November 18, 2015
Many thanks to Jane Robbins of the American Principles Project for co-authoring and The Pulse 2016 for publishing Dr. Effrem's article titled: Nanny State Preschool Expansion -- Another Reason the ESEA Rewrite Should Be Voted Down. Here is an excerpt:
A host of other large studies
using data on thousands of children shows the same pattern of ineffectiveness, fadeout, and/or harm. The most recent is a multi-year controlled study from Tennessee, Senator Alexander's home state, about which Education Week
reported the following conclusions:
". . . Children started off school strong, but by kindergarten were generally indistinguishable academically from comparable peers who did not enroll in the program" and "by 3rd grade the children who attended pre-K were performing worse on some academic and behavioral measures than similar classmates who were never in the program."
Even results from the one study that purports to show long-term benefit
are still described as "dismal" in the mainstream press. There is simply no persuasive research
to countervail this massive evidence.
But politicians and the education establishment cling to the concept of preschool. Advocates of Common Core and other progressive-education philosophies want to extend government tentacles to ensnare ever younger children. The managed economy and managed society can be achieved more quickly if toddlers are removed from their homes and herded into government preschool, where the uncontrolled influences of parents, families, and religion can be replaced with others more likely to advance government goals.
What should be done instead? Perhaps listen to researchers such as Dr. William Jeynes
of UC-Santa Barbara, who identified three of several important factors that significantly improve the performance of minority students relative to white students (closing the "achievement gap"): intact families and religious faith, phonics instruction, and real parental involvement. Having government go even further to replace parents doesn't work and will never work.
If politicians -- including presidential candidates -- are serious about improving education, they'll reject the empty promises of invasive, ineffective, harmful, federal preschool programs. Instead they'll listen to parents who innately understand that their children will develop better in the care of people who love them than with the government. The candidate who leads this fight against relentless government "solutions" in education will reap the political benefits.
November 5, 2015
PHOTO CREDIT - 2016 THE PULSE
As Senator Marco Rubio moves up in the polls after three strong debate performances, his own record,
as well as the financial connections of the major donors for his campaign are starting to undergo significant review. For those that care deeply about downsizing the federal role in education, that means examining monetary ties to Common Core, testing and data mining.
Rubio has done very well in his speeches, the one debate
where he or anyone was able to talk about Common Core and votes related to Common Core and the overreach of the federal government via the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
currently known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). He is to be thanked for voting against the final ECAA/No Child Left Behind
rewrite and for Senator Cruz's amendment on state sovereignty in testing in that mammoth federal bill. He received a solid C, but not higher, on the Pulse 2016 Common Core report card
because of his "Know Before You Go Act"
which will require a boatload of student data mining, but has room for improvement.
Unfortunately, the bloom may be coming off his anti-Common Core rose due to significant donations from two of the largest funders of Common Core in the nation and the world. The first are two donations totaling $3000 from Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates
. Gates recently said in an Atlantic interview
that " representative democracy is a problem" in regard to climate change
. Rubio is the only one of the seventeen Republican candidates that received any political contributions from Gates in the period covered in this chart.
PHOTO CREDIT - RAMIN TALIE/GETTY IMAGES
The other major donor and perhaps more influential for Rubio, is Wall Street billionaire Paul E. Singer. The following excerpts from an excellent Breitbart article by Dr. Susan Berry
explain Singer's foundation:
Singer "founded the Paul E. Singer Foundation
, whose work thus far has 'focused on supporting research and scholars in the areas of free-market economics, the rule of law, U.S. national security, and the future of Israel, as well as LGBT equality efforts and health-care delivery innovation.'"
PHOTO CREDIT - BREITBART
Dr. Berry then goes on to explain how the Singer Foundation has heavily supported Common Core
In each year from 2009 through 2014, Singer's foundation donated
between $50,001-$100,000 to Bush's Foundation for Excellence in Education
(FEE). FEE has been involved in starting Chiefs for Change, a group of pro-Common Core state education commissioners and Bush joined with Bill Gates funded Chester Finn to start Conservatives for Higher Standards, a very lame and failed attempt to portray Common Core as having conservative support.
Singer is also chairman of the very pro-Common Core Manhattan Institute (MI), whose education director Charles Sahm, according to Berry, penned an op-ed
on how Common Core improves the knowledge of history through programs like "Teaching Literacy through History." This is more confirmation that the Common Core English standards via the social studies literacy standards are being used to radicalize US History as has been warned about regarding the AP US History standards
and Minnesota social studies standards
Based on his dealings both in and out of Common Core and education reform, Jeb Bush seems to be the champion of crony capitalism.
However, as we said at the outset, this new information about Rubio's donors is concerning and is similar to revelations about Carly Fiorina's
support for Race to the Top and federal standards, as well as funding and support from very pro-Common Core backers in Arizona. While this may not be fatal to Rubio's candidacy and support from anti-Common Core parents and teachers, it may cause voters to look to other candidates who are stronger
on this issue like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Bobby Jindal, and Rick Santorum.