Dec 9, 2015

Effrem Article on ESEA Preschool Program Published on The Pulse 2016

Many thanks to The Pulse 2016 for publishing Jane Robbins of the American Principles Project for co-authoring  Dr. Effrem’s article titled: Nanny State Preschool Expansion — Another Reason the ESEA Rewrite Should Be Voted Down.  Here is an excerpt:

host of other large studies using data on thousands of children shows the same pattern of ineffectiveness, fadeout, and/or harm. The most recent is a multi-year controlled study from Tennessee, Senator Alexander’s home state, about which Education Week reported the following conclusions:
“. . .  Children started off school strong, but by kindergarten were generally indistinguishable academically from comparable peers who did not enroll in the program” and “by 3rd grade the children who attended pre-K were performing worse on some academic and behavioral measures than similar classmates who were never in the program.”

Even results from the one study that purports to show long-term benefit are still described as “dismal” in the mainstream press. There is simply no persuasive research to countervail this massive evidence.

But politicians and the education establishment cling to the concept of preschool. Advocates of Common Core and other progressive-education philosophies want to extend government tentacles to ensnare ever younger children. The managed economy and managed society can be achieved more quickly if toddlers are removed from their homes and herded into government preschool, where the uncontrolled influences of parents, families, and religion can be replaced with others more likely to advance government goals.

What should be done instead? Perhaps listen to researchers such as Dr. William Jeynes of UC-Santa Barbara, who identified three of several important factors that significantly improve the performance of minority students relative to white students (closing the “achievement gap”): intact families and religious faith, phonics instruction, and real parental involvement. Having government go even further to replace parents doesn’t work and will never work.

If politicians — including presidential candidates — are serious about improving education, they’ll reject the empty promises of invasive, ineffective, harmful, federal preschool programs. Instead they’ll listen to parents who innately understand that their children will develop better in the care of people who love them than with the government. The candidate who leads this fight against relentless government “solutions” in education will reap the political benefits.


Dec 6, 2015

House Passes ESEA 359-64

Sadly, the hugely bureaucratic FedEd ESEA bill, now called the Every Student Succeeds Act, S 1177 passed the US House by a vote of 359-64.  We are grateful to the 64 principled Republicans that voted No. Here is the full roll call:, and here are the 64 courageous Republicans that voted no:
Bishop (UT)
Brooks (AL)
Clawson (FL)
Duncan (SC)
Franks (AZ)
Graves (LA)
Hice, Jody B.
Johnson, Sam
Kelly (MS)
King (IA)
Miller (FL)
Mooney (WV)
Poe (TX)
Rogers (AL)
Smith (MO)
Smith (NE)
Weber (TX)
Thank you very much to all who visited, called, tweeted, emailed, messaged, and faxed. Please see HERE for more details on the debate, but here is one clip from floor debate that demonstrates in no uncertain terms that the appalling purpose of Common Core that is cemented into this bill is psychological manipulation and profiling of our kids:


It also appears that the reason this bill was rammed through after a holiday with only two days for the public to review final language of this 1061 page monstrosity was to try to help Jeb Bush’s imploding presidential campaign before Iowa.  See HERE for more analysis on why taking credit for this boondoggle will not help:



The likely final Senate vote will be Tuesday 12/8. There is a new Twitter Action Page

for this upcoming vote.  There are preloaded tweets for Republicans & Democrats! All you have to do is hit the buttons! Please tweet the Senate DAILY from now until then: 


Also, please call Monday at 202-224-3121 & make your voice heard on all of the terrible aspects of S 1177! Specific phone numbers, FB pages etc. are available at:
Here are the basic talking points in red:
The federal education bill gives hollow protections against federal interference. (If they ask or try to tell you otherwise, you can give them these with details at the first link below):
  • The secretary of education has veto power over the state plans that are still required to have statewide standards and assessments.
  • The language of the bill itself puts forth many requirements for the types of standards that must be in the state plans, so it is essentially irrelevant what the secretary does or does not do.
  • The language of the bill itself requires that standards align with ELEVEN different federal statutes that will make it likely that states have to keep the Common Core standards or those like them, even if they call them something else
  • .The language prohibiting federal interference is essentially the same in statutes that Secretary Duncan ignored to give us Common Core and waivers.  Then and now, there is no enforcement mechanism.
The still federally mandated yearly assessments are much more affective and psychologically profiling. 

The bill also contains a new preschool program expanding the effort to create a “Baby Common Core.” 
Here is a link to a one page summary by Dr. Effrem on preschool with specific citations:
For more details on these first two points see this summary regarding standards and assessments with specific language citations from the American Principles Project. Also see the video above if anyone needs proof.
Thank you for everything you are doing to protect the hearts and minds of our children!
Dec 2, 2015


Not wanting to give the public any time to review or call their legislators about the horrific 1062 page monstrosity that was released 48 hours ago after the Thanksgiving holiday as the final compromise bill to replace No Child Left Behind, House leadership has scheduled the final vote for TODAY starting at about 6 PM.  The bill is now called the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), S 1177. PLEASE call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask your US House member to vote NO on ESSA!.

Here are four of the MANY reasons your member of Congress should vote NO:

1) The language of the bill itself will require standards that comply with 11 different federal statutes that will be very much like Common Core regardless of the the Secretary of Education does or does not do, so the prohibitions on his power are irrelevant.

2) The bill requires assessments that are very heavy on non-academic psychological profiling in an environment of deteriorating student data privacy.

3) This bill creates a new $250 million preschool program that research shows to be invasive, ineffective, and harmful whose national standards are aligned to the K-12 Common Core creating “Baby Common Core.”

4) ESSA resurrects a terrible program called 21st Century Schools loved by both Arne Duncan and Lamar Alexander that gives womb to tomb health, mental health and social services creating “Parent Replacement Center.”  

For more details, here is a summary of the problems with the final bill regarding standards and assessments from the American Principles Project:

And here is a link to a one page summary by Dr. Effrem on Preschool:
Here is a rebuttal of the US House Education and Workforce Committee talking points:
1)      CLAIM: Places new and unprecedented restrictions on the sec. of education
TRUTH:  There is no enforcement mechanism for any of these restrictions and the sec. of education still has veto power over the state plans that still mandate standards and assessments similar to Common Core. (Details HERE)

2)      CLAIM:  Prohibits the sec. of education from forcing, coercing, or incentivizing states into adopting Common Core
TRUTH: ESSA heavily influences standards within the bill itself. This requirement to have the standards comply with 11 different unconstitutional federal statutes setting up standards similar to Common Core will be statutory a state must comply with it regardless of what the Secretary does or doesn’t do. (Details HERE)

3)      CLAIM:  Ends the era of federally mandated high-stakes tests
TRUTH: Tests are still federally mandated along with 95% participation with no opt-out clause as was present in the House bill.  There are new mandates for the tests to be psychologically profiling “higher order thinking skills” and “strategies to improve students’ skills outside the academic subject areas.” This is combined with new evidence of lax student data protection.

4)      CLAIM: Eliminates the federally mandated one-size-fits-all accountability system
TRUTH: While it is an improvement that AYP is gone, the mandates for what states must include in their accountability systems are still very concerning, especially in non-academic areas.

5)      CLAIM: Repeals 49 ineffective and duplicative federal programs
TRUTH: The appropriations language will have to be examined to make sure these programs are actually eliminated, not merely consolidated as was mentioned by several groups during discussion of HR 5. The ineffective, invasive 21st Century Community Schools with increased mental health interference are funded.

6)      CLAIM:  Provides states and schools with new funding flexibility
TRUTH: With all of the myriad legalistic and detailed requirements in a 1061 page bill, flexibility is in the eye of the federal bureaucrats that will be beholding this mess for interpretation and implementation. 

7)      CLAIM: Holds the line on no new pre-K programs
TRUTH: How this can be said with a straight face when there is $250 million in new grant spending with required alignment to Head Start that requires controversial psychosocial “Baby Common Core” national standards and there is so much research showing lack of effectiveness or harm of these programs is beyond comprehension.  (See HERE for more details) 

8)      CLAIM: Prohibits the use of federal education dollars to fund abortions.
TRUTH: That there needs to be any discussion of the use of federal education dollars for any health issues, especially one as controversial as abortion, speaks to the scope of the appallingly unconstitutional interference in both education and health.

9)      CLAIM: Offers parents more school choice.
TRUTH: While it is good that private and home schools seem to have escaped coming under the federal strings and regulations, such as requirement for public school standards like Common Core  and tests in this bill, proclaiming charter schools as a great alternative to public schools is not exactly accurate.  These are still public schools, have unelected boards, must give the public school tests based on the Common Core standards in the vast majority of states, and are a boon to unaccountable corporations.

10)   CLAIM: Provides a four year authorization of the law
TRUTH: This is an improvement over the previous seven year period that went for fourteen, but any amount of time that carries the requirements for federally mandated standards and testing that psychologically profiles our children and results in essentially the same type of standards as Common Core along with many other invasive programs is still too long.


Nov 16, 2015


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 11/17and conclude by Thursday. And expect the bill to be on the floor of both chambers after Thanksgiving recessThat 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 to make your voice heard! 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 is completely unacceptable.  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 contact 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!