Monday, August 22, 2011

It Isn't So Much Stealth As It Is Ignorance

Today's post from J.P. Greene, "The Stealth Strategy of National Standards" was fabulous. You truly need to check it out. He really hit the nail on the head,

It was also interesting that once I pressed people to say why they supported nationalization out loud, the flaws and limitations of their arguments became apparent — even to themselves. Having to articulate your reasons can serve as a useful check on whether people have really thought something through.

From ROPE's perspective, this is nothing new. In fact, I couldn't help myself and had to make a comment.

Although you have focused with laser beam accuracy on the problems surrounding the CCSSI, another portion of the whole Race to the Top initiative – the P20 database – gets no attention and is even MORE intrusive than the whole federalized curricula contraption. Our organization has been extremely concerned about the amount and types of data state governments will be collecting on CHILDREN and then disseminating to entire arrays of other governmental and sub-governmental bodies, often times without parental consent.

We are so disgusted in fact, that we put together an ExtraNormal video describing one of the P20 meetings in Oklahoma on our YouTube channel. The reason I bring it up here is that the video makes your point in stark relief, Jay.

They (the reformers – whom I liken to Christine of Stephen King fame) believe we MUST have a database to collect information on students from preK to age 20 in order to get students to graduate high school college ready. Sounds good (I guess) until you really THINK about that.

Last week, I’m telling my local school board member about P20 – and all the other horrifying nuggets we’ve uncovered in our paper on CCSSI and RTT. I spent nearly the entire time focused on the face of a woman looking at an oncoming car (Christine) without a clue of why it was about to hit her and what would actually happen if it did.

“But Jenni, we need to collect data on kids to make sure they can graduate high school college ready.”


“Because kids are dropping out right and left and we need to track them to see where they go.”


“Well, they need to be in class so we can get them college ready.”

“What’s college ready?”

“A rigorous curriculum that promotes Critical Thinking.” (The same stuff Christine runs on)

“How can you promote critical thinking when you don’t teach them facts to ‘think’ about? And how does collecting birth marks and voting status and blood type help them get facts?”

Long pause…

“Um. Well. Good question.”

Yup. Pretty much.