Question: can a community's health and productivity be raised through educational policies based on instructing children in a one-size-fits-all scientifically based government approved curriculum?
California legislators think it can. As of October 13, 2013, close of term, Governor Brown has signed at least 32 education bills that tighten the strings on aligning California with federal educational mandates creating partnerships between the Departments of Education and Health while at the same time loosening the reins on local county boards of education and parental control.
Going a step further, one should ask who is to gain from this, the student, the bureaucrat or the community?
Sorry, that's a catch question because all of this new education, based on pre-planned outcomes is really an experiment and America's children are the latest guinea pigs.
The one-size-fits-all universal, global education, some might say training, is now called Common Core Standards. It was once called Goals 2000, No Child Left Behind and Race To The Top. All of it created by a combination of federal and state legislation which the media never reports or reports in such a way as to make it seem to bear miraculous results.
ObamaCare is a one-size-fits-all federal model for universal health goals and outcomes. Common Core State (education) standards is a one-size-fits-all universal model for federal governance of pre-planned educational outcomes.
Critics of CCSS think of it more as a mandate to gather personal and private data on every person in the United States, every day, every month, every year; having federal bureaucrats analyze the data, returning it to the states as Best Practices, to be followed until the next change.
In other words, the federal government has found a way to circumvent states rights placing the feds directly into the centralized authority position of over one's individual health and education outcomes, starting with home visits to pregnant women, thereby guaranteeing a healthy and productive citizenry in which one is trained to combine one's own goals and desires with that of society in general.
The current legislative term, which ended on October 13, has had 119 education bills signed by the Governor and entered into law. These bills cover a wide range of topics such as; personnel, administration and curriculum, education finance, postsecondary education and Miscellaneous with an additional 41 sub topics.
So far 32 of the initial 66 education bills that we tagged have been chaptered. Only two were authored by Republicans, Tim Donnelly, AB 424, requiring that the History-Social Science framework incorporate a study of our state Constitution, the Magna Carta and Articles of Confederation into the education framework, and, Mimi Walters, SB 185, dealing with contracts to purchase "standards aligned" educational material for public, charter and private schools, in both printed and digital format
Donnelly's bill was in response to the myriad of bills authored by Democrats mandating that the history-social studies framework include such things as Assemblyman Rob Bonta's study of Caesar Chavez and the Farm Worker Movement, AB 123, Voter Education, AB 700 by Jimmy Gomez, and Ian Calderon, SB 552, Violence Awareness classes, AB 166, Roger Hernandez, Pupil Instruction, Financial Literacy, SB 201, Carol Liu, Materials: Academic Content Standards: English Learners. brings instructional materials for English learners into alignment with CCSS, K-12 plus Liu's AB 247, Pupil Assessment, and SB 330, Alex Padilla, Mental Health Instruction to Educate Students. This latter bill bringing us into conformance with the 264 page California Health Framework for Public Schools. 2009 edition. (please see end notes)
Rounding out the alignment with Common Core and federal requirements are: AB 626 by Nancy Skinner, Nutrition. This incorporates ObamaCare's health for all into the school cafeterias and aligns the state with the Pupil nutrition, health and achievement Act of 2001. Two companion bills, AB 547, Rudy Salas, High School and after School Safety and Career Exploration which includes a mandate to provide nourishing snacks for students who stay after school for activities, plus AB 514, Rob Bonta, Safe Schools Safe Learning, anti-bullying reporting. And, lastly, SB 490, Hannah-Beth Jackson, aligning Community Colleges with the Common Core Standards.
Donnelly's bill was included in an unusual signing message from the Governor. (He is required to submit veto messages, but not signing messages) In it Brown admits that a package of 7 bills, including a lead bill by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, AB 484 Pupil Assessments: Measurement of Performance/Progress brings California more firmly into line with the federal Common Core Standards. This bill eliminates the STAR testing program and replaces it with the Measurement of Academic Performance and Progress system, better known as Smarter Balance Assessment. State Superintendent of Schools, Tom Torlakson, originally a Humanities teacher in an Antioch High School and a fitness devotee, is the main supporter of this bill.
Critics refer to this Smarter Balance as the guaranteed evened out balanced outcome scores of everyone with no one flunking, no matter how inaccurately they answer tests. It's not the answer that they are looking for but the thinking process the student went through to arrive at an answer, any answer. This is called "thinking outside the box."
But, I mentioned frameworks in a previous paragraph. What is a curriculum framework?
Here is a clear definition from Wikipedia:
Curriculum Framework is part of an outcome-based education or standards based education reform design. The framework is the first step, defining clear, high standards which will be achieved by all students. The curriculum is then aligned to the standards, and students are assessed against the standards. As compared with traditional education which is concerned only about delivering content, a standards based education reform system promises that all will succeed if all are held to high expectations. When the standards are reached, there will be no achievement gap where some groups are allowed to score lower than others, or the disabled are offered different opportunities than others. All will meet world class standards and be qualified for good colleges and trained for good jobs which pay good wages. In a traditional education system, the curriculum was defined by those who created textbooks rather than government bodies which assembled groups of stakeholders to create standards based on consensus of what students should know and be able to do.
There are a large number of bills that were held back during the 2013 term. These bills may come forward upon the legislature's return from recess and be turned into two-year bills. These are corollaries to the one's listed above.
The most lamentable part of all this invasive legislation is the lack of opposition from parents, conservative groups, religious groups, Republican or Tea Party groups.
Political Leftist/socialist legislators urged by self interest stakeholder groups are writing the legislation and Governors and the President are signing them into law, but it is we, the people, who are letting them do it. Please help spread the word amongst friends and family that there are freedoms to be won or lost depending upon how much we value our American independence.
We are witnessing the devaluation of humanity and it will be our future generations who will bear the burden of our apathy.
The pro life community is realizing that the next level of devaluation is human life at its ending. With the power and authority firmly in the hand of leftists and anti-Christians, assisted suicide and even euthanasia will begin to be felt in our country and state. The state Democrat Party already has a death with dignity plank in its platform.
Visit your elected officials. Let them know that you are aware of their voting records and goals, express your concern and remind them that they represent all their constituents, not just the special interest groups whose main purpose is to make a living off of human yearnings.
Spero columnist Camille Giglio is a freelance writer who resides in California.
Political Outcast, May 29, 2013 "Common Core": The ObamaCare of Education. http://politicaloutcast.com/2013/05/common-core-the-obamacare-of-education/
Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, Vol. 30, No 6, December 2005, Duke University Press. "Can Education Policy be Health Policy? Implications of Research on the Social Determinants of Health."
Research on the social determinants of health has demonstrated robust correlations between several social factors, health status, and life expectancy. Some of these factors could be modified through policy intervention. National-level public policies explicitly based on population health research are in various stages of development in many Western countries, but in spite of evident need, seemingly not at all in the United States. Because research shows such a strong association between education and good health, we offer evidence to show that at least two pressing problems in American society, namely the uneven distribution of educational attainment and health disparities linked to socioeconomic position, may be ameliorated through policy initiatives that link quality early childhood care, child development programs, and parental training in a seamless continuum with strengthened K-12 education.
California Health Framework for Public Schools, 2009 edition. http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/cr/cf/documents/healthfw.pdf. This is the complete agenda for the concept of teaching the "whole child."
Healthy Schools, Healthy People, K thru 12, prepared for a conference on Healthy Schools, Healthy People, held January 15-17, 2003. This conference was, apparently, the preplanning for the 2009 Health Framework mentioned above. http://www.tcoek12.org/tcoeforms/health/health%20%20framework.pdf.
Much of the content of this above mentioned draft came from the Association for the Advancement of Health Education, originally published in 1994.
Governor's Message, 10/2/2013, "The Governor's 2013-14, signed in June, invests $1.25 billion in professional development, instructional materials and technology to support the implementation of Common Core Standards in California."
Public Health Nutrition, "School-based nutrition education: lessons learned and new perspectives, Public Health Nutrition/Volume 4/issue 1a/February 2001 pgs 131-139.
"Community trials suggest that nutrition education is an accessible effective tool in health promotion programmes with a focus on the development of healthy eating practices."
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author only, not of Spero News.