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The Federal Government Declares War on Its Own with HR 5!

No one has done more research on the Federal NO WAY – ESA HR-5 bill than Anita Hoge! If you don’t know what that is – it is the re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the last time they messed with it we got No Child Left Behind.

This bill is a killer to your PARENTAL RIGHTS and will give us NATIONALIZED EDUCATION.

Time to forward this information on to everyone on your lists and get the phone calls going – fast and furious! We are now at war! The HR-5 re-authorization bill declared it – we are just suiting up late. You must read this article so you know what we are fighting. The time is NOW! Call your Representatives and Senators in D.C. and let them know you do not support this evil. Also call all members of all the Committees having anything to do with  Education.

Inserted information regarding the state of Florida was done by myself.  Insert information regarding your state.  The sessions regarding this legislation have been held behind closed doors and no  outsiders like you or I have been allowed to testify against this re-authorization. Permission is given to use this posting and add your states information regarding any legislation done regarding the ESEA but nothing else. The basic posting of this article is the property of Anita Hoge and reposted with permission with stipulated changes.

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BILL: HR-5 DENIES PARENTS THEIR RIGHT OVER THEIR OWN CHILDREN By Anita Hoge February 21, 2015 NewsWithViews.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The following information is critically important. It should go viral immediately. Send it to every parent and grandparent, school board member, state legislator, voter, friend… Post it on Facebook, websites, blogs, etc. Time is very short.

HR-5 Student Success Act of 2015

(Put your own State here) Floridians Against Common Core Education (F.A.C.C.E.), Florida AgEnders, Stop Common Core FL, Citizens of Florida, Florida Against HR 5, parents and students are asking Representative John Kline to stop the REAUTHORIZATION of ESEA, HR 5, the Student Success Act of 2015 which will amend No Child Left Behind.

  • HR 5 denies parents their rights over their children. References page 488; 522-555.
  • HR 5 legislation creates the radical transformation of tax collection through the assigned destruction and hostile takeover of our local neighborhood schools.
  • HR 5 violates states’ rights under the United States Constitution.
  • HR 5 is designed to destroy local, public neighborhood schools through usurpation of elected school boards’ authorities and responsibilities.
  • HR 5 will destroy all private education in America, as well, legislating Title I “choice” vouchers that will “follow the child,” enforcing
  • HR 5 compliance in EVERY PRIVATE AND RELIGIOUS SCHOOL.
  • HR 5 would legislate services to these Title I “choice” children called DIRECT STUDENT SERVICES AS A VOUCHER that must be equitable and comparable to any public school, which is needed to satisfy Common Core. 
  • HR 5 will destroy representative government, all non-governmental schools, and standardize education across this nation. This overreach of the federal government is in direct violation of our United States Constitution which dictates separation of Federal jurisdiction vs. State jurisdiction.

REPRESENTATIVE KLINE, you state in the Student Success Act HR 5, Press Release, February 3, 2015:”…..This proposal provides an opportunity to chart a new course….”

REPRESENTATIVE KLINE, this “new course” that you are forcing on the states will end in Constitutional chaos.

  • HR 5 removes Constitutional states’ rights sovereignty.
  • HR 5 redefines parent and removes parental rights over the upbringing of their children.
  • HR 5 subjugates state legislatures under blatantly false pretenses about state and local control.
  • HR 5 presents choice vouchers defined as “direct student services,” as a means to control private and religious schools and phase out public schools.
  • • HR 5 would transform ALL SCHOOLS into government schools. Has every state ceded the land that these schools occupy, turning them into federal lands? If the states have not ceded the land to the federal government, the federal government’s jurisdiction is determined to be severely limited, unless altered drastically by the state legislature. Questions of jurisdiction would still remain. At the least, HR 5 obfuscates state and federal jurisdictions as specified in the Constitution and affirmed in numerous Supreme Court decisions

REPRESENTATIVE KLINE Who “Grubered” your HR 5 and consigned the states to federal takeover?

  • HR 5 forces private and religious schools to provide services through an APPROVED state list of providers eliminating the freedom for private and religious schools to teach students to their own standards and select their own curriculum.
  • HR 5 forces private and religious schools to provide non-cognitive mental health areas of personality development and interventions whereby proficiency levels in the social, emotional, and behavioral domain are scored to a criterion resulting in violations of privacy under the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment, federal law, state law, and civil rights laws.
  • HR 5 uses choice vouchers to dissolve the public school system through the exodus of (departure of) Choice, Title I, at-risk students who disengage from the public school and enter a private or religious school. Public schools are presently represented by locally elected school board members in the United States. The destruction of our neighborhood public school system undermines the power and authority of property tax provisions and elected school board representation on the local level, representation which financially supports local education agencies.
  • HR 5 provides for the expansion of charter schools as the sanctioned alternative for schooling. As you, Representative Kline, must know, charter schools are a system of schooling without elected boards. They use public tax monies regulated by federal government mandates, standards, assessment and teacher remediation with data tracking and trafficking and re-education toward Common Core standards.
  • HR 5 by design eliminates local and state representative government by removing the states’ rights and local control of education and surrenders our children’s education and future to the dictates of the federal government.

REPRESENTATIVE KLINE, H.R. 5 is a Constitutional Crisis in the Making.

  • HR 5 requires that states legislatively surrender their rights over education in order to receive Title I funds.
  • HR 5 removes the parents as the final arbiters in the upbringing of their children, and wrestles control of private and religious education through federal encroachment as explained below.

REPRESENTATIVE KLINE, quoting from your HR 5 legislation, on page 552, you stipulate the criteria for removing the state legislature’s constitutional power, rights, and responsibilities as follows:

Subpart 4—Restoration of State Sovereignty Over Public Education and Parental Rights Over the Education of Their Children

‘‘SEC. 6561. STATES TO RETAIN RIGHTS AND AUTHORITIES

THEY DO NOT EXPRESSLY WAIVE.

‘‘(a) RETENTION OF RIGHTS AND AUTHORITIES.— No officer, employee, or other authority of the Secretary shall enforce against an authority of a State, nor shall any authority of a State have any obligation to obey, any requirement imposed as a condition of receiving assistance under a grant program established under this Act, nor shall such program operate within a State, unless the legislature of that State shall have by law expressly approved that program and, in doing so, HAVE waived the State’s rights and authorities to act inconsistently with any requirement that might be imposed by the Secretary as a condition of receiving that assistance.” (Emphasis added)

“(b) AMENDMENT OF TERMS OF RECEIPT OF FEDERAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

An officer, employee, or other authority of the Secretary may release assistance under a grant program established under this Act to a State only after the legislature of the State has by law expressly approved the program (as described in sub- section (a)). This approval may be accomplished by a vote to affirm a State budget that includes the use of such Federal funds and any such State budget must expressly include any requirement imposed as a condition of receiving assistance under a grant program established under this Act so that by approving the budget, the State legislature is expressly approving the grant program and, in doing so, waiving the State’s rights and authorities to act inconsistently with any requirement that might be imposed by the Secretary as a condition of receiving that assistance.” (Emphasis added)

The passage of your bill out of committee to be voted on by the entire House of Representatives by February 24 must be stopped. The HR 5 Reauthorization of ESEA, amending No Child Left Behind, must be stopped because the provisions inherent in this legislation are egregious and lack Constitutional authority. Passage of H.R. 5 will bring about the destruction of the United States system of public education as well as the radical transformation of representative government both at the state and local level.

REPRESENTATIVE KLINE, these states’ rights issues have not been discussed at your hearings. Is each state legislature aware of the fact that these measures, hidden in federal and state statute, will remove their state’s guaranteed rights under the Constitution? Will each state, including your own state of Minnesota, have to amend its own state constitution to comply with HR-5?

Several states have recently added language in their state statutes that in effect cedes jurisdiction to the federal government.

REPRESENTATIVE KILNE, have you advised the following states of the impact of the HR 5 legislation:   (add your state information here)

Florida 2014 Statute Title XLVIII, K-20 EDUCATION CODE, Chapter 1008,

ASSESSMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY 1008.33 Authority to enforce public school improvement

(1) The State Board of Education shall comply with the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), 20 U.S.C. ss. 6301 et seq., its implementing regulations, and the ESEA flexibility waiver approved for Florida by the United States Secretary of Education. The state board may adopt rules to maintain compliance with the ESEA and the ESEA flexibility waiver. (Emphasis added)

(2)(a) Pursuant to subsection (1) and ss. 1008.34, 1008.345, and 1008.385, the State Board of Education shall hold all school districts and public schools accountable for student performance. The state board is responsible for a state system of school improvement and education accountability that assesses student performance by school, identifies schools that are not meeting accountability standards, and institutes appropriate measures for enforcing improvement.

Proposed rule changes (2013) for school grades also include a revision of the participation rate calculation to comply with the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and extension of the one-letter-grade-drop limit as a continued measure to ease Florida’s transition to Common Core in accountability systems. (Emphasis added)

Pennsylvania has currently proposed legislation, HB 168, Sec. 121(a) (Representative Tobash), that states it will comply to federal ESEA legislation and future ESEA legislation:

“The Department of Education shall develop and implement Keystone Exams in [the following subjects:]……..as required by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-110, 115 Stat. 1425) or any successor statute.”(lines 17, 18, 19 ) (Emphasis added)

Oklahoma, in an effort to stop Common Core, the Oklahoma legislature’s passage of House Bill 3399, Sec. 11-103.6a 4 (page 18) with the purpose to remove Common Core Standards, defined in their bill that they would succumb to ESEA federal law:

“Upon the effective date of this act, the State Board of Education shall seek certification from the State Regents for Higher Education that the subject matter standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics which were in place prior to the revisions adopted by the Board in June 2010 are college-and career-ready as defined in the Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility document issued by the United States Department of Education.” (emphasis added)

The Oklahoma legislature codified Common Core through ESEA and gave up its state’s rights authority by surrendering education and students to federal control.

Indiana’s supposed departure from Common Core in HB 1427, (Sec. 14.5(a) C, page 9) also surrenders its state’s rights in order to comply with federal standards.

“Provides that the state board shall implement educational standards that use the common core standards as the base model for academic standards to the extent necessary to comply with federal standards to receive a Flexibility Waiver. ” (emphasis added)

South Carolina’s bill, H3893, (Sec 3, section 59-18-325, (C)(1) passed to stop Common Core and the Smarter Balanced Test is yet another example of a state surrendering its state’s rights over education and students to the federal government. In fact this law restores Common Core:

“The summative assessment must assess students in English/language arts and mathematics, including those students as required by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and by Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. [For purposes of this subsection, ‘English/language arts’ includes English, reading, and writing skills as required by existing state standards.” [NOTE: The existing State standards are Common Core.] (Emphasis added)

The state of Washington is yet another example. Reference Senate Bill 6030, (Sec 6, (4)(a) page 16, lines 17-20):

“..and shall not conflict with requirements contained in Title I of the federal elementary and secondary education act of 1965, or the requirements of the Carl D. Perkins vocational education 20 act of 1998, each as amended.” (Emphasis added)

(Has your state done this and given all authority over to the Federal Government through total compliance of ESEA Federal Legislation? Time to check)

REPRESENTATIVE KLINE, have these states been apprised of the devious design in HR 5 to take away states’ rights granted under the 10th Amendment to the Constitution?

REPRESENTATIVE KLINE, why have your hearings not discussed the aspect of the “direct student services” that is defined as PUBLIC SCHOOL CHOICE FOR ALL PRIVATE AND RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS? Why have these services not been discussed…services that each private and religious school MUST “provide on an equitable basis” to meet the individual needs of each child who receives a SUPER VOUCHER? Why does the state require that private or religious schools MUST use “approved academic tutoring services as determined by a provider on a State approved list”? Schools will be subjected to discrimination charges if they deny matriculation of a Title I child even if they cannot financially support the OPEN-ENDED direct services mandated in HR 5, as explained below — even if it bankrupts them.

REPRESENTATIVE KLINE, why is “meaningful choice” defined as complying to state standards (Common Core) and interventions identified for each “at-risk” child receiving the following services: Special Education, instructional support services, counseling, mentoring, one-to-one tutoring, and other benefits for the Title I child? Why is there wording that mandates that a private or religious school MUST comply with the Civil Rights Act, (the school cannot deny admittance to a Title I choice child) 504 Rehabilitation Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, (MUST administer services for mental health disabilities), IDEA (MUST administer behavioral screening, response to interventions, positive behavioral interventions and supports, mental health wrap-around, BILLABLE MEDICAID SERVICES, mental health services or specialized student support services), General Education Provisions Act (GEPA).

REPRESENTATIVE KLINE, you know full well that HR 5 will codify the Family Education Rights in Privacy Act (FERPA). This important Act, as it stands now, has been totally gutted due to President Obama’s Executive Order, EO 12866, January, 2012. FERPA now allows personally identifiable information on the student to be released without informed written parental consent. This personally identifiable information on the students includes anecdotal, psychological observations, analysis, and reeducation interventions in the affective domain by teachers, all tracked and trafficked.

REPRESENTATIVE KLINE, why must private and religious schools provide the following specialized Instructional support on an equitable basis with public school students?

Services defined as school counselors, social workers, school psychologists, or other qualified professional personnel providing assessment, diagnosis, counseling education, therapeutic and other necessary services defined in Sec. 602 IDEA, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, when in fact Common Core has been expanded into the mental health personal trait standards defined as social, emotional, and behavioral weaknesses now coded as a disability?

The State Education Agency names an ombudsman, “an official appointed to investigate individuals’ complaints against mal administration, especially that of public authorities,” for the following equitable services in each private and religious school: monitoring and enforcement requirements of private and religious schools, including reeducation in the affective domain. Obviously, under HR-5 the SEA will operate independently with no accountability to the state legislature which has surrendered its authority and responsibility over education and the students.

Referring to the concept of Title I funds that will “follow the child” and the super voucher called “direct student services”: the Title I fund that “follows the child” is going directly to every child, bypassing state government. No one at the public hearings explained that CHOICE, TITLE I FUNDS “FOLLOWING THE ‘at-risk’ CHILD” would be used to destroy the financial base of public schools which have elected school boards and are funded by local tax dollars. HR 5 is purposely designed to destroy the traditional public school system.

Furthermore, REPRESENTATIVE KLINE, there are scores of pages in your ESEA legislation that would expand CHARTER SCHOOLS OPERATING WITHOUT BOARDS ELECTED BY THE TAXPAYERS AS THEIR REPRESENTATIVES. THIS IS A SET UP FOR CHARTER SCHOOL TAKEOVER OF ALL EDUCATION with charter school authorizers to control private and religious schools. Yet, no one explained HOW these Title I funds “following” a CHOICE, TITLE I “at risk” CHILD will impact the intrusion into private and religious schools, which will be forced into all of the mandates that come with Common Core implementation and EVERY CHILD identified and funded through Title I and thereby subverting the mission of the private and religious school.

REPRESENTATIVE KLINE, you have crafted HR 5 behind closed doors and put it on the fast track to correspond to the “spitball” known as the ESEA Reauthorization.

REPRESENTATIVE KLINE, your HR 5 merged with the Senate version of ESEA REAUTHORIZATION will NATIONALIZE EDUCATION BYPASSING LOCAL CONTROL AND STATE CONTROL, ELIMINATING LOCAL REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT, THE HALLMARK OF A FREE SOCIETY.

REPRESENTATIVE KLINE, your “super vouchers” cannot buy our children. No government can deny parents their God-given rights over their children. (Pierce vs Sisters, 1925) Are you really requiring parents to waive their rights?

Similar to the waivers HR 5 requires of the states? If so, we demand that you immediately produce the waiver by which parents would sign their children over to the federal government! Explain that one to God…and your own grandchildren.

REPRESENTATIVE KLINE, “The family is the primary society. It does not exist by sufferance of the state.” (Dr. Charles E. Rice, correspondence February 5, 1996)

REPRESENTATIVE KLINE, if you care about a free America, you must stop HR-5.

Our children are not “mere creatures of the state.”(Pierce vs. Sisters, 1925)

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Anita B. Hoge, lecturer, educational researcher, parent.

In 1990 a federal investigation was completed against the Pennsylvania Department of Education, after filing a federal complaint against the Educational Quality Assessment, EQA, & the US Department of Education’s National Assessment of Educational Progress, NAEP, under the Protection of Pupils Rights Amendment. Forced the Pennsylvania EQA to be withdrawn. Forced the US Department of Education to do their job to investigate the psychological testing of children without informed written parental consent. NAEP was never investigated because the Department said I didn’t have standing, although documents had proven that NAEP did experimental research & used different states to pilot their agenda by embedding their test questions into the Pennsylvania EQA as well as other state tests.

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FLORIDA’S SCHOOL BOARD TREACHERY! Part 2

TreacheryMany of you have sent letters to Governor Scott, the legislature and the members of the State School Board and they were all very good letters. I had so many of you send me what you had written before sending them out and I am honored for your trust.

Florida is in a serious and precarious position having the additional burden of dealing with Jeb Bush, his cronies and our legislators who find dealing with Public-Private Partnerships far more important than our children and their futures. We, true Floridians are angry and frustrated because we have listened and learned and we know their concern is not for our children but for their coffers. Money, Power and Control!

Having written about the Chairman of the State School Board first I thought I would jump to the end to introduce the new members of the State School Board since they are both so interesting.

Rebecca LipseyLet me introduce you to Rebecca Fishman Lipsey!

In her bio she states she is a life-long educator at the age of 32. Let’s take a look at how she got to that experience.

She graduated from the Univ. of PA with a degree in Psychology in 04; attended Bank Street College of Edu. 04-06 for her Masters and during the same period was teaching for Teach For America (TFA) in the NYC schools. Two years of actual teaching and then in 2006, she became a Program Director for TFA, but she is a life-long educator!

If you have never heard of Bank Street College of Education it is probably because you are a strong Christian Conservative. Bank Street certainly is not to say the least, but Progressive for sure.

Bank Street College of Education was founded by Lucy Sprague Mitchell as the Bureau of Educational Experiments (BEE). They were deeply involved in the creation of the “Head Start” program along with the National Education Assoc. which created the Educational Policies Commission (EPC). Bank Street in their teaching and beliefs stated they were influenced by revolutionary educator John Dewey and other humanists concluding they were building a new kind of educational system which is essential to building a better, more rational, humane world.

John Dewey! Scott, who recommended Rebecca Fishman Lipsey to sit on the Florida State School Board?

Business man that you are, you have no business making any decisions regarding the education of our children – look at the State School Board – not an educator present. Oh, that’s right, Pres. Of the board started KIPP in Jacksonville and neither of the schools are certified nor are half the teachers. Some leadership!

The Bureau of Education Experiments (BEE) also founded by Mitchell and her husband, stating their purpose was to “combine expanding psychological awareness with democratic conceptions of education”. With a staff of researchers and teachers, the Bureau set out to study children – to find out what kind of environment is best suited to their learning and growth, to create that environment, and to train adults to maintain it”. CHANGE AGENTS!

A CHANGE AGENT you say! What is that? A change agent is identified as someone, usually a teacher who is trained to “identify the resisters in your community” (those parents/taxpayers who resist all the value destroying programs being implemented from the likes of people like Jeb Bush, Achieve, CCSSO and NGA,   National Diffusion Network, U.S. Dept. of Education and Carnegie to name a few).

This idea of Change Agents came from Havelock’s work and his 1970 book “Innovations in Education – A Change Agent’s Guide”. He was a federally-funded Marxist who chaired the classics departments at both Harvard and Yale teacher’s training program of which the U.S. Dept. of Education was promoting, funding and distributing WORLDWIDE in the 80’s.

And, of UTMOST importance, the Guidance Counselor’s journal stated in a special issue it published in May 1977 on “death education” that all these programs which had “education” hanging off the end of them: “sex, drugs, alcohol, death, bullying”, etc. were designed to do the opposite of what they told the parents and taxpayers they were designed to do. They were designed TO CHANGE THE CHILDREN’S VALUES FROM ABSOLUTES TO NO ABSOLUTES! (NO RIGHT, NO WRONG)

Scott, in case as a non-educator you are unaware, JOHN DEWEY was a professed MARXIST. His colleague’s would state, “Deweyism is the genuine fulfillment of Marxism”!

According to the Teach for America web site you would think they are the only ones concentrating on the low-income and poverty ridden students. The truth is this has been going on for years and they continue to use those students for experiments in education and then when it fails, blame those same students for being given rotten education to learn by.

Currently the TFA website states Florida has their teachers not only in Miami-Dade but Jacksonville (KIPP). Watch those test scores go down! What does TFA look for in “teacher” quality? Well, according to their web site page it says nothing about having been educated to be an educator. By attending their five-week (that’s a #5) summer training program these young college graduates are “ready, set, go”! Compensation isn’t bad either!

As noted in Part 1, not all of the KIPP teachers are certified and Florida’s state laws have been changed to allow Florida’s teachers up to 2 years to be certified. The state has no control over teachers employed by private schools.

Of note here is Ms. Lipsey has been working for TFA as a Program Director in Miami-Dade and this was one of the things the Miami-Dade Superintendent requested on the Race To The Top grant application – money to fund an “additional” 350 TFA teachers. He has done that!

Andy Tuck the second newbie on the FL SBOE –

Andy TuckHis official name is Richard Andrew Tuck and he is from Sebring – a citrus grower and school board Chair. SBOE chair Chartrand stated upon his appointment, “It’s only appropriate that on the Florida Board of Education we have a citrus grower”! Really? Is that to mean along with his push for the Common Core Standards he maybe also believes in the school-to-work agenda to put the kids in the fields?

Tuck is listed on state records to be the owner and manager of Tuck Groves, Natural AG Solutions LLC and Southeast AG Management LLC.

Never having heard of him before I went to several friends in Highlands County where Tuck is from to ask their thoughts! Not good!  Progressive, Common Core is a done deal – accept it. He was responsible for bringing the International Baccalaurate program to Highlands County which in case you don’t know is a Progressive United Nations/UNESCO curriculum that is also proprietary and no one in the FL DOE oversees anything about it.

Tuck served as a member of the Florida School Boards Association from 2012 to 2013 and was also on the Highlands County School Board for 5 years along with serving at one time as the counties Chairman of the Republican Party. His bio is not much different than Chartrand’s – a lot of words and organizations.

I was told he is Congressman Rooney’s fund raiser and he also held a fund raiser for Gov. Scott. In 2012, Scott appointed Tuck to the State Transportation Committee (I see nothing that gives him a background in this area either).

Now comes the interesting part – he also serves on the Central Florida Regional Planning Council which I think is what got him the appointment to the Florida Department of Management Services Task Force which was formed after the legislature made changes to Chapter 2013-223 Laws of Florida (HB85) which gives FREE REIGN to any and all PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS dealings in this state. No more bidding process to name one.

Rebecca Lipsey and Andy Tuck are replacing Kathleen Shanahan and Sally Bradshaw who we have called for their replacement for some time. The following are the reasons for those recall requests, however the replacement are certainly not in the best interest of our children, education or Florida as a whole.

Kathleen Shanahan is with URETER an Agenda 21 Co, serves on Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education and a Fund Raiser for Jeb Bush Foundations. Sally Bradshaw was a former Jeb Bush Chief of Staff , Jan 1999 – 2001; Jeb Bush Campaign Mgr. 93-94 & 97-98; Jeb Bush Foundation for FL Future Exe. Dir. 95-97; Bush-Quayle Campaign FL Office Exe. Dir. 1992; Bush-Quayle Campaign D.C. Office  Staff Assistant 1988 – there is more but I think you get the picture as to where her allegiance lies. The main reason for the recall request was because of their obvious loyalty to Jeb Bush and you just cannot serve 2 masters effectively.

Third newbie is Marva Johnson!

Marva JohnsonJohnson, 44, of Winter Garden, is a corporate vice president for Bright House Networks LLC. She currently serves as a board member for Central Florida Partnership and Business Force Florida. Johnson received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University, her master’s degree from Emory University and her law degree from Georgia State University. She succeeds Barbara Feingold.

As to the rest of the Florida State School Board members – all BUSINESS! Just where are the educators who should have been appointed to our State School Board? Non-existent because our education system has become a business?

In fact, you could say the corporations are taking over everything!

John Padget frequents New York, Europe and the Caribbean, looking after investments and supporting charitable activities. He founded Padget Associates, a private equity investment firm in Amsterdam; is President of the Monroe County Education Foundation and serves on the board of the FKCC Foundation. No real education experience here.

At least in part the Florida State Board of Education smells to high heaven and the parents/taxpayers of Florida can expect no help from them in regard to the CCS as was witnessed by their unprofessional behavior by some of the board members and the Commissioner of Education at last week’s meeting.

 

 

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Florida Association of District School Superintendents and FL School Boards Assoc. Partner with Pearson and Other Corporate Cronies

January 31, 2015 By Chris Quackenbush

Today I received the newest policy release from the Florida Association of District School Superintendents.  To say that I was disappointed is an understatement.  It pledges full support for Common Core by name.  The new report advocates convoluted minor reforms to adjust to changes and declining student performance which they do not understand, or will not address.

Joy Frank is the General Counsel and writes their bills and opinions.  We were directed to her by Senator Montford after Deirdre Clemons and I testified at the January 7th hearings in the Capitol.  After two very short meetings, it became apparent that we were not on the same page on Common Core.  After we presented our views and expert reports, Joy said her experts are telling her something else and dismissed it.  We need another meeting, but I doubt that will help.

I went to their web site and discovered the likely reason for her intransigence.

When you partner with Pearson and the other corporate cronies who pay your way, it’s tough to embrace the truth, that Common Core FAILS.

We must expose this connection to our legislators to show their views and testimony are tainted and they must listen to real stakeholders, the parents, students and tax paying citizens of Florida.   We should also address it in our districts with our elected school boards who must be largely unaware of this conflict of interest.

Then I went to the Florida School Boards Association web site to look at their “sponsors”  and found pretty much the same benefactors, with Pearson high on the list.  Both these organizations have expensive lobbyists, staff in the Capitol and access to our legislators through massive donations.  They are the ones creating reports and testifying before legislative committees with an air of legitimacy, while empirical results from education experts, parents and lower student exam results have no merit in their narrative.  By the way, we, as taxpayers, are paying for lobbyists for this association as well.  It’s part of your school district’s budget.

Both these organizations are presenting a united front urging legislators not to “rock the boat” on Common Core.   This is, indeed, a real story of David and Goliath.  Our grassroots organizations must inform and energize the public or accept enslavement of our children by corporate elites who reap the benefit at the bank from High Stakes Testing and Common Core.

March 5th, we have an opportunity to March for the Children in Tallahassee and lock arms across the state and across political lines.  Here are 4 interesting, short videos for your use:

March 5 event info: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1-notNA_hY&feature=youtu.be

High Stakes Testing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wGxTWTm9F8&feature=youtu.be

History: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zcyy1kJtwZo&feature=youtu.be

And English:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnLoK9St4XQ&feature=youtu.be

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Orlando CCSSO Common Core Secret Meeting Part 2

Pam StewartFor Florida (you can fit your state in here) it is very obvious the powers to be intend to go ‘forward’ with ‘no changes’ to the CCS as Commissioner Stewart has stated. I just wish she would be an ethical person and remove herself from the Jeb Bush Foundation or let him pay her salary since most of us feel that is where she gets her instructions from.

My mother taught me a long time ago you can never serve 2 masters at the same time, at least not effectively or ethically. Which master are you serving Commissioner, the children of Florida or Jeb Bush? Do you have children? Have you read the Common Core Standards?

Let me be clear – no changes are in the wind other than the changing of the Florida CCS name and Stewart claiming she is coming up with 40 changes to pacify the objectors. The problem is the objectors to the CCS know that by agreement no one can offer more than 15% changes and even then they will not be included in the testing portion – so what is the point other than phony appeasement?

Stewart is on the hot seat with the Florida Legislature because she told them she could get this under control and she has not. She is out of her league, the FL DOE are do nothing chair setters and the legislators have no intention of doing away with the Common Core Standards for Florida.

You see in Florida our current and past 2 Commissioner’s of Education were serving multiple masters or at least they were supposed to: the governor, legislature, District Superintendents, State and District School Boards and most of all JEB BUSH – least of all the parents and children. Tough role to pull off!

It appears Stewart has carried through with fulfilling Scott’s Executive Order regarding PARCC testing. It does however leave Florida operating within the consortium since nothing has been mentioned about leaving PARCC altogether. Florida has turned over its fiscal agent (money manager) responsibilities is all.

The next question should be “who is going to put together our tests to replace the PARCC test this spring? Pearson? Heaven help us! Maybe ALEC can do it! And why hasn’t there been a review panel with parents included in this process? Teachers?

I find it interesting that this country has focused so much on continual ‘teach to the test’ and constant testing when a good share of the countries we are supposed to be aligning to don’t test for years at a time.

This writer believes that so much of this is centered on money – using our children as Human Capital for their profiteering game.

They continue to talk about STEM so why not schools just for STEM students and leave the rest of the kids to pre 1965 Classical education? Which by the way got us to the moon and back along with being at the top of the heap in education at the time. What happened? The Federal Government got involved in education and everything was downhill from then on.

We don’t need more money for education – we need a curriculum that is right, teaches what our children need to know and is out from under the will and authority of the Federal government.

You see our country has become so focused on that college piece of paper, yet the graduates still don’t have anything in their heads because they have turned to mush. A large majority are going to college for the ‘fun’ not the education – they don’t have the basics.

I have found over the years “hands on training and respect” get you farther and make you smarter than thousands of $$ to the college loan rackets – money again! In fact if you want to make money today start a business around education.

And Rex Tillerson (ExxonMobil) – with his threats – most parents who love their children believe he should take his ExxonMobil threats and go back to Texas and swirl in their oil with the Bush’s who also seem to be making a good deal out of the business of Education. Never forget, it was Daddy Bush as president who really got his hands into education and laid out the groundwork for Bill Clinton along with Marc Tucker and their Communist education takeover.

Our state legislators need to begin thinking about our children, use their heads instead of their wallets and get our children out of bed with the Federal government for as we all know anything the Federal government touches turns to _ _ _ _! The legislators and school officials might even try reading the standards if they can read!

At the FL School Board meeting announcing the appointment of Pam Stewart things were not all rosy. Discord among board members as to the implementation of the CCS were very apparent. I for one don’t understand why if implemented, CCS are not being done on a gradual 1st grade in 2014, 1st grade in 2015 and so on – not plunk it down right in the middle of their education.

Outgoing board member Kathleen Shanahan blasted department leaders for not giving clear direction on the new Common Core State Standards and delaying a decision on what exams will replace the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests.

“The commissioner (Stewart) is fully in support and not wavering at all,” added Chairman Gary Chartrand. “I think we move forward.”
Chartrand
The debate led to a tense exchange between Shanahan and Chartrand, who defended Stewart. “Do you see the timeline issue?” Shanahan asked.
“We can’t go back in time,” Chartrand replied. “We had a commissioner change, unfortunately.”

The new timeline troubled Shanahan, who pointed out that the education department would have just six months between making the decision and the start of the 2014-15 school year, when the tests would be launched.

Board member John Padget: “Those of us on the board that have had the privilege of having large private organizations realize that with a change of this magnitude, there are always hiccups.” Our children’s futures are a HICCUP?

Chartrand himself is dancing to his own tune with his involvement in the Kipp Charter schools.

And of course the Madam of the Jeb Bush Foundations Patricia Levesque, who always has something to say for job justification stated, “the organization was speaking up now in part because of where the state stands in putting the standards in place”. Now? The Jeb Bush Foundations have been running all over the country for years pushing the CCS agenda.

“This year is when every student at every grade level is going to be exposed to Common Core,” she said. “Exposed” – do you mean like a virus?Rick Scott 5

Here is another question for you to ponder. Why do you think Jeb Bush is pushing the CCS and Charter/Choice/Vouchers all at the same time when all public school students are supposed to be taught under the CCS?

Florida’s Governor Scott, Commissioner, Legislators, State School Board and District Superintendents are dancing to the tune of Jeb Bush, along with those having a seat at the Bush Foundation, plus the likes of Chester Finn (Fordham), George Soros, Sen. Lamar Alexander (cradle to grave control), Craig Barrett (Intel), Rex Tillerson (ExxonMobil) Achieve , Edward Rust (State Farm), Condoleezza Rice, Carnegie Foundation, GE, and far too many to list. Oh, and let’s not forget David Coleman and Arne Duncan along with the president of the CFR Richard Haass who also sit on the Bush Foundation.

Time to clean up our state – to start supporting officials by actions not party, or being led around by a leash.

Floridians Against Common Core Education (F.A.C.C.E.) has ask the Gov. Scott on more than one occasion to take a further step in cleaning up the legislative apparatus in Tallahassee to include insisting that Pam Stewart, Mary Ellen Elia (Hillsborough Superintendent of Schools), and Fl. legislators John Thrasher, John Legg, Joe Negron, Erik Fresen, Anitere Flores, Don Gaetz, Kelli Stargel, and Will Weatherford remove themselves immediately from serving on the Jeb Bush Foundation for Excellence in Education. Never, ever a response from his office.

One last thing! For you to read and ponder The Republican Party of Florida ‘Oath of Party Loyalty and Ethical Conduct’ statement! I believe they are basically the same in all states. Do you believe our elected officials show you the same respect they do to the PARTY?

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BUSINESS AS USUAL!

Not that any of us are surprised, we can see that Tallahassee is operating in the “Business As Usual” mode when it comes to the Common Core Standards. You notice I leave out the word State because that is part of the deception – state led!  More like a “State In Chains”.

Pam Stewart

One day before the public comments were scheduled to end, Florida Department of Education officials continued the trend set by Commissioner Pam Stewart and Race to the Top coordinator Holly Edenfield stating that the Common Core standards are not expected to change significantly and that implementation will proceed “full speed ahead”. hOLLY Endfield

Are we surprised? How long has it been since Tallahassee has listened to the people of Florida about anything?

Given that Pam Stewart is STILL sitting on Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education with her removal no where in sight and the recent announcement that Jeb Bush would be supporting Gov. Scott for his re-election bid, I am sure the parents of Florida are sleeping better at night!

Who is Pam Stewart? Former Florida Chancellor of Education who was never quite good enough to be the Commissioner of Education when there was a Jeb Bush Foundation for Excellence in Education “Chief for Change” available. Too bad she can’t get out of Jeb Bush’s hip pocket she might make a good Commissioner.

You really should take the time to check out all the “reformers” sitting on the Foundation – some of them will amaze you!

Found Excellence in Edu

And Holly Edenfield – she is the Project Manger overseeing the RTTT department and she was responsible for overseeing the writing of the Florida RTTT Grant applications. From Ocala, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science from Florida State University and a Master of Education degree in Secondary Social Studies Education from the University of Florida.

Ms. Edenfield (Radcliffe) was a senior company member of The Tallahassee Ballet from 2001-2006, and danced notable roles in The Nutcracker, Beauty and the Beast, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream among others after working for 3 years for the FL Dept. of Educ. Now she is back at the Dept. of Education.

We need to be sleeping with our eyes and ears wide open. The mass deception being perpetrated in Tallahassee is probably the largest in the country. With a large Jeb Bush legislature and Gov. Scott taking orders from “himself” – nothing being done is for the people and certainly not for the good of our children. Not only that, most of the people involved in this “ruination” of our children’s future’s may or may not have Education degrees under their belts, but they have never taught in a classroom nor do they really know what is needed to educate our children.

They also had to be very sure the national media regarding the Scott endorsement got in the national news wires. And not one word about Education! Quoting Scott’s supposed accomplishments in the area of employment was a “safe” agenda.

Scott and BushI have posted on this blog before about Scott’s use of Enterprise Florida,  and the business back door deals he is making with foreign governments and businesses around the world including Communist China and their $90M into our Charter schools.

Are these really jobs for Floridians or foreigners under the new Green Card law?

Scott and Edu 2

Does the deception and back door deals never stop in Florida?

The latest Tallahassee mouthpiece sent out to try to appease the public was Mary Jane Tappen, K-12 Deputy Chancellor, who stated:

“I want to first speak about our Standards Professional Development. We’re talking about the Common Core Standards in English/Language Arts and Mathematics. Our school districts are implementing these standards K through 12 this year. As you know, blended course descriptions are available on CPALMS, which I’ll talk about in just a minute. In grades 3-10, our teachers are implementing those blended course descriptions, which include the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Sunshine State Standards that are going to be assessed this year on FCAT 2.0 for the last time.”

“We are moving forward with the new more rigorous standards. So, if anyone is hesitating or worried about next year, the timeline has not changed. We are moving forward and we will have new course descriptions for next year and … new assessments. To support your implementation, all of the work that you’re doing at the local level, many of you have participated in our summer institutes.”

Mary Jane TappenJust who is Mary Jane Tappen? Before replacing Pam Stewart as the Chancellor of Education she was the Deputy Chancellor for Curriculum, Instruction and Student Services. She is the one that got credit for the idea to post a digital link on the internet for parents/teachers to go to preview instructional materials before they are adopted.

Obviously no one listened as many parents and the Textbook Action Team of Florida in 2010 began screaming bloody murder over the amount of Islam addressed in our World History books. The personal responses we all got was the local school boards putting blame on the FL Dept. of Educ. as to the school book choices and the FL Dept. of Educ. putting the responsibility on the local school district’s. Fine job Ms. Tappen!

From my personal experience with the FL Dept of Curriculum & Instructional Materials, Ms. Tappen is doing no better job at this one as Chancellor than she was in her previous position.

Now the Governor! Just what are his intentions? He responds to no parents – no inquiries! He believes he doesn’t have to – I guess he thinks he is above reproach. The parents of Florida are here to tell you, you are wrong. You do answer to us – the oath you took says so! So if you cannot abide by your oath the first time in office, why do you think we would want you back – because you have Jeb Bush’s endorsement? Think again!

You write an Executive Order with a lot of words that have come to mean nothing. You don’t show up at your own called events – you are refusing to listen to the parents of this state and things according to Ms. Stewart “are not expected to change significantly and that implementation of the CCS will proceed “full speed ahead”. It is suggested Governor that you go back to your previous job!

cHILD aBUSE 4So what are the parents of children in Florida supposed to think? We are being ignored and with all the reports coming in from physicians, psychologists and brave teachers we know the Common Core Standards are hurting our children.

For this writer I believe it is time to call “a spade a spade” and that is the Common Core Standards is a form of “Child Abuse”. Anytime an individual intentionally hurts a child in any form it is Child Abuse.

Our only recourse may be the ballot box in the next election and we need to seriously begin looking at that and preparing.

JUST SAY NO
TO FCAT 2.0!

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So You Think Florida Has Improved?

Education20Today if you are registered with the Florida Tracker system to follow your legislators you would have received the following:

Senator John Legg, District 17 — Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 10, 2013
Florida up to #6 in Education nationally – Senator Legg, Chairman of the Florida Senate Committee on K-20 Education Policy today released the following statement regarding Florida jumping five spots, from number eleven to number six in Education Week’s 2013 Quality Counts report.
“In the past few years Florida’s education system has faced the strain of economic downturn but done everything possible to maintain high-quality education for our students,” said Senator Legg. “Today’s release of Education Week’s 2013 Quality Counts report demonstrates that Florida is meeting the challenge head-on and working diligently as we move into full implementation of the Common Core State Standards which are designed to prepare all students to be globally competitive for college and careers.”
At one time ranked near the bottom of states across the country, Florida began making significant progress moving to 14 in 2009, 8 in 2010, and 5 in 2011. After falling to 11 in 2012, in 2013 Florida increased five spots and is now sixth in the nation. http://www.flsenate.gov/Media/PressRelease/Show/1355
********
Not to mention again the fact the Senator (newly elected) Legg also owns a Charter Public School along with his wife would seem slighting of Mr. Legg. His wife serves as the Administrator and he as the Business Manager. No one can deny his school isn’t doing well and having a teacher to student ratio of 13:1 is certainly a big advantage.

I again question the ethics of this man owning a charter school, voting on Charter school legislation and also serving on Jeb Bush’s Foundation. It is a direct conflict of interest of the taxpayers of Florida.

Florida may have moved to the position of 6th in the country but we still received a B- average grade overall (81.1) and we got some pretty rotten scores in other areas. This certainly is not saying much for the level of the education in America. These legislators and non-educators continue to try and tweak the education system from a legislative point of view rather than from what and how they are teaching them. Never, ever forget the beginning of the real failure was No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

Receiving an A in Transitions & Alignment along with Standards, Assessments & Accountability was certainly not enough to pull up the overall score with the very poor D+ in School Finance Analysis and especially the very low grade in the amount spent per child and the overall C- in K-12 Achievement 2012 grade of C-.

This type of reporting by the Florida leaders in the legislature and the State Board of Education are a disgrace and quite frankly a lie in the overall state of Florida’s education.

Those in the legislature who serve also on Jeb Bush’s Foundations and are heavily involved in the state Charter school system along with other members of the State School Board includes the founder of KIPP schools Jax, Mr.Chartrand. They all may be disappointed they did not break out the success or failure in the Charter school scores. But then if they had, they might have had to include the failures and the reasons for those failures which have not been the best publicity a venture would ask for.

Grading Curve Used as follows: A (93-100), A- (90-92), B+ (87-89), B (83-86), B- (80-82), C+ (77-79), C (73-76), C- (70-72), D+ (67-69), D (63-66), D- (60-62), F (0-59)

In a survey given to Administrators and Teachers regarding what was important to them in the school environment these stood out for me:
School climate was more important than school safety –
School Climate – Administrators 83% Teachers 72%
School Safety – Administrators 61% Teachers 64% (I wonder what those figures would be today after Newtown
School Discipline – Administrators 46% Teachers 54%
Quality Counts
The other 2 really bad scores were “School Finance Analysis” D+ and placed 39th in the country – we received an F last year.

Disappointing also was our high school graduation rate shown to be 70.4% and the young adults enrolling in post-secondary education at 54.4%.
Florida also remains to be #5 state in the country for receiving funds returned from the Federal government for Education but they continue to fall below the National Average per student at a ranking of 36th in the nation. This writer believes the differential between the receipt of monies and spending continues to be because of the amount spent on administration. Anyone who has ever called Tallahassee for information knows how many “uninformed” employees you have to go through before even beginning to get an answer to a simple question.
2-13 Education Week Spending

Maybe it would behoove the state to look at the wasted funds being spent on the International Baccalaureate Program (IB) or start presenting reports with statistics to show we are getting something for our money. Every single senior in this state on the IB program should be on the National Honor Society and they are NOT. Very, very few are! How many graduate? How many go on to college? How many graduate from college?

It is the state’s responsibility to prove to the taxpayers that we are getting something for our $$. They have never even published statistics as to the rate of graduation of these students.

In addition, with the low rate of our young people attending college, it might be to all our benefits for the state to look at decreasing the number of professor’s or at the very least the extremely high salaries they are receiving.

Other remarks made –
– Mark Wilson, president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce: “Florida’s bold education reform efforts have clearly put our state on the right track. While Florida has made great strides, there is still work to be done. To compete in the global marketplace, we must recognize that, just as society changes, so does the workforce. Florida’s kids deserve better, and with America’s new Common Core Standards and the leadership of our new Education Commissioner Dr. Tony Bennett, we will secure Florida’s future with a globally competitive education system.”

His statement says a lot to me in that the “Chambers” all over the country are endorsing the “school to work” communist program along with Tony Bennett, our new Commissioner of Education and Jeb Bush’s “boy”.

– John Legg, Florida is meeting the challenge head-on and working diligently as we move into full implementation of the Common Core State Standards, which are designed to prepare all students to be globally competitive for college and careers.”

The fact our legislators are now coming out in support of the Common Core Standards when they have not a clue what it is or what it means to our children’s education is certainly disheartening. I hope they enjoy their current placement in the State Ratings as with Common Core – these kids are going to be lost as well as most of the teachers and all the scores will drop.

– Rick Scott, governor: “For Florida to be a global leader in job creation and economic growth, we have to provide our students with a quality education. Today’s news that Florida has moved into the top ten in the nation for overall quality of education reinforces that we’re taking the steps needed to ensure our students succeed. We’ve made education a priority by investing $1 billion in K-12 education.

For a man who said he was NOT in favor of Agenda 21 or anything that went with it, his speech’s now almost always include the word “global” and he was the instrument in bringing the Communist Chinese into Florida to invest in our Charter schools.

Governor Scott needs to answer to the parents/taxpayers of Florida why his office refuses to address the Freedom of Information request behind that Communist money! They certainly did not invest all that money with a promise of another $60M for our kids to learn Mandarin Chinese!

They can pat themselves on the back all they want, but they are still working behind the scenes in ruining our children.

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Florida BUSHWACKED Again!

As I sit here thinking about Sandy Hook it came to me that as with everything else happening in America today the powers to be are focusing on the wrong things – they want our guns – the Progressives do and they will use whatever tool they have at hand.

Many of us have tried to inform the general public what is happening to our country but they chose to ignore the warnings not wanting to “get involved” or “stir the pot”! This is even the case when it affects their children.

I have warned and warned for the past 2 years about Jeb Bush and his “buddies” especially here in Florida and the parents pull the wool over their eyes and go about their day-to-day events depending on someone else taking care of the problems for them.

Well Florida has been “BUSHWACKED” ONCE AGAIN by the decision of the Florida State School Board hiring Indiana’s throw – a – way Tony Bennett as the new Florida Commissioner of Education.

If the national movement to “reform” public education through vouchers, charters and privatization have a laboratory and it is Florida. It was one of the first states to undertake a program of “virtual schools”—charters operated online, with teachers instructing students over the Internet—as well as one of the first to use vouchers to channel taxpayer money to charter schools run by for-profits.

Bennett and his Jeb Bush crony business partners are despised by Indiana voters – parents and teachers alike as shown in how the November election went. It was not a party thing either since most of the state percentage that voted Bennett out of office also voted for Romney.

Indiana is one of 14 states of which elects their Commissioner of Education and this writer certainly wishes Florida would begin to ELECT their Education Commissioner since it puts the loyalty of the Commissioner in the hands of the people and not a Jeb Bush favored School Board.

Indiana, we are happy you stood up to Jeb Bush and Tony Bennett. Sadly, your gain is now Florida’s loss. So now, as Floridians, we’ve got yet another failed Jeb Bush operative turning up here, very predictably, to continue the assault on our children, public schools, and teachers, at his behest. It seems the proverbial shark never stops chewing at the perimeter. In case you missed it Jeb Bush is the SHARK and from the actions of everyone from the governor of Florida to the Florida State School Board, Jeb Bush is still operating as the governor of this state.

Let’s take a look at what upset the voters of Indiana so much.

First of all the voters soon realized that Bennett is merely another one of the long line of “puppets on a string”. He does as he is told – you sometimes have to wonder if they really believe in what they are pushing or is it just the money because Education is certainly a hot commodity – the fastest growing “get rich quick” deal out there.

Secondly, Bennett’s push for information on every Indiana teacher so he can deem them “unaccountable” and replace them with Teach for America recruits on their temporary stop in the schools before they head off to Wall Street. He wants data on all students, so that he can declare schools as “broken” and package them up for the privatizers (Charter Schools). He is a strong supporter of school vouchers especially to be used for private and religious schools – similar to what was proposed in Florida in their Amendment 8. There is more than one lawsuit from around the country currently protesting this practice as being unconstitutional.

Challengers say using tax dollars to pay tuition at religious schools is barred by state Constitution’s prohibiting compelling a person to “support any place of worship … against his consent,” and its ban on using state funds “for the benefit of any religious or theological institution.”

Those in favor of the voucher law say it doesn’t violate the state constitutions because taxpayer dollars aren’t flowing directly into parochial schools but that it is being paid to the parents. Many see this was a smokescreen and just a way of creeping in by a backdoor!

Third, Tony Bennett, as well as Florida’s two previous Commissioners of Education Gerard Robinson and Eric Smith, are a Jeb Bush “Chiefs for Change. Bennett is also the newly appointed by Jeb Bush “boss” of the chief’s. Sitting alongside the previous mentioned three are Maine’s Steven Bowen and former Edison Schools’ Chris Cerf (now New Jersey’s commissioner of education) who profited handsomely when the then-Florida governor Jeb Bush bought out the company’s failing stock with teachers’ retirement funding, a maneuver sticking state pensioners to this day with a $182 million investment in a company out to destroy public education and unions. And Bush friends at Charter Schools USA have been given several so-called failing schools in Indiana, where parents have recently been protesting the corporate takeover.

All of this mess in Indiana has already been tried here in Florida and some of it is already in effect. Now Floridian’s get to play footsy with another Jeb Bush operative.

Involved in the election to keep Tony Bennett in Indiana was of course, your friend and mine, Patricia Levesque. Levesque directs Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education and his Foundation for Florida’s Future and in addition owns her own lobbying company Meridian Strategies in Tallahassee of which she uses to push Virtual and Charter schools.

Levesque, who also lobbies on behalf of many virtual schools, outlined a new strategy in October 2010 at a school reform conference to privatize public schools. In an article entitled “How Outline Learning Companies Bought America’s Schools,” The Nation’s Lee Fang writes that:

Levesque noted “reform efforts have failed because the opposition had time to organize.” Next year (2011), Levesque advised, “reformers should “spread” the unions thin “by playing offense” with decoy legislation,” stating she planned to sponsor a series of statewide reforms, like allowing taxpayer dollars to go to religious schools by overturning the so-called Blaine Amendment, “even if it doesn’t pass…to keep them busy on that front.” She also advised paycheck protection, a union busting scheme, as well as a state-provided insurance program to encourage teachers to leave the union and a transparency law to force teachers unions to show additional information to the public. Needling the labor unions with all these bills, Levesque said, allows certain charter bills to fly “under the radar.” (Does this sound like this happened in Florida with Amendment 8?)

How many times do I have to remind you all that Charter schools are “for profit”, “public-private partnerships”! If you want to get rich these days you would go into some form of business that deals with education.

I will never say the “intent” of ALL Charter schools is bad! I will tell you the true object behind the idea of Charter schools is to remove taxpayer input and oversight from the public schools giving the control of your children’s education to private businesses. Now you have the Communist “school – to – work program that was first brought to light in Cuba with the kids going to school for 2-3 hours and then working in the cigar factories for the rest of the day for FREE! Bushites are not about educating our children; they are about money, power and control.

These are cold, calculating individuals no different from what we have in the White House and surrounding buildings.

There is at this time an investigation going on in Indiana looking into the corporate dealings between the Indiana Department of Education and Bennett’s Jeb Bush corporate friends. There is a strong cronyism connection which can be followed through the donations being given to any and all supporting Bush’s idea of Education Takeover.

Largest push for Charter schools and the Voucher way is coming from the American Federation of Children which has worked for years to expand educational options for all children. Chairman of the Board Betsy DeVos is heading up the DeVos Family crusade to eradicate public education. When challenged about her political and financial connections, DeVos recently stated, “I know a little something about soft money, as my family is the single largest contributor of soft money to the Republican National Party. I have decided, however, to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying influence. Now I simply concede the point. They are right. We do expect something in return.” OUR CHILDREN!

This is being marketed as a solution to save public schools, but the big donors are tied to right-wing think tanks that openly advocate, and strategize, the end of public education. How can vouchers improve public schools if the people mobilizing the movement intend to eradicate public education? Regardless of your personal stance on “school choice,” it’s important to know who is behind the voucher movement and the agenda they don’t share with the public or advertise in their media campaigns.

Somehow we must work together to inform parents and support teachers so they may pull away from the deliberate plan to ruin our children. You have unions on one side wanting it their way and the money brokers on the right wanting to play their game and the kids are the “rope” in the middle being pulled back and forth.

In part two of this posting I will address further the cronyism and the flow of heavy money into the pockets of our elected officials.

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NEFARIOUS ACTIONS DIRECTED AT OUR CHILDREN –

What is Nefarious? Webster’s Dictionary describes Nefarious as evil, immoral, unethical, deceitful, unrighteous, wrong, a scheme to cheat.

What is Racist? A person or group of persons who believe that race is the primary determinant of human traits and the capacity to achieve.

Before I go any further I want to make it perfectly clear I am white, female, conservative who has never belonged to a Union nor am I an educator, but a researcher.

Who are those who sit on the Florida State School Board? Seven appointed individuals whose control over our children has reached a new low – so low that I am having a hard time finding words to address the fact they would actually set the goals for our students in math and reading based upon their race.

What form of nefarious action is this? With the exception of Dr. Desai, an Indian-American (from India – not American Indian) the balance of the board is White! What in the world are they thinking in regards to the decisions they have made in regard to our children’s futures?

By whose agenda are they operating? Certainly not that of parents or the futures of the children!

This past week the FL. State School Board passed a revised strategic plan that states that by 2018, they want 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. They also intend to measure the success and failure of our students by poverty and disabilities.

If this is all these Board members have to offer our children then maybe it is time to get rid of the State Board of Education. We are far too top heavy anyway and their advice is doing nothing but making things worse. They certainly have not offered any constructive advice or suggestions in improving the “lack luster” status of the education in Florida.

I will again remind parents that a large percentage of our graduating students who go on to college (including white ones) must take remedial Reading and Math courses before advancing to another level. Why are we graduating students who cannot read? Why can’t our students read?

Who is the leadership of Florida’s education? Our past 2 Commissioners of Education, Eric Smith and Gerard Robinson were at the same time “Chief’s for Change” on Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education.

What about the State School Board? Just who are they?

Kathleen Shanahan – URETER/Agenda 21 Co, serves on Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education – Fund Raiser for Jeb Bush Foundations

Gary R. ChartrandEx. Chairman for KIPP, Inc., founder of the failed KIPP Jacksonville Charter School

Dr. Desai – Cardiologist – Pres. & CEO of Universal Healthcare

Sally BradshawJeb Bush Chief of Staff Jan 1999 – 2001; Jeb Bush Campaign Mgr. 93-94 & 97-98; Jeb Bush Foundation for FL Future Exe. Dir. 95-97; Bush-Quayle Campaign FL Office Exe. Dir. 1992; Bush-Quayle Campaign DC Office Staff Assistant 1988 – there is more but I think you get the picture as to where her allegiance lies

John Padgett – Padgett Investment firm; Monroe County Education Foundation of which is part of the Florida Consortium of Florida Education Foundations to pull businesses into our education system.

Barbara Feingold – VP MCNA Healthcare

Roberto Martinez – Attorney

Does anyone see any EDUCATORS ON THE FLORIDA STATE SCHOOL BOARD? Someone please tell me the agenda of this board and to whom at least half of them owe allegiance? It is pretty clear to me!

Parents are angry as well they should be and it is about time. What they are not seeing is the well laid out plan to turn our Education system into a Charter School base with unelected boards taking control of their schools and away from parents/taxpayers and it will ultimately lead to higher taxes because the Charter Schools are removing the financial base from the public schools. At the same time a large percentage of our Charter Schools are failing because of the lenient legislation that has been passed in Tallahassee by a majority of “non-educators” under the leadership of Jeb Bush!

You might find it interesting to do your own research and not take my word for it to find out how many of our FL legislators also are making financial gains from Charter schools while serving on Jeb Bush’s Foundations. I thought we were paying them to work for the taxpayers?

JUST HOW MANY MASTERS DO YOU BELIEVE A PERSON CAN SERVE AT ONE TIME EFFECTIVELY? I believe this is what partially played a role in Gerard Robinson resigning early.

Chairwoman Kathleen Shanahan would have you believe that setting goals for different subgroups was needed to comply with terms of a waiver that Florida and 32 other states have from some provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Well, if this was part of the game rules for Florida accepting the money to play the Race To The Top (RTTT) game, then why in the world did they sell out our children’s futures knowing they were going to have to do something as “nefarious” as this? MONEY!

Do you really understand Ms. Shanahan what you have done?  You have once again told our Black children that you anticipate they are going to fail, not succeed, so you are going to set the goal lower for them than the other children? You have basically told them they are failures before they start which is what the education system has been doing for years!

Over 30 years ago Charlotte Iserbyt tried to tell America there was a “Dumbing Down of America” in the works and it would be through our education system and it appears they are succeeding. What could possibly be the reason for our State or Federal government to want to set standards by race?

The Florida Department of Education said the goals recognize that not every group is starting from the same point and are meant to be ambitious but realistic. No, what they are doing is setting them up for failure because they are “labeling” our children.

Why are we following our children by race in the FCAT results anyway? What difference does that make if you are going to continue to single the different races out by race rather than accomplishments as a whole? What is actually going to happen is once the Common Core Standards are in place all your children’s information is going to be going into that National Data Base and the information is to follow your children.

Never forget the first time our children were used as a pawn in Florida was when Jeb Bush started the very first Charter school in South Florida as a ploy to look good to the “black community” “to win votes” and after he was elected he never looked back at this failed school nor in questioning years later claimed to not even remember the name of the school.

Parents you must take the control of our schools back out of the hands of non-educators who are supposed to be working for the betterment of our children. What they have done is sell them down the “preverbal river” by selling them out to Race To The Top (the new version of NCLB) and the coming of the Common Core Standards actually written by a non-educator.

We need to continue to educate every child with the same expectations, regardless of their race, background or beginnings and call for the replacement of the members of the Florida State Board of Education or do away with the Board all together. And please, do not let them lead you down the path of “WE NEED MORE MONEY!” What they need to do is make better use of the money they are receiving and start from the top down – most of the money is NOT going to our children but to Administration.

Actually the education some received in the 50’s and 60’s produced some really intelligent individuals of ALL races, but no, the state and federal government continues to think we have to change the curriculum every 2 years, tweak it here, bring in foreign education, textbooks that lie, focus on global and green agenda’s and all the while absolutely no accountability from the top and at the same time PLAY THE RACE CARD!

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FLORIDA’S EDUCATION SYSTEM IS FAILING!

ImageEveryone across the country has a different way of evaluating the states on Education. Education Week’s magazine is the one school superintendents and school boards like to use because they always give them a high grade in Accountability and it is a big word and sounds important – but it is nothing. Accountability in this case means they are merely turning in their reports which measures student progress toward the following goals; highest student achievement, seamless articulation and maximum access, skilled workforce and economic development, and quality efficient services and they have turned their reports in a timely manner. Big deal! Their FCAT scores show there is no improvement to warrant an A rating. The powers to be would tell us the state ranks 4th in the country but in fact it was 10th, 8th & 9th for 2009, 2010 & 2011 respectfully – but in Accountability not QUALITY of Education provided.Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy based in Tallahassee also has a problem with those A scores. In January 2010 they wrote the “Rankings Deserve A Closer Look.” The report states “the ranking does not mean that Florida’s K-12 schools are eighth best in the nation (2010) . . . the report evaluates selected Accountability and Performance Policies but does not in any manner constitute a definitive statement of quality or outcomes of a state’s education system.”  So what did that report really say about Florida’s public education?Florida enacted almost all the accountability and performance policies recommended by the current generation of “school reformers” (NCLB) earning that A grade and that is fine for as far as it goes. And this is not surprising since Florida’s school reform efforts since the early 1990’s has centered on the Sunshine State Standards, FCAT and various mechanisms like school grades designed to increase accountability.

The fact remains that other results documented in the assessment by Education Week in Florida’s latest ranking aren’t superlative. Three grades in the report make the case:

          Student achievement (scores on national standardized tests): D- minus

  • Funding per student (compared to the national average): F   Here I would like to add that I do not necessarily believe more money is the answer, but suggest the following:
    1. They should stop paying school board members so much money for so little time spent on the children’s futures and they certainly should not be entitled to pensions – in fact going back to volunteer school boards might not be a bad idea either – they still do that in most of the mid-west and north-east.
    2. We are spending far too much on administration – a report done earlier this year showed Florida #4 in the country for receiving Education funds (not ARRA or Title I) – but on the bottom of the charts in comparison as to the amount spent in ratio of admin to student.
    3. School boards have become too political – you hear more in a school board meeting about brick, motor and cement then you do the words children, students or kids. You are not given the opportunity to show disappointment or distain in how money is being spent nor do they seem to remember who is paying their salaries.
    4. Stop all International Curriculum Programs from being used in our schools. International Baccalaureate has cost this state BILLIONS of dollars since it was first introduced at Winter Park High School in 1983 by former Commissioner of Education Eric Smith.
    5. Insist on proper oversight of the textbooks and curriculum’s being used by the Charter Schools. They are allowed to choose what they want to use – UNESCO/UN curriculum’s should not be acceptable to anyone. School boards have learned Charter schools have made less work for them but they are not living up to their duties as the sponsor’s of the Charter schools according to Florida Education Statutes.
  • College Readiness:  F

The assessment also noted that Florida’s high school graduation rate is 45th in the nation and the state also ranks below the national average in the percentage of young adults with a degree or enrolled in college.

A very disturbing fact of the report to me was that more than half of the students graduating and entering into a 3 or 4 year college program in Florida require remedial classes in reading and math.

Former Governor Jeb Bush did our students no favors in implementing No Child Left Behind (NCLB), is a supporter of Race To The Top (RTTT), and a very strong Progressive. It was sad to learn but true. We are now left with the challenge to turn this around. The Common Core Standards (CCS), written by a man with no Education background and paid by Bill Gates, is geared to bring our scores down further. Teachers have not been properly instructed but yet are to be held “accountable” for the success or failure of their students. (I am not a teacher).

One of the main problems with the CCS is the fact there is no scope or sequence which is an important aspect of curriculum requirements. In other words, a student sitting in a classroom and going from one grade level to the next, it is vitally important that the curriculum requirements be tightly linked from one grade level to the next or else huge chasms will occur of which the child will fall into. In other words, if a student has not learned in one grade level how to use a preposition they certainly will not know in the next grade level not to put one at the end of a sentence. If they did not learn in one grade level what a participle is then certainly they will not know in the next grade level what a dangling participle is.

Unless the standards used increase the depth and complexity in a smooth transition from one grade to another, holes in the children’s cognitive progression will occur. These holes represent the lack of prior knowledge. It is the lack of prior knowledge that keeps students from proceeding successfully to the next concept. This is particularly true in the area of grammar and usage which are competency based. Some would say how this is important when they have fallen into a world of “texting”. Have you seen the result of how your children and grandchildren talk as a result of a life of texting?

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CHARTER SCHOOL CORRUPTION IN TALLAHASSEE

Topher Sanders reported in the Florida Times-Union that 8 more charters are in the works for DuvalCounty. Included in the list is another Somerset Charter to go along with the other three already operating in Jacksonville. A Somerset principal will sit on the board of two new charters.

So who is Somerset Academy of Schools? Its 23 campuses across the state are listed as clients of Academica – a charter school company run by the sister and brother-in-law of Rep. Erik Fresen. Fresen’s sister, Magdalena is Academica’s VP. Just how involved is she in the operation of Somerset? On the Board of Director’s website, it directs that any complaints be made to “Maggie Fresen” at her Academica office.

Why this is important is that Fresen self-reported a potential conflict of interest after voting for HB7195. While he was cleared of wrongdoing, Fresen may have been incredibly vague in his disclosure. He wrote: “I am disclosing that my brother-in-law, Fernando Zulueta, operates a charter school that may be affected by HB 7195. I do not believe he would receive a special private gain or loss from this legislation as the law applies to all charter schools and school districts, but in abundance of caution, I am disclosing this conflict.”

In fact this statement was made only after a Florida taxpayer filed a Legislative complaint with the Ethic’s Committee against Fresen for “conflict of interest”

A map on Academica’s web site indicates the company operates 15 charter schools in south Florida which brings its umbrella of influence to almost 40.

A second look at Fresen’s involvement is certainly in order. Was he deliberately misleading? It’s furthermore fascinating to know that House general counsel he reported to, George Levesque, is the husband of Patricia Levesque, the powerful lobbyist who orchestrated the past session’s education reform package. Patricia Levesque is also the one in the same who was then Governor Jeb Bush’s Deputy Chief of Staff and is currently the Executive Director of the Jeb Bush Foundation for Excellence in Education. The same Foundation working with Bill Gates and his Foundation to push Charter Schools, RTTT and CCS. Sounds like a family affair!

Commission staff interviewed the House’s general counsel, George Levesque, who said Fresen had approached him before HB 7195 came up for a vote in the Education Committee with concerns about a possible conflict. Levesque concluded Fresen’s discussion and vote on the bill did not pose a conflict, but Fresen filed the disclosure out of an “abundance of caution.”

Whose conflict of interest is greater? Fresen’s or Levesque’s?

Both of them are up to the eyebrows in it, but Levesque’s could prove to be the most far-reaching. He cleared Fresen of wrongdoing in a matter which involved legislation his wife was advancing. Investigative reporter Lee Fang wrote just how involved Patricia Levesque was involved in crafting legislation during the last session: Lamenting this series of defeats, Patricia Levesque, a top adviser to former Governor Jeb Bush, spoke to fellow reformers at a retreat in October 2010. Levesque noted that reform efforts had failed because the opposition had time to organize. Next year, Levesque advised, reformers should “spread” the unions thin “by playing offense” with decoy legislation. Levesque said she planned to sponsor a series of statewide reforms, like allowing taxpayer dollars to go to religious schools by overturning the so-called Blaine Amendment, “even if it doesn’t pass…to keep them busy on that front.” She also advised paycheck protection, a union busting scheme, as well as a state-provided insurance program to encourage teachers to leave the union and a transparency law to force teachers unions to show additional information to the public. Needling the labor unions with all these bills, Levesque said, allows certain charter bills to fly “under the radar.”

If Levesque’s blunt advice sounds like that of a veteran lobbyist, that’s because she is one. Levesque runs a Tallahassee-based firm called Meridian Strategies LLC, which lobbies on behalf of a number of education-technology companies. She is a leader of a coalition of government officials, academics and virtual school sector companies pushing new education laws that could benefit them.

Can’t it be assumed that George Levesque was aware of his wife’s legislative agenda? Just how involved was Levesque’s husband – the house general counsel – involved in all these manipulations clearly should be explored. At the very least, a fresh look is in order on George Levesque’s opinion on Fresen’s ethics complaint. The fact that the lead House counsel offered an opinion of legislation his powerful lobbyist spouse was advancing cannot be brushed aside.

No wonder republicans squashed ethics reform last year.
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ANYONE WATCHING CHARTER SCHOOLS?

If you have read any of my recent articles regarding Charter Schools you will know I am not happy! If you haven’t, here goes! We had new legislation passed this year which grants high performance Charter schools added powers, making it even more difficult for local school boards to govern them.

The new abilities granted to these high performers include adding enrollment annually without having to request outside permission, getting 15 year contracts, expanding grade levels without sponsor approval, and opening “replicated” schools anywhere in Florida with minimal barriers. Of course, that replication is limited to one per year, but that hasn’t stopped some operators from proposing several all over the state. Keep an eye on that! I watched those hearings – it appeared to me it was a done deal from the get go!

I have previously critized Rep. Erick Fresen for sitting on 3 Education Committees and voting on legislation regarding Charter schools all the while his sister is the co-owner in a Charter School Consortium in Fresen’s district and he has refused to recuse himself from voting on Charter legislation. Dean Cannon should also be ashamed for putting one of his legislators in a position like this. Do they not look at “conflict of interest”?

In April, 2011 Fresen slipped language into a bill that would prohibit cities from imposing stricter zoning and building restrictions on charter schools than on traditional public schools. Charter schools are publicly (taxpayer) funded but privately run.

The provision is aimed in part at South Miami, which recently approved charter school regulations that could directly affect Academica, Fresen’s sisters company. The company, city Mayor Philip Stoddard said, may be looking to expand Somerset Academy in South Miami, where Fresen’s twin sons go to school. Academica has also expressed interest in building a school in Palmetto Bay. Fresen is a land-use consultant for Civica, an architectural firm that has designed several Academica schools.

Now we have another chapter in the ongoing saga. In an effort to save money on a hurting budget, legislators cut funding for Adult Education. This was supposed to save the state a considerable amount of money but once again we find our legislators in their typical “cronyism”. The Florida Department of Education was able to scrape together $20 million to sponsor political allies who want to start charter schools. Some of even the most “die hard republicans” are beginning to take a second look at the actions of our legislators. The hypocrisy is beginning to be much too much to deal with. There are more than enough (one is too many) republican legislators who already have financial interests in charter schools and having the “gall” to vote on legislation that clearly benefits them needs a much closer look. It appears there is a bit too much playing with the taxpayer’s hard earned money.

The legislators included in this mess are: Rep. John Legg (Dayspring Academy in Pasco Cnty), Rep. Erik Fresen (several Academica Schools in Miami-Dade), Rep. Seth McKeel (South McKeel Elementary Academy, Polk Cnty) and Sen. Anitere Flores (Doral Academy in Miami-Dade). These schools are either run by or connected to these legislators. When questioned previously about this, Rep. Fresen responded, “I was voting for all Charter Schools”. Really? Where are your ethics? Did I hear somewhere there is a rumor Fresen is to be House Speaker in a few years?

The $20 million that’s earmarked for a few well-connected charter operators could easily have kept a good portion of the Adult Ed program afloat. How about not spending the $20K at all? I would think it would be part of Rep. Cannon and Sen. Haridopolus’ jobs to oversee things like this and make sure this kind of thing doesn’t happen.

Time to clean out the Florida House and Senate – they are as rooted in place as those in Washington.

ADDING INSULT TO INJURY –

It has come to our attention there are even more high powered lobbing groups forming in FL to push for the expansion of Charter schools with absolutely no mention of oversight. These groups are even “bragging” they have an inside track with both current and former lawmakers.

The Florida Charter Alliance has received a $900K grant from the Walton Family Foundation – yep, the Wal-Mart folks! The main purpose of this group is to bring the public to their way of thinking and then once again they will do as they want – not the wishes of taxpayers! They are also going to try and convenience you it is all about opening more and more Charter schools. Now we are back to the Charter School Consortium’s and it being a very lucrative business on the taxpayer’s dime (that is about all a dollar is worth today).