Sunshine State News - Parents Have Been Right All Along About Common Core: Officials Should Listen

The enormous problems with Common Core Standards (CCSS) and accompanying tests have been obvious to parents and citizens groups since they first were imposed by states succumbing to federal bribery/coercion in 2010. Voluminous evidence continues to confirm those perceptive beliefs.
Parents, along with many experts, saw the academic inferiority of CCSS immediately. Parents have been in the forefront of protesting the destruction of math education during the Common Core era. Not teaching standard algorithms, marking correct answers wrong because the student didn't use Common Core methods, and developmentally inappropriate standards have made it impossible for parents, even engineers and professors, to help their children with math homework. The resulting distress has led to a mass exodus of both students and teachers from public schools.

In English, vocabulary-rich classical literature that both teaches students how to write well and important principles of Western Civilization has been replaced by dull technical manuals or psychologically manipulative texts. Snippets of classics are taught without context.

Data is vindicating these parental concerns in spades. Jane Robbins of the American Principles Project described a new Pioneer Institute study by Ted Rebarber of AccountabilityWorks and Neal McCluskey of the Cato Institute, "Common Core, School Choice and Rethinking Standards-Based Reform," that explains "how Common Core has not only damaged public education but also threatened the independence of private schools. How? By imposing government strings on the curricular autonomy of the schools that accept government funding via school-choice mechanisms such as vouchers. Rebarber called Common Core 'the worst large-scale educational failure in forty years.'"

Undergirding that statement are the 2017 NAEP national results in math, which showed stagnation after declining for the first time in 25 years in 2015. Although Florida Read more

Posted in Political Aspects of Common Core. Tagged as data mining, English, Grant Addison, indoctrination, math, Neal McClsukey, Rick Hess, Ted Rebarber.

Specific Concerns About Competency Based Ed. in SB 1714 Related to Cost, Quality, Privacy and Choice

Karen R. Effrem, MD - Executive Director

Note: All emphasis in quotes is added and an online PDF version of this document is available HERE.
1) SB 1714 presumes district-wide implementation of the CBE program well before the results of the pilot program are in (see lines 39-41).[1]
2) According to the Gates Foundation website[2], there is Gates grant money for this type of program in Lake ($7 million) and Pinellas Counties ($3.3 million), but not for Palm Beach and Seminole. Will state or country taxpayers or both have to pick up the slack to fund these expensive, technology-driven programs?
3) The Gates Foundation and technology based education programs in general have a long track record of failure This pilot is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation[3] that also gave $100 million to Hillsborough County to reform teacher evaluation and pay with the county required to bring in additional $100 million, but the county's cost rose to $124 million and the program is being dismantled after largely failing.

Los Angeles wasted $1.3 billion on iPads[4] for every student that were to be loaded with Common Core software that was a Gates-Pearson[5] joint effort[6] that were utterly unusable and resulted in FBI investigations for bid rigging.

Baltimore is embarking on a similar misguided $270 million endeavor[7] where the superintendent took a consulting job with a related company after awarding that company a large contract

No evidence that either teaching or assessing online works and some evidence that it does not given the recent news that PARCC assessment scores were lower for those students taking the tests on computers than those taking them on paper. We are also all aware[8] of the many significant technical problems with AIR in Florida[9] and numerous other states[10].

Before moving into the Race to the Top and Common Core effort, the Gates Smaller Read more

Posted in Standards. Tagged as career tracking, Competency Based Education, data mining, Lake County, Palm Beach County, Pinellas County, Psychological Profiling, Seminole County.

Concerns About Competency Based Education

Competency based education (CBE), also called proficiency based education programs are metastisizing all over the country, including in Florida where there is a bill for a pilot program (HB 1365 Ray Rodriguez/ SB 1714 Brandes) They are the next step in converting America's education system away from academic education and towards psychosocially-based workforce skills in the vision of Marc Tucker of the National Center for Education and the Economy. The infamous 1992 letter to Hillary Clinton envisioned a plan:

"to remold the entire American system" into "a seamless web that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same system for everyone," coordinated by "a system of labor market boards at the local, state and federal levels" where curriculum and "job matching" will be handled by counselors "accessing the integrated computer-based program."

Here is a brief summary of grave concerns regarding competency-based or proficiency-based education
There is no agreed upon definition of competency-based education and great subjectivity of program elements

There appears to be an emphasis on low-level workforce skills and behavioral/psychological parameters instead of academic knowledg

The psychosocial teaching and profiling of students has many concerns related to privacy guaranteed under the 4 th amendment, freedom of thought, subjectivity and validit

Extensive data mining and sharing with third party vendors and the federal government without parental consent including for digital badges that results in much sensitive data being shared with third party vendors also without consent

Florida's data privacy law is based in the 40 year old, already weak federal FERPA law that has been gutted via regulatory fiat by the current administratio

Horrific data security for data housed by the US Dept. of Ed evidenced after two US House Oversight Committee Read more

Posted in School to Work. Tagged as Competency Based Education, data mining, non-cognitive skills, social emotional learning.

FSCCC Comments Submitted Regarding Orwellian Federal Family Engagement Policy

After only hearing the news the day they were due due to the holidays and travel, Dr. Karen Effrem submitted comments on January 4th in response to the US Departments of Health and Human Services and Education joint and very Orwellian "family engagement" policy framework. Here is a summary of the issues discussed:

Parents are not just "equal partners," they "own the store" when it comes to raising their children Although the document says on page one that "Families are children's first and most important teachers, advocates, and nurturers" on page 1, it does not clearly set forth the preeminent role of parents in the education and upbringing of their children. Based on Pierce vs. Society of Sisters, Troxel vs Granville, and Meyers vs. Nebraska to name a few seminal Supreme Court decisions that have affirmed the constitutional right of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children, the pervasive language in this document that parents are mere partners with government or that government programs are to perform "parenting interventions" is extremely disturbing and unacceptable.

Promotion of government home visiting programs Based on this agency's own research, these programs are extraordinarily ineffective in two of the major areas that they are alleged to help: a) Prevention of Child Maltreatment: For primary measures in the studies reviewed where there was data listed, only 15/75 parameters (20%) showed a positive effect while 60/75 parameters (80%) showed no effect and there were many programs not studied.
b) Child Development and School Readiness: For primary measures in the studies reviewed where there was data listed, only 77/448 parameters (17%) showed a positive effect while 362/448 parameters (82%) showed no effect, 3/448 parameters (1%) showed a negative or ambiguous effect, and there were many programs not studied.

Focus on social emotional parameters and data for young children It is Read more

Posted in Federal Education. Tagged as data mining, Dr. Karen Effrem, Family Engagement, home visiting, parenting interventions, socia and emotional parameters, US Department of Education, US Department of Health and Human Services.

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