Parents should be especially concerned with the federal government’s role in pushing Common Core on our teachers and students. Federal law prohibits the Department of Education from setting specific content standards, but using the Race to the Top program, the federal government has enticed many states to adopt the Common Core and develop curriculum and assessments aligned to the Common Core. Parents should also be disturbed by the efforts of the Department of Education and the Department of Labor—in connection with Common Core —to begin collecting large amounts of personal information on students from their pre-school years through their entry into the workforce. This is extremely dangerous for the privacy of American schoolchildren.
Please, I encourage you to vote for Matt Bevin on May 19th.
PADUCAH, Ky. — Conservative Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Matt Bevin along with his running mate for Lt. Governor, Jenean Hampton attended and spoke at the annual McCracken County Reagan Day Dinner at the Carson Center last Friday evening.
His opening remarks praising the freedoms experienced in America were well received with applause: “I hope we do not take for granted for one moment what a privilege it is to live in the United States of America”, Bevin said.
Bevin went on to share his humble upbringing well below the poverty level. Mapping his journey from paying his own way through college to his military service as an army officer, to working in the private sector as a successful business owner. During the event, he spoke on a wide range of topics concerning voters in Kentucky.
Matt Bevin has made youth involvement a huge part of his campaign. He has spoken to groups of students all across Kentucky, including home-school groups. As a supporter of school choice and against Common Core, his message resounds with parents and students alike.
The Bevin-Hampton campaign has a large number of Millennials involved as part of “Youth for Bevin“. Students are using their energy to support the campaign in various ways, such as info graphics, precinct walking, phone banking, sign waving, writing letters to the editors and promotion through social media.
” I am so excited after getting to meet Matt! I’ve always loved Matt Bevin, but after meeting him in person I LOVE him! He did such a great job speaking. It is such a privilege to support a candidate I can trust. I am so excited to be on his team.” – Emma Creason from Carlisle county.
“Matt Bevin is uniquely a strong Constitutionally Conservative candidate. He passionately stands for our Founding Principles that makes America great. As an outsider, and not a politician, he has the experience Kentucky needs. I am happy to support him in every way I can to see that he is my next Governor.” – Kaitlyn Creason, from Carlisle county.
“Matt Bevin is one-of-a-kind. He is honest, sincere, but most importantly he is genuine. He deeply believes in his message and speaks about his Blueprint with passion. I am willing to do anything it takes to see to it that a man, with his values, is Kentucky’s next Governor.” – Alyssa Hodge, McCracken County.
Matt is a Christian, husband, father of nine, business owner, and problem-solver. He knows how to create jobs because it’s what he does. It’s about the jobs.
His “Blueprint for a Better Kentucky” is the plan Kentucky so desperately needs.
The Republican Primary for Governor is Tuesday, May 19, 2015.
LYNCHBURG, Va. — Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) announced on Monday morning at Liberty University that he has thrown his hat into the ring for president in 2016. Cruz has become the first candidate of either party to officially declare his candidacy.
Opening his speech by stating, “I believe God is not done with America, yet”, he began with his family and his connection to his faith as he provided a detailed story about his parents. His mother, who grew up in Delaware and became a computer programmer, while his father was a Cuban teenage rebel fighter that fled the chaos at the age of 18 to America. Moving along, he mentioned his family problems from alcohol abuse to marital problems until his parents had a religious awakening that helped find their faith. “There are people who wonder if faith is real, I can tell you in my family there isn’t a second of doubt because if not the transformative love of Jesus Christ, I would have been raised by a single mother.”
Cruz, the first to officially declare his candidacy via Titter Monday at Midnight, his announcement included a 30-second video of “I’m ready to stand with you to lead the fight, will you join me.” A day before, it was reported by the Houston Chronicle of his official announcement for the presidency will occur on Monday.
Mentioning many conservative principles, Cruz told an energetic crowd of students using ‘Imagine’ at the beginning of each sentence laying out what America would be like if he takes office, as each sentence drew many loud applauses. “Imagine instead of economic stagnation, booming economic growth…Imagine abolishing the IRS…Instead of the lawlessness and the president’s unconstitutional executive amnesty, imagine a president that finally, finally, finally secures the borders…Instead of a federal government that seeks to dictate school curriculum through Common Core, imagine repealing every word of Common Core…imagine a president who stands unapologetically with the nation of Israel…Imagine a president who says we will stand up and defeat radical Islamic terrorism, and we will call it by its name. We will defend the United States of America.”
Cruz mentioned Obamacare, as Monday’s anniversary marks its fifth year into law. Gaining national media attention for his 21-hour filibuster on the Senate floor, Cruz and his vocal opposition of the law led to a tense standoff between Republicans and Democrats. Liberty University is also known for filing a lawsuit once President Obama signed Obamacare into law. Cruz mentioned the failures since it was signed into law of “joblessness, millions forced into part-time work, millions forced into part-time work and millions losing their health insurance and doctor.” Cruz ended by repealing “every word of the Obamacare” come 2017.
Ending his speech, Cruz stated his full announcement with “God’s blessing has been on America from the very beginning of this nation and I believe God isn’t done with America yet. And that is why today, I am announcing that I am running for president of the United States…We will get back and restore that shining city on a hill that is the United States of America.”
A conservative shooting star and firebrand to the Tea Party coalitions, Cruz a first-term senator is seen as a figure who is outspoken, passionate and energetic of his conservative positions to fight against Washington’s status quo. Disliked by some of his colleagues due to his constant pushback against establishment republicans. In 2013, he is known for the 17-day government shutdown as many democrats and some republicans saw this approach of destroying the country due to his battle to defund Obamacare.
His early announcement now puts Cruz in the advantage as he can seize the attention of the tea-party coalition as well as the big donors. Debuting his campaign announcement at Liberty University, an evangelical university, Cruz is also looking to gain traction of evangelical voters with his Christian conservative message to cut through a crowded field. Evangelicals are looking into former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee as their contender as well as former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.
Cruz, if he wins the nomination and the presidency in 2016 is set to become the nation’s first Hispanic president. Although Cruz was born in Canada, stated by the constitution, he is able to run for president since his mother is a natural born US citizen which meets the standards to run. If Cruz fails to win the nomination or drops out, Cruz will still retain his Senate seat through 2019.
The tension between the Tea Party and the established republicans couldn’t have been any clearer. Dozens of protesters staged a walkout during CPAC when Jeb Bush took the stage with Sean Hannity during his session Friday afternoon.
Bush, former governor of Florida and current 2016 GOP front runner is the only candidate with a nationwide fundraising effort. However, he lacks the support of most CPAC participants. Taking the stage, he looked to change some minds by reminding them that he was a conservative governor.
During CPAC on Thursday, rumors were flowing around the convention that Tea Party conservatives would lead a massive walkout during Bush’s appearance. Other rumors included Bush supporters being bussed in to pack the session and even ballot stuffing the straw poll. It seemed as though the walkout was going to happen as Hannity asked the audience how they felt about certain potential 2016 candidates. Bush’s name was greeted with a loud boo.
It was a twenty minute question and answer session, with Hannity serving as moderator. Bush used the interview to defend various controversial stances staining his name including Common Core and immigration reform. Bush, nonetheless, was energetic as the walkout and boos tried to overshadow his speech.
Calling himself a “practicing reform-minded conservative,” Bush started off by emphasizing the conservative legislation he pushed during his governorship. Known as “Veto Corleone,” Bush cited his rejection of many pieces of legislations to outline the way he governed Florida.
On the big issues such as illegal immigration, Bush stuck to his moderate position, stating the United States must show compassion and can’t self-deport. “The simple fact is there is no plan to deport 11 million people, we should give them a path to legal status where they work, where they don’t receive government benefits and where they make a contribution to our society,” Bush answered any lingering question on his stance, touting his government record that granted drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. As Congress was taking action on Department of Homeland Security funding just a few miles away from the conference, Bush commented that Congress should “take action to oppose President Obama’s executive actions to prevent some deportations” but opposed cutting off funds as a tactic for an opposition. “I’m not an expert on the ways of Washington, it makes no sense that we are not funding control of our border, which is the whole argument.”
Another issue plaguing Bush is his support for Common Core. Bush defended his position,“The federal government has no role in the creation of standards, the government should not dictate what is taught in schools, the role of the federal government if any is to create more school choice.”
The boos continued during the speech as Bush sought to make the best out the negativity. “To those who made a boo sound, I’m marking them down as neutral and I want to be your second choice.” However, the cheers tried to overshadow the boos as Bush supporters reminded the audience that his allies are around for support. Bush remarked on unity, calling for a broad republican tent stating, “If we share our enthusiasm and love for our country with our belief in our philosophy, we will be able to get Latinos and young people and others needed to win.”
After the session, one attendee said, “I think only the media was the only ones excited about Bush attending the conference than the general audience.”
Pearson Education is a company that designs “education products and services to institutions, governments and direct to individual learners”. They have 40,000 employees in 80 countries. “Pearson is listed on the London and New York stock exchanges (LSE: PSON; NYSE: PSO). In fact, Pearson is one of the few companies to have been a constituent of the FTSE100 ever since the index began in 1984. However, though the name has remained the same the company behind it has changed beyond all recognition”.
The three main changes the company cites are as follows: (www.pearson.com)
- “A corporate focus on ‘education in the broadest sense of the word’, a strategy of becoming the world’s leading learning company with heavy exposure to the growing global education market.”
- “A transformation from book publisher to digital services company.”
- “A significant expansion into fast-growing developing economies including China, India, Africa and Brazil.”
Pearson is a former member of the Advisory Council for the United Nations Global Compact. They continue to be a member. “Participation in the Global Compact continues to provide an important framework for Pearson as we develop and grow, and are pleased to continue our support and engagement,” Robin Freestone Chief financial officer (and Board member responsible for corporate responsibility)
Remember, the Gates Foundation also used the United Nations as one vehicle for funding the development and implementation of Common Core in the United States.
Pearson appears to have a number of investors worldwide with one of the largest financial contributors being the Libyan Investment Authority that holds 26 million shares. According to the Financial Times of London, the Libyan Investment Authority was founded by Libyan dictator Muammer Gaddafi’s son Seif al-Islam with shares now belonging to more than five members of the Gaddafi family. In the Middle East; Turkey, Saudi Arabia, CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood have invested heavily in Pearson Education.
Pearson Education claims they are a public company in a free market and they have no control over their shareholders. In other words, they didn’t mean to fund terrorist activities.
“Muslim Brotherhood documents seized by the FBI and presented at the Holy Land Foundation Trial in Texas revealed a plan by the Muslim Brotherhood and their subsidiary organizations like CAIR to penetrate and indoctrinate American K-12 students.”
These documents were believed to be the Muslim Brotherhood’s manifesto in North America. You can view the documents from the Holy Land Foundation Trials by visiting the following links: (Note: the documents are provided in Arabic and English. You will need to scroll down the document to get to the English translation.)
- Muslim Brotherhood’s manifesto in North America (Exhibit 42945)
- Muslim Brotherhood’s manifesto in North America (Exhibit 42946)
In May 2014, Pearson Education took over teacher certification in New York State, because the state had to implement “reforms” to compete for federal ‘Race to the Top’ dollars. The evaluation system known as the Teacher Performance assessment (TPA) will be solely administered by Pearson Education. New York State teachers will be entirely evaluated by Pearson Education.
University programs for teacher training are being subsidized by Saudi Arabia. Middle East Studies (under Title VI of the Higher Education Act) which entails designing lesson plans and seminars on the Middle East for American K-12 teachers are being distributed without oversight despite federal funding by the United States government. Saudi Arabia is funding the foundation creating the materials and training of the teachers and coordinators of these programs.
Pearson Education did not miss a chance to be a part of this exciting training, because there were higher education dollars up for grabs. You can view their website specifically designed for Middle Eastern studies at the following link: pearsonmiddleeastawe.com
Pearson Education is involved in academic research and influencing governmental policy. Pearson Education along with Cisco Systems, IBM, Intel, and the Gates Foundation throw all kinds of money at “non-profit” organizations in an attempt to effect policies that will lead to profits for their companies. Common Core was designed and copyrighted by The National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). You find Pearson Education listed as one of the many donors to NGA. Pearson Education is also listed as a business and industry partner for CCSSO.
The U.S. spends more than $632 billion a year to educate children ages five to 18 (approximately $12,608 per student). Education, including college and mid-career training, represents nearly 9 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. That is more money than is spent on energy or technology.
Pearson Education may claim they have no control over whether their stock is funding terrorist activities, but consumers and the United States government can control whether they purchase Pearson Education materials. We exercise our consumer rights in a free market all of the time.
Parents have rights too. The following was written by an Ohio teacher, “Refusing to allow your child to participant in state testing is a parental right guaranteed by the 14th amendment and broadly protected by the Supreme Court (see Meyer and Pierce cases). The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that parents possess the “fundamental right” to “direct the upbringing and education of their children.” Furthermore, the Court declared that “the child is not the mere creature of the State: those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right coupled with the high duty to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations” (Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 534-35). The Supreme Court criticized a state legislature for trying to interfere “with the power of parents to control the education of their own” (Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 402.). In Meyer, the Supreme Court held that the right of parents to raise their children free from unreasonable state interferences is one of the unwritten “liberties” protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (262 U.S. 399).”
You can use your voice as a parent and refuse to allow your child to be used as a tool for funding terrorist activities. Pearson Education may not be the only unwitting player.
* This is the first in a series of articles examining possible causes for the decline of America’s youth. It is not intended to incriminate anyone or any one thing. The intention is to provoke thought and possibly create a dialogue which can address some issues before it is too late for some of our youth and change the direction of our country’s future, to be outstanding citizens and leaders.
This article is not meant to indict the education system. It is to look at possible reasons why our children are becoming part of an entitlement society. Not all children are this way nor the majority, but there are enough to make it apparent our nation is in trouble. With the chaos infesting the world today, people are heard asking, “What happened, and how did we not notice?” What has happened is not an easy question to answer and there are many reasons why a large number of America’s youth are on a downhill slide.
Let’s take a good look at our schools. Higher and higher expectations are put on our children, yet the Huffington Post reports the nation’s world academic ranking has fallen to average and is ranked 14th in reading skills. Some may ask how that can be. The answers may lie in part, to the curriculum and also testing to determine a child’s progress. There is no accountability for actual learning in the classroom. In other words, as long as a student is scoring well on standardized testing, grades are not factors in determining whether a child is actually learning.
Adding fuel to the already smoldering fire, Common Core has changed the way mathematics has been taught for decades and made it almost impossible to understand. Not only have mathematics been changed by Common Core, but history has been re-written to further dumb-down students about the actual history of our nation and the world. Common Core is teaching an alternate set of values as well as a false narrative about our country. The Federal government, who is undoubtedly responsible for bringing Common Core into our schools, should not be involved in our children’s education. Some states have taken action to remove Common Core from their schools and write their own standards for education.
The next issue goes back to parental involvement. There is no delicate way to say this but parents need to give control back to the faculty in matters of discipline. The ACLU, court system and teachers unions have all done good service in certain matters. Where schools are concerned, their involvement has had negative effects. They have done nothing but allow outrageous claims of injustice to be represented causing harm to the mission of schools as vehicles for molding children into responsible adults. All of the involvement has led to a breakdown of accountability by students. Tenured teachers are protected from being fired even when they are poor educators and some tenured staff become lazy because they know the union protects them. It is important to note that we certainly have more great teachers than poor ones, but the poor ones reflect on all teachers in a negative way. It would be better to stop protecting them for the benefit of all.
Children are well aware that discipline is limited to a ‘talking to’ or a phone call to parents. Unfortunately, this means nothing to students. Parents have reached the point where the child is put before the school. Parents believe their children won’t and don’t act out at school and are being ‘picked on’ by the faculty or staff. This is certainly not the case and far from the truth. Parents, simply put, your kids are lying to you. There are students who have little or no respect at all. They break rules, skip classes, use foul language and even make out in the halls in public. They do this because they know they can and nobody can step in to change it. It is strongly advised any parent who has a child in middle or high school to be a “fly on the wall” to see what actually goes on. The biggest mistake of all has been the removal of God from the schools. If you think back to a time when prayer was still allowed in schools, you would realize the difference.
This behavior is happening in most public school systems in America. When the ACLU, the courts and the teachers unions stepped through the front doors of our schools, it opened a Pandora’s Box of problems that has contributed greatly to the decline of America.
This article is not meant to offend anyone. It is, however, intended to shake people up and get them involved in taking back our schools. A discussion must be started and action needs to be taken. We all realize that not all students are indicative of what was covered here, but the time has come to realize there are problems which need to be addressed. We need strong, competent, intelligent, courteous and respectful students.
Parents can start by listening to their children and talking about issues with the curriculum. The next step is to get involved with other parents and discuss problems and possible solutions. Become so well versed the teacher’s unions and government will have to listen. Please get involved. They are our future.
Be sure to catch the next part in this Education series to be published on Wednesday, February 11.
Recently Richard Innes, Staff Education Analyst at the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy, presented information on Common Core to a group of citizens in Boone County, Kentucky. Mr. Innes is an engineer by trade. He was in the Air Force where he did outcome based reviews. He was initially excited by the prospects of the public education system creating standards that could have an outcome based measurement. He soon realized they had no reliable tools in place to measure those outcomes.
In fact, when asking about the tools needed to measure outcomes he received the same answer over and over, “I don’t know what knowledge this test is meant to measure.” Educators, and certainly those designing the curriculum should know the answer to this question.
He got sucked into the Common Core debate when he looked over his daughter’s science homework. He discovered the information being taught was completely incorrect. He tried to track down the source of the incorrect information by writing to the Department of Education. Three months later he received a response from a man who belonged to a math and science club. The man did not work for the Department of Education, so Innes was unclear about how he ended up in possession of his letter. According to Innes, neither the man who responded nor anyone at the Department of education was able to answer his questions about the origins of this curriculum. The following is what he discovered on a journey for answers that has turned into a mission to save the next generation.
How did we get here?
In 2009, the federal government created “Race to the Top”, which gave states educational dollars based on performance. A certain percentage of those dollars went to charter schools. Kentucky doesn’t have any charter schools, so they had to find another way to get to the top in order to get the funding. On February 10, 2010 the Kentucky Board of Education, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, and Kentucky Educational Professional Standards Board Voted to Adopt Common Core standards before they were even written. Kentucky was the first state in the nation to adopt these standards. Click here to read the standards as they are currently written.
Where did the standards come from?
If they weren’t written when the state adopted them, then where did they come from? That is a very good question that even the people who wrote them don’t seem to know. If you visit their propaganda page it says, “From the very beginning, the process of developing the Common Core has been bipartisan and state led. But in another section it reads, “The National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)….led the development of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)…”
The reality, they weren’t state led. They were created by the NGA, CCSSO, Achieve Inc., ACT, and the College Board all with significant financial interests.
They did create workgroups that met confidentially to review the standards. However, 5 of the 29 members refused to sign the final report. One of those refusing to sign, Professor Jim Milgram stated, “…the ‘facilitators’ for the validation committee meeting were virtually impossible to deal with….the facilitators were emphatically trying to not let us act according to our charter, but simply sign or not sign a letter when the charter said we had final say over the quality of the final CCSS product and could revise or rewrite it if we deemed necessary.”
Common Core State Standards are copyrighted by the NGA and CCSSO, not the states and cannot be changed by the states because of the copyright despite what the public has been led to believe. That means a private company has created a monopoly around our children’s education.
Did the new standards improve scores?
No. In fact, the state is now under investigation as a December 2014 report from the legislature’s Office of Educational Accountability questioned Kentucky’s College and Career Readiness rates that showed an increase from 34 percent in 2009 to 62.5 percent in 2013. However, ACT rates, which are the only stable statistics showed only an increase from 30 percent to 37 percent in meeting Benchmarks.
If you compare the CATS Scores from 2011 to the KPREP Scores of 2012 you find that 4th grade reading drops from 74 percent to 47 percent and the math grades dropped from 60 percent to 42 percent.
Unbridled Learning Reviews used by schools as self-assessment tools were already showing signs of inflating the scores. If staff are being asked to evaluate performance internally, there is no system of checks and balance leaving the outside testing agencies as the only reliable source for measuring student achievement and school performance.
Common Core Covers English Language, Arts and Mathematics:
According to Professor Jim Miligram, “The (MATH) standards are not at the level of those of the high achieving countries or the top state mathematics standards-including California, Minnesota, Indiana, and Massachusetts. Moreover this difference in level is significant, being approximately 1-2 years at the end of the eighth grade.”
Sandra Stotsky, Former Massachusetts Associate Commissioner of Education Member who was on the CCSS Validation committee said, “In my judgment, the Common Core’s standards for grades 6-12 do not reflect the core knowledge needed for authentic college level work and do not frame the literary and cultural knowledge one would expect of graduates from an American high school.” She also refused to sign the final report of the CCSS validation Committee.
Social Studies Standards:
According to Kentucky History Teacher of the Year for 2011, Donnie Wilkerson, the original group of teachers put together to write the standards were disbanded, because they refused to go along with a plan that he described as “devoid” of history content.
Wilkerson said the content left out: The American Civil War, The American Colonial Period, The American Revolution, The Bill of Rights, The Civil Rights Movement, The Declaration of Independence, The Executive Branch of the Government, The Great Depression, The Era of Industrialization, The Judicial Branch of the Government, The Kentucky Constitution, The Legislative Branch of the Government, Personal Liberty (apparently Liberty wasn’t mentioned at all), Persian Gulf War, Preamble to the Constitution, Religious Diversity, Representative Democracy, Acquiring and protection of property, life, liberty, pursuit of safety, and happiness, Religion, Vietnam, World War I, and World War II.
When questioned about these missing pieces the response was that the C3 framework was designed to teach students to think about history. Many fear this opens the door to revisionist history.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS):
September 2013, the NGSS went before the Kentucky Legislature’s Administrative Regulations Review Committee. The committee voted 5 to 1 finding the NGSS deficient, but the governor immediately overrode the legislative vote putting the standards into effect in Kentucky despite the facts presented by the review committee.
One Kentucky high school dropped physics one month after the governor’s ruling. NGSS essentially eliminates the last two years of science education needed by students who want to go on to STEM careers.
Some of the missing content included; no mention of Universal Gas Law, Ohm’s Law, or any discussion of electrical circuits beyond the fourth grade despite the world we now live in being surrounded by them. Chemistry and Physics are both eliminated in high school.
Why should you care?
Even if you don’t have children, about 60 percent of every tax dollar you send to Frankfort is spent on some level of education in Kentucky. The growth of spending on education in Kentucky since 1990 has risen far above the rate of inflation. According to the Kentucky Department of Education receipts and expense reports real spending is up by 188 percent.
If you do have children, you should be concerned that they are not receiving adequate education to compete for education and jobs within the United States. The government is creating a system where students will need additional years of college to compensate for what they are losing in public high schools.
Wealthy people can afford to send their children to private schools. Less fortunate Americans are stuck with public education. This furthers the race and wealth gap that already exists throughout much of Kentucky. The rich will continue to get richer as their children compete for education and jobs out of reach for the average Kentuckian.
Standards drive curriculum, so don’t be fooled when you hear administrators talk about the freedom to develop curriculum. When the standards are copyrighted there is not a lot of wiggle room on the curriculum, especially when the testing is being written around the standards.
There is also a lot of data collection on your children. The companies driving Common Core are using that data to develop technologies around future consumers. In the meantime, they are setting your children up to fail, because they are not college and career ready.
The following bill is currently in the house: HB 33 (BR 97)
Sponsors: T. Kerr, L. Bechler, R. Bunch, K. Imes, T. Moore, S. Santoro, D. St. Onge, R. Webber
AN ACT relating to public school standards.
Create a new section to KRS Chapter 158 to prohibit the Kentucky Board of Education and the Kentucky Department of Education from implementing the English language arts and mathematics academic content standards developed by the Common Core Standards Initiative and the science academic content standards developed by the Next Generation Science Standards Initiative; require the state board to recommend new content standards to school districts and schools after consultation with the Council on Postsecondary Education; require public involvement in standards development; clarify the authority of the local board of education to adopt standards which differ from or exceed the standards approved by the state board; clarify that the school-based decision making councils shall develop policies based upon the standards adopted by the local boards of education; prohibit state officials from ceding control of education content standards and assessments; prohibit withholding of state funds from school districts for adopting different academic content standards; amend KRS 156.070 to limit disclosure of personally identifiable information; direct the Kentucky Board of Education to require that the Department of Education and all school districts adhere to transparency and privacy standards when outsourcing data and Web-based tasks to vendors; clarify vendor contract requirements; amend KRS 158.6453 to permit a local board of education to supplement the state board-approved academic content standards with higher and more rigorous standards and require school councils to use them to fulfill curriculum policy requirements; amend KRS 160.345 to clarify school council curriculum policy authority.
(Prefiled by the sponsor(s).)
Nov 12-To: Interim Joint Committee on Education
Jan 6-introduced in House; to Education (H)
If you want to weigh in: Call 1-800-372-7181 and tell the operator you want your message to go to ALL members on the Northern KY Legislative Caucus on these bills. All they ask is your name and contact information.
In 1990, the Kentucky General Assembly, as a part of the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA), adopted the policy known as Site Based Decision Making (SBDM) for all Kentucky schools.
The intention of SBDM was to empower each school individually, giving further localized authority for decisions on school operational procedures, and curriculum to a body within each individual school. The body is composed of the principal, teachers (who report to the principal), parents, and a minority parent (if one is available and willing).
Unlike the county school district school board members, these positions are not elected in an at-large election. The principal of each school is responsible for oversight; a distraction from their administrative role of the facility. Teachers must submit their names for consideration, and are elected by teachers within the school. There is no limitation of residence for the teachers and their votes; they do not have to live within the district to select the teacher representatives. Parental members submit their names for consideration to the school PTA, and are elected by parents with a child enrolled in the school.
The SBDM council makeup is: the principal, three teachers, and two parents as a voting body. In the event a school has a minority population exceeding a defined threshold, a minority parent and minority teacher must be elected as well, so long as they are willing and available.
All responsibilities of the SBDM councils were previously on the shoulders of the generally elected school board members, serving four-year terms. For the taxpayer, school decisions were removed from the hands of a taxpayer elected representative, and placed to the trust of staff elected in a closed session election, not necessarily consisting of voters from the school district. It is also noteworthy that parents are immediately the voting minority in the council; teachers aren’t apt to vote against their boss.
In November 2014, doing an in depth analysis of each of the 24 schools in Boone County, Kentucky, (the third largest school district in the state), I discovered that 22 were not adhering to very clearly stated guidelines defined in the KRS. The violations all concerned appropriate reporting measures for meeting minutes, setting reasonable meeting times (these are open meetings) and reasonable meeting facilities. I found only two of the schools were reporting their minutes promptly, and after every meeting, as well as hosting their meetings after 5 p.m. in a venue that appropriately could facilitate parental attendance.
This was reported to the director of the state office of education accountability, who escalated the complaint to state school oversight staff. The only reply received was an assurance that the state had “recommended that the district incorporates best practices and use various ways to disseminate information.”
Traces of outdated data still being shared by several of the schools show these practices span many years. In Boone County, our school leadership have been in control for more than a decade, with the most senior members approaching 20 years in control. Not coincidentally, the schools with the most glaring violations were generally the lowest performing schools in the district. While Boone County will promptly tout their composite school test score ranking as generally among the best in the state, there are several schools in the county consistently scoring in the 30th-40th percentile.
The state, and local board are complacent that these SBDM meetings are not being properly communicated to parents, not facilitating attendance of parents, and not reporting their content to parents. One might question why have the meetings at all, if the decisions being made are subject to no review or scrutiny. It’s equally apparent that the policies implemented at the lower performing schools are not having appropriate corrective impact, however, no corrective action has been documented or made public by the school district.
Once one is familiar with these practices on the local level, it should come as no surprise that Kentucky stood first in line for the adoption of the nationalized Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
What is Common Core?
In 2009, the Kentucky General Assembly passed Senate Bill 1. The education bill mandated new academic standards, with a focus on “critical knowledge, skills and capacities needed for success in the global economy.” It was by no coincidence that this legislation corresponded directly with federal initiatives of the same literature, offering dollars to any state that adopted the approved curriculum, including “Race to the Top” federal dollars, which were derived from federal stimulus package that was never passed by congress.
The short version of Kentucky adopting CCSS is this: Dr. Terry Holliday in 2008 was the president elect of the CCSSO, and aware of the actions taking place that would eventually become the Common Core Standards. Senate Bill 1, was designed to match the proposed CCSS. Dr. Holiday hand picked educational representation to speak on behalf of the standards being superior to the abysmal KERA standards (in place at the time), and sell the deal as a major improvement. The standards were promptly adopted, resulting in the forfeiture of the ability of state or local elected officials to offer input or guidance on the materials, methods, topics, and subjects the school systems utilize to educate our students.
It would, on the surface, appear this is contrary to SBDM, where placing localized control of education was the goal. Ultimately, they are more similar, by virtue that through legislation, all decision making and leverage on curriculum to a private, copyrighted educational standards were removed from state and local control completely, surrendered to a private third party, not chosen in a general election.
Let that sink in for a minute.
Your local teacher, principal, school board, ALL the way up to the state level, have no real voice in how, why, and what your children are being taught. Many educators towing the union line would, (and have) argued the contrary, but undeniably, the standards are not open for discussion. In a curriculum that values the method above all results, there is only so much leeway for how something can be taught. A requirement for collecting the “federal rewards” is submitting the standardized test result data. The ultimate goal is to utilize the data to profile children and their learning capacity from an early age, creating an adaptive educational track for each type of student to prepare them for further education or an occupation best suited for them (according to the test scores).
The standards are copyrighted and wholly privately owned. The corresponding educational materials are only available from a limited selection of sources, effectively creating a monopoly on the education industry for the selected suppliers. Without free market competition, the supplier and their constituents can begin to have an influence upon the material, up to the point of effectively re-writing history and inserting influential literature as they might be inclined. You can see where this might be a problem.
The standards were commissioned, and are overseen by The National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). While these sound like formal government organizations, these are privately funded “non-profit” entities. Former Kentucky Education Commissioner Gene Wilhoit while serving as Executive Director of the CCSSO in 2008, personally lobbied Bill and Melinda Gates for the funding to start the Common Core initiative, receiving several million dollars from their foundation. Current Kentucky Education Commissioner Dr. Terry Holiday, has long served as president of the CCSSO.
Common Core is private funds, supporting private organizations that profit substantially from the monopoly of educational and testing materials, utilizing state appointed officials, to implement their idea of an educational system, and reward their adoption with additional taxpayer funds for the state. The “reward” federal funding does not cover the additional cost of materials, resources, or testing above the prior state standards; the state taxpayers are left to cover the additional expense.
“Kentucky students are not headed for STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), but they are headed for careers which pay a ‘living wage’. They are not headed for an elitist university degree.”
— Dr. Terry Holliday, Kentucky State Education Commissioner, President CCSSO, March 13, 2014
Dr. Terry Holliday believes in a Kentucky where your children should be conditioned to pursue a living wage, not pursue their interests or passion. The educational system he has overseen, serves the interests of a conglomerate of private organizations who share in this opinion. As their president, while serving as Education Commissioner, he has ensured that this approach is being implemented in our schools.
Massive Opposition to Common Core in Kentucky
State Senator John Schickel (R-Union) and Representative Tom Kerr (R-Taylor Mill) both filed bills during the 2014 state legislative session to repeal common core and return education decision-making back to the state. Senator Schickel’s bill, ultimately received a hearing in Frankfort. The Common Core opposition enlisted the voluntary help of Dr. Sandra Stotsky, professor at the University of Arkansas, and Dr. James Millgram, professor at Stanford University, whom were both on the approval committee for CCSS and refused to approve the standards.
“They stress writing more than reading, which is the opposite of what we know…reading is the basis for good writing. All good writers have been good readers, and unless our schools everywhere do that at all levels of proficiency, we will not have high-leveled graduates coming out of our high schools.”
— Dr. Sandra Stosky, Professor, University of Arkansas, March 13, 2014 – Kentucky Legislative Session Common Core Hearing
Another bill has been filed this year, in the Kentucky House of Representatives, effectively echoing the logic of the past two attempts to repeal the educational standards. Kentucky HB33 calls for new standards for the state of Kentucky.
Common Core was a central focus of the 2014 election cycle, and remains a central topic of the 2016 Presidential race.
Both the Republican National and Kentucky State Republican caucus, have passed anti-common core resolutions. Sponsoring this bill currently, are Tom Kerr (R-Taylor Mill), Lynn Bechler (R-Marion), Regina Bunch (R-Williamsburg), Kenny Imes (R-Murray), Tim Moore (R-Elizabethtown), Sal Santoro (R-Florence), and Diane St Onge (R-Lakeside Park). I have also been informed additional leadership has signed on, but that information will not be public until the session opens next week.
With the party referendum dictating very clearly that common core is not in the interest of the commonwealth, the voters and taxpayers are certainly entitled to be upset if their elected representation have not signed on to fully support this initiative.
Early Tuesday, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush revealed that he has decided to explore the possibility of a run for president in 2016. Bush made this announcement via Facebook discussing his plans to establish a leadership PAC that will give him more of an opportunity to travel and talk with voters across the nation. His announcement comes on the heel of a number of appearances he made in several early primary states. He also recently announced plans to release documents from his time as governor.
Jeb is the son of former President George H.W. Bush and brother of George W. Bush. He is a favorable candidate among the Republican establishment but faces many challenges from strong conservatives. He also has the potential of raising more money than anyone in the field, but is expected to be attacked over his support of Common Core guidelines, immigration reform and other issues. This move to form a committee will ultimately lead to questions on how he will set himself apart from his dad and brother who both were unpopular as they began to leave office. Bush’s announcement puts pressure on his fellow colleagues both from the establishment wing as well as the conservative wing of the party.
Hillsdale President, Larry Arnn, says that there is evidence Reagan has not only been forgotten, but rather ignored completely. He gives an example by way of an interview that Secretary of Education Spellings gave to Human Events:
There is evidence that he is in fact not forgotten, but rather ignored. Secretary Spellings recently gave an interesting interview to Human Events reporter Terence Jeffrey. She was candid and intelligent in the interview, for one thing disarmingly ready to admit the failures of her policies so far, even while defending them and predicting their long-term success. She favors school choice and works to get it implemented, if so far without much success. She has tough words for the education union that is such a dreaded political obstacle to reform. But toward the end of the interview she was asked a pair of questions that she found difficult.
Mr. Jeffrey asked her if she could “point to language in the Constitution that authorized the federal government to have a Department of Education.” Her reply shows that she knew the bearing of the inquiry: “I think we had come to an understanding, at least, of the reality of Washington and the flat world, if you will, that the Department of Education was not going to be abolished, and we were going to invest in our nation’s neediest students.”
Mr. Jeffrey persisted: “It is one thing to say that the political reality is we are not going to abolish the federal Department of Education, but can you seriously point to where the Framers actually intended the Constitution to authorize a Department of Education?”
The Secretary replied: “I can’t point to it one way or the other. I’m not a constitutional scholar, but I’ll look into it for you, Terry.” Mr. Jeffrey reports that he did not get his answer.
This is Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, sworn to uphold the Constitution in the exercise of her office.
It is remarkable that the Secretary of Education, who is supposed to uphold the Constitution as a part of her office, doesn’t know where in the Constitution the framers authorized a Department of Education. For those who are uninformed, it does not specify anywhere that a Department of Education be formed. In fact, education is not meant to be in the hands of government officials but rather left to the parents. As Neal Boortz mentioned back in 2006 on his radio show:
There is no greater long-term threat to our continued prosperity, economic liberty, freedom, and quality of life in the United States than that presented by teachers unions. And that includes Islamic terrorists.
A couple of years ago, after hearing how education had changed from when I graduated high school in 1993, I had made mention on an OTNN/TB-TV aftershow that based on how much education had changed, I would not have graduated now. That was confirmed after reading one of my roommates’ children’s schoolbooks and seeing the Common Core principles at work. Common Core is another way for the Communists to take over America. In fact, the 10th plank of the Communist Manifesto reads as follows:
10. Free education for all children in government schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc. etc.
People are being taxed to support what we call ‘public’ schools, which train the young to work for the communal debt system. We also call it the Department of Education, the NEA and Outcome Based “Education” .
Also, the 17th goal of communism (as said by W. Cleon Skousen in his book The Naked Communist) reads as follows:
17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in textbooks.
If this, coupled with what Secretary Spellings said to Terence Jeffery of Human Events, does not wake you up to seeing what is happening in America and why we need to get back to the Constitution, then I do not know what will.
Mississippi Conservative Daily reports:
Well if you didn’t know it was election time in the state of Mississippi, you should know by now. Our illustrious Lt. Gov, Tate Reeves, has now decided it’s time for the state to dump the federal Common Core education standards and create our own. Anyone with any little dab of common sense knows this is all political pandering to the conservative base, much like Governor Phil Bryant has done previously. With rumors abounding about possible challenges next year, Tater is hearing footsteps behind him, conservative footsteps, and he’s attempting to shore up the base, the same base he went against in the Senate race last year.
But this should be blatantly transparent to every conservative in Mississippi. It’s even more infuriating when you consider the fact that Reeves once fought FOR Common Core! Senator Chris McDaniel, head of the Mississippi Senate Conservative Coalition, said as much today: “Although I’m pleased to see him ‘change’ his position, it was Tate Reeves who fought against the Senate Conservative Coalition when we fought for repeal and/or the defunding of Common Core. It’s a matter of public record. He has been an advocate for Common Core and has killed our bills and amendments to repeal it. We don’t need him to create a task force, WE NEED A FULL REPEAL OF COMMON CORE.”
Earlier this afternoon, Senator McDaniel released the following statement on his Facebook page:
I am pleased to see Tate change his mind on Common Core, but I fear this is little more than election year pandering,” said McDaniel. “The Mississippi State Senate Conservative Coalition has stood strong against Common Core from the beginning, and the Lt. Governor stood in the way and dismissed our efforts at every opportunity.
Leaders like Senator Michael Watson, Senator Angela Hill, Senator Melanie Sojourner and all of our coalition members have taken our message to the people across Mississippi and we have shown time after time that this is another federal scheme in a long line of federal schemes. Mississippi parents and Mississippi educators can do better.
The Lt. Governor’s call to name a task force to look into Common Core is not necessary. We know what Common Core is. We know what it is attempting to do. We just need the courage to stand up for Mississippi parents, teachers and students and end this now. That’s what we tried to do in the 2014 session. That is what we will do again in 2015.
Tate Reeves’ shift should be no surprise to true conservatives in Mississippi, and it probably won’t be the last one we will see. He’s a typical politician who is only looking out for his job and his political future. He is unprincipled and cares little for the common man in Mississippi. It’s time to send this selfish little man home next year.
Read more at Mississippi Conservative Daily
Mississippi Personnel Board Director denies allegations that Gov. Bryant influenced rejection of #CommonCore testing contract.
ANM News partner MississippiPEP.com is reporting that Mississippi State Personnel Board Director Deanne Mosley issued a statement Friday night regarding the rejection of a four-year contract for Common Core testing denying allegations that Gov. Phil Bryant influenced the decision.
“It is unfortunate that there have been allegations that politics entered into the decision or that Governor Phil Bryant directed me, as Chair of the Personal Service Contract Review Board, to deny Superintendent Wright’s request to approve the contract,” Mosley said in the statement. “Those allegations are not true. No one had to influence me to follow the law and ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent properly and legally.”
The state Board of Education was forced to approve an emergency contract Thursday following the Personnel Board’s rejection of the original four-year contract. That means Mississippi’s public school students will take multistate tests this year to evaluate student mastery of the Common Core state standards.
The board approved the $8.3 million emergency contract with a unit of Pearson PLC in a closed session.
The Personnel Board ruled that the Department of Education should have solicited proposals from other vendors. The Department of Education withdrew the contract early Friday.
Governor Phil Bryant was in Japan this week for an economic development conference.
Mississippi will have to sign a new contract after this year, opening the possibility that students will take whole new sets of tests two years in a row. Mississippi can’t return to the prior exams administered last year, also written by Pearson, because tests are supposed to align with standards.
Some local school superintendents want Mississippi to adopt tests written by the ACT organization. Opponents of Common Core want Mississippi to drop both PARCC and the standards.
Common Core Standards are extracting common sense from Math in K-12 education.
For years we were taught to memorize simple math facts like nine plus six; we just knew it was 15. Not anymore. Common Core requires students to understand why nine plus six equals 15.
Recently an NBC news affiliate in Buffalo, N.Y., WGRZ, began broadcasting a series of video segments called “Homework Helpers”. These are meant to help parents confused by the Common Core homework brought home by their children.
These videos demonstrate how long it takes to do a simple math problem using Common Core.
Check out how Common Core wants children to do basic addition and subtraction in the videos below.
Common Core transcends simply dumbing down America’s children, it’s extracting common sense from K-12 education.
Thankfully, opposition to Common Core standards has skyrocketed since last year. Three states have officially repealed the Common Core standards – Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Indiana.
The following 34 states have introduced anti-Common Core legislation:
Alabama; Arizona; Arkansas; Colorado; Florida; Georgia; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maryland; Michigan; Minnesota (Data Privacy bill); Mississippi; Missouri; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Utah; Tennessee; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming
The following 16 states have either withdrawn or are in the process of withdrawing from the Common Core test consortia:
Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Florida; Georgia; Indiana; Idaho; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; South Carolina; Tennessee; Utah
These 27 states have introduced legislation that bans the use of PARCC or SBAC assessments:
Alabama; Arizona; Arkansas; Colorado; Florida; Georgia; Indiana; Illinois; Iowa; Kansas; Louisiana; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Missouri; Mississippi; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; South Carolina; Tennessee; Utah; West Virginia; Wyoming
Executive orders have been issued by the governors of these 10 states regarding the Common Core or the test consortia:
Arizona; Connecticut; Florida; Georgia; Iowa; Oklahoma; Louisiana; Maine; Mississippi; New Jersey.
Alaska, Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia never adopted the Common Core standards, and Minnesota only adopted the Common Core English Language Arts standards.
Glenn Beck is holding a live national event on July 22nd, “We Will Not Conform,” to air in over 700 theaters. Beck said he aims to arm Americans with the knowledge to speak out against the Common Core education standards and that it won’t be a “show”.
This event approaches amidst the growing success as a tsunami of grassroots action. The shifting of the narrative will continue as awareness about Common Core is spread.
In June, a Rasmussen report based on a national telephone survey found support for Common Core has fallen from 52 percent down to 34 percent. This is great news and speaks volumes for hundreds of groups and tens of thousands of citizens exposing the attempt to nationalize education.
The results of another survey are both startling and pitiful. In April, Gallup found that 37 percent of public school parents had not even heard of the controversial Common Core standards. This speaks volumes about how little attention parents pay to their children’s education. These are probably the same people that cast votes for candidates they know nothing about, nor care to know about.
In the same Gallup poll, the high-info parents were found to strongly oppose Common Core Standards.
Common Core began shrouded in deception and proponents continue to make sure the details are cloudy. The standards were drafted behind closed doors by academics and assessment “experts”, many with ties to testing companies. Since two of the companies working on the project are private, they are not subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Because of this we do not have the ability to find out how they selected the Standards Writing Group nor how they came up with the standards.
The U.S. Constitution guarantees that the states have sovereignty over educating their children and there is even federal law forbidding the setting up of a national curriculum.
Because of our pesky Constitution, they touted the Common Core project as “state-led”; an effort led by the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and Achieve, a private consulting firm. The Gates Foundation provided more than $160 million in funding, without which Common Core would not exist.
For some of us, it’s easy to see through the (not so) transparent administration regardless of any smokescreen or Saul Alinksy tactics used. Obama’s uncharacteristic restraint from outwardly politicizing Common Core is surely to avoid fueling the fire of opponents, branding it as the ‘Obamacare of education’. We know the truth, Common Core is a powerful tool to advance the progressive agenda. Make no mistake, the regime is in full control of the process.
Uninformed voters, especially uninformed parents, are passively damaging our already broken education system. If by grassroots efforts we were able to double the awareness to 74 percent, we could kill the Common Core leviathan.
The intrusion of privacy through data mining would warrant the attention of any sensible adult in my estimation, even if they’re ignorant to the actual educational standards. The data mining is truly Orwellian and opens even more doors for government overreach in the future.
Most states accepted the hundreds of millions of dollars from Barack Obama in exchange for forcing upon us a set of educational standards that are rotten to the core. Governors and state legislatures across America have backtracked and have buyers remorse. Parents and teachers nationwide are in open revolt. The stakes could not be higher.
Tickets to Glenn Beck’s July 22nd live national event against Common Core are available at fathomevents.com.
Many of you may have heard by now what Common Core is and why it is harmful to our children’s education. We realize that it destroys creativity and attempts to redefine the learning methods of all children. It is a government takeover and intrusion into the lives of our children in so many ways, but it also wants them to act as if they are robots. Common Core is a very bad idea for America and it will do much more harm than good to our public education system.
Common Core will do exactly what many failing public schools do today, which is try to make each child learn in the exact same manner. This is not right nor is it fair to use the words of the left. What is then? Freedom. Educational freedom. School choice and giving the power to the parents to decide what is right for their child is fair. Give power to the states and local communities, so they can communicate more efficiently and effectively with the children and their parents. Government does not know how to be efficient as most of us know. Common Core takes away all of this. It removes creativity and forces educators to give a government mandated curriculum all while leaving our children uninterested and feeling let down.
Our children should be able to use their unique skill sets and creativity that God blessed them with to excel throughout their educational journey. Common Core puts a stop to this. All children do not want to grow up to be the same and they certainly do not all learn the same. Take 13-year-old Logan LaPlante for example as he simply wants to be happy. A young freeskier who enjoys his education, which sadly many kids cannot say the same. He has a unique way of learning, which he calls “Hackschooling”. Take a listen to young Logan as he takes the stage at the University of Nevada for his TEDx talk about his education. 11 minutes that are definitely worth your while.
I’m not tied to one particular curriculum, and I’m not dedicated to one particular approach. I hack my education. I take advantages of opportunities in my community and through a network of my friends and family. I take advantage of opportunities toexperience what I’m learning, and I’m not afraid to look for shortcuts or hacks to get a better, faster result. It’s like a remix or a mashup of learning. … And here’s the cool part: because it’s a mindset, not a system, hackschooling can be used by anyone, even traditional schools.
This young man is confident, intelligent, and full of wisdom far beyond his years. He is not your typical 13 year old and this is because he has the ‘freedom’ to learn in a way traditional schooling does not allow or condone. His parents used their freedom to pull him from ‘public education’ because they knew what was best for their son, not the federal government. He is proof that our children do not learn the same way and they should not be kept from such methods. Common Core does the exact opposite and more than likely will not produce these kinds of results.
Out the door with Common Core and look at what Hackschooling has in store.
Hackschooling makes me happy. – Logan LaPlante