The US Department of Education created a “Final Rule” under the new No Child Left Behind to take away constitutional local control; this time, control of special education tests and standards. It said:
The Secretary amends the regulations governing title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA) (the “Title I regulations”), to no longer authorize a State to define modified academic achievement standards and develop alternate assessments based on those modified academic achievement standards…
Dr. Gary Thompson, a Doctor of Clinical Psychology who has exposed the non-validity of the Common Core tests themselves, has now written an analysis of the federal “Final Rule” entitled “Primum Non Nocere: First Do No Harm.”
(Please share “Primum Non Nocere,” or this introduction to it with legislators and school board members, and especially with US Congressmen who voted FOR the NCLB reauthorization –under the premise that it would not harm parental nor local control but was supposed to “reduce the federal footprint” Orrin Hatch and virtually the entire US Congress bought that talking point.)
Dr. Thompson was furious that the Final Rule of NCLB, which takes effect September 15, 2015, forces special education students to take the same tests and to use the same curriculum that all other students take, based on cited research studies of the U.S. Dept. of Education –studies that are ludicrously far from being valid. (More on that, below.) He was even more infuriated when he discovered that the research studies were unapplicable, or fake.
In a follow-up post to the “Primum Non Nocere” analysis, Dr. Thompson made all of this fake research much easier to wrap our brains around with this analogy: Imagine that a parent takes a very sick child to the doctor’s office and the doctor prescribes eating “Froot Loops” three times each day while watching SouthPark episodes. The doctor cites research to support this course of action, taken from the journal of gynecology, and expects the parent to comply.
Dr. Thompson finds this as ludicrious, and so he has put into more readable language what the US Department of ED decreed –and remember, this decree takes effect September 15, 2015:
1. All learning-disabled students can become grade level scholars with no differentiated learning– they just need great teaching and great supports.
2. The new testing (Common Core/SAGE) is valid for ALL students with ALL learning disabilities.
3. These new tests are so good that we don’t need alternative or modified tests.
4. The ONLY thing reading and math disabled students need, to become grade level scholars, are good teachers.
5. These new tests are so perfect that they were designed specifically to perfectly measure academic achievement in ALL learning-disabled children.
6. States and ground-level teachers have denied proper instruction for divergent-learning students; therefore, we no longer need individual states to make special tests, because now special education students will be saved by the new Common Core Standards.
In “Primum Non Nocere,” Dr. Thompson read through each of these USDOE decrees, went to the cited research journal itself, and dug around.
He pointed out that in every case, the research was either directly paid for by the USDOE and its partners, or it did not qualify as research because it had never been peer reviewed, or it tested one age or ability grouping of children but applied the findings to a different age or ability grouping; or the decree/claim was not even linked to any research study whatsoever.
Below are just three sample highlights from Dr. Thompson’s “Primum Non Nocere” that stood out as I read the 44-page analysis.
I hope this seems important enough to study more closely and to share with your senators and representatives; Dr. Thompson is calling for a Congressional hearing on this, the US Department of Education’s obviously false use of research, which it used to fraudulently justify taking away local authority over our special education children.
I hope that our nation is not so numb to morality that we no longer care to prosecute deceit and fraud– especially even when it concerns innocent, disabled children.
THREE HIGHLIGHTS from Primum Non Nocere:
US Department of Education Fraudulent Conclusion – Number One:
To support the Department’s decree, that special education students don’t need special education, it cited a 2010 research journal article: “Do Special Education Interventions Improve Learning of Secondary Content? A MetaAnalysis.” Dr. Thompson went to that research journal.
Guess what he found there?
- That research didn’t include kindergarteners through fifth graders– no elementary school aged children were studied! Most of the students were in eighth grade. –Yet the Department is applying their conclusion to all students.
- The “study” was paid for by the US Department of Education.
- Math and reading weren’t included. The studies used science, social studies, and English; and, only 10% of those studies actually reported on English at all. –Yet the Department includes math and reading in its approved Common tests, to be applied to all, now including special education students.
- Most of the students included in the meta-analysis were of average I.Q. Yet the Department is applying their conclusion to special education.
- Virtually none of the students were behaviorally or emotionally disturbed (only 4%) Yet the Department is applying their conclusion to special education students who are behaviorally or emotionally disturbed.
- It was not an original research study. It was a holistic, literary study of other studies.
- Demographics were lacking, so nobody knows how these studies impact children who come from groups who historically test very poorly.
US Department of Education Fraudulent Conclusion – Number Two:
To support the Department of Education’s decree that special education students will benefit from taking Common Core/SAGE tests, it claimed that “new assessments have been designed to facilitate the valid, reliable, and fair assessment of most students, including students with disabilities who previously took an alternate assessment”.
Guess what Dr. Thompson found?
- There was no research study cited.
- There was no evidence given.
- The claim that these new tests have been designed to be fair and valid and reliable for special education students, is utterly baseless.
- Not one of the Common Core testing consortia, funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Education the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (such as SBAC, PARCC, and AIR which designs Utah’s SAGE test) have published independently reviewed validity data on special education students (or any students for that matter).
US Department of Education Fraudulent Conclusion – Number Three:
To support the Department’s decree that “alternate assessments based on modified academic achievement standards are no longer needed,” the Department cited a study that (surprise) was also paid for by the US Department of Education– in partnership with the CCSSO, the group that co-created Common Core. This study was never peer-reviewed, and thus qualifies as propaganda rather than real scientific research.
Other studies, that were also used as references by the USDOE, openly urged “caution in interpretation of our findings given the small number of participants,” and warned: “no instructional method, even those validated using randomized control studies, works for all students” — serious cautions that the USDOE clearly did not heed.
Dr. Thompson has called for a congressional hearing:
If the U.S. Department of Education’s force feeding of “Fruit Loops”to our public school children (especially with our vulnerable divergent learning and minority children & teens, all justified via the use of “gynecology” research,) does not justify an immediate Congressional Hearing, I honestly don’t know what the hell else would justify that action. My four, soon to be five children, are more important, and deserve more attention, than Benghazi, or Hillary Clinton’s alleged misuse of government email servers.
I urge you to read all of the findings of USDOE fraudulent use of citations, as discovered in “rimum Non Nocere“. These were only three highlights of many sobering points.