Update on Action Items and Events!

Dear Citizen,

This week the Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core group traveled to Cheyenne to attend
a meeting with the Governor and also the Select Committee on Statewide Education Accountability.
Below is a press release regarding the events including the number of signatures turned into the
Governor. Thank you for your efforts to make this happen!

For more detailed information regarding the Select Committee meeting please visit this link:
http://wyomingcitizensopposingcommoncore.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/SelectCommSummaryDec.pdf
We will soon begin more Call To Action items as we approach the State Board of Education meeting in
January, as they may vote the Next Generation Science Standards into the review process.

Sincerely,
Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core

Governor Mead Carves Out Meeting Time for Citizens Concerned Over State Education Reform

Parents concerned over education reform descended on Cheyenne for a two-day blitz to express their views
to policymakers, meeting Monday with the Governor and testifying at the legislative Education Committee
Tuesday.

The grassroots group Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core met with Governor Mead on
Monday, December 9th at the capitol. The group presented him with a letter signed in just three weeks
by 1,165 citizens in strong opposition to Wyoming’s involvement in Common Core, Smarter Balanced
Assessment Consortium’s standardized testing, and the planned widespread sharing of student data.

One concerned mom said, “I wanted to ask the Governor to reconsider his stance on education reform
in Wyoming. This matter is so serious that as a parent I am considering my options for the education
of my child.”

A father and U.S. Constitution teacher in Wyoming said, “I am concerned about the Next Generation
Science Standards because they advocate anti-Wyoming ideas such as man-made global warming
through fossil fuel burning so I asked the Governor – how do the Next Generation Science
Standards align with Wyoming values?”

Another mom wanted to know in regards to the building of the State Longitudinal Data System,
“Why is it necessary to collect this much data in order to provide Wyoming children with a solid
education?”

Ultimately, the group asked the Governor, among other things, to advise the
appointed State Board of Education not to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards.
Governor Mead was also asked to remove Wyoming from the Smarter Balanced
Consortium as a governing state. The group attended the Select Committee on Statewide Education
Accountability meeting on Tuesday. The Committee voted unanimously on a bill for data privacy.

During public comment a parent encouraged the Committee to create a stringent state privacy plan.
“FERPA was amended by the United States Department of Education in 2012, undermining parental
consent provisions and permitting the sharing of student data across state agencies.” She referenced
Oklahoma House Bill 1989 as a potential model,  which prevents health and discipline records from
becoming part of a student’s education records.

Signatures are still being collected for the letter to the Governor at
http://wyomingcitizensopposingcommoncore.com/letter-governor/

If You Like Your Teacher, You Can Keep Your Teacher!

Let’s scrap the Department of Education! WHAT?!   That is crazy (extremist) Tea Party mentality that would allow for FREEDOM of CHOICE and COMPETITION in EDUCATION.  Let’s move past the, “We know better than parents what is best for their kids”, and “We MUST have a way to PROVE that kids are learning or teachers are teaching”, mentality.

I know it’s hard!  It is so easy to feel safe and secure in what we have always done.   It is easy to feel that nothing will change.   It was fine when I went to school, it was fine just last year.   Common Core is not going to affect our local schools or teachers.   If it does, then they will let us know, and fix it.

Frog in a pot of water…

I don’t typically rant on my blog!  However, the video clip was brought to my attention.  It gathered a few things together for me in my right-wing, extremist, tea party, conservative mind.  (So sad those words seem to have a negative connotation in the main stream media these days)…ranting again…sorry!

In just under ten minutes, Bill Whittle, conservative blogger, political commentator,  known for his PJ Media, gives an excellent monologue on Common Core.  He makes some rather humorous statements, blasting  Common Core,  by comparing it to Obama-care.

“If you like your teacher (*wink, *wink), you can keep your teacher!”

I don’t think he realizes how accurate he really is when he says this!   My concern for teaching leads me to focus on some disturbing facts that point to this administration’s goal to level the teaching field, and essentially distribute the “good” teachers.

The “equitable distribution of teachers and principals” is one of the stated goals of Common Core aligned reforms and found in the Race to the Top document, on page 3.

Picture1

Do teachers and principals who are supportive of Common Core realize that if they are marked as “highly effective,” they will be redistributed –without their consent– under the banner of equitable education–  to replace teachers and principals in schools that are ineffective?

This “equitable redistribution of teachers” agenda is further elaborated in the document “For Each and Every Child,” (see page 25) published this year by the Equity and Excellence Commission for the U.S. Department of Education.

Picture2

An anonymous teacher said:  “I can’t make teachers understand that the equitable distribution of effective teachers mean that they get moved if they do a good job. Principals don’t get this either. They will no longer have the ability to retain their best teachers.…  a teacher does a good job and has high test scores, so her reward is to be placed in a failing school …. And what about the people who move into a certain attendance area because they like the teachers and principals?  Schools will become revolving doors with no stability or consistency.”

I know this all seems conspiratorial…but it is all there in writing for you to see!  It is the literal transformation of our country.   What better way to do it then to start with our education, and affect an entire generation.  That is the Progressive style…slow and steady she goes!

Bill Whittle is quite witty and paints this picture when describing something OTHER than the “Cookie Cutter Common Core”, something MUCH different than has been around since our federal government decided they needed to control education.

“Let’s imagine fourteen-thousand departments of education, one for each school district in America! Let’s imagine, that each one of them trying different approaches….one BAD idea didn’t ruin the entire country for a generation AND good ideas could be copied and modified and improved EVEN more!”

Thanks goes out to Carleen Brophy for pointing this video monologue out to me!

Specials thanks to Christel Swasey and her outstanding research,  that lead me in the right direction and my understanding how Common Core is about MUCH more than JUST STANDARDS.

Call to Action Week 4

Call to Action – Week 4
We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. The Select Committee on Statewide Education
Accountability has only one more meeting (Dec 10th) before the budget session starts in
February.  This means we only have until December 9th to let them know that we do not support the Smarter Balanced Assessment and we would like them to keep it from being implemented in Wyoming.
One More Email Needs To Be Sent To The Committee
We encourage you to put “One More Concern with SBAC” in the subject line of your
email. (Consider other options like, “New Problem with SBAC”, or, “Another Concern
with SBAC” so recipients won’t think it is a form email.
– Copy and paste the committee emails into the “To” field (see emails below)
– Copy and paste the full legislature and governor into the “CC” field
– Pick from the list of Smarter Balanced Assessment concerns to include in your short
letter (we suggest picking one concern from the four options)
1) From the Memo of Understanding (MOU) between WY and SBAC: “[WY] agrees to . . .
identify and implement a plan to address barriers in State Law, statute, regulation or
policy to implementing the proposed assessment system and to addressing any such
barriers prior to full implementation of the summative assessment components of the
system”
Problem: In other words, if SBAC contradicts current state laws or practices, WY
agrees to eliminate such barriers so SBAC can be implemented. In Wyoming’s case,
four such changes would have to be made in order to adopt SBAC, thus substituting
Wyoming control with national control.
Source: http://wyomingcitizensopposingcommoncore.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/SBAC-Governing-MOUWY-
July-20131.pdf (page 14) See W.S. 21-2-304(a)(v)(E), W.S. 21-2-304(a)(v)(B), W.S. 21-2-204 (c) (ii) (A) (III),
W.S. 21-2-204 (c) (iii)(iv)
2) From the cooperative agreement between the US Dept of Ed and SBAC: “[SBAC]
must provide timely and complete access to any and all data collected at the State
level to [the US Dept of Ed].”
Problem: If WY adopts SBAC, and SBAC is bound to share data with the US Dept of
Ed, WY would be binding themselves to the sharing of student data with the federal
government.
Source: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-assessment/sbac-cooperative-agreement.pdf
3) Wyoming does not have a representative on the Executive Committee of the
SBAC, which is charged with the task of oversight of the Smarter Balanced
Assessment System.
Problem: WY’s voice in SBAC is so small it will not make a difference, but we
would still be bound to follow SBAC’s decisions. We lose sovereignty over
education.
Source: http://www.smarterbalanced.org/about/executive-committee/
4) From the SBAC Governance Structure Document, to exit the SBAC, Wyoming
would need federal approval: “Step 5. Upon approval of the request, the Project
Management Partner will then submit a change of membership to the USED for
approval”
Problem: If WY wanted out of SBAC we would have to get approval from the US
Dept of Ed. If the federal government doesn’t want us to leave SBAC, we can’t. Not
only does WY lose control in SBAC but we can’t remedy the situation by leaving
SBAC.
Source: http://wyomingcitizensopposingcommoncore.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/SBACGoverning-
MOU-WY-July-20131.pdf (page 12)
If you haven’t yet signed the Letter To The Governor:
If you haven’t already signed the letter to Governor Mead, please do so now and ask your spouse
and friends to sign it, too. The deadline is December 8th.
http://wyomingcitizensopposingcommoncore.com/letter-governor/
 
Thank you for taking the time to write! Feel free to pass this email on to other concerned
Wyoming citizens and encourage them to write in.
Sincerely,
Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core
www.wyomingcitizensopposingcommoncore.com
 
Governor Mead: governor@wyo.gov
Wyoming Legislature:
Mark.Baker@wyoleg.govEric.Barlow@wyoleg.govRosie.Berger@wyoleg.gov,
Stan.Blake@wyoleg.govDave.Blevins@wyoleg.govGregg.Blikre@wyoleg.gov,
Kermit.Brown@wyoleg.govDonald.Burkhart@wyoleg.govJames.Byrd@wyoleg.gov,
Rita.Campbell@wyoleg.govRichard.Cannady@wyoleg.gov,
Kathy.Coleman@wyoleg.govCathy.Connolly@wyoleg.gov,
Kathy.Davison@wyoleg.govJohn.Eklund@wyoleg.govKen.Esquibel@wyoleg.gov,
Lee.Filer@wyoleg.govJohn.Freeman@wyoleg.govGerald.Gay@wyoleg.gov,
Keith.Gingery@wyoleg.govPatrick.Goggles@wyoleg.govMike.Greear@wyoleg.gov,
Matt.Greene@wyoleg.govMarti.Halverson@wyoleg.govElaine.Harvey@wyoleg.gov,
Hans.Hunt@wyoleg.govLynn.Hutchings@wyoleg.govAllen.Jaggi@wyoleg.gov,
Norine.Kasperik@wyoleg.govDan.Kirkbride@wyoleg.gov,
Kendell.Kroeker@wyoleg.govSamuel.Krone@wyoleg.govLloyd.Larsen@wyoleg.gov,
Tom.Lockhart@wyoleg.govBunky.Loucks@wyoleg.govTom.Lubnau@wyoleg.gov,
Robert.McKim@wyoleg.govDavid.Miller@wyoleg.govGlenn.Moniz@wyoleg.gov,
Bob.Nicholas@wyoleg.govDavid.Northrup@wyoleg.govJohn.Patton@wyoleg.gov,
Jerry.Paxton@wyoleg.govRuth.Petroff@wyoleg.govGarry.Piiparinen@wyoleg.gov,
Tom.Reeder@wyoleg.govMark.Semlek@wyoleg.govAlbert.Sommers@wyoleg.gov,
Sue.Wallis@wyoleg.govTom.Walters@wyoleg.govStephen.Watt@wyoleg.gov,
Sue.Wilson@wyoleg.govNathan.Winters@wyoleg.govDavid.Zwonitzer@wyoleg.gov,
Dan.Zwonitzer@wyoleg.govJim.Anderson.SD28@wyoleg.gov,
Paul.Barnard@wyoleg.govEli.Bebout@wyoleg.govBruce.Burns@wyoleg.gov,
Cale.Case@wyoleg.govLeland.Christensen@wyoleg.govStan.Cooper@wyoleg.gov,
Bernadine.Craft@wyoleg.govDan.Dockstader@wyoleg.gov,
Ogden.Driskill@wyoleg.govFred.Emerich@wyoleg.govFloyd.Esquibel@wyoleg.gov,
Gerald.Geis@wyoleg.govJohn.Hastert@wyoleg.govLarry.Hicks@wyoleg.gov,
John.Hines@wyoleg.govWayne.Johnson@wyoleg.govCurt.Meier@wyoleg.gov,
Leslie.Nutting@wyoleg.govDrew.Perkins@wyoleg.govRay.Peterson@wyoleg.gov,
Tony.Ross@wyoleg.govJohn.Schiffer@wyoleg.govCharles.Scott@wyoleg.gov,
Michael.VonFlatern@wyoleg.gov