Yesterday, I set about the business of writing about Idaho State Board of Education and their apparent inability to hear the voices of the voters.
In 2012 there was a ballot initiative that asked to voters to approve a program of pay-for-performance for teachers. The voters rejected the program. There were actually three initiatives on the ballot and the voters rejected all three of them.
Proposition 1 – Labor Relations. “District superintendents, school administrators, and teachers get an annual evaluation. At least 50 percent of it must be based on measurable student growth. Teachers’ and principals’ evaluations must include parent input.
Proposition 2 – Pay for performance. Bonuses for teachers would be based on “student academic growth measured by statewide standardized tests”.
Proposition 3 – Technology. The initiative authorized the purchase of a laptop for every student, wireless broadband service in high schools and professional development for using technology in class for the teachers. It included a new requirement that students take a minimum of two online classes for graduation and it included a sleeper: Public post-secondary schools in Idaho can operate charter high schools.
Shortly after the election in 2012, then State Superintendent of Schools, Tom Luna, announced the schools would buy the laptops for the students despite the fact that the voters rejected the plan. In 2014, right after Butch Otter’s re-election, 4th District Judge Patrick Owen ruled that the state’s $60 million broadband contract was illegal. There was apparently some kind of sweetheart deal between Butch Otter and his close friend and business partner, Mike Gwartney. After the Idaho Education Network contract was awarded, they cut out one of the partners, Syringa Networks. Naturally, Syringa sued.
About two weeks ago, TVOI News got a tip from a whistleblower, that the Idaho State Board of Education is implementing pay-for-performance with parent and student evaluations of the teachers. The parent evaluation of the teachers is an eight page, 28 question survey in which parents are asked if the curriculum is appropriate for their child and if the teacher shares information with the parent that is understandable, friendly, and non-threatening. As I read the questionnaire the thought that came to mind was that the parent should be given a vocabulary test and basic concepts test before a teacher’s career it put at risk with multiple choice questions that are answered with Never, Not often, Sometimes, Usually, Almost Always, Do not know.
Teachers are also up in arms about a test called the SBAC test. SBAC stands for Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium – which means what? “Smarter Balanced is one of two multistate consortia awarded funding from the U.S. Department of Education in 2010 to develop an assessment system aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) by the 2014-15 school year.” Source: SBAC Common Core State Standards are the product of a non-profit front group called Achieve, Inc., behind which was Lou Gerstner, Chairman of IBM.
From 1996 to 2002 he co-chaired Achieve, an organization created by U.S. Governors and business leaders to drive high academic standards for public schools in the United States. At IBM he established Reinventing Education as a strategic partnership with 21 states and school districts which utilize IBM technology and technical assistance to eliminate key barriers to school reform and improve student performance. He is co-author of the book Reinventing Education: Entrepreneurship in America’s Public Schools (Dutton 1994).
The “reinventing” plan was handed to the Governors who then had to present it to their citizens as if it was their own idea. The so-called reinvention was nothing of the sort. It’s the Soviet Union’s system of poly-technical education or what we old timers used to call vocational education.
Common Core was handed as a package to the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) who then presented it as their own plan while Tom Luna who was not qualified to even be employed in the education system and who “misled” voters (check the Plum Book) when he ran for State Superintendent of Schools, introduced it into Idaho.
For the icing on this sh*t samitch – mixed metaphor intentional, the President of the National Education Association (NEA), Lily Eskelsen Garcia was on C-Span Washington Journal yesterday, Jan 17, 2015 to talk about standards and testing. The minute she opened her mouth, I thought, she sounds just like Sarah Palin and as she went on, I could hear how her voice dropped at certain points to almost a whisper.
With the highly cultivated affectations of Lily Eskelsen Garcia that included hints of ASMR training, I determined that I needed to get to the bottom of it. Interestingly enough, the other day when I was searching for info on Zbigniew Brzezinski for the piece I was writing titled Jihadis Without Borders (Part 7 of Refugees as a Weapons System), I came across a new word: Eupsychia and I thought that perhaps I would find some clues to the training that Garcia underwent in the information about eupsychia. DING! DING! DING! JACKPOT!!!
Eupsychia – website. The link on William Faulkner is to an audio clip. Make sure you listen to it and then follow the links to the Eupsychian Assumptions and read them carefully within the context of the real world and not some utopian fantasy world.
Much as I’d like to, I’m not going off on a tangent about eupsychia except to give you this from Zbig’s book, Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era:
“We have thus reached the stage of mankind’s history where the passion for equality is a universal, self-conscious force. What is more, since equality is not likely to be attained on the objective plane, it may be sought more and more on the subjective plane. With real equality impossible, equality through emotion becomes a substitute, with passionate conflict and hostility creating the illusion of equality. Page 111.
Garcia’s training comes out of the New Age movement. The New Age movement is the psycho-social engineers answer to the transformational requirements to move to Zbig’s Technetronic Era. What that means for the schools is that the schools are playing games with the emotions of the children while the schools are being converted to a dumbed down non-educational system. And the ever bubbly, bouncy, wide-eyed enthusiasm of Lily Eskelsen Garcia is an iconic representative of New Age gaming of the children – playing on their emotions. It makes me shudder to think of the disillusionment that awaits them as they enter adulthood.
What we are witnessing in the schools is similar to a pack of vultures fighting over a carcass – our system of education. The teachers, the schools administrators, state officials and corporations are all vying for the money from the education system as it is being dismantled and while the social engineers are playing psychological games with the children. Objections of parents, voters, teachers and probably students are falling on deaf ears. Maybe it’s time for the grandparents to get involved to rescue their grandchildren from the ghouls, goons and goofs who seem to have captured our schools.
Aspen Institute: Transforming the American High School
Idaho – Future is Now Newsletter from 2005
What is New Age Education – Part 1?
What is New Age Education – Part 2?