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

No comments:

Post a Comment