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State Waivers: Cheered and Jeered

Discussion in 'General Education Discussions' started by LPH, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. LPH

    LPH Flight Director Flight Instructor

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    Ten states applied for No Child Left Behind waivers, providing alternatives to the law of the land, and the Department of Education granted these waivers today - prompting anger from the right. According to the LA Times, "The administration had said that it would grant the waivers because efforts to revise the 10-year-old law have become bogged down in Congress even though members of both political parties agree that the law has problems and is in need of major changes."

    The states receiving the waiver are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
  2. Robert Heiny

    Robert Heiny Research Scientist of Learning and Education Flight Instructor

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    The Federal government has abandoned people in schools with disabilities by unnecessarily removing the mandate that educators use available instruction methods to assist special education students reach their age grade level state standards. This action follows a decade of public school educators failing to perform their contracted duties to use instruction based on over one million learners in public schools that allows all learners to reach state standards in a regular school calendar.

    Educators openly say they "don't like" those research results even though their own instruction. does not yield as good academic results. That low probability rests with the failure of educators, not with the performance of the special education students.

    These waivers appear as an effort to gain votes of educators in the upcoming election cycle rather than fulfill the historic promise of previous administrations .

    It's a sad day for people in schools with disabilities, for their families, and for their community that must now spend more resources to support their lives.

    I wonder which attorneys will challenge the authority of the Federal government to issue waivers relieving state from their forty year duty when a school district accepts any Federal support for any program? Surely, at least one attorney with a family member hurt by this latest waiver will challenge that authority.
  3. LPH

    LPH Flight Director Flight Instructor

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    People with disabilities are not the only ones being left behind. States were always left to build and frame their own standardized tests - yielding a challenge for comparing successes in one state versus another. More important, individuals were always able to opt out of the tests. In fact, the state of California opted out people with disabilities over a decade ago.

    Waivers are not a bad idea if the state develops an alternative method or uses an alternative, for example, Kentucky will use the ACT scores. But the Federal government is always free to just stop granting funds to schools.

    In terms of more regulations and laws needed - I fall on the side of individual freedoms. Students should be able to opt out of school and get on with their lives. If they think they can survive without school then let them try. It is the reaction to mandatory schooling laws that have lowered the standards, e.g., social promotion. In fact, social promotion is an improper reaction made for decades. Finally, poorly trained teachers who waltzed through "ed courses" and were never challenged have ruined the profession of teaching. Instead - they rely on art and craft, trial and error, rather than reading research.

    I used to think the only way schools would change was for a lawsuit to be leveled. Instead, change will come from the internal explosion. The schools themselves are falling apart because of a lack of a singular purpose; each splintered group is acting as a lobbyist for their own cause leading to an internal tearing.
  4. Robert Heiny

    Robert Heiny Research Scientist of Learning and Education Flight Instructor

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    "People with disabilities are not the only ones being left behind." I agree, but this is not new. For decades educators have agrued that they will remain behind until someone pays extra "to educate" people with disabilities.

    Technically, that's false, but frequently asserted claim.

    Experimental empirical behavioral research scientists who provide the strongest data available have demonstrated in various ways for over 100 years that all people learn the same way: one step at a time through their senses by trial and error using a finite set of observable, measurable, behavior patterns. It is technically possible to watch a learner identify and use various ways to meet criteria to show that someone learn learned something.

    All state certified educators have been at least exposed to these facts during preparation for certification, even when they have not read the original published research reports. That means either they did not learn their lessons, or they have chosen to ignore these facts.

    Internet blogs (excluding this one) by teachers show repeatedly that they choose to ignore and argue against this view. Students with and without disabilities pay the price for the ignorance of these educators. (I use the word ignorance as a descriptor, not a value conclusion.)

    With few exceptions, educators demonstrate and standardized tests document that they do not use behavioral patterns of learning to arrange lessons so all students meet minimum state standards for any lesson.

    So, yes, some schools fall apart and leave most students behind, fundamentally because educators fail to build lessons from scientific facts. But bricks-and-morter schools are not necessary to increase learning.

    Private entrepreneurs are demonstrating how the use of behavioral science reports over the Internet increases learning rates promptly.

    Given this view, some education policy mavens have frequently wondered over the past 5 decades when someone will challenge the procedures of public school educators as perpitrating a massive fraud against funders.


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