AP History Changes Lean Towards a Negative American Perspective

Spirit of 76 hot plate

The College Board, headed by Common Core architect, David Coleman, recently published a new 98 page framework for the AP History course and exam.

Jane Robbins of the American Principles Project writes concerning the recent changes to the AP History courses in an article recently published by the Heartland Institute.

The article, “New Advancement Placement Framework Distorts American History,” focuses on the change and “is best described as a curricular coup that sets a number of dangerous precedents.”

These precedents include a negative view of American History and ignores the United States’ founding principles and their influence of democracy and the role it played in abolishing slavery.

Robbins says,

A particularly troubling failure of the Framework is its dismissal of the Declaration of Independence and the principles so eloquently expressed there. The Framework’s entire discussion of this seminal document consists of just one phrase in one sentence: “The colonists’ belief in the superiority of republican self-government based on the natural rights of the people found its clearest American expression in Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and in the Declaration of Independence.” The Framework thus ignores the philosophical underpinnings of the Declaration and the willingness of the signers to pledge “our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor” to the cause of freedom.

The Framework also sidesteps any discussion of the personalities and achievements of American giants whose courage and conviction helped build our country. It excises Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, and the other founders from the United States’ story. George Washington’s historical contributions are reduced to a brief sentence fragment noting his Farewell Address. Two pages later, the Framework grants teachers the flexibility to discuss the architecture of Spanish missions, which presumably merits more attention than the heroes of 1776.

The Framework consistently highlights negative events while ignoring positive achievements. For example, although it does not mention the sacrifices U.S. civilians and armed forces made to defeat fascism, it does recommend that teachers focus on “[w]artime experiences, such as the internment of Japanese Americans, challenges to civil liberties, debates over race and segregation, and the decision to drop the atomic bomb [which] raised questions about American values.”  Full Article HERE.

Certainly parents and teachers of AP students would agree that these changes are the rewriting of our history and culture that will  fundamentally transform our country.

Larry Krieger a retired AP U.S. History teacher from Pennsylvania states,

” [The] College Board Framework is far more interested in the concepts of superiority and conflict than it is in the concept of cooperation and unity.”

You may read the thorough analysis HERE as it breaks down each time period.

I agree with Jane Robbins,

AP U.S. History should give students a balanced curriculum that acknowledges both America’s founding principles and its continuing struggles to be faithful to those principles. Instead, the new College Board Framework seems determined to create a cynical generation of what it calls “apprentice historians.” Is this really what we want our children to learn about America’s history?

The AP US History Framework is not a fait accompli. There is still time for parents, educators and public officials to closely scrutinize it and then demand a new curriculum that does not trump state curricular requirements with warmed-over political correctness.

Parents and educators can contact the College Board National Offices with your concerns at their website below or directly with the following emails:

45 Columbus Avenue
New York, NY 10023
Phone: 212-713-8000

Parents: apstudents@info.collegeboard.org
Educators: apexams@info.collegeboard.org
Let your voice be heard and inform others of this attempt to rewrite history!

 

Common Core Issues…True Story!

This is PERFECT!  Most of the time I get these types of questions…

“Which standard exactly are you talking about?”

“I don’t see anything wrong and I’ve read the standards!”

“Kids need to be prepared for the future we can’t even imagine”…(I’m pretty sure my HS teachers didn’t ever imagine using Twitter or Ipads in class,  yet we are doing JUST fine!).WhenSomeOneAsks

Wyoming Teacher asks Thought Provoking Questions on Common Core’s Implemenation

teacherletter

Diane Evans, a recently retired Wyoming educator, wrote a letter that speaks of concerns and addresses many questions we all should be asking about Common Core’s implementation. I hope that many people across our state and even nation will have the opportunity to read it.

A question one might ask after reading this is, “Why aren’t more teachers speaking out, or asking these same questions?” I know from personal experience that it is truly about fear of repercussions from those that are, “just doing their job”, and implementing something that shouldn’t be in our schools in the first place. Of course there are those that believe that Common Core will be the next best thing for education, using words such as “rigor”, “global competiveness“, and “national collaboration”. Those words are the sign of those that have not looked into the un-American way CC was brought to our local schools. These are the same talking points that the creators and funders of CC would have you believe are the reason we need this sweeping change to education standards. There are even those teachers that claim that since using CC wonderful things have happened in their classrooms. Those things could have happened without the government mandating the change, along with more data collection, federally funded curriculum and testing, and loss of local control of education, stifling the voice of parents, teachers, and school boards.

Read Diane’s heartfelt questions and concerns:

February 4, 2014

 To Whom It May Concern:

 As a former Wyoming educator, I have several questions concerning the implementation of the common core standards and why the federal government is pushing so hard to centralize the power of education away from local control and into Washington.  The Federal Government needs to be up front with the people in answering these questions.

 What is the reasoning behind all the student data collection?  Teachers are inundated with record keeping and student data collection.  What is the real purpose behind this?  How is it improving the education system and how is it going to be used?  What types of data are being collected?  How concerned should parents be about the use of that data?  

 Why has the Federal Government pushed schools so hard to implement these standards and offered financial incentives to do so?   What has happened to the local control and parental empowerment in our education system?  Why is Washington centralizing more education power to the federal government?  What is our entire education system going to look like in the next five to ten years?  Will national standardized tests force identical curriculum mandates across the nation?  If so, who will choose that curriculum? 

 Concerned parents need to be asking these questions.  They need to ask for real answers and transparency when it comes to the education of their children.  I am concerned at the lack of transparency from not only the federal government, but the state governing bodies as well.  Our elected officials need to represent the people with openness and honesty concerning the common core standards and their long term goals and effects on the education system. 

 Hopefully, these questions will be answered honestly and parents will have a clear picture of what the schools will look like in the near future.  Hopefully, parents will begin their own research into this issue and take a stand for the education of their children.  As educators, we encourage students to think “out of the box.”  This new push for equality, squelching creativity in the classroom, and placing the control of our education system into the hands of the federal government might just put them back into that box.  Let’s do the research and find out the answers to the many questions that are looming over the implementation of these standards and why the big push for the federal government to take over the control in this area. 

Sincerely,

Diane Evans

Cody, Wyoming

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

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!

New Year’s Resolution to Stop Common Core

My-2014-New-Years-Resolutions

Have you set any New Year’s Resolutions?  How about setting one that will have a HUGE  positive impact on education and school reform in the years to come?

Joy Pullman‘s resolution was published by the Washington Examiner today.   She knows just how to put into words what needs to be said and done concerning Common Core State Standards! You can read it below or at the link listed.  If you aren’t already familar with her work with School Refore News and the Heartland Institute, it is well worth reading.

A New Year’s resolution for the kids: End Common Core before it’s too late

BY JOY PULLMANN | JANUARY 2, 2014 AT 10:14 AM

With the arrival of 2014, now is the time to make resolutions about what we should change in coming months.

As most legislative sessions begin in January, it’s a good time for lawmakers and their constituents to resolve to ditch the national education goals and tests called “Common Core.”

Many seem to believe Common Core justifies a massive expansion of unaccountable bureaucracy and government coercion at all levels.

We hear repeatedly from presidency-sniffers such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and power-sniffers like Education Secretary Arne Duncan that Common Core will transform U.S. schools into Never Never Land, where children are daily administered strong doses of something called “rigor” and stewed in vague notions of “critical thinking.”

Common Core certainly will transform the nation’s schools. Our right to representative government has been blown away by a national education control system created behind closed doors by powerbrokers in D.C. nonprofit organizations that have never improved one school and typically never taught one student.

According to the agreements governors signed to start Common Core (although no governor has authority over state education systems without the consent of their legislatures), the initiative consists of standards and tests.

The two national Common Core tests are exclusively funded by the federal government, and the feds have established a review panel to oversee those tests down to the very questions, even though three federal laws prohibit the federal government from influencing or controlling tests and curriculum.

Common Coreniks have faith in the apparatus they’ve created like some people believe in UFOs or the Illuminati.

Thirty years of scientific research, however, shows education monopolists in both parties are wrong to put their faith in standards and tests as a means to provide “accountability” without doing the hard work to empower families by creating competition among schools.

Education standards do not improve student achievement, according to Brookings Institution research.

Common Core is nothing but a bundle of consultant-generated theories that never have shown themselves effective (or shown themselves at all) in any classroom, let alone every classroom.

Promising Common Core will produce a renaissance of literary knowledge and love for America’s Founders because one line in it says kids should read unspecified “founding documents” is like promising takeovers of foreign countries will generate a stable Middle East.

In fact, Common Core is more likely to do the opposite of what is being promised — it recommends students read just the Bill of Rights, not the Constitution, and suggests violently anti-Constitution modern scholarship to offer kids their first and presumably only in-school encounter with that text.

The education monopolists argue “accountability” means not giving parents power to make decisions about where their child will attend school, but instead tying more and more policies to tests now controlled by the federal government.

Tests now influence school funding, teacher evaluations, hiring and firing, school takeovers, school grades and more.

And these tests must be all online, which is so expensive the Obama administration is raising everyone’s phone taxes to give schools more broadband subsidies.

Moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas have been fed lines for years about how the nation’s elites have only our best interests at heart while they sell our children into debt and regulatory slavery to fund their self-perpetuating fantasies.

Families and some lawmakers around the nation are finally saying enough!

Common Core tests will hit the nation’s schools in the 2014-15 school year. This spring is the last chance for states to back away, which they should resolve to do as fast as possible.

Joy Pullman

That last line, “this spring is the last chance for states to back away” is hitting closer and closer to home!  Did you know that MANY school districts in Wyoming, including mine, have VOLUNTEERED to use our students as guniee pigs for the pilot test this spring?   Sweetwater County School District #2, has signed up to pilot the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) test prior to it going “live” next year.  Did  parents receive notification of this?

I truly hope that our state does not see the negative impact that happened in other states when they tried to pilot the national common core test.   A website was set up by Lucy Calkins, an amazing eductor who has written many  books and curriculum tools to help teach ELA (English Language Arts).  I have used her materials over the years and loved them.  She recently wrote a book, Pathways to the Common Core, that helps teachers use her techniques to teach the CCSS.  She then created this site to allow for feedback on how testing went, since many had used her suggestions for teaching CCSS.    The comments clearly show that students are not prepared for these types of tests, let alone the teachers being prepared to teach all that might be on the test. There is an “Emotional Distress” section along with many other problems listed.  Take a few mintues and read responses from parents and teachers here.  Be prepared and have a box of Kleenex handy!  Some of them are heart breaking, especially to me,  being both an educator and a parent.

Please make it your resolution to join your voice with others that are fighting this intrustion on our children’s education, privacy, and teacher’s careers.  Along with the information I list on this blog, I suggest these other sites for great resources as you help join our fight to STOP COMMON CORE!

Truth in Amerian Education

What is Common Core

Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core

Wyoming Freedom on Education

~Christy Hooley

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.

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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.

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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.