Browsing articles in "Testimony/Presentations"
Mar 24, 2011
ELW

Mental Health/Human Services Testimony

2/14/11 – Dr, Effrem testified before the MN Senate HHS Committee on the dangerous and inappropriate psychiatric screening and drugging of children on Medicaid.  (Audio available here by following  link for February 14th HHS hearing starting at the beginning.  A PowerPoint is available at this link:  The Screening and Drugging of Vulnerable Children)

3/8/11 – Dr. Effrem testified before the Senate HHS Committee on the governor’s budget and the need to promote two parent families and to cut invasive, expensive and ineffective home visiting, mental health, and child care programs.  (Audio available here by following March 8th HHS hearing at 27:00.  A PowerPoint presentation is at this link: HHS Budget0001.)  Here is a more detailed PowerPoint just on the issues with   Home Visiting.

Mar 24, 2011
ELW

Early Childhood Testimony

  • 2/16/11 – Dr. Effrem testified before the MN House Education Finance Committee on the lack of effectiveness of early childhood programs followed by vigorous Q and A with legislators.  (Audio available here by following the link for February 16th hearing at 1:00:40)
  • 3/7/11 – Dr. Effrem testified against SF 331. the early childhood bill that increases government control over private childcare and imposes state approved highly subjective and controversial curriculum and assessments over young children via an ineffective and invasive quality rating system.(Audio available here by following March 7th Education hearing starting at 1:06:35)
  • 3/11/11 –  Dr. Effrem testified against House version (HF 669) of SF 331, the early childhood quality rating system bill described above.(Audio is available here by following link for March 11th hearing starting at 43:35)
  • 3/16 – Dr. Effrem renewed her concerns about HF 669 and adds others that increases government control over private childcare and imposes state approved highly subjective and controversial curriculum and assessments over young children. (Audio is available here by following link for March 16th hearing starting at 1:11:55.  Dr. Effrem follows private citizen and businessman Bill Reichert who also opposed the legislation.)
Apr 7, 2010
ELW

Testimony Regarding the Common Core Standards Initiative

 April 22, 2010

The Common Core Standards have finished the public comment phase and are now undergoing final revisions.  There has been much criticism of them from individuals and groups, both parents and experts, across the country.

The following testimony was prepared for the Minnesota House Education Policy Committee informational meeting on the Common Core Standards Initiative that was held April 7th.  Due to time constraints, not all of Dr. Effrem’s testimony was given.  The audio is available here(Follow link for April 7, 2010 hearing starting at 1:29:45). Much alarm was raised by all of the testifiers that included two outside experts  intimately involved in the development of Minnesota’s nation leading math standards, Dr. Larry Gray of the University of Minnesota and Ellen Delaney, a veteran math teacher, about the math standards.  Minnesota Department of Education staff raised some concerns about the English standards, but not enough in our view, especially when compared to the written comments of national experts.  No teachers or others involved with the development of the English standards post Minnesota’s disastrous Profile of Learning testified at the hearing.

The Common Core Standards are an absolute requirement for the Race to the Top (RTTT) federal grant program.  Failure to adopt them by August 2, 2010 will lose partial points and failure to show evidence of adoption by December 31, 2010 will result in loss of 20 points in the RTTT application.  Failure of evidence of implementation of them and the aligned national assessments will result in loss of another 10 points, according to the scoring rubric.  The standards must be adopted verbatim and there is no alternative to them, such as certification by a higher education institution.

This hearing comes at a time when many states are both deciding on adoption of the Common Core Standards and whether t o apply for the second round of RTTT funds.  The second round applications are due June 1st.  Sadly, despite both the grave implications of nationalizing curriculum and assessments even more than under No Child Left Behind and the very poor quality of these standards, states are seriously considering adopting them.  For instance, despite comments to the contrary, putative conservative presidential candidate Governor Tim Pawlenty introduced a legislative proposal on April 20th to have legislative leaders provisionally adopt these standards.  The state department of education would then adopt them by expedited rulemaking authority without any public input whatsoever.

This appalling nationalization of education needs to be discussed in legislatures across the country, as well as with state legislative and gubernatorial candidates and those running for Congress. Continue reading »

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