CURING THE GOP “UNEASE”- Reign in the Dept of Education

CURING THE GOP “UNEASE”- Reign in the Dept of Education

- in Features, Uncategorized
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Then too, a lot could be said about the benefits of saving 70 Billion a year and doing away with it.
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Doug Lasken

One day before the New Hampshire primary, the L.A.Times weighs in on the GOP “unease” caused by the anticipated rise of Mitt Romney (“As Mitt Romney surges, Republican divisions sharpen“). The Times sets the tone for the article with a quote from Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center, explaining that the GOP unease results from “a more doctrinaire Republican base than we have seen in the last 25 years.”

I would like to have more explanation of my “unease” than a dismissive judgment that I’m “doctrinaire,” and I’m sure readers of FlashReport would too. Note to the Pew Research Center: Wake up! Republicans want substantive discussion, not the diet of slogans and talking points we’ve been served thus far. There’s nothing “doctrinaire” about that.

In my case it’s easy to identify the missing Romney elements. Unlike the “fringe,” “unelectable” candidates like Paul, Perry, and Santorum, Romney says nothing about education. Of course in this he is assisted by the media, which, in all of the debates, up to and including the most recent New Hampshire debate, has not asked a single question about education, even though we are in the midst of the most serious crises in American public education we have ever faced. One might well wonder what is wrong with the media, but in this essay I would like to challenge the GOP, and specifically Romney, to speak out on education with or without help from the media.

Here are the talking points on education that every serious GOP voter should demand from Romney:

  1. What are the candidate’s thoughts on the financial collapse of American public education? Should we worry about it as much as we worry about Afghanistan or gay marriage? If not, why not?
  2. Is it wise for the country to spend $30 billion nationally (or $230 billion, depending on your source) on new national standards (the Common Core standards [CCS], part of Obama’s Race to the Top, [RttT]) when we can’t even pay our teachers, janitors and librarians?
  3. As there is precious little money for schools, where will the $30 billion for national standards come from? Particularly in states like California, which have excellent standards already but now must pay $2 billion for CCS, how will we pay for it and why can’t we use the money for problems more pressing than the share prices of Pearson Publishing and Educational Testing Service?
  4. Is the national database that will attend RttT and CCS a good idea? Personal family information will be collected at school sites and forwarded to the federal Department of Education, where, as many are reporting, there are no safeguards to keep it from other agencies.

The Times is right that a widespread unease in the GOP rank and file is arising at the prospect of a Romney candidacy. Romney and GOP leadership will have to reach deep inside themselves to find the leadership to pull the party out of this crisis. If they flinch and retreat to business as usual, then the rank and file will have to make its voice heard.

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Grumpy Note

I’ve been opposed to the planned Department of Education’s Power Grab since I started finding out about all the stuff buried in the scheme.  A lot of it is Unconstitutional, Illegal under current law and expensive.  Why should taxpayers pick up the tab for another loss of freedom and an unprecedented violation of our Fourth and Tenth Amendment Rights..

I’ve posted several times on the issue here on Grumpy.  The scheme if adopted will put control of school curriculum in the hands of the Secretary of Education..  Under this President it might mean your children get indoctrinated with the kind of diversity his LaRaza Friends have pushed onto the Tucson Unified School District.  They could possible be required to accept diversity instruction from a member of Counsel for Islamic American Relations like just happened here in Florida.  Another Administration might decide that teaching evolution isn’t such a hot idea, and insist on Intelligent Design

The Federal Government  wouldn’t get to mandate what was actually taught in the classroom–  Instead they’d control what goes on the standardized tests the kids take, the ones that determine funding and whether a teacher has a job next year.   You don’t need to actually mandate the curriculum if you control the tests.

The three examples I gave may sound extreme, but two have actually happened.. You can click the links up above and read for yourself, both incidents are well documented,

I’ve gone into the privacy issues several times.. most recently Do you trust government with your kids personal information

So when Doug  mentioned posting this it made sense to me..

 

Stop the Department of Education’s Power Grab

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Doug  Lasken
Here’s my bio: I am a retired LA Unified teacher of 25 years, currently coaching debate at a private school (I also teach writing in Korea each summer through the UCLA Writing Project) and I have consulted for a number of research institutes, including Fordham, Pioneer, and WestEd .  I have been politically active in the “education wars” for many years, starting in the 80’s when, as a classroom teacher, I was told never to teach English to Hispanic students (per so-called “bilingual education”), never to teach grammar, spelling or phonics (per Whole Language), and never to use direct instruction for science (per “constructivist” philosophy).  I have freelanced many articles across the county on these subjects and am now engaged in opposing the Common Core standards, a collosal cash cow that will do virtually nothing for American education..  This petition represents my current level of frustration with the GOP for not acting as the oppostion party it is supposed to be against Obama’s corrupt and ill-advised education initiatives..
Thank you for considering this petition for Grumpy Opinions!
Best, Doug Lasken
We the undersigned do not agree on all things, but we are in close agreement on education, and in particular these five propositions:
1.  The federal government is barred by the United States Constitution from imposing academic standards and public school curricula on the states, the very thing it is attempting to do through the Obama administration programs Race to the Top (RttT) and the Common Core Standards(CCS).
2. In addition to imposing standards and curriculum on the states, RttTmandates that states collect extensive and detailed personal information on students, and that this information be submitted to the federal Department of Education, from which it will be available to other agencies.  We oppose this on Constitutional grounds.
3. The national price tag for CCS is estimated at $30 billion (and perhaps asmuch as $210 billion) most of which cost is to be borne by the states. This money will enrich special interests- publishing and testing empires- but will do virtually nothing to save America’s bankrupted public schools. The undersigned believe that spending $30 billion on standards is like painting a car before junking it- good for the painters, a useless expense for the car owner.
4.  The news media has decided that since conservatives object to spending money, and since conservative views are represented in the Republican party, then people who object to RttT and CCS must be represented by the Republican party.  The undersigned have found, however, that the Republican party, as distinct from individual candidates, does not represent those seeking sound education policy.  Time and again, at all levels from local to federal,the undersigned have encountered ignorance and indifference regarding RttT and CCS from the Republican party and the people it has helped to achieve office.  Republicans as much as Democrats have been seduced by the $30 billion and slick sales talk into acquiescence to RttT and CCS.  The news media is oblilvious to this.
5. Therefore, we the undersigned here state that the Republican party does not represent our views on American education, that the Republican party is in fact aligned with the Democratic party in pushing through wasteful and highly problematic Democratic programs, and that we therefore disavow allegiance to and support of the Republican party in its policies towards education, and we ask that the media acknowledge that this diminution of Republican support has occurred.
Founding Signers:
Doug Lasken , Teacher
Susan Holloday, Taxpayer
Catherine Banker
Former member of the Californina Curriculum Commission
Marilyn Reed
12 year veteran of a public school board
Education Reform consultant with the Commonwealth EducationOrganization
Wexford, Pa
Veronica Norris, Attorney, Child advocate
Wayne Bishop, PhD
Professor of Mathematics
California State University, LA
_____________________

 

 

[emailpetition id=”1″]

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