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Sun Feb 24, 2013, 02:57 AM

 

Feds to cut $1.3 billion in education funding, but the tests will survive

Sent to the Washington Post, Feb. 22, 2013

U.S. schools brace for federal funding cuts, Feb. 21, did not mention that despite anticipated cuts of $1.3 billion in federal funding of education, there are no plans to cut back on the common core standards, accurately described by Susan Ohanian as a radical untried curriculum overhaul and nonstop national testing.

The common core requires that all students be connected to the internet in order to take the tests that enforce the standards. This represents an investment of billions. New York City and the State of Florida have budgeted about a half a billion each just to set up internet connections for all students, and you can be sure that as soon as the infrastructure is in place, it will be declared obsolete, resulting in a never-ending flow of taxpayer money to computer and testing companies.

The Post reported that most of the cuts will affect programs for poor children and students with disabilities. The feds are decreasing funding for teaching and learning but continue to demand that districts and states fund testing, investing in weighing the animal rather than feeding it.

Stephen Krashen

http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2013/02/feds-cut-funding-but-tests-will-survive.html

6 replies, 1792 views

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Reply Feds to cut $1.3 billion in education funding, but the tests will survive (Original post)
HiPointDem Feb 2013 OP
dballance Feb 2013 #1
msongs Feb 2013 #2
MichiganVote Feb 2013 #3
Igel Feb 2013 #4
knitter4democracy Feb 2013 #5
LWolf Feb 2013 #6

Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 04:06 AM

1. There is a Lot Here to Cover

 

First, if taxpayers are going to have to pony up for internet for all students then the billions should be put toward the free public WiFi that the FCC proposed earlier this month. That would kill two birds with one stone (at least two). We'd get the students internet at school and home and we'd get the low-income and otherwise underserved people internet too. Not having internet access is quite a disadvantage these days (yes, call me captain obvious). Of course, there is still the issue of whether or not that same set of people has access to a device with which to use the internet outside of schools and public libraries - but let me jump off one bridge at a time.

Second, the parents and teachers need to start speaking out against these tests like they did in Seattle. The teachers in Seattle stated their refusal to administer the tests because they felt the tests were not meaningful and took away from instruction time. Not to mention the testing drives schools to teach to the tests as if they are some sort of Kaplan test-prep organization. The Seattle teachers got the parents on board with all that and the parents became part of the resistance. In one school around 300 of the 400 or so students' parents opted them out of taking the tests. So the school administrators who administered the test in place of the teachers only had about 10% of the students taking it. That's not a statistically valid sample for the school so no conclusions based on the test results should be made. I don't know that opting out your kid is an option in all cases. But where it is then it would be a good thing, in my opinion, to start a effort to get parents to do that en masse. The fewer the number of students that take the test the less valid are the results of the tests for comparing schools and teachers to national averages. And the national averages become less valid as well since they wouldn't really be national.

The testing regime is not going to change from the top down. Just like everything else these days, we citizens are going to have to push the changes up. It used to be almost enough to just vote in legislators who supported your positions and then go back to your day-to-day life after elections. Now, that's not even remotely good enough.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 04:21 AM

2. the purpose of race to the top is to privatize schools and sell tests nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 08:15 AM

3. the purpose is actually to do nothing while seeming to do something.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 12:00 PM

4. Krashen knows better.

The Feds are cutting Federal spending. It's hard for the Feds to cut state spending. They impose the SpEd requirements and committed to funding them. Even now they don't fund them fully. Obama's proposed budget doesn't come near to funding those commitments fully.

In other words, he's not paying his bills. IF any president ever fully paid these annual bills, it was long, long ago.

Nobody could actually put reasoned numbers to the budget compromise a year and a half ago, so they put unreasoned numbers to them. These cuts are partly the result of the unreasoned numbers everybody agreed to. A hasty, middle-school compromise struck then is about to bear fruit that nobody wants to eat. Next time perhaps the deal should be one that both can live with, instead of one that each side assumes the other absolutely can't live with. Instead of finding a solution, the kiddies are mostly just pointing fingers and blaming everybody else even though their own signatures are on the deal. Silly kids.


The states are spending state money, and they're spending the money on things that the state originally was working on. CC wasn't started as a federal project. It was a consortium of states working together until, like many things, large funders and the largest funder decided to hop on the bandwagon and make it something it wasn't going to be. Can't let the opportunity to tell others what to do go unnoticed or unleveraged, and to order a voluntary top-down grassroots one-size-fits-all program to ensure diversity and innovation. (Oxymoron? Sure. But that's what it's billed as versus what it is.) Now it's a snowball-become-avalanche that's going to be hard to stop, if only because the fascists are still in charge and the CYAers are everywhere.

The "fascists" insist on saying what has to be taught, and stipulating what the only possible facts on the ground can possibly be. The tests are to confirm this set of facts and, if the test flops, it's not because the assumptions were right. The CYAers are like those in Texas who promulgated the STAAR/EOC tests. They're impossible, but to dispose of them would be to retroactively waste a lot of dough. On the other hand, these are politicians.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:57 PM

5. It's not just connections to the internet. It's a serious upgrade.

Schools have to have faster wifi, better graphics cards, you name it. Older computers that are connected to the internet don't work with the new test. Our district is getting a massive upgrade in wifi capability this summer, new cable, you name it (hopefully--if all the money goes through), and that still won't get us ready for the test. We need all kinds of new computers (only one lab works with the new test--the main lab, the library, and the laptops on the carts don't work at all).

This whole thing is a scam to get taxpayer money into private pockets.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 07:16 PM

6. Political support

for privatizing education, for high stakes testing, will be the LAST thing to be cut.

And, of course, when all those cuts to teaching and learning result in A DECREASE IN LEARNING, it will be the teachers' fault, not the policies, not the funding.

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