A compilation of eye opening critique on the DEFORMY Federal take over of our schools. The long and short of it is, racist, sexist, arrogant, ignorant Arne Duncan, as allowed by this administration who is trying to forge an “edu-legacy”, has ensured no school is left unsold. He is attempting to change our culture from family centered to school centered. Which means federal centered. Which means the breakdown of the American family, and a nanny state, with heavy intervention from the Feds in every aspect of our children. Which also means toxic testing for children, the destruction of our schools and classrooms, and the ruination of teaching as we knew it. Once a coveted profession, teaching has been systematically gutted by these people, who know nothing about a healthy classroom environment. Common core has ruined our schools by its very definition. It has assumed the entire nation’s children are the same, and desperately needy of copious amounts of unchecked charity. Duncan wants to promote with every fiber of his being this one size fits all, government and corporation controlled method to control the youth of this country, under the agenda of human capital.
“”Yet the administration’s education policies have proved so toxic on both the left and the right that it has little leverage on the Hill, according to analysts from across the political spectrum….The administration’s aggressive assertion of federal power over all facets of education in its first six years — from the way states collect data on students to the way they regulate colleges of education — has angered traditional opponents and traditional allies alike, he said.”
With two years left, “we’re going to continue to exercise every lever, every regulatory power that the president has,” a White House official said.
“This is a president who has led a bold agenda on education from Day One, and Congress switching to Republican control doesn’t change that equation,” said Carmel Martin, a former assistant secretary of education under Obama and now an executive vice president at the Center for American Progress.
“Their takeaway has consistently been ‘You don’t appreciate how hard it is. There are implementation challenges.’ Well, we absolutely appreciate how hard it is,” he said. “That’s why in the American system, the federal government … ought to have a very limited role to play in education policy.””
“Duncan’s extreme overreach would have been questionable if he was only promoting old-fashioned, “win win” programs that might or might not work. Instead, he mandates risky “win lose” experiments that will inevitably hurt some (or many or most) students and educators, in the hopes of helping others. Duncan tends to ignore the facts on the ground in real schools, as he pushes the latest entrepreneurial-minded reformers’ hypotheses about incentives and disincentives that might or might not lead to better “outcomes.”
Non-Education reporters must realize that education reform is treating children as rats in an unregulated laboratory. Some kids will benefit as reformers roll the dice, but many will continue to be badly damaged by these leaps into the unknown. Its not often that grassroots movement rises in opposition to a lower-level cabinet officer. The reason it happened to Duncan is largely attributable to parents seeing their children hurt by his ill-considered policy experiments.”
“Duncan’s behavior has been, quite literally, lawless. The first time that Washington refused to do as commanded, as Duncan’s letter notes, he felt free to nonetheless extend its waiver. This time he didn’t. Of course, it’s a safe bet that every state is currently violating some part of its waiver. And those states which have dropped PARCC or SBAC are massively in violation of their waivers (after all, for good or ill, NCLB actually does give the feds some say-so on state tests–so these states are lying about stuff actually related to the law). Yet Duncan, presumably trying to avoid doing further gross damage to the Common Core cause, seems inclined to turn a blind eye.”
” “Arne Duncan and his patron President Barack Obama have gotten themselves in a bit of an educational bind. Big news came out of the White House on Aug. 21 but a lot of America missed it. It seems a collision course of: 1. sunsetting of the year 2014 and the imbecilic impossible fatwa of No Child Left Behind (the obscenity of schools held accountable for testing without a morsel of input for poverty); and 2. a large push by teacher unions to dethrone he of the basketball — Sir Arne Duncan.”
So Duncan made his statement about testing “sucking the oxygen” out of teaching, a typical Duncanism in which he denounces the policies he promote and still enforces.
Says Karrer of Duncan’s fancy step:
“Is it a complete flip flop? No, it is a little greasy middle-of-the-road weaseling meant to gain favor from Obama’s once-upon-a-time education supporters and to patch the rebellious hemorrhaging of his pet bamboozle Race To The Top and its ugly stepsister Common Core. Ever since Obama initiated his slash and burn policy regarding public education with pro-privatization, the green light to pro-charter corporations, his relationship with publishing-testing companies, and his knee in the groin and knife in the backs of teachers with rigorous evaluations based on kids’ test scores, he’s been trusted about as much as a pedophile at a playground by those who once-upon-a-halo included him in their sacred prayers.”
Karrer says time is running out for the Age of Test and Punish. More and more people are speaking up and the public is catching on to the failure of test, test, test. The momentum is growing. Time is running out.”
“Reformers often say that they love “great” teachers. They
think that if they drive out all the “bad” teachers, then “the best
and brightest” will flock to teach in the schools. They think they
are restructuring the profession to make it attractive to the top
third of those who graduate from the very best universities.
This comment from a teacher:
” I feel both embarrassed and horrified to be a teacher these days. What
keeps me going is being with the students and knowing I am helping
them. However, as a member of this ‘profession’ I am completely
disheartened and turned off by the politics and the bobble-headed
morons who make decisions that impact all of us. It’s like being on
a plane without a pilot….or a train without a conductor….or a
carriage without a horse…or….well, you get the picture. It’s
“Arne Duncan Goes After “Armchair Pundits”
ANTHONY CODY OCT 01, 2013
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke publicly of Diane Ravitch in an interview in 2011, where he said: “Diane Ravitch is in denial and she is insulting all of the hardworking teachers, principals and students all across the country who are proving her wrong every day,”
Secretary Duncan is right in a way. We have been talking past each other. But some of us have been attempting to engage in active dialogue with his administration literally for years. We collected more than a hundred letters from teachers four years ago that provided real world advice for the Department of Education. This earned us a short phone conversation with Secretary Duncan, where he did more talking than listening.
He wants to characterize his critics as “living inside the Washington bubble.” I have only been to DC three times, and two of those times were for protests against the status quo. Those of us lifting our voices in concern about the effects of federal policies are speaking from our firsthand experiences as educators, as witnesses to school closures, to the effects of high stakes tests, the rising tide of segregation.
The insulting way that Secretary Duncan chooses to characterize those who disagree with his policies really speaks for itself. He divides the world into those who he sees “doing the work,” who may have concerns – which he, of course, shares, and those who disagree. Once we actively disagree, we become part of some “blogosphere,” or “bubble,” which, by his definition, is engaging in idle carping that undermines those in the “real world.”
The fact that Diane Ravitch’s book is among the top ten of the New York Times best seller’s list must be a bit unnerving to Duncan, and that may account for this defensive rant. His far preferred strategy, similar to that of Education Nation this coming weekend, is to ignore those who disagree. When that doesn’t work, we hear attempts to marginalize, as in this speech. Gandhi once said “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” We are now being actively fought.
We have asked for dialogue, literally for years. Perhaps when Secretary Duncan gets done attempting to belittle and marginalize those of us who disagree, we might get one.”
“When thinking about Race to the Top, comedian Lily Tomlin’s quip about American life from years ago seems quite appropriate: “The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.” The rats in Obama’s race are not our highest scoring students, rather the rats are myopic educational reformers focused on student competency in reading and math, and on overhauling the profession by evaluating teacher and administrator performance using standardized test results. This agenda falls far short of what it means to be an educated person and democratic citizen. Obama’s reform plan will not take us to the top precisely because it fails to “pay as much heed” to many other important, complex, and difficult-to-achieve (and measure) educational goals. It’s a plan that employs crisis rhetoric about a dire economic future and then offers up test-score surveillance as a central strategy to supposedly motivate educators to develop children in narrow ways for national purposes. In short, the opportunity cost to individual human development and our nation’s most valuable resource, human capital, will prove devastating. And, of course, lurking in the background is plan B: the privatization of our educational system should Obama’s nationalized, centralized, standardized reform effort fail. – Race to the Top Leaves Children and Future Citizens Behind”
“I would also welcome suggestions for the name of “our side.” We do not “defend the status quo.” The status quo is headed by Arne Duncan, Bill Gates, Eli Broad, the Walton Family, Jeb Bush, Andrew Cuomo, and ALEC; it consists of high-stakes testing, privatization, and hostility to the teaching profession. We don’t like the status quo. We want better schooling for all children. We want the arts and history and physical education; we want experienced teachers; we want librarians, school nurses, guidance counselors, social workers, psychologists and after-school programs. Are we “the real reformers”? We fight for better education, for better schools, for high standards for entry into teaching, for respect for teachers and parents, and for kindness for children. What should we call ourselves?”
“As the Chicago public school teacher Jesse Sharkey notes, “In the past couple years, Duncan has been turning public schools over to private operators – mainly in the form of charter and contract schools – at a rate of about 20 per year. Duncan has also resuscitated some of the worst ‘school reform’ ideas of the 1990s, like firing all the teachers in low-performing schools (called ‘turnarounds’). At the same time, he’s eliminated many Local School Councils (LSCs) and made crucial decisions without public input… Charter schools and test-score driven school ‘choice’ have been the watchwords of Duncan’s rule in Chicago” (Sharkey 2008).”
“Part of that agenda involves the creation of a school-centered rather than a family-centered nation. Duncan aims to make the schools the community center, to include health care clinics and after school programs and to extend school to fourteen hours a day, seven days a week. He insists that America needs to extend learning time and says, “we have to learn to think very, very differently about time. I think our school day is too short. I think our school week is too short. I think our school year is too short.”
He defends testing, ignores parents and teachers pleas, and the cries of students.
“But after so many years of hearing meaningless mouth noises, I still don’t know if Duncan is a cynical liar or truly doesn’t grasp the disconnect between the word salad he serves up and the policies that he pursues. I mean, how do you parse this– “We want our kids to have wonderful choices, which is why we must subject them all to one-size-fits-all programs and testing that only measures one narrow sliver of the great breadth of human knowledge and achievement”?”
Let us discuss the Duncan and USDOE affair with the term rigor. Gosh, so tired of that word used with regard to children. This couldn’t be more inappropriate.
Duncan is the worst kind of dictator. One that ruins the lives of women and children, just to assert power. He demolished schools in Chicago, now one of the most corrupt, miserable educational locales in the nation, and like John King, was promoted to a fed spot for his accomplishment.
Do you think it is Duncan’s job to tell the American family that the schools will now be the parent? Do you think it is his job to belittle parents and teachers alike with his misguided and HARMFUL agenda? WHY is this allowed? Does the almighty dollar take away all morals and ethics? Will we accept our rights to be bought and sold along with our schools?
Please read this, and cross your fingers. Tightly.