Ron Price, Rockingham School Board

I am an AT LARGE MEMBER of the Rockingham County Board of Education.

Location: Reidsville, North Carolina

AT LARGE Member Rockingham County Board of Education. Dedicated to serving the students and citizens of Rockingham County. See also Facebook page "Ron Price for Education"

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Links to websites: Common Core & Race to the Top movie about Common Core - Building the Machine on   Part 1 of Stop the Common Core   Part 2 of Stop the Common Core    Part 3 of Stop the Common Core Part 4 of Stop the Common Core       Part 5 of Stop the Common Core

The National Data Base and Common Core

The U.S. Department of Education and other U.S. Departments are prohibited by U.S. Code (law) from creating a national data system.  1) But the Education Science Reform Act of 2002 gave the federal government the authority to publish guidelines for states developing state longitudinal data systems (SLDS).  2) Over the past decade, a slew of new federal incentives and federally funded data models have spurred states to monitor students’ early years, performance in college, and success in the workforce by following “individuals systematically and efficiently across state lines.” 

3) This expansion of state databases is laying the foundation for a national database filled with personal student data. Many parents have long opposed the creation of such a database. We believe that it would threaten the privacy of students, be susceptible to abuse by government officials or business interests, and jeopardize student safety. We believe that detailed data systems are not necessary to educate young people. Education should not be an Orwellian attempt to track students from preschool through assimilation into the workforce.  These acts by government bureaucrats are a violation of the fourth amendment of the Bill of Rights. For the time being, it does not appear that the data of students who are educated outside the public school area is being included in these databases. But the concern is that it will become increasingly difficult to protect the personal information of these school students as these databases grow. Oklahoma’s P20 Council has already called for databases to include the personal data of students outside government-controlled schools.

4) The Development of a National Database - The Department of Education laid the foundation for a nationally linkable, comprehensive database in January 2012 when it promulgated regulations altering the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA formerly guaranteed that parents could access their children’s personally identifiable information collected by schools, but schools were barred from sharing this information with third parties. 5) Personally identifiable information is defined by FERPA as information “that would allow a reasonable person in the school community, who does not have personal knowledge of the relevant circumstances, to identify the student with reasonable certainty,” including names of family members, living address, Social Security number, date and place of birth, disciplinary record, and biometric record.  6) However, the Department of Education has reshaped FERPA through regulations so that any government or private entity that the department says is evaluating an education program has access to students’ personally identifiable information.  7) Postsecondary institutes and workforce education programs can also be given this data. This regulatory change absent congressional legislation has resulted in a lawsuit against the Department of Education, though a judge in the U.S. District Court for D.C. dismissed the suit on an issue of standing.  8) Guidelines for building SLDS that can collect and link personally identifiable information across state lines have been released by task forces funded by both the Department of Education and special interests groups. Many of these recommendations were compiled in the National Education Data Model (NEDM) v. 3.0, a project funded by Department of Education and overseen by the Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), one of the organizations that created the Common Core.  9) According to the NEDM website, 18 states and numerous local educational agencies are using this model for their state longitudinal databases. In addition, numerous states are still following other database models such as the Data Quality Campaign’s.  Essential Elements, the State Core Data Set, the Common Education Data Standards, and the Schools Interoperability Framework, an initiative that received $6 million of federal funding in Massachusetts alone.  10) Concentrating data collection around a few models means that states are getting closer and closer to keeping the same data and using the same interoperable technology to store it. Forty-six states currently have databases that can track students from preschool through the workforce (P-20W). 

11) Driving the Data Collection - In addition to funding data models, the federal government has driven a national database through legislation. The 2009 federal stimulus bill created the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund as “a new one-time appropriation of $53.6 billion.”  12) With this money, the Department of Education gave money to states who would commit to develop and use pre-kindergarten through postsecondary and career data systems, among other criteria.  Additionally, $4.35 billion was given to make competitive grants under the new Race to the Top (RTTT) challenge.  13) RTTT is an ongoing competition for federal funds that awards tax dollars to states that promise to make certain changes in their state education policy, including adopting the Common Core. Every state that agrees to the Common Core in order to receive RTTT funding also commits “to design, develop, and implement statewide P-20W [preschool through workforce] longitudinal data systems” that can be used in part or in whole by other states. 14) Data collection must follow the 12 criteria set down in the America COMPETES Act, which requires states to collect any “information determined necessary to address alignment and adequate preparation for success in postsecondary education.” 15) The 23 states that did not receive RTTT grants but are part of one of the two consortia developing assessments aligned to the Common Core are also committed to cataloging students from preschool through the workforce.

16) In addition, in 2011 the Department of Education attached RTTT funding to its new Early Learning Challenge (ELC). ELC gives this money to states that meet standards and mandates for early education programs. Some of the standards that states must meet to receive these special funds involve establishing statewide databases. Known as CEDs—Common Education Data Standards—they are “voluntary, common standards for a key set of education data elements … at the early learning, K-12, and postsecondary levels developed through a national collaborative effort being led by the National Center for Educational Statistics.”
17) Supporters of RTTT are correct when they say that there is not currently a central database kept by the U.S. Department of Education. However, the heavy involvement of the federal government in enticing states to create databases of student-specific data that are linked between states is creating a de facto centralized database. Additionally, in 2012 the U.S. Department of Labor announced $12 million in grants for states to build longitudinal databases linking workforce and education data.

18) Before our eyes a “national database” is being created in which every public school student’s personal information and academic history will be stored.  How is the Common Core Connected? -The adoption and implementation of the Common Core State Standards has furthered the government’s expansion efforts, because the authors of the Common Core are clear: the success of the standards hinges on the increased collection of student data. 19) The Data Quality Campaign clarifies by explaining that the Common Core’s emphasis on evaluating teachers based on their students’ academic performance and tracking students’ college and career readiness requires broader data collection.

20) The authors of the Common Core have been heavily involved in developing data models and overseeing data collection. The National Governors Association started an initiative to collect data on states’ postsecondary institutions. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation not only funded the creation of the Common Core but currently funds the Data Quality Campaign, one of the leading voices on database expansion and alignment. The Gates Foundation and CCSSO previously partnered with the National Center for Education Statistics, (a division of the Department of Education) to build the State Core Data Model, a model that includes data from early childhood through to the workforce. CCSSO now manages another data model: the National Education Data Model.

The connection between those pushing the Common Core and these expansive new databases is obvious. The Common Education Data Standards, a division of the Department of Education, even says, “The State Core Model will do for State Longitudinal Data Systems what the Common Core is doing for Curriculum Frameworks and the two assessment consortia.” 

21) What Can I Do to Stop this Data Collection? - A crucial part of the responsibility of parents is protecting the privacy of their children. This enables parents not only to guard their children’s physical safety, but also to nurture their individuality and secure opportunities for them to pursue their dreams apart from government interference. The rise of national databases threatens these freedoms.

At the federal level, we must work to defund and eliminate Race to the Top, the Early Learning Challenge, and other federal programs that are using federal funds—our tax dollars—to entice the states into creating national databases in exchange for federal grants. But since RTTT and the ELC are priorities of the Obama administration, it will be difficult to end these programs.  The massive collection of data on teachers, students, and their families is moving towards 1984’s Big Brother, which is becoming a reality now.

The states, however, can choose to reject these federal funds in order to safeguard student data. Please contact your state legislators, including our state’s governor, to discuss this issue with them. Ask them about their position on the issue. And urge your state officials to reject these national databases of student-specific data.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The implementation of National Common Core Standards in North Carolina is a train wreck in progress.  This will give control of NC state schools K-12 over to the federal government.  It will burden teachers with additional administrative requirements taking away from instructional time, it will take local control away from administrators, school boards and state legislatures. National CCS should not be confused with the North Carolina Common Core State Standards. 

Expert Highlights Dangers in Common Core
Posted on May 17, 2013 by  Luebke in issues

Last fall public schools in North Carolina along with 44 other states began implementing Common Core Standards. The standards - developed by academic experts and private trade associations with the financial backing of several large foundations - have unleashed a brushfire of criticism, fueled in part by the controversial ideas behind Common Core, parental anger over the lack of input and dissatisfaction over how the standards are implemented in our schools.
To help our readers learn more about Common Core, we've asked Jane Robbins, a Senior Fellow with the American Principles Project and someone actively involved in the national fight to stop Common Core, to share with us her thoughts about Common Core Standards and what these changes mean for students and parents in North Carolina. What follows is a transcript of Jane's responses to our questions.
Tell me why North Carolina parents should be concerned about Common Core.
Common Core is an attempt by private interests in Washington, DC, aided by the federal government, to standardize English language arts (ELA) and math education (and ultimately, education in other subjects as well) throughout the nation. By adopting Common Core, North Carolina has agreed to cede control over its ELA and math standards to entities outside the state. Not only does this scheme obliterate parental control over the education of their children, but it imposes mediocre standards based on questionable philosophies, constitutes a huge unfunded mandate on the state and on local districts, and requires sharing students' personal data with the federal government.
Specifically, how will Common Core impact a child's education?
In ELA, the child will be exposed to significantly less classic literature - the books and stories that instill a love of reading - and significantly more nonfiction "informational texts." The idea is not to educate him as a full citizen, but to train him for a future static job. In math, the child won't learn the standard algorithm (the normal computational model) for addition and subtraction until grade 4, for multiplication until grade 5, and for division until grade 6. Until then, the child will be taught what we used to call "fuzzy math" - alternative offbeat ways to solve math problems. He probably won't take algebra I until grade 9 (meaning he's unlikely to reach calculus in high school, as expected by selective universities), and will be "taught" geometry according to an experimental method never used successfully in K-12 anywhere in the world.
Aren't Common Core standards supposed to be better than existing school standards?
That's the claim, but it simply isn't true. Even the Fordham Institute, which has been paid a lot of money by Common Core-financier, the Gates Foundation to promote the standards, admitted that many states had better standards and others had standards at least as good. The Common Core website itself no longer claims that the standards are "internationally benchmarked," and the Common Core Validation Committee was never given any information on international benchmarking. And one of the drafters of the math standards admitted in 2010 that when Common Core proponents talk about "college-readiness," they're aiming for a nonselective community college, not a four-year university.

How are teachers impacted under Common Core?
Seasoned teachers are likely to be unhappy with the educational "Innovations" described above. And once the SMARTER Balanced national test is implemented in 2014-15, teachers will have to teach to this test because their performance evaluations will be tied to the test scores. The national test will be completely online, which means schools without sufficient technology will have to rotate their students through computer labs. (SMARTER Balanced suggests a 12-week testing window). This means students who are tested in the first week will have significantly less instruction under their belts than students who are tested later- but all teachers' evaluations will be tied to the scores.
Is it true that local districts will be able to choose their own curriculum under Common Core? If all curricula will ultimately be tied to the standards, does that really matter?
The point of standards is to drive curricula. While local districts still have some choice over curricula, they are already seeing that their choices are narrowing, because all curricula must be aligned with Common Core. And the federal government is funding the two consortia that are developing the national tests and that have admitted they are creating curriculum models. Two former U.S. Department of Education officials concluded in a comprehensive report that, ultimately, the Common Core scheme will result in a national curriculum - in violation of three federal statutes.
Tell us more about the student database and what parents need to know.
Both the 2009 Stimulus bill and the Race to the Top program required states to build massive student databases. It is recommended that these databases ultimately track over 400 data points, including health-care history, disciplinary history, etc. Any of this data that will be given to the Smarter Balanced consortium as part of the national test will be sent to the U.S. Department of Education. U.S. DOE can then share the data with literally any entity it wants to - public or private - because of regulations it has issued gutting federal student-privacy law.
North Carolinians should also be concerned about a new initiative called inBloom, which is a pilot program designed to standardize student data and make it available to commercial vendors creating education products. North Carolina is one of the nine states involved in the in Bloom pilot.
How did all this happen?
Very stealthily.  Private interests in Washington, funded largely by the Gates Foundation, decided in 2007 to try again (as progressive education reformers have in the past) to nationalize standards and curriculum. Thus began the development of Common Core. When the stimulus bill passed in 2009, the U.S. Department of Education used the money it was given to create the Race to the Top program. To be competitive for Race to the Top grants, a state had to agree to adopt Common Core and the aligned national tests. The commitments were due before the standards were released, and without the opportunity for involvement by state legislatures. So most states that adopted Common Core did so for a chance at federal money, and without legislators' and citizens' knowing anything about it.
In your view who's behind the development of Common Core Standards and what are they trying to accomplish?
The standards were created primarily by a nonprofit called Achieve, Inc. in Washington, DC, and released under the auspices of two DC-based trade associations (the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State Schoo! Officers, neither of which had a grant of legislative authority from their members to create national standards). Funding and support came from the Gates Foundation, as well as from other foundations including the Hunt Institute for Educational leadership and Policy and Jeb Bush's Foundation for Excellence in Education. The common denominator seems to be a belief that very smart elites in Washington are better able to direct our children's education than we are. As for what they are trying to accomplish, two points: first, Bill Gates seems to favor a "Common Core operating system" that can be imposed on every school, everywhere, to increase efficiency: and second, the initiative seems directed at workforce development, not true education.
What have you learned from traveling around the country working with parents and groups who are fighting Common Core?
That Goliath should be very, very concerned about David! Parents and other concerned citizens have stood up to the lavishly funded special interests and have demanded a return of their constitutional right to control their children' 5 education. Common Core is not inevitable, and patriots can still prevail if they refuse to give in. I've also learned that the forces behind Common Core are wedded to certain buzzwords and talking points that have absolutely no evidence to support them - "rigorous," "college- and career-ready," etc. and that the promoters frequently resort to outright deception to get what they want. The ends justify the means, apparently.
How do you respond to concerns that withdrawal from Common Core will threaten Race to the Top funding or the No Child left Behind waiver?
Regarding Race to the Top, several points: 1) nothing in the grant requires paying back the money if Common Core is discarded; 2) even if repayment were demanded, it should be only a fraction of the money actually paid out (since the commitments to Common Core and the SMARTER Balanced tests were only a fraction of the Race to the Top commitment); 3) even if full repayment were required, this would be much cheaper than continuing to implement the Common Core unfunded mandate; and 4} it is highly unlikely, from a political standpoint, that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan would require repayment, since he has claimed for two years that nothing about this program is a federal mandate - if he now imposes a huge penalty for North Carolina's exercise of independence, he will be proving the point of the Common Core critics. Regarding the No Child Left Behind waiver, there is a way within the waiver application itself that allows a state to use standards other than Common Core. If North Carolina has its alternative standards certified by its major institutions of higher education, it can still qualify for the waiver (assuming it wishes to do so - the waiver simply exchanges one set of federal shackles for another).
Do you have any final advice on how parents can be actively involved in fighting Common Core Standards in North Carolina?
Yes. Educate yourselves and your friends by visiting and Talk to your local school officials and school board members. Call your state legislators, your state school board members, and your Governor, and demand that they take action to restore North Carolina control over North Carolina education.
(For North Carolina, also visit


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Undocumented Students Dilemma

An article from the School Board Association

Information about undocumented students?

1. Do public schools have to educate undocumented students, and if so, why?

Yes. In 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Plyler v. Doe that Texas had violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by denying undocumented school-age children a free public education. Reasoning that such children are in this country through no fault of their own, the court concluded that they are entitled to the same K-12 education that the state provides to children who are citizens or legal residents.

Students or their parents may be residents of a public school district for purposes of the state's student residency laws, even if they are not "legal" residents or citizens of the U.S.

2, Can school districts ask students about their immigration status?

Probably not. Plyler does not directly answer the question of whether a school district may ask students about their immigration status. However, a number of organizations, including some state departments of education, interpret Plyler to require that a school district not chill or hinder an undocumented students access to education. Assuming this interpretation would be accepted by a court, school districts questioning stu­dents about immigration status likely would be invalid under Plyler because such questioning likely would dissuade undocumented children from enrolling in school.

Again, it is important to distinguish between residency in a school district's attendance area, and "legal" residency or citizenship of the U.S. In some instances, school districts have asked students about their immigration status during the enrollment process to prove residency of the student in the district's attendance area. School districts seeking to prove that a particular student is a resident of the district can ask for documentation such as a utility bill or a lease that pro­vides evidence of where the student lives but does not indicate immigration status.

3. Should school districts report undocumented students to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)?

Probably not. No federal law requires a school district to report undocumented students to immigration authorities, and arguably, school districts are prohibited from reporting them by Plyler. As dis­cussed above, any voluntary reporting of undocumented students could be consid­ered an affront to Plyler's mandate that undocumented children have access to education. If school authorities report an undocumented student to ICE and ICE subsequently deports or removes the stu­dent from school, the school district's actions could be viewed as having denied that student access to school. Even if reporting the student does not actually lead to a denial of access to school, reporting undocumented students would undoubtedly have a chilling effect on the right to access to education because, practically speaking, it would likely drive parents of undocumented students to pull their children out of school indefi­nitely.

It is difficult to determine with much certainty the answer to many of the legal questions about undocumented students that arise in schools because of the absence of statutory or case law directly answering the questions. In many instances, Plyer is the only relevant law. For this reason, school districts faced with legal questions about educating undocumented students should contact their school attorney. (END of article)•

As I have been visiting our schools a question that keeps coming to mind is what should be done about the AYP challenges and the problems created for our administrators and faculties by subgroups containing the children of illegal aliens. We do not know whether a child is undocumented or not but why. This is an issue for the public as the U.S. Supreme Court has left only two options; ignore the problem or enforce the U.S. Immigration laws and deport the illegal alien parents of these children. These illegal alien parents have broken our laws and illegally crossed our borders.

North Carolina spends $485 million dollars annually educating the children of illegal aliens not counting other benefits illegally obtained by these illegals. We need the current government administration, the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and Executive Branch to start doing their job under the U.S. Constitution and enforcing the laws of this nation and protecting our borders. The elected officials and bureaucrats in Washington DC act as though the USA has unlimited wealth and resources. But we all know as do they that the United States of America is bankrupt we do not have the means to pay our bills.

Two weeks ago the Federal Reserve (a private bank controlled by foreigners) announced publicly, what we have suspected for a while, that it is monetizing the U.S.National Debt. This means printing U.S Dollars to pay our obligations. The result of this action is to devalue the dollar, a subtle hidden tax on every citizen and holder of U.S. debt. The Federal Reserve had to do this because those lenders who hold our debt are wary about the financial stability of our country due to our deficit spending and the rapid acceleration of our national debt. These lenders are beginning to divest themselves of our debt instruments and currency. Since few are buying our debt the Federal Reserve acted by announcing that they are monetizing our debt. The U.S.of A has begun its spiral decent into financial destruction.

These issues are noted because the majority of our elected leaders seem oblivious to these facts proposing amnesty and benefits to 12 million plus illegal aliens. Do we the American Citizens have the fortitude to tighten our belts by controlling our spending and accepting less of our own volition or will we wait to have it forced upon us? One only need read about the German Wiemar Republic following WWI. The plight of the Germans was forced upon them by war reparations but ours is due to our costly wars and our living beyond our means on borrowed money. The end of the Wiemar Republic was disastrous, and brought about the rise of Hitler, the NAZI Party, another world war and destruction across the globe.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Competition in Education

Competition is decidedly American and is at the core of what has made America great. Our free enterprise system is built on competition and it promotes suppliers providing the best product at the best price. I support competition in the education market and in particular for grades K through 12. The goal of our schools is to provide the best education for our students and competition provides healthy free market dynamics, which are beneficial to the quality of the education.

There are those who want the education system to be a monopoly with no competition but that leads to poor performance and is an affront to individual liberty as granted by the nations founders. In the Rockingham County Schools we have competition between schools in our district and with other districts both in academics and sports. We also have competition with charter schools, private schools, Christian schools and home schools. The benefit of that competition is that the students and parents have a choice in the education that best meets their desires and needs.

Since the time when many of the Judeo-Christian values were taken out of the public school system parents have sought alternatives to the traditional public school education. In the public schools religious education and religious views are
often suppressed and/or inhibited by outside interests for both teachers and students. The public wants options to education where alternatives to public schools are available in order to provide additional services for students with special needs. I have been contacted about situations where our district school policies and procedures prohibit providing unique solutions to the specific need of the parent or student. As an example in several instances the charter school was better able to meet the requirements of the parents and the students than what the traditional public school was able to provide. Alternative schools provide options to parents where the public school curriculum has conflicts with the moral and religious values they seek for their children's education. 

Some feel that educating students in a venue other than the traditional public school system is taking away employment opportunities for teachers. This is certainly not the case as the alternative schools all require teachers and they also provide an alternative employment opportunity for teachers, thereby actually increasing employment opportunities for teachers. I do not know of a single teacher in Rockingham County who is afraid of competition, as they are well qualified and able to compete with the best in the free market.

I support choice for parents through financial credits, which allow the parents to choose the best education for their children. Who should deny parents the freedom to choose the best education for their children? After all our goal is to provide the best education for all our students and if that means alternatives to public schools, then parents should have the opportunity to choose the education that best meets their needs. A parent who wants an education for their child based on their values should not be forced to pay taxes for public education and then pay double by having to pay for a second enrollment into the school of their choice.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Technology update

Rockingham County Schools has truly become the North Star of North Carolina. Rockingham County Schools (RCS) is the leader in technology in the Piedmont Region and our state. Every classroom (715) plus media centers have Active Boards, data streaming, digital projects and high speed Internet access. Our teachers through the recent action by the school administration and school board are receiving laptops for the convenience of developing and using their technology skills in the classroom and doing their administrative responsibilities. Teachers are seeking jobs in Rockingham because they know these technological skills make them the best of the best in teaching. The student dropout rate in the county is at a twelve year low because of the technology in the classroom where students are getting engaged in the learning process through technology and our skilled teachers.

Rockingham County Communities have good reason to applaud these advancements because county organizations, foundations and individuals have contributed to funding this technology, to make these advancements happen.

Our plan for the future is to obtain laptop computers for our high school seniors and other students to provide them the technology for post secondary education and preparation for requirements of the work force. Rockingham Schools are on the leading edge of technology and moving well ahead of other counties in providing the greatest opportunities for our students and teachers through technology.

Nationwide online education is growing at an annual rate of 30%. Some areas already have public schools that are taught totally through online Internet classes. Most colleges and universities are offering growing numbers of courses via the Internet while others offer degrees totally online where students may never have to enter a physical college classroom. Now this online education is available at North Carolina schools and colleges K-20. See link at:

Our Superintendent, Dr. Shotwell, is an educator and a technologist who has a vision of the future and continues to implement these technological changes for our students to advance.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We are losing control of our schools

Education Secretary, Arne Duncan testified before the House Budget Committee that the Recovery Act provided unprecedented levels of Federal support for our schools in return for a commitment to “meaningful reform strategies”. North Carolina state and local control of our public schools is being taken by the central (federal) government’s Department of Education. While the feds provide about 20 % of the funding for schools they exercise 100% control through programs like No Child Left Behind. As is always the case the further control is removed from the community the less responsive it is to the needs and desires of the people. As we have seen with NCLB the goals and objectives are good but obtaining changes that would make the program better and more effective are almost impossible. The founders of our nation provided in the constitution that some responsibilities belong to the states unless they are specifically given to the federal government. Education is one of those responsibilities but the federal government is slowly usurping the states rights under the U.S. Constitution. The ED department administers an annual budget of $68.6 billion for education.

The current year federal stimulus pumps another $100 billion into public schools, universities and early childhood education and brings the annual total to $168 billion. This is a move by the central government to increase their control of the states educational rights and responsibilities. To gain this control the central government is borrowing and printing money at a destructive rate that will make our children slaves to the lenders. This can only be stopped by the citizens of the states taking action at every opportunity to stop this un-constitution seizing of power.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Jefferson's thoughts on God and our country

The God of the Declaration of Independence is a divine force that created the universe, endows all men with human rights and is an actor in the drama of the world he made. “God watches over our country‘s freedom and welfare. We are not a world ungoverned by the laws and the power of a superior agent. Our efforts are in His hand and directed by It; and He will give them their effect in His own time.”
Thomas Jefferson