Maine Governor Signs Executive Order Protecting Local Control, Student Privacy

Governor Paul LePage (R-ME) signed an executive order that affirmed Maine’s commitment to local control and student privacy rights.  It doesn’t back Maine out of the Common Core State Standards, but it is a HUGE step and other governors should be doing the same.  Citizens in that state will still have the opportunity to vote them out at the ballot box.

Here is Governor LePage’s executive order:

AN ORDER REGARDING PROTECTION OF LOCAL EDUCATION CONTROL AND STUDENT PRIVACY RIGHTS

WHEREAS, Under Maine law, the state’s ultimate goal with regard to its schools is that they will “enable today’s students to gain the knowledge and skills necessary for postsecondary education, career, citizenship and military”; and

WHEREAS, rigorous state standards detailing expected learning outcomes for students are essential if the state is to meet that goal; and

WHEREAS, The adoption of state standards for learning outcomes should be done in an open, transparent way that includes ample opportunity for public review and comment, and

WHEREAS, The federal government has no constitutional authority to set learning standards in Maine or any other state, nor determine how children in the State of Maine or any other state will be educated; and

WHEREAS, The Maine Constitution specifically grants to local governments responsibility for “the support and maintenance of public schools”; and

WHEREAS, It is therefore the right of local school units, not the state, to develop and or adopt curricula and instructional approaches consistent with state learning standards; and

WHEREAS, The protection of student and family privacy is a fundamental right of all Maine people;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Paul R. LePage, Governor of the State of Maine, hereby order as follows:

That the Department of Education shall not adopt any educational standards, curricula or instructional approaches that may be mandated by the federal government.

That the Department of Education shall not apply for any federal grant that requires, as a condition of application, the adoption of any federally-developed standards, curricula or instructional approaches.

That, consistent with state statute, the Department of Education may provide guidance and technical assistance to schools, but may not require the adoption of specific curricula or instructional approaches.

That any amending of Maine’s Learning Results standards must be done through a transparent public rulemaking process that allows Maine people ample time and opportunity to review proposed changes and provide feedback. Specifically, the Department of Education shall ensure that any amendment to the Learning Results be posted for public review and comment for at least 60 days. Any comments received during this notice period shall be made public prior to final adoption of any changes.

That the collection of student data by school districts and the state Department of Education must be done in a manner consistent with state and federal laws intended to protect student privacy. No personally identifiable data on students and/or their families’ religion, political party affiliation, psychometric data, biometric information, and/or voting history shall be collected, tracked, housed, reported or shared with the federal government, nor provided to private vendors for the purposes of marketing or business development.

He must have listened to Michelle Malkin’s warning to Republican governors.

Comments

  1. Diane Kepus says

    Governor LePage is a turn coat and NOT to be trusted. Look where Bowen went dancing to – Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education and working for the CCSSO. This is the same little inexperienced Maine Commissioner of Education who came back from Jeb Bush’s Summit’s in 2010, went back to Maine
    all pumped up and called Patricia Levesque, Jeb Bush’s Chief of Staff
    explaining he was all for Common Core and Charter, but wasn’t sure how to go
    about the implementation – her response – “have no worries – we will take care
    of everything for you” and she did. Look where he is now! Snakes all over the country. Bowen taught LePage to come in to the fold!

    Open Letter to Governor LePage’s Executive Order

    Whereas:
    Your Executive Order does not protect Maine children from the
    controversial and subjective Career and Education Standards, part of the Maine
    Learning Results, where values cannot be accurately and appropriately measured,
    (ex. Interpersonal Skills)

    Whereas:
    Your Executive Order does not protect school districts from the federal “whole
    systems reform” brought about by your acceptance of Common Core Standards
    through mandates of Obama ‘Race to the Top’ federal grants, which are
    deceptively being instituted without the consent of the parents in your state;

    Whereas;
    Your Executive Order does not protect students used in research as guinea
    pigs in the ‘Innovation Lab Network’ where controversial activities, testing,
    and curriculum were a model for the nation. These experimental ‘Obama Race to
    the Top’ grants have been used without the awareness or written consent of the
    parents;

    Whereas;
    Your Executive Order does not protect Maine students from the ‘unlocked’
    regulations of FERPA, which allow personally identifiable information to be
    released for re-disclosure, to private contractors, non-profits, corporations,
    and businesses, in written agreements with the US Department of Education
    unknown to parents and legislators; and sets up a tracking system of accountability
    on individual students used for research violating privacy rights;

    Whereas:
    Your Executive Order does not protect local control for local school districts
    complying to the dictates of Common Core forcing students and teachers to learn
    and teach those standards creating a de-facto national curriculum and national
    test;

    Whereas:
    Your Executive Order does not protect the local district or the student from
    federal accountability mandates that are embedded throughout the new ESEA
    proposed legislation in HR 5 and SB 1094, dictating federal compliance for
    tracking students identified by state standards (Common Core,) aligning
    standards with Smarter Balanced assessments, and student specialized support
    and interventions designed for a students’ individual career path or plan; this
    is an intrusion into local control and individual student rights.

    Whereas;
    Your Executive Order does not protect your local district taxing
    authority when proposed ESEA federal legislation in HR 5 and SB 1094 allows
    federal Title I funds to ” follow a child” to the school of their
    choice; this system of funding will corrupt the taxing ability of your local
    district when funding of ‘choice students’ can move within the district,
    to another district, to another state, blurring appropriations of funding to
    areas outside their taxing abilities; this will destroy local control and
    abolish elected representative local government;

    Whereas;
    Your Executive Order does not protect teachers from the federal accountability
    mandates that are embedded throughout the new ESEA proposed legislation in HR 5 and SB 1094, dictating compliance to teach to state standards (Common Core) and dictating compliance for performance accountability monitoring all teachers
    through student assessments; this is an intrusion into local control;

    Whereas;
    Your Executive Order does not protect states’ rights when the proposed ESEA
    “Choice” Legislation in HR 5 and SB 1094 will use Title I choice funds that will “follow” the individual child and bypass state control of funds; this is a violation of states’ rights;

    Whereas:
    Your Executive Order does not protect our citizens and local representative
    government by pursuing unconstitutional Choice-Charter Schools, which will
    destroy our public and private school system, forcing federal mandates on all
    public and private religious schools when accepting Title I choice students;
    charter schools take away our voice in decision making on the local level, and
    forces taxpayers to succumb to an unelected for-profit board that will consume
    our hard earned tax dollars, not in the interest of educating children; charter
    schools will abolish representative government.

    Whereas;
    Your Executive Order is a blatant betrayal to parents who may think their
    children are protected, when in effect, you have handed Maine children to the
    federal government on a silver platter to track their entire educational life
    into higher education, into their career, instituting lifelong learning by
    government fiat violating personal liberty and true choices for their future.

    Therefore, We, the citizens, parents, teachers, and local taxpayers of Maine, request and order that you, Governor LePage, agree to withdraw our great state of
    Maine from the Common Core Standards, direct the legislature to withdraw the
    Common Core Standards, and provide our school districts with real local
    control, abolish all psychological, subjective and vague standards in the Maine
    Learning Results, and adopt an academic curriculum that will once again put
    excellence in education in Maine.

    All states should be using this and learn the real danger is not in the Trojan Horse of Common Core, but in Charter/Choice/Vouchers. Ask yourself, if all children are to be taught through Common Core, then why are the likes of Jeb Bush’s Foundations still pushing Charter/Choice.

    • wabby99 says

      The resolution issued by LePage is like closing the barn door after all the horses got out. Just like HR5 and S1094 smoke screens to pull us further into the trap. BE SURE TO CALL your US Senators and tell them to vote NO for S1094. The lies continue under the smoke screen of education our children in this bill.

    • Meh Bohls says

      The approval of parents is not the issue. The People (whether they are parents or not) must approve, and they exert their approval (or disapproval) by electing representatives to serve at the federal, state, and local level (including presidents, governors, legislators, and school board members). If we don’t like what our representatives are doing, we only need to elect new ones. That is the ultimate oversight to which we the People are entitled.

      Due to our nation’s high mobility rate, particularly among the poor, many citizens favor common curriculum in reading, writing, and math to increase opportunities for all students. If the minority objects, options exist in home schooling and private schooling.

      P.S., Your understanding of ESEA and Title I funding is erroneous.