What's in Those Public Records Anyway?


Some of the records the PDC cited in its Report of Investigation
regarding Spokane Public Schools and bond/levy and other elective campaigns

Some of the other records sent to the PDC regarding
Spokane Public Schools and bond and levy campaigns.

PDF of March 1, 2014, article:
Legislature should look into PDC's investigation of Spokane Public Schools


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Public education slipping out of our hands; we must fight to get it back

[Updated March 3, 2011, to add a paragraph about CCSS also being a "maximum standard."]

By Laurie H. Rogers


The Common Core State Standards (national standards) are leading to national assessments, which are leading to a national curriculum. Sec. Arne Duncan has spoken publicly about making all federal taxpayer money for education contingent on adopting this federal vision. The national assessments will be online, perhaps leading to a national database of our students and teachers. And there you have it: Nationalization of public education. This is a national experiment -- untested, unfunded, long-term expensive, and with no student data to support it.

Many people don't realize that the CCSS aren't just a "minimum" standard. They're also a "maximum" standard. Washington would be allowed to add up to 15% more content to the CCSS, but no more. Additionally, the costs of adding, supporting and assessing that extra 15% would be borne by state taxpayers. Therefore, it's likely we would get the CCSS as is, whatever they are, whatever they become under the people who control them. The CCSS are a gateway to a national test and a national curriculum. At that point, parents have nothing more to say about what our children are learning in the public schools that we pay for. It will all be said for us.

A large portion of this country doesn't want this. But who cares about what the people want? So far, in Washington State, few education administrators or lawmakers have paid much attention to what We, the People want in public education. It makes me wonder: Who could actually stop this train?
  • It won’t be the state legislators who wanted to adopt the CCSS sight unseen. They listened to well-reasoned arguments against their adoption, and they voted for the standards/tests anyway.
  • It won’t be the state legislators who didn’t want to adopt the CCSS at all. After Washington Superintendent Randy Dorn provisionally adopted the CCSS last year, our legislators never had a chance to vote against their permanent adoption. Last year’s “provisional” adoption was a de facto permanent adoption – not that anyone told the people this. At this moment, Washington taxpayers have a slim chance, if legislators amend an existing bill to include language preventing the adoption. The time to do that is almost gone.
  • It won’t be the governors or state education agencies who were always on board, right from the beginning, before the CCSS were written, before the people knew about it, before we had a chance to think about it, before anything was even down on paper.
  • It won’t be the local school board directors who heard the people say "wait!" and who heard the governor and the state superintendent say "do it" -- and who promptly voted to do it.
  • It won’t be the local superintendents who appear to view the people's wishes with general disdain and who always supported the CCSS/tests initiatives, arguing for them with incredibly weak, yet wildly successful argumentation.
  • It won’t be those teachers unions that climbed on board the nationalization train, or the ones that are reluctant to stand tall in support of their beleaguered teachers.
  • It won’t be the media that are filled with praise for these initiatives and for the people involved in them, or that are absolutely silent on the more worrisome aspects.
  • It won’t be the teachers who - out of fear for their jobs - have remained largely silent, and who now have a big target on their backs via a national "Blame the Teacher" movement.
We must understand what's bearing down on us here. Our last recourse, as parents, is to leave the system. And when the U.S. Secretary of Education, Bill Gates, the NGA, the CCSSO, Achieve, and Pearson Education don't want us to leave? What will happen then? There are people in charge now who would have no problem with limiting, monitoring, or regulating private schooling or homeschooling ... or with eliminating homeschooling completely. All for the good of the children, of course.

For all intents and purposes, folks, we have already lost our voice. The Education Machine already has complete control. It's still playing nice, pretending that We, the People have input. But the process already is sewn up tight.

We can see the truth in those rare instances when someone stands up to fight it. Then the boot comes out. Or, when we expect to have input, and we see that our voice was purposefully slanted, rewritten, removed, and rephrased. Or, when we expect our legislators to vote against something, and they can't ...  never having the opportunity to do what we ask.

What We, the People must do now is fight to get back our voice. This national standards/tests/curriculum movement is likely to lead public-school classrooms right back into reform math hell (that many of us sadly were never able to leave). But wherever it takes us, that path will be mandated, away from the people, away from our input or our control. And without real accountability to the people, without our dissent, without our arguments, and without our vote -- but with a bottomless pit of our tax dollars -- these initiatives could well bury this country for generations.

Despite all of this, I have hope. I believe in the democratic Republic, and I believe in the people. The solution rests with all of us. We've been persistently lied to, and so most of us have been silent, not understanding what's happened. Or, we've been concerned, but unsure of where to take our concern. It doesn't have to stay that way.

In Spokane and in the surrounding area, the people are listening. I'll speak to any group, I'll do it for free, and I'll fight for as long as I can. This battle is about more than the children, more than the teachers, more than the future of public education. This really is about our future as a free and educated people.



Please note: The information in this post is copyrighted. The proper citation is:

Rogers, L. (March 2011). "Public education slipping out of our hands; we must fight to get it back." Retrieved (date) from the Betrayed Web site: http://betrayed-whyeducationisfailing.blogspot.com/

9 comments:

Concerned Parent said...

People should be concerned about CCS, but I find that most support the initiative. Remember that CCS closely aligns to what is currently in GA. You know GA, the state ranked 48th. Laurie, thank you for your tireless efforts to make people aware of what is going on in education. In GA, people are more concerned with the school calendar than academics.

Concerned Parent said...

Laurie, thank you for your tireless efforts to inform the public on education issues. If anyone wants a reason to question CCS, please remember that they closely align to what is currently in GA. Here in GA, we are always at the bottom of education ranking. I don't know that we've ever risen as high as 45.

JustJimAZ said...

Public education is a failed experiment. Before the industrial revolution, how were most people educated? By their parents. How were most of the Founders educated? At home, then later, private college.

Public education is failing because those who have power always want more, and removing the power farther from the parents accomplishes this.

I know this is not going to be a well received comment in this forum, but the home schooling movement is huge and growing fast. Take away the politician's ability to affect the education of children by removing the children from the system.

There are no reality based arguments against home schooling. I have heard hysterical and hypothetical rants about what "could" happen if a child is not raised in the system, but there are NO supporting examples. For every home schooled child who is in some way deficient in algebra or biology, there are thousands of publicly schooled kids with greater deficiencies.

Washington, Franklin, and Jefferson did fine without a state run school propagandizing them for 12 years. I have faith our children can do the same.

Laurie H. Rogers said...

JustJimAZ:

Thank you for your comment. I will always support parents' right to homeschool their children. We have done it ourselves, in math and in grammar.

We've supplemented our daughter's math since 4th grade, and we pulled her out of her 6th and 8th-grade math classes completely, teaching her via Saxon Math (supplemented with Singapore Math). Consequently, her math skills are very strong. She just began using a calculator half-way through Algebra II.

I'm certain her skills would not be as strong had we left her in the district's math program. That comment is not about her teachers, whom we like, trust and appreciate. It's strictly referencing the district's loopy approach to K-12 math, which relies on reform math and constructivism.

I'm worried about parents' right to homeschool "slipping away" from us, too.

thushara said...

We must fight to preserve the public school where teachers have a large say in curriculum and teaching methods. Parents input should be actively sought.

Teachers are scared because their union does not protect them.

Home schooling is great, but how many parents can do this. Please don't forget that this is mostly a middle class solution, working class parents can't home school for the most part.

We must unite in our communities to understand the larger social issues that are at the root of this attack on the public school. Then we must figure out how to fight it.

Anonymous said...

Hey,

I have a inquiry for the webmaster/admin here at betrayed-whyeducationisfailing.blogspot.com.

Can I use some of the information from your post right above if I give a backlink back to your site?

Thanks,
Peter

Laurie H. Rogers said...

Hello, Peter. Thank you for your question.

This post and this blog are copyrighted. General citations are noted directly below each post. If there isn't a citation for something you're interested in, please email me at wlroge@comcast.net. (It might be something I didn't write.)

The exact citation for this post is:

Rogers, L. (March 2011). "Public education slipping out of our hands; we must fight to get it back." Retrieved (insert the date you quoted it) from the Betrayed Web site: http://betrayed-whyeducationisfailing.blogspot.com/2011/03/public-education-slipping-out-of-our.html

If you quote from this post, please reference that citation.
Thank you.
Laurie Rogers

Anonymous said...

You were right on the money, Laurie. I have had a similar story to yours here in Oregon. I have battled and battled it and finally came to some conclusions:
1. It is hard work to actually educate yourself enough to understand these issues. Frankly, most people are really not interested in it.
2. Many of the educational myths are so deeply ingrained in our teachers and general public that most people don't ever question it, and even if you show them the research to prove it, they don't believe it.
3. It is hard to fully understand the damage unless you have a student who is going through it AND you have a solid understanding of mathematics (or other subject being taught this way) so that you actually are aware of what is NOT BEING TAUGHT.
4. When you do understand, what are you going to do about it? You still have to convince your spouse and your child--all of whom are far more likely to believe that "it will all be fine.. quit worrying!"

I honestly believed that after the National Math Panel, it would all be okay. Boy was I wrong! LOL

Laurie H. Rogers said...

Dear Anonymous in Oregon (2:33):

When I get face-to-face with people and use the white board to show them reform math processes, or when I read out the reform philosophy from district math materials that parents have never seen ... they get it right away. They're instantly angry, instantly motivated to do something for their children.

It's no accident that students have not been allowed to take reform math materials home with them. Once parents actually see this garbage, they're appalled.

So, that's what I'm doing in the community -- I'm showing the people. They're listening.