This summer the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) announced it had chosen eight states to collaborate on creating K-12 “social emotional learning” (SEL) standards. All students, from kindergartners through high-school seniors, would be measured on five “non-cognitive” factors: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.
Under such a system teachers become essentially therapists, and students become essentially patients. Supposedly this will clear away the psychological deadwood that obstructs a student’s path to academic achievement.
Although present in many other areas of the Republican Party Platform, the struggle between parents/grassroots activists and corporate education reform/data overlords is no more evident than in education. That fight is between parents who are demanding their inherent right to control the educational destinies of their children and the corporate titans, politicians of both parties, and bureaucrats that have imposed Common Core, invasive testing, psychological profiling, and data mining. Continue Reading
Donald Trump is set to announce his vice-presidential choice sometime this week, before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland begins on Monday.
Despite occasional stumbles, such as identifying education as one of the core functions of the federal government and his dizzying policy switches, Trump has been relatively stable in opposing Common Core and claiming he wants to “make education local.” Although he has no record in public-education policy, he would be more likely than Hillary “It Takes a Village” Clinton to decrease the federal role in education. Continue Reading
A recent column by Brenda Leong of the Brookings Institution condescendingly intones that parents are clueless and fearful about the glories of womb-to-tomb data-collection for our children, including social-emotional (psychological) data. Here is an excerpt:
The role of technology within schools expanded at an unprecedented rate, general awareness of consumer data security and breaches increased, and student databases at the state or national level were established or proposed, which drew great public scrutiny and fear.
Janice Gobert’s recent op-ed in US News & World Report is another classic example of the huge disconnect between parents and the big government and corporate education-technology “Big Data” machine. Big Data seems to believe computers can teach children better than teachers or parents. It also claims entitlement to constant data from our children, including psychological data, handsomely profiting corporations and government but destroying privacy and the student-teacher interaction, all without evidence of effectiveness. This is why informed parents and teachers in droves are rejecting the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Common Core State Standards (CCSS), high-stakes testing, and “competency based” (“individualized”) education. Continue Reading
Politics K-12, the Education Week blog, compared the remaining five presidential candidates on how well they have performed on implementing this list of education reforms:
- Strongly back charter schools, and in some cases vouchers as well;
- Think that accountability should present data-based information on schools in a fashion parents can easily grasp;
- Believe that standardized tests are vital for gauging the performance and needs of students and schools;
- Say the Common Core State Standards are a significant improvement over the previous mish-mash of states’ standards;
- Distrust education labor unions in at least some key circumstances.
Businessman Donald Trump has gained an incredibly loyal following attracted to his putative outsider status. Significant numbers of education activists are happy, because he has frequently said, “Common Core is a disaster” and that we need to “make education local” — ostensibly by getting rid of the U.S. Department of Education — and has given the impression that the federal government should not be involved in education. For parents who have been fighting the horrific overreach of the US DOE in both No Child Left Behind and now ESSA, these statements have given people hope. Continue Reading
Just as the Common Core pushing textbook publishing giants like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Pearson have had financial incentive to support Jeb Bush and his now former organization, the Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE), corporate cronyism is also alive and well via those companies involved in Big Data.
The Data Quality Campaign (DQC) is a corporate-backed front group that spends all its time trying to portray the ugly and invasive womb-to-tomb data grab and psychological profiling of our children as helpful, necessary, and the government’s right. Continue Reading
Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times discussed Common Core’s role in the campaign of the two Florida presidential candidates, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush. The article, titled “Rubio may oppose Common Core but has supported the ideas behind it,” lists several ways that Marco Rubio has supported the components of the Common Core system:
…while Rubio never advocated for Common Core, he was a proponent of the building blocks.
Former Florida Governor and presidential candidate Jeb Bush released his education plan on January 18th. In it, he tries hard to sound like he cares about and supports local control and parental autonomy. In fact, the document, on pre-K through grade 12 issues, is merely a kinder, gentler form of federal tyranny that continues unconstitutional government involvement in pre-K, high stakes testing, data mining, and K-12 education in general. Continue Reading