Why I Do Not Endorse the Writings of Anita Hoge
It is time for me to address the issue of the writings of Anita Hoge.
Well-intended readers send me links to Hoge, but I do not promote Hoge because her positions are fear-promoting conjecture, and her evidence is not evidence.
For readers unfamiliar with Hoge, keep reading.
For this post, I focus on excerpts taken from a post centered on the 8-year-delayed reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), entitled, “The Medicalization of Schools,” by Hoge and a co-writer, Gen Yvette Sutton. Below is the first excerpt of interest:
Senator Alexander’s and Senator Murray’s “BIPARTISAN” Reauthorization of ESEA is explained in the following documentation. These points entrench mental health interventions in schools with pages and documentation in Alexander’s Senate version of ESEA provided below:
ALL students will be identified as “at-risk” allowing government access to ALL children under Common Core, Title I, and IDEA to receive mental health services, treatment, and interventions. [P.38 produce individual student interpretive descriptive, diagnostic reports consistent with (II) children with disabilities; pp. 17, 36, 41, 83, 87, 90, 93, 94, 113, 118, 122, 125, 131, 254, 365]
Now, it sure seems impressive to see all of those page numbers following the “all students will be identified as ‘at-risk'” statement. However, do not mistake the dazzle of page numbers for credible support.
Let us examine some of those page number references.
Consider the supposed evidence from page 38. The words above are inaccurately cited. Here are the actual words, as part of the requirements for statewide academic assessments that begins back on page 34:
‘‘(x) produce individual student interpretive, descriptive, and diagnostic reports, consistent with clause (iii) [“be used for purposes for which such assessments are valid and reliable…], that allow parents, teachers, principals, and other school leaders to understand and address the specific academic needs of students, and include information regarding achievement on academic assessments aligned with challenging State academic achievement standards, and that are provided to parents, teachers, principals, and other school leaders as soon as is practicable after the assessment is given, in an understandable and uniform format, and, to the extent practicable, in a language that the parents can understand.
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.
Let’s take the next page number Hoge/Sutton cite: pg. 17. The text of page 17 concerns states’ coordinating Title I grant submissions “with other programs under this Act,” which means that the state request must complement other federally-funded programs.
One example used on the “coordination” list is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Others include the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act and the Head Start Act.
Coordinating programs does not equal declaring all students “at risk,” and only someone who does not understand the ESEA draft language would assume as much.
Let’s do another. Hoge/Sutton cite page 36. We’re back to the Title I state assessment requirements. Page 36 notes that state assessments must “provide for” participation of all students and must “provide for the appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities (as defined in section 602(3) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), and students with a disability who are provided accommodations under another Act….” The state assessments must also “provide for the inclusion of English learners….”
To stretch this language to fit some idea that “all students will be identified as ‘at-risk'” is ignorant. It is also ignorant to try to link the Senate ESEA draft with Common Core (which Hoge and Sutton do as noted in their quote above). The term, “Common Core” is used only twice in the 601-page Senate ESEA draft, and that is on pages 560-61, in the section entitled, “Prohibitions on Federal Government and Use of Federal Funds.”
In short, under the Senate ESEA draft, the US secretary cannot mandate states to adopt Common Core.
As to the rest of the pages cited in the Hoge/Sutton quote above, I leave readers to perform their own investigations, which they can do using the Senate ESEA draft link here. As for me, the three investigations I just included are enough.
Hoge/Sutton continue their post by noting that “psychological and psychiatric techniques will be employed to change the student’s psyche and personality to government qualities… with all techniques researched, validated and proven to change the values, attitudes, beliefs, and dispositions of your children toward Common Core attitudes, values, beliefs, and dispositions. ”
Page numbers that Hoge/Sutton include to support this supposed Common Core brainwash are “pp. 24, 120, 244 measure non-cognitive measures; pp. 58, 94, 119, 125, 243-244, 253, 367-368.”
Let us again consider a few of the pages Hoge/Sutton cite.
Page 24 is part of a section that begins on page 23 detailing the limitations the US secretary of education has over state standards and assessments. The entire page notes what the US secretary is prohibited from controlling.
Page 120 mentions helping children meet “challenging State academic standards” and “other strategies to improve student’s academic and non-academic skills essential for success.”This is part of a larger section to “address the needs of all children in the school, but particularly the needs of those at risk of not meeting the challenging State academic standards” to address how schools are meeting identified school needs, including that this school-wide program plan “be monitored and improved over time based on student needs, including increased supports for those students who are lowest-achieving (pgs. 117-18).
Page 244 falls under formula grants for the “Fund to Improve Teaching and Learning” under Title II (“Preparing, Training, and Recruiting High-quality Teachers, Principals and Other School Leaders”). Local education agencies (LEAs) applying for subgrants under this section must conduct a needs assessment to determine schools “with the most acute staffing needs… related to… improving student behavior, including the response of teachers, principals, and other school leaders to student behavior, in the classroom and school, including the identification of early and appropriate interventions, which may include positive behavioral interventions and supports…” (pgs. 243-44).
As to page 58, states can decide if they wish to use Title I money “to support a multi-tiered system of supports, positive behavioral interventions and supports, or early intervening services,” but are not required to do so. If states do so, according to page 58, they must work with LEAs “in the development, implementation, and coordination of such activities and services with similar activities and services carried out under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in schools served by the local educational agency, including by providing technical assistance, training, and evaluation of the activities and services.”
In other words, regular education is to work with special education (not against, and not in isolation from) when it comes to schools’ utilizing Title I money to address issues of student behavior.
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.
And now to the ESEA “Medicaid” issue that Hoge/Sutton purport:
A Provider 50 License is required to bill for MEDICAID for mental health wrap-around services allowing ALL students to be accessed by outside mental health providers. (pp. 106, 254-255, 350, 354, 355, 364, 365, 367, 368, 369)
MEDICAID EPSDT (Early Periodic Screening and Diagnostic Testing from age 0 to 21) are federal GUIDELINES used to promote the identification of students with Common Core mental health disabilities (the government social, emotional, and behavioral standards) that use DSM codes to bill for mental health wrap-around services. (p. 131 (IV) 254-255, 350, 354, 355, 364, 365, 367, 368, 369)
Allow me note that I have yet to know of any student “identified” with “Common Core mental health disabilities.”
Here is a Hoge/Sutton explanation on their Medicaid issue:
Senator Alexander, Senator Murray, Representative Kline, Senator Casey, have purposely neglected to inform their colleagues about the expansion of MEDICAID through the schools. They purposely have not notified each of the states that the expansion of MEDICAID in the schools would extend to ALL children now identified as AT-RISK for the “specialized student instructional support” services billable through mental health wrap-around services.
ALL children = more MEDICAID money for the schools = unsustainable burden for the states.
Now, let’s consider some of that ESEA page-numbered “evidence”:
I think page 106 is my favorite Hoge/Sutton “evidence” of the Medicaid for All Bankrupting America idea.
Continuing under the heading of “measures” from page 105, page 106 includes the various means by which states might measure poverty among children ages 5 to 17 for the purposes of applying for Title I money. LEAs may choose from one of four measures to gauge the number of students in poverty: 1) recent census data counts; 2) number of children eligible for free or reduced lunch; 3) number of children receiving Social Security benefits, and 4) number of children eligible to receive Medicaid benefits.
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.”
On to the next page number that Hoge and Sutton cite re:Medicaid panic.
Page 131 is part of the “Targeted Assistance School Program” (pg. 124) under Title I. The information on page 131 states that Title I funds (not Medicaid) may be used in the following situation:
COMPREHENSIVE SERVICES.—If health, nutrition, and other social services are not otherwise available to eligible children in a school operating a targeted assistance school program and such school, if appropriate, has established a collaborative partnership with local service providers and funds are not reasonably available from other public or private sources to provide such services, then a portion of the funds provided under this subsection may be used to provide such services, including through—
(i) the provision of basic medical equipment and services, such as eyeglasses and hearing aids;
(ii) compensation of a coordinator;
(iii) family support and engagement services;
(iv) health care services and integrated student supports to address the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of children; and
(v) professional development necessary to assist teachers, specialized instructional support personnel, other staff, and parents in identifying and meeting the comprehensive needs of eligible children. (pgs. 131-32)
This is not Medicaid for All.
The next pages Hoge/Sutton cite, pages 254-55, involve in-service training for school personnel in “the techniques and supports needed for early identification of children with trauma histories, and children with, or at risk of, mental illness” and “the use of referral mechanisms that effectively link such children to appropriate treatment and intervention services in the school and in the community, where appropriate; and forming partnerships between
school-based mental health programs and public or private mental health organizations.”
Again, this is not evidence of some shrewd plan for Alexander and Murray to promote Medicaid.
Page 350 is the definition of “school-based mental health services provider”:
The term ‘school-based mental health services provider’ includes a State licensed or State certified school counselor, school psychologist, school social worker, or other State licensed or certified mental health professional qualified under State law to provide such mental health services to children and adolescents, including children in early childhood education programs.
The evidence of some Medicaid for All plan is hatching slower than the supposed plan itself.
And I am done here. Again, I leave the remaining page numbers to reader perusal.
Readers can also feel free to read the entire Hoge/Sutton post should they choose. I have had my fill.
I have read the entire 601-page Senate ESEA draft as well as 20 of the 29 amendments. (I interrupted my amendment reading in order to write this post.)
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.
A note to those who wish to comment on this post: 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. Thank you.
Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of the ed reform whistle blower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education.
She also has her second book available on pre-order, Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?, due for publication June 12, 2015.