Exposing Senator Alexander’s Expansion of Medicaid through the ESEA Reauthorization

On April 23, 2015, Mercedes Schneider of New Orleans posted an article/rant entitled “Why I Do Not Endorse the Writings of Anita Hoge” on her blog in response to my article printed at Freedom Outpost, April 16, 2015 called The Medicalization of Schools.

This rant was re-posted on Diane Ravitch’s blog, stating that “I will not allow a conspiracy-theory free-for-all in my comments section. As such, I reserve the right to monitor comments in accordance with what I judge to be tasteful for my blog.” And also Mercedes posting on Ravitch’s blog, wrote, “I will continue to delete your comments on my site, as well. If people decide to read your work, that is their choice, but I will not waste my energy in the black-hole time-suck of governmental conspiracy.”

Some will begin to question the legitimacy of their work. Given the tone and tenor of her attack on my research regarding the legislation put forward by Sen. Lamar Alexander and Rep. John Kline to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), I felt it necessary to respond in order to clarify her discrepancies and disinformation. Since neither Schneider nor Diane Ravitch, on whose blog Schneider’s blog posts are often re-posted, will allow any comments to be posted on their blogs that would have questioned their positions and points of view, it became necessary for me to draft a response. It is a shame that Schneider would not respond to my corrections in the interest of giving parents and other citizens the truth regarding the damage that can be done by allowing the passage of Sen. Alexander’s and Rep. Kline’s re-write of our ESEA education law that will expand Medicaid into our schools extending ObamaCare birth to age 21. The following is my rebuttal to Mercedes Schneider:

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“So, in the interests of survival, they trained themselves to be agreeing machines instead of thinking machines. All their minds had to do was to
discover what other people were thinking, and then they thought that, too.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions

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Alexander, Kline, and Ravitch have done just that. They told people to think only about the summary that the three of them have provided and think about nothing else in the bill. Mercedes, you obeyed. What a pity that Ravitch confessed that she has not read the legislation.

Mercedes, perhaps you seem not to have an understanding of fundamental issues as you were “reading” the 600+ pages of Senator Alexander’s ESEA Reauthorization, called Every Child Achieves Act of 2015. The documented pages in this legislation are not opinion, as in a blog. The content of these pages, if passed, will become the law of the land. People need not be impressed with the page numbers; I want people to read those pages with informed eyes.

Your claims that I am promoting fear are very artificial, while my fear is that you do not have the depth of understanding to recognize the danger. Please do not lead people in the wrong direction. Mental health intervention to assure every child’s coordination to government and business goals runs throughout this legislation–and you are ignoring all references therein. It appears that you do not have the experience or historical perspective going back the 30 years of this initiative to transform society through education data-mining.

“With Big Data we can now begin to actually look at the details of social interaction and how those play out, and are no longer limited to averages like market indices or election results. This is an astounding change. The ability to see the details of the market, of political revolutions, and to be able to predict and control them is definitely a case of Promethean fire—it could be used for good or for ill, and so Big data brings us to interesting times. We’re going to end up reinventing what it means to have a human society.’
Alex “Sandy” Pentland, MIT

[Ed. Note: Alex “Sandy” Pentland is a pioneer in big data, computational social science, mobile and health systems, and technology for developing countries. He is one of the most-cited computer scientists in the world and was named by Forbes as one of the world’s seven most powerful data scientists.]

Mercedes, because I do not know you I am assuming your intent to be sincere. I also believe that your amateur eyes are glossing over what they are reading. You have a naïve understanding of how parents fought this agenda in the past. The present legislation will totally transform education in the United States along with every parent, child, and teacher. These federal government mandates will destroy vital education relationships sustained through trust, leaving the child completely vulnerable to exploitation by psychologists, tele-psychiatrists, social workers, researchers, software giants, and testing companies.

Mercedes, let’s continue the conversation.

MERCEDES WROTE: “One can certainly stretch the above to mean that the government is altering student affect in order to suit ‘government qualities,’ but I will not be joining in.”

MY CHALLENGE TO MERCEDES: I’m wondering why you are not acknowledging the references to the affective domain as the target in ESEA. As background, my federal complaint (1990) was against the Pennsylvania state assessment, the Educational Quality Assessment (EQA) that was the model for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

The EQA was determined by U.S. Department of Education General Counsel to be testing attitudes, values, beliefs, and dispositions to assess locus of control and psychological notion of threshold. The top behavioral scientists of the world (8 to be exact) were working with the Educational Testing Service (Carnegie) to develop the EQA tests in the affective domain in Pennsylvania, including Ralph Tyler, David Krathwohl, Eric Gardner, and Edward Thorndike. I have the actual tests and the scoring rubrics.

The scoring for these attitude and values tests were all geared to group goals and group efforts, collectivism. How do you score subjective/affective domain standards unless someone decided there was a “minimum positive attitude” according to the government? Alexander refers to some affective interventions as “positive behavior intervention and support.” This has the potential to be a huge Civil Rights issue.

The US Department of Labor (Secretary’s Commission for Achieving Necessary Skills–SCANS) identified the proficiency levels and ratings for personal qualities and interpersonal soft skills. The US Department of Labor and US Department of Education contracted with American College Testing (ACT) to benchmark Common Core and these behavioral standards. NAEP, ETS, AND ACT have introduced these testing measures–called “soft skills,” “workforce readiness skills,” and “21st Century Skills”–in the affective domain, (p.61) and (Contract with CRESST funded by the USDOE Office of Educational Research and Improvement for SCANS Workforce Readiness.

In a current government publication called, “What Works in Job Training: A Synthesis of the Evidence” (July 22, 2014, US Departments of Labor, Education, Health and Human Services, and Commerce) we find the following statements:

“Job Search and “Soft Skills” Training

“Various studies suggest that “soft skills” training (which includes work-related skills like preparing a resume and understanding work expectations, as well as life skills that can be applied more broadly, including household management, financial literacy, and balancing work and parenting responsibilities) is an important complement to training and education. This training aims to develop the workplace competencies that research shows employers want workers to possess, such as good interpersonal skills, honesty, punctuality, and good time management.

“The importance of these skills was also shown by research from the National Research Council (NRC). In 2012, the NRC developed a taxonomy of “21st Century Skills” that consists of three competency domains: cognitive, intrapersonal, and interpersonal. The NRC found that, among the non-cognitive competencies, conscientiousness–being organized, responsible, and hardworking–has the strongest correlation with positive work and educational outcomes. This expands upon policies endorsed by the Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) in the 1990s, which focused on developing and teaching specific occupational competencies as well as ‘soft skills.'” [Emphasis added] [(page 61) and (here)]

The ACT Aspire test measures “readiness” in the affective domain called “academic behaviors.” They have cleverly used the word “academic” to circumvent any questions that the public might raise about the psychological testing of personality traits. However, these so-called “academic” behaviors include:

Motivation includes personal characteristics that help the student succeed academically by focusing and maintaining energies on goal-directed activities.

Social Engagement includes interpersonal factors that influence students successful integration into the environment.

Self-Regulation includes the thinking processes and emotional (responses that govern how well they monitor, regulate, and control their behavior related to school and learning.”

The big push to include the social, emotional, and behavioral standards is coming from all directions. The Council of Chief State School Officers has incorporated dispositions in the Common Core calling it “citizenship,” similar to the EQA.

NAEP cited in their Saturday Board Policy Discussion (below) proposing including soft skills/ affective domain again in assessments noting Pellegrino, J.W. and Hilton, M.L. (2012) “21st Century Skills,” “Education for Life and Work” cognitive, intrapersonal, interpersonal–reformatted Bloom’s “Whole Child Theory.” [See above for Job Search and ‘Soft Skills Training’]

NAEP will be as “relevant as the census,” adding psychological (attitudes, values, and dispositions) information to demographic information that will be collected by the federal government creating a psychometric dossier. (p.2)

The Innovation Lab Network pilot in 8 states (expanded from original 6) includes affective standards. All of the early childhood criteria include the social, emotional, and behavioral aspects for babies and children. I have documented these subjective/psychological screening Common Core standards for babies. Senator Bob Casey (as well as his late father, Governor Bob Casey) supports Universal Pre-K that includes screening and interventions.

The Lumina Foundation developed a new diploma for higher education called the “Degree Qualification Profile” that includes the affective domain for global citizenship called “civic learning.”

Every ESEA Flexibility Waiver includes the statement:

Principle 6 – establish a school environment that improves school safety and discipline and addresses other non-academic factors that impact student achievement, such as student’s social, emotional and health needs.” [Emphasis added]

What do you think these non-academic, social, emotional, and health needs are? Why do you think Alexander incorporated the statements for “non- academic standards” in the ESEA Reauthorization? How do you measure, score, and remediate values? And to think Alexander calls this mental health?! Why would the language for Universal Design for Learning (UDL), that includes the affective domain, be included in Alexander’s legislation?

On page 40 of Senator Alexander’s ESEA statements are clearly included to use the UDL brain research:

“(xii) enable itemized score analyses to be produced and reported, consistent with clause (iii), to local educational agencies and schools, so that parents, teachers, principals, other school leaders, and administrators can interpret and address the specific academic needs of students as indicated by the students’ achievement on assessment items; and'(xiii) be developed, to the extent practicable, using the principles of universal design for learning…”

Re-thinking the non-cognitive has been the dominant focus of the Bloom ‘Whole Child Theory’ – cognitive + affective = psychomotor – defined as beliefs, feelings, behavior; think, feel, act; or know, do and ‘be like’ [“orientations”—Spady]. Benjamin Bloom’s famous quote is, “Good teaching is challenging the child’s fixed beliefs.” To change behavior [psychomotor or action], you must create a conflict in the affective domain. A short list of affective domain research includes:

  • Duckworth’s grit campaign
  • KIPP
  • Hewlett Packard’s Deeper Learning
  • David Conley (EPIC)
  • Webb’s Deeper Thinking
  • Mindsets & Essential Skills and Habits (MESH)
  • ETS
  • Pelligrino’s 21st Century Skills
  • ACT (ASPIRE/Workkeys/Engage)
  • Innovation Lab Network
  • OECD
  • National Association of State Directors of Special Education
  • Department of Labor SCANS
  • Penn Resiliency Project
  • Universal Design for Learning
  • AIR’s Data-Based Individualization, A Framework For Intensive Interventions
  • Pearson’s BOSS phone app
  • NAEP Civics Framework and LifeSkills
  • Lumina’s Degree Qualification Profile for Higher Ed
  • and many others.

The Hechinger Report, Digital/Edu, published an article posted by Anya Kamenetz on February 18, 2014, entitled “Measures of the heart: non-cognitive skills tests,” exposing steps taken by states to include psychological measures in their state assessments and PISA, the international assessment. (Current correspondence that I have mailed to the Pennsylvania Department of Education and General Counsel has alleged these affective activities as an illegal act in violation of federal law and state policy. See here)

The Pennsylvania Technical Training and Assistance Network (PATTAN) team effort is training teachers in Pennsylvania to screen all students, and apply the multi-tiered system of support to all students (Response to Intervention-RTI), identifying behavioral/mental health disabilities and interventions on normal children before referring any child to Special Education. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) codes must be used for billing and there is no code for normal. Every child will now be coded as mentally disabled. Clearly, the ESEA Flex Waivers are re-educating teachers to implement this mental health agenda and have a process for eliminating and weeding out those who refuse to comply. In addition, Pennsylvania has the contract with Pearson to certify teachers in the new Common Core grade levels. The ESEA Flexibility Guidelines include

“9. Turnaround Principles: Meaningful interventions designed to improve the academic achievement of students in priority schools must be aligned with all of the following “turnaround principles” and selected with family and community input:

  • “providing strong leadership by: (1) reviewing the performance of the current principal; (2) either replacing the principal if such a change is necessary to ensure strong and effective leadership, or demonstrating to the SEA that the current principal has a track record in improving achievement and has the ability to lead the turnaround effort; and (3) providing the principal with operational flexibility in the areas of scheduling, staff, curriculum, and budget;
  • “ensuring that teachers are effective and able to improve instruction by: (1) reviewing the quality of all staff and retaining only those who are determined to be effective and have the ability to be successful in the turnaround effort; (2) preventing ineffective teachers from transferring to these schools;….” [Emphasis added]

    and from the American Institutes for Research (AIR) site]

MERCEDES WROTE: “Allow me to note that I have yet to know of any student ‘identified’ with ‘Common Core mental health disabilities’.”

MY CHALLENGE TO MERCEDES: Surely, you are aware of screening all children’s social, emotional, and behavioral aspects of personalities in the Response to Interventions (RTI), Multi-Tiered System of Supports, Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports, the Penn Resiliency Project, Vanderbilt’s Pyramid Model for babies, Specialized Student Support Teams, all currently being implemented through fidelitymeaning delivering an intervention “exactly the way it was designed and the way it was implemented during research studies that have validated its effectiveness….” (See AIR DOC, p.3) as required in every classroom in America funded through Special Education, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Everybody gets subjectively screened for mental health interventions birth-grade 12+ once teachers are re-educated. Subjective screening and evaluations of a student’s emotional/behavioral conditions do not equal academics.
Plus, many of these interventions are named outright in the ESEA Reauthorization legislation. Please read the Gordon Commission papers for inclusion of testing personalities to be included in Assessments. You can ask Diane Ravitch for these commissioned papers since she served on the Commission.

[See Andrew Ho, Harvard, for trait identification. See pages 7-8]

MERCEDES WROTE: “Nothing I have read lends support to any Hoge-induced mind-bend that ALL students will be labeled “at-risk” and that the government will tamper with children’s psychological states via ESEA requirements. Moreover, the ESEA reauthorization does not carry the authority to place a single student on Medicaid, even if the ESEA authors were foolish enough to directly write as much in the draft– which I assure you they did not.”

MY CHALLENGE TO MERCEDES: Title I identifies the child as “at risk” of not meeting the affective-behavioral Common Core standards. It is IDEA that identifies the child as needing services, remediation and interventions. It is IDEA and the definitions for disabilities and Early Periodic Screening and Diagnostic Testing (EPSDT) that brings in Medicaid. Why do you think there are so many references to IDEA and specialized student instructional support in the Reauthorization? [See Louisiana, p. 9; Gearing up to claim Medicaid reimbursement and p. 11; Applying and billing for MEDICAID School Based Mental Health Funding; Bazelton Law Center/MEDICAID]

Contrary to your opinion, it is Lamar Alexander and John Kline who are “tampering with children’s psychological states,” inducing “mind-bending psychological interventions” with the authority of IDEA. These legislators know exactly what they are doing. How many references do you need under “specialized student instructional support” that are defined as psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, etc., to understand that ESEA is about the government’s proficiency standard of mental health, not

The following are questions about the ESEA Reauthorization:

1. What does it mean when the legislation states that children will be ‘linked’ to appropriate treatment and intervention services and to form partnerships between school-based mental health programs and public-private mental health organizations? (p. 255)

2. What does it mean when the legislation states that school- based mental health service providers include state-licensed or state-certified school counselors, school psychologists, or other state-licensed, certified mental health providers? (pp. 349-350)

3. What does it mean when the legislation says that school-based mental health services for early identification of mental health symptoms, direct or group counseling provided by community health services providers, and school-based mental health programs will form partnerships with private or public mental health entities including child welfare, family-based mental health or community-based entities? (p. 364)

4. What does it mean when the legislation states that the school-based mental health services and supports will be carried out by IDEA-provided mental and behavioral health professionals? This would include early identification of social, emotional and behavioral problems and disorders, early intervention services, and treatment for social, emotional and behavioral problems. (p. 365)

5. What does it mean when the legislation states that school personnel will be trained to identify warning signs for students “at risk” of academic failure in order to coordinate IDEA bringing about school-wide (all children) Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS)? (pp. 366-367)

Also, I’m sure you do not have a copy of the formal investigation (HR 37) by the House Select Investigating Committee in Pennsylvania, chaired by Representative Sam Rohrer, that explains very clearly how this MEDICAID billing agenda will be executed. Pennsylvania was the pilot program, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The warning shots have been fired. MEDICAID services will expand and explode, using our children and our schools under the banner of equity and mental health.

Also, as further background, I testified at the US Department of Interior National Infrastructure Health and Education Data Security Hearing (December 8, 1994 in Washington, DC), at which I presented a paper entitled “Exposing the Medicalization of Schools” along with Representative Sam Rohrer, and Kent Masterson Brown, Esq., who filed the complaint to stop HillaryCare. Pennsylvania parents and students were victims of this pilot program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

My paper reported how Medicaid would become the financial vehicle mandating and remediating mental health outcomes when HillaryCare was being promoted. It explained how schools would be required to obtain a provider or partial hospitalization license to bill for Medicaid through Mental Health Wrap-Around Services at school through the identification and re-definition of disabilities of all children as “at risk” through Title I, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), thus substantiating the following statement by Ira Magaziner at the HillaryCare hearings, Washington, D.C: “Medicaid would merge into the main healthcare system.” This is Hillary’s backdoor dream come true for her vision of
“It Takes a Village To Raise a Child.”
ESEA Reauthorization is her baby, reincarnated, to integrate age 0-21 into the national healthcare system known currently as ObamaCare.

The difference between the 1994 Outcome Based Education (OBE) battle vs. Common Core is that parents stopped the affective domain standards from becoming mandated to individual children at that time. The authority to have government affective domain/mental health standards to become legal is the crucial piece in the current ESEA legislation. Common Core, ESEA Flex Waivers, and ESEA Reauthorization allow the federal government to access our individual children as “at risk” in the affective domain. Mercedes, you just refuse to face the facts.

I was also an expert witness to a lawsuit filed by Pittsburgh parents against their school district, University of Pittsburgh, and Western Psychiatric Hospital for implementing a program entitled Pittsburgh Schoolwide Intervention Model (PSWIM), a prototype for Title I Common Core mental health programming and remediation/re-education.

MERCEDES WROTE: “This is not evidence that Medicaid can be billed for all students’ mental health services. It is not even a section detailing mental health services. It is only a section of Title I operationalizing the concept, ‘measure of poverty’.”

MY CHALLENGE TO MERCEDES: Secretary Duncan and President Obama had lowered the poverty guidelines to 0% in the ESEA Flexibility Waivers, so that all children are accessed and blanketed under Title I in a schoolwide program. Title I has been bastardized. It no longer serves just the poor. Title I now applies to every child who is “educationally deprived.” Every child has to meet all “aligned academic achievement standards” (p.28) to the government-mandated proficiency levels in a continuing, closed, feedback loop-controlled process. Therefore, every child is Title I and all of these continuing direct services for every child are billable to Medicaid.

On page 106 there is an expansion of the school-wide program to include free and reduced lunch, children under Social Security Administration, or the number of children eligible for Medicaid. So, interventions are well underway and they will not stop with the ESEA Reauthorization. The section in schoolwide programs allows the poverty level the day before implementation of the legislation to be granted, which would be the 0% waived by Duncan and Obama in the Flex Waivers. Read below:

“(ii) the school is operating a schoolwide program on the day before the date of enactment of the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015, in which case such school may continue to operate such program, but shall develop amendments to its existing plan during the first year of assistance after that date to reflect the provisions of this section.” (p.116)

MERCEDES WROTE: “The reports noted on page 38 are reports of student progress on state assessments, reports that are for parents and school officials. There is no directive to send such reports to the federal government.”

MY CHALLENGE TO MERCEDES: “School Officials” as defined in Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) have access to the National Center for Educational Statistics/Institute for Educational Statistics (NCES/IES) state longitudinal data system of student’s personally identifiable information. Page 38 in Alexander’s ESEA states that there is a need to “produce individual student interpretive descriptive, diagnostic reports” which can be shared in written agreements under FERPA to third party contractors.

[Authority and Obama Executive Order 12866]

§ Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g (b)(1) and (b)(2)(A)

§ 99.31 “Under what conditions is prior consent not required to disclose information?” and

§ 99.33(a) “governing the use and redisclosure of personally identifiable information from education records”)]

You have not mentioned at any time that Alexander’s inclusion of FERPA in the reauthorization legislation (pp. 66, 83, 372) would codify President Obama’s Executive
Order 12866 into law. This would legalize the now illegal data tracking, data mining, and data trafficking because this EO unlocked FERPA and allowed written agreements for re-disclosing our children’s and teacher’s personally identifiable information to third party contractors. ESEA accomplishes the goal of legalizing the disclosure of our
children’s personally identifiable information to outside contractors.

Our children are NOT protected at all. I have the contracts in Pennsylvania that allow personally identifiable information to be re-disclosed to outside contractors. Parents in Pennsylvania released a press release about the privacy and data violations this past January. But I guess you missed that too, along with the NCES/IES grants to every state that are monitoring individual data collected by the Feds in a state longitudinal data system.

Mercedes, you and Ravitch are allowing Alexander and Kline to hide the truth about ESEA. Parents and teachers have a right to know what will happen under this law. This documentation is crucial for parents to protect their children. I find it regrettable that you refuse to look at the momentum of the federal government’s control through the merging of health, education, and labor.

This country needs more warriors to understand when freedom is at death’s door. This ESEA Reauthorization will destroy our children’s freedom of thought, education and unique futures. Please don’t let Alexander and Kline destroy freedom itself in America. This is our generation’s challenge. Join the fight.

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