The National Governors Association (who owns the Common Core State Standards) and National Conference of State Legislators released their own plan for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
It amazes me that two trade organizations that one would assume would want to protect state interests is interested in ESEA (or what we call No Child Left Behind in its current form) being reauthorized instead of sunset. Which means they are not interested in protecting the interests of states at all, but instead protecting the interests of educrats in DC who want to implement top-down reform.
In a joint press release they said:
Governors and state legislators say the new act should improve the law’s governance structure to provide states greater authority to align and leverage their early education, K-12 and postsecondary policies to increase educational effectiveness. The law should reinforce the principle that accountability and responsibility for K-12 education rests with the states. It also should support state-led strategies to improve low-performing schools and include the ability to empower teachers and school leaders to prepare all students for success.
Oh they had governors and state legislators vote on this plan? Fascinating. You know what would provide a state’s with “greater authority to align and leverage their early education, K-12 and postsecondary policies to increase educational effectiveness” (whatever that means)? Kill NCLB and end Federal involvement in education.
That isn’t what these groups want however.
“Forty-three states are operating under waivers from No Child Left Behind. While waivers are important tools that provide states with flexibility to innovate and to manage programs, government by waiver is a sign that underlying laws do not work and are in need of reform,” Governor Brian Sandoval (R-NV), chair of the NGA Education and Workforce Committee, said in the joint statement.
The waivers mean the law needs to die, not be reformed.
Then the vice-chair of the NGA Education and Workforce Committee said something peculiar. “The Elementary and Secondary Education Act will allow states to align our needs through early education to higher education with the needs of our innovative businesses, developing a stronger workforce development pipeline, expanding opportunity for all of our people and ensuring that students are prepared for success in all phases of life,” said Governor Maggie Hassan (D-NH).
There you have it. They believe education is about the needs of our business and not the needs of our children and their families. It’s not about teaching kids to be well-educated, well-rounded citizens. Instead education is to be a pipeline for the workforce.
That’s the shift from classical education to workforce development.
In their plan one of the points they make in “ensuring state-determined accountability” is to make sure that ESEA “(e)nsures that state goals are aligned, where possible, with the state’s workforce development plan and state career and technical education initiatives to ensure that students develop the skills necessary for the state’s current and future workforce needs.”
There was a time when businesses were responsible for paying for their own employee training. Apparently “governors and state legislators” want this shifted to taxpayers.
I would recommend that if any Governor or State Legislators truly believes in federalism, and are against top-down reforms such as this, they withdraw their membership from these worthless organizations.