Archive for the ‘Christel Swasey’ Tag
Here’s a link to the radio show where David Cox and I were guests of Rod Arquette last week.
Q & A covers:
How much momentum is the Common Core pushback movement gaining nationwide?
What do people need to know about Common Core?
How does Common Core hurt education? Why is classic literature diminished?
Is there any actual evidence that the standards are of good quality?
Why were the standards written behind closed doors? Who is getting rich with taxpayers’ funding of Common Core?
How does Common Core end local control of education? Are unelected people and organizations making education policy for our children?
Are teachers afraid to speak out against Common Core?
Who paid the PTA to advocate for Common Core without showing any pros and cons?
How does the test data collection process change how education had been done in the past?
What can one person do?
It was a privilege to speak with Glenn Beck on his t.v. show on Thursday, along with Utah teacher David Cox of Odyssey Charter School , Emmett McGroarty of the American Principles Project, and Sherena Arrington of Stop Common Core in Georgia. I’m posting three clips from the show.
This first portion of the show is a clip of Glenn Beck introducing common core and its “Equity and Excellence Commission” which aims to use the educational system to redistribute; to redistribute not only exactly the same standards and testing nationwide, but also the nation’s wealth. Glenn calls the Common Core issue bigger than any other issue facing America today.
The next clip introduces the scarily non-traditional Common Core math, the dumbing-down via “student-centered” rather than teacher-directed instruction; and shows –my favorite part– the moment Glenn was stunned to find out that state legislatures were not a part of the adoption of Common Core, in any state.
Notice when Sherena Arrington describes this. She calls it the executive branch being ”off the chain.” Great choice of words. Off the chain– like a mad bulldog. Yes, there is a chain and American needs to stay attached to it because it’s an umbilical cord to mother freedom. It’s a chain forged by the U.S. Constitution, the process of voter representation, the importance of due process and the separation and balance of powers.
This next clip covers the part of the show where we discussed the ”no-parental-consent” school data mining.
I mentioned one of the seminal documents of the Common Core movement, the Cooperative Agreement between Secretary Arne Duncan and the SBAC testing group, which says that the SBAC and PARCC (the other testing group) have to synchronize their tests and data, and that student-level data (personal, identifiable data) must be shared. That creates a national testing system, nationalizing education just like China or any socialist/communist country. This is so offensive, considering the fact that both the Constitution and U.S. GEPA law (General Educational Provisions Act) specify that the federal government may not direct or supervise educational programs or curriculum or tests in any way.
Then I brought up the fact that the Department of Education went behind Congress’ back to alter FERPA law (privacy law) so that parental consent is no longer a legal requirement to access student information. The National Data Collection Model asks for hundreds of data points to be collected on our loved ones, including family income, religion, nicknames, psychological issues, and so much more.
Yes, the executive branch is way off the chain and does need to be brought to account by Congress. By We, The People.
Thank you, Glenn Beck. Thank you for exposing to parents and other viewers nationwide what common core is really all about: it’s so much more than just academic standards.
Keeping Kids Safe is Bill Wardell’s radio show. He invited Alisa Ellis, Renee Braddy and I on his show today to discuss data privacy issues, Common Core national education, and what most parents do not know about Common Core.
(This one’s Jenni White, of Oklahoma’s Restore Oklahoma Public Education)
(This one is today’s GooglePlus Hangout –about Sir Michael Barber, Pearson and Common Core– with Alisa Ellis, Renee Braddy, and me (Christel)
(This one is the video Renee Braddy and Alisa Ellis made before I’d even met them; in fact, watching this video brought me into the anti-Common Core fight.)
(This one is Red Meat Radio’s Utah interview with Boston’s Jamie Gass of Pioneer Institute)
(This one is a radio show interviewing Heather Crossin of Indiana)
(This one Impact, a Heber, Utah radio show, with Bob Wren and Paul Royall interviewing Renee Braddy and me (Christel).
(This one’s Professor John Seddon, speaking to California State University faculty on why they will ruin education if they use Sir Michael Barber’s “Deliverology” methodology, which harmed the UK.)
This one’s Sir Michael Barber, speaking at the August 2012 Education Summit about how education reform is a global, not a local, control issue; and that every child in every country should learn exactly the same thing, and that all learning in every land should be underpinned by one “ethic,” that of environmental sustainability. See 2:55- 5:30 at least.
(This one’s me speaking to the Heber City Council about “Communities That Care” as a federally controlled, top-down, agenda-laden program we don’t want in Heber.
(This one is Jenni White of Oklahoma’s ROPE (Restore Oklahoma Public Education) being interviewed by the three moms about P-20 councils, data collection via schools, and common core.)
(This one’s Jenni White’s presentation about Common Core to Oklahoma legislature)
What’s going on with so many Utahns joining the fight for educational freedom, the fight against a federal “Common Core”?
When we signed the petition –along with over two thousand, so far, who have signed the petition at Utahns Against Common Core– what were we asking for?
In short: higher, more constitutionally based (state-not-federally-controlled) educational standards.
- We have asked the Governor, State Board of Education, and State Superintendent to take the steps necessary to rescind Common Core adoption, the Race to the Top application, the No Child Left Behind waiver, the use of SBAC/PARCC federally monitored testing and data collection, and all other requirements upon the state that are related to these, and return Utah to higher, independent, non-federal education standards.
- We have requested the Utah Attorney General in conjunction with the Federalism Subcommittee of the Constitutional Defense Council, to review all documentation related to such applications and contracts as mentioned above to ensure our state sovereignty is held inviolate. We further requested that this review of programs, documents, and applications, include an examination to ensure no private or personal information about students is transmitted outside of local schools and districts, despite the U.S. Dept. of Education’s and Utah Data Alliance’s efforts to the contrary.
- Because the Utah State Board of Education adopted Common Core State Standards before they were even finalized, failed to perform a cost analysis related to statewide adoption, and failed to hold public meetings where citizens could review the actual standards prior to adoption, we have asked that a liberty-minded, academically solid educational committee (not the USOE or USSB) be authorized to rewrite Utah’s current standards through a well-developed and transparent process that includes numerous public hearings and input from committees that utilizes knowledge-based, academic, clearly worded, grade-level specific, measurable standards from other states (such as liberty-minded Texas, Virginia and the impressive pre-common core Massachusetts) as models.
- We want to give individual schools and districts full local control with the ability to adopt their own high standards, assessments, and research-based curriculum to encourage and allow for greater parental participation in the education system.
- We aim for legislators and citizens to develop a 5-year plan to get Utah off all federal funding of education, and if the federal government threatens to pull non-education related funding away from the state as we pursue this course, that this knowledge should be made public and fought with the assistance of the state Attorney General.
- We have asked legislators to craft laws that will strengthen privacy rights and parental consent rules, and make sharing of personal student data with any state or federal entity a crime both for the one disseminating and the recipient who requested personal information.
If you agree, you can:
Please sign the petition at http://utahnsagainstcommoncore.com .
Please write and/or call our Governor, Lt. Governor, Legislators, the USOE, UEN, and local and State School Board (Board@schools.utah.gov )
Christel Swasey, Renee Braddy, Alisa Ellis:
Three Heber City Moms
Utah Parents Object to Common Core
Parents and citizens have formed activist groups to oppose Utah’s adoption of Common Core education standards, though state officials including the governor and education department spokesmen say these objections are groundless.
Approximately 300 packed a Salt Lake City auditorium for lectures on the standards, which describe what children should know in each grade for math and English. Forty-five states adopted the Core under Obama administration pressure.
Christel Swasey, a mom from Heber City, Utah, said she hadn’t even heard the term “Common Core” until April 2012—nearly two years after the state adopted it.
“I think most parents in Utah still don’t know what the term means,” Swasey said. “Utah adopted the Core before the standards had been published—like getting married without dating.”
Parent activist Alisa Ellis didn’t know about the Common Core until a teacher handed her a brochure, unable to explain the Core more than simply telling her it was “great,” Ellis said.
“For a year I couldn’t find any answers,” she said.
These Utah moms are not alone. Sixty percent of U.S. voters polled in May they have seen, read, or heard “nothing at all” about the standards. To rectify this in their state, these moms and dozens of other parents founded Utahns Against Common Core. Other groups have composed brochures and begun approaching state representatives.
Cutting Classic Literature
The Common Core replaces literature with informational reading in large portions of many states’ curriculums.
“When I found out they are slashing classic literature I was really bothered,” Swasey said. “That’s like book burning. If you don’t allow the child access to the literature it is the same thing as saying the literature doesn’t exist.”
The Core also requires students take algebra in ninth instead of eighth grade.
“My sixth grader is adept at math,” Ellis said. “It really bothers me that with the Common Core the only way for him to advance as his older siblings did is to skip a grade. I see value in him staying with his peers.”
Shifting the Curriculum
Aside from these practical issues, the Core is legally dubious, said Jim Stergios, executive director of the Pioneer Institute.
The federal government is paying for two state coalitions to develop tests aligned with the Core. It is illegal for the federal government to develop curriculum.
“The people who develop these tests cannot develop tests without developing specific curriculum and instructing teachers how they should teach,” Stergios said.
The Pioneer Institute asked two former U.S. Education Department lawyers to analyze the laws that might enable the federal government’s involvement. They concluded its involvement with the Core was illegal, Stergios said.
“These two groups, funded by the federal government, specifically state they will develop curriculum,” he said.
Swasey said she was also concerned about the testing system.
“It’s not a national curriculum, but it is a nationally controlled testing program and controlled standards. If you do that, you don’t need to control the curriculum,” she said.
–Abigail Wood writes from Hillsdale, Michigan.
Rod Arquette hosts national education experts: James Gass of Pioneer Institute, Emmett McGroarty of American Principals Project, Bill Evers of Hoover Institute at Stanford, and Kent Talbert, D.C. lawyer and former counsel to Department of Education. Photo taken the day before the public forum in Salt Lake City.
On July 10th, 2012, a public forum was held where Jamie Gass, Bill Evers, Kent Talbert and Emmett McGroarty, four national education experts, taught evidenced facts to the public concering Common Core. A press release about the forum upset Brenda Hales, a USOE administrator, who then posted a statement on the Utah Public Education website giving the official line of the USOE on Common Core.
Brenda Hales, Utah State Office of Education
I decided to provide a referenced rebuttal to challenge her statement. You can read at http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/christel-swasey-responds-to-brenda-hales/ . (You can read Brenda’s post as well so you can see what’s being said by the USOE.) The Utahns Against Common Core website posted both the USOE’s statement and my rebuttal.
Dr. David Wiley, pro-Common Core professor
Next, comments were sent in on one aspect of the Common Core debate, privacy issues, by BYU Professor David Wiley. The purpose of this blog post is to record his comments and my responses to his responses so readers may determine for themselves what they feel is right.