Best Line (but watch the whole thing): “Common Core is Obamacare for Education.”
At Education Freedom Ohio, regarding last night’s Common Core hearing in Columbus (bolds are mine):
… Ultimately, aside from HB 237 sponsor Rep. Andy Thompson, only three other representatives respectfully represented this state last night…
They were all Democrats:
Rep. Heather Bishoff
Rep. Fred Strahorn
Rep. John Patterson
At the very least, these representatives listened intently, and asked intelligent questions, which demonstrated that they were listening intently.
Ohio Republicans were impotent and ineffectual. Of course a couple – Stebelton and Brenner – acted like spoiled brats, upset that they had to listen to these witnesses, who … flew in on their own freaking dime to testify about the perils of Race to the Top/Common Core.
They were rude and sarcastic…no, they were sardonic.
… the sad reality, about which we all yearn to be wrong, was more glaring than ever…we can’t fix stupid in Ohio.
But we can vote it out of office.
I don’t want to pretend to be seeing something which clearly isn’t there yet. But I will observe that the massive loss of confidence in government we’ve seen in Washington in just two months has the potential to spread to states which have inexplicably gone along with its largely lawless agenda and have compounded it with lawlessness of their own and, as seen in the full post linked above, by betraying the principles of representative government.
That is to say, politicians in their current perches may not be as untouchable as they clearly believe they are.
Politico’s Stephanie Simon Twice Claims Arne Duncan Apologized for ‘White Suburban Moms’ Remark; No He Didn’t
I don’t want to go overboard here, but most of the print establishment press deserves a bit of grudging credit in the Arne Duncan “white suburban moms” controvery.
Most of them aren’t characterizing the gutless attempt by Barack Obama’s education secretary to back away from his spiteful, condescending, bigoted comment Friday as an apology — because it wasn’t. In a Monday post at the Department of Educations’s Homeroom blog (how courageous — not), Duncan only admitted that “I used some clumsy phrasing that I regret,” and that “I singled out one group of parents when my aim was to say that we need to communicate better to all groups,” while repeating many of the tired lies which have accompanied Common Core’s imposition from its inception. There was no admission of wrongdoing, and nothing resembling an “I’m sorry.” Predictably, Stephanie Simon at the Politico was among those who considered Duncan’s dumbness an apology (links are in original; bolds are mine throughout this post):
Money quotes (among many):
- “… the specific (Common Core) standards were never voted upon by Congress, the Department of Education, state or local governments. Yet the implementation, was approved by 49 states and territories. The President essentially bribed states into implementation via Race To the Top, offering $4.35 billion to participating states.”
- “Somewhere our Founding Fathers are turning in their graves, turning and screaming and trying to say to us is that we teach to FREE MINDS….we teach to inspire, we teach to equip. The careers will come naturally.”
What is the point of slotting kids for today’s jobs, when many if not most of those jobs will either be radically different or replaced by other jobs we haven’t even heard of yet by the time they enter the workforce?
Press Virtually Mum As Arne Duncan Blames Common Core Opposition on ‘White Suburban Moms’ Upset Their Kids ‘Aren’t Brilliant’
Will yet another example of rhetorical intemperance by an Obama administration official get a free pass? So far it mostly has.
A Washington Post item by Valerie Strauss at its “Answer Sheet” blog quotes a dispatch from Libbly Nelson at the Politico, but does not link to it. I couldn’t find a related original story by Nelson at her Politico archive or in a Politico search on Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s name (not in quotes). Here is what the Post says Nelson wrote (HT The Blaze; bolds are mine):
AP Headline Whitewashes KU Prof’s Placement on Leave Over Wishing Sons and Daughters of NRA Members Dead
The Associated Press, in story carried at Channel 6 in Lawrence, reported (HT Twitchy) that a Kansas University professor has been “placed on administrative leave” after he issued the following tweet concerning Monday’s Navy Yard murders: “The blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you.” A NewsBusters post by Ken Shepherd yesterday, since updated to note his placement on leave, noted that Guth is an avid gun-grabbing advocate and that his Twitter account links to KU.
The AP apparently those who peruse its its national site to skip their story on Guth. The item’s headline belongs in the “this is boring, don’t waste your time” wing of the Journalism Hall of Shame:
“Common Core” would give the federal government de facto control over the nation’s schools.
This post went up at Watchdog.org shortly after noon.
The effort to keep “Common Core” out of Ohio’s schools hasn’t suddenly appeared.
That’s certainly what one would think if he relied solely on Catherine Candisky’s Aug. 1 story in the Columbus Dispatch about a bill in the Ohio Legislature to repeal it.
One would also believe, based on Candisky’s presumptive contention that Common Core represents “more-rigorous curriculum guidelines championed by governors and education leaders,” that legislators attempting repeal are standing in the way of improved student performance.
Neither “core” assertion could be further from the truth.
The organized Buckeye State backlash against Common Core has been brewing for more than a year, has grown dramatically this year and is part of a growing nationwide movement.
Contrary to lazy establishment media coverage like that seen in the Dispatch, Common Core is about far more than “curriculum guidelines.” It’s ultimately about who controls the nation’s schools, and perhaps even children’s lives.
“Common Core” arose out of the ashes of the failures of self-described progressive “reformers” to sell the American people on “outcome-based education” and “Goals 2000,” two late-century attempts to impose comprehensive national control of standards, curricula and testing.
The lesson reformers learned was that the states, school districts and parents don’t want a dubiously benevolent Uncle Sam dictating what goes on in the nation’s schools at the micro level, and will never willingly cede control. As a result, they needed a stealth strategy to bypass democratic barriers.
Common Core was written behind closed doors, largely by four education consultants employed by private organizations. Because of this, most state lawmakers and citizens did not hear about Common Core until after state boards and departments of education had quickly adopted it and corresponding national tests, with the Obama administration having presented adoption as the surest route to eligibility for federal Race to the Top money.
Ohio was awarded $400 million in Race to the Top money. Then-Gov. Ted Strickland and his Ohio Department of Education acquiesced to the program’s de facto quid pro quo by agreeing to implement Common Core. Since taking office in January 2011, Gov. John Kasich, his administration and his ODE have done nothing to slow, or to even visibly question, Common Core’s wholesale adoption.
A middle-school teacher acquaintance who has studied Common Core’s social studies curriculum describes it as disjointed, unfocused and confusing.
In February, syndicated columnist and leading center-right blogger Michelle Malkin reviewed a Common Core-aligned algebra textbook produced by publishing giant Houghton-Mifflin. After finding and documenting several examples of flat-out errors, confusing problems, embarrassing misspellings and typos, she observed that it “has been a nightmare in our house,” and pronounced it “crap.”
The Buckeye State Common Core repeal bill sponsored by Rep. Andrew Thompson, R-Marietta, would also, in Candisky’s words, “prohibit the state Board of Education from using assessments based on the standards and outlaw any state entity that deals with education from collecting data on students except for limited administrative purposes.”
That quote alone shows that there’s clearly a lot more to Common Core than just “curriculum guidelines” — just demonstrated to be far less than acceptably rigorous — that Candisky mentioned in her introduction.
The Dispatch reporter tried to deflect data collection fears by quoting ODE spokesman John Charlton, who told her that “We don’t get names” of individual students, just their test scores.
That’s not where the data collection problem lies.
The real problem, as Heartland notes, is that “The national Common Core testing groups … have promised (that) the federal government will receive full access” to whatever “data they will require of states within their student assessments.” That the states apparently won’t get to see much doesn’t change the fact that the feds will get to see everything.
Recent Obama administration scandals involving the targeting of tea party and conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service, the collection of massive amounts of data on American citizens’ daily activities by the National Security Administration, and the Department of Justice’s admitted spying on reporters, should make any parent who cares about their sons’ and daughters’ well-being concerned about why the federal government insists on gathering information on the nation’s school children — public, private, and homeschooled — at the individual level.
The more people learn about Common Core’s reality and scope, the stronger the repeal movement has become. Michigan and Indiana are well on their way to full repeal.
Thompson told Candisky: “We need to do what we never did, which is to have a sit-down discussion about standards.”
The only way to force that discussion, which should not only be about standards but also about the rest of Common Core’s agenda, is to repeal it first. If Common Core is so great, the Legislature, which has never had the opportunity to give it the up-or-down vote such a momentous move obviously merits, will restore it. If not, that result will show that Common Core should never have gotten as far as it has.
This post went up at Watchdog.org a few minutes ago.
The reactions of people who should know better to the pervasive corruption at Columbus City Schools have arguably been more demoralizing than the mounting evidence of wrongdoing investigators continue to accumulate.
It has been a year since the Columbus Dispatch’s Bill Bush revealed that CCS had engaged in “attendance scrubbing” on a truly breathtaking scale for more than five years, wiping “2.8 million student absence days off the district’s computers.”
Mind you, the district only has about 51,000 students.
After all this time, the district’s wall of resistance — let alone receptiveness to genuine reform — has barely cracked.
Why he was fired isn’t why he should have been sent packing long ago.
This post went up at Watchdog.org with minor edits a short time ago.
Last week, an audio recording of Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee exposed him opening his gaffe-prone mouth several times too many in just one appearance.
At a meeting of OSU’s Athletic Council six months ago, Gee fired off smears in rapid succession at Catholics (“You just can’t trust those damn Catholics on a Thursday or Friday”); Kentucky’s two largest universities (they aren’t “institutions of like-minded academic integrity”); the University of Cincinnati (“They’d have to take [OSU Athletic Director] Gene [Smith] out and shoot him to let Cincinnati into the Big Ten“); Wisconsin’s former football coach (“he left just ahead of the sheriff”); and finally, the Southeastern Conference, and really the South in general (they need to “learn to read and write”).
Despite self-evident self-serving denials, this final episode, following several years of similar though more spread-out missteps committed by a man who of all people should know that every word you say matters, is what led Gee several days later to retire as the school’s president.
Gee’s retirement is effective at the end of this month. But like a bad penny, he will reportedly hang around, “probably as a law professor and definitely to raise money for the university.”
Gee should have been dismissed long ago for three more substantive reasons: his overwhelming sense of self-entitlement, his obliviousness to the consequences of his actions, and his failure to reform OSU as he said he would.
Ohio schools corruption update: Ten districts ‘scrubbed’ attendance records; probes of Columbus district expand
This column went up at Watchdo.org with minor edits a short time ago.
In July 2012, the Columbus Dispatch broke the story of “attendance scrubbing” in Columbus City Schools. It seems safe to say that reporter Bill Bush had no idea of the full extent of deception and corruption he, other Dispatch reporters, state investigators, and other law enforcement officers would uncover, both at CCS and elsewhere.
If Bush had found nothing else, it would have been bad enough. But since then:
- Nine other mostly large districts throughout the state were found — one by the Ohio Department of Education, the other eight by the Ohio Auditor’s office, to have purposely engaged in the practice.
- The auditor’s office, headed by Dave Yost, found that CCS had also expanded its fudging by changing the grades of hundreds and perhaps even thousands of students.
- As if this wasn’t enough, the Dispatch learned in mid-February that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has expanded its involvement, and is looking into “possible contract fraud and bid-rigging” at CCS.
May 10, 2013 / 02:03 am
Six weeks after the Indiana Supreme Court upheld the state’s voucher program, Gov. Mike Pence has signed into law a bill that makes more children eligible for vouchers.
“Our Hoosier students deserve every opportunity to be successful. That includes having the choice to attend the school that works best for them,” Gov. Pence said May 9 at a signing ceremony at Calvary Christian school in Indianapolis.
He said the legislation would give more educational options to the state’s students.
The present program allows a family of four with an annual household income of $64,000 to receive vouchers up to $4,500 per child. Unlike programs in some other states, it does not limit vouchers to low-income students in failing schools.
The new bill expands eligibility requirements for vouchers. More children will be eligible without having to spend at least a year in public schools. Siblings of current voucher students, students with special needs, and children living in the attendance district of a public school that received a failing grade in state performance evaluations will also be eligible, the Associated Press reports.
The Indiana Catholic Conference said in a legislative roundup that current Catholic school families who meet income requirements are eligible for a tax credit scholarship through a scholarship granting organization. …
Go here for the rest of the story.
The district has obtained a subpoena for Google to find out the identities of the person who runs the blog, “Concerned Hamburger,” and two people who have posted comments on it, “Klozman” and “Super.”
Concerned Hamburger’s blog is here.
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