GOP leadership and establishment Republicans in Congress stabbed their constituents in the back to ensure the success of Obama's radical “education” agenda and codify it into federal “law,” all while deceiving the public about what the legislation actually does. Now, Obama administration Education Secretary Arne Duncan is even boasting in public about the GOP betrayal that one Democrat lawmaker celebrated as a “miracle.” And Obama called the bill a “Christmas miracle” before signing it.
While it may be a miracle to Big Government and Obama's agenda to further federalize and dumb down American children via government schools, the massive bill, known as Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), represents a disaster for real education, children, parents, liberty, and the U.S. Constitution.
Among other unconstitutional schemes, the bill reauthorizes a dizzying array of programs to usurp even more control over education from communities and states. Chief among those measures is the reauthorization of the anti-constitutional Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) through 2020. The gargantuan bill, cheerfully signed into “law” by Obama last week (see photo), also continues to mandate the unpopular and unconstitutional standardized national testing regime to enforce compliance with Washington D.C.'s dictates. Despite false claims to the contrary by lying lawmakers and special interests hoping to deceive Americans and get the bill passed, the unconstitutional legislation also cements the deeply unpopular Common Core agenda into place.
Indeed, the White House is openly bragging about it on its official website. In a statement boasting about how the bill embraces the administration's “principles for reform,” the White House said the ESSA “affirms” Common Core's imposition on states. The celebratory bragging even admits what every honest analyst has been saying for years: “The Obama Administration supported those efforts [to nationalize education through Common Core] through its Race to the Top grant program and the federal-state partnership established in its ESEA flexibility agreements.” In other words, using bribes and bullying, Obama was instrumental in imposing the agenda on states, just as The New American and other non-establishment sources have reported from the start despite deception from Common Core apologists. And now, thanks to deceitful Republicans in Congress, Obama is gloating that his nationalization of schools is here to stay.
Aside from ensuring the survival of Common Core while pretending to fight it, lawmakers also packed the ESSA and the $1.1-trillion “omnibus” legislation with unconstitutional pork for "education" special interests — including dangerous schemes that represent a major threat to non-government-controlled education and parental rights. For example, both parties in Congress agreed to radically expand government-controlled “charter” schools, which must abide by Common Core and federal dictates generally. The surge in funding means more charter schools, which analysts have long pointed out threatens the viability of independent and private education not dominated and funded by government. The ESSA also provides massive amounts of new funding for Obama's Orwellian so-called “full service community schools,” described by critics as parental-replacement centers, that promise to sideline parents and usurp control over all facets of children's lives. It purports to mandate programs to “improve” student “health,” “well-being,” and more, too, so prepare for even more bureaucratic meddling in your family and every aspect of your child's life.
The most recent estimate from the Congressional Budget Office said the bill would cost taxpayers around $125 billion. But that figure was published in the summer, long before the bill was packed with even more pork and unconstitutional programs that will add even more impossible-to-pay debt on to the backs of the American children supposedly being “educated” by Uncle Sam. As this magazine and other experts have long documented, however, the “education” offered in government schools is, in fact, more accurately described as indoctrination and deliberate dumbing down.
In the face of growing outrage across America surrounding the Obama administration's radical agenda to nationalize and dumb-down “education,” the 1,000-plus-page bill received overwhelming support from both parties. In the House of Representatives, GOP leadership relied on the support of Democrats, who voted unanimously for the bill, to pass it over the strong objections of conservative and constitutionalist Republicans. In the end, just 64 Republicans voted against the bill, with 359 establishment Republicans and Democrats supporting it. Once again, then, GOP “leadership” relied on Democrat votes to impose Obama's agenda. In the Senate, the bill also passed overwhelmingly, with just 12 conservative and constitutionalist Republicans defying Obama and GOP leadership to vote against ESSA.
The Democrat support is hardly surprising, especially considering the party's growing and open disdain for constitutional limitations, as well as the bill's strong support from self-interested teachers' unions. The establishment GOP support, though, would seem to be much harder to explain — not least because virtually every Republican ran on a platform of stopping Obama, and the legislation hands the administration everything it wanted, and then some. Lying to the public, though, was crucial, as Education Secretary Duncan — an extremist who openly brags about using “education” as a “weapon” with his “global partner” UNESCO to transform American children into “green” global citizens — made clear.
In an interview with Politico Pro celebrating the GOP-approved bill, Duncan expressed amazement at how readily and boldly Republican lawmakers were willing to betray their constituents and their oaths of office. “I had a Democratic congressman say to me that it’s a miracle — he’s literally never seen anything like it,” Duncan said about how wonderful the bill was in terms of advancing Obama's agenda. “If you look at the substance of what is there ... embedded in the law are the values that we’ve promoted and proposed forever. The core of our agenda from Day One, that’s all in there — early childhood, high standards [Common Core], not turning a blind eye when things are bad. For the first time in our nation’s history, that’s the letter of the law.” The New American will run a follow-up article soon highlighting Duncan's gloating and his admission of conspiring with GOP leadership to dupe Americans.
Not everyone was as enthusiastic about the betrayal, however. “Passage of ESEA/ESSA is the equivalent of giving away the United States Constitution with all its protections,” explained Charlotte Iserbyt, a former senior policy adviser at the U.S. Department of Education under Ronald Reagan and the author of a book exposing the deliberate dumbing down of Americans. “Passage of ESEA/ESSA and the Omnibus Bill represents the loss of America as we have known it.” In additional comments provided to The New American, Iserbyt blasted six major problems in particular:
(1) Beginning of loss of citizen representation through tax-funded private education/charter schools with unelected boards. Taxation without representation. Control through tax money of private, religious, and home schools.
(2) Communist polytechnical (workforce training) education (end of academics) for a global planned economy first recommended by the Carnegie Corporation in 1934 in its Conclusions and Recommendations for the Social Studies. Implemented by President Reagan's White House Private Sector Initiative which recommended the merging of the public and private sectors.
(3) Destruction of traditional Christian values system through use of Communist Core curriculum, assessment and remediation using Marxist brainwashing (Universal Design for Learning) to be found throughout text of ESEA/ESSA.
(4) Exclusive use of computer-assisted-instruction and other technology methods. Requires Skinnerian operant conditioning which bypasses the brain and ignores importance of soul.
(5) Relocation of population and redistribution of wealth/land through regionalism (breaking down of traditional school taxing districts) and through Obama's Housing and Urban Development edict. Use of lifelong community education under unelected council form of government and which provides ALL services womb-to-tomb.
(6) Heavy emphasis on Soviet-style mental-health treatment and Soviet-style pre-school/early childhood education. Actually, what we are looking at is SOVIET COMMUNIST education. I cannot see one feature included in this legislation which would not have been used under Stalin, Khrushchev, Gorbachev or Putin.
Iserbyt also slammed neoconservatives, sometimes referred to as neocons, for their key role in advancing the bill and the radical “education” aimed at, as Obama put it, “fundamentally transforming” America. She highlighted, among other neocon voices, the self-styled “Conservative Reform Network,” which ludicrously parroted false talking points about the bill pretending there were some “conservative victories” in the education overhaul. Establishment Republicans in Congress, sometimes ridiculed as RINOs (Republicans In Name Only), in cahoots with the Obama administration, were also crucial in getting the unconstitutional bill approved. Real conservatives and those who respect the U.S. Constitution, of course, have always been opposed to federal involvement in education, not just because it is a bad idea, but because it is unconstitutional. Conservative icon Reagan campaigned to abolish the U.S. Department of Education entirely.
It will take weeks for analysts to finish going through the more than 1,000 pages of the “education” bill, and there will undoubtedly be many more nasty surprises. In the meantime, though, Americans who value the Constitution should determine whether their elected representatives violated their oath to the Constitution by supporting the bill. If they did, conservatives should start making plans to replace them at the earliest possible opportunity. And for parents with children in government schools, now would probably be a good time to examine other options.
Photo at top shows a cheerful President Obama immediately after signing the education bill: AP Images