November, 2015

UPDATE - HOUSE CONFEREES NAMED!  Here are the House conferees for the ESEA/NCLB bill along with their Twitter handles. Please teweet to the as discussed below.  (Apparently Senate conferees have been named as well, but that information is not available on the Senate HELP Committee website.)

  • Rep. John Kline (R-MN), chairman, Committee on Education and the Workforce  @repjohnkline
  • Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN), chairman, Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education  @toddrokita
  • Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC)  @VirginiaFoxx
  • Rep. David P. Roe (R-TN)   @DrPhilRoe
  • Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) @CongressmanGT
  • Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY)  @brettguthrie
  • Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN)  @RepLukeMesser
  • Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK) @reprussell
  • Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) @repcurbelo
  • Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI)  @repgrothman

Congressman Bobby Scott of Virginia, Ranking Member, Committee on Education & Workforce @repbobbyscott


Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici of Oregon @RepBonamici
Congressman Jared Polis of Colorado @jaredpolis
Congresswoman Susan Davis of California @repsusandavis
Congresswoman Frederica Wilson of Florida @RepWilson
Congresswoman Katherine Clark of Massachusetts  @RepKClark
  • Congresswoman Marcia Fudge of Ohio @repmarciafudge

THIS IS AN ALL HANDS ON DECK RED ALERT! Congressional education leaders have reached a behind closed doors framework agreement on the rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently called No Child Left Behind (NCLB).  According to Education Week, Congress is poised to ram this through quickly at the end of the year while people are distracted by the holidays and the presidential primaries:

Expect the conference to kick off next Tuesday night [TOMORROW 11/17] and conclude by Thursday. And expect the bill to be on the floor of both chambers after Thanksgiving recess. That will give enough time for rank-and-file lawmakers to read it and make sure they understand what's in it before they have to vote on it. 
It is CRITICAL, even with the holidays, primaries, terrorism, and other terrible news to inform your members of Congress, PARTICULARLY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES of what is in the bill and how dangerous it is for our children.  PLEASE CALL 202-224-3121! Here also are links to the contact information and social media directories for Congress:
Here is a short note that you can copy and paste or adapt into an email or message your members on Facebook. 
Dear _______________
As a parent and citizen, I am outraged that congressional leadership has negotiated a compromise bill for the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind in secret. This legislation has such enormous implications for the future of our children and the nation.  The available information about this compromise contains much disturbing news, especially since it appears to be based mostly on the Senate bill

False protection against federal interference in standards and curriculum The language in both bills is no different than the already violated statutes without enforcement mechanisms that gave us Race to the Top and Common Core in the first place.

A new nanny state/"Baby Common Core" preschool program Federal involvement in education is unconstitutional to begin with, but extending and expanding the invasive, harmful and manipulative Common Core philosophy and methodology to our youngest children is appalling. In addition, here is a new compilation of studies showing the ineffectiveness and harm of these programs.  

21st Century Schools/Parent Replacement Centers These comprehensive womb to tomb, nearly 24/7 schools with school, health, mental health, and other invasive, non-academic programs that are outside of the constitutional authority of the federal government and have no great record of effectiveness.

No parental opt-out provision The one excellent piece of parental rights language in the House bill has been removed and the 95% test participation mandate remains.  This is unacceptable to me as a parent and will also continue forcing our teachers to teach to the test instead of meeting the individual needs of students.

Until the public is allowed to see the actual language, there are a number of other potential horrors like increased psychological profiling and continued control over state plans by the secretary of education that were in the Senate bill and could likely be in the agreement.  These, as well as details about what is listed above, are listed in the letter signed by over 200 organizations and experts in 46 states and are also depicted in this cartoon:

This conference report MUST be voted down.  While much of the Common Core system with its associated tentacles was implemented via regulatory fiat without Congressional vote or oversight, a vote for this bill will be seen by me as your affirmation of all that is wrong with federal interference in education.  This system is harming students, teachers, school boards, states, and local districts. We need a bill signed by a president that understands and will follow the rule of law and will not participate in the destruction of public education, not a lame duck with an abysmal record of overreach and harm to teachers.

Please let me know your position as soon as possible.  Thank you for your service to this nation and to the families of our district.



In addition to your own representative and senators, it is very important to concentrate on the full congressional leadership and the education leadership.  Here are some tweets that you can send yourself or go to the links and retweet or substitute the names of your own members:
For GOP Members:
@SpeakerRyan Listen to 200+ parent groups in 46 states!  Slay the beast! #StopESEA #EndFedEd

Listen to 200+ parent groups in 46 states!  Slay the beast! #StopESEA #EndFedEd

Listen to 200+ parent groups in 46 states!  Slay the beast! #StopESEA #EndFedEd

For Democrats:
@NancyPelosi ESEA keeps fed testing mandates. Teachers have to teach to invalid standards/test or leave students #StopESEA #LetTeachersTeach

ESEA keeps fed testing mandates. Teachers have to teach to invalid standards/test or leave students #StopESEA #LetTeachersTeach
@repbobbyscott ESEA keeps fed testing mandates. Teachers forced to teach to invalid standards/test or leave kids #StopESEA #LetTeachersTeach

Thank you for all you are doing to protect the hearts and minds of our children!

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