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#22818 Jan 1, 2013
Should the White House control what your kids learn?
By Stanley Kurtz
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/09/07/sho...
Editor's note: this piece is adapted from "Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities " (Sentinel HC August 2012).
What if President Obama’s most ambitious attempt to transform American society was also his quietest plan? You wouldn’t vote against the president on account of a program you’d never heard about, of course. That, I’d wager, is why President Obama has told the American public next-to-nothing about his plans to undercut the political and financial independence of America’s suburban school districts.
Obama is quietly busy making an end-run around our constitutional system, which forbids federal control of what your children learn in school. Step one, already well under way, is a dumbed-down national curriculum designed to artificially suppress achievement gaps between urban and suburban students. The right way to help poorly performing students is not to gut standards but to raise achievement, yet Obama is committed to defining performance down. That’s why the president’s ultimate goal is to erase the differences between local school districts with a massive redistribution of suburban education spending to the cities.
The right to educate your children as you see fit has traditionally stood at the very center of the American vision of self-government and personal liberty.
The 2008 controversy over Obama’s years of education work with that famously unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers has faded from view. For a moment, it seemed as though Ayers’ radical education legacy would carry forward into Obama’s presidency. That’s because Linda Darling-Hammond, Ayers’ favorite education expert and head of Obama’s education transition team, was on a fast track to appointment as secretary of education until her leftism alienated even many Democrats.
#22819 Jan 1, 2013
When Arne Duncan, who ostensibly backs demanding standards and tests, became education secretary instead, it looked as though Obama had tacked center. He hadn’t, and appearances to the contrary, neither had Darling-Hammond left the scene.
The core of the hard-left’s education agenda – a program shared by Obama, Ayers, and Darling-Hammond alike – has three parts: 1) a politicized curriculum that promotes leftist notions of “social justice,” 2) reducing “disparate outcomes” between students in different districts by undercutting standards, and 3) a redistribution of suburban education funding to less-well-off urban schools. Achieving these goals on a broad scale requires the federal government to usurp local control of K-12 schooling.
Obama is half-way there.
How did he do it? Instead of submitting his controversial education proposals to Congress and kicking off a vigorous national debate, Obama quietly marked $4.35 billion of federal stimulus spending for his Race to the Top education initiative. Since the stimulus bill was rushed through Congress with barely any debate on economic policy, much less education, Obama never had to go public with his plans.
By coordinating with outside groups not accountable to the voters, like the deep-pocketed Gates Foundation, the White House then orchestrated the creation of a national Common Core of education standards, with an accompanying curriculum and tests.
Supposedly, these standards have been voluntarily adopted by more than 40 states. In fact, by effectively conditioning eligibility for Race to the Top grants on participation in the Common Core, the Obama administration has forced economically pinched states to surrender control of their school curricula to the federal government. Cleverly, states have been pressed to sign on to the Common Core before the actual standards, curricula, and tests are revealed in a second Obama term. The entire scheme is arguably both illegal and unconstitutional. Yet it is moving forward, and the public knows virtually nothing about it.
A few conservatives have been fooled by the seemingly traditionalist call for national “standards.” Yet most conservative education experts understand that the new national standards will be low, not high. With so many pressing economic issues on the table, however, nobody’s listening. Too bad, because the ultimate outcome of Obama’s education scheme will actually be economic: a sweeping redistribution of suburban education funding to the cities.
Far from having departing the scene, Obama’s former adviser, Linda Darling-Hammond, is at the center of this plan. She works with the Smarter-Balanced Assessment Consortium, selected by the administration to create the testing system for the new Common Core. Darling-Hammond has gone out of her way to downplay her role with the Smarter-Balanced Consortium, but the group’s own publications make it clear that she is effectively running the show. So, although Darling-Hammond is the top national opponent of standardized tests, she is now effectively in charge of designing a new K-12 testing system for much of the nation. The result will be politically correct questions, and standards that aren’t really standards at all.
#22820 Jan 1, 2013
That’s only part one of the plan. President Obama’s Department of Education has established an Equity and Excellence Commission, charged with finding “ways to restructure school finance systems to achieve equity in the distribution of educational resources and further student achievement and attainment.” Conveniently, the commission’s recommendations will emerge only during a possible second Obama term. Darling-Hammond is a member of that commission, and if past experience is a guide will have outsize influence on its recommendations.
Darling-Hammond has already made her intentions clear. She is pushing a plan to add common “resource standards” to the new Common Core’s curricular standards. That is, Darling-Hammond hopes to condition federal education aid on the equalization of school funding across municipal lines. She has also proposed allowing students to transfer across school district lines, with transportation provided at government expense.
The target here is the suburbs. Obama and Darling-Hammond are both longtime supporters of the little-known “regional equity” movement, which aims to undercut the political independence of America’s suburbs so as to redistribute suburban wealth to the cities. Obama is too sharp politically to advertise this part of his program, yet he is aggressively pressing it forward.
The right to educate your children as you see fit has traditionally stood at the very center of the American vision of self-government and personal liberty. When young couples work and save so that they can move to a home in the suburbs with just the sort of schools they want, we say that they are pursuing the American dream. Shut off that dream with a misguided effort to equalize the funding of every American school district, and you destroy the engine that drives our prosperity, removing a core motive to work.
Agree or disagree, shouldn’t President Obama clearly explain his ambitious redistributive plans for K-12 education – and America’s suburbs – so that they can be discussed and debated during this epochal national election?
Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and author of the new book, Spreading the Wealth: How Obama Is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities (Sentinel HC August 2012).
#22821 Jan 1, 2013
You betcha the OEA could care less about a teacher; and neither does our "thoughtful" Springboro Education Association care about Springboro teachers ..... to the union it's all about money, power and control...it isn't surprising to hear the round about threat on this blog from the teachers union that unless we pay up to fatten the SEA officers wallets, the SEA will run our best teachers out of the district. How uncaring is the SEA when there is such high unemployment among school teachers (who no doubt would love working in such a great school district as Springboro). Why do hard working school teachers allow themselves to be pushed around and heavily-taxed by the big bully union masters?
#22822 Jan 1, 2013
You betcha! time for Springboro schools to move into the 21st century. Springboro has the expertise to focus on our students' unmet needs; and no student is to be left behind.
#22823 Jan 1, 2013
What are these "unmet needs"? Do you have a child in the gifted program in Springboro? How do you feel their education is lacking? Because ALL of the parents I have talked to with students who participate in the gifted program here in Springboro feel that their child is getting an excellent education, and that all of their needs are being met.
#22824 Jan 1, 2013
Unmet need for over 2000 real live children in our school district that consistently score 62% or BELOW on our state achievement tests.
I don't care how the state tends to label people who get LESS than 62%, it is our collective responsibility to do better. Those children are failing at every grade level.
2000 children are FAILING in our school system.
To try and act as if this is not so is to delude ourselves and fail our children.
We have been trying the same thing for quite a number of years now. Don't you think we owe it to the children whose future is entrusted to us to try something else that is more tailor made as a solution?
#22825 Jan 1, 2013
Booster pdf of Revenue and Expenses per team and the Booster Club
This is rough but lets an individual see how much money that was reportedly raised and its source. The spreadsheet also shows how much money was spent by each team and with which vendor. Just scroll down until you find the team you are interested in seeing. Boys Basketball for instance starts on page 24. Baseball page 14. Girls Soccer page 116. Football page 76. Booster Club page 1.
Spreadsheet developed by the athletic director at the time to keep track of each teams revenues and expenses. Time frame runs from 2008-2012
Note the revenue sources of the Booster Club, Casino Night, Football Concession Stand receipts, The Fan Store. The Fan Store has been in business and been promoted by the school as having all proceeds go to the Boosters since 2006 that I can document.
#22826 Jan 2, 2013
TWO THOUSAND children have an unmet educational need. How strong is a student going to be if each year you get just 50% of the material?
Don't believe me, check out the ODE website and crunch the numbers for yourself.
2000 plus children in our school system are effectively failing the state achievement test by scoring LESS than 62%.
The problem is not new, the ODE website also has past results available for our schools. We can see our results back to 2006, you decide if we are serving all needs.
#22827 Jan 2, 2013
Here are the test standards from the ODE website. The Standards shows the translation betwenn raw scores on each test and the final scale translation. How this translation is accomplished I have no idea. Effectively each test has 38 questions (items) some are worth 1 point, others 2, some 3 0r 4. Your raw score is determined by what combination of these questions you answer correctly.
Math for instance, 46 possible points available
score 34.5-46 correct answers - 75%-100%- labeled Advanced
28.0-34 correct answers - 61%-74%- labeled Accelerated
19.5-27.5 correct answers - 42%-60%- labeled Proficient
14.0-19.0 correct answers - 30%-41%- labeled Basic
0.0-13.5 correct answers - 0%-29%- labeled Limited
If you can be honest with yourself, how many of you wold be proud to have a child labeled Proficient while scoring 43% on a test?
Seriously, that is the bar we are claiming makes us amazing?
#22828 Jan 2, 2013
Summary of Ohio Mathematics Achievement Test Blueprints
Achvmnt Test Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 8 OGT
Number of Items 40 40 40 39 39 38 38
Number of Points 52 52 52 50 50 46 46
Multiple-Choice 32 32 32 32 32 32 32
Short-Answer 6 6 6 5 5 5 5
Extended-Response 2 2 2 2 2 1 1
Calculator Access? No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
#22829 Jan 2, 2013
Walnut Hills High School is ranked 1st within Ohio. Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® coursework and exams. The AP® participation rate at Walnut Hills High School is 86 percent. The student body makeup is 44 percent male and 56 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 38 percent. Walnut Hills High School is 1 of 17 high schools in the Cincinnati City.
Rankings / Awards
This details how this school compares to others based on U.S. News ranking criteria.
Medal Awarded Gold
Total Minority Enrollment (% of total) 38%
American Indian/Alaskan Native Enrollment (% of total) 0.1%
Asian Enrollment (% of total) 3%
Black Enrollment (% of total) 34%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander (% of total) 0%
Hispanic Enrollment (% of total) 1%
White Enrollment (% of total) 56%
Two or More Races Enrollment (% of total) 0%
Male (% of total) 44%
Female (% of total) 56%
Economically Disadvantaged Students
These are the percentages of the school's students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, based on data reported to the government.
Free Lunch Program (% of total) 16%
Reduced-Price Lunch Program (% of total) 4%
Total Economically Disadvantaged (% of total) 20%
#22830 Jan 2, 2013
Oakwood High School is ranked 13th within Ohio. Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® coursework and exams. The AP® participation rate at Oakwood High School is 63 percent. The student body makeup is 51 percent male and 49 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 3 percent. Oakwood High School is the only high school in the Oakwood City.
Kings High School is ranked 30th within Ohio. Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® coursework and exams. The AP® participation rate at Kings High School is 47 percent. The student body makeup is 54 percent male and 46 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 4 percent. Kings High School is the only high school in the Kings Local.
Lebanon High School is ranked 31st within Ohio. Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® coursework and exams. The AP® participation rate at Lebanon High School is 46 percent. The student body makeup is 48 percent male and 52 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 4 percent. Lebanon High School is the only high school in the Lebanon City.
Lakota East High School is ranked 42nd within Ohio. Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® coursework and exams. The AP® participation rate at Lakota East High School is 33 percent. The student body makeup is 52 percent male and 48 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 17 percent. Lakota East High School is 1 of 3 high schools in the Lakota Local.
Bellbrook High School is ranked 48th within Ohio. Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® coursework and exams. The AP® participation rate at Bellbrook High School is 35 percent. The student body makeup is 51 percent male and 49 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 4 percent. Bellbrook High School is the only high school in the Sugarcreek Local School District.
Centerville High School is ranked 56th within Ohio. Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® coursework and exams. The AP® participation rate at Centerville High School is 30 percent. The student body makeup is 52 percent male and 48 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 12 percent. Centerville High School is the only high school in the Centerville City.
Lakota West High School is ranked 60th within Ohio. Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® coursework and exams. The AP® participation rate at Lakota West High School is 29 percent. The student body makeup is 52 percent male and 48 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 20 percent. Lakota West High School is 1 of 3 high schools in the Lakota Local.
Waynesville High School is ranked 65th within Ohio. Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® coursework and exams. The AP® participation rate at Waynesville High School is 37 percent. The student body makeup is 51 percent male and 49 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 1 percent. Waynesville High School is the only high school in the Wayne Local.
Beavercreek High School is ranked 103rd within Ohio. Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® coursework and exams. The AP® participation rate at Beavercreek High School is 20 percent. The student body makeup is 50 percent male and 50 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 11 percent. Beavercreek High School is the only high school in the Beavercreek City.
Springboro High School is ranked 110th within Ohio. Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® coursework and exams. The AP® participation rate at Springboro High School is 20 percent. The student body makeup is 52 percent male and 48 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 5 percent. Springboro High School is the only high school in the Springboro Community City.
#22831 Jan 2, 2013
OUr school system seems geared towards semantic, feel good rewards.
Graduating a large percentage of our student population from high school that has mastered at least 48% of the material.
Reading has 66% of the student population scoring 73% and below
Math has only 37% of the the student population scoring 73% and below
Writing has a whopping 98% of the student population scoring 73% and below
Science has 47% of the student population scoring 73% and below
Social Studies has 41% of the student population scoring 73% and below
Of the old Reading, Riting, and Rithmatic, only math does tolerable.
2% scoring 74% and above is pathetic for the written word.
34% scoring 74% and above in reading is no cause for joy either
What is AMAZING is the number of people who think such accomplishments are amazing.
I personally expect more from our program of studies for all children.
#22832 Jan 2, 2013
All of the parents I have talked to that have read comments on another blog posted by Bobby Lew Dayton Ohio, feel that "thoughtful" on this blog shares the same political agenda of grievance and resentment of the union masters against conservative voters. Bobby Lew's attack on the character of elected BOE officials instead of sticking to the issue of charter schools proves no "thoughtful" concern for our children's future. Bobby Lew's concern is all about the teachers union holding our kids's hostage in hopes of holding on to that dollar sign that our SEA stamps on every kid's forehead.
(Here are the disgusting comments of Bobby Lew Dayton Ohio posted on another blog....
School board member Petroni has finally revealed what he does for a living, and you'll never believe it: Charter Schools!!! You know, those unregulated messes that pay pennies for teachers, following their own brand of renegade educational ideas. Back in the day, School Board members were voted in for the sacred charge of overseeing strong schools and supporting staff in their intellectual endeavors. Petroni's mission is obviously to make a buck by undermining the excellent rating of Springboro Schools, so that he can found some new fantastically visionary state-supported charter schools. Is this why he and his Tea Party School Board cohorts are contemplating cutting the school day and eliminating "non-essential" courses from the curriculum? Surely this obvious conflict of interest, which involves trading politics for financial gain, should serve as cause for impeachment.– Bobby Lew Dayton Ohio)
#22833 Jan 2, 2013
It does appear that Babb and her Band of Badd 4 Boro Bullies are losing no time in the new year continuing their same old political tactics of attack against the best interest of our children's future.
Now Babb and ALL the parents who want to "rest on our laurels of excellent with distinction" are gearing up to fight against improvements in our schools gifted program; and Lisa Babb is emailing community members with alarms that "providing the advantage of school focusing on the educational needs of our highly gifted students will threaten the effectiveness of the Springboro Community Assistance program!
Now Lisa knows that she has emailed an un-truth in her efforts to suggest "wrong-doing" by board members. No doubt many of you remember that on October 9 at public board meeting, the pastor
of the JW church stepped up to say that the Springboro Community Assistance program was using the space that his organization was paying rent to the school district for; therefore the assistance program is not paying rent to the school district for the JW space; and NO decisions made by our school district is any threat whatsoever to this outside non-profit organization occupying our tax-payer funded school building.
It is not the "mission" of our school district to provide space for non-profit charities nor non-profit churches. And the consideration given by our school board to use this school-taxpayer funded building to the advantage of our students education is the right thing for our school board to do.
#22834 Jan 2, 2013
In order to keep that "stinc" in "Distinction" Springboro schools does everything possible to train students to be good test-takers and nothing but good test-takers. The truth is about half of Boro kids graduate and begin their lives not all too confident as to how to tie their own shoes.
#22835 Jan 3, 2013
I have children in the gifted programs and I can say Springboro is definitely lacking. If you feel your children will be as prepared for college as other districts, you are sadly mistaken. There is always room for improvement. I don't understand why people are so threatened by that. Why not allow the board to get the information in order to make an informed decision. I can tell you, however, that Springboro is not as well-respected outside of Springboro--including a gifted psychologist.
#22836 Jan 3, 2013
ARE ONE OF YOUR SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS AFFILIATED WITH CHARTER SCHOOLS? IF SO I WOULD HAVE TO AGREE ABOUT THE CONFLICT OF INTEREST.
#22837 Jan 3, 2013
With all due respect to your own opinion, the facts prove there is no conflict of interest, regardless of differing personal opinions. Those among Springboro voters spreading lies about school board member's conflict of interest are long time political opponents and mean-spirited critics of a well-respected Springboro parent and elected BOE official, David Petroni.
.....from article Springboro School board pursues charter school www.daytondailynews.com
Petroni, who lists charter school facility finance and development services among his specialties on his real estate business profile, said there is no conflict with his two roles.
“I’m not making a dime on this,” Petroni said.“The board will make the decision moving forward.”
He said the Concord Twp.-based Callender Group, which Petroni has worked with on non-charter school issues, was brought in because they are experts on charter school law, state financial formulas and the like.
Jamie Callender, founder and managing partner of the consulting group, said he also did not see a conflict.
“What (Petroni) does is real estate related and facilities financing, and in the conversion school model there wouldn’t be any connection because there is no real estate acquisition to create a conflict of interest,” Callender said.
Callender added that his job is to look at the possibilities specific to Springboro, from a neutral position, and see if the concept makes sense academically and financially.
“It’s not for every district, and we have to take an honest look,” he said.
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