Congress Fails – Again – This time on the re-write of National Education Policy

The George W. Bush/Barack Obama legacy of destroying public education in the United States will continue thanks to the “bi-partisan” re-write of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

Now called the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Republican and Democratic leaders, along with the Corporate Education Reform Industry and the leadership of the teachers’ unions are heralding the new system which continues the effort to privatize public education, turn schools into little more than testing factories and undermine teachers and the teaching profession.

The most substantive difference is that rather than the federal government “mandating” these dangerous and damaging policies, the federal government will “mandate” that the states do the dirty work in their own name.

Both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate will be voting on the Every Student Succeeds Act in the coming days.  The President will certainly sign the legislation since it ensure the education reform industry continues to drain off billions of dollars in scarce public funds.

The following are links to some of the latest articles on the bill;

Warning! ESSA Threatens Special Education  (From Diane Ravitch)

How schools would be judged under ‘Every Student Succeeds,’ the new No Child Left Behind (From Washington Post)

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): More Observations (From Mercedes Schneider)

ESEA Reauthorization – Ramming Through a Bad Deal for America’s Children (From Truth in American Education)

BATs Respond to Every Student Succeeds Act (Report from the BATs organization)

Numerous questions about the impact of the new law remain but on the opt-out issue it appears that Congress will require states to notify parents about the Common Core Testing scheme but will continue to require that states mandate that 95% of students participate in the destructive tests — “or else.”

The “or else” may be left to the states, but as we know from the experience in Connecticut, pro-education reform governors like Dannel Malloy have no problem lying and misleading parents into believing that they lack the fundamental right to opt their children out of the unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory Common Core tests.

  • Jim Horn

    It is entirely predictable that Ravitch’s “Basecamp” would march out this kind of phony anti-ECAA blather just before passage of a bill that you guys have supported for months now. How stupid do you think people are?

    • Jack

      “One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument” – the Urban Dictionary

      Apparently you’re pissed off because this author agrees with you…but not soon enough for your liking. When you criticize “reformers” it’s great. When others do, it’s “blather.”

      Grow up.

      • Jim Horn

        NPE’s ruse is the same tactic that Hillary used when she flip-flopped on the TPP at the last minute (

        She became fiercely opposed when it was finally
        obvious that it was going to pass. I won’t tell you to grow up, Jack, but I will suggest that you get your head out of your, um, sandbox.

        • Jack

          Jim, It has nothing to do with your position on the issues. I read your blog and I usually agree with your positions on public education.

          On the other hand I find it difficult to understand why you insist on being so rude to people who are working for the same things you are. THAT’S what I find childish…and THAT’S the reason I suggested you grow up. Your attitude reminds me of my middle school students who can’t have a discussion without name calling.

          If you’d like to continue this discussion elsewhere I’m willing…but I’m done here.

        • Jim Horn

          Jack, I think that if you look at the comments above, you will find no name calling by me. If you prefer thinking of me as a troublesome middle schooler, so be it.

          If pointing out the obvious in a direct way seems rude to you, I’m sorry. Not really.

        • jonpelto

          Jim, I was not speaking for Diane Ravitch or anyone else when I posted my concerns about ESSA. To suggest that I am doing the union’s work is particularly insulting considering the very public debates and battles I’ve had with the AFT, NEA and their affiliates. I wrote about the vote now because it was coming up. My blog is almost exclusively about Connecticut issues.

          As for Trolls, I don’t normally respond but since Jack stepped forward and you’ve responded to him – let me remind you that you are the one who took a personal note I wrote to you and turned it into a column entitled –

          Cuckold, Jonathan Pelto, Soldiers on for Diane and Randi –

          At that point, your lost your honor and your credibility

        • Jim Horn

          Thanks for the link.