Enormous Student Data Disclosure Threatens Student Privacy

“The state legislature must not allow corporations to download and take ownership of sensitive and confidential student information for potential commercial use. This is not in the best interests of children, schools, and families.”

BLOGCEA

CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg spoke with several reporters today about the data breech, including channel 3's Susan Raff. CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg spoke with several reporters today about the data breech, including Channel 3’s Susan Raff.

The Hamden School District’s disclosure of personally identifiable student data—without the knowledge of parents or students—to an education industry group should be a lightning rod for legislative action on HB 7017, An Act Concerning Student Data Privacy.

“School districts must safeguard children’s privacy, and they should never leave students and families in the dark when it comes to sharing sensitive student data,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen.

She added, “The state legislature must not allow corporations to download and take ownership of sensitive and confidential student information for potential commercial use. This is not in the best interests of children, schools, and families.”

The Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER), an organization governed by corporate and industry officials, entered into an agreement with Hamden school administrators to secure personally identifiable…

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COMMON CORE STARTED AS A GREAT IDEA…

Call Gov. Phil Bryant and tell him to Veto SB2161 601- 359-3150 and save our children from this disaster!
3. “They took what elementary schoolers had been doing IN THE STATES WITH THE HIGHEST STANDARDS ALREADY and then DROPPED MOST OF IT DOWN 1-2 GRADES and called that “accelerated learning.” BUT there was a REASON that 4th grade material was done IN FOURTH GRADE. It was developmentally appropriate! Pushing kids to understand concepts 1 or 2 years beyond their little brains’ abilities IS NOT “higher standards.” Period. It’s just FRUSTRATING and making more kids hate school and feel like failures, and SQUASHING the love of reading and learning they’d have had if these ideas were presented AT THE RIGHT TIMES and in the right ways.”

elliepurple77's Blog

Okay, I’m just gonna say it: THE IDEA BEHIND COMMON CORE WAS GOOD. The higher standards and nationally leveled curriculum was a good, honest idea. Teaching kids to think critically is a good idea. BUT…what Common Core REALLY became is HORRENDOUS. Here’s what I hate MOST (trust me, there’s more) about THE REALITY OF CCSS:

1.  Obama and Gates and the Publishing companies made it 99% about PROFITS. Money for politicians, money for Gates, money for publishers of workbooks and test materials. Money for ADVERTISERS that paid for their BRAND NAMES to be included in the aligned materials and tests.

2. The people that actually wrote the standards were NOT educators, they were MARKETERS and RESEARCHERS with NO experience with CHILDREN’S LEARNING. All the REAL experts in education and child psychology are VEHEMENTLY and outspokenly against it.

3. They took what elementary schoolers had been doing IN THE STATES WITH…

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Pearson’s Yellow Brick Road

Your child’s social media accounts are being monitored for PARCC infractions by Pearson’s.

parentingthecore

I have never been happier that we refused to allow my fourth grader to take the PARCC. Yesterday, I asked her what she’s heard at school about the PARCC tests her peers have been taking. Although she has never sat for a PARCC test herself, she was able to tell me that some of the 4th grade PARCC reading passages were from the Wizard of Oz (apparently one passage was about the Emerald City, and another told the story of the Tin Man). So in theory, if your child has not yet sat for the 4th grade PARCC, you could embark on a Frank Baum marathon this weekendto give your child a leg up on his or her upcoming PARCC test.

This is one of the many logistics issues that has never made sense to me about the PARCC test security protocol: especially in the age of social media…

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The Mississippi Bill of Silence: HB 449

Mr. Moore understands fully that by removing the superintendents’ right to speak out on behalf of students and teachers, he is in effect putting a muzzle on state educators, which leaves the legislators free to run Mississippi public education as they please.
If Moore’s bill passes, superintendents and principals will no longer be able to even mention a legislative bill, action or issue in an administrative meeting or faculty meeting without fear of being charged with a misdemeanor and fined up to $10,000.

I Don't Mean to Offend, but . . . .

It came to my attention last night by a very agitated teacher that Mississippi House Education Chairman, John L. Moore (R), had submitted a bill intended to silence educators across the state on education issues. The good thing is that the teacher expressed her shock and disbelief after school hours, and by doing so, she was not in violation of Mr. Moore’s proposed “Bill of Silence.” To be fair, some of Mr. Moore’s bill is common sense and justifiable. It should be a violation of state law for school employees to use school time, school property or school supplies for political reasons (i.e. a teacher should not be emailing his/her legislators at 11:30 a.m. when the school day is in session). However, if that is all HB (House Bill) 449 was about, I would not be writing, but unfortunately, he did not stop there.

As you read through the bill…

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WYBI Wednesday: ICAPs, Common Core and More!

Phil Bryant and other Southern Regional Education Board Members are involved in this movement to minimize our children’s education. Stay aware and fight for our children. http://www.sreb.org/page/1060/mississippi.html

commoncorediva

Recently, one of my fellow anti-Common Core Warrior friends in Colorado shared with me (along with others on Facebook) about ICAPs and Colorado. Individual Career and Academic Plans combine not only Common Core Standards, but Workforce, College Career Readiness, Career Tech Education AND IEPs (for those with learning disabilities)! So, being who I am, I became curious…are there other states with ICAPs? Indeed there are! Let’s dig in, shall we?

The U.S. Dept. of Education’s Archives: Knowing the US. Dept. of Ed. has so much information on all things related to CCSS, I started here. By searching for “Individual Career and Academic Plan”, I found the following archive, titled “THE RELATIONSHIP OF INDIVIDUAL CAREER PLANS TO PROGRAMS OF STUDY AND CAREER PATHWAYS “(see: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED521422.pdf). published in Jan. 2011, it shares that back in the 1960s/70s, ICPs (Individual Career Plans) were a tool used by school guidance counselors. Then in 1983…

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PLUNKETT: #CommonCore is the last grab of freedom the runaway government will ever need.

“Common Core is but a part of a larger plan that is further along than most people understand. ”

Mississippi PEP

BY: B. Keith Plunkett @Keithplunkett

Three years ago I wrote an article about the brainchild behind Common Core and his visit to Mississippi, a guy named Marc Tucker. The article hardly created a ripple in our state at the time. No one outside of educrat circles had a clue what Common Core was then, and none of our state legislators could tell you the difference then between Common Core and an apple core (unfortunately not enough of them can now either). A few months later that began to change when the article was picked up and referenced by educational freedom and parental rights advocates in other states across the country.

Fast forward to 2012 and after having written a bit more on the subject, how it was progressing and the dangers it posed, I received a call from Senator Angela Hill. A former science teacher and all around advocate…

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TAKE ACTION AGAINST COMMON CORE IN MISSISSIPPI JAN 6, 2015

 Join parents,educators, and legislators at 11am on the Capital Steps in Jackson to express concerns to our legislators over Common Core and Common Core repackaged.

Mississippi Common Core Videos

SHOCKING CONFESSION MISSISSIPPI SCANDAL EXPOSED!

 

                                 Miss Rita Anderson compiled facts about the Common Core State Standard Initiative.

Mississippi Senator, Angela Burkes Hill gave information on Common Core State Standards to parents and teachers.  It was a standing room only event.

Mr. Glen East, Superintendent of the Gulfport School District addressed a group of parents concerning Common Core. Sen. Angela Burkes Hill and the audience were able to disclaim his notions. Need more proof?  Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K4URgulWhk

Hear what two teachers tell themselves about Common Core so they can sleep at night.  Get ready to laugh and booooo. If you know the truth about common core, you will know these two teachers are misguided.  We support teachers through this horrible situation that is stressing them out and stifling their creativity but this had to go up online.

We may not take the easy path but we need to take the right path.  We need to stop common core until it is properly analyzed for Mississippi.

Prof. Milgram on CCSS Validation Committee Rejects Standards

Prof. R. James Milgram rejects the adoption of Core Standards in Texas … or any state

Prof. R. James Milgram testified in support of a bill that would prevent Texas from adopting the Common Core State Standards. Why?
First, although he was a member of the CCSS Validation Committee, Prof. Milgram says:
“There are a number of extremely serious failings in Core Standards that make it premature for any state with serious hopes for improving the quality of the mathematical education of their children to adopt them.”
Second, Texas is considered to have finalized one if not the top mathematics standards of all states in the country. Therefore adopting the Core Standards would be a downgrade.
So what about New York?

Texas House of Representatives

Committee on State Sovereignty

Meeting: 04/14/11
10:30a.m. – 7:02p.m.

Written Testimony of R James Milgram, Professor Emeritus, Stanford University, member of the Common Core Standards Validation Committee

I would like to testify in support of the bill Rep. Huberty filed, HB 2923, to prevent the so called Core Standards, and the related curricula and tests from being adopted in Texas.

My Qualifications. I was one of the national reviewers of both the first and second drafts of the new TX math standards. I was also one of the 25 members of the CCSSO/NGA Validation Committee, and the only content expert in mathematics.

The Validation Committee oversaw the development of the new National Core Standards, and as a result, I had considerable influence on the mathematics standards in the document. However, as is often the case, there was input from many other sources – including State Departments of Education – that had to be incorporated into the standards.

A number of these sources were mainly focused on things like making the standards as non-challenging as possible. Others were focused on making sure their favorite topics were present, and handled in the way they liked.

As a result, there are a number of extremely serious failings in Core Standards that make it premature for any state with serious hopes for improving the quality of the mathematical education of their children to adopt them. This remains true in spite of the fact that more than 35 states have already adopted them.

For example, by the end of fifth grade the material being covered in arithmetic and algebra in Core Standards is more than a year behind the early grade expectations in most high achieving countries. By the end of seventh grade Core Standards are roughly two years behind.

  • Typically, in those countries, much of the material in Algebra I and the first semester of Geometry is covered in grades 6, 7, or 8, and by the end of ninth grade, students will have finished all of our Algebra I, almost all of our Algebra II content, and our Geometry expectations, including proofs, all at a more sophisticated level than we expect.
  • Consequently, in many of the high achieving countries, students are either expected to complete a standard Calculus course, or are required to finish such a course to graduate from High School (and over 90% of the populations typically are high school graduates).

Besides the issue mentioned above, Core Standards in Mathematics have very low expectations. When we compare the expectations in Core Standards with international expectations at the high school level we find, besides the slow pacing, that Core Standards only cover Algebra I, much but not all of the expected contents of Geometry, and about half of the expectations in Algebra II. Also, there is no discussion at all of topics more advanced than these.

Problems with the actual mathematics in Core Math Standards As a result of all the political pressure to make Core Standards acceptable to the special interest groups involved, there are a number of extremely problematic mathematical decisions that were made in writing them. Chief among them are:

1. The Core Mathematics Standards are written to reflect very low expectations. More exactly, the explicitly stated objective is to prepare students not to have to take remedial mathematics courses at a typical community college. They do not even cover all the topics that are required for admission to any of the state universities around the country, except possibly those in Arizona, since the minimal expectations at these schools are three years of mathematics including at least two years of algebra and one of geometry.

  • Currently, about 40% of entering college freshmen have to take remedial mathematics.
  • For such students there is less than a 2% chance they will ever successfully take a college calculus course.
  • Calculus is required to major in essentially all of the most critical areas: engineering, economics, medicine, computer science, the sciences, to name just a few.

2. An extremely unusual approach to geometry from grade 7 on, focusing on rigid transformations.  It was argued by members of the writing committee that this approach is rigorous (true), and is, in fact, the most complete and accurate development of the foundations of geometry that is possible at the high school level (also probably true).  But

  • it focuses on sophisticated structures teachers have not studied or even seen before.
  • As a result, maybe one in several hundred teachers will be capable of teaching the new material as intended.
  • However, there is an easier thing that teachers can do – focus on student play with rigid transformations, and the typical curriculum that results would be a very superficial discussion of geometry, and one where there are no proofs at all.

Realistically, the most likely outcome of the Core Mathematics geometry standards is the complete suppression of the key topics in Euclidean geometry including proofs and deductive reasoning.

The new Texas Mathematics Standards

As I am sure you are aware, Texas has spent the past year constructing new draft mathematics standards, and I was one of the national reviewers of both the first and second drafts. The original draft did a better job of pacing than Core Standards, being about one year ahead of them by the end of eighth grade, so not nearly as far behind international expectations. Additionally, they contained a reasonable set of standards for a pre-calculus course, and overall a much more reasonable set of high school standards.

There were a large number of problems as well – normal for a first draft. However, the second draft had fixed almost all of these issues, and the majority of my comments on the second draft were to suggest fixes for imprecise language and some clarifications of what the differences are between the previous approaches to the lower grade material in this country and the approaches in the high achieving countries.

It is also worth noting that the new Texas lower grade standards are closer to international approaches to the subject than those of any other state.

I think it is safe to say that the new Texas Math Standards that are finally approved by the Texas Board of Education will be among the best, if not the best, in the country. (I cannot say this with complete certainty until I have seen the final draft. But since I am, again, one of the national reviewers, this should be very soon.)
So it seems to me that you have a clear choice between

  • Core Standards – in large measure a political document that, in spite of a number of real strengths, is written at a very low level and does not adequately reflect our current understanding of why the math programs in the high achieving countries give dramatically better results;
  • The new Texas Standards that show every indication of being among the best, if not the best, state standards in the country. They are written to prepare student to both enter the workforce after graduation, and to take calculus in college if not earlier. They also reflect very well, the approaches to mathematics education that underlie the results in the high achieving countries.

For me, at least, this would not be a difficult choice. So for these many reasons I strongly support HR 2923, and hope the distinguished members of this committee will support it as well.

Respectfully, R. James Milgram

IS THE US DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION VIOLATING FEDERAL LAW BY DIRECTING STANDARDS, TESTS, AND CURRICULA?

IS THE US DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION VIOLATING FEDERAL LAW BY DIRECTING STANDARDS, TESTS, AND CURRICULA?             by Editorial Staff  Analysis conducted by former general counsel and former deputy general counsel of U.S. Department of Education

Despite three federal laws that prohibit federal departments or agencies from directing, supervising or controlling elementary and secondary school curricula, programs of instruction and instructional materials, the U.S. Department of Education (“Department”) has placed the nation on the road to a national curriculum, according to a new report written by a former general counsel and former deputy general counsel of the United States Department of Education.

The Road to a National Curriculum: The Legal Aspects of the Common Core Standards, Race to the Top, and Conditional Waivers is sponsored by Pioneer Institute, the Federalist Society, the American Principles Project, and the Pacific Research Institute of California.

With only minor exceptions, the General Education Provisions Act, the Department of Education Organization Act, and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), ban the Department from directing, supervising, or controlling elementary and secondary school curriculum, programs of instruction, and instructional materials.

“The Department has designed a system of discretionary grants and conditional waivers that effectively herds states into accepting specific standards and assessments favored by the Department,” said Robert S. Eitel, who co-authored the report with Kent D. Talbert.

The authors find that the Obama administration has used the Race to the Top Fund and the Race to the Top Assessment Program to push states to adopt standards and assessments that are substantially the same across nearly all states.

“By leveraging funds through its Race to the Top Fund and the Race to the Top Assessment Program, the Department has accelerated the adoption and implementation of the Common Core State Standards (“CCSS”) in English language arts and mathematics, as well as the development of common assessments based on those standards,” added Talbert, former General Counsel of the Department.

Through its Race to the Top Assessment Program, the authors explain how the Department has awarded $362 million to consortia to develop common assessments and measure student achievement. Two consortia have won a total of $330 million, and each has been awarded an additional $15.9 million supplemental grant to “help” states move to common standards and assessments.
“There is no constitutional or statutory basis for national standards, national assessments, or national curricula,” said Bill Evers, research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and Koret Task Force on K-12 Education member. “The two testing consortia funded by the U.S. Department of Education have already expanded their activities well beyond the limits of the law. As this paper recommends, the actions of the Department warrant congressional hearings.”

One of the consortia has stated directly that it intends to use these federal funds to support curriculum materials and that it expects to use the money to create a “model curriculum” and instructional materials “aligned with the CCSS” pushed by the Race to the Top Fund. Secretary Arne Duncan has said that the work of the two consortia includes “developing curriculum frameworks” and “instructional modules.”

“Frankly, this makes sense,” said Eitel. “How can one design assessments without taking into account what is taught? But the legal concern is that these federally funded assessments will ultimately direct the course of elementary and secondary course content across the nation,” Eitel added. “This raises a fundamental question of whether the Department is exceeding its statutory boundaries,” Talbert said.

“Proponents of national standards, curriculum and tests claim they?re merely a logical extension of previous federal education initiatives,” said Pioneer Institute Executive Director Jim Stergios.

“The key difference is that prior to Race to the Top and the recently announced federal waivers, the US Department of Education abided by statutes explicitly prohibiting federal direction, supervision, or control of curricula or instruction.”

The authors also explore how the Department?s NCLB conditional waiver program, announced last September, is driving the states toward a national K-12 curriculum and course content. To obtain a waiver from the Department, each state must declare whether it has “adopted college- and career ready standards” in reading/language arts and mathematics “that are common to a significant
number of States.” States seeking waivers must also declare whether they are participating “in one of two State consortia that received a grant under the Race to the Top competition.” The Common Core State Standards and the assessments consortia are effectively the only ones that fit these descriptions.

“Our greatest concern arises from the Department?s decision to cement the use of the Common Core State Standards and assessment consortia through conditional waivers,” said Eitel. “The waiver authority granted by Congress in No Child Left Behind does not permit the Secretary to gut NCLB wholesale and impose these conditions,” added Talbert. “As shown by the eleven states that have already applied for waivers, most states will accept the Common Core State Standards
and the assessment conditions in order to get waivers,” Talbert stated.

States need not apply for waivers, the authors said, but most states are desperate enough to escape No Child Left Behind to agree to the conditions. “And once a state receives a waiver, escapes NCLB?s strict accountability requirements, and makes the heavy investments required by the standards, that state will do whatever it takes to keep its coveted waiver,” said Eitel.

In the view of the authors, these efforts will necessarily result in a de facto national curriculum and instructional materials effectively supervised, directed, or controlled by the Department through the NCLB waiver process.

In their analysis, Eitel and Talbert propose several recommendations, including the enactment of legislation clarifying that the Department cannot impose conditions under its waiver authority, as well as congressional hearings on Race to the Top and waivers to ascertain the Department’s compliance with federal law.

Pioneer Institute led a campaign in 2010 to oppose the adoption of national standards, producing a four-part series reviewing evolving drafts. The reports compared them with existing Massachusetts and California standards, and found that the federal versions contained weaker content in both ELA and math. The reports, listed below, were authored by curriculum experts R. James Milgram,
emeritus professor of mathematics at Stanford University; Sandra Stotsky, former Massachusetts Board of Education member and University of Arkansas Professor; and Ze?ev Wurman, a Silicon Valley executive who helped develop California’s education standards and assessments.

Why Race to the Middle: First-Class State Standards Are Better than Third Class National Standards

Fair to Middling: A National Standards Progress Report

The Emperor?s New Clothes: National Assessments Based on Weak „College and Career Readiness Standards

Common Core?s Standards Still Don?t Make the Grade: Why Massachusetts and California Must Retain Control Over Their Academic Destinies

Download PDF here http://pioneerinstitute.org/download/the-road-to-a-national-curriculum/

Original Post is here:

http://pioneerinstitute.org/education/is-the-us-department-of-education-violating-federal-law-by-directing-standards-tests-and-curricula/