105 Peavey Rd, Suite 116, Chaska, MN 55318
September 11, 2007
See other comments on the new No Child Left Behind Discussion Draft:
NCLB Welcomes Children to 1984 and the Village
Democrat and Republican liberals on the US House Education and Labor Committee have released their discussion draft for the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Both Hillary Clinton, as the "mayor" of the government "village" which wants to raise our children, and the ghost of George Orwell, author of 1984, are well represented in this draft. What began in 1965, ostensibly as an effort to help poor children improve academic achievement has grown and spread like a monstrous cancer that is destroying academic achievement and freedom, parental autonomy, privacy, and the ability to maintain our republic for ALL public school children.
Karen R. Effrem, MD EdWatch Board of Directors
Here is a small sample of the many dangerous, freedom-robbing provisions present in this bill, in addition to the continued tyranny of adequate yearly progress requirements that will never be met and the international education that undermines our American principles of freedom discussed in "New NCLB Plan Establishes International Education for All":
- "Big Brother is Watching" - National Education Database: Within four years of the reauthorization of NCLB, states must develop a comprehensive dossier of every aspect of your childs academic life starting from preschool onward through college or risk losing 25% of their Title I funds. Title I is the largest source of federal education funds for states and individual schools. This system is supposed to be put together by a council of teachers, administrators, union representatives, big business, and researchers that will all have access to your childs data. Among the many required data elements are:
- Unique individual student and teacher identification numbers that track every aspect of a student's performance and hold teachers accountable for teaching the national standards that masquerade as locally derived standards;
- Enrollment and demographic data on every student including the NCLB category into which they fall, attendance, and program participation data;
- Individual statewide assessment scores required by NCLB;
- The reason a student may not have taken the state NCLB assessment;
- Transcript data, including grades and courses taken;
- Graduation and dropout rates, college entrance test data.
We've seen this type of invasive federal medical data collection system before. For example, through HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), drug companies and all manner of other researchers and government agencies have access to your private medical data without your permission, while spouses and family members have trouble accessing that same data without going through complicated bureaucratic hoops. Far from improving educational achievement, this data collection system will give government bureaucrats, especially those of the federal variety, further reason to meddle in and control the education, family life, and raising of our children.
- "Hillary's Village" - Full Service Community Schools: In order to conform to the utopian plan of 100% proficiency for ALL students and to comply with the Education for All international agreements, the Committee has also expanded the 21st Century Schools current grant program. These schools will offer programs in early childhood including Head Start, mental health (despite skyrocketing rates of diagnosis and drugging of even young children), careers, parenting education and oversight by government-defined outcomes, and other "services consistent with this part." Among the purposes of 21st Century Schools are:
- "Enabling families to participate in the education of their children" - This language sets up the legal foundation for advancing a deceptive and perverse power grab by government authorities. Presuming to "enable" parents to participate in the education of their children is to assume government as a higher authority over children than parents. It will entail major meddling in the private lives of families as well as collecting massive amounts of private data on individual families.
- Enabling "principals and teachers to complement and enrich efforts to help all children reach proficiency in reading and math by 2014" - Universal proficiency is utopian. Attempts to comply forces outcomes to a meaninglessly low level and a teaching to the test. Political mandates are not magic wands. Numerous national experts and several state evaluations have admitted that 100% of schools will fail to make AYP by 2014.
- "Ensuring that children come to school ready to learn every day" - Sadly, "ready to learn" in the federal government's eyes means that young children are ready to accept all sorts of non-academic indoctrination dealing with gender issues, mental health, careers, and environmentalism that have nothing to do with reading and math or closing the achievement gap. (See our alert on the Head Start bill). Back in 1946, Edwin Broome, a disciple of government education architect John Dewey, said in the Montgomery County (MD) blueprint for schools, "The end results are that the school makes itself indispensable to all phases of community life. In the future development of school programs, the service program will receive increasing emphasis until the school becomes in fact the agency to which all people in the community turn for assistance." And mental health advocate and author Edna Copeland said in a 1995 book, "I truly believe that schools will become our mental health agencies of the future, especially for children." Both predictions are coming to pass with this proposal. Is this what we want for our childrens future and our nations freedom?
- "The Sky is Falling" -- Environmental Education: While vigorously, but ludicrously, claiming that they are not interfering in local curriculum or standards development, the feds now want to subsidize K-12 environmental standards that will, among other things:
- Promote and develop curriculum aligned to these standards;
- Use environmental education as an "integrating theme" for all other academic subjects, so that our children may be indoctrinated and scared with all sorts of controversial, if not downright false, pseudo-science about global warming, over-population, people being a curse upon the earth, and more.
- Reduce "nature-deficit disorder in students" by having students spend time in nature to increase achievement, self-esteem, personal responsibility, community involvement, and child obesity. "Nature-deficit disorder" is a euphemism coined by author Richard Louv in his 2005 book "Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder." The phrase masquerades as a scientific "disorder." Will this be another dubious "disorder" to be treated with drugs?
- Support "the national effort to enable all students to demonstrate competence in environmental learning." With Al Gore refusing to debate credible scientists with data that is inconvenient to him, with the recent admission in a June, 2007 study funded by the Department of Energy that man-made carbon dioxide is largely irrelevant to the earth's temperature, with the admission by Swedish environmentalists that recycling is "a waste of time and money," and with the poor performance of American students on international tests, the last thing American students need is a takeover of every academic subject by Chicken Little -- that man-is-evil radicalism masked as concern for the environment.
- "Better Achievement Through Chemistry" - NO Protection from Coerced Drugging: The Committee refuses to protect children from coercive drugging in schools, despite the fact that the House passed that measure by over 400 votes during two consecutive sessions of Congress. Chief authors Rep. John Kline (R-MN) and Senator James Ihhofe (R-OK) continue their great efforts on this measure. The facts are that two million children are on the most potent and dangerous antipsychotic medications. The unscientific diagnosis of bipolar disorder in children has increased 40-fold in ten years, and the FDA has placed ADHD drugs like Ritalin under warnings for increased psychosis and sudden death in children.
105 Peavey Rd, Suite 116, Chaska, MN 55318
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