My friends and neighbors are receiving mailers this week that look like this.
When my husband saw this, he said, “So what? What’s so bad about Education First?”
Glad he asked.
Here’s the short version: Education First = Common Core.
If you love Common Core and federal-corporate takeover of local control, vote for Herbert, Haynie and Hemmert. That’s what they and their funders, Education First, stand for, and will be pressured to vote for. Past legislative sessions have shown this to be the case, in the very own words of the co-chairs of Education First.
If you love local control of education, with local children (not monied lobbyists) being put first, vote for Johnson, Greene, Voeks and Philpot.
These are in my area; ask any Utah candidates if they’ve accepted money from Education First.
If they have, they are either ignorant and thus incompetent to see through the maze of deceptions they’ll encounter as legislators, or they really believe in the idealogy of the Common Core.
Please vote for candidates Jonathan Johnson (Governor), Brian Greene (UT Rep), Casey Voeks (UT County Commissioner) and Morgan Philpot (State Senate) –each of whom refused Education First money– instead of candidates Herbert, Haynie and Hemmert (who are all paid campaign babies of Education First).
Here’s the longer explanation:
The letter told legislators that Education First had, and would continue, to “champion Common Core implementation” with “consensus support for Utah’s utilization of Common Core“.
It also explained that Education First had partnered with Governor Herbert’s “Prosperity 2020” movement –which is modeled after Obama’s 2020 movement– to put business-governmental financial partnerships first– but they call this, instead, putting “education first”.
The Education First letter said, “Prosperity and Education First comprise the largest business-led education movement in state history.”
There’s a big problem with Education First “leading” and promoting workforce alignment to K-12, especially in “partnership” with the government.
If Susie Q. wants to be an entrepreneur or a ballerina, Big Business has no business pushing her into truck driving or computer coding –even if, during Susie Q’s high school years, the business sector says it needs more truck drivers or coders.
That’s central planning, and it’s un-American.
Big business, in partnership with big government, wants to make pathways for children based on “robust assessment”. Ugh! Can you say China?
Why should free, American children be pressured and funneled into career paths determined by central planners (governmental-business forecasts)? Since when is the American Dream to be determined by others, and not by individual Americans? That’s the “citizens are grains of rice and the collective consumes the rice bowl” mentality.
What can we expect from Herbert, Haynie, Hemmert, and others who have taken large sums of money from the Education First lobby?
Let’s look at the evidence.
The co-chairs of Education First co-wrote a Salt Lake Tribune opinion editorial this March, praising the legislature for funding many of the bills for which Education First had lobbied, including bills for: workforce development (which is China-styled central planning) early childhood education (which competes with free enterprise/private preschools), personalized learning (which is a euphemism for digital everything; impersonal, privacy-killing “learning”) and community schools (which is Obama’s socialistic vision that integrates healthcare with academics and socio-political movements “using government schools as a hub”). Is that what you want? Not me!
The Salt Lake Tribune reported in 2014 that Governor Herbert (whose baby is Prosperity 2020, the partner of Education First) had appointed Rich Kendall (the co-chair of Education First) to assess the pros and cons of the Common Core in 2014. So no one should have been surprised to find out that Kendall’s committee found the Common Core to be “sound, legal and rigorous”. Were Kendall’s and Herbert’s Common Core committee’s findings correct?
Not according to the the Utah GOP which found quite the opposite, announcing that Common Core was: “a set of inferior nationally-based standards and tests developed through a collaboration between … unelected boards and consortia” that “violates Utah state and federal privacy laws by requiring the storage and sharing of private student and family data without consent; using a… (P-20) tracking system and a federally-funded State Longitudinal Database (SLDS)… pressuring states to adopt the standards with financial incentives tied to President Obama’s Race to the Top, and if not adopted, penalties including loss of funds”.
There is a big problem with Education First loving and promoting Common Core as if it were good for everyone, as if it weren’t suffocating innovation for localities and teachers, as if the Utah GOP wasn’t officially opposed to it. There’s also a big problem with Education First trying to lead education, marginalizing local citizens because their “leadership” means siphoning off most education dollars from teachers and students toward big ed tech sales companies, while setting up data mining programs approved by federal (unconstitutional) initiatives (not approved by moms and dads.)
Since Education First gives huge marketing dollars to newbie candidates like Dan Hemmert and Xanie Haynie and to incumbents like Gary Herbert, we naturally see their billboards EVERYWHERE, and far fewer billboards for the stalwart, unbought candidates: Morgan Philpot, Brian Greene, Casey Voeks and Jonathan Johnson.
Education First invests huge money in the candidates that they foresee being able to control when they are in the legislature, so that later, Education First can make more big money, all at our expense and at the expense of our children.
See through this, please.
I have personally spoken, face to face, with the Education First-funded candidates. They are nice people; this is NOT a personal attack. I would be happy to be their neighbors or co-workers or dog-walkers. But I am totally unwilling to let them put their hands on the levers of real power –when I can see that they either don’t understand, or lack a healthy fear, of what Education First lobbies and promotes.