Education Wish List for the New President

President-Elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education has been met with mixed emotions. Of course, the wealthy funder in Michigan education circles stated her opposition to Common Core shortly after the announcement, but activists are wary of her previous financial support of pro-Common Core organizations. Teachers unions hate her because of her advocacy of “school choice.”

Many believe that being for school choice in the form of vouchers or charters is all that is needed for reform. But it will take a lot to undo the damage that the Obama administration (with the help of many Republican governors and congressmen) has done in education.

The Department of Education is the perhaps the most opaque; career educationists are adept at hiding their true intentions with jargon, double talk, and Orwellian redefinitions (think of how many times Common Core has been called “rigorous”). So to help the new president along, Dissident Prof asked people who have been fighting Common Core in its various iterations through the years for what they would like from the president-elect. Here is what they had to say:

Jane Robbins, Senior Fellow at the American Principles Project, offers her article suggesting 11 things that could make DeVos “the last education secretary ever” (a fine goal, opposite to the educationist’s goal of ever-expansive growth). In her Conservative Review article, Robbins recommends strengthening privacy, returning Title IX to its original purpose, legislation to alleviate the pressure points that lock states into Common Core standards (through amendments possibly to the Every Student Succeeds Act), ending federal incentives of education policies, ending the proposed use of NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) to measure “mind sets” and “school climate,” “and fill[ing] deputy secretary positions with rock-solid anti-Common Core, pro-local control advocates who know what they’re doing.” The recommendations couldn’t be clearer: Betsy DeVos, please read it here.

One of the “rock-solid” advocates Robbins names is Sandra Stotsky, retired professor of education at the University of Arkansas, and principal creator of the Massachusetts standards that catapulted that state to #1 position in education (before the standards were replaced by Common Core). Stotsky remarks, “I think this country is entitled to a 3-year plan on how to shrink the USED.”

To see what Robbins means about “mind sets,” read “Schools Ditch Academics for Emotional Manipulation” co-authored with Karen Effrem. (I saw the radical educationists plotting to institute such emotional control at a “conflict resolution education conference” in 2010. It was quite scary. You can read my report here.)

Tamara Carlone, CPA, VP Stop Common Core in Michigan, says, “Government strings and liberal indoctrination in education will ultimately lead us to a liberal society that has abandoned everything that made us the most powerful and prosperous nation in the history of the world.”

She recommends several great articles related to DeVos on the Stop Common Core in Michigan web-site. “I am a big fan of this one because it asks Trump to take the nomination away from Betsy and lists 10 points with PROOF”: Here it is.

Susan Berry expands on these points in her article at Breitbart.

Cheri Kiesecker, parent and blogger at Missouri Education Watchdog sends her number one wish: fix FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and end hidden data collection. She writes, “President Trump and the new Ed Secretary must immediately repeal the 2011 Obama administration’s executive order that weakened FERPA,  a law meant to protect children’s privacy. President Trump then needs to go one step further.  If we want technology to succeed in schools, we must pass a law with enforceable penalties that prohibits technology companies from collecting and analyzing children’s data, without permission.  (Europe has such a law already, protecting all EU citizens.) To truly end Common Core, Trump and the new Ed Secretary must end the massive data collection that Common Core is built on.” Read more at Missouri Education Watchdog.

Time for the RAIDTime for the RAIDAnd a message from the Dissident Prof: President-Elect Trump, you promised to end Common Core and make education “local.” You won a surprising victory thanks to the grassroots. Please listen to the moms and teachers in Michigan and Missouri, and all across this nation. End the crony capitalism and the Orwellian emotional manipulation and tracking of kids.

I know it’s not a simple task to educate oneself about education. The lifetime bureaucrats are like termites and the structure they attempt to bring down is our nation and our way of life. But if you really want to know ask the parents and the good teachers, and their allies.

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