Tag Archives: Obama

Manchester Schools Fall for the “21st Century Skills” Fad

If you watch the video from the Curriculum and Instruction Meeting https://vimeo.com/channels/660461 you will see at 1:10:00 a discussion between the Curriculum and Instruction Committee and the Guidance Counselor.

The goal appears to be…SELL the “21st Century Skills” fad to the board members without offering them any critical information. For instance, when you get to around 1:30:00 you will hear School Board Member Sarah Ambrogi refer to this fad as “awesome.”

These 21st Century Skills are nothing new. In fact they are based on the failed Outcome Based Education model that seeks to implement dumbed down workforce skills into the daily curriculum.

This fad was all the rage in the 90′s but was abandoned in many schools and states when parents figured out that this kind of shift to “workforce skills” took valuable time away from focusing on academics. In other words, this was a contributing factor to illiteracy versus a tool to improve literacy in the schools.

We realize that there are other important qualities a teacher will focus on. That’s why report cards in the past would identify whether your child was attentive, self-disciplined, etc. The teacher would make comments based on their subjective judgement and offer parents a glimpse of how their child was behaving in the classroom.

Workforce training, or 21st Century Skills is different. This is part of the Obama redesign to an Outcome Based Ed. model and is based on the old SCANS “outcomes” or “skills.”

It sounds great to think that children will be learning some 21st century skills, but parents must ask themselves, does this come at the expense of academic achievement? In other words, where was any kind of independent studies offered that showed improvement in literacy with this fundamental shift? That’s the FIRST question the board members should have asked.

Here is an OLD document dispelling the myths that 21st Century Skills offers students an improved academic education: http://greatminds.net/maps/documents/reports/CConP21final-090915.pdf

“Skills are important and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) has identified skills that all children need such as critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving. But P21’s approach to teaching those skills marginalizes knowledge and therefore will deny students the liberal education they need. Cognitive science teaches us that skills and knowledge are interdependent and that possessing a base of knowledge is necessary to the acquisition not only of more knowledge, but also of skills. Skills can neither be taught nor applied effectively without prior knowledge of a wide array of subjects.
Education policy and practice should be based on sound research and informed by an understanding of what has worked and what has failed in the past. Attempts to teach skills apart from knowledge have failed repeatedly over the last century because they do not work. Unless it is fundamentally revised, the program put forth by P21 also will fail. In the meantime, it is undermining the quality of education in America.”

We suspect “critical thinking” may be among those “21st Century Skills” now being promoted in the Manchester School District. However we question WHY the Guidance Counselor failed to offer the board members any critical analysis on the 21st Century Skills fad.

Manchester parents would be wise to also read this critical piece from The Heritage Foundation printed in 2001. After watching the sales job from the Manchester Guidance Counselor, make sure you read through the Heritage article that talks about the problems with this fundamental shift from a focus on a liberal arts academic education to dumbed down workforce training:

“Quite unnoticed, a new definition of education standards has emerged–one that places greater relevance on the world of work. All learning is to take place within the context of a work situation or real-world environment with emphasis on workplace competencies. It is argued that this will provide relevance for students that will foster in them a desire to achieve greater levels of learning. But the result has been a narrower education that focuses on practical skills to the detriment of a broader academic education. The danger of the new education standards is that they may elevate workplace competencies above essential academic knowledge.
Not all education is vocational education. Schools should not be required or encouraged by federal funding to narrow their focus to emphasize workplace skills.”

Contact your Manchester School Board Members and tell them that you expect better than a Guidance Counselor selling your board members the Obama (Outcome Based Ed) reform. Tell them that you expect your board members to ask for sufficient proof from independent sources that any kind of shift away from a focus on academics will not result in an increase in illiteracy among the student population.

Here is a link to your Manchester School Board Members. Send them this article and tell them you expect more for your tax dollars and for your children: http://bosc.mansd.org

Who’s Targeting The Teachers In The Common Core Scheme?

We’ve offered numerous articles and info on how corrupt the new Common Core assessments (Smarter Balanced Assessment) are and why parents should “REFUSE” to allow their children to take it.

The Common Core assessments are not achievement tests and parents would be wise to have their children tested outside the public schools using an actual achievement test. Some suggestions: Iowa Basic Skills Test, Stanford Achievement Test, or the California Achievement Test. Make sure they are NOT Common Core aligned.

The Smarter Balanced Assessment is a psychometric assessment that will assess a child’s values, attitudes, beliefs, etc. The questions are phrased in a way that gives the test makers feedback, not on actual academic achievement, but more on a student’s attitude towards a particular subject.

Not only should parents be concerned about this corrupted assessment, but teachers should be equally concerned. Tying a teacher’s evaluation to these corrupted assessments is part of the federal reform. Some states have lost their No Child Left Behind Waiver if they refused to target their teachers with this kind of evaluation.

The L.A. Times reported “Students Matter” filed a lawsuit against 13 school districts in an attempt to tie a teacher’s evaluation to the standardized test.

So who is going after the teachers? STUDENTS MATTER. Who sits on the Advisory Board for “Students Matter”?

Students Matter Advisory Board
Russlynn Ali

Russlynn Ali was appointed assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education by President Barack Obama. As assistant secretary, Ali is U.S. Secretary of Education Duncan’s primary adviser on civil rights and is responsible for enforcing U.S. civil rights laws as they pertain to education—ensuring the nation’s schools, colleges and universities receiving federal funding do not engage in discriminatory conduct. Prior to joining the department, Ali served as vice president of the Education Trust in Washington, D.C., and as the founding executive director of the Education Trust—West in Oakland, Calif., since 2001. Where she advocated for public school students in California focusing on achievement and opportunity gaps separating low-income African-American and Latino students from their peers; worked with school districts to improve curriculum and instructional quality at high-poverty and high-minority public schools; and designed, field-tested and implemented comprehensive audit tools that examined inequities in schools and districts.
Previously, Ali was a teacher, served as the liaison for the president of the Children’s Defense Fund, as assistant director of policy and research at the Broad Foundation, and as chief of staff to the president of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Board of Education. She has also taught at the University of Southern California Law Center and the University of California at Davis.
In the legal field, Ali was an attorney at Bird, Marella, Boxer and Wolpert, deputy co-director and counsel at the Advancement Project at English, Munger & Rice, and an attorney at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, all in Los Angeles. Ali is a member of the California State Bar. Ali received her J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law. She received her bachelor’s degree in law and society from the American University.

Common Core is not just about inferior academic standards, data collection on children and faulty assessments, one of the key components is to target teachers.

When the Federal reforms prove to be faulty, isn’t it interesting that the same federal bureaucratic system that brings us problems in education, continue to be the ones who want to fix it? And yet these same bureaucrats are never held accountable for the problems they inflict upon our schools and children.

Obama Orders Psych Testing On Students: Support HB303 & HB206

Obama orders mental health testing on school kids


HB 303
The NH House LAID HB 303 on the table and it will take voters to demand it be TAKEN OFF the table and PASSED.

HB 303 required WRITTEN CONSENT from parents if the schools were to give your child a psychological exam. This is standard procedure for licensed Child Psychologists and should be required by school personnel too.

IT IS IMPORTANT to send an e-mail to: HReps@leg.state.nh.us


Ask the NH House to:

1) TAKE HB 303 OFF the TABLE and support HB303. Assessments should focus on testing
ACADEMIC CONTENT and not their values, attitudes and beliefs.

2) NO psychological exams on our kids without written consent from parents.

HB 206 is another Bill to support. HB 206 NEEDS TO BE AMENDED so “WRITTEN CONSENT” from parents will be required before schools survey students.

HB206 will be voted on by the Senate Education Committee and then sent to the NH Senate.

Send an e-mail to the New Hampshire Senators: Senators@leg.state.nh.us asking them to VOTE FOR HB206 with an amendment to require written consent from parents when surveying students.

Common Core for Pre-Schoolers?

Last week numerous states (including NH) applied to the Feds for $ to help implement the “cradle” portion of Common Core’s “cradle to career” scheme. Anti-Common Core warriors would be wise to push back (and educate the public) on this particular issue. For the record, it’s government-funded DAYCARE relabeled with the more appealing-sounding term “pre-school” that is at the center of this debate.

Common Core for Pre-Schoolers?  Read More Here

The Federalization of New Hampshire Schools

Swift is a public /private program. It is part of Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative .” President Obama announced an additional $100 million in funding for his racial justice initiative “My Brother’s Keeper,” a public-private program that focuses on the unique challenges faced by young men of color. In all, the program has attracted $300 million in funding for an effort that the president has said will continue long after he has left the White House and will make up much of his post-presidential work” (Washington Post”). It is for boys and boys of color. “frameworks demonstrate the importance of school climate in advancing student achievement through quality school norms, goals, values and interpersonal relationships; teaching, learning and leadership practices; and organizational structures. In addition, school board members and superintendents have a responsibility to encourage, support and reward schools to integrate and sustain quality school climate.” “Specific practices are designed to enhance engagement in classroom-based social, emotional and civic learning and in school-wide activities. Swift also includes the inclusion for special education students. Currently, Swift is in 67 schools across the country.http://www.swiftschools.org/

MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT, this is the FEDERALIZATION of OUR local schools.

This is now in District 13- Madison and Freedom, District 60 – Charlestown, District 64 -Milton and District 81 – Hudson. This is according to their website. Interestingly, 73% of the schools invited into the program are in rural areas, again.   Swift is in California, Florida, Massachusetts, Missouri, Mississippi, Maryland, New Hampshire ,Oregon and Vermont.

This is the beginning of the end of local control of public education. Eventually, we will not have local school boards – just the property tax bill to pay for it all. 

Remember Marc Tucker, the CHIEF Architect of the Common Core Standards and the redesigning of public education into workforce development, has called for the ELIMINATION of LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS.  

That’s how elitists operate.  No need to go to the local parents or community, the Feds will simply run your schools but you will pay the BILLS.

FUNDED through a grant from the FEDS:
The National Center on Schoolwide Inclusive School Reform (The SWIFT Center) produced the data for this presentation under U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs Grant No. H325Y120005. OSEP Project Officers Grace Zamora Durán and Tina Diamond served as the project officers. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the positions or policies of the Department of Education. No official endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education of any product, commodity, service or enterprise mentioned in this publication is intended or should be inferred. This product is public domain. Authorization to reproduce it in whole or in part is granted. While permission to reprint this publication is not necessary, please use the citation provided above.

For more information read this: Obama Should Re-Think My Brother’s Keeper

Editorial note: Stop Common Core in NH is committed to LITERACY in public education.  
We want ALL children to have access to the best education possible.  
Let’s find ways to UPLIFT ALL students.   Let’s find ways to empower local communities to identify the needs in their district and then help parents, School Boards, Administrators and teachers achieve those goals.