Wednesday, January 8, 2014

KACCS Responds: 3 Years Later, Is Common Core Working in KY?

A recent article posted on nky.com entitled “3 Years Later, Is Common Core Working in Kentucky?” brings to light some important issues regarding the new learning standards. Much of what is published in support of Common Core (CC) focuses heavily on anecdotal evidence from those who insist it is an effective program, while those in opposition struggle to have their voices heard. This is not unique to this particular piece, but rather symptomatic of the media’s overall treatment of this topic. There are countless parents, teachers and researchers who are expressing their concerns to principals, superintendents, local school boards and state legislators because the data surrounding this concept is lacking, several experts involved in its inception have deemed it substandard, and the role of parents in their child’s education is being co-opted by the program. These concerns are the foundation of the anti-Common Core movement and reflect the desire of all those involved to raise the educational bar in Kentucky rather than lower it.


The classroom example given at the beginning of the article is supposed to be evidence of the critical thinking so often touted as Common Core’s educational gold standard. Hogwash. The fact that Mr. Gillis’ high school students could “critically” figure out that the words “to time thou grow’st” were a reference to, well, growing, is a glaring example of not only how low our educational standards have sunk, but how quick we are to laud such elementary understanding. Learning has always been about critical thinking, teaching has always been about encouraging questioning, reasoning and analyzing, and any claim by Common Core proponents that they have developed a shiny new method that will yield genuine higher academic achievement and prepare Kentucky’s students for college and career is not only disingenuous, it smacks of intellectual dishonesty.

The “success” of Common Core is discussed at length in this article, despite the fact that no empirical data exists to support these claims. Backlash against CC is not a “conservative” whim, but rather a widespread and growing demand for answers and a strong desire for a return to state and local control of our children’s education. Where are the voices of those in opposition? An unbiased representation of this issue should include comments from teachers who know from experience that the new “standards” are doing little more than lowering the intellectual bar for Kentucky’s students. Drs. James Milgram and Sandra Stotsky, well-respected educators who were part of the Common Core Validation Committee, refused to endorse the program because of its deficient academic content, and are now vocal opponents. Their words would have added much needed balance to this discussion.

And what of that content? The Shakespeare reference in the article suggests that the classics are alive and well in Common Core. But a review of the new standards reveals a marked shift from a literature-based curriculum to one that focuses on informational texts such as government data, EPA reports, etc. When classic literary works are being covered, students are often asked to simply read a chapter or two to get the gist of the piece, rather than reading the whole work. Contemporary works that are deemed age-inappropriate by many parents due to explicit sexual content are showing up in the curriculum, and concerns about dismal math and science standards doing little to prepare students for college are being voiced across both the state and country. Data mining, which is an inherent component of Common Core, was not mentioned but remains a serious issue for parents and students concerned with their privacy and individual liberty.

The opposition to Common Core, despite what the article implies, is not minimal, politically motivated, or because “they think states should be allowed to develop their own standards.” The Constitution—which makes no specific mention of education—leaves this task to the states deliberately via the Tenth Amendment. There are things for which the federal government is uniquely qualified and others where it is woefully not. Public education is clearly the latter, and instead requires a system that allows for input from parents and teachers and encourages public debate. Those in opposition to this concept have yet to explain their motivation and justify their top-down, one-size-fits-all approach. Until they do, opposition to Common Core will only grow.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Save the date... Upcoming Stop Common Core Event

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Governor Beshear Plans to Overrule the Legislative Committee

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Next Generation Science Standards... failing the next generation...

Common Core & the Descruction of Individuality

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Contact your legislators about Next Generation Science Standards

(from Take Back Kentucky)
 
EMERGENCY ACTION ALERT:PLEASE CONTACT LEGISLATORS THEN   TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO CONTACT LEGISLATORS

     There are 4 basic steps that can help stop this, please take the time to help save our future's education today!   
  We need urgent action on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) regulation up for approval Wednesday@1.     If you are familiar with Common Core's "dumbing down" of students (Math and English), this is the Science supplement to the education standards.   If you are not familiar with NGSS, it has multitudes of problems, the top 2 being   1)  elimination of chemistry and most of physics 2)  extreme emphasis on sustainability, global environmentalism, reducing human impact on the earth .

   Steps of Action:   1. E-mail the legislators any and all information you'd like. A short e-mail works, such as the message above, or you can copy any bits and pieces from the material at

  Take Back Kentucky: Common Core- Science or BIPPS: Common Core - Science 

Legislator E-mail Addresses:  Sara.Gregory@lrc.ky.gov, Johnny.Bell@lrc.ky.gov, Robert.Damron@lrc.ky.gov, Jimmie.Lee@lrc.ky.gov, Tommy.Turner@lrc.ky.gov, Perry.Clark@lrc.ky.gov, Ernie.Harris@lrc.ky.gov, Joe.Bowen@lrc.ky.gov2. Leave a green slip message by calling 1-800-372-7181 (M-F 8-4:30) They will walk you through the steps:
  • they will ask for who you are and where you're from
  • they will ask about your message, which will be:   
FOR: Senator Bowen, Sen. Gregory, Sen. Harris, Sen. Clark, Representative Bell, Rep. Damron, Rep. Jimmie Lee, Rep. Tommy Turner. All of them are on the Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee.
BILL/SUBJECT: review of Next Generation Science Standards regulation (704 KAR 3:303)

 SUPPORT OR OPPOSE: oppose, find deficient  

DETAILED MESSAGE: How can we encourage students to go into scientific fields of study when we eliminate essentials like chemistry from the classroom? Please make Kentucky a true leader by rejecting the Next Generation Science Standards. 3.Call the legislators personally, let them know how you feel, and encourage them to vote "deficient".

 If you get to talk to them and don't get a voice mail, find out where they stand so far. Then open the door to talking again and sending them information.
  Senator Joe Bowen: (270) 685-1859  Sen. Perry Clark: (502) 366-1247  Sen. Sarah Beth Gregory: (606) 348-9767;  (606) 348-3459 (fax) Sen. Ernie Harris: (502) 241-8307  Representative Johnny Bell: Home:  (270) 590-0110; Work: (270) 651-7005  Rep. Bob Damron: (859) 887-1744 Rep. Jimmie Lee: Home: (270) 737-8889;  Work: (270) 765-6222; Work: (270) 765-2312 (fax) Rep. Tommy Turner: (606) 274-5175 4.

Call your friends and tell them to do this, ESPECIALLY ANYONE WHO LIVES CLOSE TO THESE LEGISLATORS: Owensboro: Sen. Joe BowenLouisville New Cut Rd: Sen. Perry ClarkMonticello: Sen. Sarah Beth GregoryCrestwood: Sen. Ernie HarrisGlasgow: Rep. Johnny BellNicholasville: Rep. Bob DamronElizabethtown: Rep. Jimmie LeeSomerset: Rep. Tommy Turner

Monday, August 19, 2013

Join Us at the Learn How Kentucky Can Repeal Common Core




Where: 
1786 Burlington Pike, Burlington, Kentucky 41005
When: 

When Race to the Top was introduced as part of the 2009 stimulus, states were bribed with billions of dollars by President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Contingent upon qualification for the money was the states’ adoption of the Common Core Standards (CCS), a top-down “one-size-fits-all” curriculum, thus giving the federal government a roundabout entrance into localized educational systems..

As more light continues to shine on the negative effects of these new standards, parents and teachers alike are becoming very concerned about the lack of say and influence they will command in the classroom. This brings us to the crux of Common Core- it undermines the very essence of choice. By eliminating and controlling options for teachers and families, it will leave our nation’s classrooms for the worse.


State of Ohio Representative Andrew Thompson has introduced HB 237 which will repeal Common Core in Ohio. Some of the language in HB 237 states that the State Board of Education shall not adopt or revise any economic standards until they hold a public hearing in each congressional district of the State. Here is the link to his bill: http://www.ohioansforfreedom.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=RgPkuFWyMnI%3D&tabid=283&mid=747


Rep Thompson and his contingent have kindly agreed to show us here in KY what we need to do legislatively to repeal Common Core. We need to be informed on the steps necessary to abolish Common Core in Kentucky before data-mining is forced upon our children and grandchildren.
Please spread the word on this event!  


For more details visit the event on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/events/292582244218327/

Monday, July 29, 2013

Governor Pence Announces Intent to Withdraw Indiana as a Member of PARCC

GOVERNOR PENCE ANNOUNCES INTENT TO WITHDRAW INDIANA AS A MEMBER FROM THE PARTNERSHIP FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF READINESS FOR COLLEGE AND CAREERS (PARCC) GOVERNING BOARD



Indianapolis – Governor Mike Pence today issued a letter to Mitchell Chester, Governing Board Chair of the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), in regard to withdrawing Indiana as a member of the PARCC Governing Board, effective August 12, 2013.



On May 11, 2013, the Governor signed HEA 1427 into law, which provides for a comprehensive evaluation, and allows for reconsideration, of the Common Core State Standards that were adopted by the State Board of Education in August of 2010. The legislation also curtails the state of Indiana’s participation in a consortium such as PARCC.



“Indiana’s educational standards must be rigorous, enable college and career readiness, and align with postsecondary educational expectations to best prepare our children to compete with their national and global peers,” said Governor Pence. “Assessments must also align with these high standards. I support the legislative intent of HEA 1427 and firmly believe it is the right and responsibility of the state to make independent, fiscally responsible decisions regarding standards and assessments for the good of all the people of Indiana.”



Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz must also submit a letter of intent to PARCC’s Governing Board Chair in order for the state’s withdrawal from the PARCC Governing Board to go into effect.



##

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Kentucky Needs Higher Expectations for its Students by Sandra Stotsky

Kentucky Needs Higher Expectations for its Students
Testimony Submitted to the Kentucky Board of Education
Sandra Stotsky
Professor emerita, University of Arkansas
July 2013

I am submitting testimony to the Kentucky Board of Education for its hearings on the
Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core State Standards. Kentucky should have higher academic expectations for all its students, not just for those in the bottom 30%. Kentucky high school teachers should be given rigorous academic standards to aim for, not the low level of high school standards offered in the Next Generation Science Standards and in Common Core’s English language arts standards and
mathematics standards.

My professional background
: I was a senior associate commissioner in the Massachusetts Department
of Education from 1999-2003 and, among other duties, was in charge of development or revision of the state's K-12 standards in all major subjects ... Read On...  
http://www.uaedreform.org/wp-content/uploads/2000/01/Stotsky-Kentucky-Needs-Higher-Expectations-for-its-Students.pdf
Remember:
The Department is receiving public written comments until July 31. Send written comments on the proposed administrative regulation to:

Kevin C. Brown
General Counsel
Kentucky Department of Education
500 Mero Street
Frankfort, Kentucky, 40601
Phone 502-564-4474, fax 502-564-9321.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

WANTED: Objective Scientists

Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker, The Muppet Show (Episode 306)
 Photo credit: The Muppet Mindset
Kentucky adopted Common Core national education math and language arts standards in 2009. These federal government-pushed standards have been under heavy criticism of late for many reasons: the exorbitant cost of implementation; the further dumbing-down of education; and the accompanying surveillance (and subsequent selling) of private data of school children (and their families) from preschool to entry into work force. Common Core is the perfect vehicle for pushing government propaganda to an unsuspecting population.

Now, Kentucky is going through the required legislative process to put in place the sister standards, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). These profoundly religious and political standards push Secular Humanism, teaching evolution and man-made climate change as fact along with big government and liberty-restricting solutions from kindergarten on up, leading children after thirteen years of education to an atheistic worldview. The standards completely ignore all evidence that opposes this viewpoint.

At today's meeting at the Department of Education in Frankfort, hired science "experts" heard public comments on the NGSS; they would not entertain questions. With the exception of one geologist present, scientists from various Kentucky colleges praised the standards for their aggressive evolution and climate change positions and gave a glowing recommendation to immediately adopt the NGSS in full without hesitation or alteration.

To the public's disappointment, KY Education Commissioner Terry Holliday was absent - again. (He also missed the June 10 Common Core update that his Department of Education provided to the Kentucky Legislature's Joint Education Committee.) In fact, it appeared that no member of the Board of Education was present today. The Department's lawyer presided over the meeting to ensure legal requirements were fulfilled.

Contrary to the NGSS, evolution and man's supposed threat to the planet is not decided science...not by a long shot.

Dr. E. Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance, takes a Biblical view of creation stewardship. His position on the NGSS can be found here:
http://www.cornwallalliance.org/articles/read/science-standards-political-or-pure/

The Liberty Bellow reports the negligible effect on the earth's temperature that would result even if the United States immediately stopped emitting all carbon emissions:
http://www.libertybellow.com/2013/07/climate-change-are-you-chicken-little.html

Citizens for Objective Public Education (COPE; http://www.copeinc.org/), a group opposing Secular Humanism and dedicated to "religious neutrality" in public education, has formulated the following responses to the NGSS:

June 21, 2012
http://www.copeinc.org/docs/COPE-Letter-Achieve-Inc-June-1-2012.pdf

January 29, 2013
http://www.copeinc.org/docs/NGSSJan2013F.pdf

April 21, 2013
http://www.copeinc.org/docs/NGSS_PressRelease_final.pdf

The Department is receiving public written comments until July 31. Send written comments on the proposed administrative regulation to:

Kevin C. Brown
General Counsel
Kentucky Department of Education
500 Mero Street
Frankfort, Kentucky, 40601
Phone 502-564-4474, fax 502-564-9321.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Kentucky Board of Education Public Hearing 7/23/2013

This article originally posted on Truth in American Education. 

kentucky-flagThe Kentucky Board of Education adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) on June 5.  Kentucky law requires a public hearing on new standards before they can be implemented.  This hearing is scheduled for TUESDAY, JULY 23, in Frankfort.  You can find out more here

To give testimony at the hearing, the witness must inform the State Board at least five days in advance (i.e., by this Thursday).  Testimony may also be submitted in writing until July 31. 

Dr. Robert Lattimer, President of Citizens for Objective Public Education (COPE), encourages concerned citizens in Kentucky to testify against the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards.  COPE, Inc. offers their evaluation of the standards and talking points here.  I’ve written about NGSS here and here and here.

This article originally posted on Truth in American Education.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

CWA Hosts Nation-Wide Common Core Conference Call 6/27



Concerned Women for America
 Hosts Nation-Wide
"Facts about Common Core Conference Call"

Calling all parents and grandparents! There is a power grab unfolding within your local school system. And it's time you know the truth.

Over the past three years, the Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has been quietly working to seize control of the American education system without any input by the states. As a part of President Barak Obama's stimulus package, Race to the Top grant money was earmarked for education initiatives in the states. Tied to this money is the progressive Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSS) and the results could be devastating to parent's rights and our respective states' education system.

It is imperative that you understand the CCSS initiative and how it will affect your child's classroom.

Please join CWA's nation-wide "Facts Common Core Conference Call" on June 27 at 8:30 p.m. EDT, as CWA's Executive Director, Kenda Bartlett, moderates the discussion on exactly what is the CCSS, the program's origins and the steps you can take to educate yourself and others on the Common Core.

Expert guests will include:
·        Joy Pullmann, Heartland Institute
·        Dr. Sandra Stotsky, Common Core Validation Committee Member
·        Richard Innes, Bluegrass Institute
Please don't miss this unique opportunity.

Call (760) 569-7676, and enter the participant access code 303989 to join the conference call.

Most states adopting CCSS did so to be eligible to compete for federal funding. To have a chance at that money, recession-racked states agreed to adopt the CC standards and the aligned national tests sight unseen. Only five states did not sign on to the CCSS; so unless you live in Alaska , Nebraska , Minnesota , Texas , or Virginia , this will affect your school system.
So please, learn everything you need to know about Common Core on CWA's "Facts about Common Core Conference Call".

Sincerely,

Penny Nance
Chief Executive Officer and President
  

Monday, June 24, 2013

Calling all parents and grandparents! Help STOP the Common Core power grab!

Calling all parents and grandparents! There is a power grab unfolding within your local school system. And it's time you know the truth.

Over the past three years, the Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has been quietly working to seize control of the American education system without any input by the states. As a part of President Barak Obama's stimulus package, Race to the Top grant money was earmarked for education initiatives in the states. Tied to this money is the progressive Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSS) and the results could be devastating to parent's rights and our respective states' education system.

It is imperative that you understand the CCSS initiative and how it will affect your child's classroom.

Please join CWA's nation-wide "Facts Common Core Conference Call" on June 27 at 8:30 p.m. EDT, as CWA's Executive Director, Kenda Bartlett, moderates the discussion on exactly what is the CCSS, the program's origins and the steps you can take to educate yourself and others on the Common Core.
Expert guests will include:

• Joy Pullmann, Heartland Institute
• Dr. Sandra Stotsky, Common Core Validation Committee Member
• Richard Innes, Bluegrass Institute

Please don't miss this unique opportunity.

Call (760) 569-7676, and enter the participant access code 303989 to join the conference call.

Most states adopting CCSS did so to be eligible to compete for federal funding. To have a chance at that money, recession-racked states agreed to adopt the CC standards and the aligned national tests sight unseen. Only five states did not sign on to the CCSS; so unless you live in Alaska, Nebraska, Minnesota, Texas, or Virginia, this will affect your school system.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Religious Liberty and Common Core State Standards



#ReligiousLiberty and #CommonCore What's the connection? If you encouraged the Gov. to sign HB 279 into law and found he vetoed the bill (requiring an override, which it later received overwhelmingly in both House & Senate in Ky), were you surprised when you got the letter explaining his veto that he mentioned Common Core? We were. Several individuals got the letter. 

It was also printed in the news media. How does Religious Liberty interfere with the implementation of CCSS?

Here's the brief wording of HB 279:


Government shall not substantially burden a person's freedom of religion. The right to act or refuse to act in a manner motivated by a sincerely held religious belief may not be substantially burdened unless the government proves by clear and convincing evidence that it has a compelling governmental interest in infringing the specific act or refusal to act and has used the least restrictive means to further that interest. A "burden" shall include indirect burdens such as withholding benefits, assessing penalties, or an exclusion from programs or access to facilities.

Here is a link to the letters from various groups that encouraged the Gov. to veto the bill. Please take the time to read them. http://goo.gl/ymymX

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Safety & Security Buzzwords Scaremongering and Common Core


"Since this is now included as personally identifiable information, it can be released without consent under new FERPA regulations. Kentucky to date does not collect biometric data yet, but we are starting to see reports of iris scans and palm prints being done on students around the country."

"The United States Department of Education came out with a booklet entitled Promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perseverance: Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century. This is where they suggest the use of facial expression cameras, posture analysis seats, and wireless skin conductance sensors to monitor how our children learn. Read the entire report here: http://www.ed.gov/edblogs/technology/files/2013/02/OET-Draft-Grit-Report-2-17-13.pdf "*

Notice how many times the word "security" & "safety"  are used in the letter.

The most disturbing part of the letter is notice the letter is dated May 23rd, but the process of scanning is to begin May 20th!

Read more on Common Core and Data Mining at these articles;
 http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/343040/common-core-trojan-horse-michelle-malkin
 http://educationfreedomohio.org/2013/04/24/welcome-to-21st-century-learning/

*information in these two paragraphs from Idaho Against Common Core.
*this letter is form Polk County, Flordia  

Catch-up on Common Core week of June 17, 2013

"The latest threat to our rights as Kentucky parents to educate our children in ways that best fit each child’s needs comes from a federally imposed, one-size-fits-every-state educational curriculum known as the Common Core State Standards (#CCSS)."

Read more: News Democrat Leader - One size fits every state curriculum mandates just the latest federal education fiasco
One-size-fits-every-state curriculum mandates just the latest federal education fiasco - The...
www.newsdemocratleader.com
 
 *************************************************************************
Is this Book About Harvesting Teenager Organs on Your School's Common Core Reading List? #stopcommoncore
www.missourieducationwatchdog.com
 ***********************************************************************
 
 Coming soon to a standardized test near you: product placements. Just another think to dislike about Common Core. Don't believe me? Click this link and read the article: 
 **************************************************************************
 
 Republican Governors Suckered Again * Common Core Author Makes Bold Admissions * Obama Election Team Now Prepping Next Step * White House Involved

And you still think the federal government has nothing to do with Common Core?

> Exploiting low-income folks, described as "low-hanging fruit," for data mining

> Obama's campaign folks helping to build data system that will complement Obama's massive base already in existence (think Verizon records and Rep Maxine Waters' admission reported here on May 17: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=49a_1360284775#D8DtvBKUOKGV5bs9.99)

> Journal of Scholarship & Practice: standards "had not been validated empirically and no metric has been set to monitor the intended and unintended consequences they will have on the education system and children" (Mathis, 2010).

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/06/republicans_get_played_again.html#ixzz2WUDETuTA
 
************************************************************************** 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

We're Not Misinformed; We Know What Common Core Is, And We Reject It.

We're Not Misinformed; We Know What Common Core Is, And We Reject It.


In Utah this year, GOP state delegates  passed a resolution that opposed Common Core, by a 65% vote. 

The National GOP passed a similar resolution. The Michigan legislature passed a bill that defunded Common Core.  Indiana legislators passed a year-long time-out bill to pause Common Core. Similar efforts by Republicans and Democrats are growing in North Carolina, Georgia, Missouri,Iowa, Florida, Wyoming, Illinois and elsewhere.



We are not misinformed. We know what Common Core is, and we reject it.

It's not "state-led." The authors of the copyrighted Common Core are private entities, not subject to open meetings, accountability to voters or other proof being state-led.  Conditions of the federal ESEA waiver and Race to the Top application show how federally-pushed the Common Core agenda was. Now Obama has announced a tax to pay for Common Core technology in a ConnectEd Initiative, and has announced that he will redesign U.S. high schools
 
How state-led does that sound?

It's not academically legitimate. There's no evidence to back up claims that the standards increase college readiness as they are experimental.  The standards were written by D.C. groups who opined that classic literature should be curtailed to favor information texts. These groups felt that basic algorithms should be taught at delayed times. The unvetted ideas, unsupported by academic research, formed Common Core.

It's not minimalistic.  Proponents call it a set of minimum standards. But a 15%  cap was placed over the copyrighted standards by the federal government, limiting Utah (and any State that adopts CCSS~Gina)  from adding much.  Worse, the Common Core tests, with teacher evaluations geared to them, act as the ultimate enforcement mechanism.

It's not amendable.  The D.C.-based system defines and narrows learning yet has no amendment process. 

It's not protective of privacy. Along with asking us to adopt Common Core, the federal government pushed the State Longitudinal Database Systems (SLDS) which now exist in each state.  These give aggregate information to an Edfacts Data Exchange.  Although private information gathered by schools, found in an SLDS, is not required to be given to D.C.,  it is requested. Federal entities request that states share identifiable student information: see the Common Education Data Standards, the Data QualityCampaign, and the National Data Collection Model.

To make matters worse, the Department of Education altered federal regulations in the Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA) reducing parental consent requirements and redefining "authorized representative," "directory information" and "education agency" to obliterate privacy.

These pieces form a yet-unfinished puzzle that will destroy student privacy, but we are told the puzzle will not be put together.  Then why did Utah build an SLDS to federal specifications?

Parents* should opt their children out of the SLDS tracking and the Common Core tests, and should find answers to important questions, such as:
 
·         Where is the legal authority for entities outside Utah to set school standards and to monitor tests?
·         Where is a line-item, Utah-specific discussion of the cost of Common Core technologies, teacher trainings, mailers to delegates, and textbooks?
·         Why didn't Utah follow the U.S. leader in education, Massachusetts**, rather than adopting the mediocre Core?
·         How is Common Core state-led when boards who are not accountable to the public bypassed parents and 99% of all teachers and legislators, operating behind closed doors to develop and copyright the experiment?
·         Where is evidence that the standards are legitimate and that they do not harm?

Christel Swasey
Utah Teacher
http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com

* Did say Utahns, I changed to "parents".
**Massachusetts has now adopted CCSS, no longer able to tout their own standards.
~ Edits marked with an * and changed by Gina Glenn, KACCS 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

More testimony from the 6/10/13 Education Committee Meeting in Frankfort, Kentucky

Kentucky SB-1 Review

As a father of four school-aged children, I am here to voice my concern about the
implementation of SB-1 and, particularly, with Common Core. I have a bachelors'
degree in Electrical Engineering with two minors in Mathematics and Physics. I
have a Masters Degree in Business Administration. Four years of doctorate studies
in Medical School rounded out my diverse background in technology, business, and
healthcare. I also lived abroad and am fluent in Spanish.

I bring to your attention three fatal flaws in Common Core: 1) poor content, 2) no
privacy, and 3) high costs. I urge you to review the increasing evidence online
from a litany of sources, across numerous states, from folks of all political
persuasions, which reveals Common Core for what it is: a top-down, one size fits
all, government takeover of our education system.

How do you define freedom and force? I suggest that freedom is the absence of
coercion. It’s not that we can do whatever we want, but that we are not forced
into doing what we do not want. George Washington said, “Government is not
reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a
fearful master.” The loss of freedom by increased coercion and force are central to
this hearing today and Common Core reflects this painfully recurring theme.
First, proponents claim Common Core leads to creativity and innovation. It does
just the opposite. In fact, it is utterly anti-intellectual to think that standardizing
knowledge is going to lead to creativity and innovation. Even Doctor Holliday’s
recent blog post after his thrilling Washington, DC conference visit funded by the
Gates Foundation, stated: “One of the most striking things we learned came from
the Chinese delegation. China (Shanghai) is well known for being number one in
math and reading … However, China is not very happy with its education system.
The Chinese are pushing for more creativity and problem solving skills for
students.” So, even our State Commissioner realizes that this level of
standardization reduces creativity and innovation.

Second, Common Core’s associated databases and sharing of student academic,
behavioral, medical, and familial information with entities outside of the school and
school district, in conjunction with recent bombshell reports of government
encroachment on personal privacy rights creates grave concerns in my mind. I
have been bounced around to twelve people from teachers to school
administrators to district personnel in IT and administration to state administrators
over the past 3 months trying to simply get a summary of the information stored
on my children. To date, I have nothing. Yet, this information seamlessly flows
between unknown entities and is processed behind the scenes for the “benefit” of
my child. Where are my rights as a parent regarding this information? Third, how much does all this cost? What happens when the stimulus funding runs
out? My children routinely come home with requests for donations of the most
basic items, such as tissue paper or hand sanitizer, but Common Core cost
increases take this to a whole new level. An analysis by the State of Alabama
found that Common Core implementation increases costs by nearly 10 times. Just
this past week, the Oldham County School District announced that 50 employees,
including 30 teachers, have to be let go. The money simply is not there. Just wait
until Common Core really ramps up. Do not yield our freedom and submit to the
servitude that comes with the drug of funding for these programs.

The father of the American Revolution, Sam Adams, dealt with similar issues and
made his point thus, “If ye love money better than liberty, the tranquility of
servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in
peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which
feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye
were our countrymen.”

Esteemed ladies and gentlemen, do not abrogate your responsibility to preserve
the sovereignty of the Commonwealth of Kentucky or the rights of parents of
Kentucky’s school aged children. SB-1 was designed to empower Kentucky to
control its educational future. Common Core stifles that goal and yields control.
One legislator recently informed me, he was completely unaware of Common Core
when SB-1 passed. If it’s so wonderful, why was it brought in the back door?
Please, do your homework and put a halt to the madness of Common Core.

Steve Shreeve