Senator Requests Constituents’ Thoughts on Every Child Achieves Act. Time to Write your Novel?
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A survey was sent to Missourians this past week by Senator Claire McCaskill about the Every Child Achieves Act currently being debated in the Senate:
As Congress prepares to replace “No Child Left Behind” with the Every Child Achieves Act, Claire wants to hear directly from Missourians about what Congress should make a priority to enhance the nation’s education system. Tell Claire what you want Congress to focus on as she considers major education legislation.
You may find the survey link here. What strikes me when considering what Congress should consider as part of the Every Child Achieves Act is why is Congress considering these programs at all? These are issues that the states are to debate, not Congress. Congress should not be directing/developing these programs and initiatives through the Department of Education, they should be state programs.
You can find the top 24 reasons to oppose the Act to share with Senator McCaskill from American Principles Project:
Problems with Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA)
Please vote against the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) for the following reasons:
- The ECAA is too long; at 792 pages, the bill is 122 pages longer than the burdensome No Child Left Behind law (NCLB).
- The new language in the ECAA does not restrict the U.S. Department of Education (USED) because:
- The language simply replicates existing protections.
- The proposed provisions fail to provide an enforcement mechanism for states.
- The ECAA aligns the states to the same College-and Career-Ready Standards as in the Common Core Standards.
- The ECAA continues the same USED master-servant relationship, requiring states to submit education plans to USED.
- The ECAA retains the federal testing mandates, continuing the NCLB “teach-to-the-test” environment.
- The ECAA requires standards to be aligned with federal workforce standards and early childhood standards.
- If a state fails to meet the requirements of a listed program, the USED can force the state to make the mandated changes.
- ECAA requires states to have College-and Career-Ready Standards, code language for Common Core Standards.
- ECAA requires states to align to the Common Core Standards.
- ECAA penalizes schools that do not enforce that 95 % of their students take the state assessment.
- ECAA dictates particular tests that are very expensive; the tests inject intrusive psychological data collection and profiling into the assessments.
- ECAA maintains NCLB’s requirement that states produce individual student interpretive reports that contain behavioral skills.
- All states could be required to submit detailed student profiles to USED.
- ECAA allows NAEP to implement the probing of students’ psychological traits (e.g., “mindsets,” “grit,” etc.).
- ECAA eliminates NCLB’s prohibition against very personal items (family beliefs and attitudes, psychological data).
- ECAA details the framework of the states’ accountability systems.
- ECAA extends the tentacles of federal control into public preschools.
- ECAA contains Early Learning Alignment and Improvement Grants. This includes childcare and Head Start; but the grants expire in three years. Even though early childhood programs have little proven educational benefit, the government bureaucrats will gain influence over very young children.
- ECAA requires statewide preschools to align with federal standards under Head Start and Child Care and Development Block Grant CCDBG).
- ECAA includes “school climate” formula grants to force students to adopt certain world-views.
- ECAA includes formula grants for “extended learning opportunities” to ensure children spend more time at school and less time with their families.
- ECAA fulfills Arne Duncan’s desire to make schools “21st-century community learning centers.” This fosters reliance on the government schools rather than on families or churches.
Source: This list was compiled from “The Every Child Achieves Act – A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing,” by American Principles in Action.
Van Harvey sent Senator McCaskill his response:
“I’m a member of one of Missouri’s HB1490 Curriculum work groups, the History 6-12 group. What I’d like to see Congress do to help us better handle and direct Education in Missouri, is to stop trying to help us in educating ourselves.
Disengage; whether by law, finance, regulation or agency directive – cease and desist. Please. The long history of federal involvement in education, and that of recent decades in particular, demonstrate that the Federal Government cannot even attempt to assist us, without effectively distancing each and every one of us – from that of the State agencies, and on down to the Local level – ever further from the Education of our children.
Please. If you really do want to help, have the political courage to leave us alone.”
No doubt she’d like to hear from you as well.
Follow Van at Blogodidact (Seeking after the Education that our Schools are unable to provide) and be sure to reply to Senator McCaskill’s questions. And when you are finished with her survey, you can drop a line to the other Missouri Senator, Roy Blunt, to let him know your thoughts about the Federal Government’s role in education. You can email him here: http://www.blunt.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact-roy
If you are not a Missouri resident, contact your senators and use Senator McCaskill’s template to share your research/data on how the Federal Government has not proven itself to be a helpful partner in state educational matters and improving educational outcomes. The Federal Government is not supposed to be a ‘partner’ in state’s legislative actions, but that’s another post for another day.