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turtleMost people are familiar with the tale of the scorpion and the frog where the scorpion begs to be taken across the river and, though he promises not to sting the frog lest they both drown, he nevertheless does sting the frog mid stream because it is his nature. John Malcolm in 1827 related an earlier version of this tale originating in Persia which included a turtle instead of a frog. The scorpion still tried to sting mid stream but the turtle’s hard shell protected it. In this tale, once on the other side the turtle scolds the scorpion.

“Are you not the most wicked and ungrateful of reptiles? But for me you must either have given up your journey, or have been drowned in that stream, and what is my reward? If it had not been for the armour which God has given me, I should have been stung to death.” “Blame me not,” said the scorpion, in a supplicatory tone, “it is not my fault; it is that of my nature; it is a constitutional habit I have of stinging.”

Today it appears that Speaker Ryan is the errant scorpion, promising a return to “regular order” in the house and citing the two recent conference committees on highway and education as a sign that he is doing as promised. But a closer look at what happened in the education conference committee on the ESEA rewrite and what will happen next week in the house with their work looks an awful lot like the scorpion trying to sting the public.

Jane Robbins of APP wrote in The Pulse 2016,

“Now we’re told the bill will not be available for the public to view until November 30 (if this bill is such a triumph for state and local autonomy, why not release it to the people?), and the House will vote on it on December 2, right after the Thanksgiving recess. Nothing like a long holiday to make sure no congressman will actually read the mammoth fed-ed scheme that will be imposed on American children for another four years. This is shameful. If for no other reason, the corrupt process that produced this education version of Obamacare must be defeated…

So, Speaker Ryan is happy that something called a ‘conference committee’ met for a few hours, talked about a document that was deliberately withheld from the American public, and engaged in enough kabuki theater to pacify the rubes in the provinces. Apparently to the Speaker, “regular order” means ‘business as usual.'”

The bill includes a 12% funding increase over the next 5 years for the US Dept of Education WHICH SHOULD NOT EXIST IN THE FIRST PLACE. Congress should be winding funding down if they are really returning control to the states.  Instead they are expanding the scope of USED to include preschool oversight. Grades 3-8 will still be required to test (the 95% participation mandate remains in place.) States are given the “honor” of writing opt-out rules that still get them to that 95% testing rate.

Erin Tuttle of Hoosiers Against Common Core told Brietbart News  that rumors are that “the new bill contains new programs that weren’t in either prior version and that there is a new competitive grant for pre-schools- think Race to the Top for Tots.”

So the conference committee did very little discussing of the details of the bill, merely parroted each other in claiming that we needed it. The 1100 bill that both houses will get on Monday contains sections no one has seen before. What could go wrong here? This sure sounds like business as usual Speaker Ryan, bad business.

Time will tell if the people have been protected by their shell. In the mean time we must do all we can to get our elected officials to listen to us.

#StopESEA Twitter Rally Tonight

PJN is coordinating a twitter rally tonight November 27th to get the message out that: this is no way to pass sweeping legislation,  the federal government should not try to manage education from afar, and ECAA is NOT a return to local control.

  • Join Like-Minded Twitter Users in Live Chat
  • 50 hard hitting #StopESEA Featured Tweet buttons
  • Informative & Entertaining YouTube Videos
  • Team Tweeting – your tweets from the rally get RT’d by other participants
  • Fun & Fellowship – make new friends

The rally will continue Sunday 11/29 and Monday 11/30. Click on the link above for an easy way to join the rally.

Please join fellow turtles on the other side of the river and show DC that we are not frogs who drowned mid stream from their broken promises.

Anne Gassel

Anne has been writing on MEW since 2012 and has been a citizen lobbyist on Common Core since 2013. Some day she would like to see a national Hippocratic oath for educators “I will remember that there is an art to teaching as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy and understanding are sometimes more important than policy or what the data say. My first priority is to do no harm to the children entrusted to my temporary care.”

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