"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 27, 2013

The Chesterfield City Hall Common Core Panel Has Opened the Door for Public Common Core Discussion

Common Core has become a hot topic of discussion in Missouri.  Linked below is an article from the Eureka-Wildwood Patch about the recent panel presentation centering on CCSS adoption, implementation, ramifications, data retrieval and legislative update on SB210 and HB616.

Unfortunately the reporter did not attend the meeting so he cannot report on what actually was said by the panelists.  However, his article has created a slew of  reader comments on the facts vs the talking points of the standards.  These comments also address the alleged intent/financial backing/political leanings of those who do not support the adoption and implementation process of CCSS.

Feel free to make your own comments on Senator Nieves Speaking Out Against National Education Standards.

I'd like to see the research and data on how Common Core is best practice as intimated by a teacher in the Kirkwood School District:

As a teacher in the Kirkwood School District I can assure you that many educators (you know...the people actually doing the work) welcome Common Core. All this other "stuff" is just personal political agendas. Do you seriously think that a high performing district such as Kirkwood would welcome Common Core standards if it thought it wouldn't be great for all students? Do you seriously think that the Kirkwood School District would dummy down curricula to meet the standards? I'm sorry. I am going to trust the people that do the actual work-day in and day out. The people that have spent their lives educating themselves on best practices for kids. Where were you people when Bush implemented No Child Left Behind....which has been extremely unsuccessful?

Didn't No Child Left Behind also have Ted Kennedy's prints all over it?  The Democrats might as well share the blame of a terrible educational reform policy. 


The Lone Reporter Attending the Common Core Chesterfield Presentation Gets the Scoop: People Want Answers to Common Core Implementation/Ramifications

Thursday night over 200 people attended a panel discussion in Chesterfield, Missouri about the concerns of Common Core: how it was implemented and the ramifications.  We will have video up within the next few days but in the meantime, you can read the coverage from the only reporter covering the event.  

Many news organizations were invited, but Carol Enright of West Newsmagazine was the lone press person in the crowd.  Make your comments on the newsmagazinenetwork.com and show your appreciation for her attendance and reporting on this important issue.   

From Common Core opposition panel packs Chesterfield City Hall:

An overflow crowd packed Chesterfield City Hall on April 25 for a panel discussion of the Common Core State Standards. And the message from the panelists was clear: “Common Core is coming. It was approved without your knowledge or your input. And the only way you can stop it is by continuing to pack rooms like this and asking questions of the powers that be.”

Those powers are an education lobby supported by big business, according to the panel that included two state senators who introduced legislation to stop Missouri from implementing the standards: Dr. Sandra Stotsky, education researcher and former member of the Common Core State Standards validation committee, and Gretchen Logue, founder of MissouriEducationWatchdog.com. Rockwood parent Anne Gassel was also on the panel.
....Proponents claim that the standards will introduce a higher level of rigor to American classrooms, but Stotsky said, “they’re not rigorous at all, which is why the word ‘rigorous’ is used over and over and over again.”
She warned about the high costs of implementing the standards, particularly the professional development and technology upgrades needed to support the associated online tests. And she criticized the state for not informing local school boards, teachers and parents about Common Core, asking why it had to be a big secret if it was going to be so transformative.

Read more here.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Common Core Panel Discussion at Chesterfield City Hall: Standing Room Only

Common Core meeting Chesterfield City Hall

Over 200 people attended a Common Core panel discussion featuring Sandra Stotsky, Senator John Lamping, Senator Brian Nieves, Anne Gassel and Gretchen Logue.  Lee Presser moderated and questions were taken after the panel discussion.

Dr. Stotsky (who appeared as a witness for SB210 and HB616) was on the Common Core ELA  committee and refused to sign on as a supporter.  Senators Lamping and Nieves spoke about SB210 and its progression through the Senate.  Anne and Gretchen talked about the data mining/dissemination of individual student information and action citizens can take to stop the implementation of Common Core in their schools.

Watch for the video to be posted on this site within the week.  We appreciate everyone's help and participation in last night's event.

You can access Dr. Stotsky's testimony on HB616 and SB210 here.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Common Core Passion Now Spills into the Bedroom?

New talking point of Common Core proponents: Don't canoodle with right wingers.  Now that's some research/data to prop up CCSS claims.

Arne Duncan asked the business community to defend Common Core standards.  Education insiders are doubting the long term success of the implementation of the standards and the proponents must be getting nervous.  Education reform organizations are attacking taxpayers/organizations who want local control/autonomy in their schools and question a centralized form of education.  One of these organizations, Democrats for Education Reform, heeded Secretary Duncan's call.  Check out its Board of Directors.  The venture capital background of its directors is perfect for the public/private partnership envisioned by the federal government so this group would want to support the USDOEd's call to action.  Its collective future is tied up in Common Core being successful.

Democrats for Education Reform in Indiana used an extraordinarily unprofessional tactic designed to stop the growing support in Indiana to stop the implementation of the standards. DFER compared agreeing with "far right opponents" to "canoodling" and wondered if you did so, would you hate yourself in the morning?  (They must be talking about Diane Ravitch and Susan Ohanian.....)

From Are you going to hate yourself in the morning?

Dear Fellow Democrats:

It’s growing late and some of us have spent the night canoodling with far-right opponents of the Common Core State Standards. If that sounds like you, it’s time you ask yourself this question: “Am I going to hate myself for this in the morning?"

We can almost guarantee the answer will be yes.

Before you decide to get into bed with extremist right-wing critics of the Common Core, we highly recommend that you get to know them better.

Here’s the first in a series of would-be, right-wing bedfellows you’d be smart to stay away from. Let's start with State Sen. Scott Schneider of Indiana and Phyllis Schlafly, Founder and President of the Eagle Forum. Click their names to find out more.

- Larry, DFER IN State Director

Larry is Larry Grau.  Grau doesn't offer any facts/research on why Schneider or Schlafly might be wrong on their beliefs and agenda, he just uses "will you still love me tomorrow" argument to shame citizens who might agree with the CCSS opponents.  How could any "right wing whacko" ever have any ideas worth supporting?  This is akin to the "mean girls" tactics of freezing out people and not allowing any serious discussion of what/how people believe.  If Grau dismisses people outright without hearing/studying what they have to say, then he doesn't have to defend his organization's position on CCSS and answer increasing concerns about its adoption and implementation from the taxpayers who have to pay for it.

Jay P. Greene had a brilliant response to Grau's article.  He furthers Grau's canoodling reference in If I Woke Up With Larry Grau, I'd Really Hate Myself: 

Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) supports Common Core.  I don’t for reasons I’ve explained on numerous occasions in the past, but most recently here.  Reasonable people can disagree, so I am not particularly perturbed by DFER’s position.  It’s fine.

What’s not fine is how DFER Indiana director, Larry Grau, tries to support Common Core in a blog post that was mass e-mailed today. It’s provocatively titled, “Are you going to hate yourself in the morning?”  He answers saying that if you “have spent the night canoodling with far-right opponents of the Common Core State Standards… we can almost guarantee the answer will be yes.”

His argument, such as it is, in support of Common Core standards is that a number of Common Core opponents are the kinds of people you wouldn’t want to wake up next to: “Before you decide to get into bed with extremist right-wing critics of the Common Core, we highly recommend that you get to know them better.”  He then goes on to profile State Senator Scott Schneider and Eagle Forum founder, Phyllis Schlafly, to show that they oppose abortion and other policies that DFER folks might like.  In sum, Larry Grau’s case for Common Core is that its opponents are people with whom you may strongly disagree on other matters.

By Grau’s brilliant reasoning, of course, you should also oppose charter schools, which DFER strongly supports.  As it turns out, Sen Scott Schneider was given the Charter School Warrior of the Year Award in 2012 by School Choice Indiana.  So if you should recoil at the thought of agreeing with Sen. Schneider, you should also oppose DFER on charters.

Unfortunately, this type of non-substantive, ad hominem argument is becoming the norm in education policy discourse.  Even people with whom I generally agree, like DFER, think this is how you are supposed to make arguments in education policy.  It’s disgusting.

Well, if Grau wants to go down this path of ad hominem in defense of Common Core, he might consider how it could be used against Common Core.  After all, I’m hard pressed to think of a single pro-Common Core organization that has not received money from the Gates Foundation.  And at least if folks get in bed with Sen. Schneider to oppose Common Core they are doing it for love, not money.  So when Grau or other Common Core supporters wake up in the morning to find Gates money on the nightstand, they can at least take comfort in the thought that they are carrying on the traditions of a venerable profession — some say the oldest profession.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Common Core Gag Order: Teacher Told Not to Question Common Core Implementation

Teacher not allowed to question CCSS implementation in Wyoming

Following is an amazing story from Truth in American Education and a Wyoming teacher who was threatened by her administrator for questioning the CCSS implementation and ramifications of the standards in terms of privacy and loss of local control.

Please share with other teachers and parents.  Where is the "critical thinking" allegedly present in CCSS?

From A Wyoming School's Common Core Gag Order:

I received this email from a 6th grade teacher in Wyoming whose school placed a gag order on her regarding her opposition to the Common Core State Standards.  I’m withholding her name to protect her privacy (and career).
I am currently a teacher in a smaller district in Wyoming. I attended a Wyoming Department of Education training for the ELA Common Core Standards in July, prior to starting the 2012/2013 school year. I came to this training knowing only that Wyoming, along with 45 others states were choosing to adopt the standards fully by 2015. The WDE presenters were suggesting we use some of the methods I had been trained to use in Utah, and had previously used when I taught there. Since our state and district benchmarks would not be fully aligned with textbooks, curriculum, and testing until 2015, I wanted to get a head start.
I looked into what my former colleagues were doing in Utah. This is when I discovered the movement that 2 Moms from Utah and Christel Swasey have been a HUGE part of. I was FLOORED! I had not idea that there was a different train of thought, let a lone a movement against the implementation of Common Core.
This peaked my curiosity and caused me to do some researching. I quickly realized how ignorant I really was about our country’s education system and how the Department of Education affects what happens in our schools. It was truly ignorance on my part, as I only saw how things happened on a local level and never really thought about the affects of national legislation affecting a small town in Wyoming.
The more I researched the more I become aware of how much I didn’t know! I also began forming my own opinions about how this could potentially limit local voices from parents, teachers, and administrators. I chose to share my research and opinions with my administrator and a few close colleagues privately. I emailed links to the research I’d done, along with my views on what is happening and how it could potentially affect us as parents, and teachers. After the email was sent I met one-on-one with my administrator, where we discussed common core and the research I had done and continue to do. Basically, I left that meeting knowing that he disagreed with what my opinion is. However, I left with the feeling that we would agree to disagree. He also pointed out the fact that our state and district would be moving forward with common core and I would need to be on board with it.
The next day I was approached by a fellow teacher whom I’d shared my concerns with. They asked if I would be comfortable sharing those same concerns during a grade level meeting, as others were curious. I agreed to do so. During the meeting I spoke of several movements in various states that are pushing to repeal the adoption of common core, or at lease give more time to consider it. I spoke of being shocked that I was ignorant of any controversy surrounding the Common Core. I shared my feelings, concerns and opinions. I suggested they become aware that there are two sides to this and to be prepared to have an opinion. I pointed out that questions could come from concerned parents or others in the community. I also shared that my main concern was with the changes to data privacy and losing local control. When I was finishing my administrator said that there would be no more emailing, or talking about the common core amongst the staff. There was a finality to his tone and the meeting was quickly over at that point. I then received an email from my administrator reminding me of our district policy of not using school resources to push political concerns or agendas. He also stated that there was to be no more discussion about common core unless it was on an “educational” basis between staff members.
Ironically, I had several teachers contact me outside of school that same day, to say they were shocked at my administrators tone. They feel I was being genuine in sharing information that was previously unknown and could potentially affect educators. Several staff member have also approached me saying that they are grateful for this information and are now researching it on their own.
The question being asked in my school now is…Why can’t educators do what they do best? Research, question, inform?? Isn’t it better to question and discuss things, even if we don’t agree on them as to find what is best for the children we have been entrusted with? Should we turn a blind eye, and be lead like sheep off the cliff?
What is wrong with forming an opinion, discussing it, whether we agree with each other or not? Why stifle this? I don’t think he realized that he just gave fuel to what was once a single voice!
At this point my union representatives are looking into this as a form of suppressing free speech. I also have an appointment set up to meet with our district’s superintendent. so that I may better understand the position our district is going to take on this. At this point the staff at my school believe they will be reprimanded if they speak with parents concerning common core for something other than it’s educational use.

Tracking Students: Remember Parkway School District and the Polar Go Fit Bracelets?

We wrote a story last year about Parkway Schools wanting to use student tracking devices to measure sleep patterns and academic achievement via Polar Go Fit bracelets.

We highlighted a video from the school board where a district employee explains the tracking and the information to be gathered from the data obtained while the students wore them home.  The video has now been pulled from the internet and "made private by the owner".

This video is from a school board meeting.  Would someone from the Parkway School District contact the superintendent/board members and ask why a video from a public meeting has been pulled from the district website?  Aren't the owners of this video the taxpayers?

Here's the link showing the video has been pulled:


Here's the rough transcript I typed from the speaker's presentation:

Notes from the video:

Video of the School Board Meeting December 7, 2011
48:45 starts the discussion of the bracelet. Rough transcript of the conversation. Parenthesis denotes questions from the Board.
So kids can "self-monitor" moderate to vigorous exercise. Teachers took a class this summer and the teachers wore them through the fall.

Henry, Ross Elementary, Shenandoah Elementary Schools.

Kids see it as a cool gadget.

Goals. Health, fit, active kids ready to learn.
Kids were "jealous" so bracelets will be shared.

Used as much as they can during PE classes.

Ideally, let the kids wear the monitor an entire week 24/7 and look at sleep patterns as well as physical activity patterns. Interested in seeing the results of that and identity correlation between sleep patterns and academic achievement. **MEW comment: Is this the governmental "nudge" touted by Cass Sunstein and our Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro?**

Start with one grade level and then add grades one at a time.

In physical education for the longest time we've just been looking at fitness data.

We don't want to just assess fitness we want to assess behavioral change w/regard to physical activity patterns with our students and then we know we've done our job and this tool here will help us do that.

(How do you follow this?)

Each day there is a graph and they try to fill up the tube with moderate to strenuous activity. Keeps 7 days worth of data. Teachers download the information in a graph to the parents.

Idea: get them into the hands of the elementary students at the beginning of the new year.

(How do you plan to use the data and how will you run the data)
We are uploading data--body strength, muscle strength--into PARS. Correlate fitness levels to MAP scores, SAT score. Hope to do the same with physical activity.

Will do individually. Sure we will have school data, entire 5th grade, we'll have the ability to track individual students.

(Question about GPS, school cameras, tracking kids. Laughter)

No, they won't be able to track our students.
Ends at 58:14

Check out this link of the checks written in the district in February 2012: 


It shows $37,584.00 was paid in 2012 to Polar Electro for tracking bracelets that Parkway pulled after parental concern.   $209.80 was paid to the company in 2011.

Why Common Core Will Fail: Hippos and Tomatoes.

 No matter how big the tomatoes get, they are not what the communities need.

And this is why Common Core will fail.

Watch Ernesto Sirolli in this TED talk on Want to help someone? Shut up and listen!  and see if you agree that the education reformers are akin to the aid workers planting tomatoes where they shouldn't be planted.  This type of approach didn't help Sirolli in helping impoverished African communities.  Why would the same methodology be successful in solving the "crisis in education" we've been led to believe we have in the US?


Everything I do, and everything I do professionally -- my life -- has been shaped by seven years of work as a young man in Africa. From 1971 to 1977 -- I look young, but I'm not — (Laughter) -- I worked in Zambia, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Somalia, in projects of technical cooperation with African countries.
I worked for an Italian NGO, and every single project that we set up in Africa failed. And I was distraught. I thought, age 21, that we Italians were good people and we were doing good work in Africa. Instead, everything we touched we killed.
Our first project, the one that has inspired my first book, "Ripples from the Zambezi," was a project where we Italians decided to teach Zambian people how to grow food. So we arrived there with Italian seeds in southern Zambia in this absolutely magnificent valley going down to the Zambezi River, and we taught the local people how to grow Italian tomatoes and zucchini and ... And of course the local people had absolutely no interest in doing that, so we paid them to come and work, and sometimes they would show up. (Laughter) And we were amazed that the local people, in such a fertile valley, would not have any agriculture. But instead of asking them how come they were not growing anything, we simply said, "Thank God we're here." (Laughter) "Just in the nick of time to save the Zambian people from starvation."
And of course, everything in Africa grew beautifully. We had these magnificent tomatoes. In Italy, a tomato would grow to this size. In Zambia, to this size. And we could not believe, and we were telling the Zambians, "Look how easy agriculture is." When the tomatoes were nice and ripe and red, overnight, some 200 hippos came out from the river and they ate everything. (Laughter)

And we said to the Zambians, "My God, the hippos!"
And the Zambians said, "Yes, that's why we have no agriculture here." (Laughter)

"Why didn't you tell us?" "You never asked."

I thought it was only us Italians blundering around Africa, but then I saw what the Americans were doing, what the English were doing, what the French were doing, and after seeing what they were doing, I became quite proud of our project in Zambia. Because, you see, at least we fed the hippos.
You should see the rubbish — (Applause) -- You should see the rubbish that we have bestowed on unsuspecting African people. You want to read the book, read "Dead Aid," by Dambisa Moyo, Zambian woman economist. The book was published in 2009. We Western donor countries have given the African continent two trillion American dollars in the last 50 years. I'm not going to tell you the damage that that money has done. Just go and read her book. Read it from an African woman, the damage that we have done.

We Western people are imperialist, colonialist missionaries, and there are only two ways we deal with people: We either patronize them, or we are paternalistic. The two words come from the Latin root "pater," which means "father." But they mean two different things. Paternalistic, I treat anybody from a different culture as if they were my children. "I love you so much." Patronizing, I treat everybody from another culture as if they were my servants. That's why the white people in Africa are called "bwana," boss.
I was given a slap in the face reading a book, "Small is Beautiful," written by Schumacher, who said, above all in economic development, if people do not wish to be helped, leave them alone. This should be the first principle of aid. The first principle of aid is respect. This morning, the gentleman who opened this conference lay a stick on the floor, and said, "Can we -- can you imagine a city that is not neocolonial?"
I decided when I was 27 years old to only respond to people, and I invented a system called Enterprise Facilitation, where you never initiate anything, you never motivate anybody, but you become a servant of the local passion, the servant of local people who have a dream to become a better person. So what you do -- you shut up. You never arrive in a community with any ideas, and you sit with the local people. We don't work from offices. We meet at the cafe. We meet at the pub. We have zero infrastructure. And what we do, we become friends, and we find out what that person wants to do.
The most important thing is passion. You can give somebody an idea. If that person doesn't want to do it, what are you going to do? The passion that the person has for her own growth is the most important thing. The passion that that man has for his own personal growth is the most important thing. And then we help them to go and find the knowledge, because nobody in the world can succeed alone. The person with the idea may not have the knowledge, but the knowledge is available.
So years and years ago, I had this idea: Why don't we, for once, instead of arriving in the community to tell people what to do, why don't, for once, listen to them? But not in community meetings.
Let me tell you a secret. There is a problem with community meetings. Entrepreneurs never come, and they never tell you, in a public meeting, what they want to do with their own money, what opportunity they have identified. So planning has this blind spot. The smartest people in your community you don't even know, because they don't come to your public meetings.
What we do, we work one-on-one, and to work one-on-one, you have to create a social infrastructure that doesn't exist. You have to create a new profession. The profession is the family doctor of enterprise, the family doctor of business, who sits with you in your house, at your kitchen table, at the cafe, and helps you find the resources to transform your passion into a way to make a living.

I started this as a tryout in Esperance, in Western Australia. I was a doing a Ph.D. at the time, trying to go away from this patronizing bullshit that we arrive and tell you what to do. And so what I did in Esperance that first year was to just walk the streets, and in three days I had my first client, and I helped this first guy who was smoking fish from a garage, was a Maori guy, and I helped him to sell to the restaurant in Perth, to get organized, and then the fishermen came to me to say, "You the guy who helped Maori? Can you help us?"

And I helped these five fishermen to work together and get this beautiful tuna not to the cannery in Albany for 60 cents a kilo, but we found a way to take the fish for sushi to Japan for 15 dollars a kilo, and the farmers came to talk to me, said, "Hey, you helped them. Can you help us?" In a year, I had 27 projects going on, and the government came to see me to say, "How can you do that? How can you do — ?" And I said, "I do something very, very, very difficult. I shut up, and listen to them." (Laughter)
So — (Applause) — So the government says, "Do it again." (Laughter) We've done it in 300 communities around the world. We have helped to start 40,000 businesses. There is a new generation of entrepreneurs who are dying of solitude.
Peter Drucker, one of the greatest management consultants in history, died age 96, a few years ago. Peter Drucker was a professor of philosophy before becoming involved in business, and this is what Peter Drucker says: "Planning is actually incompatible with an entrepreneurial society and economy." Planning is the kiss of death of entrepreneurship.
So now you're rebuilding Christchurch without knowing what the smartest people in Christchurch want to do with their own money and their own energy. You have to learn how to get these people to come and talk to you. You have to offer them confidentiality, privacy, you have to be fantastic at helping them, and then they will come, and they will come in droves. In a community of 10,000 people, we get 200 clients. Can you imagine a community of 400,000 people, the intelligence and the passion? Which presentation have you applauded the most this morning? Local, passionate people. That's who you have applauded.
So what I'm saying is that entrepreneurship is where it's at. We are at the end of the first industrial revolution -- nonrenewable fossil fuels, manufacturing -- and all of a sudden, we have systems which are not sustainable. The internal combustion engine is not sustainable. Freon way of maintaining things is not sustainable. What we have to look at is at how we feed, cure, educate, transport, communicate for seven billion people in a sustainable way. The technologies do not exist to do that. Who is going to invent the technology for the green revolution? Universities? Forget about it! Government? Forget about it! It will be entrepreneurs, and they're doing it now.
There's a lovely story that I read in a futurist magazine many, many years ago. There was a group of experts who were invited to discuss the future of the city of New York in 1860. And in 1860, this group of people came together, and they all speculated about what would happen to the city of New York in 100 years, and the conclusion was unanimous: The city of New York would not exist in 100 years. Why? Because they looked at the curve and said, if the population keeps growing at this rate, to move the population of New York around, they would have needed six million horses, and the manure created by six million horses would be impossible to deal with. They were already drowning in manure. (Laughter) So 1860, they are seeing this dirty technology that is going to choke the life out of New York.
So what happens? In 40 years' time, in the year 1900, in the United States of America, there were 1,001 car manufacturing companies -- 1,001. The idea of finding a different technology had absolutely taken over, and there were tiny, tiny little factories in backwaters. Dearborn, Michigan. Henry Ford.
However, there is a secret to work with entrepreneurs. First, you have to offer them confidentiality. Otherwise they don't come and talk to you. Then you have to offer them absolute, dedicated, passionate service to them. And then you have to tell them the truth about entrepreneurship. The smallest company, the biggest company, has to be capable of doing three things beautifully: The product that you want to sell has to be fantastic, you have to have fantastic marketing, and you have to have tremendous financial management.

Guess what? We have never met a single human being in the world who can make it, sell it and look after the money. It doesn't exist. This person has never been born. We've done the research, and we have looked at the 100 iconic companies of the world -- Carnegie, Westinghouse, Edison, Ford, all the new companies, Google, Yahoo. There's only one thing that all the successful companies in the world have in common, only one: None were started by one person.

Now we teach entrepreneurship to 16-year-olds in Northumberland, and we start the class by giving them the first two pages of Richard Branson's autobiography, and the task of the 16-year-olds is to underline, in the first two pages of Richard Branson's autobiography how many times Richard uses the word "I" and how many times he uses the word "we." Never the word "I," and the word "we" 32 times. He wasn't alone when he started. Nobody started a company alone. No one.

So we can create the community where we have facilitators who come from a small business background sitting in cafes, in bars, and your dedicated buddies who will do to you, what somebody did for this gentleman who talks about this epic, somebody who will say to you, "What do you need? What can you do? Can you make it? Okay, can you sell it? Can you look after the money?" "Oh, no, I cannot do this." "Would you like me to find you somebody?"

We activate communities. We have groups of volunteers supporting the Enterprise Facilitator to help you to find resources and people and we have discovered that the miracle of the intelligence of local people is such that you can change the culture and the economy of this community just by capturing the passion, the energy and imagination of your own people.
Thank you. (Applause)

Think about the creation/adoption/implementation of Common Core:
  • Did David Coleman, Bill Gates, Jeb Bush, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, and other education reformers ask the communities what they wanted?  
  • Are these reformers paternalistic or patronizing?
  • Do the reformers respect the taxpayers or have they even asked for their respect? 
  • Are they respectful of what the communities want in schools?  
  • Are the reformers servants of local passion, or are the taxpayers the servants of the education reformers?  
  • Is the passion from the reformers for student personal growth or for data? 
  • Have the education reformers ever listened to the community and its needs?  
  • Is the structuring of education and time consuming assessments into a "one size fits all" approach the death of individualism and entrepreneurship?  
  • Do you believe that private companies who have crafted standards that are copyrighted and cannot be altered/modified in any manner care about the passion, energy and imagination of teachers and students?

Do you believe the reformers have planted tomatoes that serve no purpose except for the reformers' needs?   They've never asked the communities what they wanted and they have given us what we don't need.


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