Archive for the ‘wasatch county’ Tag

Run Baby Run (Baking Cookies Isn’t Saving The Nation Fast Enough)   2 comments

  1.  
    ezra
    Did you know that even if you are lazy,  sick or out of town and won’t attend your local Caucus meeting –It’s THURSDAY FOR UTAH’S GOP– still, you can vote and you can even still RUN for an office!?  Just pre-file to vote or to run, here:   http://www.utgop.org
    vote
    (If you don’t attend that night, you will need to print out a ballot the night before the Caucus, or the day of, and have your neighbor bring it for you, along with a photocopy of your drivers’ license or other I.D.)
    vote 2
    The fact that there are so many unopposed county delegate, state delegate, and local school board seats open in Utah County, Wasatch County –and probably in every county– utterly unopposed– is completely sad.
    cookies
    We serve in our homes and in our churches and we justify that service as being enough.  It is wonderful, but it is not enough.  Not in 2014. Our country is falling apart because in each locality, the best people are too shy or too busy or too embarrassed to run and to serve in public offices.   We just bake more and more cookies.  They are delicious, but I am pretty sure that they do not save our nation as quickly as running for and serving in public offices can.
    usa
    A friend who lives in Utah County and who chooses to be anonymous, wrote this:   “For every person who thinks they can’t run, I’m here to beg you to do it anyway…  Facebook it.   The  biggest, best, and most effective way for anyone to impact education, even with the centralization that we have, would be to ‘en masse’ get different school board members in, locally. We have seen the legislature will never act without backing from the local boards. The State Board has no motivation (and the reality is it is too far away from the people to be accountable with the amount of power it possesses) to change. But even if no one wins. Even if the people reject the message of local control, it does move the needle. It shows that every person needs to be involved and responsible. At the very least, local school board elections provide a ready-made platform for issues (debate, newspapers, direct mail pieces, websites). It allows the rest of the people to hear a different perspective other than who loves the kids most. It allows for an opportunity to speak truth to power, and, if successful, actually change the direction of this state, more than legislation or replacing state school board members. The rightful power over education lies in the local school boards truly representing the parents of their communities. Until the people actually want the power back, it will continue to be centralized, concentrated and taken away from parents and local communities. This is the line in the sand.gandalf“This is, as Gandalf says, where “You shall not pass.” This is the opportunity to speak the truth that PARENTS must be in charge of their kids’ education. They we can’t abdicate this responsibility to the ‘experts’. People don’t believe it anymore. They think their kids must get the education the experts demand. They may feel uncomfortable with some things and not knowing what’s going on, but we have been conditioned to believe that it isn’t our responsibility.”There is no single issue that is more important in the next 4 days, than finding, preferably in all 41 districts, people to run. There should be no seat that doesn’t have opposition. I apologize again, because when I asked and cajoled about this 6 months ago, I didn’t follow up. I didn’t feel that it was my responsibility. But I realize that we are all in the same boat: we don’t believe it’s our job. We hope someone will step up to the plate.”Once upon a time, in this country, public service was seen the way our culture and our religion value religious callings. You didn’t say no, and you felt it should be shared. Somehow, we think that running for office is something other people should do; that it takes a particular mindset or temperament; that it shouldn’t be a sacrifice. It is service. It’s supposed to be a sacrifice! To quote Thomas Paine, “it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.” We who choose to live in liberty must bear the pains of supporting it.”There are 11 school board seats up in Utah County alone. Of those 11, 2 in Provo don’t even have a candidate yet. All but 2, are currently unopposed. With all due respect, I can’t believe there are only 3 people in Utah County that feel the need to stand up for something other than the status quo. We, the people, don’t deserve local control because we don’t show by our actions that we really want it.“We have greater potential right now, in the next 96 hours, than we’ve had in the last 2 years, of returning control of education back to the people. If you know anyone in one of these areas, call them and ask them to run. Don’t take no for an answer.”

    Amen to my friend’s words.

    Here are words from another wise soul:

    “God intended men to be free…  No nation which has kept the commandments of God has ever perished, but I say to you that once freedom is lost, only blood – human blood – will win it back.”  – Ezra T. Benson – October 26, 1979 )

    Running for political office is not a show of vanity and ambition –or shouldn’t be– but it’s a willingness to help bear the burden to uphold our freedoms with simple, good decision making. There are small, easy, local positions that take very little time. There are larger positions, too, for which you do not need to have an advanced degree or experience. You should have a love of liberty, of constitutional local control, and a sense of wisdom and morality. That’s it.

    Run, baby, run.

    PLEASE SHARE.

Meetings in Logan, Heber, and Manti This Week – and How to Study If You Can’t Attend   2 comments

The following Common Core informational meetings are scheduled in Utah.

— LOGAN: September 24th, 6 p.m. 29 South Main Street, Logan, Utah
Speakers: Autumn Cook and Christel Swasey

— HEBER: September 24th, 7 p.m. in the Senior Center at the Wasatch County Library
Speakers: Alyson Williams and Jakell Sullivan

— MANTI: September 26th, 7 p.m. 50 S. Main Street, Highway 89
Eva Beal Auditorium, City Building
Speakers: Alisa Ellis and Christel Swasey

The meetings are free and open. We especially hope teachers, principals, legislators and school board members will attend. There will be question and answer discussions following each presentation. If you cannot attend, please study Common Core facts for yourself and verify before trusting those who say that Common Core is a blessing to our economy or to our children. It is neither.

————————————————————————————————————

A recommended Syllabus for Common Core Study might look like this:

The General Educational Provisions Act – this law prohibits the federal government from directing or supervising state education. “No provision of any applicable program shall be construed to authorize any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system…”

U.S. Constitution – powers are delegated to the states. “Amendment 10 – The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

The Race to the Top Grant Application– Utah got points from the federal government for having a child tracking SLDS database system. This tracks children without parental consent or knowledge. Also in this document, see that Utah got more points for having adopted Common Core. This was how we got into it. Despite not winning the grant money, we remained in these systems.

The No Child Left Behind Waiver– This shows the 15% cap the federal government put on top of the copyrighted, unamendable (by states) common standards.

The State Longitudinal Database System (SLDS) Grant– All states have one. This is a federally paid-for database that every state in the US now has. It tracks students within the state. Aggregated data ion students is sent from this system to the federal EdFacts Exchange. Parents can not opt their children out. (They can, however, opt out of Common Core tests.)

The lawsuit against the Department of Education– The Electronic Privacy Information Center has sued the DOE for destroying the previously data-privacy protective federal FERPA. The lawsuit explains which terms were redefined, which agencies now have legal access to the private data of students, and much more.

The copyright on Common Core held by CCSSO/NGA – The fact that there are “terms of use” and a copyright shows that we have no local control over the standards which are written behind closed doors in D.C. Notice that it states that no one outside CCSSO/NGA may claim to have helped write the standards.

The report entitled “For Each And Every Child” from the Equity and Excellence Commission – This report was commissioned by Obama. It reveals that redistribution of wealth is the real reason that Obama wants a national education system.

The Cooperative Agreement between the Dept. of Education and the testing consortia – Even though Utah escaped the SBAC and is not bound by the Cooperative Agreement directly, Utah’s current testing group, A.I.R., works closely with SBAC. This document shows how clearly the DOE has broken laws like the General Educational Provisions Act and the 10th Amendment. It mandates the synchronizing of tests and the sharing of data to triangulate the SBAC, PARCC and DOE.

The speeches of Secretary Arne Duncan on education – He states that Common Core was Obama’s idea and that the federal government is moving to play a larger role in education.

The speeches of President Obama on education – Obama’s top 4 education goals: control data, common standards, teachers, and to take over low-performing schools.

The speeches of the CEA of Pearson Ed, Sir Michael Barber – Barber wants every school on the globe to have the exact same academic standards and to underpin every standard with environmental propaganda. He also likes having global data on kids and stresses the term “sustainable reform” which is “irreversible reform”.

The speeches and actions of the main funder of Common Core, Bill Gates – He’s funded Common Core almost completely on his own; he’s partnered with Pearson; he says “we won’t know it works until all the tests and curriculum aligns with the standards” so he’s writing curriculum for his “uniform customer base” –all children.

The speeches of David Coleman, a noneducator, the architect of the Common Core ELA standards and now promoted to College Board President -He mocks narrative writing, he’s diminished the percentage of classic literature that’s allowable in the standards, he’s not been elected, he’s never taught school, yet he’s almost singlehandedly destroyed the quality and liberty of an English teacher’s classroom. And as he’s now the College Board President, he’s aligning the SAT to his version of what Common standards should be. This will hurt colleges.

The Dept. of Ed report: Promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perserverance– behavioral indicators of students are wanted by the federal government. This may include physically monitoring children using cameras, posture chairs, and bracelets. (see graphic embedded in the report.)

The federal websites such as the EdFacts Exchange, the Common Education Data Standards, the National Data Collection Model, and the Data Quality Campaign, sites because three of these four ask us to give personally identifiable information on students, from our state database. -The first link shows what we already give to the federal government; the others show what the federal government is requesting that we share, which does include intimate, personally identifiable information.

The Common Core creators’ data management branch, EIMAC of CCSSO, with its stated mission to disaggregate student data.

The Official Common Core Standards – English and Math standards – These are the actual standards. Here you will see that it’s a “living work” meaning that what you think Common Core is, it may not remain in the future. There is no amendment process for states to have a voice in the commonly held standards. There is a recommended reading list in Appendix B that includes “The Bluest Eye,” a pornographic novel.

The testimonies of the official Common Core validation committee members who refused to sign off on the legitimacy of the standards; other professors who have testified that Common Core hurts legitimate college readiness.

Follow the money trails – See what Bill Gates has paid for, and see how Common Core is a money-making monopoly that circumvents voters via public-private partnerships.

Local desire to protect student privacy conflicts with other agencies’ goals to examine private student data   Leave a comment

Dear School Board, 

Thank you for allowing public comment.  I wrote before but I do have more to say.

You might feel stuck between a rock and a hard place, stuck in the middle of negotiations, regulations, laws, local and state politics, and angry parents.  I imagine it feels like because you don’t have all the answers, you might just submit to those who claim to know more than you do or who seem more authoritative. 

I encourage you to stand up tall and know that you have as much or more authority than these others do, in your elected role.  You are the guardians of this little city’s public education system, and you have a very significant role to play today, that those entities who want easy access to citizens’ information cannot intimidate or bribe you into dismissing, without your consent.

I urge you to have confidence in yourselves and to do your own research and listen to the voices of the parents who care the very most about their children’s well being.

When it comes to believing the USOE, the USSB, the DoE, the UEN, the NCES, the IES, the SBAC, and the other data-collectors, please trust but verify.  We must not be naiively trusting; please don’t trust even the most well intentioned government claim without verifying.  In this case, the thing to verify is that our local desire to protect student privacy conflicts with other agencies’ goals to examine private student data.

There is a network of data-collecting that now starts in a child’s school and filters through its district, then through Utah (via the USOE, the P-20 Workforce, a massive longitudinal database, and via UEN’s partnership with UTrex, Choice Solutions Corporation, and the Utah Data Alliance).  Then the data on children gets dis-aggregated (according to Choice Solutions’ own statement http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/2/prweb9201404.htm ) and this disaggregated data will be electronically exchanged, they have promised, to many “stakeholders”.  This is not good.

Unfortunately, you, our board, will not be able to control this disaggregation and electronic exchange with good intentions, your own integrity, or your own power.  Only a strong district FERPA policy can protect children and parents in this case.  What a daunting responsiblitity rests on you today! 

Once you let that information slip out of our school district, this huge network is waiting to descend upon it and pass it along to all these “stakeholders” which do include the executive branch, which does have a national database set up to do surveillance on our kids.  This is explained on their own websites.

IES is the research arm of the executive branch.  NCES, a branch of IES, defines it self as “the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education.” http://nces.ed.gov/    http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/west/board.asp   

And WestEd, also called West Regional Lab, is a division of NCES.  Larry Shumway sits on that WestEd governing board; he is not on the side of privacy over student data and we need to recognize his position.  He will not step in.  We must protect the children ourselves from this massive data exchange of personally identifiable information.

A study of recent and ancient history shows the life and death importance of maintaining local freedom, autonomy, privacy and control. 

Again, thank you for listening.

Christel Swasey

And Now, A Vocabulary List   Leave a comment

A big difference between the pushers of Common Core and normal people is this: The Common Core pushers are experts on speaking in euphemisms and in acronyms. We ask for clarity, but this is never supplied by the pushers. Even state educators fall for the “eduspeak” and soon join the top Common Core pushers, who label those of us asking for clarity (or evidence or measurable answers) as conspiracy theorists.

College Readiness – this term means nothing beyond maybe a two year nonselective college prep under Common Core.  Common Core throws the term around a lot.  They hope you think it means four year college.  It doesn’t.   (See what Stanford Professor Michael Kirst said about this when he examine the Core Standards for math.) http://collegepuzzle.stanford.edu/?p=466

High Standards – this term means nothing.  Common Core throws it around.  They say that adding a requirement for info-texts in English classes, pushing classic literature into a confined half or less of allotted teaching time, or pushing Algebra I to 9th grade from 8th grade (!) is raising standards.  They say a lot of things that aren’t proven, and certainly the Common Core has never been piloted anywhere.

Global Competitiveness – see “college readiness” and “high standards” – one more pretty phrase Common Core tosses around, without substantiation or evidence that Common Core achieves it.  Another word we teachers and parents naturally take to, like a fish takes a shiny fly, not asking what it really contains:  a federal hook that won’t let us go.

FERPA – Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.  A great thing.  But  under attack due to Common Core.

Privacy – this term means less than nothing in Common Core.  State FERPA laws that protected families and students are being overridden by federal regulations created this year without the permission of Congress.  In Wasatch County, for example, the school board took away parental consent over student data in favor of giving federal access to it.

SBAC – Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium – Utah’s boss under Common Core; we have to obey other states, especially Washington State, who can sign us up for what they see fit for our educational system, and we must obey. We must also obey the terms of grants Washington State receives, even when we do not get any money from that grant.  The SBAC is federally controlled. See “Cooperative Agreement” document http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-assessment/sbac-cooperative-agreement.pdf  We must give our data to the SBAC who must give it to the feds.

PARCC – the other consortium.  Florida’s boss.  They are to synchronize testing with SBAC and share “across consortia,” triangulating with the feds.

NCLB – No Child Left Behind.  A federal program that crashed miserably.  The Dept. of Ed. is offering waivers so states can escape it, in exchange for their nextborn child:  states have to do Common Core.

GEPA– General Educational Provisions Act. Like the Constitution, it protects us and promises states can educate kids, free of federal control, but the feds are ignoring it and trying to take over education anyway.  “No provision of any applicable program shall be construed to authorize any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system” – GEPA law.

Sustainable Development   –  a term that means taking care of the earth but has been twisted by the pushers to mean “we must take rights and freedoms away from individuals and hand all to the much wiser government so that we can ensure sustainable development at all costs.”

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