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.
http://video.foxnews.com/v/2431060932001/fnc-video/

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!

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One thought on “Response to Rep. Lloyd Larsen’s Supposed Debunking of CC!

  1. POISON PILLS! Haha. Very well done, Christy! It’s amazing what knowledge one can have after taking a few minutes to research instead of listing a bunch of talking points.

    Like

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