Guest Post by the Mother of Screen Shot-Capturing Student   9 comments

Guest Post

by the mother of the Utah high school student who captured questionable screen shots of the Common Core/SAGE test


The minds of our children are our most precious asset. They are the most vulnerable citizens and we must protect them.

If my daughter comes to me with a questionable essay test, then I must listen to her and validate her feelings. But more than that, I felt like other parents deserve to know that kind of propaganda that is being pushed on our children.

Abraham Lincoln said,  “He who molds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statues or pronounces decisions”. The public sentiment is being changed here, little by little. These high school students who were in the room with my daughter were not, for the most part, taking this essay test seriously. They thought the questions were a joke. Her daughter was offended by the claims in the articles attached to her test question.

The statement made about books and dyslexia was a complete joke. We know people who have had dyslexia and work through it. Now they are fabulous readers. Books do not discriminate against them.

Even if these questions are just being posed in some alternate universe, they are biased.

Ultimately, the reason why Common Core and SAGE tests are raising so many flags for parents is because we cannot even see the test after the fact.

Why not make test questions available to see after the tests are taken? Why does everything have to be kept secret?

Again, I say, that my daughter was not cheating. No one even felt it necessary to cheat because they were not being graded anyway.

Let’s have some common sense here. Let’s try to reason together for the safety and protection of our children from powerful men and women who want to take over our education system so they can rule the minds of our children.



Thank you to this mother and her courageous high school daughter.

Now, another Utah mother reported that her high-school attending son took the Common Core writing test this week.

Her son saw bias in a question that was framed around the question of whether property ownership or renting is better.  (He didn’t take any screen shots.)

Some readers may not see his test question as propaganda.   I do.  Property ownership is basic to the pursuit of happiness. Americans have always seen this as true; it’s one reason we fought England in the 1770’s.  Being subservient to a landlord will never be superior to the empowerment of owning your own land, in any universe.

As Professor Boettke of George Mason University has put it, “Few concepts have been more important for human survival, yet maligned as unjust by intellectuals, as the concept of private property rights. Since at least the time of Aristotle, the superiority of private property over collective ownership in generating incentives to use scarce resources effectively has been recognized. It was a core idea of the Scottish Enlightenment thinkers such as David Hume and Adam Smith, as well as the American Revolutionaries such as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington.”


But there are some today (including the test writers, apparently) who want young people to question the wisdom of property ownership.  It’s a very trendy concept within the education branch of the United Nations and elsewhere to suggest that individual property ownership is “not sustainable”.  Renting, they say, is more compassionate to Mother Earth.

Introducing this  socialist notion to impressionable minds during a secret test makes a lot of sense to those who oppose personal property ownership.  Undiscerning others think it’s fine.  They chalk it up to “critical thinking” and the humanists’ idea that truth and God don’t exist.  Yet critical-thinking humanists don’t like it when students or parents think critically about the assignments.  Ironically, thinking critically about the test is called a shutting down of critical thinking.

In the 80’s when I took high school writing tests, we were given literature-based writing assignments that were not very controversial nor politically charged, yet they demanded strong critical thinking skills –and as a bonus, the test itself exposed students to time-tested classics.

If the shift from classic literature to modern informational text hadn’t taken place, as it did under the Common Core, our students might actually have been exposed to something valuable during these tests, rather than being exposed to the ideas that video games could have more value than libraries of books, or that renting a little apartment might have more value than owning a mansion.

How dumb do they think our children are?

9 responses to “Guest Post by the Mother of Screen Shot-Capturing Student

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  1. This sounds to me like they are setting up the children to be happy with the minimum which is what the world has turned to, accept that you may be a low paid worker your whole life and struggle everyday to make a living. It doesn’t make sense. When my son started at his elementary school there were pictures of Einstein, Ghandi, John Lennon and other people that made a world of difference. That’s all gone in one year, and that is what I liked about his school. I hope this all changes back to a world where you can be an individual and make a difference.

  2. Even after all the negative comments from your readers about the screenshots when you first posted them on your blog, you still asked the screenshot mom to guest post to continue to distract us from real issues with Common Core? With all respect, this specific topic is not helping the cause (IMO)

    • Thank you for your comment. However, I stand by my decision to a) post the screen shots and b) post the mother’s point of view. Not everyone agrees on everything; that is the point of allowing local control rather than top down systems, even within a movement like this one. There are legitimate questions here: point is, parents don’t agree on them and few agree with the state on them. Should children be given controversial issues to debate/write about, in the first place –on a test? And if they should be debating controversies in high-stakes tests, should one side of the issue be so far removed from the norm (like video games being superior to literacy; or asking whether renting could be superior to property ownership?)

      Certainly, no one wants to create mass hysteria. But with the number of issues being raised– not only about the specific question here, but about the tests as a whole, who writes the tests, who deserves to see them and when (if ever) –and what the results mean to us as a society, are important enough that I have zero regrets about publishing what was sent to me. These issues need air, light and healthy debate. I appreciate all the comments, even those who are angry with me.

  3. Propaganda would be correct…I pray those that are pushing this on our kids would stop..

  4. This is a real issue with common core. All of it matters. Taking a stand against any part of common core is a good thing. Small steps can lead to big changes. I commend this mother and her daughter for taking a stand and for speaking out.

  5. Oh my. I see the mother didn’t actually *read* the text either. Guess it runs in the family.

  6. Seems like both the cheating daughter and the mom who encouraged/condoned the cheating failed to understand the premise behind the actual test essay task. I would challenge everyone to deny the fact that ANY persuasive writing task asks one to argue for one side or the other… that, after all, is what persuasion is based on. I could argue that the question was presented in such a way as to encourage kids to DEFEND books vs. video games… but one would have had to actually read the question and understand the assignment. Obviously the mom/daughter team did not.

  7. I, too, think they missed the point of the screenshot text.
    With regard to property ownership vs. renting: it is not propaganda. To purchase a home or to rent one is a valid question that most people must ask themselves taking their financial situation into account. SOMEONE owns the home renters rent, and until we hold the deed to our homes someone ELSE owns “our” property. As I consider the water-filled debt hole I now find myself in, I often wonder if I would have been wiser to rent for a longer time.

    • But then of course once you “own” your home, you merely continue to pay perpetual rent to your state/local government via property taxes or they will steal it from you via a tax lien. The majority of your perpetual “rent” a.k.a. “forced benevolence” now going to public education and Common Core testing.

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