Posts Tagged ‘Federal Department of Education’

Guest post by John Sanderford

Is the Washington Establishment hurting conservative Republican efforts for a balanced budget?

Is the Washington Establishment so distorting the facts, that conservative Republican principles of fiscal and monetary responsibility and limited government can’t be effectively messaged?

Our country is spinning out of control. Our elected representatives just authorized another Trillion in debt without any plan for a balanced budget. The Washington Establishment shills literally paraded around this week complimenting each other and patting each other on the back in celebration of…one more nail in America’s coffin.

A few brave souls were willing to say “no” to Obamacare, “no” to debt ceiling increase, and “no” to a budget process gone wild. But how did things get so backward that those “Tea Party Terrorists” are now somehow the real problem with the GOP?

Monday, Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader of the Senate, released a statement indicating he would surrender to all Obama and Reid terms to “reopen” the government and raise the debt ceiling in return for the “opportunity to negotiate”. By Wednesday it was apparent that Boehner would allow the House to surrender without a majority of Republicans in support.

Why were establishment Republicans willing to completely capitulate again? Why were establishment Republicans willing to legitimize the deceptive Democrat talking points about “default”? Simple. Establishment Republicans care more about polls and their future positions of power than they do about principles and America’s future. Surrender meant they could say that Cruz, Lee and the other Tea Party “terrorists” had failed. These radicals that cause all this “trouble” had accomplished nothing, except to make low information poll respondents, those same people believe the words of Obama, Reid and the liberal media, mad at the Republican Party.

Where was our GOP leadership when the American people needed to know the truth about the debt ceiling? The deception that the Washington Establishment relied upon was that if we failed to increase the authorization to go further in debt (i.e. raise the debt ceiling) we would then default. This is an intentional misrepresentation of the facts. In reality the Federal government has more than adequate cash flow and reserves to pay our debt obligations. What the Federal government doesn’t have is enough money to keep paying for everything for everybody. The government could have paid its debts, but would have had to cut something….the government could have reduced food stamps outlays, eliminated some corporate welfare, defunded the Arctic Commission, eliminated some waste, closed the Department of Education…I could go on and on for pages, but I hope you get the point. The problem is that the Washington Establishment has no intention of becoming fiscally responsible.

The close proximity of the shutdown and debt ceiling deadlines was the perfect storm, a tremendous chance for change. A lost opportunity. After all why do we need to borrow more money when the government is closed. And with it closed what a wonderful opportunity to look around and see what we don’t need to fund, or heck, identify what we don’t even miss. The House should have taken up the budgets for each Department, Agency, Commission, etc. Eliminating needless Departments like Education, and cutting the budgets of rouge Agencies like the EPA. Private businesses should have been offered the opportunity to bid on services that would allow us to consider replacing the FDA, FCC, SSA and the CYA!

But in the end…nothing was cut, no entitlement was reformed, no fraud was corrected, no waste was cured…NOTHING was fixed. Obamacare stumbles on, but at least the “troublemakers” have been so branded.

Thank goodness for those “troublemakers”! Without them the Washington Establishment would have just passed another CR and again increased the debt ceiling, all without any dissent. Yes, they were just doing their duty for good of the country!

Since the Washington Establishment wants us to believe their lies about how all this wrongheaded capitulation was all for our own good, they have no choice but to brand those that would have the audacity to protest against their repeated misrepresentations (George Will summarizes for them) as, “hostage-taking terroristic anarchistic jihadist suicide bombers.” I would call them patriots.

I would call Obama, Reid. Pelosi, McConnell, Boehner, and those that stand with them, something else.

SANDERFORD LAW OFFICE, LLC

John R. Sanderford III

8549. N. Church Rd. Suite B

Kansas City, MO 64157

(816) 415-9455

http://www.sanderfordlaw.com

by Gretchen Logue of Missouri Education Watchdog

Citizens are concerned with the Department of Revenue in Missouri and the recent discovery of secret data mining of their information when they renew their driver’s license.  From The Dana Show and EXCLUSIVE: DHS Plans Backdoor Gun Registration? *UPDATES:

This from concerned citizen Eric Griffin and Missouri’s Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder.  Department of Revenue is working with the Department of Homeland Security to install new hard and software to obtain data on Missouri citizens and transfer this information to DHS and unnamed third parties, says Kinder. Kinder and the Stoddard County Prosecutor today took legal action and held a press conference outlining the infringement on civil liberties as posted by the DoR and DHS. The move by the departments is related to the Real ID.

Griffin went to renew his driver’s license and was disturbed by how, and with whom, his information was being shared. Kinder and other lawmakers say that the move violates several Missouri state statutes.

Loesch followed up on this privacy gathering in Missouri Department Of Revenue Saving Biometric Data In Violation Of State Law:

Today I spoke with Missouri Senator Kurt Schaefer about this story I told you about two weeks ago. According to Sen. Schaefer, not only is the Missouri Department of Revenue colluding with the Department of Homeland Security and other third parties to illegally share Missourians’ conceal carry information, the DOR is also gathering and storing biometric data on every Missourian who gets a license.

Schaefer notes that the collection of biometric data was never discussed with Missouri lawmakers and that it was discovered quite by accident when suspicious Missourians questioned why the DOR would want their marriage licenses and a multitude of other information simply to renew their conceal carry permits. When Schaefer confronted the DOR, they twice lied to the senator, claiming that the DHS grant money was for things like “hole punchers.” Schaefer later learned the DHS grant money was actually used towards items like facial recognition hardware and software. It’s not only backdoor gun registration, but a massive invasion of privacy as well.

It raises two interesting questions: what else is the DOR lying about and what did Gov. Jay Nixon know and when did he know it?

The privacy gathering allowed through Common Core and the revised FERPA regulations mimics what has happened in the DOR:

  • the collection of biometric data was never discussed with Missouri lawmakers
  • DESE indicated currently 61 data points are gathered on Missouri students in legislative hearings
  • the sharing of student information with other entities violates several state statutes
  • DESE is working with the US Department of Education to obtain data on Missouri students and transfer this information to the DOEd and unnamed third parties approved by the DOEd to comply with Common Core mandates

Loesch writes:

Kinder and the Stoddard County Prosecutor today took legal action and held a press conference outlining the infringement on civil liberties as posted by the DoR and DHS. The move by the departments is related to the Real ID.

Could Kinder and a county prosecutor take legal action against DESE to outline civil rights infringements on civil liberties as posted by the US Department of Education?  The move by DESE and school districts to obtain information is related to the Common Core requirements.

If citizens are upset about their license data being shared with unknown agencies and third parties, shouldn’t this outrage extend to the mining of their children’s data?

by Gretchen Logue of Missouri Education Watchdog

The following written testimony by Mark Garrison, Ph.D. was entered to support MO SB 210 and HB 616 and end the implementation of Common Core State Standards:

EXPERT TESTIMONY OF MARK GARRISON, PH.D., IN OPPOSITION TO THE
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS INITIATIVE (CCSSI).

March 3, 2013

Based on my research, I have concluded that the CCSSI should be opposed for four reasons.*
They are:

1. There is no evidence that the CCSSI will improve the quality of education, reduce
inequalities, or ensure students are prepared to contribute to society or engage in
higher learning. For example, researchers have compared states with higher standards
to those with less challenging ones, and found that the existence of higher, better or
clearer standards did not result in demonstrably better results on the National
Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) or other international tests. There is,
however, a great deal of research that suggests the CCSSI will further narrow
curriculum, further mechanizing teaching. It needs to be understood that the architects
of the CCSSI mean to vastly increase the amount of testing (tests controlled by one of
the two private testing consortia created with federal funds). Testing will include
computer scoring of student essays, which raises a host of issues that I am certain
parents will be very concerned about. Finally, after review of many CCSSI documents,
I have come to the conclusion that the entire project treats students as “products” or
“things” and not human beings. If parents knew the whole truth about what the CCSSI
has in store for their children, I believe their opposition would be swift and
unanimous.

2. Despite the name of the initiative, there is little evidence that the effort was “state
lead.” Many state officials signed on to the CCSSI before the final standards were
even written. The former commission of education in Texas, Robert Scott, has
publically stated he was pressured by reformers to sign the Common Core Standards
MOU. There is evidence that governors in other states compelled their education
leaders to rubber stamp the CCSSI. As the legislatures of each state have been largely
absent from the process, it is impossible that legislator constituencies were involved,
making empty CCSSI advocates claims to have “parent support”. Few parents even
know about the CCSSI or that their schools are now being restructured to meet the
demands of the CCSSI.

3. The process by which the CCSSI has been adopted and implemented violates basic
principles of the United States Constitution and the laws of the United States. The
framers of the Constitution worked to construct a political system to avoid tyranny,
which meant that governmental power could not be consolidated in one office or
branch. Thus, framers insisted on the separation of powers between the legislative,
judicial and executive branches, and a weak central government. Importantly, the right
to operate schools was reserved to the States or the people themselves. Education was
envisioned as one means to block tyranny through the force of “enlightened public
opinion”. But education cannot serve this function if people lose control over their
schools. The federal Department of Education, an executive branch, has nonetheless
acted to make laws with its Race to the Top (RttT) initiative and its waivers to
provisions of No Child Left Behind Act. While executive waivers have legal
precedent, Secretary Duncan’s use of RttT funds and NCLB waivers as “incentives”
for states to adopt the CCSSI, which is not rooted in existing law, is in fact a form of
law making. Taken in conjunction with 1979 law prohibiting the Department of
Education from having “any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum”
(section 103b), the CCSSI adoption process is unconstitutional and violates existing
federal law as well. And, how many legislatures know that the MOU for entry into one
of the two Common Core assessment apparatuses (Missouri is a member of the
Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) required alteration or elimination of any
state laws that might interfere with the operation of the assessment consortia!

4. While the federal Department of Education is in violation of the law, the CCSSI
represents something worse than a “federal power grab.” In fact, the illegal power of
the federal government has been used to remove public power over education at the
local, state and federal level and place it in the hands of four private (501c3)
publically unaccountable corporations, who have strong connections to test publishers
and the big private philanthropies secretly driving education reform. They are: the
National Governors Association (NGA), the Council of Chief State School Officers
(CCSSO), and the two assessment apparatuses, the Partnership for Readiness for
College and Career (PARCC) and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC).
Most telling is that the Common Core State Standards, standards that now govern
curriculum, instruction and assessment across the country, are jointly “owned” by the
NGA Center for Best Practices and the CCSSO! Both federal and state legislatures,
not to mention local school boards, are complete removed from having a say.