Brian Polet, board president of Eagle Crest Charter Academy in Holland, Michigan has resigned. Scathing Purple Musings has received permission to print his letter of resignation in its entirety:
Dear Eagle Crest Charter Academy, National Heritage Academies, and Central Michigan University,
Effective June 30, 2014, I officially resign as board president and from the board of directors of the Eagle Crest Charter Academy. Having been a part of the ECCA board since 1998, I have enjoyed watching it grow from a fledgling 100+ student body to a well-respected institution of learning, not only in the West Michigan area, but in the state as a whole. Throughout those years, the challenge this board has been to ask the question, “Is it good for our children?” We have now reached a “no” to the answer of that question: Common Core State Standards and its Orwellian sibling, Smarter Balance Assessments. Over the past few months it has come to light that this Academy has suffered the chaos over the past two years of what is commonly called Common Core. Equally apparent is the vim and vigor that CMU and NHA have supported implementation of CC despite a lack of national testing, trials and experience.
This copy-written, corporate-driven education model has been developed by non-teachers and edu-crats from Washington to Lansing to the detriment of students, parents, taxpayers and local school boards. Without control of curriculum and a limited control of budgets, CC has effectively removed local control from parents and put it the hands of ESPs, the Dept. of Ed and state boards.
As a logical conclusion to this hokum, ECCA has fallen victim to this Soviet-style education. The chaos that has ensued is not the consequence of bad management by NHA, but a result of a flawed educational system.
More disturbing to me is the inability to guarantee the data privacy of our students. Neither NHA or the State Board will be able to protect a child’s data from corporate vultures, marketers, and political interest groups from being used in a malevolent way. Equally troubling is the ability for educational personal to manipulate tests and assessments to move any student into certain fields or vocations and to modify behavior without consent or knowledge of the parent.
Sadly, as a volunteer I have no “skins” in this game. This puts the board and its individual members at a decided disadvantage against the combined efforts of CMU and NHA. With this in mind, I want no part of a lousy educational model and I refuse to sign my name to a product that confuses, disorients, diminishes and fails to protect our students.
In conclusion, my conversations with CMU and NHA has made it quite clear that this is the model they want. They can have it. With CC, we no longer have the Socratic model of education, but a new Bill Gates vocational schooling for worker bees and drones. Plainly, I have not left education, education has left me and more importantly, our students.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve these many years.
Eagle Crest Charter Academy Board President
Eagle Crest is part of National Heritage Academies, a nine-state conglomerate of charter schools. Central Michigan University is Eagle Crest’s charter authorizer/sponsor.
Polet’s use of “Soviet-style education” will be sure to roll the eyes of more leftward leaning opponents of the “Gates vocational schooling” he references. His description of Smarter Balanced Assessments as “Orwellian” will not. One man’s Marx is another man’s Orwell. Both are about centralized control of free will and thinking.
Most in the choice-charter school -Common Core cabal aren’t fortunate enough like Polet to “not have skins in the game as volunteers.” They’ve become entrenched and are devoted the this three-headed monster becoming the model which becomes the graven image which controls the multi-billions of dollars the nation devotes to education.