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Common Core, The Decline of Education in Maine and More.

Things are back to normal at The Preserving The American Politcal Philosophy blog, without making any changes myself, the function for uploading images has been returned to this blog and the other list of options is no longer displayed.

However, all menu links on my new website now produce a 500 Internal Error message including the log in function on both the front and back end so that at this time I am blocked from continuing to develop that site and the public is blocked from access any of the menu items. ( Dec 17 update- links leading to 505 pages on wordpress finally taken seriously by Dotster after contacting by phone and revealing an error that only displayed on their end by looking at the megapproxy- but the saga continues on blogger as images are now missing again and a link to the Wordpress site from this blogger blog, leads to a 505 error page. The timing of and similarity to the Wordpress dysfunctional links and blogger dysfunctional links is of course purely co-incidental !)

I have contacted the server and am waiting for their response.Of course my mind immediatly goes to the malicious hacker who has been plaguing this blog but it is not out of the realms of possibility that a recently installed app might have caused the problem.

In the meantime, I will use this opportunity to promote a video showing on the Dangers of Common Core which will take place Wednesday, January 22 at River Arts in Damariscotta.

Also to let all know that Bob Stone, a former regular at the now defunct As Maine Goes has started a new Maine political forum called The Maine Citizen. most of the former participants of As Maine Goes seem to have become members.

Related to both those topics, I contacted Woodcanoe on The Maine Citizen about using his well informed post about the history of education in Maine as an OP-Ed on The Preserving The American Politcal Philsophy website. Due to the technical issues described above, I cannot currently publish the Op-Ed on the web site- so here it is:

Common Core......And The Decliine of Public Education in Maine  

by Woodcanoe

My dad was a Maine high school principal, and math teacher for 30 yrs. He believed that "teaching" was one of the most honorable professions there was. He was held in high regard by his peers all over Maine. In 1960 he served as president of the "Maine Teachers Association" (forerunner of todays MEA) when, as he said, it was an organization that was "devoted to the professionalism of teaching".

He always spoke of being deeply grateful that he had nothing to do with it in later years, when it became a local version of the United Auto Workers Union mainly devoted to the accumulation of political power, and the public's, it became the "education empire" of today Most people are not aware of the fact that there is a very strong ADVERSERIAL relationship between the needs of the teachers association.....and the needs of the students, parents and community.

Just like in any situation where there is a union, this chasm has grown deeper as the teachers unions, just like any other union, are interested in THEIR needs first, and this comes ahead of the needs of the students and community, always!

I served as a school district board member for nearly 10 yrs, most of it as chairman, in the 70's, and was deeply interested in trying to improve what the schools did, and how they did it. I also chaired the negotiating committee that worked out new master teacher contracts every three years, so was in a position to see all of this start to happen as the union gained power.

 I served once more, around 1993-95, and could not believe the difference since I had been on the board before. The Superintendent controlled the school board, as they mostly do today, and it was obvious. The board was NOT to bring up anything that was NOT on the agenda, and the agenda was created by the Superintendent, and the meetings were highly scripted.

I brought up an issue one night, and everybody looked down their nose at the "instigator". After the meeting, only the high school Principal and I were left in the building. He lit into me vehemently stating "why do you bring stuff like that up in front of the press?". He went on a tirade where he cussed me, many times, right in the high school lobby. I had never seen anything like it! I finally got a break and said to him "Howard, who do you think this school belongs to, you....or the people of this community"...and walked out leaving him still swearing.

This man was up for a three year contract shortly after. The supt told me he was going to recommend him. I, being a bit politically savvy, went and talked to the other board members and found out how they felt on the matter. I went to the Supt and told him: "Bob, I know you can count, and the fact is that I have 4 votes....and you only have 2". Howard's resignation was in the office the next afternoon.

It is nothing short of tragic that it has gotten to this point! Now the unions, and the special interest groups have all found that the "power of the state" can be used to make the public education system into "progressive indoctrination centers" and they have done just that. The last two decades of my dad's life, he rejected public education completely and totally, saying often that the system needed to be torn completely down and totally rebuilt, to the point where the community again, decided what kind of school they wanted. He became totally devoted to private education as between that, and homeschooling, that was the only way he felt that most kids could get a good education today.

 We homeschooled our three sons through high school, for the most part, one of them from the middle of the seventh grade on. And they are as conservative as their parents are, and have the same value system, thankfully, because of our efforts. They all know that they are ultimately responsible for themselves, and that there is no free lunch, if you want something, you have to work for it.

My dad felt that there still are some good people, and good teachers, in public schools, but the unions, the apathy of many parents, and the "power of the state" make it very difficult to do a really good job today. It is much easier to teach in a private school where the educational atmosphere is everything.

 Common Core, Education Without Representation ......"The story of Common Core and data mining begins as most stories do, with a huge, unmet need.....Self-appointed “stakeholder” know-it-alls at the federal level (also at state, corporate, and even university levels) determined that they had the right, and the need, for open access to personal student data– more so than they already had".......

 Six Sneaky Things the USDOE Did to Deprive Your Child of Privacy:

 1) It bribed the states with ARRA Stimulus monies to build 50 linkable, twin-like State Longitudinal Database Systems (SLDS). This act created a virtual national database.

2) It altered the (previously privacy-protective) federal FERPA (Family Educational Rights Privacy Act) law to make access to personally identifiable student data –including biological and behavioral data– “legal.

 3) The US Department of Education partnered with private groups, including the CCSSO (that’s the Council of Chief State School Officers –copyright holders on Common Core–) to collect student data nationally.

4) It used private-public partnerships to promote data linking among agencies. T is one example. The National Data Collection Model is another example. The Common Educational Data Standards is another example.

5) The Department of Ed created grants for Common Core testing and then mandated that those testing groups synchronize their tests, report fully and often to the U.S. Department of Education, share student-level data, and produce “all student-level data in a manner consistent with an industry-recognized open-licensed interoperability standard that is approved by the Department”.

 6) The Department of Education directly lied to the American Society of News Editors. In a June 2013 speech given to the American Society of News Editors, Secretary Duncan mocked the concerns of parents and educators who are fighting Common Core and its related student data mining See Common Core Education Without Representation 

It is easy to see that "Common Core" has been brought to us from the highest levels of DC. I believe this is appalling, and totally out of place in our schools. The local schools should serve to meet the needs of "local students, their parents and their community, first and foremost, and dictates from "upon high" should be promptly rejected. But states and local school systems are hooked by the carrot on a stick philosophy. Much money comes from state and federal governments to run those local schools. Offer somebody a bribe, get him dependent upon that money.......then you control him!


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