In the photo: Jan Lenox, Lynne Shirk, Deb Yoa and Michelle Mellon, four unstoppable grandmothers of New Jersey who spearhead a group called Concerned Citizens of Southern New Jersey
Jan Lenox wrote a letter that was published this week at the Cape May County Herald in New Jersey.
To the Editor:
Concerned Citizens of South N.J. made the two hour+ trip to Trenton April 28 to deliver our petitions on Common Core/PARCC to the governor.
We attended the Senate budget hearing on education with Commissioner David Hespe’s testimony. It was just one more dog and pony show in a long list of same old, same old educratical nonsense. The only glimmer of light was brought from Senator Jeff Van Drew when he asked a few pointed questions about the never-voted-on legislation, presented last year.
After three long hours of waiting for a reason to be there, we decided to leave the chamber and continue on to what we came to Trenton to do. We were met by a state police officer when we entered the governor’s ante-office; we were told we couldn’t enter. We explained that we wanted to present our petition to Governor Christie. We then were sent to the security office, checked in and waited for the governor’s aide-de-camp to greet us there. Kia, the aide, a very young woman and her even younger assistant came through the door and stood before us.
“What do you want,” she asked without introducing herself. I asked, “Who are you?” She answered, “I am the governor’s aide and this is my assistant.”
I introduced our group by name and stated that we came to deliver our petition. I stated to her that we had previously sent formal requests to the governor’s scheduler and followed with emails, and were denied a meeting. I continued to explain that we had carried these signatures with us for over two years and attached to the package was a personal letter signed by our group.
Her response was less than polite or professional. To paraphrase her response: “I cannot guarantee he will get these. He gets thousands of letters. I am not his scheduler.”
Then she went on to say that the governor’s schedule was full until June 30. She told us to attend his upcoming town hall meetings that were being planned throughout the state. We heard that if you attend six town halls, you can request a meeting with the governor. This is ludicrous at best. She was very curt and annoyed that we came to bother her. Kia offered no information to help us.
She took our package and said she would deliver it to his office without any other information or response. According to Kia, Governor Christie was very well aware of people’s angst over the Common Core and PARCC.
Well then, why won’t he meet with concerned citizens and alleviate our angst?
At the very least, we should have been met with a smile and a courteous attitude.
It was a very long day. We left the State House and started our journey home. Thank God, we have copies and thank Him for keeping our tempers in check. After all, we had two state troopers right behind us.
Did I mention that we’re all grandmothers?
The petition letter, which was stapled to many pages of signatures from the citizens of New Jersey:
Dear Governor Christie,
We are here today on behalf of the citizens of the state of New Jersey. On March 23, 2013 a letter was sent to you regarding our urgent request for information and support regarding the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Forty letters were sent to representatives of our state, Commissioner Cerf, county superintendents and local school principals. Our requests were never answered.
For over 25 months, Concerned Citizens of Southern New Jersey has partnered with many other groups north, south, east and west, and have shared our message. Parents, grandparents, guardians, as well as teachers and many legislators believe as we do, that Common Core is an unjust, unnecessary and unwanted commodity. New Jersey had good standards. We want them back!
Dr. Sandra Stotsky, Professor Emerita of the University of Arkansas, and one of only two experts on the original CCSS validation committee, said that the standards were inferior and refused to sign off on them. She has since offered to write new standards, at no cost to the US DOE, however, that most generous offer was flatly negated.
Your office has twice denied CCSNJ a scheduled visit with you to explain our position; however, our children’s educational future hangs in the balance. So, we are here to present you with our petitions to end this agenda now. We hope you will stand with the voters, parents and most importantly the children of our great state and repeal Common Core.
God bless you and may He guide your course going forward.
Janice Lenox__________________________ Carolyn B. Shirk___________________________
Michelle Mellon_______________________ Deborah Yoa_______________________________
It is remarkable that this scenario is replaying itself in state after state across this great nation. Citizens who stand up and speak up for their rights and their children’s best interests in education and are being ignored, maligned, or threatened by the new ruling elite. The new education elite is comprised of the members of the private trade organizations with the presumptuous sounding names like “National Governors’ Association,” or the equally unelected and equally presumptuous State Superintendents’ Club, the “Council of Chief State School Officers,” hand in hand with the federal Department of Education, the corporations such as the British-owned education sales conglomerate Pearson Inc., and the philanthropists whose heavy handed generosity sets policy that governs millions, notably the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Call me crazy but I like liberty and self-government; I like the style of Americanism that the founders envisioned and set into the Declaration and the Constitution. This new education-by-elite ain’t that.