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Utah’s pro-SB196 and pro-CSE people make what they do sound like pure charity.
But it’s not.
SB196 promotes what the U.N. promotes: adult advocacy of practicing homosexual behavior –to kids. Note: by removing prior language that forbade teachers from advocating homosexuality, the bill now permits advocacy (to kids) about engaging in homosexual behavior. There is a big difference between tolerance for a personal decision and advocacy to others about child engagement in controversial, potentially dangerous, behavior.
Stuart Adams, sponsor of SB 196
This article is not aiming to attack anyone, but aims to show that when you look at multiple bills, and what they are doing, you begin to see a big picture concerning sex ed here and around the globe; it’s about bills that are perhaps unintentionally pushing immorality in the form of education through common, global “comprehensive sexuality standards”; it’s about a Utah bill pushing gay advocacy on children in the guise of kindness toward gays; it’s about a good bill on informed consent to educate pregnant women about abortion before they abort.
It might seem that these things are unrelated. But they’re not. They are all aligned to the globalist (UN) agenda –and monied lobbying groups and governments far from Utah do want to see Utah fall like a domino into line with their version of “rights” and “education”.
Before I ask you to consider helping to stop SB196, the “advocacy of homosexuality to children” bill; and before I (relatedly, belatedly) report about the happy death of HB215 last month (that was to add erotic CSE sex standards, detailed in Comprehensive Sexuality Education Standards (CSE), here’s a frame of reference. It’s a video clip that shows the divide in Utah’s legislature on reproduction and sex ed issues. Click here.
Fast forward to 1:30 -ish on the video. Representative Stratton speaks for the bill (at 1:30) which is written to promote informed consent of pregnant mothers prior to aborting babies. It’s a good bill. Then Representative King speaks against Stratton’s bill. (See 1:38 – one hour, thirty eight minutes)
At first, King sounds calm and almost reasonable.
Around 1:40 King’s tone turns and he says, “I don’t want to hear anyone stand up and talk to me about “babies” or killing babies,” he says, “What we are talking about are zygotes, embryos, and fetuses… When I hear an individual refer to an unborn child as a baby, I know immediately they are not to be taken seriously.”
This is who we are dealing with: legislators who won’t call abortion a death, or fetuses, humans.
A year ago, pro-abortion UT Rep. Brian King pushed CSE language in a bill that failed to persuade the legislature that CSE standards were really an improvement over Utah’s current sex ed standards.
I was present last year. There was an overflowing education committee room, lines and lines of people queuing up to speak for and against it, and, thankfully, that bill died in the committee’s vote.
One year later (a few weeks ago) again, the legislative education committee room was packed to standing room, with overflow rooms and online audiences receiving video or audio. Many in the crowd wore red to signify “STOP CSE” (Stop Comprehensive Sexuality Education). The bad bill was CSE-promoting, contraceptives-for-kids-promoting, parental consent-deleting HB 215.
This meeting went on for about four hours. As in the previous year, there were lines and lines of people queuing up to testify both for and against the bill. It felt like a miracle when the bill failed in the vote.
We knew it was only a temporary miracle: the national, big-monied lobbying groups, such as Planned Parenthood, and the liberal, progressive think tanks, and the United Nations itself, are relentlessly pushing CSE in every state. Bet money, if you are a gambler, that its core principles (anti-life, anti-morality) will be back every year, slid into multiple forms of bills. But we didn’t know how temporary.
Refresher: The national CSE standards call for children as young as third grade (nine years of age) to describe male and female reproductive anatomy and functions; to describe the changes of puberty; and to “define sexual orientation as the romantic attraction of an individual to someone of the same gender or a different gender.” And that’s just for nine year olds. It gets more inappropriate for older children. See: National Sexuality Education Standards
In their testimonies, some of the pro-CSE speakers at the recent hearing said that they had been raped –as a direct result of lack of good sex ed. They claimed that Utah doesn’t have thorough sex ed. But they must not have been taught in Utah schools; read the sex ed standards posted at USOE.
Interestingly, some of the anti-CSE testifiers were also rape victims. The rape-prevention argument for CSE thus bombed. (Is it remotely logical that teachers’ advocacy of eroticism and masturbation (topics which CSE standards advocate as “rights of a child”) would be likely to cause –as soon as prevent– the horror of rape?)
It simply is not true that Utah’s sex ed standards are lacking substance or detail or science. In Utah’s current, extremely thorough, sex ed standards and teacher/parent resource guides, I see nothing skipped over, nothing shallow, unscientific, sloppy or prudish.
So, if it isn’t really about decent education, what’s the real agenda? It’s a far-left wish to push an amoral, early-age-sex pushing, gay, lesbian, transgender-encouraging agenda on everyone, not just to prevent bullying, as they pretend it is. This agenda is detailed by national groups SIECUS and FoSE and by global groups, including the United Nations, in its global, common Comprehensive Sexuality Standards.
It is very simple to document for yourself: just lift terms out of Rep. King’s bill, and do an internet search to see how many far-left organizations and universities have used and coined, in their publications and initiatives, the same almost-bland sounding terms. Trace, for example, the scholarly articles and the money trails for groups publishing articles on “comprehensive sexuality” and “positive youth development”)
What Rep. King and CSE promoters don’t like about Utah’s sex ed standards is probably, simply this:
“The following shall not be taught:
1. The intricacies of intercourse, sexual stimulation, erotic behavior, etc.
2. The advocacy of homosexuality.
3. The advocacy or encouragement of the use of contraceptive methods.
4. The advocacy of sexual relations outside of marriage or sexual promiscuity”.
Each of those four things are fully promoted by CSE.
Need evidence? Watch the “War on Children” video. Read the CSE standards of FoSE and SIECUS here. Visit the United Nations’ website, which openly states that it works through governments [people like Representative King] to push its values on the entire world.
It admits: “UNFPA works with governments to implement comprehensive sexuality education, both in schools and through community-based training and outreach. UNFPA also promotes policies for, and investment in, sexuality education programmes that meet internationally agreed standards.”
Have you agreed to CSE? Has our entire country, our entire world? Do you even know what’s written in CSE?
This fight is not over.
How relieved we felt, a few weeks ago, when the vote was taken and King’s CSE bill died. We thought we had a break until next year’s session.
We were wrong to think we had a year of rest.
RIGHT NOW, there’s another bill, SB196, working its way through the legislature –right now– that has already unanimously passed a Senate ed committee. It will remove point #2 above: “the advocacy of homosexuality”.
KSL reported that SB 196 unanimously passed the ed committee, even though it removed the prohibition against Utah teachers advocating for homosexual lifestyles for Utah children.
News flash: Advocacy of homosexuality is not sex ed. It’s advocacy!
Education about homosexuality, or teaching kids kindness toward homosexual individuals, is not the same thing as having teachers advocate engagement in homosexual behavior, to children.
How could the senate pass this “advocacy of homosexuality” bill? I was told it was to dodge a huge law suit.
I don’t get it. Do you? What are the weights and measures– what do we prioritize: protecting and educating kids, or fearing law suits?
And in my estimation, the law suit is a brain dead argument.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported that the law suit (which supposedly spurred the unanimous yes vote on bill 196) said:
“These laws prevent presentation of accurate information concerning lesbian, gay, bisexual people in health classes and other classes, even when such information serves important educational purposes, while imposing no similar restriction on discussion of heterosexuality”.
That’s not true. Utah law does not prevent presentation of accurate information; in fact, USOE standards explicitly say that sex ed includes discussion of homosexuality. The laws do say that teachers cannot advocate for homosexual nor for heterosexual promiscuity. Advocacy rightly is prohibited in schools. It’s not a school’s job to advocate, but to teach academics and health.
More ridiculousness in the suit: the Tribune reported that the lawsuit claimed that there were no similar bans applying to clubs about heterosexuality, heterosexual persons or heterosexual issues, and that “that discrimination harms LGBT students… preventing them from participating equally in student clubs, stigmatizing them as inferior an unequal.”
Not true. Teachers are not permitted to advocate for heterosexual promiscuity, either.
Some people claim that the legalization of gay marriage necessitates teachers advocating gay lifestyles in schools. That makes no sense to me.
What will teachers advocate for next, if this passes? Pedophilia, so that pedophiles can have an after-school club, too? Where do we draw a line?
All human beings should support and practice advocacy for special needs children, and for any individual being bullied, whether he/she is gay or is of an ethnic or religious minority, or is obese, or is blind, or is anything else that others may bully. What I do not support is party-line advocacy of participation in a very controversial, potentially dangerous sexual behavior to young people who are, by law, in school.
If you live it Utah, and if you think that altering the language to make advocating for homosexual behavior is wrong, please asking the representatives to say “no way” on SB 196.
Protect kids! Stop SB196 now. Then, work to educate others to stop CSE in all its forms.
You can tweet #VoteNoSB196 @utahreps – https://twitter.com/utahreps .
You can email the Utah House of Representatives. Contact emails are here for a handful to get your started. Look up others here.
They often prefer to have emails addressed to them individually, rather than mass emails.
Rep. Brad Wilson:
Rep. Greg Hughes
email@example.com (Speaker of the House)
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 education –and why I never would in today’s climate. It is frightening to look at how political maneuvering can have a subversive intent that is not immediately apparent”.
I Became a Teacher. Why?
I became a teacher
to lead children along the journey of learning
so they might journey to where the love of learning leads.
I became a teacher
to introduce children to the world of awesome art
so they might create art to awe the world.
I became a teacher
to ensure children recognize and cherish nature’s gifts
so they might ensure nature’s gifts are preserved to cherish.
I became a teacher to encourage children to dream so they might find encouraging dreams to follow.
I became a teacher to open children’s minds to all that is possible so they might put their open minds to making the impossible, possible.
I became a teacher to show children how to find peace in the world around them
so they might bring peace to the world.
I became a teacher to inspire these future citizens of our country to have a vision
so they might envision a greater future for our country.
I became a teacher to model putting one’s efforts toward that which is greater than one’s self
so that my students might find the greatness within themselves.
This why I can no longer be a teacher. I can no longer do what I went
into teaching to do.
by Diana McKay
A Letter to my mother-who believed I could have been more.
I just called you, wanting you to tell me that it is acceptable, no, justifiable, to still be in my pajamas at almost noon, escaping in novels, or just musing, thereby avoiding the endless and monumental pile of test papers waiting to be scored. I wanted you to tell me, that after almost forty years of nights, weekends, spent on lesson plans, on time consuming preparations and collections for science experiments or social studies lessons, on wasted hours providing so called “instructional feedback” that I deserve a break. I needed you to tell me that I am entitled to enjoy a Saturday. You didn’t answer. But, you would have scolded me again reminding me that I was magna cum laude, Phi Beta
Kappa, for hell’s sake, I could have been a doctor, lawyer, chief executive officer and I’d
retort, “They make only money, I make a difference.”
I often wonder was a “difference” worth it?
Then, once in a decade, a letter arrives at the school address, with “please forward to” in front of my name. No need to “forward to” me, I’m still here. The letter opens with, “You may not remember me, but I was in your 2nd grade class in 1988 and I became a teacher because of the way you taught,” or “ I just wanted to thank you for making me believe in myself,” and a flood of emotion washes over me. Is it joy in knowing I did indeed make a little difference or is it relief that my life was not totally wasted in hours of test grading? But, then it hits me with astounding clarity. It is not the lessons, the science experiments, the hours spent writing “constructive” feedback on papers or comments on report cards that make a difference. It is the moments spent in “real” time, the “teachable” moment, guiding students toward something far more vital and ephemeral. It is the discovery that we are only here in this world, this universe, to learn and grow into whomever we are meant or choose to be, and we’re here for such a short time.
So in these last hours of a lifetime career, I will wave a white flag and surrender the minutia of unnecessary skill “kill” drills.
I’ll surrender soul-sucking data delirium, and follow my 1969 musings about my future in education. I’ll embrace this quote by John Holt as I did in those youthful years when choosing to become a teacher.
“Children do poorly in school because they’re bored with the meaningless work . . . scared of being punished or humiliated . . . In essence I’d realized, from observing and teaching, that school is a place where children learn to be stupid!” – John Holt
Holt explains why in these last ten years I am shockingly aware of the seeming decline of intellect. In the effort to “train” students to perform better in world competition for the right answers on tests, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 has failed to raise test scores, failed to lower drop out rates, failed to increase literacy rates and failed to increase rates of college graduation. It has only been successful in “failure”. Failure is the theme, the torch, the stick, and the misnomer given to the public schools. Feed on failure, focus on failure, hold failure foremost, and what you get is failure. Is it the schools or the teachers’ failure or is it a failure of leadership?
It is a fact, as the proportion of children in poverty rises, the scores for US schools drop. In November 2012 the U.S. Census Bureau reported more than 16% of the U.S. population lived in poverty, including 22% of all people under age 18, approximately 13 million children. The number of people in the U.S. who are in poverty is approaching 1960s levels that led to the national War on Poverty. The war on poverty has been replaced with a war on public education scapegoating teachers who devote their
lives to educating our youth, despite the rhetoric.
Maybe next year will be my last.
I’ll be a casualty of that war, but, before I go I may just finally teach children “to fish” so that they will always be able to satisfy their hunger for information. Maybe I’ll create “seekers of knowledge” and guide them in their self selected quests to quench their curiosity. I will promote passion. I will not police production, or sort students by standardized scores, and waste gifted minds with endless mind numbing repetition so that “no child is left behind”. Next year, I will not bow to the tyranny of parent terrorists whose agenda is to destroy at least one teacher each year to appease their guilt over not really wanting to participate in educating their own child. I will not become dispirited by legislators abusing their political right to blame educators for their own failure in economic policy to reduce poverty. I will not surrender to the district dictates to demonstrate mastery of core skills under the NCLB Act which demoralizes both the student and me, with the threat of being doomed to failure if we don’t continually collect data as mandated, and to master the skills on the testing timeline. I think next year I will actually choose to “fail” to do what I am accused of failing to do and instead I’ll make a difference. But first, I’ll have to quit musing and get busy. I still have all those tests to score.
Statement by Diana McKay on Common Core:
My position is that the Common Core Standards left to teachers to teach is not the problem.
The problem is multifaceted. The data addiction and dictates derived from research using easily measured variables in schools impacted from poverty and applied to all settings is causing no child to be “left ahead”.
Overzealous testing of easily measured objectives using multiple choice answers and the omission of any untestable processes that are essential, reduces education to training. The arts are therefore being lost, but it might be worse if the arts were to be tested.
Scapegoating teachers and reducing them to robots who follow scripted lessons “with fidelity” that are designed by publishing companies has killed the professionalism of talented teachers. Publishing companies are profiting most from the Common Core– one set of texts fit all–no updates needed. Profiteers selling data system management has caused spread sheets to become more important than the content of instruction.
The grading of schools is a precursor to justifying voucher systems to line the pockets of richly connected individuals who can tap the taxpayers for private school buildings, etc. that aren’t needed, and which contribute to a caste system as children are prevented from mixing with ethnically or economically different peers.
This is my position. Politicians and corporations have no business in education and school districts
should not use taxpayers’ money to support the goals of business.
Thank you, Diana McKay.
More and more sinister facts about Common Core are surfacing. Proponents are running scared. They are glossing over, avoiding, lying about and making fun of, those in possession of the powerful and ugly truths about Common Core.
For example, there’s a taxpayer-funded Utah propaganda campaign that the Utah State School Board is to employ this year to “correct the misinformation” that the board members won’t actually, directly address, at all. (See page 232-236 of the 518-page document) There’s the fact that the USOE refers to critics of Common Core as “The Common Core Crazies” in teacher development trainings. This has been verified to me directly by multiple teachers who’ve attended Utah teacher conferences this spring and summer.
Open debate is out of style. Freedom of speech, thought or expression seem politically incorrect. Proponents of Common Core are opposed to discussing pros and cons, and certainly won’t reference, source, or provide documented empirical studies (because they don’t exist) to prove the claims of Common Core’s proponents to be true.
This fear of standing in light should signal to honest seekers of truth that there’s something very wrong: intellectual honesty (defined by empirical evidence and pilot testing of new programs) and freedom of speech and thought (defined by two-sided conversations) are concepts that the proponents of Common Core dismiss in favor of hand-me-down,Gates-funded “talking points.” It’s: One Size Fits All. (“If the shoe doesn’t fit, you still have to wear it.”)
You may have seen the back and forth of national education analysts and former governors and assorted others.
These attacks, aimed at critics of Common Core, is actually great news: It’s evidence that we are making a dent in this power-grabbing beast.
Please remember three simple facts to spread the truth and to cut through Gates’ marketing noise:
It’s a shaky academic experiment; it slashes local control; it’s the glue in the unconstitutional surveillance program.
1) Common Core is an academic experiment on our children that will affect not just K-12 but also universities.
Nothing they say changes its experimental nature. There’s no empirical testing that’s ever been done, no pilot study, no proof that these standards are academically an improvement. It’s just marketing– the repetitive use of the misused words “rigorous” and “internationally benchmarked” which, just as any grocery item that’s labeled “new and improved” — isn’t remotely new or improved. But who fact-checks? And yes, we should be rattled; these are radical changes: less literature; untested, way-different math. The time-tested, classical instruction’s flown out the standardized-common-testing window with the massive increase of testing. The ACT/SAT/GED/AP are all aligning to the experiment. And don’t forget about the massive increase of nonacademic student data-mining linked to the Common testing. It’s not small potatoes, folks.
2.) Common Core circumvents local authority and hands power to those who are furthest from the children/teachers.
The copyright by NGA/CCSSO is one proof. The 15% rule of the feds, that disallows soaring, is another proof. The micromanagement of the feds over the testing is another. The lack of any coming together to create a state-led amendment process is another proof. The monopoly on thought (via all texts being aligned, all ACT/SAT/GED/AP tests aligned) is another. There is no local control when the standards and tests are created from “on high.” There is no legitimacy when the standards and tests are experimental in nature and lack empirical validity. So even if the standards WERE excellent, states/districts have no control over those entities (NGA-CCSSO) who can alter them without our consent, sooner or later. When you lose control, you lose control. It doesn’t come back.
3) Common Core tests further entrench the surveillance of teachers and students by the government without parental consent.
If you remember these three points– and know where the links are to document them, you can stand up to the bullies, or to those who are uneducated about what Common Core is really all about.
All the opinion editorials in the world are not going to make the day night, or night day. Truth is truth whether people choose to believe it or not.
Kenny Bradley, a Utah teenager, gave the following speech at the State Capitol last week, which was heard by a crowd of 500-600 people that included dozens of legislators, and teachers, parents and school board members. Bradley, a recent high school graduate, Valedictorian, Math Sterling Scholar Winner in the Southwestern Utah Region, and former math teacher’s aide, aiding in Common Core math classes, has given permission to share this speech.
I would like to start my speech with Aesop’s Fable of The Flies and the Honey-Pot.
“A number of flies were attracted to a jar of honey which had been overturned in a housekeeper’s room, and placing their feet in it, ate greedily. Their feet, however, became so smeared with the honey that they could not use their wings, nor release themselves, and were suffocated. Just as they were expiring, they exclaimed, ’O foolish creatures that we are, for the sake of a little pleasure we have destroyed ourselves.’”
I oppose Common Core because it is like the honey that trapped and suffocated the flies, because although it appears to be wonderful, it is dangerous. It is untested, unalterable by the people and teachers in local communities, and we cannot realistically “opt out” after it is fully implemented.
First, as a recent high school graduate, Valedictorian, Math Sterling Scholar Winner in the Southwestern Utah Region, and a former math teacher’s aide, I experienced firsthand the common core math standards being implemented at my high school. I saw students struggle with the common core curriculum in the math class where I was a teacher’s aide. Not because it was advanced or difficult, but because of the rapid pace at which new concepts were introduced and the lack of necessary explanations. Many lessons jumped from one concept to another and often combined them after five problems or so, before they have fully learned or even understood the original concepts. Most importantly, they never learned “why” these concepts function, work together, or even exist. They simply learned “what” they are called and, if they are lucky, they learned “how” to do them.
Despite these issues with the math section of common core, our school is being forced to adopt Common Core fully this next school year –if something is not done by the legislature soon.
Second, Common Core is taking our children’s education away from us locally and placing them into the hands of an ever expanding government. Almost every case of this in history has led to a tyrannical government fueled by the rising generation that has been indoctrinated with specific political and social views, such as the example of youth being taught to believe in anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany.
Thankfully, our Founding Fathers included the Tenth Amendment in our Constitution to protect States’ rights protecting our children’s education from any federal program. The General Educational Provisions Act (GEPA) also explicitly protects the education system from federal control. We must enforce these protections.
Third, once Common Core is fully implemented in the next school year, with so much invested money and training, we will not be able to easily “opt out.” This is especially alarming because State
Education Boards signed into Common Core before the standards were ever written!!! Common Core’s federal control does not stop with public schools. Students in charter and private schools, as well as homeschoolers, will also eventually have no choice but to learn what the federal government wants to teach them. Why? Because of the National Standards that will naturally follow Common Core in the States that it is implemented in. The ACT and SAT, necessary tests for college placement, will be aligned to Common Core standards, which may prevent homeschooled children from attending college if they do not study Common Core material.
Therefore, I oppose Common Core because it is untested, unalterable except by getting permission from outside Utah, and we are unable to “opt out.” May our children and our education system not become stuck and suffocate in Common Core like the flies trapped in honey from Aesop’s fable.
You can imagine that, despite the no-applause-please request of the meeting’s moderator, there was thunderous applause following this speech. Thank you, Kenny Bradley.
Here is a letter written to the Editor of a Southern Utah newspaper. I received permission to repost it here.
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 are controlled by D.C. private interest groups working closely with the United States Department of Education.
It is a public-private partnership. The Common Core tests are, in fact, funded by the federal government. It’s federally approved, federally funded, and federally promoted.
Frankly, it’s a control grab that cuts the American voter out and is clearly a violation of the General Educational Provisions Act (G.E.P.A.) which prohibits “any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration . . . of any educational institution, school, or school system .”
Further, there is no amendment process in place that our state can utilize if it disagrees with, or does not like the curriculum or the standards. The question begs to be asked: “Who will really be in charge of the curriculum, the state (as it should be) or private interest groups and the federal government?” It would appear that we will not be as free to make changes or improvements in the curriculum as easily as Ms. Roberts suggested in her recent letter to the editor.
Now is the time to act! We CAN and SHOULD withdraw from Common Core and protect our state’s educational system from the grasp of the federal government!
Ms. Roberts also stated that these standards were discussed and adopted over a period of time and in public meetings where we “could have commented during the public participation period”.
Does anybody else remember any advertising of such meetings? I don’t.
What I do know, however, is that there are parents and citizens that would like to have open discussions and answers to their questions RIGHT NOW!
Personally, I would like Ms. Roberts to publically answer the questions* outlined in the recent article by Christel Swasey–giving specific, detailed answers, not blanket statements and talking points.
I believe that parents have the ultimate responsibility of teaching their children and providing for their education.
If we do not stand up as parents and demand that our concerns and desires for their education be addressed and met by those in public leadership positions, then we will be held accountable.
Consequently, until Common Core is rejected, I am pulling my children from the public school system.
*The board is silent on these simple questions:
Where is a shred of evidence to support the claim that Common Core improves education?
Where are any studies showing that the reduction of literary study improves college readiness?
Where is some evidence that slowing the age at which students learn math algorithms improves college readiness?
Where is any amendment process for Utah’s math and English standards, under the copyrighted Common Core?
How can one opt out of the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) tracking and the Common Core tests?
Where is the legal — constitutional — authority for people outside our state to set our local standards and to create and monitor our tests?
Why does Utah stand by while Obama announces that he will redesign schools and tax all Americans to pay for it, without Utah putting up a fight?
Why is there a spiral of silence culture now, that demands everyone pretend to agree; where is freedom of expression and freedom of speech in the common agenda, now that teachers and principals don’t speak out for fear of losing their jobs?
How on earth can anyone call Common Core “state-led” when unelected boards that operate behind closed doors, that are not accountable to the public, developed and copyrighted the standards, bypassing voters and the vast majority of teachers and legislators?
Where is the line-item cost analysis of taxpayers’ money being spent on Common Core technologies, teacher training and texts?
When will state leadership address Common Core’s specific damages with the people who elected these leaders to serve us, rather than bowing to every federal whim?
Will the board and governor ever stand up to the Department of Education’s tsunami of assaults on liberties?
Will they continue to fight against local teachers and citizens who rightfully demand local liberty and who rightfully ask for proven, non-experimental, amendable standards — following the example set by the national and world-leading education system in Massachusetts, prior to Common Core?
Thanks to Deyette Bradley for sharing her letter here.
The Department of Education is increasingly creepy.
There’s no other word for it. It’s as bad as any Orwellian-styled fiction. I say this without being in the least speculative– proof is published openly in the actual source documents coming out of the current Department of Education.
I invite you to scan over the Department of Education’s document entitled “Promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perserverance.”
This 126-page report was published four months ago by the Office of Educational Technology and the U.S. Department of Education.
The whole document is about student data mining– but not just the type of data mining we’ve talked about before, where math and English and a student’s personal name and address are the issues.
Here, the issue is having schools/governments collect data about a student’s will, character, beliefs and attitudes using multiple measures that go beyond standardized testing to physical control and measurement of the child, by eye tracking and nerve sensory devices.
On page 44, see exhibit 11. It shows how affective sensors are used in some areas to measure student “engagement”. You’ll see facial expression cameras, posture analysis seats, a pressure mouse, and a wireless skin conductance sensor.
These are supposed to be good things?!
We see clearly that it is not enough for the “education reformers” to nationally control, via common standards and testing, the math and English teaching; they also desire to test, analyze and control, noncognitive individual attitudes.
How is freedom of thought, freedom of belief/attitude/religion, or freedom of expression, upheld by these “reforms” in any way?
The document also says:
“There is a growing movement to explore the potential of the “noncognitive” factors— attributes, dispositions, social skills, attitudes, and intrapersonal resources, independent of intellectual ability…”
I re-read Orwell’s 1984 recently. Do you remember it? The main character lives in a world completely controlled by the government, which watches all citizens through virtually omnipresent screens and makes all citizens daily chant, with the same expressions on their faces– or else.
“Of course he chanted with the rest: it was impossible to do otherwise. To dissemble your feelings, to control your face, to do what everyone else was doing, was an instinctive reaction.”
In Promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perserverance, as in other documents and speeches promoted by the current administration, you will also see the marginalization of parents. Parents are not seen as the primary instructor and authority figure over the child. Parents are seen as just the supporting cast. They can play a role. They can support. They can be educated about governmental “best practices” to practice at home. Think I’m kidding?
From page xiv: “Conclusion 6: Parents and guardians can also play a direct and important role in promoting
their children’s grit, tenacity, and perseverance… Recommendation 6a: Parents may employ some of the research-based best practices at home as they work with their children around academic goals… Parents can also support children in structuring their home work
environments to support effortful control…
Recommendation 6b: Educators… should consider outreach to parents and guardians as an important support for
students… parents may need to be educated about best practices.
This goes right along with Obama’s Lean Forward campaign, where the video spokeswoman, Melissa Harris-Perry said, (see below) “We haven’t had a collective notion of ‘these are our children.’ We have to break through this kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents.”
Last I heard, our Utah State Office of Education was claiming that Utah’s Common Core tests (A.I.R.) will only test math and English, and will not test behavioral indicators, attitudes, grit or tenacity.
Do you believe it?
I wish I could.
But while the Department of Education is pushing behavioral indicator measurement, and while the testing company Utah has chosen to create its Common Core tests —American Institutes for Research— has a mission statement “to conduct and apply the best behavioral and social science research and evaluation,” and while the Utah legislature has passed HB15, a bill that requires “behavior indicators” in school testing, and when Bill Gates, the main funder of all things Common Core, is promoting the merger of technology, games, education and biometric-psychometric control– when these forces combine, how can anyone still believe that all is well?
All is not well.
Parents, teachers and legislators must stand up, speak out, and not be quiet until we stop this erosion of individual rights.
If we don’t, who will?