Archive for the ‘founding fathers’ Tag

Video: The Eloquent Ethan Young — Student in Tennessee — Calling Out Common Core   8 comments

Recently America met the remakable Patrick Richardson, a teenager from Arkansas, who blasted through Common Core in power point presentations and speeches to his legislators.

Now, meet the eloquent Ethan Young of Tennessee, another brilliant teenager whose five minute, out-of-the-ballpark speech, utterly flattens the many false claims of the Common Core.

In this video speech you can hear these highlights:

On teacher evaluations: “These subjective anxiety producers do more to damage a teacher’s self esteem than you realize.”

“Erroneous evaluation coupled with strategic compensation presents a punitive model that as a student is like watching your teacher jump through flaming hoops to earn a score.”

“A teacher cannot be evaluated without his students, because as a craft, teaching is an interaction. Thus, how can you gauge a teacher’s success with no control of a student’s participation or interest? I stand before you because I care about education but also because I want to support my teachers… This relationship is at the heart of instruction and there will never be a system by which it is accurately measured.”

On bureaucratic convenience: “We can argue the details ad infinitum. Yet I observe a much broader issue with education today. Standards based education is ruining the way we teach and learn. Yes, I’ve already been told by legislators and administrators: “Ethan, that’s just the way things work.” But why? I’m going to answer that question. It’s bureaucratic convenience.”

“…It works with nuclear reactor and business models…. I mean, how convenient: calculating exactly who knows what and who needs what? I mean, why don’t we just manufacture robots instead of students? They last longer and they always do what they’re told.”

“Education is unlike every other bureaucratic institute in our government. The task of teaching is never quantifiable. If everything I learned in high school is a measurable objective, I haven’t learned anything.

On the way Common Core sprung up:

“The initiative seemed to spring from states when in reality it was contrived by an insular group of testing executives with only two academic content specialists. Neither specialist approved the final standards and the English consultant, Dr. Sandra Stotsky, publicly stated she felt the standards left students with “an empty skill set, lacking literary knowledge.”

“While educators and administrators were later included in the validation committee and feedback groups, they did not play a role in the actual drafting of the standards…. the standards aren’t rigorous, just different, designed for industrial-model schools.”

“If nothing else, these standards are a glowing conflict of interest. And they lack the research they allegedly received. And most importantly, the standards illustrate a mistrust of teachers.”

On the purpose of teaching:

“Creativity, appreciation, inquisitiveness, these are impossible to scale. But they are are the purpose of education, why our teachers teachers, why I choose to learn.”

“And today we find ourselves in a nation that produces workers. Everything is career and college preparation. Somewhere our Founding Fathers are turning in their graves pleading, screaming, and trying to say to us that we teach to free minds, we teach to inspire, we teach to equip, and the careers will come naturally.”

“Ask any of these teachers, ask any of my peers… Haven’t we gone too far with data?”

“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.. but… the problems I cite are very real… Do not dismiss them as another fool’s criticisms…”

“You can not ignore me, my teachers or the truth. We need change, but not Common Core, high stakes evaluations, or more robots.”

Watch the video here.

Please Pray for the Defeat of Common Core   26 comments

A long list of powerful groups endorse Common Core, despite all evidence that Common Core is academically and constitutionally illegitimate: the U.S. Army endorsed it; the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Harvard University, the national P.T.A., Exxon, Chevron, Jeb Bush’s Foundation, the Bill Gates-Pearson partnership, the National Governors’ Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, etc. etc…

Yet parents and others who are fighting Common Core are STILL making a huge dent in the monster– so much so that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has had to appeal to national news editors, asking them to help him end the Stop Common Core rebellion. That says something.

Now, additional storm clouds are gathering, in the form of millions of new marketing dollars and in the form of government’s tax-funded propaganda campaigns and political videos being created by proponents of Common Core in many states, aiming to quash the uprising of parents and others fighting Common Core. Here in Utah, the state office of education tells its teachers in professional development conferences that only the misinformed “common core crazies” see dangers to Common Core.

We know cannot come up with multimillions to compete with Bill Gates; and we cannot compete with the marketing resources (tax money) of the Utah State Office of Education nor the U.S. Department of Education used to promote Common Core.

But we have the documented truth on our side.

Doesn’t truth trump everything?

It would seem we’re outnumbered.

But: as you talk to people all across this nation who are fighting Common Core, you realize something: Common Core fighters are people of faith— people of various faiths. I do not think this is a coincidence. People who value God’s truth and prize liberty, easily detect lies and the loss of liberties.

This is why I have hope.

When people of faith petition God for help, if the petition is good and the timing is approved, He helps. It’s proven; it’s documented throughout all Scripture.

We remember that God made an ocean of water stop so that the children of Israel could walk through on dry ground. We remember that the walls of Jericho fell down when the people of God marched around Jericho and made a loud noise, in faith. We remember that the colonists in America were saved from the massive destruction planned by the French fleets that outnumbered them in 1746, when they fasted and prayed and God sent storms to upset the fleets. We remember the many prayers of our founding fathers.

He conditions His interventions on faith and our acting on that faith.

So pray.

Please, if you are a prayer, actually petition God. Pray that many, many more people will feel compelled to seek out and learn the whole truth about this initiative and its roots, which so affect children and the quality of our future society and its freedoms; pray that many people will rise and exercise their citizenship and use their voices, so that Common Core and its tangled web of unwanted controls will be defeated by the facts and by the truth, so that time-tested education and local control of it will be restored.

Thank you.

A Homeschool Update   7 comments

We’ve been doing homeschool for my fourth grader since October.

It’s so much fun! 

Having a two year old next to a fourth grader means that sometimes we’re schooling in the hall, watching the baby take a two hour bath next to the open door.  It means that sometimes, we have to send the fourth grader into a quiet room with a locked door because the two year old is tantruming and it’s hard to focus in that environment.  It means that I rarely dust and barely get the groceries bought before we’re out of everything.  Sometimes the laundry and other to-do lists sit for days.  I haven’t perfected my systems. But in the midst of the imperfection, it feels like a kind of perfection.

My priorities are teaching my kids and enjoying our lives, before challenging the dust or laundry or almost anything else.

We learn a ton, have a lot of laughs and a lot of fun.

A few weeks ago, we drove to Camp Floyd, a historic site in Utah, to learn about Utah history in the 1800s.

Another day, we went to the local Recreation center to play basketball.

We go to the library, often.

We went one day to the church quilting project, to make Christmas quilts for jail inmates.  My son learned how to tie a quilt.

We are so free.

No set of Common Core standards.  No dumb school assemblies.  No asking strangers for their permission to spend time with my own child.

We are in charge of our schooling.

Every day, we read scriptures, writes a verse in cursive, and we talk about it.  Some days it’s the Book of Mormon. Some days it’s the New Testament. Today we read the story of Daniel and his three friends who were kidnapped by King Nebuchadnezzar from Jerusalem and taken far from home, never to return.  (I hadn’t remembered the full story. Did you know that Daniel and his friends were to be killed because they were considered wise men, and the king didn’t believe in his wise men anymore because nobody could tell him both what he’d dreamed and interpret the dream?  So Daniel and his friends prayed and God revealed the king’s dream and also its interpretation to Daniel– a great, great miracle.  It saved Daniel’s life, but more importantly, it taught the king that there is a God who does give power to human beings on conditions of faithfulness to Him.

We have been studying geography a lot (he now knows where the countries of Central and South America are, where the counties of Utah are, and is beginning on the Caribbean Islands.)  There are fun and free online games for Geography students.

We have been studying history. He now knows all about the founding of our nation– the first five presidents in detail– and about early North and South American explorers– de Soto, Hudson, Erikson, Columbus, Magellan, Lewis & Clark, etc., and now we’re reading about 14th century Europe.

We read about the Bubonic plague, the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Vikings.  I plan to make a giant timeline going all around his bedroom, where he can draw things he’s learned about through history.

Some days I make him diagram sentences, with verb, subject, preposition, direct object, adverbs, adjectives, articles, etc.

Some days I have him correct sentence errors– commas, capitalization, apostrophes, etc.

Some days he does an art project.  Some days he takes great photos for his little photography portfolio.

Some days he does a science experiment or looks at things under his microscope and writes about them.

Some days I teach him how to spell a very difficult word and I test him on it later in the day.

Some days we read Swedish books and do Swedish vocabulary or Swedish grammar sheets that I write myself.

One day, we spent the whole day studying volcanoes.  We watched some great YouTube clips about volcanoes.  I liked the one from Bill Nye the Science Guy.  We also read about them in books.  We found them in science and in literature.  And they were in our text, “What Your Fourth Grader Needs To Know.”

I let curiosity guide us.  I don’t keep a tight leash on our curriculum, with two strict exceptions:  every day, a chapter of Saxon math and every day, he has to write an essay.

His essays can be poems, journal entries, fiction stories, reports about what he’s been learning, letters to Santa or to a great aunt… he just has to write every day, about a page (a little less, or a lot more than a page, every day).

All the other subjects are covered, but not each day, and not for any set amount of time.  Our curiosity determines what we study, with those two exceptions I noted.

Today, as usual, we did a chapter of Saxon math.  I usually sit with him for the first half, and then set him to answer the 30 questions that are after each lesson.  I usually put dots on a handful of the questions meaning “skip these” if I know he knows the review problems very, very well, so he can fly through.  I am trying to keep it interesting and invigorating, not dreadfully heavy, so he’ll love to learn and love math.  He’s going to be in the sixth grade book very soon.

Today we read in our Usborn science book (very colorful and thick book which I love) all about the periodic table (we just scanned it) and we talked about why there are groups in one row and periods in another row, and how cool the elements are and how interesting it is that these metals and nonmetals and semi-metals are in everything around us, even in our foods and in our bodies, and how they make jewels and everything on earth.  We already knew in detail about the Halogens, but we’ll read about the elements and the rocks they are found in, next week.

    We read a few more chapters in “The Hobbit” by Tolkien, today.  He can’t get enough.  I have to drag him away to do his writing or to eat lunch. When he finishes the book, I’ll take him to see the movie but he must promise to look away during the war scenes. He is only 9 and it’s a PG-13 movie which will certainly be more violent than I want to see, let alone allow a 9 year old to see.  But we both love the story.  It’s full of new vocabulary words for him (it’s way above a fourth grade reading level) and it enlivens his imagination.  He reads it silently sometimes, and we read it together aloud, some times.

     This week, we visited his grandfather, a retired Pan American Airlines captain, to have a lesson on how airplanes fly.  Grandpa/Morfar also taught my son his math out of the Saxon math book, and taught him how to tie ropes (scouting) and next week, we’re going with Grandpa to a field trip to the swimming pool to learn how to dive, since Grandpa/Morfar used to teach swimming lessons years ago.

He’s also doing a project that his stepfather created for him.  They bought supplies to do an experiment.  My son has to do the experiment and then, using the receipt from Wal-Mart of the supply list, he has to figure out how much each “kit” costs and how much each part of the kit costs (100 paper clips for $1.37 for example) and then he gets to assess the materials (research and development).

He just finished writing a story.   I guided the story by saying it had to be in cursive and it had to include two new vocabulary words: “aileron” and “frond” –but other than that, anything goes.  He did a great job.  He wrote a vivid adventure that involved an emergency landing of an airplane into a jungle that had mosquitoes the size of your head.

And during recess, he decided to create his own musical instrument.  He used a rubber band, a toilet paper tube, a piece of paper, a screw, a paper clip, some tape and a pipe cleaner.  It really works, too.

He is getting more and more creative; also wiser.  He recognized and pointed out to me an analogy from “The Hobbit” that he saw which reminded him of common core education.  Common Core was a goblin bent on making certain useful –but only useful and never beautiful– tools.   I guess he was listening when I was ranting about Common Core architect David Coleman and his removal of narrative writing and classic literature from the common core, and I said that literature is for soaring, for beauty and joy, and not just for basic employability.

He read to me:

“... armed goblins were standing round him carrying the axes and bent swords that they use. Now goblins are cruel, wicked and bad-hearted. They make no beautiful things, but they can make many clever ones.”

– p. 62, The Hobbit.

What more can I say?

Eco-Collectivist Values, Not Knowlege, To Be Taught in Schools   Leave a comment

The United Nations branch that oversees education, UNESCO, has issued documents, clearly displaying a plan to transform education worldwide into youth “global citizen” indoctrination.  Under this philosophy, actual learning of reading, writing, and math are old news, 20th century aspirations. But the learning of sustainable development is to the the essential literacy of the 21st century.  Quote:

“IN THE 21ST CENTURY, THE LITERACIES [OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT] WILL BE AS ESSENTIAL TO COMPREHENDING THE WORLD AS WERE THE TRADITIONAL SKILLS OF READING AND WRITING AT THE START OF THE 20TH CENTURY.”

– pg. 3 “New Vision of Education” and http://www.unesco.org/education/tlsf/mods/theme_a/popups/mod01t05s01.html

A seven-part video series below teaches how and why there really is a deliberate dumbing down of education happening in America today to make room for environmental/collectivist propaganda.

It’s seen as inefficient to teach children what we think of as academic knowledge.  Now, under the Sustainable Development movement, the U.N. and the Department of Education want to teach sustainable development and collective thinkingat the expense of traditional learning. 

This new mission of schools includes cutting out the teaching of individual liberty under the U.S. Constitution, or individual rights, or property rights, to make way for “global citizenship.”

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So, what can we do?

If you can’t afford private school or home school, then teach your children when you actually do have them close how to identify and see through the indoctrination.

Teach your children that there is such a thing as goodness and truth.  It’s not all relative.

Teach them that there is right and wrong, not just tolerance and intolerance. There is a God in heaven.

Teach them that the family is more important and more lasting than the government.  Individuals matter.  Property rights matter.  The U.S. Constitution protects individual rights like owning property, owning guns, and remaining free from unreasonable search and seizure.

And tell them that while recycling is fine, it’s never going to be more important than reading, writing and math.

Book Recommendations and Links to Full Texts Free Online: “The Book of Mormon and the Constitution,” “None Dare Call It Conspiracy,” and “The Deliberate Dumbing Down”   Leave a comment

Over the past three months, I’ve learned so much about education reforms in America and what they are doing to our freedoms.  It is not pretty.  It makes me very sad.  But I would not want to go back to my ignorance about Common Core.  Now I’m reading more and more about freedom and the Constitution on issues connected to education reforms either directly or indirectly.

I’m going to give three links to free online books that I am reading right now, in case anyone out there wants to join me on the learning curve. I think of this as a self-directed, no credit class called on “How to Save American Freedom of Education Via the United States Constitution and Faith in God 101”.

First, THE BOOK OF MORMON    http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/1-ne?lang=eng 

and the HOLY BIBLE: http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bible?lang=eng.

Both of these books have lots to say about history, about liberty, about the end of the world, the control efforts of wicked forces upon good forces, and the battles for freedom.

Second, THE BOOK OF MORMON AND THE CONSTITUTION – by H. Verlan Andersen

http://www.inspiredconstitution.org/bofmc/index.html                               

H. Verlan Andersen, a general authority and a close friend of President Ezra Taft Benson, is the author of “The Book of Mormon and the Constitution,” which I just started reading last week and am in love with.  It explains so clearly what is going on in America today (including in education reforms) from the angle of faith in Christ and His prophets.

I never knew it was available online for free until today.  Happy reading!

Third book:  NONE DARE CALL IT CONSPIRACY  by Gary Allen

   Another book that I want to read, and haven’t yet, is “None Dare Call it Conspiracy,” by Gary Allen.  This book was recommended by my father, by many other smart and patriotic people I’ve known.

President Ezra Taft Benson, a prophet, recommended this book. (See clip below)

Click for the book:   http://www.whale.to/b/allen_b1.html –and it is online, free.

Click for the recommendation by President Ezra Taft Benson:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJNMcD2IY_k   This is a YouTube video of Ezra Taft Benson speaking in a 1972 conference and recommending this book.  In the same talk, President Benson says that there is no Book of Mormon Conspiracy Theory.  It is a Book of Mormon Conspiracy Fact.

Nations were extinguished, the Book of Mormon history shows, because of secret combinations that the good people upheld because they were deceived by them, and/or they profited from them.

Fourth book:   THE DELIBERATE DUMBING DOWN by Charlotte Iserbyt

Even though I have only scanned the first few pages of this book and seen half of the hour-long YouTube interview, I want to share the links to her interview and to the book.  I sense its importance.  I have seen Charlotte Iserbyt interviewed about her life story –incredible story you can see on YouTube (an hour long).  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezTIYd5UFRY&noredirect=1

   So, this a must-read for me, for sure. Charlotte Iserbyt was a whistle blower who realized there really is an agenda of power and money that damages and controls public education, that overrides what’s best for children and American freedom in treacherous ways.  http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com/MomsPDFs/DDDoA.sml.pdf  (Link to her free book PDF online.)

Iserbyt served as the head of policy at the Department of Education during the first administration of Ronald Reagan. While working there, she discovered a long term strategic plan by the tax exempt foundations to transform America from a nation of rugged individualists and problem solvers to a country of servile, brainwashed simpletons, easy to control, who regurgitate whatever they’re told.

Sound like Common Core?  Of course.

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