Archive for the ‘Defending Children’s rights’ Tag

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

In November 2013,  and again in June 2014,  Idaho Superintendent Tom Luna rejected offers to participate in moderated, formal debates concerning the pros and cons of Common Core.  He did participate in one panel debate, to a packed house.   But Luna’s unwillingness to participate in further open debate is remarkable because, beginning in 2011, Luna was 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.
four pillars of ed takeover
As more parents, educators, and legislators take even just a few minutes to educate themselves by reading source documents (instead of simply believing the talking points we’ve all heard) about the data being collected, who developed the standards, and who has control of the standards, an ever-increasing number of Idahoans will become concerned about the loss of our local control over our kids’ education.
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.
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Stephanie Zimmerman, author of this post, stands second from the right in the photo below. 
Mom meme
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U.S. Senate Stands Against Dept of Ed Recklessness: Let’s #THANKHATCH #THANKKIRK #THANK ISAKSON #THANKENZI #THANKBURR #THANKMURKOWSKI #THANKROBERTS #THANKALEXANDER   5 comments

Join Utahns Against Common Core in a  heartfelt thank you to the following U.S. Senators whose official letter both exposed Sec. Duncan’s assumption of unauthorized educational authority (which is only to be held by states); and called out Duncan’s unauthorized takeover of the rights of children with disabilities via standardized tests.

If you tweet, Facebook, or  email, please thank them.  What they did was important.  I’m using the hashtags #THANKHATCH, #THANKKIRK, etc.

 

Utah – SENATOR ORRIN HATCH  @SenOrrinHatch

orrin

 

Georgia – SENATOR JOHNNY ISAKSON  @SenatorIsakson

senator johnny

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alaska – SENATOR LISA MURKOWSKI @lisamurkowski

AKSR

 

Kansas – SENATOR PAT ROBERTS @PatRoberts2014

patroberts

Illinois – SENATOR MARK KIRK  @SenatorKirk

KIRK

 

 

Wyoming – SENATOR MIKE ENZI @SenatorEnzi

 

Mike_Enzi,_official_portrait,_111th_Congress

 

North Carolina – SENATOR RICHARD BURR @SenatorBurr

 

nc

 

Tennessee – SENATOR LAMAR ALEXANDER  @SenAlexander

lamar

 

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If you live near Salt Lake City, please join us at 11:00 at tomorrow’s public and media event at Royal Wood Office Plaza, 230 west 200 south.  Bring signs.  Wear green if you have green.  Be prepared to take a turn on the soap box with the megaphone to use your freedom of speech and make your voice heard.

Inside the Royal Wood Office building, a federal agent of Arne Duncan’s Dept of Education will be meeting tomorrow with Utah State Office of Education leaders to ensure their compliance with federal mandates –mandates that the eight senators’ letter  just called illegal.   Let’s let our Utah State education employees know we defend their right to not comply, as they host this unauthorized federal visitor.

 

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