Jul 13, 2018

The National Pulse – Congress Keeps Adding to the Education Swamp with Budget Increases

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In this article, Dr. Effrem discusses the inability of congress to follow President Trump’s plan to downsize the Federal Department of Education and the statistics involved.

Although not surprising in an election year, congressional appropriators — who are generally not known for their political courage — are not doing anything to drain the putrid, unconstitutional swamp that is the U.S. Department of Education and its related programs. Both the full House and Senate Appropriations Committees have completed their Labor/HHS/Education appropriations bills for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 that will begin October 1st.

Below is a detailed breakdown of the spending amounts for each of these programs, listed in millions of dollars.

 

PROGRAM FY ’18 ENACTED FY ’19 HOUSE Committee FY ’19 SENATE Committee FY ’19 WHITE HOUSE Proposed HOUSE ’19 vs. WHITE HOUSE HOUSE ’19 vs. ENACTED ’18 SENATE ’19 vs. WHITE HOUSE SENATE ’19 vs. ENACTED ’18
Title I for Disadvantaged Children $16,443.8 $16,443.8 $16,568.8 15,926.8 +$517 $0 +$642 +$125
Student Support & Academic Enrichment (Including MH/SEL) $1,100 $1,200 $1,225 $0 +$1,200 +$100 +$1,225 +$125
21st Century Learning Centers $1,211.7 $1,211.7 $1,211.7 $0 +$1,211.7 $0 +$1,211.7 $0
Full Service Community Schools $17.5 $17.5 $17.5 $0 +$17.5 $0 +$17.5 $0
Institute for Education Sciences (Data Mining) $613.5 $613.5 $615.5 $521.6 +$91.9 $0 +$93.9 +$2
Head Start $9,913 $9,963 $10,163 $9,275 +$638 +$50 +$888 +$250
Preschool Dev. Grants $250 $250 $250 $0 +$250 $0 +$250 $0
Primary Health Care (Including Home Visits) $1,626 $1,526 $1,526 $5,091 -$3,565 -$100 -$3,565 -$100
State Assessments $378 $378 $378 $369 $9 $0 $9 $0
Charter Schools $400 $450 $445 $500 -$50 +$50 -$45 +$45

 

You can find the full article on the National Pulse website here.

National Pulse – Should Trump Merge the Education and Labor Departments? Grassroots Say No.

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In this article, Dr. Effrem discusses the proposal by the Trump administration to merge the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education.

While certainly not every student is meant to go to college, this plan appears to be a strong move away from academic education towards the philosophy that education is mere workforce preparation — and in which children are seen as “products” (as termed by former Secretary of State and Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson) or links in the labor supply chain. This philosophy and system has failed everywhere it has been tried.

One important American example is the Smaller Learning Community program, a Gates Foundation effort to track children into specific types of jobs-based education as early as 8th grade that was attempted before moving into the Race to the Top and Common Core effort. The Gates Foundation admitted in 2009 that this program, upon which the foundation spent at least $650 million, was a failure.​ And like Common Core, the teacher quality initiative, and many other Gates education efforts, it was a failure that had great taxpayer financial and human costs — though this has done little to deter the government’s latest attempt to resurrect the idea.

To see the full article click here.

Please sign and share the petition and contact your members of Congress when they are home on the July 4th recess and at campaign events.

Jun 29, 2018

The American Spectator – Goodbye, Privacy? How New EdTech Is Turning Students Into Lab Rats

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In this article, co-authored by Jane Robbins of the American Principles Project, Dr. Effrem goes in depth on the extent to which data collection will affect the schools which carry the new SEL policies out.

Our children are being groomed to have no expectation of privacy, ever, and to accept constant surveillance as simply how things are. Schools and corporate vendors are playing a major role in stamping out the individual liberty and autonomy that should be our inheritance as Americans.

A major tool in this effort is “social emotional learning” (SEL), which schools are being urged to elevate over academic instruction to assess and manipulate students’ mindsets and emotions. A recent Education Week article reported on how technology is facilitating this transformation from education to therapy. One company highlighted in the article is a San Francisco-based startup called Emote, founded by a millennial CEO named Julian Golder.

According to EdWeek, Emote provides a mobile app that allows “a wide range of school staff, from bus drivers to teachers, to record and share their observations of when students appear sad, anxious, angry, and frustrated.” For example, if a bus driver notices that Patricia seems cranky when she climbs aboard, he can use the Emote app to record that observation and send it to all Patricia’s teachers. The app helpfully supplies a menu of keywords, such as “sad” and “overwhelmed,” and color coding (yellow for anxious, red for angry, etc.).

Thus notified of Patricia’s feelings, the teachers are supposed to watch her carefully because she may be at risk for “escalation” (getting into a fight, failing a test, etc.). This would be the educational equivalent of white-coated clinicians peering at Patricia over their eyeglasses and making notes upon every change of her facial expression.

You can find the full article on The Spectator’s website here.

Jun 29, 2018

National Pulse – Bill Gates Education Experiment Fails Again, Taxpayers Foot $300 Million Bill

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In this article, Dr. Effrem highlights a teacher evaluation program set up by the Gates foundation and its flaws.

A new report by the Rand Corporation evaluating yet another Bill Gates education debacle — this time for teacher evaluation — was discussed recently in both Forbes by Rick Hess and Bloombergby Cathy O’Neil. Shane Vander Hart at Truth in American Education also analyzed the Bloombergpiece. This Gates boondoggle spent $575 million (of which only $212 million came from the Gates Foundation) on three public school districts and four charter management organizations…

…The effort, starting in 2009 and going through 2015, was to develop a new formula for teacher evaluation. This formula was based on student test scores, principal observation, and parent surveys, the data from which was fed into a secret, big-data algorithm called the value added model. The intent was to reward good teachers and root out bad teachers, all in service of the overall goal of improving student achievement, especially for low income and minority (LIM) students. The results affected hiring decisions for teachers and offered small bonuses to effective teachers to move into districts with higher proportions of LIM students.

You can view the full article here.

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