Saturday, April 27, 2013

Why Education Standards Suck

I was trying to think, why am I so against NCLB and CCSS (Common Core Standards)? Okay, sure, we all know I loathe the testing and data tracking and who doesn't? But I mean...we need standards. We don't want a high school senior who was never taught how to multiply, and shouldn't every child know about the Founding Fathers and Constitution?

 I agree with these thoughts, but when everyone gets their hands into "a child should know...." we either get 10,000 standards a year- breadth not depth and learning suffers, or someone wins the "should know" battle, whoever has the biggest mouth and most money, and again, the children lose.

So I don't quite have the answer except that yeah, I don't like standards. Besides, who says a 5th grader must know A,B, and C? I even encounter this with my toddler son who was recently assessed for a speech delay. He could stack blocks 12 high, something I'd never taught, but couldn't categorize by color so suddenly his cognitive score dropped. Even though certain things he can do are at a 3-4 year level, since they weren't assessed....  you get the point.

Also, any good teacher- public, private, home school, has some idea of what to teach because we were all schooled  at one point, and we have a passion for education or else we wouldn't be teaching. Besides, even with all these "should knows", we graduate students who can't divide or find the USA on a map.

When I look at education today, I am appaled. I look at my previous classrooms with scripted curriculum, or my current class with "paragraph frames" and "step up to writing" and an all over lack of novels to be read and I think...whoa. In high school, I was so bored and done with the system I nearly dropped out, and if I were in school today...I don't even want to imagine. I'd be educationally suicidal.

I don't remember the dull textbook stories or comprehension questions, the dry whitewashed "social studies" passages or timed math tests. I forget my standardized tests. What do I remember? Non-standardized education.

I remember in first grade, since I was years ahead of my peers and GATE (gifted ed) didn't exist for first grade, I kind of got my own mini-Montessori. When possible, my teacher gave me third grade math packets and let me go to the grades 3-6 library and read and write to my hearts content while the rest of the class learned their ABCs.

My third grade teacher taught us "nature study", surely a "liberal environmental" idea, but I loved nature and fondly remember our weekly nature hikes and how we adopted a tree. I remember drawing the intricate knots on my little oak tree and watching her leaves turn golden brown in fall.

I remember 4th grade when I was home schooled, and read the entire Audobon Encyclopedia FOR FUN, and made my own edible plants books.

I recall in 6th grade we did a unit on ancient civilizations. I'm sure we read some droll passage in the textbook about Mesopotamia or something...I dunno...but we spent an entire MONTH creating our own civilization. WE made clay rolling things with symbols carved in, to make stamped images mimicking the rosetta stone. We created the government, language, foods, art, maps of an imaginary civilization. We then made a few artifacts and then smashed and buried them, and went to excavate another student's cultural ruins.

I recall we were to read a 200 page novel of our choice and I chose  Clan of the Cave Bear. This was my first introduction to the restrictive education system and mold, as I had to get board approval (after much persuading by my mom, a teacher in their district) to read a book on my own that mentioned s-e-x. No commandment for reading the entire zillion-paged series of adult level reading books.

In 8th grade we had a feast in class of colonial foods, and even got to dress up. We were reading some novel (gasp we read novels!) of colonial times where a boy's fingers were melded together in a blacksmith accident, so we got to try buttoning shirts and eating food with our fingers taped together. We then read some other novel and had a choice of end projects; one was to create and cook an entire southern meal. I did such, and typed up a menu and donned a faux twangy accent and served my parents a 5 course meal.

I recall hating high school as I'd said, but art and drama saved me. I could forge my own path and do as I pleased, as art lacks much structure. I sometimes even ditched class to go to art or drama, and spent many lunches and after school hours in the theater or art class. The smell of paint or the flash of theater lights still feels like home to me.

I look at curriculum, standards, the way education is going, and I die inside. I really do. Children will no longer bury their own civilizations or read hundreds-of-pages novels, because this kind of self-centered, innovative curiosity is being extinguished for good.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Students and the Govt:: Security, Safety, Privacy

Students were discussing the Boston Marathon bombing in Social Studies/US History today, so to do some cross-curricular learning, I had their daily journal prompt relate.

My prompt was;

Recently in Boston. homes were
searched for terror suspects. Some
say this is necessary protection.
Others say it violates freedom and privacy.
What are your thoughts?

And here is a sampling of results. I am not going to politicize it or give commentary... take it as you like. I found the answers interesting.

Spelling etc is not taken into account for this activity.

Also I apologize for the sideways images, they are the correct orientation on my laptop, camera, and Microsoft paint. I provide captions for readability.

Lastly, I did not impose my own beliefs...merely gave the prompt, collected work, and said there would be follow up activities in Social Studies. So their answers were not fed to them.

I think it was a good idea. It could help prevent
any other dangerous situations. At the time it was
also an invasion of privacy because they barged in the
without a search warrant

My thoughts are that they
should secure Boston
because people there are
making threats and bombs yes
its okay for police to search
your house for bombs ore
any type of weapons

I wouldn't mind getting my
house searched because of
the situation\ that happen. A
lot of things have been
happening so I feel that it
will be necessary to search
other peoples homes

(prompt written) I think it was a violation
of privacy.  They invaded the personal
apace of many many people. Violated
their houses and privacy.

my thoughts are that was good idea. Some should be the need to feel protection in Boston. You never know what one of those terrorists was in their home.
people wouldn't be safe in their own environment. They would
be really scared.
(prompt) My thoughts on the
subject is that since people
were seriously injured and
even killed they need to figure out
who did this. Searching
peoples homes is totally
necessary. Just to be safe.

I feel that what happened in boston
was necessary to do. I feel that
 they were taking every precaution
needed to keep the community safe.
My thoughts feel like they aren't
invading privacy they are just
doing their job to protect everyone.

I think it does violate privacy and freedom but do to
the bombing its for the best. Therefore,
I do believe its necessary.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Teachers are Big Brother

Okay, many teachers are great teachers and not evil big brother. But so many of us went through "the system", trained to think nothing but (or nothing at all) that we become the system.

I'm doing all I can to fight the system...peacefully.

But some are so entrenched...well....just let my image below "speak a thousand words" to you. It is from the NEA magazine. My jaw went agape.


Usually the end of the school year is full of mixed emotions, but mostly sadness. Sure, I can't wait for summer break, but I'm usually on a one-year contract or pink slipped due to LIFO, so I am full of sadness. The four walls, 30-some desks, bustle of children I will never see again fills me with sorrow. A part of my life, and my joy and passion, ended.

Not this year. Yeah, I will miss my students. I already miss teaching as education is dead.

I have five weeks left. Five. I can do it. I can do it. I can approach the days without anguish or depression, because, even if I'm ready to resign, even though I loathe my job, I'll be done soon. I best make the best of it because I truly love teaching. Granted it seems like I don't teach, enlighten, empower anymore but I think I will miss the smell of expo markers, the sounds of pencil on paper, the visual stimulus of paper airplanes, tattoos, ipods, textbooks and restless students.

But all I can do now is say, five more weeks. I can do this.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Student Data Tracking is Old News

"This will go down on your permanent record!"

Ever recall a teacher or administrator threatening you with this statement in school? And yet little to nothing happened... until now.

With CCSS (Common Core State Standards) as part of RTTT (Race To The Top) and, well, as part of a plethora of other acronyms for that matter, your child's "permanent record" will he basically just that. Anything can be inputted, even without parental consent as per the tweaking of FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) passed on a December 2011 day- probably when lawmakers were already on holiday or who were more concerned with vacation than some FERPA change. So now schools can, without restrictions, work on collecting data about your children such as; dwelling ownership, hair color, health condition at birth, or religious affiliation, to name a few. This "data dream list" is legit and can be found in one of my past blog posts at or the original source,  I do not know the original date of the "dream list", but my original post was from October 2011. Therefore, the idea of changing FERPA and implementing a Big Brother data tracking system of children began in 2011 if not before.

Actually, it was in the works before 2011 in Florida. Data from as early as 1995. From one can find;

"EDW Characteristics
  • K-20 public education data integration
  • Allows longitudinal analyses
  • Student centric
  • Historical (1995 forward, when available) and current data
  • Confidentiality ensured (personally identifiable information removed)
  • State-of-the-art analytical capabilities"
the readable version can be found at
Yes, data from as far back as 1995, although what type of data and how it was used is not specific. Note that the most current information states personally identifiable information shall be removed; however, it is only a matter of time before the information is no longer so discreet; as when it is entered by the public K-12 school, it is very personal. What if the information is hacked? 
To embellish on the graphics shown,  the EDW (Education Data Warehouse)  is, and I quote from,
"The mission of the Florida K-20 Education Data Warehouse (EDW) is to provide stakeholders in public education-including, but not limited to, administrators, educators, parents, students, state leadership, and professional organizations-with the capability of receiving timely, efficient, consistent responses to inquiries into Florida's Kindergarten through University education"

The EDW blueprint at is worth a gander; as you see; the P20 (tracking students from preschool through college/post college) is part of EDW; a current or former student's employment (for five years following the student's last enrollment) and military status is warehoused. This information is obtained from employers and the government and provided to the Florida EDW. So the notion of CCSS data following a student through life, their permanent record being provided to, say, an employer, is true as is the reverse situation. Employers now report back to the school on their former and current students' employment data.
To zoom in and focus on FETPIP, a larger graphic to refer to.
The FETPIP website ( states,
                          Florida has been ahead of the game.
comes an image regarding Florida's data tracking of students.
"The Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program (FETPIP) is a data collection and consumer reporting system established by Florida Statutes Section 1008.39 to provide follow-up data on former students and program participants who have graduated, exited or completed a public education or training program within the State of Florida. The statute requires all elements of Florida's workforce development system to use information provided through FETPIP, for any project they may conduct requiring automated matching of administrative records for follow-up purposes. "
When one unites Florida's data tracking via FETPIP and EDW with CCSS and the data "wish list", and adds in that FERPA has removed parental permission (and there is no "opt out" of CCSS data tracking thus far), it gets a little too real. That's because it is real, folks. And it is nothing new.


how to get away with anything in the classroom

Parents, teachers, shh...don't tell your kids what I am about to tell you.

In California, students can almost get away with murder. Thanks to California AB 2242 ( a child who normally might be suspended for things like defiance, drugs, and everything else under the sun....won't quite be suspended. Well, not instantly in most cases.

A school I know has a policy to abide to AB 2242. Let's say there is a child who curses you, the teacher, out. Let's call him Bad Billy or BB. Well, at the first offense you must write down in exact detail what BB said and your response and how you counseled BB, advised him, and redirected his behavior. No, "hey BB, school rule, no cursing, go see the principal" but something more like "why did you do that? What are the school expectations? How might you not do this next time? Why are you angry? How can I help?"

At this particular place of mention, you must do this at least three times before even sending them out of the classroom. Then you call parents. Then you let it happen again. Then you have a parent conference. Then you write a detention. Then a referral, logging all behavior modification steps you've taken, and hope administration approves of it. THEN, after ANOTHER offense, the student (i.e. BB) MIGHT be suspended. Might.

So today in my classroom the class, after break, reeked of marijuana. Not only is that illegal and something I don't want to smell, but adding pregnancy to the mix...nuh-uh.

So I was about to call security when they arrived (Another teacher nearby had smelled it. I was out of the classroom right before, to return state testing documents). Luckily they searched where I said it stank and released me of duty. Therefore I got a substitute to watch my class while I got to get fresh air for an hour for my safety and well-being.

At the end of the day, I asked who had been caught and they wouldn't tell me. Okay..... Then I saw security as I left campus and they said that two kids had been caught (there were students nearby so they couldn't release names) and one officer said that the student with possession of marijuana would be here tomorrow and the student who admitted he had "done it" would be suspended. To reiterate, the student with possession of narcotics- a "zxero tolerance" law under ed code, equaling suspension and suggestion of expulsion, was let go. This student had to be searched as he/she did not admit to anything. The child who admitted to smoking got suspended.

I do not know the details but given this new AB 2242 craziness, my guess is possession-kid had been a sweet angel or at least had only been in trouble, say, five times and the kid who admitted smoking had been in trouble, say, a dozen times so by this new law, enough intervention had been done and it was his time to be suspended.

So if you have a clean or nearly clean record, you can get away with most anything in schools without even a proverbial slap on the wrist.

Can you imagine the pandemonium and prison-like behavior of students once they get wind of this new policy, now state law?

Do you want your child attending school where bad behavior is almost encouraged and protected by law?

Monday, April 8, 2013

links to explore

Sometimes...okay often, I find links to things I enjoy reading so instead of just compiling them in my "favorites" I may as well begin sharing them, right?

So this will be a post updated as I find things 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The eyes have it....

another one of those, I will write it later posts but....

Using technology to track students' emotions, posture detecting chars, pressure mouse, facial expression camera, wrist bands...
something  I read about on

"We describe technology to dynamically collect information about

students’ emotional state, including human observation and real-time multimodal

sensors. Our goal is to identify physical behaviors that are linked to

emotional states, and then identify how these emotional states are linked to

student learning. This involves quantitative field observations in the classroom

in which researchers record the behavior of students who are using intelligent

tutors. We study the specific elements of learner’s behavior and expression that

could be observed by sensors. The long-term goal is to dynamically predict

student performance, detect a need for intervention, and determine which

interventions are most successful for individual students and the learning

context (problem and emotional state)."

this is gathered from

Here is an image from The Blaze, THE ED.GOV SITE HAS A 404 ERROR....surprise....erasing their tracks...

the link is magically non existant now.

but the U MASS site hasn't scrubbed themselves clean yet but if they do here are their images.

Add caption

pressure sensing IR chairs


"Affective computing is the study and

development of systems and devices
that can recognize, interpret, process,
and simulate aspects of human affect.
Emotional or physiological variables can
be used to enrich the understanding and
usefulness of behavioral indicators.
Discrete emotions particularly relevant
to reactions to challenge—such as
interest, frustration, anxiety, and
boredom—may be measured through
analysis of facial expressions, EEG
brain wave patterns, skin conductance,
heart rate variability, posture, and eyetracking."


The field of affective computing is also emerging (see callout

box for definition). Researchers are exploring how to gather

complex affective data and generate meaningful and usable

information to feed back to learners, teachers, researchers,

and the technology itself. Connections to neuroscience are

also beginning to emerge."



Sorry this image is screen shot  I could get but it graphs a student's engagement0 academically, their agreeableness, neuroticism, extroversion, conscientiousness, openness.

From the blurb above the student graph image,  another screen shot..

To clarify, SimSchool is not "real"; it is a simulation program tracking virtual, pretend learners' engagement and emotions.

Again, it isn't "real".

But what's to say it couldn't become real, with these technologies in place?


Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Alphabet of Destruction

This will be a disjointed rambling post full of information, dead ends, and right here right now commentary. I hope to clean it up someday but for now I just have to get it out there.

Ok haven't explored this rabbit hole much but I'm excited to uncover the evil.... the Alliance of States runs America COMPLETE. AoS is a college for everyone federal allaiance. America Complete is part of a Race To The Top requirement for the Common Core Standards longitudinal data- tracking our kids cradle to grave.

See this is why it is hard to be "with it" n regards to the Big Brother control of education....A leads to B, to C, then must see the common thread of ideas, financial backers etc of this alphabet of destruction in order to "get' what is going on right in front of us. Tracking. No privacy. Federal control of education against the GEPA act and law. Cradle to grave. Children seen as human capital for the job marker, just little dollar signs with pigtails.

Ok AoS/ Alliance of States isn't quite federal as some states have yet to join ie California, North Dakota, New Hampshire and others. But it will likely get there.

Here's where the data comes in, from their website I quote "Use consistent data and progression measures to create a culture that values completion.  This includes:
  • Using common metrics for measuring and reporting progress.
  • Publicly reporting year one benchmark data and annual progress on college completion, progression, transfer, job placement and earnings, and cost and affordability measures.
  • Disaggregating data by level and type of degree/credential, age, race, and income."

And some more from their website "
About Us

It’s really about states...we're just here to help."

Like how Reagan said, fear, "I'm the government, I'm here to help".
And then we must move with urgency to reinvent American higher education to meet the needs of the new majority of students on our campuses, delicately balancing the jobs they need with the education they desire. Why? And the jobs they NEED. Not what they want, but what they NEED. Are we going to, say, through data and testing, decide a child's career, their future? Sorry, since you are black you will become a laborer? We did this before in the early 1900s.  And the education they want? I hardly think so unless we just brainwash them into thinking they want it, or knowing no better, never questioning things.

Complete College America is grateful for the guidance and support of our funders:
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Ford Foundation
Lumina Foundation for Education
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
USA Funds
      Yeah cause these folks have a great track record....backing major corporations and government officials, and even backing eugenics in the early 1900s (well for the organizations that existed then).

    Cheryl Orr Dixon
    Senior Vice President

    As chief of staff, Cheryl provides strategic leadership, direction and oversight for Complete College America. As a former senior associate commissioner for higher education and the staff liaison for a bi-partisan state P-16 education roundtable,

    Here t is, p-16 aka p-20. A cradle to grave governmental control....controlling education and thought from preschool through college. Add in longitudinal data to back it up, via Common Core Standards this what you want? The government can't get K-12 education right so let's give them 2,4,6 more years of control? So right here is proof AoS is the p-20 pipeline of control.

    Complete College America relies upon the knowledge, experience, and guidance of many national experts in the areas of higher education data systems and measurement, developmental education, student persistence and attainment, equity of opportunity, finance and governance, and cost and affordability.
    Policy and Research Partners:
    Achieve, Inc.
    Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count
    Center on Education and the Workforce, Georgetown University
    Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Teachers College, Columbia University
    The Delta Project on Postsecondary Education Costs, Productivity, and Accountability
    The Education Trust
    Jobs for the Future (JFF)
    Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC)
    The National Association of System Heads (NASH)
    National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS)
    The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education
    New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE)
    Southern Regional Education Board (SREB)
    State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO)
    Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE)

    Achieve inc creates many of the standardzed tests so loved by NCLB, RTTT,CCS. Workforce organizations support the worker drone education program of Aos.

    AOS/complete college also has on their website, documents from their meetings, links to resources and the like. So there"s this
    aww working poor how nice of them to care and help (my suspicious filter is engaged) their 2009 policy brief was titled "

     yep. using longitudinal data to track students from high school through to college, so the 9-16 or 9-20 piece of the p-16/p-20 pie. And you know. tracking them into the workplace too. making sure those poor kids "make it" in this world, but as you have recently learned from me, they get the job they need. not want.

    Some morsels from this pdf (but please read it yourself)...
    An effective state data system combines

    information from K-12, workforce development,

    and postsecondary education programs (primarily

    from public institutions), including adult basic

    education and skills development programs

    systems, and tracks employment outcomes. The

    Florida Department of Education has been

    successful at combining this data and has created a

    Business Intelligence Portal that tracks students

    over time and across delivery systems

    This is a CCS Big Brother wet dream you see it? Plain as day (as long as you went from organization A to org B to source C and link D.....) K12, WORKFORCE, and employment outcomes will be TRACKED. This will go down on your permanent record kids. Really, it will, no more bluffing.  here's a snapshot of a graphic from the PDF me nightmares!
    Yep. Cradle to grave, baby,





    The Washington story makes developing and using

    a data system sound almost effortless but it isn’t. If

    creating a state workforce and community college

    data system were easy, every state would have one.

    Unfortunately, multiple barriers stand in the way.

    The primary challenges can be characterized in

    four major categories:

    Leadership and Management (megacoordination

    across multiple institutions);
    Privacy Laws and Data Sharing

    Missing Data on Crucial Populations and

    Linkages to Wage Record Data
    A Culture of Continuous Improvement

    Having strong leadership and management is

    essential to tackling the next hurdle to connecting

    workforce and community college data systems:

    privacy and data sharing. Balancing privacy with

    the need for accountability and performance can be

    tricky. Student privacy issues are a legitimate

    concern when thinking about collecting, storing,

    sharing and analyzing information from individual

    Student Unit Records (SURs). In the post-

    Watergate years, public suspicion about domestic

    surveillance was at the forefront of people’s minds.

    The 1974 Family Educational Rights and Privacy

    Act (FERPA) was intended to prevent educational

    institutions from abusing student privacy. It

    applies to all educational institutions that receive

    federal funds – both K-12 and postsecondary

    There are three main FERPA exceptions
    and most state data systems endeavor to qualify
    under “studies to improve instruction.” Most
    experts agree that FERPA is more of an obstacle
    than a prohibition.

    “In order to avoid

    problems with FERPA, states and community

    college systems must make a clear case that the

    information that will result from any match will be

    useful for improving instruction and policies

    related to instruction. States should also establish

    clear, written ground rules that govern who can

    have access to SUR data and for what purposes

    So in 2011 (I think? After this report, I am certain) FERPA laws were changed, loosened, privacy lessened. perfect! I have a link to the new FERPA in my post

    It was established

    in the Office of Financial Management and

    collaborates with the Legislative Evaluation and

    Accountability Program (LEAP) committee. The

    ERDC conducts collaborative analyses of early

    learning, K-12, and higher education programs

    across the P-20 sectors; identifies data to be

    compiled and analyzed; tracks enrollment and

    outcomes; and provides research that focuses on

    student transitions in early learning, K-12, and

    postsecondary education.

    just another tidbit to explore, reminds me already of my post at

    The original No Child Left Behind federal

    legislation requires states to develop K-12 State

    Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) that track

    students’ (and teachers’) performance over time.

    Three rounds of federal funding have been awarded

    to states to create these systems (some WPFP

    states have received no funds, including AL, NJ

    and NM). The American Recovery and

    Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides $250 million in

    additional Department of Education resources
    How NCLB has to do with the data collection....its hardly a new idea. And notice a continual reference to p16/p20? Yeah. An old idea as well.

    link to wage record data to measure

    employment and earnings outcomes for all

    secondary and postsecondary students and

    all participants in adult basic education and

    skills development programs (e.g., Adult

    Basic Education (ABE), Workforce

    Investment Act (WIA), Temporary

    Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), etc.),


    b) link secondary, postsecondary and workforce

    (e.g., ABE, WIA, TANF, etc.) participant

    data systems to each other in order to

    measure education and training flows and

    progress within and among all systems,

    such as the transitions for adult basic

    education and skills development programs

    into postsecondary institutions.

    How government and the workforce unite to track students and their no longer private data into adulthood.

    And so ends my rant for today....more to come I am sure.

    BUT WAIT THERE's MORE! A day later and I find..
    from -  I discovered ESP via (thank you!) ESP's website says....

    "Our team's extraordinary insight comes from experience inside P20W as teachers in public schools, as senior-level employees of state and local education agencies, and as preferred contractors of the U.S. Department of Education and state inter-agency teams working on P20W longitudinal data systems."

    Yeah. P-20 again. But wait it gets better, deeper entwined, to where when someone steals your child's identity or jeopardizes their privacy via school data collection, you are unable to point fingers...if A,B,C,D..... all there organizations in this blog post (and likely more) have their hands on the data, who can you blame? if there is no one to blame or the perpetrator is a mystery (wasn't me, it was B. Nope, not me, B, but C.. was....) then the problem continues.

    ESP's management team includes the leading experts in understanding the data and technology implications of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, Education Data Exchange Network (EDEN/EDFacts), the Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF), Race to the Top (RTT), America COMPETES Act, and the Longitudinal Data Systems under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.

    Here's the link, the relation to all my post so far...see, NCLB, RTT, Amerca Competes, ARRA, and the longitudinal data systems (in bed with common core standards) plus a few new organizations of evil for me to control, are working with ESP to control your children....manage them from pre-school through college and beyond.

    Be afraid.

    Tuesday, April 2, 2013

    1984- Government is now removing/rewriting "controversial" current events

    from  you will see...Orwell's 1984 is HERE. Where Winston the main character helps remove or re-write current events to be favorable to Big Brother, so does OUR GOVERNMENT. FOR REAL.

      I got either too paranoid of it being removed from their site,  or too eager to share this with others who might not know of the Missouri Ed Watch blog...  (For example I'm not in MO and almost didn't read their blog thinking, MO? Not my problem. But their blog is one of my favorites!)

    Anyways so here is their post verbatim just...cause. Please enjoy, google, research, read, save, and share. Try and prevent 1984, Big Brother, and the control of human capital (we common folk call them children)

    Perhaps it is coincidental, but since Glenn Beck has been focusing on Common Core standards, trying to access Common Core/Race to the Top documents on the signed by states has yielded few results.  When you search "race to the top phase 2 applications" this is what you will see:

    The U.S. Department of Education's main website,, is temporarily unavailable. We apologize for the inconvenience.

    Information such as Race to the Top proposals, reviewer comments on those proposals and appendices to proposals are no longer available.
    Here's a way to find your state's proposals concerning Race to the Top and MOUs signing your state on to Common Core standards.
    Use this link:

    This is from a site that archives links/information on the internet that have been scrubbed or otherwise are not available.
    You can search your state and you might want download the information you need that the US Department of Education is either not making available to you intentionally or because of computer issues.  It must be a computer issue because as states on the its information page:

    As part of its commitment to transparency in governance, the Department is providing the public with the applications it received from states applying to the Race to the Top program.

    Be sure to access this page for more Race to the Top/Common Core information. We hope with the government's commitment to transparency the site is fully functioning again with the Race to the Top documents and common core information contained within those documents.  In the meantime, when you download these scanned documents, be sure to convert them to readable text.

    The Sky is Falling fallacy

    If you read current education news or live n Illinois, you might think the sky is falling. A recent article and event (,0,7975177.story) of Chicago closing 54 schools has caused rallies, uprising, and a social media explosion. Fury has erupted, panic, the figurative sky is falling in Chicago. Well, maybe. I will address the major thematic comments I have encountered; feel free to form you own opinions.
    Copyright AP news

    The Good, Bad, and Ugly...the viewpoints and common ideas of those favoring the rally....

    Education is a right!

    Actually, I agree in theory. Everyone has the right to an education. Fact. However; do the protesters think these children will not have a school to attend? Compulsory education laws mandate that the children of  Chicago attend school until age 16, and there must be options of a free and fair education. Therefore, it isn't like these children will be stranded, forgotten, their educational rights revoked.

    They are closing primarily black schools!

    Perhaps..I have not checked the list of schools to the census records, but much of South and West Chicago is predomnatly black. However, the schools are closing due to low enrollment; for example, a school with, say, 24 teachers and 680 students would mean a class average of 30 students per class. If suddenly, due to students moving, dropping out, etc the school enrollment drops to 400, the school will have to rid of some of the 24 teachers- usually ridding of those without tenure. Let's say 20 remain. Class size is averaged at 20, and to keep the lights and heat on for 24 classrooms (or even 20) with only 20 students (think: only 20 students' worth of income for the school) means a budget shortfall. Somehow, something must be done, and school closures are a last ditch effort. 
        And is CPS targetting the blacks, causing class or racial inequality by shutting these schools? It will cause some tension but there is likely reason behind the closures. Either they opened too many schools in a population boom or hopes thereof, or, relatedly, populations are shifting and either the youth are leaving the area, leaving CPS (for charter, private, or home schools) or birth rates and family sizes are declining in these neighborhoods. Of course, I haven't seen this brought up.
         Lastly, sure they could even it out a little and close a North Chicago school or two, but if that school has 680 students and 24 teachers, they are not facing declining student enrollment and budget shortfalls, so why close an at-capacity school?
      Here is a brief actual statistic; About 30,000 children will be moved. Schools are currently equipped to accommodate 511,000 students; enrollment now is 403,000. I just scaled it down a bit to better comprehend it at a per-school level

    My kids will have to walk to school, through bad neighborhoods

    Okay I can kind of sympathize. But if the neighborhoods are bad, work to implement change. Find a way for your child to get to school without walking through "gang ridden" neighborhoods. Unite as a community. Rally to CPS for school busing. Create community. Everyone wins! Or, just home school but  do know this is not an option for everyone. But if you want decent education and safety for your children, do everything in your power to make it happen. They are YOUR children, not the schools' or states'.

    But Teachers will lose their jobs!

    Again, fact. I agree. However, when a factory slows production, is it economically wise to keep all the employees? No. Is it kind and sweet and caring? No. These are teacher's incomes, livelihoods, well beings at stake. Trust me...having been pink slipped twice, I know how it is. But c'est la vie . No one yet has invented a magc wand to be able to afford every teacher their jobs.

    The Threat of the Union

    The Union s threatening to sue if schools are closed. First, if they have enough money to sue CPS and Mayor Emmanuel, shouldn't they have the funds to keep a school open, or bus kids across neighborhoods, or save jobs or something? If they can waste money in court trying to "save education" how about they put the money to direct immediate use in the classroom, where change can really be apparent?  If they sue and succeed, these schools will remain open but unfunded, jeopardizing jobs, curriculum, safety, and the right to an education. So it seems counter productive.

    So evil corporations will be in charge of education

    What they mean is "corporate takeover" via charter schools. However, think of this: CPS and all public schools must purchase textbooks, often from large publishing corporations. They take tests managed by large corporations. Their personal data is stored via large IT corporations. Msny special funds such as a "Coca-Cola gym" is funded by a corporation. So how is a charter really any worse? They just make it transparent so the corporation in charge is more obvious.
         Also how is a corporate owned school any better or worse than a government run one? Both operate nearly the same way and follow state (and soon to be federal) standards and law such as NCLB. They all have the same basic recipe.

    But charters will come in!

    Yes, as mentioned in the last blurb above. But are charters pure evil? I used to think of them as the golden ticket, but really they are no different than public schools....statistically similar demographics and test scores, you know, the things that apparently matter. The only "bad" part is, most are not unionized and most have at-will employees. They can, in many states,  tell students to find alternate placement if the charter is not a good "fit". They cannot, in many states, go in the red financially. The biggest percieved threats of the anti-charter crowds are the "evil corporation" crowds, or the "union or bust" crowd (as in this rally, with SEIU present), or the "they (charters) took our jobs and our kids and now we're underfunded. Those kids and money are ours, ours, ours!" crowd.