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As Long as We Remember...

December 15, 2015

New Menu for Public Education

Cindy A. Rose

While education activists, like Diane Ravitch and Joy Pullman, are busily sounding alarms about the dangers within the current corporate takeover of public education, Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) propaganda machine is out there signaling to everyone: “stand down.”


Now is exactly not the time to stand down. It’s the time to get up off the sofa, grab your family, friends and neighbors and tell them that education has reached a crisis. A real one, not the faux “our schools are failing” propaganda.


It’s very important for the public to understand that all is not well in public education. When you hear on the radio or read in the newspaper that FCPS outscored the rest of the state on the Partnership of Assessments for Readiness of College and Career (PARCC), you are being misled. It’s true, we had higher scores in comparison, but that doesn’t mean it’s good news.


Picture the goal is a 10-foot bar over your head. We are at the 3-foot mark and everyone else is at the 1.5 mark. Oh, by the way, the pole to get to the bar is greased and everyone below you has hold of your feet. All is not well in local education.


Our scores aren’t low, as you’re apt to be told, because the material is hard, therefore the questions are even harder. It happened because the material, especially at the elementary level, is confusing and developmentally inappropriate, as are the test questions.


It’s like asking a new born baby to count to five. If we can get the baby to do that, we’ll have prepared it for college. If the baby can’t, it and its teacher will be labeled failures even though infants aren’t capable of counting.


I’m not sure how many know that on December 10, 2015, the U.S. Senate completed the passage re-authorizing of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), which became Race to the Top, which is now the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Shortly thereafter, President Barack Obama signed it into law. Cheers and high fives were had by all. Well, not “all.” True experts in the field, who have been doing everything but cartwheels to make our legislators read this legislation, they were deflated.


No government program since the birth of the United States Department of Education in the ’70s, has improved public education. Please don’t be lulled into believing this new overreach is any different.


FCPS administration is complicit in the downfall of local public control. They sat on their hands while others sank their claws deep into our classrooms, hogtied our teachers and yanked away control.


What FCPS should have been doing is sending notices home to parents telling them what was happening over six years ago. But they didn’t, and it’s here; and they are not blameless.


I don’t know about you, but I expect my school administration to keep me informed on important changes they see coming. FCPS administration knew Common Core and PARCC were coming but didn’t care to inform parents, so we could research it and decide on our own if we wanted it.


That push for “technology” for every child wasn’t because “we” wanted it. Common Core and PARCC “needed” it to survive.


Had parents, teachers and the community been informed, we could have been proactive and fought back. Instead it was dropped in our laps, untested; sight unseen.


The question each and every one needs to ask yourselves is “why?” Why keep all this hidden from the public?


Because – when you’re about to serve up a plate full of overpriced, rotting garbage, trucked in from three states over, you don’t want to give the diners a heads up. Put it on the plate, tell them it’s home cooked fried chicken with all the fix’ens and pray they swallow it. When they start gagging on the slop, convince them they are only having a hard time swallowing because it’s better for them. It’s always harder to swallow what you don’t know is good for you. “Trust us, it’s delicious fried chicken.”


ESSA is here. The state and county Board of Education positions are unknown to me at this time. I’ve no doubt the Alban propaganda machine is running 24/7 to spin this in a manner to make you swallow this newly packaged spoonful of garbage.


When you hear the superintendent and FCPS staff say our PARCC scores are the “new baseline,” know that it's their way of convincing you it’s okay to swallow.

Twitter: @CSRose1963




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