Every year thousands of students must take the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a federal authorized test known as the nation’s report card. And if it isn’t bad enough that the government keeps tabs on your child’s education, beginning in 2017, the NAEP will begin to ask background questions designed to gauge each child’s level of “motivation, mindset, and grit.” According to the Educational Testing Service at least two of these categories “may” include additional questions about “other” non-cognitive factors like self-efficacy and personal achievement goals. Is that really any of the government’s business?
The federal statute authorizing NAEP requires the assessment to “objectively measure academic achievement and skills.” It also prevents the government from evaluating or assessing personal or family beliefs and attitudes. We all know how well the government adheres to laws so it’s a pretty good bet they will argue that because the questions aren’t part of the assessment itself, they are not breaking any law. And if that be the case, if they are allowed to take that broad of a view, there is no limit to the type of questions the NAEP can ask your kids. Do we really want the government to determine what type of attitudes are appropriate and necessary?
In any event, it is not a surprise that the government is moving into this realm. For years they have openly advocated teaching and measuring the “appropriate,” government approved, mindsets of your child under the concept of “social/emotional learning,” or SEL. The SEL is the lovechild of CASEL, (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning), a Chicago based organization composed of special interest groups and academia who obviously believe that parental rights to teach children self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making skills should be eliminated because the government, which has done so well in “educating” our children, are the obvious choice to screw them up in other areas as well.
Since when are school personnel qualified to delve into the psyche of anyone’s child? And what do they plan to do with the information they obtain? Is this part of the broader plan by the federal government to track our children from birth through death?
As reported by the American Principles Project, Obama’s 2009 pork package included a “State Fiscal Stabilization Fund” to bribe states into constructing data collection systems on students, to include health care histories, family income, religious affiliations, voting status and homework completion, with the data available to a wide variety of public and private agencies, despite federal student privacy protections guaranteed by the family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
We know for a fact that the chances of this sensitive information getting into the wrong hands are enormous. Yet the US Department of Education is a huge proponent of SEL, recently kicking off a new competitive grant program to entice states into the minefield. Back in 2013 they released a draft report, “Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance: Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century” pushing for more evasive testing such as “physiological readings and neuroimaging (brain scans), cameras and posture analysis. The report also lauds the left-wing Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for funding research that may solve the impracticability of testing students in school settings.
Of course, it should come as no surprise that Bill Gates would support goals involving more government involvement in our children’s lives. It was the Gates Foundation, after all, that organized and bankrolled the development of what became known as Common Core. They spread their massive wealth across the political spectrum buying support from big teachers unions, the Socialist NEA, and business organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Money also flowed to policy groups on both sides of the isle, and to state and local groups to buy policymakers and civic leaders support, as well as funding research by scholars of varying political persuasions to promote the idea.
After all, as Hitler would say, “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”
“Like so many education reform initiatives that seem to arise from nowhere, Common Core is another of these “sweeping phanton movements” that have gotten their impetus from a cadre of invisible human beings endowed with inordinate power to impose their ideas on everybody. It is another such vampire calculated not only to suck the freedom out of the American people, but also to suck out the brains of their children.” Samuel Blumenfeld