What's gotten in the way of education in the United States is a theory of social engineering that says there is ONE RIGHT WAY to proceed with growing up.
You may have noticed that the Governor appointed two new members to the State Board of Education. One of those appointed is private businessman Peter Herschend who had already served 24 years on the Board. When we think of lifetime government jobs, 24 years seems to be an apt description. Herschend left the board mere months ago, but is back again thanks to the governor. That appointment (not yet confirmed by the Senate) prompted my letter below to the board.
"Unabashed enthusiasts for increased investments in state pre-K need to confront the evidence that it does not enhance student achievement meaningfully, if at all.(emphasis added) It may, of course, have positive impacts on other outcomes, although these have not yet been demonstrated. It is time for policymakers and advocates to consider and test potentially more powerful forms of investment in better futures for children."
Furthermore, state boards of education around the country have been negligent in responding to the poor academic performance of students observed since the adoption of the Common Core State Standards and assessments aligned to them in 2010. Missouri's 2017 NAEP scores are consistent with the same "lost opportunity" curve seen in states' NAEP scores throughout the country. Please note the article below regarding the dereliction of duty of the state boards as described by Sandra Stotsky.
Mary Byrne Ed.D.
Click here to see older Byrne Memos
DESE attempts to cover up poor management of statewide End Of Course Exams. MCACC exposes their efforts to the Governor
October 28, 2017
Governor Eric Greitens
Missouri State Capitol
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Since Spring 2017, two occasions of withholding information from the public have occurred under the aegis of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). The first was DESE’s withholding of information regarding its management of unscorable Algebra I EOC responses in Spring 2017 coupled with the Department’s recommendation to school districts that they incorporate EOC raw scores into student course grades. The second was DESE’s administration of Common Core (CC)-aligned EOCs in Algebra I and English II in Spring 2017 despite a 2016 Questar’s report that new achievement level cutpoints generated in a recalibration study would negatively affect the percentage of students scores classified as Proficient+Advanced. Test results are only meaningful if standardized procedures associated with well-designed assessments are followed and results authentically generated by students are used for appropriate purposes. Problems with test quality and administration yield unreliable results that should not be used or only used with extreme caution and widely disseminated caveats. Evidence suggests that DESE personnel did not follow standards of professionalism, but chose to withhold information from the public.
Enclosed is a report that provides a description of each event followed by evidence and comments. Evidence and questions pertinent to the second event are organized as a year-by-year timeline of activities undertaken by Governor Jay Nixon, the past and current Commissioners of Education, and past and current members of the State Board of Education culminating in the withholding of Algebra I and English II EOC annual assessment data. The purpose of this report is to provide the Governor’s Office with documentation to support the legitimacy of the public’s concerns about DESE’s patterns of unprofessional behavior and recommend a series of remedial actions to protect Missouri’s students and their parents from the decisions and actions of DESE personnel and the State Board of Education.
CC-aligned EOCs would not have been administered in Missouri had DESE complied with language prohibiting expenditure of appropriated funds on implementation or support of CC included in every appropriations bill 2013. The people of Missouri have a social compact with the State that depends on the people’s trust that all agents of government, including elected officials, appointed board members, and government employees, comply with all parts of U.S. and Missouri laws. Since the introduction of CCSS and CC-aligned assessments to Missouri, DESE and the State Board of Education have violated that trust. It is our hope that as our current governor, you will remedy the harm done to parents’ authority over their children’s education, local control of school districts, rights of individual students, and taxpayers.
Missouri Coalition Against Common CoreCc: Cc: Attorney General Josh Hawley, State Auditor Nichole Galloway, Speaker of the House Todd Richardson, Senate Pro Temp Ron Richards
See the full report here.
Hidden Common Core Trap In ESSA
Hidden Common Core Trap In ESSA
By Mary Byrne, Ed.D.
In December 2015, Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) promising that the new federal law would return authority over education to the states and parents, and remove the federal government’s role from states’ adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  Then, in the first quarter of 2017, Congress repealed midnight regulations Secretary John King promulgated in an effort to implement as much of the Obama administration’s agenda as possible before the end of his presidency.  Echoing the intent of Congress to reduce federal intrusion in education, President Trump signed an Executive Order in April 2017, Enforcing Statutory Prohibitions on Federal Control of Education. 
Specific language in Sec. 1111.(j)(1) of the act prohibits the U.S. Secretary of Education from attempting,
. . . to influence, incentivize, or coerce State— ‘‘(1) adoption of the Common Core State Standards developed under the Common Core State Standards Initiative [CCSSI] or any other academic standards common to a significant number of States, or assessments tied to such standards; or ‘‘(2) participation in such partnerships. *
President Trump’s Executive Order Section 1 states,
It shall be the policy of the executive branch to protect and preserve State and local control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, and personnel of educational institutions, schools, and school systems, consistent with applicable law, including ESEA, as amended by ESSA, and ESEA’s restrictions related to the Common Core State Standards developed under the Common Core State Standards Initiative. 
The intent of Congress and President Trump is clear: to assure the American public that the regulations promulgated by the Secretaries of Education in the Obama administration will be reversed, and local control of education restored.
AN UNDERBELLY REQUIREMENT OF THE OMNIBUS BILL/ACT ESSA
In spite of the seeming intent and declaration of the Act, several other sections of ESSA were crafted in such a way as to contradict the intent of Congress to devolve decisions to the states. For example, earlier in the statute, Sec. 1111 (a)(1)(B) mandate states to submit state accountability plans to qualify for Title I grant funds that are “coordinated with other programs under . . . the National Assessment of Educational Progress Authorization Act (20 U.S.C. 9621 et seq,). . .
Despite explicit messaging of the intent of ESSA and reinforcement of that intent by President Trump’s Executive Order prohibiting the Secretary of Education from promoting the implementation of CCSS, we observe ESSA’s “underbelly” requirement entrapping states to coordinate their state accountability plans with the National Assessment of Educational Progress Authorization Act. This is tantamount to a hidden loophole that will result in states having to retain Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and assessments tied to them in order to receive Title I funds. In other words, Sec. 1111 (a)(1)(B) circumvents prohibitions on the Secretary in Sec. 1111.(j)(1).
THIS UNDERBELLY REQUIREMENT IMPLICITLY ENSURES THAT NAGB RATHER THAN THE PEOPLE OF THE STATES CONTROL EDUCATION BY CONTROLLING THE CONTENT AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE NATIONAL ASSESSMENT OF EDUCATION PROGRESS
The National Assessment of Educational Progress [NAEP] Authorization Act authorizes federal funding for an independent National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) to oversee the content and design of the NAEP. NAGB acts independently of the U. S. Department of Education (USED) and is presumably not affected by ESSA’s prohibitions and directives as the Secretary of Education.
Yet meeting minutes posted on the NAGB website document NAGB’s Strategic Vision goals and discussions of the board considering alignment of the NAEP with the goals of the CCSSI and international assessments that include surveys of family perceptions and interactions with their child, as well as soft skills and values (e.g., same sex marriage),  all of which are outside the scope of objective measures of academic knowledge and skills authorized by law.
Some context information is in order: current NAGB members who are CCSS proponents were appointed by the Secretaries of Education during the Obama administration. They began initial discussions of NAGB’s Strategic Vision (SV) goals in 2014 and formally approved the vision statement in November 2016 as the Obama administration was ending., In addition, contracts for the design and implementation of the NAEP project are given to vendors and researchers who have close ties to the CCSSI inner circle and make recommendations to align the NAEP to the CCSS.  The Common Core standards are thus kept in place in the very belly of the independent metric by which we, the American People and taxpayers, should be able to detect how well or poorly those standards, surreptitiously introduced without a vote from Congress, are serving the nation.
The reasons are simple and they combine to push CCSS into the curriculum. Simply put, left unchecked, implementation of the NAGB’s SV will implicitly require states to retain CCSS in order to score well on the NAEP and NAGB will spend federal funding to:
Violate restrictions in NAEP content as specified in the National Assessment of Educational Progress Authorization Act to academic knowledge and skills;
Violate Congress’s intent when passing ESSA and President Trump’s April 2017 Executive Order by influencing states to maintain CCSSI standards and assessments tied to them to qualify for Title I funds;
Effectively conceal from Congress and the public information about the effects of the CCSSI on the academic performance of America’s students since the implementation of the CCSS and assessments tied to them;
Continue the conflict of interest and cronyism of board members, assessment vendors, and consultants as they work together to expand the infiltration of CCSS in America’s K-12 settings through ESSA’s Title I grant award program; and
Nullify the U.S. Constitution and result in states’ surrender to the centralized bureaucracy of the U.S. federal government or global entities with no accountability to the American people.
In conclusion, the entrapment of states in the ESSA is subtle, nonetheless, it is entrapment –that is, “nudging” state officials to abandon the constitutionally protected sovereignty of the people of their state and, in some cases, unlawfully alter their state’s constitutional definitions of the purpose of publicly supported education in exchange for federal dollars. A similar form of coercion by the Department of Health and Human Services effecting 10% of states’ Medicaid budget was exposed and deemed unconstitutional in National Federation of Independent Businesses v Sebelius.
The strategic secrecy and timing of the release of the final omnibus bill, sponsored by one U.S. Senator (no public record is available to identify who crafted the bill) mocked the legislative process. No public hearings were held before the passage of the bill and legislators were excluded from providing input to the bill throughout its development., Parents and critics are proven right, CCSI is a Trojan horse introduced by elitists through non-governmental organizations yet funded by taxpayers, to promote a national agenda controlled by elitists. It seems that the solution to the crafty requirements of an unconstitutional bureaucracy can only be thwarted when Congress simultaneously (1) investigates the Gates Foundation and partnering non-governmental organization for their roles in CCSI and ESSA and (2) returns USED to the level of a bureau with no enforcement mechanisms on testing and content.
 https://www.nagb.org/content/nagb/assets/documents/what-we-do/quarterly-board-meeting-materials/2015-11/02-august-2015-meeting-minutes.pdf (As of this writing, the NAGB Committee Reports had not been updated since May 2016)
MCACC Comments on Missouri Consolidated State Plan
The Federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), passed in December 2015, requires states to submit a Consolidated State Plan to the Secretary of the US Department of Education detailing how they intend to use federal Title monies. Federal law is very clear that such money is to be used to supplement education spending for the neediest students, not supplant all state funding.
However, DESE's plan details what every single Local Education Agency (school district) will be required to do, regardless of whether they specifically receive Title money. It contains guidelines for assessment of all students and evaluation of all teachers, not just those in districts receiving federal funds.
ESSA requires these plans to undergo public review, as well as review by the Governor.
DESE has posted the draft plan on their website here.
The state plans to submit its final document by the September 8th deadline.
Public comments on this draft are due by July 15th.
The Coalition submitted comments (below). We encourage parents to read DESE's complete plan (here) and submit their own comments. You may borrow anything from MCACC's comments that you feel is appropriate.
Note that DESE has broken up the comments into individual sections. For your convenience we have broken up MCACC's comments into the DESE designated sections as follows:
HR899 Calls for an end of the U.S. Department of Education
Contact your US Representative and ask them to co-sponsor this bill, or get their commitment to vote for it when it comes up for a vote.
It couldn't be more simple. Congressman Thomas Massie's (R-KY) bill is a single line which reads "The U.S. Department of Education shall terminate December 31, 2018."
During the Secretary Devos confirmation hearings, Massie stated, "Unelected bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. should not be in charge of our children’s intellectual and moral development. States and local communities are best positioned to shape curricula that meet the needs of their students. Schools should be accountable. Parents have the right to choose the most appropriate educational opportunity for their children, including home school, public school, or private school."
“For years, I have advocated returning education policy to where it belongs - the state and local level,” said Rep. Walter Jones, an original co-sponsor. “D.C. bureaucrats cannot begin to understand the needs of schools and its students on an individual basis. It is time that we get the feds out of the classroom, and terminate the Department of Education.”
The Department of Education began operating in 1980. On September 24, 1981 in his Address to the Nation on the Program for Economic Recovery, President Ronald Reagan said, “As a third step, we propose to dismantle two Cabinet Departments, Energy and Education. Both Secretaries are wholly in accord with this. Some of the activities in both of these departments will, of course, be continued either independently or in other areas of government. There's only one way to shrink the size and cost of big government, and that is by eliminating agencies that are not needed and are getting in the way of a solution... [E]ducation is the principal responsibility of local school systems, teachers, parents, citizen boards, and State governments. By eliminating the Department of Education less than 2 years after it was created, we cannot only reduce the budget but ensure that local needs and preferences, rather than the wishes of Washington, determine the education of our children.”
Original co-sponsors include Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI), Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Congressman Jody Hice (R-GA), Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC), and Rep. Raúl R. Labrador (R-ID).
CALL TO ACTION
Contact your US Representative and ask them to co-sponsor this bill, or get their commitment to vote for it when it comes up for a vote.
Find your US Representative
It's all about the data.
Check out Dr. Byrne's latest Powerpoint on the data collection efforts of the Federal and State governments here. (If you want to see the embedded movies you will need to download the file from the page that pops up. When you see the message about scanning for virus, click Yes.)
Common Core is the GLUE that makes data collection possible
Common Core is the GLUE that makes data collection possible
Why data tracking of students is still important and what parents need to know about how much the system knows or wants to know about your child.
Race To The Top 2.0
Throughout the U.S. Department of Education’s Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority proposed regulations we see a pattern extremely similar to that of the 2009 Race To The Top grant, which bribed States into applying for a grant that would require the implementation of one-size-fits-all standards to receive funding. The Department of Education is using these regulations to push a common, national assessment system.
Moreover, the Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority proposed regulations incentivize States to join a consortium, something Congress and ESSA proponents said would not happen.
The following are specific areas in which the proposed regulations are egregious in their attempts to impose a common, Federal education system, stripping parents and SEAs of what little local control of education remains, and in many ways contradicts and undermines the law in which they are intended to provide guidance...
See the specific violations of the language and intent of ESSA at StopFedEd
Patience, Privacy, Power, Politics, and Pensions Behind the Every Student Succeeds Act
New Report Sheds Light on Deficiencies of Common Core’s Math Standards
Read more on our Standards Quality page
Project Veritas Videos Prove Us Right - For Ed Suppliers it IS All About the Money
Project Veritas has released a series of powerful and troubling videos showing the callous attitudes and base fiscal focus of the education publishing companies when it comes to providing educational support materials for students. It was never a secret that they are in business to make money and changing standards feeds that business model, but the open contempt for the children and academic excellence is startling in this series of videos.
Joy Pullman has a three part series over at The Federalist providing details of the decline in quality of American textbooks, the corruption that exists in a system designed to grant monopolies to certain companies by placing inordinate textbook selection power in the hands of a few corruptible people.
Why should we be concerned about this decline? In Terrance Moore's book, The Story Killers he warns about the low quality research and bias in these books and what it will do to the mindset of future generations.
“Essentially, all of World War II has been reduced to dropping the bomb
and consequently, we are led to believe, America’s inhumanity…Do we want
the children just now entering school and in the years to come—who may
have never met their great-grandparents—to be made ashamed of that
Greatest Generation, of America, and of our resolution to remain free?”
The next time your school district is looking to update their curriculum and textbook selection, maybe you should have a special screening of these videos for your school board members.
Governor Nixon Signs HB1490
The Missouri Coalition Against Common Core is proud to announce that Governor Jay Nixon signed House Bill1490 into law on July 14, 2014. We appreciate the work of the Missouri Legislature and the Governor in this first step which enables Missourians to direct and develop education for Missouri students. We believe this is an important first step forward that applies the appropriate caution when implementing a new and untried standards system. This new law will provide a measure of protection for our teachers, districts and students from consequences for student test scores on a standardized test whose validity and reliability as a tool for measuring their performance is not supported by data.
We look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature in the next session to further education excellence for Missouri students.
You can find out what the work groups are up to on the DESE website.
There you can find Work Group member lists, meeting locations, dates and times, as well as dates and locations for the public hearings that the State Board of Education is required to hold.
You can also find links to videos from the initial meetings of the work groups on DESE's youtube page here.
Universal Preschool Tied To Common Core
Read more about the universal FAIL of preschool to produce lasting improvement of student performance. Studies now showing that making preschoolers sit in a class structured for older students is actually harmful to their psycho-social development. See our new Early Childhood Education Tab
Common Core Part of an Old Plan
Linda Murphy is an Oklahoma educator
and former appointed Secretary of Education and Deputy Commissioner of Labor
for Workforce Education and Training. She wrote in
the Okie Blaze about her experience in 1995 she was sent to the National Governors Association meeting in Chicago, by then
Oklahoma Governor Keating, where the NGA staff and Marc Tucker met with
Education Advisors from many states.
At that meeting they discussed President Clinton's education plans which were being promoted by business leaders like Lou Gerstner former IBM CEO who later went on to become Chairman Emirtus of Achieve Inc. which wrote the Common Core Standards.
Now her state supports Common Core and the vision of a “human capital pipeline” through education and training nationwide that it enables.
"This is all too familiar to those of us who became informed in the 1990’s," she wrote. "Some leaders remain: Gerstner, Cohen and long range master planner, Marc Tucker. Since 1988 Tucker has been Executive Director of the National Center for Education and the Economy, NCEE, funded by the Carnegie Foundation.
Michael Cohen, Executive Director of ACHIEVE, was chosen by Clinton for leadership in the Department of Education. Cohen was on staff with Clinton, while he was Governor and chairman of the National Governor’s Association."
At that time Murphy and the education advisors from Virginia and New Hampshire were very vocal about their opposition to this vision.
"I just said NO. No, the state of Oklahoma will NOT be participating in this plan," she said.
In her 2013 article she wrote about where the plans are now.
- Common Core State Standards written by ACHIEVE’s national panel
- Curriculum aligned with standards
- Student Assessments/Testing aligned with standards and curriculum (assessments include student behavior, attitudes, values and beliefs)
- Teachers trained as facilitators of aligned curriculum loosing freedom to teach by direct instruction and design their own lesson plans
- Teachers evaluated by monitors who report to the State Longitudinal Data System -SLDS for “Quality and Accountability”
- School Districts’ grades reported to the SLDS and the public based on “over simplified” and unproven processes
- Student data collected and stored in State Longitudinal Data Systems -SLDS for use across government agencies or outside parties developing tests and curriculum; P-20 Councils oversee student tracking from Preschool through Age 20; Individual and group data from schools, government agencies and workforce organizations matched and used in planning; Grades, behavior, nicknames, extracurricular activity, address and religious identity designated as useful data
It is now 2015, two decades since this plan was launched. Back in the 90's there was no social media and no grassroots activism of any serious note. The creators did not envision any public back lash and they had the support of business giants like IBM. They actually expected the public to lap it up. The government was going to make our kids college and career ready. What's not to like? They certainly didn't anticipate any kind of coordinated public push back. Their blind spot was their inability to predict the public's rejection of any plan that was based on authoritarian central control. They didn't plan on the tiger moms, the constitutional resurgency and frankly the high level of awareness of so many parents about what goes on in school. Turns out there is plenty not to like.
You can read Murphy's full article here.