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Multiple States Deny Parents the Right to Opt a Child Out of SLDS Tracking   15 comments

I’ve previously displayed the letter that I received from my Utah State School Board, which told me that the answer was no to the question of whether a parent could opt a Utah child out of the State Longitudinal Database System. And today I’m sharing another, very similar letter that was received by a parent […]

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 […]

What’s Wrong with the P-20 and SLDS Citizen Surveillance in Schools? Video   Leave a comment

What is SLDS and Why Should I Care?   1 comment

SLDS means: Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems. SLDS is a citizen tracking program, and a grant program, that rewards states financially for participating.  It’s also called P-20, which stands for preschool through age 20 (workforce) tracking.  I see citizen tracking as creepy and Orwellian.  What do you see? The federal website shows, here– http://www2.ed.gov/programs/slds/factsheet.html — that SLDS was presented as a financial prize […]

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 […]

USOE: The Answer is No. (–Can a Student Attend Public School Without Being P-20/SLDS Tracked?)   52 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 […]

States Must Return Federal SLDS Funds or Lose Privacy Rights – Analysis by Jenni White   Leave a comment

Full text:  http://www.scribd.com/doc/94149078/An-Analysis-of-Recent-Education-Reforms-and-the-Resulting-Impact-on-Student-Privacy AN ANALYSIS OF RECENT EDUCATION REFORMS AND THE RESULTING IMPACT ON STUDENT PRIVACY This 15-page paper explains a lot.  The authors conclude by recommending that individual states reclaim control in these ways:     Return accepted SLDS or P20 grants to federal authorities.  Rescind state authority for P20 or SLDS councils and […]

Privacy-Crushing FEPA Bill #HR4174: 10 Nitty Gritty Facts You Missed #VETO !   1 comment

  History itself must be holding its breath to see what happens next.  H.R. 4174, Foundations of Evidence-Based Policy, a bad bill for liberty and privacy, awaits President Trump’s signature –or his veto. I’m not a lawyer, and I’m not a data expert.  I’m pretty good with reading, though. In reading, I noticed: The bill […]

America, Learn from Rwanda and Jamaica – the Price of the Loss of Privacy   3 comments

    National I.D. cards in Rwanda, like the one above, (see PreventGenocide.org) cost hundreds of thousands of innocent people to lose their lives in 1994, since certain tribal affiliation was cause for slaughter by the Rwandan government, and the government had access to all that ID information. This week, in Jamaica, the big news is rollout […]

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 […]

Please Call to Stop Student Privacy-Torching Bills Now   4 comments

It’s a good day to call Congress. It’s a good week to call repeatedly. I hope thousands will pick up their phones to call (202-224-3121) to halt the student/citizen privacy-torching bills that are now up for a vote.   Here’s why. Bills that destroy privacy in the name of research are right now, quite incomprehensibly, being […]

Student Data Privacy Toolkit Available Now   Leave a comment

Free to use and share:  the Student Data Privacy Toolkit has arrived!   If you’re wondering why it matters, read on. ———————————– ————————————- —————————————–   Is anyone honestly opposed to having students govern and own their own private data?  Are reputable organizations openly, actively working around systems to get hold of individual students’ data? Yes. […]

Executive Order on Education: Why DeVos Is Saying There’s No Such Thing as Common Core, and Why There’s Still Hope   4 comments

  Yesterday, President Trump signed an executive order to reclaim local control of education, and then handed his pen to a school teacher who was watching the event.  Watch her at minute 10:00.  She is tearful.  This executive order meant something to her. Teachers are weary of being micromanaged, standards-whipped, undermined and data-mined.  They want peace. But […]

The New Piracy: Federal Centralization of Data “For Research” (Without Consent) – San Francisco Public Hearing Today   1 comment

The New Piracy:  Personal Data Used “For Research” Without Consent Today, you may listen to the third open, public meeting “to receive stakeholder input” held by the federal Commission on Evidence-based Policymaking (CEP).  It’s being held all day in San Francisco.  Just dial 800-857-4620 and use passcode 4837647#.  The leader of the meeting is CEP Chair Katherine […]

Chicken Thieves and Data Thieves: What’s Up with CEP?   3 comments

  In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck stole chickens.  Huck’s father had taught him how to stomach chicken theft. That reminds me of the way the federal CEP (Commission on Evidence Based Policy) stomachs human data theft.  Huck said: … Pap always said, take a chicken when you get a chance, because if you don’t want […]

Feds’ Comment on Children’s Privacy: “Ripping the Band-aid Would Probably Not Fly”   10 comments

I am so annoyed.  Those words actually came out of the mouth of the CEP Commission leader:  “Ripping the Band-Aid (of data privacy and control) probably would not fly.” But pulling it off using (in his words) “baby steps” is the CEP’s plan, he said in the video of yesterday’s meeting. Four-hour federal meetings posted […]

UT Lawsuit Puts Spotlight on 750,000 Stolen Records of Students and Families   2 comments

Judith Pinborough-Zimmerman A news bomb about the theft of student data exploded in Utah’s Deseret News last July, but nobody noticed, apparently. The article’s headline — “Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Puts Spotlight on Utah Autism Rates” — focused primarily on things other than the data theft.  It highlighted former University of Utah research professor Judith Zimmerman’s allegations that university […]

Trump’s Common Core Pick: Betsy DeVos   14 comments

  Betsy DeVos, America’s newly appointed Secretary of Education, is quite adorable.  She interviews like America’s Sweetheart, her name sounds like Betsy Ross, and she says she’s opposed to the Common Core. But the parents who began Stop Common Core in Michigan say DeVos used her Michigan big-funding machine to block, rather than to assist, the Stop Common Core parents’ nearly successful legislation […]

What’s Competency Based Education?   2 comments

Alyson Williams, who worked in data management for the publishing industry, a mother who has written and spoken much about education and data reforms over the past several years, has just given a speech at the Agency Based Education Conference. It’s worth your time. Alyson raises and expands upon many of the issues that are […]

Testify Now.   7 comments

  The purpose of this post is to ask you to testify this week to the newly created White House Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking (CEP)– either online or in person— against CEP’s idea of studying to remove protective barriers on unit-level data for federal access and policymaking. Here’s why.   Apparently chafing against constitutional and tech barriers […]

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 […]

Don’t Vote for “Education First” (Common Core) Candidates!   8 comments

My friends and neighbors are receiving mailers this week that look like this. When my husband saw this, he said, “So what? What’s so bad about Education First?” Glad he asked.     Here’s the short version:  Education First = Common Core.   If you love Common Core and federal-corporate takeover of local control, vote for […]

Video: Alisa Ellis for State School Board – Speech at State Capitol Rally   Leave a comment

Alisa Ellis spoke at the “Elevating Education:  Common No More” rally on Saturday at the State Capitol.  She’s running against Dixie Allen and Jim Moss in the huge Heber-Duschesne-Lindon area known as Utah’s District 12. Her speech was introduced by radio host Rod Arquette, who said: “Alisa is one of the moms who gained national […]

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 […]

Truth is Truth, Whether People Believe it or Not: Video Confessions   4 comments

My husband often says, “Truth is truth, whether people believe it or not.” Here’s the truth that even the Common Core’s lead architect, David Coleman, and its main funder, Bill Gates openly admitted in the videos below:  The Common Core was never state led.  If it had been, it would have been constitutionally legitimate.  It […]

HB 358: Protecting Student Privacy Rights in Utah   2 comments

Student privacy rights are improving in Utah!  Utah HB 358 passed and was funded this legislative session. This is very happy news for many who have been extremely concerned about the lack of proper privacy protections in our state and country.  Although the bill does not provide any opt-out ability for any student from the State […]

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, […]

No More Opt Out Possible If Test Goes Underground: Update on HB164 (Down for Now) HB264 (Down for Now) SB91 (A Concern)   1 comment

Update on Utah education bills: The short version and the good news must come first:  HB 164 (a bill about no more opting out of SAGE tests) did not pass.  HB 264 (a bill about common sex ed) did not pass. Yesterday at the Capitol, the legislative education hearing was cram-packed with standing room only, and an overflow […]

Inspiration From Houston’s #AboutTheChild Conference   Leave a comment

At the #AboutTheChild conference in Houston last week, B&L Network speakers said that even in the middle of a struggle we might seem to be losing, we have great power and great hope. Although America is seeing dangerous shifts in who can and who cannot amend tests, in who controls (and does not protect) children’s data;  in who gets to redefine even babies’ “educations” as a collective-economy-purposed thing; while we […]

Federal Education Research System Poised to Invade – #StopSETRA   3 comments

I know this might be boring. I know there are five hundred things you could be doing.  But this will take awhile. SETRA, or “Strengthening Education Through Research Act,” a federal bill that passed the U.S. Senate on December 17th has not yet passed the House of Representatives, and must not. (Call 202-224-3121 to speak to […]

#StopSetra: Child Data Mining Bill in US House of Representatives: Family Privacy and Autonomy Matters   2 comments

  Here we go again. “Education reformists” (corporate, federal, and state) use this pattern repeatedly.  This is how they get fat with power and money at the expense of freedom and good policy. They: 1) Write a bill (this time, SETRA) that does not do the same thing that its talking points claim it will do, so that […]

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 […]

SENATOR MIKE LEE: HOW SENATOR ALEXANDER’S ESEA/NCLB IS TO BE RAMMED DOWN CONGRESS’ THROAT   4 comments

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, […]

Utah Rep Jason Chaffetz on Dept. of Ed Data Mining: “It has become an absolute monster”   4 comments

Parents and Educators Against Common Core Standards posted the following incredibly important video of this week’s “Information Security Review” of the US Department of Education which was led by Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz. Please watch it. Chaffetz opens the discussion (minutes 1-9) showing slides of the US Department of Education getting an “F” in protecting student data –with […]

URGENT: Congress! NO on New No Child Left Behind/ESEA Reauthorization   2 comments

Call 202-224-3121 to be connected to your Representatives and Senators in D.C. today. They are about to vote to pass No Child Left Behind/ESEA in a new form that is Constitutionally unacceptable. It promotes accountability, backwards.  Instead of the creation (government school system) being accountable to its creator (We, the individual People) this NCLB/ESEA proposed […]

Orwellian Reason Obama Said States Can “Stop Obsessing” About Tests   4 comments

People throw around the word “Orwellian”. What does “Orwellian” mean, and how does it relate to education –and to our current president’s latest softening commentary about high stakes testing? George Orwell showed, in his books 1984 and Animal Farm, how tyranny looks, works, stomps on the individual and suffocates freedom.  He could have been describing Obama’s CEDS/SLDS/EdFacts data exchange in […]

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 […]

How Feds Are Getting Away With Controlling Public School Curriculum, Competency and Credentialing   4 comments

Feds Will Control Curriculum, Competency and Credentialing Reblogged with permission from Return to Parental Rights on 09/21/15 by Jakell Sullivan The federal government has absolutely no constitutional right to control curriculum, but they’re doing it anyway. In a 2011 video for the Whitehouse’s Learning Registry, Steve Midgley, the Deputy Director of Education Technology for the US […]

A Weighty List of Grievances: Will Congress Ever Hold a Hearing Against the Department of Education?   1 comment

  Even though I don’t like bumper stickers, I proudly slapped a U.S. Senator Mike Lee bumper sticker on my car because he’s that rare legislator who honors in actions as well as in talk, that priceless treasure, our freedom-friendly U.S. Constitution.  And this week, I waited on the phone for a long time to ask him a question during his virtual town hall meeting this week. I […]

Effective Sept 2015: Feds Remove State Authority Over Special Needs Students and Redefine Who is Special Needs   16 comments

Pray that our politicians and superintendents are interested enough, and honest enough, to see through the Department of Ed, and kick to the curb its lies and false reassignments of authority that hurt our children and our Constitutional power. Jakell Sullivan, a beautiful Utah mom who happens to be one of the most dedicated  researchers on education reform and data […]

Dr. Thompson, Dr. Glass: Exposing the Underbelly of Psychometric Testing   4 comments

  Dr. Gene V. Glass, the award-winning psychometrician who invented the term meta-analysis, made recent news when he announced that he is no longer comfortable in his field.  In a Washington Post column, Dr. Glass summarized the failure of psychometrics (educational measurement using big data) to give accurate information: “Both talent and tasks were too […]

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 […]

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 […]

Six Evil Things Hidden in S.1177 — “No Child Left Behind” 2.0   24 comments

  Protecting our children from increasing oppressions and loss of freedoms will require not allowing federal S.1177 to pass. The name of S.1177, which now sits in the Senate on Capitol Hill,  is also: “The Every Child Achieves Act of 2015,” “No Child Left Behind – rewritten,” “Elementary and Secondary Education Act,” and is virtually […]

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 […]

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 […]

It’s Back: The No Child Left Behind Rewrite   6 comments

  You can’t blame people– even Congressmen themselves–  for not wanting to get involved in the current rewrite of ESEA/NCLB.  The hundreds of pages of bill language and amendments are intimidating –and boring. But boring and intimidating or not, if we believe in “consent by the governed” then, as the governed, we must pay attention. […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

The Governor’s Charade   6 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 […]

The Blast Radius of Proposed New “No Child Left Behind” Bill   36 comments

Senator “Let’s-Don’t-Talk-About-Common-Core” LaMar Alexander  has proposed a bill to amend  ESEA (No Child Left Behind Act) in order “to restore freedom”. The bill is called the “Every Child Ready for College or Career Act of 2015“. I read the 387-pager after I learned that education experts, slated to testify against the bill, had abruptly been dismissed and were told […]

Herbert’s Spending to Cement Utah to Common Core and Common Data Standards   Leave a comment

The Governor’s new budget plan is making news this week, with most of the tax surplus money planned for Utah “education.” That’s the governor’s pipeline-based definition of education, not education as most of us would define it.  His “education funding” funds the state’s SLDS data-mining aligned programs made palatable to citizens and legislators under the branding of “education.”) […]

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, […]

Who’s Your Daddy? Authority Posers v. Authority Holders   2 comments

Parents are in charge of their children. It is not for corporations or federal entities to delegate an education  “role” to the state or to schools or parents, like a play director hands out a role or a prop to an actor.  Similarly, it’s not a school’s or any agency’s right to delegate parents as […]

Responding to the Attorney General’s Report on Common Core   9 comments

The Utah Attorney General (AG) recently issued a report about Common Core.  I’m grateful that Common Core concerns are receiving much-needed attention, rather than being dismissed as unfounded. I thank the Attorney General for his time spent on this issue.  But the report is egregiously errant. I’m just a full-time mom, not a lawyer.  Though […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Oklahoma Miracle: Common Core Officially Repealed   9 comments

The hoped-for miracle happened. After a long, remarkable effort led by Oklahoma parents and legislators, Governor Mary Fallin has signed Oklahoma’s  HB 3399 “Stop Common Core bill“ into law. Governor Fallin stated: “We are capable of developing our own Oklahoma academic standards that will be better than Common Core …  What should have been a bipartisan policy is […]

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   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 […]

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 […]

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   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 […]

Fighting Manipulation in Education Reform Bills   1 comment

Rep. Brian Greene of Pleasant Grove – His fair and transparent state school board elections bill passed the House vote and may pass into law if the Senate votes yes this week ———————– We are fighting manipulation in education reform. Utah legislators have written multiple bills this year that take important steps to curb it.  Before […]

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 […]

Stop Common Core Rallies Nationwide   2 comments

There are many Stop Common Core rallies happening now in Utah, Missouri, Louisiana, New York and elsewhere.   The rallies come on the heels of a U.S. Senate resolution that denounced Common Core, signed by senators from South Carolina, Utah, Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, and Wyoming.  UTAH RALLY Tonight, Tuesday, February 18th, at 6:30 at the State Capitol Building, […]

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 […]

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” […]

Utah Mother of Seven Alisa Ellis to Speak This Week in Kansas and Wyoming About Common Core   3 comments

My concerns about the academic merits of Common Core paled in comparison to the much larger issue of the loss of freedom and the stripping away of local control – Alisa Ellis Picture a bread-baking, fun-loving, church-going, small-town mother of seven –who was never politically active, who never even used to vote, –picture her becoming […]

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   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: jasonthe@gmail.com or kvnuftp@gmail.com. […]

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 […]

Translating Obama’s Four Pillars of Education Reform: JaKell Sullivan   5 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   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 […]

SIX THINGS THE US DEPT OF EDUCATION DID TO DEPRIVE YOUR CHILD OF PRIVACY   79 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. […]

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), […]

Common Core Eerily Like Challenger Launch   2 comments

In January 1986 I was a high school student in Orlando, watching out the window as the Challenger Space Shuttle launched about fifty miles away. Christa MacAuliffe, the first teacher in space, was being launched with a seven member crew. Then we all saw the explosion in the sky. The plumes represented total failure and […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Video Speech of the Most Courageous Superintendent in America at His Stop Common Core Rally   4 comments

Dr. Joseph Rella, Superintendent of Comsewogue School District in New York State, spoke to about two thousand parents on Saturday at a rally the superintendent called for, in order to stop Common Core. Parents cheered wildly throughout the speech. One voice shouted out, “You’re our hero, Dr. Rella!” and the crowd broke out into loud […]

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 […]

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. http://nces.ed.gov/forum/datamodel/eiebrowser/techview.aspx?instance=studentElementarySecondary These are the […]

Utah Student Tracking in Edweek Article   1 comment

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/on_innovation/2013/08/utah_personalizes_learning_with_portable_records.html 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, […]

Your Children: Free Thinkers or Socialist-Owned Cogs?   2 comments

An opinion editorial by Glenn Jacobs in today’s Daily Caller says that the Common Core should be renamed the “Lowest Common Denominator.” He suggests that American schools have been scientifically designed to prevent over-education, thus “ensuring workers who will never be tempted to better their stations in life.” What do you think of that? Considering […]

Does Opting Out Mean a Student is Labeled Nonproficient? Force-Feeding Students Ed Testing Reforms   6 comments

“A teacher shall consider students’ summative adaptive assessments in determining students’ academic grades for the appropriate courses and students’ advancement to the next grade level… Students not tested due to parent request shall receive a non-proficient score which shall be used in school accountability calculations.” -Proposed amendment to Utah Senate Bill 175 After I read […]

Calling All Utahns Today: Historic Day at the Capitol   2 comments

Today is a historic day in Utah. Dozens of Utah senators and representatives have RSVP’d to come tonight, to hear hundreds of teachers, parents, local school board members and even students speak out against Common Core. Each person may speak for up to three minutes. We are asking legislators to defund and halt Common Core […]

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

http://utahpubliceducation.org/2013/07/10/sit-in-my-seat/#comment-97870 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 […]

UTAHNS AGAINST COMMON CORE AT THE CAPITOL JULY 17   Leave a comment

You are invited to a public and legislators’ meeting to express concerns about Common Core. The meeting will be held Wednesday, July 17, at 5:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., in the Hall of Governors, on the first floor of the Utah State Capitol. Each person attending will be given 3 minutes (max) to testify before […]

Minersville Parent: Utah Must Withdraw From Common Core   2 comments

Here is a letter written to the Editor of a Southern Utah newspaper. I received permission to repost it here. Dear Editor, I am a concerned parent who strongly opposes Utah’s Core Standards (Common Core). Understand, I’m not opposed to having State-Controlled Educational Standards. My biggest concerns with the Common Core Standards are that they […]

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 […]

Deseret News Op-Ed: We’re Not Misinformed; We Know What Common Core Is And We Reject It.   4 comments

Hooray, Hooray! Today, the Deseret News published my op-ed. Here’s the link and the text: Utah state delegates officially disapproved Common Core when they passed the anti-common core resolution this year by a 65 percent vote. Was that not enough for our state school board and governor? Gov. Gary Herbert continues to promote the Common […]

The Constitution v. Redistribution of Teachers and Money in Ed Reform   Leave a comment

The heavyhanded education reform machine, by which I mean both the federal Department of Education and the corporate education business machine that’s led by the Bill Gates/Pearson folks, could never get away with what they are getting away with, taking over public education, testing, privacy, and the direction of textbook alignment nationwide, if the average […]

Not Misinformed: We Know What It Is And We Reject It   3 comments

If we remain bound to the Common Core stranglehold, it will be because a low-information citizenry passively buys the unsubstantiated claims of the proponents of Common Core without doing their own homework on this crucial subject. Our state school board refuses to let go of its praise-common-core talking points. And it continues to call those […]

Obama Redesigning All High Schools   11 comments

The Federal government is altering America and shrinking liberty so quickly that it’s hard to keep up with all the destruction. Much of it is connected to education reforms. There’s the removal of local control of education via Common Core tests/standards. There’s the removal of parental consent via the 50 federally placed (paid-for) State Longitudinal […]

Video: Citizens of New Hampshire Speak Out Against Common Core   3 comments

I really enjoyed watching this  New Hampshire video, which was filmed at a curriculum and instruction meeting of the Manchester school board. Citizens were allowed to speak for three minutes apiece. http://manchestercommunitytv.pegcentral.com/player.php?video=ded36c2e6dc5d55415f5b053f1880a83 Testifiers included several high school students, as well as parents and other citizens before the local school board. At 22:35 a graduating high school senior speaks […]

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 […]

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 […]

Kansas Needs Your Help   1 comment

Kansas is requesting help from all those who care for educational liberty nationwide.  Do you have time to send an email or make a phone call? The Kansas legislature is discussing whether to promote or oppose Common Core.  What happens in other states affects our own. It matters. http://www.kansas.com/2013/05/16/2806191/kansas-budget-proposal-could-halt.html Here’s the contact information for the Kansas […]

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 […]

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.  http://massie.house.gov/sites/massie.house.gov/files/documents/commoncore.pdf  (THANK YOU CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ!)   April 20, 2013 The Honorable Arne Duncan Secretary U.S. Department […]

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 […]

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 […]

Dear Utah State School Board   4 comments

Feel free to use this letter if it helps.  I sent it today.  If others wish to add their voices to mine, the board’s email is : Board@schools.utah.gov. The Governor needs to hear from us, too. ——— Dear USOE and State School Board, Parents and teachers like me are so very tired of reading lies […]

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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Judy Park Introduces Common Core SAGE Tests to Wasatch School District   18 comments

Here’s an update for everyone here in the Heber Valley who didn’t attend tonight’s Wasatch School District presentation.  It was given by State Assistant Superintendent Judy Park  on the new Common Core SAGE (American Institues for Research) tests. If you live in Utah, please check the schedule and make sure you and everyone on your block attends when […]

Posted April 8, 2013 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

Wasatch School District Unveils Common Core Tests to Parents April 8, 2013 at 4:00   2 comments

You Are Invited: Monday at Wasatch School District – April 8th at 4:00 p.m. 101 E 200 N Heber City, UT 84032  (435) 654-0280 Presentation on Common Core Assessments: American Institutes for Research (AIR) Tests Utah children will be subjected to Common Core tests for the first time this coming school year, to be provided by […]

School Data Collection Facts Summary   45 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

DATA COLLECTION UPDATE   1 comment

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 […]

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 […]

Indiana General Assembly Hears Pro- and Anti-Common Core Bill Testimonies   2 comments

Right now, at this very moment, the Indiana General Assembly is listening to testimony from both proponents and critics of the Common Core national standards.  You can watch here: http://www.in.gov/legislative/2441.htm They are into  double overtime. Right now, I ‘m watching/listening to the testimonies of pro-common core teachers, and it’s painful.  Why? These teachers are obviously intelligent, caring, […]

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, […]

Call to Action   Leave a comment

The Utah Legislative Session begins in two weeks. It is short. Please call legislators, state school board members and Governor Herbert and ask for the following: •   UT LEGISLATORS MUST WRITE FREEING LEGISLATION – Utah should reclaim its educational sovereignty by following the lead of states such as Indiana and South Carolina which are attempting to […]

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

J.R. Wilson gave me permission to repost http://www.educationnews.org/parenting/jr-wilson-parents-need-to-know-about-student-data-privacy/ 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 […]

Agenda 21 Reduces All Education to “Underpinning” Environmental and Collectivist Curriculums   2 comments

The following (shortened) statements from Chapter 36 of the U.N.’s Agenda 21 shows the openness with which the globalists intend to indoctrinate all of us.  They’ll use schools, museums, theatres, media, anything. Basic education is redefined by the Agenda 21, reduced to only an “underpinning” to their obsession with promoting all things “sustainable”. In the words of the […]

Salt Lake Tribune: $39M Spent On AIR High Stakes Tests (P-20, Longitudinal Database, Citizen Management)   Leave a comment

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Utah has decided to spend $39 million on American Institutes for Research’s version of Common Core testing.  http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/55349773-78/tests-state-system-students.html.csp Here’s the website of AIR, if you want to see who they are.  http://www.air.org/reports-products/index.cfm?fa=viewContent&content_id=2154 While I feel grateful we did not go with Pearson (Sir Michael Barber) or with ACT (David […]

For Those Who Missed the Meeting: Woes at UT Senate Education Committee   1 comment

Did you miss the last Senate Education Committee Meeting for the state of Utah? Anyone can subscribe, free, to a report of the meeting’s minutes. I do. —After I rant and rave about what the heck they’re doing at the Utah State Capitol I’ll paste the official meeting minutes, below. First: 1. Senator Aaron Osmond disclosed that he now works […]

Homeschool 101   Leave a comment

There are as many ways to homeschool as there are recipes for bread. People keep asking me what curriculum I’m using, now that I’ve started to homeschool.  There are way more resources and ideas than time! For those who doubt their abilities but want to homeschool I would say to trust yourself.  Freed from the governmental schools’ mandates […]

Rigorous and Grass-roots? That Ain’t Common Core.   Leave a comment

http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20121018/EDIT05/310189942/1021/EDIT An Opinion Editorial in an Indiana newspaper, the Journal Gazette, written by a candidate for school board, points out a dangerously little-known fact:  while Obama’s touting his  “Education reform in 46 states”  as one of his accomplishments,  people haven’t yet realized Obama is referring to the Common Core…” Thank you, Journal Gazette and Glenna Jehl. I would […]

Why I Decided to Homeschool My Child   6 comments

     Even though the elementary school my son attended up until this week is one of the friendliest, most parent-involved and teacher-dedicated school I’ve ever seen, I decided to homeschool.  My decision to homeschool is not a political statement, although I am vehemently opposed to the Common Core Initiative which has taken over our schools.  It’s not […]

What Is Going On With Pearson and Utah?   Leave a comment

Untangling the Choice Solutions/Pearson/UEA/Utah Data Alliance Partnerships So today I’m imagining Utah’s State Technology Director, John Brandt, and Pearson’s CEA Sir Michael Barber having a conversation over crumpets and tea about all the data Sir Michael Barber hopes to collect on the “global” citizenry –and how John Brandt can help. http://youtu.be/T3ErTaP8rTA Brandt did set up the 2011 UTREX contract that allowed […]

Influence the Republican Party Platform   3 comments

At this link, you can submit ideas for the Republican Party as they update the platform. http://www.gopplatform2012.com/ 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Personally Identifiable Information Set Loose By Dept. of Education   Leave a comment

Q:  Will personally identifiable student data now be allowed to be given out by schools with governmental and nongovernmental entities, both in-state and out of state?  A: YES.  Unless E.P.I.C. wins its lawsuit against the Department of Education, or unless Congress polices the Department of Education which is overstepping its authority, federal FERPA regulations will […]

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 http://utahpubliceducation.org/2012/07/10/utahs-core-standards-assessments-and-privacy-regulations/. 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 […]

Common Core Science Implements U.N. Directives For Host Countries Via Microsoft   4 comments

     Will Utah adopt Common Core Science?  If so, we can expect an over-emphasis on “sustainable development,” “climate change,” and “environmental awareness” that will marginalize traditional academic science in favor of United Nations-inspired “sustainability” science.  We can also expect a continued degrading of local control.  Utah, like most of the states in this nation, adopted the Common Core math and […]

Who Funded and Promoted Common Core? Hint: It wasn’t the states themselves.   1 comment

  1.  Bill Gates paid the National PTA (Parents and Teachers Association) a million bucks to promote Common Core in 2009, before the Common Core Standards had ever been written or released –in 2010.  (It is like getting married before you meet your spouse.  So reasonable a thing to do with the educational future of the […]

The Arne Duncan Plan: Rob Kids of the Opportunity to Ever Change Or Improve Academic Path   2 comments

Arne Duncan says he needs to control children via data-driven decisions.  This data will be collected via the Common Core testing system:  “… so that every child knows on every step of their educational trajectory what they’re going to do.” THIS IS NOT GOOD.  Children don’t always know what they want to be when they […]

Why EPIC is Suing the Department of Education –and Why They Should Win   Leave a comment

The U.S. Department of Education has been sued. EPIC (The Electronic Privacy Information Center) sued the Dept. of Education– for 30+ reasons.  Good reasons.  Read them!  http://epic.org/apa/ferpa/EPIC-FERPA-Complaint.pdf EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center) The lawsuit is happening under the Administrative Procedure Act and says the Dept. of Education exceeded its statutory authority and acted out of accordance […]

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 […]

The Common Core Lie –And How it Got Believed   Leave a comment

    In a nutshell, here’s the lie:  Educational standards have been so painfully low that adopting nationalized education via Common Core is the only or best way to improve education.  The truth follows below.  Let’s learn from history and fix our error, before it’s too late. The article below was posted today on http://utahnsagainstcommoncore.com   and […]

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 (http://youtu.be/EkwN-cwC810) 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 […]

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 […]

You Are SO Not Alone in Thinking Common Core is Ridiculous   Leave a comment

Organizations  and People Against Common Core: Heritage Foundation CATO Institute Pioneer Institute Utah Eagle Forum Joyce & Dick Kinmont Family LDS Home Educators Assn. American Leadership Fund Standard of Liberty Proper Role of Government United Women’s Forum Principled Liberty Foundation Citizens for Strong Families Freedom for Utah Education Thomas Jefferson Center for Constitutional Studies Senator Michael […]

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 […]

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 […]