Historically Not a New Fight Against Educational Reform

The fight against common core is not new. It has just transformed over the years. It is also not Democrat verses Republican or “Obama-Core” as some choose to call it.  If you listen to portions of  Hillsdale College Professor Danielle B. Coupland’s speech you will hear him give an outline of the history of education reform.

At the 10:00 minute mark he speaks of President Clinton ending a five-year process that initiated standards based education that originated in 1989.  This was when President Bush met with the nation’s governors at an Education Summit. Michel M. Heise from the Fordham Law Review states the following in his Introduction to Goals 2000: Educate America Act: The Federalization and Legalization of Educational Policy, 63 FordhamL. Rev. 345 (1994).

This legislative effort culminated in Goals 2000, a comprehensive federal educational reform act which reflects the most recent reallocation of educational policymaking roles among federal, state, and local governments. Because the federal government initiated this most recent reordering of educational policymaking responsibilities, it will surprise few that Goals 2000 dramatically increases the federal government’s educational policymaking role.

It is ludicrous for Matt Mead’s office to claim that local citizens’ “concerns focus on problems from other states. Wyoming is a local control state when it comes to our schools. By adopting Common Core Standards we send a signal that our children will compete with students across the country.  We will not allow outside interests to determine what books our children read, or the materials they can use for their learning.” 

1) What problems from other states?!  Those that have adopted the CCS are all tied to the same federal mandates.   Those in opposition are fighting the SAME things, loss of local control, data mining, cap of 15% in additional information, high stake testing, among other overreaching tentacles.

2) Local control state?  How does that work exactly, when we will be the SAME as the other states implanting CCS?

3)   Local School Boards may suggest materials for their district’s use, but they will have all been aligned, as to assist in teaching to the test!  The same test that will be given to the rest of the country!  Did Wyoming teachers, parents, community members have local input into the Smarter Balanced Consortium’s test?  No -and it is made VERY clear even on their own website.

4) Outside Interests!  Matt Mead and his staff need to do some research on the Gates Foundation, NGA and CCSSO!

It is blazingly obvious that the Common Core’s “state-led” process is in title only.

Take a look at some of the references from Sandra Stotsky and Jane Robbins.

For many months after the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) was launched in 2009, the identities of the people drafting the “college- and career-readiness standards” were unknown to the public. CCSSI eventually revealed the names of the 24 members of the “Standards Development Work Group” in response to complaints from professional organizations and parent groups about the lack of transparency.

What did this Work Group look like? Focusing only on ELA, the make-up of the Work Group was quite astonishing: It included no English professors or high-school English teachers. How could legitimate ELA standards be created without the very two groups of educators who know the most about what students should be and could be learning in secondary English classes?

CCSSI also released the names of individuals in a larger “Feedback Group,” but it was made clear that these people were advisory only – final decisions would be made by the English-teacher-bereft Work Group. Indeed, Feedback Group members’ suggestions were frequently ignored, without explanation. Because the Work Group labored in secret, without open meetings, sunshine-law minutes of meetings, or accessible public comment, its reasons for making the decisions it did are lost to history.

Should you chose to listen to the rest of Professer Coupland’s speech, you will find something much more troubling than even those things I’ve already discussed.

Quoting another professor, Anthony Esolen, a professor of Renaissance English Literature at Providence College in Rhode Island, Coupland says:

“What appalls me most about the standards is the cavalier contempt for great works of human art and thought, in literary form. It is a sheer ignorance of the life of the imagination. We are not programming machines. We are teaching children. We are not producing functionaries, factory-like. We are to be forming the minds and hearts of men and women… to be human beings, honoring what is good and right and cherishing what is beautiful.

David Coleman forced his un-researched and opinion based idea, that a split in literature learning would include informational  texts.  This is where we are headed, loss of creativity and imagination, the fight between good and evil, and the soul’s search for meaning.

In conclusion, Professor Coupland states:

“If education has become –as Common Core openly declares– preparation for work in a global economy, then this situation is far worse than Common Core critics ever anticipated.

Becoming a global citizen will reduce the freedoms and founding principles our country has prospered from.  Becoming globally competitive is being confused with “working for a global master”.   We can learn from the wisdom of this Russian student.

A  professor at Fordham University received from a former  student from Russia. The letter is addressed to everyone who opposes the Common Core.

I believe you are fighting a very noble fight against the Common Core curriculum. I am telling you this as a product of a centrally-controlled education system myself. Soviet Union was notorious for this and the new Russia hasn’t changed that.

I never liked my school. To be honest, I hated it with all my heart and sometimes still have nightmares where I see myself having to return to school.

I always thought it was a senseless, cold system that I just had to get through, survive. I was frustrated all the time because instead of following my interests, tapping on my talents, I was concerned about carefully watching the requirements and trying very hard to fit in.

Questioning the requirements was not productive because you couldn’t change them anyway. I questioned and doubted them all the time and therefore suffered. I saw teachers as senseless machines whose only goal is to make sure you memorize what’s in their centrally approved textbooks.

There was no room and no time for creating, thinking, dreaming, exploring. My school years felt like a constant run in front of a moving train that, if I were to pause, try to look around, turn, would hit me: I would get a bad grade and jeopardize my chances to get into college, upset my parents, ruin my life. I was a good, hardworking student yet school was one of the most stressful experiences in my life.

Part of the problem with common curriculum is that at one point teachers become so concerned about following the standards (that naturally become more and more demanding with time) that they forget about kids. Their work is then not to educate kids but to make sure the requirements are fulfilled. The profession stops being rewarding and attractive to those who love kids and teaching, and attracts those who are comfortable inside a command and control structure.

America is obviously far from getting where Soviet Union/Russia is, but I am convinced it is because of people like you.

Concerned Women for America – CWA Hosts Nation-Wide “Facts about Common Core Conference Call”

Concerned Women for America    This is open to EVERYONE!  Call in Tonight 6:30MDT

Dr. Sandra Stotsky and Joy Pullman will be on this call!  They will both be traveling to Wyoming in August to discuss common core, with myself, and several others.  Listen in to learn more and be educated before they come to our great state!

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

Concerned Women for America – CWA Hosts Nation-Wide “Facts about Common Core Conference Call”.

Click this Link to read invitation!  Concerned Women for America

Our Children’s Future is 1984!

The document  entitled, “Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance” was in my hands as I referenced the same information, Christel Swasey writes about below, to my colleagues and administrator during a staff meeting.  I was called an “alarmist” and it was downplayed as something just to “help improve tests, surely not to be used on ALL children”.  This same document was also in the hands of a concerned parent, hoping to convince those participating in a forum in the Conejo Valley Unified School District in California last week, that it is a reality!   It is true, this is not a conspiracy or something being taken out of context.  You can read it for yourselves at the government’s website.

Christel Swasey writes:

The Department of Education is increasingly creepy.

There’s no other word for it. It’s as bad as any Orwellian-styled fiction. I say this without being in the least speculative– proof is published openly in the actual source documents coming out of the current Department of Education.

I invite you to scan over the Department of Education’s document entitled “Promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perserverance.”

This 126-page report was published four months ago by the Office of Educational Technology and the U.S. Department of Education.

The whole document is about student data mining– but not just the type of data mining we’ve talked about before, where math and English and a student’s personal name and address are the issues.

Here, the issue is having schools/governments collect data about a student’s will, character, beliefs and attitudes using multiple measures that go beyond standardized testing to physical control and measurement of the child, by eye tracking and nerve sensory devices.

On page 44, see exhibit 11. It shows how affective sensors are used in some areas to measure student “engagement”. You’ll see facial expression cameras, posture analysis seats, a pressure mouse, and a wireless skin conductance sensor.

These are supposed to be good things?!

We see clearly that it is not enough for the “education reformers” to nationally control, via common standards and testing, the math and English teaching; they also desire to test, analyze and control, noncognitive individual attitudes.

How is freedom of thought, freedom of belief/attitude/religion, or freedom of expression, upheld by these “reforms” in any way?

The document also says:

“There is a growing movement to explore the potential of the “noncognitive” factors— attributes, dispositions, social skills, attitudes, and intrapersonal resources, independent of intellectual ability…”

Attitudes! Dispositions!

I re-read Orwell’s 1984 recently. Do you remember it? The main character lives in a world completely controlled by the government, which watches all citizens through virtually omnipresent screens and makes all citizens daily chant, with the same expressions on their faces– or else.

“Of course he chanted with the rest: it was impossible to do otherwise. To dissemble your feelings, to control your face, to do what everyone else was doing, was an instinctive reaction.”

In Promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perserverance, as in other documents and speeches promoted by the current administration, you will also see the marginalization of parents. Parents are not seen as the primary instructor and authority figure over the child. Parents are seen as just the supporting cast. They can play a role. They can support. They can be educated about governmental “best practices” to practice at home. Think I’m kidding?

From page xiv: “Conclusion 6: Parents and guardians can also play a direct and important role in promoting
their children’s grit, tenacity, and perseverance… Recommendation 6a: Parents may employ some of the research-based best practices at home as they work with their children around academic goals… Parents can also support children in structuring their home work
environments to support effortful control…
Recommendation 6b: Educators… should consider outreach to parents and guardians as an important support for
students… parents may need to be educated about best practices.

This goes right along with Obama’s Lean Forward campaign, where the video spokeswoman, Melissa Harris-Perry said, (see the video of the commercial ) “We haven’t had a collective notion of ‘these are our children.’ We have to break through this kind of private idea that kids belong to parents.”  This scares me!!  They belong to me….NOT those whom I chose to assist in raising them, be it, schools, teachers, church leaders, etc….

The Department of Education is pushing behavioral indicator measurement, and while the testing company Wyoming has chosen to create its Common Core tests, Smarter Balanced Consortium is partnered with–American Institutes for Research (AIR) whose  mission statement is “to conduct and apply the best behavioral and social science research and evaluation,”

Bill Gates  who is the main funder of all things Common Core, is promoting the merger of technology, games, education and biometric-psychometric control– when these forces combine, how can anyone still believe that all is well?   Hear how he speaks of aligning all of this to market to a base of “customers” (our children) during his speech in 2009.

All is not well.

Parents, board members, teachers and legislators should stand up, speak out, and not be quiet until we stop this erosion of individual rights.

If we don’t, who will?   PLEASE join our fight and make your voices heard!  Educate yourself on the history of those funding the Common Core Agenda!  PLEASE look further than what our own Wyoming Department of Education is sending around as the FACTS on CCSS.  It is all part of the propaganda to push the agenda, using educational terms that mask what is truly happening.

Know what “state-led” really means…

Ask why Achieve Inc. is not listed among the FACTS sheet!

Please share this information….information is power and power can enact change!! 

Change for education and our children’s future!


Reject Common Core!

Here is an op-ed that I have submitted for publication in our local Sweetwater County newspapers.  You can follow the links to the references discussed. Enjoy.


Don’t Be Misinformed; Know What Common Core Is And Reject It

An article from County 10’s website had a write up concerning a meeting that took place on June 11th, in Riverton with Fremont County School Superintendents and State Representative Lloyd Larsen. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss Common Core State Standards. Common Core State Standards are the newly adopted K-12 standards that are being used in all of our schools. Mr. Larsen attempted to discuss what he called “all the misinformation that is being spread locally about the issue.”

My response to his “supposed” debunking of Common Core Myths can be found at my personal blog, wyomingagainstcommoncore.wordpress.com

My blog was created to help educate and give, not just my opinion, but the facts surrounding something that is affecting education and our children. I write this from a duel perspective as a mother of 3 young children and an educator.

In the article mentioned above, Dubois School Superintendent Jerry Nolan said that Rep. Larsen “had nailed the key issues and identified some of the false stories being circulated. “People are attaching poison pills that have nothing to do with common core,” he said.

Actually, Mr. Nolan, there is a lot of poison out there and it has EVERYTHING to do with the common core! Looking further than the Common Core State Standards own website, or the Wyoming Department of Education’s CCSS FAQ page, which is basically copied and pasted from the copyrighted CCSS site, shows enlightening information on the history and roots of the Common Core State Standards. After attending a WDE training on the CCSS almost a year ago, I began researching the history behind CC.

I attempted to share this information with colleagues in the school I have taught at for the last 3 years, in Sweetwater School District #2. I was prevented by my administrator from having an open dialogue concerning the issues surrounding Common Core. It was made quite clear that teachers that wished to take a different view would be silenced. We are being asked to turn a blind eye and assume that we could never be lead astray. It must be okay, everyone is doing it. No decision would ever be made by the “experts” that could be based on money versus what’s best for our children. As a teacher I was prevented from doing what good teachers teach their students to do, which is, Question, Research, Discuss, Form an Educated opinion based on Facts. Those that are expected to implement, teach, and know the Common Core, are prevented from discussing it with parents or each other unless it’s on an “educational” basis. This is a sure sign that something is wrong!

Let’s take a look at what is really going on around us!

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, Illinois and elsewhere.

Yet Wyoming’s governor continues to promote the Common Core, claiming it is “state-led” and not mandatory. I spoke with Governor Mead when he was in Rock Springs for the ice cream social, “Capitol for the Day” event. In answering my concern that Wyoming teachers, parents, and local school boards are losing their voice by adopting common core, he could only point to what he believes is a state led initiative, and we will still have our local districts controlling public schools.

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?

I also asked Governor Mead to tell me where the data or research based evidence is to prove the standards, he signed off on, are any better than what Wyoming or other states around the nation have been using. He stated that he feels it is raising the bar to bring all states to the same “goal post”.

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.

As a teacher I’m highly concerned that should I feel my students require additional teaching or more information to master a subject, I’ll be prevented from spending time on something that won’t be on the new National Test. Since Wyoming History is not on the National Test, written by the Smarter Balanced Consortium, it will be one of the first things to go when our students scores aren’t where they should.

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 Wyoming from adding much. Worse, the Common Core tests, with teacher evaluations geared to them, act as the ultimate enforcement mechanism.
Consider for a moment how controversial the Wyoming PAWS test has been. At least teachers from our local districts, representing our local voice are involved in its creation and were part of the discussion when it came to input for recommending changes. There is no local process to involve those teachers that will represent your children and their needs in suggesting changes to the standards.

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

One of the HUGE concerns for parents is the privacy issue that Rep. Larsen mocked when trying to say the iris scanning that happened in Florida (he actually said New York, but again, he is misinformed) would never happen in Wyoming. The very existence of Common Core and all it encompasses is “common” throughout the country. Of course that could happen here, to say it wouldn’t is misleading his constituents!

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.
Rep. Larsen is either unaware of the change to the FERPA law or chose not to mention it in the handout that quotes the original FERPA law.

We should opt out our children of the SLDS tracking and the Common Core tests (find the form here). We should let teachers use their own judgment rather than rely on yet another data point to determine where their student’s level falls. We should let teachers teach without feeling restricted to cover EVERYTHING that might fall on THE TEST. We should allow open and free dialogue between parents, teachers, and elected officials about concerns – without feeling there might be repercussions.

We should find answers to important questions, such as:
• Where is the legal authority for entities outside Wyoming to set school standards and to monitor tests?
• Where is a line-item, Wyoming-specific discussion of the cost of Common Core technologies, teacher trainings, mailers to delegates, and textbooks?
• Why didn’t Wyoming 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?

Christy Hooley
Wyoming Teacher

Response to Rep. Lloyd Larsen’s Supposed Debunking of CC!

Here is the article from County 10’s site, and can be found here.

It is titled, “Superintendents, St. Rep. Lloyd Larsen debunk myths surrounding Common Core State Standards”

I have written my responses in bold/italic.

State Representative Lloyd Larsen, R-Lander, said some constituents do not believe what he tells them about the Common Core State Standards. “Ive been on the internet and it’s gospel,” he said he’s been told. (Ernie Over photo)

(Riverton, Wyo.) – Fremont County School Superintendents met with St. Rep. Lloyd Larsen Tuesday morning in Riverton to discuss the issue of Common Core State Standards and all the misinformation that is being spread locally about the issue.

The topic came to a boil earlier this spring in Dubois at a meeting called by some parents who were concerned about the standards being forced on the state, individual school districts and home schoolers. “That simply isn’t true,” Larsen said.

If your definition of “force” is that the decision was made without legislative action..then, yes, it was forced. There was a very narrow window of time in which states were given to decide on whether to adopt or not and this was done without legislative process. I am a teacher and a parent of students in SW#2. I didn’t know about it nor was I, or any of my colleagues part of the decision.

In discussing the issue with the superintendents, Larsen said much of the talk he’s heard is about are concerns that there are strings attached to the standards coming from the federal government.”That’s what I hear the most, yes, (U.S. Dept. of Education) Race to the Top funding was tied to common core to entice states to look at that,” he said. “However, Wyoming didn’t take any Race to the Top funds and we were not even the first to adopt it; all states around us adopted it before us, and Utah is in the process.

Larsen shows his gross ignorance on the history of common core! States had to apply for the Race To The Top (RTTT) funds and they did so in hopes of “winning” enough points to be awarded a portion of the funds. It’s not like Wyoming said, “Oh no thank you”…that was not an option. WY’s RTTT application can be viewed here: . http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/phase1-applications/wyoming.pdf

It is no secret that the federal government (with the help of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) dangled funds in front of cash strapped states and WY was attempting to gain a portion of that money. http://www.gatesfoundation.org/Media-Center/Press-Releases/2009/12/National-PTA-to-Mobilize-Parents-for-Common-Core-Standards. Using the argument that Wyoming was not the first to adopt it, is riduculous…how does that prove any point? Others around us are doing it, then it must be okay! A brief, look into actions being taken in Utah, will show you how clueless Larsen is! Currently, there are 16 states that have put forth legislation to remove or pause the implementation of Common Core. An updated list can be found here at Truth In American Education’s website: http://truthinamericaneducation.com/

There is an abuandance of information (about common core) on the Internet, and however truthful it may be, does not mean it is applicable to Wyoming. I believe most of the misinformation is coming from well intentioned people using resources from the internet that is not applicable to Wyoming.”

Larsen noted that Wyoming adopted only about 70 percent of the common core standards and he said that the Wyoming State School Board reviewed the topic again only last week and, as a group, they declined an opportunity to review or revise the standards.

No, Mr. Larsen, you are the one that needs to get your facts straight! Not applicable to Wyoming…that shows how ignorant you are about the very purpose of “common” core standards. Here is the actual motion passed by the Wyoming State Board of Education in their June 16, 2010 meeting: “The Board approves the adoption of 100% of the common core state standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics in the next revision of the Wyoming Content Performance Standards to be completed by December, 2011. The common core standards will comprise at least 85% of the revised Wyoming Content Performance Standards in each of these two content areas.”
The same stipulations and strings attached are the same for each state that adopts it! Larsen should spend some time looking at the very Wyoming Department of Educaiton site that is listed for information. He would realize that Wyoming will be bound to the same testing as MANY of the other states also part of the Smarter Balanced Consortium. They are creating the national tests and there I no evidence that Wyoming teachers, parents, or elected representatives will have any input. Wyoming students will be given the same test as others across the nation. I’d like to see the evidence that Wyoming only adopted 70%?! It is stated in the documents for the RTTT (which Wyoming applied for and agreed to when adopting CC), states will adopt it FULLY and only be allowed to add an additional 15%. That 15% will not be on the SBAC created tests, and will therefore be given last priority by teachers, administrators, and districts that will be striving to have high test scores. Good-bye Wyoming History, hello globalization of our students.
Read about it here: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/executive-summary.pdf

Even teachers in the state can tell you that this coming year the PAWS test will be 50% aligned with CC material and that is only to give teachers time to prepare when it is 100% aligned in 2015/2016! This is made quite clear on the power point presentation given by Wyoming Department of Education Director of Assessment, Deb Lindsey here: http://edu.wyoming.gov/Programs/Statewide_Assessment_System.aspx

“They’ve just got to try to get the facts that are accurate,” he said. ”The standards do not dictate what textbooks are to be used, that’s the local school district’s decision.” He also said that he’s been told that if it’s on the Internet, it’s gospel. “I’ve also heard from home schoolers that the state will drive their curriculum, but by statute, we cannot do that,” he said. “The state cannot tell you what texts to use.”

You are correct there Mr. Larsen, it is unconstitutional for the state to mandate textbooks, or even curriculum. However, it is the standards that DRIVE curriculum. That is why each district will be looking for the best CC aligned curriculum to assist their teachers in teaching the material that will be on the national tests. Publishing companies are scrambling to be the ones creating texts that are fully aligned with common core as to be able to assist in the testing scores. The New York Times published an article concerning the monopoly on curriculum materials as Pearson, the largest education publisher, and the Gates Foundation are now partners. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/28/education/28gates.html?_r=0 Standards and curriculum go hand in hand! Any teacher can tell you that! Why else would Gates want to be on board with Pearson – they will be creating curriculum for his brain child – the Common Core.

Larsen also shared an anecdote that some people believed that their children would have their retinas scanned as a part of the process. “Again, that is not the case. This story came out of New York,” he said.

Actually, Mr. Larsen this happened in Florida and yes, it could very easily also happen in Wyoming. It was not a “story”, it is reality, and to tell your constituents that something like that would not happen is very misleading. In Lyman they are using RFID cards,in the name of safety, the same reasoning behind the retina scanning.

Fremont County School District Superintendents from Riverton, Shoshoni, Wind River, Dubois, Arapahoe and Lander attended Tuesday’s meeting at the Riverton Branch Library.

According to the Wyoming Association of School Administrators, before the Common Core State Standards were developed they noted that each state created it own standards for college and career readiness of high school graduates, which “with such a variance, a student from one state may be more prepared for the next level, than a student from a different state.” A WASA fact sheet noted that many teachers “took part in writing the standards, basing them on research; surveys to determine which skills are required for college and workforce training programs; data identifying college and career-ready performance; and comparisons to standards from high-performing states an nations.”

The WASA fact sheet noted…how does that prove anything? Who created the fact sheet? “Many teachers took part in writing the standards”…that we have been using PRIOR to common core! It is clear that there were NO teachers on board to create the CCSS. That is one of the very reasons Dr. Sandra Stotsky did not sign off on the CCSS. She was part of the validation committee that gave their final say to approve the standards. Dr. Stotsky writes that she saw no evidence that they (CCSS) were research based nor that they were more “rigorous”. That is the word that those uninformed like to use when talking about the new CCSS. There is NO data, research, or even a field test showing that these will be better for students, let alone rigorous! “Where is the evidence to support the rhetoric surrounding the CCSS? This is not data-driven decision making. This is a decision grasping for data… Yet this nation will base the future of its entire public education system, and its children, upon this lack of evidence.” – Dr. Christopher Tienken, Seton Hall University, NJ Read the Journal Article he wrote here: http://www.aasa.org/uploadedfiles/publications/newsletters/jsp_winter2011.final.pdf

The superintendents, who met yesterday in Riverton and compiled a “Myths vs. Reality” fact sheet on the issue, said the number one myth they consistently hear about the Common Core is that it was created by the Obama Administration. “It wasn’t,” said Lander Schools Superintendent Dr. Mike Bowman. “It was created by the National Council of Governors and the Council of State School Officers,” which Larsen agreed was true.

To be fair, he is sort of right here, but misses the point by not following the FACTS! Their exact titles are the National Governors Association (NGA) (which our own Governor Matt Mead is a chairman of) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). These are not elected positions; they are not directly involved in states’ local school boards. If you are to spend any time researching these groups, and how they are funded, you will see that they are just a name to further the “state led” agenda. They are D.C.based trade organizations and where hired on with money from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Follow the money, follow where the power really is and you will find it is not just about what is best for kids.

Bowman noted that the standards pertain to English, Language Arts and Math.

Dubois School Superintendent Jerry Nolan, who said he wasn’t invited to the parents meeting in Dubois when the topic was discussed, said that Rep. Larsen “had nailed the key issues and identified some of the false stories being circulated. “People are attaching poison pills that have nothing to do with common ,” he said.

I will be refuting the handout at a later date…..it’s quite laughable actually!

FreedomWorks Conference Call


FreedomWorks held a nationwide town hall call on June 6th, to help educate and equip activists around the country on this important issue. The hour long call hosted over 600 attendees and featured educational activists and Common Core experts Dr. Sandra Stotsky, research fellow for the Heartland Institute Joy Pullmann, Wyoming teacher Christy Hooley, and Wisconsin activist Tony Urso.

FreedomWorks’ Director of Grassroots, Whitney Neal was on the line throughout the call to guide our activists as to actions they can take and answer questions regarding the different challenges each state faces in stopping Common Core.

CLICK HERE for the FreedomWorks Common Core Town Hall Call

WAKE up Wyoming!! This pertains to us too!!

Here is an  exceptional letter written by concerned parent Carie Valentine. It is addressed to the State School Board members in Utah. I wish I could write with such passion and strength as displayed in the letter!  Familiarize yourself with the names and types of assessments and trainings that are taking place in Utah.  Wyoming is about 1 year behind in following in this exact path!  I have provided the information to support this from the Wyoming Department of Education’s website.

Dear Elected Officials:

I am a part of “We the People”.  You are not in your position because you are smarter than the rest of us.  You are in your elected office because you chose to rise up and say, “I will serve the rest of you if you elect me.”  You were elected because We gave you permission to serve us.  You are in your office because “We the People” put you there.  We decided you could do your job after you communicated with Us what your plans were.  You are to report to The People your intentions.

Read the  entire letter  here.


According to the Wyoming Department of Education’s website, http://edu.wyoming.gov/Programs/statewide_assessment_system/smarter-balanced-assessment.aspx, we are signed on to use the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) to create the computer adaptive testing mentioned in the letter by Carie Valentine. SBAC is contracted with AIR, therefore we will have the SAME systems in our state.


Wyoming should be asking the SAME questions to our department of education.  PLEASE take the time to educate yourself!  Contact board members and legislators!  We only have one year before we are fully invested in this monstrosity!  READ this letter and become informed!