Friday, November 25, 2016


republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:

The American Family Association (AFA) is urging President-elect Donald Trump to choose an education secretary who not only is against the Common Core standards, but also is committed to getting the federal government out of education policy.

“It is alarming to the American Family Association, and to many parents across the country, that some Common Core supporters are on the short list for the next Secretary of Education,” said AFA president Tim Wildmon in a press release. “As education posts begin to be filled in President-elect Trump’s administration, we want to communicate that the American Family Association and millions of faith-based Americans are not supportive in the least of Common Core.”
“The American people have spoken and elected Donald Trump and Mike Pence for the purpose of ‘draining the swamp’ in Washington, D.C.,” continues the faith-based non-profit organization that is often on the front lines of cultural issues in the United States. “And we sincerely want to see our next president become part of a solution to the many issues within our government rather than part of the problem.”
AFA adds that individuals considered for the education secretary post should agree that “nowhere in the U.S. Constitution” is education mentioned.
“Thus, according to the 10th Amendment, education should be returned to the states,” the group asserts, adding as well that “school choice is a must in order to have a thriving education system in communities across the country.”
“It is AFA’s position that anyone being considered for the important position of Secretary of Education who does not agree with the above positions is not qualified to serve under a Donald Trump administration,” Wildmon concluded. “America’s families need less government intrusion in their children’s education and more power back in the hands of ‘we the people.’”
Two individuals reportedly on Trump’s short list for the education secretary post are Common Core supporters Democrat Michelle Rhee and Republican donor Betsy DeVos. Trump met with Rhee – and her husband, outgoing Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson – and DeVos in separate meetings on Saturday in New Jersey.
Rhee is the controversial former chancellor of schools in Washington, D.C. She has said that school vouchers – a direct transfer of taxpayer funds to private and charter schools – should be a “heavily regulated industry.”
Her husband, Johnson, was the subject of considerable scandal last year amid allegations that he used public funds from AmeriCorps for his own political and personal gain. An investigation was conducted as well into allegations of sexual misconduct with high school students at St. HOPE Academy, the charter school organization Johnson founded and for which his wife, Rhee, now serves as board chairman.
report by conservative author Michelle Malkin noted that the investigation into the allegations against Johnson suggested that Rhee “played the role of a fixer, doing ‘damage control’” for her then-fiancĂ©. Malkin wrote:
The White House, which so ostentatiously crusades against sexual harassment and the War on Women, looked the other way. The Obamas and Johnsons are close pals. Reminder: Johnson donated the maximum individual amount to Obama for America, campaigned across the country for Obama in 2008, and bragged to California media during his mayoral run about his friendship and access to both Barack and Michelle Obama.
DeVos’ family is a wealthy donor to the Republican Party. Her husband ran for governor of Michigan in 2006 but lost to incumbent Democrat Jennifer Granholm.
DeVos is chairwoman of the American Federation for Children (AFC), a charter school promotion group, and was also a board member of Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE). Bush and his foundation served as champions for the Common Core standards.
According to Education Week, the Trump transition team said the conversation between DeVos and Trump “focused on the Common Core mission, and setting higher national standards and promoting the growth of school choice across the nation.”
The organized groups of parents in each of the states who have been fighting against Common Core for several years say Common Core is a symptom of the continuing overreach of the federal government into an area that the Constitution reserved for the states and local governments.
Nowhere is the parents’ assertion more clearly visible than in the Republican Congress’ approval last December of a massive piece of legislation, known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaced No Child Left Behind. Parent activists were outraged that Republican establishment members of Congress, who insisted they were against Common Core, also voted overwhelmingly for ESSA, a federal measure that still provides certain requirements for state standards and actually allows the federal government to pressure states to retain Common Core.
“[ESSA] maintains the federally dictated testing regimen and requires states to implement assessments that are expensive, that have been proven to be ineffective and unworkable, and that operate not by assessing students’ academic knowledge but rather by measuring their attitudes and dispositions,” American Principles Project education fellow Jane Robbins wrote at The Pulse 2016.
“This has been a real concern,” Neal McCluskey, education director at Cato, also suggested. “While the spirit and rhetoric surrounding the ESSA is about breaking down federal strictures, the Obama education department has been drafting regulations that threaten federal control over funding formulas and accountability systems. And the statute includes language vague enough that it could allow federal control by education secretary veto.”
Another reported potential education secretary under consideration, for example, is Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN), who hails from Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s home state.
In a press release following the House’s passage of ESSA, Messer said that he helped negotiate the measure, which would “end Common Core mandates.” The congressman described the bill – which President Barack Obama signed into law almost immediately – as “a new approach to the federal role in education. It gives power over education back to the people we trust— local administrators, teachers and parents who are best-positioned to make decisions for our students.”
However, Indiana parent grassroots activist Heather Crossin, co-founder of Hoosiers Against Common Core, tells Breitbart News the choice of Messer as education secretary would be “very disappointing to the ‘forgotten’ parents who have fought Common Core with all of their might and who are counting on President-elect Trump to fulfill his education promises.”
Crossin explains:
The fact that Rep. Messer, as a member of the House Education Committee, didn’t understand that Congress’s re-authorization of No Child Left Behind was a step backwards for Common Core opponents, not a step forward, speaks volumes. It means he ignored the cries from constituents in his district and from reputable organizations, such as the Heritage Foundation, who warned that the “federal footprint [was not] reduced in any meaningful way” by the legislation. This is particularly concerning, since he comes from Indiana where a brutal battle was waged over Common Core and the lesson learned was that it’s all but impossible to slay it in any meaningful way, due to the money and influence of those who support and profit from it.
Crossin described Messer as a “longtime politician,” and suggests lobbyists have greater sway with him than parents who have been fighting against federal intrusion in education.
Regarding Trump, Crossin says that parents “sent a ‘fighter’ to the White House and expect him to appoint ‘fighters’ to his cabinet, not politicians who represent the status quo.”
Trump's COMMON CORE Pick for Education:
Published on Nov 23, 2016
David Knight looks at Trump's pick to head the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos. What is her position on Common Core & Charter Schools? What are her political ties with the establishment? Even having a Department of Education is a violation of the Constitution but it appears that DeVos may be a betrayal of the parents & teachers who believed Trump would fight the establishment's Common Core

President-elect Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos shake hands at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse in Bedminster, N.J., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. ()

Donald Trump Announces Pro-Common Core Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:

President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team announces the choice of Common Core and charter school  supporter Betsy DeVosas U.S. Secretary of Education.

Anti-Common Core grassroots groups of parents and teachers urged Trump to abandon DeVos as his choice, citing her support for the education reform policies of pro-Common Core Jeb Bush and her influence through the Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP) in favor of Common Core.
Karen Braun who writes at Stop Common Core in Michigan noted:
GLEP is a strong supporter of the Common Core and its continued implementation in Michigan. They are part of the Michigan Coalition for High Student Standards which opposes SB 826 to Repeal and Replace Common Core, science, social studies, and aligned assessments with pre-common core Massachusetts standards. Stop Common Core in Michigan believes there is a high correlation between candidates who accept the GLEP endorsement and their future votes on legislation.
GLEP claims NOT to have a litmus test on Common Core. This allows candidates to say they are against common core and still gain the endorsement of GLEP.  But DeVos is a champion for “school choice” while at the same time continuing the implementation of common national standards. The DeVos definition of “school choice” is the freedom to choose which common core school will track your child from cradle-to-career (P20). All Michigan charters must use common national standards. That’s NOT true choice.
Like Bill Gates, Betsy DeVos has some money and has some things she’d like to see different. Like all good investors, DeVos likely expects a return on her investment. And if you don’t play the game under their rules and vote the way you want her to vote, you may find yourself challenged the next time you run for office.
 DeVos, whose family founded Amway, was an at-large delegate for pro-Common Core Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Kasich received a grade of “F” at The Pulse 2016 for his support of the controversial standards. The former presidential candidate referred to parent activists in his state fighting against the Core as a “runaway internet campaign.”
Trump likely chose DeVos because of her support for public/private partnership charter schools. While on the campaign trail, Trump said Common Core was a “disaster,” and criticized Jeb Bush for his support for the standards. Trump also said he would get Washington, D.C. out of education, and said he favored local control of education and the dismantling of the U.S. Department of Education.
Frank Cannon, president of American Principles Project, said in a statement prior to the announcement of DeVos’ nomination:
President-elect Trump rightly slammed Governor Jeb Bush for his support of Common Core on the campaign trail. Betsy DeVos would be a very Jeb-like pick, and the idea that Trump would appoint a Common Core apologist as Secretary of Education seems unlikely.
In a news release, the campaign says:
“Betsy DeVos is a brilliant and passionate education advocate,” said President-elect Donald J. Trump. “Under her leadership we will reform the U.S. education system and break the bureaucracy that is holding our children back so that we can deliver world-class education and school choice to all families. I am pleased to nominate Betsy as Secretary of the Department of Education.
I am honored to accept this responsibility to work with the President-elect on his vision to make American education great again,” said Ms. DeVos. “The status quo in education is not acceptable. Together, we can work to make transformational change that ensures every student in America has the opportunity to fulfill his or her highest potential.”