Category Archives: Common Core State Standards

MACC ALERT! MN Public Online Schools Push Home School Bill/ MACC & HSLDA Oppose

MACC ALERT!!!  Parents, we need your help in the morning – Monday, 3.26.2018.  A Minnesota bill is being pushed on home schoolers via Crosslake Community School and the online public schools across the state.  Home schoolers, by definition,  have chosen to educate by different as well as similar methods and curricula than the public schools.  MACC supports public, private and home schooling. (Call information below!)

The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is opposing this House File (HF) 3886 (Rep. Dale Lueck) and Senate File (SF) 3335 (Sen. Carrie Ruud).  Link to HSLDA opposition.   https://hslda.org/legislation/?vvsrc=%2fBills

The Senate-side bill will be heard in the Senate E-12 Finance Committee at 3:00pm in the Minnesota Senate Building, Room 1100.   During the hearing in the first Senate Committee, Sen. Ruud introduced the Director of Online Programs for Crosslake Community School and stated she was representing, “statewide online learning programs and home school families, ” and yet, no home school families were present.  There was no mention of how many homeschool families from Aitkin County were involved.

  1.  This bill opens the door to further blurring of the lines between home schools and public schools.
  2.  The bill expands the definition of home schooling to include online public school and its funding into state law going beyond shared time.
  3.  The majority of home schoolers want little to no involvement with required federal and state agendas.
  4.  Home schoolers were not asked their opinions of the bills.
  5.   The bill needs more clarity to understand the true intentions.
  6.   The bill should be amended to read, “EXCLUDE HOME SCHOOL.”

Please call Monday, 3.262018 prior to 3:00pm (Monday morning is the best)!  State to the legislator, “Vote NO on SF 3335.  Home schoolers do not want state or federal funding for public school.  Please amend the bill to EXCLUDE HOME SCHOOL.”  Please remember that the authors are carrying the bill for online schools and may not have considered the opinions of home schoolers.  

Carrie Ruud  651-296-4913                       Dale Lueck   651-296-2365  Carla Nelson, Chair  651-296-4848       Gary Dahms, Vice-Chair        Charles Wiger, DFL Lead  651-296-6820                                                              Paul Anderson  651-296-9261     Roger Chamberlain 651-296-1253  Justin Eichorn 651-296-7079       Patricia Torres Ray 651-296-4274   David Tomassoni 651-296-8017  Eric Pratt 651-296-4123       Melissa Wicklund 651-297-8061                                                                       

Minnesota Online Academies Sell Children’s Personal Information? The Dangers of Selling Human Capital

   

 

Minnesota Online Academies Sell Children’s Personal Information?  The Dangers of Selling Human Capital                                  by Linda Bell

MACC learned a great deal about the dangerous uses of student data through our work on the Student Data Privacy Act over the last four years.  Students are placed in a very risky situation as their personal information is falling into inimical hands. Schools along with their 3rd party online providers are knowingly allowing students’ information to be sold as human capital and by all accounts as a way to appease tech and ed tech providers. Talk to your school’s technology director now and demand to see the third-party contracts.  There should be 35 to 45 annually.  If passed, our bill to protect public and private school’s student privacy will not take effect until the 2019-2020 school year.  Thus, parent beware!

What data is collected?

 Data collected from online curriculum providers, online storage systems, apps and include name, photo, address, phone, email, bus stop as well as feelings, opinions and values collected via hundreds of surveys embedded in online curriculum and other technology storage retainers.

What happens to that data?

 The sharing and selling, especially the selling, of data is pure gold for technology and other online businesses.  Many tech companies earn more money off the sharing/selling of personal data than the products they offer.  Personal student information can be sold over and over.  Data is used for advertising and targeted marketing and identity theft.  However, many more nefarious practices are connected with student data like pedophilia and sex slavery.  Using student private information is the business of Human Capital.

US Department of Education: Do not share or sell PII. US DOE rules against a school and technology provider for first time since 2012.

In January 2018, we learned of a recent violation of the federal FERPA law by the Agora Cyber-Charter School and their contracted online curriculum provider, K12, Inc.  The US Department of Education determined that, “Agora had entered into a third-party contract constituting an unlawful forfeiture of a parent’s right under FERPA to protect against unauthorized disclosure of personally identifiable information from her child’s education record.”

 About privacy statements/terms of service

 The US DOE ruling was published in November 2017.  According to the K12, Inc’s own 2018 website, their privacy statement or terms of service have not changed.  K12s terms of service policy continues to state, “By posting or submitting Member Content to this Site, you grant K12 and its affiliates and licensees the right to use, reproduce, display, perform, adapt, modify, distribute, have distribute, and promote the content in any form, anywhere and for any purpose.”

 Are there violations in Minnesota?

Since the most recent privacy statement/terms of service of K12, Inc. remains constant even in the face of a US DOE ruling, schools and students in Minnesota are also at risk.  The short answer is unless the school has negotiated the contract and amended the contract to protect children. K12, Inc works a great deal with “online academies.”  The following research was conducted on the K12, Inc. website, a foreign business.

Minnesota Virtual Academy, Houston Public Schools

Insight MN, Brooklyn Center

IQ Minnesota, Fergus Falls

Minnesota Online Academy, Statewide

Link12 Lakeville, Lakeville Schools

VIBE Academy, Statewide

K12 International Academy, Worldwide

The Keystone School, Worldwide

George Washington Univ. Online High School, Worldwide

All of these online schools utilize K12, Inc. for curriculum and therefore, are subject to the contract language of K12.  IF these schools are not negotiating their 3rd party contract with K12, Inc, they too are in violation of federal law.

What other violations of law in Minnesota?

 K12, Inc. is but one example which is miniscule in relation to the universe of enumerable third-party contractors and click-wrap agreements working with schools.  All public schools used online curriculum, online testing, online screening and other online education resources.  All are data collectors.  Schools are working with tens of thousands of online providers.

Minnesota needs good foundational protections for toddlers through teens.  Children have no voice at the table. Data selling begins in early education (2 and 3 year olds).  We are ever hopeful that the adults in our society – our parents, teachers and legislators will take the stand to protect children’s identities and, in some cases, their very lives.  Please contact your constituent legislator (senator and representative) to support “Rep. Lucero’s HF 1507.”

A Warning to Minnesota Superintendents and Technology Directors on the Risk of School Data Hacks:  Why Minnesota Needs HF Bill 1507 for Student Data Security

 

data hack picture

A Warning to Minnesota Superintendents and Technology Directors on the Risk of School Data Hacks:  Why Minnesota Needs HF Bill 1507 for Student Data Security

By Anne Taylor

Last week Tiina Rodrigue, Senior Advisor for Cybersecurity, announced that the U.S. Department of Education is warning teachers, parents, and K-12 education staff of a cyberthreat targeting school districts across the country.

Thus far, at least three states have been targeted by the extortion attempt from hackers called the “Dark Overlord” asking schools to give them money or the group will release stolen private records, according to the department.

Dark Overlord has been hacking and using violent ransom for 4 weeks now.   Their chilling messages state they will ‘splatter kids’ blood in the hallways’ according to multiple sources including the U.S. Department of Education.

According to Adam Kujawa, director of malware intelligence at Malwarebites, in a school district with hundreds of teachers or administrators connected to the system, “It’s a high likelihood that one of them may have encountered one of these phishing emails.”

Kujawa explains rather than stealing the data to resell, the hackers basically build a safe around the information inside a district’s own computers. They lock it and charge thousands of dollars for the combination – the encryption key – to open the safe.

While the FBI is actively investigating, The Department of Education says the hackers are probably targeting districts “with weak data security, or well-known vulnerabilities that enable the attackers to gain access to sensitive data.” It advises districts to conduct security audits and patch vulnerable systems, train staff on data security best practices, and review sensitive data to make sure no outside actors can access it.

Locally, in August of this year, South Washington County schools made sweeping headlines when data was released on some 18,000 students after parents received an email that contained either data on 9,000 families or another file on more than 9,600 other families. Some parents with multiple students in the district received both data files in separate emails.

According to the report  the files contained student names, home addresses and schools; parent names, phone numbers and email addresses; and student busing information, including pick-up and drop-off time and location and the bus route and description.

In February of 2017, investigative reporter Eric Chaloux of 5 Eyewitness News did an in-depth report entitled “In the Wrong Hands” regarding a case involving child ID theft that occurred from a family in Maplewood, Minnesota.  It was discovered that the identity theft stemmed from a glitch in the family’s medical assistance application where the 9 year old child’s SSN was exposed.

It was also noted in the report that if you wait to check and discover a problem especially before a child applies for financial aid for college, it could delay them starting college.  According to Eva Velasquez of the Identity Theft Resource Center in San Diego, “They find they can’t qualify for those student loans because they have bad credit and they have an identity theft issue they need to clean up,” Velasquez said.

In 2014 my school district released over 2,000 emails in what’s called a parse process that had gone awry.  The email I received from the school district was 90 pages long and included 80 names and email addresses of parents, many of whom I did not know.  These email addresses were frequently utilized by parents or legal guardians to access to their child’s private information.

In the year just prior, I had two additional children’s information on my private on-line school account whom I did not know, nor related to and had access to these children’s personal records including names, vaccinations, birthdate, graduation date and contact information.

That experience spawned a new interest in student data protections, hacks and breaches for a number of parents and MACC followers.

In 2013 the anti-Common Core movement was at an ultimate high and continues with the recent 2015 passage of ESSA.  Student surveys became the norm – and continue to be – by both school districts and 3rd party companies and all the while parents were forced to grapple with the swell of digital education.

With the rapid adoption of on-line and 1-1 education, the old ‘desk drawer’ data was massively switched over to electronic.  FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act) was gutted by former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in 2011 which was then signed into executive order by former President Obama that only aided to the increase of exposing student PII (Personally Identifiable Information).

What does PII include?  Any or all of the following:  Student name, student SSN, student ID#, grade level, race, gender, ethnicity, aggregate data that includes unique interests and socioeconomic status.

While some of the local papers took interest in this news, I wrote a detailed article on the entire experience entitled, “School Data Breaches:  A New Trend Coming to a Minnesota School Near You” published by Truth in American Education.  It was also at this time around the country we were witnessing an increase of data breaches among banks, health insurance companies, and many, many retail shopping chains.

Not long after that experience, the question was raised not only about the content to what kinds of private information our kids are being asked and exposed to electronically on school time and without parental knowledge or consent, but more importantly what of the safety of this information, how it could be used against a student or parent if it were incorrect – or breached – and what are our schools doing to protect that information.

In the summer of 2015, I attended a training seminar for superintendents on the FERPA law through the Minnesota Department of Education.  Two Federal Education trainers explained to public school district officials in detail how to handle student data, some of the features of the FERPA law and where there are serious potential data threats.

At that time, the trainers themselves disclosed just how bad the data breach was that had just hit U.S. government officials early that June.  Two major breaches of U.S. government databases holding personnel records and security-clearance files exposed sensitive information about at least 22.1 million people, including not only federal employees and contractors but their families and friends.  U.S. officials quietly stated that all this was traced back to Chinese government according to the Washington Post.

Throughout the presentation, the instructors mentioned continually how schools and teachers themselves are becoming targets for data breaches.  Just how much our Minnesota superintendents had concerns regarding the seriousness of this we don’t know.  What we do know is that many parents of school districts are increasingly growing concerned about the lack of disclosure, transparency and training both technology staff and teachers may or may not have on where the data goes and what district officials are doing to protect that.

Below is a takeaway list of just some of the mounting issues surrounding the FERPA amendment, student data and ties with our Federal Education system.  The state of Minnesota has some of the most lax student data laws and has NOT updated those laws since 1980.  All the more reason for a student data bill in our state.

  • Data retention laws are determined by the state. Usually one year after a student grade is issued and cannot destroy the data pending request.  In example, a grade is entered into system, and becomes part of the Ed record system.
  • It is “too complicated” for today? Pre-K programs, health records and FERPA all overlap.  Just follow the money.
  • On HIPPA: Student vaccination records are part of the student record, while FERPA actually protects the health record.
  • Due to copywrite laws (*these came with the changes under Common Core) teachers can no longer send electronically or send home original test(s).
  • Assessments on child: It is a vendor rule that tests cannot be handed back to parents.  While teachers MUST give access to a parent in person, they may NOT give them paper copy to keep.
  • FERPA says parents can opt out of data collection, but that really only means ‘directory information’.
  • What does Directory Information include? “May” include name, address, email, photo, DOB, school, grade, dates of attendance, activities, awards (the district gets to decide).   
  • Can also include yearbook, class ring company, newspaper, athletic company (sharing height, weight)
  • If released under directory data, NO RESTRICTION on who it gets sent to
  • Parents ARE allowed to opt-out of directory information and should be notified on an annual basis (according to most parents, this does NOT happen)
  • Just because you can share data under FERPA doesn’t mean you have to. School districts can decide NOT to send data; however, that depends on the Grant Management Stipulations
  • Is it permissible for school officials or volunteers to share data, but only with legitimate “Ed interest” AND must be disclosed to parents on an annual basis (many districts are not following this either, and this includes the use of Americorp VISTA volunteers)
  • Is discipline records part of Ed record?   The only FERPA exception is if the student poses a risk to others (health & safety exemption)
  • Schools and community colleges MUST honor parent request to access child records and receive copy of records and must also be outlined in a school’s annual notice (*schools may NOT charge an outrageous “go away” fee for asking for their child’s record)
  • Schools may disclose PII (personally identifiable information) on “consent agreements”. Most parents do not even know what they’ve consented to because of the lack of transparency in contracts between 3rd party companies and the school district).
  • You many anatomize the data. Many will say they do, but don’t.
  • iPad Apps: Best to vet in advance BEFORE releasing apps to teachers. Are school district officials approving apps?  How well trained are teachers on data privacy via electronic means?
  • BINDING CONTRACTS: What are the terms of service?  Are they binding with the District?  Is the money tied to the school or student data?  School districts ARE liable.
  • The only full proof way to protect data, is to never release ANY data at all

Know that every state now has a SLDS (State Longitudinal Data System) that was required by Obama administration through stimulus money guidelines in order to store and share individual student data from Preschool through 8 years after high school (P20). We are now seeing the very predictable problem that is now occurring across our American schools.

Just last summer Minnesota governor Mark Dayton sought nearly $46 million to upgrade state government computer systems in order to better ward off any potential ­cybersecurity attacks or data breaches.

According to the Star Tribune, The Department of Education would have received about $10 million to beef up their systems’ security but did not pass due to deep legislative disagreements over last year’s budget surplus.

Called the “Student Data Privacy Act,” HF1507 would complement existing student data rules in the Minnesota Data Practices Act and the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act.

While this is just the appetizer of the data trail you and your child leave with your public school district, remember, private schools must also be vigilant.  Remember that ALL digital education data is accessible, exploitable and must be protected.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Perfect Vision of Society Via Centralization… Again

ESSA Mandates flow to the districts

A “Perfect Vision of Society” Via Centralization… Again

“While everyone recognizes the benefits of knowledge, there are those who misinterpret our collective advancement as an invitation to exert control over society, and to impose a centralized structure onto the masses of people doing their own things, working, living, and pursuing happiness in their own ways… But neither the historical record nor the teachings of economics have deterred those who think they can do better, and time and time again, would-be planners and technocrats emerge to try to implement their perfect vision of society. Historical examples include Vladimir Lenin and Woodrow Wilson. More recent examples include Cass Sunstein, whose book Nudge is all about how planners can subtly manipulate people into behaving the “right” way, as well as any number of scientifically-minded people who think that Big Data can solve all mankind’s problems.” (Logan Albright, The More We Know, the Less We Know) Indeed! This is what those in power are imposing on the people of Minnesota.

FEDERAL CONTROL: Once again, our Minnesota Legislature chooses to intentionally dance to the tune of the federal government, their private financiers and its manipulative centralized reform system leaving our schools, teachers and parents held hostage to this latest plan. While implementing academic points, snooping private-school ombudsmen, furthering Preschool for ALL, regulating federal testing, and replacing academics with social and emotional learning (SEL) are possibly new elements to many Minnesotans, the bulk of the ESSA has been hatched over the last 50 years. Inclusively, ESSA brings back favorites like Outcome-Based education, GOALS 2000, and School to Work, while at the same time, portions of the Minnesota World’s Best Workforce, embedded in the ESSA State Plan, harken back to No Child Left Behind. Outcome-Based is repackaged as Competency-Based education, also known as SEL. School to Work has been aptly renamed College and Career Ready Standards, that evil twin sister to the repugnant and unpopular “Common Core”. Each state “wrote” their “state plan” from an existing federal DOE template. The plans are hardly original in ideology and collectively aligned to the feds and every other state with small changes.
How did our local school districts become federalized? For four years, MACC has been writing about just this topic. Since 1970, federal funding escalated, flowing to state DOEs and state school districts. 1994 saw GOALS 2000 and flexible standards. The U.S. Department of Education remunerated groups like the The Center on Civics… which were directed to rewrite curriculum and revisioning history, government and civics, establishing a national curriculum with the help of textbook companies. The goal was to teach students that America is a democracy, not a constitutional republic, thereby teaching socialism as a better way. Socialism is Big Government and centralization of authority. Increasing funding in 2002, No Child Left Behind required the adoption of a common set of english and math standards correlated with achievement goals along, measured by standardized testing for federal accountability. With the accepted funding, all federal policies were required and our state laws were amended to federal. Thirdly, federally-funded colleges of education were required to prepare teachers under the flexible national standards and curriculum as well as new modes of teaching, namely collectivism and constructivism (no truth, no facts, construct your own reality). This tied teacher education and training firmly into the federal reforms. States then passed laws that only teachers prepared by colleges of education could be hired to teach in public schools. Lastly, the Common Core “State” Standards brought inflexible standards, copyrighted by federal lobbyist organizations, promoted and incentivized by the U.S. Department of Education and its like-minded financiers.
Consequently, centralized authority accumulated as state laws were overturned by federal and through the acceptance of federal funding. It is not a requirement for states to follow federal education policies. We, in Minnesota, have given our authority and sovereignty away. The states and the local school districts, by United States Constitution and Minnesota Constitution, still have the authority to say, “No!” to federal dollars and federal policies.
PROCESS: The ESSA State Plan was developed by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and over 100 stakeholders. Those stakeholders appear to all swim in the same politically shaped fishbowl. http://education.state.mn.us/mdeprod/idcplg?IdcService=GET_FILE&dDocName=mde071837&RevisionSelectionMethod=latestReleased&Rendition=primary

Community meetings were also held in various parts of the state. Parents, teachers and citizens were given opportunity to offer concerns in hopes of amending our State Plan prior to federal submission. However, numerous parents voiced many concerns over (testing in particular), which apparently fell on deaf ears after the initial draft release. After the hearing testimony, it appears that testing was amended. Initial ESSA Draft Release, July 2017 http://www.senate.mn/committees/2017-2018/3091_Committee_on_E-12_Policy/Early%20Draft%20Minnesota%20State%20ESSA%20Plan%20for%20Legislative%20Review_July17%202017.pdf
Read the newest ESSA State Plan version.
http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/dse/ESSA/StatePlanPublicComment/
STATE GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY: A legislative education committee was convened for a 2-hour hearing which included an MDE presentation of their plan and testimony from stakeholders and the public. The hearing occurred in mid-July 15 days prior to opening the draft for public comment. Authorizing the State Plan prior to a published draft via the Omnibus Education Bill, the legislature voted to pass the State Plan. Certainly, portions of the plan were in working stages and one could understand the intent, but the Plan had yet to be officially released. It was released two days prior to the legislative hearing. In other words, it appears the legislature voted to authorize the MDE plan before it was finished. Here is the language related to moving ahead with ESSA and aligning with World’s Best Workforce, from Sec. 53 of the Omnibus Education Bill, passed May 2017. https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=120B.11
Subd. 1
COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION MUST SUBMIT ESSA PLAN TO LEGISLATURE.
Subdivision 1.
ESSA plan.
The commissioner of education must submit the state plan developed pursuant to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act, United States Code, title 20, section 6311, to the education policy and finance committees of the legislature at least 30 days before submitting the plan to the United States Department of Education.
Subd. 2.
Alignment with World’s Best Workforce measures.
The state plan must be consistent and aligned, to the extent practicable, with the performance accountability measures required under Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.11, subdivision 1a, to create a single accountability system for all public schools.
This process seems to be quite out of order as the legislature relied completely on the MDE as a third party consultant. At the hearing, very few legislators questioned the plan with the exception of the Chair, Rep. Sondra Erickson, who was making notes to discuss with the MDE at a later date. We appreciate involvement and engagement from our legislators! Perhaps many of the legislators had never read the139 page plan due to the draft coming out only 2 days earlier. I believe many in Minnesota would prefer to see our legislature take a more hands-on approach, considering their Constitutional duty.
MINNESOTA CONSTITUTION: According to Article XIII of the Minnesota Constitution,
“Uniform System of Public Schools: The stability of a republican form of government depending mainly upon the intelligence of the people, it is the duty of the legislature to establish a general and uniform system of public schools. The legislature shall make such provisions by taxation or otherwise as will secure a thorough and efficient system of public schools throughout the state.[1]” https://www.revisor.mn.gov/constitution/#article_14

What stands out in your mind as you read this Constitutional law, which our legislators are sworn to uphold? “Stability of republican form of government”? “Depending mainly upon the intelligence of the people”? “Establish general system of public schools”? Important to note, a nationalized education program is Socialist and MACC has certainly shown for years that the standards and curricular systems are inferior. As with any centralized system, the plan is heavily regulated and certainly not “general” which would give the majority of decisions to the local area.
STATE CONTROL: Minnesotans have another problem and we may be the only state in the nation. Not only has Minnesota’s legislature authorized the centralized education system but additionally authorized a state accountability structure to further control and regulate Minnesota schools and school boards. The Minnesota World’s Best Workforce, statute 120B.11, was passed in 2013 down party line, heavily DFL at the time. However, under Republican leadership, the accountability practices of the MWBW are now embedded into the ESSA plan to, “Create(s) a single accountability system for all public schools”.
The intrusive MWBW is the most local control-busting piece of legislation to hit our school districts. According to the ESSA State Plan, “the MWBW aligns budgets and decision-making to the overall state goals”. In other words, our state MDE will direct and lead each school district. That’s not local control! In the end, the feds took over the states through federal grants and policies adopted into state law. Then the state took over the school districts through same methodology, using federal and further state law, amending district policies to match. What some call school district “local control” is not the true local control that America once had.
Four years ago, MACC members across the state attended their local school district meetings to hear the first “school district accountability plan” for the MWBW and to protest giving up local authority to the state. That MWBW plan had been advanced through “stakeholders”, not necessarily the public. The MWBW was the former curriculum statute for Minnesota. Amended, in particular, was the complexion of the curriculum committee for each school. In the pre-2013 statute, a curriculum committee could be composed of teachers and parents for a particular school. But now that we have the cookie-cutter curriculum and standards in every school, curriculum committee members are invited, review for the entire district, meeting in large groups. Here is Statute 120B.11 entitled, “SCHOOL DISTRICT PROCESS FOR REVIEWING CURRICULUM, INSTRUCTION, AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT; STRIVING FOR THE WORLD’S BEST WORKFORCE”.
Statute 120B.11 Subd. 4. Site Team. “A school must establish a site team to develop and implement strategies and education effectiveness practices to improve instruction, curriculum, cultural competencies, including cultural awareness and cross-cultural communication, and student achievement at the school site, consistent with subdivision 2. The site team must include an equal number of teachers and administrators and at least one parent. The site team advises the board and the advisory committee about developing the annual budget and creates an instruction and curriculum improvement plan to align curriculum, assessment of student progress, and growth in meeting state and district academic standards and instruction.”
Historically, note the language of this same statute only 13 years prior, in 2000, and merely titled, “School District Process.”

A district advisory committee, to the extent possible, shall reflect the diversity of the district and its learning sites, and shall include teachers, parents, support staff, pupils, and other community residents. The district may establish building teams as subcommittees of the district
advisory committee under subdivision 4. The district advisory committee shall recommend to the school board districtwide education standards, assessments, and program evaluations. Learning sites may expand upon district evaluations of instruction, curriculum, assessments, or programs. Whenever possible, parents and other community residents shall comprise at least two-thirds of advisory committee members.”

The 2000 version is much closer to “true local control”. The curriculum, instruction, assessment and program committee is gathered from the school district parents and community residents, all who reside in the district, pay taxes for that district and whose children are directly affected.
The 2013-2017 version of Statute 120B.11 is a great loss of local control. The bulk of the committee is made up by teachers and administrators, many who may not reside inside the school district. An administrator or teacher who is also a parent have been that “atleast one parent” invited to the committee, but might not reside in the district. Under MWBW language, there is the possibility that no one on the committee to discuss standards, assessments, curriculum, instruction, etc. might even reside in the district and be directly affected.
Now that we have established WHO is in charge, WHAT are the performance measures of the Minnesota World’s Best Workforce mentioned in Subdivision 2 above? The performance measures dictate to schools what they must do, at the very least, starting with data collection to measure various components to include academic achievement gap, rigorous course taking and enrichment experiences, performance on MCAs, graduation rates and college and career readiness. All of this requires lots and lots of testing.
“Subd. 1a.Performance measures.
Measures to determine school district and school site progress in striving to create the world’s best workforce must include at least:
(1) the size of the academic achievement gap, rigorous course taking under section 120B.35, subdivision 3, paragraph (c), clause (2), and enrichment experiences by student subgroup;
(2) student performance on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments;
(3) high school graduation rates; and
(4) career and college readiness under section 120B.30, subdivision 1.”

Where does that leave us? The ESSA Titles I, II, III, etc. are set as place holders within the grant.  And all to promote a “perfect society” transforming students into their cookie-cutter visions. They frame all the questions and give the people a few answers from which to choose. This is not diversity or equity. (More to come on diversity, equity and cookie-cutter visions!)

Public commentary is now open until August 31st.   This is our opportunity to be involved! The public comment link may be found here. http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3743085/Minnesota-Every-Student-Succeeds-Act-State-Plan-Public-Comment-Survey