Monday, February 16, 2015

By:  Sue Goncarovs

The FDA and EPA are regulatory agencies with complicated approval processes. It takes a great deal of money and years of proof to get permission to sell products for human consumption or use.   Each and every part of the process requires EFFICACY--scientifically, accurate, with the long-term effects measured and re-tested over time.  There should be NO“short-cutting” with respect to public health, so every precaution must be taken. 

FDA and EPA are the Regulators; Chemical, Anti-microbial, Sanitizing, and Pharmaceutical Companies are the Regulatees. While the enforcement authority of the FDA and EPA are not absolute, states have parallel authority, and we depend upon these state and federal agencies to ensure the quality of the food we eat and water we drink. 

The Department of Education is confused. Instead of regulating the Testing Companies, the DOE has partnered with Testing monopolies.  The DOE plays the role of ‘broker of funds and influence’ rather than one of governance.  This is like the FDA and EPA “partnering” with Lilly and BP rather than hold them accountable legal oversight.

Profit-making Testing Companies should be regulated with scrutiny and oversight enforced.  Testing Companies should have to provide sound, efficacious data about their products the way FDA and EPA examines every step of the required efficacy steps taken by General Mills or Lysol. In spite of ALEC, many corporations not only accept regulation not just as part of the cost of doing business, but as a moral imperative for the privilege they bear so they can sell things for human consumption.  This is called Corporate Responsibility.

Scores based on faulty, unproven tests pose a deeper public threat than the maker of faulty drugs or pesticides because there IS NO oversight mechanism in place to mitigate their damage. There is no “Superfund” like there is in EPA, for example. At the DOE, the Edu-frackers are in charge.

School systems should not be forced to  choose unproven, disprove or untested instrumentation or to be influenced by individuals and private corporations with large, war chests; and yet the DOE finds no conflict of interest by allowing and encouraging Test Profiteering.

There are many good reasons to have a Department of Education; aiding and abetting collusive practices is not one of them. The DOE shouldn’t be hiring former employees of Educational Testing Companies nor should they be allowing private companies to have control over local school authorities. They should have the regulatory authority to nail the revolving door shut with tough rules against it. 

BP was fined for its responsibility in the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and we, as a nation, are grateful for the oversight.

Public Education is at a crossroads, and the DOE needs to accept its responsibility to regulate; the federal role should be to step back and look at the mess that Testing Companies are making.  Parents need to step up to the mic and say ‘no more.’  As taxpayers with a vested interest in their children’s future, parents need require the DOE to help their children, not destroy their kids and teachers using Tests based on useless metrics.

Testing Corporations and billionaires who throw money at school systems should be prosecuted so they’ll stop harming children and teachers—and the DOE should be using Anti-trust and Civil rights laws --armed with the same teeth we use to regulate polluters. 
The DOE needs to hold these individuals and Testing corporations accountable with laws that have the same force and effect because their spillage is devastating our children, our system of public education, and our future.  For many of us, our children and their education are as important as the water we drink and the food we eat.  

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