“What Does a Quality Textbook Look Like?”

Nakonia (Niki) Hayes

Nakonia (Niki) Hayes; Author, “The Story of John Saxon” 

9.9.14 – Truth in American Education

“What Does a Quality Textbook Look Like?”

By Nakonia (Niki) Hayes

There’s an interesting new concern being voiced by Common Core leaders: “What does a quality textbook look like?”

Here’s a non-nuanced, concrete answer, especially for mathematics textbooks: “It gets results and doesn’t chase kids out of math.” And, yes, such textbooks do exist.

It’s not surprising that the issue of quality textbooks has come up with Common Core. After all, textbook publishing is a multi-billion dollar industry. The federally-supported mathematics and English Core standards will drive 85% of a school’s curricula and 100% of the related assessments in about 40 states.

The creation of new Core-aligned materials that prepare students for the Core-aligned assessments is already making a rich impact on publishing businesses, vendors, and peripheral activities (teacher training, consultants, etc.). So much has to be rewritten or at least republished with the words “Common Core Aligned” on the cover. Old materials must be thrown away. New materials have to be bought. Lots of profit is on the horizon.

The major problem for publishers, however, is actually in mathematics education. They must figure out how to get good, reliable, and verifiable results from American children who have become math phobic over the past 50 years. That means publishers need to listen to authors who have a proven success record and not to ideologically-driven math education leaders who have for years promoted fads with political correctness as the purpose of math education. It will be hard—and expensive—to cut the cord between publishers and embedded education “leaders” if quality textbooks are to be created. Profits may suffer at the beginning.

But here is a checklist for publishers, administrators, teachers, and parents to consider about math textbooks:

(1) Look for results, not ideology. It is about student success, not affirming adult beliefs.

·         Results are reflected in GPAs, End-of-Course exams, state tests, national tests, and/or college board exams.

·         Local comments from students, teachers, and parents give anecdotal but often powerful insight. (Surveys are especially interesting when high school students are asked about their elementary and middle school classes.)

·         Specific studies commissioned by the author(s) or publishers show results.

·         School districts or schools with similar demographics that have used the textbook should be contacted. This information can be supplied by the publisher.

 

(2) The author (not “consultants” or “advisors”) who actually wrote the textbook is named, preferably on the cover. This also helps provide accountability.

·         If no authors are listed, the book has been created by workers in publishing “development houses.” This can and probably does provide lack of continuity, different writing styles throughout the book (and supplemental materials), and thus incoherency which decrease clarity of the lessons and affect student responses. This also erases responsibility for the publisher.

 

(3) Actual examples of internationally-based problems (not simply referenced in “studies” by education researchers) are offered for review by the publisher if the textbook is listed as Common Core-aligned, since it is touted that Core standards are internationally based.

(4) The teacher’s manual does not consist of 1,000 pages for 180 days of instruction.

·         One afternoon of teacher training with a user-friendly textbook should be sufficient .

·         If it is claimed that a detailed and extensive teacher’s manual (for teaching the teacher) is needed because of weak teacher preparation or skills, then it is the school administration’s problem. They need to work with the teacher training sites to produce better candidates, not buy a truckload of supplemental materials.

 

(5) The textbook does not waste space with expensive, colored photos even if they may have a relationship to the topic. One color used for highlighting words or graphs is sufficient.

·         The textbook uses appropriate space for examples and creative repetition of exercises through every lesson of the book for practice and mastery.

·         The textbook’s focus is on mathematics. Use of social justice themes, for example, in math problem-solving detracts from the math concepts which should be the focus of students.

 

(6) The use of calculators is limited to a few “investigative exercises” to help familiarize students with calculators for later use; they are not to be used in regular problem-solving activities in grades K-6.

·         Mental math and memorization of math facts are required.

 

(7) Few supplemental materials are necessary for students, especially in basic, foundational learning.

·         A test manual and a solutions manual are sufficient as supplements for teachers.

·         A manual for specific populations (special needs or gifted) may be useful.

 

(8) No protest has ever been waged against the textbook by any organized parent group.

·         An Internet search will show if such protests have taken place.

 

(9) The textbook can be completed in one school year without skipping pages or topics.

·         Textbooks of 600-800 pages that can weigh up to seven pounds are subject to teachers’ having to eliminate topics. This creates holes in the fabric of linear mathematics education.

 

(10) Schools using the textbook can show the following:

·         a steady, significant decrease in low-level math courses and the need for remedial programs,

·         an increase in enrollment in advanced math and science courses,

·         an increase in those passing state-required exit tests, and

·         an increase in passing rates and scores on college board exams.

 

(11) In summary, does the textbook show accuracy, brevity, and clarity in its lessons so both parents and teachers can help children learn mathematics?

There are those who insist that textbooks aren’t “the curriculum.” They say it’s all about the teachers. (Common Core now says it’s about standards.) If that’s the case, let’s just give all students a copy of the Yellow Pages. Let’s save all that money spent on books and materials and finally train teachers in their content areas so they can use anything handed to them to teach—including the Yellow Pages. (And if the textbooks are so unimportant, why do progressives fight so hard to get “their” chosen textbooks adopted?)

Maybe teachers can do without a book, but many of us know that students need a quality textbook. Parents and teachers come and go in the lives of children these days, but a user-friendly textbook should always be within reach for children. It can set up a satisfying relationship with positive results for them to show the world.

More than a million homeschooled students, plus many charter, private, and small public schools use a textbook that meets these listed criteria. The math education leadership hates the series because they say it is too traditional. Reams of documentation exist, however, to prove its success with students.

For more information, go to http://saxonmathwarrior.com. (Disclaimer: The author is NOT affiliated with any publisher.)

 

[Niki Hayes was one of the wonderful speakers at the #CANiSEE Solutions Conference in Austin, Texas, on June 20 – 21, 2014. To purchase a CD or DVD of her engaging presentation, please go to: http://shop.canisee.org/The-Story-Behind-Saxon-Math-5-Hayes.htm )

 

 

Now is the time to give #APUSH~ Fight back for our children!

#STANDwithMercer.001

If ever there was a time to show up in Austin-

Now is that time.

Show up ~ SPEAK UP ~ and Protect the next Generation!

APUSH-Ad-Artwork-bg (1)

From the creators of Common Core, David Coleman and the College Board, the new AP US History course is an assault on our country’s heritage.

The new AP US History (APUSH) framework presents a relentlessly negative view of American history, emphasizing every problem and failing of our ancestors while ignoring or minimizing their achievements.

The College Board’s reinterpretation of US history, as presented in the new APUSH course, is a biased and inaccurate view of many important facets of American history, including the motivations and actions of 17th -19th-century settlers, American involvement in World War II, and the conduct of, and victory in, the Cold War.

The period of the American Revolution up to the 1787 Constitutional Convention

Almost every Founding Father is omitted – no Jefferson, Adams, Madison, or Franklin. The AP US History Framework excludes Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill, Valley Forge, Saratoga, and Yorktown. The commanders and heroes of these pivotal battles are all omitted.

Civil War

Omits the Lincoln-Douglas debates, the Gettysburg Address, and the assassination of President Lincoln. Once again omits crucial battles, key commanders, and the valor of common soldiers.

World War II

Omits “The Greatest Generation,” Truman, Hitler, D-Day, Midway, the Battle of the Bulge, and every military commander including Dwight Eisenhower. Inexplicably, Nazi atrocities against Jews and other groups are not required. APUSH concludes its treatment of WWII with this blunt statement: “The decision to drop the atomic bomb raised questions about American values.”

Civil Rights Movement

Does not mention America’s first African-American President. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, Rosa Parks, the Navajo Code Talkers, Tuskegee Airmen, 442nd Infantry Regiment, and Barbara Jordan’s famous speech on the Constitution are all omitted.

United States Military

A word search of the entire 98-page document will not find one military commander or one Medal of Honor recipient. Our best and brightest students will thus learn nothing of the heroism and sacrifices of Americans in uniform.

Usurping Local Education Control

“The redesigned Framework is best described as a curricular coup that sets a number of dangerous precedents. By providing a detailed course of study that defines, discusses, and interprets ‘the required knowledge of each period,’ the College Board has in effect supplanted local and state curriculum by unilaterally assuming the authority to prioritize historic topics.” – Jane Robbins, American Principles Project

“Combat New AP U. S. History Course by Taking Action”

by Donna Garner 9.7.14

ACTION STEP – Sign this Petition to stand with SBOE Ken Mercer! 

[gravityform id=”9″ name=”Petition to #STANDwithMercer to REJECT the new AP Anti- U.S. Framework and Exam”]

Members of the public (e.g., moms, pops, grandparents, concerned citizens, AP U. S. History teachers) who object to the redesigned AP U. S. History course (APUSH) are needed to testify before the Texas State Board of Education either on Wednesday, Sept. 17, or on Friday, Sept.19.

 

IMPORTANCE OF ALL TEXAS STUDENTS BEING TAUGHT THE SOCIAL STUDIES TEKS

 

Nothing in  the Texas Education Code (TEC) gives AP U. S. History teachers permission to ignore the teaching of the fact-based, patriotic, state-mandated Social Studies TEKS (Texas’ curriculum standards) adopted by the elected members of the Texas State Board of Education. 

 

Nothing in the TEC states that the AP U. S. History (APUSH) Framework should displace the teaching of the Social Studies TEKS. 

 

The public testimony on the importance of all Texas public school students being taught the K-12 Social Studies TEKS will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 17. Here is the link to the SBOE agenda for that day: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=25769815951

 

SBOE MEMBER KEN MERCER’S RESOLUTION

 September 2014 Meeting

Texas State Board of Education

Regarding:  College Board’s new 2014 Framework

Advanced Placement United States History

WHEREAS, the purpose of College and Career Readiness Standards(CCRS) and advanced high school courses is to prepare students to understand a variety of views and opinions from across the political spectrum, and to be able to discuss and debate those ideas free from bias and outside influence; and

 WHEREAS, the systematic or deliberate discouragement of certain points of view within the scope of any curriculum framework undermines the basic tenets of our society and education system; and,

 WHEREAS, the Texas Education Code (TEC) Section 28.002(h) states:

 The State Board of Education and each school district shall foster the continuation of the tradition of teaching United States and Texas history and the free enterprise system in regular subject matter and in reading courses and in the adoption of textbooks.

      A primary purpose of the public school curriculum is to prepare thoughtful, active citizens who understand the importance of patriotism and can function productively in a free enterprise society with appreciation for the basic democratic values of our state and national heritage;and,

WHEREAS, almost 500,000 U. S. students, approximately 46,000 of whom are from Texas, take the College Board’s Advanced Placement U. S. History (APUSH) course each year; and

WHEREAS, the APUSH course may be the final U.S. History class for what many believe are the brightest and best of our high school students; and,

WHEREAS, the APUSH course has traditionally been designed to present a balanced view of American history and to prepare students for college-level history courses; and

WHEREAS, the College Board, a private, non-elected organization unaccountable to the public has recently released a new 98-page Framework that mandates a highly politicized approach to teaching the APUSH course; and

WHEREAS, the new APUSH Framework reflects a radically revisionist view of American history that is critical of American exceptionalism and emphasizes negative aspects of our nation’s history while omitting or minimizing positive aspects; and

WHEREAS, the anti-American, revisionist history of Howard Zinn and his textbook “The People’s Guide to U.S. History” is a recommended textbook in each of the four syllabi originally presented at the Summer 2014 training of APUSH educators; and

WHEREAS, the APUSH Framework includes little or no discussion of the Founding Fathers, the principles of the Declaration of Independence, the religious influences on our nation’s history, and many other critical topics that have always been part of the APUSH course; and

WHEREAS, the Framework excludes discussion of the U. S. military (no battles, commanders, or heroes) and omits many significant individuals and events that greatly shaped our nation’s history (for example, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Albert Einstein, Jonas Salk, George Washington Carver, Rosa Parks, Cesar Chavez, Dr. Martin Luther King, Tuskegee Airmen, Navajo Code Talkers, the Battle of Gettysburg, the Holocaust, D-Day, liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, and the election of our first African-American President); and

WHEREAS, the Framework presents a clearly biased and inaccurate view of many important events in American history, including the motivations and actions of 17th- through 19th-century settlers, American involvement in World War II, the free-enterprise economic explosion in the 1940s through 1960s, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the development of Cold War tensions and ultimate fall of the Iron Curtain, and the successful landing of a man on the moon; and

WHEREAS, the Framework describes its detailed outline as the “required knowledge” for APUSH students, and admits that the APUSH examination will not test information outside this “required knowledge”; and

WHEREAS, because the Framework differs radically from the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)  so that APUSH teachers will have to ignore the TEKS standards to prepare students for the AP examination; and

WHEREAS, the released APUSH sample examination questions continue, via behavioral testing techniques, to promote a negative, anti-American bias toward U.S. History; therefore be it

RESOLVED, the elected Texas State Board of Education strongly admonishes the College Board for failing to listen to the numerous complaints of parents, educators and concerned citizens; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, the Texas State Board of Education recommends that a committee be convened to draft an APUSH Framework that is consistent both with the APUSH course’s traditional mission and with the shared purpose of the CCRS, the TEKS and the Texas Education Code, and with the desires of Texas parents and other citizens for students to learn the true history of their country; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, the Texas State Board of Education requests that Members of the Texas Legislature and the U. S. Congress investigate this matter; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Texas State Board of Education requests that the College Board rewrite the APUSH course and examination in a transparent manner to accurately reflect U. S. history without a political bias and to respect the sovereignty of Texas over its education curriculum; and be it

FINALLY RESOLVED, that upon approval of this resolution the Texas State Board of Education shall promptly deliver a copy of this resolution to every Member of the Texas State Legislature and to every Texas Member of the United States Congress.

Respectfully submitted by:

Ken Mercer Member: Texas State Board of Education, District 5

 

On Friday, Sept. 19, SBOE Member Ken Mercer will present his Resolution against the redesigned AP U. S. History course (APUSH). A vote on the Resolution by all the SBOE members will be taken.  

 

Registration to testify for either the Wednesday, Sept. 17 session or the Friday, Sept. 19 session starts at8:00 A. M. on Friday, Sept. 12 until 5:00 P. M. on Sept. 15. Those who call the Texas Education Agency early get to testify earlier – it’s first come first served.

CONTACTING SBOE MEMBERS

It is not necessary for you to be a Texan to submit your support for the Resolution since the new and objectionable APUSH course is being driven by the College Board into schools throughout this nation.  

 

Calls, letters, and e-mails are effective and should encourage the SBOE members to vote for SBOE Member Ken Mercer’s Resolution.  

 

If you support this Resolution, please send an e-mail to each of the elected members of the SBOE by using this common SBOE e-mail address:  [email protected]

 

Here is a link to each of the SBOE members, their bios, and contact information:  http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2147506719

 

INFORMATION FOR TESTIFIERS

 

It is important for testifiers to give specific examples from the APUSH Framework that indicate bias and that do not follow the Texas Education Code (Chapter 28)  

Link to Texas Education Code – Chapter 28: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/?link=ED

 

Link to Public Testimony Registrations and Procedures as posted on the Texas Education Agency website — http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=25769804082

For those who testify, it is important for them to give specific examples from the new APUSH Framework that contradict what is in the Social Studies TEKS

 

Link to Social Studies TEKS:  http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter113/index.html

 

DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT THE NEW APUSH

9.6.14 – “SBOE’s Mercer Resolution Seeks To Stop Radical APUSH Redesign in Texas”

by Merrill Hope – Breitbart Texas — http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Texas/2014/09/6/SBOE-s-Mercer-Resolution-Seeks-To-Stop-Radical-APUSH-Redesign-in-Texas

Here is what USED to be in the 5-page APUSH – Course Description – Effective Fall 2010 — Please go to pp. 7 – 12 to see the Themes in AP U. S. History.

http://womenonthewall.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/ap-us-history-course-description.pdf

 

Here is the link to the new 98-page, anti-American, 2014 APUSH – Course and Exam Description Including Curriculum Framework – Effective Fall 2014:  http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/ap/ap-course-exam-descriptions/ap-us-history-course-and-exam-description.pdf

 

9.3.14 — RESOURCE LIST – ANTI-REDESIGNED ADVANCED PLACEMENT U. S. HISTORY COURSE (APUSH)

 

8.22.14 – Short Video Clip – College Board Under Fire for New AP U. S. History Framework – by James Rosen — FoxNews.com — http://video.foxnews.com/v/3744498137001/college-board-under-fire-for-new-ap-history-framework/#sp=show-clips

 

9.3.14 – “Why Does the College Board Hate George Washington and MLK?” – by Larry Krieger — Heartland–

http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2014/09/03/why-does-college-board-hate-george-washington-and-mlk

 

9.2.14 – “Imperiling the Republic: The Fate of U. S. History Instruction Under Common Core” – by  — Ketcham, Stotsky, Lewis – Pioneer Institute —  http://pioneerinstitute.org/download/imperiling-the-republic-the-fate-of-u-s-history-instruction-under-common-core/

 

9.2.14 – “U. S. History Instruction Damaged by Common Core Literacy Standards” — Truth in American Education –

http://truthinamericaneducation.com/common-core-state-standards/u-s-history-instruction-damaged-by-common-core-literacy-standards/

 

9.2.14 – “Madison Scholar Condemns AP U. S. History Redesign” – by Stanley Kurtz — National Review

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/386849/madison-scholar-condemns-ap-us-history-redesign-stanley-kurtz?utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Corner&utm_source=twitterfeed

 

8.30.14 – “The Left’s Attempt To Institutionalize the Rewriting of U. S. History” – by Ron Radosh – PJ Media  

http://pjmedia.com/ronradosh/2014/08/30/the-lefts-attempt-to-institutionalize-the-re-writing-of-us-history-a-new-step-forward-through-their-long-march-through-the-existing-institutions/

 

8.25.14 – “Common Core Architect’s History ‘Deeply Biased’ Against U. S. – by Leo Hohmann — Mobile World Net Daily

http://mobile.wnd.com/2014/08/common-core-history-deeply-biased-against-u-s/

 

8.25.14 – “How the College Board Politicized U.S. History” – by Stanley Kurtz – National Review —

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/386202/how-college-board-politicized-us-history-stanley-kurtz

 

8.22.14 – “Pushing American History As a Long Tale of Oppression” – by Peter Wood – Nat. Asso. of Scholars — http://www.nas.org/articles/pushing_american_history_as_a_long_tale_of_oppression

 

8.19.14 – “29 Biased Statements in the AP U. S. History Redesign” – by Larry Krieger — Heartland.org –http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2014/08/19/29-biased-statements-ap-us-history-redesign

 

8.15.14 — “Why Won’t the College Board Reveal its AP U.S. History Authors?” — by Larry Krieger and Jane Robbins — http://www.educationviews.org/wont-college-board-reveal-ap-u-s-history-authors/

 

8.13.14 — PODCAST – Alice Linahan Conference Call – Discussion of the new AP U. S. History Course (including the Framework and the new AP U. S. History test itself) and dual credit courses —https://soundcloud.com/alice-linahan/women-on-the-wall-conference-call-ap-advanced-placement-and-dual-credit-is-it-a-good-thing

 

8.9.14 – “Ken Mercer: The Texas Voice in the Uphill Battle To Push APUSH Back” – by Merrill Hope —Breitbart Texas — http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Texas/2014/08/09/Ken-Mercer-The-Texas-Voice-In-The-Uphill-Battle-To-Push-APUSH-Back/

 

8.9.14 — “Child Abuse – Destroying Children’s Love for America” – Donna Garner

http://www.educationviews.org/child-abuse-destroying-childrens-love-america/

 

 

8.7.14 – “New AP U. S. History:  Greatest Americans missing from proposed curriculum” – by Rhett Miller — FoxNews.com — http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/08/07/historic-fail-greatest-americans-missing-from-proposed-curriculum/

 

 

8.6.14 — “Anti-American AP U. S. History Course & Links to APUSH Documents” –by Donna Garner —http://www.educationviews.org/anti-american-ap-u-s-history-links-apush-documents/

 

 

8.1.14 — “Chock-Full of Info – Saving America’s Youth” — by Donna Garner

http://www.educationviews.org/chock-full-info-saving-americas-youth/

 

7.13.14 – “The New AP U. S. History Exam – Deal or No Deal?” – by Jane Robbins, Larry Krieger – Breitbart— http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/07/13/The-New-AP-US-History-Exam-Deal-or-No-Deal

 

7.10.14 – “Update on AP U. S. History” – by Peter Wood – Nat. Asso. Of Scholarshttp://www.nas.org/articles/update_on_ap_us_history

 

 

7.7.14 – “Look What the College Board Has Done to U. S. History” – by Peter Wood – Nat. Asso of Scholars — http://www.nas.org/articles/look_what_the_college_board_has_done_to_u.s._history

 

 

7.1.14 – “The New AP History: A Preliminary Report” – by Peter Wood – Nat. Asso. of Scholars —http://www.nas.org/articles/the_new_ap_history_a_preliminary_report

 

 

Here is what USED to be in the 5-page APUSH – Course Description – Effective Fall 2010 — Please go to pp. 7 – 12 to see the Themes in AP U. S. History.

http://womenonthewall.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/ap-us-history-course-description.pdf

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Here is the link to the new 98-page, anti-American, 2014 APUSH – Course and Exam Description Including Curriculum Framework – Effective Fall 2014:  http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/ap/ap-course-exam-descriptions/ap-us-history-course-and-exam-description.pdf

Please view The Concept Outline in the new 2014 APUSH on pp. 28 – 37:http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/ap/ap-course-exam-descriptions/ap-us-history-course-and-exam-description.pdf

Here are the Related Articles in the 2014 APUSH Course Content:

 

Common Core’s Control over Curriculum, Teachers, Students, America

students_teacher_AP

By Donna Garner

9.2.14

[The Obama administration, Arne Duncan, and the U. S. Dept. of Ed. are beginning to run scared because the public, including a number of our nation’s governors, are realizing that Common Core Standards do indeed control curriculum (among other education functions that have been ripped away by the federal government from state and/or local control).

Because the USDOE is “banned by law from directing, supervising, or controlling elementary and secondary school curriculum, programs of instruction, and instructional materials,” governors and other citizens are realizing they have grounds to sue the federal government for breaking the law.

Below are helpful resources that prove Common Core Standards are controlling curriculum. These resources could be used to help strengthen people’s legal challenges to reject the entire Common Core Standards Initiative and the USDOE’s conditional NCLB waiver system.

— Donna Garner]

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[The arrows mean “lead(s) to.”]

National standards →  National assessments →  National curriculum → National teacher evaluations with teachers’ salaries tied to students’ test scores → Teachers teaching to the test each and every day → National indoctrination of our public school children →  National database of students and teachers containing personally intrusive information

*I began sharing this graphic way back in 1.1.09 in an attempt to warn the public against the Obama administration’s move toward the Common Core Standards Initiative. – Donna Garner

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4.16.14 – “Common Core Is a Curriculum” – by Donna Garner —http://www.educationviews.org/common-core-curriculum/

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Laura Slover, CEO of PARCC admitted in a press release on 8.22.14 that Common Core drives the curriculum: 

 

“High quality assessments go hand-in-hand with high quality instruction based, on high quality standardsYou cannot have one without the other. The PARCC states see quality assessments as a part of instruction, not a break from instruction.”http://www.parcconline.org/parcc-states-reduce-no-items-elaliteracy-portion-test

 

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Gov. Bobby Jindal’s press release – 8.25.14:

 

The proponents of Common Core and PARCC continue to insist that tests and standards are not about curriculum, but that’s a ruse. Teachers already know that what is tested at the end of the year is what is taught in classrooms throughout the year. PARCC may not mandate one textbook or one pacing guide, but the CEO of the federally funded PARCC has admitted one thing: PARCC controls instruction and instruction is curriculum. (8.25.14 – “PARCC CEO Admits Goal of Test To Control Curriculum” – Office of Gov. Bobby Jindal – Press Release — http://gov.louisiana.gov/index.cfm?md=newsroom&tmp=detail&articleID=4655 )

 

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2.12 — “The Road to a National Curriculum: The Legal Aspects of the Common Core Standards, Race to the Top, and Conditional Waivers” – a Pioneer Institute White Paper — http://www.scribd.com/doc/81315338/The-Road-to-a-National-Curriculum

 

[Summary statements about this report]

 

With only minor exceptions, the General Education Provisions Act, the Department of Education Organization Act, and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), ban the Department from directing, supervising, or controlling elementary and secondary school curriculum, programs of instruction, and instructional materials.

The U. S. Dept. of Education has designed a system of discretionary grants and conditional waivers that effectively herds states into accepting specific standards and assessments favored by the Departmentthe NCLB conditional waiver programis driving the states toward a national K-12 curriculum and course content.  

 

The waiver authority granted by Congress in No Child Left Behind does not permit the Secretary to gut NCLB wholesale and impose these conditions…

 

In the view of the authors, these efforts will necessarily result in ade facto national curriculum and instructional materials effectively supervised, directed, or controlled by the Department through the NCLB waiver process.

Secretary Arne Duncan has said that the work of the two consortia includes “developing curriculum frameworks” and ‘instructional modules.’

But the legal concern is that these federally funded assessments will ultimately direct the course of elementary and secondary course content across the nationThis raises a fundamental question of whether the Department is exceeding its statutory boundaries…

 

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8.22.14 – “Federalizing Education by Waiver?” by Derek W. Black, University of South Carolina, School of Law, Vanderbilt Law Review, Forthcoming —http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2485407

Abstract:

In the fall of 2012, the United States Secretary of Education told states he would use his statutory power to waive violations of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), but only on the condition that they adopt his new education policies — policies that had already failed in Congress. Most states had no real choice but to agree because eighty percent of their schools were faced with statutory sanctions and fund termination.

 

As a result, the Secretary was able to federalize two core aspects of public education over the next year. For the first time, school curriculum and the terms of teacher evaluation and retention came under the control of the federal government. 

This Article demonstrates that this particular exercise of conditional waiver power was both unconstitutional and beyond the scope of the Secretary’s statutory authority.

 

First, NCLB contained no notice that states might face waiver conditions when they first agreed to participate in NCLB, much less notice of the substance of those conditions. Spending clause doctrine requires both.

 

Second, states’ inability to say no to these conditions raises serious questions of unconstitutional coercion.

 

Third, the Secretary lacked explicit statutory authority to impose these conditions. At best, NCLB implies authority to condition waivers, but implied conditions would be limited to the scope of NCLB itself. The waiver conditions the Secretary imposed go well beyond the scope of NCLB.

 

Fourth, to treat these particular waiver conditions as falling within the scope of the Secretary’s authority would be to extend the Secretary the equivalent of law-making power, which separation of powers doctrines prohibit. The power to unilaterally impose open-ended policy through waiver conditions would be remarkable not just for its transformation of key aspects of education, but for the entire federal administrative state. It would open the door to the spread of a more expansive administrative power than ever seen before.

 

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2.11.12 – “Common Core Standards: Is the U. S. Dept. of Ed. Violating Federal Law by Directing Standards, Tests, Curricula?” – Truth in American Education —

http://truthinamericaneducation.com/common-core-state-standards/is-the-u-s-dept-of-education-violating-federal-law-by-directing-standards-tests-curricula/

 

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8.25.14 — “Common Core PARCC CEO Acknowledges Goal of Assessments To Drive Curriculum” — by Dr. Susan Berry – Breitbart http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/08/25/Common-Core-PARCC-CEO-Acknowledges-Goal-of-Assessments-To-Drive-Curriculum