Wednesday, March 2, 2011

the attempted end run around THE LAW

From this LINK;

In creating the Department of Education, Congress specified that:

No provision of a program administered by the Secretary or by any other officer of the Department shall be construed to authorize the Secretary or any such officer to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, over any accrediting agency or association, or over the selection or content of library resources, textbooks, or other instructional materials by any educational institution or school system, except to the extent authorized by law. (Section 103[b], Public Law 96-88)
Thus, the Department does not

* establish schools and colleges;
* develop curricula;
* set requirements for enrollment and graduation;
* determine state education standards; or
* develop or implement testing to measure whether states are meeting their education standards.*

These are responsibilities handled by the various states and districts as well as by public and private organizations of all kinds, not by the U.S. Department of Education.

* Since 1969, the Department's National Center for Education Statistics has conducted the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). It is the only nationally representative and continuing assessment of what American students know and can do in major academic subjects and provides a wealth of data about the condition of education in the U.S. NAEP is not the same as testing done by each state to measure how well its students meet the state's academic standards; however, a large discrepancy between children's proficiency on a state's test and their performance on NAEP may suggest the state needs to take a closer look at its standards and assessments and consider making improvements.


Through the "Race to the Top" funding and the support for the SMART and BALANCED ASSESSMENT CONSORTIA etc. ... the Secretary of Education and the US DoE are attempting an end run around the US Constitution and US Law.


The Common Core State Standards are poorly written, inferior to Washington's existing Math standards, will cost our state $182 million dollars to implement (mostly in unfunded mandates to local districts), and will result in more educational chaos in schools throughout the state. IMHO the worst thing about the CCSS is that they will essentially require that we give up our state sovereignty over education. Parents, Teachers, and the public at large will be removed from input about what our kids are learning in favor of a national one size fits all approach.

The Smart and Balanced Assessment Consortia is not just designing assessments, but they are designing curriculum which is specifically prohibited by law. While under present circumstances people may be ignoring this violation, this will not be sustainable over time as we see ever changing political climates. In fact, it wouldn't be far fetched to believe that there could be a major change in attitude with regard to this issue in 2012. There is no justification to make this change because it will offer no permanent benefit to Washington students and is likely to end up in more chaos with substantial costs and unintended consequences. A two year delay could save us from huge problems that loom on the horizon.

1 comment:

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