"Education costs money, but then so does ignorance."
Sir Claus Moser
There is big money and political advantage in setting up American schools to fail. Owing its origin to the United Nations, No child Left Behind’s (NCLB) inclusion “one size fits all” system is plunging the classrooms of America head long from the cliffs of mediocrity into the abyss of abject failure.
Every repressive regime has sought to dominate the education of its youth for obvious reasons. Under NCLB, if a school fails to improve test scores within three years, much of the schools federal funding will be taken from the failing school and place into a plethora of “parental choice" programs such as tutoring interventions. This action further diminishes the control that the school would otherwise possess in controlling its own destiny in order to meet the nebulous thresholds of achievement set by NCLB.
The outsourced parental choice programs are administrated by private companies such as Educate Inc. owner of Sylvan Learning Centers whose net revenues have grown from $180 to $250 million in the first three years following the implementation of NCLB.
Let’s trace the chain of custody with regard to the gross misuse of American dollars and the creation of a bleak educational future for our children.
1. Former United States Education Secretary, Ron Paige, tells a 2003 UNESCO audience that NCLB is actually the United Nations “Education for All” initiative.
2. The Center for Civics Education rewrites the standards which eventually all 50 states adopt
3. American schools begin to fail in even greater numbers after the creation of a plethora of high school graduation exams implemented by the states in order to satisfy the requirements of NCLB.
4. The sales of printed materials related to standardized tests nearly tripled from 1992 to 2004 ($211 million to $592 million) (American Association of Publishers, 2005).
5. NCLB reallocates federal tax money from “failing” schools and subsequently enriches privately held entities such as Educate Inc. and calls it parental choice. Ironically, while school districts are required to certify that their teaching staff meets the highly qualified NCLB requirement for teachers, private tutoring companies will be under no such requirement to prove that their staff even has such credentials. If children do not pass the NCLB mandated exams, administrators and teachers will ultimately lose their jobs. What happens to the owners of Education INC. when their students are still failing to perform to meet these very nebulous NCLB standards? Am I the only one that sees the total hypocrisy as well as the money-making scheme associated with NCLB at the expense of our children’s education?
6. Private companies enjoy record earnings courtesy of the United States taxpayers. A very narrow monopoly of corporate giants dominate both testing and textbooks following the rewriting of the national standards controlling American education: CTB-McGraw Hill, Harcourt (owned by London-based Reed Elsevier), and Houghton Mifflin, which cumulatively control about 80% of the market. The total market in textbooks and related educational materials is worth over $7 billion in revenues.
7. Meanwhile, SAT scores are at a 31 year low (College Board, 2006).
8. One in five teachers will leave the profession within the first five years of teaching and 35% cite such NCLB policies as inclusion as the primary reason for their departure. Low salaries and poor working conditions still top the list.
9. Let’s use Arizona as a microcosm as to why teachers might be feeling so unhappy. In Arizona, the Arizona Department of Education has mandated that every teacher, even with those with 30 years experience, must now pass the Arizona Educator Proficiency Exam (AEPA) or risk being unemployed by 2008. Amazingly, the AEPA exams contain absolutely no published measures of testing reliability or validity. The AEPA exam is not even correlated to the State Standards from the Arizona Department of Education. The distinct lack of statistical rigor reduces the test to a meaningless exercise and fully exposes the true purpose, profit. This is not educational quality control, it is unmitigated voodoo. The AEPA does generously provide a study guide that the teacher can use to study from in preparation for the test. The review guide for social studies contains a grand total of 12 questions in preparation for a four hour exam. For this wonderful service, each Arizona teacher is forced to pay out $134 in test registration and fees to AEPA. Not to be denied their share of NCLB’s extortion dollar, the State of Arizona requires that the scores be reported to their offices. Arizona “Educrats” from the Arizona Department of Education now requires that for each subject taught, teachers must pay an additional $60 to the state in order to list each individual subject o their individual teaching certificate. Therefore, if an Arizona teacher teaches three courses, they recently received an income reduction of $314 after they paid to take the AEPA test. And we wonder why we are seeing such a turnover in the teaching ranks. This is just not happening in Arizona
10. If NCLB is not a deliberate attempt to dumb down the education of America’s youth, then it is doing a very good imitation of a plan that would accomplish just such a purpose. Inclusion slows down the progress of the average and gifted student by educating children of all abilities in one classroom and by forcing the teacher to get the identified low-achiever to pass. No such NCLB mandate is placed upon the teacher who fails the non-special education student. So, where do you think the teacher is forced to place the bulk of their teaching attention? Who suffers? Your kids! The proof? Try looking at today’s SAT scores!
In 2014, all NCLB mandates that all students must be achieving at their respective grade level. Did I fail to read the newspaper the day that is was announced that the Congress and President discovered a way to erase all the environmental and biological factors which render some children inherently and disadvantaged?
NCLB provides that schools can be taken over by the government for failing to meet NCLB norms. In the best case, this is a misguided attempt to circumvent the Tenth Amendment separation of powers and replace local control with larger governmental control. In the worst case scenario, images of the Hitler Youth Movement and George Orwell come to mind. The Founding Fathers divided the powers of government divided the powers to prevent tyranny. Clearly, the school take-over provisions of NCLB blur the separation of powers and potentially set the stage for some very nightmarish scenarios.
It takes an educated populace, in each subsequent generation, in order to resist those that would misuse government for their own selfish purposes and in the process destroy middle class economic, social and civil liberties. If SAT scores are indeed indicative of low American student achievement, it is understandable why the implementation of the North American Union (SPP), NAFTA, CAFTA, etc., are and have taken place right under the collective noses of the American people. For example, in the summer of 2007, the House of Representatives voted to cut off funding for all activities related to all SPP activities. Do we really believe that when George W. Bush traveled to Quebec to participate in the SPP summit with his two executive counterparts from Mexico and Canada, that he did so on his own nickel? Certain members of Congress know that SPP is wrong, unconstitutional and illegal. However, the entire American government also knows that America has perhaps become too ignorant to save itself. So, Bush and the rest of the globalists continue unabated and unchecked in their march toward total control.
The final part of this series will examine the phenomenon of teen screen as well as the presentation of an action plan designed to thwart the threats to America’s future as identified by this series.
It is with great sadness that I note the passing of Aaron Russo. Aaron’s film, From Freedom to Fascism, identified many of the key issues that so many of us are fighting for. The revenue from Aaron’s great films made him a fortune. However, Freedom to Fascism was produced totally out of his own pocket. I did not personally know Aaron, but I do know that he will be sorely missed by those of us who desire to preserve our Constitutional Republic.
All Rights Reserved Dave Hodges 2007 ©