trolled stan­dards through account­abil­i­ty. I think this is called com­mu­nism.

If Amer­i­can par­ents real­ly thought about this, there would be anoth­er Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion. Shouldn’t we all be think­ing about this? The impli­ca­tions of this true sto­ry are real. From my van­tage point, I would say we are most­ly toward the end of the true Amer­i­can sto­ry. This isn’t just about the chil­dren. It affects us all.