HB97 Passes Introducation with 47-13 Vote! Continue Take Action Emails…

WyomingLeg From Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core

We witnessed the beauty of a free republic in action today in Cheyenne.  Concerned citizens turned out to speak face-to-face with Wyoming legislators.  As this happened, we watched “no” votes turn into “yes” votes as concerned parents challenged the claims that have been made to support the Common Core State Standards, and articulated the many issues that come with them.  The valuable conversations that took place will now be allowed to continue as this bill advances to the House Education Committee.

The efforts of the grassroots were bolstered by the presence of national leaders Dr. Sandra Stotsky, Erin Tuttle and Emmett McGroarty, Esq.  After an inspirational and empowering event the night prior, these leaders accompanied citizens to the Capitol for the bill introduction and proved an invaluable support.

Two articles have covered this important step towards winning this battle to take back education in Wyoming.  Read Shane Vander Hart’s article from Truth in American Eduation here.  Also, another article from WyoFile,  quotes Representative John Freeman’s (D-Rock Springs) “experiment” quote supporting Common Core here.

A second house bill addressing Common Core, Smarter Balanced, and student data collection and sharing (HB168) is expected to be introduced by the end of the week.  Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core supports any effort to safeguard students from the certain negative consequences of the current education reform agenda.  Even though we know we have a solid piece of legislation in HB 97 and for now will continue to direct our primary efforts here, we applaud the thought and  hard work put into this bill and are thrilled that so many in Wyoming are willing to step up, speak out, and take action.

While HB168 awaits introduction, we feel compelled to forge ahead with HB97 as this bill has already been assigned to the House Education committee.

We must once again ask for communication from you to our elected representatives.  Please contact the following committee members and express your support for HB97, keeping your message brief (personalizing it) and including a subject line that states your main request, as legislators are inundated during session and may only get to scanning their e-mails.  Sample subject lines might be “Please vote YES on HB97″ or “HB97 Yes”.  The House Education committee emails are:

Jerry.Paxton@wyoleg.gov, Garry.Piiparinen@wyoleg.gov, Hans.Hunt@wyoleg.gov, David.Northrup@wyoleg.gov, Matt.Teeters@wyoleg.gov, Cathy.Connolly@wyoleg.gov, Albert.Sommers@wyoleg.gov, John.Patton@wyoleg.gov, John.Freeman@wyoleg.gov

 

Click here to see the 1-page overview of the bill which will help you communicate your thoughts.  Thank you so very much…your efforts have made their mark on the legislature, and the only way to keep it going is to keep up the pressure!

Exciting Development in Cheyenne! MEET Rock Star CC Experts! Support NEEDED!!

MEET & GREET with House Bill Overview

February 11th from 7-9 PM

EVERYONE is ASKED TO ATTEND an amazing event at the Kiwanis Community House in Cheyenne! Three national leaders, Dr. Sandra Stotsky, Erin Tuttle, and Emmett McGroarty, will be guests (SEE BIOS BELOW).  There will be an overview of the education reform bill and information on its introduction that will take place on February 12th at the Capitol.  The Meet & Greet will also allow time for questions, answers, and mingling.

MAPS and MORE INFO HERE to TAKE BACK WYO EDU in Cheyenne!!!

It is VITAL that anyone that can attend the budget session in Cheyenne next week attend to support Representative Tom Reeder’s bill to remove Common Core, SBAC, and the SLDS (with stronger wording on data privacy) in Wyoming.  Please view Rep. Reeder’s site here to get further clarification on how to support it. You can also contact him with your support if you cannot make it to Cheyenne.

TomReeder

State Representative Tom Reeder’s Site                         PLEASE RSVP for the Meet & Greet

SPECIAL GUESTS!

Stotsky_smallTuttleMcGroarty

Dr. Sandra Stotsky is credited with developing one of the country’s strongest sets of academic standards for K-12 students as well as the strongest academic standards and licensure tests for prospective teachers while serving as Senior Associate Commissioner in the Massachusetts Department of Education from 1999-2003. She is also known nation-wide for her in-depth analyses of the problems in Common Core’s English language arts standards. Her current research ranges from the deficiencies in teacher preparation programs and teacher licensure tests to the deficiencies in the K-12 reading curriculum and the question of gender bias in the curriculum. She is regularly invited to testify or submit testimony to state boards of education and state legislators on bills addressing licensure tests, licensure standards, and Common Core’s standards (e.g., Utah, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, South Carolina, and Texas). She currently serves on several committees for the International Dyslexia Association and on the advisory board for Pioneer Institute’s Center for School Reform. She served on the National Validation Committee for the Common Core State Systemic Initiative (2009-2010), on the National Mathematics Advisory Panel (2006-2008), co-authoring its final report as well as two of its task group reports, on the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (2006-2010), and on the Steering Committee in 2003-2004 for the framework for the National Assessment of Educational Progress reading assessments for 2009 onward.

Erin Tuttle is a Co-founder of Hoosiers Against Common Core. She was publicly recognized by Governor Mike Pence for her efforts in passing anti-Common Core legislation in Indiana. She has written extensively on the deficiencies of the standards and has testified before the Indiana Senate. Her organization continues to do educational research and has provided commentary on the Common Core Standards for the Bill Bennett Show, NPR, and local talk radio shows across the country. Their research and comments have been cited by National Review Online, EdWeek, StateImpact and EducationNext.

Emmett McGroarty is the Executive Director of American Principles Project on education. He has led APP Common Core in its mission to defend the rights of parents and promote the future of children. He has published ground-breaking reports on the federal takeover of education (Townhall Magazine, March 2011), its lawless tracking of private child and family data (The New York Post, December 2011), and its lawless infliction of radical values curricula on children (Public Discourse, January 2012). Emmett is a frequent media guest, and his written works have appeared in publications such as Townhall Magazine, The New York Post, The Washington Times, and Public Discourse. He is a graduate of the Fordham School of Law and Georgetown University.

American Principle Project’s Video Summary from Common Core Conference at Notre Dame

Speakers Bring Common Core to the Table and Serve Up a Firestorm of Media Coverage!

JacksonPresenters

Speakers Kelly Simone, Alisa Ellis, Amy Edmonds, and myself spoke in Jackson Hole last week.  We each had 30 mintues to present a portion of our research on education reform and the Common Core State Standards.  The presentation was filmed and will be uploaded to Youtube as soon as it’s available.  I’ll be sure and post it for those interested.  This evening apparently brought on a firestorm that might just melt the snow from those gorgeous Tetons!

The Jackson Hole News & Guide published two articles covering the event that was sponsered by the Concerned Women’s Group of Jackson Hole.  The first article here, speaks of dozens coming out to hear the speakers.   In reality there were over 100 people in attendence.

The article by Brielle Schaeffer is titled, Speakers Oppose New Common Core Standards Here are a few quotes from the article:

Speaker Christy Hooley said, “It’s not just about standards” but about the intrusion of the federal government and corporations into local control of education. She said Common Core standards will limit the ability to teach to the individual child.

The speakers, including former Sweetwater County teacher Hooley, talked about the history of education policy, the creation of the standards and their concerns about a state data collection system.

The standards are being pushed on the state by the federal government, former state lawmaker Amy Edmonds said.

“I get the question all the time from people, ‘How did this happen?’ ‘How did we get here?’ ” she said. “I want them to understand these things didn’t drop out of the sky. These are all things that are happening through the federal government. … No educator in Wyoming was involved in writing these standards.”

“Everything the state has been doing is taking cues from the federal government,” Edmonds said.

Alisa Ellis of Utahns Against Common Core said the standards are unconstitutional and violate education laws.

“The constitution says any responsibility not given to the government is for the states,” she said.

And, she added, “if that isn’t bad enough, the Common Core isn’t field tested.

“The U.S. has never had national standards before and then they decided to roll out untested standards across the nation.”

Kelly Simone of Wyoming Citizens Opposing the Common Core worried about collecting student data and sharing it among agencies. She urged the audience to petition their school boards and representatives about educational standards and data collection.

The first article did not do justice for the amount of research and information that was shared by mother and Physician’s Assistant Kelly Simone.  Read her recent editorial here.  The Cody Enterprise covered the information she shared with her local school board on Jan. 21 about the Wyoming P-20 Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) . I encourage you to read the full article here.

The second article also by Brielle Shaeffer can be found here, and is titled Common Core Finds Support.   Here are a few quotes from the article.

“The [Wyoming] Department of Education says that Common Core are not curriculum but the sad reality is [that] tests drive curriculum,” speaker and former Sweetwater County teacher Christy Hooley said. “To say otherwise is ludicrous.”

In addition to curriculum, Hooley and other speakers delineated other worries about the loss of schooling on literature, workforce training, equity and the collection of student data. The critical view is not embraced by the establishment.

“There’s a lot of misinformation out there,” said Kathy Scheurman, professional issues director of the Wyoming Education Association. “It’s kind of frightening what information is out there.”

I’d like to know what “misinformation” Scheurman is referring to.  Everything presented was researched and fact checked with primary sources and government documents.   These can easily be found when putting forth effort to understand where the concerns are arising from.

The ‘what’ is decided locally

“Curriculum is without any question a district responsibility,” Teske said. “People want to blend all the issues.”

There’s a lot of confusion between what a standard is and what curriculum is, Teton County schools Superintendent Pam Shea said.

“Standards are a framework,” she said. “They provide guideposts along the way.”

The blending and confusing she refers to is actually happening on her end. As a teacher, I see very clearly the difference between standards (what students are expected to know) and curriculum (what is used to teach that standard). Superintendent Shea is correct, it is a “framework”.  Just like the framework of any building will drive what the building looks like.
Just like the bones to my body ultimately drive the shape of my body. So it is with the standards and the materials teachers will use to teach. Many teachers and parents see the problems with “Fuzzy Math”, such as Every Day Mathematics, which is used here in Sweetwater County School District No. 2. The problem is that these types of programs (curriculum) are what is being aligned to Common Core. This is VERY clear.

The new English language and math standards still allow educators to use their expertise to teach their students, she said.

“Everybody needs a framework,” Shea said. “Education needs frameworks so there are not gaps and so you can plan for rigor and high expectation.”

Teachers choose what is the age-appropriate tool for the child to employ to reach the standard, she said.

“It’s the curriculum, the materials, it’s the ‘what’ that we still have local control over,” Shea said.

Districts are now limited by the curriculum that is stamped “Common Core Aligned or Approved”.   Yes, the district can now pick from this limited and aligned material.  Regulate and limit our choices…  Most teachers are accustomed to these regulations and do their best with what limits the government now places on us.  However, to make it sound like teachers are free to teach and do what they know best is misleading.

Critic Hooley also was upset about the lack of emphasis on literature in the standards. The standards outline a 50-50 split between literature and nonfiction for younger grade levels. In high school years there is a 70 percent emphasis on nonfiction.

“Math teachers aren’t taught how to teach reading,” Hooley said. “It’s pretty concerning.”

“I think that sometimes, in … trying to make everybody the same, we’re losing freedom to such a great extent that it cannot be regained,” Alisa Ellis of Utahns Against Common Core said.

Speakers at the forum critical of Common Core also opposed the idea of the system promoting college and career readiness. Educating the mind doesn’t include workforce training, critic Hooley said.

“Is that the government’s job, to determine and make sure your kid has a job or is it the parent’s opportunity to give that freedom of choice to their child?” she asked.

I was grateful to see that the data privacy and collection concerns were addressed in the article:

Student data collection was another topic that worried Kelly Simone of Wyoming Citizens Opposing the Common Core. She fears that student data is to be shared with non-educational state agencies.

But Common Core doesn’t change data collection processes, Principal Miller said: “Student confidential information is a legitimate concern but … there are safeguards in place,” he said.

Still, Sen. Christensen thinks student privacy issues will be examined during the legislative session that begins Monday.

“Most of us were of the understanding that these were just raw numbers to help track trends and general progress, but as Simone reported that night it’s actually names, dates of birth and files that are reported early on. It was different than what I expected.”

However the most concerning portion of this article included a Fact vs. Fiction section:

Dan Brophy has given permission for me to post this repsonse.  It was also forwareded to Teton County School Board and the Wyoming Department of Eduation.

RE: “Common Core Finds Support” (February 5, Jackson Hole Daily)

Education bureaucrats and politicians say dismissively, again and again, “there’s so much misinformation out there, opponents are misinformed.” Opposition to the Common Core agenda is growing because opponents have done more homework than the bureaucrats.

FICTION: School districts maintain control over curriculum. FALSE, they do not. The US Dept of Education spent $330 million in grants to design SBAC and PARCC, the two national Common Core tests. Extensive research (and common sense) proves that teachers, who are evaluated and compensated on their students’ test scores, “teach to the test.” There will be only one correct answer on the test, which the teacher must drill into the student. Night follows day: national standardized tests require national standardized curriculum. Bill Gates, whose Foundation has spent over $400 million to fund Common Core development and dissemination efforts, bluntly stated: “When the [standardized] tests are aligned to the common [Common Core] standards, the curriculum will line up as well.” Wyoming bureaucrats are not telling the truth. National standards inevitably are national curriculum; local control disappears, stolen by bureaucrats from Wyoming citizens.

FICTION: The Federal government had no role in CC development. FALSE.  The DoE cleverly disguised its involvement (see above), but the subterfuge is exposed by minimal research into DoE documents. Former Education Secretary Califano states: “The DoE has simply paid others to do that which it is forbidden [by statute] to do.”

FICTION:  There will be no new, intrusive, invasive data collection on students. FALSE. The Governor’s education assistant assured me that the Wyoming education bureaucracy will “enforce all aspects of” FERPA.  Conveniently, FERPA was amended in January, 2012, to “allow for greater disclosures of personal and directory student identifying information … [A]n institution may, under certain circumstances, designate and disclose student… unique personal identifiers…. The regulations also provide that a parent or student may not opt out of the disclosure of such directory information…[and also] allow for disclosure of [personally identifying information] without student or parent consent, where institutions have contracted with organizations to conduct studies…” (National Law Review). Look in your mirror and ask whether the same Federal government that has admitted (only under pressure) to spying on your email can be trusted with your child’s private, individual data, and can collect and share it without your consent? And, by the way, as a parent the law now says you may do nothing to prevent this?

FICTION: Common Core standards are superior to existing standards. FALSE. Bill Gates mused in September, 2013, “It would be great if our education stuff worked, but that we won’t know for probably a decade.” Gates’ Microsoft would never roll out a new operating system without millions of hours of beta testing. By his own admission, Common Core is an experiment, but Governor Mead and the Wyoming education bureaucracy tell us they know best and we must accept this monumental, experimental change. And if we don’t, we are “misinformed.”

Common Core’s adoption cedes all local control over Wyoming’s curriculum to a rigid, copyrighted, “one-size-fits-all” national educational colossus. It forecloses any current or future opportunity to use in-state or other Wyoming-chosen resources to design or participate in innovative, easily modified, and nationally and internationally superior curriculum. Wyoming students will now march with the crowd into uniformity, rigidity, conformity, and in the end, mediocrity (at best).

Parents in this state would never agree to this stunning loss of control, but despite claims of the bureaucracy, they have simply not been told. In one example I researched, the Wyoming Department of Education gave parents 22 days in 2010 to comment on nearly 700 pages of Common Core standards. This is just one of many similar occurrences during WDE’s supposed 3-year communication effort.

WDE owes citizens something better than a self-serving forum on February 13. Why not defend its views in a debate with informed opponents of Common Core, in front of the entire community. Three renowned Common Core experts are in Cheyenne through February 12. Bring them to Jackson for a real debate, and our local parents can decide for themselves just who is “misinformed.”

Dan Brophy

Well done Mr. Brophy!  Well done!

Tracking Your Child from Preschool into the Workforce in the name of Improving Education

Tracking Your Child from Preschool into the Workforce in the Name of Improving Education

KellySimoneOp-Ed by Kelly Simone

As the debate over the Common Core State Standards heats up both nationally and across the State of Wyoming, elected officials have cause to take notice. Parents, teachers, administrators and citizens are growing increasingly concerned about this nationally driven attempt at education reform. The local control we once enjoyed has been turned over. Interestingly, little attention has been given to the creation of a State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) that is now being built in Wyoming.

The State Longitudinal Data System is a direct result of Wyoming’s agreement to take State Fiscal Stabilization Funds under the 2009 American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. Wyoming agreed to build this data collecting behemoth when they took $57 million dollars from the federal government.

The purpose of the SLDS is to collect and store data on students that can be used to analyze education policy. This data will be collected on children beginning before kindergarten and continue for four years into the workforce. It makes sense that policy makers would want to know if the Common Core State Standards are really ensuring “college and career readiness”….especially when they’ve never been field tested in any U.S. classroom. So you may ask, why do we need to collect data on Wyoming public school students from Pre-K into the workforce? Answer: to document whether or not this experiment on our students actually works.

More concerning, is the fact that over 20 state agencies are now signing a contract (MOU) to begin sharing data. This is unprecedented and in fact was never before possible, due to FERPA law. This law was designed to protect private student information. However, the US Dept. of Education amended FERPA law in 2012, so that state agencies can now share data. Interestingly, the US Dept. of Education did this through a regulations change, not an act of Congress.

The obvious question then becomes; what state agencies will now be sharing this information? The answer is currently, more than 20. In fact, additional agencies can request to become a party to this data sharing agreement. Right now, the Wyoming Department of Family Services, Workforce Services and Health are only among a few who will now be able to view and share data on Wyoming public school students.

In the 2012 budget session, the Wyoming Legislature approved Enrolled Act 29. In that budget was an appropriation to fund the SLDS, but it was buried in section 326. The appropriation was for over $5 million. Data collection on Wyoming students is authorized by Wyoming statute W.S.21-2-204 section (h). This statute authorizes the collection & usage of student data for educational purposes. However, the scope of the SLDS far surpasses educational purposes. How does the ability of Wyoming Department of Health to access and view student data improve a child’s public school education? The inclusion of non-education and non-assessment data in this repository is beyond an overreach of government control- it’s an invasion of privacy.

All parents, teachers, administrators and elected officials ought to seek to understand the risks involved when collecting massive amounts of data on citizens. The benefits are arguable, but the ramifications are serious. Instead of spending millions of taxpayer dollars on funding the SLDS, perhaps the state would do better to fund things that really help our students succeed.

For a document outlining the concerns with the SLDS, please visit: http://wyomingcitizensopposingcommoncore.com/concerns-slds/

Sincerely,

Kelly Simone

Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core

Kelly Simone is a practicing Physician Assistant in Urgent Care Medicine.  She is  a Jackon Hole High School alumni.   She has two daughters, ages 6 & 8, and they are THE REASON she has dedicated much of her time to researching data changes and education reform in Wyoming and our nation.  Kelly and her husband have been married for almost 11 years, and currently reside in Cody, Wyoming. 

Jackson Hole Event Forum Jan. 28th at Snow King Resort

 WHAT YOU HAVEN’T BEEN TOLD ABOUT COMMON CORE

TRACKING YOUR CHILDREN  FROM PRE-K INTO THE WORKFORCE

WYOMING STUDENTS ARE NOT  COMMON

Your Child Is Not Common

Understand the Growing Opposition to Common Core

Girl with Barcode on Foot KNOW WHAT YOU ARE UP AGAINST AND WHAT YOU CAN DO T0 STOP IT

Snow King Resort

Teton Room

6:15PM

January 28, 2014

SPEAKERS

                                                                  Amy Edmonds  - Wyoming Liberty Group

                                                                  Alisa Ellis – Utahns Against Common Core

                                                                 Christy Hooley – Wyoming Teacher

                                                       Kelly Simone – Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core

Presented by  Concerned Women’s Group of Jackson Hole

ADMISSION FREE

A donation of any amount to help cover expenses will be appreciated.

 

Sign THIS Letter for NO NGSS in Your School District!!

SAY NO to NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS

The State School Board in Wyoming is looking at adopting a set of science standards for public
school students that are concerning. Many people around Wyoming have let the State Board know that they do not want these standards adopted for our kids, but it still looks like they will accept them anyway.

Your local district has the opportunity to  let the State Board know that these are
not the right choice of Wyoming.

Please consider signing this letter asking our local School Board
to take a stance.

If you and your spouse share the same email address, please list “Joe & Jane” in the first name column.

The program only allows an email to be used once.

Click on your district to read and sign the letter.

Sweetwater County School District #1

Sweetwater County School District #2

Park County School District 1

Park County School District 6

Campell County 1

Teton County 1

If your county is not available please email:

contact@wyomingcitizensopposingcommoncore.com

Hear Two Wyoming Moms on “Speak Your Piece” Discuss Common Core

BigHornNetwork

On January 10th, two mothers from Wyoming discussed the Common Core State Standards during the “Speak Your Piece” program on the Big Horn Radio Network.    I am grateful to warrior moms that are willing to make this a priority and do something that is out of their comfort zone!  Way to go Kelly and Erin!  Thank you for speaking out and voicing the opinions and concerns of many other mother’s across this state and country!

Please listen and share –>HERE!

Letter to School Board Members on Data and Privacy

Below is the letter that I read to the Board of Trustees for Sweetwater County School District Number One. This is something that ALL parents and community members should be aware of and concerned about. Our local school boards will be entering into an agreement (MOU) that they have not officially agreed too. In doing so, they are giving away their power to represnt YOU as parents and community members, especially when it comes to your children’s data. We aren’t talking about the data they have always taken on our children.  This is a statewide inter-operable (shares with other agencies) system that will share ALL information that could include a health record or disciplinary record from P20 (preschool through college and the workforce) system.

You may read the letter below or listen to me present to the board in the video recording my husband took (forgive the amateur video – but the sound system is great!)

Board Members,

My name is Christy Hooley and I am a teacher from Sweetwater County School District #2.  I taught both 5th and 6th grade at Monroe Intermediate School.   I recently resigned my position to focus on an issue that is dear to my heart, the Common Core State Standards and the various issues it brings to teachers and students across our state and nation.  In doing so I have found others that have the same concerns, and I stand here representing the group, Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core.

One of these key issues that comes along with the CCSS is the creation of the State Longitudinal Database that will be inter-operable with other agencies.   Due to some questions arising from this concern the Wyoming Department of Education released a document entitled “Data Governance” for districts to distribute to parents concerned about data. The document covers four “Commonly Asked Questions about Student Data”.  While I appreciate the effort of the WDE to be both transparent and informative, the document does not cover many key issues, nor does it provide any links or references as to fact check sources.

These issues should be addressed and communicated to parents in our community as well as around the state. The creation of the State Longitudinal Data System is a key issue in education reform, and parents have many questions surrounding its creation and use.  Please look over the MOU (memorandum of understanding), which is an agreement between 20+ state agencies to begin sharing student data via the State Longitudinal Data System.  You will find that it states, The creation of the P20 SLDS is called for in the 2012 Legislative Session Enrolled Act 29 Section 326. The creation of P20 SLDS and data sharing shall fulfill the requirements established by the Wyoming Accountability in Education Act”

 Basically, what you have in front of you, to the best mine and our group’s knowledge is… that all of the data that is collected by the local school districts, which you represent, will go into this system.  The Department of Ed is going to sign for you…in doing so you stating that all  agencies listed can receive information.  This is a serious local control issue, this document says districts are required to collect this information, but you are not required to sign this agreement.   This is the information on our kids and families, and it is not just being distributed to every educational entity in the state of Wyoming, but to Department of Workforce Services, Department of Family Services, Department of Health, and any other agency they deem.  This is something that should be brought to the public’s attention as well as our representatives.  I implore that you make this a priority quickly!

As you may be aware I have been giving presentations in our community and around our state concerning education reform and its most recent reform with the Common Core State Standards.  I am often asked questions that I cannot answer by concerned parents.  You are elected to represent our community, and should know the concerns that I’m often approached with.  I would like to give you an opportunity to address these concerns.

 These are questions that I would pose as “Commonly Asked” by parents in our district and across our state:

1) What is the purpose of the State Longitudinal Data System?

2) The recent changes to FERPA by the US Department of Education has allowed for sharing of student data in the SLDS. What state agencies will now be sharing student data?

3) What data dictionary will be used to collect student data from the districts to the WDE for the SLDS?

4) How are parents notified of what data will be collected from their student at the district level and sent to the state?

5) How does WDE notify parents if a data breach occurs?

6) What legal recourse/penalties does an agency face in the event of a data breach on a child’s educational record?

7) How long is student data stored, and how is it destroyed once it is no longer needed?

8) What third party entities have access to student data via the SLDS?

This is the heart of the concerns that parents have about data being collected on their children. The recent changes to FERPA undermine parental consent provisions. It is my understanding that there is not currently Wyoming law that outlines data breach reporting requirements or penalties in the event that a breach occurs. I would ask you as a board to seek answers to these questions from the WDE Data Governance Contacts.

Furthermore, I would ask that you familiarize yourself with the Privacy Bill known as Senate File 36 that was discussed by the Committee on Statewide Education Accountability on Dec. 10th.  It does not include the SLDS, and therefore does not do enough to protect our children’s data. If a health record becomes part of a student’s educational file, it is no longer protected. I would recommend that all student disciplinary and health records be exempt from educational records and remain confidential under all circumstances.

I am not suggesting that Wyoming is sharing this data currently, however there is nothing strong preventing them from doing so, plus school systems are moving more and more to commonality and disaggregating (personally identifiable) student data.  This can be seen by all those partnered with the Data Quality Campaign and policies held by the Council of Chief State School Officers. 

I invite each one of you to attend my next presentation, so you may also become informed on both sides of the education reform issues and better understand the questions and concerns parents may come to you with.  I will be presenting next on January 24th at 7PM at the Green River Library and again at the White Mountain Library in Rock Springs on January 30th, at 7PM.

I hope to hear back from you concerning this extremely important issue.

Thank you,

Christy Hooley

www.wyomingagainstcommoncore.wordpress.com

www.wyomingcitizensopposingcommoncore.com

*Updated* Take Action – Jan. 8th

bigstock_Chalkboard_Series_-_Take_Actio_4397695

Happy New Year! We have taken a rest to enjoy the Christmas season but are ready again to advocate for the education of Wyoming’s children as we head into 2014.

We want to thank you for signing the letter to Governor Mead that was delivered in December. There were 1165 signatures on the letter and 160 more have been added since then. We are still collecting signatures at http://wyomingcitizensopposingcommoncore.com/letter-governor/

It would be unfortunate for our letter to be overlooked as the Governor-appointed State Board of Education meets this month. The Governor letter stated “We implore you to advise the appointed State Board of Education not to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards at their January meeting.” The Next Generation Science Standards are on the agenda to be discussed and possibly voted into the next phase of the adoption process at the State Board meeting on January 23rd/24th.

TAKE ACTION BY MONDAY: Write the Governor and let him know that you are interested to know of his official response to the letter presented to him on Dec. 9th and the requests outlined therein. If you signed the petition you may want to say something to the effect of, “I was one of the over 1100 concerned parents/constituents who signed the letter delivered to you on Dec 9th. I would like to know of your official response to the letter and the requests made therein.” The original letter can be viewed here for your convenience: http://wyomingcitizensopposingcommoncore.com/letter-governor/

It is important for the Legislature and the State Board of Education to be aware of our requests as well, so please “cc” their emails into your message. The emails are below.

We will be sending out “Take Action” items weekly since the State Board is meeting in a few weeks and then the Legislative budget session begins in early February.

Also, we would like your permission to add your email to our subscriber list. If you haven’t done so already please consider giving us your permission to do so by clicking on the “subscribe” button on the following link: http://wyomingcitizensopposingcommoncore.com/call-action-weekly-item/

Thank you again for participating in the effort to keep local, quality education in Wyoming schools.

Sincerely,

Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core
“To”(Governor’s email): governor@wyo.gov

“CC” (Legislature & SBE Emails):

Jim.Anderson.SD02@wyoleg.gov, Hank.Coe@wyoleg.gov, Bill.Landen@wyoleg.gov,
Phil.Nicholas@wyoleg.gov, Chris.Rothfuss@wyoleg.gov, steve.harshman@wyoleg.gov,
Mike.Madden@wyoleg.gov, Tim.Stubson@wyoleg.gov, Matt.Teeters@wyoleg.gov,
Mary.Throne@wyoleg.gov, Mark.Baker@wyoleg.gov, Eric.Barlow@wyoleg.gov,
Rosie.Berger@wyoleg.gov, Stan.Blake@wyoleg.gov, Dave.Blevins@wyoleg.gov,
Gregg.Blikre@wyoleg.gov, Kermit.Brown@wyoleg.gov, Donald.Burkhart@wyoleg.gov,
James.Byrd@wyoleg.gov, Rita.Campbell@wyoleg.gov, Richard.Cannady@wyoleg.gov,
Kathy.Coleman@wyoleg.gov, Cathy.Connolly@wyoleg.gov, Kathy.Davison@wyoleg.gov,
John.Eklund@wyoleg.gov, Ken.Esquibel@wyoleg.gov, Lee.Filer@wyoleg.gov,
John.Freeman@wyoleg.gov, Gerald.Gay@wyoleg.gov, Keith.Gingery@wyoleg.gov,
Patrick.Goggles@wyoleg.gov, Mike.Greear@wyoleg.gov, Matt.Greene@wyoleg.gov,
Marti.Halverson@wyoleg.gov, Elaine.Harvey@wyoleg.gov, Hans.Hunt@wyoleg.gov,
Lynn.Hutchings@wyoleg.gov, Allen.Jaggi@wyoleg.gov, Norine.Kasperik@wyoleg.gov,
Dan.Kirkbride@wyoleg.gov, Kendell.Kroeker@wyoleg.gov, Samuel.Krone@wyoleg.gov,
Lloyd.Larsen@wyoleg.gov, Tom.Lockhart@wyoleg.gov, Bunky.Loucks@wyoleg.gov,
Tom.Lubnau@wyoleg.gov, Robert.McKim@wyoleg.gov, David.Miller@wyoleg.gov,
Glenn.Moniz@wyoleg.gov, Bob.Nicholas@wyoleg.gov, David.Northrup@wyoleg.gov,
John.Patton@wyoleg.gov, Jerry.Paxton@wyoleg.gov, Ruth.Petroff@wyoleg.gov,
Garry.Piiparinen@wyoleg.gov, Tom.Reeder@wyoleg.gov, Mark.Semlek@wyoleg.gov,
Albert.Sommers@wyoleg.gov, Sue.Wallis@wyoleg.gov, Tom.Walters@wyoleg.gov,
Stephen.Watt@wyoleg.gov, Sue.Wilson@wyoleg.gov, Nathan.Winters@wyoleg.gov,
David.Zwonitzer@wyoleg.gov, Dan.Zwonitzer@wyoleg.gov, Jim.Anderson.SD28@wyoleg.gov,
Paul.Barnard@wyoleg.gov, Eli.Bebout@wyoleg.gov, Bruce.Burns@wyoleg.gov,
Cale.Case@wyoleg.gov, Leland.Christensen@wyoleg.gov, Stan.Cooper@wyoleg.gov,
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walt.wilcox@wyoboards.gov, kathryn.sessions@wyoboards.gov, belenda.willson@wyoboards.gov,
ken.rathbun@wyoboards.gov, ron.micheli@wyoboards.gov, marykay.hill@wyo.gov

Next Generation Science Standards Concerns

NGSS_LOGO

Below is an excellent breakdown of the problems with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) created by members of  WyomingCitizensOpposingCommonCore.com.  They have also created a brochure to print and hand out with similar information ==>HERE.

I am posting this information to give  parents  talking points for their local school boards about their concerns.  Please consider passing this information on to your local Conservation District chapters and any other organizations you think may be willing to get involved.
The State Board of Education is supposed to vote on the NGSS at their upcoming board meeting in Cheyenne on January 23, 24- so time is of the essence. 

Concerns with the Next Generation Science Standards

Lack of Quality

  • there is so little advanced content that it would be impossible to derive a high school physics or chemistry course
  • misses several opportunities to build important links between grade- appropriate math and required science content

Opposes Some Wyoming Values

  •  Wyoming’s economy revolves around mining and agriculture, the NGSS have a heavy negative slant at the use of such resources
  • Are regulations, international treaties and alternative energy sources Wyoming’s ideal for solutions to the “negative impacts of human activity?”
  • Does Wyoming value one-sided, unsupported viewpoints as fact?

Non-Objective

  • Religiously non-neutral which would lead to indoctrination, not education
  • Fail to distinguish for students the various definitions of evolution, leading them to assume that the word always denotes the same thing
  • Unconstitutional according to the Wyoming Constitution

Pending Court Case

  • A non-profit in Kansas has filed a complaint against the Kansas Department of Education regarding the Next Generation Science Standards
  • Kansas and Wyoming are both under the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.  Therefore, if a ruling is made at that level, it will apply to Wyoming as well
  • Wyoming should delay the consideration of the NGSS until this case is resolved

 

Lack of Quality

Nine scientists and mathematicians reviewed NGSS for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Fordham gave the standards an overall grade of “C,” (the NAEP and TIMSS standards received the grade of A- from the Fordham Institute).

Overview:  “The NGSS fall short of excellence in several ways, including:

  • overemphasis on practices over essential context
  • omission of much essential content
  • failure to integrate mathematics content that is essential to science learning
  • use of assessment boundaries that put arbitrary ceilings on the content that will be assessed and therefore taught at each grade”

Clarity and Specificity: The presentation of the NGSS is cumbersome and difficult to navigate.  In addition, too many individual performance expectations are vague and poorly worded, with broad references to concepts that lack specific guidance about what, precisely, students should know and be able to do.”

http://www.edexcellencemedia.net/publications/2013/20130820-NGSS-Appendix-Review-and-State-Comparisons/NGSS-comparison-table-wyoming.pdf

Another problem Fordham reviewers found is NGSS focuses on students “performing” at the expense of “memorizing.”   They indicate that in this case “content takes a backseat to practices.” The Fordham report suggests that science education should “build knowledge first so that students will have the storehouse of information and understanding that they need to engage in scientific reasoning and higher level thinking.”

http://www.eagleforum.org/publications/educate/july13/next-generation-science-standards-common-core-incognito.html

 In regards to Physical Science Fordham states:

“NGSS physical science coverage is mediocre throughout grades K–5 and declines rapidly in middle school, and still further at the high school level. Overall, the physical science standards fail to lay the foundation for advanced study in high school and beyond, and there is so little advanced content that it would be impossible to derive a high school physics or chemistry course from the content included in the NGSS.”

“Much of the NGSS document was not written with mathematics in mind.”

“(NGSS) misses several opportunities to build important links between grade- appropriate math and required science content.”

“Given the critical overlap between science and math, as well as the NGSS authors’ intention to align their science expectations with the Common Core math standards, these shortcomings signal a need for caution on the part of states that are serious about implementing the CCSS but that are also considering adopting the NGSS.”

http://www.edexcellence.net/sites/default/files/publication/pdfs/20130612-NGSS-Final-Review_7.pdf

Wyoming Values

 Does Wyoming believe that all/most human actions lead to negative consequences for the earth?

Agriculture and mining are essential to Wyoming.  There are responsible Wyomingites out there who are involved with agriculture and/or mining that make a living responsibly, efficiently and without destroying the earth.  This perspective is not mentioned in the NGSS.  On the contrary, the unproven negative effects of such practices are taught.  The following example is taken from the NGSS:

Disciplinary Core Idea: ESS3.C: HUMAN IMPACTS ON EARTH SYSTEMS

“How do humans change the planet? Recorded history. . . indicates that human activities in agriculture, industry, and everyday life have had major impacts on the land, rivers, ocean, and air. Humans affect the quality, availability, and distribution of Earth’s water through the modification of streams, lakes, and groundwater. Large areas of land, including such delicate ecosystems as wetlands, forests, and grasslands, are being transformed by human agriculture, mining, and the expansion of settlements and roads. Human activities now cause land erosion and soil movement annually that exceed all natural processes. Air and water pollution caused by human activities affect the condition of the atmosphere and of rivers and lakes, with damaging effects on other species and on human health. The activities of humans have significantly altered the biosphere, changing or destroying natural habitats and causing the extinction of many living species. These changes also affect the viability of agriculture or fisheries to support human populations.

The activities and advanced technologies that have built and maintained human civilizations clearly have large consequences for the sustainability of these civilizations and the ecosystems with which they interact.”

Performance Expectation: HS – Human Sustainability (Grade 9-12)

HS-ESS3-4.
Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.

HS-ESS3-3.
Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.

HS-ESS3-6.
Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.

 

  • Does Wyoming value freedom and enterprise, or federal/international regulation?

The following is taken from the Framework behind the NGSS: “Some negative effects of human activities are reversible…Regulations regarding water and air pollution have greatly reduced acid rain and stream pollution, and international treaties on the use of certain refrigerant gases have halted the growth of the annual ozone hole…”

http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=13165&page=195

  • Does Wyoming value objective or unsupportive, non-objective education?

Non-Objective

  • The standards fail to present controversial issues objectively (such as climate change, renewable energy and sustainability.)
  • The standards are one-sided in that they disproportionately focus on negative effects of human interaction with the environment

Example:  ESS3.D: Global Climate Change

Performance Expectation: MS-ESS3 Earth and Human Activity (Grades 6-8) MS-ESS3-5.

Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century. [Clarification Statement: Examples of factors include human activities (such as fossil fuel combustion . . . and agricultural activity) . . . Emphasis is on the major role that human activities play in causing the rise in global temperatures.]

Disciplinary Core Idea: ESS3.D: Global Climate Change

Human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming).

  • Teaches evolution as a fact, starting in elementary grades (current WY standards teach evolution as a theory, and not until 8th grade)

Example:  “By the end of grade 2. Some kinds of plants and animals that once lived on Earth (e.g., dinosaurs) are no
longer found anywhere, although others now living (e.g., lizards) resemble them in some ways.”
(Grade Band Endpoints for LS4.A)

  • The standards address ultimate  religious questions and then use a doctrine or “Rule” that permits only   materialistic or functionally atheistic answers
  • The standards require a materialistic explanation for any phenomenon addressed by science
  • The standards are neither educationally objective nor religiously neutral, because an atheistic or materialistic worldview is consistently affirmed throughout.
  • The Standards fail to present legitimate scientific critiques of materialistic theories regarding the origins of the universe, of life and its diversity

Examples:  Core Idea LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

LS4.A: Evidence of Common Ancestry and Diversity
LS4.B: Natural Selection
LS4.C: Adaptation
LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans

Descriptions of these Core Ideas to follow:

The Framework for the NGSS describes the reasoning behind the Core Ideas:

  • There is diversity within species as well as between species. Yet what is learned about the function of a gene or a cell or a process in one organism is relevant to other organisms because of their ecological interactions and evolutionary relatedness. (Framework, page 139, emphasis added)
  • “Finally, the core ideas in the life sciences culminate with the principle that evolution can explain how the diversity that is observed within species has led to the diversity of life across species through a process of descent with adaptive modification. Evolution also accounts for the remarkable similarity of the fundamental characteristics of all species. (Framework, page 140, emphasis added)
  • Evolution and its underlying genetic mechanisms of inheritance and variability are key to understanding both the unity and the diversity of life on Earth. (Framework, page 141)
  • Evolution thus explains both the similarities of genetic material across all species and the multitude of species existing in diverse conditions on Earth—its biodiversity—which humans depend on for natural resources and other benefits to sustain themselves. (Framework, page 161)
  • Biological evolution, the process by which all living things have evolved over many generations from shared ancestors, explains both the unity and the diversity of species.(Framework, page 162,emphasis added)

Bullets source: http://www.copeinc.org/docs/NGSS_PressRelease_final.pdf

Standards  source: http://edu.wyoming.gov/sf-docs/default-document-library/science_standards_draft_09-20-13_sbe_10-7-13.pdf2

Framework Source: http://www.nextgenscience.org/framework-k%E2%80%9312-science-education

The NGSS Are Unconstitutional In Wyoming

The Wyoming Constitution states in Article 7, Section 12 titled “Sectarianism prohibited.”

“No sectarian instruction, qualifications or tests shall be imparted, exacted, applied or in any manner tolerated in the schools of any grade or character controlled by the state, nor shall attendance be required at any religious service therein, nor shall any sectarian tenets or doctrines be taught or favored in any public school or institution that may be established under this constitution.”

The word “sect” is defined as “a group adhering to a distinctive doctrine.”  And doctrine is defined as “a set of ideas or beliefs that are taught or believed to be true.”

The adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards would seem to be a violation of the state constitution.

Pending Court Case

  • The Framework for K-12 Science Education and Next Generation Science Standards is the subject of a lawsuit filed in a Federal District Court in Kansas in September.
  • Kansas case is relevant to Wyoming because any appeal that goes to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals establishes the federal law, which will be applicable to Wyoming as well.
  • The lawsuit claims that the program seeks to establish an atheistic worldview in our children. Let me read you the first paragraph of the complaint:

“The Plaintiffs, consisting of students, parents and Kansas resident taxpayers, and a representative organization, complain that the adoption by the Defendant State Board of Education on June 11, 2013 of Next Generation Science Standards will have the effect of causing Kansas public schools to establish and endorse a non-theistic religious worldview (the “Worldview”) in violation of the Establishment, Free Exercise, and Speech Clauses of the First Amendment, and the Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment.”

Created by WyomingCitizensOpposingCommonCore.com  Please visit their site for more information regarding Common Core!