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VIDEO: President Trump Announces Massive Coronavirus Testing Expansion

America has already conducted far more Coronavirus tests than any other nation on Earth—more than the entire European Union and more than all of Latin America combined.

Now, President Trump has announced that his Administration will distribute 150 million rapid, point-of-care Coronavirus tests in the coming weeks. This action will more than double the total number of tests already performed in the United States.

 WATCH: President Trump announces massive testing expansion

Fifty million tests will go to protect the most vulnerable communities, which we’ve always promised to do, including 18 million for nursing homes; 15 million for assisted living facilities; 10 million for home, health, and . . . hospice care agencies; and nearly 1 million for historically black colleges and universities,” the President said.

Another 100 million rapid tests will be given to states and territories to support efforts to reopen their economies and schools as quickly and safely as possible.

“We are now at an inflection point in testing,” President Trump said. The United States now has the capacity to run, on average, 3 million tests per day. That number doesn’t include “pooled testing,” which could multiply that figure several times.

Vice President Pence said he believes an announcement about a Coronavirus vaccine will come soon after yesterday’s historic milestone.

“It’s a testament to great companies like Abbott Laboratories and the thousands of employees who, Mr. President, I know have literally worked around the clock since those early days in this pandemic, when you brought in the greatest research companies in America,” the Vice President added.

 Mississippi Governor: “This is a game-changer.”

©White House. All rights reserved.

Treachery! Intrigue! Common Core Skullduggery Exposed

common core dilemma book coverAre you curious about how the crazy new convoluted Common Core math problems came about?  Ever wonder why high school students are reading EPA standards in English class?

Want to read a book full of suspense about backroom deals, MOU’s (Memorandums of Understanding), CCSSO licensing agreements, NGA funding, and secret handshakes?  That reveals who and what CCSSO, EASA, and AYP are?  That gets down to the statistical trickery of surveys showing that teachers just love Common Core?

Then read Mercedes Schneider’s fascinating Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?

Schneider cuts through the eye-glazing jargon and reveals the players, their connections, and credentials (or more accurately lack thereof).  She uses her advanced degrees in education and statistics to explicate the legalese and interpret the misleading numbers, and then put them into a gripping narrative. There is a plot line that goes from when Common Core was a twinkle in the eye to the monster we have today.

This dedicated high school English teacher also maintains an excellent blog in which she cuts through all the arcana.  Her work is clearly a labor of love.  I don’t know how she does it all.

In Common Core Dilemma, Schneider has done a superb job in telling the back story.

But I wish that she had left it at that because the introductory chapters present a distorted view of the history of education and might put off some readers.

In the first chapter Schneider challenges the 1966 Coleman Report’s recommendation that standardized tests be used as measurements of progress (full name, Equality of Educational Opportunity Study).  She takes issue with the fact that “the researchers believed that ‘culture bound’ testing was justified because, in their view, particular attributes were necessary for students of color to have success.”  E.D. Hirsch, in his 1987 bestseller,Cultural Literacy, argued the same point: historical and cultural knowledge (e.g., important dates, scientific facts, familiarity with literary classics) are essential to reading comprehension and academic achievement. For that he was vilified by progressives.  Common Core (in spite of the similarity in name) deemphasizes cultural knowledge by dictating that short “texts” (or excerpts) be read “cold,” with no context provided by the teacher.

Schneider maintains that it was naïve “to believe that people of color in 1960s America would ‘get a good job and move up to a better one’” by demonstrating academic achievement.

No, it was not.

Schneider repeats the myth that has been accepted as holy writ in education schools: that racism and lack of cultural sensitivity are responsible for the achievement gap. This myth is promulgated by anti-American radicals who took over schools in the 1960s.   Perpetuating such myths serves their larger revolutionary goals.  Thomas Sowell, however, has aptly demonstrated that in the days of segregation, all-black schools sometimes outperformed their white socioeconomic counterparts.

That is because they used the tried-and-true methods of directed teaching, which the late Jeanne Chall demonstrated were especially helpful to students from low- and middle-income families.  This is old-fashioned teaching, with the teacher as the authority and students required to demonstrate knowledge of a body of material.

Progressive teachers, however, have taken it upon themselves to indoctrinate students in social justice, while pretending students are “discovering” such lessons through project and group work.

The Obama administration’s policies in academic standards and school discipline, modeled on the theories of Obama education transition team leader and Common Core test developer, Linda Darling-Hammond, go counter to the methods that have worked.  Clearly, there is a larger agenda.  The fall-out includes loss of local control and teacher autonomy.

Schneider, unfortunately, seems to have accepted certain progressive premises.  She questions the validity of committees on the basis of racial and gender make-up (if they are overwhelmingly white and male), but cites anti-testing activist William Schaefer of FAIR Test as an authority.  This is surprising because Schaefer has no qualifications in the education field.  His public relations company promotes a number of far-left causes, with the anti-testing campaign being just one.

Unfortunately, Schneider repeats what could be a line from Schaeffer’s anti-testing propaganda.  She maintains that test administrators can be blind to “the manner in which their own perceptions of the world interfere with both test selection and the utility of test results.”  Furthermore, “The ‘skills most important’ for Whites to be successful in a predominantly White society that is often openly hostile to the ‘success’ of its members of color differ from those that may be deemed ‘most important’ by the oppressed members.”  Cringe.

Schneider relates how she learned from “students of color” that “academic achievement is frowned on as an attempt to ‘be White’ or is viewed as an affront to subgroup acceptance.”   That is true, as Jason Riley points out, but it is a harmful attitude that is encouraged by lessons about endless oppression and cultural difference.

Unfortunately, education schools and teachers unions have made reform efforts necessary.  At conferences I’ve heard teachers share strategies on avoiding state standards (pre-Common Core), so they could use the class to promote such lessons in grievance instead. Teachers unions have notoriously protected incompetent or negligent teachers.

There was an educational “crisis,” as well as a financial one, in 2008.  The Obama administration, of course, did not let either “crisis go to waste,” dangling stimulus funds before governors as carrots for adopting Common Core.

Now let me get back to the other nine chapters—the vast bulk—that make it worth your while to read this book.  Once Schneider dispenses with the bleeding heart excuses in the first two chapters, she exposes education exploiters who lie (Bill Gates), who violate their federal roles (Arne Duncan), and who negotiate deals to make U.S. education dependent on their demonstrably incompetent companies (Pearson chief financial officer Robin Freestone).

Teachers, rightfully, should be appalled at the imposition of standards that have not been piloted and that were written by unqualified “experts” from non-profits tied to companies standing to profit from Common Core.  They should be outraged over having their job evaluations tied to how well students perform on ridiculous tests.

But they should also be putting their own house in order.  Teachers should be asking themselves whether their union dues should be going overwhelmingly to the Democratic Party, which supports big government/progressive education programs like Common Core.

I hope Mercedes Schneider takes her passion, and her great analytical and writing skills, to tackle the more deep-rooted problems plaguing education.

But first, we have a task: to kill the Common Core beast.  The big government/big money interests are banking on the fact that the “little people” can’t understand the contracts, the jargon, the backroom deals.

Mercedes Schneider demonstrates, to the contrary, that with her book, oh, yes, we can.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research website.

The Logic of Testing  – Common Sense, NOT Common Core

Our Florida State and Federal legislators claim we must hold schools accountable for results so that they, the government, can cost justify the expense of education to the taxpayers.  Since 1985, they have increased their emphasis on testing, culminating in No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top and Common Core.

Well, let’s see how that is working, exactly.  We have over 40 years of information shown on the CATO Institute chart showing the dramatic escalation of costs, while test scores have actually declined:

federal spending per student since 1970

Most logical people would conclude that increased spending on federal government programs has not been an effective tool to increase the effectiveness of our schools.  Logic is not all that common in government, however, and government programs don’t shut down just because they aren’t working.

This is especially evident in Florida, where testing now absorbs nearly 40% of class time available for learning, and billions of dollars are being spent on Florida State Assessments and Common Core.  These assessments are proprietary, however, and do not provide any comparison to other states; so much for accountability.

When actual, nationally normed tests are used to compare Florida’s students, year over year, to other states, we find the troubling truth.  The ACT is such a test and this how Florida’s students measure up over the last 20 years.  We are now a dismal 47th in the U.S.:

florida act scores

I attended our Lee County School Board meeting  where members were barraged with community complaints and tried to weigh options for the onerous burdens of the new bill, HB7069, recently signed into law by Governor Scott.   Similar discussions are being held at all school boards throughout the state.

The State bullies ignored the declining results reported by nationally normed ACT tests since 1998 and doubled down to erode accountability, reduce class time for learning, cede control to the state, dramatically increase cost, and endanger our children’s privacy rights.  They kept Common Core Curriculum and High Stakes Testing in place.

Let’s lay out the facts:

1.)    We don’t have the money to pay for schools to house our kids and yet the State wants us to build, maintain and update elaborate and expensive computer testing facilities.

2.)    The state wants us to pay about $34 per test for required state tests.

3.)    The tests are not validated and scores won’t be available until the middle of the next school year, yet the state wants them to be 30% of the student scores on end of course tests.  This means no report cards could be issued or decisions reached about student progress plans this year.

4.)    The FSA tests have disgracefully and repeatedly crashed, causing delays and confusion all over the state.  Starts and restarts themselves invalidate results.  Crashes were caused by the vendor, AIR, which was paid $220 Million to create and deliver this product.  No information has been presented from the state about recouping the millions of dollars schools lost in the crashes.

5.)    The tests will take about 9 days of student time if there was no conflict with sharing of computers.  Under current computer availability management, students are losing up to 40% of their class time to testing and delays.

6.)    We don’t see the test questions to see if they are appropriate or accurate and can’t use them to inform students.

7.)    Students taking tests on computers are being unfairly and inaccurately measured through the prism of their keyboarding skills, not their actual knowledge.

8.)    We know our children’s information is being data mined when they take tests on computers.

9.)    We have not been given any reason why tests must be given on computer.

10.)Pencil and paper tests are available to measure our students’ progress.

  1. They are MUCH less expensive
  2. They never crash
  3. It is difficult or impossible for the corporate cronies to data mine paper tests.
  4. Students can take them at their own desks without delays and confusion.
  5. Pencil and paper tests fairly represent the student’s knowledge, not their computer skills.
  6. Tests can be reviewed for accuracy and validity, and shared with teachers to inform instruction.

Given these facts it is clear.  Parents, teachers and local districts do not need the federal or state government to tell us how to educate our kids.  Our teachers are certified and the schools are accredited.  The STATE is NOT.  We need to restore local control by following this simple, “Common Sense, not Common Core” plan.

  1. Select from the best “off the shelf”standards which are available for free and not copyrighted
  2. Restore portfolio grading and eliminate high stakes tests
  3. Test on paper to reduce expense, eliminate data mining, and add back as much as 40% class time for learning

It’s a simple plan that will reduce bureaucracy, complexity, costs and inefficiency.  Tools to implement this are immediately available and are not copyrighted.  Our students will thrive in this environment and educational freedom will result in excellence.

Share this with your local school board now.

“Teachers Cannot Teach What They Do Not Know”

teacher by bes studios

PHOTO BY BES PHOTOS.

How bad is teacher education today? Consider: all states require that teachers be college graduates, but prospective teachers are passing licensure exams with skills and knowledge ranging from the seventh- to tenth-grade levels. Perhaps this shouldn’t surprise us, as colleges of education draw from the bottom two-thirds of graduating classes (and for those planning to teach at the elementary levels, it’s the bottom one-third). Much time in such schools is wasted on fashionable, politically tendentious, but ineffective pedagogy. Think Bill Ayers and Paulo Freire, among the most frequently assigned authors in education courses. Think elementary-education professors specializing in such things as gender identity and post colonialism.

In her new book, An Empty Curriculum: The Need to Reform Teacher Licensing Regulations and Tests, Sandra Stotsky, professor emerita of education at the University of Arkansas, offers a tested model of teacher knowledge, explains why it’s not being used, and describes strategies for overcoming the education establishment’s resistance. Stotsky’s credentials for this task are impressive: in her role as senior associate commissioner at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education from 1999 to 2003, she oversaw complete revisions of the state’s pre-K-12 standards as well as its teacher-licensure standards. Until these standards were replaced by the Common Core in 2010, Massachusetts ranked first among the states in educational achievement.

An entrenched education bureaucracy remains a formidable obstacle to meaningful educational reform, particularly in the area of standards. Many state education commissioners and staff “are influenced,” Stotsky says, “by the education schools they attended, teacher unions, school administrators’ needs, the interests of professional education organizations, and the pressure of political groups (especially think tanks, institutes, and policy-oriented organizations that claim expertise on educational matters).” Testing companies, educational entrepreneurs, diversity advocates, accreditation agencies, and political ideologues also have a vested interest in keeping standards low. Teacher-licensure tests, intended to protect children from incompetent teachers, set low passing requirements in order to protect teacher-preparation institutions, most of which, Stotsky points out, enjoy taxpayer funding.

Stotsky reminds readers how rigorous America’s education standards used to be. She cites a Michigan teacher-licensing exam in history from 1900, in which sample essay questions asked future grammar school teachers to, for example, “describe Ireland during the reign of Elizabeth” or “briefly state the result and effect of the Battle of Waterloo, naming the leading general.” States relaxed standards after a post-World War II teacher shortage, however, and relaxed them further after job options expanded for women, and further still after the court challenges of racial discrimination in the 1970s. Additionally, political correctness has corrupted subjects ranging from English and European languages to music and literature.

Stotsky calls on legislators and their constituents to revamp the system. To ensure teacher competency, she proposes raising college-admission standards and abolishing credits for undergraduate education coursework, replacing it with four years of academic coursework for core-subject teachers. Educationally high-achieving countries, such as Finland, South Korea, and Singapore, already take such measures. Extensive studies show that a teacher’s subject-matter knowledge is the best predictor of a student’s achievement, in line with the common-sense notion that “teachers cannot teach what they do not know,” as Stotsky puts it. Graduate-level coursework and professional-development courses should also be in the teacher’s subject areas: coursework for an M.S. or M.A. degree is far more intellectually demanding than for a M.Ed. degree. Stotsky also suggests requiring that directors, department heads, and curriculum specialists at the 5-12 grade level hold a master’s degree in their core subject and at least 18 credits of advanced graduate studies in one of the core academic subjects they supervise.

Such practical measures, however, aren’t in vogue. Much of the rhetoric surrounding the 2009 Race to the Top contest for federal stimulus funds focused on improving teacher quality, but the methods for measuring such quality can be dubious—including having students, beginning as early as kindergarten, evaluate their teachers. Georgia’s eight-year-olds assess teachers on such criteria as “my teacher cares about my learning” and “my teacher shows me how I can use what I learn at home and in the community.” The state then ties teacher bonuses to such ratings.

Stotsky’s compact and data-filled book should serve as a useful resource for pushing back against failed education policies and the bureaucrats who defend them.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the City Journal. The featured image is of a Norman Rockwell painting titled “Visit a Country School” dated 1946. Link to Sandra Stotsky’s primer for improving American educational standards: An Empty Curriculum: The Need to Reform Teacher Licensing Regulations and Tests.

Powerful Video: Future of New York State Education Exposed

On March 31, 2015, the New York State Assembly proved that budgeting well takes a back seat to “budgeting badly but on time.”

rotten apple

Even before the official vote was taken, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie knew that the budget would pass the Democrat-controlled Assembly because “the people of this state want an on-time budget.”

So, according to Heastie,  it’s “the people” who “want” politicians to tell New York schools how to evaluate teachers– just so long as the screwy budget that also relieves New York’s wealthiest from sales tax on yachts is Approved. On. Time.

Due to that Democrat-induced, “on time” approval, New York now has a similar teacher evaluation stupidity that passed in Louisiana in 2012 (with student test scores counting for 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation unless the teacher is rated “ineffective,” in which case the test scores override all else). Moreover, New York has an extra layer of idiocy, even outdoing Louisiana: the “independent evaluator” nonsense that promises to introduce unprecedented disruption in the running of already-pressured schools as their administrators could be required to travel to other schools to evaluate teachers in unfamiliar contexts.

Did I mention that all of this “admin swap” means nothing in the face of the “ineffective test scores” trump card?

And “ineffective,” well, that is To Be Determined by the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

Ahh, yes. The bottom line is that all New York career teachers are now at the mercy of whatever test score “growth” NYSED concocts in its effort to please a governor who is decidedly and openly hostile to the “public school monopoly” he vowed to “bust” upon reelection.

There you have it, People of New York: A casualty of the “budgeting on time” that Heastie says you demand.

Therefore, don’t blame the “heavy-hearted” Democrats captured in short order in the brief, powerful video below. And certainly don’t blame those clueless legislators who voted for a budget without fully comprehending its ramifications.

The politicians are innocent… right?

Future of NYS Education, by Stronger Together (ST) Caucus

Open letter to the voters of Florida on Common Core 3-30-15

Here’s a simple question for you to ask YOUR representative and Senator: “Are you representing your constituents and the children and educators of your district? Or do you just push the buttons they tell you to push?”

“Did you make a back room deal, or do you really believe (not!) that the education bill now presented actually helps alleviate the problems of Common Core and High Stakes Testing?” If you do, exactly what improvement was proposed? Then watch them squirm…

I CHALLENGE you to do this, and do it NOW. They will vote in session on April 1 (April fools day-how appropriate) for a bill that KEEPS COMMON CORE, KEEPS HIGH STAKES TESTING, KEEPS the contract with AIR ($220 million) in spite of the FSA failures, and still spends BILLIONS to administer computerized tests which benefits the corporate cronies (Bill Gates, Pearson, GE, George Soros, Rupert Murdock, Walmart, HP) who are funding Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign.

You know, I have spent a lot of time in the State Capitol talking with legislators to let them know we have been FOOLED by the many false claims by Bush, Rick Scott, and their sycophants about how GREAT Florida schools are- How we have “accountability,” “rigorous standards” and learning gains are enormous!

But we have shown them the REAL story comparing our students with nationally normed and validated tests that have been in use for decades, the ACT test. It shows Florida’s results in free fall since Jeb Bush took over since 1998. We are 5th from the bottom when compared to other states in this validated test which measures knowledge, not just test taking skills.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The FCAT and FSA is a proprietary test which does NOT provide accountability to taxpayers and parents. It has no relationship to other states. Listen to what Senator Gaetz, a former superintendent of schools, now huge supporter of Jeb Bush says.

In committee January 7, 2015, Senator Gaetz said: http://thefloridachannel.org/videos/1715-senate-education-prek-12-committee/. At hour 1:15, after Commissioner Pam Stewart’s presentation.

“Here’s what I’ve learned today.”

  1. “We don’t know how much time is consumed by Statewide Assessments.”
  2. “We don’t know how much money it costs to perform state mandated tests.”
  3. “We don’t know whether tests that are performed by state mandate are valid and reliable.”
  4. “We’ve learned today that we have no contingency plan if there are problems with statewide assessments.”
  5. “We have not beta tested statewide assessments.”

Then he voted for it.

WHY? Knowing all that. there is only one answer. MONEY AND POWER! Leadership controls everything in Tallahassee. Our shadow leader is Jeb Bush. His puppets are hoping for Washington appointments, jobs, endorsements, campaign money or other “crumbs from Longshanks’ table.”

Jeb Bush’s special friends include, Rick Scott, Don and Matt Gaetz, John Legg, Steve Crisafulli, Eric Fresen, Lizbeth Benacquisto, Garrett Richter, Jack Latvala, Bill Galvano, Andy Gardiner, Blaize Ingoglia, Kelly Stargel, Janet Adkins, Marlene O’Toole and others you may find attending the Foundation for Excellence in Education, their favors funneling organization.

Ask your legislators if they attend their functions. Ask who paid for their travel, expenses, incidentals, and what happened at the meetings they had there with Bush’s cronies, Pearson, Gates and other vendors.

Now you know why and how your children, the future of Florida and the Nation, are being thrown under the bus. Will you stand quietly, or will you join us in holding THEM accountable for massive spending and purposely crippling our kids future?

CALL THEM NOW to stop this bill, HB7069 and SB616, and start over.  We pay them for solutions, not kicking the can down the road while our children are subject to State sponsored child abuse.

REAL solutions were presented in HB1121 and SB1496, but Jeb Bush controlled leadership killed these bills by not allowing them to be heard.  Bring them back and STAY there until you get it right.  We are watching.

RELATED ARTICLE: This Top Teacher Is Right: Common Core Is Wrong Solution

Florida: Bill introduced to reduce Common Core mandated testing — But does it?

Florida State Senator John Legg has presented a new bill February 2, 2015 with much fanfare, Education Accountability – SB 616.

Like most other efforts by those who created the problem, this one creates more questions than answers.  His bill attempts to solve the problem of too much testing by simply demanding that schools should limit testing to 5% of the school year while it doesn’t reduce testing requirements by the State.

If schools can only use standardized tests 5% of class time, (9 of 180 days) does that mean just the time they are sitting and filling in the blanks?  Who measures this and tracks it? What about the time they are sitting in their classroom with no teacher while she proctors the makeup tests or retests?  This is what creates most of the 40% estimated lost class time.  We don’t have a computer for every student and the “musical chairs” problem is a huge and expensive complexity!

Who will notify parents when the 5% threshold is reached?  Is that 5% collectively by school, by class, or individually?  If only “permission” is required over 5%, why would parents deny this and under what penalty?  I just saw a “permission” slip in Lee County which penalized parents $15 for a standardized test or $55 for refusing an alternate exam and asked for the student’s phone number as well as parent info and IDs.

This “edict” is no better than just raising the bar and demanding better performance, a strategy they are using for testing overall.  And by the way, most have agreed the tests used to measure success are unreliable at best.

Schools must test because they are mandated to do so in statutes Senator John Legg helped create.  The existing mandated tests fit nicely into the 9 day window if you don’t account for the lack of testing computers, space and proctors, retests and makeup tests, and this would not provide any relief for students, teachers and schools.

Here’s a link to the bill and article about it on Sunshine State News.

This bill prescribes how teachers and schools must be evaluated in detail, removing all local control from local districts and providing unworkable and formulaic measures with no evidence of successful use.  What makes 40% test score weight in teacher evaluation the right number?  Why not 70% or 10% or 50% as it was?  No one has explained or scientifically justified these arbitrary numbers which have high stakes consequences for students and teachers.  The same goes for the 5% number on the amount of time for testing.   Why not 1%, or 10%?

This bill does not mention the main issue for many, and that is the content that is being “taught” to our children does not measure up, and is NOT rigorous, but crippling our children’s future.  Common sense and empirical data shows the children of Florida are being short changed.  We have recently dropped to number 28th in the Nation as shown by the ACT scores.  Our scores were better in 1995 than they are today, yet we are constantly being fed misleading statistics on “student growth” showing otherwise.  The tortured use of made up measures is just unseemly to disguise the fact that Florida’s vaunted education system is a massive failure.

The underlying question is why the Legislature micromanages the education process at all when nearly all of them have no teaching expertise?  We can use “off the shelf” Nationally Normed tests to measure how our students compare and save billions in the process.   Using pencil and paper tests equalizes the districts and eliminates the musical chair complexity, costs and fears of computer failures.   No explanation has ever been provided as to why pencil and paper tests should be replaced by computer only testing.  Why not let certified teachers teach and accredited schools monitor the teachers?

The answer is simple, POWER AND MONEY.

Billions must be spent to purchase, maintain and upgrade computers, software and networks to prepare for computer testing.  No estimate has been provided to the taxpayers and voters of Florida, but judging by the pilot project in Orange County reported Feb 18, 2104 at the State Board of Education meeting, this cost was estimated at over $2 Billion by Chair, Gary Chartran.

We do know, however, that the companies promoting this, Pearson, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, GE and others are the selfsame companies which receive this money.  They are also making large donations to the politicians who push for computerized testing and Common Core.  The Superintendents Association and State School Boards Association both list the same group of supporting corporate cronies who are benefactors in this incestuous scheme.  Here are links:  Gary Chartran and the KIPP Schools, Florida School Boards Association,  and the Florida Superintendents Association.

Florida Common Core: If you’re not catching flak you’re not over the target!

It is often said, If you’re not catching flak you’re not over the target, so we must be mighty close in our battle against Common Core.

Jeb Bush decided he’s had quite enough, and has “lost patience” with Common Core opponents, he said in a December 2nd article.  What he means is we should stop upsetting his run for the Presidency in 2016 with the truth about his selling our kids down the river for campaign money from Pearson PLC, Bill Gates and the “one world government” cronies.  He would rather not hear about the kids who are suffering and permanently harmed by the propaganda and poor education pumped down their throats such as:

  • Thanksgiving is a hurtful holiday.
  • The Pilgrims were the first terrorists.
  • Gorbachev was responsible for the fall of the Berlin Wall.
  • The Constitution is a guideline and must change with new times.
  • America is an Imperialist nation.
  • Our Founding Fathers were prejudiced male chauvinist pigs.
  • “George Washington was anything BUT a man of the people.”
  • “Ronald Reagan was a charismatic leader who invented his own past and sometimes believed it.”

Just last week Nancy Graham, the Superintendent of Lee County Schools, the 34th largest district in the nation, decided at a statewide meeting of school board members, she would “tell all” about the famous school board vote to OPT OUT of high stakes testing which occurred August 27, 2014.

Using Saul Alinsky techniques to vilify and discredit those who disagree with her support of Common Core, she resorts to calling out a grandmother who supposedly started all this mess, claiming she misrepresented herself as having children in Lee Schools, and labelling this grandmother a “pretend” grandma to the laughter of the audience.  And frustrated, she embellishes, this “pretend” grandma keeps attending school board meetings.

I confess.  I AM the “pretend” Grandma. Anyone who knows me knows about my two, very real, and wonderful granddaughters I would give my life to protect.  When I confronted her, she claimed her staff told her I lied to them and told them that my granddaughter was in Lee Schools. I NEVER LIED or MISLED anyone.  I told them I paid to send my granddaughter in Lee County to a private school.  She seems to think schools don’t impact the entire community and if we don’t have children in them, we shouldn’t be involved.  If the schools were any good, I wouldn’t have to pay $8,000 a year to send the grandkids elsewhere.  At least 4 of the 5 board members don’t have children in Lee County Schools.  I guess they shouldn’t be involved either.

Superintendent Graham stated in her talk that the “silent majority” were more well informed than citizens who urged action against Common Core and High Stakes Testing.  After nearly two years of research, conferences all over the country and dozens of meetings with experts on standards, testing and child psychology, I take personal exception to that assertion.  The 400 people or so who attended the opt out meeting spoke clearly, eloquently and many had intimate knowledge to share on the crushing impact of high stakes testing and Common Core.

She talked about how she prevented us from talking to the head of curriculum about the books which violate state statute and our sensibilities to get another audience laugh.

She accuses all of us who complain, saying we are making a “calculated strategic attempt to move forward a personal agenda.”  She said we are making impassioned speeches and they are so earnest but nothing we say is true, mocking us once again.  She mocks “talk show hosts” specifically.

Even her own school board, her bosses, don’t escape her rebuke.  She said one board member claimed he was going to opt his children out. Then to her shock and horror, they voted to opt the district out.  The board asked her opinion and she made the audience laugh once again by saying she couldn’t possibly say what was really on her mind.  Then she stated that they promised never to make any vote that would surprise her.  REALLY?  She reveals there was a flurry of calls to the Department of Education and they to her, obviously plotting how to reverse the vote.

Superintendent Nancy Graham did NOT talk about the threatening call several board members received from the district’s bonding company representative, Jerry Ford, or others by state officials.  Two of the three members who voted to opt out, refused to be intimidated.  One succumbed.  Not so mysteriously, one board member, Mary Fisher, asked to call a special meeting at which she would rescind her vote.

Graham said she didn’t want to talk with reporters because they got the story wrong (mocking them).  She insisted instead on talking with the editors only in a private 1.5 hour meeting so SHE could set them straight.  Now their stories are accurate (according to her warped point of view.)  She says we are now “back on track” while absolutely NO changes requested by her Board or by the public have been made, whatsoever.

Opposition to her dictatorial and arrogant leadership is at a boiling point, and now she faces an investigation by outside counsel for financial mismanagement.

Jeb Bush is fighting to keep the lid on opposition as well, doing expensive national ads trying to portray Common Core as the friend to minorities, which is anything but the case.   Data now shows that they are the first to feel the lash of the testing and inappropriate standards.

In an article written by Tess Brennan, she estimated as many as 80% of minority students in Lee County might be expected to fail the new Florida State Assessment.

This is hardly “friendly” or helpful to minorities.  Many call it child abuse.  Bill Gates, himself, said this is an experiment and we won’t know the outcome for at least 10 years.  That is nearly an entire school experience for a child.  Are we really willing to experiment with an entire generation?  The empirical results after only a few years are eye popping, brain exploding, mind boggling failures.  What else do we need to make a sound decision?

Please call your legislators and tell them we have endured enough of the punitive high stakes testing and Common Core propaganda.  Let’s use a little logic of our own and make a decision to unleash the individual, God given potential of our children, not force them to be common with Common Core.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of a B-24 Liberator of the 464th Bomb Group bracketed by flak bursts from German anti-aircraft guns, Nov 1944. Source: United States National Archives via D. Sheley.

Florida: Lee County Schools First to Opt-out of Common Core Standardized Tests (+ Video)

On Wednesday, August 27, 2014 the Lee County School Board voted no more State mandated testing. It was 3/2 and the most exciting evening our district has had, EVER. There were over 400 people, most with red shirts showing support, crowded into the board chambers. We had a tailgate party planned, but so much media came that we just talked with media. Groups came from left, right and center. This was not about party, it was about our kids. There were about 40 speakers, some in tears, some children, some made us laugh, and all made the logical request: NO MORE STATE MANDATED TESTING. Teachers are certified, schools are accredited and they know how to grade and test their students without State micromanagers meddling and adding costs and taking up to 60% of class time away from learning.

No one left for hours while the Board debated. The Chair, Thomas Scott made the motion. Don Armstrong made the second. Both said words we were longing to hear. Jeannie Dozier was on speaker phone and we expected her to support, but instead she offered an amendment kicking the decision down the road until we have a “plan.” We all knew what that meant and the crowd responded. Cathleen Morgan seconded her motion and our hearts sank. The amendment discussion opened the door for our Superintendent, Nancy Graham who talked seemingly forever about the boogie man of potential sanctions by the state. Children will be dying in the street! We have no plan and teachers will be lost and won’t know what to do without those tests that grade their performance!

They asked Nancy what date they could expect a plan. She suggested late October and crowd groaned audibly in spite of being reprimanded for noise several times already. Their children can’t wait. Every day in this testing torture puts the children further behind.

Mary Fisher was the wild card. We expected her to support us, but she cowered to the delay and fear tactics of our Superintendent. She droned on and on about how we must not have a knee jerk reaction and must be responsible. We saw her siding with the delay motion and felt like all was lost, when suddenly, she told a story about her own family and how they were negatively affected by test results. She was back.

They voted on the amendment and it died, 3/2. More talk by our star of the night, Don Armstrong, and the supporting actor, Thomas Scott, talking about our Constitution and the role of civil disobedience. Don quoted many of our emails filled support. Tom talked about the fact that the State is already in violation of the state Constitution on the issue of class size. He has send them a bill for over $120,000,000 for the costs they promised to pay. Don chided they need to send that to us in cash. Yes, they even talked about the founding of our nation and the Boston Tea Party. They obviously had not read our Common Core history books.

The vote was called and everyone was holding their breath. Tom, Don and Mary voted for the motion, while Superintendent Nancy Graham and Cathleen Morgan grew pale and distraught. The crowd jumped to its feet cheering and clapping in disbelief. Did we actually hear what we heard? YES! It has begun.

I am eternally grateful for the many groups and individuals who made this happen. We are hoping other school districts in Florida and across the nation will be part of a chain of dominos that will show we CAN stand up to the powerful machine standing against us and our children.

Public comments on standardized testing at the Lee County School Board:

EDITORS NOTE: The issues this vote raises include:

  1. What will Governor Rick Scott do? Governor Scott has called for an independent committee to look at the Florida (Common Core) tests and standards.
  2. What will the Florida Department of Education do given its commitment to implement Common Core statewide?
  3. What are the legal ramifications of this district opting out? Emily Atteberry from NewsPress.com reports, “Keith Martin, the [Lee County] board’s attorney, was not sure that there were any ‘immediate, clear’ consequences to the action. He said it was possible the Governor could remove the school board members from their positions of power.”
  4. What will the district use to replace the current tests? Atteberry reports, “While the news was met with jubilation, Superintendent Nancy Graham said she was deeply concerned about the board’s decision. “This will hurt children. There is no way around it,” Graham said while the audience booed. “I am gravely concerned about the decision that was made tonight, and I’ll try to make sense of this. It’s an interesting time to serve as the leader of this district.”

Education has become a defining issue for parents, concerned citizens, teachers and administrators. Governor Rick Scott and former Governors Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist have differing views on Common Core. How Governor Scott deals with this growing grass roots movement to chip away at Common Core in Florida can be a defining factor and determine the outcome of the election in November.

Common Core: Law Center Develops Opt-Out Form for Parents

Amidst growing concerns from parents and teachers surrounding the Common Core State Standards and the Federal government’s control of classroom curriculum, the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) has prepared a Student Privacy Protection Request form for use by parents who wish to protect their children by opting-out of Common Core aligned curricula, data mining and the release of information concerning their children’s personal beliefs.

The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, MI, designed the comprehensive opt-out form for parents concerned about Common Core and who want to protect their children’s privacy from educational data mining. The form allows parents to choose which Common Core State Standards and data driven practices they do not want their children to be a part of, including standardized testing.

Click here to download a copy of the Student Privacy Protection Request form

The form allows parents to opt-out of sharing their child’s information with the federal government, as well as outside agencies and private contractors. Information which parents can opt-out of sharing ranges from test scores and religious and political beliefs, to biographic, biometric, and psychometric data, such as fingerprints, DNA and information related to children’s personality and aptitude.

Richard Thompson, TMLC President and Chief Counsel, commented, “The opt-out form is based on the constitutionally recognized fundamental right of parents to direct the education of their children and on federal statutes which were designed to protect student privacy.  Our Founding Fathers recognized the dangers to our freedoms posed by centralized control over public education.  However, today, all but a handful of state governments, enticed by millions of dollars in federal grants, are voluntarily inviting the federal government to take control of our public schools, imposing untested educational standards and obtaining personal information on children and their parents which would make any totalitarian government blush with envy.   We must ever keep in mind, ‘The philosophy of the classroom in one generation will become the philosophy of the government in the next.’ Clearly, Common Core is a threat to individual privacy and liberty, and to our Constitutional Republic.”

Religious and private school educators have also criticized Common Core. In a statement the Cardinal Newman Society, an organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of faithful Catholic education said, “This school reform effort is nothing short of a revolution in how education is provided, relying on a technocratic, top-down approach to setting national standards that, despite claims to the contrary, will drive curricula, teaching texts, and the content of standardized tests.  At its heart, the Common Core is a woefully inadequate set of standards in that it limits the understanding of education to a utilitarian ‘readiness for work’ mentality.”

Political Commentators Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin have repeatedly reported on the dangers and horrors of Common Core, with Malkin saying, “It’s about control, control and more control.”

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were developed under the supervision of the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to ensure that education and educational outcomes were consistent across the United States. The CCSS provides a set of standards they claim are “essential, rigorous, clear and specific, coherent, and internationally benchmarked.”

However, the CCSS have come under heavy fire since the beginning for a variety of grievances including: incomprehensible, political and inappropriate assignments; costly ties to big corporations; in-test advertising; the elimination of locally appropriate standards; and the emphasis placed on standardized testing.

In addition, with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, whose educational value has not been demonstrated, also comes an alarming explosion of data mining within the classroom.  Student data are stored in databases designed to follow students from their entry into schools in pre-Kindergarten up through their entry into the workforce. These databases, through a complicated network of contracts and agreements, can then be shared with the federal government, contractors, researchers and other outside agencies. Testing corporations can then analyze the test data, produce recommendations for how to “remediate” student weaknesses, and then sell that information back to states and school districts.

These state databases, often referred to as P-20 systems, like Common Core are tied to federal funding, through the 2009 Federal Stimulus package and Race to the Top waivers, and in some instances can contain over 400 individual data points per student including health-care histories, income information, religious affiliations, voting status, blood type, likes and dislikes and homework completion. The data is then available to numerous public agencies. Despite federal student privacy protections guaranteed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the administration is paving the way for private entities to buy the data while the U.S. Department of Education is encouraging the shift from aggregate data collection to individual student data collection.

As a result of concerns expressed by a Michigan member of the TMLC regarding Common Core in March 2014, the Law Center began its study of the issues regarding the Common Core Standards.  The Student Privacy Protection Opt-Out Request was designed by the Thomas More Law Center as a result of that study.  It is available as a general reference and guide for all concerned parents.  However, each state has different laws that may impact educational issues differently.  Therefore, if parents are dealing with schools outside of the state of Michigan, it is important that they consult with a licensed attorney in their state for additional review and modifications of the opt-out form to comport with the laws of their respective states.

RELATED VIDEO: How Education Savings Accounts Are Empowering Families:

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

The Common Core: A Poor Choice for States – The Heartland Institute
Common Core Issues – Home School Legal Defense Association
Common Core: What’s Behind the Language – Rachel Alexander
Common Core – The Eagle Forum
10 Facts Every Catholic Should Know About the Common Core – Cardinal Newman Society

Common Core Rapidly Losing Support

As their children either start or return to school, parents are naturally concerned about the quality of education they receive from kindergarten through twelfth grade. In the past, before the teachers unions gained virtual control of the schools and before the federal government decided it had to impose “national standards”, it was the job of local boards of education to ensure students learned the basics—the three R’s—and, if history is any indicator, they did.

There should be no federal intervention in our school systems, but programs such as 2001’s “No Child Left Behind” and Obama’s “Race to the Top” have conditioned people to accept its role. The most recent example is Common Core, but it is the creation of the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The support it has received from the White House, the Department of Education, and voices on Capitol Hill has left many with the impression it is a federal program. That doesn’t make it any less awful.

If you want to learn the facts about it, read a brief analysis by Joy Pullman, “Common Core: A Bad Choice for America”, which you can download for free from The Heartland Institute’s website or purchase copies in quantity. Pullman, a research fellow, is the managing editor of Heartland’s “School Reform News”, published ten times per year. For the record, I am a Heartland advisor.

As Pullman notes in her analysis, “In 2010, every state but Alaska, Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia adopted Common Core education standards, a set of requirements in each grade in math and English language arts.” As school begins this year, four states, Indiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, and South Carolina have already dropped the program. Watch other states such as Louisiana and Wisconsin do the same.

Common Core

Click on the image for a larger view. Poster courtesy of ThePeoplesCube.com.

Here’s why. As Pullman notes in a recent article, for the first time the annual Pi Kappa Delta/Gallup poll revealed that “a majority of Americans—81%–has heard of Common Core. And 60% oppose it.” As more Americans learn more about Common Core, they too will oppose it, but the most intriguing finding of the poll was that, among teachers, there was a drop of support from 76% last year to 46% this year! The poll demonstrated that “Majorities wanted local school boards to have far more control over what schools teach than state or federal governments.”

Pullman said, “Everyone is for ‘standards’ in the abstract. Everyone is not for ‘standards’ that, like Common Core, coerce teachers and schools, and impose bad education theories on the countries.”

“Nationalizing education, like nationalizing anything,” says Pullman “requires compromise to get enacted. And compromise inevitably sacrifices quality. Quality has to grow from the ground up, through cooperation and competition, or it will never exist.”

What teachers and parents subject to Common Core requirements have learned rather quickly is that the program has a number of serious flaws. It not only slows the process of learning multiplication, it dampens the development of the creative thinking process, and offers a skewed, leftist selection of reading materials about U.S. history.

Pullman says, “The most important thing to understand about education standards is that research has demonstrated they have no effect on student achievement. That’s right: no effect at all. A series of data analyses from the Brookings Institution found no link between high state standards and high student achievement.”

Any parent and any teacher will confirm that different students learn at different rates and some encounter problems in certain areas. Some are better at mathematics. Others are better readers and writers. Still others find science or the arts of greatest interest. People are different. It is foolish to think that children aren’t.

This is not to say that the states don’t have education standards. They do and local boards ensure that their curriculums meet them.

At the national level, Pullman points out that “the country already has a national testing program that sets cut scores: the National Assessment of Educational Progress” that is “a valid, well-respected measuring stick that already offers states and citizens the ability to compare schools’ progress across state lines without the intrusions and muddle curriculum Common Core introduces.”

I recommend you download Pullman’s analysis, but in the meantime let me offer a good way to understand Common Core. It is the Obamacare of education.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by RealClearEducation.com.

Using a Bill Gates Grant to Sidestep Standardized Testing in University Admissions?

Billionaire Bill Gates believes in testing. However, it appears that he believes in “the market” even more. Consider Gates’ words to legislators in 2009:

When the tests are aligned to the common standards, the curriculum will line up as well—and that will unleash powerful market forces in the service of better teaching. For the first time, there will be a large base of customers eager to buy products that can help every kid learn and every teacher get better. [Emphasis added.]

Bill Gates has no background in K-12 classroom teaching. He has no background in assessment. He does have money, lots of money. It must be his money that allows him to even write a guest editorial in the April 2013 Washington Post to share his views on the *appropriate* role of student test scores in teacher evaluation. He assumes that student standardized test scores will work as a component of teacher evaluation. He also assumes that merit pay can and will work, if only “we” would be careful as “we” “drive the long-term improvement our schools need.”

We?

Bill Gates has no background in teaching. Instead, he views education through the lens of business. And if the tests are interfering with business, perhaps it is time to pull back on the testing in order to save Gates’ extensive CCSS investment. To this end, in June 2014, the Gates Foundation declared the need for a “moratorium”– not the end of testing, mind you, and not the end of CCSS– just a break from theconsequences of testing in order to take the heat off of CCSS:

The Gates Foundation is an ardent supporter of fair teacher feedback and evaluation systems that include measures of student gains. We don’t believe student assessments should ever be the sole measure of teaching performance, but evidence of a teacher’s impact on student learning should be part of a balanced evaluation that helps all teachers learn and improve.

At the same time, no evaluation system will work unless teachers believe it is fair and reliable, and it’s very hard to be fair in a time of transition. The standards need time to work. …

Including the assessment results in teacher evaluations even though they won’t count for two years also has benefits: First, the teachers can begin to use the assessments to inform their practice, and second, teachers can see how their performance looks using these measures and make sure it lines up with other measures of teaching practice. This is crucial in building teacher trust in the assessments.

In our view, allowing two years in which assessments will be administered and scored but not yet taken into account strikes the best balance between a commitment to teacher evaluations that measure student learning and a commitment to ensure that teachers will not be harmed as they complete the transition to the Common Core.

Protecting the Gates investment. Cutting mass education a deal.

The Gates Foundation published this position only five days after Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed legislation to immediately replace CCSS with Oklahoma’s former state standards until new standards and assessments could be developed.

This is not good for Gates’ CCSS investment, which Gates hopes will bring American education “to scale” in order to benefit “the market.”

Gates does not restrict his business applications to K-12 education. He is willing to spend his billions on better business models for higher education, as well. Consider this January 2014 grant to the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU):

Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities:

Date: January 2014 
Purpose: to support a cohort of public urban research universities to develop new business models that can increase access, improve success rates and find greater cost efficiencies and then use national association networks to scale promising practices 
Amount: $2,507,628

Much of this funding has been divided among seven universities in a seeming “innovations contest” to “improve success rates.” The seven recipients have one year to develop its “innovations”– with the intent that “successful” innovations will be “scaled” (efficiently reproduced).

Temple University was one of the recipients:

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU) announced today that Temple University is one of only seven universities nationwide selected to participate in an innovative, one-year project that seeks to transform the way higher education is delivered.

Temple will receive $225,000 as part of the Transformational Planning Grant project—an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—to research, develop and test new university business models that can increase access, improve student success rates and find greater cost efficiencies. …

APLU intends to use its national network to work to scale the most promising findings and practices of Temple and the six other grantees—California State University, Fresno; Florida International University; Georgia State University; Portland State University; the University of Akron; and the University of Illinois at Chicago—to help its more than 200 public university members across the country better meet the needs of their evolving student populations.

In an interesting turn of events, Temple University plans to use its Gates “better business of education” money to admit students without use of standardized test scores and instead incorporating “noncognitive approaches” to student success:

Temple’s Transformational Planning Grant will be used to develop new approaches for recruiting and evaluating prospective Temple students. The project will be piloted among students in Philadelphia area high schools whose potential may be overlooked by traditional measures of achievement, such as standardized testing. Temple also will analyze how these “non-cognitive” approaches—strategies that take into account factors such as a student’s grit, determination, self-assurance and self-advocacy—can be incorporated into the university’s academic policies, financial aid strategy, and advising and support services.

So, it seems that Gates might experience some “business model clashing” given the Gates preference for standardized testing as assumed “good for education business” and now a Gates grantee assuming that standardized testing could “overlook potential” in some students– which implies that standardized testing has limitations that make it suspect a component for any high-stakes decisions.

No seasoned teacher needs to be told that some students just don’t test well.

But Bill Gates is certainly no seasoned teacher. He is just a man with lots of money who gets to purchase his viewpoint. He believes that standardized tests should be “part” of “measuring” teacher effectiveness.

I wonder what Gates will do if via Temple University’s “innovation” he is faced with the news that forsaking standardized testing “promotes greater cost efficiencies” in the business of higher education.

Would he be willing to promote such a finding “to scale”?

RELATED ARTICLE: What National Group Is Funding the Pro-Common Core Lawsuit in Louisiana?

Educators Set Student Goals By Race?

The Florida Board of Education has a history of lowering educational standards and has now come under-fire for doing so based upon a student’s race. CBS Tampa reports, “The Florida State Board of Education passed a plan that sets goals for students in math and reading based upon their race.”

“On Tuesday [October 9, 2012], the board passed a revised strategic plan that says that by 2018, it wants 90 percent of Asian students, 88 percent of white students, 81 percent of Hispanics and 74 percent of black students to be reading at or above grade level. For math, the goals are 92 percent of Asian kids to be proficient, whites at 86 percent, Hispanics at 80 percent and blacks at 74 percent. It also measures by other groupings, such as poverty and disabilities, reported the Palm Beach Post,” states CBS Tampa.

This decision has raised eyebrows, some calling it racist. But is it racism or reality? Is lowering goals the right way to deal with student achievement in reading and math?

This issue is not new, rather it has been swept under the rug since 1994. Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray in their seminal book on cognitive ability The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life state, “The question is how to redistribute in ways that increase the chances for people at the bottom of society to take control of their lives, to be engaged meaningfully in their communities, and to find valued places for themselves.”

Herrnstein and Murray found, “Ethnic differences in higher education, occupations, and wages are strikingly diminished after controlling for IQ. Often they vanish. In this sense, America has equalized these central indicators of social success.”

Herrnstein and Murray asked, “What are the odds that a black or Latino with an IQ of 103 – the average IQ of all high school graduates – completed high school? The answer is that a youngster from either minority group had a higher probability of graduating from high school than a white, if all of them had IQs of 103: The odds were 93 percent and 91 percent for blacks and Latinos respectively, compared to 89 percent for whites.”

The key factor in setting goals is IQ. Is it time for Florida to lead the way and reintroduce IQ testing for all students?

Herrnstein and Murray concluded:

  • We have tried to point out that a small segment of the population accounts for such a large proportion of those [social] problems. To the extent that the [social] problems of this small segment are susceptible to social-engineering solutions at all, should be highly targeted.
  • The vast majority of Americans can run their own lives just fine, and [public] policy should above all be constructed so that it permits them to do so.
  • Much of the policy toward the disadvantaged starts from the premise that interventions can make up for genetic or environmental disadvantages, and that premise is overly optimistic.
  • Cognitive ability, so desperately denied for so long, can best be handled – can only be handled – by a return to individualism.
  • Cognitive partitioning will continue. It cannot be stopped, because the forces driving it cannot be stopped.
  • Americans can choose to preserve a society in which every citizen has access to the central satisfactions of life. Its people can, through an interweaving of choice and responsibility, create valued places for themselves in their worlds.

Herrnstein and Murray found, “Inequality of endowments, including intelligence, is a reality.”

“Trying to pretend that inequality does not really exist has led to disaster. Trying to eradicate inequality with artificially manufactured outcomes has led to disaster. It is time for America once again to try living with inequality, as life is lived: understanding that each human being has strengths and weaknesses, qualities to admire and qualities we do not admire, competencies and in-competencies,  assets and debits; that the success of each human life is not measured externally but internally; that of all the rewards we can confer on each other, the most precious is a place as a valued fellow citizen,” found Herrnstein and Murray.

Finally, Herrnstein and Murray wrote, “Of all the uncomfortable topics we have explored, a pair of the most uncomfortable ones are that a society with a higher mean IQ is also likely to be a society with fewer social ills and brighter economic prospects, and that the most effective way to raise the IQ of a society is for smarter women to have higher birth rates than duller women.” Shocking words in 1994 and indeed even more so today. Is it time to have a national public debate on cognitive abilities?

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