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Video and Audio Menu: Interviews About Common Core, FERPA, Constitutional Education Issues   Leave a comment

(This one’s Jenni White, of Oklahoma’s Restore Oklahoma Public Education) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByxgY3wxf0o (This one is today’s GooglePlus Hangout –about Sir Michael Barber, Pearson and Common Core– with Alisa Ellis, Renee Braddy, and me (Christel) (This one is the video Renee Braddy and Alisa Ellis made before I’d even met them; in fact, watching this video brought me […]

Can FERPA (parental consent and privacy law) and SLDS (student tracking) Coexist?   7 comments

I didn’t make up this question:  “Can FERPA and SLDS coexist?”. It’s in a white paper written by ESP solutions group, called “Could FERPA halt your SLDS:  A Mini-Guide That Explores Potential FERPA Roadblocks Disruptive to Your SLDS Project,”directed at state leaders who are attempting to data-mash their state agencies’ systems. http://www.espsolutionsgroup.com/espweb/assets/files/Could_FERPA_%20halt_your_LDS.pdf (I’m guessing readers of […]

BYU Professor David Wiley Defends USOE’s Common Core/FERPA Statement   14 comments

  Rod Arquette hosts national education experts: James Gass of Pioneer Institute, Emmett McGroarty of American Principals Project, Bill Evers of Hoover Institute at Stanford, and Kent Talbert, D.C. lawyer and former counsel to Department of Education. Photo taken the day before the public forum in Salt Lake City. On July 10th, 2012, a public forum was […]

Drumroll, please… Thursday night the Wasatch School Board will unveil yet another FERPA policy   Leave a comment

Dear Wasatch School Board, I may pull out my hair and run screaming from the room if it is apparent in this Thursday’s school board meeting –as it was at the last meeting– that the board has not done any meaningful research on the facts concerning federal FERPA, and that the board remains Constitutionally ignorant, […]

On FERPA and Common Core in Utah: How to Protect Our State’s Freedoms?   1 comment

State Power over Citizen Privacy   I’ve asked my local, state, and Congressional representatives to fortify and strengthen consent requirements over personally identifiable student data being shared beyond the school district.  It’s important for Utah to identify what Utah will officially recognize –and will not recognize– as being binding on Utah, coming from D.C. The Dept. of Education’s recent […]

How would a stronger school district FERPA policy keep my children safer?   Leave a comment

The 2012 Wasatch School Board, Wasatch County, Utah http://www.wasatch.edu//site/Default.aspx?PageID=5282 The Wasatch School Board seem well intentioned, but they also seem to lack an understanding of the importance of having a strong local FERPA policy.  They dismissed the many parental comments they received last month;  Ms. Gappmayer wrote a new policy that deleted all mention of parental […]

Wasatch School Board’s Meaningless New FERPA Policy Out for 30-Day Review   Leave a comment

Dear Citizens of Heber Valley,  Please direct comments about FERPA and the importance of family privacy protection to the Wasatch School Board and District Officials at: “JAMES JUDD” <james.judd@wasatch.edu>, “VICCI GAPPMAYER” <vicci.gappmayer@wasatch.edu>, “TERRY SHOEMAKER” <terry.shoemaker@wasatch.edu>, “ANN HORNER” <ann.horner@wasatch.edu>, “DEBBIE JONES” <debbie.jones@wasatch.edu>, “WILMA COWLEY” <wilma.cowley@wasatch.edu>, “BLAIK BAIRD” <blaik.baird@wasatch.edu>, keith.johansen@wasatch.edu. Here’s the public comment I submitted today: […]

Wasatch School Board Further Slashes Parental Involvement and Consent over Student Data – New FERPA Policy Up For 30-Day Review AGAIN   Leave a comment

Wasatch School Board Further Slashes Parental Involvement and Consent over Student Data – New FERPA Policy Up For 30-Day Review AGAIN.

Wasatch County School Board on KTMP Radio speaking about FERPA revisions   Leave a comment

https://sites.google.com/site/wasatchlive2/  You can listen to archives from the Impact Show with Bob Wren and Paul Royall on KTMP 1340 AM by clicking and making an account (free) and downloading (free). I’ve been listening to Thursday’s show, where half of the Wasatch School Board made a guest appearance with Bob and Paul.  I’ve also been listening to Monday and […]

Letter to Corbin White and Jordan School District: On FERPA revisions   Leave a comment

Dear Corbin White and Jordan School District,   It was good to meet you at the U.S.O.E. forum on Common Core yesterday. Although we testified on opposite sides of this issue, I think there is nothing to contend about.  We all want great school standards.  We all want political and parental freedom.   I’m writing […]

So Who Cares If The Feds Have My Kids’ Data? FERPA – Part II   Leave a comment

For those who are still asking, “Who cares if the federal government has access to my kids’ data without my parental consent?” –please view the National Data Collection Model database attributes (data categories) at http://nces.sifinfo.org/datamodel/eiebrowser/techview.aspx?instance=studentPostsecondary  to see what kinds of data they will be collecting– it is unbelievable. See the rules of the game:  read the “assurances” […]

Posted April 26, 2012 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

Understanding FERPA and Parental Consent Authority   Leave a comment

April 24, 2014 Dear Heber Parents, Some of you have asked for this FERPA revision attachment that our school board passed on Thursday in Heber City and that school districts all over Utah will be passing unless parents stop them. I will give some context. FERPA laws are very important.  They protect families and students […]

Posted April 25, 2012 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

Go to your school board meetings and get the FERPA documents they are trying to alter.   Leave a comment

Attend your local school board meetings and DO NOT let your board pass any amendment to FERPA laws. Just say no. It’s your parental authority versus the federal authority over your child’s data that is at stake. If they tell you the feds are forcing them to change FERPA, you tell them to get a […]

Posted April 24, 2012 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

Wasatch School Board Overturns FERPA Parental Consent Law for Common Core Agenda   Leave a comment

Dear Editor: Does the Wasatch School Board take into account the wishes of parents, teachers and taxpayers?  Few of us would have chosen what they chose for us Thursday night.  As a taxpayer, mother and teacher, I motion that the local school board re-open the question of FERPA law revision –and leave it similarly open […]

Posted April 20, 2012 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

Stealth Testing: An Unacceptable Alternative to High Stakes Tests   3 comments

  Senator Howard Stephenson was right when he said on the Rod Arquette Show  that SAGE tests turn our children into guinea pigs and that SAGE should be abandoned immediately, this very minute. He was right when he said that it’s educational malpractice to use a beta-test to judge students and teachers and schools. He was […]

Source-Focused Analysis of Common Core Starts Here: An Updated Syllabus   7 comments

Original source documents arm honest people who want to know the truth about Common Core to take back the reins of control. This is important because proponents are increasing false advertisements about Common Core.  They’re also hiding the Common Core Inititative under different names, such as “Utah Core” or  “Indiana Core“.  Unfortunately, well intentioned people whom […]

Federal HR5 Down: Ten Things to Watch for in New ESEA Reauthorization Bill and SETRA   1 comment

  Last week bipartisan grassroots Americans saw a miracle. That wolf in sheep’s clothing, the (supposed) shoo-in bill called federal HR5 or The Student Success Act, which was to reauthorize No Child Left Behind/ESEA, was thrown aside  by Congress instead of becoming law.  Thanks to a bipartisan effort by grassroots citizens and vigilant Congressmen who studied the language inside […]

Federal Control of Technology and Data: On “Internet Neutrality,”the ConnectEd Initiative, and SETRA   6 comments

How will President Obama’s multiple initiatives increase federal control over American technology and data mining –and how will these initiatives affect children? There are several new initiatives to consider. I.  NET NEUTRALITY Yesterday the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed the Obama-approved definition of “Internet Neutrality.”  Proponents made it sound as if “neutrality” meant openness and freedom for […]

Hearingless Congressional Vote Scheduled for S227 – Children Losing Privacy – SETRA Bill   8 comments

The press release below came out today, February 23, 2015, from Kate Bryan at American Principles in Action. I have not read this bill.  When I do, I will write about it.   The vote is scheduled for two days from now… so read, please, and comment here and to your reps and senators.   […]

“Student Success Act” to Crush Religious Freedom, Private School Autonomy, Parental Rights: #NO on HR5   102 comments

      This one is such a betrayal. I’ve never been so shocked and angry over a proposed Congressional bill that I burst into tears.  Not until tonight. I’d been quietly reading and taking notes on H.R. 5, “Student Success Act” (SSA) when my husband simply, offhandedly asked me how I was doing.   […]

The Governor’s Charade   5 comments

Last Friday, my children and I were on an educational field trip to see Governor Herbert address the state school board in Salt Lake City.  We were learning how to use civic rights to free speech and expression.  I had hoped to influence the establishment to not renew the federal waiver (NCLB/ESEA) and hoped to […]

Misleading Polls: One Reason Utahns Don’t Know About the Common Core and Common Data Standards   2 comments

I was invited to speak on the Rod Arquette show today about the results of a poll published  by Utah Policy.  I’ve decided to write here what I won’t have time to fully say there. The poll’s questions narrowed the larger Common Core Agenda to a tiny fraction (just the academic standards, string free) so […]

Utah’s Fight for Student Data Privacy is On   4 comments

  Sharing my letter, send out today. ——————————– Dear [State School] Board, I am gravely concerned about the “emergency vote” that was taken by the board last month, which decreased the amount of student data privacy protections that were previously in place, in order to cater to corporate education vendors, and in order to align […]

What Data is Collected From Kindergarteners Without Parental Consent?   21 comments

If a parent wants psychologists, researchers, doctors or businessmen studying his/her child, and the parents gives written consent, I have no problem with that. I do have a very big problem with researchers, businessmen, politicians and others studying children without parental consent or knowledge.  That’s 1984-style creepy.  That’s government believing it’s bigger and more valid […]

Why U.S. Education Needs the U.S. Constitution Now   4 comments

Phillip Hamburger, law professor at Columbia Law School, gave a moving speech at Hillsdale College about the Constitution, also published in Imprimis this year.  It laid out more clearly than I’d seen it before, exactly how the U.S. has strayed from our Constitution, and how it’s endangering us.  His speech was titled, “The History and Danger of Administrative […]

White House ConnectED: Phase Out Printed Textbooks   7 comments

I already had a sense of growing nausea attached to my observations of locals’ infatuation with technology-centric schooling. It got worse when I read the latest White House fact sheet on Obama’s ConnectEd plan.  Utah’s perfectly in line with  D.C. –the cool people are dumping the old fashioned notion of using books in schools to spend gobs and gobs […]

Has Your School Adopted All-Year-Round Common Core Testing?   10 comments

  One of the reasons that our family moved from Wasatch County to Utah County last month was to be closer to the school in Alpine (Utah County) that my son is attending this year. The 50-mile (times two) daily commute was worth it. Filled with uniformed students and happy-looking staff, Mountainville Academy’s a cheerful, […]

Alpine School Board Members Speak Out For Student Privacy   5 comments

  Three remarkable Alpine School Board Members: Wendy Hart (front left) Brian Halladay (standing, middle)  and Paula Hill (front, right) have written an open letter on student privacy, citing documented realities (contracts, documents and laws) that boldly stand for student privacy and parental rights, against Common Core SAGE/AIR testing.  The letter stands tall against statements […]

If Student Data Privacy Isn’t Protected, It Isn’t Protected   1 comment

  California just passed a bill to protect student privacy.  I want to know why Utah hasn’t done the same thing.  Those few Utah legislators who tried to pass privacy-protecting bills (Jake Anderegg, Brian Greene) were not supported by the majority of Utah politicans. Why?! Do we not care about student privacy? Is privacy not a […]

Outsmarting the Language of the Common Core Cuttlefish   4 comments

A smiling school board member, tired of me and unwilling to fight the Common Core monster, advised me to do what she does: focus on the positive parts of Common Core.  Be an optimist, she said. “The positive parts?  –You mean the lies?” I thought, because I’ve not seen positive parts unless you count the positive–sounding parts. There are lots […]

For Utah School Districts: A Common Core Fact-Checking Adventure   2 comments

Let’s not call this research!   This is a fact-checking adventure. This adventure begins because of the FAQ statements about Common Core posted at the Provo  School District website.  (See it on their  website or just scroll to the bottom of the page where I’ve pasted it.) This post is not meant to be accusatory or mean.  Provo District and […]

UT Associate Superintendent Park Responds to Open Letter on Student Data Privacy   4 comments

Yesterday, UT Associate Superintendent Judy Park responded to an open letter  (posted below) that I sent a week ago.  I had sent the letter to support St. George parents who want to opt children out of the standardized testing. Ms. Park’s response was a one-sentence email message that included a link to a graphic, also posted […]

Fact-Checking Associate UT Superintendent Judy Park on Nonacademic Data Collection   10 comments

Once again it seems necessary, unfortunately, to provide a fact-checking rebuttal to statements made by Utah’s Associate Superintendent Judy Park about student data privacy. In a letter given out to parents of children attending a St. George charter school recently, Judy Park was quoted at length.  Park, the Associate Superintendent of Utah, made the following statements that will be scrutinized […]

What Is Common Core: 101   53 comments

What Is Common Core?  This post aims to be as unmistakably direct and documented as possible.    Feel free to use it without asking permission. DOES  COMMON CORE PREPARE STUDENTS FOR COLLEGE? Not for a 4-year university.  It minimally prepares students for the non-collegiate workforce or for non-selective community colleges. A key Common Core creator, Jason Zimba, said […]

Not with my child you won’t: Psychological Damages of Common Core Analyzed by Joan Landes   41 comments

NOT WITH MY CHILD YOU WON’T Guest Post by Joan Landes Joan Landes, a Utah mental health therapist, has spoken out in opposition to Common Core.  The speech posted below comes from a recent conference where she spoke.  She has given permission to post her findings here, and they are also posted on her blog here:  Not with my […]

Weighing Data-Driven Decision Making Against Privacy Under Common Core   5 comments

Should parents have the right to opt out of having children essentially stalked by SLDS, the State Longitudinal Database? The State School Board doesn’t think so. Boiling down the  conflict about personal data, we get to two ideas; which one do you value more? It’s either: 1) –  Our Constitutional right to be free from “unreasonable search and seizure” […]

Open Letters: Common Core is Evil Posing as Good   10 comments

Dixie Allen, my State School Board Representative ————————— Sharing a long string of emails between my State School Board representative and me, from this week and last. ————————— Christel- I hope that given the time you have spent the last couple of years discussing this issue, that you would understand that Utah has already adopted […]

40 Questions for Common Core Debaters   7 comments

Utah radio personality Jason Williams of KVNU’s “For the People” has asked the public to submit questions for next week’s Common Core debate, which will take place at Mount Logan Middle School on January 6th, 2014, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in Logan, Utah, at 875 N. 200 E. Submit questions to: jasonthe@gmail.com or kvnuftp@gmail.com. […]

It’s All About the Language: Applying Greenfield’s New Speak to Common Core   3 comments

If you scour the official Common Core websites, ed.gov website, and the official speeches of Secretary Duncan and President Obama and the Pearson CEA on education, as many of us have done, you may at first knit your eyebrows in confusion. It all sounds sweet. How would education reforms that use such pleasant words ever […]

School Counselors Required to Push Common Core   4 comments

I feel sorry for school guidance counselors. There’s a document out called “Role of the School Counselor in Utah Core” that says: “You [the guidance counselors] are often the first line of defense in honoring the validity of the Utah Core State Standards.” How many school counselors do you think became counselors so that they […]

Sec. Arne Duncan Makes a Personal Visit to Utah   5 comments

Carol S. Moss, Utah legislator, caused a bit of a splash when she posted this photo of herself with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on Facebook this week. Rep. Moss must have felt it was an honor to meet Mr. Duncan. Some Utahns feel very differently. If you don’t know much about your U.S. […]

7 Links to Evidence of Federal Control of Common Core   9 comments

Folks, there can be no question that the federal government is using Common Core to take away our freedoms. So why do many people still believe that “there’s no federal control of Common Core”? Because trusted education leaders are not being forthright with –or are not in possession of– the truth. Here in Utah, for […]

Utah Mom Alyson Williams: The Common Core Standards That We Aren’t Talking About   15 comments

Utah Mom Alyson Williams’ razor-sharp wit and use of unarguable facts makes the speech she gave at a Common Core debate (with State School Board member Dixie Allen and two professors) a powerful tool in the national Stop Common Core arsenal. Below are her prepared remarks. The event was filmed and will be posted soon. […]

Translating Obama’s Four Pillars of Education Reform: JaKell Sullivan   4 comments

Yesterday’s excellent editorial in the Deseret News by JaKell Sullivan translates the four innocent-sounding pillars of Obama’s education reforms into plain English. The article points out: (The electronic links are mine) “The US Department of Education’s website details the four federal education reforms that 46 states are almost done implementing: 1 Adopt College-and-Career Ready standards […]

My, What Big Data Teeth you have, Grandmother: An Open Letter to Utah Legislators   10 comments

Dear Utah Legislator, I’m writing to you as a mother to ask you to put a stop to the use of Utah’s school systems as snooping agents on our children. Corporate and federal partnerships and Utah state data systems and interstate partnerships now watch and track our children without anyone having asked for parental consent […]

Senator Markey: Letter to Arne Duncan Questioning Student Data Collection Practices   9 comments

Democratic Massachusetts Senator Edward J. Markey has written a vital letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan about the loss of student privacy under new education reforms. The Senator asks the Secretary eight great questions. My favorite is question #2.a): “Should parents, not schools, have the right to control information about their children?” Senator […]

SIX THINGS THE US DEPT OF EDUCATION DID TO DEPRIVE YOUR CHILD OF PRIVACY   63 comments

The story of Common Core and data mining begins as most stories do, with a huge, unmet need. Self-appointed “stakeholder” know-it-alls at the federal level (also at state, corporate, and even university levels) determined that they had the right, and the need, for open access to personal student data– more so than they already had. […]

Alabama School Board Fights For Childrens’ Privacy   3 comments

Betty Peters of the Alabama State School Board is fighting for the privacy rights of children in Alabama by requesting documentation about what types of information is currently being disclosed without parental consent, and to whom. Below are draft versions of the requests. For more information about the shredding of parental rights under previously protective […]

Meetings in Logan, Heber, and Manti This Week – and How to Study If You Can’t Attend   2 comments

The following Common Core informational meetings are scheduled in Utah. — LOGAN: September 24th, 6 p.m. 29 South Main Street, Logan, Utah Speakers: Autumn Cook and Christel Swasey — HEBER: September 24th, 7 p.m. in the Senior Center at the Wasatch County Library Speakers: Alyson Williams and Jakell Sullivan — MANTI: September 26th, 7 p.m. […]

ABC Channel 4 and Deseret News: On Praying for Freedom from Common Core   4 comments

Reporters from both the Deseret News and ABC Channel 4 t.v. surprised me last week by asking for interviews –on the subject of prayer, which I’d written about a few days earlier. I was really, really surprised to learn that praying is perceived as news. Or, at least, asking people to pray is perceived as […]

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