105 Peavey Rd, Suite 116, Chaska, MN 55318
June 25, 2007
Washington Immigration Politics & No
Child Left Behind
Immigration politics have Washington in political upheaval. Public
confidence in Congress is down to the lowest ever recorded--14%--as an
angry and frustrated public watches top leaders of both political parties
continue to move forward on an immigration bill overwhelmingly opposed by
everyday Americans. The political elites, including the President, are
seemingly oblivious to the concerns of the public, responding instead to
big business demands for low wage workers and Democrat interests for new
Democrat constituents. Only three percent on the most recent Zogby poll
were satisfied with the way Congress was handling the immigration issue.
This may well be the biggest disconnect ever between what the
public desires versus what Washington is doing!
immigration is only more visible than the disconnect on a wide range of
issues. A Republican strategist and pollster,
Fabrizio, said it is "symbolic of what a lot of Republicans have
had to swallow, including No Child Left Behind." Some are finally
charting an independent path. Rep. Pete Hoekstra (RMI), for example,
Partnerships Lead Us to Success (A-PLUS) Act" (S. 893),
which reverses federal control tied to federal education funding. A-PLUS
has 60 co-sponsors in the House.
Left Behind of 2001, the President Bush/Ted Kennedy/Hillary Clinton
agreement, is cut out of the same cloth as the immigration agreement. In
2001, the top political elites pushed through NCLB,
one of the biggest
federal power-grabs in the history of our nation. NCLB additionally
violates the 10th Amendment to our Constitution and is terrible education
policy as even the teachers know.
of the Heritage Foundation
writes that No Child Left Behind has greatly expanded the financial
burden of state compliance with federal mandates and the administrative
burden by multiplying the rules and regulations for schools. Federal
education expenditures, according to the
Department of Education, will be $23.5B this year under No Child Left
Behind. The President's budget request for next year is $24.4B, a 41%
increase from 2001. Yet the federal government has no constitutional
authority over education policy.
Unfazed by growing public revulsion against Washington's power politics,
federalizing of education is being pushed forward aggressively.
have promised to spend $60M in the current presidential campaign
promoting "National Education Standards," a Washington-defined
curriculum, on schools. It's a bandwagon the elite power-brokers are
hopping on. The plan would have a small appointed band of insiders (the
NAG Board) deciding what every teacher in the country must teach, what
every textbook must include, what every state assessment must test, and
what every college-entrance test must include.
Bill Gates and
Colorado Gov. Roy Romer, who was general
chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 1997, and
Marc Lampkin, a Republican lobbyist and former deputy campaign
manager for President Bush, in charge of the campaign.
who recently stepped down as chairman of the Republican National
Bob Kerrey, the former Democratic senator from Nebraska, and
Louis V. Gerstner, the former chief executive of
I.B.M, are also involved.
campaign, called ED in '08, will "take advocacy to a new
level," said Eli Broad, using internet outreach, grassroots lobbying
and national advertising. According to
-school news, the project will "goad the presidential candidates
into taking bold stands on education--even if it means angering their
own constituencies." [Emphasis
added.] In other words they will be leveraging their extensive power and
influence to force a radical federal curriculum upon the American
passed in 2001 by promising that states would determine the
standards and the tests. Proponents gave their firm promise that this was
not a federal take-over of education. To prove it, NCLB specifically
prohibits the federal government from mandating education standards and
curriculum in four different sections of the 1200 page bill -- Sections
1905, 3129, 6301, and 9526.
and other groups called
these prohibitions fig leaves. Federally developed and funded
national standards (curriculum) such as the integrated math standards
(fuzzy math) from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM),
the radical Civics
Standards from Center for Civic Education, and the National History
Standards all were created under the direction of the 1994 Goals 2000
U.S. Senate rejected the History standards in 1995 on a vote of 99 to
1. That Senate resolution said the standards did not "have a decent
respect for United States history's roots in Western civilization."
Those same history standards, however, with a few cosmetic changes, are
used today as the National Standards. The History Standards, the fuzzy
math standards and the radical Civic Standards are also the basis for the
federal National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), held up as the
supposed gold standard for measuring student achievement.
states, however, have at least partially resisted this Federal
Curriculum. Now, in the name of NCLB "reform," the business
elites intend to force this leftist federal curriculum on all the states.
As we have seen in the immigration bill, what our Declaration of
Independence calls "popular sovereignty" -- the will of the
people -- no longer matters to the business elites.
bipartisan Romer/Mehlman duo is also making the totally predictable case
that state standards set the bar lower than the federal NAEP standards,
so a federal take-over of curriculum is in order. NCLB itself,
however,systematically drives state standards to the bottom. Its
impossible mandate for every child being "proficient" by
2014 forces states to set their standards low. When Minnesota was
adopting its standards, for example, the proposed state standards were
repeatedly described by education insiders as "the floor."
Massive illegal immigration exaggerates an already unworkable federal
education mandate, as non-English speaking children of illegals pour into
the schools. Driving education expectations to the bottom is one of the
biggest consequences and criticisms of NCLB and the federal take-over of
schools. Now the Washington insiders would "fix" the problem of
their own creation with ever greater expansion of federal power.
revolt against inside-Washington politics may be an opportunity for real
reform. The public is standing up to the White House, the Democratic
Party, the Republican Party, big business, and the media on immigration
plans. Rep. Bilbray
of California recently indicated that the fallout from the
president's breakdown with congressional Republicans on immigration may
affect his ability to complete other policy goals, such as renewing the
No Child Left Behind Act. Whether it's immigration, No Child Left Behind,
the expansion of prescription drug benefits, or secret earmarks in
appropriations bills that mushroom the federal deficit, the long term
fallout from a rebellion of the voters may be the one thing that matters.
Perhaps government "of the people" will become a reality once
For more information on the National Standards,
order your copy of FedEd
: The New Federal Curriculum and
How It's Enforced. A DVD summary presentation of the book is also
105 Peavey Rd, Suite 116, Chaska, MN 55318
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