Posts Categorized: ESSA

Thoughts on ESSA and Centralized Education

11 Dec, 2015 by in common core, education, ESEA, ESSA Leave a comment

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I’ve had several people ask me what I think now that ESSA has been signed.

Here are my sentiments …

“It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.” ― James Madison

I am troubled by what passed and what is about to hit classrooms, homes and neighborhoods all across the nation.

” Schools are not factories; education can’t be systematized; learning can’t be centrally planned.

Good teachers are successful not because they’re following some magic formula concocted by “experts” in Washington, but because they do what good teachers everywhere have always done: they work harder than just about anyone, and they know their class material inside and out; they communicate early and often with each students’ parents, so that they, and their students, can be held accountable; they observe and listen to their students, in order to understand their unique learning needs and goals, and tailor each day’s lesson plans accordingly; and they evaluate students honestly and comprehensively, assessing whether they’ve mastered the material, not just figured out how to take a test.” –Senator Mike Lee ( R-Utah)


U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) issued this statement on the conference report of the Every Student Succeeds Act-S. 1177:

“The Every Student Succeeds Act unfortunately continues to propagate the large and ever-growing role of the federal government in our education system—the same federal government that sold us failed top-down standards like Common Core. We should be empowering parents and local school districts instead of perpetuating the same tired approach that continues to fail our nation’s children. In many ways, the conference report was worse than the original Senate bill—removing the few good provisions from the House bill that would have allowed some Title I portability for low-income students as well as a parental opt-out from onerous federal accountability standards. The American people expect the Republican majority to do better. And our children deserve better, which is why I cannot support this bill.”


American Principles Project is disappointed that Congress has passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to reauthorize the failed No Child Left Behind statute. The claims of Republican leadership that the bill will transfer power back to the states are largely illusory. 

“It is particularly noteworthy and even shocking that so many Republicans voted in favor of this bill. Apparently they did not consider it a red flag that every Democrat in Congress supported it, that Barack Obama supported it, that Arne Duncan supported it, that Nancy Pelosi supported it, and that the owners of the Common Core national standards – National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers – supported it.”

From The Washington Post:

“There are major problems with this legislation; anybody who thinks federal dictates have disappeared are in for a surprise, and anybody who would like to see the federal government exercise its power to fix systemic school funding problems and seriously broaden the scope of reform are in for a letdown, too.”-  The successor to No Child Left Behind has, it turns out, big problems of its own

“President Obama just signed the reform of the ‘No Child Left Behind’ Act, now called the ‘Every Child Succeeds’ Act. It appears to me the federal government still hasn’t learned, especially in the area of education, their role is to ensure equality of opportunity…not equality of outcomes… Just more duplicitous hypocrisy emanating from Obama. We should be reducing the impact of the federal government in the area of education; that is a state and local governance responsibility.”- Allen West

Also Helpful:

Nicholas Tampio: Is ESSA a Hoax?

U.S. Senate Approves No Child Left Behind Replacement

ESSA benefits Goldman Sachs? But hurts SPED kids?

The Complete Restructure of American Education and Why It’s Happening

ESEA-Rewrite Bill Includes Controversial Teacher-Prep Provisions

The disturbing provisions about teacher preparation in No Child Left Behind rewrite


A very sincere thank you to those Senators who voted against ESSA:

Senator Rand Paul (KY)
Senator Mike Lee (UT)
Senator Ted Cruz (TX)
Senator Ben Sasse (NE)
Senator Mike Crapo (ID)
Senator David Vitter (LA)
Senator Jerry Moran (KS)
Senator Richard Shelby (AL)
Senator James Risch (ID)
Senator Roy Blunt (MO)
Senator Tim Scott (SC)
Senator Steve Daines (MT)

And to our entire Utah Delegation in the House who also voted NO:

Chris Stewart
Jason Chaffetz
Mia Love
Rob Bishop



US House Members

Who Voted Nay On Agreeing to the Conference Report
BILL TITLE: To reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to ensure that every child achieves

Bishop (UT)
Brooks (AL)
Clawson (FL)
Duncan (SC)
Franks (AZ)
Graves (LA)
Hice, Jody B.
Johnson, Sam
Kelly (MS)
King (IA)
Miller (FL)
Mooney (WV)
Poe (TX)
Rogers (AL)
Smith (MO)
Smith (NE)
Weber (TX)

For my book reading friends, some of these titles may be worth a read:


Divergent (Divergent Series)
Insurgent (Divergent Series)
Allegiant (Divergent Series)
The Giver (Giver Quartet)
Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution


What ESSA Really Says

07 Dec, 2015 by in education, ESEA, ESSA, NCLB, secretary of education 6 comments

Image source: Gifted Education Online Resources


What is actually contained in the Every Student Succeeds Act, the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act?
I wanted to know.

So I spent three days straight reading EVERY SINGLE WORD the 1061 page bill which is set to go to the Senate for a vote tomorrow. I ask all congressmen to read the bill, especially the more concerning portions outlined below.

Know what you are voting on is not an end to common core or a return to local control. It is an expansion of “the secretary’s” duties and Federal control. The new ESEA is an expansion of K-12 education mandates. It sets up “college and career ready” preschoolers and encourages SLDS tracking by numerous governmental agencies into the post secondary education years.

ESSA outlines data collection, competency based pay for teachers, pipeline services from birth to age 20, new federally monitored “promise” neighborhoods, an expansion of data driven computer adaptive testing, and in-school mental health services which will not be protected by HIPPA privacy protection laws.  It is an erosion of local control and the continuation of a data driven model which corporate interests will benefit from.

Do me a favor, count how many times you read the words “the secretary.”





‘‘(7) FAILURE TO MEET REQUIREMENTS.—If a 21 State fails to meet any of the requirements of this section, the Secretary may withhold funds for State administration under this part until the Secretary determines that the State has fulfilled those requirements.


‘‘(viii) Information submitted by the State educational agency and each local educational agency in the State, in accordance with data collection conducted pursu- ant to section 203(c)(1) of the Department of Education Organization Act (20 U.S.C. 3413(c)(1)), on—

‘‘(I) measures of school quality, climate, and safety, including rates of in-school suspensions, out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, school-related arrests, referrals to law enforcement, chronic absenteeism (including both excused and unexcused absences), incidences of violence, including bullying and harassment; and

P.85 .Data Tracking of any indicators

‘‘(II) For purposes of subclause (I),the State may include measures of— ‘‘(III) student engagement;‘‘(IV) educator engagement;‘‘(V) student access to and completion of advanced coursework;‘‘(VI) postsecondary readiness;‘‘(VII) school climate and safety; and‘‘(VIII) ANY OTHER INDICATOR the State chooses that meets the requirements of this clause

Does the Government also intend to regulate private schools? See pages 186-187, 833-840

13 Section 1117, as redesignated by section 1000(3), is
14 amended—
15 (1) in subsection (a)—
16 (A) by striking paragraph (1) and insert-
17 ing the following:
18 ‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—To the extent consistent
19 with the number of eligible children identified under
20 section 1115(c) in the school district served by a
21 local educational agency who are enrolled in private
22 elementary schools and secondary schools, a local
23 educational agency shall—
24 ‘‘(A) after timely and meaningful consulta-
25 tion with appropriate private school officials,
1 provide such children, on an equitable basis and
2 individually or in combination, as requested by
3 the officials to best meet the needs of such chil-
4 dren, special educational services, instructional
5 services (including evaluations to determine the
6 progress being made in meeting such students’
7 academic needs), counseling, mentoring, one-on-
8 one tutoring, or other benefits under this part
9 (such as dual or concurrent enrollment, edu-
10 cational radio and television, computer equip-
11 ment and materials, other technology, and mo-
12 bile educational services and equipment) that
13 address their needs; and
14 ‘‘(B) ensure that teachers and families of
15 the children participate, on an equitable basis,
16 in services and activities developed pursuant to
17 section 1116.’’;
18 (B) by striking paragraph (3) and insert-
19 ing the following:
20 ‘‘(3) EQUITY.—
21 ‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—Educational services
22 and other benefits for such private school chil-
23 dren shall be equitable in comparison to serv-
24 ices and other benefits for public school chil
1 dren participating under this part, and shall be
2 provided in a timely manner.
3 ‘‘(B) OMBUDSMAN.—To help ensure such
4 equity for such private school children, teach-
5 ers, and other educational personnel, the State
6 educational agency involved shall designate an
7 ombudsman to monitor and enforce the require-
8 ments of this part.’’;



(b) ASSISTANCE TO OUTLYING AREAS.—5 ‘‘(1) FUNDS RESERVED.—From the amount made available for any fiscal year under subsection7 (a)(1), the Secretary shall—8 ‘‘(A) first reserve $1,000,000 for the Republic of Palau, until Palau enters into an agreement for extension of United States educational assistance under the Compact of FreeAssociation, and subject to such terms and conditions as the Secretary may establish, except that Public Law 95–134, permitting the consolidation of grants, shall not apply;



States are gathering data and reporting to “the Secretary”


‘(ix) gather data, solicit regular feedback from teachers, principals, other school leaders, and parents, and assess the results of each year of the program of demonstration authority under this section, and respond by making needed changes to the innovative assessment system; and

‘‘(x) report data from the innovative assessment system annually to the Secretary, including—

19 ‘‘(i) a description of the local educational agencies within the State educational agency that will participate, including what criteria the State has for approving any additional local educational agencies to participate during the demonstration authority period;



  1. ‘‘(h) NONCOMPLIANCE.—The Secretary may, after

  2. 15  providing notice and an opportunity for a hearing (includ-
  3. 16  ing the opportunity to provide supporting evidence as pro-
  4. 17  vided for in subsection (i)), terminate a local flexibility
  5. 18  demonstration agreement under this section if there is evi-
  6. 19  dence that the local educational agency has failed to com-
  7. 20  ply with the terms of the agreement and the requirements
  8. 21  under subsections (d) and (e).


Incentivized teaching

to improve within-district equity in the distribution of teachers, consistent with sec- tion 1111(g)(1)(B), such as initiatives that pro- vide—

‘‘(i) expert help in screening can- didates and enabling early hiring;

‘‘(ii) differential and incentive pay for teachers, principals, or other school leaders in high-need academic subject areas and specialty areas, which may include per- formance-based pay systems;

‘‘(iii) teacher, paraprofessional, prin- cipal, or other school leader advancement and professional growth, and an emphasis on leadership opportunities, multiple career paths, and pay differentiation

P348 Human capital

  1. (2) to study and review performance-based
  2. 9  compensation systems or human capital manage-
  3. 10  ment systems for teachers, principals, or other
  4. 11  school leaders to evaluate the effectiveness, fairness,
  5. 12  quality, consistency, and reliability of the systems

3) HUMAN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM.— The term ‘human capital management system’ means a system—
‘‘(A) by which a local educational agency makes and implements human capital decisions, such as decisions on preparation, recruitment, hiring, placement, retention, dismissal, compensation, professional development, tenure, and promotion; and
‘‘(B) that includes a performance-based compensation system.
‘‘(4) PERFORMANCE-BASED COMPENSATION SYSTEM.—The term ‘performance-based compensation system’ means a system of compensation for teachers, principals, or other school leaders”

Are our students Human Capital or are they children?


Teachers and Administrators See pages p350-359!


1 ‘‘SEC. 2212. TEACHER AND SCHOOL LEADER INCENTIVE 2 FUND GRANTS. 3 ‘‘(a) GRANTS AUTHORIZED.—From the amounts reserved by the Secretary under section 2201(1), the Secretary shall award grants, on a competitive basis, to eligible entities to enable the eligible entities to develop, implement, improve, or expand performance-based compensation systems or human capital management systems, in schools served by the eligible entity.


‘‘(B) use evidence-based screening assessments for early identification of such students beginning not later than kindergarten;


P 453

23 ‘‘(6) SCHOOL-BASED MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES PROVIDER.—The term ‘school-based mental 25 health services provider’ includes a State-licensed or State-certified school counselor, school psychologist, school social worker, or other State licensed or certified mental health professional qualified underState law to provide mental health services to children and adolescents

see also p 479

Pages 599-618 are in my opinion the scariest section of the bill. They prescribe expanded learning time, pipeline services, full-service community schools, neighborhoods of promise and ‘‘(B) A needs assessment that identifies the academic, physical, nonacademic, health, mental health, and other needs of students, families, and community residents. This is federal intrusion into the home, the neighborhood and the health records of students.

Also see p 617.


Pgs 599-608
Expanded learning time

‘‘(ii) ensuring appropriate diagnostic assessments and referrals for children with disabilities and children aged 3 through 9 experiencing developmental delays, consistent with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.), where applicable.

‘‘(B) Supporting, enhancing, operating, or expanding rigorous, comprehensive, effective educational improvements, which may include high-quality academic programs, expanded learning time, and programs and activities to prepare students for postsecondary education admissions and success.



Needs assessment for pipeline services

‘‘(B) A needs assessment that identifies

the academic, physical, nonacademic, health, mental health, and other needs of students, families, and community residents


13 ‘‘(22) EXPANDED LEARNING TIME.—The term

14 ‘expanded learning time’ means using a longer

15 school day, week, or year schedule to significantly

16 increase the total number of school hours, in order

17 to include additional time for—‘‘(A) activities and instruction for enrichment as part of a well-rounded education; and ‘‘(B) instructional and support staff to collaborate, plan, and engage in professional development (including professional development on family and community engagement) within and

across grades and subjects. P 783



Starting on Page 784 line 12

Data must be collected annually by State educational agencies for submission to the National Center for Education Statistics under section 153 of the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 (20 U.S.C. 9543),

p. 793
PROGRAMS NOT PROVIDING CREDIT.—Except as provided in subparagraph (A)(ii)(I)(bb), a student who is retained in grade or who is enrolled in a program leading to a general equivalency diploma, or other alternative educational program that does not issue or provide credit toward the issuance of a regular high school diploma, shall not be considered transferred out and shall remain in the adjusted cohort.

page 914


—Congress finds the following:15 (1) John Arthur ‘‘Jack’’ Johnson was a flamboyant, defiant, and controversial figure in the history of the United States who challenged racial biases.19 (2) Jack Johnson was born in Galveston, Texas, in 1878 to parents who were former slaves.21 (3) Jack Johnson became a professional boxer and traveled throughout the United States, fighting White and African-American heavyweights.24 (4) After being denied (on purely racial grounds) the opportunity to fight…

It goes on until page 918

Why is a posthumous pardon of a boxer in an education bill?

Why do we need 1061 pages of bill released two days before the House vote to repeal No Child Left Behind? Let teachers teach. Let local LEA’s govern their own schools. Let parents be the primary entity in charge of their child’s education. The family is the central unit of our society. Not the school. Not the federal government.

This is just the tip of the iceburg.

Dig in and read ESSA for yourself.

Tell me what you think after 50 pages.


Call the U.S. Senate switchboard today at (202) 224-3121.

Contact your Senators and ask them to

Vote NO on ESSA.

Read and watch more:

Letter to Congress and Compiled Notes from Alyson Williams and 50 Citizen Readers on ESEA “Every Student Succeeds Act

State Senator Blasts ESEA: Use His Letter to Reach Your Own Legislators

#ESEA – The New Common Core- Psychological Profiling of American Students

NCLB 2002 VS. ESSA 2015

Open Message to California Senators – Save us from the New ESEA

Weekend News: ESSA’s ‘Untold’ Ties to HEA