URGENT CALL TO ACTION
Please contact your Representative and ask him to vote "NO" on House Bill HR5 - Student Success Act. This is top priority because it will be voted upon next week.
Vote NO for HR5 - Student Success Act. This bill adds more federal mandates and spending to education. We the people are fighting hard to regain control of education and passing this will not only negate that hard work, but make it impossible for us to have any input in our children's education. It also gives unprecedented power to the federal Secretary of Education by allowing him to have the final authority over an individual state's standards (Common Core standards or any other standards), assessments, and accountability system. Our Tenth Amendment gives this authority to the States. We must stop this federal overreach and constant effort to control education.
This should scare you and motivate you to contact your legislators in Washington. Many of them are home this week, so please call their local offices in addition to their DC offices.
RALPH ABRAHAM 202- 224-3121 www.abraham.house.gov
CHARLES BOUSTANY (337) 235-6322 (202) 225-2031 www.boustany.house.gov
JOHN FLEMING 202-225-2777 www.fleming.house.gov
GARRET GRAVES (225) 442-1731 (202) 225-3901 www.garretgraves.house.gov
CEDRIC RICHMOND (504) 288-3777 (202) 225-6636 www.richmond.house.gov
STEVE SCALISE (504) 288-3777 (985) 879-2300 (202) 225-3015 www.scalise.house.gov
Please flood them with calls and emails and share this post with everyone you know – Now! Just copy and paste this post.
Below are a few links and a short summary that explains the dangers of this bill.
Short summary of HR 5
EXAMPLES OF FEDERAL OVERREACH BY GIVING UNPRECEDENTED POWER TO THE SECRETARY OF EDUCATION
(p. 22 line 20) "...the State educational agency shall submit to the Secretary a plan..."
Here we go again, the Secretary is given a plan by the state.
(p. 23 line 22) "The state shall have such academic standards for mathematics, reading or language arts, and science, and may have such standards for any other subject..."
Both bills now require science standards. Interesting timing as the new national science standards have been revealed.
(p. 41, line 19) "...the Secretary shall establish a peer-review process to assist in the review of State plans...and appoint individuals ...who are representative of parents, teachers, State educational agencies, local educational agencies, and private sector employees (including representatives of entrepeneurial ventures)..
The Secretary alone appoints the members just like in the Senate bill. This bill requires Big Business to be represented (rep. of entrepreneurial ventures). What do private sector employees know about standards, assessments, accountability, etc...? Why does Big Business need to play a role in education if this were truly about reforming education and not training our children for jobs?
(p. 42, line 9) "The Secretary shall approve a State plan..."
(p. 42, line 12) the Secretary shall "disapprove a State plan ... if the Secretary demonstrates how the State plan fails to meet requirements..."
The above two lines are mirror statements included in the Senate bill. These statements are huge. The Secretary of Education (Arne Duncan) has the final say in approving or disapproving a state plan until a state provides to him the exact standards, assessments, accountability, etc... that he wants to be included. It is amusing that it includes a requirement for him to "demonstrate" how a plan fails to meet a requirement. This is completely subjective. The bottom line is that he ultimately has the final say.
There is also a section about PROHIBITION on pg. 44 which states that the Secretary and his staff may not attempt to participate in or influence the peer review process. Just like in the Senate bill, there are no penalties listed for violating this.
(p. 51, line 19) "Information collected...in a manner that protects the privacy of individuals consistent with section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act [FERPA]."
This is also included in the Senate bill, but does nothing to protect privacy due to the gutting of FERPA. We must restore FERPA to its original form.
EXAMPLES OF OVERREACH INTO PRIVATE SCHOOLS
(p. 78 - 90) These twelve pages are all devoted to private schools and prove to be quite disturbing. There is a requirement that an ombudsman be selected to "monitor and enforce the requirements..." It discusses a consideration to "consolidate and use funds ... to provide school wide programs for a private school." There is a very large section covering " if a local educational agency disagrees with the views of private school officials or representatives with respect to an issue..." It goes on to say that if a private school disagrees, they may file a complaint; however, the state agency has the final say. On page 88, there is a statement that "A local educational agency shall have the final authority...to calculate the number of children... who are from low-income families and attend private schools...using the results of a survey that, to the extent possible, protects the identity of families of private school students..." Really? They are going to collect data on all of the students in a private school??
Why is a private school not allowed to be just that - private? Why is our federal government exerting so much power?
What is one of the most disturbing aspects of this bill has to do with the fact that it is a Republican who sponsored it. Representative Kline might need to review the Republican party platform of 2012. In this platform, it is stated "We are the party of the Constitution."
The platform addresses that our “Framers viewed the States as laboratories of democracy and centers of innovation, as do we." "...they bequeathed to successive generations an instrument by which we might correct any misalignment of power between our States and the federal government, the Tenth Amendment." (It is the Tenth Amendment that gives control over education to the States and not to the federal government.)
The platform condemns the current Administration's continued assaults on State governments in matters ranging from voter ID laws to immigration, from healthcare programs to land use decisions. (Then, why are our Republican leaders and representatives allowing the assault on our States in matters of education?)
The platform goes on to say that "Scores of entrenched federal programs violate the constitutional mandates of federalism by taking money from the States, laundering it through various federal agencies, only to return to the States shrunken grants with mandates attached." The Republican party is stating that it is opposed to this, but that is exactly what this bill does. This bill does nothing but add more mandates. It does nothing to cut spending or improve the current ESEA.
This bill must not be approved and policymakers need to empower states to completely exit NCLB to bring education authority back to the states.