Years ago I saw a survey by parents that indicated they preferred their children attending a local public school using a traditional model where their children were taught by great teachers. I think most everyone would agree with that, even when they opt for a private school.
As an education researcher for the past two decades, I’ve seen more and more attempts by education reformers to change this model. These changes have not come from grassroots parents demanding changes, it has come from organizations like the Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation is one of the biggest funders of the changes that are currently taking place in public education today.
There is a nationwide effort to keep schools closed during this pandemic, and it’s time to start asking WHY.
Is this effort to keep schools closed based on a virus? Is it based on the safety of those who would return to school? The children? The teachers? Or is there more to the story?
I take this virus very seriously so in no way am I diminishing the nature of the virus. But as we see schools stay closed or use a hybrid method, people are questioning how their kids can attend a community center to do their remote learning but cannot attend a school. Especially since these remote centers will now be charging parents for their services.
What will they offer? In Massachusetts, some students will go to a roller skating rink. In New Hampshire places like the YMCA or the Boys and Girls Club will now house students. An adult will be in charge of the students similar to what they’d get at a child-care center. So how can kids go to a community center but not school during a pandemic?
It’s important to understand that for many years, education reformers have had plans to change the public school model. Their vision is spelled out in this 2014 document:
In this document, Education Reimagined, you will see a completely different model for public education. This means a shift away from a liberal arts model that is focused on academics and knowledge to a dumbed-down workforce model. This is Competency-Based Education. (CBE)
Education reformers have been telling us that companies want employees that have certain skills and, they are not getting that when they hire high school graduates. There may be some validity to that argument but when I ask a room full of business owners if they’d like graduates who are literate, every hand in the room goes up. Based on test scores, the United States trails numerous countries on international tests. This new model promoted and funded by the Gates Foundation, is based on the European model. Germans do not score at the top internationally either. So why are we focused on a new model that doesn’t elevate literacy and knowledge but instead follows other countries that struggle with their international peers too?
When I started researching public education in America, one of the first things I noticed was, much of education policy is based on money. Whenever I look at changes to education policy, I’m not surprised when it leads back to an effort for some industry to profit off of taxpayers.
This new model incorporates a great deal of technology. So much so that you can see how much of this will profit the technology industry. As a researcher, I’ve never made a dime off of my research or my advocacy for literacy and parental rights. I have nothing to gain financially off of sharing this information with anyone.
My focus in researching education policy has been to find ways to help children and parents so they have the best opportunities available to them.
This new model includes getting rid of teachers as you can see in that document and replacing them with adults in a room where children work off of their online program. The current paradigm shifts to a learner-centered paradigm. That’s a complex way of saying, your kids will sit in front of a computer to learn. Teachers from the local community will no longer be needed since many of these programs can use a teacher in any location. I read one prediction that showed how one teacher can cover 50 to 75 students at a time. In Plymouth, MA they won’t be using their local teachers. How do parents and schools hold these people accountable if local teachers are eliminated?
Fiscal conservatives might like this idea but are they getting their money’s worth? I’m a fiscal conservative and if you showed me valid independent studies that showed children learn better this way versus, in front of a highly educated and qualified teacher, it might be worthy of consideration. We should all want what’s best for American students. So where is the proof this new model is better and parents want it for their kids?
Teachers who’ve gone into the classroom to push a political bias, or have not performed at their best haven’t helped this situation. They’ve given fodder to the critics who are fed up with radical teachers using their platform to push their political and radical views on children. So don’t expect all parents to reject this model if you’ve lost focus and turned away from properly educating children.
For the vast majority of teachers, they’ve gone into the profession because they love teaching children. The focus should always be on helping to make teachers successful but the shift to this model has set them up for failure. Handing them dumbed down Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards do not help teachers or students.
In that document, you will see how teachers are to be eliminated (page 5). You can also scroll to the bottom of the page and read the other players; The Nellie Mae Foundation who promotes community organizing as a priority for students and is funded by the Gates Foundation along with the federal government. Companies that will provide online learning and make a nice profit off of this also signed on. The Brookings Institution, the NEA and the AFT. Why are they selling out the teachers?
In this blog post by Emily Talmage, Anatomy of Betrayal, she pieces it together. She shows how the Unions signed on to this Competency-Based Education model (Workforce Model) with corporate entities set to make profits when this model is put in place.
The ground-work has been set and, the pandemic has allowed for a more robust implementation. Those who were wondering how students can go to the skating rink for remote learning have no idea why their kids cannot go to school. But when you read the document you realize, it’s all part of the Competency-Based Education model. They just never told you. I heard one promoter of this Competency-Based Ed model whisper, this is a great way to get kids away from teachers. But again, parents have not asked for any of this.
When you hear Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers claim that schools cannot open based on the pandemic, go back and read those documents that she signed. Ask yourself, does this have to do with safety or is it helping the online industry? She signed the document in 2014 and today fights against having teachers return to the classroom. How many will lose their jobs when this is all over because of what she is doing today?
I asked a couple of former teachers why the national unions would harm the teaching profession in this way. They said :
- I think the unions, at the top at least, are as corrupt as anything else these days… and are really mostly a front for liberal political agendas. I don’t think their leadership actually gives two hoots about teachers – they follow money and power – and the people underneath the top are mostly clueless.
- Teachers unions pay back for those high tech campaign donations.
One parent referred to this as cut-throat.
Most teachers have no idea what is going on. They don’t realize their union leadership sold out their profession several years ago. In fact, many teachers want to return to the classroom and work. The problem is, their union leadership has been told from the top-down, NO WAY.
How do parents fight this? First by understanding why there is so much political pressure to keep schools closed.
Even if schools open, administrators will continue to shut them down if someone gets sick. Parents will have to return to the remote learning model. It’s a great way to keep the political agenda moving forward. It will also cause more parents to withdraw their children from their local public schools.
By the time schools fully open, many parents will have put their children in private and parochial schools. Home-schooling is also exploding. Parents are wise to withdraw completely from their public school if they are home with their kids because they can avoid the dumbed-down Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards by choosing a quality home-school program.
Teachers need to understand what’s going on. Follow Emily’s website and Wrenching in the Gears. You will be following two of the best researchers in the country. You will figure out what’s really going on.
Several years ago I warned people that at some point, teachers will no longer be needed. Facilitators will be hired to babysit the kids in front of a computer. Will this cut costs? I don’t know. It seems like even with enrollment going down, the number of non-teachers goes up and, so do the costs.
Remind your Superintendent that if this is the future, maybe they’re not needed either. If they are not willing to listen to parents and open these schools, why are they needed? Years ago, there were no SAU’s. There were no Superintendents. Principals ran their schools. Maybe we need to go back to that model while we are at it.