Monday, July 18, 2011

Federal Money, Federal Nonsense, Local Cheating or “The Federal Government Knows Best” NOT!!!


“Atlanta schools created culture of cheating, fear

From Associated Press
July 16, 2011 10:08 AM EDT

ATLANTA (AP)—Teachers spent nights huddled in a back room, erasing wrong answers on students’ test sheets and filling in the correct bubbles. At another school, struggling students were seated next to higher-performing classmates so they could copy answers.

Those and other confessions are contained in a new state report that reveals how far some Atlanta public schools went to raise test scores in the nation’s largest-ever cheating scandal (At least, the nation’s largest REVEALED cheating scandal to this point in time! Is it the tip of the iceberg or an isolated example?—my example). Investigators concluded that nearly half the city’s schools allowed the cheating to go unchecked for as long as a decade, beginning in 2001.

Administrators—pressured to maintain high scores under the federal No Child Left Behind law (A federal government program that, as is often the case, offers tons of money in exchange for tons of FEDERAL CONTROL—my addition)—punished or fired those who reported anything amiss and created a culture of ‘fear, intimidation and retaliation,’ according to the report released earlier this month, two years after officials noticed a suspicious spike in some scores.

The report names 178 teachers and principals, and 82 of those confessed. Tens of thousands of children at the 44 schools, most in the city’s poorest neighborhoods, were allowed to advance to higher grades, even though they didn’t know basic concepts.

One teacher told investigators the district was ‘run like the mob.’

‘Everybody was in fear,’ another teacher said in the report. ‘It is not that the teachers are bad people and want to do it. It is that they are scared.’ (Rationalization? “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely!” “Money corrupts and absolute money corrupts absolutely?”—my addition)

For teachers and their bosses, the stakes were high: Schools that perform poorly and fail to meet certain benchmarks under the federal law can face sharp sanctions (One size fits all is the NORMAL FEDERAL government concept. Money can BUY results is the FEDERAL government’s mind set!—my addition). They may be forced to offer extra tutoring, allow parents to transfer children to better schools, or fire teachers and administrators who don’t pass muster.

Experts say the cheating scandal—which involved more schools and teachers than any other in U.S. history—has led to soul-searching among other urban districts facing cheating investigations and those that have seen a rapid rise in test scores (Soul searching but not from the FEDERAL government? Doubtful! We need to “invest” more to improve “results” is their mindset!—my addition).

In Georgia, teachers complained to investigators that some students arrived at middle school reading at a first-grade level. But, they said, principals insisted those students had to pass their standardized tests. Teachers were either ordered to cheat or pressured by administrators until they felt they had no choice, authorities said.

One principal forced a teacher to crawl under a desk during a faculty meeting because her test scores were low. Another principal told teachers that ‘Walmart is hiring’ and ‘the door swings both ways,’ the report said.

Another principal told a teacher on her first day that the school did whatever was necessary to meet testing benchmarks, even if that meant ‘breaking the rules.’”

“Educators named in the investigation could face criminal charges ranging from tampering with state documents to lying to investigators. And many could lose their teaching licenses. (And should! But, what about the administrators? What about the FEDERAL program which was the inducing factor in this immoral, reprehensible behavior? The FEDERAL government’s solution? Spend even more money to corrupt even MORE people? To get even MORE fraudulent results!—my addition)

Parents of children enrolled at the 44 schools say they are frustrated and angry.” (As they should be!—my addition)

“At Slater, investigators found multiple teachers changed answers on tests or allowed students to look up answers to questions. Teachers would gather in the school’s media center to change wrong answers with the blessing of administrators, investigators said.”

“The fallout from the state report has only begun.

So far, at least four of the district’s top administrators and two principals have been removed and put on paid leave. The head of the district’s human resources department resigned after investigators said she destroyed documents and tried to cover up the extent of the cheating.

The schools could owe hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funding (Will they ever have to pay? The FEDERAL government is lax beyond believe when it comes to preventing fraud and/or responding to it!—my addition) they received for good test performance—money that would be lost at a time when the state’s education budget has already been slashed by millions. Districts are being forced to lay off or furlough teachers and cut programs to make ends meet. (Including the ones caught cheating?—my addition)

And at least one member of the Atlanta school board wants to reclaim tens of thousands of dollars in bonus money (Performance based bonus money?—my addition) that former Superintendent Beverly Hall received for the high test scores.

Investigators said Hall, who retired just days before the investigation was made public, dismissed those who complained about cheating as naysayers trying to discredit the district’s progress. The investigators said she either knew or should have known about the cheating.”

“Hall’s attorney has denied the allegations, and Hall has said she did not know about cheating in the district. (Of course NOT!!! What about the “Buck Stops Here!”)—my addition)

She apologized in a statement last week for ‘any shortcomings’ that might have led to the widespread cheating.”

“The testing problems first came to light after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that some scores were statistically improbable. The state released audits of test results after the newspaper published its analysis.

Experts say the Atlanta cheating scandal has become the new rallying cry for education advocates and parents in other urban districts like Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., where cheating investigations are ongoing.”

The problem will these FEDERAL programs to “improve” education is all the say. They ALL ignore the truism that “no one can be forced to learn.” People ultimately learn what they want to learn. And standardized test results are a very poor measurement of learning. Children and adults are NOT molded by “cookie cutters!”

From: Tea Party Nation

“Florida Sells the Souls of Its Public School Students for $63 Each
Posted by Dr. Rich Swier on July 16, 2011 at 7:30am

Have you heard something about a national education initiative titled: Race to the Top (RTTT)? Well this initiative was created from whole cloth by President Obama’s Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Just as Obamacare is a federal takeover of our health care system, RTTT is the federal takeover of our public education system.

The U.S. Department of Education created the Race to the Top program under the Stimulus Bill (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or ARRA) in early 2009. With a federal grant of $4.35 billion, Arne Duncan had a very large ‘carrot’ to lure the states to enter into a competition for these funds in the name of ‘education reform’.

Henry W. Burke and Donna Garner wrote a column in Education News titled, ‘The Race to the Top Scheme’.

According to Henry and Donna:

‘Let’s pose a question. If you wanted to ‘sell’ something that a number of people did not need, how would you do it? You might try setting up a contest where everyone competes for a significant financial prize. After all, Americans love to compete, especially when money goes to the winner.

Here are the contest details: The competitors are strapped for cash; the competitors must give up some of their prized possessions in order to qualify; and the game organizers do not announce all of the rules until the game is well underway. How fair does this sound?’

‘This is exactly what Barack Obama and U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan have done with Common Core Standards (CCS) and Race to the Top (RTTT),’ say Henry and Donna.

Former Governor Charlie Crist and former Florida Commissioner of Education Eric J. Smith bought into this initiative hook-line-and-sinker. Crist and Smith, with the willing assistance of the Republican dominated legislature sold out our state sovereignty, gave up control of our public school curriculum and local parental oversight of our schools for a mere $63 per student.

Florida sold the souls of generations of our public school students for $63.

Let me explain how this happened. The chart provided by Henry and Donna in their column shows Florida came in 4th in the RTTT competition. It will receive a RTTT grant in the amount of $700,000,000. Florida, according to the most recent DOE enrollment numbers (2009), has 2,771,000 public school students. Simple division gives you $63 per student.

What did Crist, Smith and the Florida legislature surrender for this $63?

Henry and Nancy found, ‘Duncan waited until the state contracts were signed before he made the rest of the plan clear: States would have to adopt the Common Core Standards (national standards) in order to qualify for Race to the Top funds. Other ‘surprises’ included national assessments, national curriculum, and an elaborate national tracking system to link student assessment scores to individual teachers.’ (The core idea: Federal government CONTROL, CONTROL, CONTROL in return for FEDERAL government money! No wonder the Obama Administration wants to “invest” more money. THEY WANT MORE CONTROL!!!—my addition)

RTTT money is temporary, but the ‘pain’ of Common Core Standards will last for many years to come!

By accepting RTTT monies Florida has literally turned over our public education system to the federal government but you and I are still paying the bill.

Sound like someone just sold us snake oil? Well, thank a Florida Republican legislator for RTTT.


“Federal funds build sidewalks to nowhere
Resident asks why concrete being poured through middle of 6-foot weeds

Posted: July 15, 2011
11:45 pm Eastern
By Drew Zahn
© 2011 WND

In a dilapidated neighborhood of Detroit, Michigan, federal dollars have been hard at work, sometimes forging a trail through overgrown weeds over 6 feet high, in order to construct sidewalks in front of empty, abandoned lots.

Detroit resident Brenda Price was driving through the neighborhood near the intersection of John R Street and 7 Mile Road on her way home from work one day, when she noticed construction crews and wondered why the city would be replacing sidewalks in front of long-term abandoned properties.

‘I just thought that that was kind of a waste of taxpayer money,’ Price told WXYZ-TV in Detroit, ‘or it could be more strategically spent.’

WXYZ investigative reporter Scott Lewis described the area this way: ‘Lots of abandonment, tons of vacant lots, burned out shells, and other sidewalks in the area badly broken up or so overgrown, they’re impassible.’

‘Brenda’s question was a good one,’ Lewis commented. ‘Why would the City of Detroit replace sections of sidewalk here?’

The answer, he discovered, was federal money.

Detroit’s Director of Public Works Ron Brundidge confirmed that federal dollars were funding the project, but that the money was targeted, with strings attached. (Called CONTROL, CONTROL, CONTROL!!!—my addition)

Specifically, the money was required to be used to replace sidewalks damaged by heavy equipment when homes are demolished.

Detroit’s shrinking population and devastated economy have made the city notorious for abandoned buildings in need of such demolition. The metropolis that was made over as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s ‘Model Cities Program’ (Model for what?—my addition) as an experiment in centralized government planning is now plagued by roughly 90,000 abandoned or vacant homes and residential lots—a blight former WND financial commentator Porter Stansberry likened to an area roughly the size of Boston, Massachusetts—according to Data Driven Detroit, a nonprofit organization that tracks demographic data for the city.

The Wall Street Journal reported in 2010 that $20 million in federal funds, primarily from Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or ‘stimulus’ package, have been poured into Mayor Dave Bing’s plan to demolish 10,000 structures in his first term as mayor. (There are always “good” reasons to SPEND more FEDERAL money!—my addition)

But after Lewis brought Price’s questions before the city’s Department of Public Works, Director Brundidge admitted the city does have discretion about which sidewalks destroyed in demolition it replaces. Brundidge reportedly pledged to change the city’s policy on use of the funds.

‘From now on, the city will strategically target this federal money,’ Lewis reports. ‘Instead of spending it willy-nilly, they’ll direct the funds to replace sidewalks damaged by demolition in neighborhoods that are more vital, areas with more foot and bicycle traffic.’ (How kind? Is this a good prioritizing of money when the FEDERAL government is borrowing over 40% of all FEDERAL money spent? CUT the BUDGET!!!—my addition)

Brundidge’s office confirmed with WND that while funds for the demolition of many buildings came from Obama’s ‘stimulus’ package, the money that had been replacing sidewalks came from a wholly separate, block grant program. (From the FEDERAL government!—my addition)

I Timothy 6: 10 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people (and governments!—my addition), eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

There is NOTHING in the Constitution that grants authority to the federal government to spend money for education or to build sidewalks for a city or to do a lot of other things that the federal government is NOW doing! If the federal government would stop spending money in unauthorized areas, balancing the federal budget would be much easier and would not CORRUPT the behavior of so many within the United States. IT IS TIME TO STOP SPENDING!!! IT IS TIME TO DRASTICALLY CUT THE FEDERAL BUDGET!!!

It is time, it’s past time to RESTORE THE CONSTITUTION
It is time, it’s past time to RESTORE THE CONSTITUTION
It is time, it’s past time to RESTORE THE CONSTITUTION

It is time, it’s past time to OBEY THE CONSTITUTION
It is time, it’s past time to OBEY THE CONSTITUTION
It is time, it’s past time to OBEY THE CONSTITUTION

It’s time, it is past time to TAKE BACK THE NATION!!!
It’s time, it is past time to TAKE BACK THE NATION!!!
It’s time, it is past time to TAKE BACK THE NATION!!!