Browsing articles in "Common Core Standards"
Dec 30, 2014
ELW

Federal Budget Moves Education Control Efforts Down to Pre-K with Race to the Top

 

Karen R. Effrem, MD – President

The good news is that the recently enacted $1.1 trillion federal budget bill does not fund the K-12 Race to the Top education slush fund at all for the next year.  This is a significant improvement over the average $1 billion/year being spent on this program to implement the Common Core Standards and federally controlled, supervised and funded tests.

The bad news is that fed ed control machine is ramping up it efforts in the pre-K realm.  $250 million from the Race to the Top will now be spent on preschool programs via the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grants and Preschool Development Grants for expansion to a total of 18 states with a total of $750 million more federal spending on early childhood programs:

Development Grants (Year One):

  • Alabama, $17,500,000
  • Arizona, $20,000,000
  • Hawaii, $2,074,059
  • Montana, $10,000,000
  • Nevada, $6,405,860

Total: $55,979,919

Expansion Grants (Year One):

RTT-ELC States:

  • Illinois, $20,000,000
  • Maryland, $15,000,000
  • Massachusetts, $15,000,000
  • New Jersey, $17,498,115
  • Rhode Island, $2,290,840
  • Vermont, $7,231,681

Total: $77,020,636

Non RTT-ELC States (Year One):

  • Arkansas, $14,993,000
  • Connecticut, $12,499,000
  • Louisiana, $2,437,982
  • Maine, $3,497,319
  • New York, $24,991,372
  • Tennessee, $17,500,000
  • Virginia, $17,500,000

Total: $93,418,673

The danger, folly, and expense of these programs has long been documented here, including the Obama administration’s efforts to expand the cradle part of the “cradle to career” programs via Race to the Top:

State of the Union Statistics Mislead on Preschool Benefits
Government Preschool Tyranny “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!”

Early Learning Race to the Top Nationalizes Preschool

Preschool is NOT the Panacea Portrayed in Study

Myths and Facts About Early Childhood Education & Quality Rating Systems (QRSs)

Studies on Effectiveness of Early Childhood Programs

Of particular concern are the Common Core style  standards that focus heavily on subjective, controversial social-emotional topics like gender identity, family composition, environmentalism, social activism, and careers that are then enforced even on private and religious providers via required quality rating systems.  These standards are then linked to the K-12 Common Core standards.  Here are a couple of examples:

Minnesota no longer uses the term “gender identity” which has been defined by a homosexual advocacy law firm as a ” person’s internal, deeply felt sense of being either male or female, or something other or in between. Because gender identity is internal and personally defined, it is not visible to others.”  (Emphasis added.) However, the recently updated standards, still requires a young child to “describe or label self a boy or a girl”  What does this have to do with academic learning?

Florida’s Office of Early Learning’;s glossary of terms for their standards defines family as “A group of individuals living together” with no reference to traditional marriage.

This appears to be part of the continued assault on traditional families and parental rights to raise and educate their children.

Early learning programs are part of a comprehensive “Cradle to Career” involvement of the federal government in education via the Race to the Top grants.  Early childhood is definitely the new front in the battle for the hearts and minds of our children and we will need to continue to fight to protect them.  Stay tuned.

Nov 27, 2014
ELW

Response to Jeb Bush’s Education Summit Speech

Karen R. Effrem, MD – President

Jeb Bush gave the keynote speech at his Foundation for Excellence in Education national education summit in Washington DC on November 19th  as he continues to lay the ground work for a likely presidential run.  He made an effort to soften his attacks on those who oppose Common Core by now saying he respects us and by shifting blame to the federal government.  As his remarks in Education Next on Common Core required a rebuttal, so too do his efforts to continue his unreasonable defense of Common Core.  Here is a response to some of his statements on Common Core from that speech:
JB:  This is why the debate over the Common Core State Standards has been troubling.KRE:  What is really troubling is that you think these horrific standards that are academically inferior, developmentally inappropriate, and psychologically manipulative with their accompanying tests and invasive data collection system should just be imposed on the nation without a word of protest from the parents, students, and teachers that have to suffer under them.JB: I respect those who have weighed in on all sides of this issue.  Nobody in this debate has a bad motive.

KRE:  I suppose that we should be happy that you have changed your tune from this same speech a year ago when you called opposition to Common Core “political” and full of “conspiracy theories.” However, everyone can see that it is you who are being political as you try to placate opposition while getting ready to run for president.

JB: And in my view, the rigor of the Common Core State Standards must be the new minimum in classrooms.

KRE: There is nothing particularly rigorous about these standards. They are untested and not internationally benchmarked. Federally mandated state standards have done nothing in this country to improve achievement and several think tanks including the Brookings Institute say that national standards, particularly Common Core, will not improve achievement either.  Imposing these very problematic standards will only further denigrate our very troubled education system.

JB:  For those states choosing a path other than Common Core, I say this: Aim even higher…be bolder…raise standards and ask more of our students and the system.

KRE: It is not states that should be doing this via federal mandates, but rather parents, teachers, and duly elected school boards at the local level working to improve education without federal and state micromanaging.

Continue reading »

Nov 27, 2014
ELW

ELW’s Dr. Effrem Participates in Major Debate on Common Core with National Experts

 

The California based Faithful Christian Servants group and the Orange County, CA School Board are to be commended and thanked for working together to put on two highly successful Common Core debates. Each one invited four national opponents and four national proponents to discuss various aspects of the standards, testing and data collection system.  Details for the October 20th event are available at this link.  Above is a picture of the November 17th event with the opponent panel of Ze’ev Wurman, Dr. Sandra Stotsky, Dr. James Milgram, and Dr. Karen Effrem.  the proponents were Debra Brown, Associate Director, Education Policy at Children Now; Dr. Doug Grove, Assistant Provost of Adult, Graduate, and Online Learning at Concordia University; Dr. William McCallum, one of the chief authors of the Common Core math standards; and Gerald R. Solomon, Executive Director of the Samueli Foundation.

Approximately 400 people attended the event where the standards, tests and data collection system were intensely debated. Dr. Effrem’s formal written comments on the developmental inappropriateness and psychological manipulation of Common Core given to the board are available HERE. Audio and video of that event will be posted when available.

 

 

Dr. Effrem was also interviewed by Roger Marsh of KRBT’s The Bottom Line show.  Audio of that interview is available HERE.

 

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