Archive for the ‘Kansas’ Tag

Please Show Up to Push Back on Science Standards at Statewide USOE Meetings Starting TOMORROW   4 comments



The Utah State School Board —despite last year’s pushback, despite serious concerns of some of the state school board members–  is now moving to adopt national, common standards for science.  Watch this video to see the documented false promises by the USOE to legislators and local school board members, that Utah would never adopt nationalized science standards; this string of broken promises needs to be exposed and those breaking the promises need to be held accountable by our legislature and governor.




You are invited to the USOE’s public meetings on the subject, to be held statewide for a few weeks, starting TOMORROW.

Be forewarned: the USOE won’t admit that Utah is adopting NGSS.   To know this bit of information, you have to be in touch with those parents who served on the science study committee.  Utah indeed is (out of sight of the public) pushing for adoption of NGSS but the USOE claims that it’s only revising its old standards, and that the revision is limited to middle school science standards for now, so it’s not whole NGSS adoption, they say.  But do your research.  They’ve been caught fibbing more than once.  And they are fibbing now.

So, what are the “Next Generation Science Standards” (NGSS)  and why should we take time fight them?

NGSS are common Science Standards created by businessmen and politicians at Achieve, Inc., aimed to make all students use (and be tested on) the same set of science-related standards nationwide.  Achieve, Inc., is the same group that pushed Common Core math and English into being.  (So if you didn’t love Common Core, heads up.)

As with Common Core math and English standards, states lose control when they adopt NGSS.  Achieve Inc., is private, so it’s not subject to sunshine laws– no transparency.  So right or wrong, good or bad, we’ll have no way to even know which scientific theories are being accepted or rejected, or what kind of lobbying monies are determining priorities for learning.  We will not be able to affect in any appeal to local boards, what our children will be taught or tested.  That power will have gone to the standards copyright holders and corporate test creators.  We have no method of un-electing those controllers, no way for our scientists to affect any amendments made in the ever-changing and politically charged future of science.

It is also tragically true that Fordham Institute rated NGSS as inferior to many states’ science standards.  Still, many states, including Utah, are adopting NGSS anyway– a sad reminder of recent history, when certain states with prior standards higher than Common Core dropped their standards  to be in Common Core.  It’s also a sad proof that the claim that “the standards are higher and better for all” was nothing more than a marketing lie, then for English and math, and now for science.

There are important reasons  that South Carolina officially rejected NGSS.

And so did Wyoming.

Kansas parents sued the state school board over it.

West Virginia is fighting about it.

It’s a hot topic in many other  states.

But do Utahns even know it’s going on here?  (How would they know unless they were personal friends of the parent review committee?)  The USOE won’t even admit that Utah is aiming to adopt NGSS!  To do Utah-specific homework on this, read this article.  And this one. 

Then come to the meeting.  The USOE is calling the new standards “a revision” rather than a wholesale adoption of NGSS standards, in what appears to be an attempt to deceive the people. Parent committee members opposed to the change, including scientist Vincent Newberger, have pointed out that one word– one– was altered from NGSS standards in Utah’s “revision of its own standards” and some NGSS standards were only renumbered, so that the proponents could feel truthful about calling these standards a “revision” of Utah’s prior science standards rather than an adoption of national standards.  The USOE’s open meetings are not, supposedly, to promote NGSS but are to promote what USOE calls a “revision of middle school science standards” only.

Parents need to take control of this conversation.

Ask yourself:  1)  Is this revision actually an adoption of NGSS?  2)  Do I want national science standards in Utah?

Answer one:  If you read what parent committee members are testifying, you will conclude that this revision IS an adoption of NGSS.

Answer two:  As with Common Core, we must push back against national science standards for two reasons:  control of standards (liberty) and content of standards (academics).


Although parent committee members on Utah’s “revision” team testify that the content is global warming-centric, and electricity-dismissive, and testify that the standards present as facts, controversial theories only accepted by certain groups; to me, the enduring issue is control, local power.

If we adopt standards written by an unrepresentative, nonelected, central committee– standards that don’t come with an amendment process for future alterations as scientific theories and studies grow– we give away our personal power.

Even if these standards were unbiased and excellent, we should never, even for one second, consider adopting national/federally promoted standards– because science is ever-changing and ever politically charged.  We are foolish to hand away our right to judge, to debate, to control, what we will be teaching our children, and to let unelected, unknown others decide which science topics will be marginalized while others are highlighted in the centrally controlled standards.   Would we allow a nontransparent, unelected, distant group to rewrite the U.S. Constitution?  Never.  Then, why is representation and power concerning laws and policies affecting our children’s knowledge, beliefs and skills any less important?

Representation is nonexistent in NGSS standards adoption, despite the token cherrypicked teacher or professor who gets to contribute ideas to the new standards.  Unless there is a written constitution for altering our standards so that we retain true control of what is taught, no federal or national standards should ever, ever be accepted.  Adopting centralized standards is giving away the key to the local castle.

Are these just harmless, minimal standards without any teeth or enforcer?  Hardly; the enforcement of the science standards is embedded in the nationally aligned tests, tests which carry such intense pressure for schools and students (school grading/shutdown; teacher evaluation/firing) that they have become the bullies of the educational system.


Know this:  NGSS are neither neutral nor objective.   This explains why pushback against NGSS is so strong in some states, even to the point of lawsuits against state school boards over NGSS.  NGSS standards are slanted.

It may come as a surprise that religious freedom is a key complaint against these standards.  This was pointed out by plaintiffs in the Kansas lawsuit, which alleged that implementation “will cause the state to infringe on the religious rights of parents, students and taxpayers under the Establishment, Free Exercise, Speech and Equal Protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution.”

The legal complaint stated that “the principal tool of indoctrination is the concealed use of an Orthodoxy known as methodological naturalism or scientific materialism. It holds that explanations of the cause and nature of natural phenomena may only use natural, material or mechanistic causes, and must assume that supernatural and teleological or design conceptions of nature are invalid. The Orthodoxy is an atheistic faith-based doctrine that has been candidly explained by Richard Lewontin, a prominent geneticist and evolutionary biologist, as follows:

“Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, thatwe are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” [Richard Lewontin, Billions and Billions of Demons, 44 N.Y. Rev. of Books 31 (Jan. 9, 1997) (emphasis added)]


So, under NGSS, you can’t teach, as some scientists do, that evolution can exist alongside creationism.  Under scientific materialism/methodological naturalism, any “design conception” is invalid.

Other complaints against NGSS science standards are that they pit environmental activism against activists who want freedom to use natural local resources;  that they ask students to see themselves as either global warming believers or global warming deniers, to the exclusion of scientific inquiry; that they pit advocates of scientific open debate against advocates for scientific and political consensus-seeking; that they push the orthodox religion of atheism rather than allowing students to decide for themselves whether or not to include Creation in their personal scientific study.

Below is a list of the upcoming science meetings in Utah, where any citizen may come and ask questions and make comments.

Friends, we need to show up and bring neighbors.  If too few Utahns find out and push back, the NGSS standards will slide right in like Common Core for math and English did.  Please cancel your other plans.  Bring your video cameras if you come.  It’s an open, public meeting so recording seems proper and fair.  Recording USOE official replies to questions from parents can only encourage accountability from the USOE to the citizens.  If you can’t attend one of the meetings in the next weeks, please comment (and ask others to comment) on the USOE’s  90 day public comment survey link.

Before I list the meeting times and dates and cities, I want to share portions of an email sent out from a Washington County, Utah citizen to other citizens of Washington county.  I don’t know who wrote this email:



Washington County Email:

“Washington County was settled by wise men and women who worked hard to make our red desert bloom.  They have passed down a wonderful heritage of hard work and love for the land to all who have followed them.  We are now reaping the fruits of the careful planning and preservation that has become a way of life to all who make Washington County their home.  We desire to pass this heritage along to our children so that the generations to come will continue to be wise stewards of this land that we love.


It is hard to understand why anyone from Washington County would allow their children to be taught a science curriculum that does not align with our value system.  Imagine how powerful it would be to teach our children the science behind why our soil is red, how ancient volcanos came to pepper our back yards with basalt rock, what made our sand dunes petrify, why dinosaur footprints can be found in farm land and what makes our sunsets so spectacular.  As our children learn the unique science of the environment around them, they will have greater knowledge and appreciation of the diverse environments around the world.  They will also come to appreciate the importance of being wise stewards wherever their paths may lead them.


We now have an opportunity to protect our right to teach our children.   The Federal Government has incentivized groups to develop the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and those groups have worked tirelessly to get them implemented in Utah, and all states.  Please come and learn more about the NGSS from Vincent Newmeyer, a member of the NGSS review committee.  We will be meeting on Thursday, April 23rd at 6:00 P.M. at the St. George Downtown Library (88 W. 100 S. St. George).  Mr. Newmeyer is one of the review committee members who have great concerns about the NGSS.  These members are generously giving their time to visit communities to warn them about these new federal standards.


Directly following the meeting with Mr. Newmeyer, there will be a public meeting with the State and Local School Boards to discuss these federal standards tied to high-stakes testing onThursday, April 23rd at 7:00 P.M. at the Washington School District Office Board Room at 121 Tabernacle Street in St. George.”  



USOE Public Feedback Meetings

All Meetings are 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Thursday, April 23
Washington School District Office
Location: Board Room
121 Tabernacle Street
St George, Utah 84770
Note: The main doors will be locked.  Access through the front side doors.

Tuesday, April 28
Uintah School District Office
Location: Board Room (Upstairs)
635 West 200 South
Vernal, Utah 84078

Wednesday, May 6
Provo School District Office
Location: Professional Development Center
280 West 940 North
Provo, Utah 84604

Wednesday, May 13
Cache County School District Office
Location: Professional Development Center
2063 North 1200 East
North Logan, Utah 84341

Tuesday, May 19
Salt Lake Center for Science Education (SLCSE)
Location: The Media Center
1400 Goodwin Avenue
Salt Lake City, Utah 84116



Utah Mother of Seven Alisa Ellis to Speak This Week in Kansas and Wyoming About Common Core   3 comments

My concerns about the academic merits of Common Core paled in comparison to the much larger issue of the loss of freedom and the stripping away of local control – Alisa Ellis


Picture a bread-baking, fun-loving, church-going, small-town mother of seven –who was never politically active, who never even used to vote, –picture her becoming a sudden political activist who now travels across Utah and to other states to speak to live audiences, radio audiences, and on t.v. about the Common Core Initiative. Let me tell you a little bit about Alisa Ellis, a woman whose motto is, “I do not live in fear.”

To Alisa, education had always been important. She and her husband liked to say that they were proudly raising a family of nerds. They were the kind of parents who volunteered in the classroom. They were the kind who paid attention.

But their introduction to the educational transformation of America known as Common Core came in 2011, long after the initiative had been adopted by the state. (2011 is a whole year after the Utah state school board adopted Common Core without public knowledge or vetting; and it was two years after the state had agreed to accept the federal $9.6 million to create an “SLDS” student tracking database.)

Alisa received a Common Core pamphlet at a parent-teacher conference.

She stared at it. She puzzled. She asked the teacher to explain.

“I didn’t know how one size-fits-all would work without hurting the top and bottom students,” she recalls. But when she asked the teacher to expound on the subject, that teacher didn’t know anything.

Alisa began to ask around.

“I asked everyone I knew for their thoughts on Common Core. I tried researching online but everything was fluff,” she said, “It was nine months before I was invited to a meeting to learn more.”

One day at the grocery store, she bumped into a friend who actually knew something about the Common Core Initiative. The conversation lasted a long time. The friend invited Alisa to come to a “Cornerstone of Freedom” meeting to learn more. The friend added, “Oh, and would you make a few comments?”

Alisa thought that meant that she should raise her hand and make comments. She found out, during the meeting, that she was an actual scheduled speaker– after the other speaker.

“I saw my name on the schedule and immediately panicked. I pulled out my tablet and started researching ‘What is Common Core?’ After a few minutes, I realized it was pointless and I would be better off just sharing my concerns.”

She told the audience of her concerns which had begun with the Common Core pamphlet at the parent/teacher conference. She told the story of another meeting, a gifted-and-talented informational meeting, where the director said that next year, teachers would ‘start digging deeper.’

(“Digging deeper? That same line was repeated so many times that I knew I was being fed something,” she explained.)

She also told the audience another story: a school guidance counselor had advised her to take her son out of AP history. The counselor had said that her son’s “career track was more along the lines of engineering.”

He’d said, based on Alisa’s son’s ACT practice test, that: “clearly your son isn’t going to be a history professor, so we should pull him out of AP world history and put him in a class that follows his career path.” Because Alisa had trusted the system, she hadn’t questioned the counselor’s advice so she pulled her son out of AP history. This was a decision she later regretted.

Alisa started digging more deeply into the whole Common Core Initiative. She read the state’s Memorandum of Understanding with the developers of the Common Core. She read the Cooperative Agreement. She saw how the State Longitudinal Database System intertwined with the academic standards and tests. She read speeches by secretary of education Arne Duncan. She read the No Child Left Behind documents and waivers. She read the implementation manuals that were sent out to governors to tell them how to promote Common Core. She read documents by Achieve, Inc., the group that helped create the standards for the copyrighters. She could hardly believe that the Common Core’s takeover of local control was out in the open, yet unknown by virtually everyone who ought to know about it.

My concerns about the academic merits of Common Core paled in comparison to the much larger issue of the loss of freedom and the stripping away of local control,” she said.

She went with her friend, Renee Braddy, to meet with local teachers, principals, local school board members, the community council, and the local superintendent to discuss Common Core. These discussions resulted in the opportunity to make a presentation at the local school board meeting. (That presentation was filmed, and is called Two Moms Against Common Core on YouTube.) The superintendent had asked them not to film their presentation, but since it was an open, public meeting they did anyway. The video was shared around the state and ignited a firestorm of activists to stand up and fight against Common Core. I was among the people who got to see Alisa and Renee’s video the first week it was posted.

Next, Alisa decided it was time to become more active. She became the county delegate to the Republican convention, and before the convention, she started making phone calls to find out which candidates were promoters of Common Core. She found that all the candidates running for national level seats were opposed to Common Core. All the local candidates, aside from the current Governor, were also against it. (Governor Herbert was undecided at the time.) However, the candidates running for state legislature seats were less willing to take a position.

With unflinching determination, she successfully set up two face-to-face meetings with Governor Herbert to discuss Common Core. Then she organized public meetings and helped bring in expert academic witnesses to meet with legislators; she started her blog called Common Core Facts, she repeatedly attended and spoke up at state school board meetings, and she co-founded Utahns Against Common Core with a handful of other Utahns. (That website and petition “Utahns Against Common Core” today has over 8,000 signatures.)

Alisa’s actions, along with other activism happening around the state, eventually helped push Utah’s leadership to agree to withdraw from the SBAC Common Core testing consortia. It was a chink in the seemingly impenetrable armor of Common Core. (Side note: after Utah bowed out of SBAC, other states also began to withdraw from SBAC and PARCC. Sadly, Utah’s state school board subsequently chose to use another Common Core testing entity, AIR, which is partnered with the same SBAC. –But that’s another story.)

From the beginning, Alisa began to get invitations to speak across the state and then from other states. Today, she has probably given over fifty speeches on the subject, in tiny places and large venues, both with other speakers from Utahns Against Common Core and on her own.

This week, she will be speaking in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and in Merriam, Kansas.

You are invited.

Girl with Barcode on Foot



Where: Snow King Resort Teton Room

When: 6:15 PM on January 28, 2014

Who: Speakers will include Amy Edmonds – Wyoming Liberty Group; Alisa Ellis – Utahns Against Common Core; Christy Hooley – Wyoming Teacher; Kelly Simone – Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core – Presented by Concerned Women’s Group of Jackson Hole

Cost: Admission free; a donation of any amount to help cover expenses will be appreciated.

Alisa in Kansas


What: Alisa Ellis will speak on the history and truth about Common Core and its impact on our children and their education.

When: Tuesday, February 4th, 7:00 pm

Where: Antioch Library – 8700 Shawnee Mission Pkwy, Merriam, KS 66202

Note from the Antioch Library: Besides the library’s parking lot, parking is available behind Taco Bell and to the larger lot west of Taco Bell.


Thank you, Alisa. And thank you, Renee. (I will write about Renee and her adventures another day.)

Kansas Needs Your Help   1 comment

Kansas is requesting help from all those who care for educational liberty nationwide.  Do you have time to send an email or make a phone call?

The Kansas legislature is discussing whether to promote or oppose Common Core.  What happens in other states affects our own.

It matters.

Here’s the contact information for the Kansas Legislature.

Kansas House Roster   2013

Name District Capitol Phone Email

Rep. Alcala 57 785 296-7371 ,

Rep. Alford 124 785 296-7656,

Rep. Ballard 44 785 296-7697 ,

Rep. Barker 70 785 296-7674 ,

Rep. Becker 104 785 296-7196 ,

Rep. Bideau 9 785 296-7636,

Rep. Boldra 111 785 296-4683 ,

Rep. Bollier 21 785 296-7686 ,

Rep. Bradford 40 785 296-7653 ,

Rep. Bridges 83 785 296-7646 ,

Rep. Bruchman 20 785 296-7644 ,

Rep. Brunk 85 785 296-7645 ,

Rep. Burroughs 33 785-296-7630,

Rep. Campbell 26 785 296-7632 ,

Rep. Carlin 66 785 296-7649 ,

Rep. Carlson 61 785 296-7660

Rep. Carpenter 75 785 296-7673 ,

Rep. Cassidy 120 785 296-7616 ,

Rep. Christmann 113 785 296-7640,

Rep. Claeys 69 785 296-7670 ,

Rep. Clayton 19 785 296-7655 ,

Rep. Concannon 107 785 296-7677 ,

Rep. Corbet 54 785 296-7679 ,

Rep. Couture-Lovelady 110 785 296-4683,

Rep. Crum 77 785 296-6989,

Rep. Davis 46 785-296-7630,

Rep. DeGraaf 82 785 296-7693 ,

Rep. Dierks 71 785 296-7642 ,

Rep. Dillmore 92 785 296-7698 ,

Rep. Doll 123 785 296-7380 ,

Rep. Dove 38 785 296-7670

Rep. Edmonds 112 785 296-5593,

Rep. Edwards 93 785 296-7640 ,

Rep. Esau 14 785 296-7631 ,

Name District Capitol Phone Email

Rep. Ewy 117 785 296-7105,

Rep. Finch 59 785 296-7655 ,

Rep. Finney 84 785 296-7648

Rep. Frownfelter 37 785 296-7648,

Rep. Gandhi 52 785 296-7672 ,

Rep. Garber 62 785 296-7665 ,

Rep. Goico 94 785 296-7663 ,

Rep. Gonzalez 47 785 296-7500 ,

Rep. Grant 2 785 296-7650 ,

Rep. Grosserode 16 785 296-7659 ,

Rep. Hawkins 100 785 296-7631 ,

Rep. Hedke 99 785 296-7699 ,

Rep. Henderson 35 785 296-7697 ,

Rep. Henry 63 785 296-7688 ,

Rep. Hermanson 98 785 296-7658 ,

Rep. Hibbard 13 785 296-7380 ,

Rep. Highland 51 785 296-7310 ,

Rep. Hildabrand 17 785 296-7659 ,

Rep. Hill 60 785 296-7632 ,

Rep. Hineman 118 785 296-7636 ,

Rep. Hoffman 116 785 296-7643 ,

Rep. Houser 1 785 296-7679,

Rep. Houston 89 785 296-7652,

Rep. Howell 81 785 296-7665 ,

Rep. Huebert 90 785 296-1754,

Rep. Hutton 105 785 296-7673 ,

Rep. Jennings 122 785 296-7196 ,

Rep. Johnson 108 785 296-7696 ,

Rep. Jones 5 785 296-6287,

Rep. Kahrs 87 785 296-5593 ,

Rep. Kelley 80 785 296-7671

Rep. Kelly 11 785 296-6014 ,

Rep. Kinzer 30 785-296-7692,

Rep. Kleeb 48 785 296-7680,

Rep. Kuether 55 785 296-7669 ,

Rep. Lane 58 785 296-7649 ,

Rep. Lunn 28 785 296-7675 ,

Rep. Lusk 22 785 296-7651,

Rep. Macheers 39 785 296-7675 ,

Rep. Mast 76 785-291-3500 ,

Rep. McPherson 8 785 296-7695 ,

Rep. Meier 41 785 296-7650 ,

Rep. Meigs 23 785 296-7656,

Rep. Menghini 3 785 296-7691,

Rep. Merrick 27 785-296-2302 ,

Rep. Montgomery 15 785 296-7677,

Rep. Moxley 68 785 296-7689 ,

Rep. O’Brien 42 785 296-7683,

Rep. Osterman 97 785 296-7689,

Rep. Pauls 102 785 296-7657,

Rep. Peck 12 785 296-7641,

Rep. Perry 24 785 296-7669 ,

Rep. Peterson 32 785 296-7371 ,

Rep. Petty 125 785 296-7676 ,

Rep. Phillips 67 785 296-6014 ,

Rep. J. Powell 50 785 296-7674,

Rep. Proehl 7 785 296-7639,

Rep. Read 4 785 296-7310,

Rep. Rhoades 72 785 291-3446 ,

Rep. Rooker 25 785 296-7686

Rep. Rothlisberg 65 785 296-7653,

Rep. Rubin 18 785 296-7690 ,

Rep. Ruiz 31 785 296-7122,

Rep. Ryckman Jr. 78 785 296-6287 ,

Rep. Ryckman Sr. 115 785 296-7658 ,

Rep. Sawyer 95 785 296-7691 ,

Rep. Schroeder 74 785 296-7500,

Rep. Schwab 49 785 296-7501 ,

Rep. Schwartz 106 785 296-7637 ,

Rep. Seiwert 101 785 296-7647 ,

Rep. Shultz 73 785 296-7684 ,

Rep. Siegfreid 121 785 368-7166 ,

Rep. Sloan 45 785 296-7654 ,

Rep. Sloop 88 785 296-7646 ,

Rep. Suellentrop 91 785 296-7681 ,

Rep. Sutton 43 785 296-7676 ,

Rep. Swanson 64 785 296-7642 ,

Rep. Thimesch 114 785 296-7105 ,

Rep. Tietze 53 785 296-7668 ,

Rep. Todd 29 785 296-7695 ,

Rep. Trimmer 79 785 296-7122 ,

Rep. Vickrey 6 785-296-7662 ,

Rep. Victors 103 785 296-7651 ,

Rep. Ward 86 785 296-7698 ,

Rep. Waymaster 109 785 296-7672 ,

Rep. Weber 119 785 296-5481 ,

Rep. Weigel 56 785 296-7366 ,

Rep. Whipple 96 785 296-7366 ,

Rep. Wilson 10 785 296-7652 ,

Rep. Winn 34 785 296-7657,

Rep. Wolfe Moore 36 785 296-7688 ,

Here’s a letter for reference:

Dear Kansas Legislator,

It might surprise you that a citizen of Utah is going out of her way to ask you to oppose the Common Core agenda taking root in Kansas.
I have studied the Common Core thoroughly.  I urge you to study it closely.
1)  It isn’t state-led, despite the rhetoric.  Legislators and voters were totally bypassed.  The NGA is not a constitutionally recognized entity to rule on the national stage.
2)  The academic standards are highly controversial, are untested and are based on no evidence to support their theories (diminishing classic literature, slowing math, etc.)
3)  Common Core tests collect personally identifiable student data by State Longitudinal Database Systems, federally interoperable.
4) THERE IS NO AMENDMENT PROCESS.  The standards are under copyright.  Local control is gone.
Here are some videos that will help you learn the agenda of Common Core.
Seton Hall University – Professor Christopher Tienken:
Concerned Women of America – Jane Robbins:  (five part series)
Utahns Against Common Core – Alisa Ellis, Christel Swasey, Renee Braddy:
Heritage Foundation Conference on Common Core –
Restore Oklahoma Public Education –
Glenn Beck t.v. on common core   –
Kansas School Board hears parents against common core –
Thank you for studying this issue very carefully.
Christel Swasey
Utah Teacher and Mom

Video: Kansas Parents, Students, Teachers Against Common Core   Leave a comment

Start at second 23 to see and hear the parents, teachers and students speaking out against Common Core.



Posted May 17, 2013 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,

Kansas Joins Anti-Common Core Fight –   2 comments

Kansas, too, is joining the debate on whether it was foolish or wise to adopt national, untested, unpiloted, unproven, expensive and highly criticized Common Core standards and tests.  Read about it here:  Critics pan Common Core in House hearing |


Common Core Stirs Controversy in Kansas   Leave a comment

Julie Ford, the Topeka, Kansas School Superintendent, wants the cash associated with bowing to the will of the U.S. Dept of Education, and that means dancing solely to the tune of the Common Core drum.

But U.S. Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran declined Ford’s request that they should write to the U.S. Department of Education to bolster the district’s application for a Race to the Top grant.

Senator Roberts said he did not believe the federal government “should be mandating a one-size-fits-all education reform agenda by proposing a financial reward system in order to force states to make changes deemed worthwhile by the administration.”

Interestingly, the Associated press reporter who wrote the article had obviously not actually studied the Common Core.  The reporter wrote: “The standards are considered more rigorous than previous standards, focusing more on depth of knowledge rather than breadth.”

Cutting literature is “focusing more on depth of knowledge”?

Moving Algebra II from 8th grade to 9th is considered more rigorous?

If it was funny, I would laugh out loud.  But the oversight of the truth is dead serious.

I’m not laughing.

United States Starting To Rebel Against Common Core Standards   2 comments

States Starting To Rebel Against Common Core Standards

   –Reposted Sept. 27, 2012 from Donna Garner, Texas Educator, at

Although the Common Core national standards have been accepted in 46-1/2 states,    implementation is going slower than advocates had hoped.  One group of  states actually introduced legislation to withdraw from the Common Core or  disapprove the standards, others have failed or refused to pass the  legislation necessary to fund or align them with state tests, higher education or professional development and still others are doing more  formal reviews of either cost or curriculum.  In all, nearly  three-fifths of the states that have accepted the Common Core fall into one  of these groups. Please read on to find out what you can do both to stop the further implementation of the Common Core in your state as well as what you   can do to stop the nationalization of education.

Although education has not been a front burner issue in this election cycle, there is some evidence that word about the dangers of and problems with the Common Core national standards, about which we have warned you for a long  time, is slowly getting out.  In addition to Education Liberty Watch,  the group of academics, policy makers and individuals that developed and gained over 100 original signatures on a counter-manifesto against the Common Core, The Cato Institute,  The Heritage FoundationTruth in American Education, teachers, parents, and policy makers are working hard to educate and to  protest this loss of autonomy, local control and academic rigor.  Stanley Kurtz, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, in      interviews on Fox News and the Mike Huckabee show      pointed out the constitutional and academic dangers of the Common Core in  his new book Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to  Pay for the Cities. In it, he said:

The core of the hard-left’s education agenda – a program shared by Obama, Ayers, and      Darling-Hammond alike – has three parts: 1) a politicized curriculum that  promotes leftist notions of “social justice,” 2) reducing “disparate outcomes” between students in different districts by undercutting standards, and 3) a redistribution of suburban education funding to less-well-off urban schools. Achieving these goals on a broad scale requires the federal government to usurp local control of K-12 schooling. 

Obama is half-way there.

   How did he do it?  Instead of submitting his controversial education proposals to Congress and kicking off a vigorous national debate, Obama quietly marked  $4.35 billion of federal stimulus spending for his Race to the Top education initiative. Since the stimulus bill was rushed through Congress  with barely any debate on economic policy, much less education, Obama      never had to go public with his plans.

By coordinating with outside groups not accountable to the voters, like the  deep-pocketed Gates Foundation, the White House then orchestrated the   creation of a national Common Core of education standards, with an  accompanying curriculum and tests.

Supposedly,  these standards have been voluntarily adopted by more than 40 states. In      fact, by effectively conditioning eligibility for Race to the Top grants  on participation in the Common Core, the Obama administration has forced economically pinched states to surrender control of their school  curricula to the federal government. Cleverly, states have been pressed  to sign on to the Common Core before the actual standards, curricula, and tests are revealed in a second Obama term. The entire scheme is arguably  both illegal and unconstitutional. Yet it is moving forward, and the public knows virtually nothing about it.

In addition, state legislators and governors are also starting to respond to this unconstitutional federal takeover of  education curriculum. According to the states listed or not listed on  this comprehensive review table by  Daniel Thatcher of the National Conference of State Legislatures, the  breakdown of how states are dealing with the Common Core is as follows:

  • Twelve of the 46-1/2  states and Washington DC (Minnesota has accepted the English and reading  standards) or almost 25% have actively sought through legislation to           withdraw from, disapprove, require legislative input or other  negative measures regarding the Common Core.  Four of these  measures were enacted. 
    • The strongest of the  four measures that passed was enacted in Utah which allows the  state to withdraw from any kind of arrangement that cedes Utah’s            control over its own standards and curriculum. 
    • Indiana enacted  a  resolution to urge a state board review of the CCSS.
    • Kansas requires a cost  analysis and formal review before implementation 
    • South Dakota implemented a requirement of four public hearings before enactment of the  standards. 
    • Other states had bills disapproving or rejecting the Common Core or future adoption fail in the legislature (Alaska, Alabama, Georgia, Missouri,            Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Washington) 
    • Minnesota’s bill to  require legislative approval of new standards passed both chambers of the legislature but was vetoed by the liberal governor. 
  • Four other states have  required a formal review of the curriculum or cost analysis.        (California, Iowa, Maryland, and New Mexico).  
  • Twelve states (Alabama*,  Arizona, California*, Hawaii, Indiana*, Kansas*, Minnesota*,  Missouri*, New Jersey, New Mexico*, Pennsylvania, and Vermont),           including seven on one of these other lists (*), have rejected, either by failure in the legislature,  by gubernatorial veto,  or by failure to introduce a bill, any legislative implementation of  the appropriation, enabling, or alignment of the Common Core in      their states.
  • Five other states  (Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin) and    Washington DC were not listed in the review as having even introduced any kind of Common Core related legislation at all in 2012.  

That brings the total to twenty-six out of forty-six and  one half states that have accepted them or 56% who are rejecting or  showing some kind of hesitancy or concern with implementing these  unconstitutional, illegal and dumbed down, politically correct standards    and their accompanying tests.  This is very important good news  for state and local autonomy, academic excellence, constitutionality and  state budgets  It is also very important for the the maintenance of  private and home schooling as viable alternatives to government      education. (More new details on the dangers to private school autonomy  via the Common Core and how the Romney education plan affects this issue  will come next week. In the meantime, please see Imposing a Federal Curriculum      on Private Schools – Why Voucher Programs that Require State Tests Are So      Dangerous)

After speaking at Phyllis Schlafley’s Eagle Council along      with Education Liberty Watch’s Dr. Karen Effrem, The American Principles      Project’s Emmett McGroarty, and Heather Crossin, the Indiana mom who led      the rebellion against the Common Core in that state, Kurtz wrote more      about the problems with the Common Core and the coming parental revolt in      National Review Online:


Crossin has  successfully galvanized Indiana’s tea-party groups into fighting the Common Core. It’s a taste of what’s going to happen across the country  once Obama’s new national school curriculum hits the ground. Angry  parents like Crossin will be multiplied many times over, and they won’t  just be making funny protest videos. They’ll be marching on state      legislatures and giving the federal government an earful as well. 

The resistance to the Common Core seems to be following  the same state level resistance or inertia that is happening with the health insurance exchanges that unless stopped will serve as the implementation portals for the life robbing, health endangering, tax  increasing and economy wrecking mandates of Obamacare.

     It is therefore critical to make education freedom part of  the consideration as we choose not only a new president, but members of Congress, governors, and state legislators.  Please do not be shy about asking candidates where they stand on the implementation of the  Common Core and what they will do to stop it at both the state and federal levels.  If officials or candidates are not interested in  discussing the lack of constitutionality or terrible quality of the  standards, remind them that Common Core implementation cost estimates vary between $16 and $60 BILLION dollars that will not be available from  the federal government given current debt levels of $16 TRILLION dollars  and the state deficits that many states have accumulated. Please also consider a generous donation to Education Liberty Watch as we join with  groups and individuals across the nation to try to stop this other major usurpation of rights.  The future ability of our children to be the  thinking, reasoning citizens that will know how to maintain our heritage  of freedom depends on being able to stop this Obamacare for education gambit.   -Donna Garner



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