Monday, December 7, 2015

ESEA/ESSA Pushed by UFT/AFT/NYSUT After Supporting No Child Left Behind and RTTT

Wait - they want to take the power from the fed ed dept (Obama/Duncan) and hand it over to the mostly right wing state anti-union governments? And even those not right wing might as well be - ahem - see one Andrew Cuomo.

Our great union leaders want you to forget how they sold the very ed laws they are not trashing. The major reason they want you to support the  ESSA/ESEA - (the old act renamed) - is that it gets rid of aspects of NCLB and Race to the Top that our union leaders supported in the first place.

Arthur Goldstein at NYC Educator: ESSA--Now Less Crappy than Before

I'm not even sure it is less crappy than before in the hands of the states.

Jim Horn at Schools Matter:
 I love the Escalating Charter Assistance Act - which the state governments will enforce with gusto. No wonder groups like E4E support it.

Also see James Eterno at ICE:


I would rename this as Every Child Succeeds or Off With the Heads of Teachers of those who don't succeed. And let's keep the definition of "succeed" a moving target so we can push out union teachers.

Our leaders at the time of NCLB in 2004 had their little stool at the table and urged passage of the act.

Ed Notes, (the hard copy) was on the case at that time:

Subject: No Child Left Behind- Ed Notes, March 2004
Reacting to Federal Guidelines, the state of Florida, which has been high- lighted as a role model for student testing by the Bush Administrationʼs Department of Education has released the following memo: 

In response to President Bushʼs Federal No Child Left Behind Act, stu- dents will have to pass it to be promoted to the next grade level. It will be uniformly adopted by all the states, thus illuminating Florida to a glorious front runner position in education, it will be called: the Federal Arithmetic and Reading Test (FART). 

All students who cannot pass a FART in the second grade will be retested in grades 3-5 until such a time as they are capable of achieving a FART score of 80%. If a student does not successfully FART by grade 5, that student shall be placed in a separate English program, the Special Mastery Elective for Learning language (SMELL). 

If with this increased SMELL program the student cannot pass the required FART, he or she can graduate to middle school by taking a one-semester course in Comprehensive Reading and Arithmetic Preparation (CRAP). 

If by age fourteen the student cannot FART, SMELL or CRAP, he will earn his promotion in an intensive one-week seminar This is the Preparatory Reading for Unprepared Nationally Exempted Students (PRUNES). 

It is the opinion of the Florida Department of Public Instruction that an intensive week of PRUNES will enable any student to FART, SMELL or CRAP.
This revised provision of the student-testing component of the House Bill 110 should help clear the air.

And I published this piece by Greg Palast

Educational Eugenics In George
Bushʼs State of the Union by Greg Palast
Education Notes March/April 2004 

Go ahead, George, and lie to me. Lie to my dog. Lie to my sister. But donʼt you ever lie to my kids. 

Deep into your State of the Siege lecture tonight, long after sensible adults had turned off the tube or kicked in the screen, you came after our children. “By passing the No Child Left Behind Act,” you said, “We are regularly testing every child ... and making sure they have better options when schools are not performing.” 

You said it ... and then that little tongue came out; that weird way you stick your tongue out between your lips like the little kid who knows heʼs fibbing. Like a snake licking a rat. I saw that snakey tongue dart out and I thought, “He knows.” 

And what you know, Mr. Bush, is this: youʼve ordered this testing to hunt down, identify and target for destruction the hopes of millions of children you find too expensive, too heavy a burden, to educate. 

Hereʼs how No Child Left Behind and your tests work in the classrooms of Houston and Chicago. Millions of 8 year olds are given lists of words and phrases. They try to read. Then they are graded, like USDA beef: some prime, some OK, many failed. 

Once the kids are stamped and sorted, the parents of the marked children ask for you to fill your tantalizing promise, to “make sure they have better options when schools are not performing.” 

But there is no “better option,” is there, Mr. Bush? Whereʼs the money for the better schools to take in the kids getting crushed in cash-poor districts? Whereʼs the open door to the suburban campuses with the big green lawns for the dark kids with the test-score mark of Cain? 

And if I bring up the race of the kids with the low score, donʼt get all snippy with me, telling me your program is color blind. We know the color of the kids left behind; and itʼs not the color of the kids you went to school with at Philips Andover Academy. 

You know and I know that the testing is a con. There is no “better option” at the other end. The cash went to end the inheritance tax, that special program to give every millionaireʼs son another million. 

But youʼll tell me, you took tests as a youth. I know you did. And you scored on the Air Guard flight 
test 25 out of 100, one point above too dumb to fly. But you zoomed past the other would-be flyboys. They were stamped, “Ready for ʻNam.”
And you took a test to get into Yale. And though your pet rock scored a wee bit higher than you, your grandpa on the Yale board provided the “better option” which got you in. 

Here in New York City, your educational Taliban, led by Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has issued an edict to test the third-graders. Winnow out the chaff - the kids stamped ʻfailedʼ - and throw them back, exactly where they started, to repeat the same failed program another year. The ugly little irony is this: the core of No Child Left Behind is that failing children will be left behind another year. And another year and another year. 

You know and I know that this is not an educational opportunity program - because you offer no opportunities, no hope, no plan, no funding. Rather, it is the new Republican social Darwinism, educational eugenics: identify the nationʼs loser-class early on. Trap them, then train them cheap. 

No Child Left Behind is of one piece with the tax cuts for the rich, the energy laws for the insid- ers, the oil wars for the well-off. Someone has to care for the privileged. No society can have winners without lots of losers - but drug-free, functional and cheaply maintained. 

And so we have No Child Left Behind - to provide the new worker drones that will clean the toilets at the Yale Alumni Club, punch the cash registers color-coded for illiterates, and pamper the winner- class on the higher floors of the new economic order. 

Greg Palast is author of, “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy,” which has returned this week to the New York Times bestseller list. View Palastʼs writings for Harperʼs, The Guardian (UK) and BBC television at
You can also see this article on- line: detail.cfm?artid=310&frm=eml 

ED. NOTE: Teachers, parents and academics have come together to fight against the evil doer perpe- trators of NCLB and the 3rd grade retention policy. Join them! 

1 comment:

  1. Peace, it's a shame our children are the pawns , as the educational pendulum swings back and forth, saying the same thing, using different terms, by so called professional educators.


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