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Fact-Checking Associate UT Superintendent Judy Park on Nonacademic Data Collection   13 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 […]

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 […]

School Data Collection Facts Summary   46 comments

  Does every state have a federally funded, interoperable State Longitudinal Database System that tracks people throughout their lives?  Yes. Every state has accepted 100% federally funded data collection (SLDS). The Data Quality Campaign  states:  “every governor and chief state school officer has agreed to build statewide longitudinal data systems that can follow individual students […]

Interview: Data Collection With Jenni White of Oklahoma R.O.P.E.   7 comments

There may be someone in America who has studied the education data collection scheme more than Jenni White of Restore Oklahoma Public Education. But I haven’t found that person. Here’s a video interview that Alisa, Renee and I filmed with Jenni this week. Highlights: What is the State Longitudinal Database System? Why does every state […]


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 […]

Data Collection is Out of Control   1 comment

     Yes, the data collection push is out of control. Data collection issues and privacy rights were the last thing on my mind, until last April, when I learned what Common Core was (besides educational standards that are communizing America’s education).  When I learned that common core tests gather kids’ data that is nonacademic, personally identifiable, and […]

Big Data Control Freaks, Don’t Tread on Me #StopFEPA #STOPCTA #StopKGIS #StopKBYG   2 comments

How much bleeding out of freedom do we need before we take action –to demand from  Congress an end to the privacy erosion that’s going on in multiple big-data bills right now?  (To track what’s going on in Congress, click here). Taking liberty, including privacy, for granted is a lazy, dangerous luxury.   We suppose that freedom is as […]

Deadline tonight: Federal Comment-Gathering on Data Mining the Emotions of Little Ones (IELS)   1 comment

The Federal Register is collecting comments on and International Early Learning Study (IELS) that’s scheduled to be conducted next year. The deadline for these comments is midnight tonight, February 13, 2017! Here’s the link:    For more information, Dr. Karen Effrem explains more about IELS and early childhood data mining here: The IELS is […]

State Office of Education Operating Database to Track Individuals Without Authority   2 comments

The following letter is reposted with permission from Libertas Institute, a Utah-based conservative think-tank.  It was given to members of the Utah legislature two weeks ago. It concerns the State Longitudinal Database System (SLDS) which was implemented in Utah –and in every state, thanks to federal bribery– just a few years ago. Each SLDS runs according […]

U.S. Senator David Vitters’ Privacy Bill in Congress Can Protect Student Data   1 comment

Ever since that dark day three years ago when I received a written response from the State Office of Education saying that the answer to my question was “No,” –NO to the question of whether a student could attend school to simply learn (as opposed to being tracked at school, as “human capital” by the state and […]

Federal Control of Technology and Data: On “Internet Neutrality,”the ConnectEd Initiative, and SETRA   8 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 […]

SAGE as Red Herring: Utah’s Stealth Assessment For Unrestrained Data Mining   16 comments

Goodbye, recognizable tests; hello, ongoing stealth assessments. Using stealth rather than SAGE tests, states can cater to federal and corporate funders seeking metadata on children while appeasing parental and teachers’ uproar against the time wasting and anxiety of high stakes testing. Stealth (hidden) assessments  perma-test, but imperceptibly,  with assignments and activities recording data beyond the control of […]

What Data is Collected From Kindergarteners Without Parental Consent?   23 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 […]

If Student Data Privacy Isn’t Protected, It Isn’t Protected   2 comments

  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 […]

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 […]

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” […]

My, What Big Data Teeth you have, Grandmother: An Open Letter to Utah Legislators   11 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 […]

Parents Launch Executive Order to Stop Common Core and to Stop Student Data Mining   30 comments

This week, a group of Florida parents, supported by parents and educators nationwide, released an executive order, demanding an end to Common Core and the parentally unauthorized student data mining that’s taking place in every state. As parents, we claim the privilege of directing our childrens’ educations, free from SLDS (state longitudinal database tracking systems), […]

Data Addiction and Common Core Dictates Destroying Schools: Utah Teacher Diana McKay Speaks Out on Common Core   4 comments

Diana McKay is a currently teaching, Utah public school teacher who wrote this poem, “I Became a Teacher– Why?” and the essay “Saturday Musings” below, and also the statement on Common Core below that. She said, “This poem sums up what it is that we want for our educated children and why I went into […]

Without Authority: The Federal Access of Private Data Using Common Core   6 comments

On Wednesday, I gave this talk at the Governor Hill Mansion in Augusta, Maine. I spoke alongside Erin Tuttle, Indiana mother against Common Core; Jamie Gass, of Pioneer Institute; Heidi Sampson, board member of the Maine State School Board, and Erika Russell, Maine mother against Common Core. I hope to publish the other speakers’ speeches […]

What Is Being Data-Mined Without Parental Consent?   20 comments

Even though the columns will be gone and it will be confusing and messy, I’m going to cut and paste a truckload of attributes from the National Data Collection model’s spreadsheet. You can click on the link to see the actual site and its spreadsheet so it’s not confusing or messy. These are the […]

How Common Core and School Data Mining are Inseparable   8 comments

A growing number of the proponents of Common Core say they are opposed to the data mining that uses school-collected data. How does this position even make sense?  The two programs are so married.  1.  President Obama’s the  head cheerleader for both programs and he bundles them in his vision for education reform.  Part of the Race to […]

How Long Until Utah “Complies” With Federal Requests for Hundreds of Data Points on Individuals?   16 comments

Today I called Jerry Winkler, Utah Information Technology Director to ask questions about the federally paid-for  State Longitudinal Database System.  He was very gracious and I appreciated his willingness to answer questions. I asked him if he could verify the information I’d received from the state school board, that the reason that a Utah student […]

Protecting Student Data   6 comments

Thanks to Alyson Williams and Utahns Against Common Core for providing the following. Protecting Student Data:  Becoming Informed About Personal & Behavioral Data Collection & Sharing Goal 1: Allow parents to opt out* of  testing and certain data tracking on behalf of their  children. Goal 2: Prohibit non-academic data  collection, i.e. behavior and  require disclosure of […]

Texas Student Data System Calls for Unique ID: Surveillance for Every Texas Student   3 comments

“Person enrollment tracker”?  “Single unique I.D.”?  The following page is not written by me.  It’s pasted  word for word, directly from the Texas Student Data System, the group which collects data on every student in every governmentally funded school in Texas.  They are not even pretending to protect student privacy anymore.  See: — — — — — — — — […]

White House Hosts “Datapalooza” built on Common Core Tests   11 comments

Did you see the recent view that  Missouri Education Watchdog has taken on “Datapalooza” at the White House?  Most telling is a pleasant sounding speech by eScholar CEO Shawn T. Bay, given at the White House, in which he states that although aggregate data (not individual) is useful, it’s most useful to look at the individual consumer or the individual […]

Department of Education Stealth in Data (Surveillance) Setup   86 comments

After a recent town hall meeting, I stood in line to mention to my visiting Congressman that the Department of Education had gone behind Congress’ back to alter FERPA (family privacy law) that circumvented parental consent and broadened definitions of who gets access to personal student data, including nonacademic and family data. This is, of course, dangerous […]

J.R. Wilson: Parents Need to Know About Student Data Privacy   1 comment

J.R. Wilson gave me permission to repost this article in full. He added:   “Within a few days of finishing this article and it being published at Education Week I happened across some additional information.  I found an article that stated that three pieces of information can uniquely identify an individual 87% of the time—-those three […]

What’s Going On: Utah’s NSA Center and the Utah Data Alliance of Schools Collecting Data   2 comments

Have you seen what’s happening over in Bluffdale?  The building is called NSA.  National Security Agency.  (Or, Never Say Anything) A new KSL article quotes William Binney, a Washington whistleblower, saying Utah’s new NSA  is “a serious threat to civil liberties.” Binney, who worked for the NSA for 32 years and still lives by the secure headquarters near Baltimore, says  the […]

Now that the state admits they track PII on every kid, and our feds have requested data mashing…   1 comment

Dear Lorraine, Thank you!  I appreciate you going to the effort to find the answer to my question. I have a follow-up question. The Associate Superintendent over data collection said that USOE does not release student level data; could you tell me how long that policy will remain in place and where I can find […]

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  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

Letter from Rosie Bahr: Longitudinal databases track students and families from preschool through career   1 comment

Ms. Swasey, I recently received a forwarded copy of your email regarding common core and couldn’t agree more. Thank you for speaking out and for raising awareness about the issue. I sent letters to State School Board, Governor Herbert, PTA president, Congressmen and Senators a couple of months ago. The responses I have received, and […]

Posted April 16, 2012 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

Open Letter to President Trump —#VETOHR4174   5 comments

  Dear President Trump,  There’s danger in the “Evidence Based Policy” bill that the majority of Congress just passed— oddly without any hearing or any debate— which you now will either sign into law or veto. I’m praying you’ll veto; praying you’ll remember your campaign promise in New Hampshire to protect privacy rights. You said, […]

If Many Agree to Participate in Stealing, is it Still Stealing? Stop #FEPA in the Senate: S.2046   5 comments

Knowing that the history of liberty is “the history of the limitation of government power,” I ask you to take action to stop the bills known as FEPA (HR4174/S.2046) and CTA (S.1121).  This post will focus on the first bill, which is already teetering on the edge of passing into law. FEPA is a pompous euphemism that […]

Education44: Obama’s Shadow Government Posing as Department of Education   3 comments

  Obama has set up a shadow educational governance system. It’s called Education44 –in honor of the Fed-Ed programs of Obama, 44th president of the United States. Shadow governments are creepy. Shadow governments are not elected, so they can’t be un-elected.  They aren’t accountable.  They aren’t subject to sunshine laws– no transparency.  They have nothing […]

Trump won. Now what?? -by Emily Talmage   3 comments

  This must-read article is partially reposted from Emily Talmage’s blog (Maine mom against common core).  I think my favorite part is the video clip at the end, depicting a real cat and a real alligator, where the cat swats and intimidates the alligator, causing it to retreat in fear.  What an iconic metaphor for […]

The Enemy Inside: How #GoOpen, The Federal Learning Registry, and the U.S. Internet Throwaway Threatens Student Speech, Religion and Privacy   4 comments

Recently, a friend mentioned that she was happy that Common Core was finally gone, and that we could finally look toward something better. Why did she think the Common Core Initiative was over?  It’s grown. But it’s hidden, for the most part.  Feds and states don’t use the term anymore because it’s so unpopular; in […]

Recurring Nightmare – Action Needed- Sign Federal Public Comment Form by Sept 9   9 comments

  Like a recurring nightmare, Race to the Top 2.0 is here. Race to the Top #1 is an ugly story from 2009 that some Americans might not know.  Picture the Federal Department of Money riding in a buggy, driven by the Secretary of Education.  There are 50 horses (taxpaying states) pulling his load, and […]

Join Us: U.S.P.I.E. to #ReinInTheKing Tonight – Sign Petition to Congress   Leave a comment

It is one of the ironies of life that Secretary King’s name matches his actions as throne-sitter at the unconstitutional U.S. Department of Educsation.  As Secretary of Education, he has followed in the outrageous, extreme, fully socialist footsteps of his predecessor, Secretary Arne Duncan. Tonight, U.S.P.I.E. (U.S. Parents Involved in Education) is pushing back, hosting […]

Video: Dr. Gary Thompson For Utah State School Board: The Dirty Dozen   Leave a comment

In case you missed the rally speeches and missed the Fox News report, here begins a series of posts featuring the speakers at this week’s rally at the state capitol, where Utah voters had the opportunity to hear from candidates for Utah State School Board. The rally was entitled “Elevating Education:  Common No More”. Radio […]

Miracles Do Happen: Governor and Chair of Common Core Organization (NGA) Rejects Common Core   7 comments

Governor Herbert surprised a lot of people this week, including me. After spending the past six years promoting,  marketing, and providing workforce alignment strategies to serve Common Core, and after rising to the throne of Common Core’s organization, National Governors Association, to become its chair, and after going out of his way to have the Utah Attorney General provide […]

A Fact Check on Governor Herbert’s Common Core Letter to Utah State Delegates   1 comment

FACT CHECK ON GOVERNOR HERBERT’S LETTER TO DELEGATES APRIL 13, 2016  by Alyson Williams Republished  –with thanks to Alyson Williams–  from Utahns Against Common Core Ed. Note:  … State delegates have received no less than five communications in the past week from Governor Herbert related to Common Core … Just today we received a robocall from […]

Stop the Herbert Charade: Vote Johnathan Johnson for Governor   2 comments

Please vote for Johnathan Johnson  for Governor of Utah.  Gary Herbert’s pretend-a-thon about Common Core has been growing increasingly desperate and despicable.  Johnson doesn’t pretend that the nationalization and standardization of all things educational is acceptable, or that it’s not happening. I actually keep the campaign mailers that Governor Herbert sends out, rather than sending them to the bird cage, because […]

Updated: Protect Children’s Privacy: UT Legislature MUST Support HB0358   4 comments

Update 3/10/16:  Utah’s legislative session has passed, but HB 358, the student privacy bill, has not been funded.  And so we are stuck, at least for another year, without proper protections for our children.  (If you don’t know why that’s bad, begin by reading a recent article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, by Jane Robbins, […]

HELP! The Miracle Got UnMiracled: HB164, voted down, is up for another vote. #PARENTALRIGHTS   12 comments

I was just going to the Utahns Against Common Core Facebook Page to share my “Thank You” letter with my friends. (I’d written a letter to thank the representatives who had voted no on HB164, the bill that would cause any child to fail a class whose parents opted him/her out of the SAGE/AIR (invalidated, common […]

Letter to Congress and Compiled Notes from Alyson Williams and 50 Citizen Readers on ESEA “Every Student Succeeds Act”   8 comments

 by Alyson Williams   Thank you to all who have been reading. I still have a lot of compiling to do and your feedback is still coming in. I’ve promised to publish and share it when it is done, but this timeline for the House vote is just not possible even with all of our […]

VIDEO: Why the American People Must #STOPESEA   17 comments

ESEA, a huge bill about data and federal roles in local education, is being rammed through in the dark.  The vote is in a week and there’s no access to the final bill yet.  Senator Lee is right.  This process is wrong. Don’t let a handful of people decide for the entire elected Congress and the entire population […]


Even if you had time to read the final version of the new ESEA bill  which will get released days from now –which you won’t, because you’ll be eating turkey– and even if you agreed with every word (which I’m betting you won’t, because Senator Alexander’s view of ed reform is sick and wrong) –but even if you liked it– shouldn’t you, […]

U.S. Senate bill S1787: Anti-Family Communist Power Grab, No Big Deal   19 comments

        An anti-family bill, a communist’s dream bill, is sitting in the U.S. Senate right now.  It’s called S1787, The Full Service Community Schools Act (bill’s  full text is here; promoters’ talking points, here.) To take action to prevent it from becoming law, contact the U.S. Senate: contact information is here. This […]

A Million Alternatives to Common Core and Regular Public School   19 comments

  Some people think that unless you have large wads of cash for insanely expensive private schools, you are limited to two choices:  public school, or home school at the kitchen table.  Today I’m going to describe a handful of alternatives and there are probably many, many more.  (Add links in the comment section if […]

What Does the Passage of HR5, the New No Child Left Behind, Mean For American Children?   19 comments

What does it mean that HR5, the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind, passed?  What does it mean for children, teachers, parents?  Who benefits?  Why was it so strongly promoted? Attorney and author Emmett McGroarty reported this week at The Pulse 2016 how “House Republicans Betray Common Core Moms” with the passage of HR5. He explained that […]

A Titanic NO on Twin Ed Bills – Children Deserve Better Than HR5 and S1177   9 comments

    You can’t stick corks into the side of the Titanic to save the people on the ship, and you can’t stick amendments into evil bills and then in good conscience vote yes on them. We are building and voting for our own children’s cages in the belly of a sinking ship. Read the current ed […]

Protecting Kids: Pioneer Institute’s Call to Action for Parents, Schools, Congress   Leave a comment

I’m posting today to draw attention to Cogs in the Machine, an important white paper published last year by Pioneer Institute, written by Jane Robbins, Joy Pullman and Emmett McGroarty.   It’s about public-system-assisted big data collection –and how Americans can protect their kids.  The paper includes specific, effective action points for parents, schools, state- and nationally-elected […]

Detailed Schedule: Band of Mothers Event at UVU this Wednesday, May 13   1 comment

The Band of Mothers Tour proudly presents the “Empowering Parents Symposium,” convening to present freedom’s true fight for children this Wednesday, May 13th, at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. Have you registered yet?  (Click here!)       Here’s the outline.  Starting at 9:00 a.m., attendees will choose from nine available workshops held in […]

Ten Reasons To Opt Out of Common Core/SAGE Testing   26 comments

    1.  THE TESTS HAVE NEVER BEEN VALIDATED.  It is out of the norm for tests to be given to children that never have been validated in a formal, scientific, peer-reviewed way.  Professor Tienken of Seton Hall University calls this “dataless decision making“.  What does it mean to a mom or dad to hear […]

Stealth Testing: An Unacceptable Alternative to High Stakes Tests   11 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 […]

Dr. Gary Thompson’s $100,000 Reward For SAGE Common Core Test Validity Reports   35 comments

        Last year, on behalf of Early Life Child Psychology and Education Center, Dr. Gary Thompson offered $100,000.00 to the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) for validity reports for Utah’s SAGE Common Core test. He made the offer after Associate Superintendent Judy Park made a public statement regarding the validity of […]

Source-Focused Analysis of Common Core Starts Here: An Updated Syllabus   8 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 […]

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   110 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.   […]

Utah Should Vote No on Federal NCLB/ESEA Flexibility Waiver Renewal   1 comment

  Tomorrow morning, the Utah State School Board will vote on whether or not to renew the federal No Child Left Behind ESEA Flexibility Waiver. Governor Herbert will address the board in person prior to this vote, at the USOE offices at 250 E 500 S in Salt Lake City. It’s an open meeting.  Many […]

Michelle Malkin: Parents, Refuse Common Core Tests   14 comments

By Michelle Malkin Posted with permission from Michelle Malkin; also published at National Review Online.      Bureaucrats and big business can’t make you let your kids take their exams. This is National School Choice Week, but I want to talk about parents’ school choice.  Moms and Dads, you have the inherent right and responsibility to […]

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 […]

Is Idaho’s Battle Over– Or Just Starting?   2 comments

In November 2013,  and again in June 2014,  Idaho Superintendent Tom Luna rejected offers to participate in moderated, formal debates concerning the pros and cons of Common Core.  He did participate in one panel debate, to a packed house.   But Luna’s unwillingness to participate in further open debate is remarkable because, beginning in 2011, Luna was […]

Flier: Top Ten Things Parents Hate About Common Core   2 comments

With gratitude to Joy Pullman, whose long version of “Top Ten Things Parents Hate About Common Core” article, with photos and videos, is posted at The Federalist, I’m sharing this extremely condensed two-pager, which can be printed out as a one-pager, front to back, on neon colored paper. Top Ten Things Parents Hate About Common […]

Dr. Gary Thompson: SAGE/Common Core Tests Break Basic Codes of Test Ethics   22 comments

I sat in the Early Life Child Psychology and Education center this week, watching Dr. Gary Thompson’s presentation about Common Core testing, thinking that Dr. Thompson is the fearless kid in the tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Dr. Thompson stands armed with honesty, science and evidence, pointing out that the Emperor of SAGE/Common Core tests […]

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, […]

On the Results of the SAGE/AIR Common Core Testing   12 comments

The news report is out:  “Sage Test Results Indicate Majority of Utah Students Not on Track for College”. The  Office of Education’s official comment is: “With the new standards and with the new assessments they will see fewer students actually being proficient, but take that in context…” Thus the USOE readily admitted that the new standards (Common […]

Top Ten Things Parents Hate About Common Core – by Joy Pullman   4 comments

This article is so easy to read and so well expressed.  I just had to ask permssion of the author to repost it here.   Read the original– and see the great embedded videos– at  The Federalist.   TOP TEN THINGS PARENTS HATE ABOUT COMMON CORE   By Joy Pullmann This is the year new national […]

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 […]

Passed: Utah County Republican Resolution Against Common Core   3 comments

Below is the full text of the resolution that Utah County Republicans voted to pass, in opposition to Common Core this week.  It will be interesting to see what Governor Herbert does with the mounting evidence that Utahns oppose Common Core.  Despite publically taking a second look at the academics, he has not taken any steps to get […]

Civil Disobedience   2 comments

I wrote this essay for the Libertas Institute essay contest. If you like it, please click on “like” at the Libertas link before August 22nd 2014, and share it so that I have a shot at the prize for the most “like”s. Thank you. Also, thanks to Libertas for asking Utah citizens to think and […]

Dear Utah Educators Association: From Renee Braddy   1 comment

Renee Braddy, a Utah mother and a former elementary school teacher, has given permission to post this letter which she sent to the Utah Educator’s Association office. As of this posting, she has still not heard back from the UEA.   Thank you, Renee. —————————————————————————————————- To Whom it Concerns: I am writing to you first […]

Dear Governor Herbert   4 comments

    The Utah Education Association sent out an email yesterday.  I’m posting it at the bottom (scroll down.) It’s sad evidence of the loss of open debate and the loss of freedom of conscience that the UEA pretends all educators agree with its pro-Common Core agenda. I’m a Utah credentialed teacher and I sure […]

Left and Right Wing Call for Congressional Hearing on Common Core   11 comments

I  love to watch my favorite thinkers from the left and the right wing agree that “college- and career- ready standards” or Common Core– aka ObamaCore –along with its CEDS  data-grabbing plot in cahoots with the CCSSO — is utterly unacceptable and has got to go.   Today I read Stanley Kurtz (conservative writer) who praised Diane Ravitch (liberal writer) for her public call for Congressional hearings […]

Texas #CANiSEE Conference to Push Back During Duncan’s PTA Common Core Meeting   1 comment

#CANiSEE ™© SOLUTIONS CONFERENCE – COUNTERING COMMON CORE – JUNE 20 – 21, 2014 – AUSTIN, TEXAS   Because the pro-Common Core National PTA planned to have its convention in Austin, Texas, a group of educators and parents decided to hold a counter event. It is called #CANiSEE ™© Solutions Conference and will be held in Austin on June 20 […]

For Utah School Districts: A Common Core Fact-Checking Adventure   3 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 […]

Just Minimum Standards –or a National Coffle?   2 comments

Some people get hot round the collar when the Common Core Standards Initiative is blamed for the absurd Common Core-aligned horrible worksheets.  “Common Core is just minimum, state-created, better standards,” they insist. Few people understand that there’s an intimate connection between Common Core standards, tests and curriculum –because there’s an intimate connection between the corporate edu-sellers and the government, both of whom push for […]

Salt Lake Tribune Hosts Video Interview: Judy Park v. Christel Swasey on Common Core Aligned SAGE Tests   6 comments

This week, the Salt Lake Tribune invited Utah Assistant State Superintendent Dr. Judy Park and me to a filmed interview concerning the increasing number of Utah parents who are opting their children out of the Common Core aligned SAGE testing.  Here is the link if you want to watch the half hour at “Trib Talk.” (I […]

Brilliant Teachers Expose Federal-Corporate Connivance   3 comments

First, here’s a list. It’s a smattering of teachers’ names with links to what they have said or spoken.  Their experience and research make a powerful, nearly unarguable case for stopping corporate-federal Common Core.  They are current teachers, retired teachers, and teachers-turned-professors-or-administrators. Malin Williams, Mercedes Schneider, Christy Hooley, Peter Greene, Susan Kimball, Paul Bogush, Laurie Rogers,  Paul Horton, Gerald […]

Massachusetts Dad to Department of Education: My Child Will Not Be Your Guinea Pig   5 comments

 Video update here: Protesting Common Core and PARCC testing during Arne Duncan’s visit to Worcester today:  Mike Watson and son “We met a lot of great folks at the protest but I spent most of my time with my favorite little activist! It was fitting this little man in the Spider Man hat was with […]

Conspiracy Fact: Obama Budget to Cement Common Core   4 comments

Conspiracy theory: not.  This is conspiracy fact. It’s become impossible to ignore the Constitutionally illegal federal takeover of education that uses federal grants, corporate partnerships with federal agencies, and now, the federal budget, to wrench power away from “we the people.”  They are successfully moving the levers of control from us to these non-transparent, unaccountable-to-voters, closed-door organizations which are officially partnered with the federal […]

High-Stakes Tests and Common Core Standards are Inseparable   4 comments

Two leaders who make judgments for our schools –two whose judgment I wish we were able to trust, each have made statements: that high-stakes tests and data mining are unrelated to Common Core standards. This is a fact-checking post. First, look at their statements: Our governor’s education advisor, Tami Pyfer, was quoted in the  Morgan News:  “while not related to the Common […]

Utah Unhappily Bound by Common Core Standards   Leave a comment

SUPERINTENDENT MENLOVE I like Superintendent Martell Menlove.  He’s approachable, pleasant, polite; has a warm smile and even responds to emails. But there is a problem.  Dr. Menlove is not just any Utahn; he’s the State Superintendent.  He supports Common Core and he’s a member of the Council of Chief State School Officers,  which created and copyrighted Common Core (with […]

What Is Common Core: 101   57 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 […]

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 […]

What’s the U.N.’s “Global Education First Initiative” and “Academic Impact”–and what do they have to do with Common Core?   8 comments

This post is long. But I cannot “byte” these pieces apart for easier consumption. They have to be seen as a whole. Thanks for reading –and sharing. Unpaid parents and teachers like me (and there are many of us) —have to report, because the so-called “real” reporters are failing to give us real reports with […]

40 Questions for Common Core Debaters   8 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: or […]

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 […]

You Had Me At Unconstitutional.   14 comments

All over the internet, all over Facebook, and not just in America we see problems with Common Core –confusing math, twisted worksheets, stressful high-stakes tests. They’re troubling. But what about the blatant unconstitutionality of the system itself? This week’s striking op-ed by Michael Lotfi at and Alyson Williams’ recent speech at a debate in […]

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 […]


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. […]

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. […]

Missouri School District Passes STOP COMMON CORE Resolution   4 comments

East Newton School District in Missouri needs a standing ovation. The resolution posted below has passed, according to the Missouri Education Watchdog. The school board officially recognizes that Common Core is: “designed to manipulate states and facilitate unconstitutional federal overreach to standardize and control the education of our children for the purposes of workforce planning.” […]

Professors Provide Proof Georgia Math and English Standards Were Better Before Common Core   Leave a comment

In July (2013) a report was issued (at the request of Georgia Senator William Ligon) that compares Georgia’s pre-Common Core standards to Georgia’s now-adopted Common Core standards. Oh, boy. You can read the full reports at the Senator’s web page, here and you can see the web page of Dr. Mary Kay Bacallao, the Georgia […]

Bold Alton New Hampshire School Board Votes to Reject Common Core   5 comments

A local New Hampshire school board voted yesterday to drop Common Core. According to a Laconia Sun report, one woman cited the N.H. state motto, “Live free or die,” and asked, “why would we want to take federal money? Once you let the government in, you can’t get rid of it. It gets bigger and […]

Opt Out Form And Miracles   5 comments

Utahns Against Common Core posted an opt-out form today that anyone may use to inform a school district that a child will not be participating in the Common Core testing and data collection program. Find it here. In addition, Utahns Against Common Core posted a video clip from a new movie featuring the President of […]

Yes, You Can Opt Out of Common Core Tests   41 comments

Good news: after sending an opt out letter (seen below) I received three letters back, from my high school student’s principal, math teacher and English teacher. Each letter said that my child may take a paper-and-pencil alternative to the Common Core tests without any academic penalty. The school is apparently not enforcing the absurd current […]

Huffington Post Audits the Gates-Led –not State-led– Common Core   3 comments

Yesterday the Huffington Post published “A Brief Audit of Bill Gates’ Common Core Spending.” I learned from this article. I already knew that Bill Gates spends billions implementing his personal version of education reforms –without any approval from American voters, without any authority other than his cash. I already knew that Gates had singlehandedly paid […]

Right Under Our Noses: EIMAC   16 comments

My heart was pounding with indignation when I read today that the CCSSO (–that’s the State Superintendents’ Club– a private group, not accountable to the public and in no way under voters’ influence– the same group that created and copyrighted Common Core–) this CCSSO has a division called EIMAC. It stands for Education Information Management […]

Utah Student Tracking in Edweek Article   1 comment This week, an Edweek article focuses on Utah’s “robust” data collection system and portable “backpack” records that track students. The article doesn’t mention the fact that parents were never asked whether they wanted their children to be tracked (stalked) by the government. Nor does it mention the fact that parents have no recourse to […]

Dozens of Links Documenting Common Core System Far More Harmful Than Good   7 comments

Common Core Concerns Please click on the links to get to the original source documents that verify Common Core does far more damage than good. The Race to the Top Grant Application – In this, Utah got points toward possibly winning grant money. Points were awarded in this application for the state’s having a student-tracker, […]

Dear President Obama: Open Letter From Chicago Teacher Paul Horton   7 comments

Isn’t it interesting that in this still-great country, an increasing number of both Democratic and Republican teachers see eye to eye on the tragic error of anyone– whether a governmental body or a corporate body or a partnership between the two– disfiguring our educational system and labelling it reform, while circumventing the voices of experienced […]

Another Unbearably Long Email Discussion With UT Board Member Dave Thomas   3 comments

For anyone who can stand to plow through it, here’s another letter I wrote in response to Mr. Thomas’s response to my response to his response to my questions posted in the Deseret News op-ed last month. ____________________________________________________________ Dear Mr. Dave Thomas, Please remember that I am not your enemy. I am a fellow Utahn, […]

Response to UT School Board Member Dave Thomas on Common Core   1 comment When I saw that a Utah State School Board member had taken the time to (sort of) answer my questions about Common Core, I was grateful. When I realized that he had not read previous rebuttals on these same topics, I was discouraged. I don’t think they are studying what we have been asking […]

U.S. Secretary of Ed to News Editors: Spin It Like Duncan   12 comments

Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, is angry. How dare Americans demand freedom from nationalized testing, nationalized standards and data collection? In yesterday’s speech to the American Society of News Editors, Duncan said: “…This event has been an opportunity for federal leaders to talk about touchy subjects.  For example, you asked President Kennedy to talk about […]

A Global Monitoring Report From the International Bureau of Education   9 comments With all your free time this summer, here’s something fun.  Study the reports of the global monitoring group at the U.N.’s International Bureau of Education, and see how much of what they say aligns with, or has inspired, Common Core. No?  Okay, fine.  I’ll do it. Here’s just a peek into the International Bureau of Education […]

Renee Braddy: Dear Alpine School District   5 comments

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 […]

You’re Invited: Saratoga Springs Tomorrow: Informational Meeting about Common Core   Leave a comment

You are invited to an informational meeting about Common Core. When and Where: June 20th from 7-9 pm at Talon’s Cove Golf Course: 2220 S. Talons Cove Drive, Saratoga Springs, Utah Who: Speakers include: Dr. Gary Thompson (Child psychologist), mothers/teachers who have thoroughly researched Common Core, and local school board members. State school board members […]

Laurie Rogers: On Taking Over Children, America’s Future   1 comment

I love this educator’s site, entitled Betrayed –by Laurie Rogers. This most recent article on the Betrayed website is greatly enriched by Laurie Rogers’ use of Animal Farm quotes, like: “He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then […]

Op Ed: Professor Colorio of Massachusetts on Common Core   Leave a comment

Shine light on Common Core By Donna Colorio Massachusetts Educator As I see it, our country is going through a major educational transformation and I ask myself, “Where are the parents?” In 2010, a D.C.-based nonprofit called Achieve, under the guidance of the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, created […]

Source Documents for Common Core   11 comments

Nobody has to choose between relying on the proponents of Common Core, or relying on the opponents of Common Core. To find out what Common Core really is and does to education and to liberty, study for yourself. These are just a starter batch. There are more!  Some of these are Utah-specific.  If you are […]

Missouri Congressman Luetkemeyer to Sec. Duncan: “We Formally Request A Detailed Description of Each Change to Student Privacy Policy”   3 comments

This letter from Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer of Missouri condemns the coercive nature of Common Core and formally requests a detailed description of alterations to student privacy policy made under Sec. Duncan’s leadership. Click link here to see which congressmen have cosigned.  (THANK YOU CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ!)   April 20, 2013 The Honorable Arne Duncan Secretary U.S. Department […]

USOE Still Dodging Honest Debate, USOE Asking Teachers for Stories About Common Core Agenda   6 comments

The Utah State Office of Education  sent out this email to state curriculum directors yesterday, labeling calls by teachers, senators and parents who ask for honest debate on the many constitutional, academic and privacy-related issues of the Common Core agenda, “vicious” attacks.  The recipients of the email have been removed to protect privacy.  The links have been added to clarify the email.   […]

U.S.O.E. Informational Meetings on Common Core Tests: Clueless on the Big Issues   5 comments

Did you watch the Deseret News live feed of the Davis District meeting tonight? I had an “A-ha!” moment, as I again watched Judy Park of the Utah State Office of Education present information about the Common Core tests. I realized that Judy Park just does not know the answers to the big, big questions that are […]

Let’s Help Indiana   8 comments

  It’s time to help Indiana.  What happens in other states does affect us. Here are two messages from Indiana moms who need your support.   Indiana is ahead of 90% of the states in that the state has TWICE voted in favor of the “time out” bill for Common Core, which will mean that the standards, […]

Why Is Common Core Illegal?   14 comments

The 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution specifies that the federal government must refrain from micromanaging states and outlines a few roles for the federal government (NOT including education)  and gives ALL remaining authorities to the states alone.  Nothing could be clearer. There is no constitutional authority for the executive branch to be bossing states […]

Parents Demand Real Answers at Alpine District Meeting on Common Core A.I.R. Tests   9 comments

Yesterday I attended the Alpine School District meeting, where U.S.O.E. representative John Jesse, director of assessments, gave a presentation about the new Common Core testing system created by the American Institutes for Research (AIR).  I went with Alisa, Renee, my sister and others whose district is Alpine.  I wanted to compare the attitudes of parents and teachers […]

FBI and Dept of Ed Sued for Privacy Violations   4 comments

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 […]

Posted April 11, 2013 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

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Hogwash Alert: “National Review” on Common Core   54 comments

I’m calling for a hogwash alert on today’s National Review article about Common Core. The ironically titled  The Truth About Common Core article cannot be taken seriously.  It’s written without any links or references for its Common Core-promoting claims, and it’s written by two authors whose employers are largely funded by the main funder of all things Common Core. Can anyone take seriously those who […]

Videos: Meet Some Educational Freedom Fighters   3 comments

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 – […]

Top Ten Scariest People in Education Reform: #7 – Sir Michael Barber, CEA Pearson   30 comments

Sir Michael Barber:   Pearson CEA  Countdown # 7 This is the fourth in a countdown series of introductions, a list of the top ten scariest people leading education in America.  For number 8,  number 9 and number 10,  click here. Sir Michael Barber of England,  Chief Education Advisor at Pearson and Common Core promoter extraordinare, is also […]

Rod Arquette Radio Show Interview with David Cox and Christel Swasey   1 comment

  Here’s a link to the radio show where David Cox and I were guests of Rod Arquette last week. Q & A covers: How much momentum is the Common Core pushback movement gaining nationwide?What do people need to know about Common Core?How does Common Core hurt education?  Why is classic literature diminished?  Is there […]

Top Ten Scariest People in Education Reform: #8 – Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education   22 comments

Arne Duncan:   U.S. Secretary of Education Countdown #8 This is the third in a countdown series of introductions, a list of the top ten scariest people leading education reform in America.  For number 9 and 10 click here. Before I begin,  let’s remember a few pesky laws that make it illegal for Arne Duncan’s Department of Education (as part […]

Common Core Covered On Glenn Beck TV – March 14, 2013   3 comments

It was a privilege to speak with Glenn Beck on his t.v. show on Thursday, along with Utah teacher David Cox of  Odyssey Charter School , Emmett McGroarty of the American Principles Project, and Sherena Arrington of Stop Common Core in Georgia.  I’m posting three clips from the show. This first portion of the show is a clip of Glenn Beck introducing […]

Because Stalking is Creepy –Especially When the Government Does It   Leave a comment

Michelle Malkin’s true to her word. She said her New Year’s Resolution would be to expose the truth about Common Core, and she’s well on her way. Her fourth installment in the series “Rotten to the Core” is out. In “The Feds’ Invasive Student Tracking Data Base” Malkin brings up the fact that while millions of […]


  This is a huge week for educational liberty and for the future quality of education in Alabama.  Other states are watching breathlessly. The AL legislature will listen to testimony from both sides of the argument and will decide whether or not to pass SB 190.  If passed, the bill would: prohibit implementation of Common […]

Utah Legislation Going On Right Now   Leave a comment

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 […]

Declaration of Independence from Common Core   2 comments

Declaration of Independence from Common Core –inspired by the 1776 Declaration of Independence February 5, 2013. When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary…[for parents and teachers] to dissolve the [educational policy] bands which have connected them with [Common Core Governance] and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which […]

Alabama Bursts Free of 2 Common Core Testing Consortia Memberships   Leave a comment

Alabama has cut its membership ties with both of the Common Core testing consortia– with PARCC and SBAC. This is big news because those who want to federalize eduation and control citizens thereby cannot do so very easily without the shackling effect of having virtually every person in America labeled and tracked using the common testing […]

Open Book Test On Common Core – For Parents   9 comments

The official Common Core websites make the program sound good.  The Department of Education promotes it.  The purveyors of Common Core implementation guides make it sound magnificent.  Many educators have said they support it. At the same time, research groups, think tanks, parent groups, university professors and increasingly, more and more teachers,  stand against it.  So who’s […]

Morgan Olsen: Parental Rights to Review Curriculum and Surveys   2 comments

The reason I’m reposting this article is that there are many things happening in schools that parents may not feel comfortable with, but most do not speak up because they don’t know their rights over their own children. Many schools administer something called the “SHARP” survey.  Locally, here in Heber City, it’s done in schools.  […]

A Mother Speaks Out: Children For Sale – Guest Post by Alyson Williams   135 comments

Children for Sale By Alyson Williams No more decisions behind closed doors!  Let’s get everyone talking about Common Core.   In the spring of 2011 I received a receipt for the sale of my children.  It came in the form of a flyer that simply notified me that my state and thereby my children’s school […]

Weber County Republican Women’s Meeting Speech on Common Core   4 comments

Stop Common Core Talk given by Christel Swasey at the Weber County Republican Women’s Meeting Jan.7, 2013 A few months ago, a University of Utah exhibit displayed original documents, newspapers, books and letters written by Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin and many others. The exhibit did not only show the freedom fighters’ side of the argument, […]

Schools Are Sharing Private Information Via SLDS and P-20 State/Federal Systems   8 comments

Our schools (teachers, adminstrators, and even State Office of Education workers) are being used. –Used to collect private data, both academic and nonacademic, about our children and their families.  I choose the word “used” because I do not believe they are maliciously going behind parents’ backs.  They are simply expected to comply with whatever the U.S. Dept. of Education […]

United Nations Document 19 Sep 1997 Resolution Adopted: Agenda Item 8 in 19th Special Session   1 comment

    United Nations Note from blog author: Why am I posting this long, boring document from the United Nations? Because the word “education” appears 33 times in it.  Because “sustainable” appears over 100 times and “sustainable development” 74 times.  Because the globalists are using Common Core as a vehicle to control American minds.  And […]

Why You Don’t Know What Common Core Is   7 comments

So the left-wing mainstream media are not about to tell the American people how Common Core harms local autonomy.  They support the left-wing. And Obama and his right-hand man, Secretary Arne Duncan, love Common Core because Common Core creates the need to regulate education, testing and data collection nationally. The Department of Education and Obama have been pushing Common […]

Repealing Common Core: Fantasy or American Imperative?   2 comments

I was chatting with an acquaintance as we both watched our kids’ karate lesson today. She said, “I don’t know what’s different this year.  My kids’ teachers say that there are so many rules: ‘You can’t teach this. You have to teach this.  It’s like the Nazis have moved in.’ ” She didn’t know what Common Core […]

Dear Superintendent Menlove   Leave a comment

Dear Superintendent Menlove, Congratulations on your new role as Superintendent of Utah Schools. As a Utah teacher with an up-to-date credential, who has taught high school English, 3rd grade, and Freshmen and Remedial English at Utah Valley University, I’m writing to ask four questions: 1.  Why have Utah education leaders allowed classic literature to be […]

New Research From R.O.P.E Finds Federal Overreach of Children’s Privacy   1 comment

The “Restore Oklahoma Public Education” research team has done it again. Read this tremendously detailed explanation of how the federal government is robbing United States citizens of their privacy, using schools as data collection vehicles and redefining even nonacademic student data collection (blood type, nickname, mental health) a federal entitlement.  

Look Behind You   4 comments

The federal government uses lots of different agencies– but increasingly, schools– to track us. It’s citizen surveillance.  But they call it research. I wrote to the Utah State Office of Education a few months ago to ask a simple yes or no question:  can my child attend public school without being specifically and individually tracked by name, […]

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) (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 […]

What’s Going On With Utah Parents for Educational Freedom?   Leave a comment

    What’s going on with so many Utahns joining the fight for educational freedom, the fight against a federal “Common Core”? When we signed the petition –along with over two thousand, so far, who have signed the petition at Utahns Against Common Core– what were we asking for? In short:  higher, more constitutionally based (state-not-federally-controlled) educational standards. We have asked the […]

What is “Communities That Care” ?   Leave a comment

A neighbor told me that Heber’s city council was considering applying for a $10,000 grant. Accepting the money would join our city to “Communities That Care,” a federally promoted anti-youth-problems program. Now, everyone likes money.  And everyone is opposed to youth doing drugs and crime.  So what’s not to like? A lot. A little research shows that “Communities​ That […]

A 2012 Reading of Orwell’s 1984   Leave a comment

I borrowed 1984 and read it cover to cover this week. It’s a well-written, totally alarming book.  A screamingly important book. It’s a powerful warning against socialism. It’s also a graphic, atheistic, violent book that doesn’t offer any ray of hope.  So don’t read it if you haven’t.  I’ll give you the summary. Then I’ll […]

Influence the Republican Party Platform   3 comments

At this link, you can submit ideas for the Republican Party as they update the platform. I submitted the following today, but had to shorten it because they only take a certain number of words.   COMMON CORE IS NOT ACADEMICALLY SOUND It is a fact that the only math professor on the official Common […]

Posted August 18, 2012 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

Q+A on Common Core: Historic 3-hour Utah Legislative Committee Meeting   3 comments

There is still plenty o’confusion in the state of Utah.  Lawmakers are realizing that due to the Utah Constitution’s giving authority to the Board to determine educational issues, they are almost powerless (except to defund Common Core).  The board seems skittish and  embarrassed now that so many of us know the new standards are inferior and […]

Dr. Sandra Stotsky to Utah: We Can Write Higher, Better Standards — Free   Leave a comment

Dear School Board, Superintendent Shumway and Governor Herbert, I am writing to express my gratitude to those who were instrumental in yesterday’s vote to reverse Utah’s membership in the SBAC testing consortium.  It was a heroic moment and America is watching. Early on, when I read the Cooperative Agreement between the SBAC and the Department of Education, I was […]

Common Core Discussion at Wasatch Bagel Cafe in Park City   Leave a comment

   Democrats, Republicans and others packed the Wasatch Bagel Cafe in Park City to standing room only last night in an effort to learn the pros and cons of Utah’s membership in the Common Core Movement.  Common Core is a set of national standards and common tests that was initiated by states, is incentivized and promoted by the federal government, and […]

Let Freedom Ring In Education!   1 comment

  We have to get rid of the Common Core Initiative  –if we actually care about quality education and freedom over education. Why? I’ll start with a little intro– why I care: I  hold an up-to-date Utah Level II teaching license and I have nine years of experience in classrooms. I’m currently a stay-home-mother.  My most […]

USOE: The Answer is No. (–Can a Student Attend Public School Without Being P-20/SLDS Tracked?)   53 comments

Dear Utah School Board, Last week, I asked a simple yes or no question.  I received one response, and that board member did not say yes or not, but said he’d forward my question to Judy Park’s secretary.  I still have no answer. The question is simple:  Is it possible for a student in Utah […]

BYU Professor David Wiley: Parents Don’t Need to Know   3 comments

  Professor David Wiley is to be applauded for engaging in actual debate on the Common Core/FERPA issue with people like me.  I appreciate it.  He is rare for being willing to discuss these things without resorting to dismissive name calling as others have done.  Here is what he posted today, along with what Kristen […]

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 […]

A response to the USOE statement published Jul 10, 2012 by Brenda Hales   1 comment

To Whom It May Concern:   The following information directly conflicts with this week’s statement about Common Core and national educational reforms as published by the USOE at The following information has links to references so that you can verify what is claimed, unlike the unreferenced information given by the USOE.   1. Personally […]

Why the lawsuit filed against the U.S. Dept. of Education’s invasion of privacy matters   Leave a comment

Privacy Matters.  And it’s being robbed, literally, gradually, concertedly, by the U.S. Dept. of Education, of all crazy things.  How can I say this? Facts: Every state has been paid in the past two years, by the federal government to create an SLDS, a State Longitudinal Data System.  This is a citizen tracking system, calling […]

Wow– State v. Local School Boards’ Perceptions of Common Core   4 comments

Before you read the emails below, here are some questions they have raised: 1. If they are so flexible, then why were the Common Core standards adopted –and why are they under copyright? 2. What is the purpose of the State Board of Education –if the responsibility to educate is each district’s? 3.  Why did Utah bother to […]

It’s None of the Government’s Business – Part II – by Christel Swasey   1 comment

Before CNN reported on the federal government’s tracking of children ( few people were aware that longitudinal databases had been built with federal grant money in every state to provide tracking data for state P-20 councils.  Or that P-20 councils even existed. But they do exist.  Yes, even Utah has a P-20 Workforce. As CNN’s Brooke […]

Cooperative Agreement Between the U.S. Department of Education and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and the State of Washington (Fiscal Agent for Utah)   6 comments

    Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s Cooperative Agreement with Utah and the other SBAC exposes itself in the fact that Common Core is an educational movement masterminded not by a group of state Governors, but by federal forces (and, FYI, pushed and approved by internationalist forces.)  The full text, minus […]

Federal Education Reforms and Why People of Faith Must Get Involved to Stop Them   1 comment

FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND RELIGIOUS SPEECH How does freedom of religion apply to new changes in education, such as the COMMON CORE and FERPA (Family Educational Rights Privacy Act) regulations?  Do these “educational reforms” not take away parental control of children’s data, and does not full implementation of Common Core nationalized education come with a federally perusable individual-child data collection […]

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

Two Truths and a Lie, or, What the Common Core Debate is Really About   2 comments

Have you ever played the game “Two truths and a lie”?  Each person gets a turn to say three statements.  Two of them must be true, and one must be false.  The listeners must try to guess which of the three statements is the lie. Sometimes I feel like the Utah State Office of Education […]

Mitt Romney’s New Research on Education Reform   Leave a comment

This week, Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney published an article on Education Reform.  I have been reading it and am disappointed that it never mentions Common Core at all.  Here’s the full document. The words “common core”  or “Common Core State Standards” are absent from this document.  In other words, Romeny has no comment on whether they […]

News Concerning Education Reform: Governor Weighs SB10; CCSSO rebrands the term College and Career Readiness to mean forcing kids’ paths; Texas and Federal Money   1 comment

So much goes on every day  concerning education reforms being pushed  by the federal department of education and the understandable alarm of some states and some teachers. (To catch up, see:    and ) —I don’t know where to begin. So I’ll start here in Utah with brand new news.  The Governor is announcing he will probably hold a special session to […]

CNN Video Clip and Parent Letter to Schools: On the Invasion of Privacy   Leave a comment This important video begins with a CNN clip describing the Dept. of Education’s recent steps that make it easier for federal forces to see massive amounts of personal information. Then the video moves to an Oklahoma Educational group’s conference that explains what P-20 means (preschool to age 20) and why states have P-20 councils and workforces to […]

Governor Herbert: Please Do Not Re-Appoint Leslie Castle to Utah’s State School Board   6 comments

Dear Governor Herbert, As you are in the process of selecting some members of the State School Board, I ask that you do not select Leslie Castle for another term, based on two things: 1.  She does not know what the U.S. Constitution is about, nor does she value freedom for Utah. She fails to […]

What is Common Core? Top 10 Things To Study   1 comment

What is the Common Core? Rather than simply tell you what I think it is, I will show two schools of thought and have you make your own determination about what Common Core is. If you read the definition set out by the Utah State Office of Education or your local school district, you’ll think Common Core is […]

Does Freedom Even Matter to the Utah State School Board? The Board versus a teacher –me.   Leave a comment

A voting member of the Utah State School Board wrote in an email to me this week that freedom was not as important as equality.  Stop.  Did you read that?  This is America. A top Utah educator, with power over education that not even our legislators hold, said this. Please read it again. Here, read the entire […]

Letter to the Editor   Leave a comment

Dear Editor,   The Utah State School Board seems blind and deaf to the whole truth about Common Core and its many goals for Utah. Despite half of Utah turning out in opposition to the Core at the USOE forum, the board forges forward: last week, the board voted to add preschool to the Common […]

Freedom versus Equality: what I think versus what the State School Board thinks   2 comments

I would never have imagined, a month ago, before I started to study Common Core, that there were members of the Utah State School Board and a top lawyer of the Utah State Office of Education who believed that genuinely high educational standards and actual freedom were unimportant in comparison to guaranteed equality of education. The USOE lawyer, (responding to my question […]

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 […]

BYU Professor Wiley   1 comment

Dear Professor Wiley, I read your article in the Deseret News, extolling Common Core. I must respond. I’m a BYU alum, too.  B.A. in English, M.A. in Communications.  I’m also a teacher (Cal State San Bernardino K-12 credential) and have been an adjunct professor (UVU, English). A few questions on Common Core: 1.  Do […]

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

Cutting Ties With Common Core is a Win-Win for Utah   Leave a comment

I am still learning about Common Core and its financial, political and educational complications. But I won’t let what I don’t know stop me from asking questions about what I do know. The burden of proof is on the Utah State Office of Education, which has not proved its claims (creating college readiness, allowing local control, ensuring […]


I was so angry last night after coming home from the local Wasatch School Board meeting.  Here’s why.  That arrogant board had the audacity to delete parental consent in privacy laws in schools, and they did it secretively, quickly and in code –so no one knew what was going on.  (Except a handful of watchdogs like me […]

Posted April 20, 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

Part I: Deciphering the Cooperative Agreement: One grant writer’s translation   1 comment

I wrote grants for a living, for a little over a year.  It wasn’t fun. And I don’t know all there is to know about grants. But  I know a few things about grants that lots of people don’t. 1.  Grants are not free money.  Grantors have written agendas.  Grants are legally binding contracts.  If you receive […]

Posted April 19, 2012 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

EVIDENCE AND LINKS – official links and documents that show Common Core robs Utah of educational freedom   Leave a comment

There is much more.  But this is a starter: 1.  Cooperative Agreement Between SBAC (Utah’s consortium)  and U.S. Dept. of Education – This document shows the oppressive rules of oversight of the federal government on testing and data collection. It shows the triangulation and centralization of data collection and test creation between the two groups […]

Posted April 19, 2012 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

Letter to USOE / Sydnee Dickson about Deseret News article   Leave a comment

Dear U.S.O.E. / Sydnee Dickson, I read Ben Woods’ well researched article in the Deseret News yesterday. You were quoted: “I have yet to hear any of the political comments [against Common Core] that are valid,” Dickson said. “It’s all steeped in fear and not fact.” There is a teacher (me) who is not only […]

Posted April 18, 2012 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

From One Utah Teacher To Another   Leave a comment

April 15, 2012 Dear Teachers,   I’m a Utah teacher.  I’ve taught 3rd grade for two years, high school English for five years, and college English at Utah Valley University for two years.  Teachers often stay neutral on political issues. But the Common Core Initiative affects what millions of children will be taught and what […]

Posted April 16, 2012 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

Letter to Church Leaders   Leave a comment

April 14, 2012   Dear Church Leaders,   President Benson said:  “As a watchman on the tower, I feel to warn you that one of the chief means of misleading our youth and destroying the family unit is our educational institutions.” Usually, the church stays neutral on political and educational issues. But the Common Core […]

Posted April 15, 2012 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

Evidence and Links   2 comments

Evidence and Links   A rising number of teachers, parents and taxpayers are expressing concerns about Utah’s adoption of the Common Core Initiative (CCI), its accompanying federal standards for states (CCSS) and its federally overseen and controlled testing arm (SBAC). Why? 1.   Utah did not seek out CCI; the initiative was presented as an eligibility […]

Posted April 12, 2012 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

The Cooperative Agreement Arne Duncan Authored That Proves the Initiative Illegal   17 comments

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is a man of two faces. On one hand, he writes letters assuring state leaders that they, not he, is in control of their state’s educational decisions.  On the other hand, his written grants and cooperative agreements specifically contradict the messages of his public letters. He tends to be angry when states don’t […]

Posted April 9, 2012 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

How Common Core’s Lack of Transparency Affects Utah Teachers and Kids   Leave a comment

How Common Core’s Lack of Transparency Affects Utah Teachers and Kids Utah educators have been given half truths and catch-phrases instead of documented realities about the impacts and repercussions of the Common Core Initiative.  Here are a few of my favorites: CC Proponents say that states should belong to the Common Core Initiative because it ensures […]

Posted April 9, 2012 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

Opinion Editorial #2: The Common Core Initiative: What’s Hidden Between the Lines? (not yet published)   Leave a comment

The Common Core Initiative:  What’s hidden between the lines? by Christel Swasey Ever since I saw Alisa Ellis and Renee Braddy’s “2 Moms Against Common Core,” I’ve barely slept.  My laundry is backed up.  I’m losing weight. All I do is research the Common Core Initiative (CCI). I talk to teachers.  I read think tanks and […]