Tag Archives: standards

Controversial author Marc Tucker to speak at MS Dept. of Education Statewide Forum Sept. 14

BY: B. Keith Plunkett 


Controversial author Marc Tucker is slated to be the speaker at a Mississippi Department of Education Forum on September 14. the event will be held at the Clyde Muse Center on the Rankin County Campus of Hinds Community College from 2-4 PM.

Tucker is the CEO of the National Center on Education and the Economy and author of Standing on the Shoulders of Giants. He also has a new book scheduled for release in November.

Tucker went to both Brown and Yale on academic scholarships. His bachelor’s degree was in philosophy and American literature. He was involved with the drama department at Yale until he dropped out of his graduate program there. His masters at George Washington University was in telecommunications policy. However, he has no education degree, has never taught or been directly involved in K-12, and only for a brief two-year stint taught a college course.

Tucker worked as a lighting technician at a PBS TV station in Boston and then began to work at the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (NWREL) in Portland, Oregon.

On Sept. 25, 1998, Rep. Bob Schaffer placed in the Congressional Record an 18-page letter that has become famous as Marc Tucker’s “Dear Hillary” letter. It lays out the master plan of the Clinton Administration to take over the entire U.S. educational system so that it can serve national economic planning of the workforce.

Tucker and the Clintons

The “Dear Hillary” letter, written on Nov. 11, 1992 by Marc Tucker, president of the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE), lays out a plan “to remold the entire American system” into “a seamless web that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same system for everyone,” coordinated by “a system of labor market boards at the local, state and federal levels” where curriculum and “job matching” will be handled by counselors “accessing the integrated computer-based program.”

Tucker’s plan would change the mission of the schools from teaching children academic basics and knowledge to training them to serve the global economy in jobs selected by workforce boards. Nothing in this comprehensive plan has anything to do with teaching schoolchildren how to read, write, or calculate.

Tucker’s ambitious plan was implemented in three laws passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton in 1994: the Goals 2000 Act, the School-to-Work Act, and the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act. These laws establish the following mechanisms to restructure the public schools:

Bypass all elected officials on school boards and in state legislatures by making federal funds flow to the Governor and his appointees on workforce development boards.

Use a computer database, a.k.a. “a labor market information system,” into which school personnel would scan all information about every schoolchild and his family, identified by the child’s social security number: academic, medical, mental, psychological, behavioral, and interrogations by counselors. The computerized data would be available to the school, the government, and future employers.

Use “national standards” and “national testing” to cement national control of tests, assessments, school honors and rewards, financial aid, and the Certificate of Initial Mastery (CIM), which is designed to replace the high school diploma.

Designed on the German system, the Tucker plan is to train children in specific jobs to serve the workforce and the global economy instead of to educate them so they can make their own life choices.

Tucker and Obama

In 1988, Tucker became the president of the National Center for Education and the Economy (NCEE) where he joined up with Hillary Clinton, Mario Cuomo, and Ira Magaziner to get states to move away from local control of their schools and migrate to national standards.

In 1991, Marc Tucker and Lauren Resnick created New Standards that pushed standards-based reform. In 1998, he and Judy Codding created America’s Choice that made sure the national standards were further implemented into the schools; and in 2005, Tucker created the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce.

Tucker’s whole plan has been to require public school teachers to quit focusing on knowledge-based, academic content that emphasizes mostly objective testing with right-or-wrong answers. Instead Tucker and his cohorts have managed to restructure completely the public schools, leading to the dumbing down of America’s school students.

This effort has been given a new level of control under Obama and Arne Duncan who have added federal”teeth” by creating Common Core Standards and the millions of federal dollars available through Race to the Top funding.

Now 48 states (except for Alaska and Texas) have committed to Tucker’s school”reform” model whereby the federal takeover of the public schools will be completed with national standards, national curriculum, national assessments, and a national database that ties students’ scores back to individual teachers to determine their salaries/tenure/evaluations. Teachers will be forced to teach daily whatever is on the national assessments in order to keep their jobs.

Tucker has teamed up with Obama, Arne Duncan, Hillary Clinton, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Linda Darling-Hammond, David Driscoll, Gene Wilhoit, Phil Daro, and others to move public school classrooms in 48 states into social engineering through subjective assessments that emphasize feelings, opinions, beliefs, multiculturalism, political correctness, diversity, global warming, homosexuality, and”social justice.”

References: www.educationnews.org/commentaries/insights_on_edu….html


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Three retired military leaders focus on education

– WDAM – Channel 7 – Mississippi News, Hattiesburg, Laurel: www.wdam.com/story/15328462/three-retired-military…ation

HATTIESBURG,MS (WDAM) – According to three retired generals the future of the U.S. Military depends on preschoolers, or at least how they are taught at that age.

The generals released a report at the African American Military Museum Wednesday showing 80% to 90% of young Mississippians, ages 17 to 24 do not qualify for military service because of poor quality early child development and learning programs.

Retired Major General Buford Blount says through an organization called Mission: Readiness Military Leaders for Kids, more than 100 retired military leaders are trying to improve educational programs throughout the country, and are calling on lawmakers to help.

"Make them aware of some of the successes that states have, some of the programs. There are a lot of good programs out there. Making everyone aware of the programs that do work, and try to help the federal government and state government implement some of the at their levels," said Blount.

According to the statistics, other causes include kids not graduating on time, dropping out or not passing the military basic exam.

"The exam focuses on math and problem solving. Even though they may not have graduated from high school they haven’t had the quality education to pass the entrance exam for the military," said Blount.

Other disqualifications are criminal records and weight problems.

"They got to be physically fit. In Mississippi we have a obesity problem. We are the fattest state in the nation. That is another key factor. We are trying to address that with the school lunches," said Blount.

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Homeschooling numbers grow in Mississippi as more opt out of public education

Home-schools gaining more students in Mississippi – WLOX-TV and www.WLOX.com – The News for South Mississippi: www.wlox.com/story/15286648/home-schooling-gaining…sippi

Instead of sending their children to school every morning, more parents in Mississippi are choosing to teach them at home. In the 2010-2011 school year, 28,126 Mississippi children were home-schooled. The year before, there were 26,275 children who learned at home.

One Long Beach mom has been home-schooling all five of her children.

"Let’s get the computer started and get your textbook out," Brita Wren told her teenage daughter Destiny.

Wren runs a one-room school house. She is teaching her three children who are in different grades. Wren started home-schooling ten years ago, when her two older children were in the fifth and third grades.

"I think I had higher expectations sometimes than the schools that they were in to begin with, that we expected them to do their best," said Wren. "There’s no peer pressure, no bullying; there’s no busy work."

Wren also named faith as a reason. She incorporates bible-studies in her curriculum.

Wren had no teaching degree or experience. She went on-line to order books and other resources. She also checks public school websites regularly to see what courses and credits are required for graduation.

Although her children spend the entire day together, they do get opportunities to socialize with other children.

"We got different activities with our church and our home-school group. In our home-school group, there’s field trips," said Wren. "We do have some group classes in our home-school group. In fact, I’ve taught a couple of writing classes for middle school and high schoolers."

Her children get to learn at their own pace and their schedules are flexible. And, they seem to enjoy this personal educational setting.

"We get to hang out with the family more. I don’t have to worry about people being mean at school you know," said ninth grader Destiny Wren.

When asked if it gets frustrating with mom always around, Destiny smiled and responded, "Yes, when I have to write papers."

Wren’s hard work seems to be paying off. Her oldest son Dylan got a 34 out of 36 on his ACT, and he received a full scholarship to Mississippi State. Her older daughter Delaney got a 31 on her ACT. She graduated a year early and received several scholarships to Ole Miss.

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GC–Do Mississippi educators really believe in raising expectations?

RealClearPolitics – Politics – Aug 16, 2011 – Mississippi editorial roundup: www.realclearpolitics.com/news/ap/politics/2011/Au….html

Mississippi’s public education officials have to decide. Do they really believe in raising expectations, or are they mostly paying lip service to it?

In a letter in The Clarion-Ledger, Charles McClelland, chairman of the state Board of Education, touted the progress Mississippi’s students are making on standardized tests. He predicts that when the accountability ratings come out in September, more schools and districts will have achieved "Star" status, the state’s top ranking, than the previous year.

He credits the improvement in part to the state Board of Education’s "emphasis on more rigorous standards."

But what prompted those more rigorous standards in the first place? The No Child Left Behind law that was enacted during the George W. Bush administration and carries serious penalties for schools and school districts if they fail to measure up.

Before No Child Left Behind was enacted a decade ago, many states, including Mississippi, used test assessments that were watered down to make the schools look as if they were doing better than they were.

No Child Left Behind still left plenty of wiggle room. States, for instance, were free to decide what they considered "proficient" rather than having to meet a national standard. But the law said whatever a state’s standard, it had to be applied to all students, no matter where they live or what family situation they come from. The law attempted to address what Bush called the "soft bigotry of low expectations," an attitude that certain groups mostly minorities and the poor could not perform as well as others so they shouldn’t be held to the same standards. …

The problem with most education reform efforts is that states don’t stick with them for long. They ballyhoo the tougher standards at the start but back off once they get pinched by them and students and schools don’t measure up.

McClelland writes that Mississippi’s students "deserve to have a world-class education system that provides them with the knowledge and skills that will allow them to be successful in our global society."

That sounds nice, but do we mean it? If so, keep the standards high and let the chips fall where they may.

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ACT scores show Mississippi Education is still falling short

ACT figures show youth unprepared | The Clarion-Ledger | www.clarionledger.com: www.clarionledger.com/article/20110817/NEWS01/1081…ome|p

By the time they graduate from high school, many Mississippi students still lack the knowledge or skills they need to succeed in college, according to a report being released today.

And, according to the ACT’s Condition of College and Career Readiness report, that trend has hardly changed in five years.

Of the Class of 2011 students in Mississippi, 10 percent met all four benchmarks in English, reading, math and science, according to the report. The national average was 25 percent.

Mississippi’s average ACT composite score and average subject-area scores for the that graduating class ranged from 18.2-18.8, all lower than the national averages, which were in the low 20s. The state’s average scores in math, reading and science were the lowest in the nation.

Figures from ACT suggest many students are taking fewer core classes than what is needed for them to meet the college readiness benchmarks.

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Common Core Standards introduced to Pine Belt Schools

Higher expectations: Pine Belt schools introduce Common Core State Standards into classrooms | Hattiesburg American | www.hattiesburgamerican.com: www.hattiesburgamerican.com/article/20110816/NEWS0…60307

Kindergarten through second-graders in the Pine Belt and throughout Mississippi are learning at a more advanced level than ever before this school year.

They are the first students in the state to get lesson plans based on the Common Core State Standards.

"It’s much greater rigor. The (Common Core State) Standards go much more in-depth than previously. Many more things are expected from (the students)," said Carolyn Adams, assistant superintendent of academic education for the Lamar County School District.

Lamar County School District, along with Petal, Hattiesburg Public and Forrest County school districts, have all introduced Common Core State Standards to kindergarten through second-graders this year.

"It’s a very rigorous program, but we think our students are capable of this rigorous work," said Forrest County School District Superintendent Debbie Burt.

All four districts trained K-2 teachers in instruction of Common Core over the summer.

Under Common Core State Standards, adopted by 46 states including Mississippi, U.S. students learn to a set of common criteria in language arts and math, preparing them to compete with their peers across the nation and around the world.

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