Do you have a successful school? Lots of good teachers doing a good job educating students? Do you enjoy the federal dollars you receive for funding? The feds are about to turn that peanut butter and chocolate combination into cyanide and chocolate. (chocolate being the good local teachers just to clarify the analogy :))
A few days ago congress was presented with an 860 page education bill from Democratic Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa. The Heritage Foundation has started a review of the bill and notes:
For example, the bill would codify Obama Administration education priorities, such as the “equitable distribution” of effective teachers among schools. It would eliminate “adequate yearly progress”—the onerous federal requirement that mandated every child be proficient in reading and math by 2014—but would replace it with requirements that states prove they have “college- and career-ready” standards, giving Washington more control over the content taught in local schools.
Good news for schools on getting rid of AYP but if you’re successful, it’s time to chop that school up and send some of those teachers to failing schools to make sure they get quality teachers too. Oh, and don’t miss the great news that the Feds aren’t mandating national standards, they’ll just force you to be on “college- and career-ready” standards. Gee, I wonder where we can find national standards that will fit that bill? Oh yeah, the CCSS are available for use. We’ll just force everyone taking federal dollars to get on those standards so the federal assessments being rolled out will apply nationally. The factory model of education can continue but with total control from the top.
Educators and legislators, if you thought NCLB and AYP were bad, wait till this rolls out. You’ve got to get us off the federal welfare dime or what’s coming isn’t going to be good for anyone. Teachers are going to lose jobs in places they like, they’re going to lose freedom to teach what they deem necessary and be forced to teach to a national test, and children are going to lose any hope of having an education customized to their needs because the factory belt model of compulsory education is going to become more vise-like than ever.
What is being done? Heritage is pushing forward with an “A-PLUS” plan to bring accountability to parents and taxpayers while reducing the federal footprint, but I do not think this will happen in time to help our state. State lawmakers and educators need to work together to completely eliminate all federal funding and reject all mandates that come from Washington.
On this current education nightmare bill above, Washington always seems to have a way to get these things through, but thankfully the House is controlled by the Republicans so the Democrats are going to have a hard time getting this bill passed. Senator Rand Paul talk here about introducing 100 amendments to stop this bill in its tracks. I hope he’s successful.