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Minute Mom Magazine on Common Core   Leave a comment

In the September 2012 issue of Minute Mom Magazine, there’s an article called “The Agenda 21 of Education,” by Melissa Smith and Sherry Marquelle. The authors make an important point:

“…parents will find that despite the rhetoric about school choice and vouchers, for the majority of students there will be only one choice–the Common Core… school choice and common core ironically go hand in hand…  ”

Worth reading!

Dear Anonymous Neighbor   Leave a comment

I received a letter from an anonymous person in Heber.  I will post the full text of what he/she wrote, and the full text of my response.  This is America.  Free press is important.



Dear Christel,

This is written out of concern for you and other friends and relatives of mine whose integrity you are questioning. This is Heber. Everyone is related to someone, but we’re all brothers and sisters regardless.

The simple truth is that nearly everyone who is given accurate information about the common core supports it. Active teachers do and tell me they are not afraid of speaking their minds if they didn’t. I’ve talked to all of them I know. I’ve known and worked with many of them my whole life.

That alone does not mean common core deserves my support. However, when I read the documents you forward around and your websites, your statements about our rights, literary education, privacy, cost, etc., simply seem unfounded to me. Because I, like you, am an informed fellow patriot dedicated to investigation, I’ve read them and the other side’s. It seems like you have not read or choose to ignore anything from the other side.

I don’t know you as well as I know some of the good people you do not trust. I also know the bad reputation of some of the extreme people and groups who support your cause in the papers.

Many good people I know believe many things that are just not true. They are entitled to their own opinions until they become so jaded and overly suspicious of everyone, and eventually faithless, disloyal Americans who hurt their community and country and others as they try tearing them down. In the end, they drag themselves down.

This is a great country with the ability to change course if necessary. This is a great town with great people. You’ll find after this battle, those you’ve offended will quickly forget.

Please rethink your approach. Some of the things you are writing, especially about public servants, are not true. It may have become too personal for you. If you choose to share this with others please be honest and don’t take my words out of context.

Having asked for honesty, I’m sorry I don’t have the courage to sign this, but you seem to have become increasingly uncharitable with anyone who disagrees with you — even some who should be your friends.

I have already read your info, your websites and the sites you refer to. No need to respond. This is the only time you’ll hear from me.


One of several neighbors who are afraid you are damaging your reputation beyond repair, and hurting our schools.


Dear Anonymous Neighbor,


Thank you for your letter.   I’m sad that you feel the way you do, and I wish you would talk to me face to face. You cared enough to write to me, and so I appreciate you.  I hope you do write back because I want to know in detail how I have been “uncharitable to those who disagree” –If that is true, I am sorry I came across that way.

I am going to hold our local school board accountable for taking away parental consent laws that protect us all. If that’s uncharitable, then I guess you are right.  By that definition, Captain Moroni and Paul Revere and George Washington and Joseph Smith would be called uncharitable, too.

How can I not question the validity of the standards, since my own daughter tells me she’s learned nothing in math all year long?  I hope you are not her math teacher.  (Sorry, but that is what she testifies.)  How can I not question the validity of taking away parental consent law in Wasatch District?  That is totally outrageous for them to have done such a thing.

I wonder where you got the idea that I am “jaded and suspicious” or a “disloyal American.”  Wow.  I am actually willing to read anything you or any other Common Core proponent will send me.  As for disloyalty to America?  My whole argument is that we need to defend the U.S. Constitution from federal intrusion.  So I don’t understand that one.

I demand evidence that Common Core allows us to be free, which the Utah State Office of Education does not provide.  People who want to know what Common Core is, must  track down documents signed by Utah’s leaders, and read them on their own; the USOE is not transparent at all.

To know truth, we must study and ponder the meanings of binding evidence before believing claims made by anybody about Common Core, on either side of the argument.  And honestly, you should ask for evidence, too.  Some things are not just opinion, but are based on legal facts.

Nobody has entered into any kind of give and take with me, except one person on the school board.  So I don’t know who you say I won’t listen to.  I have been giving my emails to local teachers who are against Common Core secretly and who don’t dare say anything but they wink at me and want more knowledge and hope Utah gets us free of Common Core.  They want out.

I am not questioning any one person’s truthfulness or integrity, and I’m sorry you see it that way.  There is no finger pointing that needs to happen; I think we’ve all, all been duped by Common Core.

What I am questioning is people’s blind faith in the claims of the Utah State Office of Education without seeing any evidence to back up the claims, and people’s lack of spine in standing up to federal requests for access to our constitutionally delegated, local rights.

I am especially questioning the validity of deleting parental consent in schools, which our school board did Thursday.  I am questioning the Utah State Office of Education, the State School Board, and those whom the Governor has entrusted with the educational freedom of this state.

Did you know that over 90% of the Republican candidates for senate, governor, and representative, are firmly opposed to Common Core?   We called and asked them all before the convention.  More Utah leaders are against Common Core than are for it.  Even Governor Herbert, after Alisa and Renee and Kevin and I met with him, agreed that there is so much evidence that it confused him.  He wanted his legal team to look at it before he invited us back to his office.  So there is no consensus that Common Core is wonderful by any means.

If you will take the time to read the legally binding documents and explain them to your friends, you will see that the Emperor of Common Core is wearing no clothes.  Utah is no longer free.  Even a retired Utah judge has now studied these documents and has affirmed that under Common Core, Utah is not free.

Utah is not free, he said.  Doesn’t that matter at all?  Is that not worth me ruining my reputation for, freedom?

These are the legal facts, whether friends and relatives and neighbors choose to read them or not.  That is up to each of us.

We cannot afford to give in to Common Core, out of fear of our own reputations.

The research is solid, so my sadness about what a neighbor might say or think about me is of little consequence.  I am following my conscience on this.  I am very proud to have a reputation as someone who recognizes error and fights to help others see it, because it’s about the Constitution even when others may interpret my efforts as “hurting schools.”

Of course I wish everyone agreed with me and loved me for doing this, but I can’t ask for that.

When we put flags in our yards on the fourth of July, what does it mean if we have no educational freedom any longer?  Should I really be quiet, out of fear of what others think of me, and allow freedoms to get sifted away? Would be the right thing for me to do, after all the knowledge I have?  Is that what you would have me do?

You said that I ignore everything from the other side. Not so.  I’ve asked that both sides provide more than “he-said, she-said” and they haven’t.  Only the anti-Common Core side has any proof and evidence.  Isn’t that strange?  Why does the CommonCore advocacy side not have any evidence backing up their claims?  It is beyond strange.

You said “everyone who is given accurate information about Common Core supports it.”  I would love to see that accurate information you speak of, and where it comes from.  I’ve read the entire U.S.O.E. website.  I’ve read the Common Core website.  And guess what?  They don’t back up their claims with evidence.  I’ve had to dig up the documents to read for myself.

I do not believe the claims because they don’t match the documents.  Please don’t accuse me of not being willing to read and review things.  That is exactly what the Common Core advocates do, and that is a sin in my book.  Send me anything and I will read it and compare it to the legally binding documents our Utah leaders have signed.

I have never refused to read anyone’s documents.  I’m willing to read more.  But are you?

Most importantly, I’ve read the legal documents our Governor and board signed, and they truly bind our state– lost freedom, loss of educational control, loss of the ability to amend the CCSS federal testing standards, which is something the U.S.O.E. has not been transparent/honest about.  This is as true as I’m sitting here typing.

I do not think you wrote to me because you have read the documents and actually have grounds to disagree with me.  I think you wrote to me because you have not read much at all and you are afraid– of not having everybody that you care for, see things the same way and appear to get along. But there is a time to agree and a time to disagree and this is one of those times!

You don’t have to read the evidence on both sides, if you don’t want to.  I do want to.

And we don’t have to be contentious, and hopefully, we will not be.  Contention is bad and wrong and I hope and pray to avoid it. But fighting for truth and freedom, even if it divides friends, is simply unavoidable to an honest heart.

We are free to disagree and still love one another and that is the American way.

Thanks for your letter.







Posted April 25, 2012 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

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