Thursday, February 13, 2014

How the Public Schools are Indoctrinating Your Children

I recommend that all Christian parents read this post and watch the embedded videos by Unpolitical Party. Even if your child has already graduated from high school, you need to understand how education has formed his worldview. His teachers had more time to indoctrinate him than you and his Sunday school teacher. If your child is in school now, I implore you to consider what action you need to take to protect your child, even if all you can do is discuss the concept of a Christian worldview with your child each day after school. Your children need to understand the public schools are coming from a diametrically opposite viewpoint that will challenge their faith. Prepare them for the mental and spiritual battle they will face their entire lives.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Bill Gates' Early College High School Initiative: Equity at Your Expense



"Our high school is going to be transformed into an Early College, so our kids can graduate high school with an associate degree," my friend gushed. "Isn't that incredible!"
What?
I'm still trying to get a grip on the nefarious revolution that is Common Core, and right behind this wave of the Gates/Soros army slips something more stealthy: The Early College High School initiative. And it's coming to my small town.
We're the lucky recipients of a few million Race to the Top (RTT) dollars. Why were we chosen? We have the right percentage of minorities and low-income families in our district, and in an effort to promote equity, our district is beginning a fundamental change in high schools, a project initiated by the Bill Gates Foundation  http://www.earlycolleges.org/overview.html in places where the white middle class doesn't dominate. Now the ECHS model is being replicated with RTT funds, largely supplied by Gates. Of course as illegal immigration and unemployment grows, we'll all be living in areas that qualify soon--that's not a racist comment; it's exactly the reason our previously all-white district is now receiving this funding.
Anyone voices concerns about this initiative had better be ready for an onslaught of dismissive and vitriolic equity proponents. As we've learned during this Common Core battle, if you even question the validity or motivation behind well-funded educational reform, you're going to make enemies, some of whom call themselves conservatives, Republicans, even Tea Partiers. The least hateful comment they'll sling your way is that you're crazy.
The Early College High School Initiative was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the same foundation that now donates millions to states through Race to the Top grants.
President Obama and Arne Duncan (see video posted below) are major proponents of this model. 

Here are a few of my concerns:
1. Secrecy: Unless you're obsessively scouring Twitter for every educational movement, you haven't even heard about this. I'm a teacher and this is new to me, even though the initiative began in 2002. Some people are just waking up to Common Core, and I knew about that years ago. I'm suspicious about why this revolutionary overthrow of traditional high school has avoided attracting much attention. ECHS is not the same as concurrent college credit or early graduation.
2. Taxpayer expense: Race to the Top funds are not sufficient for the transformation and maintenance of these high school community colleges. The Gates ECHS site explains this problem: "While there are limitations to comparing early college high schools to regular high schools, a pilot study of budgets suggests that costs for fully implemented early college high schools may range from 5 percent to 12 percent more than costs of regular public high schools. Start-up funding for the schools in the Early College High School Initiative comes from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, along with Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and a number of other foundations. These start-up resources are catalytic, but they are minimal compared to the ongoing operating budgets of early college high schools." Expenses include technology, texts, and additional education for teachers who must be certified to teach classes in which students will receive college credit (unless the teachers will be replaced by online classes, which is a real possibility). I don't understand why taxpayers are now going to be paying for students' first two years of college. But of course they won't even notice this is happening.
3. Validity of an Associate Degree: We've heard about schools granting students college credit in AP classes when the students didn't even pass the AP exam. Grade inflation is rampant. I've seen first-hand how the system passes kids onto high school who can't read above a second or third-grade reading level. Now the same students will be earning college credit and possibly walking out of their senior year with a supposed associate degree (again, funded by taxpayers).
4. Local control: Common Core opponents have warned that local school districts will have their hands tied when they adopt the standards, and parents definitely don't have a place at the table when it comes to either standards or curriculum. So with a college-level curriculum, how much input do you think parents will be allowed? Even the local school board would have little control over the curriculum, which would have to be controlled by an accredited college or university.
5. It's discriminatory:   Free college degrees for everyone! Unless you live in a white, middle-class community. RTT funds are granted to districts where the minorities are the majority. At some point, the middle class should be issued a pardon for every sin committed against minorities.

I'm open to hearing well-supported and respectful arguments from proponents of this initiative; I just think they should respond to the concerns I listed above. I know the people in our district that are excited about this movement, and they are wonderful people without an ounce of devious motives. They care as much as I do about offering more opportunities for our children and making sure education is valuable, challenging, and interesting. But I don't have the same trust in the people behind the ECHS initiative, and it's a citizen's obligation to demand answers when it comes to something that will so fundamentally change education for the next generation.

I've been trying to contact "Stop Common Core" groups to find out whether this initiative has shown up on their radar. My concern is that it's taking all their effort  just to put the brakes on CC, and they're not going to have the time or resources to do anything about ECHS. Besides, ECHS are already established all over the country.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Audit the IRS Rally, Freedom Fest, and a Battle over Common Core

This summer has been my own self-guided American freedom tour: In June I rallied in Washington at the Audit the IRS Tea Party gathering at the Capitol building, where I also had the privilege of shaking the hand of one venerable American--Senator Ted Cruz--and the blessing of hearing today's greatest Conservative leaders, Michele Bachmann and Glenn Beck among the list of notables. More details about that leg of my journey in DC and Maryland later. In July, my quest to meet with other freedom-loving Americans led me to Las Vegas, of all places, for Freedom Fest, a libertarian CPAC of sorts. And tonight, I'm in Little Rock, recovering from a grueling, but incredible day of testimonies from anti-Common Core experts and concerned citizens during the joint meetings of the House and Senate Interim Committees on Education.
After hours of individual study about the pros and cons, history, and data collection associated with Common Core, I was privileged to witness the playing out of a great drama: The ongoing struggle for power over public education. Every witness brought a unique perspective of the multiple problems that plague this gargantuan education mandate (I realize saying CC is a "mandate" is controversial, but I refuse to play double-speak--I call it what it is). What made their testimonies powerful was the solid backing of evidence--anecdotes, personal experience, statistics, research--presented with such logic and reason, that had I been a Common Core proponent, I would have felt a bit battered at the end of the six-hour marathon (the Common Core items on the agenda were not addressed until after lunch, and testimony continued until 7).
Facts were the bulk of each testimony, not broad, unfounded claims or opinions, and except when appropriate, emotional appeals were not central to anyone's presentation. I'm not saying speakers were dry or monotone--they obviously cared deeply about the ramifications of the troubling information they had verified--but they didn't try to sway the committees with tearful pleas "for the children" or angry diatribes against the Obama regime.
In fact, with hard-hitting champs like Dr. Sandra Stotsky, Ms. Joy Pullman, Dr. Neal McClusky, and Dr. James Milgrim in the ring, it was more akin to a boxing match than a drama. Grace Lewis, a concerned parent from Mount Vernon, expertly took aim at the weakest points of Common Core with a relentless attack, point by point. Ms. Virginia Wyeth, parent and educator, and Ms. Betty Yerger, retired educator, followed her testimony with powerful perspectives from the viewpoint of teachers. A rookie landed the last KO punch--fifteen year old Patrick Richardson who shared the shocking results of his muckraking: After hours of research, he uncovered the astonishing money trail that leads back to the same foundation, time and again. I'll give you three guesses. Yes, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation!
Tomorrow's agenda lists the speakers who will doctor the now-battered face of this curriculum. After taking such a pummeling today, suffering one knock-out punch after another for hours on end, Common Core is the loser in the ring, in desperate need to be patched up and defended by its fans.











 
 
 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Timeline of Key Events in Common Core Standards Adoption in Arkansas

My continuous research into the CC controversy has reiterated the importance of checking and double-checking my facts. I've often caught myself making assumptions only to be proven wrong when I searched for supporting evidence. Finding the dates of the implementation of CC in Arkansas has refined my understanding of the power of a few (NGO, CCSSO, Governor Beebe) in dictating what happens in each Arkansas classroom.
A timeline that shows how little input we teachers, much less taxpayers, had in the process, and how little time was allowed for anyone to debate the wisdom of these standards:
 

1. June 1, 2009: Governor Beebe signed a Memorandum of Agreement committing to the process of creating Common Standards, which would allow only 15% of the curriculum to be added by the state. The NGA and CCSSO were given the authority to choose the "experts" who would craft the standards. http://recovery.arkansas.gov/ade/pdf/race_appendixb_011610.pdf


2. By December 2009, Arkansas had already submitted its letter of intent to apply for RttT phase one. http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/intent-to-apply.html As part of RttT, states had to agree to four conditions, including to adopt standards and assessments that had not yet been released and build data systems that measure student growth and success. http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/index.html

 
3. The problem here is that the final Common Core Standards were not even released until June 2, 2010 

 
4. Arkansas officially adopted the standards on July 12, 2010, and many districts immediately required English and math teachers to start using these standards. Full implementation begins this upcoming 2013-14 school year, and testing begins 2014-2015.

It's also important to understand that in our district, as in many other districts and states, we are using the Gates Foundation Common Core Curriculum Maps. http://commoncore.org/maps/ to create lesson plans and assessments. This creates a host of problems, among them, that parents are not privy to these maps unless they pay $25--and parents don't know about these maps, thinking we're just using the seemingly innocuous standards. As a Conservative, I can see the agenda in the CCCMaps that advocates a liberal worldview. See my previous post for more details.  
 





 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Common Core Standards Are Not the Real Issue

Read any Common Core advocate's opinion piece, and you'll find a defense of the rigorous, politically neutral standards that will prepare your child for post-secondary success in college and career, that were carefully crafted by teachers and educational experts. While many opponents of Common Core take issue with the true rigor of the standards, in all honesty, I must tell you, parents, that you'll find little in the ELA (English Language Arts) standards that will keep you up at night. Even the list of exemplary texts will elicit little protest from most conservatives--despite Glenn Beck and other pundits' warning that classrooms will replace classic literature with instructional manuals and EPA regulations. This is only partly true, by the way, as I'll explain in a future post.
Even former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is bucking the conservative trend by voicing his support of these much-maligned standards. I can only hope his ignorance can be attributed to a lack of invested time in researching the behind-the-scenes story of the Common Core creation and funding that he most certainly would not defend.
As a public school teacher in a state that "raced to the top" by accepting the Common Core mandates in exchange for a few million dollars, I'm in the unique position to tell you what is happening in the trenches. I'm part of a team assigned the task of writing lesson plans in accordance with Common Core standards. Here's the secret: when we're writing these lessons, we rarely refer to the actual standards. We're taking orders from the mandates of the Gates Foundation via the Common Core Curriculum Maps. You haven't seen these. That's because they are protected by copyright, and only those with a username and password may open them. For reasons I can't understand, our district isn't even listed on the Maps page "Who's Using the Maps?", an obfuscation that leads me to believe all states must be using them in some capacity.
I have a username and password, so I'll let you in on the secrets, copyrighted or not. As I see it, the public has a legal right to this information--are your tax dollars not purchasing these CC Maps? What percentage of your income is pilfered by our tax system to fund your school district? Ask your local school board why you're not allowed to access the Maps.
Perhaps you don't view Bill and Melinda Gates through the lens of suspicion that I see them. For this post, I'll temporarily set aside my well-founded bias against their motives and just present the facts.
Because my experience with the Maps is with the 8th and 9th grade curriculum, that will be my focus for now. As I delve into the other grade levels, I expect to cull more ammunition for my position.
A common motif you will find in the objective of Common Core is educating children about the "common good." Whether the "Common" in Common Core hints at this objective is accidental, I'm not sure. This objective is not overt in the Map lessons, but it's there. In Unit 6 of the 8th grade curriculum "The Road not Taken," the essential question is "Can literature help us to define the greater good?" I include this screen shot as evidence--please note the sections I highlighted with the yellow boxes.

My struggle is to explain to you why it's nefarious for teachers to employ a unit whose objective is to force students to see literature through a worldview that celebrates the "greater good," the sacrifice of individual rights for an imagined utopic outcome.
The first problem with this theme should be obvious to anyone familiar with two of the suggested stories in this unit: Gulliver's Travels and The Lord of the Flies. How could objective teachers possibly twist the authors' words against tyrannical government that are clearly evident in these works into a message promoting sacrifice for the common good? I also fail to see how two recommended poems, Frost's "Nothing Gold Can Stay" and "The Road not Taken" [whose title was ripped off for this unit] lend themselves to supporting this theme. Maybe there's an esoteric message in those poems I missed.
After six weeks of reading and discussing literature that purportedly helps them define the greater good, students must write an essay responding to the essential question. I would assume teachers wouldn't expect an independent-minded student's response, such as "Yes, I suppose some literature exits that can help us define the greater good, but since the literature we read for this unit does not support that theme, a philosophy which I do not wholly embrace, I can not offer supporting evidence from the texts." That one-sentence essay would adequately answer the weak and poorly worded essential question, however.
The "common good" sounds so warm and fuzzy. It's an idea that deserves definition and discussion. It can be misused, however, to advocate a surrender of individual rights in the name of any number of agenda. I don't agree with the unit's objective to artificially force the discussion of priceless literature to center on this theme. I don't agree that the unit should culminate in a mandatory essay assignment with a restrictive and narrow focus. I question the motives of the authors of this unit because not all the suggested texts naturally lend themselves to the definition of this term.
A few facts about the Common Core Curriculum Maps to consider:
1. Eighteen classroom teachers are part of the Maps Project Team. While I applaud the inclusion of actual teachers in this effort and the transparency of their biographies, I would like to know how these teachers were chosen, and by whom.
2. The site's word cloud includes some curious names and terms.



I understand why names such as Shakespeare, Langston Hughes, and Emily Dickinson appear in the cloud, but some words have potential political connotations that make me wonder what importance the Maps have given to them in the units: atomic bomb, weather, Navajo, Middle East, Mali. I also wonder why "slavery" is given greater importance than "freedom," a word whose font is smaller than "seasons." I don't understand why such importance is given to van Gogh, whose name appears as large as Emily Dickinson's and larger than the names of several other prolific authors of the cannon of classic Western literature. I don't remember ever studying van Gogh's contribution to literature.
I am also baffled at the appearance of such words as "seasons," "maps," and "animals." They are fine topics, I'm sure, but why do they appear as frequently in the content of the Curriculum Maps as literary topics?
Finally, what is conspicuously absent in this cloud is any mention of literary elements. I understand the cloud is of content knowledge, but why would essential elements such as theme, figurative language, irony, and characterization not even appear?
3. The taxpaying public must pay $25 to view the Maps. Your tax dollars are already paying for your school district's use of the Maps, but you are not privy to them. If you have a financial hardship, however, you may access them for free. http://commoncore.org/maps/membership
The Maps are the true driving force behind Common Core, not the innocuous standards. CC advocates have done nothing but muddle the discussion about the existence of this curriculum which holds more importance than the standards.
4. The CC Maps project was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
http://commoncore.org/maps/faqs#how_is_the_common_core_curriculum_mapping_project_funded
I know, I promised to remain objective about the Gates, but their hands are in every Common Core-related project. Without their funding, it would not be possible for such a behemoth as CC to even get off the ground. I know the movement was not actually initiated by teachers and states, as CC advocates will tell you, and the Gates' conspicuous funding is more than a little suspect.
5. The Maps do not indicate how they will prepare students for the required assessments. Teachers do not know what will be on the tests. This curriculum does not explain how it is correlated with the assessments.
Parents, I hope you will make the effort to ask your district about the curriculum and texts that are being used to comply with Common Core. Do not be satisfied if school officials point you to the standards themselves. Ask them how teachers in your district will apply these standards in their lesson plans.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Collection of Metadata: Pre-K through Age 20

Update: HJ Heistand of NEA hates this post.

HJ Heistand's thoughtless response to me on Twitter now increases my resistance to Common Core. He had a chance to try answering my question and present the positive aspects of this education reform, which I will concede, has some benefits. Instead, he told me I don't have any credibility, so he doesn't have to answer my question.
My mission is to ask CC advocates valid questions so they might see another side of the debate and at least understand the concerns of teachers and parents. I responded to Heistand's tweet assuring us that since Mike Huckabee likes Common Core, it "can't be all bad." I wasn't sure if he meant this sarcastically or not, so I read the linked article, which offered no supporting evidence that CC is better than our previous standards. So I tweeted a link to this post and politely asked him what he thought about data mining of children's private information and the necessary expenditure states would have to carry to comply with assessment requirements. I was truly hoping for an educated response, but I guess I'm a bit na├»ve because I have never contradicted anyone on Twitter. He only noted my solitary reference to Beck and Malkin, which in context you will notice does not advocate believing what Beck and Malkin say about Common Core. So Heistand proceeded to use an ad hominem attack instead of respecting me, a concerned teacher who has found a LOT of troubling information from dot gov and dot org sites. ALL of my evidence comes from official sites. I do not cite anything from Beck or Malkin or anyone else as evidence for my position.
 
Heistand hypocritically cited Huckabee's approval as his evidence, however. That's okay. He and his ilk can continue making weak arguments for their beliefs, and I will continue making well-documented posts that will actually bolster our side of the issue. I guess the other side should be pitied because they don't have much evidence to back up their claims.
 

Ahh...the sweet symphony of metadata!



http://www.pesc.org/library/docs/Common%20Data%20Standards/State%20Core%20Model%2011-17.pdf

"The State Core Model is a common technical reference model for states implementing state longitudinal data systems (SLDS). It was developed by CCSSO as part of the Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) adoption work with funding from the Gates Foundation.
The Model includes early childhood (EC), elementary and secondary (K12), post-secondary (PS), and workforce (WF) elements, known collectively as “P20,” and establishes comparability between sectors and between states. The State Core Model will do for State Longitudinal Data Systems what the Common Core is doing for Curriculum Frameworks and the two assessment consortia" (The State Core Model page 2).
PESC.org (Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council)


"These initial findings are promising evidence of the cognitive plasticity and malleability of brain functioning for processes related to grit" (Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance page 62). ed.gov

IRS, NSA, FBI, FEMA: Acronyms that now trigger feelings of anger, repulsion and distrust. In light of today's FBI hearing, in which Director Mueller protested repeatedly, "I don't know. I'll have to get back to you on that," and Rand Paul's valiant effort to hold our government accountable for its violation of the 4th amendment, the Common Core objective of collecting and storing personal metadata on every child seems all the more insidious.
I realize not everyone has time to excavate the Internet for the truth about Common Core. It's easier to listen to Glenn Beck's interpretations and read Michelle Malkin's warnings about this mysterious curriculum. These and other conservative commentators are aiding the effort to pull back the curtain of obscurity that the government has used to separate parents from their children. But hearing it from the horse's mouth is even better, because no one can accuse you of being a hysterical, paranoid conspiracy theorist. When you present Common Core advocates with facts, they will still call you nasty words like "Tea Partier/Bagger" and say you are anti-education and "on the fringe," but they cannot deny what the Department of Education and official Common Core sites have posted.
I want every parent with school-age children to know this about Common Core, if nothing else, because the collection of data of students should be enough to concern even the most staunch liberal.
My sources are not from conspiracy sites; I strongly urge you to at least skim over these to realize how authentic is the threat to your child's privacy:
1. Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance http://www.ed.gov/edblogs/technology/research/
2. The State Core Model http://www.pesc.org/library/docs/Common%20Data%20Standards/State%20Core%20Model%2011-17.pdf
Parents, you should be aware that data about your children has long been collected and disseminated via data systems in your school district. In my district, we have what is termed a "data dashboard" where we can quickly look at a summary of our students' scores on the state Benchmark tests and English language level (if applicable). Each teacher is privy to her students' data exclusively. We use this data to place students in remedial math and reading programs, design lesson plans for specific students, and organize collaborative groups. In my experience, it's an invaluable tool that doesn't raise my concerns about violating a student's privacy.
When Common Core is implemented and students begin the assessments in 2015, your child's data will be stored in a nationally accessible data base. And it will not include just test scores.
Again, from PESC.org:

"[The State Core Model] is designed to support dropout early warning intervention systems (DEWIS), positive behavior intervention systems (PBIS) and response to intervention (RTI), balanced scorecard performance management, and provide and extensible model capable of accommodating future needs."

 

In plain English, teachers and other observers will not only collect data from your child's tests, but will interpret your child's behavior and impose interventions. Skeptical?

I urge you to look at this Department of Education draft: Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance.

This brief defines grit, tenacity, and perseverance as non-academic characteristics that students must possess to be successful. Schools will now assess your child's character and implement strategies to change him/her. (Pages in parenthesis refer to the location in the Adobe document, not the page numbers on the document.)

 

"It is the responsibility of the educational community to design learning environments that promote these factors [grit, tenacity, and perseverance] so that students are prepared to meet 21st-century challenges" (page 7).

 

"This brief explores the possibility that grit, tenacity, and perseverance can be malleable and teachable, and discusses the potential of these factors to significantly increase success for all students" (page 8).

 

What would an assessment of your child's character look like? The draft provides a model for a character report card (page 57):
 



Teachers will observe students' behavior to complete charts like the example above.
The draft suggests various methods to collect this data: self report, informant reports, school records, and behavioral task performance (pages 11, 12). Self report and school records seem pretty innocuous, but what about informant reports and behavioral task performance?
"Informant reports," a label with connotations that evoke the practices of the KGB and Hitler Youth, are conducted by parents, teachers, and outside observers using observations, video and field notes.
Far more mysterious and unsettling are the methods used in "behavioral task performance." Brace yourself. Glenn Beck warned parents that schools will use advanced technology to collect biofeedback on your child. Here's the proof (page 62):




"The field of neuroscience also offers methods for insight into some of the psychological
resources associated with grit, especially effortful control. Using neuroimaging techniques, such as fMRI, it is possible to examine which parts of the brain are active during times of anxiety or stress and the effects of some interventions" (pages 62, 63).
Using these sensors in schools is not sensible, the draft concedes, not because of privacy violation, but because of the cost of such devices (as if cost has been a consideration).
But don't despair; technology offers other means of collecting your child's biofeedback (page 63):

 

"While it is impractical to use fMRI in the classroom (i.e., it is a prohibitively expensive, room-sized machine), Ed Dieterle and Ash Vasudeva of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation point out that researchers such as Jon Gabrieli and Richard Davidson are beginning to use multiple methods to explore how specific brain activity is correlated with other cognitive and affective indicators that are practical to measure in school settings."

 

Assessment of your child will continue into adulthood, effectively violating his/her right to privacy. Of all the assessment and intervention plans, this one chills me the most. Note the Age Level column(page 69).


 

Post-secondary assessment and interventions will include such non-cognitive outcomes as "mindset interventions," "resiliency programs," and "character education." Again, I want to emphasize, this is after students have graduated high school, at which point they are adults with rights as U.S. citizens. The purpose of these interventions is to take advantage of  the "malleability" of young minds and reshape them according to a worldview promoted by the Gates Foundation and the other corporations that provide funding. If you think this worldview will be secular and neutral, consider their recommended approaches to "improving executive functions for children in the early school years" including

"Martial arts and mindfulness practices. An increasing number of studies suggest that
martial arts, which traditionally emphasize self-control and character development, can
significantly improve executive functions for 5- to 11-year-olds. Mindfulness training,
emphasizing regulating attention to focus in a nonjudgmental way on experiences in the
present moment, can significantly improve executive functions. There is some evidence that yoga may also have potential to increase these skills" (page 71).


Many adults find relief for joints and muscles using yoga stretches, and some choose to practice the Eastern meditation element of the exercise. Should children ages 5-11 be subjected to "mindfulness practices" i.e. meditation?
All of this brings me back to my initial statement, that the collected data about your children is entered into a national database accessible to an untold number of people. I did not choose the word "metadata" to refer to the information that will be collected about your child just because it now has a negative connotation. Here it is, a veritable celebration of metadata collection (The State Core Model page 4):



The Department of Education concedes that collecting this data may cause concerns about ethics but assures us the advantages gained with this data model far outweigh potential violations of privacy:

 

"Of course, privacy is always a concern, especially when leveraging data available in the 'cloud' that users may or may not be aware is being mined. However, another emergent concern is the consequences of using new types of personal data in new ways. Learners and educators have the potential to get forms of feedback about their behaviors, emotions, physiological responses, and cognitive processes that have never been available before. Measurement developers must carefully consider the impacts of releasing such data, sometimes of a sensitive nature, and incorporate feedback mechanisms that are valuable, respectful, and serve to support productive mindsets" (Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance page 66).


Nothing about this concession lowers my anxiety about how this personal information will be exploited; in fact this confirms that privacy and ethics will be violated, and the violators will demand that we sacrifice our rights for the common good. (The "common good" is a motif teachers are expected to inculcate into the minds of their malleable pupils according to the Common Core Curriculum Map lesson plans--but that's the topic for a future post.)
P20 is a "longitudinal data system" that aims to make student data accessible to "parents, students, teachers, principals, LEA leaders, community members, unions, researchers, and policymakers" ("Race to the Top" page 4). FERPA does not apply, regardless of their assurance that data collection will be legal--FERPA has been modified to allow all stakeholders, now including LEA leaders, community members, unions, researchers, and policymakers, unbridled access. Accepting the conditions of this system was one of the Race to the Top requirements. Use this government site to see whether your state accepted the grant in exchange for selling students' privacy rights: http://nces.ed.gov/Programs/SLDS/stateinfo.asp .

I implore you to continue researching Common Core by visiting these and other dot gov and dot org sites--please cull information directly from the source because such efforts will enhance your understanding of the ultimate agenda and bolster your case when you educate others about this Orwellian takeover of education.