Consolidation, Vital Step To Government Control
Consolidation – A Vital Step to Government Control
Of Education and the Economy
By Debbie Pelley
I really appreciate this opportunity to share with you a few of the things I have learned these past 20 years as a teacher, political activist, and researcher about educational issues in Arkansas and the nation. However, I have mixed feelings. It is a real joy to have the opportunity to expose the deceit in an effort to change things, but on the other hand, it is no fun to share all these negative things about education. A couple of years ago I was sharing some of this information with a teacher in a Christian school. At the end of our conversation he said, “You sure are a depressing person to talk to about public education.” That hit me pretty hard, and I felt a little like Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, and did not feel appreciated at all. It is so much easier and so much more fun to share good tidings. I have very little good tidings to share with you tonight, but I do have a great deal of truth. And it is the truth that sets man free.
Benefits of Smaller Schools
I want to briefly address consolidation and then come back to it at the end of my presentation. Using common sense is enough to make most of us in this group recoil at the thought of consolidating our schools and turning them into inner city type schools. If common sense were not enough, there are numerous studies that show the following benefits of smaller schools: (1)Higher student achievement (2) Reduced violence and disruptive behavior (3) Reduced effect of poverty on student achievement (4) Improved attendance and graduation rates (5) Increased teacher satisfaction (6) More cost effective, not less. We have about 100 of these studies m posted on the AFA website www.afaar.org. Some of these studies are embedded in other studies. In our research we found nothing of significance indicating larger schools had any advantage.
Agenda Behind Consolidation
I am sure that many of you like me shook your heads in bewilderment as to why Governor Huckabee would waste his political capital and rile superintendents, teachers and parents, especially those of his own political party, by calling for mass consolidation. Initiating mass consolidation on the part of a republican governor is no way to win friends and influence people in Arkansas. Governor Tucker found that out when he tried it. Therefore, there has to be a mighty important agenda or plan in the making for him to take such risks. We are quite sure that we have discovered that agenda and will share it with you at the end of this presentation. Most often, I say we instead of I. That is because another teacher and I have been partners in this research and in the effort to expose the truth for years. .
Arkansas On Cutting Edge of Educational Reforms
As a teacher in Arkansas which has been on the cutting age of all these educational reforms, (and I am going to show you that Arkansas has been and is on the cutting edge) I have been able to observe the intricate, deceptive, and subtle techniques by which a government takes control of the schools and the curriculum in an entire state.
In 1987 after the first stages of the Clinton's so-called local control educational reforms were implemented, and the teachers were exhausted and demoralized over this new government control ordeal, I read an article about these new standards ("Beyond the Standards" by Anne Farris, Arkansas Times, May, 1988.) in which President Clinton was quoted as saying, "It's the most important thing I've ever done," and Hillary was quoted as saying, "We're getting to the starting gate." (See also Marc Tucker's Hillary letter: http://www.eagleforum.org/educate) I was stunned, thinking what else can they do to us and puzzled over this matter for some time much like I have puzzled over this consolidation plan.
As I look back at the article now, I can see that many of the components of OBE and STW were right there in the article. The words were there, but I didn't understand the meaning. At that time I did not know what the definition of "is" was. In my estimation, we are still less than half way through those reforms at this time. If anything good can come out of this consolidation nightmare, it will be that it has prepared the public to hear and learn about the other half that is coming down the tracks unless there is a massive uprising. Hillary was certainly right back in 1987 when she said, “we’re just getting to the starting gate.”
Just as I did not understand the words in that article, legislators have passed and are still passing assessment and accountability laws that they don't understand. The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) tells legislators and the public that these tests will hold teachers accountable and will bring about rigorous standards and improved education. On the other hand, they are practicing something totally different by training the teacher to improve test scores, but not education, and thereby defrauding the parents and taxpayers. Below is the way this was done. I relate this from personal experience.
Throw Away Textbooks and Teach What's On The Test,
Co-op Presenter Tells Teachers
In February of 1998, a representative from the Co-op, in one of the many teacher workshops he conducted, told us teachers, "The state of Arkansas has given you frameworks. The state is saying this is what you should be teaching. This is what is on the test. This is what teachers are going to have to do. A lot of places are throwing away the textbook and are just using these Arkansas frameworks." Then he reminded us that if the test scores don't measure up, the state can take over the school. Academic distress laws allows the state to take over the school if scores don't measure up.
He jokingly said he was there to make good teachers of us in an hour and gave us some other practical suggestions that he said had increased scores up to 11% in some areas. Note, he said improved test scores, not improved education) One of those suggestions was to give good students enrichment work (teachers call that busy work) while we taught and re-taught the test item objectives to slower students. He also recommended working diligently with borderline students to bring them up to passing and to forget those who didn’t have much chance of passing it anyway.
In my opinion, these practices corrupt the scores and the purpose of the test in much the same way teaching the objectives of an IQ test would corrupt those scores, and I first thought this man was advocating practices that would not be acceptable to our State Department. I even made an effort to discuss this with two different education officials. However, I learned later that these workshops were being conducted all over the state under the guise of "aligning the curriculum to the frameworks." Numerous superintendents have now informed us that they were being told the exact same thing by Ray Simon, the Director of the State Department of Education as well as from other Department of Education officials, and that Ray Simon had told them in a meeting, "you will be given test score data on your district; use that data to drive your district."
Then in the joint education committee meeting, July 1998, I heard ADE Director Ray Simon basically say that textbooks were a hindrance to good teaching which sounded a lot like throwing the textbooks away, as the representative from the Co-op suggested. Then in a workshop conducted by Ray Simon's assistant director, Jeanine Riggs (one of many conducted over the state), teachers were told (and this is on tape) that "we would be hearing terms like 'weeding out' and advised to look at our curriculum and do the things that teach directly to the standards and the test and let things go that don't." The Director himself said concerning the benchmark standards, "It's not something teachers will do in addition to; it will be done in place of."
Teachers Say Test Scores Don't Reflect Improved Education
All these things confirmed over and over what we had realized back in 1991 that the purpose of the reforms and teaching to the tests was to gain complete federal control of our curriculum and our schools. According to a survey in Arkansas of 700 teachers, 83% of the respondents said, "Aligning school curriculum with state tests may make test scores look better but actually provide less education." Eighty percent of teachers in a survey in Kentucky said students would not be equipped for basic skills under their KIRIS state test. In a Texas poll cited by the late Senator Wellstone, 85% of teacher said they neglected subjects not covered by the Texas state test.
All this emphasis on teaching to the test resulted in a moral dilemma for teachers – whether to obey authorities or continue to educate the students with the best curriculum and methods. And although we have been frustrated many times because we could not get the teachers to become activists and outwardly oppose these reforms, I have to say that on the whole the teachers have been very effective at passive resistance. They have continued to do all the extra work and put it on paper, but a large majority of them have gone right back in the classroom and taught the kids the best they could, but it is becoming harder and harder and in many situations impossible.
And all this time these reforms were being touted as local control; and the Department was, and still is, saying that these standards were developed by teachers in Arkansas. We have learned that if one will look at the principles the reforms are touting and go to the extreme opposite then that is what they are really doing.
Educational Reforms Began In Arkansas Under Clinton Administration
The testing movement and government control started in Arkansas back in the 80’s with the Clinton’s educational reforms, and in particular with the 1991 Act 236 law, which initiated performance assessments and standards. At that time they were called outcomes or OBE. (Performance assessments and outcome-based education are always linked together. Performance assessments will eventually be portfolios. The other performance assessments are transitional stages for portfolios.) Even though 90% of Act 236 was supposedly repealed, all our reforms were founded on and are still being driven by that law. The Republican administration will deny that, but just last week Dr .Dave Westmoreland, in the State Department, told me that the math standards were based on the Act 236 of 1991. He told me I may not remember that law – he had no idea how familiar I was with it. The real truth is that about 90% of ACT 236 has been fulfilled, and the rest is in the making.
Read these quotes from Act 236 and see if this is not exactly what Arkansas is doing right now.
Quotes from ACT 236, 1991 (The Clintons’ Outcome Based Education Law)
That last quote saying the National Alliance would assist Arkansas in restructuring provides the key to what all the words in the law mean. Marc Tucker is the director of that organization which is a subsidiary organization to the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) which oversees a whole host of other organizations, and in his book Thinking For A Living, a book which President Clinton asked his entire campaign staff to read, Tucker says, “The former members of the Communist block in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union ……have done a better job than we of building, effective human-resource development programs.
Tucker is the most influential man in the nation on educational reforms and literally wrote the book on many of them. In fact you can read Marc Tucker’s plan and make people think you have prophetic gifts. Just prophesy what he outlines in his works and watch it unfold all over the United States, and Arkansas was one of the first states where he experimented with his plans. He is a close friend of the Clintons and basically wrote Goals 2000. He is sort of a front man for all the powerful charitable organizations and leftist educators.
Quotes by Marc Tucker, Hillary’ Ally and Collaborator
Tucker outlined his plan (he called it his vision) in a letter to Hillary Clinton right after Clinton was elected. ( see http://www.eagleforum.org/educate) That letter has been placed in the Congressional Records. It begins with these words: Dear Hillary: I still cannot believe you won. But utter delight that you did pervades all the circles in which I move. I met last week in David Rockefeller’s office….It was a great celebration. This same model for reforms was published in a booklet by Tucker called , A Human Resources Development Plan for the United States. a model which controls all of education and the economy. Much of his “vision” for education and the economy have now become a part of national laws and policies including Arkansas. (Note: NCEE now says, 4-7-03) it is not one of their publications even though it is included on their order form in the copy we have. Three or four years ago they just said it was no longer in print.)
In 1989 in a twenty million dollar grant that Marc Tucker wrote naming Arkansas, Kentucky, New York, Vermont and Washington as partners, Tucker recommends “Break the Mold Schools” and says,” breaking the mold means breaking this system, root and branch.” He says, It will require a change in the prevailing culture – the attitudes, values, norms and accepted ways of doing things -…we will know that we have succeeded when there are enough transformed schools ….that their approach to education sets the norms, frames the attitudes and defines the accepted ways of doing things ….Then there will be no turning back. Tucker also says they will “define the policy framework for the integration of health and human services with education services.”
Burton Elliot was the signer for Arkansas on this grant. Tucker also praises a school which he says, "Instead of teaching through textbooks and worksheets, teachers use museums, historical sites and local experts, the school sends its students out on 400 field studies each year - another reference to doing away with textbooks. Ted Sizer is the director of another organization named in Act 236. He said in the preface of one of his books, "'Old morality' is no longer a large part of life in America…this is the 'new morality' toward which we are to guide ourselves and other people. …The 'old morality' can and should be scrapped." [From Moral Education: Five Lectures by Theodore Sizer]
Quotes by Marc Tucker
From Human Resources Development Plan for the United States
and also found in his letter to Hillary Clinton http://www.eagleforum.org/educate
The following are quotes from the letter to Hillary Clinton:
“What is essential is that we create a seamless web of opportunities to develop one’s skills that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same system for everyone. P. 2
On the page where Marc Tucker describes his vision he says, "We have a national system of education in which curriculum, pedagogy, examinations and teacher education and licensure systems are all linked to the national standards. . . The new general education standard becomes the target for all basic education programs. . . . 4, 8
"A system of labor market boards is established at the local, state and federal levels to coordinate the systems for job training, postsecondary professional and technical education, adult basic education, job matching, and counseling. . . It is all taken care of at the local labor market board office by one counselor accessing the integrated computer-based program." p. 9
"The object is to create a single comprehensive system for professional and technical education that meets the requirements of everyone from high school students to skilled dislocated workers, from the hard core unemployed to employed adults who want to improve their prospects." p. 13
(Page numbers are from the booklet, not the letter to Hilllary mentioned above, but the letter has almost exact language.) There are numerous other quotes similar to these.
Hillary Clinton's Article Promotes STW
Hillary Clinton was on the board of the National Center, and it has been reported that she received from one hundred to one hundred seventy thousand in fees from the National Center around 1991, served on the National Standard's Project founding board. and co-authored an article in March, 1992 with Ira Magaziner (the same person who wrote her health care bill) in the Educational Leadership magazine in which they make many recommendations that would lead to a managed economy and that are consistent with Marc Tucker's writing - the CIM at about age 16, universal levy against businesses for worker training, and a comprehensive system of employment and training boards to oversee the School-to-Work transition..)
Kentucky Called Lighthouse For the Rest of The Nation
Kentucky is another state that Marc Tucker mentions in his 20- million dollar grant in which Arkansas was a partner. He says of Kentucky, "The state’s 1990 sweeping education reform act demands just the kinds of changes in schools and school systems contemplated by NASDC. That law is outcome-based, requiring new performance assessment measures of student performance and rewards and sanctions for schools based on those assessments…..It increased aid to education by about one-third." He goes on to say that part of that money would pay for much more staff development for teachers. (A full transcript of this grant will be on the wesbsite www.afaar.org soon.) and will be called "Arkansas and Kentucky grant by Marc Tucker "
(Staff development is basically retraining teachers to think like Marc Tucker. They start in very subtle ways, however, as Ted Sizer, director of another organization listed in Act 236 to help Arkansas restructure, said "with small and cautious gestures, " and to start by "focusing on a few of the most promising and apparently least threatening" principles. Horace's School, p. 210 and Horace, March, 1993 He also said, "But given the new roles for teachers we suggest, won't many people have to be replaced? Our motto is 'Nobody will go, and everybody will change." Of course, some may not find our plan congenial and will leave of their own accord." Horace's School: Redesigning the American High School, p. 165)
In 1993 US Education Secretary Richard Riley called Kentucky a lighthouse for the rest of the nation and said President Clinton's Goals 2000 would help states duplicate what Kentucky has done and is doing. [Herald Leader, 1993 by Lucy May.] That is why we keep hearing about how wonderful Kentucky’s educational reforms are despite the fact that in no year in the 90’s did Kentucky’s ACT scores exceed those of Arkansas’s and in seven of those years were lower than Arkansas. Senator Argue, Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, was still saying in writing as late as April that Kentucky was outperforming Arkansas even though newspapers in Kentucky were proclaiming disappointment that Kentucky’s ACT scores had dropped this past year, the year that students graduating from high school were in kindergarten the year their reforms began. The ACT test is the test on which remediation rates and scholarships are based in Arkansas and other states so should be the most reliable measure we have. Following is what really happened in Kentucky.. [In a letter from Advanced Systems dated November 21, 1994 they say, "I believe that the lesson we have learned in other states, especially Kentucky, can be of great value to Arkansas. ]
Testing Experts Call Kentucky's KIRIS Test "Seriously Flawed."
And Outlines 50 pages of Possible Legal Problems with the Test.
"In July, 1991, after a state Supreme Court issued a decree much like Lakeview in Arkansas, Advanced Systems (a tiny New Hampshire firm) was named contractor for the five year Kentucky (KIRIS) Test, the largest contract of its kind ever awarded in the US testing industry." [Quoted from Advanced Systems own documents) Four years later a panel of experts from five universities, commissioned by Kentucky's Office of Education Accountability, issued a scathing report saying the KIRIS test was "seriously flawed" and included a 50 page appendix of possible legal problems. [32 million for the first five years and almost 40 million for the next 4 years. Senate Floor Leader, Dan Kelly, in July, 1997 said, "We have already spent more than $100 million to develop, administer and grant rewards on the basis of this flawed test."]
From the very beginning these tests were controversial and were the constant subject of many newspaper articles throughout the state. (I have about 100 of these articles that make this testing experience in Kentucky look like a comedy of errors.
Curricular Validity of Kentucky's KIRIS Test Questioned by Testing Experts
(67% of one year's test was puzzles.)
These testing experts (from five universities) discussed curricular validity on the Kentucky tests. They said that some of the items on the 1993-94 math assessments "might be characterized as brain teasers or math puzzle type exercises…. and might not be appropriate for instruction in the classroom. These testing experts said puzzles constituted 67% of the 1991-92 KIRIS assessments and 40% of the 1993-94 assessments. They also said that the Debra P. court held that for the assessments to be valid that the majority of teachers must recognize the skills as being something they should teach.
(The president of Advanced Systems testing company said in 1994 that they had earned their reputation almost by accident, saying, "We couldn't afford to hire anybody who knew anything about testing, so we hired people who were bright and committed." (information taken from "Little Firm that Could" www/teacher mag.org, June 8, 1994 Education Week) , Advanced Systems probably earned their reputation because in 1993 they took part in the New Standards Project, which is a branch of National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE), headed by Marc Tucker, Hillary Clinton's friend. Hillary served on the National Standards Board and was wife of the President at that time.)
Testing Experts Say Kentucky Tests Favor a Liberal Viewpoint
The panel of testing experts who evaluated the Kentucky Tests also said two thirds of the reading passages were on controversial topics and that, "selections are pro multiculturalism, pro women's rights and non traditional roles, pro animal rights, pro consumer rights and pro environment." . They also said the following:
"Taken as a whole, the test favors a liberal viewpoint."
"Many questions appear to seek a politically correct response."
"Religion is often cast in a negative light."
"Multiculturalism is over emphasized."
"The feminist viewpoint is given preference over traditionalist views.
In February, 1998, Kentucky finally terminated its contract with Advanced Systems, saying Advanced Systems had failed to deliver a "usable product." [This was a quote from the executive director of Office of Education Accountability] The vote in the Kentucky Senate was 35-1 to scrap the KIRIS tests. [Leader Dan Kelly of Springfield said the lopsided vote in the Senate of 35-1 indicated that, "We have said very loudly that the KIRIS system is not valid and shall end," and other senators said "the testing system has accumulated too much bad feeling from teachers and parents." Senator Verne McGaha, a retired teacher and a freshman senator said he "faulted the Education Department for not responding to the public discontent, and said that the state should rely on teachers' judgments of how pupils are doing, not an expensive and problematic state test." Quoted from Louisville Courier-Journal 2-20-98. Some legislators are asking that the KIRIS test be replaced with a nationally normed test.]
These testing experts also said the Kentucky Department of education was "misinforming, misleading, exaggerating and overstating student achievement." That sounds like cheating to me. Teachers used to be accountable to parents and the community. Now they are held accountable to politicians and bureaucrats. When teachers are held accountable to politicians, isn't that a little like the fox (politicians) guarding the chicken house (the teachers)
The same testing company, Advanced Systems, that designed Kentucky's test, designed Arkansas's state tests – benchmark, end of level, and formerly exit exams. A year or so ago Arkansas changed testing companies; but would you believe, the company they hired is directed by someone who was formerly influential in Advanced System's company.
Because Senator Argue and the media kept beating the drum about Kentucky's wonderful reforms, I did some more research and found a website that has the annual 27 indicators to measure progress made toward the eight National Education Goals since 1990, when the Goals were established.
I found that Kentucky had indeed improved in many of these areas, but most had nothing to do with what we would call educational improvement. Most of their areas of improvement were not things we consider educational improvements. A few of the areas they improved in were as follows:
· The percentage of public school teachers reporting that they participated in service or professional development programs
· Kentucky increased the percentage of mothers who received early prenatal care.
· Increased the number of children with disabilities enrolled in preschools
· The percentage of public school principals reporting that the parent associations in their schools have influence on school policy,
· Kentucky reduced the percentage of infants born with one or more of four health risks
· Kentucky increased the percentage of U.S citizens who reported that they registered to vote.
When Arkansas’s OBE law, Act 236 of 1991was passed, it was sponsored by two conservative senators who were told by Bill Clinton “we’re just trying to get some values back into the classroom.” (We know whose values now, don't we)There was only one vote out of 135 opposing it. Seven years later in 1997 there had been so much controversy that most legislators were convinced it was a bad law and went into the legislative session calling the OBE law dead in the waters. They openly admitted they had not understood the terms of the law and did not know anything about the organizations that were named in the law to help Arkansas put the law into action, and indeed we understand why. (Lu Hardin and Russ Stanley were the senator sponsors.)
This brings us to this Republican administration. I had great expectations when our Republican Governor Huckabee was elected and thought sure that things in Arkansas would change but not so. In a recent superintendent survey with almost a 50% response, almost every superintendent indicated that government control has increased these last five years – under our Republican Governor, a governor that told us over and over that he believed in and supported local control
Under Huckabee's administration, the legislators did strike out most of ACT 236 in a 1997 law and took out the names of the liberal organization (but it has all been accomplished as you can see for yourself if you read the quotes from it, and it has been done in accordance with the philosophies and methods of these organization even though their names were taken out.). Then right at the end of the same session the legislature passed The Workforce Education Act of 1997 which is the third stage of Goals 2000 and STW. Amazingly, opponents of the OBE law, Act 236, voted for it in mass, and most of them had no idea there was any connection to Goals 2000 or School To Work..(They did not know what the meaning of “is” was.) Even President Clinton and his Secretary of Education, Richard Riley, said STW and Workforce Development were the next two stages of Goals 2000, the Outcome Based Education law.
Legislators had learned some of the OBE terminology but knew nothing of the STW terminology,. and most of us who were closely watching were not even aware of the bill until it was passed. School-To-Work (STW) career opportunities, career academies, small learning communities, workforce development ,CAPS, & TAPS are all synonymous with STW.. All terminology that has ever been used in the educational reforms by Bill and Hillary and Tucker has changed names several times. Most of the terms have at least 5-6 aliases. [We just recently learned by phone from a National Alliance employee that they changed their name to America’s Choice because the controversy over Goals 2000 and Outcome Based Education which they planned had tainted their original name.]
Most people would also be surprised to know that Willard R. Daggett, who was contracted to head up the Character Education Program that is a component of Governor Huckabee's Smart Start program in Arkansas, is described in fliers as an "Eminent Outcome -Based Reformer & Implementer" who is "Shaping America's Future Through Outcome-Based Education." Daggett is from New York and has been a featured speaker
all over the nation with William (Bill) Spady, the man who is known as the father of OBE. Daggett received from $7,000 to $10,000 a day for his presentations. (For copies of these fliers, contact AFA at 870- 932-5065). One large Northeast Arkansas school district’s school board refused to allow Daggett to follow through on a scheduled co-op staff development presentation (which costs $7,000.00 for one day) on their campus after reading quotes from Daggett’s books and flyers. Although Governor Huckabee denied it, Daggett was also one of the main experts hired through NSCI to do teacher staff development.
Willard Daggett addressed 1,500 teachers (May 2, 2002) and principals concerning Smart Step, Huckabee's new program in Little Rock, (May 2, 2000, The May 2 Democrat-Gazette called Daggett a consultant to the state Education Department, and printed l02 lines summarizing Daggett's remarks at this Smart Step summit. Simon is quoted as saying, "We'll use national experts in the fields of assessment and standards." Evidently Daggett is the main expert.
However, the Governor said in a letter dated April 2, 2000, "I am still emphatically opposed to OBE and will continue to ensure that the state is not mandating OBE to the schools. And people have been led to believe that Daggett was contracted to head up Character Education. In fact, the Governor's office said in a letter, "William Daggett is helping the Department of Education compile a model character education. . . Daggett will have no influence over any issue or subject that is mandated to schools from the state." From the article in the paper it appears Daggett had unbelievable influence.
Willard Daggett has also gained a reputation for dishonesty which has been reported in several newspapers and academic journals for flat out lying about numerous facts and educational research, and personal information. He claimed to be the president of a college when in actuality he was just a professor there and fabricated many other stories. His dishonesty was the feature of one newspaper that earned a national award. Yet thousands of dollars have been used to disseminate his character education material to counselors across the state.
Expert Douglas Reeves Hired By ADE
Says Competition Is Part Of Modern Daly Psychosis
Douglas Reeves was contracted to oversee Arkansas's standards, testing, and accountability programs a few years ago and was featured on Arkansas’s Smart Start web page. This quote came from AR Dem-Gaz. Feb. 23, 1999. “Education Department officials developed the accountability system with advice from Doug Reeves, a Colorado educational consultant. Reeves also helped the state develop the Smart Start initiative supposedly rigorous standards. These are quotes from various writings by Douglas Reeves. As I said before, if one watches carefully what educational reformers say publicly and go to the extreme opposite, that is usually what they are underhandedly saying and doing.
· Douglas Reeves wrote an article “Responding to the Rhetoric of the Radical Right” in which he suggests that school personnel “Fight them [the right] at every turn.” School Administrator, March, 1998 p. 37
· Douglas Reeves says, “Competition is not part of the human spirit, but part of modern day psychosis,” and that competition perpetuates “the caste system as it presently exists,” and that the competitive model is not appropriate for the educational setting. p 30 & pp 24-26 Making Standards Work
· Douglas Reeves says he believes in multi-age classrooms and a K-2 continuum grade card. He says retention is not fair for children, that other forms of assessment are better than letter or number grades, and that “some students will learn to read in one year, while others may need three years.” p 19 Making Standards Work & Smart Start website arkedu.state.ar.us
· Douglas Reeves doesn’t believe in norm-referenced (standardized) tests and says that school districts’ test scores should not be compared. [This is the man who is heading up our so-called tough, rigorous accountability system.] pp 31 Making Standards Work.
Reeves's organization told me on the phone that they do tests for states all over the nation, but Arkansas is their biggest client and Arkansas is implementing these standards on a broader scale than all the other states they were working with.
A Smart Start pamphlet dated November, 1999 praised two schools for doing away with grades, reflecting the philosophy of Douglas Reeves.. All these are those rigorous standards they are setting. (Those schools were Weiner & Bentonville.)
Math Crusades And
Qualifications of a Math Specialist
Another area where there has been total deception is with the math standards and math crusades. Math Standards Dr. Ray Simon profusely praised Math Crusades (also known as Arkansas Crusades and the K-4 Crusades) in his address to the joint Educational Meeting on July 16, 1998, saying seven to ten thousand teachers had already been trained through that program and that he was going to make it a priority for these Math Crusade concepts to be institutionalized by our teachers. Math Crusades functioned on a ten million dollar grant matched by Arkansas grant of ten million dollars. In Math Crusades material they say the following (1) “Grading can be detrimental to student willingness to learn and should be replaced.” p. 1 (2) “The long tradition of grading students has a detrimental effect on many students.” p. 1 (3) “ Another self-assessment is daily writing in a journal.” (This is math evaluation for K-4) (4) A quote saying the “correct” answer is not as important as what the student thinks. p.1. (5)
All the teaching manuals (at least 6 of them) used in Math Crusades and the college courses and staff developments were produced in California. Scores in California plummeted to the bottom –last out of 39 states taking the NAEP. In textbooks used in Arkansas Math Crusades at 13 university sites in Arkansas, college course textbooks say to “decreases attention to Rote Practice, Memorization, One Answer and One Method, Use of Worksheets, Written Practice and Teaching by Telling and to increase attention to “working in groups (cooperative learning) and writing about math. [This is for K-4 – doing away with traditional education]
Following is an excerpt from a teacher concerning Math Crusades: " In a K-4 Crusade college course (paid for by the state through the Arkansas Crusades grant - a ten million dollar federal grant matched by a ten million dollar state grant) the first two three hour classes were spent blowing bubbles. The presenters used this as a modeling technique to show us how to take this fun activity back into our classrooms to introduce an integrated unit on bubbles - also called thematic units. The K-4 Crusades provides the basic teacher training for teachers teaching the remedial summer school programs for K-4. Arkansas Crusades paid for six hour college credit for me and for about twenty other people in the class and for expensive text materials for the course as well. "
The qualifications for a math specialist as outlined by the State Department are:
· A bachelor's degree and three to five years of recent teaching experience within grades seven through twelve.
· A teaching philosophy that supports the Arkansas Mathematics Curriculum
· Knowledge of current research and effective practices in standards-based curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
· Experience in adult learning situations and in team problem solving. (Taken from fax from Christi Alexander, Math Specialist for ADE, May 30, 03. after a telephone conversation and request for it.
It is obvious from these qualifications this is not about math but about philosophy. Training in the philosophy is more important than training in math. Numerous teachers have more training than a bachelor's degree and more than five years teaching experience.
Career Academies Is Reason For Consolidation
Back to the consolidation issue: The reason for the push for consolidation is so they can divide the large schools into schools within schools (career academies) with each academy (school within the school) offering different career paths so the government can guide the children into a career paths chosen for them by the government and businesses – based on predictions of jobs the economy will need. Small schools aren’t large enough to divide into different career paths. Fifteen of these academies have been developed under Governor Huckabee's STW grant. Marc Tucker advocates these career academies in his most recent materials. Governor Huckabee's STW grant says, "All development activities will be coordinated with the Governor's comprehensive vision for a system of education, career preparation, and workforce education."
Several clues give away the plan. In an article in the Gazette, Feb 9, 03, there was an article that discussed small schools vs. larger schools with emphasis on the good aspects of larger schools. The article mentioned several large school districts that have divided their districts into schools within a school, called career academies. In discussing McClellan Magnet High in Little Rock, the article read, “The school’s staff and 1,066 students have been organized into three academies, engineering, multimedia, and business finance…the North Little Rock district has received funding to open two career academies –health sciences and human services, and business leadership. Other large districts were noted in the article as having the career academies, and magnet schools now being pushed by the bureaucracy are becoming career academies. Note also the great expansion of career training course offerings demanded by the recent tentative increase by the Arkansas State Board of Education (18 now required, up from 9) Coincidence??. Don’t think so! Look around and watch for other indications. I called Ron Sunseri from Oregon who was Chairman of the House Education Committee for several years (term limited now), and he confirmed that this was exactly the reason they are pushing consolidation and that the same thing happened in Oregon several years ago. He has written a book on these reforms.
In a School-To-Work Conference held in Little Rock in March, 1997, Mary Swoope, the State Program Coordinator for School-To-Work said, "School-to-Work is systemic. It changes everything. It is the whole program." Marc Tucker, who is probably the greatest influence in education in this era, said In a booklet, The Certificate of Initial Mastery: A Primer, dated April, 1994 "We would abolish vocational education as we know it and at the same time give it new life as an essential element in a new form of upper secondary education." (p. 18) [In essence all schools and colleges will become vocational education.] For more on Marc Tucker see below!
Henry Hyde Says School-to-Work Chooses Careers
For Every American Worker.
Channeling students into career paths as young as elementary grades has been the goal of School-To-Work (STW) for years now. Henry Hyde, a long time respected U. S. Representative and congressional leader said, "All future federal funding for education support . . . Goals 2000 plan, a plan which enables federal agencies to control the nation's workforce. School-to-Work chooses careers for every American worker. Children's careers are chosen for them by Business Councils and federal agencies at the earliest possible age. In some cases that is third grade. Goals 2000 utilizes America's educational system as the infrastructure for the nationalization of the labor force in the United States." (For an article that details more of Henry Hyde Quotes and major aspects of School To Work, see Detailed Article on Major Aspects of School To Work www.afaar.org Educational Page.
Establishing these career academies is why the Governor and the bureaucrats are determined to push consolidation even though there are no studies to indicate its success. Ray Simon, himself, said the purpose of the regional schools was not to save money. The Gazette tried to make that statement look like a slip of the tongue in its editorial, 2-23-03, but Mr. Simon really knows money is not the reason for the consolidation. Governor Huckabee told a few superintendents personally there would be very little savings. If there weren’t something sinister in the plan, the Governor and the bureaucracy would just tell the people why they want the consolidation. The emphasis in education has changed from what is good for our children to what is good for our State. Does that remind you of any political philosophy.? Our children have become test scores, human resources to be exploited for our economy. Of course, it won’t work. It never has, but ideologues and Utopians keep trying anyway.
Instead of schools serving as they did in the past to nurture our students and educate them, our children become human resources for utilitarian purposes – for the economy and job market. There are numerous quotes in Governor Huckabee’s Career Opportunities Grant that demonstrate this so well. We all know what that philosophy is called – I hope! In Jim Guy Tucker's STW application he says, "Success will be measured by asking two simple questions: (1) Does the STW system adequately prepare all students to contribute to Arkansas's economy and (2) Does it strengthen Arkansas's participation in the global economy?"
I am having to leave a great many gaps in this last section due to time. However, if you want to understand it better, go to www.afaar.org and read the article on the Educational Issues Page called "Detailed Article on Major Aspects of School To Work."
One of the centerpieces of Marc Tucker's and Hillary Clinton's vision for educational reforms is the CIM which will basically be a work certificate. It was included on an ADE time line when Act 236 was passed. Huckabee's STW grant calls for a certificate but denies that it is a CIM. In Oregon a bill was filed that would forbid employers to hire employees without this certificate. It failed, but that shows you where they are headed. Marc Tucker makes these statements about the CIM:
The latest information I have on this is 1996 called a CIM Taskit and Implementation Guide, Phase I. . A researcher from Pennsylvania, Virginia Miller, went to a National Center conference and obtained copies of this information. When I called and asked to order a copy, I was told that it is not available to anyone who does not attend a conference.
The following quote confirms the things I have discussed above. It comes from National Skill Standards Board Report to Congress in 1997 (Remember Marc Tucker recommended this board and was appointed to it by Bill Clinton:) "Although the National Skill Standards Act envisioned a national skill standards system that is voluntary and business-led, a federal role is essential to ensure that the system is consistent, possesses the necessary stature, and reflects the national interest in strengthening the U.S. economy."
Without federal involvement, skill standards for identical occupations will continue to be developed that vary greatly from region to region and from industry to industry. This plethora of standards systems would produce confusion, disparities, and a lack of access for employers, workers, students and educators. Without consistent standards nation wide, it is impossible to ensure that workers possess credentials that are
portable and transferable from employer to employer and from one locale to another. A federal role would ensure that the necessary consistency exists."
Back to Arkansas, The cincher to the controlled curriculum in Arkansas came in this legislative session with HB 2697, now Act 1467, which was rammed through the legislature the last couple days of the session and was voted on by the Senate Education committee the morning of the last day and by the full Senate that afternoon after the session had been continued a few hours.. This bill mandates the state curriculum and standards and says, The State Board of Education will establish clear, specific, challenging academic content standards which define what students shall know and be able to do in each content area. Instruction in all public schools shall be based on these academic content standards." That is a government curriculum backed up by the threat of taking over your school or consolidating it if the your school falls behind in one academic or fiscal area.
One low class could come through your school or a veteran teacher be replaced and the ADE has the power to take over any school in Arkansas and replace the superintendent and board members and/or consolidate the school if the school district fails to meet even one standard set by the state now or in the future. And we now we have fulfilled under a Republican administration Hillary Clinton’s mandate in Act 236 which so many of us have been warning about for years that says, “The State of Arkansas, through the State Board of Education and the General Education Division of the Department of Education, must determine what students must know and be able to do to meet the goals.” Act 236 page 2, lines 9-12 It just takes awhile for them to accomplish their goals, and they may retreat, backtrack and do whatever they need to do, but their plan is being fulfilled to break our traditional school system root and branch.
On the national level, just recently President Bush said in a speech carried on C-Span and posted on the web, “In 2001, we passed what's called The No Child Left Behind legislation. Inherent in the law is the vision of high standards, and money to meet the standards, and historic reforms, all of which put the education decisions of America in the hands of teachers and principals and local officials.” However, 87% percent of respondents in a recent Arkansas survey of all superintendents said NCL,B The federal legislation No Child Left Behind, will increase government control even more and will make it harder to provide quality education in Arkansas.
When Ray Simon announced to the State Board of Education May 12, 2003 that Arkansas was the fourteenth state to have their plan approved by NCLB he said, We will be working very closely with the schools over the next few weeks to make sure they understand the seriousness of what is contained in this plan and what their expectations are for performance of their children. (Doesn't look like superintendents had anything to do with it as Bush said)... We had some flexibility in crafting part of this plan, but the bulk of it was set by federal law. It was just a matter of us applying their formulas and coming up with the numbers that fit Arkansas.
That exemplifies exactly what happened in Arkansas – the rhetoric versus the reality and what will now happen at the national level as we move toward national testing and a controlled economy. It follows the same pattern of saying just the opposite of what is really happening.
That is why we must stop consolidation. Our freedom and our children's freedom depend on it. I believe we must say to our legislators. "You must take the time to learn and research these educational issues. You must go back and change this law, Act 1467, oppose the Lakeview case and Governor Huckabee's consolidation bill and others that are fulfilling the leftist agenda or we will lose or freedom. If you don't , we have no choice but to look for someone who will and use our effort, time, and money to put them in office in your place."
I think we must also pressure our legislators to pass a law or amend the constitution to elect the State School Board members. If the legislature won't do it, I believe we must work to get an initiative on the ballot to change the constitution to that effect.
Marc Tucker's Hillary letter: http://www.eagleforum.org/educate)
Flyer Giving Summary of STW (Careers) and the CIM (Gov't Work Certificate)
Detailed Article on Major Aspects of School To Work
Congressman Henry Hyde's Quotes on STW
Presentations at the Goals 2000 STW Henry Hyde Conference:
Certificate of Initial Mastery and the NCEE byVirginia Millers
Medicalization of Our Schools - by PA Rep. Sam Roherer
How Foundations Leverage Taxpayers' Money by Attorney Kent Masterson Brown
Oregon Certificate of Initial Mastery (CIM) by Oregon Rep. Ron Sunseri
OBE Alive and Well In Arkansas
ACT Scores Decrease & Unemployment Rates Soars (Kentucky)
Kentucky's Comedy of Errors (Tragedies)
Consolidation Studies - Small Schools Better
Consolidation Failures in West Virginia - By Dana D. Kelley
Revealing Quotes from Character Education Director Willard Daggett
Newspaper Outlines Dishonest Characteristics of Daggett, Character Ed. Director
"UNC Consultant [Daggett] Gets Big Bucks for Small Bang, Report Says" from Investors
Business Daily by Tycee Palmaffy http://www.popecenter.org/ClarionCall/1999/111899.html
State Assessments - Precursor to Total Federal Control of Education
Late Senator Paul Wellstone: High Stakes Tests: A Harsh Agenda for