Petition for Ensuring Right to OPT OUT of Testing: Reaction to AG’s Opinion

petition

Wyoming Parents Take Note!  Your right to Opt out of Testing is in Jeopardy!  Please sign our petition provided BELOW to help ensure Governor Mead knows you demand he protect your right.  The right to direct the education of your child as YOU SEE FIT, regardless of our Attorney General’s opinion.

PLEASE DO TWO THINGS RIGHT NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY!

1) SIGN THE PETITION to OPT OUT to HERE (Full  Petition Text Included)

2) SEND A SIMILAR LETTER TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVES

Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core recently informed you about the letter published by our Attorney General, concerning his opinion on opting out of high stakes standardized testing.   They have sent the following letter (copied below) to ALL legislators.   They are asking that you join with other concerned parents standing up for their rights and send a similar letter.

Dear Legislator,

You likely know about the recent AG opinion that parents may not opt out of state tests.  Parents have numerous legitimate reasons to want to do this, especially the nationalized variety like Smarter Balanced.  Besides the concerns over data mining/sharing, data breaches and hacking which as yet have not been satisfactorily addressed, SBAC pilot tests made it clear that to be successful, teachers must teach using math strategies that are educationally controversial and unproven, making nonsense of the notion that districts still would have “control” over how they teach our students.  Further, parents may also determine that the process of taking the test and the stress involved for students in an “accountability” culture does more harm than good when taking the child’s individual needs and gifts into account.

There is already simmering resentment amongst parents in Wyoming when it comes to the quiet onset of the Common Core and the consortium tests intended to follow on its heels.  The Attorney General’s opinion, with its direct affront to parental rights, is very likely to fan the glowing embers in full flame.  The fact that penalties are not outlined in statute begs that the opinion be challenged…either by civil disobedience or lawsuit.  

To avoid this difficult outcome, concerned parents are very much in favor of a clear legislative statement being made in Wyoming about parental rights; you may expect an opportunity to do so this session.  We urge you to review the excellent case made for fundamental rights in this article and be ready to stand up for parental rights when this time comes:  http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2014/10/13635/

You may also be interested to know that The Center for Education Reform ranks Wyoming 40th among states for “Parent Power”(https://www.edreform.com/in-the-states/parent-power-index/states/wy/).  Will the AG opinion help or hurt Wyoming’s reputation for parental rights?

Thank you for your consideration and your service.  We wish you productivity as the interim continues and a fruitful legislative session, and personal blessing for you and your families.  

Sincerely,

Concerned Citizen

Green River, WY

SBAC Common Core Testing Not Right for Wyoming: Letter to Select Commitee

Here is an exceptional letter written by Dan Brophy of Jackson Hole.  I have received permission to post it here for you to read.

Mr. Brophy addresses many concerns that surround the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) Common Core Testing.  This test is being strongly considered for adoption and replacement of the PAWS test in our state.  I hope that many people read this letter and also contact  those on the Select Committee on Education and Accountability.   This committee will be making a decision on SBAC during the upcoming session beginning January 13th of 2015.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Members of the Select Committee:

I write to urge you to abandon consideration of adopting SBAC assessments in Wyoming schools.

This Select Committee, the Governor and the Legislature cannot truthfully state that local control is maintained when Wyoming signs onto the SBAC consortium. Wyoming may be a member of the Executive Committee, but membership conveys no rights for our state to act on its own if it disagrees with test content or methodology, or finds any other problems with the SBAC test. Once you have committed Wyoming to the SBAC path, each of you individually and all of you collectively, as the government of this state, will be as helpless as parents to change anything without the permission of outside entities whose interests do not coincide with Wyoming interests. Not one of you can refute this fact.

Wyoming spends nearly $500 million/year on state community colleges and the University of Wyoming. Surely, within this vast fountain of spending, our state could find the academic expertise and persons to design its own, flexible but superior standards in order to improve, modify or replace PAWS. And why not invite parents into the process – who have basically been ignored?

Common Core is just that: common. By design, every student learns the same things at the same time, which means early-bloomers will end up frustrated and late-bloomers will end up characterized as academically deficient. Learning pace differs by individual, and always will. Applying a rigid standard, including SBAC tests, takes away the flexibility of individual teachers to tailor their learning plans to the pace, talent and interest of each student. The rigidity of Common Core will  unfairly systematize pre-judging of students who have different talents and learn at different paces. Common Core sets up standardized testing as the measure of success, but a student’s education is a much broader effort and accomplishment than test scores.

Do not adopt SBAC – this is not right for our students or their parents. Go back to work and find a Wyoming-designed, Wyoming-controlled testing regime that we can adapt and improve on our own.

Don’t forget this committee will be making a decision on SBAC during the upcoming session beginning January 13th of 2015.  Members on this committee can be found HERE.  PLEASE email them TODAY!   

Thank you!

~Christy

 

Wyoming AG Assalts Parental Rights to Opt Out of High Stakes Testing!

SosTEsting

Former director of the Wyoming Department of Education, Richard Crandall, was faced with several parental requests to opt their children out of statewide assessments. The Wyoming Department of Education initially attempted to answer this question on their own by stating that parents could not opt out. However, when parents challenged this position by asking for the Department to reference the specific Wyoming statute that prohibited parental opt out, no such statute could be provided. Therefore, former Director Crandall turned to the Wyoming Attorney General for an opinion. The letter requesting that opinion was dated April 2014.

Flash forward approximately 5 months. The Wyoming Attorney General issued his opinion to the Wyoming Department of Education. In this opinion dated August 27, 2014, the AG gives the following short answer regarding the parental right to opt out question:

“The rules of the State Board of Education require districts to assess all eligible students. This requirement is within the Board’s statutory authority. Accordingly, districts must assess all eligible students, and students may not opt out of assessment” See the entire letter HERE.

The reasoning given? He believes parental rights have been trumped by the Wyoming Education Accountability Act that was passed in 2011. The Attorney General emphasizes that this accountability system gathers information on students, teachers and schools. Schools are then categorized into one of four performance levels: exceeding expectations, meeting expectations, partially meeting expectations or not meeting expectations. In his interpretation of Wyoming statute, the AG has determined that the State Board of Education by rule, requires as part of district accreditation that ALL students in Wyoming public schools participate in state testing.

Interestingly, the AG does not comment on the lack of penalty language in Wyoming statute. The final statement made in his opinion is that districts may not allow students or their parents to opt out of assessments provided by law. However, what would happen if they did? The statute is not clear and no penalties are provided by law.

Did the Wyoming legislature indeed intend to force ALL students in Wyoming to take statewide assessments, regardless of whether or not parents feel it is appropriate for their child? To date, that question remains unanswered. We would encourage you to speak to your elected officials and ask them to consider addressing a provision for parental opt out in the upcoming 2015 Legislative session. It would take a significant amount of students opting out of statewide assessments to truly impact the federal funding that districts receive under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Watch a video with reaction and commentary concerning the AG’s opinion HERE.

Read the official document from the Wyoming Attorney General  HERE.

Contact the AG’s Department and let them know your how you feel concerning this decision HERE.

Michelle Malkin in Cheyenne Sept. 25, 2014! Discount tickets available for WCOCC members!

**EXCLUSIVE OFFER** for Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core Members receive a $10 discount!  If you are not already a member it’s EASY.   Join Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core’s Facebook group HERE and/or mailing list HERE.

WylibertyGroup

Wyoming Liberty Group & WylibertyinEducation.org
present a Michelle Malkin Event.

Common Core & the GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER
OF LOCAL CONTROL IN EDUCATION
MY FIGHT AGAINST FED ED: A PUNDIT MOM’S PERSONAL
BATTLES TO STOP FUZZY MATH

MichelleMalkin

Please join us for an informative evening exploring the Common Core issue
and what we can do about it in our own state.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
7:00pm – 9:30pm
Little America – 280 West Lincolnway, Cheyenne WY, 82001
Event will take place in Ballroom C.
Seating is limited at the door.

Click  HERE to RSVP and Learn MORE about this amazing event!

Please RSVP by September 18, 2014
Cost: $50 per person or $60 at the door

Coffee & Desserts will be provided.
for more information, contact:
Mandy Ludtke 307-632-7020
or email to
mandy.ludtke@wyliberty.org

My VOTE for the Primary Election Tomorrow

vote!

The Primary Elections are tomorrow!  I have had several acquaintances ask my opinions about who to vote for.  I admit… I have done a TON of research into the candidates, more so than ever before.  It’s amazing how involved one gets when you have a passion about making changes.

Info on how to Register to vote HERE!  Download the VOTER’s GUIDE for HERE.

This blog post is entirely my own opinion with no outside influence; so take it or leave it.  The candidate listed first is receiving my personal endorsement.   I did not list any Democratic candidates except for Pete Rust who is running for Mayor in my home town of Green River.

Don’t JUST take my word on this!  Please check out the website/Facebook page for each candidate!  The state race PBS debates are HERE.   Don’t forget to check out your candidates stance on Common Core in the survey done by Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core HERE.

This is NOT an all inclusive list – these are the candidates I have spent time vetting and/or know on a personal level AND can personally endorse with confidence. 

Local City Races

Mayor of Green River

Pete Rust

Ward II City Council Green River

Ted York

Ward III City Council – MY WARD

Gary Killpack

Governor – We TRULY need a change here! There are two conservative candidates that are excellent choices.  My focus in on education and a constitutional track record.

Cindy Hill

Taylor Haynes

Superintendent of Public Instruction – This is a VITAL race!  PLEASE vet your candidate closely!

Sheryl Lain

Secretary of State

Ed Buchanan – is my choice as he has a proven voting record and stands strong against common core and proven record voting for conservative values.

Clark Stith – another excellent conservative choice, also taken the time to attend my common core presentations and is against top town education.  However, he contributed to Matt Mead’s campaign.  Serious ding on my check list.

IF FOR SOME REASON NEITHER OF THESE TWO ARE ELECTED – I WILL PUT MY VOTE TOWARDS THE INDEPENDANT CANDIDATE!

Jennifer Young

US Senate

Mike Enzi

Bryan Miller

US House of Representatives

Cynthia Lummis

Sweetwater County Commissioner

John K. Kolb (R)

Sweetwater County Sheriff

Richard Haskell (R)

Ken Yager (R)

Sweetwater County Attorney

Daniel Erramouspe (R)

Clerk of District Court

Donnalee Bobak (R)

Wyoming State Auditor

Cynthia I. Cloud (R)

Wyoming State Treasurer

Mark Gordon (R)

Wyoming State Senate Seats

SD 5

Lynn Hutchings -sponsored HB97 – Anti Common Core bill

SD15

Karl Allred

SD23

Jeff Raney

SD 25

Jennifer McCarty (Constitution Party)

SD27

Kara Rae Linn

SD29

Bob Ide

Wyoming House District Seats

HD5

Cheri Steinmetz

HD17

Stephen Watt – attended my common core presentations, signed form for change to standards review process.  Sponsored HB168 – Anti Common Core bill

HD 18

Lyle L. Williams (R)

Fred A. Baldwin (R)

HD19

Allen Jaggi – Sponsored HB168 – Anti Common Core bill

HD22

Marti Halverson -Sponsored HB168 – Anti Common Core bill

HD34

Pat Moore

HD35

Kendell Kroeker -sponsored HB168 – Anti Common Core bill

HD37

Gregory Flesvig

HD 48

Mark Baker (R) attended Common Core presentation

HD49

Garry Piiparinen

HD 50

Charles Cloud

HD57

Chuck Gray  -attended common core presentations, panels

HD58

Tom Reeder – sponsored HB97 – Anti Common Core bill, organized anti common core panels

HD 60

Bill Hooley (R) – Excellent Choice for Change!!  (Yes, I’m biased here)

Don'tVoteDon'tComplain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vote Smart on Common Core in the August 19th Primary!

VoteSmart

August 19th Primary Election is in 2 Weeks

Do you want to know if the candidate(s) running for office in your district FAVOR or OPPOSE Common Core?  Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core has made it simple!

Click HERE and find out WHO your candidate is and WHERE they stand on Common Core.

What if your candidate(s) didn’t fill out a survey?  Use the email address we provided to request he/she return the survey so you can find out.

*An email, which included an online link, was sent to all candidates running for office in the State of Wyoming.  It was followed up with an email reminder which included a list of those whom we had received surveys or responses.  We also mailed a hard copy to all candidates who hadn’t submitted one online.  If your candidate didn’t fill one out, he/she doesn’t recognize your desire to be informed of their position. 

Email your candidate(s) and let them know you are interested in their stance on Common Core.  If your candidate submitted a survey or a statement take a moment to thank them as well!

We Will Not Conform: Memories and Motivation!

conform

It was thrilling to be amongst those that were invited to be in the audience for the We Will Not Conform event hosted by Glenn Beck.  This was a strategy session on how to defeat Common Core.  Members of the audience were able to participate from the theaters via twitter.  It also was intended to connect and bring people together in their own communities.

Glenn Beck and other well known figures who participated are Michelle Malkin, Dana Loesch, David Barton, and Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks.  It was amazing to see Dr. Terrence Moore, author of The Story Killers and former Hillsdale College Professor, and Emmett McGroarty, from the American Principles Project.

What a boost it gave those in attendance to remember the importance of working TOGETHER across all isles and all political spectrums.

Audience

Here in our own state we have those that tell you NOT to come together and that there is only ONE answer to removing Common Core!  This is so sad that many are conflicted and confused by messages that are not consistent. I hope that this would not discourage those of you that are aware what Common Core entails and leave the fight.  I’m grateful Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core chose to support this event.

We NEED EVERYONE – even if we don’t agree on EVERYTHING!  This picture reminds me of how important this is!

YvonneJenniMe

Here I am pictured with two amazing women whom I’m lucky to call friends.  Yvonne Gasperino and Jenni White also attended in Dallas. Yvonne has successfully brought together MANY from all sides, working together with Stop CCSS in NYS.  They were just one of many groups that brought the opt-out movement that is now sweeping our nation!  Jenni with ROPE successfully moved her state of Oklahoma to a FULL removal of Common Core!  Does this mean they are done and can close up shop?  Of course not!  They are aware that without continued watchfulness Common Core could be back with a new name or through different avenues! Working together across the nation AND in our state, we too can win this battle!

This is Chris Loesch and myself during a break from filming.  He is Dana Loesch’s husband.   Dana was once on the other side of the spectrum compared to those that agree with Glenn Beck.  Now she eats liberals for dinner and has an amzing conservative show on TheBlaze.

atimelywarning

Dana lead the charge at the grassroots table along with Heidi Huber of Ohio, Heather Crossin from Indiana, and Emmett McGroarty of American Principles Project.   You can tweet to @DLoesch and #WWNC2 to give input.

Grassroots table

Dana was interested as I explained what lead to my resignation as a public school teacher and the path that lead  me to join others in this fight against top down intrusion into education.

DanaCrop

It was an honor to meet Truth in American Education’s Shane Vander Hart.  He took my experience as a teacher being under a gag order and sent it across the nation.  I am grateful to his work then and now for exposing what education reform is doing to parents, students, teachers, and the nation.

ShaneVanderhart

Amy Edmonds and Cindy McKee networked and handed out literature to those concerned citizens attending in Laramie.

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“Energizing. Motivating. Dawn-breaking as you realize you are not alone. These are some of the impressions people got as they attended the Glenn Beck We Will Not Conform event in Laramie”, said Cindy McKee.

McKee continued to describe why she attended as a member of Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core.

We wanted to make sure that people understood that a grassroots movement in Wyoming is already underway. Attendees each received a bookmark with information about how to connect to others who see what’s happening with education in Wyoming and want to do something about it. It was great to see some new faces who are just now becoming aware. It was really exciting to see new activity on Facebook and Twitter during and after the event from Wyoming citizens. This is how a movement grows. It was so gratifying to hear from folks who stopped to thank us for what we were doing as they were leaving the theater.  This kind of event brings people of a like mind together and enables us to connect people from across the state to one another. These connections will multiply and grow more forceful by the month. Thanks to all who attended!

Don’t t miss the rebroadcast!  It will be shown AGAIN on Tuesday July 29th at 6:30PM. 

Find tickets  & Theaters: http://www.fathomevents.com/event/we-will-not-conform-live .

There were theaters selling out across the nation for the amazing event!

Christal Swasey writes about how the theater she attended was overflowing with parents, educators, and concerned citizens HERE.

Lisa Cummings was blogging live from the event and gives a recap HERE.

One of the BEST recaps by the amazing blogger Lady Liberty 1885 HERE.

I whole-heartily agree with Cindy McKee of WCOCC when she says,

Make no mistake…the opposition is watching (they were in attendance as well). But if we persist, if we continue to find each other, organize, and become a powerful force of voters in Wyoming, we will effect change. Come be encouraged. Come meet other people who are concerned just like you. Legislators and other policymakers will indeed listen if we show up and we speak as a united voice, and we stay committed to the course.