For several months, I have been blogging like a madman about my suspicions that we are being ushered into a new era of embedded, competency-based assessment that has been planned behind the scenes for years by the testing, ed-tech, and student loan industries.

And now here we are.  The final bicameral version of the ESEA rewrite has been released for us to view, two days before the House intends to vote on it.

I wonder – are our Congressmen busy doing what many of us are tonight?  Searching this document madly to see what’s in it?  Trying to make sense of which clauses go with what, and what all the double-speak actually means?

Do they know what is meant by “competency-based“?  How about “instructionally embedded”?  Do they know the difference between community schools and Community Schools?

What will your representative think when (if?) he or she reads this section below?  Do they know who stands to gain from all of this, and what it may mean for our kids?

The term ‘innovative assessment system’ means a system of assessments that may include competency-based assessments, instructionally embedded assessments, interim assessments, cumulative year-end assessments, or performance-based assessments that combine into an

annual summative determination for a student which may be administered through computer adaptive assessments; and assessments that validate when students are ready to demonstrate mastery or proficiency and allow for differentiated student support based on individual learning needs.
Please call if you haven’t and ask them to delay this vote.  We need time to explain to them what all this means.


Here he is again, the No Squirrel:






Author: Emily Talmage

My name is Emily Talmage and I teach fourth grade at Montello Elementary School in Lewiston, Maine. In addition to teaching in Lewiston, I have also taught special education and general education in New York City, including one year at a “high-performing” charter school in Brooklyn. I also have two master’s degrees; one in Urban Education from Mercy College, and another in Developmental Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. I have also worked as a research analyst and assistant at the National Center for Children and Families at Columbia and Oldham Innovative Research in Portland.

4 thoughts on “#STOPESEA”

  1. A friend of mine just sent this note about what she’s finding…this is just a piece: “they’re generally not using the phrase “college- and career-ready” — at least not in the pages I’ve had time to read — but instead are
    calling required standards “challenging.” But if you look at all the required coordination and alignments, it’s CC or CC clone” Gotta love it, just more semantic deception – no longer rigor…challenging! I’m about to dive into this now.


    1. I started reading it and even though I know what most of the terms mean, we don’t know if they mean the same in governmental double speak.After a bit, I stopped reading.I stopped because just with the 50 or 60 pages I did read I realized that this is a complete take-over of America’s education system.
      They have no business getting this detailed , telling our children what they are going to be before they finish middle school.This whole bills got to go!
      I think we need to start a class action against this bill based on it’s unconstitutional nature.There are at the least , hundreds of thousands of people, committed to eradicating cc. Maybe we should try to take the Constitution back.


  2. Hi Emily, I’m a journalism student at Northeastern University writing a story about proficiency-based learning and I’ve seen some of your interviews and writing on the subject. I’d very much like to interview you. I can be reached at oliver.g@husky.neu.edu or through Facebook. My deadline is next Friday. I hope to hear from you. -Georgeanne Oliver


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