Archive for the ‘Indiana’ Tag

Dear Governor Herbert: Let’s Be Like Indiana!   3 comments

Dear Governor Herbert,

Let’s be like Indiana!   The support of the State Superintendent Ritz and Governor Pence are making it possible for the people to reclaim local control of education.  Indiana’s dropping Common Core.  We in Utah should do the same, rather than continually giving lip service to local autonomy.

http://www.indystar.com/story/news/2014/01/29/ind-senate-panel-oks-plan-to-drop-common-core/5013185/
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/01/16/Governor-Mike-Pence-Hints-Indiana-May-Drop-Common-Core
Christel Swasey
Utah Teacher
——
Please, fellow Utahns–  write  often to our Utah leaders.  Let them know what is going on in national education reform and pushback, since our local newspapers rarely do.  Tell them what you want them to do.   They are supposed to represent us– not D.C. corporations or agencies of the federal government.  We must speak up.
————-
CONTACT INFORMATION:

Governor Herbert:  constituentservices@utah.gov

Superintendent Menlove: martell.menlove@schools.utah.gov

Utah State School Board:  Board@schools.utah.gov

Video Lecture from Hillsdale College: Story Killers   3 comments

Dr. Terrence Moore of Hillsdale College speaks in this video about the Common Core standards in a college lecture entitled “Story-Killers: How the Common Core Destroys Minds and Souls”.

The architects of Common Core, Dr. Moore contends, are deliberately killing stories.

But why?

First Dr. Moore discusses what Common Core leaves out, in great detail. Then he asks (at minute 16:50) “what kind of mind, indeed what kind of soul will you have after going through this sort of stuff [Common Core high school]?”

He answers. This is the part we must hear.

“Nothing but mischief” is what students are learning that our country has been up to for over two centuries; and, that the past is a dark cloud that has nothing to teach us.

“No appreciation for beauty or heroism or faith” is what students will hold –because they will most likely never have discussed such things in relation to a whole book of classic literature.

“Not too high of an opinion as a family as an institution” nor of the love that holds families together –because no such models are being provided.

“Not to have been invited to love the thing we call good” and “not being taught how to laugh and how to find humor in the human condition” are additional results Dr. Moore sees coming from Common Core English classes.

Common Core high school English classes will take students down one of two roads, says Dr. Moore: either “utter boredom” or, “if you actually took these lessons seriously, down the depressing path of the prematurely jaded, postmodern anti-heroic view of life.”

He calls this movement intellectual and moral debilitation, as it deprives students of the best stories, and as it deprives them of learning about what it means to be human. Whoever controls the narrative, he explains, also controls the politics, the economics, the families, the ways we think, the ways we believe.

What is wrong with the rhetoric surrounding education reform, he asks? The architects of Common Core are simply asserting that their scheme will make students college and career ready, with no proof to back them up. “That is astonishing!” he says.

(Yes, it is.)

The authors of Common Core can point to no successes where this scheme has been tried. So the 45 states that have adopted Common Core, Dr. Moore says, “bought the farm, sight unseen.”

The traditional aims of education: truth, knowledge goodness, virtue, justice, industriousness, and happiness are no longer the aims of education.

“There is no search for happiness in the Common Core,” Dr. Moore says, noting that happiness was one of the main purposes for education according to our founding fathers.

Art, music and literature, he says, which are focused on the human soul, are being seen as increasingly dispensible under Common Core. Modern journalists are seen at the same status level as Shakespeare. “Drive by’s” of literature are now encouraged, rather than the careful, slow reading of a great classic work.

He speaks about the numbers of hours students are being put in front of a computer in the quest to prepare them for jobs. But “Jobs” he says, “do not make the human mind. The human mind makes jobs.”

Then he points out the wordiness and the silliness and the lack of age-appropriateness of many of the standards themselves.

There are pathetically humorous examples, such as why students studying “Frankenstein” don’t actually get asked to read the book.

“I am not making this up. This is straight out of the Common Core State Standards.”

Then.

He speaks about the Constitution.

“The scariest thing I actually think is written on the first page of the introduction to the Common Core…and I will read that… ‘The standards are intended to be a living work. As new and better evidence emerges, the standards will be revised accordingly.’ … Who gets to decide what constitutes new and better evidence? … The standards will be rewritten and rewritten again… what states have signed on to, they have no control over whatsoever.”

He says this is the way the progressives are pulling off the takeover. But Moore says that the authors of Common Core made two fundamental mistakes.

(minute 46:00)

First, they didn’t think that the American people would want to fight for its stories. They thought that the American people with the promises of a globally competitive society (as though we’d never seen that before) somehow would embrace computers and new technologies every new fangled idea in education and forget the fact that we as a nation understand what it means to be a globally competitive society and what we should be doing in the classroom is forming the minds and souls of the nation’s youth and therefore, we need our stories because stories are the thing that form and educate the heart.

“The second thing that they overshot and did not expect is that they simply underestimated the suburban mom. There is nothing that a suburban mom –or any mom, for that matter– cares more about than the heart and happiness of her children.

“And when that comes into danger, suburban moms who vote and who know how to organize themselves (as two ladies in Indiana do, named Heather Crossin and Erin Tuttle) and who can form organizations like Hoosiers Against the Common Core, they will mobilize people and they will take action and state legislatures then have to listen…”

The issue that is boiling right now (other than Obamacare) in this country right now, is Common Core. And this is a fight over our schools and ultimately the souls and minds of our young people.”

“This is the time to take our stories back. After we do that, we can take our schools back, and once we have our schools back we are on the road to taking our nation back.”

———-

Thank you, Dr. Moore.

Video: How Indiana Mom Heather Crossin is Beating Common Core   6 comments

This interview with Indiana Mother Heather Crossin is not to be missed. Speaking to the Civitas Institute, she tells the story of how she got involved with the fight against Common Core:

Her third grade daughter came home from her Catholic parochial school with Common Core math worksheets. The worksheets had a “shockingly small amount” of practice, and an “inordinate amount of time spent explaining in writing how students got to answers” which had to be written by students in very scripted ways. Heather started to ask questions.

She soon found herself at a school meeting to discuss the Common Core styled math, and heard a sales pitch from a Pearson Education sales representative. She and the parents in the room didn’t like the pitch nor the new math. Then the principal informed them that there was no choice. That was Heather’s moment of illumination.

Suddenly I realized the control over what was being taught in my child’s third grade classroom was now not at my school level. In fact, it was not even at the state level. It had been removed and all control now resided outside the state of Indiana, with private trade associations that owned the copyright to these standards. So no one in my school building, or even in my state, had the ability to change, edit or delete a set of standards that I found right out of the gate to be problematic…

“…We could not believe that a shift of this magnitude had occurred in our state and no one was aware of it. We felt an overwhelming desire to at least let the people know what had happened. We felt strongly that if people knew that this type of a shift in power and control had occurred, they would be outraged as we were, and I think we found that they were.”

In this interview, Heather also explains why parents can and must get involved:

“The stakes are so high. This is not an issue that can be ignored. It really affects not just our children’s future but really our country’s future.”

She touches on the fact that the Common Core testing system (aligned now with college entrance exams) places even home schooled students and private school students at a serious disadvantage. She also relates the method by which she and other parents pushed for, and succeeded in getting, the first “pause” legislation to stop Common Core for Indiana, adding:

“The most powerful weapon that we’ve had… is that the truth and the facts are overwhelmingly on the side of the Common Core opponents. That is a very powerful weapon.”


Watch and share.

To see an additional film of Heather’s public speech at the Civitas event, see: http://stopcommoncorenc.org/2013/10/14/heather-crossin-ordinary-people-can-make-difference/

Thank you, Heather!

Video: Dr. Terrence Moore Testifies Against Common Core Readings and the Lack of Local Control   7 comments

Dr. Terrence Moore, professor of history at Hillsdale College, testified last month to the Indiana legislature. This is the video of his short, (ten minute) excellent testimony.

He describes in detail what Common Core robs from students, as it cuts classic literature and dramatically cuts the heart away from readings including the U.S. Constitution and Tom Sawyer. He describes the truncation that will happen to classic works of literature in favor of informational texts in new Common Core aligned ELA anthologies. He describes how Common Core robs charter schools of parental control with the piercing question, “Are you Common Core compliant?” He also describes how Common Core testing makes teachers and charters servile to the Common Core.

He also says:

The thing that bothers me more than anything else is found on page number one of the introduction. That says that Common Core is a living work. That means that the thing that you vote on today could be something different tomorrow, and five years from now it is completely unrecognizable.”

That’s the real issue. Whether politicians, teachers or school board members like it today is actually, totally irrelevant. Don’t ask them if they like Common Core; ask them if they know that it can change at any time, but they don’t get a vote or a voice in what happens to it. Ever.

Thank you, Dr. Moore.

Gov Pence of Indiana Puts Common Core in TIME OUT: “Education is a Local Function”   2 comments

Indiana’s Governor Pence has signed the “Common Core ‘pause’ legislation” bill.  It puts a time-out on Common Core implementation so that legislators, parents, teachers and school boards can have the time they were denied previously, to actually vet and analyze the Common Core educational system.

How I wish Governor Herbert would do the same.

How I wish we had a governor, newspapers, a state school board and local school boards whose actions showed they truly valued local control, that all-important principle of our country’s founding.  But they do not.  They prioritize being the same as other states over maintaining the power to run our own lives,  and they value that common core over having academically legitimate, non-experimental standards.

It is a Utah tragedy.  Not so in Indiana.

IndyStar reports:

“The bill requires public input meetings and a new vote on whether to continue implementing the Common Core by the end of 2014 by the State Board of Education, which originally approved common Core in 2010.

Critics of Common Core, which was adopted by Indiana’s state board in 2010, say the criteria are less rigorous than Indiana’s prior standards and adopting them would mean giving up too much power over the setting of standards.

But supporters argue Indiana could fall behind by backing out, as textbook publishers and standardized test makers — including those who make college entrance exams — are moving quickly to adapt to the new standards.

“I have long believed that education is a state and local function and we must always work to ensure that our students are being taught to the highest academic standards and that our curriculum is developed by Hoosiers, for Hoosiers,” Pence said in a news release. “The legislation I sign today hits the pause button on Common Core so Hoosiers can thoroughly evaluate which standards will best serve the interests of our kids.”  

Read the rest here.

Video: Heritage Foundation Conference Panel About Common Core   2 comments

Heritage Foundation hosted a multi-day conference recently in Orlando.  Below is a video which is available at Heritage Foundation’s website and on YouTube, taken from  a panel at that conference, which was followed by Q & A about Common Core.

Conference Keynote speaker Michelle Malkin, recipient of the 2013 Breitbart Award for Excellence in Journalism  was an attendee at the panel that discussed the Common Core.

Panelists included Lindsey Burke of Heritage Foundation, Jim Stergios of Pioneer Institute, Ted Rebarber of Accountability Works, Heather Crossin of Hoosiers Against Common Core, and me.

Common Core News Roundup: Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Washington Times, Fox News, Manchester Union Leader, Washington Examiner, Indiana Star, Arizona Journal, Mississippi Clarion Ledger, Cincinnati News and more   11 comments

Thanks to Jamie Gass for this compilation of news outlets that are covering the national Common Core controversy.

“The Common Core is in trouble,” said Randi Weingarten, the AFT union president,  “There is a serious backlash in lots of different ways, on the right and on the left.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/turmoil-swirling-around-common-core-education-standards/2013/04/29/7e2b0ec4-b0fd-11e2-bbf2-a6f9e9d79e19_story.html

The Wall Street Journal: New School Standards Spur a Backlash

http://stream.wsj.com/story/latest-headlines/SS-2-63399/SS-2-223674/

The Hill: GOP — White House taking over state education policy

http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/297219-gop-says-obama-administration-taking-over-education-policy-with-no-input-from-congress

Washington Post: Turmoil swirling around Common Core education standards

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/turmoil-swirling-around-common-core-education-standards/2013/04/29/7e2b0ec4-b0fd-11e2-bbf2-a6f9e9d79e19_story.html

Washington Times: Common Core school standards hit another roadblock, this time in Indiana

http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2013/apr/29/common-core-school-standards-hit-another-roadblock/

Washington Times: Indiana legislature latest to halt application of Common Core school standards

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/29/resistance-to-the-nationwide-k-12-school-standards/

Michigan: Michigan House Blocks Common Core Implementation

http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2013/04/25/michigan-house-blocks-common-core-implementation

Michigan: Michigan Pulling Away from Common Core

http://blog.heritage.org/2013/04/26/michigan-pulling-away-from-common-core/

Atlanta: Are we rushing Common Core without field testing it?

http://www.ajc.com/weblogs/get-schooled/2013/apr/30/are-we-rushing-common-core-without-field-testing-i/

New York Daily News: Teachers union chief Randi Weingarten has it correct on Common Core

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/randi-wrong-article-1.1331669

Washington Post: AFT’s Weingarten urges moratorium on high stakes linked to Common Core tests

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/04/30/afts-weingarten-urges-moratorium-on-high-stakes-linked-to-new-standardized-tests/

Washington Examiner: AFT’s Randi Weingarten calls for time out on Common Core testing

http://washingtonexaminer.com/afts-randi-weingarten-calls-for-time-out-on-common-core-testing/article/2528627

Fox News/NY: Common Core standards facing criticism

http://www.myfoxny.com/story/22124434/common-core-standards-facing-criticism

NJ: Concern Expressed Over Common Core System and Privacy Issues

http://thealternativepress.com/articles/concern-expressed-over-common-core-system-and-pri

Indy Star: Hoosiers are right to be wary about Common Core

http://www.indystar.com/article/20130430/OPINION03/304300036/Hoosiers-right-wary-about-Common-Core

Mississippi: Beware of the Common Core State Standards

http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20130501/OPINION/305010158/Beware-Common-Core-State-Standards

OH: Teachers Union Worried About Common Core Tests

http://stateimpact.npr.org/ohio/2013/05/01/ohio-teachers-union-worried-about-common-core-tests/

OH: Growing criticism of Common Core

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20130429/NEWS/304290016/Growing-criticism-Common-Core

NH: Common core education talk draws opponents in Manchester

http://www.unionleader.com/article/20130501/NEWS04/130509962/0/FRONTPAGE

TN: Common Core pushback in TN

http://www.examiner.com/article/current-common-core-standards-to-change

TN: New common core standards raise questions in Tenn.

http://www.theleafchronicle.com/viewart/20130501/NEWS01/305010030/New-common-core-standards-raise-questions-Tenn-

TN: New Common Core Standards Raise Questions

http://www.newschannel5.com/story/22131452/new-common-core-standards-raise-questions

TN: Critics speak out about new Common Core standards

http://www.wkrn.com/story/22124884/critics-speak-out-about-new-common-core-standards

Huff Post: Common Core Stakes Moratorium Proposed By Unions As National Standards Face Backlash

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/30/common-core-moratorium-teacher-evaluations_n_3187419.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

AZ: Common Core draws praise, pejoratives

http://www.azjournal.com/2013/05/01/common-core-standards-draw-praise-pejoratives/

PA: Opponents say Common Core oversimplifies education, lessens local control

http://articles.dailyamerican.com/2013-04-30/news/38938363_1_common-core-state-standards-early-childhood-education-school-board-member

FL: Who Supports, Opposes The Common Core?

http://stateimpact.npr.org/florida/2013/05/01/who-supports-opposes-the-common-core/

Christian Post: Eight US Senators Join Fight Against Common Core

http://www.christianpost.com/news/eight-senators-join-fight-against-common-core-94876/

WY: The dangers of ‘Common Core’

http://trib.com/opinion/letters/the-dangers-of-common-core/article_0a192301-8dc4-5b70-8177-206c5bc8f020.html

Grassroots All Over USA Joining to Assist in Calling For Indiana’s State Bill 1427   1 comment

Have you called your favorite Indiana legislator yet today? 

 317- 232-9600. 317-232-4567. 317-232-9677

Yes, I know we may not be from Indiana.  But what happens elsewhere, affects our local freedom. 

See what one Ohio resident wrote:

“I am from Ohio. My kids are grown, but I am active in opposing Common Core. God bless you in your fight to stall Common Core in Indiana.

This morning, I sent an e-mail to Indiana Speaker, Brian Bosma. The text was as follows:

“SB1427 must be called down for a vote!

The parents and residents in Indiana are fighting for time and the Indiana House of Representatives must allow this important bill to come to a full vote! You must hear the will of the people and parents of Indiana and you must call SB1427 for a vote!

SB1427 addresses Common Core Curriculum! The education of the children is too important to pass through any state without intelligent discussion and the involvement of the parents and residents.

I do not live in Indiana, but as a resident of Ohio, I am watching what happens in states across America. Common Core is just becoming known and there is growing and fierce opposition nation wide! I believe there is great cause for concern. Common Core has, quite frankly, been foisted upon the entire nation in secret. Please allow Indiana to be a stand-out state who upholds representative government!

Please bring SB1427 to the floor for a vote in the great state of Indiana!

God bless,
Kathy L Johnson
Ohio resident”

Call the Indiana Governor at (317)232-4567. Call the Indiana House 317-232-9600 . (Ask to speak to whoever you want, or to Speaker Brian Bosma.) Another number for Bosma: 317-232-9677

Let’s Help Indiana   8 comments

 

It’s time to help Indiana.  What happens in other states does affect us.

Here are two messages from Indiana moms who need your support.   Indiana is ahead of 90% of the states in that the state has TWICE voted in favor of the “time out” bill for Common Core, which will mean that the standards, tests, and data collection vehicles will have to wait while the state thoroughly vets and reviews all the intended and unintended consequences of Common Core.   This is wise and should be emulated nationwide, but there is a chance that the effort will be crushed by those who want the agenda’s wealth-making potential more than they want locally controlled, amendable, and legitimately high-quality standards.  Please, even if you don’t live in Indiana, call.

From: HEATHER CROSSIN
Date: Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Friends,

This is it – the legislative session ends this Friday. If HB1427 isn’t given a vote in the House by the end of the day on Friday, the bill is dead. We can’t allow this to happen! The fact is our Senate has voted twice in favor of the Common Core “time-out” bill, Superintendent Ritz has indicated a review is in order, and we believe that a solid majority of our elected Representatives in the House support HB1427. What’s more, Governor Pence continues to make encouraging remarks in our favor. All that stands in the way of Indiana citizens getting a thorough review of Common Core, is Speaker Bosma and the paid lobbyists, most of whom have vested financial interests in making sure Common Core is not reviewed in the light of day.

As Representative Rhoads was recently quoted as saying, “If it’s so wonderful, what is wrong with allowing it to have a review?”

The Chamber of Commerce has taken out vicious radio adds to try and kill HB1427. This means we are winning, and should not retreat now.

Please contact your State Representative again and ask them for support and an update on HB1427. Politely, tell them how outrageous it will be if this bill is denied an up or down vote. Then please call and leave a message for Speaker Bosma letting him know that the citizens of Indiana deserve better than to have back-room deals made on such an important issue.

The Indiana House switchboard is (317)232-9600 . Finally, call the Governor again at (317)232-4567 . I am told that the final hours of the session is when many important decisions are made. Let’s make sure they remember – this is an important decision!

Lastly, please, please, please join us at the Statehouse this Thursday, at 1:00 PM. We will be rallying to make our voices heard. I am told that if enough people show up in person, we will not be ignored. Erin and I cannot impress upon you enough how urgent and crucial it is that we get as many there as possible, one last time. Many decisions are made in the final hours of the legislative session. We have come too far, against all odds, to stop now. Please make coming a priority! We need you! We are also scheduled to be on W.I.B.C.’s Greg Garrison show that morning from 10:30am-11:00am. (Derek Redleman of the Chamber will be on from 10:00a.m. – 10:30a.m.)

Heather

– — — –

 

Status Update

By Monica Boyer

Alert:  Just in from the Senate:
Representative Rhonda Rhoads has agreed to concur with HB1427, (this bill puts Indiana Common Core on a year time out.) Concurring means that she accepts the bill as written, and it will go to the full house for a final vote.

HOWEVER: We now have word that Speaker Brian Bosma said he will NOT call this bill down for a vote. So yes, let me translate. A bill can go through the entire process and ONE MAN has the power to kill a bill. (That is wrong.)
We need calls to go directly to your Representative. (Ask them to demand a vote on this bill) Then we need to melt down Speaker Brian Bosma’s phone and demand he hear the will of the people and call SB1427 down for a vote.

This is your children’s future. Now is not the time for silence or fear. As of Friday, this bill is DEAD.

Indiana House 317-232-9600 . (Ask to speak to your Representative [or any representative].)
Speaker Brian Bosma: 317-232-9677

(There will also be a rally at the Statehouse on Thursday at 1 pm. More details coming soon)

Top Ten Scariest People in Education Reform: # 9 – David Coleman   48 comments

David Coleman:  Bye Bye, Classics

Countdown # 9

This is the second in a countdown series of introductions, a list of the top ten scariest people leading American education reform.  (#10 on the list is posted here.)

David Coleman, lead “architect” for the English Language Arts (ELA) portion of the Common Core, is not an educator, but a businessman.  Recently promoted to president of the College Board, he has promised to align the SAT with the Common Core that he built.  He plotted education for K-12 students, and now he’s plotting it for postsecondary students, too.

How can a one-size-fits-all alignment make sense for all students –whether bound for a minimum wage job, a two-year college or the top university in the world– prepare each using a one-size-fits-all Common Core program?  Either the lower-level students are to be pushed beyond reasonable expectations, or the higher level students are to be dumbed down.  Or both.

Coleman is an outspoken antagonist to narrative writing and is no fan of classic literature, so he singlehandedly slashed most of it from the education most children in America will know, either already –or soon.  Ask your kids, but remember, Common Core testing begins in 2014, so the intense pressure for teachers to conform to Common Core is yet to be fully felt.

What did Coleman do to Language Arts? He mandated that dreary informational text, not beautiful, classic literature, is to be the main emphasis in English classes, incrementally worsening as students get older.

What it looks like:  little children in an ELA classroom may read no more than 50% classic literature. High school seniors may only read 30% classic literature. The other 70% must be informational text, which means everything from historical documents (um– why not read those in history classes?)  to insulation installation manuals,  presidential executive orders, environmental programming, and federal reserve documents.  These are actually on the recommended reading  list.

Another weird twist to Coleman’s Common Core is that he says students must “stay within the four corners of the text” as if that were possible.  Context is not to be part of a discussion?  Outside experience is not to be compared to the informational text?  For a thorough, and eloquent, explanation of what has happened to English Language Arts because of Coleman’s influence, please read “Speaking Back to the Common Core” by Professor Thomas Newkirk of the University of New Hampshire.

What Coleman does not understand (–hmmm, maybe actual English teachers should have been invited to those closed-door meetings–) is that narrative is so much more than a style of writing.

Narrative isn’t just using the “I” word.  It’s more than “What I Did Last Summer.”

Narrative is a pattern woven (often unconsciously) into every style of memorable writing, whether argumentative, persuasive, expository, etc.  The best informational texts are narratively satisfying.

Coleman’s knocking down of narrative writing and slashing of it from academic standards is both ignorant and, to English teachers and astute kids, really confusing. For a funny, punchy review of the muddly ELA writing standards, read Professor Laura Gibbs’ “Inspid Brew of Gobbledygook”.

David Coleman is largely ignorant in the field of writing language arts standards.  One member of the official Common Core validation committee, Dr. Sandra Stotsky, pointed this out and refused to sign off on the validity of the Common Core standards.

And David Coleman is not even nice, as you’ll see from the video linked here, where he mocks student narrative and uses the “sh–” word in a professional development seminar for teachers.

Lastly, Coleman’s large financial contribution to the campaign of  Education Committee Senator Todd Huston (Indiana) whom Coleman hired for the College Board after his election, forms another branch of reasons that I can not trust this man to make wise decisions affecting children.

Ethics in Education Leadership   7 comments

There’s a fine line between watching a state leader hold multiple roles in business and politics that are a bit too close for comfort, and having  a leader hold multiple roles that clearly create unwarranted favoritism –or even corruption.

I don’t know exactly where this line falls.

But I’ve noticed an uncomfortable “two-hats-wearing” pattern with some businesspeople-turned-politicians.  And it’s harming the process of proper vetting, voice and vote of “We, the People.” The people’s debate never takes place.  The business-side-of-education “experts” rise to positions of political authority and they then make the calls.  I am not comfortable with it.

Two examples: Todd Huston of Indiana and Aaron Osmond of Utah– both are Republicans and both are youngish family guys, seeminlgy “nice guys”.

But each is employed by education-product sales companies while also serving in the state legislature in positions that influence decisions about which educational products will be needed, and will be purchased, using state tax dollars.

Huston works for the College Board, whose president financially contributed to his political campaign.  Osmond works for Certiport-Pearson which has huge contracts with the state, and would probably have more if Osmond’s recent bill had passed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The president of the College Board, David Coleman, recently gave Todd Huston a large (his second largest) campaign contribution, of $10,000.  Other campaign contributers included Stand for Children, another controversial political group.  David Coleman also hired Huston to be  Senior Vice President of the College Board.

(Remember:  prior to running the College Board, you will recall, Coleman served as chief architect of the ELA portion of the Common Core Standards. Coleman’s now working to alter the SAT to match his creation, the Common Core.   Surely Huston has a role to play in that.  David Coleman, Todd Huston and Aaron Osmond,  are each influencing governmental education policy despite the fact that they work for these educational business companies.)

Will we file this information under “Things that must be exposed and changed” or just “Things that make you go hmmm”?

It’s more than corporate aggression that comes into play. The organizations (Pearson, and now Coleman’s version of the College Board) hold extreme philosophical positions that many are  uncomfortable with.

For example, Pearson pushes the idea of having not just every state, but every country using the exact same educational standards, and Pearson pushes public-private-partnerships, which means having business and government collude over education policy and funding.  These ideas are promoted in the very public speeches of Pearson’s CEA, Sir Michael Barber.

Meanwhile, Coleman, the College Board president, pushes for the minimizing of classic  literature and mocks narrative writing– and he doesn’t do it politely.

These people are not educators.  They are businessmen– setting education policy.

I remember watching Senator Osmond, in a Senate Education Committee meeting last summer when Ted Rebarber and Jim Stergios testified that Common Core was set to harm Utah education.  Senator Osmond was visibly agitated by their testimonies, and said that “the train had left the station” concerning Common Core, and he said that people should stop talking about the problems with Common Core.

 His company sells Common Core implementation products.  It wouldn’t do for him to side with Rebarber and Stergios, would it?

This two-hat wearing circumvents the American process of representative government.  We trust our leaders to be objective enough to weigh options openmindedly.  Someone whose paycheck comes from education technology and testing can not possibly be objective.  Osmond, Huston and others in similar career paths should not be in roles of education policy making over a state.

We should  question the financial and philosophical motivations of our education leaders.  We should not allow the niceness of these individuals to wilt our resolve to make sure we are doing what is actually right for our children and not harming our educational system irreparably.

Indiana Senate Votes to Halt Common Core   Leave a comment

man at common core rally

Indiana Senate Votes To Halt Common Core Standards

By Brandon Smith, IPBS

Reposted:   http://indianapublicmedia.org/news/house-senate-halts-common-core-standards-45398/

Indiana is a step closer to taking a momentary break from implementation of the Common Core educational standards. The state Senate Thursday passed legislation halting the nationally-developed set of academic standards adopted in 45 states.

The bill’s author, Indianapolis Republican Senator Scott Schneider, says he was initially approached by two parents concerned about the Common Core. His legislation originally eliminated the education standards; now, it halts implementation until the state Board of Education conducts public hearings in each of the state’s nine congressional districts.

Gary Democratic Senator Earline Rogers says not only has the state already spent money beginning to implement the standards*, but a wide variety of organizations, such as the Parent Teacher Association**, support Common Core.

—  —-  —

 *THE STATE ALREADY SPENT MONEY.   –SHOULD YOU CONTINUE TO TAKE EXPENSIVE MEDICINE AFTER IT IS KNOWN TO BE UNHEALTHY?

**THE NATIONAL PTA ACCEPTED MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO PROMOTE COMMON CORE.

 

THIS IS ONE SMALL STEP FOR INDIANA; BUT ONE GIANT LEAP OF HOPE FOR AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL LIBERTY. 

THANK YOU, SENATOR SCHNEIDER.

 

Which States Aim to Reclaim Educational Liberty?   52 comments

RECLAIM EDUCATIONAL LIBERTY

Many people –including bipartisan U.S. groups  and freedom fighters   in other nations– are working to save educational liberty.  We are waking up to shake off the chains that have settled over education.

Please leave a comment if you know of updates to this chart. 

United States Against Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

and Washington, D.C.

State  Websites Videos Other
1. Alabama http://www.auee.org/ http://vimeo.com/60017609
2. Alaska
3. Arizona http://arizonansagainstcommoncore.com
4. Arkansas http://www.uaedreform.org/sandra-stotsky/
5. California http://cuacc.org/ http://teacher-anon.blogspot.com/
6. Colorado www.parentledreform.org

http://nepc.colorado.edu/author/ohanian-susan

www.bobschaffer.org

http://greatlakescenter.org/docs/Policy_Briefs/Mathis_NationalStandards.pdf

7. Connecticut http://vimeo.com/60214843 https://blogush.edublogs.org/
8. Delaware http://education.nationaljournal.com/2012/05/common-core-makes-waves.php
9. Florida https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-Common-Core-in-Florida/516780045031362 http://truthabouteducation.wordpress.com/
10. Georgia http://stopcommoncore.com/ http://youtu.be/coRNJluF2O4 http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com

http://www.dissidentprof.com/

11. Hawaii
12. Idaho http://idahoansforlocaleducation.com/
13. Illinois https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-Common-Core-in-Illinois/388021897963618 StopcommoncoreIllinois@yahoo.com

jphjuly12@yahoo.com

14. Indiana  http://hoosiersagainstcommoncore.com/ http://indianapublicmedia.org/news/house-senate-halts-common-core-standards-45398/
15. Iowa   http://iowansforlocalcontrol.com
16. Kansas http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2013_14/measures/hb2289/
17. Kentucky  scholarmom@gmail.com
18. Louisiana http://soitgoesinshreveport.blogspot.com/
19. Maine
20. Maryland
21. Massachusetts http://pioneerinstitute.org/
22. Michigan  www.SCCinMichigan.com http://improvek-12schools.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-Common-Core-in-Michigan/303312003109291

23. Minnesota  http://edlibertywatch.org/
24. Mississippi
25. Missouri http://moagainstcommoncore.webs.com/ http://www.missourieducationwatchdog.com
26. Montana
27. Nebraska
28. Nevada
29. New Hampshire http://nhcornerstone.org

thomas.newkirk@unh.edu

http://networkforeducation.org/
http://nhfamiliesforeducation.org/
https://www.facebook.com/NHSchoolChoice

30. New Jersey http://youtu.be/rSEVsEa9XEg

http://youtu.be/wEkN8Sgca0I

http://www.aasa.org
31. New Mexico
32. New York http://gothamschools.org
33. North Carolina http://mgmfocus.com

http://www.nceducationalliance.org

34. North Dakota https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Stop-Common-Core-in-North-Dakota/431076243650481
35. Ohio Ohio Common Core – Roots and Reality of Education Standards
36. Oklahoma http://www.restoreokpubliceducation.com/
37. Oregon http://zhaolearning.com/2009/08/06/96/
38. Pennsylvania  http://www.ceopa.org/education-standards.aspx reedmom54@gmail.com
39. Rhode Island http://youtu.be/sBSgchJe2Z0
40. South Carolina https://www.facebook.com/StopCommonCoreInSouthCarolina?ref=stream http://www.electmikefair.com/?p=220
41. South Dakota http://legiscan.com/SD/bill/HB1204/2013
42. Tennessee http://tnacc.weebly.com
43. Texas http://www.glennbeck.com/2013/03/15/how-common-core-is-dumbing-down-america%E2%80%99s-schoolchildren/

http://educatefortexas.wordpress.com

44. Utah http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/ http://youtu.be/Mk0D16mNbp4

http://youtu.be/5XBsbxYJHms?t=11s

http://sutherlandinstitute.org/
45. Vermont
46. Virginia http://www.doe.virginia.gov/news/
47. Washington http://betrayed-whyeducationisfailing.blogspot.com/
48. West Virginia
49. Wisconsin
50. Wyoming cruisebrok@aol.com

IN Scott Schneider: Why This State Senator Opposes Common Core   Leave a comment

Reposted from:

http://hoosiersagainstcommoncore.com/senator-scott-schneiders-nuvo-article-on-common-core/

http://www.nuvo.net/PerspectivesinEducation/archives/2013/01/17/perspectives-in-education-scott-schneider#.UPw1hKUYHe4

 

Perspectives in Education: Scott Schneider

Posted by on Thu, Jan 17, 2013

Confronting the Common Core Standards

By Indiana State Sen. Scott Schneider

The Common Core Standards (CCS) were developed by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Chief Council of State School Officers (CCSSO) and written by a Washington, DC non-profit called Achieve. The new standards dictate what will be taught in English and math for grades K-12.

Indiana educators had little to no input in the writing of these standards as evidenced by the list of contributors released by the developers.

Many Hoosiers, including myself, are concerned that adopting the CCS was a significant step backward from the nationally recognized education standards Indiana previously had in English and math. I am worried that CCS was pushed on Indiana without proper review of what it will mean for students and teachers, which is the impetus for Senate Bill 0193, which would prevent the Indiana State Board of Education from using any educational standards developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

Proponents of the Common Core Standards which are being implemented in 2012-2014 for English and math promised to use international benchmarks. Indiana’s former standards used this standard, but Common Core has not met this qualification.

Experts testified that CCS documents point to no country or region as the comparison country. In fact, members of the standards validation committee repeatedly asked for evidence of international benchmarking and received nothing. Therefore, five members of this committee refused to sign off on the CCS.

More than 500 people attended a Jan. 16 Senate Education Committee hearing on my bill. The committee will vote to send it to the full Senate as early as next Wednesday, Jan. 23.

While the education system in Indiana may not be perfect, solutions should come from the teachers and parents involved in the daily activities of educating our children.

But under new CCS rules, Indiana cannot change or delete any of the standards because they are copyrighted by the developers the National Governors Association and the Chief Council of State School Officers.

Historically, Indiana held sole control over our student test (I-STEP). Now, a consortium of 22 states, of which Indiana is a member, is developing a new measuring stick for students and teachers called thePartnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).

While the new CCS agreements allows states to add some material to the standards, this information would not be covered on the new PARCC test, which determines adherence to the CCS. In the world of high-stakes testing, I find it unlikely that anything that is not tested would be taught.

Little is known about what this test will look like and how it will be scored, yet its influence is evident as teachers and school districts are under tremendous pressure to meet performance standards.

The current state of education has many people feeling left out of the decision-making process. With the adoption of the CCS, distance grows between teachers, parents and local education policy makers. The topdown, centralized approach of the CCS does not allow for the voices of teachers and parents to influence decisions; this dynamic also fuels frustrations among parents and teachers about the influence of highstakes testing.

Because of the Common Core Initiative, there are now 22 states deciding how we test Indiana students, what cut scores will be, how we define students with disabilities, etc. The loss of power is enormous. Indiana elects her Superintendent of Education for a reason, so that decisions are made by someone we choose. We should never cede this control to any outside organizations.

When academic standards and high-stakes testing are no longer in the hands of the people of Indiana, we lose control over the important policies to which students and teachers are held accountable.

Improvements in our schools will only come through the local efforts of Hoosiers in the field; any measure that removes them from the decision-making process is wrong.

State Senator Scott Schneider is a Republican from Indianapolis. First elected to the State Senate in 2009, Schneider is a former member of the Indianapolis-Marion County City County Council. He is a board member for the Indiana Schools for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the recipient of School Choice Indiana’s 2012 Charter School Warrior of the Year Award.

—– —— —–

Many thanks to Senator Schneider and to Hoosiers Against Common Core.

 

Bills and Resolutions Against Common Core: South Carolina, Indiana, Missouri and Alabama   6 comments

 I’m posting the bills from South Carolina, Indiana,  and Missouri which have attempted to reclaim state educational decision-making for those states.  I’m also posting the resolution unanimously passed by the Alabama Republican Women’s Federation, cosponsored by the Republican Women’s Federations from Delaware, Tennessee, Nebraska, etc.

So far, we have nothing like this in Utah, although at every political meeting I go to or hear about, the majority of citizens are extremely interested in getting our state free of Common Core. 

Utah representatives, do you hear your constitutents?

—– —– —– —–

SOUTH CAROLINA S.604

South Carolina General Assembly
119th Session, 2011-2012
Download This Bill in Microsoft Word format

S. 604

STATUS INFORMATION

General Bill
Sponsors: Senators Fair, Grooms, Bryant, Campsen, Bright and S. Martin

Introduced in the Senate on February 23, 2011

Summary: Common Core State Standards

——————————————————————————-
2/23/2011 Senate Introduced and read first time (Senate Journal-page 19)
2/23/2011 Senate Referred to Committee on Education

A BILL  TO AMEND ARTICLE 5, CHAPTER 1, TITLE 59 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO GENERAL PROVISIONS CONCERNING EDUCATION, BY ADDING SECTION 59-1-490 TO PROVIDE THAT THE COMMON CORE STANDARDS MAY NOT BE IMPOSED ON SOUTH CAROLINA.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION 1. Article 5, Chapter 1, Title 59 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

“Section 59-1-490. The State Board may not adopt and the State Department may not implement the Common Core State Standards developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Any actions taken to adopt or implement the Common Core State Standards as of the effective date of this section are void ab initio.”

SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

—– —– —– —–

INDIANA SENATE BILL No. 193

DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL

Citations Affected: IC 20-19-2-14.5.

Synopsis: Common core state educational standards. Provides that the state board of education may not adopt as standards for the state any common core educational standards developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Voids any action taken to adopt common core educational standards.

Effective: July 1, 2013.

Schneider

    January 7, 2013, read first time and referred to Committee on Education and Career Development.

First Regular Session 118th General Assembly (2013)

SENATE BILL No. 193

    A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning education.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:

SOURCE: IC 20-19-2-14.5; (13)IN0193.1.1. –>     SECTION 1. IC 20-19-2-14.5 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW SECTION TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2013]: Sec. 14.5. (a) As used in this section, “common core standards” refers to educational standards developed for kindergarten through grade 12 by the Common Core State Standards Initiative.     (b) Notwithstanding section 14 of this chapter, the state board may not adopt as standards for the state or direct the department to implement any common core standards developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative.     (c) After June 30, 2013, any action taken by the state board before July 1, 2013, to adopt common core standards as standards for the state is void.

—– —– —– —– —–

MISSOURI SENATE BILL 210

FIRST REGULAR SESSION
SENATE BILL NO. 210
97TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
INTRODUCED BY SENATORS LAMPING AND NIEVES.

Read 1st time January 24, 2013, and ordered printed.

TERRY L. SPIELER, Secretary.
1218S.01I

AN ACT
To amend chapter 161, RSMo, by adding thereto one new section relating to the
Common Core Standards Initiative.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Missouri, as follows:

Section A. Chapter 161, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new
2 section, to be known as section 161.855, to read as follows:      161.855.

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, 

2 the state board of education and the department of elementary and
3 secondary education shall not implement the Common Core State
4 Standards developed by the Common Core Standards Initiative. Any
5 actions taken to adopt or implement the Common Core State Standards
6 as of the effective date of this section are void. Common Core State
7 Standards or any other statewide education standards shall not be
8 adopted or implemented without the approval of the general assembly.

http://www.senate.mo.gov/13info/pdf-bill/intro/SB210.pdf

—– —– —– —–

NATIONAL FEDERATION OF REPUBLICAN WOMEN RESOLUTION

Defeat National Standards for State Schools

Passed Unanimously at the NFRW36th Biennial Convention Kansas City, MO – October 1, 2011

 

WHEREAS, The national standards-based “Common Core State Standards” initiative is the centerpiece of the Obama’s Administration’s agenda to centralize education decisions at the federal level;

WHEREAS, The Obama Administration is using the same model to take over education as it used for healthcare by using national standards and boards of bureaucrats, whom the public didn’t elect and can’t fire or otherwise hold accountable;

WHEREAS, National standards remove authority from States over what is taught in the classroom and how it is tested;

WHEREAS, National standards undercut the principle of federalism on which our nation was founded;

WHEREAS, There is no constitutional or statutory authority for national standards, national curricula, or national assessments and in fact the federal government is expressly prohibited from endorsing or dictating state/local decisions about curricula; and

WHEREAS, The Obama Administration is attempting to evade constitutional and statutory prohibitions to move toward a nationalized public-school system by (1) funding to date more than $345 million for the development of national curriculum and test questions, (2) tying national standards to the Race to the Top charter schools initiative in the amount of $4.35 billion, (3) using the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) to pressure State Boards of Education to adopt national standards with the threat of losing Title 1 Funds if they do not, and (4) requesting Congress to include national standards as a requirement in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary School Act (No Child Left Behind);

BE IT RESOLVED, That the National Federation of Republican Women vote to encourage all State Federation Presidents to share information about national standards with their local clubs; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That State Federation Presidents ask their members to (1) contact their State Boards of Education members and request that they retain control over academic standards, curriculum, instruction and testing,  (2) contact their Congress Members and request that they (i) protect the constitutional and statutory prohibitions against the federal government endorsing or dictating national standards, (ii) to refuse to tie national standards to any reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, (iii) defund “Race to the Top” money, and (iv) prohibit any more federal funds for the Common Core State Standards Initiative, including funds to assessment and curriculum writing consortia, and (3) spread the word about the threat of a federal government takeover of education.

Submitted by:  Alabama Federation of Republican Women

Elois Zeanah, President

Co-Sponsors:

Nebraska Federation of Republican Women, Delaware Federation of Republican Women, Wisconsin Federation of Republican Women,  Georgia Federation of Republican Women,  Tennessee Federation of Republican Women

Indiana Department of Education: “It’s Not Easy To Get Rid of Common Core”   Leave a comment

An article in today’s Heartland Institute, by Joy Pullman, quotes Indiana’s State Superintendent and the Department spokesman saying that Indiana must re-evaluate the Common Core Standards and that “It’s not easy to get rid of Common Core.”

 http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2013/02/05/bipartisan-leaders-rethink-indianas-common-core-participation

Bipartisan Leaders Rethink Indiana’s Common Core Participation 

by Joy Pullman

A bill to withdraw Indiana from Common Core national education standards is morphing into a bipartisan bid to have the state reconsider with more public input.

When 46 states signed the initiative in 2010, few held public hearings. Kentucky even agreed to adopt the requirements for what K-12 kids should know in English and math before they were published. Even now, nearly three years later, legislators, teachers, parents, and the general public routinely report in interviews and opinion polls they’ve never heard of the Core.

Lack of public input is a central concern of state Sen. Scott Schneider (R-Indianapolis), Senate Bill 193’s original author. During a January 16 hearing on the bill, however, he publicly noted testimony from Indiana Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Vice President Derek Redelman. Redelman worried that by overriding a state board of education vote to adopt the Core, the legislature was thwarting established procedure.

A Senate Education Committee vote on SB 193 was scheduled for Jan. 23, but has been moved back several times and now is slated for Feb. 13. The delays reflect a pending amendment to the bill “to make it more acceptable to a greater number of members on the committee,” said Education Committee Chairman Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn).

Once senators pin down the amendment, the bill will likely put the Common Core on hold in Indiana, Kruse said. That means it would stay in place for kindergarten and first grade, where the state has already phased it in. Between the bill becoming law and the end of 2013, it would have the state department of education hold one public hearing in each of Indiana’s nine congressional districts. The bill would also require the governor’s budget office to analyze the Core’s costs to the state over the next five years. After that, the bill may require the Education Roundtable, a board under the governor’s purview, and state board of education to publicly reconsider their 2010 decision.

“More people are aware of [Common Core] now than the first time around,” Kruse told School Reform News. “So even though groups may try to approve it again, we’ll have more people involved in the decision.”

Despite these accommodations to ICC concerns, the chamber has issued email blasts to members, asking them to pit their state senators against SB 193.

“Common Core is under assault from a contingent of out-of-state special interests, tea party activists and conservative Republican legislators,” reads one email from ICC President Kevin Brinegar.

Since 2007, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Common Core’s underwriter stationed in Washington state, gave the ICC’s parent organization $3.8 million to “engage the business community” to support national standards. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce then disseminated this money and advocacy to its state and local members, according to public tax documents.

Newly elected state Superintendent Glenda Ritz, a Democrat and former teachers union president, has signaled her support for SB 193 based on concerns she’s heard from teachers, administrators, and parents around the state, said Indiana Department of Education spokesman David Galvin.

“Indiana had exceptional standards before Common Core,” Ritz said in a statement. “The Indiana Department of Education, and its board, must re-evaluate Common Core Standards to determine what parts we will accept or reject and determine which of our current Indiana standards should be retained.”

Ritz also plans to withdraw Indiana from Common Core tests because she is against high-stakes testing, Galvin said, and is investigating whether she can decide that herself or if that move requires approval from the governor or board of education.

The idea is to make an Indiana standard, to take the best of these programs and make our own,” Galvin said. Ritz agrees with conservative critics that the Core constitutes “removal of local control. That’s something the superintendent wants to reinstall,” he said.

Ditching the Core may cost the state federal education money, he noted, because its federal No Child Left Behind waiver requires involvement.

“It’s not easy to get rid of Common Core,” he said.

— — —

Common Core Is A Business Plan Without A Budget Plan Or Cost Accountability   Leave a comment

From Gretchen Logue, Missouri Education Watchdog:

“I would have thought astute business people would have realized a long time ago that you shouldn’t sign on to any public school plan that had no price tag, had no specifics and would be controlled by private corporations held unaccountable to the taxpayers whose money they were using.

Would the Chamber of Commerce endorse such a plan in private industry? Would they support a business plan that had no budget, no oversight? Would they endorse a construction project with no blueprint and only promises of grandeur?

Of course not. Then why is the Chamber endorsing CCSS? The processes used and the product promised by CCSS is what I described above. If the Chamber endorses such pie in the sky promises of CCSS that have no research to back them up, and the Chamber thinks THAT is common sense, Indiana is in deep trouble.” -Gretchen Logue, Missouri Education Watchdog, commenting on an Indiana Barrister editorial.

That ridiculous editorial is here: http://www.indianabarrister.com/archives/2013/01/indiana_chamber_show_common_sense_on_common_core.html,

Gretchen Logue also points out that the editorial insinuates taxpayers should like the fact that  private corporations now have authority “to own the copyright to the standards and assessments used in teaching their children…and if a parent or a school district should find some of these items objectionable, they have no due process to stop using it in their schools.”

Well said.

Full blog post here: http://www.missourieducationwatchdog.com/2013/01/common-core-wars-heating-up-in-indiana.html

Stanford University Hoover Insitute Scholar and Pioneer Institute Scholars Support Indiana’s Withdrawal From Common Core   Leave a comment

Tuesday, January 15, 2013, Jamie Gass, director, Center for School Reform, Boston, Mass. (foreground) along with Indiana State Senator, Scott Schneider (R-Indianapolis), and Williamson Evers, held a news conference in support of  Senator Schneider,s new proposal to withdraw Indiana schools from Common Core State Standards. (The news conference was held within Statehouse Senate Committee Room 431).

Jamie Gass, of the Boston-based thinktank Pioneer Institute, speaks at a news conference as Indiana Senator Scott Schneider and Hoover Institute Scholar Bill Evers observe.

 Indystar article by Jill Disis explains what’s being debated in Indiana about Common Core:    http://www.indystar.com/article/20130115/NEWS05/130115032/Sen-Scott-Schneider-reintroduces-bill-withdraw-state-from-Common-Core-standards

Here are highlights from the Indystar article–

Jamie Gass of Pioneer Institute spoke this week at a news conference in support of Indiana Senator Scott Schneider’s proposal to withdraw Indiana schools from the Common Core Initiative. 

Senator Schneider has stated that “Common Core nationalizes education and dumbs down Indiana’s previous academic standards.”  Common Core is a program “backed by President Barack Obama’s administration,” and “the administration offered states an incentive to participate by tying federal grant money to the program,” the Indystar reported. 

Independent sources say the Common Core makes traditional methods of teaching and learning more challenging.  For example, Bill Evers, a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and former U.S. assistant secretary of education for policy, attended the news conference in support of Senator Schneider’s bill.

Evers explains that the Common Core method of adding two numbers together is less useful for learners:  “Normally, you start from the ones (column) and you normally start by borrowing or what’s otherwise called regrouping… There are some other ways, some alternative, not-as-good ways.” 

But in a Common Core Indiana math book, children are instructed to add from the 100s column and move left-to-right.

“You can do it that way, but it’s harder to teach.”

Proponent of Common Core Larry Grau, the Indiana State Director of Democrats for Education Reform, said “Common Core doesn’t change the way things are taught.”

Larry Grau, Director of Indiana Democrats for Education Reform

Full article:    http://www.indystar.com/article/20130115/NEWS05/130115032/Sen-Scott-Schneider-reintroduces-bill-withdraw-state-from-Common-Core-standards

Another Indiana News Clip: Parents at Legislature Fighting Common Core   Leave a comment

Indiana Parent Heather Crossin Speaks Out Against Common Core Standards and Corporate Corruption   Leave a comment

http://blogs.indystar.com/letters/2013/01/16/corporate-interests-behind-common-core/

Read this letter to the editor by parent Heather Crossin.

It’s not surprising to see Stand for Children and The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation are rushing to defend the Common Core, as evidenced by their recent letters to the editor.

This is because they share something rather telling in common: The millions of dollars both have received from one of the primary drivers of the Common Core machine, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has invested more than $100 million into it.

Therefore, Common Core opponents have never had any doubt that the Fordham Institute, and its leaders, are strong advocates of it. In fact, when referencing the Fordham study “The State of State Standards-and the Common Core- in 2010,” which compares the quality of each state’s math and English standards against the Common Core’s, it is always noted that the report was funded, in part, with money from the Gates Foundation. What’s more, we make it clear that the careful timing of its release, within the short eight-week period most states had to adopt the standards, was likely intended to convince most states to adopt the Common Core, which is just the point. Even Fordham couldn’t help but give both Indiana’s math and ELA standards higher marks than the Common Core.

Reports are funny things — sometimes people actually read them, which is what anyone wanting to understand this report should do. The Fordham report categorized Indiana’s English standards as “clearly superior,” not “somewhat strong” as Fordham would now have you believe. Its reasons for doing so appear under the heading of “The Bottom Line,” in its critique of Indiana’s English standards, which states:

“Indiana’s standards are clearer, more thorough, and easier to read than the Common Core standards. Essential content is grouped more logically, so that standards addressing inextricably linked characteristics, such as themes in literary texts, can be found together rather than spread across the strands. Indiana also frequently uses standard-specific examples to clarify expectations. Furthermore, Indiana’s standards treat both literary and non-literary texts in systematic detail throughout the document, addressing the specific genres, sub-genres, and characteristics of both text types. Both Indiana and Common Core include reading lists with exemplar texts, but Indiana’s is much more comprehensive.”

Indiana should stay tuned, as Senate Bill 193, which is quickly gaining bipartisan support, has its first hearing on Wednesday. Those interested, will want to attend a rally at noon Wednesday inside the Statehouse, where national experts will be on hand.

In what is shoring up to be a David vs. Goliath, we shall see if the legislators will listen to the will of the people, who are armed with the truth, the facts and research, but lack paid lobbyists. Or will they side with those who have big money and corporate interests?

Heather Crossin

Indianapolis

http://blogs.indystar.com/letters/2013/01/16/corporate-interests-behind-common-core/#more-7076

Indiana to Vote Wednesday to Repeal Common Core or Not   Leave a comment

In Indiana this week, parents, teachers and legislators are hotly debating the bill that may repeal the Common Core from that state.  If the bill passes, Indiana would once again be free to decide for itself what its standards for education and testing will be, and the bill would remove the 15% cap that now limits standards-raising for any state or locality, under Common Core.

The bill would also free teachers to teach as much classic literature as they felt was appropriate, rather than mandating that informational texts would be the majority of English readings.  The move would free teachers from the Common Core’s “constructivist,” student-guessing methods so that teachers and parents could decide whether direct instruction and traditional algorithmic teaching would be preferable for authentic college preparation.

Full article and video here: http://www.theindychannel.com/news/local-news/parents-teachers-rally-against-common-core-standards-in-indiana-schools

Common Core Florida: Orwellian Lessons   3 comments

Common Core Florida: Orwellian Lessons (CLICK)

In this article, “Common Core Florida: Orwellian Lessons” the “Dissident Professor,” Mary Grabar, enlightens again.  I learned…

Did you know that the rejected superintendent of Indiana, Tony Bennett, had been flown to Florida to become that state’s new superintendent?  Why on earth did they want him?  What is Florida thinking? He was rejected by Indianans for refusing to dump Common Core.  The new Indiana superintendent gets it– that a lot more than educational standards are at stake.

Did you know that the Florida School Board had been lead to believe that there is “no opposition” to the Common Core in Florida?  By the Pinellas County school board?  No opposition.  Not even a statistical possibility.  I happen to know lots of Floridians personally.  I went to school there. I know not all Floridians are drinking that Common Core kool-aid.

Did you know that in some model lesson plans of the Common Core, the great lessons of Orwell in Animal Farm, that teach readers the evils and deceptions of communism, are reduced to being called fables?  For high school students.

Florida school boards are about to hear from a lot of concerned parents and teachers.

I bet.

 

Rigorous and Grass-roots? That Ain’t Common Core.   Leave a comment

http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20121018/EDIT05/310189942/1021/EDIT

An Opinion Editorial in an Indiana newspaper, the Journal Gazette, written by a candidate for school board, points out a dangerously little-known fact:  while Obama’s touting his  “Education reform in 46 states”  as one of his accomplishments,  people haven’t yet realized Obama is referring to the Common Core…”

Thank you, Journal Gazette and Glenna Jehl.

I would add that another thing almost nobody’s put together yet is that any time that Obama –or any of the elite educrats, including local Utahns– use the term “college- and career-readiness” they are using a code phrase that means COMMON CORE.  It’s defined on the U.S. government’s own online definitions page.  They are deliberately confusing people. They don’t want you to know what they have done.

Obama takes credit for this supposedly grass-roots, state-led program of Common Core.

But it’s anything but grass-roots and state-led.  It was promoted with Bill Gates’ money.  It was further incentivized by Obama’s Dept. of Education money.  It was marketed by nongovernmental groups that we didn’t elect and can’t fire– CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers) and NGA (National Governors’ Association) which are just clubs, not governmental agencies or parentally influenced organizations.

CCSSO/NGA then copyrighted the standards.

And then the Obama Administration put a 15% cap on ever changing any of it.  Just read your state’s waiver from No Child Left Behind.  Or read your state’s application for Race to the Top.

Fifteen Percent more.  That’s it.  (No learning too much, now. Slow down, Sonny.  No learning too fast, now.  We can’t have innovation or self-determination or actual excellence or people exceeding the nationalized speed limit on education.  That would not be in the spirit of the new Obama communism at all.)

Where is the liberty in Common Core?!

–Why are good people so opposed to the nationalized takeover of medical care, but so few are shouting about the nationalized takeover of education?  We are talking about our children.  It matters more than anything what our children’s futures will be.  Will their futures offer them lives of liberty or lives of governmental control via the new SLDS and P-20 tracking and control systems built “for education reform”?  Will they be lives of indoctrination, now that the Common Core mandates informational text replace classic literature increasingly by age and grade?

Common Core is absolutely socialism.  It is absolutely communism.  It lacks any vestige of local control– we can’t amend the standards.  We had no voice in writing them.  There is no process for states changing them.  Only the elites may do so.  NGA, CCSSO.

It drives me nuts when I go to my local “meet the candidates” night and nobody on the panel has done any homework at all.  They say ignorant things like “Common Core is just minimum standards.”  Oh really?  Ever heard of the 15% cap?  Ever heard of moving Algebra I backwards, from 8th grade to 9th, so that kids are learning it at least a whole year later than they used to learn it?

Why do people keep using that passed-down, now-cliched word “rigorous standards” in the face of reality?  Rigorous ain’t common core.

Anyone who’s actually studied the standards realizes that although in a few small areas, Common Core is more challenging, that is a drop in the bucket– Common Core is dumbing our students down via fuzzy math, less literature, no cursive, and who knows what kind of science and history they are cooking up?  So far we’ve only seen the math and English.  I can only imagine– I can only imagine how anti-God, anti-American, pro-Green, pro-Sustainable Education this science and math will be.

So, here’s the article that got me on my soapbox again today.  From Indiana; read on:

(Published yesterday, October 18, 2012)

State must reject federal takeover of schools

Glenna L. Jehl

When President Obama touts “education reform in 46 states” as one of his accomplishments, most people haven’t yet realized that Obama is referring to the new Common Core State Standards being implemented nationwide, including in Indiana.

Surprisingly, Gov. Mitch Daniels and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett helped wheel this Trojan horse into our midst.

Originally, Common Core was supposed to raise academic standards and make what is taught in each grade level more uniform. Unfortunately, the special interests in Washington, D.C., could not resist a huge power grab. Funding incentives like the Race to the Top grants, which requires the adoption of the Common Core Standards in order to receive the funds, lead to school corporations like FWCS and states scrambling for the additional money and willingly embracing the new requirements.

Unfortunately, they never took time to consider what sort of standards they agreed to adopt; no longer in a Race to the Top and higher standards, we are in a race to mediocrity. We are voluntarily relinquishing Indiana’s superior, acclaimed standards for those that are inferior to our current standards in math and language arts.

Under Common Core, by the end of eighth grade students will be two years behind their international counterparts in math. High school graduates will achieve only a seventh-grade reading level. These are hardly rigorous standards, leaving our students less prepared to compete in the 21st century.

When states are done implementing this new, unproven, copyrighted program which includes curriculum, tests, and teacher training from which they may not deviate, they will have lost every last vestige of local control. Common Core districts must use their curriculum, their assessments and their state tests. Even the SAT may become aligned with Common Core…  homeschoolers and private schools will be affected, especially if they want accreditation or to accept vouchers.

Imagine the power the federal government will wield when it controls the content and perspective that will be taught to every student nationwide K-12. With virtually no public debate, Obama has quietly engineered the federal takeover of the education system nationwide.

Recognizing the dangers of this overhaul of education, Mitt Romney states his opposition to Common Core as follows: “To financially reward states based on accepting the federal government’s idea of a curriculum is a mistake. … There may be a time when the federal government has an agenda it wants to promote.”

Are we going to place our children’s futures in the hands of Washington bureaucrats?

…we must join the four states that have already rejected it. Our next governor and state legislature must understand that Indiana needs to opt out of Common Core. That is the only way states, local school boards, and parents will retain the ability to choose the curriculum and the standards for the education of the students in their community.

Hoosiers must take a stand now for academic excellence and educational freedom for the sake of our children, before Common Core is fully implemented.

Glenna Jehl is a candidate for the District 2 seat on the Fort Wayne Community Schools board. She wrote this for The Journal Gazette.

United States Starting To Rebel Against Common Core Standards   1 comment

States Starting To Rebel Against Common Core Standards

   –Reposted Sept. 27, 2012 from Donna Garner, Texas Educator, at http://nocompromisepac.ning.com/

Although the Common Core national standards have been accepted in 46-1/2 states,    implementation is going slower than advocates had hoped.  One group of  states actually introduced legislation to withdraw from the Common Core or  disapprove the standards, others have failed or refused to pass the  legislation necessary to fund or align them with state tests, higher education or professional development and still others are doing more  formal reviews of either cost or curriculum.  In all, nearly  three-fifths of the states that have accepted the Common Core fall into one  of these groups. Please read on to find out what you can do both to stop the further implementation of the Common Core in your state as well as what you   can do to stop the nationalization of education.

Although education has not been a front burner issue in this election cycle, there is some evidence that word about the dangers of and problems with the Common Core national standards, about which we have warned you for a long  time, is slowly getting out.  In addition to Education Liberty Watch,  the group of academics, policy makers and individuals that developed and gained over 100 original signatures on a counter-manifesto against the Common Core, The Cato Institute,  The Heritage FoundationTruth in American Education, teachers, parents, and policy makers are working hard to educate and to  protest this loss of autonomy, local control and academic rigor.  Stanley Kurtz, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, in      interviews on Fox News and the Mike Huckabee show      pointed out the constitutional and academic dangers of the Common Core in  his new book Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to  Pay for the Cities. In it, he said:

The core of the hard-left’s education agenda – a program shared by Obama, Ayers, and      Darling-Hammond alike – has three parts: 1) a politicized curriculum that  promotes leftist notions of “social justice,” 2) reducing “disparate outcomes” between students in different districts by undercutting standards, and 3) a redistribution of suburban education funding to less-well-off urban schools. Achieving these goals on a broad scale requires the federal government to usurp local control of K-12 schooling. 

Obama is half-way there.

   How did he do it?  Instead of submitting his controversial education proposals to Congress and kicking off a vigorous national debate, Obama quietly marked  $4.35 billion of federal stimulus spending for his Race to the Top education initiative. Since the stimulus bill was rushed through Congress  with barely any debate on economic policy, much less education, Obama      never had to go public with his plans.

By coordinating with outside groups not accountable to the voters, like the  deep-pocketed Gates Foundation, the White House then orchestrated the   creation of a national Common Core of education standards, with an  accompanying curriculum and tests.

Supposedly,  these standards have been voluntarily adopted by more than 40 states. In      fact, by effectively conditioning eligibility for Race to the Top grants  on participation in the Common Core, the Obama administration has forced economically pinched states to surrender control of their school  curricula to the federal government. Cleverly, states have been pressed  to sign on to the Common Core before the actual standards, curricula, and tests are revealed in a second Obama term. The entire scheme is arguably  both illegal and unconstitutional. Yet it is moving forward, and the public knows virtually nothing about it.

In addition, state legislators and governors are also starting to respond to this unconstitutional federal takeover of  education curriculum. According to the states listed or not listed on  this comprehensive review table by  Daniel Thatcher of the National Conference of State Legislatures, the  breakdown of how states are dealing with the Common Core is as follows:

  • Twelve of the 46-1/2  states and Washington DC (Minnesota has accepted the English and reading  standards) or almost 25% have actively sought through legislation to           withdraw from, disapprove, require legislative input or other  negative measures regarding the Common Core.  Four of these  measures were enacted. 
    • The strongest of the  four measures that passed was enacted in Utah which allows the  state to withdraw from any kind of arrangement that cedes Utah’s            control over its own standards and curriculum. 
    • Indiana enacted  a  resolution to urge a state board review of the CCSS.
    • Kansas requires a cost  analysis and formal review before implementation 
    • South Dakota implemented a requirement of four public hearings before enactment of the  standards. 
    • Other states had bills disapproving or rejecting the Common Core or future adoption fail in the legislature (Alaska, Alabama, Georgia, Missouri,            Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Washington) 
    • Minnesota’s bill to  require legislative approval of new standards passed both chambers of the legislature but was vetoed by the liberal governor. 
  • Four other states have  required a formal review of the curriculum or cost analysis.        (California, Iowa, Maryland, and New Mexico).  
  • Twelve states (Alabama*,  Arizona, California*, Hawaii, Indiana*, Kansas*, Minnesota*,  Missouri*, New Jersey, New Mexico*, Pennsylvania, and Vermont),           including seven on one of these other lists (*), have rejected, either by failure in the legislature,  by gubernatorial veto,  or by failure to introduce a bill, any legislative implementation of  the appropriation, enabling, or alignment of the Common Core in      their states.
  • Five other states  (Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin) and    Washington DC were not listed in the review as having even introduced any kind of Common Core related legislation at all in 2012.  

That brings the total to twenty-six out of forty-six and  one half states that have accepted them or 56% who are rejecting or  showing some kind of hesitancy or concern with implementing these  unconstitutional, illegal and dumbed down, politically correct standards    and their accompanying tests.  This is very important good news  for state and local autonomy, academic excellence, constitutionality and  state budgets  It is also very important for the the maintenance of  private and home schooling as viable alternatives to government      education. (More new details on the dangers to private school autonomy  via the Common Core and how the Romney education plan affects this issue  will come next week. In the meantime, please see Imposing a Federal Curriculum      on Private Schools – Why Voucher Programs that Require State Tests Are So      Dangerous)

After speaking at Phyllis Schlafley’s Eagle Council along      with Education Liberty Watch’s Dr. Karen Effrem, The American Principles      Project’s Emmett McGroarty, and Heather Crossin, the Indiana mom who led      the rebellion against the Common Core in that state, Kurtz wrote more      about the problems with the Common Core and the coming parental revolt in      National Review Online:

  

Crossin has  successfully galvanized Indiana’s tea-party groups into fighting the Common Core. It’s a taste of what’s going to happen across the country  once Obama’s new national school curriculum hits the ground. Angry  parents like Crossin will be multiplied many times over, and they won’t  just be making funny protest videos. They’ll be marching on state      legislatures and giving the federal government an earful as well. 

The resistance to the Common Core seems to be following  the same state level resistance or inertia that is happening with the health insurance exchanges that unless stopped will serve as the implementation portals for the life robbing, health endangering, tax  increasing and economy wrecking mandates of Obamacare.

     It is therefore critical to make education freedom part of  the consideration as we choose not only a new president, but members of Congress, governors, and state legislators.  Please do not be shy about asking candidates where they stand on the implementation of the  Common Core and what they will do to stop it at both the state and federal levels.  If officials or candidates are not interested in  discussing the lack of constitutionality or terrible quality of the  standards, remind them that Common Core implementation cost estimates vary between $16 and $60 BILLION dollars that will not be available from  the federal government given current debt levels of $16 TRILLION dollars  and the state deficits that many states have accumulated. Please also consider a generous donation to Education Liberty Watch as we join with  groups and individuals across the nation to try to stop this other major usurpation of rights.  The future ability of our children to be the  thinking, reasoning citizens that will know how to maintain our heritage  of freedom depends on being able to stop this Obamacare for education gambit.   -Donna Garner

 

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