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[Susan notes: Note: This is an online newspaper, so my comment is also online. And I'm grateful to Stephen Krashen for joining in with the facts the news piece lacked.

We can hope we are educating somebody.]

Published in VT Digger

To the editor

After plowing through the 1059 pages of the new ESEA, I'm sure that I'd rather watch sausage get made. Does anyone believe any member of Congress actually read this 1059 page bill?

Note: There is no reduction in the required annual testing which offers no benefit to anybody besides those selling tests and those paid to collect data. Costs here could be greatly reduced by limiting testing to twice in elementary school and once in high school.

Do members of Congress know what "universal design for learning" is? Do teachers and parents? Page 363 of this legislation mandates it.

I say BEWARE of the Pay for Success provision in this act, which takes the ugliness of standards and testing to pre-schoolers--and puts it in the hands of outfits like Goldman Sachs. The deal here is that private outfits like Goldman Sachs take over a preschool program and earn money when they reduce the number of kids requiring special services. So Goldman Sachs gets to define who needs special ed and rake in profits accordingly.

The bill writers sneak all this-- much much more--in the middle of gems like this:

(2) by striking "9305" each place it appears

2 and inserting "8305";

3 (3) by striking "9302" each place it appears

4 and inserting "8302"; and

5 (4) by striking "9501" each place it appears

6 and inserting "8501".


8 Section 8101, as redesignated and amended by section 8001 of this Act, is further amended

10 (1) by striking paragraphs (3), (11), (19), (23),

11 (35), (36), (37), and (42);

12 (2) by redesignating paragraphs (4), (5), (6),

13 (7), (8), (9), (10), (12), (13), (14), (15), (16), (17),

14 (18), (20), (21), (22), (24), (25), (26), (27), (28),

15 (29), (30), (31), (32), (33), (34), (38), (39), (41),

16 and (43) as paragraphs (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8),

17 (9), (10), (11), (12), (13), (14), (18), (19), (24),

18 (26), (27), (29), (20), (30), (31), (34), (35), (36),

19 (38), (39), (41), (42), (45), (46), (49), and (50), respectively, and by transferring such paragraph (20)

21 (as so redesignated) so as to follow such paragraph

22 (19) (as so redesignated);

23 (3) by striking paragraphs (11) and (12) (as so

24 redesignated by paragraph (2)) and inserting the

25 following:

VerDate Nov 24 2008 10:28 Nov 30, 2015 Jkt 000000 PO 00000 Frm 00778 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6201 C:USERSKLMERY~1APPDATAROAMINGSOFTQUADXMETAL7.0GENCCONFRP~1

November 30, 2015 (10:28 a.m.)


f:VHLC113015113015.012.xml (619087|5)


1(11) COVERED PROGRAM.The term "covered

2 program" means each of the programs authorized

3 by--

4 "(A) part A of title I;

5 "(B) part C of title I;

6 "(C) part D of title I;

7 "(D) part A of title II;

8 "(E) part A of title III;

9 "(F) part A of title IV;

10 "(G) part B of title IV; and

11 "(H) subpart 2 of part B of title V.

So you decide: For or against?

Maybe our Congressional representatives supported the bill because they were all enamored by the Earthquake Hazards modifications (see p. 1006).

Stephen Krashen comment: Irony: The Common Core emphasizes close, detailed reading. Did any members of Congress or their staffs do a close reading of the bill? There was very little time to do this. Susan Ohanian might be the only person in the country who has actually read the entire bill (now law).

Stephen Krashen Comment 2: Not just money invested in schools, but the overall poverty level. States with lower levels of poverty have higher test scores in reading and math. the correlation is quite strong, about r = -.7 ( http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2014/08/do-american-rich-kids-do-worse-on.html). Vermont has among the lowest level of poverty among all the states, as well as among the highest test scores. Poverty is the crucial variable: "We are likely to find that the problems of housing and education, instead of preceding the elimination of poverty, will themselves be affected if poverty is first abolished"(Martin Luther King, 1967, Final Words of Advice).

Stephen Krashen Comment 3: Before Jay Eshelman disagrees with Ms. Ohanian's assessment of annual testing benefits, he may want to have a look at the research: Nichols, S., Glass, G., and Berliner, D. 2006. High-stakes testing and student achievement: Does accountability increase student learning? Education Policy Archives 14(1). http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v14n1.

Susan Ohanian and Stephen Krashen

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