Archive for the ‘liberty’ Tag
Renee Braddy is a former teacher and concerned parent who gave permission to publish her this letter to her local school board that asks them to exert due diligence in studying all the implications of Common Core and its tests.
Dear Alpine School District Board Members,
I want to thank you for being willing to listen to the public last night and I appreciate the board even being willing to offer a few answers and some clarifications. I realize that many of you were in a very tough spot and that it isn’t easy to be involved and put yourself out there for possible public ridicule. I appreciate your service and the time you devote.
Like I stated when I spoke last night, I honestly believe that the Alpine School Board consists of leaders who have the ability and wherewithal to push back against the federal government and state’s top-down control over education. I think this will give other districts and states the courage to follow, if you are willing to ask the hard questions and encourage the discussion to happen. The federal top-down control over education isn’t a new thing that is happening with just this administration, this has been happening for decades in America. Honestly, I don’t really care who started it, I just want to know who is willing to be a part of stopping it.
I feel that as Americans we not only have a right to be involved in govt., we have a responsibility. We must protect the blessing of freedom that this nation was founded upon. When we see things happening in government that are not in-step with what we believe is best for ourselves, our families, and our communities, then I believe the public has the responsibility to hold their feet to the fire so they can be accountable. This should be happening at a federal, state, and local level.
It is no small task for people to attend a board meeting, especially with small children and the many obligations that are demanding of our time. I was actually very surprised by the large crowd in attendance last night. I know that they represent a very small percentage of the many, many people who are concerned about the nationalization of education that is happening through the Common Core Agenda. This is education without representation. It has been my experience as I have spoken to people that a very large majority of the people in this valley still don’t have a clue about what is happening in education, nor have they ever even heard the words “Common Core”. Silence is NOT acceptance, it is most likely ignorance.
As elected officials who have the responsibility to represent the concerns of your constituents, I hope you are willing to do your homework and ask the hard questions of the state school board and governor. Study the NCLB Flexibility Waiver and the RTTT application. This is what has helped me realize that the standards are a very tiny piece in a HUGE educational reform agenda. Our president and his administration have been very vocal about wanting a “cradle to career education” reform agenda. I am well aware that UT did not win any money from their RTTT application and we are not bound to any of those obligations that we committed to, but ironically enough, we are still implementing them. Therefore, it is still worth your time to study what UT was willing to do in order to get their share of the ARRA $.
This is serious and I believe that we are writing American History. We need to be very vigilant and realize that this isn’t just the next trend in education that will pass. Nationalizing education creates a centralization of power. This will lessen, if not completely remove teacher and parental input. This is in direct violation with our US Constitution as well as our Utah Constitution.
When we stray from the principles of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights which were intended to limit the power of government and promote independence and liberty, then we are disregarding the very document that defines us as being an Americans and this will result in our nation ceasing to be America, the “land of the free and the home of the brave”. This whole agenda consisting of: national standards, national tests, data collection, teacher accountability systems, and the turn-around schools model should be rejected by those who value LOCAL CONTROL and PARENTAL INPUT. We do NOT need or want a top-down approach to education where we have to get “approval” from the federal government or any other unelected bureaucrats.
It is concerning to me that we have not already rejected being a part of national experiment at an unknown cost financially and a high cost to freedom. From a teacher’s perspective, I believe that the truth is that we have no idea what curriculum our children will be taught under Common Core because the tests haven’t even been released. Tests dictate curriculum. As Jesse James from the USOE said at the Alpine AIR meeting, “it’s a sad fact, but they do”.
This is the reason why many, many people rallied at the capitol years ago when there was bill that would push for home schoolers to take state-mandated tests. Whoever writes the test will essentially dictate what is going to be taught, especially when teachers merit pay and/or jobs are being based upon student performance on these tests. We have three federal laws prohibiting a national curriculum in the US and yet this is exactly what is happening through the creation of national standards and federally funded national tests with publishers criteria and curriculum models. It is no wonder that the key players including the CCSSO didn’t want to go through the US Congress, they knew they would reject it, the same way they rejected national history standards in 1995.
I could go on and on, but I am requesting that you to please do your due diligence. I would like to know each board members position and thoughts on where you stand currently on this whole educational reform package including the CC standards?
Also, we will be presenting on Thursday evening in Saratoga Springs from 7-9 pm in the clubhouse at Talon’s Cove Golf Course: 2220 South Talons Cove. We would love to have you and anyone else that may interested attend, if possible. Also, if there is someone who would like to speak for Common Core, please let me know and we will add you to the program.
Thanks so much,
Renee’ and Kevin Braddy
The Department of Education is increasingly creepy.
There’s no other word for it. It’s as bad as any Orwellian-styled fiction. I say this without being in the least speculative– proof is published openly in the actual source documents coming out of the current Department of Education.
I invite you to scan over the Department of Education’s document entitled “Promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perserverance.”
This 126-page report was published four months ago by the Office of Educational Technology and the U.S. Department of Education.
The whole document is about student data mining– but not just the type of data mining we’ve talked about before, where math and English and a student’s personal name and address are the issues.
Here, the issue is having schools/governments collect data about a student’s will, character, beliefs and attitudes using multiple measures that go beyond standardized testing to physical control and measurement of the child, by eye tracking and nerve sensory devices.
On page 44, see exhibit 11. It shows how affective sensors are used in some areas to measure student “engagement”. You’ll see facial expression cameras, posture analysis seats, a pressure mouse, and a wireless skin conductance sensor.
These are supposed to be good things?!
We see clearly that it is not enough for the “education reformers” to nationally control, via common standards and testing, the math and English teaching; they also desire to test, analyze and control, noncognitive individual attitudes.
How is freedom of thought, freedom of belief/attitude/religion, or freedom of expression, upheld by these “reforms” in any way?
The document also says:
“There is a growing movement to explore the potential of the “noncognitive” factors— attributes, dispositions, social skills, attitudes, and intrapersonal resources, independent of intellectual ability…”
I re-read Orwell’s 1984 recently. Do you remember it? The main character lives in a world completely controlled by the government, which watches all citizens through virtually omnipresent screens and makes all citizens daily chant, with the same expressions on their faces– or else.
“Of course he chanted with the rest: it was impossible to do otherwise. To dissemble your feelings, to control your face, to do what everyone else was doing, was an instinctive reaction.”
In Promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perserverance, as in other documents and speeches promoted by the current administration, you will also see the marginalization of parents. Parents are not seen as the primary instructor and authority figure over the child. Parents are seen as just the supporting cast. They can play a role. They can support. They can be educated about governmental “best practices” to practice at home. Think I’m kidding?
From page xiv: “Conclusion 6: Parents and guardians can also play a direct and important role in promoting
their children’s grit, tenacity, and perseverance… Recommendation 6a: Parents may employ some of the research-based best practices at home as they work with their children around academic goals… Parents can also support children in structuring their home work
environments to support effortful control…
Recommendation 6b: Educators… should consider outreach to parents and guardians as an important support for
students… parents may need to be educated about best practices.
This goes right along with Obama’s Lean Forward campaign, where the video spokeswoman, Melissa Harris-Perry said, (see below) “We haven’t had a collective notion of ‘these are our children.’ We have to break through this kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents.”
Last I heard, our Utah State Office of Education was claiming that Utah’s Common Core tests (A.I.R.) will only test math and English, and will not test behavioral indicators, attitudes, grit or tenacity.
Do you believe it?
I wish I could.
But while the Department of Education is pushing behavioral indicator measurement, and while the testing company Utah has chosen to create its Common Core tests –American Institutes for Research– has a mission statement “to conduct and apply the best behavioral and social science research and evaluation,” and while the Utah legislature has passed HB15, a bill that requires “behavior indicators” in school testing, and when Bill Gates, the main funder of all things Common Core, is promoting the merger of technology, games, education and biometric-psychometric control– when these forces combine, how can anyone still believe that all is well?
All is not well.
Parents, teachers and legislators must stand up, speak out, and not be quiet until we stop this erosion of individual rights.
If we don’t, who will?
In the video posted here, David Coleman speaks. (Coleman is current president of the College Board, a non-educator, who was the chief architect of Common Core English Language Arts standards.)
Coleman says in this 2013 video: “When I was involved in convincing governors and others around this country to adopt these standards, it was not ‘Obama likes them.’ Do you think that would have gone well with the Republican crowd?“
Special interests, meaning money-hungry businessmen like David Coleman and Bill Gates, led Common Core. I hope this video clip helps put to rest the oft-repeated mantra that Common Core was in any way “state-led” or that it in any way represented the actual will of the American voters, teachers, principals, parents or students.
Watch the video.
More detailed commentary is available at the Missouri Education Watchdog about this David Coleman video, too. See it here.
A friend of mine says that her husband gets angry on the Fourth because of hypocrisy– the people waving the flags and celebrating as if unaware that our nation is losing all its liberties, one by one.
My husband’s co-worker, who is from another country, says that America is less free than his home country. It’s so regulated, and there are so many licenses and rules; the government puts its nose into every aspect of life, he says.
These people may be right.
But I still believe in people. I believe that they believe in liberty. As they wake up to the fact that it’s quickly going away, they will stand up.
They will see through the socialist lies. They will preserve this beautiful country and the freedom that made it so great.
I plan to celebrate this year’s American Independence Day as never before. So much is still right and many U.S. liberties are still reclaimable– including educational liberty.
I thought about this last night, at our boy scout camp, after a day of BB-gun shooting, archery, geology, flag history, boondoggle, and picnics, at a closing campfire.
Three Native Americans did a “retiring” for a huge, old American flag as we all sat in a wide circle their huge teepee. They reverently unfolded the flag, held it high, and lowered it over the fire. A woman sang a native warrrior song and beat her drum. I felt tears filling my eyes as we remembered the warriors who fought to earn and keep the liberty that the flag stands for.
Experiences like this are rare.
Patriotism is being marginalized by the current administration, and global citizenship is promoted in schoolbooks as the thing to seek, over local citizenship, so it’s never been more important to teach our own kids to love our country, and to be loyal to the principles of individual liberty, local sovereignty, and the U.S. constitution. How can you do it?
This year, we’re attending kids’ patriot camp.
We’re going to do as many of the amazing activities as possible at this year’s Provo Freedom Festival. http://www.freedomfestival.org/events/
At home, we’re reading the stories of American history together from the book “The Making of America.”
And we memorized the 50 States song this year in home school and practiced making the U.S. map puzzle to learn where the states are located. We really had fun with it.
There is so much we can do. And we really have to do it.
The heavyhanded education reform machine, by which I mean both the federal Department of Education and the corporate education business machine that’s led by the Bill Gates/Pearson folks, could never get away with what they are getting away with, taking over public education, testing, privacy, and the direction of textbook alignment nationwide, if the average American understood –and demanded– his/her constitutional rights.
1. There’s the right to representation.
Remember the rallying cry of the American colonists against Mother England in the 1700′s? No Taxation Without Representation. I don’t see many people carrying signs down at the Capitol today that read, “No Education Without Representation.” Yet, under Common Core, we have no representation. Putting aside for a moment* the fact that it’s constitutionally illegal to even have nationalized education in this country– if it was legal, it should at least be representative! But the copyrighted Common Core standards are written behind closed doors by private, unelected groups (NGA and CCSSO) that have no public accountability and are not subject to the laws to which elected groups (like Congress) are subject. The two groups are tricky; for example, using the official sounding name of National Governors’ Association (NGA) one group fooled most of us into believing that they were a representative, legitimate governing group. No. NGA has some governors as members, but it is a private group with zero accountability to you or me.
We weren’t represented when our legislatures were bypassed and our states adopted Common Core as part of a grant application signed by only two Utahns.
And we weren’t represented when the money and influence of Bill Gates (not a public vote) produced the whole Common Core, partially by bribing the national PTA and countless other influencers to call this “state-led” and to call it good for kids. Even though it never was.
2. There’s the 10th Amendment* which we are now taking back.
It says that all powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states, to the people! That means that education is reserved to the states, to the people. There is no such thing as accountability to the Department of Education– unless we stupidly accept grants with strings attached, from that department. Then we are accountable to whatever we agreed to under the conditions of the grant.
3. There’s the right to freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.
Many people still don’t realize that unreasonable searches are happening electronically, using schools to collect personal and family information about individual students. And too many of those who do realize it, are unalarmed.
As NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden recently explained, “The greatest fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change… People will know the lengths to which government is going to grant themselves powers– unilaterally– to create greater control over American society and global society but they won’t be willing to take the risk necessary to stand up and fight to change things, to force their representatives to actually take a stand in their interest…. the only thing that restricts surveillance activities are policy… They’ll say that because of the dangers… we need more authority… it will be turn-key tyranny.” (see minute 10:48)
4. There’s the right to pursue happiness.
–Not the right for groups to take away others’ happiness or rearrange the happiness distribution of citizens.
The pursuit of happiness for teachers and students is being threatened by new plans for the redistribution of teachers and of wealth, wrapped up in the education reforms that we’re all having rammed down our throats.
If you read the Executive Summary of Race to the Top, (RTTT was the original grant contest that lured states into the Common Core movement) you will see this on page 3:
(D)(3) Ensuring equitable distribution of effective teachers and principals.
What will this look like?
As one teacher recently noted:
“I can’t make teachers understand that the equitable distribution of effective teachers mean that they get moved if they do a good job. Principals don’t get this either. They will no longer have the ability to retain their best teachers. They will be placed. I can just imagine, a teacher does a good job and has high test scores, so her reward is to be placed in a failing school and as a bonus, she will now be deemed a “leader” charged with extra responsibilities on her new PLC team. That won’t possibly cause problems, will it? And what about the people who move into a certain attendance area because they like the teachers and principals? Schools will become revolving doors with no stability or consistency. We will be on a hamster wheel forever. Well, maybe when principals find out they will lose their best and brightest, they might stop drinking the Kool-aid. They’ve been fed a dribble of this for years and now they just accept it! By the way, this includes them as well. They will be rewarded by being moved to a turnaround government-run school… They have to begin actively recruiting minorities and start hiring a certain amount. No longer the best teacher for the job, but the best minority who might not be as good as [another] applicant. What happened to opportunity for all? When I interview for a job, I would like to think that I get a fair shot.”
Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are founding American rights. Redistribution of wealth and redistribution of teachers is totally un-American.
Emmett McGroarty: “This is a mom-led movement, really… If you dig down deep enough, there’s a bedrock principle that almost all Americans can agree upon… that includes the idea that parents should have a say in what children learn.”
MSNBC: “Should the federal government have zero role?”
“Here’s the problem… They never answer the question: ‘Accountability to whom?’ You can’t have accountability running to the federal government and running to parents and local officials….
…I am against the federal government having a role[in education].”
USA Today has published an op-ed by Emmett McGroarty. The author quotes Alisa Ellis of Utah and Anne Gassel of Missouri, parents who typify the Mama and Papa bears in opposing Common Core.
From Alisa Ellis: “Administrators want parents like me to step back and be quiet, but we will not. These are my children, and my voice will be heard.”
From Anne Gassel: “Parents and their legislators were cut out of the loop. Even now we can’t get straight answers.”
McGroarty also writes that “Although Common Core is regularly described as “state-led,” its authors are private entities, which are not subject to sunshine laws, open meetings or other marks of a state-led effort.”
The author also points out that the federal government gave states the incentive to adopt the Common Core and to use aligned, federally funded standardized tests which, “with teacher evaluations geared to them, will act as an enforcement mechanism.”
McGroarty points out that Bill Gates has told the National Conference of State Legislatures that this is more than minimal standards: “When the tests are aligned to the common standards, the curriculum will line up as well — and that will unleash powerful market forces in the service of better teaching.”
Lastly, McGroarty points out that while Common Core developers claim the standards are “research and evidence based,” “rigorous” and “internationally bench-marked,” that’s not true:
He quotes Professor Sandra Stotsky, a member of the official Common Core validation committee, who wrote that the English standards of Common Core actually “weaken the basis of literary and cultural knowledge needed for authentic college coursework.” He also quotes Stanford professor James Milgram who concluded that the math standards “are actually two or more years behind international expectations by eighth grade, and only fall further behind as they talk about grades eight to 12,” and who also wrote that Common Core math doesn’t even fully cover the material in a solid geometry or second-year algebra course.
Read the rest of the article here: http://m.usatoday.com/article/news/2413553
Thank you, Emmett McGroarty, for pointing out the awful, hidden truth about Common Core, and for supporting parents in our quest to reclaim authority over what our own children will learn in our local schools.
The Federal government is altering America and shrinking liberty so quickly that it’s hard to keep up with all the destruction. Much of it is connected to education reforms.
There’s the removal of local control of education via Common Core tests/standards. There’s the removal of parental consent via the 50 federally placed (paid-for) State Longitudinal Database Systems (SLDS and P-20) which track all children and from which no student can opt out. There’s Obamacare and its mandate to support abortion, and its related plot to increase the numbers of medical facilities that are in public schools. There’s the IRS/FBI assault on privacy, which violates our Constitutional right not to be subject to unlawful searches and seizures and which plays in to the SLDS/P-20 tracking. There’s Obama’s ConnectEd Initiative, which taxes phone bills to pay for Common Core testing technology nationally, regardless of how any of us feel about the unvetted Common Core. But all of this is old news.
Today I learned that Obama is “redesigning” all high schools.
Here’s the link. http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/fact-sheet-redesigning-americas-high-schools
In part, the redesigning will “promote a rethinking of the high school learning experience” by using more “student-centered learning,” using more “wrap-around support services,” provide “career-related competencies,” doing “project-or-problem-based learning” do “structured work-based learning,” “redesigning school calendars,” and “expanding a comprehensive system of student support.”
It’s central planning. The “wraparound support services” were described by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in the interview below. Arne wants 6-7 days a week of school. He wants schools to be the center of society, rather than families being the center of society. He is a socialist.
Are we all?
In today’s Deseret News opinion piece, Matt Sanders makes the observation that similar, disturbing trends make the National Security Administration’s actions and the Department of Education’s actions snooping mirror images of each other. These trends are First Amendment violations, government overreach, and cradle to grave data tracking. The article also makes the point that on the local level, the Utah State Office of Education has provided no legal or operational assurances of student data privacy, although the USOE is quick to offer verbal assurances and to “soothe fears of ever more federalism by labeling opponents as detractors and alarmists.”
Sanders also writes:
“…[A]nother problematic revelation has roiled Washington, D.C. This time it goes beyond snooping around journalists looking for a scoop. It involves the National Security Administration collecting phone data on of Verizon customers.
This is a problem. A real problem. The U.S. federal government derives its power through the consent of the governed through a system of duly elected representatives acting as agents for their local populations. Additionally, the Constitution goes to great lengths to curb the tendency of government to overreach its bounds, and therefore set up a system of checks and balances.
… In light of the federal agency’s incursions, parents and lawmakers should likewise revisit the data privacy standards in Common Core testing approach… While Utah State Office of Education (USOE) officials verbally assured community members that they should not be concerned, they’ve provided no such assurance legally or operationally.”
Read the whole article: http://reframingthedebate.blogs.deseretnews.com/2013/06/06/3-reasons-why-nsa-snooping-worries-parents-and-lawmakers/
On a radio station in Oklahoma this week, radio host (and former math teacher) Pat Campbell interviewed Jamie Gass, of the Center for School Reform at the Boston-based think tank, Pioneer Institute.
They covered the sad tale of Massachusetts, which in the 1990s had risen to become the leading state in education for the entire country, and which fell because of Common Core, throwing legitimate academic success away for a chance at the Race to the Top federal grant money– a gamble which coerced the state into dropping the high, independent standards for the very mediocre Common Core.
In the interview, Jamie Gass explained that Common Core is a fulfillment of Marc Tucker’s vision for socialist education, long ago outlined in his famous “Dear Hillary” letter to Hillary Clinton.
Gass now calls states like Texas “the smart ones” for holding on to state-level control of educational standards and rejecting Common Core. He mentions that Jimmy Carter and Lyndon Johnson signed laws long ago making sure that the federal government would stay out of local education. These are being bypassed by various means to implement the Common Core.
He also discussed the astronomical estimates of what Common Core will cost states to implement, and spoke about the low quality of the standards themselves.
The interviewer, Pat, commented that on the Common Core website, calculus is not even there. “Why would we want this?” he asked.
Gass gave as resources to listeners the following: www.pioneerinstitute.org, which has a toolbox with all the research the think tank has done, and the American Principles Project site, too, which has done a lot of work to study and expose the facts about Common Core.
Listen to the whole archived radio show here: http://www.1170kfaq.com/podcasts/patcampbell/209332381.html
North Carolina’s Lt. Governor Dan Forest speaks out about why he wants the state to follow Indiana’s lead in taking a time out to study Common Core before implementing this untested, one size fits all nationalization of education.
Three cheers for Dan Forest.
Where is the evidence to support the rhetoric surrounding the CCSS? This is not data-driven decision making. This is a decision grasping for data… Yet this nation will base the future of its entire public education system, and its children, upon this lack of evidence. – Dr. Christopher Tienken, Seton Hall University, NJ
In the Education Administration Journal, the AASA Journal of Scholarship and Practice (Winter 2011 / Volume 7, No. 4) there’s an article by Dr. Christopher Tienken of Seton Hall University that clearly explains the ridiculousness of Common Core. The full article, “Common Core: An Example of Data-less Decision Making,” is available online, and following are some highlights:
Although a majority of U.S. states and territories have “made the CCSS the legal law of their land in terms of the mathematics and language arts curricula,” and although “over 170 organizations, education-related and corporations alike, have pledged their support,” still “the evidence presented by its developers, the National Governors Association (NGA) and Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), seems lacking,” and research on the topic suggests ”the CCSS and those who support them are misguided,“ writes Dr. Tienken.
“The standards have not been validated empirically and no metric has been set to monitor the intended and unintended consequences they will have on the education system and children,” he writes.
Tienken and many other academics have said that Common Core adoption begs this question: “Surely there must be quality data available publically to support the use of the CCSS to transform, standardize, centralize and essentially de-localize America‘s public education system,” and “surely there must be more compelling and methodologically strong evidence available not yet shared with the general public or education researchers to support the standardization of one of the most intellectually diverse public education systems in the world. Or, maybe there is not?”
Tienken calls incorrect the notion that American education is lagging behind international competitors and does not believe the myth that academic tests can predict future economic competitiveness.
“Unfortunately for proponents of this empirically vapid argument it is well established that a rank on an international test of academic skills and knowledge does not have the power to predict future economic competitiveness and is otherwise meaningless for a host of reasons.”
He observes: “Tax, trade, health, labor, finance, monetary, housing, and natural resource policies, to name a few, drive our economy, not how students rank on the Trends in International Math and Science Study (TIMSS)” or other tests.
Most interestingly, Tienken observes that the U.S. has had a highly internationally competitive system up until now. “The U.S. already has one of the highest percentages of people with high school diplomas and college degrees compared to any other country and we had the greatest number of 15 year-old students in the world score at the highest levels on the 2006 PISA science test (OECD, 2008; OECD, 2009; United Nations, 2010). We produce more researchers and scientists and qualified engineers than our economy can employ, have even more in the pipeline, and we are one of the most economically competitive nations on the globe (Gereffi & Wadhwa, 2005; Lowell, et al., 2009; Council on Competitiveness, 2007; World Economic Forum, 2010).
Tienken calls Common Core “a decision in search of data“ ultimately amounting to ”nothing more than snake oil.” He is correct. The burden of proof is on the proponents to show that this system is a good one.
He writes: “Where is the evidence to support the rhetoric surrounding the CCSS? This is not data-driven decision making. This is a decision grasping for data… Yet this nation will base the future of its entire public education system, and its children, upon this lack of evidence. Many of America‘s education associations already pledged support for the idea and have made the CCSS major parts of their national conferences and the programs they sell to schools.
This seems like the ultimate in anti-intellectual behavior coming from what claim to be intellectual organizations now acting like charlatans by vending products to their members based on an untested idea and parroting false claims of standards efficacy.”
Further, Dr. Tienken reasons:
“Where is the evidence that national curriculum standards will cause American students to score at the top of international tests or make them more competitive? Some point to the fact that many of the countries that outrank the U.S. have national, standardized curricula. My reply is there are also nations like Canada, Australia, Germany, and Switzerland that have very strong economies, rank higher than the U.S. on international tests of mathematics and science consistently, and do not have a mandated, standardized set of national curriculum standards.”
Lastly, Dr. Tienken asks us to look at countries who have nationalized and standardized education, such as China and Singapore: “China, another behemoth of centralization, is trying desperately to crawl out from under the rock of standardization in terms of curriculum and testing (Zhao, 2009) and the effects of those practices on its workforce. Chinese officials recognize the negative impacts a standardized education system has had on intellectual creativity. Less than 10% of Chinese workers are able to function in multi-national corporations (Zhao, 2009).
I do not know of many Chinese winners of Nobel Prizes in the sciences or in other the intellectual fields. China does not hold many scientific patents and the patents they do hold are of dubious quality (Cyranoski, 2010).
The same holds true for Singapore. Authorities there have tried several times to move the system away from standardization toward creativity. Standardization and testing are so entrenched in Singapore that every attempt to diversify the system has failed, leaving Singapore a country that has high test scores but no creativity. The problem is so widespread that Singapore must import creative talent from other countries”.
According to Dr. Tienken, Common Core is a case of oversimplification. It is naiive to believe that all children would benefit from mastering the same set of skills, or that it would benefit the country in the long run, to mandate sameness. He observes that Common Core is “an Orwellian policy position that lacks a basic understanding of diversity and developmental psychology. It is a position that eschews science and at its core, believes it is appropriate to force children to fit the system instead of the system adjusting to the needs of the child.”
Oh, how I agree.
Since when do we trust bureaucracies more than we trust individuals to make correct decisions inside a classroom or a school district? Since when do we agree force children to fit a predetermined system, instead of having a locally controlled, flexible system that can adjust to the needs of a child?
What madness (or money?) has persuaded even our most American-as-apple-pie organizations – even the national PTA, the U.S. Army, the SAT, most textbook companies and many governors– to advocate for Common Core, when there never was a real shred of valid evidence upon which to base this country-changing decision?
Utah’s Republican state delegates sent a clear message to the Governor, Utah legislators, and to the State Office of Education at Saturday’s GOP convention when 65% of the state delegates voted yes to support the resolution written by Utahns Against Common Core.
Utah’s delegates are calling on Governor Herbert and the Utah State School Board to withdraw from Common Core, and are calling on the Utah State Legislature to discontinue funding all programs in association with the Common Core Initiative.
If you missed the GOP convention, here’s what happened.
An ocean of people swarmed in from every corner of Utah to the South Jordan Expo Center Saturday to debate and vote upon the issues of the day. Present were the Governor and his bodyguard; legislators, activists, school board members; candidates for political offices, and 2,584 delegates. The swarm began before 7 a.m. and didn’t end until late in the afternoon.
At the Utahns Against Common Core booth there was a video loop showing the audience current, common core aligned textbooks that are approved for Utah schools. The booth also featured a handful of teachers and parents, answering questions about why they opposed Common Core. (The video that was looped is viewable here. For further analysis of these texts from a Utah mental health therapist’s view – see this video, too.)
There were more delegates clustered around the Utahns Against Common Core (UACC) booth than around any other, by a long shot. Many of the delegates signed the UACC petition, wore Stop Common Core buttons and stickers, and asked questions because of the conflicting (and may I point out, unreferenced) information coming from the State Office about Common Core.
I told delegates near our booth that I dislike the mandates of the common standards and I don’t believe for a minute that they are the solution to our educational problems. (It seems a no-brainer that it’s harmful, not helpful, to lessen the amount of classic literature that a child may read, and to delay the age at which students learn basic math algorithms, etc.)
But academics are not the key issue; academic problems can normally be fixed, but under Common Core there is not even an amendment process. These are copyrighted, D.C.-written, common standards.
Without a written amendment process, it’s a case of education without representation. It’s a case of giving up the ability to even debate what the standards for Utah children ought to be. It’s a case of allowing the federal government, and the philosophies (and money) of Bill Gates-Pearson Co., to micromanage local educational decisions.
Driving home, after four hours, I wondered if the resolution for local control would pass. It did not seem likely even though our resolution closely matched the Republican National Committee’s anti-common core resolution that had passed earlier this year in California.
But in Utah, the GOP committee had given our resolution an “unfavorable” rating, saying that the wording was inflammatory. The Governor was against us, having long been promoting Common Core and a related project, Prosperity 2020, very openly. The State Office of Education was against us and had been passing out pamphlets, fliers and stickers to “support common core” –and had sent mailers to delegates, telling them to support common core. (They used our tax money for this. Since when is tax money used to lobby for one side?)
And the media were generally against us. Both the Tribune and KSL had been covering this issue mostly from a pro-common core point of view.
So I was just thankful that we had gotten the opportunity to educate people at our booth. I hoped for, but didn’t expect, the miracle of the resolution passing.
Four hours later, I was completely stunned with the great news. Alisa, my friend and a state delegate, texted me one word: “PASSED!!!!”
Our resolution passed! It did match the feelings of a majority of Utahns. 65% of the elected state delegates in the State of Utah voted NO to Common Core.
It was a welcome surprise.
Delegate friends filled me in on the details of what I’d missed. I learned that the powers-that-be tried their best to muffle the resolution. They held it to the very end, after multiple speakers and presentations and other votes were held. Some even called for the meeting to adjourn before the resolution could be debated on the stage. There was a vote about whether to adjourn that was soundly defeated by the delegates.
Finally the resolution was debated. There were elecrifying speeches, for and against. Then there was the vote.
Sixty five percent voted for it to pass! That’s well over a thousand people, elected by their neighbors, from caucuses in every corner of Utah, who all said NO to Common Core. This is huge, huge news to teachers, school boards, parents, students, and politicians, regardless of which side of the argument you choose.
But it didn’t make the Tribune. It didn’t make the Deseret News. It didn’t make the Daily Herald or KSL.
Who knows why? Sigh.
Looks like we have to spread this one by social media, folks. There are powerful people who want to muffle the voice of WE, THE PEOPLE.
Let’s not let them get away with it.
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.
Seton Hall University – Professor Christopher Tienken:
Concerned Women of America – Jane Robbins:
(five part series)
Utahns Against Common Core – Alisa Ellis, Christel Swasey, Renee Braddy:
Heritage Foundation Conference on Common Core –
Restore Oklahoma Public Education –
Glenn Beck t.v. on common core –
Thank you for studying this issue very carefully.
Utah Teacher and Mom
Common Core: The Vehicle of our Educational Future
–Driving Away Freedom
The chart below is adapted from J.R. Wilson’s article at Education News, Common Core and the Vehicle of our Future. Thanks to J.R. Wilson for sharing this insightful metaphor.
Read the whole article here:
||For a Car
||For Common Core
||You decide what car best fits your needs. You shop around and find the best car for your money.
||You had no say in these standards. They are not the best. You didn’t get to test the standards – or see any testing of these standards – before they were bought for you with your tax money.
|Decision to Buy
||You make the decision to buy, or – just as important – to not buy.
||You bought these standards though you may not know it, and even if you protested their purchase. The decision to buy, or to not buy, was never up to you.
||You get to select the make, model, package, and options you want.
||You don’t know what you’re buying. The Common Core began with math and language arts standards. Then it included tests; then social studies, science, and civics; then curricular materials; a data system; and an early learning program. Then it included public colleges.
||Most car salesmen are knowledgeable about the features of the car. Buyers still need to be responsible and do their own fact checking.
||Many of the selling points used to sell these standards sound wonderful, but in truth are deceptive. The deeper you dig, the more dismayed you become.
||You know exactly how much the car will cost you once you have settled on a price. Once the car is paid for it is yours.
||There was no state cost analysis. Costs will be ongoing. The public does not own Common Core and has no ability to change it although they must pay.
|Safety & Quality Control
||The car has to meet required safety standards. The automaker has put the car and many components through a lot of testing and checks to make sure the components work well together.
||There are no required safeguards to protect our children’s academic success, their future, and our liberty. It is unknown how anyone will be held accountable for outcomes.
||You can get insurance for your car when you buy it.
||No insurance is available although you still have to pay premiums. There is no protection for children’s academic success or liberties.
||You can take the car to the dealer or any other auto mechanic. If you don’t like the car, you can get rid of it and buy a different car.
||There is no dealer for repair. Modifications can only be made by the owners (two non-government entities). Parents or teachers cannot change the standards.
||Most cars come with a warranty.
||No warranty is available.
||There are some protections provided by state and federal lemon laws.
||There are no lemon law protections.
||Records of maintenance and repairs are kept in a database with information available to others.
||The data is compiled in a state longitudinal data system with intergovernmental access to data, without parental knowledge or permission and with no opt-out alternative.
Common Core presentation- this week in Orem, Utah.
The shortest, most important post I’ve written:
In addition to the Constitution’s 10th Amendment, a federal law called The General Educational Provisons Act (G.E.P.A.)
prohibits the federal government from directing education –very, very clearly:
“No provision of any applicable program shall be construed to authorize any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, or over the selection of library resources, textbooks, or other printed or published instructional materials by any educational institution or school system…“
Read the rest here:
Please ask an honest legislator to notice that Obama and Secretary Duncan openly promote Common Core –and use our taxes to give out grants for common core tests. Someone has to stop this.
Before I post the highlights from the Tribune article, I have to make a comment.
I read the two USOE-created resolutions* cited below. They are written by people who obviously do not understand the recently altered federal FERPA changes which have severely weakened student privacy and parental consent requirements, among other things. One resolution used the word “erroneous” to describe citizens opposing Common Core’s agenda. This, for some reason, makes me laugh. Why?
Because so much of what the Utah State Office of Education does is utterly erroneous, unreferenced, theory-laden and evidence-lacking; it may be nicely based on slick marketing, financial bribes and the consensus of big-government promoters– Bill Gates, Pearson Company, Secretary Arne Duncan, Obama advisor Linda Darling-Hammond, etc but it is nonetheless false. (“State-led”? “Internationally benchmarked”? Improving Education”? “Respecting student data privacy”? “Retaining local control”? —NOT.)
It is downright ridiculous (although sad) that the State Office of Education calls those citizens who ask questions armed with documents, facts, references and truth, the “vicious attackers” and the “erroneous.”
Let’s call their bluff.
Let’s insist that the Utah State School Board engage in honest, open, referenced debate with those they label “erroneous.”
It’ll never happen. They cannot allow that. They know they have no leg to stand on, or they’d already have provided references and studies showing the Common Core path they chose for Utah was a wise and studied choice. We’ve asked repeatedly for such honest face-to-face discussion. We’ve asked them to send someone to debate Common Core.
They have no one to send; sadly, each USOE official and USSB member can only parrot the claims they’ve had parroted to them about Common Core.
Honest study reveals that local control is gone under Common Core, privacy is gone, parental consent is no longer required to track and study a child, and academic standards are FAR from improved.
I pray that level-headed Utah legislators will study this Common Core agenda thoroughly and will act as wisely as those in Indiana have done with their “time-out” bill that halts implementation of Common Core, pending a proper study and vetting of the expensive, multi-pronged academic experiment that uses and tracks children as if they were government guinea pigs.
And now, the Tribune article:
Utah school board denies guv’s Common Core request
Board rejects request to change paperwork critics see as a commitment to use Common Core academic standards.
By Lisa Schencker
| Highlights of article reposted from the Salt Lake Tribune
First Published 2 hours ago
Hoping to ease some Utahns’ fears about Common Core academic standards, the Governor’s Office asked the state school board to change an application it submitted last year for a waiver to federal No Child Left Behind requirements.The state school board, however, voted against that request
Utah education leaders checked the first option, as Utah had joined most other states in adopting the Common Core. Critics have decried that decision, saying it tied Utah to the standards.
Christine Kearl, the governor’s education advisor, told board members Thursday that she believes checking Option B would alleviate those concerns without actually having to drop the standards. She said the Governor’s Office hears daily complaints about the Common Core.
“It’s become very political as I’m sure you’re all aware,” Kearl said. “We’re under attack. We try to get back to people and let them know we support the Common Core and support the decision of the state school board, but this has just become relentless.”
But Assistant Attorney General Kristina Kindl warned board members the change would give the state’s higher education system approval power over K-12 standards.
Some board members also bristled at the idea of changing the application, saying it wouldn’t mean much. Former State Superintendent Larry Shumway had already sent the feds a letter asserting that Utah retains control over its standards.
“It just seems like we are caving to political pressure based on things that are not based in actual fact,” said board member Dave Thomas.
Some also wondered whether switching would allay the concerns of foes, who began arguing that the Core was federally tied before Utah applied for the waiver. State education leaders have long responded that the standards were developed in a states-led initiative and leave curriculum up to teachers and districts
Oak Norton, a Highland parent who helped develop a website for the group Utahns Against Common Core, said he was disappointed by the board’s decision against changing the waiver.
“Then we could have looked at adopting our own standards that were higher than the Common Core,” Norton said.
The board did vote to send a resolution* to the governor, lawmakers and the state’s political parties asking them to work with the state school board to support the Common Core for the good of Utah’s students.
The resolution follows a letter sent by members of Congress, including Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, last week to Senate budget leaders asking them to eliminate “further interference by the U.S. Department of Education with respect to state decisions on academic content standards.”
—- —- —–
The Deseret News is carrying Common Core controversial news as well:
Utah senator joins others in signing letter opposing the Common Core.
By Lisa Schencker
|Reposted highlights from Salt Lake Tribune article
First Published Apr 29 2013 06:48 pm
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah
, has jumped into the ongoing fray over Common Core State Standards
, signing a letter asking Senate budget leaders to “restore state decision-making and accountability.”Lee, along with eight other Republican senators, sent the letter to the chairman and the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds education on Friday. The letter asks that any future education appropriations bill includes language prohibiting the U.S. Secretary of Education from using the money to implement or require the standards in any way, in hopes of eliminating “further interference by the U.S. Department of Education
with respect to state decisions on academic content standards.”
“The decision about what students should be taught and when it should be taught has enormous consequences for our children,” the letter says. “Therefore, parents ought to have a straight line of accountability to those who are making such decisions. State legislatures, which are directly accountable to the citizens of their states , are the appropriate place for those decisions to be made, free from any pressure from the U.S. Department of Education
In an interview with the Tribune Tuesday, Lee declined to comment on Utah’s adoption of the standards, saying his concern is with keeping the federal government out of state and local education decisions.
“If they choose to adopt them, I hope they do so because they’re relevant standards and local leaders think they’re good standards not because of any federal mandate,” he said of states’ adoption of the standards. He said, so far, he’s noticed “disturbing trends” in the direction of the federal government becoming overly involved in pushing the standards.
Utah proponents of the standards, however, have long fought against arguments that they were federally developed or imposed. The Utah state school board adopted the standards in 2010 in hopes of better preparing students for college and careers. The standards — developed as part of a states-led initiative — outline the concepts and skills students should learn in each grade, while leaving curriculum decisions up to local teachers and districts.
Critics of the standards point out that the federal government, several years ago, encouraged states to adopt the standards as they applied for federal Race to the Top grant money. They also point to a federal requirement that states adopt college- and career-ready standards in order to receive a waiver to No Child Left Behind .
But Utah did not win that money, and to receive waivers, states could adopt either Common Core standards or different standards of their choosing…
Neal McClusky of Cato Institute has written an Op-Ed for the IndyStar. Read the whole thing here:
“Indiana has just shot into the spotlight of the education world, with the legislature voting over the weekend to hit the pause button on the Common Core national curriculum standards. But this action is just the loudest strike in a growing backlash against the Core, a revolt set off by the arrival of the federally backed standards in schools across the country. And people are right to be wary, especially since Core supporters have too often ridiculed dissenters instead of engaging in honest debate.
While 45 states have adopted the Common Core, don’t mistake that for enthusiastic, nationwide support. States were essentially coerced into adopting by the President’s Race to the Top program, which tied federal dough to signing on. Even if policymakers in recession-hobbled states would have preferred open debate, there was no time. Blink, and the money would be gone. Which isn’t to say there wasn’t opposition — there certainly was among policy wonks — but most people hadn’t heard of the standards at adoption time, and their effects wouldn’t be felt for several years.
…Indiana is arguably the highest-profile rebel, with its new legislation set to halt implementation of the core so Hoosiers can, at the very least, learn about what they’re getting into. Nationally, the Republican National Committee has officially condemned the standards, while several states are in the process of potentially withdrawing from the core. Finally, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has requested that a Senate subcommittee handling education end federal meddling in standards and assessment.
…Rather than address worries and evidence that the Common Core is empirically ungrounded, moves the country closer to a federal education monopoly and treats unique children like identical cogs, supporters have often smeared opponents and dodged constructive debate.
… Michael Petrilli, executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, complained that the move “will bestow a degree of legitimacy upon the anti-standards coalition.” –As if the people who have been decrying the absence of research support for national standards, potential flaws in its content, or other logic and evidence-based concerns have all somehow been illegitimate.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — a leading Common Core spokesperson — elected to dismiss the RNC as ignorant for resisting the Core. “I don’t really care if the RNC, based on no information, is going to oppose this because of some emotional pitch,” he said. This despite the RNC resolution offering several valid reasons for opposing the Core, including the indisputable fact of federal coercion.
To be sure, there are some specious arguments being made against the Common Core, such as the claim that it requires schools to ditch Emerson in favor of reading EPA regulations. Such assertions should be refuted by people on both sides. But those are hardly the only concerns of Core opponents, and many standards supporters are guilty of no lesser deception when they insist, for instance, that the Common Core is “state-led” and “voluntary.”
…As Common Core continues to be implemented, the chorus of opposition is likely to grow, and it is critical that supporters and opponents alike keep sight of their truly common goal: improving American education. Dodging honest discussion is no way to get there.
McCluskey is associate director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom and author of the report http://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/behind-curtain-assessing-case-national-curriculum-standards.
Guest post by Wendy Hart
One of the things that has been irritating and frustrating me is the comprehension that the end game of all of this is a complete lack of choice when it comes to education. It will only take a few years, because we have jumped on this bandwagon so quickly.
I think, if you get a chance, it is important to note that if Utah had adopted standards in isolation, there wouldn’t be the level of concern. (Of course, that was one of the “selling points”… commonality.) What the State Board says about “being able to change them” is technically true. They could drop Common Core standards at any time.
However, in 5 years, due to market forces, there will be nothing left to go to. Who will develop those standards, and what textbooks and professional development resources will we have? Nada!
When your ACT and SAT match Common Core, when all your textbooks and teaching materials are Common Core aligned, where is the market for anything “outside the box”? It was a brilliant move: 45 states signing on all at the same time. It will make the work of the other 5 irrelevant.
We MUST opt out and get a large group of the other states to opt out PRIOR to the SAT/ACT realignment. Once that’s done, it will be almost impossible to go back. Who or what, at that point, will have the power and desire to change it?
In the end, if I DON’T want my kids “aligned” with Common Core, what are my options? For the short term, I can do private school. But within 4 years, my prediction, just when my oldest is ready for college, the SAT/ACT tests will align, and if I haven’t been “on board”, he will be at a disadvantage. It just makes me ill.
Thank you, Wendy Hart, for this insightful, important statement.
Senator Mike Lee of Utah joined other senators — Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) in signing Iowa Senator Grassely’s letter that points out that the Dept. of Education must be restrained from funding and promoting nationalized standards and must not be allowed to continue the illegal implementation of Common Core with federal tax monies.
The letter said: “”While the Common Core State Standards Initiative was initially billed as a voluntary effort between states, federal incentives have clouded the picture. Current federal law makes clear that the U.S. Department of Education may not be involved in setting specific content standards or determining the content of state assessments. Nevertheless, the selection criteria designed by the U.S. Department of Education for the Race to the Top Program provided that for a state to have any chance to compete for funding, it must commit to adopting a ‘common set of K-12 standards’ matching the description of the Common Core. The U.S. Department of Education also made adoption of ‘college- and career-ready standards’ meeting the description of the Common Core a condition to receive a state waiver under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Race to the Top funds were also used to fund two consortiums to develop assessments aligned to the Common Core and the Department is now in the process of evaluating these assessments.”
Read more at
Utah’s D.C. Senator, Mike Lee, also wrote yesterday at his official website:
“The first principle of education, and therefore of education policymaking, is that parents are the primary educators of their children. And because responsibility for children’s education lies primarily with parents, to the greatest extent possible so should decision-making authority over Pre-K to secondary education. The further such decisions are removed from the parents and guardians of children, the further they are removed from those who will promote the best interests of students. Therefore federal influence over pre-K, elementary, and secondary education should be limited. Neither members of Congress nor Department of Education bureaucrats can be expected to promote the interests of individual students – with unique talents, interests, and learning styles – more than those students’ own parents, teachers or principals.
While the Common Core Standard Initiative was initially promoted as an effort to move in this direction, it has become polluted with Federal guidelines and mandates that interfere with the ability of parents, teachers and principals to deliver the education our children deserve.” Read More Here
Thank you, Senators Lee, Grassley, Coburn, Cruz, Fischer, Inhofe, Paul, Roberts, and Sessions.
As a teacher, as a parent, and as a believer in the wisdom of the U.S. Constitution, I can not thank you enough.
Guest post by a parent who requested that his/her report would be anonymously published
I attended the meeting held by Uintah School District last week.
The meeting appeared to be a training on the new assessments for Common Core that will cost $30 million. The guy turned his back on the room and spoke quietly when he said ‘$30 mil’, so I’m not sure I heard him correctly. He was more than happy to face the room and speak loudly about how great these assessments will be and how very much we need them–in his opinion. (Note-his job is dependent on him holding to that opinion.)
A little more than halfway through the meeting, he finally allowed questions. He would NOT allow questions before that. When question time came, it was very clear that the majority of the people in the room were unhappy parents, not educators there for his training. With a great deal of pressure from parents, it was decided that some common core questions would be answered by Dixie Allen of the state school board.
All individuals interested in common core questions being answered were invited to get up and move to a smaller room to talk with Dixie. By the time everyone had gathered in the smaller room, common core was on a screen at the front of the room and Dixie was prepared to give a presentation. Parents tried to ask questions and Dixie tried to give a presentation.
When it became clear that Dixie’s intent was to deliver a Common Core ‘sale’, one parent specifically requested that questions be answered first and the presentation be given second because people were obviously wanting their questions answered now. Dixie said no, but eventually had to give in because the questions wouldn’t quit coming. We didn’t have to watch or listen to a big presentation from Dixie, but we did have to listen to her state several times that common core standards are higher (to which one parent consistently replied ‘no, they’re not’ every time). She also told the parent in the room who knew the most about Common Core that she (Dixie) didn’t want that mom asking anymore questions because the mom gave comments, informing other parents of the details so Dixie could not shut them down completely. Obviously, Dixie is frightened of the truth getting out.
Dixie also denied being the homeschool teacher for 2 of her grandchildren in her home. (I think the count was 2.) She later backtracked on that one and admitted that she teaches one grandchild who is in 9th grade right now and homeschooled because of bullying. (A difficult to fully believe claim because the junior high principal here is quite strict and everyone else says this principal put an end to bullying in that school when she was first put in as principal, long enough ago that bullying in that school would have ended by the time Dixie’s grandchild would have entered the jr. high.)
Dixie also repeatedly stated that Utah must do Common Core because otherwise we cannot buy curriculum to match our core because we don’t spend enough money on education and therefore the curricula vendors don’t cater to us. No one in the room agreed with her on needing more money, but she made this claim repeatedly. Then when the question “How much will these new curricula materials to match common core cost us?” was asked, the answer was “Nothing, we’re making our own.”
None of the parents in the room said anything, but note that the argument that we need to do common core so we can buy materials to match our core falls when you consider that we’re not buying the materials!
In short, no one in the meeting was convinced that common core was a good idea. Parents talked afterwards, exchanging their contact info and more information on common core. One parent had watched a program on the miserable failure of common core in Michigan and was there with her notes in hand, asking questions and providing details of how bad things are in Michigan. Dixie tried very hard, but unsuccessfully, to refute the points this good mom made throughout the meeting. Another mom mentioned that history has proven how very dangerous a national curriculum can be, but many people in the room are unaware of that and just thought she’s a little paranoid.
I left the meeting thinking that Dixie is either completely ignorant of the facts surrounding common core or she is an outright liar. I spoke with some people who know her personally the next day and they told me that she just truly believes in big government, so she wouldn’t even be able to see the facts. It was interesting to watch her at the meeting. Dixie is an elected representative of the people, but you couldn’t tell. Elected representatives should listen to the people, treat them respectfully, and do as the people want. Dixie did none of that. As an elected representative of the people, she ARGUED with them and spoke condescendingly when they didn’t understand education lingo. It was very sad.
Dixie did state that Utah might not adopt the science part of common core because of pressure from the ‘right wing’ in the state. She also said that Utah might try to vary from common core by more than the 15% allowed, but there will be no attempt to get out of common core.
Sadly, the powers that be cannot admit they’ve made a mistake and are completely disrespectful to the people who gave them power and pay the taxes that support them and their decisions.
- Anonymous attendee at UT State Office of Education Common Core presentation to Uintah School District
First, I received yet another “makes-no-sense” common core math explanation from the Utah State Office of Education, via Ms. Diana Suddreth.
Next, I asked nationally recognized experts to help me digest Suddreth’s words. This included curricular expert Dr. Christopher Tienken of Seton Hall University, New Jersey, former Dept of Ed advisor and Hoover Institute (Stanford University visiting scholar) Ze’ev Wurman of California; and U.S. Coalition for World Class Math founder Barry Garelick.
This is what they wrote. (Ms. Suddreth’s writing is also posted below.)
From Dr. Christopher H. Tienken:
The UTAH bureaucrat is referencing this book – see below. Look at chpts 7 and 11 for where I think she is gathering support.
Her answer still does not make curricular sense in that she explains that fluency with moving between fractions and decimals is assumed in some ways. With all due respect, the curriculum document is a legally binding agreement of what will be taught. Teachers are bound by law to follow it (of course many don’t but that is going to change with this new testing system). Therefore, if it is not explicitly in the document, it might not get taught.
There are a lot of assumptions made in the Core. Just look at the Kindergarten math sequence. It assumes a lot of prior knowledge on the part of kids. That might be fine for some towns, but certainly not for others.
Perhaps the bureaucrat can point to specific standards that call for students to demonstrate fluency in converting fractions to decimals etc.
However, I think the bigger issue is that parents now don’t have a say in terms of whether and how much emphasis is placed on those skills. Local control is one mechanism for parents to lobby for emphasis of content. Not all content is equally important to each community. The negotiation of “emphasis” is a local issue, but that has now been decided for parents by a distal force.
Christopher H. Tienken, Ed.D.
Editor, AASA Journal of Scholarship & Practice
Editor, Kappa Delta Pi Record
Seton Hall University
College of Education and Human Services
Department of Education Leadership, Management, and Policy
South Orange, NJ
Visit me @: http://www.christienken.com
Dear Members of the Board,
Ms. Swasey forwarded to me an email that you have received recently, discussing how Utah Core supposedly handles the conversion between fraction forms. I would like to pass you my comments on that email.
First, let me briefly introduce myself. I am a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. I was a member of the California Academic Content Standards Commission in 2010, which reviewed the Common Core standards before their adoption by the state of California. Prior to that I served as a senior policy adviser at the U.S. Department of Education.
Response to Diana Suddreth’s note, passed to Utah’s Board of Education on April 23, regarding the question of conversion among fractional forms
(Original in italics)
The question that was originally asked was about converting fractions to decimals; therefore, the response pointed to the specific standard where that skill is to be mastered. A close reading of the Utah Core will reveal that the development of a conceptual understanding of fractions that leads to procedural skills begins in grade 3 and is developed through 7th grade. The new core does not list every specific procedure that students will engage in; however, explaining equivalence of fractions (3rd & 4th grade), ordering fractions (4th grade), understanding decimal notation for fractions (4th grade), and performing operations with fractions (4th, 5th, and 6th grade) all suggest and even require certain procedures to support understanding and problem solving.
Unfortunately, Ms. Suddreth does not address above the question at hand—whether, or how, does the Utah Core expect students to develop fluency and understanding with conversion among fractional representations of fractions, decimals and percent—and instead offers general description of how Utah Core treats fractions. This is fine as it goes, but it does not add anything to the discussion.
In 5th grade, fractions are understood as division problems where the numerator is divided by the denominator. (In fact, the new core does a better job of this than the old where fractions were more often treated as parts of a whole, without also relating them to division.)
The above is incorrect. In grade 5, as in previous grades, the Common Core (or Utah Core, if you will) frequently treats fractions as “parts of the whole.” There is no other way to interpret grade 5 standards such as “Solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of fractions referring to the same whole … e.g., by using visual fraction models …” (5.NF.2) or “Interpret the product (a/b) × q as a parts of a partition of q into b equal parts;” (5.NF.4a). All this, however, has little to do with the question at hand.
As for percents, students learn that percent is a rate per 100 (a fraction), a concept that is fully developed with a focus on problem solving in 5th and 6th grade.
Yet again Ms. Suddreth is clearly wrong. Percent are not even introduced by the Common (Utah) Core before grade 6.
The new core promotes a strong development of the understanding of fractions as rational numbers, including representations in decimal, fraction, or percent form. Mathematics is far too rich a field to be reduced to a series of procedures without looking at the underlying connections and various representations. There is nothing in the new core to suggest that students will not develop the kinds of procedural skills that support this depth of understanding.
Here, like in her first paragraph, Ms. Suddereth, avoids responding to the question and hopes that writing about unrelated issues will cover this void. The argument was never that the Common Core does not develop understanding of fractions as rational numbers, as decimals, and as percents. The argument was that such understanding is developed in isolation for each form, and that fluent conversion between forms is barely developed in a single standard that touches only peripherally on the conversion and does it at much later (grade 7) than it ought to. Fluency with conversion among fractional representations was identified as a key skill by the National Research Council, the NCTM, and the presidential National Math Advisory Panel. It is not some marginal aspect of elementary mathematics that should be “inferred” and “understood” from other standards. The Common Core is already full of painstakingly detailed standards dealing with fractions and arguing that such cardinal area as fluency with conversion (“perhaps the deepest translation problem in pre-K to grade 8 mathematics” in NRC’s opinion) should not be addressed explicitly is disingenuous.
The new core is, in fact, supported by the Curriculum Focal Points from NCTM, which do not conflict with anything in the new core, but rather provide detailed illustrations of how a teacher might focus on the development of mathematics with their students. The new core is based on the research in Adding It Up. Some of the researchers on that project were also involved in the development of the Common Core, which forms the basis for the Utah Core.
Curriculum Focal Points explicitly requires fluency with conversion between fractional forms by grade 7, which is absent in the Common Core. It also, for example, expects fluency with dividing integers and with addition and subtraction of decimals by grade 5, which the Common Core expects only by grade 6. One wonders what else it would take to make Ms. Suddreth label them as in conflict. One also wonders how much is the Common Core really “based on the research in Adding It Up” if it essentially forgot even to address what Adding It Up considers “perhaps the deepest translation problem in pre-K to grade 8 mathematics”—the conversion among fractions, decimals, and percent.
In summary, Ms. Suddereth’s note passed to you by Ms. Pyfer contains both misleading and incorrect claims and is bound to confuse rather than illuminate.
Palo Alto, Calif.
From Barry Garelick of the U.S. Coalition for World Class Math:
From: Tami Pyfer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 8:22 PM
Subject: Follow-up on Question about math standard
To: Board of Education <Board@schools.utah.gov>, “Hales, Brenda (Brenda.Hales@schools.utah.gov)” <Brenda.Hales@schools.utah.gov>
Cc: “Christel S (email@example.com)” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “Diana Suddreth (Diana.Suddreth@schools.utah.gov)” <Diana.Suddreth@schools.utah.gov>
Dear Board members-
The note below from Diana Suddreth is additional information that I hope will be helpful for you in understanding the questions you may have gotten regarding the claim that the new math core doesn’t require students to know how to convert fractions to decimals, or addresses the skill inadequately. Diana has just returned from a math conference and I appreciate her expertise in this area and the additional clarification.
Please feel free to share this with others who may be contacting you with questions.
Hope this helps!
The question that was originally asked was about converting fractions to decimals; therefore, the response pointed to the specific standard where that skill is to be mastered. A close reading of the Utah Core will reveal that the development of a conceptual understanding of fractions that leads to procedural skills begins in grade 3 and is developed through 7th grade. The new core does not list every specific procedure that students will engage in; however, explaining equivalence of fractions (3rd & 4th grade), ordering fractions (4th grade), understanding decimal notation for fractions (4th grade), and performing operations with fractions (4th, 5th, and 6th grade) all suggest and even require certain procedures to support understanding and problem solving. In 5th grade, fractions are understood as division problems where the numerator is divided by the denominator. (In fact, the new core does a better job of this than the old where fractions were more often treated as parts of a whole, without also relating them to division.) As for percents, students learn that percent is a rate per 100 (a fraction), a concept that is fully developed with a focus on problem solving in 5th and 6th grade.
The new core promotes a strong development of the understanding of fractions as rational numbers, including representations in decimal, fraction, or percent form. Mathematics is far too rich a field to be reduced to a series of procedures without looking at the underlying connections and various representations. There is nothing in the new core to suggest that students will not develop the kinds of procedural skills that support this depth of understanding.
The new core is, in fact, supported by the Curriculum Focal Points from NCTM, which do not conflict with anything in the new core, but rather provide detailed illustrations of how a teacher might focus on the development of mathematics with their students. The new core is based on the research in Adding It Up. Some of the researchers on that project were also involved in the development of the Common Core, which forms the basis for the Utah Core.
Diana Suddreth, STEM Coordinator
Utah State Office of Education
Salt Lake City, UT
From: Christel S [email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 10:42 PM
Subject: Follow-up on Question about math standard
My math and curriculum friends, I don’t know how to argue with these people. Can you assist? Here we have countless parents hating the common core math, and reviewers telling us it puts us light years behind legitimate college readiness, but the USOE continues the charade.
Please help– point me to facts and documentation that will make sense to the average person. Thank you.
I just saw this today in an email and wanted to share the fact that there are alternatives to common core aligned curricula.
Official Policy of FPE Curriculum on Common Core
In mid-March of 2013, FreedomProject Education was made aware that many homeschool publishers planned to adapt their textbooks to align with Common Core mandates, those national standards developed by Washington D.C. insiders, lobby- ists, and liberal special interest groups, all subsidized by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Upon learning that some of the textbooks currently used in FPE classes were slated for Common Core adaptation, FPE immediately reiterated our staunch commitment to removing any textbook from our curriculum that migrated to Common Core standards. We began an extensive review of our booklists and contacted many publishers and presses directly to ascertain first-hand their posi- tion and plans vis a vis Common Core. FPE also inaugurated a series of free and public Webcasts designed to explain and expose the insidious governmental power grab that is Common Core.
Among the things we discovered in researching our booklists is that a number of our current publishers do indeed plan to adapt their textbooks to Common Core requirements. In many cases this adaptation is in the works for future editions and has yet to manifest itself in the textbooks we currently use. In other instances, certain textbooks have already included elements in preparation for the coming move to Common Core. Further complicating the issue, some of our publishers have been designated by government agencies as “Common Core compliant” without—they claim—having asked for that designation or having taken any steps to adapt their curriculum to Common Core Standards. Our research has found a good deal of dishonesty in these claims, with representatives telling us there will be no incorporation of Common Core, while their very websites tout compliance. These are the realities as we currently find them since our investigation com- mencing in Mid-March 2013.
FPE decided on booklists for the upcoming 2013-2014 academic year in October of 2012, and those lists went out to faculty, current FPE families, and prospective students in early March 2013, two weeks before we learned that some homeschool publishers were adapting to Common Core standards. Given that 1) most of our current textbooks have yet to be altered to reflect specific Common Core guidelines; 2) that we have mailed out hundreds of program guides and distributed thou- sands of fliers listing as required the textbook list established in October 2012; 3) that many current FPE students, as well as new-enrollees for 2013-2014, have already purchased books based on the October 2012 list and will not easily be able to return them; and 4) that many of our teachers need time to adapt their courses to new textbooks that are free of any taint of Common Core ideology; we feel it is in the best interest of all concerned to proceed in the 2013-2014 academic year with the booklists established in October 2012.
Keeping the current roster of books will allow us to avoid the considerable confusion and expense that would occur if we made immediate and precipitous changes. It will also allow FPE to be careful and judicious in selecting alternative Common Core free textbooks for the 2014-2015 academic year. Further, the extra year will allow teachers to both monitor current books for Common Core problems and begin the process of transitioning from current texts to new ones in a methodical and pedagogically sound way. We plan to make each and every FPE teacher aware of any perceived Common Core bias in our current textbooks, to assist them in circumventing these standards, and to encourage them to bring to our attention any instances of infiltration they discover on their own.
We at FPE remain adamantly opposed to the implementation of Common Core in public schools, and under no circum- stances will we tolerate Common Core in our own classrooms moving forward. As we work through the upcoming 2013- 2014 school year, we encourage FPE faculty, families, and students to share with us their opinions about current textbooks and partner with us in being vigilant in opposing all such examples of gross government overreach. We also intend to host a new series of Webcasts in May 2013 that address FPE’s specific plans to counter Common Core and provide an online, homeschool education for America’s children that is free of spin, indoctrination, and cynical government manipulation.
1 (800) 807 7292 750 N. Hickory Farm Lane, Appleton, WI 54914
Reminder: TOMORROW IS THE DAY.
Parent Led Reform of Colorado is hosting the Stop Common Core rally at Twitter tomorrow. Here’s a tutorial if you don’t yet Twitter.
(The hashtag is #StopCommonCore.)
When Melissa Harris-Perry of MSNBC said “we” need to “break through” the notion of children belonging with parents, there was a huge public outcry.
No one cried out louder than the indomitable Michelle Malkin, who was interviewed by Sean Hannity soon after (must see: 3:55
). Malkin derided the progressive idea of collective ownership: “Hands off my kids! My kids are not your guinea pigs. My kids are not your cash cows. My kids’ minds are not for you to propagandize, and my kids’ futures are not for you to raid in the name of social justice!”
Parent activist Yvonne Gasparino said it this way: “My children, my own flesh and blood, these beautiful little souls that I carried for nine months with nothing but unconditional love from the time the stick read “positive” –are being ripped out of my loving and protective hands virtually and kidnapped by the government for their future use. I will not and cannot let that happen and will fight with every moral fiber of my soul that God has bestowed upon me.”
America, we need to get smart about education reform. Fast.
Lesson one: when education reformers use the term “rigorous,” they mean to impress you. Don’t be impressed. One size fits all education can never be rigorous for every student. That’s like calling a mile run “rigorous.” It might be rigorous for the couch potatoes but it won’t be for the athletes. The term is meaningless when applied to every child and stripped of teacher input.
Lesson two: when education reformers use the term “high quality teacher,” they mean their version. Don’t buy the assumption that what they call a high quality teacher is what you imagine when you think of a great teacher. The new high quality teacher must be “effective” as a data-collector, test-prepper, and political indoctrinator of environmental and social justice agendas. Gone are the days when good teachers were characterized by benevolence, spontaneity, creativity, love, nurturing, and intellectual openness and honesty. A high quality teacher to the Dept. of Ed means one that pushes the line that the government wants pushed, one that no parent got to vote on.
Lesson three: when education reformers use the term “education reform,” they mean their version. It’s a tightly controlled, standardized, data-collection focused, collective-not-individual focused, environmentally-obsessed, social-justice promoting, uncreative form of education that has little to do with what a particular student needs or wants. Don’t buy the assumption that it’s actually improving education the way a reasonable parent or grandparent would want education to be improved! Ask for evidence and empirical studies to back up claims– always.
Lesson four: when education reformers use the term “internationally competitive,” they mean to intimidate you. Don’t be intimidated. The truth is that America turns out so many highly qualified college graduates that we can’t even employ them all. We are incredibly competitive internationally. Not only are we smart, but we are creative because we have been free. We innovate miracles in medicine, technology, entertainment and agriculture because we have not been stifled as so many other countries are. Watch this video.
Lesson five: when education reformers name-drop, (Harvard, Stanford, Fordham Foundation, Manhattan Institute, the P.T.A., etc.) they mean to marginalize you. Don’t be moved. Common Core is educational malpractice and many –even in academia– know it. Common Core is an untested experiment being pushed without empirical evidence as a foundation. Harvard, Stanford and countless other supposedly intellectual institutions have been literally bought with Bill Gates’ foundation money –bribed to say that the naked emperor is wearing clothes– and these establishments have, by taking Gates’ bribes, lost their ability to question the validity of the Common Core. Don’t listen to anyone’s academic reviews who has been paid to say Common Core is valid. That’s not honest; that’s gold digging.
Lesson six: when education reformers say Common Core is “state-led,” they mean to reassure you that it’s no threat to your constitutional rights. Don’t be fooled. There’s nothing state-led about Common Core. Legislators were completely bypassed. There was never a vote. There was never a public discussion. Most people in most states still don’t even know what the term Common Core means, much less feel they led the process. The standards were developed stealthily behind closed doors in Washington, D.C., by the NGA/CCSSO, two unelected groups who copyrighted the standards and who have provided no amendment process for any state to alter a single strand of a standard. And the federal government claims credit for pushing the standards on the states. Just listen to Sec. Duncan’s and Pres. Obama’s speeches on the subject. For example, see Sec. Duncan’s 2010 speech on “The Vision of Education Reform“:
“In March of 2009, President Obama called on the nation’s governors and state school chiefs to “develop standards and assessments that don’t simply measure whether students can fill in a bubble on a test, but whether they possess 21st century skills like problem-solving and critical thinking and entrepreneurship and creativity.” Virtually everyone thought the president was dreaming.
But today, 37 states and the District of Columbia have already chosen to adopt the new state-crafted Common Core standards in math and English. Not studying it, not thinking about it, not issuing a white paper—they have actually done it. Over three-fourths of all U.S. public school students now reside in states that have voluntarily adopted higher, common college-ready standards that are internationally benchmarked. That is an absolute game-changer in a system which until now set 50 different goalposts for success.
The second game-changer is that states have banded together in large consortia to develop a new generation of assessments aligned with the states’ Common Core standards.”
The unconstitutional, detrimental, top-down nationalization of education and usurpation of states’ rights to determine education has clearly and without question, occurred.
The thing that remains unclear is this: what are Americans going to do about it?
We knew that the Dept. of Education had been sued for violating student privacy by changing FERPA without congressional approval.
But now we learn that the same company, EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center) has also sued the FBI for privacy-rights obliteration.
Now, ponder those two lawsuits in the context of the White House’s “data-mashing” goals (those are the words of DOE chief of staff Joanne Weiss.) Recall, too, that the White House hosted a “Datapalooza” conference recently to celebrate the wonders of streamlining all data collection everywhere.
The White House is very openly promoting inter-agency data sharing. They will not easily admit that they are making privacy laws looser and looser and reducing parental say over student data. But it’s clear if you actually take the time to read, read, read.
All the states have a federally paid for, federally interoperable State Longitudinal Database System which tracks citizens throughout their lives.
Please click on the links to verify.
- Christopher Tienken - Professor at Seton Hall, NJ -
- Jane Robbins – American Principles Project - Stop Common Core video series:
- Jamie Gass – Pioneer Institute – has been speaking about Common Core for many years; knows why Massachusetts had the best standards in the nation prior to Common Core.
- Senator Kurt Bahr – Missouri legislator fighting Common Core
- Senator William Ligon – Georgia legislator fighting Common Core
- Senator Scott Schneider – Indiana legislator fighting Common Core
- Dr. Bill Evers – Hoover Institute – Stanford University –
- Robert Scott – Texas commissioner of education – rejected Common Core:
- Diane Ravitch – liberal education analyst who just recently came out against Common Core
- Dr. Sandra Stotsky, who served on the Common Core validation committee and refused to sign off on their adequacy:
see min. 55:30
- Ze’ev Wurman, math analyst
- Heather Crossin – Indiana mother fighting Common Core
- Utah moms Alisa Ellis and Renee Braddy –
- Jim Stergios – Pioneer Institute -
see minute 30:00
- Jenni White – Oklahoma data collection expert -
- Susan Ohanian – education analyst
- Dr. William Mathis of University of Colorado
- Seattle Teachers who boycotted Garfield High School standardized testing.
- Gary Thompson, clinical psychologist
- Emmett McGroarty, American Principles Project
- David Cox, teacher
- Paul Bogush, teacher
- Sherena Arrington, political analyst
- Walt Chappell, Kansas Board of Education
- Bob Shaeffer, Colorado Principal /Former Congressman
- Lindsey Burke, Heritage Foundation
- Oak Norton, Agency Based Education
- Neil McClusky – Cato Institute
Michelle Rhee: Putting Students Last
Countdown # 10:
Top Ten Scariest People in Education Reform
This is the first in a countdown series of introductions, a list of the Top Ten Scariest People Leading American Education.
It’s so troubling to see local and state leaders put their trust –and our childrens’ minds– in the hands of people who openly work to destroy the great American tradition.
It’s been said –and I agree– that American liberties are being lost because of the strange coalition of three unlikely groups: the well-intentioned, the slothful, and the subversive.
This series will focus on the third group, the subversive.
Watch the antics of the people who lead the educational philosophies of our nation. Topping my list of educational subversives: Common Core architect/College Board President David Coleman; Common Core testing advisor /Obama campaign advisor Linda Darling-Hammond; Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Sir Michael Barber, who is CEA of Pearson Education; and Dept. of Education consultant Bill Ayers.
Today I will introduce Michelle Rhee, President of StudentsFirst. She is a self-proclaimed radical left wing progressive “change agent”. This Harvard graduate, former chancellor of D.C. schools and White House darling is rumored to be the logical replacement for Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
Her book, “Radical,” was published last month.
It is troubling to read about the scandal in which Rhee was accused and partially acknowledged the erasing by adults of wrong answers and correcting student tests dishonestly to make the scores appear higher than they really were.
And it is very troubling to see how little student learning really means to her. From American Thinker:
“Michelle Rhee, founder of StudentsFirst, had gotten into a discussion with former teacher Robert Pondiscio, of the website Core Knowledge, about curriculum. Pondiscio had just finished listening to a speech Rhee gave at the Manhattan Institute on December 16, 2010, when he asked her if she could comment on the importance of curriculum.
Here’s the exchange:
Pondisco: ”I had the opportunity to talk briefly with Rhee about my reform game -curriculum, teaching and learning…
“I know you have a lot on your plate,” I concluded. “But I’d urge you to at least keep curriculum in mind.”
“The last thing we’re going to do,” she replied with a chuckle, “is get wrapped up in curriculum battles.”
A stunning reply if you think about it.
The poster child for bare-knuckle reform, who moments earlier was urging her listeners to “embrace conflict,” has no stomach for a debate about what kids should learn in school.
Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/03/suspect_common_core_standards_linked_to_studentsfirst_former_board_members.html#.UUkTCyJvIaY.email#ixzz2O62fGLq3
Rhee has been criticized endlessly by a California teacher whose blog about absurd education reforms includes posts decrying common core, data madness, and Michelle Rhee. At that blog I also found this Dr. Seuss-styled satire –about Michelle Rhee.
Alisa, Renee and I interviewed Dr. Bill Evers, from Hoover Institute at Stanford University, and Angela Weinziner, the president of the Travis District School Board, also from California. We asked how Common Core is impacting California’s education and the economy.
Dr. Evers tells the story of how an error found in the elementary level English standards about long and short vowels could not be corrected. The standards had already been printed and sent to the states. It was too late to course correct, even on a small matter. How will we course correct on large matters? There is no amendment process.
Angela Weinzinger explains that few parents or school board members really understand what Common Core is all about. She asks parents to speak out and voice their concerns.
Dr. Evers explains what “competitive federalism” is and what its benefits are to education.
Senator William Ligon of Georgia led a recent press conference to discuss the reasons Georgia will do ”everything in its power to release itself from the commitment of the Common Core and the P.A.R.C.C”.
Jane Robbins, Tish Strange, Sandra Stotsky, Ze’ev Wurman and others also spoke at this press conference.
Senator William Ligon explained more about SB 167 in his Facebook update from last week: “Capitol Update: Feb. 25 – March 5″
Review of Action on SB 167 (Legislation to Withdraw from Common Core)
Prior to last week’s hearing on SB 167 before the Senate Education Committee, Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick) told members of the press that it was time to withdraw Georgia from its participation in the Common Core State Standards Initiative and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).
The Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS) were adopted on July 8, 2010 under Governor Sonny Perdue‚s administration as part of the state’s efforts to comply with the Federal Race to the Top (RTTT) grant. The Common Core represents the first attempt at nationalized curriculum standards in math and English language arts (ELA) for grades K – 12. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is responsible for the development of assessments that will be aligned to the Common Core.
“Though I am sure the previous administration had the best of intentions when deciding to apply for Race to the Top, the lack of accountability to the parents and taxpayers of this state is stunning,” said Sen. Ligon. “First of all, there has been no thorough cost analysis of what the unfunded mandates will cost Georgia’s taxpayers at either the state or the local level to implement and maintain the terms of the grant.”
“Secondly, allowing a consortium of states to work with non-profits and other unaccountable parties to develop our standards without open public oversight is untenable in a country of free people, especially considering that Georgia’s taxpayers support K-12 education with approximately $13 billion of hard-earned dollars every year,” Sen. Ligon explained. “Georgia needs to have a transparent, democratic process of developing curriculum standards and a means to ensure more direct accountability at the local level. Our educational system should not be accountable to Washington bureaucrats, but to the people of this state who pay the taxes and to the parents who have children in our public schools.”
Lending his voice of support to the effort, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle stated, “The most important task we face each Legislative Session is finding ways to strengthen and reform the education of Georgia’s children. I believe that Georgians know best how to educate our children, not Washington, D.C. bureaucrats. I look forward to working with Sen. Ligon on this important issue to ensure that we‚re able to continue making decisions about the education of our children right here in Georgia rather than having curriculum standards enforced from Washington, D.C.”
During the press conference and at the hearing, Sen. Ligon was joined by Dr. Sandra Stotsky, who served on the Common Core Validation Committee and as senior associate commissioner in the Massachusetts Department of Education; Ze‚ev Wurman, a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution and former Senior Adviser at the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development in the U.S. Department of Education; Jane Robbins, a Harvard-trained attorney and Senior Fellow with the American Principles Project; and Dr. Jim Arnold, Superintendent of Pelham City Schools, GA.
In addition, a number of grassroots organizations, parents, citizens, and K-12 as well as collegiate educators offered testimony in support of SB 167 at the hearing which took place before a standing-room only crowd. Groups included organizations such as Concerned Women for America, Americans for Prosperity, American Principles Project, Georgia Conservatives in Action, Citizen Impact, the Conservative Leadership Coalition, the Georgia Republican Assembly, the Capitol Coalition of Conservative Leaders, among others.
Action has been deferred on the legislation due to the fact that time constraints and the dynamics of the Senate would prevent the bill from reaching the House this session even if it had passed the committee.
Sen. Ligon will take up the bill next January, as well as SB 203, the companion legislation to establish a transparent, democratic process for the adoption of curriculum standards.
Across the nation, many people are beginning to raise concerns about implementing Common Core in our schools.
Wondering what you can do? Here are some suggestions that add to what you’ll find in Truth in American Education’s action center tool kit.
1) Check this map of the U.S. to see if legislative educational liberty movements are happening in your state.
2) Check this spreadsheet to see if there are people fighting common core in your state and join them.
3) If nothing is happening at all in your state, do an internet search for Race to the Top application (name your own state) and find the application from Jan. 2010
4) Go to your state school board’s minutes site and find out at which meeting the CCSS were approved (June 2, 2010 the standards were finalized… states such as Illinois approved them 22 days later!)
5) Like “Truth in American Education“ because this is a main hub for national cooperation.
6) Start speaking to friends, teachers and family about common core — many use Facebook FB, Twitter, Pinterest, email, etc.
7) Call or write your state representatives.
8) Sign your state’s educational liberty petition or start one. If you need assistance, ask people from other states for help.
9) Attend local and state school board meetings and visit or call your state superintendent to find out who actually cares about this issue. Sample questions to ask:
- Where can I read our state’s cost analysis for implementing Common Core and its tests?
- What is the amendment process for Common Core standards if we find out they are not working for us?
- Where can I see for myself the evidence that Common Core standards have been proven to be of superior quality and that they are internationally benchmarked?
- Where can I see for myself evidence that Common Core’s transformations (deleting cursive, minimizing classic literature, moving away from traditional math, etc.) –will benefit our children?
- What is the American process of representation of individuals in the Common Core education and assessments system?
- Does it seem good that the meetings of the standards writers (the CCSSO/NGA) are all closed-door meetings?
- I read that there is a 15% cap on a state adding to the Core; so what do we do if we need to add a whole lot more to actually prepare our children well?
- Although I have been told that Common Core is state-led, I missed the invitation to discuss this before it was decided for me and my children; please explain the analysis and vetting process for the upcoming national science and social studies standards.
- The Constitution assigns education to the states, not to the federal government. Also, the federal General Educational Provisons Act (GEPA) states: “No provision of any applicable program shall be construed to authorize any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, or over the selection of library resources, textbooks, or other printed or published instructional materials by any educational institution or school system…“ In light of this, please explain why our state has agreed to intense micromanagement by the federal government under Common Core testing.
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.
Before Common Core began its disfiguration of the best in American education, Massachusetts had the highest standards in the nation. Massachusetts’ students scored best in 2005, in 2007, in 2009 and in 2011 –in all four major NAEP categories. Massachusetts senselessly dropped its high standards in order to apply for the Race to the Top.
Professor Sandra Stotsky was the developer of those excellent, pre-common core standards for Massachusetts. Now she has answered the question so many people have asked: “With what shall we replace Common Core?” Professor Stotsky has written a model curriculum framework for anyone to adopt, in lieu of Common Core ELA standards, at no cost.
If your state doesn’t decide to use Stotsky’s model curriculum, I suggest using it as an individual teacher or parent, to help your child achieve much more than the limited Common Core.
The ELA Curriculum Framework of Dr. Stotsky is available online here and I also will post a portion of the 83 page framework here. Forgive my imperfect formatting; pasting words from a PDF file doesn’t create perfect formatting; I just can’t refrain from sharing the document’s highlights anyway.
An English Language Arts Curriculum Framework for American Public Schools
An English Language Arts Curriculum Framework
for American Public Schools: A Model
For use by any state or school district without charge
Chief author: Sandra Stotsky
Professor Emerita, University of Arkansas
An English Language Arts Curriculum Framework for American Public Schools
Table of Contents
Purpose and Sources of this Curriculum Framework 3
Guiding Principles 4
Overview of General Standards and Learning Standards: 7
1. Discussion and Group Work 10
2. Oral Presentation 12
3. Structure and Conventions of Modern English 15
4. Vocabulary and Concept Development 17
5. Formal and Informal English 21
6. Foundations of Reading and Spelling 24
7. Nonfiction 31
8. Fiction 36
9. Poetry 39
10. Drama 41
11. Myth, Legend, Traditional Narrative, and Classical Literature 43
12. The Research Process 48
13. Analytical Writing 51
14. Persuasive Writing 54
15. Personal Writing 56
Appendix A: Suggested Authors and Illustrators Who Reflect Our Common Literary and
Appendix B: Suggested Authors and Illustrators of World Literature and Twentieth-
Century American Literature
Appendix C: Glossary of Terms
Appendix D: A Perspective on the Goals and Content of English Language Arts
Instruction in this Country
Appendix E: The Limited English Proficient Student in the English Language Arts
Appendix F: How Literature Can Be Related to Key American Historical Documents
Appendix G: Independent Evaluative Comments
An English Language Arts Curriculum Framework for American Public Schools 3
Purpose of this Curriculum Framework
This curriculum framework provides standards designed to guide reading and English teachers in the development of a coherent English language arts curriculum from PreK to 12. It is based on
two premises: that learning in the English language arts should be cumulative and that the reading of increasingly challenging literary and non-literary works as well as the writing of increasingly
extensive research papers are the basis for developing the independent thinking needed for selfgovernment.
The four discipline-based strands in this framework—Listening and Speaking, Language Study, Reading and Literature, and Research and Composition—are interdependent. At all grade levels,
a sound English language arts curriculum integrates concepts and skills from all four strands. A sound reading and literature curriculum also expects students to apply their language skills to
increasingly challenging material linked in ways that promote cumulative learning. A coherent sequence of reading, research, and writing assignments ensures that students both broaden and
deepen their base of literary/historical knowledge. It is this broadening and deepening knowledge base that stimulates intellectual growth and enhances their capacity for independent critical
Sources of this Curriculum Framework
The four discipline-based areas reflected in the 15 General Standards are broad statements of what students should know and be able to do in the English language arts. They are then broken
down into Learning Standards for each grade from PreK to 12. These General Standards and Learning Standards come from a long-planned revision of the 2001 Massachusetts English
Language Arts Curriculum Framework. The final draft of the revised framework, completed in November 2009, reduced the 27 General Standards in the 2001 framework to 15 in order to
eliminate repetition and call attention to more demanding reading and literary study in the high school grades; expressed the 2001 Learning Standards with greater clarity; and offered additional
learning standards for beginning reading and spelling, a sequence of new standards for nonfiction reading in the elementary and middle grades, and a richer sequence for vocabulary development.
This draft framework was never sent to the board of elementary and secondary education for a vote to send it out for public comment. It went to the board in July 2010 only as a working draft
(http://www.doe.mass.edu/frameworks/ela/0610draft.pdf) and simply for the board’s information. It accompanied Common Core’s final version of its English language arts standards and other
materials expressly developed to support the board’s adoption of Common Core’s standards. The ten Guiding Principles come from the 2001 Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum Framework; they articulate a set of beliefs about the teaching, learning, and assessing of the English language arts. Appendix A is from the original, 1997 version of this framework; it is a suggested list of authors and illustrators who reflect our common literary and cultural heritage. Its K-8 list was reviewed, organized, and approved by the editors of The Horn Book using, as requested in 1997, one criterion: literary quality; the 9-12 list was reviewed by literary scholars from diverse backgrounds. Appendix B is from the 2001 curriculum framework and is a
suggested list of twentieth-century American authors and illustrators, as well as of past and present authors from other countries and cultures. Appendix C, a glossary explaining technical
words and phrases, as well as Appendices D, E, and F, also come from the 2001 framework. Appendix G, which contains an evaluation of the 2010 draft revision of the 2001 Curriculum
Framework, is from the Fordham Institute’s 2010 review of state standards.
An English Language Arts Curriculum Framework for American Public Schools
The following principles are philosophical statements to guide the construction and evaluation of English language arts curricula.
Guiding Principle 1
An effective English language arts curriculum develops thinking and language together through interactive learning. Effective language use both requires and extends thinking. As learners listen to a speech, view a documentary, discuss a poem, or write an essay, they engage in thinking. The standards in this framework specify the intellectual processes that students draw on as they use language. Students develop their ability to remember, understand, analyze, evaluate, and apply the ideas they encounter in the English language arts and in all the other disciplines when they undertake increasingly challenging assignments that require them to write or speak in response to what they are learning.
Guiding Principle 2
An effective English language arts curriculum develops students’ oral language and literacy through appropriately challenging learning. A well planned English language arts instructional program provides students with a variety of oral language activities, high-quality and appropriate reading materials, and opportunities to work with others who are reading and writing. In the primary grades, systematic phonics instruction and regular practice in applying decoding skills to decodable materials are essential elements of the school program. Reading to preschool and primary grade children plays an especially critical role in developing children’s vocabulary, their knowledge of the natural world, and their appreciation for the power of the imagination. Beyond the primary grades, students continue to refine all their language skills.
Guiding Principle 3
An effective English language arts curriculum draws on literature from many genres, time periods, and cultures, featuring works that reflect our common literary heritage. American students need to become familiar with works that are part of a literary tradition going back thousands of years. Thus, the curriculum should emphasize literature reflecting the literary and civic heritage of the English-speaking world. Students also should gain exposure to works from the many communities that make up contemporary America as well as from countries and cultures throughout the world. Appendix A of this framework presents a list of suggested authors and illustrators reflecting the common literary and cultural heritage of students attending public schools in this country.
Appendix B presents lists of suggested twentieth-century American authors and illustrators, as well as past and present authors from other countries and cultures. In order to foster a love of
reading and prepare students for a meaningful high school diploma, English and reading teachers need to encourage a great deal of independent reading outside of class. School librarians play a
key role in finding books to match students’ interests and in suggesting further resources in public libraries.
Guiding Principle 4
An effective English language arts curriculum emphasizes writing as an essential way to develop, clarify, and communicate ideas in expository, persuasive, narrative, and expressive discourse.
At all levels, students’ writing records their imagination and exploration. As students attempt to write clearly and coherently about increasingly complex ideas, their writing serves to propel
intellectual growth. Through writing, students develop their ability to think, to communicate ideas, and to create worlds unseen.
Guiding Principle 5
An effective English language arts curriculum provides for the study of all forms of media. Multimedia, television, radio, film, Internet, and videos are prominent modes of communication
in the modern world. Like literary genres, each of these media has its unique characteristics, and students learn to apply techniques used in the study of literature and exposition to the evaluation
of multimedia, television, radio, film, Internet sites, and video.
Guiding Principle 6
An effective English language arts curriculum provides explicit skill instruction in reading and writing. Explicit skill instruction can be most effective when it precedes student need. Systematic phonics lessons, in particular decoding skills, should be taught to students before they try to use them in their subsequent reading. Systematic instruction is especially important for those students who have not developed phonemic awareness — the ability to pay attention to the component sounds of language. Effective instruction can take place in small groups, individually, or on a whole class basis. Explicit skill instruction can also be effective when it responds to specific problems in student work. For example, a teacher should monitor students’ progress in using quotation marks to punctuate dialogue in their stories, and then provide direct instruction when needed.
Guiding Principle 7
An effective English language arts curriculum teaches the strategies necessary for acquiring academic knowledge, achieving common academic standards, and attaining independence in
learning. Students need to develop a repertoire of learning strategies that they consciously practice and apply in increasingly diverse and demanding contexts. Skills become strategies for learning when they are internalized and applied purposefully. For example, a research skill has become a strategy when a student formulates his own questions and initiates a plan for locating information. A reading skill has become a strategy when a student sounds out unfamiliar words, or automatically makes and confirms predictions while reading. A writing skill has become a
strategy when a student monitors her own writing by spontaneously asking herself, “Does this organization work?” or “Are my punctuation and spelling correct?” When students are able to
articulate their own learning strategies, evaluate their effectiveness, and use those that work best for them, they have become independent learners.
Guiding Principle 8
An effective English language arts curriculum builds on the language, experiences, and interests that students bring to school. Teachers recognize the importance of being able to respond effectively to the challenges of linguistic and cultural differences in their classrooms. Sometimes students have learned ways of talking, thinking, and interacting that are effective at home and in their neighborhood, but which may not have the same meaning or usefulness in school. Teachers try to draw on these different ways of talking and thinking as bridges to speaking and writing in Standard American English.
Guiding Principle 9
An effective English language arts curriculum develops each student’s distinctive writing or speaking voice. A student’s writing and speaking voice is an expression of self. Students’ voices tell us who they are, how they think, and what unique perspectives they bring to their learning. Students’ voices develop when teachers provide opportunities for interaction, exploration, and communication. When students discuss ideas and read one another’s writing, they learn to distinguish between formal and informal communication. They also learn about their classmates as unique individuals who can contribute their distinctive ideas, aspirations, and talents to the class, the school, the community, and the nation.
Guiding Principle 10
While encouraging respect for differences in home backgrounds, an effective English language arts curriculum nurtures students’ sense of their common ground as present or future American
citizens in order to prepare them for responsible participation in our schools and in civic life. Teachers instruct an increasingly diverse group of students in their classrooms each year.
Students may come from any country or continent in the world. Taking advantage of this diversity, teachers guide discussions about the extraordinary variety of beliefs and traditions
around the world. At the same time, they provide students with common ground through discussion of significant works in American cultural history to help prepare them to become selfgoverning
citizens of the United States of America. An English language arts curriculum can serve as a unifying force in schools and society.
Appendix A: Suggested Authors and Illustrators Who Reflect Our Common Literary and Cultural Heritage
All American students must acquire knowledge of a range of literary works reflecting our common literary heritage. It is a heritage that goes back thousands of years to the ancient world. In addition, all students should become familiar with some of the outstanding works in the rich body of literature that is their particular heritage in the English-speaking world. This includes a literature that was created just for children because its authors saw childhood as a special period in life. It was also the first literature in the world created for them.
The suggestions below constitute a core list of those authors and illustrators (and a few specific works) that comprise the literary and intellectual capital drawn on by those who write in English, whether for novels, poems, newspapers, or public speeches, in this country or elsewhere. Knowledge of these authors and illustrators in their original, adapted, or revised editions will contribute significantly to a student’s ability to understand literary allusions and participate effectively in our common civic culture.
A curriculum drawing on these suggested lists will also provide significant support for the major reason statewide learning standards were developed—to ensure equity and high academic expectations for all students. A literature curriculum should include works drawn from this list and contemporary works of similar quality, drawn from cultures around the world from many historical periods. It is then possible to assure parents and other citizens that all students will be expected to read at a high level of reading difficulty. By themselves, even the most carefully crafted learning standards cannot guarantee that expectation for all students.
Effective English language arts teachers teach all students to comprehend and analyze a variety of significant literature. To ensure that all students read challenging material, teachers may choose to present excerpts of longer works, or vary the amount of class time devoted to a specific work or cluster of works. As all English teachers know, some authors have written many works, not all of which are of equally high quality. We expect teachers to use their literary judgment as they make selections.
In planning a curriculum, it is important to balance depth with breadth. As teachers in schools and districts work with this curriculum framework to develop literature units, they will often combine works from the two lists into thematic units. Exemplary curriculum is always evolving. We urge districts to take initiative to create programs meeting the needs of their students.
The suggested lists of Appendices A and B are organized by the grade-span levels of PreK-2, 3-4, 5-8, and 9-12. A few authors are repeated in adjoining grade-spans, giving teachers the option to match individual students with the books that suit their interests and developmental levels. The decision to present a Grades 9-12 list (as opposed to Grades 9-10 and 11-12) stems from the recognition that teachers should be free to choose selections that challenge, but do not overwhelm, their students.
For reading, listening, and viewing: Mother Goose nursery rhymes, Aesop’s fables, Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories, Selected Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales, Selected French fairy tales, The Bible as literature, Tales including Jonah and the whale, Daniel and the lion’s den, Noah and the Ark, Moses and the burning bush, the story of Ruth, David and Goliath
Picture book authors and illustrators: Ludwig Bemelmans, Margaret Wise Brown, John Burningham, Virginia Lee Burton, Randolph Caldecott, Edgar Parin and Ingri D’Aulaire, William Pène du Bois, Wanda Gág, Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss), Kate Greenaway, Shirley Hughes, Crockett Johnson, Robert Lawson, Munro Leaf, Robert McCloskey, A. A. Milne, William Nicholson, Maud and Miska Petersham, Alice and Martin Provensen, Beatrix Potter, H. A. and Margaret Rey, Maurice Sendak, Vera Williams
Poets: John Ciardi, Rachel Field, David McCord, A. A. Milne, Laura Richards
The Bible as literature: Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, David and Jonathan, the Prodigal Son, the visit of the Magi, well-known psalms (e.g., 23, 24, 46, 92, 121, and 150) Greek, Roman, or Norse myths; Native American myths and legends; stories about King Arthur and Robin Hood
British authors: Frances Burnett, Lewis Carroll, Kenneth Grahame, Dick King-Smith, Edith Nesbit, Mary Norton, Margery Sharp, Robert Louis Stevenson, P. L. Travers American authors and illustrators L. Frank Baum, Beverly Cleary, Elizabeth Coatsworth, Mary Mapes Dodge, Elizabeth Enright, Eleanor Estes, Jean George, Sterling North, Howard Pyle, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Carl Sandburg, George Selden, Louis Slobodkin, E. B. White, Laura Ingalls Wilder
Poets: Stephen Vincent and Rosemarie Carr Benét, Lewis Carroll, John Ciardi, Rachel Field, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Edward Lear, Myra Cohn Livingston, David McCord, A. A. Milne, Laura Richards *Authors and titles were reviewed by the editors of The Horn Book.
Selections from Grimm’s fairy tales, French fairy tales, Tales by Hans Christian Andersen and Rudyard Kipling, Aesop’s fables, Greek, Roman, or Norse myths, Native American myths and legends, Stories about King Arthur, Robin Hood, Beowulf and Grendel, St. George and the Dragon
The Bible as literature: Old Testament: Genesis, Ten Commandments, Psalms and Proverbs New Testament: Sermon on the Mount; Parables British and European authors or illustrators James Barrie, Frances Burnett, Lucy Boston, Lewis Carroll, Carlo Collodi, Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, Daniel Defoe, Leon Garfield, Kenneth Grahame, C. S. Lewis, George MacDonald, Edith Nesbit, Mary Norton, Philippa Pearce, Arthur Rackham, Anna Sewell, William Shakespeare, Johanna Spyri, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jonathan Swift, J. R. R. Tolkien, P. L. Travers, T.H.White
American authors or illustrators: Louisa May Alcott, Lloyd Alexander, Natalie Babbitt, L.Frank Baum, Nathaniel Benchley, Carol Ryrie Brink, Elizabeth Coatsworth, Esther Forbes, Paula Fox, Jean George, Virginia Hamilton, Bret Harte, Irene Hunt, Washington Irving, Sterling North, Scott O’Dell, Maxfield Parrish, Howard Pyle, Edgar Allan Poe, Ellen Raskin, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Elizabeth Speare, Anna Sewell, Booth Tarkington, Mark Twain, James Thurber, E. B. White, Laura Ingalls Wilder, N. C. Wyeth
Poets: Stephen Vincent and Rosemarie Carr Benét, Lewis Carroll, John Ciardi, Rachel Field, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Edward Lear, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, David McCord, Ogden Nash
Grades 9-12: American Literature
Historical documents of literary and philosophical significance: Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, The Declaration of Independence, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, John F. Kennedy’s inaugural speech, William Faulkner’s Nobel Prize Lecture
Major writers of the 18th and 19th centuries: James Fenimore Cooper, Stephen Crane, Emily Dickinson, Frederick Douglass, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Benjamin Franklin, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry James, Thomas Jefferson, Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain, Phillis Wheatley, Walt Whitman
Major writers of the early-to-mid 20th century: Henry Adams, James Baldwin, Arna Bontemps, Willa Cather, Kate Chopin, Countee Cullen, Ralph Ellison, William Faulkner, Jessie Fauset, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Charlotte Gilman, James Weldon Johnson, Ernest Hemingway, O. Henry, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Sarah Orne Jewett, Flannery O’Connor, Ayn Rand, Gertrude Stein, John Steinbeck, James Thurber, Jean Toomer, Booker T. Washington, Edith Wharton, Richard Wright
Playwrights: Lorraine Hansberry, Lillian Hellman, Arthur Miller, Eugene O’Neill, Thornton Wilder, Tennessee Williams, August Wilson
Major poets: Elizabeth Bishop, e e cummings, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, T. S. Eliot, Robinson Jeffers, Amy Lowell, Robert Lowell, Edgar Lee Masters, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Marianne Moore, Sylvia Plath, Ezra Pound, John Ransom, Edward Arlington Robinson, Theodore Roethke, Wallace Stevens, Alan Tate, Sara Teasdale, William Carlos Williams
The European, Asian, Caribbean, Central American and South American immigrant experience (e.g., Ole Rolvaag, Younghill Kang, Abraham Cahan), the experiences of Native Americans, and slave narratives ( e.g., Harriet Jacobs)
Grades 9-12: British and European Literature
The Bible as literature: Genesis, Ten Commandments, Psalms and Proverbs, Job, Sermon on the Mount, Parables
A higher level rereading of Greek mythology
Selections from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
Major poets: Homer
Epic poets: Dante and John Milton
Sonnets: William Shakespeare, John Milton, Edmund Spenser
Metaphysical poets: John Donne, George Herbert, Andrew Marvell
Romantic poets: William Blake, Lord Byron, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Wordsworth
Victorian poets: Matthew Arnold, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Alfred Lord Tennyson
Modern poets: W. H. Auden, A. E. Housman, Dylan Thomas, William Butler Yeats
Playwrights: Classical Greek dramatists, William Shakespeare, Anton Chekhov, Henrik Ibsen, George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde
British: Joseph Addison, Sir Francis Bacon, Samuel Johnson in “The Rambler,” Charles Lamb, George Orwell, Leonard Woolf, Virginia Woolf
From the Enlightenment: Voltaire, Diderot, and other Encyclopédistes, Jean Jacques Rousseau
Fiction: Selections from early novels: La Vida de Lazarillo de Tormes, Don Quixote, Joseph Andrews, The Vicar of Wakefield, Selections from Pilgrim’s Progress
Selections from satire and mock epic, verse, or prose: Lord Byron, Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift
19th century novels: Jane Austen, Emily Brontë, Joseph Conrad, Charles Dickens, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Victor Hugo, Mary Shelley, Leo Tolstoy
20th century novels: Albert Camus, André Gide, James Joyce, Franz Kafka, D. H. Lawrence, Jean Paul Sartre, Virginia Woolf
Appendix B: Suggested Authors and Illustrators of Twentieth Century American Literature and of World Literature
…As all English teachers know, some authors have written many works, not all of which are of equally high quality. We expect teachers to use their literary judgment in selecting any particular work. It is hoped that teachers will find here many authors with whose works they are already familiar, and will be introduced to yet others. A comprehensive literature curriculum balances these authors and illustrators with those found in Appendix A.
Aliki, Mitsumasa Anno, Edward Ardizzone, Molly Bang, Paulette Bourgeois, Jan Brett, Norman Bridwell, Raymond Briggs, Marc Brown, Marcia Brown, Margaret Wise Brown, Eve Bunting, Ashley Bryan, Eric Carle, Lucille Clifton, Joanna Cole, Barbara Cooney, Joy Cowley, Donald Crews,Tomie dePaola, Leo and Diane Dillon, Tom Feelings, Mem Fox, Don Freeman, Gail Gibbons, Eloise Greenfield, Helen Griffith, Donald Hall, Russell and Lillian Hoban, Tana Hoban, Thacher Hurd, Gloria Huston, Trina Schart Hyman, Ezra Jack Keats, Steven Kellogg, Reeve Lindberg, Leo Lionni, Arnold Lobel, Gerald McDermott, Patricia McKissack, James Marshall, Bill Martin, Mercer Mayer, David McPhail, Else Holmelund Minarik, Robert Munsch, Jerry Pinkney, Patricia Polacco, Jack Prelutsky, Faith Ringgold, Glen Rounds, Cynthia Rylant, Allen Say, Marcia Sewall, Marjorie Sharmat, Peter Spieg, William Steig, John Steptoe, Tomi Ungerer, Chris Van Allsburg, Jean van Leeuwen, Judith Viorst, Rosemary Wells, Vera Williams, Ed Young, Margot and Harve Zemach, Charlotte Zolotow
Joan Aiken, Lynne Reid Banks, Raymond Bial, Judy Blume, Eve Bunting, Joseph Bruchac, Ashley Bryan, Betsy Byars , Ann Cameron, Andrew Clements. Shirley Climo, Eleanor Coerr, Paula Danziger,Walter Farley, John Fitzgerald, Louise Fitzhugh, Paul Fleischman, Sid Fleischman, Mem Fox, Jean Fritz, John Reynolds Gardiner, James Giblin, Patricia Reilly Giff, Jamie Gilson, Paul Goble, Marguerite Henry, Johanna Hurwitz, Peg Kehret, Jane Langton, Kathryn Lasky, Jacob Lawrence, Patricia Laube, Julius Lester, Gail Levine, David Macaulay, Patricia MacLachlan, Mary Mahy, Barry Moser, Patricia Polacco, Daniel Pinkwater, Jack Prelutsky, Louis Sachar, Alvin Schwartz, John Scieszka, Shel Silverstein, Seymour Simon, Mildred Taylor, Ann Warren Turner, Mildred Pitts Walter
Isaac Asimov, Avi, James Berry, Nancy Bond, Ray Bradbury, Bruce Brooks, Joseph Bruchac, Alice Childress, Vera and Bill Cleaver, James and Christopher Collier, Caroline Coman, Susan Cooper, Robert Cormier, Bruce Coville, Sharon Creech, Chris Crutcher, Christopher Paul Curtis, Karen Cushman, Michael Dorris, Paul Fleischman, Russell Freedman, Jack Gantos, Sheila Gordon, Bette Greene, Rosa Guy, Mary Downing Hahn, Joyce Hansen, James Herriot, Karen Hesse, S. E. Hinton, Felice Holman, Irene Hunt, Paul Janeczko, Angela Johnson, Diana Wynne Jones, Norton Juster, M. E. Kerr, E. L. Konigsburg, Kathryn Lasky, Madeleine L’Engle, Ursula LeGuin, Robert Lipsyte, Lois Lowry, Anne McCaffrey, Robin McKinley, Patricia McKissack, Margaret Mahy, Albert Marrin, Milton Meltzer, Jim Murphy, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Naomi Nye, Richard Peck, Daniel Pinkwater, Philip Pullman, Ellen Raskin, J. K. Rowling, Cynthia Rylant, Louis Sachar, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Gary Soto, Mildred Taylor, Theodore Taylor, Yoshiko Uchida, Cynthia Voigt, Yoko Kawashima Watkins, Janet Wong, Laurence Yep, Jane Yolen, Paul Zindel
Twentieth-Century American Literature
Fiction: James Agee, Maya Angelou, Saul Bellow, Pearl Buck, Raymond Carver, John Cheever Sandra Cisneros, Arthur C. Clarke, E. L. Doctorow, Louise Erdrich, Nicholas Gage, Ernest K. Gaines, Alex Haley, Joseph Heller, William Hoffman, John Irving, William Kennedy, Ken Kesey, Jamaica Kincaid, Maxine Hong Kingston, Jon Krakauer, Harper Lee, Bernard Malamud, Carson McCullers, Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates, Tim O’Brien, Edwin O’Connor, Cynthia Ozick, Chaim Potok, Reynolds Price, Annie Proulx, Richard Rodrigues, Leo Rosten, J. D. Salinger, William Saroyan, May Sarton, Jane Smiley, Betty Smith, Wallace Stegner, Amy Tan, Anne Tyler, John Updike, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Alice Walker, Robert Penn Warren, Eudora Welty, Thomas Wolfe, Tobias Wolff, Anzia Yezierska
Poetry: Claribel Alegria, Julia Alvarez, A. R. Ammons, Maya Angelou, John Ashberry, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Amirai Baraka (LeRoi Jones), Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Bly, Louise Bogan, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sterling Brown, Hayden Carruth, J. V. Cunningham, Rita Dove, Alan Dugan, Richard Eberhart, Martin Espada, Allen Ginsberg, Louise Gluck, John Haines, Donald Hall, Robert Hayden, Anthony Hecht, Randall Jarrell, June Jordan, Galway Kinnell, Stanley Kunitz, Philip Levine, Audrey Lord, Amy Lowell, Robert Lowell, Louis MacNeice, James Merrill, Mary Tall Mountain, Sylvia Plath, Anna Quindlen, Ishmael Reed, Adrienne Rich, Theodore Roethke, Anne Sexton, Karl Shapiro, Gary Snyder, William Stafford, Mark Strand, May Swenson, Margaret Walker, Richard Wilbur, Charles Wright, Elinor Wylie
Essays/Nonfiction (contemporary and historical)
Edward Abbey, Susan B. Anthony, Russell Baker, Ambrose Bierce, Carol Bly, Dee Brown, Art Buchwald, William F. Buckley, Rachel Carson, Margaret Cheney, Marilyn Chin, Stanley Crouch, Joan Didion, Annie Dillard, W. E. B. Du Bois, Gretel Ehrlich, Loren Eiseley, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Doris Goodwin, Stephen Jay Gould, John Gunther, John Hersey, Edward Hoagland, Helen Keller, William Least Heat Moon, Barry Lopez, J. Anthony Lukas, Mary McCarthy, Edward McClanahan, David McCullough, John McPhee, William Manchester, H. L. Menken, N. Scott Momaday, Samuel Eliot Morison, Lance Morrow, Bill Moyers, John Muir, Anna Quindlen, Chet Raymo, Richard Rodriguez, Eleanor Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Carl Sagan, William Shirer, Shelby Steele, Lewis Thomas, Walter Muir Whitehill. Malcolm X
Edward Albee, Robert Bolt, Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, Archibald MacLeish, David Mamet, Terrence Rattigan, Ntozake Shange, Neil Simon, Orson Welles
Grades 9–12: Historical and Contemporary World Literature
Chinua Achebe, S. Y. Agnon, Ilse Aichinger, Isabel Allende, Jerzy Andrzejewski, Margaret Atwood, Isaac Babel, James Berry, Heinrich Boll, Jorge Luis Borges, Mikhail Bulgakov, Dino Buzzati, S. Byatt, Italo Calvino, Karl Capek, Carlo Cassola, Camillo Jose Cela, Julio Cortazar, Isak Dinesen, E. M. Forster, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nikolai Gogol, William Golding, Robert Graves, Hermann Hesse, Wolfgang Hildesheimer, Aldous Huxley, Kazuo Ishiguro, Yuri Kazakov, Milan Kundera, Stanislaw Lem, Primo Levi, Jacov Lind, Clarice Lispector, Naguib Mahfouz, Thomas Mann, Alberto Moravia, Mordechi Richler, Alice Munro, Vladimir Nabokov, V. S. Naipaul, Alan Paton, Cesar Pavese, Santha Rama Rau, Rainer Maria Rilke, Ignazio Silone, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Alexander Solshenitsyn, Niccolo Tucci, Mario Vargas-Llosa, Elie Wiesel, Emile Zola
Bella Akhmadulina, Anna Akhmatova, Rafael Alberti, Josif Brodsky, Constantine Cavafis, Odysseus Elytis, Federico García Lorca, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Czeslaw Milosz, Gabriela Mistral, Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz, Jacques Prévert, Alexander Pushkin, Salvatore Cuasimodo, Juan Ramon Ramirez, Arthur Rimbaud, Pierre de Ronsard, George Seferis, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Wole Soyinka, Marina Tsvetaeva, Paul Verlaine, Andrei Voznesensky, Derek Walcott, Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, Steven Hawking, Arthur Koestler, Margaret Laurence, Michel de Montaigne, Shiva Naipaul, Octavio Paz, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Alexis de Tocqueville, Voltaire, Rebecca West, Marguerite Yourcenar
Drama: Jean Anouilh, Fernando Arrabal, Samuel Beckett, Bertolt Brecht, Albert Camus, Jean Cocteau, Athol Fugard, Jean Giraudoux, Eugene Ionesco, Molière, John Mortimer, Sean O’Casey, John Osborne, Harold Pinter, Luigi Pirandello, Racine, Jean-Paul Sartre, Tom Stoppard, John Millington Synge
Religious Literature: Analects of Confucius. Bhagavad-Gita, Koran, Tao Te Ching, Book of the Hopi, Zen parables, Buddhist scripture
Perspectives in Education: Scott Schneider
Posted by NUVO Editors 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.
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Many thanks to Senator Schneider and to Hoosiers Against Common Core.
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?
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SOUTH CAROLINA S.604
South Carolina General Assembly
119th Session, 2011-2012
Download This Bill in Microsoft Word format
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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.
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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
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
Senator Aaron Osmond
State School Board Chair Debra Roberts
Representative Kraig Powell
Governor Gary Herbert
We are not put here on earth only to eat cupcakes, to quote one another and make each other feel lovely. We are here to STAND UP and DO something when we see our freedoms being threatened, or when we see corruption or cruelty or lying or any wrong thing.
One verse that I particularly relate to in the Book of Mormon is this: “And it came to pass that Moroni was angry with the government, because of their concerning the freedom of their country.” (Alma 59:13)
I could paste it right into my diary: “And it came to pass that Christel was angry with the [Utah State School Board, Federal Dept. of Education, Governor Herbert, Representative Powell and Senator Aaron Osmond] because of their concerning the [educational] freedom of the country.”
In the Book of Mormon, there are two Moronis. This Moroni was a military captain, a great patriot, of whom it was previously written: “if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto , behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the would never have power over the hearts of the children of men. (Alma 48:17)
Where are our local Moronis? I think in D.C. we have two: I’ve seen Senator Chaffetz and Senator Lee each valiantly take on corruption and assaults on America’s freedom. Lee fought Hillary Clinton’s U.N. “Let’s take over the American oceans” treaty. Chaffetz put the “Fast and the Furious” corruption on trial at the Executive level. I haven’t followed all they’ve done, but what I’ve seen matches the spirit of Moroni’s fight for freedom.
But locally, we could really use more.
Today, I’m extremely upset with Senator Aaron Osmond for promoting SB100, a bill sponsored by Sen. J. Stevenson. I realize these legislators don’t have malicious intent, but neither do they seem to see what is so clear when you have studied what socialism is, and what our Constitution is supposed to protect. They just haven’t studied enough!
If you go to the Utah Legislative website right now it will say that the bill is passing merrily along with no trouble. Why? Have these legislators really not done any homework at all, or are they complicit with the socialist/globalist goals of those who wish to degrade the United States? SB100 gives preferential treatment to IB schooling in Utah, (and permits the expense of IB). International Baccalaureate (IB) schools, curriculum and tests are in no way accountable to Utah teachers, parents or the State School Board. It is a program run globally out of Switzerland, with tests graded by IB staff, and no say for any local voice in what is tested or taught. None. Additionally, IB curriculum promotes global citizenship, meaning that any country or system (such as the U.S. Constitution and its God-respecting principles) is no better or worse than ANY other– it’s equally to be taught and honored as is the communism of China, the socialism of Sweden, or the evil dictatorship of North Korea. IB cloaks itself in tolerance and global awareness, but it is anti-American in its refusal to acknowledge the superiority and goodness of any political system over another. There are other problems with IB. But that is the only one that is a real dealbreaker for me.
Meanwhile, Representative Kraig Powell has bought, hook, line and sinker, the notion that “global warming” and “climate change” are settled science– so much so that he’s pushing a bill run by environmentalist extremists in Utah. If you read the Twitter feeds or the newspapers, you will see it.
It’s funny because just this week, there’s also news that makes Rep. Powell’s ideas look silly, saying that science shows humans are not creating global warming, even if it is somehow legitimately ever proven that the earth is warming, that it’s going to do real damage, or that legislation can alter its outcomes. Read that science here:
I’ve never spoken to Sen. J. Stevenson, but have repeatedly spoken with Senator Osmond and Kraig Powell about these bills and I’ve asked them to run bills helping Utah to shake itself free of the chains of Common Core. Neither will act. Senator Osmond, of course, is an employee of Pearson Company, the main purveyor of Common Core and global same-education implementation products worldwide, (and Pearson has huge contracts with the State School Board of Utah) so Osmond’s not motivated to even study this stuff.
Powell, I can’t figure out. I see him in the hallway at church sometimes and we smile at each other and there’s no animosity from either of us. He knows a ton about Common Core because many of us in Heber have knocked ourselves over trying to educate him and get him to help us in this fight. But he has a lot of liberal and socialist friends, and friends in education who believe the claims of the proponents of Common Core. And I guess that’s why he won’t act. I don’t know, really.
Then there’s Governor Herbert. Just this week he was in D.C. testifying about how wonderful it is that Utah is aligning education with business to create a managed workforce. Sorry, but the whole Prosperity 2020 thing sounds exactly like socialism to me: manage the people; use your “human capital,” and I don’t see much liberty or individuality in that. Our Governor is likewise doing nothing about the data collection invasion that his state technology director, John Brandt, is foisting upon Utah, using six Utah agencies in his Utah Data Alliance. Brandt gives speeches for the federal agencies like NCES (National Center for Educational Statistics) as well. He cannot be ignorant about the damages he’s doing to student and citizen privacy in our state. Can the governor be?
I hope and pray that better people will be willing to study these important issues, compare them to the original founding fathers’ documents, and to scripture, and to common sense, and to real, actual, empirical science.
I hope many of these good people then decide to run for office or school board or city council –or at least teach those who do, by studying the political movements and by trying to influence them correctly.
We need more people with good brains and solid hearts, who have an abiding testimony that the spirit of Christ is the spirit of freedom and truth, that the Constitution is a tangible reality to honor –and not something to claim that you honor while you write socialist bills.
I get the feeling that Herbert, Powell and Osmond actually like people like me. They see us as cheerleaders for the Constitution and for the GOP. They pat us on the head, figuratively, and say, “Run along now, dearie, and thanks for your enthusiasm,” while they continue to lead us down the path toward total socialism, which is the same thing, years down the developmental (progressive) path, as communism: total control of the state of each individual, including the absorption of property rights and family authority over the child. This is what I see as the result of Powell’s climate philosophy, Osmond’s education bill, and Herbert’s Prosperity 2020 (business-and-education-partnership).
Yes, I’m angry. We deserve more from these men.
Want to “shake the powers of hell” like Moroni? Vote in some guys like this ancient defender of freedom:
“And Moroni was… a man whose soul did joy in the liberty and the freedom of his country, and his brethren from bondage and slavery; Yea, a man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God, for the many privileges and blessings which he bestowed upon his people; a man who did labor exceedingly for the and safety of his people. Yea, and he was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ, and he had with an oath to defend his people, his rights, and his country, and his religion, even to the loss of his blood… this was the faith of Moroni, and his heart did glory in it; in the shedding of blood but in doing good, in preserving his people, yea, in keeping the commandments of God, yea, and resisting iniquity.” (Alma 48)
Moroni wrote a letter to his political representative. He said:
“Great has been your neglect towards us. And now behold, we desire to know the cause of this exceedingly great neglect; yea, we desire to know the cause of your thoughtless state. Can you think to sit upon your thrones in a state of thoughtless , while your enemies are spreading the work of death around you?” (Alma 60)
And that is how I feel. The neglect of Herbert, Powell, the State School Board and Osmond is not a lack of sending provisions, but in their having done so little research homework, or, if they have done their research, the neglect is in not acting upon the truth when they learned it.
WHAT WE KNOW:
1. ALL UTAHNS ARE TRACKED VIA SCHOOLS USING A FEDERALLY PROMOTED AND PAID-FOR SLDS.
I have an email from the State School Board that says there is no possibility for my student to opt out of being tracked. When a parent signs his/her child up for school, the information is gathered and added to, throughout the life of that child because of the State Longitudinal Database System (SLDS). The SLDS was paid for by the federal government and all states accepted the money and built this interoperable system. It works with the P-20 (preschool through workforce) council, which is appointed by the Governor.
2. THE TRACKING OF CITIZENS GOES BEYOND THE SCHOOL DISTRICT AND STATE OFFICE OF EDUCATION.
The Utah Data Alliance, directed by John Brandt, links six state agencies to share the data collected by schools. These include workforce services; the system is a socialist program to align education and workforce and manage the people as “human capital,” one of their favorite phrases. According to a John Brandt online powerpoint, federal agencies also receive access to the data in the Utah Data system. According to the Joanne Weiss, chief of staff of the Dept. of Education, federal agencies are mashing data and are going to be “helpful” to states “wishing” to do the same.
3. INTEROPERABILITY WAS REQUIRED OF ALL SLDS SYSTEMS FOR FEDERAL PURPOSES.
4. REGULATIONS HAVE BEEN ALTERED WITHOUT CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL CONCERNING PRIVACY LAW.
The Dept. of Education changed definitions and broadened allowances of the Family Education Rights Privacy Act. Though they have been sued for this move, the fact remains that without parental consent, researchers, federal agencies and any “authorized” volunteer can look at the collected data, which includes biometric information (personally identifiable).
5. DATA POINTS TO BE COLLECTED BY STATES HAVE BEEN “RECOMMENDED” BY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT:
According to the National Data Collection Model, the government should collect information on health-care history, family income, family voting status, gestational age of students at birth, student ID number, and bus stoptimes among other pieces of information on the student and their families. You can view the National Data Collection Model database attributes (data categories) at http://nces.sifinfo.org/datamodel/eiebrowser/techview.aspx?instance=studentPostsecondary
6. DEPT. OF EDUCATION COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS CONTRACTED WITH TESTING CONSORTIA MANDATE INFORMATION SHARING
This means that there is a triangulation of tests, test data and federal supervision (all highly illegal under G.E.P.A. law and the 10th Amendment).
WHAT WE DON’T KNOW:
1. John Brandt has not revealed the exact number of people or agencies in Utah (or elsewhere) who have access to the personally identifiable information collected by schools on individuals. He does not return emails or phone calls.
2. At what point does “allowance” to share information turn into “must” share information? The FERPA alterations right now only removed the requirement for schools to keep the data on students private without parental consent. They have not yet mandated that schools must share the data without parental consent. But we also don’t know which identified information is being shared with which agency in Utah, or which agency outside Utah. We just don’t know.
3. What effect will the Common Core (national) testing have on the data collection and ease of persual by the federal agencies? Is there a “Cooperative Agreement” between Utah’s test writer, the American Institutes for Research, and the federal government, as there is with the other testing consortia SBAC and PARCC?