"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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Monday, July 8, 2013

Resolution For School Boards Ready to Reclaim Their Rightful Control Of Education

This week our blog will focus on school boards. Already several of them around the state are beginning to question the right of DESE to dictate education terms for school districts. They are wondering what they can do to reclaim the control they, by statute, have over both the educational goals of the district and the costs of delivering education to their students. Today we share with school boards a document that will reassert the rights of school boards to be self directed to the extent currently allowed by law. It also asserts the rights of parents and students, teachers and principals to privacy of their individual student or teacher/administrator data and protects districts from being the agents of collection of data that is planned to be shared widely beyond the district. 

The Resolution of the School District X to Stop the Implementation of Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) 2013 is a document you can share with your school district and members of the taxpaying community. Tremendous effort has gone into documenting the unconventional, and in some cases illegal, pathways to Common Core Standards development and adoption. The resolution cites language from the CCSSI developers, National Governors Association, Council of Chief State School Officers, CCSSI Validation Committee member testimony, UNESCO, and Missouri State Statute to make the case that the adoption of Common Core circumvented the legislative process, violates state statute and robs local districts of their lawful control over education.

We share  with you today in the blog just the beginning of the Resolution and encourage you to go here to download the entire document.

This RESOLUTION was made and adopted by the Board of Education of the School District of __________________, R- ____, on the date set forth after the signature of each of the board members set forth below.
I. Whereas CCSSI is Education without Representation:
1. Whereas, CCSSI was never approved by Congress, but was included in the “four assurances” required of governors to apply for of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund and Race to the Top grants funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Congressional approval to fund a new national education program was bypassed.  Many Congressmen still know nothing about it. (http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/vision-education-reform-united-states-secretary-arne-duncans-remarks-united-nations-ed),
2. Whereas, CCSSI was never approved by MO State legislators; they were bypassed as well.
3. Whereas, CCSSI was never formally reviewed and approved by our local school board, and the Common Core standards are copyrighted to non-government, trade organizations; and whereas, adoption of these copyright standards creates irreversible changes to the American political system and damage to traditional education and to local autonomy; yet local schools are responsible for unknown costs associated with its implementation. (http://www.corestandards.org/terms-of-use),
4. Whereas, CCSSI is not a state-led initiative and should not be called such; it was not commissioned by any state legislature, initiated or written by any State School Boards, nor by any local school board.  Pearson’s,  Sally Hampton and Phil Daro spearheaded the development of the standards (http://commoncore.pearsoned.com/index.cfm?locator=PS11Ye)  Elected state and local officials had no idea Common Core even existed until it was thrust upon them by requirements to access stimulus-funded grant projects and the No Child Left Behind Waiver scheme,
5. Whereas, the international influence of the Bill Gates Foundation in the Gates-UNESCO agreement of 2004, and the Pearson Foundation, associated with a global publishing company based in the UK that has offices in 70 other countries, gave substantial funds for the development of the CCSSI, making their influence greater than that of local school boards,
6. Whereas, the State Board of Education was not authorized by language in the sections of SB 380 the Outstanding Schools Act to transfer its responsibility to develop, that is write, edit, and evaluate, state standards to a Washington-based, non-governmental organization that controls the number and content of the standards. Personnel of Achieve Inc., having no classroom teaching experience, were chief architects of the standards, while MO faculty representatives of higher education and active classroom teachers from English Language Arts and mathematics did not participate in the drafting of the standards. (http://www.nga.org/cms/home/news-room/news-releases/page_2009/col2-content/main-content-list/title_common-core-state-standards-development-work-group-and-feedback-group-announced.html),
Continue reading here ....

1.     Recognizes the CCSS for what it is – a component of the four assurances that are designed to manipulate states and facilitate unconstitutional federal overreach to standardize and control the education of our children for the purposes of workforce planning, agreed to by Governor Nixon outside of due process while on the Board of Directors of the National Governors Association,

2.     Recognizes that, as per Missouri Revised Statute 160.514 of the Missouri Outstanding School Act, curriculum frameworks adopted by the state board of education may be used by school districts, and we exercise our right not to adopt the Missouri Core Standards/Common Core State Standards curricular framework for the ______________ School District,

3.     Recognizes that, as per Missouri Revised Statute 160.514 of the same Act, the state board of education shall develop a statewide assessment system that provides maximum flexibility for local school districts to determine the degree to which students in the public schools of the state are proficient in the knowledge, skills, and competencies adopted by such board, and we exercise our right to insist on that flexibility, declining to participate in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium assessments,

4.     Rejects the collection of student assessment data outside of the limits specified in Missouri Revised Statute 160.518; and rejects the collection of personal student data for any non-educational purpose without the prior written consent of an adult student or a child student’s parent or legal guardian and rejects the sharing of such personal data, without the prior written consent of an adult student or a child student’s parent or legal guardian, with any person or entity other than schools or education agencies within the state

5.     Insist that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall adopt  academic standards and a statewide assessment system as required by Missouri Revised Statute 160.526 of the same Act, that is, as appropriated by the legislature,

6.     Call on the Governor and the Missouri State Board of Education to withdraw from the Common Core State Standards Initiative, and we ask the Missouri State Legislature to discontinue funding programs in association with, The Common Core State Standards Initiative/Missouri’s Core and any other alliance that promotes and tests for un-American and inferior curricular, standards and assessments aligned to them; and,

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