Category Archives: Education
By Valerie Strauss
The American Federation of Teachers, which has won millions of dollars in grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will no longer accept foundation money for its Innovation Fund. Union members have expressed concern about the poor implementation in many states of the Common Core State Standards, one of the initiatives in which the fund invests.
AFT President Randi Weingarten said at the recent SXSWedu conference in Austin that she would ask her executive council to approve a five-cent raise in dues to make up for the money that the nation’s second largest teachers union would have received from the Gates foundation for its Innovation Fund.
Comment From Old-Thinker News: The general public has the perception that this “education reform” is coming from the federal government. In reality it is a brainchild of tax-exempt foundations that have been shaping public education since the early 20th Century. The Obama administration immediately hired representatives from the Gates Foundation months after Obama’s election in 2008.
By Mercedes Schneider
This is a post about Bill Gates and his money, a brief audit of his Common Core (CCSS) purchases. Before I delve into Gates accounting, allow me to set the stage with a bit of CCSS background.
It is important to those promoting CCSS that the public believes the idea that CCSS is “state-led.” The CCSS website reports as much and names two organizations as “coordinating” the “state-led” CCSS: The National Governors Association (NGA), and the Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Interestingly, the CCSS website makes no mention of CCSS “architect” David Coleman:
The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The standards were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and experts, to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare our children for college and the workforce. [Emphasis added.]
Nevertheless, if one reviews this 2009 NGA news release on those principally involved in CCSS development, one views a listing of 29 individuals associated with Student Achievement Partners, ACT, College Board, and Achieve. In truth, only 2 out of 29 members are not affiliated with an education company.
By Lance Devon
Individual liberty is being burned at the stake, as governments set fire to people natural rights. This time it has everything to do with homeschooling.
It all started in Germany. Uwe and Hannelore Romeike were raising their five children in the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg, when they decided to remove their children from the public education system. In 2006, the Romeike’s illegally withdrew their children from the German public schools system and began homeschooling. Believing that the public education system was undermining their Christian faith, the Romeike’s began breaking the law and teaching their kids at home. By exercising their natural rights, the Romeikes were fined over $10,000 by the German government and at one point their children were forcefully removed from their home. In 2010, after getting their children back, they chose to flee Germany and move to the United States.
Finding freedom in the US, only to be challenged again, this time by the US
Upon arrival in Tennessee, the Romeikes were granted asylum. A federal judge rebuked the German policy and ruled that the Romeike’s had a reasonable fear of persecution for their personal beliefs if they returned to Germany.
Comment from Old-Thinker News: The modern schooling system derives much of its current state from its Prussian roots. Children are treated as empty vessels – rather than human beings with rich souls to be nurtured to their full potential – that need to be filled with the “right way” of thinking and doing. Under a despotic regime, deviation from this “right way” is punished severely. This story from 2010 is a reminder of the pain that absolute government inflicts on innocent people.
This CBN news footage in Erlangen, Germany shows how oppressive a regime could become when government has the authority to remove children from home. In the Bavarian town of Erlangen, Germany, 15-year old Christian girl Melissa Busekros was taken from her parents in a SWAT-style police raid. German officials consider her family dangerous because her parents home school their daughter. She was placed in state foster “care” and allowed to see her parents for an hour a week.
She was diagnosed of school phobia by state-paid shrink, declared mentally ill and locked in an asylum because she opposed the government’s policies and believed in God. The German government denied that she was removed because she was home schooled by her parents, but because of her strong family tie and obedience of her father who authorities considered insane.
By Antony Davies
Absent congressional action, the interest rates on federally subsidized student loans will double to 6.8 percent on July 1. Both President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney have urged Congress to act before that deadline, but no one seems willing to state the obvious: The problem is not the interest rate but that the federal government subsidizes student loans at all.
To understand the impending fallout from government intervention in higher education lending, consider the recent housing bubble.
The anatomy of the mortgage crisis is simple. The government, in a fit of social engineering spanning decades, established Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make real the dream of home ownership for working class Americans. Beginning in 1996, the Department of Housing and Urban Development told Fannie and Freddie that more than 40 percent of their loans had to go to low-income borrowers. Tax breaks followed. Finally, starting in the early 1990s, the Federal Reserve pushed interest rates to historically low levels, making mortgages cheaper.
By Valerie Strauss
In the ‘you-can’t-make-up-this-stuff’ category, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is spending about $1.1 million to develop a way to physiologically measure how engaged students are by their teachers’ lessons. This involves “galvanic skin response” bracelets that kids would wear so their engagement levels could be measured.
If this tells us anything, it is that the obsession with measurement and data in school reform has reached new nutty heights.
Purpose: to work with members of the Measuring Effective Teachers (MET) team to measure engagement physiologically with Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) bracelets which will determine the feasibility and utility of using such devices regularly in schools with students and teachers.