KAREN R. EFFREM, MD, EDUCATION LIBERTY WATCH
There were rumors that the final votes on amendments and passage for the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) could have been as early as Monday or at the latest by Wednesday (July 15th). Apparently because parents and teachers have seen through the shiny but false promises about how this Senate reauthorization of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), restores state sovereignty and parental control, is an improvement over NCLB, and supposedly lets states out of Common Core and testing mandates, the plan is to finish the bill before more opposition can be raised by those of us who know the truth and oppose this bill.
Details provided in the list by the American Principles Project show how the prohibition on federal involvement with standards are completely false. This is especially important because presidential candidate Jeb Bush is perpetuating the falsehood that the prohibitions against federal control of standards are real. In the following audio clip from a conference call with Alabama Republicans, Bush bragged about how he got his good buddy Senator Lamar Alexander to put this prohibition in the Senate bill (listen starting at 2:32).
The problem is that this type of prohibition was already in federal law in three places. That did not stop the current administration from bribing and blackmailing states to adopt Common Core. In addition neither the old or the new language contains any enforcement mechanism for the states that are coerced or bribed. Either Jeb Bush is ignorant of this situation or he is knowingly participating in the deception. Neither situation reflects well on him, especially since he portrays himself as such as education guru.
As we have chronicled in detail before, the other problems with and dangers of this bill are almost too numerous to count, especially in the areas of psychological profiling and expansion of federally controlled invasive early childhood programs. These other problems include:
- Cementing in of Common Core under the name of College and Career Ready Standards
- Continuing federal annual testing mandates
- Keeping the Secretary of Education in Charge of approving state plans
- Only sham protection against Common Core because there is no enforcement mechanism for the prohibitions against federal interference with standards
- No repair for the severely weakened and outdated privacy law (FERPA)
These provisions are further evidence that promised protections for states, districts, family autonomy, teacher control and student privacy are false.
The House passed their NCLB rewrite by a very narrow margin of 218-213 that required much arm twisting. So if and when this Senate bill passes, the two will have to go to conference committee and we will all have to be alert and do our best to continue to educate members of Congress. Please be aware of these issues as you contact your own Senators this week!
The Moral Liberal Guest Contributor, Dr. Karen Effrem, is President of Education Liberty Watch, is a pediatrician, researcher, and conference speaker. Dr. Effrem’s medical degree is from Johns Hopkins University and her pediatric training from the University of Minnesota. She has provided testimony for Congress, as well as in-depth analysis of numerous pieces of major federal education, health, and early childhood legislation for congressional staff, state legislatures, and many organizations. Dr. Effrem serves on the boards of national organizations Education Liberty Watch and the Alliance for Human Research Protection. Dr. Effrem and her husband, Paul, have three children.
Used with the permission of Education Liberty Watch.