Race To The Top 2.0



By April Few, Ida Frueh, and Sheri Few

“This Act prohibits the Federal Government from funding the development, pilot testing, field testing, implementation, administration, or distribution of any federally sponsored national test in reading, mathematics, or any other subject, unless specifically and explicitly authorized by law… It is the sense of the Congress that States and local education agencies retain the rights and responsibilities of determining educational curriculum, programs of instruction, and assessments for elementary and secondary education.”     — ESSA SEC. 8549A and SEC. 8549B

Throughout the U.S. Department of Education’s Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority proposed regulations we see a pattern extremely similar to that of the 2009 Race To The Top grant, which bribed States into applying for a grant that would require the implementation of one-size-fits-all standards to receive funding. The Department of Education is using these regulations to push a common, national assessment system.

In 2009, Bill Gates spoke before the National Conference of State Legislatures saying, “When the tests are aligned to the common standards, the curriculum will line up as well.” Six years later, under SEC. 1201, ESSA requires the “refining of assessments to ensure their continued alignment with the challenging State academic standards and to improve the alignment of curricula and instructional materials.” The striking similarity in the Gates proclamation and the ESSA verbiage is not likely a coincidence, and clearly contradicts ESSA prohibitions.

Moreover, the Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority proposed regulations incentivize States to join a consortium, something Congress and ESSA proponents said would not happen. These consortia, or multi-state testing providers, will be much like the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) that sprang up under Race To The Top grants for the purpose of developing assessments aligned to the new national standards (Common Core).  When states signed Memorandums of Agreement for the Race To The Top program, and when states applied for No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waivers, membership in a testing consortium was required.

Since then, we know that consortia without Congressional approval are unconstitutional breaking both State and Federal laws.  In 2015, a Missouri judge deemed membership fees to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium unlawful under the Compact Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits states from entering into interstate agreements without the consent of Congress.  Never having obtained Congressional approval to establish themselves, and created through the partnership of private entities and the federal government, these consortia whose sole purpose is to further a national education system are illegal.

The following are specific areas in which the proposed regulations are egregious in their attempts to impose a common, Federal education system, stripping parents and SEAs of what little local control of education remains, and in many ways contradicts and undermines the law in which they are intended to provide guidance.

PROPOSED 200.76:

  • Clarifies that any innovative assessment design can be used as long as it meets the Department’s requirements and is aligned to the State’s “challenging academic standards.”

NOTE: In other words, only assessment designs aligned to Common Core and approved by the Department can be used. This is contrary to the meaning of “innovation,” and flies in the face of ESSA prohibitions.

  • Gives States “flexibility” by allowing them to choose computer-adaptive statewide tests, so long as they align to “challenging State academic standards,” and are approved by the Department.

NOTE: This gives the illusion of flexibility while still ensuring States’ assessment systems align to the Common Core State Standards. Furthermore, since 2013 countless computerized testing malfunctions have been recorded leaving invalid results and wasted classroom time.1

  • Requires applications to be peer reviewed to help the Secretary of Education determine whether an applicant will be able to successfully meet the requirements. The peer review panels will include “psychometricians” (psychometrics is the modeling of test taker responses (behavior) in response to items (situations),2 “measurement experts,” and “researchers.”

NOTE: These peer review panel members will collect data on children’s behaviors while testing, which is well beyond the scope of assessing a child’s knowledge of which many parents object.

  • Requires applications to include a description of how a State’s innovative assessment demonstration will align to” challenging State academic standards.” NOTE: The Department is requiring States to align to the subpar Common Core State Standards in order to receive funding. Parents are not fooled by the rebranding.


PROPOSED 200.77:

  • Requires a State Educational Agency to prove it has collaborated with “experts” including the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the lead Federal agency in charge of data collection, and in the planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of innovative assessments.

NOTE: The entire mission of IES is to collect data on America’s school children and share it.3

  • Requires State Educational Agencies (SEAs) or consortia to ensure assessments are “accessible for all students including children with disabilities and English learners. An SEA may also incorporate the principles of Universal Design for Learning in developing its innovative assessments.”4

NOTE: Universal Design for Learning uses computerized assessment programs to track a child’s brain function.5


PROPOSED 200.78:

  • Is aligned with the principles of President Obama’s Testing Action Plan, as is much of the proposed regulations. The criterion of the President’s plan will help SEAs or consortiums to develop “an array of innovative assessments so that we may learn from a variety of models rather than establish a preference for one particular approach.”6

NOTE: Obama’s Testing Action Plan states that there are “other means” of measuring a student’s performance alongside assessments such as school assignments, portfolios, student surveys, school climate, etc. This will certainly encourage more surveys given in schools and lead to more data mining.7

  • Clarifies the selection criteria the Secretary will use to evaluate an application and permit the Secretary to provide Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority to an SEA or consortia of SEAs.

NOTE: Under ESSA, the federal government is prohibited from funding the development of assessments. 8

  • Requires SEAs to ensure that each Local Education Agency (LEA) has the technological infrastructure to implement the testing system.

NOTE: This requirement will incentivize increased State spending in order to compete to receive Federal funds.  Very few states have the necessary technology9 to support the federally designed testing system, and ESSA prohibits the Federal Government from mandating “… a State or any subdivision thereof to spend any funds or incur any costs not paid for under this Act.”10

  • Requires an SEA or each SEA in the consortium to annually report to the Secretary updates on the implementation of the innovative assessments. Definitions of innovative assessments may include: “cumulative year-end assessments, competency-based assessments, instructionally embedded assessments, interim assessments, or performance and technology-based assessments.”

NOTE: These types of assessments are based on the mastery/competency/performance based education model or blended learning where children will be assessed and data mined all day long electronically and through projects.11  The federal government is incentivizing states to implement computer adaptive, nationally-aligned assessments and education models through a pilot grant. This is all prohibited in ESSA.12

  • Requires States, for selection purposes, to include continuous improvement process assurances for “developing or improving balanced assessment systems that include summative, interim, and formative assessments, including supporting local educational agencies in developing or improving such assessments.”13

NOTE: Testing consortia providers such as the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium offer a complete assessment kit including formative (daily classroom testing tools through their digital library of computerized learning video games, etc.), interim, and summative assessments. As these new pervasive testing systems are incentivized by Federal funding, the potential of data mining will be expanded to all day long, every school day. As testing evolves into a daily activity embedded in the curriculum, the opt-out movement will die, and parents will lose more authority over their children’s education.


PROPOSED 200.79:

  • Requires States and consortia to annually measure the progress on the Academic Achievement indicator of at least 95% of all students.

NOTE: Under ESSA, States are still obligated to the 95% participation rate of the burdensome NCLB, but with even more restrictions as opt-outs are added into the rate and with punitive actions taken against schools with low participation rates.14

  • States an SEA may use their innovative assessment system for purposes of academic assessments and statewide accountability only after the Secretary determines whether an SEA’s innovative assessment system is of high quality.

NOTE: “No State shall be required to have academic standards approved or certified by the Federal Government in order to receive assistance under this Act” (ESSA).15


Works Cited

1   Computerized Testing Problems- Chronology:


2 Improving Assessment: The Intersection of Psychology and Psychometrics:

(P. 4) http://www.ets.org/Media/Research/pdf/RM-08-15.pdf

3 Institute of Education Sciences, Connecting Research, Policy and Practice:


4 Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority; Proposed Rule: P. 44962

5 National Center on Universal Design for Learning, The Three Principles of UDL:


6 Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority; Proposed Rule: P. 44967

7 U.S. Department of Education- October 24, 2015, Fact Sheet: Testing Action Plan:   http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/fact-sheet-testing-action-plan

8 ESSA SEC. 8549A (a)(1); p. 865

9 “Are schools “tech-ready” for the Common Core Standards?” http://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/technology-ready-for-the-common-core-tests/

10 ESSA SEC. 8549A (a)(1); p. 865

11 ESSA SEC. 1201 (2)(L); p. 209   

12 ESSA SEC. 8549A (a) and (b); pp. 865-866

13 ESSA SEC. 1201 (2)(F); p. 207

14 ESSA SEC. 1111 (4)(E); pp.87-88

15 ESSA SEC. 8527 (d)(1); p. 845-846

US PIE LOGO Final (2)



Big Brother Wants Control of Vulnerable Children

Upset children

The U.S. Department of Education (Department) is telling parents it is their job to protect the civil rights of children. Recently the Department released a policy guide to states, school districts, and child welfare agencies regarding foster care provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act ESSA. Along with the guidance “ensuring educational stability for children in foster care,” Big Brother broadens the subject to talk about protecting the civil rights of all students.

The Constitution safeguards students’ civil rights and if anyone is to issue guidance on this it should be Congress. Yet again, Secretary King and his liege men undermine Congress, first with the radical transgender directive and now with this unnecessary civil rights guidance.

Each State’s Constitution requires it to provide a form of free, public education and the federal government’s involvement should be minimal if at all, however, the Department frequently publishes guidance and teaching strategies on policy issues. States and local governments are free to adopt or ignore these recommendations, but funding could be withheld if the school districts choose to bypass these practices. In essence, it’s a bribe; the Department is saying regardless of what the law says follow these rules or we will withhold your money.

Federal funds tied to federal mandates are dangerous. United States Parents Involved in Education (USPIE) is a nationwide coalition of activists fighting to eradicate federal mandates and restore local control of education. Join the movement to Stop Fed Ed by visiting uspie.org today.


Preserving America’s Individualism and Freedom


                 “It took centuries of intellectual, philosophical development to achieve political freedom. It was a long struggle, stretching from Aristotle to John Locke to the Founding Fathers. The system they established was not based on unlimited majority rule, but on its opposite: on individual rights, which were not to be alienated by majority vote or minority plotting. The individual was not left at the mercy of his neighbors or his leaders: the Constitutional system of checks and balances was scientifically devised to protect him from both.” – Ayn Rand

                United States Parents Involved in Education (USPIE) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nationwide coalition of state leaders focused on restoring local control of education.  USPIE’s Stop Fed Ed campaign has the goal of closing the US Department of Education and ending all federal education mandates.

                The parents, teachers, and activists of USPIE are facing a Gates-funded group that actively opposes our efforts to Stop Fed Ed.  The Council for a Strong America (CSA), is an organization claiming to “advance research-based solutions that prepare all young people to be productive citizens.” Their members comprise five “pillars of society: law enforcement, the military, business executives, the faith community, and sports leaders,” and they all work together on public policy issues. As you look at their website, CSA seems to be everything we could ask for when it comes to education, but dig a little deeper and you will find it’s all a façade.

                CSA is well-funded through contributions and grants. Since 2009, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation alone have granted Council for a Strong America over $10 Million. Nearly $7 Million of these funds “expand evidence-based home visiting programs and educating stakeholders about Common Core, teacher development, and high quality preschool.” Bill Gates funds his vision for public education in America and globally, but his own children attend Lakeside School where students appear to be free from Common Core. Gates is dumping billions of dollars into an agenda that has created an academic decline nationwide and he opts his children out, but parents without resources cannot do the same.

                Under the watchful eye of megalomaniac Gates and other funders, CSA is pushing a collectivist agenda. Throughout the CSA website you will find well-worn, collectivist terms such as “college and career readiness,” “equity,” 21st Century careers,” and preparing children for the “global workforce” and “global marketplace.”

                ReadyNation is one of the five branches of the council and is comprised of business leaders who are investing in our children so they can secure their future workforce. Business magnates see our children as nothing more than human capital.

                Since 2006, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation who partners with the Chief Council of State School Officers (CCSSO), a Common Core architect, have granted CSA over $2 million for “mobilizing business and community leaders to advocate for deeper learning.”  “Deeper learning” works by “resetting learning goals and requirements to be results-oriented.” In other words, teach to the test.  However, the focal point of the classroom should not be limited to a standardized test. Teachers can better do their job without these limitations and children will thrive when not taught to a test. To improve education we should unleash a teacher’s long-deserved freedom to implement what they have been trained to do rather than limiting their innovations through high-stakes testing.

                Another test-based component CSA is implementing is the How Is My Kid Doing? video project that discourages parents from opting their children out of testing and explains why we need standardized tests. On their blog page, a CSA advocate attacks “white stay-at-home mom[s]” saying “Let’s call opt-out what it really is: a luxury, afforded to parents who are blessed with well-funded schools, stable teaching staffs, and some assurance that their privilege will pave the way for their child’s success.”  These race baiting tactics, employed by CSA toward parents who opt-out, have been exposed by Jasmine Gripper from the Alliance for Quality Education. Gripper explains the #OptOutSoWhite movement and why parents who opt-out are protesting high-stakes consequences and the strings attached to federal mandates.

                This is what we’re up against: millions of dollars in funding and an agenda to abolish individualism and turn America into a collective society by indoctrinating young minds through government schools. With rigorous standardized testing, home-visiting programs, and preparing children for the “global workforce,” The Council for a Strong America is driving forward John Dewey’s radical, utopian vision to change America to a collective society.

                USPIE is fighting to preserve individualism and freedom and we need your help. Please go to uspie.org and join the movement to restore local control of education, and to preserve individualism and freedom in America.


Republican Lawmakers Accept Transgender Ideology


June 15th, 2016

“It is clear that the Obama administration is trying to force an ill-advised eleventh-hour bathroom edict on Texas and all American schools that ignores both common sense and common decency,” said Lt. Governor Dan Patrick in a statement regarding AG Ken Paxton’s transgender policy lawsuit.

This nation has become something similar to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World; a utopia for the few members of the ruling class that control society through technology, childhood conditioning, and people’s lack of traditional values. Sound familiar?

Amid the recent transgender directive given by the Departments of Education and the Department of Justice, 25 US Senators sent a letter expressing their concerns with the Departments’ interpretation of Title IX. At first glance, the letter seems to be nothing short of opposition to this federal education mandate, but there’s a bigger picture here.

The first sentence reads, “Every transgender person is someone’s child and should be treated with respect.” By signing this letter, these 25 Senators have endorsed the extreme ideology that says a life of chemical and surgical alterations is normal and respected. “Gender identity” is more an emotional issue than scientific fact and common sense will tell you it’s unhealthy to encourage children to undergo social transitions to live full-time as the other gender.

At the top of the list of signatures is none other than ESSA architect and Secretary John King espouser, Senator Lamar Alexander. Alexander, who seems to be a Republican in name only, has voted to confirm nearly all of Obama’s executive and judicial nominees. The red flags are flying high.

There were 31 Republican Senators who did not sign the letter sent to the Departments of Education and Justice.  Senator Rand Paul, recognized for his principled conservative positions, was one of these officials. “I believe a little common sense can go a long way to diffuse the situation, but that cannot happen so long as the federal government insists on inserting itself into our local schools,” Senator Paul told USPIE in a recent statement. “Should Congress take up legislation affecting the federal government actions, I will stand on the side of common sense and restraint, and for allowing parents and local officials to run their schools in the way that best protects and meets the needs of their children.”

Many legislators nationwide are lacking common sense and a lack of will to defend morality and as a result children are suffering. Federal overreach in education has to end and that’s what the Stop Fed Ed campaign is all about. United States Parents Involved in Education (USPIE) plans to hold accountable those responsible for not protecting America’s children, and we need your help. Please go to uspie.org and join the movement to restore local control and parental rights in education.

Exodus 18:21-22 “Select capable men . . . who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain . . . and have them serve the people with justice at all times.”

Demoralizing America’s Youth


“No one is born with a gender. Everyone is born with a biological sex,” says The American College of Pediatricians (ACP). “Gender (an awareness and sense of oneself as male or female) is a sociological and psychological concept; not an objective biological one.” This is what Obama and his henchmen are deliberately misinterpreting when it comes to Title IX.

On June 23, 1972, Nixon signed Title IX into law. Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities receiving federal funding. Recently the Departments of Education and Justice have taken it upon themselves to interpret the law and broaden it to include those who “feel like the opposite sex.”

The ACP goes on to say, “When an otherwise healthy biological boy believes he is a girl, or an otherwise healthy biological girl believes she is a boy, an objective psychological problem exists that lies in the mind not the body, and it should be treated as such.” Adolescence is a confusing phase of life. Supporting this gender confusion lifestyle and the use of chemical and surgical alteration to switch from one gender to the other is a form of child abuse. The US Education Department is demoralizing American youth by forcing all to accommodate transgender “needs” and putting those who oppose under a bigoted umbrella.

With so much talk about “accommodation” and “safety and privacy of all students,” what about those students who don’t want to use the restroom with the opposite sex? We must protect our children. We are their keepers while they are on this earth. Keep your federal money. We will not falter.

Stop Fed Ed, Join the Movement!



Our Children are at Stake


“Gender identity” and “sex” are one in the same according to the Departments of Education and Justice. In case you have not heard the news, the Obama administration on Friday sent out a decree to school districts nationwide coercing them into allowing transgender students to use any bathroom they wish or risk losing funds. Well, if that’s not a federal mandate I don’t know what is. The letter signed by John B. King, new Secretary of Education, has no force of law and is highly unconstitutional.

Sex is simply the biological or genetic state of male or female chromosomes, regardless of what people want to identify. It seems that Obama is redefining civil rights and the basis of biological functionality.

The Obama administration bases its view on Title IX of the civil rights law which says that schools receiving federal money can’t discriminate based on a student’s sex. “Gender identity” wasn’t relevant 45 years ago.  Congress should be giving every state, school district, parent, and student guidelines of the 1972 Title IX Law and what constitutes “sex discrimination.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted Friday, “I announced today that Texas is fighting this. Obama can’t rewrite the Civil Rights Act. He’s not a King.”

It seems rather odd that Obama and his trusted followers are adamantly defending the “rights” of transgender students, but when it comes to special needs children – sorry! There’s nothing in the “law” that says they should receive special treatment!

The “emerging practices” document which was attached to Friday’s letter gives guidance on how schools can “protect the privacy rights of all students.” What about the 10th amendment and student-data privacy rights?

This is what so many parents and activists were trying to avoid. It’s no surprise that Obama’s right-hand man would be behind this threat. “No student should ever have to go through the experience of feeling unwelcome at school or on a college campus,” U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. said in a written statement. “This latest edict disregards the will and concerns of millions of students, parents, teachers, school administrators and religious leaders,” said Rep. John Kline (MN). “The secretary has the audacity to say this will promote an environment free of fear and discrimination, but what about the students, parents, and families who don’t share the president’s personal views?”

The federal government will do anything to stay in control of public education, and that is undeniably evident with this latest decree. The Pulse published an article giving steps to take on how to fight this nonsense. We will NOT be silent, we WILL fight back. Join us, Join the Movement to Stop Fed Ed!