The Chernobyl Disaster in Education

DISCLAIMER: Before I begin, I believe MOST government employees are good people trying to do their jobs. In any group, there are those who have good intent and those who don’t. I also apologize for the length of this blog and that it gets into the “weeds” somewhat. But, this information is EXTREMELY important.

If you haven’t heard of the Chernobyl disaster in the Soviet Union or seen the HBO drama of the same name, you may not immediately understand the title of this post.

CHERNOBYL is a really good serialized drama with Jared Harris and a variety of pretty decent actors. It is about the 1986 Chernobyl disaster where an explosion at a poorly designed nuclear power plant in the USSR put all of Eastern Europe in danger of destruction via radiation contamination and poisoning. Like most dramas, there are inaccuracies about the incident, but the big picture is illuminating.

I’ll leave it to you to watch and see what happened, but I’m going to use the big idea of the incident as an illustration of what is going on in our state and country right now.

One of the problems with the Chernobyl disaster (besides the horrible design and materials flaw of the reactor) was how the government of the USSR was organized. In the Communist structure, there was layer after layer of committees, boards, bureaucracies put in place to stand between the citizens and the people making decisions in the government.

This was not by accident. Aside from assuring that the Communists stayed in control and in power, it was a way to prevent anyone from being accountable to the people for anything. For example, if you lived in a town that had “elected” officials and something bad was happening, you could complain, but the officials could hide behind the excuse that they were working on the directives of the multitude of bureaucratic committees and agencies above them. It’s called “blaming it upstream” and local officials use it as a screen to keep them blameless for any decisions made that may make the people angry.

It almost killed millions of people in Eastern Europe. It did kill many Russian citizens and destroyed an entire region of the country. Children in the area suffered the effects of this meltdown for decades.

But that can’t happen here, right? After all, we are a representative republic and we elect our officials to work for us. We are in charge. You can keep on thinking that if you want, but you would be wrong.

There is a war going on. It’s being waged by the Marxist Democrats and the Biden regime against us, the citizens of this country. And when I say they are waging a war, I mean they are using all the tools they can to turn this country into a Socialist Hell. Including tactics used in the USSR back in the day.

Think back to this Fall when Biden attempted to mandate private industries with more than 100 employees require their employees get vaccinated to keep their jobs. Immediately, anyone with an education higher than third grade knew this was wrong. We knew it was unconstitutional.

The Biden regime knew it as well, but they thought they would sneak it by everyone as they have done with so many other illegal mandates. Ron Klain, the White House Chief of Staff went so far as to tweet the fact that they knew this and suggested they would do a “work around” using OSHA, a government agency, to make the mandate happen.

Fortunately, people caught on and called the regime out on this and eventually that tweet gave the Supreme Court ammunition to declare the mandate illegal and unconstitutional. ( Which leads me to wonder, was the tweet a mistake or part of a trial balloon?)

I’m not sure. But what I am sure of is that the Federal Government has used the unaccountable, unelected bureaucrats of agencies to do their dirty work and circumvent the voice of the citizen.

While federal agencies have been around for a while, it is in the last fifty years that they have multiplied. If you go to https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/ you’ll be amazed that there are over 2,000 agencies in the Federal Government. Many of them have “regulatory power” which means they can make and enforce rules and answer to no one, not even the President. The leaders of some of these agencies are on the President’s cabinet. Imagine the MONEY spent on these agencies which exist mainly to hinder the rights of citizens and broker power for their favorite politicians.

Part of the power lies in their ability to award financial grants to corporations and other bodies while they can levy fines and destroy others. They’re not accountable to ANYONE, least of all you and me. As one person said, “Well established agencies have a life or their own and are difficult to change.” In other words, the swamp.This is how Fauci has gotten away with his lies.

So, what about that OSHA work around? While it didn’t work initially, the mere threat of it did. Imagine the CEO of a major corporation anticipating that even if the Biden mandate is unconstitutional, OSHA could still come in and cripple the corporation with fines. So, many did the mandate anyway. Hershey, Carhart, United Airlines, the list goes on and on.

And, bless their hearts, our state government was paying attention. They stumbled on an idea.

As people are waking up to the damage being done to their lives by local elected officials, they are working to remove these officials via elections. More people are filing to run for county councils and Boards of Education. The ruling class sees this and are shaking in their $1,000 dollar designer boots. How will they control all of these newly elected independent, thinking officials who will only have the best interest of the people at heart?

They can’t and they know it. So, they figure out a “work around.”

Yesterday, I discovered there is now something in Maryland called ” The Blue Print.” For those of you who were busy trying not to go broke or crazy in the past two years , the “Blue Print” is actually “The Blue Print for Maryland’s Future,” a sweeping education reform bill that will spend BILLIONS, add all kinds of programs to local school districts, make the Unions richer than ever, and cause the hearts of every Superintendent to beat with happy anticipation. It is the cash cow of cash cows. Imagine that every child in the system is now a great big old ATM. Each one of them will be worth so much money! They got a taste of it with the Covid relief money, but this is something WAY better! And the Superintendents and Boards will have NO accountability for it. They can “blame it upstream.”

This Blueprint is a direct descendent of something we have had in Maryland since in the 90’s. In 2002 it was called the “Bridge to Excellence Act” and its goal was to “update” the school funding formula in Maryland using the “expertise” of state commissions. It had the word “excellence” in it and the state was going to throw tons of money at the schools, especially those in the politically powerful Montgomery, Howard, and Baltimore counties as well as those districts that could gain the state street cred, namely Baltimore City and Prince George’s County. And it worked so well. Not really. In fact, despite all the funding formulas, special commissions, etc. the schools didn’t inch one tiny bit upward toward mediocrity much less excellence. In fact, test scores, teacher competence, and school climate declined.

Surprising because there were SO many experts on what was eventually called the “Kirwan Commission” who guided this mess. Apparently, being an expert doesn’t make you effective at positive change.

However, in 2017, resuscitation was attempted and this commission did studies of “top performing” educational systems across the world in order to find what works. Guess what they figured out? We needed to adopt reforms that are comparable to the ones done in Finland, Singapore, Canada and, wait for it, China.

One important reform suggested was “institute a governance system that has the authority and legitimacy to develop coherent, powerful policies and is capable of implementing them at scale.” ( my bold for emphasis)

Let me translate that into real English: “Create a bunch of bureaucrats who will be able to coerce and force local Boards to do exactly what we say without question and make sure they all do what we want in lock step or suffer the economic consequences.”

Hence The Blueprint” and its wonderful new Cosa Nostra, the all knowing, the all powerful “Accountability and Implementation Board” who will make sure all the local yahoos do what the state, not the people, want.

Here’s a description, taken from a local county’s website:

Notice some things? The board is in place from 7/1/2020 to June 30, 2032. Wow. Twelve years that this board will be “in place.” That’s a lot of strong arming.

See their job? ” Hold State and local governments, including local and state school boards, accountable for implementing THE Blueprint. Not for doing what is best for their communities, not for being good custodians of the people’s taxes, but just implementing The Blueprint. That’s it. And guess what? If the local, elected school board ( or other elected board) goes against the progrom of The Blueprint, the AIB will have jurisdiction. That’s right. They will OVERRULE your local, elected board. Basically, you. Your votes for those positions will be meaningless.

And just in case you think you can “trust” the people who have been currently appointed (not elected) to this board, look at this list:

*Ike Leggett, former MONTGOMERY COUNTY executive and a member of the UNIVERSITY of MARYLAND Board of Regents,

*Mara Doss, current Vice President of Teaching, Learning and Student Success at Prince George’s Community College,

*Fagan Harris, CEO of Baltimore Corps, a nonprofit that recruits talented professionals and connects them with jobs,

*William Kirwan, the guy they named the Commission after and former University of Maryland Chancellor,

*Joseph Manko, education program officer for the Abell Foundation*(1) and previously a principal of an elementary school in Baltimore City,

*Laura Stapleton, interim dean of the College of Education at University of Maryland,

*Jennifer Lynch, staff member of Baltimore County Executive Johnny O.

Are you asking the same questions I am? First, how come these people are from certain jurisdictions and not others. Do you see ONE person from a rural or small county? Nope. Second, what makes these people so special that they can override decisions of local and state elected officials? I see nothing. How are they held accountable for anything they do? What happens if they suck at this?

Ultimately, why are they necessary? What is in The Blueprint that is so obnoxious that it has to be protected for 12 years by an oversight committee?

I do know one thing. The Board is appointed by the Governor and the Board has power over EVERYTHING, school boards, county councils, even the State Board of Education. Our current Governor, the one who considers many of us fringe whackos, appointed the Board listed above in October.

What is THE Blueprint?

THE BLUE PRINT. Funny thing about Communists, whenever they name a program, they do a great job of making it sound so positive while it is intended to do things that are so negative. So, to me, “The Blueprint,” which is supposed to rebuild Maryland’s education system, is going to do exactly the opposite. And it’s going to cost BILLIONS over the next twelve years.

But, let’s be fair and take a good look at this program that is so wonderful local agencies have to be threatened into compliance. There are five focus areas:

Early Childhood Education: Just so you know, these bureaucrats want your children as soon as they can get them. If they could stand in the delivery room and catch the babies as they spurted out of their mothers, they would. But, they have to start one step at a time.

This headlong sprint to “full day, free to all low income 3-4 year olds pre-k”is described as a way to get all children “ready to learn” for Kindergarten. It will be the government delivered “Head Start” program which was an utter failure. It will start out as “recommended.” It will end up as mandatory. Because they can’t get all that educational mediocrity done in just twelve short years with your child. They need more time.

While I agree that children need their early years to be foundational in education, the missing piece here is that when you remove parents from the equation and place kids in the hands of teachers who have classes of 10 to 15 children, the lose something greater than knowing their alphabet. They lose a connection to their parents. But maybe that is the point.

Elevating Teachers and School Leaders: As we are in the middle of a teacher shortage, this initiative is going to make teachers, potential teachers and school leaders “meet much more rigorous standards.” Teacher evaluation and promotion will be in the form of teaching portfolios which will be presented to third party regulatory bodies. These portfolios will be judged arbitrarily by standards created by boards, boards who have their own ideologies and will never have met or seen the teacher teach.

This means higher pay for teachers ( the unions LOVE that) and mandates that local counties have “local career ladders.” In other words, the state will determine how teacher pay raises will be given and how teachers will achieve higher level jobs. All this while working toward a cap on teacher classroom time to 60%. This means only 60% of a teacher’s work day will be actually doing their job, teaching in a classroom. Supposedly, this extra time out of the classroom will be spent learning new and better ways to teach. Sure. If you say so. From experience I know that there will be so much paperwork associated with their jobs that teachers will spend this time doing record keeping.

And, if you are fearful that the rigorous standards for training teachers will be too hard to reach, don’t worry, they will focus on “specified components of instruction, including basic research skills, differentiation of instruction,cultural competency, restorative practices and effective classroom management.” How about actual content knowledge? I guess it’s no longer important that teachers actually can read, write, know science and history and do math. Anyway, the big dogs in this pile are cultural competency and restorative practices.*

*Cultural competency means that teachers have to label children by their racial and ethnic background and use strategies to teach them based on that label.In the old days we called this stereotyping. An example of stereotyping ( cultural competency) is when Talbot County Public Schools Superintendent Kelly Griffith, stated that ALL children in some cultures don’t look adults in the face so teachers shouldn’t expect that. Yes, she said that in an interview.

Restorative practices means that children no longer have consequences when they misbehave. They get reminded to be part of the “community.” It’s the process used at Marjorie Stoneman High School with the kid who killed 17 people.

Have these people noticed that we have a teacher shortage and that people are not willing to jump through the current hoops to become teachers? And many of those that do lack the basic content knowledge to teach?Apparently not.

CREATING A WORLD CLASS INSTRUCTIONAL SYSTEM: It’s not February 2nd so I know it’s not Groundhog Day, but like the movie of the same name, this objective makes me think we are reliving the same processes over and over. I believe I first heard this phrase around 1980. Still hasn’t happened. In fact, much of what is in this Blueprint is just repeats of old plans resurrected.

There is so much built into this one that it would be hard to summarize but I’ll give it a go. They want to create a curriculum that is INTERNATIONALLY benchmarked so ALL students will achieve “college and career readiness” by the end of 10th grade. So, when a child is 16, he/she/they/them/those/ will be ready to go to college or to take up a career. And who will determine the courses they will take for this? Why, our old friends “College Board” and some mysterious international education committee ( one world order of schools?) will be writing the courses of study.

This will require ALL counties to have the exact same curriculum, career counselors on hand for ALL students, and a “Governor’s Workforce Development Board” which has been renamed the “Career and Technical Education Committee.” Another committee. The tally and expense is increasing.

Standards and Equity: Here’s where the rubber, and the money, hits the road. In this part of the plan, more money is given to poorer schools. Those schools are determined by the percentage of students whose families are at the poverty level. This designation is always changing. And, while this has always happened that schools with more “free lunch” or Title 1 students have always gotten more, this time the more is way more. In other words, some kids are worth more in funding than others.

In this model, services are designated for all members of a child’s “family” in certain schools. Health, dental, mental health, adult classes in academics, work force skills, etc. Kids will get extended school year, weekend school, vision services, and the very popular “social, emotional, psychological and behavioral services,”( more of that restorative stuff.)

Imagine, schools becoming one stop shopping for free everything, if you qualify and meet the profile. And, the rest of the community, the tax payers who work hard for their money, will be on the hook while the government takes credit. And please, don’t expect any extra for your spoiled, privileged children. ( sarcasm)

It sounds sort of like what we are doing at the Border, doesn’t it? And are you like me, thinking that they are throwing all this money at schools with a different funding formula as public schools are losing students at a rate nationwide of over half a million per year?Have to make up that per pupil dollar amount somehow. *2

The cost for all of this will be an amount we have never seen before. And if a County can’t afford all this? Well, they had better raise their taxes or bear the wrath of the Accountability and Implementation Board.

So, we come full circle to that Accountability and Implementation Board. Every school system will be REQUIRED by the “Super Board” to do the following to implement this plan:

  1. Adapt all the required curriculum, instruction and organization of the school day for this plan.
  2. Close all achievement gaps regardless of race, gender, disability, household income, etc. Basically, every child MUST achieve at the exact same level. No highs, no lows, etc. With highs and lows you have gaps. They are making progress with this since ALL of our children are doing much worse academically, with only 30% achieving proficient in math, reading and science according to recent test scores, a huge drop.
  3. Present an approved plan to the AIB or have 25% of your system’s state funding withheld. In 2 years, there can be more of a percentage withheld. Where will that 25% go? In a savings account? To the Unions? If the AIB decides, arbitrarily, that a certain district doesn’t meet the requirements and deadline for planning the AIB can give them all their money. No problem with bribes there. By the way, the prediction is that this plan will increase local funding for schools 24% by 2030. That’s 6% a year. It will amount to millions. State funding will increase to $3.1 BILLION by FY2030 an increase of over $400 million. Hold on to your inflation depleted pocketbooks folks! Higher taxes for property owners are coming!
  4. Provide all the personnel to do all the extra things required in the plan as well as to become “review teams” in the county to do interviews, surveys, etc. to decide why students aren’t achieving. More positions, more people, more money. Government grows again!
  5. Each county council and school board MUST appoint a single implementation coordinator responsible for the Blueprint implementation by all County units.

That last one is one everyone better take a good look at. Imagine, ONE person who will coordinate in each county and will basically be in charge of, EVERYTHING.This person will be able to tattle on the county council and school boards. This person will not be an elected official. What are the qualifications for this job? It was supposed to be filled by August 2021. I didn’t see anything mentioned locally, did you? Was it advertised?

This person will have a HUGE amount of power in their hands. Nothing to worry about, right?

I’d also like to know what role local groups like the Talbot Family Network and the County Health Department, bodies that seem to do whatever they want whenever they want, will play in this model. I’m sure they both will be heavily involved and funded.

Finally, I find it interesting that all of this is coming out with very little fanfare or Superintendents making videos about it, etc. If this is so wonderful, where’s all the media coverage locally? STAR DEMOCRAT, are you awake? Alive? Is anyone dissecting this plan?

There is none. They were hoping no one would notice during all this Covid hype. Again, if this was so great, they would be screaming about it from the rooftops.

But, like the officials in the USSR at Chernobyl, they were hoping that they could slide by without anyone knowing what is going on. And, like Chernobyll, The Blueprint is a disaster that will take decades for our schools and our state to recover from, if they ever do. Our children will lose.

The dates for this montrosity don’t favor us. We have a legislature that has shoved this through under the radar since 2019. It has already been implemented with systems writing plans for implementation. And, the AIB is already chosen. School systems have to present their plans by 2/15/2022. Maybe this is why our Board doesn’t want parents at meetings in person.

That doesn’t mean we can’t act. If you have kids in public schools, moving them to private schools will be a short term fix, but private schools will eventually be operating under some of these edicts also. And, as government does, they will find a way to close the private school loophole.

Homeschooling is a great option, but also one the State is trying to control. Just this week, HB832 was announced by this delegate:

This bill will take the decision making for homeschooling out of the parents’ hands and place it in ANOTHER central board. Strange timing, right?

But, if we have learned anything in the past two years, we have to elect different leaders to state and local positions. We have to make sure they hear OUR voices and that we disrupt their plans by peaceful non-compliance and obstruction. Like the truckers in Canada and across the globe, we need to band together and fight this.

Talk to your neighbors, other parents, etc. Ask them if they know about this. We have got to get people activated! We have a group that is fighting. Our next meeting is February 15, 2022 from 7-9 at the Easton Fire House.

For inspiration, watch this video:

Canadian Kids Send Thank You Messages To The Freedom Truckers Fighting Tyrannical Jab Mandates
https://tv.gab.com/channel/redvoicemedia/view/canadian-kids-send-thank-you-messages-61f2b9c6a4b091b9bb674bba

We need to fight for parental rights AND for our children.

1.https://abell.org/about – This is information about the organization that has a member on the AIB.

2.https://dailycaller.com/2020/12/22/half-million-students-leave-public-schools-enrollment-virtual-learning-associated-press-pandemic/

3. Overview of plan: http://dls.maryland.gov/pubs/prod/Educ/BlueprintOverview.pdf

Published by

Jan

I am a 67 year old runner and conservative. I taught for 31 years and retired a few years back. In my life, I have coached and judged gymnastics, coached softball, and raised two amazing kids.

3 thoughts on “The Chernobyl Disaster in Education”

  1. Jan,
    An excellent summary of the Government’s usurpation of PARENTAL and LOCAL Rights!!! We are losing our children, our towns and our Country!!!
    It is time to step up and TAKE A STAND!!!
    Join us in protecting our families, children and our Constitutional Rights!!!
    Come to the Family Advocacy Alliance Meeting on Tuesday, February 15th at 7pm (at the Easton Volunteer Fire House.) Make your voice heard AND bring a friend!

  2. Excellent! Thank you Jan for shedding light on what is going on and inspiring others to spread the word.

Thanks for commenting!!