Browsing articles in "Federal Education"
Apr 4, 2018
ELW

The National Pulse: One Thing President Trump Can Do Now to Make Schools Safer

 

The President’s School Safety Commission held it’s first meeting and the focus was on the Obama-era lax discipline policies. Here is an excerpt from Dr. Effrem’s review of the meeting and the dangerous situation for students and teachers due to this ill-considered  and unconstitutional guidance:

Review of the guidance and grants have all shown that the Broward County Public Schools and Sheriff’s office have ignored a great deal of criminal behavior — including that of the Parkland shooter — in concert with receiving this guidance, the Promise program, and millions of dollars in School Climate grants.

Although Superintendent Robert Runcie has protested in a Sun-Sentinel op-ed that this cause of the shooting is “fake news,” an interview of Max Eden, a school violence expert from the Manhattan Institute, by Dr. Susan Berry strongly refuted that notion:

“Runcie’s careful formulation contains a falsehood, several omissions, and obfuscations,” Eden says. “It doesn’t cover middle school, where Cruz racked up about two dozen offenses and was transferred into an intensive behavior management school – without ever getting an arrest record.”

“Runcie claims that PROMISE only covered ‘non-violent’ offenses,” Eden observes. “That’s just straight false. The 2013 version covered assault and fighting; the 2016 version covered ‘affray,’ i.e., fighting. That means Cruz’s fights were only deemed non-PROMISE eligible based on administrator discretion, not policy.”

“Given that Cruz is alleged to have threatened students, it’s also worth noting that ‘threats’ are a PROMISE-eligible offense,” he continues. “Perhaps those incidents weren’t recorded as threats. Students have reported that Cruz brought bullets and knives to school. Perhaps those incidents weren’t recorded at all. Or perhaps they were and Runcie’s statement eludes them; the discipline matrix doesn’t highlight Class B Weapons as a PROMISE-eligible Incident.”

Ann Coulter quoted the threats that Cruz allegedly made to kill other students at school that were ignored by school officials:

At least three students showed school administrators Cruz’s near-constant messages threatening to kill them — e.g., “I am going to enjoy seeing you down on the grass,” “Im going to watch ypu bleed,” “iam going to shoot you dead” — including one that came with a photo of Cruz’s guns. They warned school authorities that he was bringing weapons to school. They filed written reports.

The excellent testimony of Eden to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on School Violence painted a stark picture of the dangerous atmosphere for students, especially vulnerable students and staff, created by the Obama guidance that threatened and started investigations in hundreds of school districts for “unlawful discrimination” if students of different races broke the rules at different rates — all without even a regulation:

At Lincoln High School in San Diego, a male student with cerebral palsy was raped in the bathroom. The teacher who caught the rapist in the act tried to raise the alarm. But the administration downgraded the event to an “obscene act.” They did not even attempt expulsion. For their part, the police did not even inform the mother that her son had been raped.

Eden also quoted teachers from around the country who have dramatic stories of the life threatening environments in which they are forced to work:

“Students are threatening teachers with violence and in many cases are physically attacking teachers without consequences.”

“School environment is unsafe. I do not feel safe. Teachers are afraid. Students have little or no consequences for behavior that is often outright violent toward students and staff. Please help us!”


…Given all of the damage this policy and these grants have done to student and teacher safety, local control, and school district costs, repealing this guidance is an incredibly wise idea. It is something that the Trump administration can do without pursuing the complicated legislative process and will have great benefits.

Read the full article HERE.

 

Mar 24, 2018
ELW

The National Pulse: Congress Explodes Deficits, Expands Nanny State with Disastrous Omnibus Bill

The final outcome of the 2018 budget process warned about by Dr. Effrem a few weeks ago was revealed in a 2000+ page bill that members of Congress had less than 24 hours to review:

Tragically for our children’s futures and freedoms — but predictably, as we warned here and here — Congress heeded very few general principles or President Trump’s good ideas about preserving freedom and privacy, decreasing the federal footprint in education, supporting programs that work, or maintaining fiscal discipline. The House yesterday passed the $1.3 trillion omnibus-spending bill — that will only fund the government for six months — by a vote of 256-197. The Senate followed early this morning with a vote of 65-32.

The damage this bill will do the nation’s fiscal health and to issues outside of education is well discussed elsewhere (also here). Instead of restoring local control by giving federal bureaucrats less to work with, as the President’s budget had suggested, Congress increased funding for the U.S. Department of Education (USED) by $2.6 billion.

Areas of the budget discussed in the full article include:

  • Data Privacy
  • Mental Health
  • Preschool
  • After School Programs
  • Competency-Based Education
  • School Choice
Mar 5, 2018
ELW

The National Pulse: Progressives Renew Push for Nanny State Programs — Despite Poor Results

Home Visiting to the Rescue?

Because the mountain of evidence continues to show that preschool is not particularly effective, progressives in both parties are pushing home visiting programs to replace them. The author of a recent piece at the Fordham Institute blog used the cloying and inaccurate “parable” of rescuers (the education reformers) using home visiting to pluck vulnerable children whose family poverty had caused them to be thrown into a river of neurodevelopmental delay, word gaps, achievement gaps, and other horrors that can only be fixed by sending bureaucrats into the home to tell their benighted parents how to raise them.

Here are several reasons why this analogy and analysis are incorrect:

  • Experts in neuropsychology and neurodevelopment admit that there is no 0-3 or 0-5 critical period beyond which it is too late to help vulnerable children. Here is an inconvenient truth from a report considered foundational to the pro-preschool and pro-home visiting camp, especially the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, called “Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development”:

    Available evidence indicates that such critical periods are more exceptional than typical in human development. Assertions that the die has been cast by the time the child enters school are not supported by neuroscience evidence and can create unwarranted pessimism about the potential efficacy of interventions that are initiated after the preschool years.

  • As shown by the Tennessee study, The Atlantic article, and other research, a focus on kindergarten readiness in preschool is not only not helpful, but also actually harmful to longer-term academic achievement. The Atlantic article mentions Finland’s approach of not starting formal reading instruction until age 7 and instead focusing on making sure that “children have heard and listened … They have spoken and been spoken to, people have discussed [things] with them … They have asked questions and received answers.” The American system, focused on pushing academics in kindergarten and preschool due to Common Core, is skewed and harmful — as admitted by hundreds of early childhood experts.
  • Home visiting programs in general are not effective, and this is especially true of the Parent-Child Home Program mentioned in the “parable” article. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has shown in repeated reviews that this program is not helpful in improving child development or school readiness — even if improving school readiness were a good thing to do — and that the program as of 2017 does not even meet HHS criteria as a program rigorous enough to review.
  • Home visiting programs do not deal with the root cause of the problem they are trying to solve: single parent families. Poverty is merely a proxy measure for the enormous and tragic consequences of this government-created crisis. Sending bureaucrats into the home will never solve all of the horrific consequences of growing up without two parents replete in the social service literature.

Read the full article HERE.

Feb 16, 2018
ELW

The National Pulse: Trump’s Budget Cuts Fed Role in Education — But Will Congress Follow His Lead?

The Trump administration’s fiscal 2019 education budget contains many reductions and eliminations that should give hope to parents and privacy advocates. But sadly, congressional appropriators seem almost as genetically incapable of eliminating ineffective, invasive, or harmful programs — despite mountains of data clearly documenting these programs’ uselessness — as they are of exerting any sort of fiscal discipline, as documented by the budget deal discussed last week that will only increase the $21 trillion deficit. So unfortunately, this budget will likely be dead on arrival in Congress unless citizens act.

Details on several areas of the education budget are available in the full  article:

  • Overall spending
  • Data Mining, Privacy and Research
  • Preschool
  • 21st Century Community Learning Centers
  • Mental Health in Schools
  • Concerns

 

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