If you are receiving this posting and have been following me for very long you know I think there is a level of cronyism and corruption taking place in Tallahassee in regard to our Education system and in particular “Charter” schools. In addition, the connections between the FL. legislators, the FLDOE and Jeb Bush’s Foundations has come to the point of “out of control”. The Florida Legislature is in the process of trying to “clean” it’s house by writing a new Ethics Bill of which I stated the other day does not go far enough or deep enough.
Today the following information was brought out by a fellow blogger Bob Sikes on his blog “Scathing Purple Musings. I am happy to say we think quite a bit alike when it comes to the Education system in Florida or should I say “lack of Education”. The DC watchdog group “In the Public Interest” is doing a great job.
Bush Foundation “staff acted to promote their corporate funders priorities” – Posted on January 30, 2013 by Bob Sikes
Today’s release of emails from a DC watchdog indeed provided some troubling revelations. Among these were arranging travel and reimbursements for Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) staffers and examples of clear advocacies for their corporate donors. But more than anything else, the sheer volume of emails between multiple Foundation for Excellence in Education(FEE) staffers and state employees at the Florida Department of Education made the two appear almost co-dependent. So many policy questions and requests for data were made by FEE staffers to numerous FLDOE staff that one would more likely be left with the impression that the later worked for the former.
Most disturbing of these involved attempts to dictate policy and legislation. This from “In the Public Interest”:
In addition to sending an invitation to the FL state board of education to attend a press conference in support of parent trigger legislation, FEE staff were very much involved in legislation affecting the state’s school turnaround procedures, which include converting some neighborhood schools to charter schools. (Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson) emailed (Jeb Bush CEO Patricia Levesque) in December 2011 to review the Department of Education’s Differentiated Accountability Draft Legislation. Levesque writes, “I think we need to add a sec into this bill to give you/the department authority to set a state‐approved list of charter operators or private providers so districts can’t pick poor performers to implement turnaround. Also, you/State Board should have more authority to enforce a strict timeline for turnaround models.2” If Charter Schools USA, the for-profit operator, were included on the “state approved list,” it could improve the company’s growth potential.
And this involving Florida’s No Child Left Behind waiver:
Levesque made her and her team’s resources available in February 2012 to “help with any defense of Florida’s waiver, push back on Ed Trust’s report.” (Education Trust’s report, which rated each state’s NCLB waiver application, noted that Florida’s accountability system did little to address achievement gaps.) Chiefs for Change, another Jeb Bush-related education group, became aware of the report, because Paul Pastorek, who, as the former Louisiana state Superintendent, was a member of Chiefs for Change, attended a meeting about waivers at the Federal Department of Education as a representative of the Chiefs. New Jersey Education Commissioner Chris Cerf’s private response about the ratings to a representative from Education Trust was shared with Robinson by Levesque along with the note: “Did Gerard get his copy of their review? We would like to help respond.” Levesque and the Foundation were an integral part of the waiver process in Florida; at one point Robinson emailed a staffer saying “Please connect with Patricia as you did before to discuss our latest draft document. Also, take a look at a document she me about our waiver.”
It is clear that Levesque and her staff have been enlisting the assets of the FLDOE to support legislation they’ve crafted on behalf of their clients like Pearson and Charter Schools USA. Moreover, the never-ending requests for data reveal even more. FEE has been manipulating the FLDOE to conform to it’s agenda while using it as a tool to maintain the Florida Model Jeb Bush sells to state legislatures all over the country.
My added thoughts to this – I am not surprised it has surfaced and I am very grateful that it has. There is even more to come!
I would hope that you will read into these communications exactly what is here – the connection between the Florida Department of Education, Jeb Bush’s Chief of Staff Patricia Levesque and the Foundation for Excellence in Education’s manipulation or attempts to manipulate the legislation regarding Charter Schools in Florida and also the relationship s between the FLDOE, the Bush Foundations, Charter School and now Virtual School businesses and their “for-profit” “public-private” donors.
1. Gerard Robinson leaving the post as Florida’s Commissioner of Education “early” after reading this only endorses my thoughts that he found he was having to serve far too many masters and maybe his “ethical” side took over – we can only hope!
2. Florida now being graced with Jeb Bush’s Chief’s for Change “leader” as our Commissioner of Education and reading this information only makes me feel far more uncomfortable than I did before – especially when I know at least HALF of our State School Board is sleeping with Jeb Bush and his Foundations and have for some time in one capacity or another.
3. We have legislators who have been drafting policy to enrich the pockets of the likes of “Charter Schools USA” and their CEO Jonathan Hage and Mr. Hage being chosen as Florida’s “Man of the Year”. By the way – his children do not attend any Charter schools – his 4 children attend Pine Crest School, a private school at a tune of $20K per child, per year. He complains the closest Charter school to his home is 30 minutes away. (I still am curious as to how many of our Florida legislators send their children to Private schools).
4. Then there are the legislators drafting policy and putting into effect bills regarding Charter schools while enriching their pockets -Rep. Fresen, Academica; John Legg, Day Spring Academy; Rep. Seth McKeel, South McKeel Elementary Academy and Sen. Anitere Flores (Doral Academy.
5. How about the legislators who were as of 12/2012 (can’t say if they still are because Jeb Bush changed his web site) serving on Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education: Sen. Don Gaetz, Sen, John Negron, then Senator Thrasher and Rep. Weatherford.
Time and again the ethics have been overlooked and excused and I can tell you Patricia Levesque holds the same status and push in her job as does Valarie Jarrett in hers. These are very dangerous women who have perfected the ability of control and manipulation.
If Patricia Levesque comes calling put out the call “DANGER WILL ROBINSON, DANGER”! Maine’s Commissioner of Education Stephen Bowen might in the long run have been better off in making that call than the one he did to Patricia Levesque asking for her help in setting up Jeb Bush’s program in their state. Time will tell since he has been lured into the Levesque’s “spiderweb” and is now one of Jeb Bush’s Chief’s for Change also! “Oh what tangled webs we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” http://bobsidlethoughtsandmusings.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/bush-foundation-staff-acted-to-promote-their-corporate-funders-priorities/#comment-5436 http://www.inthepublicinterest.org/sites/default/files/0212%20ITPI%20Privatization_Report_f_0.pdf
Do we all remember the Constitution of the United States? Do we remember anything it says? I know there are many items I sometimes forget but one I do remember is - No Where in the Constitution does it speak about EDUCATION. Not in the Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence or any of the Amendments. But, our government continues to try and manipulate our futures and the futures of our children through illegal legislation by dangling money in from of our elected officials.Years ago the Wall Street Journal told millions of its readers "the Constitution guarantees a public school K-12 education for every child in the U.S." Two weeks later the WSJ called the states on the carpet for "noncompliance with the 2002 "No Child Left Behind Act" and the lax of enforcement by then Education Secretary Margaret Spelling.At the same time we had the Heritage Foundation endorsing federal education vouchers for children in low-performing schools as proposed in then President Bush's "America's Opportunity Scholarships for Kids initiatives. It would seem that both of these organizations, the Wall Street Journal and Heritage Foundation, have forgotten the U.S. Constitution grants no authority over education to the Federal government. The Founders did not mention Education in the Constitution for good reason. They intended for most aspects of life to be managed by those who were closest
to them, either by families, business and other elements of civil society or by their local governments. They very obviously saw no role for the Federal government in Education.That became the role those who believe in the Socialist way of life and government. Control through Education!Not only is the Constitution silent on the subject of education, but the U.S. Supreme Court has also refused to recognize any right to a taxpayer-funded education. In San Antonio Independent School District vs Rodriquez (1973) the Court specifically declared that education, though important, is not among the rights afforded explicit protection under our Federal Constitution. Nor did we find any basis for saying it is implicitly so protected. Nine years later in Plyler vs Doe, the Court held that if a state chooses to give such education to its citizens, it must also offer it to the children of illegal aliens. However, the Court has consistently recognized that taxpayer-funded education is a privilege, not a right.
This is not just showing a commitment to the original Constitution, but it reflects and understanding as to why
the Founders were right to reserve most subjects to state, local and private endeavors.
The Founders were smart men and they feared the concentration of power. They believed the best way to protect individual freedom and civil society was to limit and divide the power. Thus it is better to have 50 states independently make a decision for their citizens rather than one decision made for all. You see - they knew one size is best not to fit all!As the country grew larger and more complex, especially as the government accumulated more power, the advantages of decentralization and divided powers became even more important. This is why it was such a mistake to further centralize the control of our local schools in the No Child Left Behind Act. Through this one Act and those to follow, the Bush administration has advanced a view of federal power that is astonishingly broad, as view that included . . .
- a president who cannot be restrained through valid enacted statutes, from pursuing any tactic he believes to be effective in the war on terror (the reasoning he gave for this Act) . . . and
- a federal government with the power to supervise virtually every aspect of American life, from kindergarten, to marriage, to grave. President Bush's constitutional vision is, in short, sharply at odds with the text, history and structure of our constitution, which authorizes a government of limited powers.
For the most part it had always been the Liberals who would dismiss the Constitution's restraints on government.
Conservatives have now chosen to ignore those restraints as well. Where is this to lead? Well, in Part 2, we will show how this has evolved into the Federal Government control of our Education system from Pre-K - College in a well laid out plan that is simply a public/private partnership to include Charter Schools and Race To The Top along with the Common Core Standards by dangling money in front of the states and the states ignoring the restraints and protections of the Constitution on its people that are to include its children.
Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution granted Congress the power to lay and collect taxes to provide for the general welfare of the United States. It is under this “general welfare” clause that the federal government has assumed the power to initiate educational activity in its own right and to participate jointly with states, agencies and individuals in educational activities.
NO COMMON CORE
Massachusetts is waking up! The Tantasqua Regional School District Committee is pushing for state legislation to overturn the state Board of Education’s decision to adopt the National Educational Standards because committee members are concerned about the impact the Common Core (CCS) might have on its students.
In a 8-0 vote July 21, 2010, the state’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted the Common Core Standards in English language arts and mathematic. To date, 45 states have adopted the Common Core State Standards. This writer feels that decision was made because of the money offered the states to accept the program and by pressure from the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices who had not read the CCS.
School committee chairman Michael J. Valanzola of Wales, who testified before the Joint House and Senate Committee on Education on the same issue in 2011, said the CCS lowers the commonwealth’s standards in education (as it will in every state participating) in a time when the state should be raising them.
He continued by saying, “anything that removes control from a local body and gives it to a big government bureaucrat is not something that should happen without discussion,”
“And ladies and gentlemen – that is the Communist way! Congratulations Mr. Valanzola – someone is waking up! This also applies to School Choice/Charter schools or any type of Educational system that has the governing force of over sight and control coming from a NON-ELECTED body or government interference.
COME MY LITTLE PRETTIES!
More and more attention is being given to the horrors that are being perpetrated upon our children. Human trafficing, pedophilia, for profit education, vaccination’s filled with live viruses, steroids in the milk, shootings, fluoride in the water, enforcing racial divide, television programs for dummies, psychiatrists issuing psychotropic drugs, video games which lets our children enter the world of murder, drugs and crime in general with no feelings or consequences.
The move and the want for this country to be brought to her knees is not a new objective. Senator McCarthy was right in everything he charged, but the commies had more power and managed to convince America he didn’t know what he was talking about and that he was on a witch hunt.
Obama does not get to take the honors for the idea of “bringing America to her knees”, just putting the things in place to carry it off by a stroke of his pen and the attitude “what are you going to do about it.”
The recent shootings are also a focused agenda to tear down the 2nd Amendment, using our children as a sideways target, with the left declaring we do not need guns – you can hunt and provide your food in other ways.
What? That is not what the 2nd Amendment is all about and they know it. It is all about the PEOPLE being able to protect themselves from a tyrannical government that is “out of control”.
You need clarification of “out of control”? The FEMA camps all over the country is not a dream of the writer and the propaganda the government puts out about them is to defy the imagination. Can you honestly picture a natural disaster in the U.S. that would require 800+ camps? The Rex 84 Program was established on the reasoning that if a “mass exodus” of illegal aliens crossed the Mexican/US border, they would be quickly rounded up and detained in detention centers by FEMA.
Since the forming of that program we have learned the Progressive left certainly does not care if there is an influx of illegals since they refuse to close the borders and want all illegals to be legal. Why are they refusing to close the borders – Bush, Clinton, Bush, Jr., and Obama? Because each one of them are New/One World Order “wannabe’s” and with the open borders we would become the North American States eventually.
What role are the children to play in this? Well, we have just had our first graduating class of Obama “brown-shirts” who have spent most of their lives playing kill games and watching kill & horror movies feeling no attachment to the end results. Do you really think they will hesitate to take a gun to their neighbors especially when they are young (18-24), no feelings, paid and made to feel important. Most of them are also very immature.
And the Federal government wants to talk about gun control? What about putting guns in the hands of these children to be used against their fellow Americans? They do not want to arm teachers but will older students! A large population of our children is so messed up they don’t know their right hand from their left. They certainly cannot make change in a store or answer a direct question in detail unless you give them multiple choice answers.
They believe “free” sex means “doing it” whenever you feel like it. The consequences of that mean nothing to them. I recently watched a video of young Americans (age 20-30) being asked about their feeling in regard to abortion and almost 100% asked responded there was absolutely nothing wrong with abortion, sex on demand or that they should be held responsible financially if a child resulted. They are being taught immorality “should” be the norm.
In addition in the same video, most were willing to “kill for hire”! “What the heck, I don’t known’um.”
The schools should not be in the business of teaching or approving of sexual behaviors in students. It might be better for the whole country if they focused on abstaining rather than free condoms, showing them how to use condoms and taking our girls for free abortions without parental permission but at the same time they cannot have aspirin in their purse or backpack.
Our children swear at the drop of a hat! They are rude, arrogant, and dis-respectful and have no idea what they want in their future except for someone else to pay for it. Adding to that you have the Federal government passing legislation in favor of gay & lesbian agendas in the schools even to the point Obama’s first appointment to the office of the Safe School Czar was to a “for many years” homosexual.
I personally have no problem if you want to declare yourself gay or lesbian – I do have a serious problem that they think they have to right behind the backs of parents to present programs to children as young as 10 “that they are probably gay but just do not realize it yet”. To me you are bordering on pedophilia!
The added us of our legislative process to write and pass legislation against “bullying” but in same legislation inferring the only bullying going on is against gays, lesbians and trans genders. So in how many school districts now is it alright for a student to choose on any given day what sexual preference he or she prefers to observe. Your daughter can dress as a boy and us the boys restroom and a boy can go dressed as a girl and use the girls restroom. This is with full support of our president I might add.
Where does this all come from? Mostly it comes from the first paragraph of this article and the rest from a slow, precise indoctrination through their education and the immoral world around them. You say not so! Really you ask? How many stories have you heard over the last year of Union teachers sending home union propaganda and endorsements of Obama in everything he does? Urging the students to convince their parents to vote for Obama – singing songs to his praises in school.
We set up an idol in the office of the president and at the same time tear down the very core of America – God, the Constitution, Flag, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence and our Moral Fiber.
A recent reading test given to 3rd grade school children in Florida focused on how much better life is if your parents were part of a Union. It portrayed every aspect of the home life as better if your parents just paid Union dues.
I want to make it clear this writer is not implying ALL children fit into the above descriptions, but those who do not are in the minority. I can tell you my research shows if a child is raised in a Judeo/Christian home (even if unfortunately there is a divorce) with fundamental basics of morality, religion and respect, they see past the indoctrination process and even go home and tell their parents what is happening in their schools.
Beware – private schools are beginning to follow the push for the Charter school pattern of “for-profit”, public private partnerships by making deals with businesses to enforce the Communist “School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994 (the "School-to-Work Act").
Parents we need to be paying more attention to what is happening to our children through their schools through political legislation without any true interest in what the end results are in regard to our children's futures! . Don’t be fooled by fancy legislation titles and well laid out collateral plans by big business, foundations and money-changers!
And here you thought all this time I was either exaggerating or making up the stories regarding Charter Schools being about “for-profit”, “public-private partnerships” with the end results a Cuban/Russian style school to work program of communism. Case in point is the Cristo Rey Network which is boasting about their new Jesuit Charter school that targets vulnerable and at-risk youth in East San Jose, California. Their words not mine!
Credit for this innovative thinking is given to Father John Foley of Chicago which is the home of the Cristo Rey Network! Surprised? Father Foley and his team created a plan – to implement an innovative business model whereby students work five days each month in an entry-level job at a professional company, with the fee for their work being directed to underwrite tuition costs. (I am confused about what the money is to be directed to – one place it talks about tuition for college than other places it infers the high schools).
The Network was formally organized as a 501(c)3 organization in 2001 with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, along with venture philanthropists B.J. and Bebe Cassin, providing the seed funding to promote the replication of the Cristo Rey schools.
In 2012 The Walton Family Foundation announced its investment of $1.6 million in the Cristo Rey Network to open another 25 new high schools, primarily in states that have either vouchers or tax credits. At full enrollment, these 25 new schools will educate over 10,000 additional inner-city students every school-year. Florida will find this information interesting as Jeb Bush is a friend of Cristo Rey and Miami & Tampa are on the top of the list to be one of these new schools.
“We very much want to get to Florida,” former President & CEO Birdsell said in a phone interview. “Gov. Bush is a friend of Cristo Rey (and) he is persistent.”
Folks, this is using taxpayer dollars to fund private/religious schools! Florida, this was your Amendment 8.
The newest school, Cristo Rey San Jose High School’s charter was approved Dec. 12 by the Cristo Rey Network, which oversees 25 Cristo Rey schools in 17 states, 24 cities plus the District of Columbia and will open in 2014.
Getting the school off the ground has been a major effort of real-estate developer John A. Sobrato and venture capitalist B.J. Cassin, who are co-chairs on the Cristo Rey San Jose High School board. Earlier this year, Sobrato, chairman of The Sobrato Organization, made a challenge grant of $1.25 million to the school. The effort has so far yielded more than $2.5 million in startup capital. This is not chicken feed!
Cristo Rey schools offer Catholic, college-prep education to young people whose families make less than $35,000 a year in urban communities with limited educational options. Reading in one place the Network states 88 percent of its graduates go on to enroll in college, double the rate of their peers, and in another spot it shouts 100%. The breakdown of employment for the students is 29% other, and 13% in each Finance, Law and Medicine. Jobs arranged for them in a fee-for-service agreement between the school and corporate partners. (Their words not mine).
You can go to their website http://www.cristoreysanjose.org/ and there you can read their explanation of the “school to work” program in detail, however I suggest also looking the Network up online – figures are not consistent.
Partnering with more than 1,500 businesses, Cristo Rey schools are changing the face of urban education in the United States – so they say! Assuming the role of an employee leasing agency, the Corporate Work Study Program (CWSP) has streamlined the process for employing their students. Students are not on the payroll of the employing organization; rather they are employees of the school’s separately incorporated CWSP, which the sponsoring organization pays quarterly, annually, or monthly for the services of the students. A lot of choices! (Once again, their words not mine). I wonder who is filing the payroll tax reports even if they are $0.
Every Cristo Rey student takes a full course load of college preparatory coursework for four years, as he or she participates one day each week in a four-year CWSP to fund the majority of their tuition.
We have made many warnings as have others regarding the Charter School agenda for school to work programs. This applies if they are public Charter Schools or private/private religious schools using the Charter format. The number of religious schools putting these actions in place is outpacing the public schools. So in fact what they are doing is having the children work in advance one day a week for a payment into a program that is supposedly overseeing the funds for their high school or college education. We have not been able to clarify which.
The model Cristo Rey is intending to follow is the Cuba Model with a brand new idea added to the mix. In the Cuba Model both the place of employment and the school were government run. In this case, the school is a private Jesuit school which will be partnering with corporate employers, with what they are calling a “feasibility plan”.
The plan was written by a gentleman who works for a global corporate entity of Cisco. However, this model they are talking about is the Cuban model which is the guts of the school to work training program.
So the questions arise and I have many more questions as a parent than I see answers!
Are these corporate magnets obligated to pay minimum wage to the student’s credit? Is their pay instead being done as if they were being marketed through an employment agency with Cisco getting a large chunk for each student and then only partial payment going to the student? (According to the financial statement this would seem to be the case). When they start this program are the tuition fees locked into place or can they change the whole 4 years they are working toward their goal? Is there an agreement signed by the parents as to the children participating and the end obligation of CWSP.
Who are the actual people managing this program? What is protecting these children from financial theft by the overseers as we are seeing with Charter schools all over America? Are their deals already in place with colleges and universities that the students can only attend certain schools?
Before entering the program, students must attend B.O.O.T. Camp – you read it right.
“All students must complete this training to be accepted officially into a Cristo Rey school. For three weeks in July, students take courses in 7 Habits for Highly Successful Teens, computer literacy, and remedial math and English. (If the students entering this program are of such high level, why do they need remedial courses or exactly what is their requirement for entrance?) In addition, two courses are offered to develop the students’ soft skills and technical skills. A nationally-recognized business consultant, adjunct college professors, supervisors of students on the job, and the Corporate Work Study Program staff teach these work-study-specific classes.
During the three-week camp, students go on a field trip to an outdoor venue that features team building activities like a rope course challenge. Can someone please tell me why this is a requirement?
Listed on their web site are the Legal and Labor Implications:
The Cristo Rey Corporate Work Study Program operates as an employee leasing agent. (Just like an employment agency) The students are employees of the program, not the corporate client. In addition, the Corporate Work Study Program handles all payroll, W-4, I-9, Workers’ Compensation, FICA, FUTA and other employer concerns for the students. But who is overseeing the financial transactions of CWSP? As a 501 (C) (3) their financial records are actually private.
The fee charged to each business may be deducted as a business expense, not as a donation. Students assign their earnings from the program to their school to cover as much as 70% of the cost of their education.
Robert Birdsell, the recent departing President/CEO of Cristo Rey Network, recently gave an interview to the Catholic magazine, America Magazine, http://americamagazine.org/issue/697/article/catholic-alternative where he stated “It is essential to note that the money Cristo Rey students earn from their jobs covers most of their school’s operating costs. The remainder is covered by modest tuition payments and similarly modest fundraising campaigns.”
Does this mean the children are obligated to participate in fund raisers and modest tuition payments – what does that mean from a $35K income family? Now I am truly confused because I thought the school to work program was for the students to earn college tuition – this statement sounds to me like they are earning tuition to their high school. I am curious as to what age they begin the school to work program – are they 16? Appears not so as they participate for 4 years.
This last year Cristo Rey Network was awarded The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) award. The program was referred to as a diverse offering with unique solutions to today’s most important challenges, from poverty to climate change. Solutions include unconventional business models to assist low-income families with affordable education, as well as original ways of bringing high-quality education to remote and destitute parts of the world.
I seriously have to ask the question – why do they continually have to refer to students as “low-income”? Or I like this one too – failure to educate the “poor minority”! Or making a point these children all come from an average of $35K household income a year. Maybe that is because they keep reminding them they are from low-income families rather than not talk about their families financial status and concentrate on their potential and encourage them to learn and that the sky is the limit to whatever they wish it to be. This is after America – I think!
Cristo Rey Network 2011 financial report indicated 7400 students, 96% of color, 100% were accepted to a 2 or 4 year college but another report stated 74% for the 2011 year.
Stephen Lendman’s recent book titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War” includes a chapter on America's student loan racket. It discusses this issue in detail.
It explains a disturbing government/corporate partnership where students are exploited for profit. Providers are enriched. For many, rising tuition and fees make higher education unaffordable; others need large loans to attend. As a result of this they become debt entrapped.
Some students face burdens up to $100,000 or higher which if unpaid after 30 years, it becomes a $500,000 obligation. If one defaults or declares bankruptcy, that loan is unforgiven - the bondage is permanent.
Lenders thrive on the defaults. The whole idea of encouraging our children to take out student loans through advertising and school counselor’s office’s or in setting up the system to demand it is immoral. Why are so many of the college Chancellor’s and professor’s receiving $250K to almost $1M including benefits as salaries? Ask your legislators what amount of reasoning justifies that.
Wages can be garnished along with portions of Social Security and other retirement benefits. A conspiratorial alliance of lenders, guarantors, servicers, and collection companies derive income from debt service and inflated collection fees.
Education today grows more and more unaffordable. Many students are priced out and can never attend. Others become debt entrapped. Growing numbers remain there for life which is set up as a predatory system and fleeces them.
Principal, accrued interest, late payments and collection agency penalties create enormous burdens to repay. Once entrapped, escape is almost impossible. Unless repaid, future lives and careers are impaired. Today's economic crisis has exacerbated these conditions along with job opportunities being scarce. Ones for the higher education grads are even fewer.
Around year-end 2011, student debt exceeded $1 trillion which is staggering. It has been increasing nearly $3,000 per second. It exceeds credit card and auto loan obligations and is second only to outstanding mortgage debt.
Along with the long range plan to “Dumb Down Our Children” it is part of the grand scheme to transfer maximum wealth to America's super-rich. It's been ongoing for decades and under Obama, it has accelerated and yet legislators all over this country refuse to address the real issues surrounding education.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau deputy director Rajeev Date compares student loans to risky mortgages. Its extraordinary growth has surprised many. Its roots, in fact, are deep. Its "cast of characters" includes college marketing officers, state and federal lawmakers, administration officials, and predatory lenders, guarantors, servicer's, and collection companies.
Loans are easy to get – they are tough to service. For many in today's job market, they're impossible. Onerous debt has escalated to greater amounts creating a vicious circle entraps graduates and dropouts for life.
Since crisis conditions erupted, states and cities nationwide slashed budgets and for most states Education paid heavily. However, states need to take some of the responsibility in this since they have not only engaged in the “No Child Left Behind” project, now most of the states decided to join into “Race To The Top” and the Common Core Standards simply because the Federal government invited them to “play a game” for – what else “MONEY”!
These programs are not teaching our children what they need to advance out in the world to be able to support themselves. In most states 45% of entering freshmen in college have to take “remedial” classes in Reading and Math which is not only slowing them down but costing them more money.
At the same time, tuition and fees keep rising exponentially. If this current trend continues "through 2016, the average cost of a public college (education) will have more than doubled" in the last 15 years mostly due to the high salaries being paid to university “educators”.
Obama has not only allowed a bad situation to fester, but he has used these college age students as a pawn through the unions to protest and cause damage and disorder all over the country.
Nearly 10% of borrowers who began repayments in 2009 defaulted in two years and has doubled the 2005 rate. Economists say the issue "hangs over the economy like a dark cloud for a generation of college graduates and indebted dropouts."
Nationwide from 2001 - 2011, state and local per student financing dropped 24%. Over the same period, state school tuition and fees rose 72%.
Very few students and parent’s understand what they'll face. Colleges recruit students aggressively, financial aid is touted; fine print language is a "minefield" to understand.
Some are written in a manner that suggests the student is getting a great deal, by blurring the line between grants and loans or not making clear how much the student may have to pay or borrow. College admissions staff do not explain all the rules. While there are standardized disclosure forms for buying a car or a house or even signing up for a credit card, no such thing exists for colleges.
This is just another in a long line of problems regarding the Education system as a whole in this country and until we eliminate the Federal Department of Education or at the very least appoint State School Board members and legislators who sit on Education Boards people who have a background in education, are children are doomed.
I don’t want the readers to think for one minute I am trying to let those that have had student loans for 20-30 years and never made a payment off the hook. I have no patience for them or their irresponsibility.
What I am addressing is that once again the “moneychanger’s” have found a way to get their clutches into unsuspecting individual’s and this time it is our children. The Federal government wants our children destroyed, the moneychangers want more money and the State governments have not a clue what they are doing.
What it took to get an 8th grade education in 1895...
Remember when grandparents and great-grandparents stated that they only had an 8th grade education? Well, check this out. Could any of us have passed the 8th grade in 1895?
This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina , Kansas , USA . It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society
And Library in Salina , and reprinted by the Salina Journal.
8th Grade Final Exam: Salina , KS - 1895
Grammar (Time, one hour)
1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications.
3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph
4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of 'lie,''play,' and 'run.'
5. Define case; illustrate each case.
6 What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.
7 - 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.
Arithmetic (Time,1 hour 15 minutes)
1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. Deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. Wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts/bushel, deducting 1,050 lbs. For tare?
4. District No 33 has a valuation of $35,000.. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
5. Find the cost of 6,720 lbs. Coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft.. Long at $20 per metre?
8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is 640 rods?
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt
U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)
1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas
6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton , Bell , Lincoln , Penn, and Howe?
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865.
Orthography (Time, one hour)
[Do we even know what this is??]
1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals
4. Give four substitutes for caret 'U.' (HUH?)
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e.' Name two exceptions under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis-mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane , vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks
And by syllabication.
Geography (Time, one hour)
1 What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas ?
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4. Describe the mountains of North America
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia , Odessa , Denver , Manitoba , Hecla , Yukon , St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each..
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.
Notice that the exam took FIVE HOURS to complete.
Gives the saying 'he only had an 8th grade education' a whole new meaning, doesn't it?!
No wonder they dropped out after 8th grade. They already knew more than they needed to know!
No, I don't have all the answers! And I don't think I ever did!
Have fun with this...pass it on so we're not the only ones who feel stupid!!!
StudentsFirst's full court press has started as of last week. We now have a video from the organization with an Olympic theme of American students falling behind in educational competition with other countries.
Never forget that Michelle Rhee has moved herself into a position the same as Jeb Bush - profiting from control of Education which in Parent's terms is "Controlling Our Children." These are financial ventures of which they were also involved in implementing RTTT and the CCS. They are playing both sides of the table and the poker chips are your children.
We are somewhat behind the curve of some folks in getting this video. It hit the national circuit last week and it has not been a critical success with many bloggers, educators and writers. They take Ms. Rhee and her organization to task for this video.
· The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Online picked up on all the backlash that Rhee’s new “ad” has created.
· EdWeek also took notice of the commercial’s poor reception.
· Gary Rubinstein took umbrage at the inaccuracies of the ad.
· Liz Dwyer took offense at the tone.
· Anthony Cody pointed out that the commercial’s message is homophobic.
· Diane Ravitch called the ad “disgusting”
Not all is lost for Ms. Rhee - "REDSTATE" liked it!
Below is StudentsFirst email about American students falling behind other countries. Read it and determine what you think about the video. One bit of information about international testing that just might skew Studentsfirst's message is that the US educational systems test every public education students, including special education students. Other countries don't test all their students so these test results might not be "apples to apples". Here's another thought: if American students are "falling behind", maybe this is because of the onerous federal mandates districts and teachers must adhere to...and what does "education reform" of the Obama administration and private organizations do? Just creates MORE mandates via Common Core/RTTT.
StudentsFirst should make a video pointing out that fact instead of placing all the blame on teachers and public schools. They can't possibly succeed with unattainable standards and mandates. Was nothing learned from the failure of NCLB? Apparently not. It's just easier to blame the teachers and schools that have to teach under goals that can never be reached:
No bronze, no silver, and certainly no gold.
The London Olympics are well underway and, while our athletes are putting on an incredible performance, the U.S. continues to fall behind in a far more important competition: our children's education. We can do better than this.
While our teachers and students are working incredibly hard, the U.S. education system has failed to give them the support they need to succeed. The sad thing is, we know what it takes to improve things, but we just aren't doing it.
Let me give you an idea of how badly we're doing. If our education system jumped into a pommel horse routine ... well, let's just say it wouldn't look too pretty:
That's right: 25th place in math and 17th in science.
If the U.S. education system is ever going to go for gold we need to shape up. Your involvement is helping StudentsFirst bring common sense reforms to states across the country, but we need your voice to help us spread the word.
See how U.S. education stacks up and share our latest video with your friends and family now:
Thanks you for all you do -- keep it up.
Vice President of Communications
P.S. Learn more about how we can make change in a new op-ed written by Michelle Rhee in USA Today: http://ow.ly/cE5lT
by MISSOURI EDUCATION WATCHDOG Aug 4, 2012
Remember when everyone was all upset that the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was going to require people to purchase something just to be considered a citizen in good standing? But then the Supreme Court reassured us that it wasn't a criminal matter if we didn't purchase health insurance, because it was just a tax. Citizens would just be fined. However, the IRS has been named as the enforcement agency for the healthcare bill, and according to section 7201 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), it is a federal crime for anyone to willfully attempt to evade or defeat the payment of federal taxes. The IRS has the authority to incarcerate anyone found guilty of tax evasion. So how is it an honest statement that failure to comply with the terms of the PPACA will not result in criminal incarceration?
Why am I talking about health care in an education blog? PPACA, like Freddie Mac and Sallie Mae sets up a hybrid public/private entity which ties people to government while enriching private businesses. If you want a home, your mortgage is ultimately going to be owned by the government through Freddie Mac. If you want a student loan, the pressure has been applied to send you into the arms of government supplied student loans (which are a great investment for Uncle Sam since they can never be forgiven.) The government is forcing you into a businesses relationship with private insurers with PPACA. They have already stated that their end goal is a single payer system, but those private insurers know that the government will contract with them to manage that system so they will end up with guaranteed business no matter what. The reason this topic is here is because they are setting up the same scenario in education.
Stephanie Simon of Reuters attended a gathering of investors in Manhattan, and the business sector they were looking to invest in is education. The conference was billed as a how-to on "private equity investing in for-profit education companies," and was attended by about 100 hedge fund managers, venture capitalists, and education vendors.
"You start to see entire ecosystems of investment opportunity lining up," said Lytle, a partner at The Parthenon Group, a Boston consulting firm. "It could get really, really big."
...The entire education sector, including college and mid-career training, represents nearly 9 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, more than the energy or technology sectors.
...Traditionally, public education has been a tough market for private firms to break into -- fraught with politics, tangled in bureaucracy and fragmented into tens of thousands of individual schools and school districts from coast to coast.
Now investors are signaling optimism that a golden moment has arrived. They're pouring private equity and venture capital into scores of companies that aim to profit by taking over broad swaths of public education.
And government is pushing for them to be able to do that. From education reform advocates pushing for the expansion of charter schools, to Teach For America creating its own shorthand education degree course collecting money both from government and students to pay for their business, to the coming explosion of on-line learning, there are so many profit avenues into public education.
The goal: an education revolution in which public schools outsource to private vendors such critical tasks as teaching math, educating disabled students, even writing report cards, said Michael Moe, the founder of GSV ( an investment firm in Chicago that specializes in education.)
Back to the question of why talk about the health care situation in an education blog. Just like you are required now by the government to purchase something from a private company for health, you will be required to pay a private business (through your taxes if not directly) to comply with the government mandate that your child be educated. You must send your child to school. Homeschool parents know this all too well as many of them are harassed by school officials and local police for being unfit parents who fail to do the right thing and send their kids to public school. Unless you are strong enough to do the work of educating your child yourself and put up with push back like this, you have no choice but to send your child to public school. Now that the job of that public school is being outsourced to private business, you are in essence required to participate in a private business contract not of your choosing. If you don't, and the PPACA is the legal precedent, you might be subject to incarceration.
I have no problem if a charter school wants to come in and try to do a better job educating children. But in the current environment of regulation, they will only be able to provide the regular public school education in a different building. I have no problem if a company wants to create educational modules to help teach a subject. But if the government is going to have the authority to either bless that method or not, regulating whether the module fulfills the governments requirements, then we will not have the free market operating. We will have the continuation of government control over education and government selection of winners and losers in the private sector. We will have yet another pubic/private hybrid on our hands that is the worst of both worlds.
Michelle Rhee's StudentsFirst organization. This article from Fast Company details Rhee's vision and method of operation. Rhee makes it sounds as if the choice of education would be delivered back to the parents, but that's not accurate.
A different set of laws and regulations written by private corporations, organizations and lawmakers will replace those now in place. It's one set of power brokers taking over another set of power brokers with the taxpayer/parent looking on from the outside. StudentsFirst, a private organization, is attempting to determine and drive legislation that it believes is "best for children" in Missouri and other states. A one-size fits all educational system, whether it be teacher tenure, charters, standards, assessments...should be implemented in all states. Think of it as a centralized, national plan for children, taxpayers and local school districts. It's not "choice". It's an identical plan for every child, every taxpayer, every teacher/administrator in every state. Taxpayers are funding these decisions made by lobbying groups and implemented by state legislators. The lobbyists are determining through legislative process how educational decisions should be made and how education is delivered with taxpayer funding. When children are viewed as human capital and the main purpose of education is to provide human capital for a successful global economy, it would make sense that the Missouri State Director from StudentsFirst who isn't from Missouri, doesn't live in Missouri or even works in Missouri can make statements that she knows what Missouri students, parents, teachers and administrators need. When you have a centralized system, individualistic and regional differences don't exist. Cogs in the system must be the same and treated as such. Lea Crusey, Missouri State Director of StudentsFirst - Who is Lea Crusey? From LinkedIn: Lea Crusey: Education reform advocate
• Legislative advocate for education reform, including measures to enhance the prestige and quality of teacher training and education through performance measurement, quality public school choices, and sound fiscal accountability that prioritizes student achievement
• Extensive project and team management experience, interfacing with public and private sector partners and leading initiatives to deliver operational efficiencies in initiatives related to urban planning and transportation development.
-Legislative advocacy -Project and client management -Financial Management
-Data analysis -Non-profit fundraising and development
State Director StudentsFirst April 2011 – Present (1 year 5 months)
Director- Financial Operations : LAZ Parking November 2009 – April 2011 (1 year 6 months)
Responsible for all financial operations for privatized metered parking asset, managing team of 8.
President, KIPP Ascend Associate Board: KIPP Ascend Charter School July 2009 – April 2011 (1 year 10 months)
Chicago Transit Authority: Transportation/Trucking/Railroad industry January 2009 – November 2009 (11 months) Product Manager, Smart Cards
Chicago Transit Authority: November 07 – January 2009 (1 year 3 months) Highlights include:
-Implemented pilot program to combine Chicago Public Schools student ID with CTA smart cards, which at full capacity will increase market penetration of smart cards by 100k and reduce Authority costs by $500k.
Graduate Policy Fellow Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna 2007 – 2007 (less than a year)
University of Chicago: October 2006 – July 2007 (10 months) Developed innovative editing tool to communicate with manuscript author.
IMI Indoor Climate 2006 – 2006 (less than a year) Developed Business Continuity Plan for China headquarters, reporting directly to VP of Asia-Pacific.
Dimensions Education Group 2005 – 2006 (1 year) Policy Consultant
The Turner Corporation 2005 – 2005 (less than a year) Contracted to research and update corporate-wide Affirmative Action program to comply with Federal EEO requirements; trained managers from all domestic business units upon project completion. Reported directly to EVP of Human Resources and Benefits.
Teach for America: Corps Member Education Management industry June 2003 – June 2005 (2 years 1 month)
• Served as member of national service corps of outstanding college graduates who commit two years to teach in under-resourced public schools
• Instructed students in grade levels 4-8; 350 students in 2 years
• Developed and lead staff development modules to faculty and coordinated school-wide social studies professional growth opportunities
Edison McNair Academy: 2003 – 2005 (2 years) Intern
Glass, Lewis & Co.: Financial Services industry 2004 – 2004 (less than a year)
Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA): 2002 – 2002 (less than a year)
Tennis instructor Silver Bay Association YMCA: 2000 – 2000 (less than a year)
Education: University of Chicago MPP, Public Policy (Urban Development) 2006 – 2008
I wonder if she studied Alinsky while she was there!