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Constructing the P-20 Federalized Education Pathway

Governor Snyder said in 2011,

” It is time that we view our educational system which runs from pre-natal to lifelong learning. It’s time to start talking about P-20 instead of just K-12. We need to establish a system that focuses on real achievement for all of our children.”

The P-20 education system has been in the making for over a decade.   Common national standards for K-12 was the first component but getting colleges to surrender to federal oversight and control was always part of the plan.

In 2006,  then Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings under President Bush convened a commission to study higher education.  The commission was charged with examining access, affordability, and accountability in higher education. All in an effort to make sure that students are adequately prepared to compete in the “global economy”.   (You can read the report here. (PDF).   From page 6:

We propose to dramatically expand college participation and success by outlining ways in which post secondary institutions, K-12 school systems, and state policy makers can work together to create a seamless pathway, between high school and college. States K-12 graduation standards must be closely aligned with college and employer expectations,

Starting with the student loan takeover in 2009, President Obama bulldozed his way into higher education.  In 2010,  with federal incentives the Common Core was passed and the K-12 graduation standards of 45 states were nationalized with assessments under federal oversight.   It’s now 2013, Obama is binding the seam between high school and higher education with the use of financial aid money.

Last month,  President Obama unveiled a proposal, “aimed at making colleges more accountable and affordable by rating them and ultimately linking those ratings to financial aid.”

A draft of the proposal, obtained by The New York Times and likely to cause some consternation among colleges, shows a plan to rate colleges before the 2015 school year based on measures like tuition, graduation rates, debt and earnings of graduates, and the percentage of lower-income students who attend. The ratings would compare colleges against their peer institutions. If the plan can win Congressional approval, the idea is to base federal financial aid to students attending the colleges partly on those rankings.

States quickly bowed to federal pressure and adopted the Common Core in order to receive Race for the Top funds.  Will colleges and universities allow the federal government to bully them into conforming to the P-20 centralized education system?

If Grand Valley State University President Thomas Haas is any indication then the answer is “yes.”  In an op-ed for MLive he said,

President Both President Obama and Governor Snyder have called on lawmakers to consider institutional performance when making appropriations and for participation in federal student loan programs. I agree.

Once colleges and universities seek a higher ranking to receive federal funding, the federal government will have all the leverage it needs to control the seamless pathway from P-20.   Most colleges and universities will conform and comply to whatever  the feds demand in order to get the federal funding.   Any guess where a conservative or Christian college will eventually fair on the federal rankings?   Will a student applying to Spring Arbor University be denied a student loan?

 A post-college exit exam will make sure that colleges conform to the federal demands.

The test is part of a movement to find new ways to assess the skills of graduates. Employers say grades can be misleading and that they have grown skeptical of college credentials.

The standardized tests was also a recommendation by the Spellings Commission on Higher Education. The federal government knows that what is tested is what is taught.  What is taught is what is thought.   Linked with the Common Core the student data tracking will follow the student to higher education.  

Common Core + College Conformity =  P-20 education pathway.  

We must defeat Common Core or resign ourselves to a centralized federal system of education from cradle to life long labor.