"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

From the Taxpayers to the Legislators: Common Concerns Regarding Common Core Standards.

We have been encouraging Missouri citizens and other taxpayers to contact your state legislators regarding common core standards, wanting to know their stance on states relinquishing educational sovereignty and signing onto to unfunded debt.

I have been corresponding with a friend from another state who has contacted her state legislator and here is a chronicle of events:


Friend Writing Day 1:

Today I got my 1st email response from a state legislator re: the Common Core. He said he wasn't aware of any strings and if there were any, they were federal strings. Talk about demoralizing.

My response:

And did you ask him, why in the world would he accept ANY money and/or strings from the federal government as educating children is a sovereign right afforded to the state?

Friend’s response, Day 2:

That will be my next missive. Here's what my last note said as an example of an unproductive way to contact a state legislator:

Dear Representative ******,

I am again writing to you regarding the sale of local control of education to the federal government. Today I received an email from the *** Parent Council which included the following:

"For fiscal year 2011, the year we are in, the Governor proposes holding K-12 education harmless from new cuts by using one-time available federal funds of $150 million. In other words, the Governor is proposing that there be no mid-year cuts for our public schools; that is good news! We will be encouraging the Legislature to follow the Governor's lead."

Some of us don't agree that relinquishing local control of curriculum is a nifty way to raise cash. What are the strings attached to these dollars? Most of the public is in the dark. PLEASE represent our students, teachers and parents by raising the issue that most are not brave enough to acknowledge: Our state’s adoption of the Common Core Standards removes parents from the process of curriculum choices in our state. Some things should not be for sale. At least the public needs to know what Arne Duncan is getting for the money. Does a possibility exist for public comment on this issue at the State Capitol?



Follow up note from the friend:

I've asked the governor's office where the federal $150 million came from. Surely that info will be in my inbox momentarily. Some unfortunate bonuses of the common core were the gratis spine-ectomies performed on state leaders.

The more I discover about CCSSI, the more I realize I have much to learn. Just wish I could communicate to my fellow citizens:

· what it involves,

· how control of our own students' education and privacy matters more than dollars,

· the federal dollars are woefully inadequate to pay for implementation and

· the whole program will be counterproductive as parents, the very individuals with immediate, sincere and irrefutable interests in student outcomes, are removed from the equation. In my opinion, the state does not want the public to know, as evidenced in part by the summertime adoption of CCSSI when it first reared its ugly head in the state. As a conservative I am dismayed by the lack of leadership and seeming hypocrisy of state officials.


This was not written by a Missourian, but the issues are the same, even as it relates to the State Board adopting common core standards in the summertime when there was no legislative oversight, and our overwhelmingly conservative state legislature which refuses to address the issue.

Apparently common core standards create common questions about state sovereignty, privacy issues, unfunded mandates and the lack of state officials apparently not being concerned about those issues. My friend and I suggest to these otherwise conservative legislators to read the Constitution for their "spine-ectomie" condition and grow a spine when it comes to protecting and asserting states' rights.

We’ll keep you apprised if the taxpayer receives an answer to her questions. Will she receive similar information (which we refuted) DESE sent out (not to the taxpayers but to the legislators) in response to these same type of questions?

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