By now, you noticed the news of the Common Core laden, high stakes assessment bill that is known as HR5 (aka: “Every Child Achieves Act”). It’s a nasty bill disguised as a good bill that would seek to give the states back their authority in education. However, the irony is the states don’t need to take back what has been theirs all along! Very active anti CCSS warriors have exposed the HR5 for the Trojan horse that it is. There’s also been much talk about a bill that would limit student privacy information. Another masked enemy, when you look beneath the surface. Again, much anti CCSS evidence has been presented on this bill (aka ‘Vitter Bill’). Today’s “From the File” article, however will NOT focus on these 2 bills. IT will focus on the current amendment concentrated on removing national assessments. Could this be yet another Trojan horse? Let’s see if we can find out.
Presently, the bill I’m referring to is “Student Testing Improvement and Accountability Act” or the “Tester Bill”. The name ‘Tester’ is in reference to the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Tester from Montana. Sen. Tester is a former teacher. He’s also a current CCSS supporter. I refer to this statement, “”When Senator Tester voted to support Common Core he made it clear that he believes in President Obama’s government-mandated education curriculum and that Washington D.C. bureaucrats know what’s best for our students- not Montana families.””
His bid for nationally recognized education reform news surfaced back in April 2015, on the local news, KRTV. Their write up is a feature on his senatorial website. The irony is, that will Sen. Tester SAYS his bill is designed for good things..the ‘killer’ statement which discounts all of his efforts?? See below:
“For local and statewide testing, like the Smarter Balanced Assessment Testing, those regulations and policies will remain in place.”
To access the entire write up, see: http://www.tester.senate.gov/?p=news&id=3902
I’d like to point out that Senator Tester is suggested ‘grade span testing’. This is where one assessment, per child per elementary, middle, and high school grades are needed. He also shares that THIS will be a federal requirement.
Here’s a radical idea, politicians:
how about the legally binding, U.S. Constitutionally minded parameter: NO federal education requirement???
In another article, Sen. Tester admitted that the abundance of assessments our students face now WON’T decrease..just which government entity enforces them. Here’s an excerpt:
“My proposal doesn’t limit the number of overall testings required, except for those required by the federal government.” I’ll point out that just before this point from Sen. Tester, it is shared that local school boards could decide when it comes to assessments. However, if all the current regulations and policies tied to SBAC and PARCC are to remain in place (see the quote above where this is highlighted) how CAN the locals decide anything??
For this article, see: http://mtpr.org/post/former-teacher-tester-favors-fewer-tests
In an effort to do a great job of giving you the facts, I’ve found an article which might help us understand WHY politicians like Tester and Vitter present us with legislation which appears to be good but in fact, isn’t. Tester has recently been pegged as a leader nationally for the Democrats. Vitter is seeking the office of Governor. My point? Both are in key places for 2016’s elections. One is considered masterful at obtaining victories in matters not so easily won. What can we as anti CCSS warriors do? Plenty! We know the truth! We know how to raise our voices!
For Tester’s recent leadership position article: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/dems-name-jon-tester-new-dscc-chairman/article/2556146
For Vitter’s governor’s campaign: http://www.davidvitter.com/
The Campaign FOR Student Testing Improvement:
I was contacted just this weekend with news of the “Tester Act” by a reader on this blog. The reader was offering it as what appeared to be a tip. However, it was a bit confusing because the reader posted it as their “anti CCSS words”. (in response to the Memorial Day Weekend challenge to collect as many anti CCSS words as possible) The website the reader pointed me to is one that’s been put together by supporters of the “Tester Act”. Who’s behind this push for support? The nationally recognized “Network for Public Education”.
The Network for Public Education has some very well known former and current education people. If you look at the list, you’ll note that at least 2 of these folks are often featured as warriors against the CCSS.
I’m not so convinced about one of these leaders. Why? Because too much accessible evidence is available to point to changing education for the ‘common good‘ from this leader. As we all know well by now, this is a dangerous attitude.
Common Core and all that goes with it are ALL about the ‘common good’. While others have uncovered evidence that suggests we proceed carefully here, I was able to uncover that the same leader so seemingly vocal about ‘no CCSS’ is a firm supporter of it’s post-secondary portion: Career and Technical Education! How many times have we learned if you’re going to be opposed to the CCSS Machine, you MUST be opposed to ALL of it?!?!
My point in revealing the above information: is even in the War Against the Core, we must be wise in whom we are listening to; what portion of the CCSS Machine we are unwittingly supporting when we don’t recognize the buzzwords used plainly in communication. While the bandwagon may contain big ‘movers and changers’ in this battle; it isn’t necessarily the CORRECT place for us. We must stand firmly behind the FACTS about Common Core Standards!
Those in the positions of leadership (and thus, offering what appear to be solutions worthy of our attention) are throwing so much at us, the warriors against CCSS, that we can be easily distracted. As proof, I offer the following (on the surface) good things which are being used so we won’t notice the bad things (what’s embedded in each bill):
Think about it, HR5 has been portrayed as a great equalizer in the federal vs. state education claim; Vitter’s Bill is being presented as the great data protector. Tester’s bill is being promoted as the ‘super assessment savior’. Closely related and equally packaged as a great answer to our educationally undermined country is the HEA (Higher Education Act). It’s big claim? Lightens the student debt loan.
Lastly, here’s the link to the file for the ‘Tester Bill’:
It’s not lengthy, but it’s still full of hidden agenda.