Archive for the ‘Kansas’ Tag
My concerns about the academic merits of Common Core paled in comparison to the much larger issue of the loss of freedom and the stripping away of local control – Alisa Ellis
Picture a bread-baking, fun-loving, church-going, small-town mother of seven –who was never politically active, who never even used to vote, –picture her becoming a sudden political activist who now travels across Utah and to other states to speak to live audiences, radio audiences, and on t.v. about the Common Core Initiative. Let me tell you a little bit about Alisa Ellis, a woman whose motto is, “I do not live in fear.”
To Alisa, education had always been important. She and her husband liked to say that they were proudly raising a family of nerds. They were the kind of parents who volunteered in the classroom. They were the kind who paid attention.
But their introduction to the educational transformation of America known as Common Core came in 2011, long after the initiative had been adopted by the state. (2011 is a whole year after the Utah state school board adopted Common Core without public knowledge or vetting; and it was two years after the state had agreed to accept the federal $9.6 million to create an “SLDS” student tracking database.)
Alisa received a Common Core pamphlet at a parent-teacher conference.
She stared at it. She puzzled. She asked the teacher to explain.
“I didn’t know how one size-fits-all would work without hurting the top and bottom students,” she recalls. But when she asked the teacher to expound on the subject, that teacher didn’t know anything.
Alisa began to ask around.
“I asked everyone I knew for their thoughts on Common Core. I tried researching online but everything was fluff,” she said, “It was nine months before I was invited to a meeting to learn more.”
One day at the grocery store, she bumped into a friend who actually knew something about the Common Core Initiative. The conversation lasted a long time. The friend invited Alisa to come to a “Cornerstone of Freedom” meeting to learn more. The friend added, “Oh, and would you make a few comments?”
Alisa thought that meant that she should raise her hand and make comments. She found out, during the meeting, that she was an actual scheduled speaker– after the other speaker.
“I saw my name on the schedule and immediately panicked. I pulled out my tablet and started researching ‘What is Common Core?’ After a few minutes, I realized it was pointless and I would be better off just sharing my concerns.”
She told the audience of her concerns which had begun with the Common Core pamphlet at the parent/teacher conference. She told the story of another meeting, a gifted-and-talented informational meeting, where the director said that next year, teachers would ‘start digging deeper.’
(“Digging deeper? That same line was repeated so many times that I knew I was being fed something,” she explained.)
She also told the audience another story: a school guidance counselor had advised her to take her son out of AP history. The counselor had said that her son’s “career track was more along the lines of engineering.”
He’d said, based on Alisa’s son’s ACT practice test, that: “clearly your son isn’t going to be a history professor, so we should pull him out of AP world history and put him in a class that follows his career path.” Because Alisa had trusted the system, she hadn’t questioned the counselor’s advice so she pulled her son out of AP history. This was a decision she later regretted.
Alisa started digging more deeply into the whole Common Core Initiative. She read the state’s Memorandum of Understanding with the developers of the Common Core. She read the Cooperative Agreement. She saw how the State Longitudinal Database System intertwined with the academic standards and tests. She read speeches by secretary of education Arne Duncan. She read the No Child Left Behind documents and waivers. She read the implementation manuals that were sent out to governors to tell them how to promote Common Core. She read documents by Achieve, Inc., the group that helped create the standards for the copyrighters. She could hardly believe that the Common Core’s takeover of local control was out in the open, yet unknown by virtually everyone who ought to know about it.
“My concerns about the academic merits of Common Core paled in comparison to the much larger issue of the loss of freedom and the stripping away of local control,” she said.
She went with her friend, Renee Braddy, to meet with local teachers, principals, local school board members, the community council, and the local superintendent to discuss Common Core. These discussions resulted in the opportunity to make a presentation at the local school board meeting. (That presentation was filmed, and is called Two Moms Against Common Core on YouTube.) The superintendent had asked them not to film their presentation, but since it was an open, public meeting they did anyway. The video was shared around the state and ignited a firestorm of activists to stand up and fight against Common Core. I was among the people who got to see Alisa and Renee’s video the first week it was posted.
Next, Alisa decided it was time to become more active. She became the county delegate to the Republican convention, and before the convention, she started making phone calls to find out which candidates were promoters of Common Core. She found that all the candidates running for national level seats were opposed to Common Core. All the local candidates, aside from the current Governor, were also against it. (Governor Herbert was undecided at the time.) However, the candidates running for state legislature seats were less willing to take a position.
With unflinching determination, she successfully set up two face-to-face meetings with Governor Herbert to discuss Common Core. Then she organized public meetings and helped bring in expert academic witnesses to meet with legislators; she started her blog called Common Core Facts, she repeatedly attended and spoke up at state school board meetings, and she co-founded Utahns Against Common Core with a handful of other Utahns. (That website and petition “Utahns Against Common Core” today has over 8,000 signatures.)
Alisa’s actions, along with other activism happening around the state, eventually helped push Utah’s leadership to agree to withdraw from the SBAC Common Core testing consortia. It was a chink in the seemingly impenetrable armor of Common Core. (Side note: after Utah bowed out of SBAC, other states also began to withdraw from SBAC and PARCC. Sadly, Utah’s state school board subsequently chose to use another Common Core testing entity, AIR, which is partnered with the same SBAC. –But that’s another story.)
From the beginning, Alisa began to get invitations to speak across the state and then from other states. Today, she has probably given over fifty speeches on the subject, in tiny places and large venues, both with other speakers from Utahns Against Common Core and on her own.
This week, she will be speaking in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and in Merriam, Kansas.
You are invited.
What: WHAT YOU HAVEN’T BEEN TOLD ABOUT COMMON CORE: TRACKING YOUR CHILDREN FROM PRE-K INTO THE WORKFORCE
Where: Snow King Resort Teton Room
When: 6:15 PM on January 28, 2014
Who: Speakers will include Amy Edmonds – Wyoming Liberty Group; Alisa Ellis – Utahns Against Common Core; Christy Hooley – Wyoming Teacher; Kelly Simone – Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core – Presented by Concerned Women’s Group of Jackson Hole
Cost: Admission free; a donation of any amount to help cover expenses will be appreciated.
What: Alisa Ellis will speak on the history and truth about Common Core and its impact on our children and their education.
When: Tuesday, February 4th, 7:00 pm
Where: Antioch Library – 8700 Shawnee Mission Pkwy, Merriam, KS 66202
Note from the Antioch Library: Besides the library’s parking lot, parking is available behind Taco Bell and to the larger lot west of Taco Bell.
Thank you, Alisa. And thank you, Renee. (I will write about Renee and her adventures another day.)
Kansas is requesting help from all those who care for educational liberty nationwide. Do you have time to send an email or make a phone call?
The Kansas legislature is discussing whether to promote or oppose Common Core. What happens in other states affects our own.
Here’s the contact information for the Kansas Legislature.
Kansas House Roster 2013
Name District Capitol Phone Email
Rep. Alcala 57 785 296-7371 email@example.com ,
Rep. Alford 124 785 296-7656 firstname.lastname@example.org,
Rep. Ballard 44 785 296-7697 email@example.com ,
Rep. Barker 70 785 296-7674 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Becker 104 785 296-7196 email@example.com ,
Rep. Bideau 9 785 296-7636 firstname.lastname@example.org,
Rep. Boldra 111 785 296-4683 email@example.com ,
Rep. Bollier 21 785 296-7686 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Bradford 40 785 296-7653 email@example.com ,
Rep. Bridges 83 785 296-7646 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Bruchman 20 785 296-7644 email@example.com ,
Rep. Brunk 85 785 296-7645 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Burroughs 33 785-296-7630 email@example.com,
Rep. Campbell 26 785 296-7632 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Carlin 66 785 296-7649 email@example.com ,
Rep. Carlson 61 785 296-7660 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Carpenter 75 785 296-7673 email@example.com ,
Rep. Cassidy 120 785 296-7616 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Christmann 113 785 296-7640 email@example.com,
Rep. Claeys 69 785 296-7670 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Clayton 19 785 296-7655 email@example.com ,
Rep. Concannon 107 785 296-7677 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Corbet 54 785 296-7679 email@example.com ,
Rep. Couture-Lovelady 110 785 296-4683 firstname.lastname@example.org,
Rep. Crum 77 785 296-6989 email@example.com,
Rep. Davis 46 785-296-7630 firstname.lastname@example.org,
Rep. DeGraaf 82 785 296-7693 email@example.com ,
Rep. Dierks 71 785 296-7642 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Dillmore 92 785 296-7698 email@example.com ,
Rep. Doll 123 785 296-7380 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Dove 38 785 296-7670 email@example.com
Rep. Edmonds 112 785 296-5593 firstname.lastname@example.org,
Rep. Edwards 93 785 296-7640 email@example.com ,
Rep. Esau 14 785 296-7631 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Name District Capitol Phone Email
Rep. Ewy 117 785 296-7105 email@example.com,
Rep. Finch 59 785 296-7655 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Finney 84 785 296-7648 email@example.com
Rep. Frownfelter 37 785 296-7648 firstname.lastname@example.org,
Rep. Gandhi 52 785 296-7672 email@example.com ,
Rep. Garber 62 785 296-7665 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Goico 94 785 296-7663 email@example.com ,
Rep. Gonzalez 47 785 296-7500 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Grant 2 785 296-7650 email@example.com ,
Rep. Grosserode 16 785 296-7659 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Hawkins 100 785 296-7631 email@example.com ,
Rep. Hedke 99 785 296-7699 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Henderson 35 785 296-7697 email@example.com ,
Rep. Henry 63 785 296-7688 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Hermanson 98 785 296-7658 email@example.com ,
Rep. Hibbard 13 785 296-7380 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Highland 51 785 296-7310 email@example.com ,
Rep. Hildabrand 17 785 296-7659 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Hill 60 785 296-7632 email@example.com ,
Rep. Hineman 118 785 296-7636 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Hoffman 116 785 296-7643 email@example.com ,
Rep. Houser 1 785 296-7679 firstname.lastname@example.org,
Rep. Houston 89 785 296-7652 email@example.com,
Rep. Howell 81 785 296-7665 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Huebert 90 785 296-1754 email@example.com,
Rep. Hutton 105 785 296-7673 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Jennings 122 785 296-7196 email@example.com ,
Rep. Johnson 108 785 296-7696 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Jones 5 785 296-6287 email@example.com,
Rep. Kahrs 87 785 296-5593 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Kelley 80 785 296-7671 email@example.com
Rep. Kelly 11 785 296-6014 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Kinzer 30 785-296-7692 email@example.com,
Rep. Kleeb 48 785 296-7680 firstname.lastname@example.org,
Rep. Kuether 55 785 296-7669 email@example.com ,
Rep. Lane 58 785 296-7649 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Lunn 28 785 296-7675 email@example.com ,
Rep. Lusk 22 785 296-7651 firstname.lastname@example.org,
Rep. Macheers 39 785 296-7675 email@example.com ,
Rep. Mast 76 785-291-3500 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. McPherson 8 785 296-7695 email@example.com ,
Rep. Meier 41 785 296-7650 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Meigs 23 785 296-7656 email@example.com,
Rep. Menghini 3 785 296-7691 firstname.lastname@example.org,
Rep. Merrick 27 785-296-2302 email@example.com ,
Rep. Montgomery 15 785 296-7677 firstname.lastname@example.org,
Rep. Moxley 68 785 296-7689 email@example.com ,
Rep. O’Brien 42 785 296-7683 firstname.lastname@example.org,
Rep. Osterman 97 785 296-7689 email@example.com,
Rep. Pauls 102 785 296-7657 firstname.lastname@example.org,
Rep. Peck 12 785 296-7641 email@example.com,
Rep. Perry 24 785 296-7669 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Peterson 32 785 296-7371 email@example.com ,
Rep. Petty 125 785 296-7676 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Phillips 67 785 296-6014 email@example.com ,
Rep. J. Powell 50 785 296-7674 firstname.lastname@example.org,
Rep. Proehl 7 785 296-7639 email@example.com,
Rep. Read 4 785 296-7310 firstname.lastname@example.org,
Rep. Rhoades 72 785 291-3446 email@example.com ,
Rep. Rooker 25 785 296-7686 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Rothlisberg 65 785 296-7653 email@example.com,
Rep. Rubin 18 785 296-7690 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Ruiz 31 785 296-7122 email@example.com,
Rep. Ryckman Jr. 78 785 296-6287 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Ryckman Sr. 115 785 296-7658 email@example.com ,
Rep. Sawyer 95 785 296-7691 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Schroeder 74 785 296-7500 email@example.com,
Rep. Schwab 49 785 296-7501 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Schwartz 106 785 296-7637 email@example.com ,
Rep. Seiwert 101 785 296-7647 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Shultz 73 785 296-7684 email@example.com ,
Rep. Siegfreid 121 785 368-7166 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Sloan 45 785 296-7654 email@example.com ,
Rep. Sloop 88 785 296-7646 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Suellentrop 91 785 296-7681 email@example.com ,
Rep. Sutton 43 785 296-7676 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Swanson 64 785 296-7642 email@example.com ,
Rep. Thimesch 114 785 296-7105 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Tietze 53 785 296-7668 email@example.com ,
Rep. Todd 29 785 296-7695 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Trimmer 79 785 296-7122 email@example.com ,
Rep. Vickrey 6 785-296-7662 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Victors 103 785 296-7651 email@example.com ,
Rep. Ward 86 785 296-7698 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Waymaster 109 785 296-7672 email@example.com ,
Rep. Weber 119 785 296-5481 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Weigel 56 785 296-7366 email@example.com ,
Rep. Whipple 96 785 296-7366 firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Rep. Wilson 10 785 296-7652 email@example.com ,
Rep. Winn 34 785 296-7657 firstname.lastname@example.org,
Rep. Wolfe Moore 36 785 296-7688 email@example.com ,
Here’s a letter for reference:
Dear Kansas Legislator,
It might surprise you that a citizen of Utah is going out of her way to ask you to oppose the Common Core agenda taking root in Kansas.
I have studied the Common Core thoroughly. I urge you to study it closely.
1) It isn’t state-led, despite the rhetoric. Legislators and voters were totally bypassed. The NGA is not a constitutionally recognized entity to rule on the national stage.
2) The academic standards are highly controversial, are untested and are based on no evidence to support their theories (diminishing classic literature, slowing math, etc.)
4) THERE IS NO AMENDMENT PROCESS. The standards are under copyright. Local control is gone.
Here are some videos that will help you learn the agenda of Common Core.
Thank you for studying this issue very carefully.
Utah Teacher and Mom
Start at second 23 to see and hear the parents, teachers and students speaking out against Common Core.
Kansas, too, is joining the debate on whether it was foolish or wise to adopt national, untested, unpiloted, unproven, expensive and highly criticized Common Core standards and tests. Read about it here: Critics pan Common Core in House hearing | CJOnline.com.
Julie Ford, the Topeka, Kansas School Superintendent, wants the cash associated with bowing to the will of the U.S. Dept of Education, and that means dancing solely to the tune of the Common Core drum.
But U.S. Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran declined Ford’s request that they should write to the U.S. Department of Education to bolster the district’s application for a Race to the Top grant.
Senator Roberts said he did not believe the federal government “should be mandating a one-size-fits-all education reform agenda by proposing a financial reward system in order to force states to make changes deemed worthwhile by the administration.”
Interestingly, the Associated press reporter who wrote the article had obviously not actually studied the Common Core. The reporter wrote: “The standards are considered more rigorous than previous standards, focusing more on depth of knowledge rather than breadth.”
Cutting literature is “focusing more on depth of knowledge”?
Moving Algebra II from 8th grade to 9th is considered more rigorous?
If it was funny, I would laugh out loud. But the oversight of the truth is dead serious.
I’m not laughing.
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 Foundation, Truth 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