The Washington Times and HotAir.com report that parents in Maryland’s Anne Arundel County Public School District will be kept in the dark when their daughters are forced to share sleeping quarters with boys. A training video entitled “Supporting Transgender Students in School,” posted in July (video contained in the HotAir.com article — see about the 27-minute mark) shows the district’s chief communications officer lecturing teachers that boys who identify as girls are allowed to share sleeping quarters with girls on overnight field trips — and that parents of the girls should not be warned. Continue Reading
Opponents of the progressive-education elitists on issues such as the Common Core scheme are routinely accused of spouting paranoid conspiracy theories. This smear is particularly common in discussing technology-driven “digital learning.” It’s ridiculous, educrats say, to suggest that schools — meaning the government —and their corporate ed-tech allies will be probing the psyches of our children. Track children’s eye movements or scan their brains? That’s crazy talk!
Except that federally funded researchers now brag about doing just that.
Leaping from triumph to triumph, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) has announced a new assessments grant program to follow its failed assessments grant program from six years ago. Ed Week reports that USED will allow states to compete to get back a small chunk of money that was theirs in the first place (a total of $8.6 million), which cash can be used to “bolster their assessment systems.” Reminiscent of the infamous Race to the Top scheme, these competitive grants will be called Enhanced Assessment Grants. Continue Reading
An unintended consequence of the Common Core standards-and-assessments scheme is dissension among liberal interests over the testing. The “opt out” movement comprises essentially two categories: parent activists seeking to protect their children from the useless or even harmful Common Core computerized testing, which is designed less to assess academic content knowledge than to collect psychological data on students; and the liberal, no-accountability, never-test crowd, who object to students’ taking any standardized tests, even validated academic tests not aligned to Common Core.
We know what Hillary Clinton wants for public K-12 education. She wants universal government preschool, despite the well-documented failure of government preschool to deliver even a fraction of what the Hillaryites promise. She wants federal “education SWAT teams” to “help” struggling schools (that idea creates interesting visuals). She wants more federal control over school discipline to enforce “school climates” of which she approves.
Education Week reports that former Education Secretary William Bennett is leading a new education-policy group called Conservative Leaders for Education (CLE). The goal is to take advantage of the demise of No Child Left Behind to push state policy-makers to implement “school choice, local control, ‘transparent’ and ‘timely’ accountability, and ‘high academic standards’ chosen by states.” CLE is currently made up of lawmakers who chair state education committees in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Utah, and Wisconsin, and the group hopes to expand to other states. Continue Reading
Now that most sane Californians who are not billionaires have fled the state (and God bless the intrepid remnant who remain to fight!), the Left faces little opposition to its radical agenda. A recent illustration is the state board of education’s approval of the new K-12 social science and history framework.
Sober commentators have warned about the extreme leftist slant of the framework. A glaring example is that some lessons will now focus on individuals solely because of their sexual behavior. Continue Reading
Piercing the gloom of the current educational and political landscape are a few glimmers of hope. One promising development is that some state and local education officials are now openly discussing what previously was never uttered aloud for fear of being struck down by the gods of lucre – the possibility of relinquishing federal funding to regain autonomy over education.
The far-left Center for American Progress (CAP) recently sounded another volley in the campaign to collect and share enormous amounts of personal data on American students. CAP argues the federal government should enhance interoperability among its various data networks and modify privacy protections that currently prohibit sharing of information housed in those separate databases. The ostensible benefit would be to give “policymakers and consumers … access to comprehensive information in order to make informed choices about how well colleges and universities are serving their students.”
There’s been an ongoing debate about whether federal law should be changed to allow creation of a “student unit-record system” — a central data repository combining student higher-education data with employment data to track individual students and analyze the correlation between their education and their employment and earnings.
Transforming education via the Common Core national standards doesn’t come cheap. It was reported recently that California has spent about $578 million on technology to implement the standards. California taxpayers might wonder why they’re having to fork over such enormous sums when their previous state standards were indisputably better than Common Core, but then California taxpayers may be too beaten down to object.
Implemented properly (or “with fidelity,” as the current tagline goes), Common Core requires technology for “digital” or “personalized” learning.