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 would have represented voters’ informed consent and desires. It would have a built-in a states’ amending process. It would have represented and standardized something vetted, not this untested theory, this not parentally authorized, not teacher-authorized, not voter-authorized, experiment on, and tracking of, children.
- The Common Core is greed-led. It was not an educator but a businessman, David Coleman, who wrote his ideas on a napkin, and brought them to the second richest man on earth, Bill Gates. Gates saw the potential: using standardized data systems, educational standards and tests (and tax dollars) they’d forge what he called, in the video below, a “uniform base of customers” nationally. While Coleman pitched the idea to a partial club of governors and a partial club of state superintendents ( who bought it, and claimed it, and copyrighted it after hiring Coleman’s company, Achieve Inc., to produce it). Gates paid anyone who would take his millions, to promote it.
To this day, the private trade groups NGA and CCSSO claim that they are the “state” originators of the Common Core. That defies common sense and the structure of U.S. government. We have legislatures to represent voters; NGA and CCSSO are not legislative bodies.
I believe in capitalism and I cheer for entrepreneurs who make money legitimately; but Common Core is not legitimate business. It took over political processes. It represents the takeover of voters’ rights. It is collusion: between businessmen who have no authority to determine educational processes, and the federal government. Think that’s just some wacky theory?
Look at this link from the CCSSO’s website. It’s clear evidence of the collusion which went behind constitutional rights of states and which destroyed checks and balances, by setting education policy centrally. Only the feds, married to these nonlegislative and private organizations, call the shots here:
The Common Education Data Standards Initiative is a joint effort by CCSSO and the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) in partnership with the United States Department of Education.
So the same superintendents’ club (CCSSO) that partnered with the partial governors’ club (NGA) to copyright a Common Core for math and English, also partnered with the feds to standardize a common data mining program with CEDS standards, nationally.
Video One: Bill Gates
Bill Gates telling legislators to “unleash” the forces of a “uniform customer base” by using Common Core
Video Two: David Coleman
Businessman David Coleman explaining that he personally persuaded governors to sign on to Common Core, a business idea he plotted on a napkin
Despite the fact that the #StopFedEd / Stop Common Core movement has become politically huge, and that many people know the truth about Common Core, many people still believe that it’s a harmless initiative, and that the Common Core was “state-led”.
Who could blame them for believing so? The promoted “talking points” said so. These were marketed by power-wielders: Bill Gates, the U.S. Dept. of Education, the paid-off National P.T.A., and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce –and were passed along by state boards of education and local boards of education to teachers and parents who trusted those lines. Few fact-checked. The lie got passed along and believed.
Common Core is not primarily an academic argument; it’s a takeover of local authority.
A good friend recently asked, “What’s so bad about the federal government controlling local education?”
If you know socialist/communist countries’ educational malpractices and propaganda machines; their lack of creativity, lack of joy, condemnation of faith, and lack of truth, you will not ask this question.
If you know that there is zero constitutional authority for the federal government to make decisions about education for American schools, you will not ask this question.
But if you don’t know or believe that, just think about your own desires for your children and grandchildren.
If you desire to have an ongoing voice of authority in your child’s education, his/her testing, and his/her data privacy, you cannot support federal education nor Common Core.
The Common Core allows nobody but its copyrighters to amend it. Its tests are held secret, even after the tests are over. The SLDS databases collect data on your child according to federal designs, and it is only a matter of time before this aggregated data will be legalized in disaggregated form. These are questions of personal power and personal conscience. Over time, it is ultimately a question of religious liberty, because the freedoms of conscience and of action are freedom of religion.
Who has God-given authority over what goes into your child’s open mind? Business sectors and federal government? –Or parents, with the consented-to assistance of teachers and perhaps a local school board?
If programs (such as Common Core and Common Educational Data Standards) do not allow for user amendability, for personal conscience to input change, then they are on day one, already corrupt. They are, or will be, tyrannical.
Remember the founders’ words: “consent by the governed“.
Because businesses and federal agencies have centralized education power, local and state input has been rendered increasingly powerless. Where was consent? I can’t even opt out my own child out of the CEDS/ SLDS child-inventorying machine, my state tells me.
This is why the chairman of the National Governors’ Association (NGA), Utah Governor Gary Herbert, failed to secure the nomination in last week’s state GOP convention. This is why that same governor was so loudly booed at the Utah County GOP convention by most of the 1,500 delegates in the audience, every time he said that Utah had control of education standards locally. They knew the truth.
The governor/NGA chair either didn’t know it, or didn’t believe it.
Suggestion: Don’t call Common Core “state-led” anymore, because millions of Americans realize that –even though well-meaning people were duped and then promoted it in good faith– Common Core has always been a solely greed-led collusion between the business sector and the federal government.
WHAT COMMON CORE REALLY DOES TO EDUCATION
Let me share my recent experience with you.
While I teach 10th grade English, part time, at a non-common core, classical, traditional, private school called Freedom Project Academy (FPA) I also tutor, for free, neighbors and friends.
The comparison between my private, not-common core school, and the local public school, in English Language Arts, is stunning.
Background: FPA is an online school that recognizes no governmentally-set educational standards. It recognizes time-tested books as standards: the Bible, the classic works of literature, and the classic works of math, etc. It does not promote “informational text” articles, as Common Core does. FPA tenth graders read the following works of literature cover to cover, and wrote about them this year: The Old Man and the Sea; Romeo and Juliet; Murder on the Orient Express; The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; The Scarlet Letter. Fantastic!
Meanwhile, local public school teenagers who have come for help with their essays let me know that they were assigned “mostly articles” and very few books. Their essay assignments were based on articles about “gender-based toys” and “green cars of the future” –clearly, these young people were being fed the progressive agenda under the banner of “English Language Arts”.
I told them that they are being robbed of real education, and that they should get some real books, especially classics, on their own, and read all that they can.
How can students who are being made to read “informational articles” ever gain the depth of perspective, the insight and humanity found in the rich characters and stories of Hawthorne and Shakespeare and Hemingway?
Common Core apologists are quick to point out that there’s no prohibition against Hawthorne, Shakespeare and Hemingway in Common Core. But Common Core businessmen have made curriculum that is sold and bought nationwide, which is “informational article” heavy, not classics-heavy. The businesses are thus driving what goes on in the classroom, as imagined by noneducator David Coleman, who openly mocks the teaching of traditional, narrative writing. This is not representative governing of education policy!
Talk to your local public high school students. Ask to see what they are being asked to read and write about. I would love to know if my town is an isolated case of losing classic literature.
Video Three: Here’s Coleman, mocking traditional narrative writing, in an effort to promote his notion of reading and writing mostly informational text in English classrooms.
Lastly– NATIONAL COMPREHENSIVE SEXUALITY STANDARDS – aka “Amorality for All”
The centralization/nationalization is not just about English and Math. It is clear in the push for national science standards (Next-Generation Science Standards) which Utah has tragically now accepted. It is clear in the common alignment of tests and data mining to the illegitimate Common Core and CEDS– whether tests are the Utah SAGE, other states’ PARCC, the College Board’s SAT and AP, or other tests.
Centralization of power away from localities is clear, and most dangerous, in the push for national sexality (amoral) standards, CSE, Comprehensive Sexuality Standards (which Utah considered and rejected for now). The video below explains why it is not true that Comprehensive Sexuality Standards are simply about “medically accurate information” but are instead teaching children amorality, which is so important to the progressives’ anti-family, anti-God agenda.
Don’t watch it with children in the room.
Video Four: The War on Children– The Comprehensive Sexuality National Standards:
We are not a communist country. Why are we acting like one, in centralizing so many matters of children’s education? There is nothing secretive about what’s going on; no conspiracy theory here, but conspiracy fact: progressives proclaim that government, not family, owns the children and defines for children what is true, good, moral, healthy, or allowed.
Video Five: Progressives’ announcement that government, not parents, own children:
We need the fire of Patrick Henry to wake America.
“Give me liberty or give me death!”Patrick Henry spoke those words, as if to us.
Many today seem to fear taking a stand for parental control, state control, local school board control. Do not fear the pretentious monster! It has no constitutional, no authoritative, legitimacy. Our rights, given by God and protected by the Constitution, are legitimate. Your authority over your own children is legitimate. Own it. Act like it. It is only when each person stands in his or her place, firmly, against encroachment, that a free country remains free.
Patrick Henry’s words apply today to the takeover of authority, which is Common Core and Common Data Mining, which is in the process of stealing our God-ordained duty to determine what our children will be taught:
“[W]e are not weak, if we make a proper use of the means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us.
…There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election [choice]. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat, but in submission and slavery.”
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 influence them to consider withdrawing from Common Core and all its data-and-teacher-control-tentacles. We also wanted to spread the good news: that Mia Love’s H.R. 524, if it passed, might help enforce states’ constitutional rights to control education locally.
There we stood holding signs outside the door of the state school board meeting, my children and I: “Vote No on NCLB Waiver” and “We Support Mia Love’s H.R. 524“ (the anti-common core bill).
We couldn’t go inside the meeting because 1) one of my children is very young and noisy, and 2) there was no room.
We had even been discouraged by USOE officials and by the governor’s bodyguard (!) from standing in that hall outside the board meeting; they said the handful of us posed a fire hazard.
Yet we were standing there when Governor Herbert made his exit alongside Tami Pyfer. The Governor read our signs and he said, “I support Mia Love’s H.R. 524.”
Explain that quote.
Governor Herbert —Vice Chair of the National Governors Association, which created and copyrighted Common Core — now supports the anti-common core bill?!
I immediately felt the same sick way I’d felt when President Obama came out with his student data review saying he was concerned about privacy, after his administration had done everything in its power to destroy student privacy: from decreasing privacy rights in federal FERPA, to paying each state to build matching, interoperable SLDS databases, to hosting “Datapalooza” and pushing inter-agency “data-mashing.”
Obama (and Herbert) get away with blatant hypocrisy because most of us are, sadly, low-information voters. People don’t know. And they don’t know who to trust.
I prefer it when everyone gives each other plates of warm cookies instead of headaches. I don’t like thinking of –or labeling– my country’s president or my state’s governor as hypocrites.
But I am not going to pretend that I don’t see what I clearly see: repressed real conversation under a pretense of reasoning things out, strict topic-control and topic-narrowing; no debate.
The governor has only asked Utah to comment about the standards, not the governance of them, and he never asked for comments about the data mining nor testing nor lack of parental and teacher freedom. Although months ago Governor Herbert said, “we will not cede that responsibility [of local education] to anyone else,” we know that Utah had already given that responsibility away years ago (control of tests, data sharing and of standards-amending). That power left when Utah adopted standards from private groups NGA/CCSSO who created and copyrighted Common Core, groups in which Governor Herbert holds top leadership positions. Governor Herbert’s words about standing up to federal encroachment are either feigned or very, very fractional.
We all heard the Governor quoting the Old Testament prophet Isaiah in his speech to the board that day, “Come now, and let us reason together.” (Isaiah 1:18) But there is no “reasoning together” happening! Where is the real discussion, the real debate? I see a top-down dispensing of “politically correct” marketing lines about Common Core, a one-sided “conversation”. Under the public radar– in emails and blogs and social media, discussion percolates, sans Governor.
We don’t see our Governor (nor Common Core financier Bill Gates nor Common Core architect David Coleman nor Common Core test grant-giver Arne Duncan) ever participating in debates on this subject. These top promoters/creators of Common Core are actively hiding, as is clear from Kathleen Jasper’s Conversation ED and countless others. They don’t want to thoroughly, honestly, honorably reason. They don’t have a leg to stand on. Common Core, when you scratch beneath the surface, is utterly indefensible and unconstitutional.
The Utah public is only allowed ten minutes (divided by five citizens, with two minutes each) per month at state school board meetings. Per month! Some reasoning together! Meanwhile, the state school board is appointed via a very biased, committee-to-the-governor selection process. And yet taxpayers fund this charade, these one sided flyers, mailers and the USOE website itself, all debate-free, marketing the Common Core product without intellectual discussion of any kind.
It’s maddening to those of us who are paying close attention.
Know these facts (and fact check me, so you really actually know it for yourself.)
1. Only NGA/CCSSO can amend the shared Common Core. And they will. (The “living document” will change, the Common Core declares on page 3.)
In Friday’s meeting, presentation after presentation pretended that Utah could amend the shared Common Core.
2. Common Core states like Utah can’t delete from the standards, and can only add 15% max.
In Friday’s meeting, no mention was made of the 15% limit that says no state may add much to the standards (to keep the tests all aligned nationally).
3. Speaking about standards-tweaking is a charade.
In Friday’s meeting, no mention was made of the fact that if Utah adds the permitted 15%, the addition will never be seen on the nationally aligned test questions. So what’s motivating the teachers to teach the addition? And it won’t be in the shared textbooks anyway.
4. Common Core ELA and math standards are under copyright.
In Friday’s meeting no mention was made of the Common Core copyright.
5. Common Core was rammed down Utah’s throats without proper discussion, and a parent and teacher led lawsuit is underway because of that fact.
In Friday’s meeting, no mention was made of the fact that no teachers or administrators were ever asked for input prior to the state adopting Common Core.
6. The Attorney General and the Governor are not correct in saying that we retain local control under the Common Core standards, tests and aligned data standards.
In Friday’s meeting, no mention was made of any rebuttals to the Attorney General’s blanket statement (that Common Core in no way harms Utah autonomy over education). It was just: “Tell us which particular standard did Utahns find troubling?”
The narrow, controlled “conversation” about Common Core in our state is light years away from the spirit of the scripture that the governor quoted, “Come and let us reason together.”
I am really, really tired of the hypocrisy.
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.”)
It’s tragic and ironic that the Governor has often said that Utah can get out of Common Core anytime we want to. The Utah Attorney General validated that statement in his report, saying that Utah’s Common Core doesn’t cede control to the federal government. (See rebuttal to the report here.)
But how would Utah free herself now of Common Core?
We’ve decided to sign away, in ink made of the sweat and blood of taxpayers who earned the hundreds of millions— any real possibility of withdrawal from the Common Core.
How would Utah ever get out of Common Core after recreating our whole education system based on the experiment of Common Core and Common Data aligned technologies and tests? (Not only that– we are now leading others along: Utah now gains millions by selling our Common Core test questions to other states, making them dependent on us for their own Common Core assessments.)
How foolish are we, to keep investing and investing— in something that was built on a sandy, utterly experimental, and unconstitutional foundation from the start?
The Governor’s even planning to hike gas taxes to support his enthusiasm for the workforce-pipeline version of “education”. The Deseret News reported that “The governor’s spending plan… puts pressure on lawmakers to look at a gas tax increase by calling for $94.2 million in sales taxes earmarked for transportation to instead be used for education.”
The Utah Board of Education praised the governor this week: “The Board of Education is very pleased that the Governor recommends such a large investment in Utah’s public education and its children. Like the Governor, the Board of Education believes the best educational policy in Utah is made in Utah by Utahns.”
Sadly, these are lies. The funding decisions aren’t set up to bless children. The programs being funded just promote centralized–not local– control.
This week’s decision to spend more than has ever been spent before on “education” is almost entirely focused on Common Core and Common Data Standards-aligned technology. These are D.C. based systems.
Aligning to these systems is not motivated by care for children. Foremost it benefits the market; secondly, it benefits Sec. Duncan’s and the CCSSO’s unconstitutional programs and policies: it’s top-down, rather than local, accountability.
This is far from being policy being “made in Utah by Utahns.” This is voter-unvetted policy being duplicated precisely from policies laid out by Obama, Arne Duncan, Bill Gates/Microsoft/Pearson Inc, CCSSO, Choice Solutions, Utrex, and the rest of the partnered organizations and corporations that profit deeply from Utah’s taxpayers’ gullibility and the same-ifying of Common Core (CCSS) education and Common Data (CEDS) education data systems.
Remember that Common Core/Common Ed Data financier Bill Gates said: “We’ll only know that this effort has succeeded when the currriculum and tests are aligned to these standards …The Common Core …when the tests are aligned to the common standards, the curriculum will line up as well, and it will unleash a powerful market… For the first time, there will be a large, uniform base of customers“.
That “powerful market” and its “uniform base of customers” includes Utah’s clueless taxpayers and legislature. Gates’ customer base is being funded by Governor Herbert to benefit the Utah Chamber of Commerce and the D.C. based, Gates-funded, private organizations behind Common Core.
It was Gates who funded CCSSO, both the CCSSO’s copyrighting of the Common Core and its creation of CEDS common data standards used in the State Interoperability Framework (SIF) that the federal government mandated for all states’ use in each SLDS “education” tracking database.
The Governor’s new budget gives:
“$500 million for the state’s public and higher education systems, bringing total state education spending to approximately $4 billion. The Governor recommends over $340 million in support of public education…Major investments include $10.7 million for the Utah Education Network (UEN) to connect schools by providing statewide technology infrastructure. [This is the SLDS database.] An additional $56 million …provides funds for buildings or technology infrastructure to small school districts… The budget recommends $1.5 million for innovative approaches and collaboration for
college and career counseling and $2.4 million for the Utah Futures website.”
These budgetary decisions do not educate. They strengthen the tracking systems, the prediction systems, the control systems.
Do you see the tragic humor in these words from the governor’s budget?
“Unlike those who want to micromanage the public education system from the state level, the Governor believes that the state should establish general policy goals and expected outcomes and allow local control in the specific methods of attaining those goals.”
The opposite is happening.
Utah’s SLDS database, which was built to federal specs, using common data standards (CEDS) and an SIF national-interoperability framework, from which no Utah school district nor parent may opt any child out, does not allow any kind of “local control”. Neither does funding “Utah Futures,” which calls itself the one-stop career and college readiness* website and which fulfils the Governor’s socialistic workforce focus that puts citizens in a cradle-to-workforce “P-20” human capital pipeline, with central planning and far less personal freedom in education– just like China.
I wish our legislature were not afraid of offending those who accuse them of not funding “the needs of the children”–who give in and fund anything calling itself education. Funding for UEN, Utah Futures, SLDS technologies and Common Core testing infrastructures is not meeting children’s needs. Shame on those who say that it is.
Shame on this foolish waste of hundreds of millions of vital tax money on the shackles of Common Core.
*Career and college readiness, college-and-career-ready standards, and any other similar sounding word, means in the redefined langugage of the Department of Education, Common Core aligned.
In November 2013, and again in June 2014, Idaho Superintendent Tom Luna rejected offers to participate in moderated, formal debates concerning the pros and cons of Common Core. He did participate in one panel debate, to a packed house. But Luna’s unwillingness to participate in further open debate is remarkable because, beginning in 2011, Luna was president, top dog at the organization that co-created and co-copyrighted the Common Core: Council of Chief State School Officers. Nobody should have felt more vested. This article, a response to a recent Idaho Statesman interview with Luna, comes by request. Thank you, Stephanie Zimmerman.
Is Idaho’s Common Core Battle Over– Or Just Starting?
By Stephanie Zimmerman, Idaho mom/writer at Idahoans For Local Education
In the Nov. 30th Statesman interview granted by Tom Luna, I was not surprised to read Luna’s responses to the following questions:
Is the battle over Idaho Core Standards over? “It is definitely over in the education arena. And my experience has been so far that it is primarily over with the vast majority of parents, but it is not over politically.”
How big were the Idaho Legislature education committee hearings on Common Core standards? “I think it was an eye-opener to a lot of legislators and even people around the state who tuned in and listened because I think you heard a lot of the concerns that were raised – that were then shown to be not true: whether it’s the data we collect, who developed the standards, who has control of the standards. I have yet to have one person who says they oppose the standards tell me which standard it is that they oppose … If we do nothing else in education over the next three or four years, but continue to teach every kid to these higher standards, then measure students with this better assessment, then that is going to have more impact on improving student achievement than anything that we can do.”
Where to begin…
Common Core is just now (in the past three months) being fully implemented in Idaho’s schools. How can Mr. Luna possibly say the battle is over –when it hasn’t even had a chance to begin?? Nowhere in the country was Common Core fully, fairly or publicly vetted or debated in legislatures, with parents, or with educators before it was quietly imposed upon us. Most educators and parents are still learning the full implications of the Common Core
. More and more
teachers are stepping forward with their concerns about the way children are being treated. Meg Norris
, Kathleen Jasper
, David Cox, Savannah Kucerak
, Mercedes Schneider
and Kris Nielson
are just a few who have made waves nationally by speaking out against Common Core. Polls show
that the more parents know about it the less they like it.
Common Core is about far more than simply singling out which standard we do or don’t like. It’s the reform package as a whole that’s the problem; the standards, assessments, data collection, tiered licensure (yes, that’s Common Core, too), and the star ratings system (which make our schools sound like a motel chain).
I wouldn’t care if these are the best standards in the world; I still wouldn’t want them in Idaho because of the federal strings and mandates that come with them.
Tom Luna is a man who was essentially defeated by Common Core. His extreme political unpopularity began with his 2011 push to pass Students Come First, a set of educational reforms for Idaho that weren’t even his or his department’s original idea but that came straight out of the national Common Core playbook
, and that only got worse as more and more people realized the role this former president of the CCSSO played in selling out our children’s future.
So, this particular battle may be over for Mr. Luna – we all know he’s moved on to bigger, better
things. But for those of us in the trenches, we know this is far from over. We will continue to fight for local control of our children’s education.
Unfortunately for Tom Luna, his legacy will ultimately end up as the man who sold Idaho’s children’s birthright for a mess of pottage.
Stephanie Zimmerman, author of this post, stands second from the right in the photo below.