Emerging Opportunities in Education Choice – Texas Style

By Alice Linahan 9.6.2017

I thought we defeated the “Bad School Choice” Jeb Bush’s (Education Savings Accounts) in Texas during this last legislative session? The bad school choice that was being forced into Texas by both Republicans and Democrats alike.

Kirsten Lombard gave a great comment about the emerging opportunities in education while responding to the article-

A Classroom of Tomorrow.  
I’d say Mr. Greene is dead-on but for one thing…What he’s describing is not actually free market education. It is captive market education. Just as the education-industrial complex has co-opted language on the Left (e.g., social justice), they have co-opted language on the right (e.g. free market). They used whatever buzzwords they had with whatever audiences were expedient in order to get buy-in from both sides.

A true free market is nothing more than a free and voluntary exchange of goods or services. You have something I want. I determine if the price you’re charging is one that makes sense to me. If it does, I pay it. If it doesn’t, the seller either has to lower his price or find a buyer willing to pay what he’s charging. In any free market transaction, but sides should feel like they have gained. There is NOTHING free or voluntary about the markets that government and corporations are creating in the education space today. NOTHING. Again, better to use the right term: CAPTIVE MARKET.


Well, NOT so fast. It appears there is a breakfast set for tomorrow morning hosted by American Federation for Children, a non-profit organization founded by Secretary of Education Betsy Devos. See the invite below…


Please join me along with my fellow co-hosts for a discussion of the emerging education reform opportunities. More information is provided in the invitation below.


Thursday, September 7, 2017
8:00 a.m. Doors Open/Coffee and Refreshments

8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Program and Discussion with John Kirtley and
The Honorable Joe Lieberman

Dallas Country Club

4155 Mockingbird Lane Dallas, TX 75205

Host Committee: Allie Beth & Pierce Allman, George Bayoud, David Cabrales, John Cowden, Richard Ford, Ross Frankfurt, Kenn George, Clement & Molly George, Patrick & Elizabeth George, Martha & Fred Givhan, Ryan Haggerty, Anne & Ross Helbing, Tommy Hicks Jr., Allyson & Jim Ho, Russ Keene, Alexandra Simmons Klitsch, Jen and Kevin Lavelle, Julie & Dayton Macatee, Mike & Peg Standish, Senator Van Taylor, Chart Westcott, Jimmy Westcott

My question for all those Republicans out fighting for the privacy of our children in bathrooms across Texas.
What about the fact that our children’s privacy is being completely violated in classrooms; traditional public, charter public and private schools (through accreditation), now mandated by the state in compliance to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)?

As stated on the website Child Abuse in the Classroom; A Legal Challenge to ESSA….

“Our children are not a commodity. Currently, businesses, corporations, and higher education are able to commercialize personally identifiable information (PII) into an invisible (to citizenry) lucrative empire obtained by secretly data-mining information through discreet memorandums of understanding. This is not only highly unethical but a violation of student and family privacy.”

As I have written before...

Data mining of students, their families and teachers is actually my biggest issue with Donald Trump’s appointment of Betsy Devos as Secretary of Education.

Especially since Candidate Donald Trump was very clear during his campaign when he promised to end student data mining and fix the FERPA loophole. “I would close all of it, Trump replied. “You have to have privacy”, “You have to have privacy.” 

The appointment of Betsy Devos raised major red flags for many of us who understand what Education Reform is truly all about. Will Donald Trump actually follow through with that promise, now that someone who profits off that data has been appointed to Sec. of Ed and has people like Ted Cruz’s John Drogin and his wife pushing “Emerging Opportunities for Education Choice” here in Texas? Opportunities for what? Public/Private partnerships where there is emerging opportunity for huge amounts of money to be made off the backs of our children using our tax dollars?

Cheri Kiesecker reported:

Ms. DeVos supports allowing big technology companies to data mine children, 50,000 data points per hour, without parents knowing about it or ever seeing how the data are shared, used and profiled.

DeVos is Chair of The Philanthropy Round Table, a group that focuses on Venture Capital Philanthropy (and making “serious money“) and also promotes computer-based data mining and as an added bonus, this group Chaired by Devos is also excited about Common Core. You can read excerpts from their Blended Learning Guidebook by linking to Cheri’s article.

I wrote about the appointment of Devos being a national security issue in the article: Trump, Devos, National Security and The Tarbiyah Project. This new revelation about Devos’ support of data mining student data, gives me, even more, concern from a national security perspective as well. Who has access to that data to intervene and adapt my child’s behavior?

HB 1842 the District of Innovation (DOI) legislation sponsored by Rep. Jimmy Don Aycock and Senator Larry Taylor and co-sponsored by Democrats Rep. Harold Dutton and Sen. Royce West along with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s Education Savings Accounts (ESA)s are both “School Choice” legislation in coordination with the Charter School movement.

United Nations documentation stated that the way to GLOBALIZE education was through “school choice”, because, with “Choice”, comes accountability? With Accountability, comes data collection and tracking.”

Need proof; watch this video.

As education researcher and mom, Lynne Taylor pointed out on her Common Core Diva blog, “The United States is a ‘card carrying UN member. We have signed a global goals agreement (known as SDGs, Sustainable Developmental Goals). Education is the fourth goal globally. The choice readiness will use the education and data for our students to be one of 3 tracks: college (leader or authority), citizen (includes military as protector or authority), or worker.” See the 2015 UN Report:
So, moving forward, the STATE and FEDERAL government’s Next Generation of Assessment and Accountability will align with data tracking and the UN’s GLOBAL Accountability System and Standards.

Question: Are you for “Choice” with NO way to “exit’ the system? Or, are you for “Education Freedom” from forced accountability?

The UN’s Education 2030 Agenda video is clearly scary because it shows WHY the innovative data (written into the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) passed in Dec. 2015 and its related laws) is such a big deal.

There were three major actions under the Obama administration, without legislative approval, to change two hundred years of traditional public education in the United States.

(1) The Common Core copyright, which created a national curriculum and national testing mandating that individual
students meet individual standards (similar to the Obamacare individual mandate).

(2) Unlocking data ‘to flow’ through the Family Education Rights in Privacy Act, FERPA, which allows personally
identifiable information on our children to flow to outside 3rd party contractors for research and curriculum development to match Common Core.

(3) No Child Left Behind Flexibility Waiver, (ESEA, Elementary and Secondary Education Act), that is re-training teachers to teach to Common Core/College and Career Ready National Standards.

These three important points control standards and testing, curriculum, and teachers with all public school children and
became solidified by the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act in December of 2015.

The 2011 FERPA change, spurred by Bill Gates, changed the federal law from a student data protection law to a data sharing law, without parental consent. Reverting back to the 2010 version of FERPA would stop data collection.

Dr. Susan Berry, education writer for Breitbart wrote:

DeVos, who supports school vouchers for charter schools as a means to bring about school choice, is chairwoman of the American Federation for Children (AFC), a charter school promotion group, and is also a board member of Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE). Bush and his foundation have served as champions for the Common Core standards.

Dick and Betsy DeVos are also major donors to FEE. In 2015, they donated between $50,000 and $100,000. 

Now, we know; not only does Betsy Devos fund the Common Core/College and Career Ready tactics of globalization, she and her family actually profit off of the BILLION dollar digital learning industry that has been created by the likes of the Bushes, Gates and Devos.

As Cheri stated, “Technology can be powerful when used appropriately. Although, research shows that Blended Learning does not support positive academic outcomes when compared to face-to-face teacher time. The argument that kids use social media outside of school is often used. However, parents who don’t want their children on screens at school, don’t want their children’s data collected, should have a choice.”  


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