"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, April 13, 2013

Common Core Collaboration: Detrimental for Leadership Qualities?

Common Core standards stress collaboration and groupthink.  The proponents will tell you it is necessary to make students successful, global thinkers and ready for the 21st century economy, whatever a 21st century economy looks like.

Not so fast.  An article in forbes.com details what makes a leader and it's not what the CCSS proponents are promising will equip your child with strong work skills and success.  From Leadership Tip: Hire the Quiet Neurotic, Not the Impressive Extrovert:

Most leaders are attracted to the guy or woman who seems confident and outgoing, unafraid in any situation or facing any challenge. They expect an extrovert to infuse any team with energy, to push ahead on projects and to motivate colleagues to do their best work. Meantime they have low expectations of anyone who appears neurotic, who seems withdrawn and too anxious to live up to their potential. Leaders expect neurotic employees to contribute little and to drag down colleagues’ morale.

Not true, says a new study by Corinne Bendersky, an associate professor at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. In a paper called “The Downfall of Extraverts and Rise of Neurotics: The Dynamic Process of Status Allocation in Task Groups,” Bendersky and co-author Neha Parikh Shah, an assistant professor at Rutgers Business School, explodes stereotypes about how extroverts and neurotics perform on teams. It turns out that extroverts contribute less than team members expect and the contributions they do make are not valued highly over time. Neurotics, by contrast, are motivated to work hard on behalf of their teams, who wind up appreciating their efforts, in part because they exceed everyone’s expectations. In the end, extroverts decline in the teams’ esteem while neurotics rise in status.

The lesson of the study: Bendersky says team leaders should be wary of extroverts. “The core of an extroverted personality is to be attention-seeking,” she observes. “It turns out they just keep talking, they don’t listen very well and they’re not very receptive to other people’s input. They don’t contribute as much as people think they will.” If she were putting together a team, says Bendersky,“I would staff it with more neurotics and fewer extroverts than my initial instinct would lead me to do.”
Maybe those introverts and neurotics need to be left alone with their own thoughts and answers to problems.  Good luck to these budding leaders as they are mandated to collaborate and share their work with others.

Friday, April 12, 2013

"Jews Are Evil" Writing Assignment. Is this Due to Common Core?

Is this Common Core at work, indoctrination or both?  Or is it something else?

From timesunion.com and School apologizes for 'Nazi' writing assignment:

The Albany school district is embroiled in controversy after a teacher assigned this assignment to students that requires them to write an essay that proves the writer is loyal to the German Nazi's and that "Jews are evil and the source of our problems."

The Albany school district is embroiled in controversy after a teacher assigned this assignment to students that requires them to write an essay that proves the writer is loyal to the German Nazi's and that "Jews are evil and the source of our problems."

Think like a Nazi, the assignment required students. Argue why Jews are evil.

Students in some Albany High School English classes were asked this week as part of a persuasive writing assignment to make an abhorrent argument: "You must argue that Jews are evil, and use solid rationale from government propaganda to convince me of your loyalty to the Third Reich!"
Students were asked to watch and read Nazi propaganda, then pretend their teacher was a Nazi government official who needed to be convinced of their loyalty. In five paragraphs, they were required to prove that Jews were the source of Germany's problems.

The exercise was intended to challenge students to formulate a persuasive argument and was given to three classes, Albany Superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard said. She said the assignment should have been worded differently.

Vanden Wyngaard said the exercise reflects the type of writing expected of students under the new Common Core curriculum, the tough new academic standards that require more sophisticated writing. Such assignments attempt to connect English with history and social studies.

She said she understood the academic intent of the assignment — to make an argument based only on limited information at hand.

To help with their writing, they were required to incorporate the elements of an argument identified by Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher. Students had to look up the definitions of "Logos" (persuasion by reasoning), "Pathos" (persuasion by emotional appeal) and "Ethos" (persuasion by the author's character) and choose one of those argument styles before writing.

Here are a couple of thoughts on this assignment:
  • Persuasive arguments should not be based on identifying with a group intent on genocide
  • Would having students argue why Jews are evil constitute hate thought toward a specific group?
  • Is this really due to Common Core curriculum/standards/assessments?  If it is because of having to infuse English with history and social studies, this would be a prime example of why these "clearer, rigorous" standards should be tossed.  Can the principal provide a standard backing up her statement?  Is the main problem with these standards is how they are structured or lack of teacher training?
  • A criticism of these standards is they operate with context not being important to lessons.  The principal's statement bolsters that criticism.  Read about how the Gettysburg Address is now being taught without context via Common Core and what a disaster it is:  Another problem we found relates to the pedagogical method used in the Gettysburg Address exemplar that the Common Core calls “cold reading.”  This gives students a text they have never seen and asks them to read it with no preliminary introduction. This mimics the conditions of a standardized test on which students are asked to read material they have never seen and answer multiple choice questions about the passage.

I called the reporter who wrote this story and confirmed this teacher worksheet was teacher generated, not from a curriculum company.  This teacher used the same bad judgment as did the teacher in Georgia writing a math problem incorporating historical references to slavery in which slaves picked oranges.

Common Core implementation and standards are clearly a disaster.  Is the lesson here is that cross curricular lessons are in fact not more rigorous or clearer?  What kind of education is this that students have to come up with persuasive arguments with limited knowledge of the subject based on siding with a group set on the extermination of specific groups of people?  Maybe "Logos, Pathos and Ethos" should be incorporated in an assignment after watching films and reading historical facts about the Holocaust camps and the millions of people who died at the hands of the Nazis.  But why give students context?  That's not important in the standards in which process over content is sacrosanct. 

As a friend said to me:

Can you imagine if students are so good at debating that they convince people Jews are evil? 

What Pandora's Box is being opened by aligning to these standards?  

The New Spin from Common Core Proponents

Get ready for the new talking points from the proponents of Common Core.  The first comes from the Indiana PTA (already repeated by Missouri DESE) in that because we've spent money on unproven, non-researched standards and teacher training that may or may not be good educational practices, we need to keep spending more to "see if it works".  Maybe if Ford had gone along with that line of thought the Edsel would have been an even more expensive boondoggle.

From theindychannel.com and Indiana PTA joins discussion over Common Core standards, pushing for implementation:
"Indiana PTA says some school districts have already spent two years planning and making purchasing decisions based on the implementation of Common Core, and it's too late to turn back now.

"Let's follow through with what we've started and let's see how it plays out, instead of switching mid-stream and causing the school systems to have to go out and spend even more money to switch curriculum again," said Sharon Wise, president of Indiana PTA, which represents 24,000 parents and students."

The National PTA has received over $1 Million from Bill Gates to push CCSS.  This line of "we've already spent money and time in teacher training" was used in the latest DESE video from the principal Beth Houf.

We then have this talking point from siliconvalleycf.org on twitter:

Parents need time with educators so they can support the implementation of Common Core Standards and so they can help their children succeed

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Message to DESE: Please Allow Comments and Questions on Your Common Core Videos

The latest from DESE and another Common Core video:

Do we have to wait until Chris Nicastro comes to town hall meetings (if Senate Bill 210 passes) to discuss Common Core and ask questions?  Two main points in this video: Common Core standards will ensure students are successful and this principal talks about the time that would be wasted if the standards were not implemented.  What she doesn't tell you is that these standards that she thinks will make students successful are untested and non-researched.  How can she make these claims?

With all due respect, I would like to ask this teacher what she thinks about these articles about Common Core in kindergarten and the resulting disaster on children:

  •  http://www.edweek.org/media/joint_statement_on_core_standards.pdf....Statement signed by over 500 early childhood educators in opposition to the standards:  We have grave concerns  about the core standards for young children nowbeing written by the National GovernorsAssociation and the Council of Chief StateSchool Officers. The draft standards madepublic in January conflict with compellingnew research in cognitive science, neuroscience, child development, and early childhoodeducation about how young children learn, what they need to learn,and how best to teach them in kindergarten and the early grades
  • http://ilraiseyourhand.org/content/testing-testing
  • http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/04/11/kind-a11.html (This is from a socialist website)
  • http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/playtime_over_kindergartners_ItkfEkiosY3UOa8KpXwj8K
  • http://dianeravitch.net/2013/02/26/why-the-common-core-will-fail/  (Note comment from the reader:  liberalteacher
    The major problem of Common Core is that it suspends all understanding of child development. I just got a list today of math vocabulary words Kindergarten students are supposed to understand under Common Core. I am sorry but I do not think I ever thought of the word “decompose” when I was in Kindergarten in 1960. And yet, I managed to get to college without a curriculum that would make me college ready.

I could ask those questions which are reasonable questions if comments were allowed on the video.  But once again, DESE doesn't seem to want to answer questions regarding research and authentic classroom experiences by teachers who have actually used the standards in their classroom to childrens' detriment.

Where is the transparency?  Where is the dialogue?  It's our money funding Common Core (and the funding for these videos) and it's our kids.  We deserve a seat at the table and our questions to be heard and answered.

And Yet Another Teacher Says "Enough"

Here is another letter from a teacher disillusioned with Common Core and other special interest education reform mandates.  I don't know where this teacher is from, but she might as well have been from Missouri because, well, we are ALL "common".  How will DESE spin this letter?  What will be different in Missouri since we are all under the same mandates?

 From bgfay750blogspot.com and I am a teacher, and I am tired:

by savanna

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

              -- William Butler Yeats, “The Second Coming”
I am a teacher, and I am tired.
Tired of coming home every night angry, abused, and insulted.
Tired of being treated as a child, as a robot, as a steppingstone for politician$ and publi$hing companie$ to make more money.
Tired of ignorance littering the air: “the Common Core is an exciting time in education!” or “APPR is just showing off the wonderful work you already do!”
Tired of being told to “wait it out,” that the “pendulum will swing the other way eventually” while witnessing the casualties pile up – causalities with names and dreams and futures and the RIGHT to the BEST EDUCATION we can give them.
Tired of being afraid to stand up for what I know is right for our kids and our country because I am afraid of losing my job and being unable to pay my bills.
Tired of my superiors being afraid to stand up for what they know is right for our kids and our country because they, too, are afraid of losing their livelihood.
Tired of wanting to be better, volunteering to do additional work, and watching helplessly as any progress I have made is brushed aside by the newest educational reform acronym.
Tired of being told, “Ohh, sorry, but my hands are tied,” accompanied by a half smile, a shrug of the shoulders.
Tired of spending hours of my life documenting and sorting and filing instead of revising and learning and improving.
Tired of wasting taxpayer money on binders and tabs and computer paper and ink.
Tired of being a taxpayer, watching as my money is spent on binders and tabs and computer paper and ink instead of STUDENTS and STUDENTS and STUDENTS and STUDENTS.
Tired of paying my student loan bills and nostalgically remembering that I chose to be a teacher, that I wanted to teach, blissfully ignorant of what lay ahead.
Tired of my two degrees and experience and individuality being ignored and devalued.
Tired of knowing what’s best for my students, but being told NOT to do it.
Tired of telling the best and brightest young people NOT to be teachers – and meaning it.
Tired of being told that if I love literature, then I’d better choose another profession.
Tired of Googling “what can I do besides teach?” only to close out of the browser every time, knowing there is nothing I’d be better at or love more than what was formerly known as “teaching.”
Tired of living in a country where my dream job no longer exists – where “teacher” is now synonymous with data-collector, test-prepper, script-reader, automaton.
Tired of grappling with the notion that I now have a job instead of a life or even a career.
Tired of disillusionment poisoning even the best of days.
Tired of telling my students that they will be heard if they support their arguments with evidence, yet knowing in my heart that that is a lie.
Tired of worrying about my own future children, who will either be numbers under this developing “educational” system – or dealing with the wreckage of a failed, expensive national tragedy in which all of the best teachers have either abandoned this sinking ship or remain on board as empty shells, whispered voices, gasping for air.
I am tired, but I am still here – and there are many of me.
Join us.  Say something.  Do something.
Our collective future depends on it.
The only suggestion I have is a revision for the last line.  "Our individual future depends on it".  Common Core proponents, Jeb Bush, Bill Gates and edreform friends already have a lock on the collective future.  It's the individual future that's bleak.

Teacher Quits Because of Common Core. How Would DESE Respond?

From the Washington Post and Teacher’s resignation letter: ‘My profession … no longer exists’:

STEM rules the day and “data driven” education seeks only conformity, standardization, testing and a zombie-like adherence to the shallow and generic Common Core, along with a lockstep of oversimplified so-called Essential Learnings. Creativity, academic freedom, teacher autonomy, experimentation and innovation are being stifled in a misguided effort to fix what is not broken in our system of public education and particularly not at Westhill.

A long train of failures has brought us to this unfortunate pass. In their pursuit of Federal tax dollars, our legislators have failed us by selling children out to private industries such as Pearson Education. The New York State United Teachers union has let down its membership by failing to mount a much more effective and vigorous campaign against this same costly and dangerous debacle. Finally, it is with sad reluctance that I say our own administration has been both uncommunicative and unresponsive to the concerns and needs of our staff and students by establishing testing and evaluation systems that are Byzantine at best and at worst, draconian. This situation has been exacerbated by other actions of the administration, in either refusing to call open forum meetings to discuss these pressing issues, or by so constraining the time limits of such meetings that little more than a conveying of information could take place. This lack of leadership at every level has only served to produce confusion, a loss of confidence and a dramatic and rapid decaying of morale. The repercussions of these ill-conceived policies will be telling and shall resound to the detriment of education for years to come. The analogy that this process is like building the airplane while we are flying would strike terror in the heart of anyone should it be applied to an actual airplane flight, a medical procedure, or even a home repair. Why should it be acceptable in our careers and in the education of our children?

My profession is being demeaned by a pervasive atmosphere of distrust, dictating that teachers cannot be permitted to develop and administer their own quizzes and tests (now titled as generic “assessments”) or grade their own students’ examinations. The development of plans, choice of lessons and the materials to be employed are increasingly expected to be common to all teachers in a given subject. This approach not only strangles creativity, it smothers the development of critical thinking in our students and assumes a one-size-fits-all mentality more appropriate to the assembly line than to the classroom. Teacher planning time has also now been so greatly eroded by a constant need to “prove up” our worth to the tyranny of APPR (through the submission of plans, materials and “artifacts” from our teaching) that there is little time for us to carefully critique student work, engage in informal intellectual discussions with our students and colleagues, or conduct research and seek personal improvement through independent study. We have become increasingly evaluation and not knowledge driven. Process has become our most important product, to twist a phrase from corporate America, which seems doubly appropriate to this case.

After writing all of this I realize that I am not leaving my profession, in truth, it has left me. It no longer exists. I feel as though I have played some game halfway through its fourth quarter, a timeout has been called, my teammates’ hands have all been tied, the goal posts moved, all previously scored points and honors expunged and all of the rules altered.

Read more here.

Wait.  Didn't DESE tell us teachers would be able to use their own curriculum?  Is Mr. Conti incorrect or do you trust his experiences vs DESE's unproven claims?  How would these two teachers touting Missouri untested  CCSS practices  respond to Mr. Conti's actual classroom experience?  DESE's claim of "you can keep your own curriculum if you like it" might just not be accurate.  A more accurate statement would be "you can keep you own curriculum if it is aligned to CCSS".  That's a different and more truthful statement.

Common Core Standards and JC Penney's: Tales of Failure?

The Wall Street Journal wrote about Ron Johnson leaving as Penney's CEO as the company has floundered under his leadership.  One paragraph caught my eye and could be applied to the adoption/implementation Common Core process.  From Penney CEO Out, Old Boss Back In:

The board's decision ends a brief and turbulent career in the corner office for Mr. Johnson. He arrived at Penney to great fanfare in November 2011, but lost the confidence of directors and investors after he rolled out an ambitious plan to reinvent Penney's stores without following the usual retail practice of testing the changes first. Sales tanked, with no sign of improvement. In the most recent fourth quarter, including the crucial holiday season, sales dropped 28.4%, contributing to a net loss of $552 million, the worst of the year. 

Mr. Johnson's ambitious plan to reinvent stores without first running a retail test to determine if the plan would work certainly backfired on him and Penney's.  Mr. Johnson lost his job and Penney's is trying to re-establish itself as a retailer investors find attractive once again.  Is Mr. Johnson sorry his rash decision cost him his job and resulted in Penney's slumping stock value?

Mr. Johnson was unapologetic about his decision not to test his strategy. Asked earlier this year if he would do things differently given a chance to start over, he replied, "No, of course not." 

Does this sound like the adoption of Common Core State standards and the claims from those responsible for the crafting of the standards?  Proponents claimed the standards were internationally benchmarked and rigorous, even though they hadn't been written and not field tested in any school.  The claim of "internationally benchmarked" has been deleted since the CCSSO was not able to produce any research proving that statement.  

Comments from teachers and principals who just recently have used the standards have not been enthusiastic.  However, the familiar jargon still exists as supporters claim they will equip students for the 21st economy, even though these same supporters do not have a crystal ball and cannot articulate exactly what the future economy will look like or need.

Will Common Core standards be an educational example of what happens as the result of not following the usual educational practice of piloting standards first and using field testing as research to make informed decisions?  The same business decision Mr. Johnson used is the same our governors and commissioners of education used in signing MOUs agreeing to adopt/implement unseen, unwritten and unfunded standards and assessments, and the associated costs of computer infrastructure and data mining mandated in the agreement.

Can we fire them?

If you are against the standards, please sign this petition we will be providing to the legislature to stop the implementation of Common Core standards.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Will They Teach Constitutional Principles in Common Core?

Did you learn about constitutional law in school?  Do you think new standards/assessments will be structured in the manner of attorney KrisAnne Hall's presentation? Here is youtube video on constitutional authority, Unlimited Federal government deciding the limits of its own power is a monarchy:

She also has an interesting comment on "collectivism" and individual rights.  This is thought provoking in light of the MSNBC spot with Melissa Harris-Perry promoting collectivism in thinking about your children in which Ms. Harris-Perry Hall stated we have to break through the idea that kids belong to their parents:

What do you think?  Will Common Core embrace constitutional principles as espoused by Ms. Hall or will your child be reading about the wonders of collectivism as espoused by Ms. Harris-Perry?  My bet your child or grandchild will be reading curriculum about the wonders of globalism.  After all, a major goal of Common Core standards is to prepare our children to be global workers and citizens.  That doesn't leave much room for the US Constitution.

CCSSO and Its "State" Led Efforts Look Increasingly Like Collusion With the Federal Goverment & Private Corporations

Have you heard of Next Generation Schools?  They are schools based on business models stressing sustainability, competency (outcome) goals and public/private partnerships:
Next Generation Schools will be built on a sustainable business model. That means we’ll do business differently. 

 How will Next Generation Schools do "business differently" in education?  From nextgenerationschools.org website:

  • Cooperative purchasing
    We estimate that teaming up to purchase supplies could save schools 15-30% on those purchases. This model can be used for purchasing goods as well as services such as maintenance and construction. This is just one way Next Generation Schools will do business differently.
  • Community partnerships
    By teaming up with local organizations, Next Generation Schools will avoid costly duplication of services. For example, the regional education system will work closely with family services to ensure that students are getting the support services they need.
  • Natural transitions
    It is estimated that if students moved through the levels of education sooner - both academic and social/behavioral skills have been mastered - the cost savings could be more than $19 billion nationally.
  • Venture capital
    Inventors, foundations and entrepreneurs have made headlines nationwide for their investments in education. Likewise, CESA 6 hopes the Next Generation schools initiative will attract venture capital for new initiatives and projects.

What the website doesn't tell you is that this business model of structuring schools does away with the local funding of schools and any semblance of local control, as well as the bypassing of state legislatures for these educational programs.  Anita Hoge in newswithviews.com, STATES UNDER REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP FALL FOR OBAMA'S CARROT:

It's easier to understand an agenda with a picture. A picture is worth a thousand words. The following graph was used in a power point presentation about how the Innovation Lab Network will change and redesign how American schools will function in the future. This is a 'Race to the Top' education model. The graph was taken from a power point presentation from the Stupski Foundation, the OECD, the international Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, with a grant from the Chief State School Officers, CCSSO, about the Next Generation Schools, called the Innovation Lab Network.
These are the original states that are included in this pilot research project from Obama's 'Race to the Top' -Maine, West Virginia, Wisconsin, New York, Kentucky, and Ohio. Race to the Top was funded from the Recovery Act with $400 billion dollars. Since that time waivers have been given to states that need flexibility in using their Elementary and Secondary School Act (ESEA) funding In the "No Child Left Behind" legislation to move toward this model since the current Congress has not passed a budget. More states are involved at this time. The most profound concept in this graph shows how the next generation school will eliminate representative government. Notice that the new system bypasses the community, governance, and finance. Draw your attention to the blue lines that are most important to this agenda. They are: your child, called human capital, assessment which is testing, technology, and any time and any place. Testing and technology become the most important part of this agenda to create the human capital of the future for the international global workforce.

How will abolishing representative government work? In order for this graph to become a reality, there are three barriers that must be removed. Community; families, parents, and churches must have no options or legal authority, only a choice of which school to send their children; Governance; your locally elected school board or other elected local or state officials that could become a hindrance will be eliminated or reduced to minor functions: parents will not have any voting power over a for-profit charter school; Finance; the neighborhood school no longer depends on your local tax base to fund schools under equality or leveling the field. The mantra that will be quoted is, under fairness and equity there should not be rich school districts or poor school districts, only schools. Your tax money will be pooled regionally or toward a county base to be distributed equally for each child. Federal funds will now fund individual students. Your elected school boards will no longer have the tax base from which to run their school. Your local neighborhood school will eventually be pushed out through academic bankruptcy and/or taken over by charter schools.
Do you think Governor Jay Nixon and Commissioner Chris Nicastro had an idea that CCSSO, a private trade organizatio that we were told crafted a "state led" initiative (Common Core State Standards), actually is giving out grants to do away with any state authority over schools?  Would that be a surprise to them?  Would it surprise them the grants are actually from Federal stimulus money?  Why is the CCSSO giving away federal money and informing portraying itself as being state led?  Could the CCSSO be an organization actually crafted by private interests and funded by federal dollars to establsh a public/private corporation to eradicate representative government and representative decisions on public education?

If in fact this is the intent and the adoption/implementation via Common Core makes such a scenario possible, then the Governor and Commissioner should rescind the MOU the signed with Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia immediately.

Read more from Hoge:

This is the new model for school choice. Federal monies, ESEA Title I, is being changed in new laws being proposed that will follow the individual child and the Individual Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) will change the definitions of who can receive funds to include any child not meeting Common Core Standards (CCS) in an Individualized Education Program (IEP), individual education plan similar to the special education plans for handicapped children. This will mean ANY and EVERY child can receive choice money to go to the school of their choice. The entry point solutions are the end results or the child meeting government Common Core Standards and what must be done to achieve these goals. This is a design down program, start with what the government wants and work backwards....what a child will know, do and be like, or beliefs, values and actions....Blooms taxonomy, the whole child theory.

This graph from the Next Generation Schools, Race to the Top agenda, spells out how to mold the child toward those objectives. It shows how representative government, as well as parents, will be erased from any authority in educating their children or how the schools of the future will function through a computerized monopoly of selected profit making corporations, otherwise known as corporate fascism. 

This is the model for for-profit Charter Schools that use public taxpayer funds with no elected school boards or taxpayer accountability and this is the model for the takeover of all education in America including private schools. Private schools are included because, when these stipends are given to each child under Choice from Title I which is being proposed in the new ESEA legislation in the federal budget supported by Republican Congressmen and Senators, Republican governors and unknowingly by many conservative groups, any child accepting that federal stipend to go to a charter, private, Catholic, Christian, home school, or other school, will be mandated under accountability, to take federal testing to meet the federal standards. Many tests are being aligned to the Common Core Standards using federal objectives from National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test item banks already validated to meet government goals. Inevitably this will control all education in the United States if you take the money. The CCSSO has had model legislation waiting in the wings for years. Perhaps we can ask why Governor Jeb Bush is in Maine pushing his Charter school agenda with his ”Foundation for Excellence in Education" that is widespread in Florida? Legislation in Michigan, under Republican leadership, House Bill 6004 and Senate Bill 1358 would expand a separate and statewide school district Education Achievement Authority (the EAA) overseen by a governor-appointed (unelected) chancellor and functioning outside the authority of the State Board of Education or state school superintendent. These schools are exempt from the same laws and quality measures of community-governed public schools. The EAA can seize unused school buildings (built and financed by local taxpayers) and force sale or lease to charter, non-public or EAA schools. This is proof that there is some truth to an agenda of eliminating representative government.
Contact Senator Lamping regarding SB 210 and thank him for his amended bill requiring Commissioner Nicastro to appear at eight town hall meetings to talk about Common Core standards to taxpayers.  Contact the Senate members and urge its passage so questions can be asked why DESE signed on to standards/assessments that had not yet been written and if the Commissioner is concerned about the CCSSO funding of programs that take away state/local authority of education.  Does Commissioner Nicastor agree the takeover of public schools is accelerated via Common Core standards?  If she agrees with that premise, would she be willing to withdraw Missouri from the SBAC consortia and the MOU signed by Nixon and Nicastro?

Download Ms. Hoge's article, hopefully have the opportunity to attend a townhall meeting in your Congressional district, and ask her why she and the Governor would sign on to standards  that allow the common tracking of children and the allowance of private companies taking over education.  Do Governor Nixon and Commissoner Nicastro prefer the runaround of representative government and the establishment of public/private partnerships to control "public" education?  Do they believe the "public" needs to be guided by "choice architects" to make decisions on how to run their schools?  From the original Missouri Race to the Top proposal (comments are my own):

Core Student Learning and Outcomes Goals:

 [L1]The direction/development of Missouri education is now handed to choice architects. These choice architects have evolved into the NGA and CCSSO, both private trade organizations.  The idea that people are “free to choose” means the state has to comply with the CCSSO rules and means little to no “choice” by the “people”.

If you are against Common Core State standards, you may sign a petition to submit to the Legislature here.


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