Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

How does the federal gov’t take over state-lead education initiatives?

The nation’s top education official threatened Monday to withhold federal funds if California lawmakers approved pending legislation to revamp the state’s standardized testing system.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued the warning as AB 484 awaits a full vote of the Assembly and state Senate.

The proposed law would end the standardized exams used since 1999 and replace them next spring with a computerized system. The purpose is to advance new learning goals, called the Common Core standards, that have been adopted by 45 states.

California would be moving up its timetable for the computerized tests by a year, leaving some school districts scrambling to prepare. The plan also would result in the suspension of test scores for at least a year during a trial run of the new exams.

The lack of test scores attracted Duncan’s criticism.

“Letting an entire school year pass for millions of students without sharing information on their schools’ performance with them and their families is the wrong way to go about this transition,” he said in a statement. “No one wants to over-test, but if you are going to support all students’ achievement, you need to know how all students are doing.”

Duncan declined to specify what action he would take, and in fact, the federal government has no direct authority over state school systems. But the department controls billions of dollars in federal funds, which can make up about 10% of a school district’s budget. This money adds up to about $600 million a year for Los Angeles Unified, according to the district.

“If California moves forward with a plan that fails to assess all its students, as required by federal law, the department will be forced to take action, which could include withholding funds,” Duncan said.

read full article: U.S. secretary of education opposes California’s testing plan

bureaucracy, corruption, education, extortion, funding, government, ideology, indoctrination, nanny state, oppression, philosophy, political correctness, politics, public policy, reform, scandal

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Filed under: bureaucracy, corruption, education, extortion, funding, government, ideology, indoctrination, nanny state, oppression, philosophy, political correctness, politics, public policy, reform, scandal

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