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Bush education policy gets states' rights jolt from Nebraska
Baltimore Sun ^ | Dec. 30, 2002 | David L. Greene

Posted on 12/30/2002 1:56:22 PM PST by berserker

Opposition in Nebraska highlights GOP conflict

(Excerpt)The U.S. Department of Education humiliated tiny Washington Elementary School in northeast Nebraska this year, declaring that its students had produced abysmal test scores and that it was a "failing" school. The pronouncement did not exactly spur Nebraska officials to take emergency action. Instead, they decided to challenge the federal government, saying its assessment was plain wrong. What's more, they said, the "feds" should back off and let this state evaluate its schools as it sees fit. ...

Nelson, a Republican, voted for Bush but now complains about his stance on this issue. "On one hand, he says he supports local control, and on the other jams something at us from the federal government," Nelson said. ...

The new law says states must let parents and other taxpayers compare one school with another across the state. Christensen, the education commissioner, said Nebraska has no plans to abide by that. "Hell no," he said. "What good would it be to compare Omaha public schools, with its 75,000 students, to Lake Alice Elementary School in the western part of the state, which has 25 kids? That accomplishes nothing." ...

"We're not Texas," Christensen said. "With San Antonio, Dallas, Houston and big urban schools, maybe the only way to straighten them up is to jerk them up by their bootstraps. And well, if we want to pull on our bootstraps, we'll pull our own."

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; US: Nebraska
KEYWORDS: billofrights; education; educationnews; mandate; rights; states; unfunded
See the full article.
1 posted on 12/30/2002 1:56:22 PM PST by berserker
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To: berserker
States' rights? How gauche! < /sarcasm>
2 posted on 12/30/2002 2:00:51 PM PST by inquest
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To: *Education News; *BillOfRights
3 posted on 12/30/2002 2:04:58 PM PST by Libertarianize the GOP
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To: inquest
"States rights" is code wording for racism. Just ask the liberal journalists who know everything. They'll tell ya.
4 posted on 12/30/2002 2:14:32 PM PST by RAT Patrol
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To: berserker
Nebraska,if you have "failing schools" it's because of failed teachers and failed administrators.
5 posted on 12/30/2002 3:01:55 PM PST by INSENSITIVE GUY
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Nebraska,if you have "failing schools" it's because of failed teachers and failed administrators.

I'm wondering if the reason these schools are failing is because their students aren't being taught American multicultural history (the white guys were bad), new math (long division is so passe) and social studies (America is at the root of all world problems).

6 posted on 12/30/2002 3:51:42 PM PST by WRhine
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To: WRhine
That may well be true. However, I had a valid argument with my sister the teacher when Bush said that the testing would be the basic three R's, " what's wrong with that?" he asked. I said the same thing and she countered with all tests are published by companies trying to sell their textbooks. I had to think about that....
I have been looking HARD for a guide to what children should know at a certain grade level. I am trying to see if I should homeschool my daughter who seems bored in Kindergarten. Anyone have any sites I can go to??
7 posted on 12/30/2002 3:58:03 PM PST by netmilsmom
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To: netmilsmom
" what's wrong with that?" he asked. I said the same thing and she countered with all tests are published by companies trying to sell their textbooks. I had to think about that....

What your sister told you would not give me much comfort either. You are smart to monitor your daughter's education and progress. There are way too many bad teachers and schools in America today. The public educational system cannot be trusted anywhere. We can thank the NEA for that.

8 posted on 12/30/2002 4:14:00 PM PST by WRhine
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To: berserker
See what happens when you have lose BORDERS. These are transient students who wander from school to school IMO. I know schools in Nebraska that produce many high scores. JUST GET RID OF THE EDUCATIONAL DEPT. Let the failing pick beets or work at those meat packing places & save us all tax dollars where we can put it to good use.
9 posted on 12/30/2002 4:24:46 PM PST by Digger
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To: netmilsmom
Check out this site:

I've seen these books in many bookstores in the education section.

10 posted on 12/30/2002 4:40:24 PM PST by ladylib
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To: berserker
If you don't want the Federal funding don't take it, but be sure to let the Feds know that you won't be requiring residents in your State to contribute into the Federal pool. Otherwise, anything you say is just a lame losers whine.
11 posted on 12/30/2002 5:04:59 PM PST by PeaceBeWithYou
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To: berserker
Further Federal Insanity. The experts busted them on their math programs, and it still got into the Bush/Kennedy plan.

Congressional Hearing On
"The Federal Role in K-12 Mathematics Reform"

Committees involved in the hearings:

February 3, 2000

Experts, Parents Fault Education's Math Curriculums

By Andrea Billups

The Department of Education was criticized yesterday before a House education subcommittee for its endorsement of 10 controversial math programs that parents, mathematicians and others have called unproven.

Those math programs drew strong recommendations from a department-convened panel, which reviewed 61 different math curriculums and picked 10 as "exemplary" or "promising."

But one noted math scholar told members of the Education and Workforce subcommittee on early childhood youth and families that the programs kept children from learning important basic math skills and left them unprepared for higher course work.

    "It is probably worth noting that at the present time there is no valid research which shows that any
of the programs of this type are effective," said R. James Milgram, a math professor at Stanford University.

    In October, Mr. Milgram led a group of 200 math scholars who took out full-page ads in national
newspapers urging Education Secretary Richard W. Riley to rescind his recommendations of the math curriculums.

Mr. Riley declined.

"All but possibly one of the programs in the list recommended by the Department of Education
represent a single point of view towards teaching mathematics, the constructivist philosophy that the
teacher is simply a facilitator," Mr. Milgram said of the programs, labeled by some as "fuzzy math."

They included "core-plus math," "Mathland" and "connected math," which is being piloted locally in
Montgomery County, Md., where it also has drawn criticism.

"Standard algorithms for operations like multiplication and division are not taught . . .,"
Mr.Milgram added. "Algebra is short-changed as well."

An increasing number of students must take remedial math courses as they enter college, and a growing number of technical jobs in the United States must be filled by workers from other countries. In 1998, U.S. high school seniors ranked fourth from last among students from 21 industrialized nations in math.

C. Kent McGuire, an assistant secretary of education, defended the Education Department's panel of experts, saying his department had an obligation to offer schools guidance on the best programs that are available. The department was following a 1994 law requiring the recommendations, but it is not allowed to tell school systems what they can teach.

Parents and students testified yesterday that the new math programs are leaving their children behind.

"If medical doctors experimented with our kids in the same fashion school districts do, they would be in jail," said parent Mark Schwartz of Livonia, Mich., who decried the "overreaching control" of the federal government in education.

University of Michigan freshman Rachel Tronstein said four years of taking a math program called "core plus" in her high school "created calculator dependency" and "created a group of students who are ashamed of their math ability."

In her first year of college she struggled, even with tutoring, to earn a B-minus in calculus. In other courses, she earns A's.

Parent Susan Sarhady of Plano, Texas, told the subcommittee how she and other parents sued their local school district after it refused to offer students a traditional math course in addition to the district's connected-math curriculum.

"I would ask that much stricter controls be put into place to prevent schools from using untested
programs without informed consent from the parents and the students," she said.

"Some of us have the fortitude to take on our local school districts, but we cannot take on the
federal government as well. At the very least, the federal government should first do no harm."
12 posted on 12/30/2002 6:45:26 PM PST by Paul Ross
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To: berserker
Why did the federal government get involved in education in the first place? It should stick with what the Constitution gave it.
13 posted on 12/30/2002 6:51:25 PM PST by FITZ
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To: berserker
The "Leave No Child Behind" education reform law represents a *drastic* interference with the individual states' rights in education. It was a sop to minority pressure groups (whose constituents were never going to vote Republican anyway), and we'll be suffering the consequences for years to come unless, God willing, it's repealed.
14 posted on 12/30/2002 7:30:12 PM PST by valkyrieanne
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To: Paul Ross
A fuzzy math program was one of the reasons why my niece was pulled out of the Baltimore County public schools for a Catholic school with a more traditional math program.

Even though the school administrators finally woke up to the fact that the program was a massive failure, it took a couple of years for them to decide to abandon it in the elementary schools. I believe it still is used in the middle schools.

Some public schools do a lot of damage to kids.
15 posted on 12/31/2002 6:02:26 AM PST by ladylib
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To: Paul Ross
This site is interesting. I found it on Click on the site under "systems governance."

See what is in store for this nation's children -- from homeschooling to public schools and private schools.

Yesterday, I received a letter from a woman from the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, asking me to contribute to the upkeep of Mount Vernon, which is not a national monument or part of the National Park system.

She says that the purpose of the organization is to honor and preserve the legacy of George Washington. She says that over the past three decades, George Washington has almost vanished from the country's public schools and his picture is no longer displayed in most American classrooms.

Coverage of his deeds in American history textbooks has declined to LESS THAN 10 PERCENT OF WHAT IT WAS IN THE 1960'S. Bureaucrats, teachers and textbook publishers are erasing his name from school fronts, history books, and lesson plans. Don't you wonder what they are substituting instead?

Several weeks ago, there was an article about Mount Vernon (it might have been on freerepublic), in which the author interviewed two 18-year-old girls who had gone through the Texas public school sysstem. They didn't know who George Washington was. One girl said he had something to do with an apple tree. The other girl said that he cut it down. That was the sum total of their knowledge of who George Washington was.

Makes you wonder why you bother to send your kids to school and what they are really learning.

16 posted on 01/01/2003 6:47:11 AM PST by ladylib
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To: ladylib
Thanks, I reference the linked article below to comment.

<! created by lms>

States Begin Crack Down on Home Schooling

Home-schoolers to be denied diplomas (Massachussetts)

I have underlined the key sentance, where the coercive powers of the State are cited as the likely areas of attack by the Edu-Marxists. But what is interesting to me, is that these very items they would deny U.S. citizens who were home schooled, we have a whole raft of left wing politicians who are willy-nilly offering all of these 'benefits' or as they put it 'RIGHTS' to outright ILLEGAL ALIENS who have little or no U.S. education whatsoever. This contradictory posture by the Left needs to be flagged and highlighted.

17 posted on 01/01/2003 9:12:14 AM PST by Paul Ross
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To: Paul Ross
That's a good point about illegal aliens. The next few years are going to be very interesting ones.
18 posted on 01/01/2003 1:16:00 PM PST by ladylib
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