Karen R. Effrem, MD – President
Origins and Implication of Race to the Top
Without the slightest bit of legislative discussion in either chamber, the Obama administration quietly slipped $4.35 billion of education funding into the stimulus (“porkulus”) bill passed last year for a program called Race to the Top (RTTT).
With the nearly one trillion dollars spent for the stimulus as well as the trillions spent or proposed for the federal budget, health care, and cap and trade legislation one might reasonably wonder why a few billion dollars for more federal education spending is any big deal. The answer is that federal government is using this program to bribe states to accept even more federal control of education, a constitutionally and traditionally state function. This dangerous trend of more federal control of education was greatly accelerated by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law. However because of the intense opposition engendered by NCLB from all points on the political spectrum and the difficulty that the Obama administration has run into trying to implement its expansive and statist domestic agenda, RTTT is accomplishing more of that same federal control without having to go through the messy process of reauthorizing the controversial NCLB.
Components of Race to the Top
Race to the Top has several components, but there are several that are extremely dangerous for state sovereignty in education, parental rights to control the raising and education of our children, and privacy, respectively: Continue reading »
Can Florida’s Legislature Be Serious About State Sovereignty While Accepting “Race to the Top” Federal Education Funds? by: Andrew Nappi
The federal Department of Education like so many federal agencies, has no basis to exist. One cannot find justification for its existence in the constitution. One wonders then, why so many states with healthy and robust tenth amendment and sovereignty movements are rushing to get their share of “stimulus” education money offered by the Obama administration and known as “Race to the Top.”
My home country of Florida is among these states exhibiting behavior that appears to be contradictory. One would suppose state sovereignty would include “in state” control of curriculums. State sovereignty one would think, if supported by the legislature, would include a requirement that schools within the state teach this aspect of liberty as soon as the appropriate level of understanding is reached.
If what we know of Race to the Top curriculums is implemented, the states for all their bluster about their right to be free of intrusive and unlawful federal law, will have in fact handed over to supporters of an all encompassing federal and global government their most precious resource, their children. According to the St. Petersburg Times, “…Strong opposition from teachers unions could be enough to kill Florida’s chances of securing up to $700 million in federal school reform money, the state’s top education official said Wednesday…..Race to the Top is highly competitive. But Florida is widely considered a leading contender because its education policies are closely in synch with the Obama administration’s. The state’s plans for the money, crafted over months by the Florida Department of Education, are dramatic. They would accelerate changes on a suite of sensitive issues, including how teachers are trained, evaluated and paid….” Continue reading »
Among the MANY important reasons to oppose the health care “reform” bills now working their way through Congress from EdWatch’s point of view are the efforts to expand home visiting programs and the mental screening of new mothers. Language of these programs is in the House and Senate bills respectively. The latest House bill, HR 3962, that sadly passed the full House, plans to spend $750,000,000 through 2014 and the Senate Finance Committee version, S 1796 spend $1,500,000,000 over the same period to implement the very bad idea of home visiting. For new mothers, the House bill spends “such sums as may be necessary” and the Senate spends $3,000,000 initially, and then “such sums as may be necessary” through 2012 to fund grants that will include the promotion of mental screening of pregnant women and new mothers.
These odious home visiting programs send government workers into the homes of mostly poor families, although the Federal home visiting bill also wants to do the same with military families. These workers then make sure children are being raised according to government standards, collect massive amounts of data about every aspect of the family and their lives, and make sure that families are “helped” into dependence on government services like childcare/preschool and mental health services. EdWatch has described the many problems with the federal stand-alone bills. Continue reading »
Recent archeological discoveries on the Viking settlements in Greenland, along with various historical records, disprove the theory of man-made global warming. This information is of utmost importance as Congress considers sweeping legislation intended to combat global warming supposedly caused by human activity.
The Vikings settled Greenland in the 980’s AD. Archeologists estimate that three to five thousand Scandinavians lived in three main settlements there at the height of the colonies’ success. Over 400 farms in Greenland have been excavated along with the remains of eleven or more churches.
The colony was so successful that in 1126 a Catholic diocese was founded at Garðar, Greenland (now Igaliku). The Catholic Church sent several Bishops and a number of priests to Greenland to serve the congregations there.
The Greenland settlements at that time could be successful because the climate was far warmer than today. Archeological excavations have revealed extensive birch woodlands with birch trees up to 6 meters high in the area around the inner parts of the Tunuliarfik and Aniaaq fjords, the central area of the Eastern settlement. Excavations and various written records have also shown that the hills grew lush grass and willow brush. This vegetation was due to the Medieval Climate Optimum, an extended period of warm climate that made Viking-style life in Greenland feasible. Continue reading »
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