Sam Duck decided to show the mess that Common Core has made out of math in his campaign mailer for his Maryville School Board race.
The NEA proves correct on good ol’ Resolution B-83 once again:
“The National Education Association believes that home schooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience.”
“A federal program that has drawn criticism in recent weeks for supplying surplus military gear to local police has also provided high-powered rifles, armored vehicles and other equipment to police at public schools, some of whom were unprepared for what they were getting.”
What can I say? Homeschoolers simply cannot afford our own MRAPs, grenade launchers, etc. to keep up with the Joneses. And the mean ol’ NEA doesn’t think we should be able to play with the ones the public schools are getting.
I guess we will just have to settle for THP no refusal vampire stops on the local highways and do the best we can to get our kids “socialized”.
“The New York Times recently published a fascinating interview with Yong Zhao, a professor of education at the University of Oregon. Zhao was born in China; unlike many American intellectuals, he does not think U.S. schools should try to emulate China.”
“‘If the United States and the rest of the West are concerned about being overtaken by China, the best solution is to avoid becoming China,’ he said.”
“Chinese schools stamp out individuality and make kids spend all their time preparing for exams that are focused on “narrow intelligence.” This produces fewer creative and entrepreneurial people, which is precisely what the authoritarian national government of China wants, according to Zhao.”
“Zhao warned that the kind of standardization offered by Common Core is a danger to a free culture and a free economy.” (emphasis mine)
When will Republicans and Democrats stop forcing us to pay for this?
“Bureaucrats love to throw fancy technology at schools and expect it to magically improve students’ learning outcomes. That’s easier than hiring, training, and fairly compensating good teachers, right?”
“By the time Jerry Crocamo, a computer network engineer, arrived in Hoboken’s school system in 2011, every seventh, eighth, and ninth grader had a laptop. Each year a new crop of seventh graders were outfitted. Crocamo’s small tech staff was quickly overwhelmed with repairs.”
“We had “half a dozen kids in a day, on a regular basis, bringing laptops down, going ‘my books fell on top of it, somebody sat on it, I dropped it,’ ” said Crocamo.”
“Screens cracked. Batteries died. Keys popped off. Viruses attacked. Crocamo found that teenagers with laptops are still . . . teenagers.”
““We bought laptops that had reinforced hard-shell cases so that we could try to offset some of the damage these kids were going to do,” said Crocamo. “I was pretty impressed with some of the damage they did anyway. Some of the laptops would come back to us completely destroyed.””
Isn’t this why the taxes were just raised in Blount County?
Reposted from whatiscommoncore.blogspot.com:
“Governor Fallin stated:
“We are capable of developing our own Oklahoma academic standards that will be better than Common Core … What should have been a bipartisan policy is now widely regarded as the president’s plan to establish federal control of curricula, testing and teaching strategies.
“We cannot ignore the widespread concern of citizens, parents, educators and legislators who have expressed fear that adopting Common Core gives up local control of Oklahoma’s public schools…
“For that reason I am signing HB 3399 to repeal and replace Common Core with Oklahoma designed and implemented education standards… They must raise the bar – beyond what Common Core offers…
The withdrawal from Common Core by Governor Fallin –not only a member, but the chair of the National Governors Association –the same NGA to which Bill Gates has given millions upon millions of dollars to create and implement Common Core– is a very big deal.
And the elephant that’s been crowding the room for years now –Common Core’s pretense of academic excellence– has taken a serious hit with Governor Fallin’s acknowledgement that Oklahoma’s soon-to-be-written NEW standards “must raise the bar beyond what Common Core offers.“
“How I wish I could be a fly on the wall, listening to conversations in Oklahoma now! What is the local Oklahoma PTA saying? What are Oklahoma state and local school boards thinking? And what are Oklahoma’s chambers of commerce saying now to their members? All these figureheads have pushed pro-Common Core marketing on parents and teachers and businesses for several years, and now they are having to change their whole story.
How many thousands of not-from-Oklahoma teachers plan to move from other states to Oklahoma –solely based on this turn of educational events? How many parents in other states, who are exhausted from the effort of being endlessly dismissed by their state school boards and governors, are thinking what I’m thinking?
If the rest of our U.S. governors, legislators and school boards don’t see the light –and fast– it’s going to be wahoo, pack your bags and let’s move to Oklahoma.” (emphasis mine)
Remember all those stories about TN teachers threatening to leave for a $5k bonus in Georgia (plus that extra bonus of a state income tax and increased housing costs)? Wonder how many would leave to not deal with Bill Gates-based education and their education prostitute front (TNSCORE, Achieve Inc., PARCC, LIFT, Fordham, TFA)? Sounds like Huffman and Barton need to make a trip to Oklahoma to remind them that punting Common Core is a step backward academically… just put it on the PARCC tab, Bill Gates is buying.
By Eric Holcombe
Some excerpts from Eagle Crest Charter Academy President Brian Polet’s resignation letter:
“Over the past few months it has come to light that this Academy has suffered the chaos over the past two years of what is commonly called Common Core.”
“This copy-written, corporate-driven education model has been developed by non-teachers and edu-crats from Washington to Lansing to the detriment of students, parents, taxpayers and local school boards. Without control of curriculum and a limited control of budgets, CC has effectively removed local control from parents and put it the hands of ESPs, the Dept. of Ed and state boards.”
“More disturbing to me is the inability to guarantee the data privacy of our students. Neither NHA or the State Board will be able to protect a child’s data from corporate vultures, marketers, and political interest groups from being used in a malevolent way. Equally troubling is the ability for educational personnel to manipulate tests and assessments to move any student into certain fields or vocations and to modify behavior without consent or knowledge of the parent.”
“With CC, we no longer have the Socratic model of education, but a new Bill Gates vocational schooling for worker bees and drones. Plainly, I have not left education, education has left me and more importantly, our students.”
Sounds like Jamie Woodson and Kevin Huffman should parade Arne Duncan around Michigan too and remind them how Common Core is “state led”.
Jim Folts asks some hard hitting, important questions about meetings that took place at each Blount County School before the recent May 6th primary election. The Chairman of the Education Committee, Commissioner Ron French, said that some Commissioners were present at the meetings of the Schools in their districts, if they were called. Jim Folts serves on the Education Committee, yet he was not invited to these meetings.
Election Laws that may have been broken: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4i9IFqGDcTKNVBmZFQ0ZkpVcVE/edit?pli=1
Audio of Education Committee meeting where Jim Folts questions Director of Schools Rob Britt. https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4i9IFqGDcTKZkY2akdSWFMwZXc/edit?pli=1
According to Rob Britt, Mayor Ed Mitchell called him to have a meeting at each school. Rob Britt says the purpose of the meetings was, “Real simple, it’s just to educate our faculty and staff on the sales tax referendum.”
Tennessee Code Annotated 2-19-134
(a) It is unlawful for any person to coerce or direct any employee to vote for any measure, party or person who may be a candidate for any office, or for any person who may be a candidate for nomination for any office, to threaten the discharge of such employee if the employee votes or does not vote for any such candidate for nomination or for office, or for any particular policy or measure.
Were these meetings mandatory? Were employees told what the funds from the sales tax referendum would be used for? Were certain Commissioners, facing opponents, invited when others weren’t? A yes answer to these questions would likely mean that one or more of these law(s) was/were broken.
An investigation should be conducted by the DA. If any of these laws were broken, then Rob Britt should be demoted and the Mayor should resign.
By Eric Holcombe
“The “freeze” of common core is all but useless. The department says common core is fully implemented so to say you aren’t going to implement it any further is like saying you filled up your gas tank but you aren’t going to put any more gas in your tank.”
Couldn’t say it much better myself. Read the rest here.
For proof of what the Senator is claiming, watch the March 12, 2014 video proceedings of his bill SB1985 here.
The State Dept. of Education brings Steve Smith and Emily Barton (K-12 “lead” for PARCC, the no-bid, federally-mandated, overpriced testing arm created with Race To The Top money) to explain that Common Core is now already fully implemented. That means there is no “further implementation” to delay for two years. They then use an appeal to fear (that’s a logical fallacy for the Common Core – educated out there) that if we don’t keep Common Core implemented, the state may be liable to the federal government for the $500+ million we fraudulently obtained through RTTT and have already spent. I GUESS COMMON CORE ISN’T “STATE-LED” THEN IS IT?
They also claim great improvement on NAEP assessments last year due to Common Core. A post on that false statement is forthcoming.
By Eric Holcombe
I wish it wasn’t so. There are several bills before the education committees of varying potential effectiveness to close the gaping wounds of Common Core caused by the state’s fraudulent end-around of the voters with the Race To The Top (RTTT) application. However, the Republican “leadership” just isn’t interested in some of these bills. See, Governor Haslam has a direct conflict of interest as a board member of Achieve Inc, the Washington D.C. corporation that received (still receives?) millions from Bill Gates, and the “project manager” for PARCC, the no-bid testing body created with RTTT money. His appointed commissioner of education, Kevin Huffman is on the board of PARCC so he too has a direct conflict of interest in altering Common Core or the mandatory online data mining of your children. He is also a member of the Council of Chief State School Officers, the other Washington D.C. corporation that received millions from Bill Gates. Plus our state attorney general Bob Cooper, who is appointed by the illegally “selected” judges in our unconstitutional “Tennessee Plan”, is a signatory to the RTTT application that committed us to Common Core and the data-mining and also cannot afford to admit any fault in the claims made therein. So any bills that would seriously challenge Common Core “state” Standards or the desires of the federal government (but I repeat myself) will earn a quick “opinion” from the AG that we are being “unconstitutional” or that we shouldn’t dare challenge our federal overlords or some such poppycock his office is known for when it comes to anything remotely 10th Amendment related. Some bills just don’t have a chance – like SB2405/HB2332 by Beavers and Womick that would simply stop Common Core, or SB1469/HB1705 by Gresham and Faison that while it doesn’t really stop PARCC, it does limit the bizarre data-mining of children that the U.S. government has already suggested it wants to do. Unfortunately, this bill appeals to the data-gathering privacy limits imposed by FERPA, which Obama has already gutted by executive order because this was necessary since the PARCC/SBAC data-mining and subsequent 3rd party sale of your children’s privacy was already illegal under federal law. Rep. Rick Womick appears to be protesting the “leadership” gatekeepers of the “acceptable” bills just a bit here:
Other bills are simply too weak and would do nothing substantive to correct the error of RTTT and the obvious corruption in the state board of education and executive branch that brought it to us. The only bill that has progressed is SB1835/HB1549 by Gresham/Dunn (see amendments) which does nothing about the existing Common Core standards for English Language Arts or Mathematics, but only the adoption of future standards for science, social studies, health and sex education – which will still be done after the state board of education simply puts it on their website for 60 days. And believe me, it will happen. Because they want their sugar daddy money from the fed. This bill has the possibility of shutting out PARCC from TN, but again, we will be doing mandatory online testing for Common Core with somebody – because this bill does nothing about the existing tar baby we are attached to. But none of the bills will work anyway. Why? Because Obama is making our allegedly “state-led” standards mandatory as part of his federal education budget:
As Neil McCluskey from the Cato Institute explains: “The big story in the proposal is – or, at least, should be – that the president almost certainly wants to make the Core permanent by attaching annual federal funding to its use, and to performance on related tests. Just as the administration called for in its 2010 NCLB reauthorization proposal, POTUS wants to employ more than a one-time program, or temporary waivers, to impose “college and career-ready standards,” which–thanks to RTTT and waivers–is essentially synonymous with Common Core. In fact, President Obama proposes changing Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act – of which NCLB is just the most recent reauthorization – to a program called “College- and Career-Ready Students,” with an annual appropriation of over $14 billion.
This was utterly predictable. Core opponents, who are so often smeared as conspiracy mongers, know full well both what the President has proposed in the past, and how government accumulates power over time. RTTT was the foot in the door, and once most states were using the same standards and tests, there was little question what Washington would eventually say: “Since everyone’s using the same tests and standards anyway, might as well make federal policy based on that.”
Don’t worry, we have “Conservative Republicans” Bailout Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander (and his campaign manager Jimmy Duncan) watching our backs right? Maybe Doug Overbey and Brian Kelsey can tell you that I am all worked up about a problem that doesn’t exist yet…
So Bob Cooper (at “leadership” urging for opinions) will shoot down ANY of your bills – not that both houses wouldn’t just return to their RTTT vomit once they feared loss of the sugar daddy money (Yes, I noted the hand-wringing of Charlotte Burks last week). Our executive branch and the necessary appointees are bought and paid for. The people lose.
My prediction: Tennessee will pimp your children some more for that almighty federal dollar. The names of the “standards” may change, as other states have already attempted to rebrand the BS into bovine scat, but it still smells the same.
It’s time to put the 10th Amendment pants on….if you have any. Or maybe borrow Sen. Ramsey’s boots. He doesn’t seem to be using them. I hope you have the courage to do so.
by Eric Holcombe
…because it contains text from two of the text “exemplars” recommended by the Common Core “state” Standards for English Language Arts for preparing your human capital widget to “compete in the global marketplace”. That means if you are under 18 years of age, stop reading now. This isn’t your Common Core English class. My intent is not to disseminate the pornographic material contained in the so-called “state-led” Common Core standards, but rather to warn you in the spirit of Ephesians 5: “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.“
‘Wait!’ you say, ‘we hear all the time that Common Core “isn’t a curriculum”, so how could it possibly be recommending a bunch of books to read? Isn’t that a curriculum?’ Uh, yeah…it goes right along with that famous “state-led” claim. But the state and local whores of Common Core still insist on telling us these were all our idea and they are “rigorous” and “internationally benchmarked”. They continue to do state propaganda puff pieces on the wonderful success of Common Core and it’s all rainbows and unicorns.
But there’s a problem. The Common Core English Language Arts Standard contains a list of recommended reading text “exemplars” – grade “appropriate” of course. However, some of them contain passages that are simply pornography and are therefore illegal to present to a minor in the state of Tennessee:
“39-17-911. Sale, loan or exhibition of material to minors.
(a) It is unlawful for any person to knowingly sell or loan for monetary consideration or otherwise exhibit or make available to a minor:
(1) Any picture, photograph, drawing, sculpture, motion picture film, video game, computer software game, or similar visual representation or image of a person or portion of the human body, that depicts nudity, sexual conduct, excess violence, or sado-masochistic abuse, and that is harmful to minors; or
(2) Any book, pamphlet, magazine, printed matter, however reproduced, or sound recording, which contains any matter enumerated in subdivision (a)(1), or that contains explicit and detailed verbal descriptions or narrative accounts of sexual excitement, sexual conduct, excess violence, or sado-masochistic abuse, and that is harmful to minors.”
I’ll warn you now – these texts aren’t fit to be read. They are filth. I can’t think of an “appropriate” age to read them or any educational benefit from reading them. If they were a picture or a movie, some would legally be considered child pornography. In fact, if these texts are provided to minors in a Tennessee public school classroom, the school most certainly will be in violation of Tennessee’s obscenity law and possibly guilty of delinquency of a minor. That is if the human capital widgets “learn” anything from reading them.
White County Assistant Principal (and candidate for U.S. Congress) Jerry Lowery warned the gathering at the Senate Education Committee “fact-finding’ hearings of the filth contained in “The Bluest Eye” and would not read it aloud, instead providing written examples to the Senate Education Committee of what he found offensive and inappropriate for students. So at least the Senate Education Committee is aware, uh… I mean reminded about it, because see, these are “state-led” standards that we thought up right here in Tennessee. At least that’s what the propagandists keep telling us.
The two Common Core recommended texts are called “The Bluest Eye” and “Dreaming in Cuban”. They are recommended for 11th grade students. They can be found listed on Page 19 of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts Exemplars (along with the ISBN numbers so you can order your curriculum that isn’t a curriculum) or they can be seen in the Common Core Appendix B list of Text Exemplars here on page 152 along with some ambiguous descriptions and non-pornographic excerpts from each text. I have wrestled for a while about publicizing these texts more than they have been already, but I think the parents and taxpayers need to see the kind of depraved minds that are behind these “state-led standards that aren’t a curriculum” and the “list of books that isn’t a partial or complete list”. This is how the Common Core whores operate. They hope you never find this. When you do, suddenly the “exemplar” text lists aren’t a “partial or complete list”(?!?) or really even a suggestion that you read, even though they give you the ISBN info so you can order them. These are the people deciding what your children need to learn and when – and rewriting the college entrance exams. I am showing you these to provoke you, so that you don’t go back to sleep and ignore the millions in payoffs to the organizations our governors and commissioners of education are part of (NGA, CCSSO, Achieve Inc., Diploma Project, PARCC). So that you can no longer ignore that the fraud of Common Core was foisted upon the administrators and teachers of the public schools to force their consent before the standards even existed. So that you are equally offended when you see these local propaganda puff pieces in the “news” paper. But ultimately, that you might consider whom is teaching your children – and how much control do you really have over what is being taught?
Here is the link to excerpts from both texts. By clicking this link, you agree that you are 18 years or older (and want to find out what Common Core intends to teach 16-year olds to help them compete in the global marketplace).
What I want to know is, if Common Core is really “state-led” as claimed by the Governor, commissioner of Education, the state school board, Jamie “we were going to do it anyway” Woodson and all Bill Gates’ paid whores at the “fact-finding” hearing, just exactly whom from Tennessee worked on putting together this English Language Arts Text Exemplar list and why didn’t they have any objection to the content? Who from Tennessee worked on these “state-led” standards and thought it was just fine to present pedophilia pornography to minors in violation of state law? I’d like to give credit where credit is due.
Right on. Everything the government touches it makes more expensive. We’d be way better off if the government would get it’s nose out of everything.
by Eric Holcombe
In a previous post, I showed you how the State Dept. of Education selectively censored the memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreement forms that were provided to me upon request. The MOUs I requested were the forms the state claimed in the Race To The Top (RTTT) application for hundreds of millions of federal taxpayer dollars were signed by all the Tennessee public school district directors of schools, the local school board chairperson and if applicable, the local district teacher union representative. Of course, this has since been proven to be false as the department has since informed me these signed MOU forms claimed in the RTTT application “do not exist”. The MOU copies that were provided to me were: 1) not the same MOU form or language as those claimed to be signed by all parties in the RTTT application, 2) were only signed by the directors of schools and 3) were signed several months after the Race To The Top application. The department for some reason withheld five districts from these copies, all of which were signed in 2009, before the first “confidential” rough draft of the Common Core “state” Standards were even available for anyone to look at. That date was January 13, 2010. The only district that seemed to put up any kind of documented protest was Jackson – Madison County. Their MOU included an attached letter of protest/concern authored by JMCEA representative Janis Carrol which indicated concerns about agreeing to a memorandum of understanding that amounted to signing a blank check because: 1) The education “reforms” that would become special session legislation in January 2010 did not exist yet but there was plenty of talk about teacher tenure restriction/elimination and tying teacher pay to student achievement testing. 2) No one could yet read the 1100-page RTTT application that they were swearing familiarity with in the MOU they were being asked to sign 3) Therefore, they could not know the deception used by the Department of Education to hide the agreement to implement the Common Core “state” Standards and the massive data-mining increase (SLDS system expansion) that would be contained in the RTTT application. However this unknown also would apply to the school district personnel that were asked to sign.
To give some insight into what was going on in December 2009, when the State Dept. of Education was asking all the districts to sign the blank check and agree to whatever is inside their RTTT trojan horse, Janis has provided meeting minutes from the JMCEA executive committee meeting along with some commentary. Note that these minutes are from December 8, 2009, over 30 days prior to the first “confidential” rough draft of the Common Core “state” Standards even being available; the special session legislation that would be passed in January just prior to its inclusion in the RTTT application (which would be submitted only a couple of days later) doesn’t exist yet. Thus, the 1100-page RTTT application cannot be complete at this point, yet the state is asking for districts to agree they are familiar with whatever might be contained in it (including the Common Core “state” Standards and mandatory online, overpriced achievement testing by no-bid contracts with Phil Bredesen’s Achieve Inc. unbeknownst to them).
Janis’ comments follow:
“I’m attaching the minutes from the JMCEA Executive Board meeting just prior to me signing the RTTTF MOU. It explains how we came to the decision of how to handle this in the best way we thought possible.
Although this was four years ago, I recall us feeling the pressure into to signing this. We were damned if we did and also damned if we didn’t. We were lead to believe that all local associations had to sign this in order to get it. I didn’t want us to be the scapegoat if we didn’t. That being said, we agreed it was a bad idea to sign something that was still being planned out… CRAZY.
I think I remember there were about four or five teacher associations who refused to sign it. Turns out in the end that it didn’t matter if we agreed and signed it or not. It appeared it was a done deal.”
Remember those famous words from Jamie SCORE Woodson at the September 20, 2013 “fact-finding” hearing: “We were going to do it anyway”. She was sponsoring the special session legislation at this time and getting ready to resign and go to work for Bill Frist to spend those millions that Bill Gates gave to TNSCORE – for the children, of course. However, that special session legislation does not commit the state to Common Core or the no-bid, data-mining contract with PARCC (Governing Board member Kevin Huffman and their project manager, Achieve Inc. – Bill Haslam board member).
Also note in the JMCEA minutes that TEA had provided a letter to the local affiliates – presumably a letter of protest that Janis improved upon. This is what I would expect my union to do for me as a dues-paying member, because endorsing this massive application that you can’t read yet is as Janis stated “CRAZY”. For some reason though, even TEA had changed their tune by January 16, 2010 (two days before the RTTT application was submitted) as Earl Wiman’s rubber-stamp letter contained in Appendix A (on Page A-27) of the RTTT application states:
“We advised all of our local affiliates to sign their LEAs Memorandum of Understanding in order to support Tennessee’s RTTT application. Further, we recommended that they commit themselves to negotiate the appropriate components outlined in the school system’s scope of work.“
Presumably, this change was in response to “partnering with” Gov. Bredesen and compromising on the teacher tenure issue in special session. It is apparent that this was the JCMEA executive committee primary concern, after all, they couldn’t know what was contained in the RTTT trojan horse – and neither did Earl Wiman.
So the public school administrators were ignorant of Common Core and PARCC testing being contained in the RTTT application because they could not read it. Neither could the teachers. Neither could any parents of any students. The signatories of the RTTT application were Gov. Phil Bredesen, Education Commissioner Tim Webb and State Board of Education President, B. Fielding Rolston. Somebody knew about the trojan horse. Somebody worked on the Tennessee RTTT application and made these promises to implement Common Core and the PARCC testing. Somebody at the state level was forcing the districts to agree to this 1100-page document without being able to read it. If it is not the signatories, then who? Because it certainly wasn’t “led” by the people of the state.