Expansion of Competency-Based Education Pilot Returns in 2019


There are new plans to expand the 2016 Competency-Based Education (CBE) to every county in the state despite any lack of evidence of effectiveness and actual failurein Lake County. This will disburse the Common Core tests to constant computerized embedded assessments and greatly harm the student-teacher interaction. The Senate bill (SB 226) by Senator Jeffrey Brandes appears stalled in the Appropriations Committee, but the House bill (HB 401) by Rep.DiCeglie is currently on the Consent Calendar for April 23rd. Let your representative know this is a terrible idea. The many problems with the bill and concept are available in this short document [A PDF version of this document with footnotes is available HERE].
Concerns about the Competency-Based Education Pilot Program (SB226/HB401) - 2019 Legislative Session

The expansion of the Competency Based Education Pilot Program to all 67 districts in SB 226/HB 401 is problematic, not only because of in the absence of data showing its effectiveness in any of the pilot counties, but because of the clear evidence that it failed in Lake County, one of the original pilot districts. Lake County experienced a significant drop in graduation rates and the grade for the high school implementing CBE dropped from a B to a D. Bill Gates, who was funding Lake County's CBE effort before it failed has admitted that education technology has not improved academic performancein general.

Data collection, including psychological data, in CBE is extensive, with the FBI issuing public service announcements warning of the privacy dangers related to education technology.

Other CBE problems include:

The concern that this data will be used to pigeonhole children into careers not of their choosing

Harm to the student-teacher interaction

High cost

Narrowing of curriculum to that which can be digitized

Inability of parent or teacher to actually Read more

Posted in Competency Based Education. Tagged as all districts, CBE, data privacy, effectiveness, FBI, pilot project.

DeVos Confirmation Hearing Review


Karen R. Effrem,MD - Executive Director
Betsy DeVos at her January 17th confirmation hearing - Photo Credit to Caffeinated Thoughts

I strongly agree with Shane Vander Hart at Caffeinated Thoughts that Betsy DeVos' confirmation hearing to be Secretary of Education was not terribly informative. Aside from a brief mention of Common Core by Senator Cassidy (R-LA) where she said she wouldn't mandate it from the secretarial level and her answer to a question from Senator Alexander (R-TN, chairman of the HELP Committee holding the hearing) that she wouldn't implement school choice from the federal level, none of the major concerns in our national parent coalition letter about Common Core, privacy, and school choice were asked or answered.

Here is a brief discussion of several issues that did come up and those that should be closely monitored during her control of the U.S. Department of Education:
Common Core Mrs. DeVos answered Senator Cassidy's brief yes or no question, that she would not continue Common Core from the federal level. it is interesting that she said in her prepared opening statement:

And every teacher in America dreams of breaking free from standardization, so that they can deploy their unique creativity and innovate with their students.

If she wants teachers to "break free from standardization" how is it that she has supported national standards and standardized tests that require "standardized" teaching for so long?
However, as stated in numerous writings by many anti-Common Core experts and activists, the foundation of the Every Student Succeeds Act mandates the Common Core by imposing secretarial veto of state plans and requiring states' compliance with eleven different federal laws all mandating statewide standards and tests that are Common Core even if not labeled such. How she implements ESSA will be critical.

Federal School Choice While it was somewhat reassuring Read more

Posted in Political Aspects of Common Core. Tagged as Betsy DeVos, Common Core, confirmation hearing, data privacy, preschool, school choice, social emotional learning.

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