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November 18, 2015 - Tell Your Federal Legislators NO on ESEA/NCLB Reauthorization: Some Helpful Talking Points


The stranglehold our federal government currently retains on education has largely been achieved via successive reauthorizations of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). The most recent of those reauthorizations, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), is universally hated by anyone who values true education and wants to see its return. 

But never mind what we've all known for a long time... 

Federal legislators seem determined to reauthorize this monstrosity, making it bigger and even badder. New House Speaker Paul Ryan just signaled that he's a-ok with a reauthorization by appointing House members to the conference committee. Ryan has appointed the following Republicans:

  • Rep. John Kline (MN), chairman, Committee on Education and the Workforce  @repjohnkline
  • Rep. Todd Rokita (IN), chairman, Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education  @toddrokita
  • Rep. Virginia Foxx (NC)  @VirginiaFoxx
  • Rep. David P. Roe (TN)   @DrPhilRoe
  • Rep. Glenn Thompson (PA) @CongressmanGT
  • Rep. Brett Guthrie (KY)  @brettguthrie
  • Rep. Luke Messer (IN)  @RepLukeMesser
  • Rep. Steve Russell (OK) @reprussell
  • Rep. Carlos Curbelo (FL) @repcurbelo
  • Rep. Glenn Grothman (WI)  @repgrothman

...as well as these Democrats:

  • Bobby Scott (VA) @repbobbyscott
  • Susan Davis (CA) @RepSusanDavis
  • Marcia Fudge (OH) @RepMarciaFudge
  • Jared Polis (CO) @jaredpolis
  • Frederica Wilson (FL) @RepWilson
  • Katherine Clark (MA) @RepKClark
  • Suzanne Bonamici (OR) @RepBonamici

Note that we've conveniently provided you with Twitter handles, because after you read what we have to say, we're hoping you'll want to launch some tweets at these folks, which is proving to be an effective way to communicate with legislators across the U.S. on issues that impact all of us...and our children. Good hashtags include:

  • #ESEA
  • #NCLB
  • #StopESEA
  • #StopNCLB
  • #EndFedEd
  • #StopCommonCore
  • #RefuseTheTest
  • #AboutTheChild

Adding hashtags allows people who have similar concerns to find your tweets more easily and, hopefully, magnify them by retweeting what you say. The more tweets, the better. Be polite, but be firm.

A Few Basic, Convenient Talking Points

Recently, Dr. Mary Byrne, a friend from Missouri, who is an incredibly insightful and engaged activist on his matter, sent the following text to her federal legislators to encourage them to say no to ESEA/NCLB reauthorization. She has given her permission for anyone to leverage any or all of her talking points in reaching out to their own representatives in Washington. Take what you like. Leave the rest. Obviously, feel free to expand if you are knowledgeable on the issue:

Stop the reauthorization of ESEA, and give the next president of the United States the opportunity to restore children to their parents and schools to their communities.

  • Because the federal government is complicit in the violation of student and family privacy rights by funding the building of statewide longitudinal data systems that warehouse individually identifiable student data that is accessible by departments of the U.S. government and private corporations,  the proposal for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act should be withdrawn, NCLB waivers should be nullified, and oversight of education should be returned to the states and the people (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/11/12/the-astonishing-amount-of-data-being-collected-about-your-children/); and
  • Because the requirement for annual testing in grades three through eight, has resulted in abuse of children and families, especially by the Obama administration, because the NCLB requirement that assessments used to collect and report student tests scores be valid and reliable for their purposes, yet, the consortia assessments funded by the federal government and used to assess students have no published validity and reliability data to justify their use and interpretation; 

Legislators have no moral authority to continue the legacy of failed (and unsustainably expensive) federal involvement in America's public education. It is quite clear to the American public that the only beneficiaries of the federally funded programs implemented since the first iteration of Elementary and Secondary Education Act are the corporations that produce assessments and intervention materials used by school districts to meet requirements stipulated in the law. Lobbyists of international corporations associated with Bill & Melinda Gates and McGraw Hill, and Pearson have drowned the voices of parents and individual taxpayers with the cooperation of Congress. It is widely known that several top leadership positions in the U. S. Department of Education were formerly situated at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Americans are very much aware of the abuses brought by Secretary Arne Duncan on our children in the Obama Administration's effort to "fundamentally transform" our education system. Secretary Duncan's November 2010 speech to UNESCO (http://unesco.usmission.gov/duncan-remarks.html) lays out the plan and the process the media did not report to the American public, and apparently, the Secretary did not report to Congress.

Enough is enough. Americans are done with Washington insiders controlling our children and their futures by ignoring the constitutional limits of the federal government. 

The information we're getting tells us that the ESEA/NCLB conference proceedings will be accessible to anyone wishing to view them, beginning at 2:30 ET TODAY (Wed., Nov. 18, 2015) by heading to:

http://edworkforce.house.gov/webcast/

Live tweeting these proceedings would be a great way to let legislators--your own, those on the conference committee, and leadership like Speaker Ryan in the House and Majority Leader McConnell in the Senate--know that you're paying close attention and that ESEA/NCLB reauthorization is the last thing we should be doing if we want to restore true education in this country...if we want finally to begin restoring:

  • true education to children
  • rights to parents
  • the craft ot teaching to teachers
  • proper authority to states and local school boards
  • real economic growth and opportunity

SAY NO TO THE CONTINUATION OF CENTRALLY PLANNED EDUCATION!

LIBERATE EDUCATION!

 

Note: Article amended on 11-18-2015. Additional hashtags added.