Archive for November 2012

How Fast Are We Losing Educational Liberty?   5 comments

How fast are our leaders negatively transforming U.S. Education and removing parents from the process since the election?

Ten days after the election, our Secretary of Education announced a new direction in which the US will partner with the UN and Common Core will be the vehicle for “International Education.”

Then, the Utah State Board of Education announced a $39 million contract with American Institutes for Research (AIR) an extremely liberal international organization with ties to one-world promoters Bill and Melinda Gates and socialist George Soros.  AIR collects data on school children and plays a very active role in projects dealing with Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) youth, Civil Rights, social and behavioral issues, and international health care.

How many parents know AIR  is the group writing their child’s new school tests?

Then, just this week, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch voted to bring a very dangerous UN Treaty to the floor of the Senate which Harry Reid will push into a vote.  It takes parental rights away in favor of a UN committee to decide what is best for the “rights of the child”.

Please call and write your representatives.

Fees for Imaginary Textbooks   1 comment

Dear Principal Kelly and School Board,
I recently received a student fees bill.  I’m not sure why I got it now, since we paid $44 on the first day of school. I have a bill of $200 on top of the $44 we already paid.
I’m writing to ask for an explanation of why we pay huge property taxes which fund our schools, plus schools collect state funds, plus schools collect (just a little, I know) federal monies for our schools, and we supposedly have legislated “free public education” in Utah, yet we have large school fees.
Why do we have to pay to use our tax-funded school?
Students must even pay for the privilege of using a locker?
They must pay for many of the individual classes.
The biggest insult is that we are to pay textbook rental fees of $30 per student when there are no textbooks.  It makes no sense to pay for the use of imaginary textbooks.
My child has not had a single textbook authorized for her.  Most of her classes don’t even have textbooks.  I really wish they did, especially in math.  She can, if she begs, check a history book out and borrow it.  But only for that one class.
We have employment.  I am not asking for a waiver.  I am asking for a fair explanation.
I will make one more suggestion:  make the school board an unpaid position.  If I were a board member, I would consider it an honor to serve.
There are many tens of thousands of dollars going out to pay the board, dollars that could be spent on textbooks and lockers for the kids.
Thank you.
Christel Swasey

Who is Actively Working to Repeal Common Core?   1 comment

Here’s a starter list for groups who are actively working to free our country from the Common Core Initiative. 

If you know of others, please let me know.

National Federation of Republican Women

Heritage Foundation

CATO Institute

Pioneer Institute

Utahns Against Common Core

American Principles Project

Utah Eagle Forum

Joyce & Dick Kinmont Family

LDS Home Educators Assn.

American Leadership Fund

Standard of Liberty

Proper Role of Government

United Women’s Forum

Principled Liberty Foundation

Citizens for Strong Families

Freedom for Utah Education

Sutherland Institute

Thomas Jefferson Center for Constitutional Studies

Teacher Susan Wilcox – Part II: It Feels Like Communism   1 comment

Wolf in Sheep's ClothingCommon Core: It Feels Like Communism

By Utah Teacher Susan Wilcox

It doesn’t feel like the happy neighborhood schools we used to have. Principals are trained to put off parents and just stand firm on what the districts dictate. Parents have become afraid to speak, too, because they are singled out.

I came clean with a few parents at parent teacher conference and tried hard to express my discontent in a friendly way, not making the district look too harsh, but they are.

They ask teachers out of formality to make it look like they respect us, then go ahead with their own agenda.

I am glad to share – I had a lot of emotional, upset moments in the publics schools over this and held SO MUCH INSIDE. Everyone is afraid – it feels like communism, really.

Parents need to be reading and speaking up. They need to be going to EACH school board in hoards, and protesting this but there has been NO discussion amongst parents at all, no voting, as you said in the website, and we have just been told as teachers what to teach and how to teach it. That is not what any of us want for our public schools! I can only speak from experience, but at least you know you are getting one teacher’s story.

Susan Wilcox

What’s Wrong with the P-20 and SLDS Citizen Surveillance in Schools? Video   Leave a comment

History Teacher on Glenn Beck Show   Leave a comment

Posted November 29, 2012 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

Are People Afraid of Educational Freedom?   Leave a comment

"Like" LDS Liberty's *page* to continue receiving quotes from Prophets and Apostles as they get released.Some people are afraid of freedom. Not me.

Some people who’ve spent time in jail return to jail deliberately, having found it was scarier to be free than to be a prisoner.  They preferred guaranteed “safety” over the possibilities (and responsibilities) of freedom.

And people with that attitude seems to be growing.

If Obama got more votes than Romney (and it wasn’t a fraudulent, rigged election) then a lot of voters want a nanny government that is “safe” like prison, that is a sort of provider as it is also a slavemaster.  This system enriches the few elites, wastes money on bureaucracies, and sometimes, but barely, pays for the poor.  It’s communism.

Do unemployed people (those who could work, but don’t) really prefer a tiny government check and food stamps to self respect, self control and freedom?

But more to the point:

Are we afraid of educational freedom?

Do we prefer pre-packaged, nationally written tests and standards to writing our own?  Do we so fear failing that we don’t want to have the liberty to innovate and soar or fail on our own?  Do we believe that other people –federal officials, for example–  know best?  If so, why?

Common Core is based on a lie; the lie is that the only way to address the problems we have nationally in education is to put the collective nation in charge of each locality’s choices: what to teach and to test.

That collective notion is not the way to effectively fix the education problems; the right way is to give localities back their own freedom to innovate, to seek out the best and to determine and use what actually works.  Give them back their tax money, their self respect, their self-determination, and their freedom.  Let them look to the best of the best, like the pre-Common Core educational system of Massachusetts, which was second to none– but never to force any system, no matter how good it may be, on states the way the Dept. of Education has coerced states to adopt Common Core with the dangling carrot of grant money (Race To The Top).

The federal government is too big to be adequately aware of local needs.  The Constitution writers set up our nation to make sure that pretty much everything was up to the states– except things like the military, which needed to be federalized for obvious reasons.

Unconstitutional moves –like Common Core– hurt our country.   Look at nationalized health care, a horrible idea, a sick waste of money, a sure way to make sure wait lines are long and service slackens as it has in the European countries.  Ask a Swede.  Ask a Czech.  (I have!)

Similarly, in education, nationalized school systems are a horrible idea, a sure way to make sure innovation stops, mass indoctrination has full sway, teachers’ skills are repressed and boxed in, and students are herded and tracked and branded like cattle rather than taught as individuals.

Some of us are fast.  Some of us are slow.  Common Core is a shackle that tries to make everybody the same.  And that ain’t fun and it ain’t freedom:  not for students, not for teachers, not for textbook writers.

Please, join the fight to reclaim our educational freedom.  Help repeal Common Core.

Will Common Core Rescue or Worsen American Illiteracy Rates?   Leave a comment

     The New American magazine ran an article this week entitled “How to Eradicate Illiteracy in America,” by Sam Blumenfeld.

http://www.thenewamerican.com/reviews/opinion/item/13752-how-to-eradicate-illiteracy-in-america

Blumenfeld writes that according to the National Center for Education Statistics 2003 report,  43 percent of American adults are virtually illiterate.  But nobody seems to have noticed.

Blumenfeld writes that “The socialist curriculum is so deeply entrenched in the education system, that there is no possibility that the illiteracy-producing machine can be stopped. Such reform efforts as Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education can’t even begin to address the issue of illiteracy. They espouse the thinking of all previous establishment reformers: set standards and spend more money.”

Blumenfeld blames John Dewey for much of the illiteracy in America today.

“Today many children not only can’t read the Bible, they can’t read a newspaper. They can’t read, period. How did this situation come about? It all started in 1898 when socialist John Dewey proclaimed that the traditional primary school subjects that emphasized literacy, spelling, and arithmetic for the development of independent thinking, must be replaced by a new curriculum that emphasized socialization and group think.

Blumenfeld calls Dewey’s sales pitch baloney.  Dewey had written: “It is one of the great mistakes of education to make reading and writing constitute the bulk of the school work the first two years.  The true way is to teach them incidentally as the outgrowth of the social activities at this time. “

Blumenfeld explains, “The illiterate student doesn’t make rapid progress later. He becomes stuck in his illiteracy.”

Blumenfeld concludes that the only way to eradicate illiteracy is to go directly to the people affected by the programs that create illiteracy.

“This means creating a massive campaign for universal literacy that can only be successfully undertaken by conservative leaders who sincerely believe in the cause. They must want to help those who have been academically damaged and handicapped by the schools. And they must embark on a program to teach these people to read.”

A Teacher Talks: Susan Wilcox on Common Core   4 comments

Our Job Is Not To Indoctrinate

By Utah Teacher Susan Wilcox

We are being duped.

My trust of our district people led me to just go along with many things that I was not aware would be so controlling.  At the end of the year, while we were cleaning out things and had little time to talk, they called us together to ask if they could spend the money on SRA courses that were excellent (in their opinion) – brought NO SAMPLES, and we agreed.

– In one short moment, we had changed from our own lesson plans to nationally written materials.

When we got them during the summer, there was no training yet for using them; they were piled on our shelves and one district person said to just pick them up and get going; the other said wait for training.  (I’m not sure they even knew what they were doing.)

After being trained, I was excited at first with how well these were put together.  Then I noticed the green agenda in there and political stuff that could be controversial, and just thought I was being “old fogie” in my thinking.

There were sideline comments about extinction of certain animals.  It was the SRA Reading Mastery program, and the 2nd year we switched to another program by the same company.

It was more directly teaching reading skills.  It didn’t have a lot of writing in it, but what it had I liked.

The problem is – I was between a rock and a hard place; we, as teachers, were directly responsible for their IEP goals, and these programs did NOT serve the IEP goals for each of my students.  In my own training and part of my OWN resolve to help Special Education students, I determined to copy and read NIGHTLY their goals when preparing lessons.  I don’t know WHAT could be more important (since parents sign this document and it is a legal paper of what this child NEEDS..) than following the individual needs of a student.  I never felt there was any place or time to express these things within the district.  They just plowed forward training us.

It was kind of exciting that a course would be followed when students transferred in the district, so they would have the same course going on.  There were other selling points, but in the end there is no better course for a student than the inspired lessons of a loving eacher, who lives with that child for hours every day – even more hours than their parents see and work with them.

It is a sacred trust to me, and I was NOT happy to have that taken away.  It is the reason good people choose to be teachers.  We realize that PEOPLE are our most important resource, and we want to mold and train them to have the skills they need.

Our job is not to indoctrinate in ANY way.  That is a parent’s privilege and borders on religion.

I felt SO outcast in the schools.  Everyone is just worried about keeping their jobs and talk REALLY softly when expressing their feelings, when what they FEEL is what they should be loudly acclaiming.


Teachers have to express in private because they are afraid of losing their jobs.  I will no longer hold back, because I don’t have and don’t WANT a job in the public sector again.  I held out to help my husband get retired and pay off debt so we could free ourselves.  I hope to be of value to the WONDERFUL teachers in our schools, who need our help.

Since I taught resource, I only listened in the faculty room to teachers who were very upset, but stayed calm to keep their jobs.   They need those of us who are in a good situation to help to do exactly that.

I don’t like our unions because, at least in Utah, they have done nothing to help our teachers.  They can’t speak up because the unions have no power to save their jobs and side with the district in defending them.

But I wish the district could record faculty room talk…they would find out that most of the teachers feel pressured, blamed for everything that goes wrong with parents, and end up being the beating stick in education, when we are actually the only ones saving those students between what they need and what is coming to them.

I was told to read a script to my resource students – SRA Reading course, and it did not serve the IEP’s of my students.

I did a much better job designing lessons for EACH student as I prayed over my stewardship as a teacher.  I greatly resented being told my methods were not research-based, and therefore not acceptable.

I researched the files of my students, and I don’t know what better research a teacher could do but read the entire written history of each student, and follow through with a lesson plan for what they needed.

The direct instruction was very nicely designed.  It was easy and saved time for all the ridiculous paperwork in Special Education.  But I only taught half day and did paperwork the rest.  I wanted to be more effective to my students.

Since music is being cut, my chances were better at business at home.  I always did better at home – I got up to $6000 in grants to run a children’s orchestra over a period of 25 years from outside sources, but always felt like “WHY do I have to do this OUTSIDE the schools?” – They were my dream classes in orchestra.

The district held me back.  I am not happy though that only kids who could pay a community school fee got my expertise.  The schools should unleash teachers and their talents and stop all the accountability nonsense.  They can use those programs on teachers who have not done well and evaluate them…to help them.  These programs stops teachers from planning – and wearies their day.  It takes their attention away from planning and doing a good job. I am very against the focus on teachers as though THEY were the problem.

I home schooled, half-and-half, with my own children.  They were too smart for the wasted time in the public school.

This doesn’t feel like the America I once knew. The time to speak up strongly has come for me.  I am not holding back.  I read a lot and study the issues, but I know the feelings I have I can always trust in the situations I encounter.  I go by those…they don’t fail me.

By Susan Wilcox

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The author of this wordpress site thanks Susan Wilcox for sharing her story.

Sec. Duncans Aims at Texas Education (After Texas Rejected the Common Core Initiative)   1 comment

The U.S. Dept. of Education now has “Communications Regions”. http://www2.ed.gov/about/contacts/gen/regions.html

( FYI, regionalism and “Regional Equality” are tenets of the United Nations’ Agenda 21.  –Because people are easier to control en masse than in smaller localities.)

So, I asked the Region 9 Education Service Center Public Information Officer, Debbie Cummings, to explain things to me.  (Does her title not sound so Orwellian?)

I asked her how the U.S. Constitution works with the notion of regions, of U.S. states’ boundaries being less relevant, with the federal departments working with regions instead.

And Debbie Cummings dodged the actual question but answered a related issue that’s also important:  “…in regard to your concern regarding “federal and state powers having checks and balances”  It is through the Governor’s Office and the Texas Education Agency that the state’s rights are reviewed for compatibility with federal priorities prior to the state making application for any federal funds.  It is then through the Texas Education Agency that the use of these funds are tracked to ensure adherence to both the federal and state priorities and requirements.  However, if the priorities do not reflect a state’s priorities, then the State is not obligated to apply for the federal funds. 

[So, states won't be funded, even though they paid taxes federally. 

They may not have access to their own tax money for their own schools,

if their priorities don't match federal priorities?]

Cummings taught me something I didn’t know:  “Many times they carry a different title from state to state, i.e., in New York they are called BOCES (Boards of Cooperative Educational Services); whereas in Texas, they have been named by the legislature as Regional Education Service Centers.”  Ok.  Harder to see the federal uniformity when states name their federal, regional education headquarters differently, I suppose.

So, I asked a Texas friend, Donna Garner, what she thought of all of this.

Donna Garner said, “The lawyers who set up the TESCCC (who own CSCOPE) knew full well what the laws are regarding the Education Service Centers (ESC), and they deliberately set up this corporation to get around the laws. They think they have figured out a way to make CSCOPE untouchable, but we are working with Texas Legislators to figure out some bills that will counteract the TESCCC. ”

“The ESC’s were not set up to become marketing mouthpieces for CSCOPE curriculum. It was never the intent of the Texas Legislature that set up the ESC’s to make them into money-making organizations that suck money from local taxpayers. We already pay school taxes to our local districts; we do not need to be paying extra dollars far-and-above those local taxes to help ESC’s make huge profits!  Notice the ESC buildings around the state. The one locally has turned into a state-of-the-art, huge complex; and within those walls is where the CSCOPE marketing and training is being conducted locally.  What a huge waste of our tax dollars!”

“Just yesterday on the Jason Moore talk show in Odessa, a current classroom teacher called in and said what a total waste of time the CSCOPE training is at the ESC.  She said that the ESC staffers have little subject content knowledge and that the teachers who attend know so much more than the ESC staffers do.”

“Because the new TEKS curriculum standards (adopted since May 2008) are grade-level-specific for every grade level and for every core course (ELAR, Science, Social Studies, and Math), there is no need for the ESC’s to hire numerous staffers to train teachers. The teachers now know what is to be taught, and it is their purview to decide how to teach it. Even teachers in small school districts can get together with the teachers in the districts around them and share great teaching ideas of how to teach the TEKS.  Why should those teachers go to the ESC’s when once they get there, they hardly ever come back with any practical ideas that can be used in their classrooms?”  

“Next, the Race to the Top grants now coming from the USDOE go directly to the school districts and the ESC entities; those grants are not dispersed through the TEA.  The funds go directly to the school districts/ESC’s if they are chosen in the final round of federal RTTT grants.” 

How do I interpret these things?  I think corporations and federal entitites should stay out of education, just the way the U.S. Constitution set it up.

U.S. Dept. of Education Arne Duncan

It looks to me like the corporations that make money from Common Core, and the federal Secretary who wants Common Core to be the national uniform, are chasing after Texas.  It’s a control problem.

I remember seeing U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan speaking on a t.v. show way back when Texas rejected Common Core.  He belittled the state’s education system and said that he felt so sorry for the children there, who would not be getting to learn the Common Core.  Oh, yes he did.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/08/arne-duncan-i-feel-very-very-badly-for-kids-in-rick-perrys-texas-schools/

And Texas’ Robert Scott called Secretary Duncan out for it: http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallasnews.com/2011/08/robert-scott-fi.html/

Robert Scott

The supposedly non-federal program, the supposedly state-led initiative of Common Core, when rejected by Texas, angered the U.S. Secretary of Education.  Hmmm.  So he decided that if the state (that is, Governor Rick Perry and Superintendent Robert Scott) were to reject Common Core, he would push it another way– he then started offering Race To The Top funds directly to school districts, bypassing the state completely.  And of course, you can’t have Race to the Top funding unless you agree to Common Core.  That’s how it works.

The elite D.C. educrats and corporations want their way, and they push and push and push.  We must keep pushing back.

Dear Dr. Menlove, Utah State School Board, USOE and Governor Herbert:   Leave a comment

Dear Dr. Menlove, Board, USOE and Governor Herbert:

 

Please see what the U.S. Department of Education is pushing in this document.http://www2.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/internationaled/international-strategy-2012-16.pdf

Compare it to Agenda 21 of the United Nations, the  “Reorientation of Education”:http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/res_agenda21_36.shtml and

http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/res_agenda21_25.shtml

Then tell me there’s not an active attack happening against U.S. freedom, using our public schools and our school children.

 

I want to know what prevents you, our Utah leaders, from fighting for our education freedoms.

 

Please take the time to respond.

 

 

Christel Swasey

Utah teacher

Globalism, the religion of New Ed: US Dept of Ed Doc   Leave a comment

Just take a peek at what the U.S. Department of Education is pushing in this document.  http://www2.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/internationaled/international-strategy-2012-16.pdf

Then compare it to Agenda 21 of the United Nations.  It’s  “Reorienting Education” globally, here:  http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/res_agenda21_36.shtml and

 

http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/res_agenda21_25.shtml

Then tell me there’s not an active attack happening against U.S. freedom, using our schools and our school children.

Salt Lake Tribune: $39M Spent On AIR High Stakes Tests (P-20, Longitudinal Database, Citizen Management)   Leave a comment

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Utah has decided to spend $39 million on American Institutes for Research’s version of Common Core testing.  http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/55349773-78/tests-state-system-students.html.csp

Here’s the website of AIR, if you want to see who they are.  http://www.air.org/reports-products/index.cfm?fa=viewContent&content_id=2154

While I feel grateful we did not go with Pearson (Sir Michael Barber) or with ACT (David Coleman) I don’t know if this is any different –the AIR group appears to be, just like Pearson and ACT, just another D.C. global-citizen indoctrination institute.

I wish we’d chosen to spend that 39 million on real blessings to our kids:  great libraries of books, wonderful basketball courts, more high quality teachers, field trips— actual learning supplies, instead of on high-stakes tests that will track and manage (and limit) our children’s futures all the way into their careers.

The AIR tests will be meshed with the tracking system (P-20) that manages children from preschool to workforce via the State Longitudinal Database System (SLDS) that the federal government paid us almost $10 million to use.  (That contributed to the U.S. debt–  it was ARRA stimulus money).

Interstate and intra-state agencies, and also state-fed relationships will share  access to these test scores and to the citizen profiles the tests will build.

It’s a 1984-esque citizen profiling situation that can only be halted if teachers, parents and citizens stand up and say no, loudly.

 

   Remenber, the new tests and the mediocre Common Core standards are not our local will.  There’s never been a vote.  These are products of the federal and globalist will that move under the general public’s radar.

The article quoted Dr. Menlove’s reference to “federal education law”– Oh, what an example of how far off we are! What would the writers of the Constitution say about states bowing to federal laws that are clearly unconstitutional, such as those which permit federal control of state education?

I do not think that the education leaders in Utah understand that they are playing directly into the hands of those who would replace freedom and the U.S. Constitution with a Collective where the individual has no say.

Think it’s too awful to believe?

   It’s like the telephone game.  Utah’s education leaders are whispered to by the federal educational leaders, who have been whispered to by top “Education Reform” activists: Sec. Arne Duncan, Barack Obama, Clinton, Pearson’s Sir Michael Barber, ACT’s David Coleman, Achieve Inc., SBAC, PARCC, NGA, CCSSO, Bill Gates/UNESCO, and the U.N.’s Agenda 21 Education Reform.

It is not rocket science to see where they are pushing us.

I really don’t think the Utah leaders know it.  Sadly, we all –and our children– pay for their obvious ignorance of the goals of globalist “Education Reform”.

How Teachers, Parents and Communities Get Manipulated   Leave a comment

The most thorough explanation of the Delphi Technique I’ve ever seen– a six part video series from Beverly Eakman.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIhuc5d2zcg&feature=rellist&playnext=1&list=PL6EF170F25E8BA61C&noredirect=1

Eco-Collectivist Values, Not Knowlege, To Be Taught in Schools   Leave a comment

The United Nations branch that oversees education, UNESCO, has issued documents, clearly displaying a plan to transform education worldwide into youth “global citizen” indoctrination.  Under this philosophy, actual learning of reading, writing, and math are old news, 20th century aspirations. But the learning of sustainable development is to the the essential literacy of the 21st century.  Quote:

“IN THE 21ST CENTURY, THE LITERACIES [OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT] WILL BE AS ESSENTIAL TO COMPREHENDING THE WORLD AS WERE THE TRADITIONAL SKILLS OF READING AND WRITING AT THE START OF THE 20TH CENTURY.”

- pg. 3 “New Vision of Education” and http://www.unesco.org/education/tlsf/mods/theme_a/popups/mod01t05s01.html

A seven-part video series below teaches how and why there really is a deliberate dumbing down of education happening in America today to make room for environmental/collectivist propaganda.

It’s seen as inefficient to teach children what we think of as academic knowledge.  Now, under the Sustainable Development movement, the U.N. and the Department of Education want to teach sustainable development and collective thinkingat the expense of traditional learning. 

This new mission of schools includes cutting out the teaching of individual liberty under the U.S. Constitution, or individual rights, or property rights, to make way for “global citizenship.”

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So, what can we do?

If you can’t afford private school or home school, then teach your children when you actually do have them close how to identify and see through the indoctrination.

Teach your children that there is such a thing as goodness and truth.  It’s not all relative.

Teach them that there is right and wrong, not just tolerance and intolerance. There is a God in heaven.

Teach them that the family is more important and more lasting than the government.  Individuals matter.  Property rights matter.  The U.S. Constitution protects individual rights like owning property, owning guns, and remaining free from unreasonable search and seizure.

And tell them that while recycling is fine, it’s never going to be more important than reading, writing and math.

U.S. Constitution Marginalized As Regions Replace States – Which Region Are You In?   2 comments

http://www.wnd.com/2012/11/online-learning-experience-replacing-schoolbooks/?cat_orig=education

I was just reading the above-linked article about how CSCOPE is getting rich replacing Texas textbooks with an online system that parents cannot view and the board of education will not need to approve.  Important article.

But my point here is something completely different:

A quote in the article was from Education Service Center Region 9 Executive Director Anne Poplin.

What??  Region 9?

Part of the U.N.’s Agenda 21 goal to overcome American exceptionalism and sovereignty is to have regions replace states.  It’s a subtle and effective way to subvert the Constitution’s careful separation of states’ powers and federal powers.

I had not yet seen it up close until today.

http://www2.ed.gov/about/contacts/gen/regions.html#8

Yes, the Department of Education has divided our country into ten regions.

Utah’s in Region 8.

They are called “Communication Regions” in Fedspeak.

Is anybody out there paying attention?

 

Agency-Based Education: Conference Highlights   Leave a comment

http://www.agencybasededucation.org/ending-compulsory-education/

For those who were not able to attend the Conference on “Agency-Based Education” I’ve provided a link to the speeches (videos) and website of the Agency Based Education group.

Substantive. Worth watching.

Education reforms that are part of Agenda 21: Rosa Koire on the Glenn Beck show   Leave a comment

Rosa Koire, author of “Behind the Green Mask” and a very smart democrat, a guest on the Glenn Beck show, talks about the education reforms that are part of Agenda 21.

Why So Many Indoctrinate Kids About “Going Green”   Leave a comment

I have been watching these videos today because my son is sick and has been napping. I’m glad I took the time. I have learned even more about the Sustainable Development movement that I did not know before. Highly recommended.

Teaching Channel: Comic Books for Common Core   Leave a comment

Teaching Channel: Comic Books for Common Core.

The Dissident Professor, Mary Grabar, analyses “Comic Books for Common Core,” https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/teaching-nonfiction-entry-points a Teaching Channel video.

The professor disagrees that teaches should be taught how to persuade students that the abandonment of fiction, and classic literature, is good.  She disagrees with Common Core’s race toward informational texts for very profound reasons– and I agree!   Read it, read it.

The Dissident Professor explains how and why the move toward only using informational texts to teach the English language is a move toward indoctrination.

 

A New Kind of Problem: The Common Core Math Standards – The Atlantic   Leave a comment

A New Kind of Problem: The Common Core Math Standards – The Atlantic.

This article by B. Garelick addresses the fact that Common Core creates little mathematicians who cannot do math.

Government Using Schools For Citizen Surveillance – Hernandez Family Interview   Leave a comment

Sec. Arne Duncan agrees with Sir Michael Barber on “International Education” and a global, not U.S. citizenship focus   1 comment

U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan just might be a Agenda 21 (United Nations takeover) supporter. How can I say such a thing?

Well. Not once in this speech does he mention “United States citizens” but he mentions “global citizens” and being “internationally engaged” and “globally competent” and playing on the “world stage” ad nauseum.

If enough people are taught to think of themselves as global citizens, they will have less loyalty to the sacred United States and its unique, freedom-upholding Constitution.

Will people treat American values more and more lightly and be more and more accepting of global decision making, global government, global laws and global punishments?

Remember– this is coming at us from many angles. It’s not just Arne Duncan or Obama. It’s not just one speech.

Pearson Education, led by CEA Sir Michael Barber, also pushes for “no borders” for education reform.

And Pearson’s Barber makes speeches (you can view them on YouTube) that he and his elite education leaders “want data” on “every citizen” on earth. And they want to replace academics with environmentalism as a central concern of teaching worldwide. Barber’s stated “formula” for education now is to multiply all knowledge or skills taught, by environmental education. That places environmentalism #1. Above academics. Above knowledge. That’s dogmatic and it’s extremely creepy when you realize that their philosophy is seeping into schools and governments worldwide –without pushback.

It should be on the news. Why isn’t it?

Sec. Arne Duncan is revealing his true colors as much by what he does not say as by what he says.

And “International Education Week” is a concept that makes me want to run screaming from the room.

Indiana Voters Rise Up Against Common Core   2 comments

Tony Bennett –dethroned by Indiana voters against Common Core

Glenda Ritz – Newly elected Indiana Superintendent

See:   http://www.wane.com/dpp/onpolitix/election_2012/jehl-unseats-peirce-from-fwcs-board

  Not only did Glenna Jehl beat incumbent John Peirce and not only did Tony Bennett get pushed out of his seat as Indiana Superintendent (and CCSSO member) –but also, in fact, Common Core was apparently the reason.

An Indiana friend writes:

“Those who are interested in the role that the Common Core played in Superintendent Tony Bennett’s upset in Indiana, should also take note of a school board race in Fort Wayne Indiana. Glenah Jehl ran on an anti-Common Core platform for the School Board of the Fort Wayne Community Schools. I believe I’ve heard that this is the second largest public school district in Indiana. She trounced her opponent, whom she unseated, 62 to 38%!

Her literature promoted local control and said the following under that heading of Local Control: Empower parents and students with choices and options * Recognize education begins at home* Resist ineffective federal initiatives like “No Child Left Behind” and the new “Common Core Standards.” Under the heading Academic Excellence she has the following: Emphasize quality education focused on child centered learning; not teach to The Test! * Recruit and keep superb teachers* Perpare our children to compete globally and succeed in the future by setting high standards, utilizing the best curriculum, and providing them with the latest technology.”

Hats off to Indiana freedom fighters!

Posted November 19, 2012 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

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Where Does the Constitution Authorize Federal Education Reform?   Leave a comment

This short video clip shows our U.S. Secretary of Education dodging the question and veering off into the role he wants to keep playing– controlling and “rewarding” local education systems, rather than staying out of their business as the Constitution directs.

Keeping Up With Global Reform Guru Sir Michael Barber   3 comments

Just pasting some recent tweets from Sir Michael Barber, the Chief Education Advisor for Pearson.  (FYI, Pearson is one of the big corporate groups getting rich from implementing Common Core.)

Sir Michael Barber is all about one-world indoctrination.

Check him out.  He talks about revolution.  He talks about gun control and U.S. politics.  He quotes someone talking about ending the “promised land” of Jerusalem and turning it into a place that belongs to everyone, not to Jews.  He talks about the environment. And he talks about education reform as if everyone knew what he means by the term. And most don’t.

His definiton of education reform means a one-world, top-down, global education with an emphasis away from academics and sovereignty and toward environmentalism and collectivism.  IS THIS NOT CREEPY TO YOU?

Tweets

Had a fantastic visit to Singapore — many great conversations about the topics in Oceans of Innovation!  Read here:http://www.ippr.org/publication/55/9543/oceans-of-innovation-the-atlantic-the-pacific-global-leadership-and-the-future-of-education …

Everywhere I go signs of the university revolution to come. This time with HE and business leaders in Manila, really open to innovation.

Great meeting yesterday with team  at Mano Amiga primary school in Manila…educators truly committed to rounded education for each child.

And the same school giving 10 percent of schedule to collective capacity building…harder work, said one teacher, but much more rewarding

Visit to Branco Weiss School, Beit Shemesh. Great to see a school systematically teaching thinking and leadership as well as knowledge.

Golden age ahead for universities in England…if they are ready to change rapidly. What examples are there of getting ahead of the curve?

In today’s @tes, our chief education advisor @MichaelBarber9 considers the role of games in education: http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6298795 … via @Gloverboy

The increasing need for games and role playing in learning and schools featuring @MichaelBarber9 http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6298795 …

@teachplus @educationgadfly Provocative and insightful perspectives on the union influence on US education policy from top think tank

School visits in Warsaw…impressed by the commitment to broad common curriculum and standards up to age 17, even in vocational schools.

                    Tonight 9.30pm Analysis: Michael Gove’s schools of hard facts: why the govt is focussing on knowledge over skills http://bbc.in/Pn3B9v

@krdonnelly This is a fantastic connection…Thank you…the revolution is coming!

Anyone got 3 proven examples of technology transforming educational outcomes at system level? school level helpful, system level better!

@Andrew_Adonis  Yes, not being on the mainline had massive consequences for Northampton including failure of public services as late as 2003

Theodore Herzl: we shall extra-territorialize Jerusalem… it will belong to nobody and everybody…the joint possession of all believers.”

@JSHaworth Not everyday you get the chance to say hello to @JSHaworth either…

What are the five biggest questions that we’d like education researchers to answer?

When will the US Presidential candidates have a genuine debate about gun control? Too much obfuscation.

‘Education is the only way we can defeat those who attacked us’, says friend of @malala. Yes, and it is the key to Pakistan’s future.

@SteveGovernor Given the degree of educational failure around the world the case for change is strong… making the right changes is the key

@tothechalkface Fair point but often speed and quality go together…also why should we let down another generation in developing world?

Malala Yousufzai – every true educator, every true learner in the world surely stands by you.

I hear people say education reform is moving too fast…the response surely is how long have we got?

@JasmineatSC yes, thanks,  Oceans focuses mainly on developed world. Our work in Pakistan is focused on access and quality for the excluded.

@saadhrizvi Good article. US is making a big mistake and turning it’s back on the evidence we cite in #OceansofInnovation

Reading about Mercator the great geographer…the benefit of life in the Low Countries, then the centre of trade in goods and ideas

@m_rhee  Greetings! Fast growing voucher scheme for out-of-school children of poor families benefits 140,000 in Punjab. Working well.

@HaseebAfsar Thank you…if everyone in Pakistan gets behind the education agenda we can ensure a better life for the next generation

Interesting discussion in New York of goals for education in 21C. By when will we have have high standards and high equity across the globe?

Nock’s Theory of Education   Leave a comment

 

Albert J. Nock’s “The Theory of Education in the United States”

http://mises.org/books/education-nock.pdf  

The Importance of Individual Freedom   Leave a comment

The song goes, “I am a child of God.”

Not, “We are a group of children of God.”

Why?

Why does the individual and his/her power to choose, matter so much?

I have been thinking a lot about what individual liberty and responsibility mean, since this Nov. 6th election, and have come to the conclusion that many Americans must fear individual freedom.  And I’ve been thinking about Ayn Rand.  Did you ever read “Anthem” –the novel in which people don’t know the word “I” anymore?

For all the positive effects of having a united society and a cooperative spirit, there is a dark side to collective and cooperative movements.  But some fear the responsibility that comes with freedom, so much that they choose to give away their own autonomy in the attempt to gain security (in the form of government handouts, whether of money or of “we know best” life planning handouts, such as the managed workforce that our education system is becoming).  They choose the collective responsibility over the individual responsibility.  But this ultimately crushes the individual.  People need freedom like they need air to breathe, but they are also afraid to be free because they don’t want to be responsible for the consequences of their own decisions.  They willingly give up this precious, hard-won prize, believing the lies of those who hope to control them.

It’s like a prisoner who is released from jail but returns deliberately, because he fears the unknown more than he fears jail.  It’s like the abused wife who returns to her control freak husband because she fears the emotional or financial realities of independence.  They should be stronger than this!  They should shoulder the burden and the joy of freedom from oppression and overregulation!

By buying into socialism, collectivism, communism (and even the educational movement of nationalizing education, common core)  we reject choice and local accountability; we are giving up true America.

   Ayn Rand’s book, Anthem tells of a world in which the concept of individuality and the word “I” do not exist.

Everything is “we” and everything is common.  The individual does not matter; only the collective matters.

Here is a quote from Anthem.

“The word “We” is as lime poured over men, which sets and hardens to stone, and crushes all beneath it, and that which is white and that which is black are lost equally in the grey of it. It is the word by which the depraved steal the virtue of the good, by which the weak steal the might of the strong, by which the fools steal the wisdom of the sages.

What is my joy if all hands, even the unclean, can reach into it? What is my wisdom, if even the fools can dictate to me? What is my freedom, if all creatures, even the botched and impotent, are my masters? What is my life, if I am but to bow, to agree and to obey?

But I am done with this creed of corruption.

I am done with the monster of “We,” the word of serfdom, of plunder, of misery, falsehood and shame.

And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth, this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride.

This god, this one word:

“I.” 

―    Ayn Rand

What does this quote from this book have to do with Common Core?

Everything. When education is nationalized, when local control over schools is lost, when all major tests are standardized and nationalized, when standards must match from village to village and state to state (and from nation to nation, if the globalists get their way) then there is no individuality.  Freedom is lost.

And why are we buying it?  Why do we want to have common education rather than local autonomy and the freedom to set our own standards and innovate according to our local needs and desires?

Is freedom really so scary?  Scarier than losing it?

Consider these words on the subject, from another great man, Howard W. Hunter:

“What is the real cause of this trend toward the welfare state, toward more socialism? In the last analysis, in my judgment, it is personal unrighteousness. When people do not use their freedoms responsibly and righteously, they will gradually lose these freedoms. . . .

If man will not recognize the inequalities around him and voluntarily, through the gospel plan, come to the aid of his brother, he will find that through “a democratic process” he will be forced to come to the aid of his brother. The government will take from the “haves” and give to the “have nots.” Both have last their freedom. Those who “have,” lost their freedom to give voluntarily of their own free will and in the way they desire. Those who “have not,” lost their freedom because they did not earn what they received. They got “something for nothing,” and they will neither appreciate the gift nor the giver of the gift.

Under this climate, people gradually become blind to what has happened and to the vital freedoms which they have lost. Speeches of the Year 1965-1966, pp. 1-11, “The Law of the Harvest”, Devotional Address, Brigham Young University, 8 March 1966

“From my own experience in business and as a lawyer and church worker, and from my firsthand observations in this country and other countries of the world, there appears to me to be a trend to shift responsibility for life and its processes from the individual to the state. In this shift there is a basic violation of the law of the harvest, or the law of justice. The attitude of “something for nothing” is encouraged. The government is often looked to as the source of wealth. There is a feeling that the government should step in and take care of one’s needs, one’s emergencies, and one’s future. Just as my friend actually became a slave to his own ignorance and bad habits by refusing to accept the responsibility for his own education and moral growth, so, also, can an entire people be imperceptibly transferred from individuals, families, and communities to the federal government.”

Speeches of the Year 1965-1966, pp. 1-11, “The Law of the Harvest.” Devotional Address, Brigham Young University, 8 March 1966

Why You Don’t Know What Common Core Is   7 comments

So the left-wing mainstream media are not about to tell the American people how Common Core harms local autonomy.  They support the left-wing.

And Obama and his right-hand man, Secretary Arne Duncan, love Common Core because Common Core creates the need to regulate education, testing and data collection nationally.

The Department of Education and Obama have been pushing Common Core from the start, but only when using a code word for it, (to keep up the facade that Common Core was a state-led idea, not a nationalized education plot) by calling it “college and career readiness” as defined on their ed.gov definitions page. http://www.ed.gov/race-top/district-competition/definitions

But what about Fox news?  Won’t they report the whole truth?

Well, no.  Fox won’t be reporting anything but positive propaganda about Common Core. Because Common Core is making Rupert Murdoch’s News Group and his Wireless Generation a lot of money.

http://gothamschools.org/2010/11/22/murdoch-buys-education-tech-company-wireless-generation/

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/12/08/14newscorp.h30.html

http://www.wirelessgeneration.com/company/about

Wireless Generation, a Rupert Murdoch group, is making lots of money from the political initiative called Common Core.   They have a whole segment called “CCSS Implementation Services” on their website.  Just like Pearson.

http://www.wirelessgeneration.com/consulting/organizational-change

So how is the average parent of an American student ever going to find out what has happened to American Education if both the left wing AND right wing  media outlets are financially motivated to present Common Core as a good thing?

It’s only going to be independent thinkers, educators, patriots, parents, talk show hosts and independent newspapers.

You have to do the research yourself. You literally have to search and find out who is selling what before you believe anything you hear about Common Core.

I believe in the groups who do not accept government funding, like Pioneer Institute, Heritage Foundation, Restore Oklahoma Public Education, Truth in American Education, Eagle Forum, American Principles Project, New American Magazine, John Birch Society, Concerned Women for America, Dump Duncan, and others.  These are independent patriotic groups and therefore, I feel these can be trusted.

 

Duncan Sketches Out Second-Term Agenda & SIG results in: Billions Wasted By Dept. of Ed   Leave a comment

Duncan Sketches Out Second-Term Agenda – Politics K-12 – Education Week.

This above linked article’s highlights:

  • The Department of Education is not releasing key data and asks us to take their word for the fact that supposedly, 2/3 of schools are seeing improvements under Secretary Duncan’s reforms.
  • Secretary Duncan “reaffirmed his committment to using federal incentives as a lever for education policy changes. In his first term, that leverage came in the form of $100 billion in education aid from the 2009 federal economic-stimulus package, and later, from the announcement that the administration would grant waivers and flexibility from key parts of the NCLB law.”
  • [This Duncan speech was made to a self-appointed group, the CCSSO, which holds a copyright on the Common Core federally-approved national education standards. ]  The article says Gene Wilhoit, the CCSSO’s executive director, is retiring—passing the torch to Chris Minnich. And one of the group’s board members, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett, who helped create a separate group of “Chiefs for Change,” was not re-elected. He did not attend the meeting, but his successor and the victor in that race, Glenda Ritz, did.  [This is a big deal because it was the Indiana parents against Common Core who helped educate the voters and helped give Tony Bennett the boot. Hallelujah!]

See another commentary on the same subject of  SIG (School Improvement Grants):

http://www.edexcellence.net/commentary/education-gadfly-daily/flypaper/2012/the-disappointing-but-completely-predictable-results-from-SIG.html

I like what Andy Smarick has to say about the fact that the Dept. of Education just spend billions on education reforms that did not work.  He writes:

Now we face a fork in the road.

We can do what we’ve done for decades. That would mean allowing this story to get buried or, despite the evidence, hoping that SIG results will improve if we only give the program more money and time. Then, in a decade or so, some other contrarian blogger can add SIG to the long list of failed turnaround efforts.

Or we can finally recognize that we’re dealing with a much bigger problem. We can accept that “turnaround” efforts are not a path to ensuring low-income urban kids get a great education; that dysfunctional schools are a function of dysfunctional districts; that we need to close these schools, open new schools, and allow great schools to replicate and expand.

In other words, we need a new approach to the ongoing failure of our city school systems—one that stops behaving as though the broken schools of yesterday need to be the schools of tomorrow, one that stops jamming scarce resources into dysfunctional systems that remain impervious to reform and improvement.

Said another way: The traditional urban school system is broken. It cannot be fixed. It must be replaced. “

http://www.edexcellence.net/commentary/education-gadfly-daily/flypaper/2012/the-disappointing-but-completely-predictable-results-from-SIG.html

Videos in Five-Part Series Explain Common Core   Leave a comment

The American Principles Project and Concerned Women for America of Georgia have created the following high-quality videos.  The videos in the five part series explain what Common Core is.

The Berlin Declaration   2 comments

I’ve been reading about last month’s historic Berlin Declaration. I want to share highlights from World News Daily and The New American.

The Berlin Declaration is a human rights and parental-rights affirming document that says:

We remind all nations that numerous international treaties and declarations recognize the essential, irreplaceable and fundamental role of parents and the family in the education and upbringing of children as a natural right that must be respected and protected by all governments…

According to the New American magazine, leaders in the homeschooling movement from two dozen countries signed a document –the “Berlin Declaration” on November 3, demanding that governments around the world “respect families and the fundamental human right to home education…”


The New American writes that the Declaration argues that the right to home educate must be respected and cites multiple human rights documents and a growing body of evidence showing the benefits of homeschooling.  The Declaration’s signatories say the senseless persecution of homeschooling families must end.


“It’s an expression of the growing confidence among homeschoolers that this is just another historical struggle for human rights and that we will win,” said Jonas Himmelstrand, Swedish Home Education Association (ROHUS) chief and Global Home Education Conference (GHEC) Chairman, who fled Sweden with his family. “The Berlin Declaration shows that these rights are already recognized in various human rights conventions; they simply need to be manifested all over the world.”


The magazine continues: “Even the controversial United Nations, widely perceived among critics as a dictators club, has recognized home education as a fundamental human right. In 2007, for example, the UN Special Rapporteur on Education officially condemned the German government’s vicious oppression of homeschoolers while stating that home education is an entirely legitimate alternative to state schooling. Multiple binding European human rights treaties are also cited in the Berlin Declaration….”

Full text here:

I’ve been enlightened by Jonas Himmelstrand’s writings, research and speeches before.  The fact that he’s a leader in this declaration is a big deal to me.

The Berlin Declaration  is a very bright spot on the map of world news.

The Best School Board Member in the State of Utah   Leave a comment

Wendy Hart is a Utah phenomenon.  She’s a member of a school board (Alpine School District) who is simultaneously a Constitutional freedom fighter.  Love that lady.  Her brain –and her blog– are brilliant.

She starts with a Thomas Jefferson quote:

“But if it is believed that these elementary schools will be better managed  by…any other general authority of the government, than by the parents within each ward [district], it is a belief against all experience.” –Thomas Jefferson

And I love how she uses logic to explain things in a clear way that the liberal educrats couldn’t touch with a hundred foot pole.

http://www.wendy4asd.blogspot.com/2012/10/responsible-participation-in-democracy.html

Here’s a preview:

Imagine your daughter comes home from school.  She presents you with an essay on a political topic she is, all of a sudden, very passionate about.  Her essay makes you angry and afraid.  She deliberately projects the worst that could happen with this particular situation.  And finally, she wants you to join her cause.

…Now imagine she’s six years old.

Too far-fetched?  Read on….  [click on link above to see the rest]  Wendy Hart continues:

…Nationally, as I read publications, teachers are being told their role is to
make sure their students become good citizens.  Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic take a back seat to participatory democracy.

“So what?” you say. “Who can argue against good citizenship?”  I would submit that while securing and perpetuating freedom are very good and noble goals (ones I whole-heartedly support), good citizenship (however defined) is not the sole purpose or even the primary purpose of education, public or otherwise.  When you make good citizenship the primary objective, you remove the focus from the individual child.  The child becomes a cog in the wheel of the larger society.  At one point, education was about providing skills for discerning truth from error; classical education was about creating an educated individual without any other expectation.  Citizenship and public involvement were the by-products instead of the objectives.  Public involvement was also reserved for adults, not children.  Furthermore, depending on who determines what “good citizenship” looks like, you could be opening a big can of worms….

– –  –  –  –

Must read!!!

Posted November 5, 2012 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

Mark Davis or Wilma Cowley? Shad Sorenson or Jen Kelson? Wasatch School Board   Leave a comment

Wasatch County School Board: Cowley, Kelson in front; Jones, Baird, Horner in back.

I would be happy to sit by them at the Heber rodeo or say hello at the grocery store, but I would not cast a vote for a single one of these nice people.  Sorry.

I’d put up a yard sign for Mark Davis and Shad Sorenson, though.

The old school board might be good people.  But part of that goodness does not include studying what the heck is going on in American education today.

There’s been a national betrayal in public education and they don’t even know about it. Not studying it and not informing the local citizens, teachers and parents of students of both sides of the issue is irresponsible.

They let the state board call the shots without listening to parents or teachers.  The state board defines Common Core for all. But the state board is guided by the Common Core-promoting philosophies of Sir Michael Barber, CEA of Pearson; the SBAC’s socialist Linda Darling-Hammond, bomber-and-education reformer Bill Ayers, federal Education Secretary Arne Duncan and President Obama. Extremists.

These local incumbents don’t seem to perceive how the state board’s tolerance of Common Core is damaging.  Their unwillingness to study these issues deeply and diligently will hurt us.

The district website still sings the praises of the highly controversial Common Core.

Check it out. Compare what they say, below, to what Utah’s Sutherland Institute, Heritage Foundation, Boston’s Pioneer Institute, Bill Evers at Stanford’s Hoover Institute, or thousands of other patriotic, education-loving, anti-Common Core parents, teachers and intellectuals have to say:

Here’s the local board’s side of it: http://www.wasatch.edu/cms/lib/UT01000315/Centricity/Domain/27/Common%20Core%20FACTS%20revised.pdf

vs.

NPR news:  http://stateimpact.npr.org/indiana/2012/09/26/why-common-core-academic-standards-are-dividing-republicans-on-education/

Education Week and Romney’s stand on Common Core: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2012/09/mitt_romney_doesnt_think_the.html

Here’s Sutherland’s several: http://www.sutherlandinstitute.org/article_detail.php?id=3276&type=Press+Releases

http://www.sutherlandinstitute.org/news/2012/07/18/fact-checking-usoe-claims-on-common-core/

Pioneer Institute’s several:  http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/state_edwatch/Controlling-Education-From-the-Top%5B1%5D.pdf

http://www.pioneerinstitute.org/blog/news/handwaving-away-opposition-to-the-national-standards/

Heritage Foundation’s:  http://blog.heritage.org/2012/08/03/indiana-superintendent-obama-administration-nationalized-common-core-standards/ and http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/12/a-national-education-standards-exit-strategy-for-states

Thousands of Utahns who signed the petition: http://utahnsagainstcommoncore.com

 

— and there are so many more who have pointed out that “facts” about Common Core, as they are being presented by our school board on our local district website, are simply not true, or are only half-truths.   It is quite sobering.

So, why do they do it?  Why not show the facts and the national dialogue about Common Core, to be transparent about the pros and cons and real concerns of teachers, students, and parents?  I do not know.  But I have a solution.

Solution: vote them out. Vote for people who will study the issues, and who won’t rubber stamp everything Arne Duncan’s troops and the state board push as “good for” the local people.

Vote for Mark Davis and Shad Sorenson.

Wilma Cowley, nice and grandmotherly though she is, simply does not return emails.  It is not acceptable to ignore the community that voted for you in the first place and to disregard serious concerns.

She refuses to study the pros and cons of Common Core and refuses to explain why.  She never says anything during the school board meetings and just allows others to talk.  Kind, adorable, but not tough and not diligent in researching enough.

It matters.

Her opponent, Mark Davis was willing to meet with concerned citizens and was willing to listen to our concerns about the dramatic changes in the way our state collects student data (via the Utah Data Alliance, the State Longitudinal Database, and the P-20 child tracking systems.)

He was also open to hearing the truth about Common Core.  He was not automatically buying all the drooly praise that Obama and his educational elites offer concerning the Common Core without seeing some references.  He is no wimp.  He stands up for what he believes in, which I know only because he told us some stories that I don’t have permission to share here.

Vote Mark Davis.

Shad Sorenson said, in the “Meet the Candidates” forum, that he was glad Utah had backed out of the SBAC testing consortium.  So he gets it.  He understands that Common Core hurts local control.

I prefer Shad Sorenson to Jen Kelson because Shad has done some homework on Common Core, which Jen has not.  Kelson (like Wilma Cowley) never returns an email.  She talks, talks, talks at board meetings and never listens to concerned teachers and citizens like me.  We don’t even get a return email–nothing.

School board members should study the facts and the scary contracts and academic limitations of Common Core.  Our current board simply doesn’t address anything that the USOE  and Arne Duncan aren’t selling.  I can’t respect that.  I want new people in there.

There are serious issues in American education today, and we need local school board members who know it and who study it so they can be in a position to protect our children and the quality of their education and their data privacy.

Vote Shad Sorenson.

Lastly, I have no comment about whether anyone votes for Blaik Baird or his opponent; they both, at the Meet the Candidates event, seemed to be unconcerned in any way that Common Core might be harming our educational system.  They believe it’s all Arne Duncan and Obama and Larry Shumway have said. Even though it ain’t the truth.

After all this time, they still haven’t cracked the books on it.  So it’s probably not going to matter which one of those two gets elected.

But Sorenson and Davis are better, I think; I hope.

I’d give them my vote anyway.

Betrayed: by Laurie Rogers   Leave a comment

Well worth reading: “Betrayed,” a blog forum that discusses current education issues.  http://betrayed-whyeducationisfailing.blogspot.com/2012/11/in-defense-of-direct-instruction.html

Site author Laurie Rogers, wlroge@comcast.net, also is the author of Betrayed: How the Education Establishment Has Betrayed America and What You Can Do About It (Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2011).

She dispenses valuable information and includes insights from her own child’s experiences with Common Core/Constructivist math.  A sample:

“Many educators believe children should learn math by struggling and failing, inventing their own methods, drawing pictures and boxes, counting on fingers, play-acting, continually working in groups, and asking several classmates for help before asking the teacher. This process of learning is called constructivism (also known as “discovery” or “student-centered learning”). Developed in the early 1900s, it was foisted on the country about 30 years ago, along with reform math curricula.

“Proponents call constructivism “best practices” (as if calling it that can make it so). The supposed value of heavy constructivism is one of the most pernicious lies told today about education…. I’ve come to see heavy constructivism as abusive to children. I don’t choose the word lightly. I’ve heard proponents say outrageous things rather than acknowledge that children don’t prefer constant discovery and group work…”

Full text:  http://betrayed-whyeducationisfailing.blogspot.com/2012/11/in-defense-of-direct-instruction.html

Rogers shares a great quote from C.S. Lewis:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. … Those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

Thank you, Laurie Rogers.

Rogers, L. (November 2012). “In defense of direct instruction: Constant constructivism, group work and arrogant attitude
are abusive to children.” Retrieved (date) from the Betrayed Web site:
http://betrayed-whyeducationisfailing.blogspot.com

Why Obama’s pushing and paying for Master Teacher Corps   3 comments

Why’s Obama allocating money to pay local teachers with federal money? Hmm.
It’s gotten to the point that I automatically search the United Nations’ website any time I wonder why Obama or Arne Duncan are coming up with a new reform.  It’s the fastest way to figure out what they are really doing. They have no interest in local sovereignty, whether state or national.
Look at this:
From the White House, July 2012:
“Today, the  Obama Administration announced the President’s plan to create a national  Science, Math, Technology, and Engineering (STEM) Master Teacher Corps. The STEM  Master Teacher Corps will begin in 50 locations across the country… Over the next four years the Corps will expand to  include 10,000 of the best STEM teachers in the nation…  STEM education is one of President Obama’s top  priorities… In a roundtable today with a group of K-12 math and science teachers at the  White House, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Domestic Policy Council  Director Cecilia Muñoz, OSTP Director Dr. John Holdren, and PCAST Co-Chair Dr.  Eric Lander announced the proposal, which the Administration will launch with  the $1 billion allocated in President Obama’s 2013 budget plancurrently before  Congress…”The rest of the text: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/07/18/president-obama-announces-new-plan-create-stem-master-teaching-corps

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What does it mean? 

The entity providing the paycheck is the entity that gets to call the shots.  That means, the feds will be telling those local teachers who “qualify” as master teachers, what to do and how to do it.

For those of you who have been under a rock, Common Core math (Obama-and-co.’s -approved math) is much different than traditional, time-tested math. Common Core math is fuzzy-styled, student-and group-work-centered and highly controversial math that pooh-poohs excellent traditions of teaching such as drilling math facts and actually showing students how to do algorithms. Common Core has students waste energy guessing and fumbling toward the formulas, often working in collective groups. 

But it’s the math that Obama and Secretary Duncan believe in.

Secondly, Common Core science will be far different from traditional, empirically-based science. It will be politicized version of science that focuses on “green” education, “sustainability” and on “global,” rather than local, citizenship.  It’s a globalist, anti-Constitution indoctrination that uses the smokescreen of  “sustainability” as if that word defines real science, but it’s based not on widely recognized scientific truth but rather is based on control-and-politics based “green” science, Al Gore style. 

Our American STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) teachers will teach that socialists’ version of these subjects to our children.  It’s political indoctrination, absolutely.

Think it’s a conspiracy theory?  Then fact-check me. Read  Obama’s, Duncan’s, Sir Michael Barber’s, and the United Nations’ own words on education reform and see if it’s not all built on the foundation of “sustainability” indoctrination.

This is the reason Obama’s pushing STEM Master Teacher Corps and allocating taxes (or debts) for it; he wants to “transform” education according to the education chapter of the United Nations’ agenda for our century. 

Fact-check here: http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/res_agenda21_25.shtml and http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?menu=218

Bill Gates: Common Core promoter, United Nations promoter, Unesco’s Constitution promoter.

And, for another article, this one from the Heritage Foundation, on the same subject:

  Obama Proposes Federal Paychecks for Local Teachers

http://blog.heritage.org/2012/07/19/obama-proposes-federal-paychecks-for-local-teachers/

For Those Who Missed the Meeting: Woes at UT Senate Education Committee   Leave a comment

Did you miss the last Senate Education Committee Meeting for the state of Utah?

Anyone can subscribe, free, to a report of the meeting’s minutes. I do.

—After I rant and rave about what the heck they’re doing at the Utah State Capitol I’ll paste the official meeting minutes, below.

First:

1. Senator Aaron Osmond disclosed that he now works for Certiport/Pearson.  If any of you know anything about Common Core and Pearson, or the CEA of Pearson, Sir Michael Barber, your spidey senses could be ringing.  (For more, see http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/sir-michael-barber-leads-common-cores-deliverology-via-edi-and-pearson/ )

This Pearson sales employment could appear to be potential conflict for Senator Osmond; he is the Chair of the Senate Education Committee, while he is also a salesman for the company that has already set up major contracts with the Utah State Office of Education. But Osmond stated that he has recused himself from negotiating or influencing contracts in Utah and has recused himself from any interim committee votes or decisions relating to the Common Core or any topic that would benefit his employer. Osmond’s employer provides software to test and certify students in software applications.

Pearson Publishing develops curriculum and training for Common Core.  For Utahns like me who hope and pray for a statewide repeal of Common Core, this is not pretty.

Pearson has a dramatically pro-Common Core marketing angle; so, this sales position of the Chair of the Senate Education Committee calls into question whether Osmond can be fair and detached in the heated pro- and anti- Common Core arguments that are happening in Utah.  What do you think?

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2. Next issue: it was announced that the “Utah State Office of Education has instructional materials that may be used for parent education on health and human sexuality.

Say what?

Has anyone else detected a “de-parenting” attitude coming from the state (and federal) leaders?  It really bothers me.

Perfect example of that here: Utah bureaucrats feel the need to educate parents about sex and how to explain sex to their children?  Why? Parents can’t be trusted? They depend on the Utah State Office of Education? And in the nick of time, USOE swoops in to save the day from bumbling fools? Left to our own devices, we parents would not teach our own children where babies come from? What is the USOE  thinking?  

It reminds me of Reagan’s line:  “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’ “

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 U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan

3. Next issue:

Brenda Hales and Ms. Shumway discussed how to fund Career and Technical Education (CTE).  I don’t like CTE, Career Academies, SLDS systems, P-20 tracking, or any of the pushy ways in which government tells kids who to be –and who they’ll never be.

President Obama and Arne Duncan have huge plans to make CTE take center stage in an effort to control individual choices as early as possible in each citizen’s life.  And Brenda Hales and Ms. Shumway, apparently, couldn’t agree more. (To see Sec. Duncan’s white house speech and what CTE and Career Academies are about, see: http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/obamas-career-tracking-and-education-reforms-so-much-more-than-common-core/ )

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4.  Next point:  Brenda Hales also discussed Civic and Character Education.  Double sigh.

If you’ve ever see her leading a state school board breakout meeting, you’ll hear the chattiest, bubbliest, won’t-let-others-get-a-word-in, but least sinister-seeming person, of the entire USOE.  She’s nice, okay?  Brenda comes across as very, very nice.

But “nice” is not enough.  We need “valiant”.

Brenda said that she is “the most apolitical creature you will ever meet.”

a·po·lit·i·cal
(p-lt-kl) adj.

1. Having no interest in or association with politics.
2. Having no political relevance or importance

I don’t know if Ms. Hales meant to categorize herself in the first or the second definition of “apolitical.” If she meant she has no interest in politics, that’s not good;  we need politically valiant people leading our educational system not naiive leaders who swallow whatever the propaganda ministers (Secretary Duncan) cook up.

But if Brenda Hales meant the second definition, “having no political relevance or importance,” then she is a stranger to the truth.  Nice or not!

Her own published, written assertions about Common Core are extremely political. http://utahpubliceducation.org/2012/07/10/utahs-core-standards-assessments-and-privacy-regulations/,  She agrees with Obama about the supposedly improved quality of Common Core standards/curriculum and makes assertions I don’t believe, that student private data are being protected (study Utah’s IT director John Brandt, SLDS, P-20 to see why it’s not believable) and –she still says Common Core’s  not under federal control and that Utah’s autonomy under Common Core is unharmed.  If her claims were true, I could sleep better at night.  But they aren’t correct, and part of the proof of that pudding is the fact that even though I (and others) have asked her to provide references for her claims, she never responds to that vital request.  Why?  If her claims are true, why won’t she reference them?

Here’s my rebuttal and her unreferenced assertion which she never did respond to, even though I asked her to, SO many times:   http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/christel-swasey-responds-to-brenda-hales/

But I see now that again, I  got way off topic.

Brenda Hales. Civic and Character Education.  Sounds good?

According to Stanford University’s Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the difference between character education and character indoctrination is:

“Indoctrination is a form of socializing persons… to hold the“right” values. Education, on the other hand, implies some critical distance from the topics so that persons can reflect on different aspects of and on alternatives to what’s presented.”

Which will our students be receiving?  The type that allows freedom to determine what is right individually, or the one that shoves an agenda down the student’s throat?

The good or bad effect of “civic and character education” depends on who gets to call the shots.  Who gets to determine what will be taught?  Parents? Doubtful.

If the philosophies of President Obama and Secretary Duncan lead the charge, as they have been in Utah educational circles, you know what we’ll see.

Students will be molded to hold the “right” values as defined by those “progressing” society toward collectivism and socialism, far away from the Constitution and far away from Judeo-Christian tradition.

How I wish the schools would quit going out on socialist limbs and would just teach.  Teach time-tested, old-fashioned math, teach writing, teach classic literature– yes, actual academics!  Leave the indoctrination to the churches and the families.  (And while you’re at it, since you’ll have more time once you quit taking over the responsibilities of parents and churches, why not shorten the school day?!  I miss my high school student.  I want more time to teach her values and skills I know and believe in, and I don’t believe it takes thirty-five hours a week, twelve years consecutively, to prepare a human being for college.)

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 I’m finished with my commentary; below are the official minutes.

Enjoy:

MINUTES OF THE

EDUCATION INTERIM COMMITTEE

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 – 2:00 p.m. – Room 30 House Building

Members Present:

Sen. Howard A. Stephenson, Senate Chair

Rep. Francis D. Gibson, House Chair

Sen. Lyle W. Hillyard

Sen. Karen W. Morgan

Sen. Wayne L. Niederhauser

Sen. Aaron Osmond

Sen. Jerry W. Stevenson

Sen. Daniel W. Thatcher

Rep. Johnny Anderson

Rep. Patrice M. Arent

Rep. LaVar Christensen

Rep. Steven Eliason

Rep. Gregory H. Hughes

Rep. John G. Mathis

Rep. Kay L. McIff

Rep. Carol Spackman Moss

Rep. Merlynn T. Newbold

Rep. Jim Nielson

Rep. Val L. Peterson

Rep. Marie H. Poulson

Rep. Kenneth W. Sumsion

Members Absent:

Rep. Bill Wright

Staff Present:

Ms. Allison M. Nicholson, Policy Analyst

Ms. Constance C. Steffen, Policy Analyst

Ms. Angela Oakes Stallings, Associate General Counsel

Ms. Debra Hale, Legislative Secretary

Note: A list of others present, a copy of related materials, and an audio recording of the meeting can be found at www.le.utah.gov.

1.   Committee Business

Chair Gibson called the meeting to order at 2:26 p.m.

Sen. Osmond took a point of personal privilege and stated that, because of his role as Chair of the Senate Education Committee and to ensure complete transparency in his public service, he would like to verbally disclose potential conflicts due to a recent job change. He described his recent job change as Vice President of Sales for Certiport, Inc., a company that provides software to test and certify students in popular software applications. He stated that he has recused himself from negotiating or influencing contracts in Utah. He noted that Certiport was acquired in May 2012 by Pearson Publishing, which owns Pearson Education, a company that is developing curriculum for the Common Core standards.

Sen. Osmond noted that he has reviewed these potential conflicts with Senate leadership, who concluded that no change in committee assignment is necessary at this time. Sen. Osmond stated that he has also recused himself from any interim committee votes or decisions relating to the Common Core or any topic that would benefit his employer or its related companies.

MOTION: Sen. Hillyard moved to approve the minutes of the September 19, 2012, meeting. The motion passed unanimously. Sen. Stevenson, Rep. Hughes, Rep. Newbold, Rep. Peterson, and Rep. Sumsion were absent for the vote.

2.   Consider Draft Legislation “Parental Responsibility for Sex Education Training”

                         

Sen. Stuart

Reid discussed draft legislation “Parental Responsibility for Sex Education Training” (2013FL-0007/010), which requires the Utah State Board of Education to offer training and instructional resources to parents to assist them in providing instruction in health and human sexuality to their children.

Dr. Martell Menlove, Deputy Superintendent, Utah State Office of Education (USOE), noted that the USOE has instructional materials that may be used for parent education on health and human sexuality.

3.   Consider Draft Legislation “Voted and Board Levy Program Amendments”

                         

Ms. Steffen distributed the most recent version of draft legislation “Voted and Board Levy Program Amendments” (2013FL-0315/006).

Rep. Stephen Handy discussed draft legislation “Voted and Board Levy Program Amendments,” which requires the full amount of the state contribution appropriated for the Voted and Board Levy Programs to be distributed each year. He distributed a handout, “Voted & Board Leeway Program Amendments,” which contains a chart and a table that show the effect of fully distributing the state contribution appropriated for the Voted and Board Levy Programs. Rep. Handy stated that, in FY 2012, the value of the state guarantee for the Voted and Board Levy Programs would have increased by $1.78 per weighted pupil unit, and three more school districts would have qualified for the state guarantee.

Mr. Bruce Williams, Associate Superintendent, Utah State Office of Education, noted there may be a timing problem with one aspect of the bill. School district tax collections are not finalized until May, so the information needed to adjust the state guarantee for the next fiscal year would not be available for the 2013 General Session.

Dr. Menlove stated that the bill is supported by several districts.

Chair Gibson turned the chair to Sen. Stephenson.

4.   School Performance Report

                         

Dr. Menlove and Dr. Judy Park, Associate Superintendent, Utah State Office of Education, discussed plans for complying with statutory requirements pertaining to school performance reports. Dr. Park distributed a chart, “School Performance Report Data Reported for the 2010-11 School Year,” which indicates data that will be reported in 2012 school performance reports and data that is not available. She also distributed a chart, “School Performance Report – Components – Annual Filing,” which addresses the process for creating and delivering school performance reports, as well as a document containing suggested amendments to Utah Code Section 53A-3-602.5. Dr. Park also showed an example of a school performance report on the USOE website.

Chair Stephenson invited members of the committee to work with the USOE and committee staff in drafting legislation pertaining to school performance reports for consideration at the committee’s November meeting.

MOTION: Sen. Osmond moved to open a committee bill file regarding school performance reports. The motion passed unanimously.

5.   Elimination or Modification of Reports Required by Local Education Agencies

Dr. Menlove reviewed “USOE Report on H.B. 500 – Education Reporting Efficiency Amendments,” distributed in the mailing packet, which describes reports school districts and charter schools are required to make. He noted that most reports are required by federal law or state statute and asserted that many of the reports are burdensome for smaller districts and charter schools.

In responding to committee comments and questions, Dr. Menlove assured committee members that they will be invited to join him on visits to Utah schools.

6.   Career and Technology Education Funding Model

                         

Ms. Brenda Hales, Associate Superintendent, Utah State Office of Education, assisted Ms. Mary Shumway, Director, Career, Technical, and Adult Education, Utah State Office of Education, as they distributed and reviewed a report, “Student and Course Based Funding for Career and Technical Education” (CTE), which included funding formulas for CTE. They discussed a method of funding CTE courses based on a weighting of job demand, wages, and skill level. Ms. Shumway noted that other factors may be appropriate and requested feedback from the Legislature.

7.   Reports

A.Civic and Character Education

Rep. Christensen, Mr. Robert Austin, Education Specialist, Utah State Office of Education, and Ms. Hales reviewed the requirements of Utah Code Section 53A-13-109, which provides for civic and character education. Ms. Hales discussed some of the projects in which schools are engaged.

B.Financial and Economic Literacy

Ms. Hales reviewed Utah Code Sections 53A-13-103 and 53A-13-110, which address financial and economic literacy education.

C.New Century and Regents’ Scholarship Programs

Mr. David L. Buhler, Commissioner of Higher Education, due to a time restraint, referred the committee to the “New Century and Regents’ Scholarship Annual Report,” which was included in the mailing packet.

8.   Other Items/Adjourn

Chair Stephenson adjourned the meeting at 5:48 p.m.

Repealing Common Core: Fantasy or American Imperative?   2 comments

I was chatting with an acquaintance as we both watched our kids’ karate lesson today.

She said, “I don’t know what’s different this year.  My kids’ teachers say that there are so many rules: ‘You can’t teach this. You have to teach this.  It’s like the Nazis have moved in.’ “

She didn’t know what Common Core was.

This is the problem.  Most folks still don’t know what it is.  There was never a vote. There was never a t.v. infomercial.  There was never a cost analysis given to taxpayers nor an academic analysis given to teachers when Common Core got made the tyrant king of American education.

I know because I am a teacher and my credential’s always been up to date, since I began to teach in the 90′s.  And I didn’t get the memo.

Yet Common Core’s taken over.  It’s in the process of forever changing the systems of education in over FORTY SIX STATES in the U.S.A.

And even in the states who were smart enough to reject the federal offer to join Common Core (via the Race to the Top grant application a few years back)– even those states are now being bought by Arne and Barack.

How?

Sad to report:  U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan happily bypassed the wise state superintendents in states like Texas and Virginia who had rejected Common Core, and offered a brand new DISTRICT version (not state version) of the Race to the Middle Top money.

The catch? The districts have to skip to the ever-so-common tune Arne and Barack are fiddling.

Oh, they have other words for it: Career-and-College Readiness is a favorite.  But when you go to the ed.gov website and read the way they’ve nailed education reform definitions to the wall, you’ll see.  Now, Career and College Readiness means you must teach Common Core, no more and no less; you must march lockstep with the nationalized education drumbeat Arne and Barack are drumming.  You can’t (by their definition) be preparing anyone for college and career unless your standards are the same as “a significant number of states.”

That reminds me of Henry Ford’s Model T car ad.

“ANY CUSTOMER CAN HAVE A CAR PAINTED ANY COLOR THAT HE WANTS SO LONG AS IT IS BLACK.”

The famous line of the founder Henry Ford referred to the T model since, due to express production, no other color could dry as fast as black.

   So,  Obama/Duncan’s version is:

“ANY STATE CAN HAVE ANY ED. STANDARDS, SO LONG AS THEY ARE THE SAME AS COMMON CORE.”

  (And as long as we hold the lock and key –no amendability– on these national standards. The lock? NGA/CCSSO copyright. The key? A U.S. Dept. of Education mandate that states can’t add more than 15% to what’s in Common Core.)

Does this sameness mandate not upset anyone?  Especially since Common Core’s full of terrible rules like REMOVING AS MUCH CLASSIC LITERATURE as possible, SLOWING DOWN Jr. high and high school MATH, and totally ELIMINATING CURSIVE at any age.

Does the dumbing down of the older students’ standards not upset you?  Does the force-feeding of the youngers ones not upset you?

I seriously attempted to persuade my friends this week to join me in creating a gigantic banner that would read:  REPEAL COMMON CORE.

We’d bear the banner at this week’s “Meet the Candidates” events.  Then we’d fly it over the State Capitol building.  But this was a fantasy.

–We’ve talked ourselves blue in the face with Rep. Kraig Powell, Sen. Aaron Osmond, Governor Herbert, Lt. Governor Greg Bell, and others.  They all think Common Core is dandy.

So do tons of teachers.  –But not all. I know a few teachers who wish I’d flown over their schools in a small plane with a big banner.

But they won’t say this out loud.  (Spiral of Silence.) They think they’ll lose their jobs. They’re supposed to buy the line that Common Core doesn’t hurt local control in any way, and that it improves education.

They are not supposed to ask why the data collection of students has changed so dramatically, why nonacademic data is now part of the personally identifiable information states are collecting via schools.  They are not supposed to ask why there are no references to any real research showing that Common Core is viable or beneficial or better than the old system.  They are not supposed to notice that it’s a socialist-communist style of national education now, where states no longer have sovereignty over their educational decision making.  They are not supposed to ask why the copyright page of the Common Core standards says that CCSSO/NGA wrote the standards solely, and that “no claims to the contrary shall be made,” even while they were asked to help write portions of the standards. Empty gesture.  Teachers had no voice.

Obama’s Career Tracking and Education Reforms: So Much More Than Common Core   3 comments

  The more you study the plans and plots of Obama and of his Federal Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, the more you see the crushing trend.  They crush any individuality and local independence or control over education paths or career paths.  And the Constitution be damned.

Individuals’ desires or states’ desires are not to be taken into account.  The word “accountability” is used as a weapon of coercion.  And the desires of the Collective Government are assumed to best determine what a student studies and what he/she becomes.  “What benefits society?” they ask; they do not ask what benefits the child, or what do the parents want for the child?

The crushing and stifling effect comes from so much more than the Common Core Standards –or even than the Common national testing.  The federal government wants to determine how children will be placed into an almost unalterable path that determines that student’s future based on imposed plans squeezed out of standardized tests early on in life.  They call it Prosperity 2020 in Utah.  They call it Obama’s 2020 Educational Initiative in D.C. They call it Education For All, a part of Agenda 21, at the United Nations.  They all use nice-sounding words but they all slice away at local and individual rights and freedoms over what is to be learned and what is to be eliminated from the learning.

For example, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan makes references to “personalized learning” which sound good.  But what is it, really?  The removal of a student’s choices.  The personalization by the government of that individual’s life path.  It starts with “differentiated diplomas” which call students, to use politically insensitive words, “dumb” “mediocre” and “smart.”  These “differentiated diplomas” will prepare students for differentiated careers– all determined by standardized, high stakes tests and by people who are NOT the student himself/herself.  Nor the parents.  (All “for the good of the collective”.)  I’m not buying it.  Are you?

Career Academies and  “College and Career Readiness*” are the new buzzwords.   The concepts sound good on the surface– to help students get diagnosed with skills and trained for specific career skills as early as possible, to make a direct leap into a career.

But think: what if the student later hates that career and has traded his/her well-rounded, meaningful, whole education for a narrow skill set?  Then where is he/she going to be? Trained to be a plumber, but with desires to be a nurse?  Trained to be a rocket scientist, but with desires to cook?  Trained to pick up trash, but with desires to practice law?  It’s not good.

The educational trend seems to benefit “society” far more than it benefits the individual.  But that’s what socialists are all about.  Communists, too.  The individual never matters; his or her desires are not significant to The Collective.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan explains it this way:

” My goal today is to share an outline of our plan to transform career and technical education, or CTE.  Then, with that as context, I’ll discuss our plans to implement the President’s proposed $1 billion investment in career academies…

…First, a career academy is a secondary school program that is organized as a small learning community or a school within a school to provide a supportive, personalized learning environment.

Second, the academy begins by the 9th grade. 

Third, the academy would need to provide a combined academic and technical curriculum that includes CTE courses for which students may receive academic credit. The academy’s curriculum would be organized around a career theme—like the themes identified by NAF: Finance, Hospitality & Tourism, Information Technology, Health Sciences, or Engineering—and aligned with the State’s college-and career-ready standards*.

Fourth, a career academy provides work-based learning and career exploration activities through partnerships with local employers. 

And, fifth and finally, the academy’s program articulates and reflects the entrance requirements of postsecondary education programs—to ensure that students graduate from high school ready to pursue a degree or credential. 

Now, I’m very interested to hear what you think about our career academies plan, the proposed academy definition, and the CTE Blueprint.”  Full speech here:  http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/remarks-us-secretary-education-arne-duncan-national-academy-foundation-next-conference

* By the way, Duncan’s allusion to “the State’s college-and-career-ready standards” does not mean what you think it means. It’s just common core.  “College and Career Readiness” is like a code term.

NO INDIVIDUAL STATE WHO IS UNDER THE COMMON CORE YOKE CAN MAKE CHANGES NOR DEFINE COLLEGE AND CAREER READY DIFFERENTLY FROM ANY OTHER STATE.

So, according to Duncan/Obama, being ready for college and career doesn’t mean being ready for college and career.  Too forthright.

The term means being yoked to a substandard set of educational standards that are the same, same, same and that are non-negotiable and that are NGA/CCSSO copyrighted, with a 15% federally mandated cap on top of that copyright.  (See the definition on the Ed.gov site here: http://www.ed.gov/race-top/district-competition/definitions)

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