How America Works

Section 607 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act amendments of 1997 requires that the Secretary of Education, on a quarterly basis, publish in the Federal Register a list of correspondence. This is correspondence from the Department of Education received by individuals during the previous quarter (calendar year=CY) that describes the interpretations of IDEA or the regulations that implement IDEA. Some documents have been redacted.

In the first two quarters of FY year 2013 the Department of Education received eleven letters in response to notices placed in the Federal Register.

The topics of addressed:
Children in Private Schools
Use of Federal Funds
Surrogate Parents
Due Process Complaint
Clerc Center at Galludet University
Individualized Education Programs
Discipline Procedures
Natural Environments
Confidentiality of Records

In the four quarters of FY 2012, only thirty-four letters were received.
The topics of addressed:
Free Appropriate Public Education
Least Restrictive Environment
Initial Evaluations
Individualized Education Plan
Impartial Due Process Hearings
State Residency Requirements
Children in Private Schools
Use of Federal Funds
Individualized Education Programs
Evaluation Timelines
Maintenance of Current Educational Placement
Procedural Safeguards

These are vital issues concerning the education of America’s children.

In 2012, 146,311,000 Americans were registered to vote. Of those registered voters only thirty-four letters of concern were sent in response to how our government chooses to spend our tax dollars educating our children.

The Federal government is doing their due diligence by informing the public of their plans to create and enact policies that will effect all Americans.

Americans have a responsibility to respond to the notices of the Federal government.

Without our voice, the “hedgehogs” have no problem controlling the legislators that create and pass the policies that continue to fail to provide an excellent education to all of America’s children.

If various educational stakeholder groups want to change education policy in America, responding to the notices in the Federal Register is vital. Sending representatives to the meetings on educational excellence is crucial. Having a voice in government policy making is essential.

Our children deserve an excellent education. It is our responsibility, as Americans, to become involved in our government.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Public Education – What it can become

Public education is not supposed to solve the problems of society but should be designed to educate each citizen on how to use their gifts and talents to solve their individual problems and those that effect the general public.

When we standardize the solution to a set number of problems and teach only that, we disallow and disavow the creativity necessary to solve any problem outside of the set. This is mathematical control driven by the data they collect on us and our children in our society.

It seems the stand against the common core has been re-energized by the interview with Diane Ravitch. RocParent2Parent is holding a informational forum on common core. This will be September 30th at 7pm at the Ogden Library.

Every group that emerged at the beginning of this turmoil should still be holding strong to their goal to educate everyone about the failure inherent within our current system of education.

Making our children feel like failures in order to capitalize on the guilt and fear necessary to control the decision making of any group of people and collecting behavioral and emotional data on our children to control their future spending habits is the goal of the elite so that the social class system in America remains unchanged, the one percent, and the ninety-nine, craftily divided into upper, middle, and lower classes in an America that promises freedom and justice for all.

Our children deserve to live in the America our forefathers constructed and our young men and women in the military fight and die for every day.

Our children deserve to live in an America that values their gifts and talents, welcomes their engagement in local, state, and federal government, and promotes the creativity and ingenuity that develops the from positive connections made between and among all cultural groups.

A free and public education for ALL of America’s children guarantees that America for our children. Discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of all of our children is the only way to make America great for everyone.

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From The Federal Register

Abstract: OMB Information Collection 1820-0600 reflects the provisions in the Act and the Part B regulations requiring States and/or local educational agencies (LEAs) to collect and maintain information or data and, in some cases, report information or data to other public agencies or to the public. However, such information or data are not reported to the Secretary. Data are collected in the areas of private schools, parentally placed private school students, State high cost fund, notification of free and low cost legal services, early intervening services, notification of hearing officers and mediators, State complaint procedures, and the LEA application under Part B.

Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before November 17, 2014.

Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request: Charter School Facilities National Questionnaire
Abstract: According to Part B section 5201 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, one of the established purposes of the Charter Schools Program at the U.S. Department of Education (ED) is to encourage “States to provide support to charter schools for facilities financing in an amount more nearly commensurate to the amount the States have typically provided for traditional public schools”. To help achieve this purpose, the Charter School Program needs reliable data to understand the current facilities landscape for charter schools.

Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before November 17, 2014.

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Regulatory Requirements.

Abstract: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requires that subject educational agencies and institutions notify parents and students of their rights under FERPA and requires that they record disclosures of personally identifiable information from education records, with certain exceptions.

Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before October 16, 2014.

Privacy Act of 1974: Computer Matching Program Between the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Data mining and charter school support by our Federal and State governments undermine the freedoms that America guarantees its citizens.

Our children deserve to be free.

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Red Herrings And Sacrificial Lambs

Red Herring: Something, especially a clue, that is or is intended to be misleading or distracting.

Sacrificial lamb: A metaphorical reference to a person or animal sacrificed (killed or discounted in some way) for the common good.

“If you want to make money off of kids, you actually have to solve the problems that we raise.” Randi Weingarten.

Diane Ravitch told listeners that the federal government is violating three different laws by enacting common core and citizens should bring a class action suit against the government. “There are three different laws that say the federal government is not supposed to get involved with curriculum, instruction, or any kind of internal workings of the classroom.”

As the American public raises its voice against the practices that are included in the implementation and function of common core, those aspects are nothing more than red herrings and sacrificial lambs.

The red herrings, testing and evaluation.

The sacrificial lamb, InBloom.

Eventually, the “hedge hogs” will capitulate on both the testing and evaluation issues to quell the storm of discontent in both parents and teachers.

Sending InBloom to the alter was extremely effective in throwing the public off the data mining track. Ms. Ravitch confirmed that data mining has not stopped but that Pearson and the Federal government are still collecting non-educational information on our children to control their lives.

The real focus of common core is to standardize and control the thoughts and decisions of Americans in order to increase the profit margins of the corporations that control the legislature that control education policy in America.

We cannot be content with “reforming” education.

The focus of education must change so that it concentrates of discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of all of America’s children.

The only influence of the Federal government should have is to Constitutionally guarantee every child in America the right to an excellent education and then to make sure that every child in America receives a child centered, arts based, experiential education delivered by dedicated teachers in low student/teacher ratio classes.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

More From Ravitch

Diane Ravitch: New York State Regents and Commissioner of Education
“We’re losing our democracy and we can’t allow this to happen . . . Rochester schools should be Rochester schools and the State Education department should be there to serve you not to order you. And somehow the Regents and Commissioner King have got the idea they’re the boss of everybody. They don’t understand that they should be a service organization . . . get your legislator on your side because your legislator has something to say about what happens in the State Education departmen . . . they control their budget . . .”

Diane Ravitch: Data Mining
“Secretary Duncan has changed the regulations for the federal law called FERPA (Family Education Rights and Protection Act) the reason it was passed by the Assembly was to protect children from having their information disclosed to outsiders. They have removed very crucial safe words, and consequently the reason that the common core tests are all on-line is they’re data mining your child by remote . . . They’re using our children and they’re doing it through data mining . . . Data mining is still going on, it’s going on through Pearson . . .”

Diane Ravitch: The Privatizing of Urban Public Schools
“There are not a lot of charter schools in suburban districts because suburban parents don’t want them . . . the privatizers are taking advantage of the sense of desperation in some urban districts . . . (In New Orleans) they eliminated the union, they eliminated public education, they turned almost every school into a charter school . . .”

Diane Ravitch: Institutionalized Racism
“The institutionalized racism is that the powers that be listen to the guys with money and not the people in the community. Governor Kristi, (Governor of New Jersey) has appointed a woman Cammy Anderson as his superintendent. . . she’s closing down neighborhood schools and replacing them with a charter. . . Kristi doesn’t care . . . because they’re Black parents, he’s just going to wait them out. . .”

Unfortunately the entire interview was not recorded.

The next forum in this series -
The Common Core: Is it Good for Public Schools?
September 23rd, 7 p.m. East High School Forum Room

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Last night at East High School, noted author and education activist Dian Ravitch spoke, via Skype, to approximately one hundred, twenty-five people on various issues of concern to the education community. Some of her comments are below.

Diane Ravitch: Teacher Tenure
“Tenure is perceived as being a lifetime job and it is not a lifetime job. When teachers get tenure, all it means is that they have the right to due process. If somebody wants to fire them, if their principal wants to fire them they have to show cause, they have to have a hearing and they have to present the evident. I don’t think that’s unjust, I think its fair.”

Diane Ravitch: Privatization
“Privatization is wrong. If you look at the best performing nations of the world . . . they haven’t privatized their schools. They don’t have charter schools, they don’t have vouchers, they have strong public school systems, where their teachers are experienced and respected.”

Diane Ravitch: Common Core
“I am opposed to the overuse of testing. . . I’m a strong believer that the test should be made by the teacher. The teacher has two great advantages, one he or she knows what they taught so they’re testing what they taught. . . When you have Pearson . . . doing the testing, they don’t know what they taught and you have to teach what they test and that’s upside down and backward. . . Testing will only get worse under common core.”

Diane Ravitch: Charter Schools
“While there are some good charters, most of the charters are not good schools. . . they’re chains, it’s a kind of a chain-store mentality where you deliver a standard pack throughout the country. . . the people leading the charters are making a lot of money . . . education money should go to children. . . they’re a ripoff of the taxpayers. . . they use their public dollars to give very sizable campaign contributions . . the legislature creates the charters, the charter takes the money, and makes contributions to the legislature and the legislature writes even more favorable legistion. . . “

More from Ms. Ravitch tomorrow.

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From The Federal Register – More Data Mining

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Kindergarten Class of 2010-11 (ECLS-K:2011) Spring Third-Grade National Collection, Fourth-Grade Recruitment, and Fifth-Grade Tracking

Abstract: The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010-11 (ECLS-K:2011), sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education (ED), is a survey that focuses on children’s early school experiences beginning with kindergarten and continuing through the fifth grade. It includes the collection of data from parents, teachers, school administrators, and nonparental care providers, as well as direct child assessments. Like its sister study, the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 (ECLS-K), the ECLS-K:2011 is exceptionally broad in its scope and coverage of child development, early learning, and school progress, drawing together information from multiple sources to provide rich data about the population of children who were kindergartners in the 2010-11 school year. This submission requests OMBs clearance for (1) a spring 2015 fourth-grade national data collection and (2) recruitment for the spring 2016 fifth-grade data collection.

Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal on or before October 10, 2014 at by selecting Docket ID number ED-2014-ICCD-0103.

What type of “rich data” do we need to collect about kindergarten children? They love to play and sing and dance and climb and run and jump and talk and imagine and pretend, that’s rich.

We know everything we need to know to provide an excellent education to every child in America. The effort to collect data on our children is not to provide a better education but to better standardize education so that it creates a “normed” society that places some on the lower level, some in the middle, and very few at the top of the societal pyramid.

It is not until we change the focus of education by lending our voice to the system of notification and comment used by the Federal government and say “NO” to the data mining of our children’s future, leading to the end of their freedom in America.

Comment now. No more data mining!

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Today’s The Day

Tuesday is the day when New York voters can make history by voting in the Democratic Primary. Regardless of who the winner may be, it is vitally important that every registered Democrat in New York State go to the poles and give voice to the people of this government.

Governor Cuomo is very compelling in his argument that Zephyr Teachout is inexperienced, but then so was he when he first took office.

The expression, “Time will out” means that we now have a history of actions, decisions, and legislation upon which to base our vote. That is the responsibility of the people.

By not holding the Cuomo administration accountable for their actions and decisions and by not paying attention to the legislation being passed, it was simply a matter of time before the system became corrupt.

Should Teachout and Wu become the elected Governor and Lieutenant Governor, they must be held accountable to their campaign word or it will simply be a matter of time before they succumb to the loudest voice.

In order for a “people’s” government to work the people must be involved. An involved public must be properly educated.

An excellent education involves discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of all of our children.

The data collection for standardization must end. Our children are not widgets and our teachers are not assembly-line workers. Educators do not produce individuals who are “college and career” ready but guide children towards their true potential as intelligent, caring, respectful, responsible adults, regardless of their physical attributes, culture, location, or life path.

Teachout stated publicly, ” I will lead a delegation of parents and educators to Washington to demand that federal officials stop dictating how we educate our own children. . . As did the founding generation in America, I believe public education is the infrastructure of democracy. The best public education is made democratically, in the local community: when parents, teachers, and administrators work together to build and refine the education models and standards right for our children.”

We must hold her to her word.

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The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Truth

The Good
As grassroots community groups gather support, the movement to change education is growing. Politicians are beginning to listen to the voice of the people and are investigating the validity of the concerns parents, educators and students are expressing about common core state standards, the implementation of the standards, and the testing and data mining that accompany the process of implementation.

The Bad
While it is necessary to address the obvious failures of the current system of education, it is also necessary to recognize that solving the problems without changing the system simply allows for more problems to arise and more failure to occur.

The Ugly Truth
According to Truth In American Education, “Estimated Costs for Common Core State Standards Implementation: Total Five Year Estimated State Level and District Level Costs $182,600,000.”

The Washington Post reported that “Pearson Charitable Foundation, the nonprofit arm of educational publishing giant Pearson Inc., has agreed to pay a $7.7 million settlement to New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman after he determined that the foundation had created Common Core products to generate “tens of millions of dollars” for its corporate sister.”

Pearson did not lose their nonprofit status for this violation but was fined a mere 4% of the educational dollars spent on common core implementation.

In order to achieve true educational success for ALL of America’s children it will be necessary to change the language of education so that it concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of all of America’s children.

Providing an excellent education that is child centered, developmentally appropriate, founded in the Arts, experiential, and delivered by dedicated teachers in small class sizes that allow for relationship building between and among all the members of the neighborhood school and the larger surrounding community is what research has proven will lead to the educational success all of our children deserve.

Americans are reclaiming their right as the voice of the government.

Politicians are beginning to listen.

Our ask must be to place the focus of education on our children.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

More From The Register

Title of Collection: An Impact Evaluation of the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF)

This is a revised submission to request approval for continued data collection activities that will be used to support An Impact Evaluation of the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF). The evaluation will estimate the impact of the differentiated pay component of the TIF program on student achievement and teacher and principal quality and retention. In addition, the evaluation will provide descriptive information of the program’s implementation, grantee challenges, and grantee responses to challenges. A total of four years of data are being collected, and thus requires approval for a final round of data collection.

Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before October 3, 2014.

Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at by selecting Docket ID number ED-2014-ICCD-0089 or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery.

Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection.

Abstract: The Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2016-2017 (MGLS:2017), conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), is the first study to follow a nationally-representative sample of students as they enter and move through the middle grades (grades 6-8). The data collected through repeated measures of key constructs will provide a rich descriptive picture of the academic experiences and development of students during these critical years and will allow researchers to examine associations between contextual factors and student outcomes.

The study will focus on student achievement in mathematics and literacy, along with measures of student executive function, socioemotional well-being and other outcomes.

The study will also include an oversample of students with different types of disabilities that will provide descriptive information on their outcomes, educational experiences, and special education services.

Baseline data for the MGLS:2017 will be collected from a nationally-representative sample of 6th grade students in spring of 2017 with annual follow-ups in spring 2018 and spring 2019, when most of the students in the sample will be in grades 7 and 8, respectively.

Data collection on our children is unnecessary to the delivery of an excellent education.

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