Karen R. Effrem, MD - Executive Director
Sadly, despite clear and detailed warnings from parents, teachers, activists, and policy experts, the US Senate passed its rewrite of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB)/Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) called The Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA S1170) on July 16th by a vote of 81-17. Three Democrats voted against the bill because of not enough government control, but nonetheless did the right thing. It is extremely clear that big government and big business interests, who are supporting pro-Common Core candidates like Jeb Bush, John Kasich, and Hillary Clinton, are colluding to cement federal control over American education.We would like to thank the following senators for their opposition votes to the overall bill: NAYs --17
Blunt (R-MO)Booker (D-NJ)Crapo (R-ID)Cruz (R-TX)Daines (R-MT)Flake (R-AZ) Lee (R-UT)Moran (R-KS)Murphy (D-CT)Paul (R-KY)Risch (R-ID)Rubio (R-FL) Sasse (R-NE)Scott (R-SC)Shelby (R-AL)Vitter (R-LA)Warren (D-MA)
Florida's other US Senator Bill Nelson did not vote on the bill or any amendments as he is recovering from cancer surgery. We wish him well.Three of the five presidential candidates in the Senate Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) voted no. Bernie Sanders (I-VT, a member of the Socialist Party running for president as a Democrat) voted for the bill. The fifth, Lindsey Graham (R-SC), did not vote. Senator Sanders offered one amendment on youth unemployment that was rejected (see below). Senators Rubio and Graham did not offer any amendments to the bill, nor did they make any statements about it afterwards. Here are the statements of Cruz, Paul, and Sanders: Cruz: "While this bill makes some improvements to the status quo, it ultimately falls short of empowering parents and local school districts. To that end, it is a missed opportunity for meaningful change."Decisions regarding our children's future should be placed in the Read more
The Every Child Achieve Act's (ECAA) Early Learning Alignment and Improvement Grants (Sec. 5610) offer new federal funds to "assist states" to "more efficiently using existing Federal resources to improve, strengthen, and expand existing high-quality early childhood education, as determined by the State." Despite the benign and pleasant sounding offer of help and resources to be used as states see fit, these grants greatly expand federal control over preschool as Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind have done for K-12. Here are the problems: There is no evidence of long-term effectiveness of early childhood programs that justify their great cost, but there is evidence of academic and emotional harm.
Each state applying for a grant must promise to and explain how it will use "existing Federal, State, and local resources and programs that the State will coordinate to meet the purposes of this part, including"... "Head Start" and the "Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG)." [Sec. 5902]
Analogous to the Common Core standards incentivized by Race to the Top and the federal mandates for statewide standards and tests required by the 1994 version of the ESEA, there is a rapid spread of statewide or federal early learning standards and early childhood assessment incentivized by the 2011 and 2014 Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge (ELC) Grants and mandated by the 2007 Head Start and 2014 Child Care and Development Block Grant reauthorizations.
According to the ELC Collaborative analysis of the ELC grants, at least 15 states declared openly that they are aligning their early learning standards to Common Core or admitted that they are aligning to the K-3 standards, which is a de facto admission of Common Core alignment.
Mentioning it eleven times in the legislation, Head Start requires not only every Head Start program, but also every other state pre-k program to fully align to the Head Read more
Karen R. Effrem, MD Executive Director of the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition & President of Education Liberty Watch
Uncle Sam is lately wearing a white coat and placing American students on the psychiatrist's couch. The number of federal education bills, tests, programs and other policies promoting indoctrination and assessment of affective attitudes, beliefs, "mindsets," "non-cognitive skills" and other non-academic traits is rapidly and alarmingly proliferating. Here are the most recent and very concerning examples:1) The Every Child Achieves Act (S 1177) This is the 792 page Senate version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization. Some of the many examples of federal expansion of mental health screening in the schools include: Training teachers who are not mental health professionals to mentally screen student
Doing special education (IDEA)-style behavioral monitoring and intervention school-wide without delineation between observation, suggestion, and treatment nor clear methods of parental consent and privacy protection for behavioral information.
The federal government is promoting the concept that schools taking on the functions of families and physicians by paying for schools to provide mental health care
They are even putting mental health in physical education
2) The Student Success Act (HR 5) The House version of the ESEA/NCLB reauthorization expands affective testing by omission instead of commission and also continues mental health programs for certain groups: The rewrite of the section that discusses state standards, assessments and accountability leaves out the key protection that prohibits the federally mandated state tests that "evaluate or assess personal or family beliefs and attitudes." This was one of the few good pieces of language in No Child Left Behind.
Title I funding includes funding for coordination of all sorts of health Read more
Here are brief descriptions of three great and important federal education bills that increase parental rights, state sovereignty, and local control. Then are three bills that dramatically increase federal control and destroy education data privacy as well as our children's freedom of conscience and the rights to be secure in their thoughts and attitudes without federally funded psychological profiling. Please review this information and ask your members of Congress by phone (www.house.gov/representatives and SENATORS RUBIO (202-224- 3041) AND NELSON (202-224-5274) to support the first three and oppose the second three: BILLS TO SUPPORT AND PROMOTE : 1) Student Privacy Protection Act (SPPA) - S 1341: The text of this great bill sponsored by Senator David Vitter (R-LA) is available HERE.This legislation provides important protections in the following areas:
Rolling back the disastrous extra-congressional regulatory changes that vastly expanded access of third parties to our children's personally identifiable data, now limiting that access and requiring parental consent in all cases
Holding educational agencies, schools, and third parties liable for violations of the law through monetary fines, damages, and court costs
Prohibiting psychological or attitudinal profiling of students or gathering of sensitive family information via any assessments, including academic assessments or survey.
Extending data protections for homeschooled students required to submit educational data to public school districts
Prohibiting educational agencies, schools, and the Secretary of Education from including personally identifiable information obtained from Federal or State agencies through data matches in student data.
Banning Federal education funds to states or districts that film, record, or monitor students or teachers in the classroom or remotely without parent or adult student and teacher consent.