Search Results for: utah

A Utah teacher’s opinion of the SAGE test “items” TN is renting from Utah for $2.3M

by Eric Holcombe

Photo: Kelly Maher Poynter of her daughter working on "rigorous" Commie Core assignments

Photo: Kelly Maher Poynter of her daughter working on “rigorous” Commie Core assignments

As mentioned in earlier posts, Tennessee is leasing Utah’s Common Core, federal government-forced online testing “items” from their SAGE assessments provided by Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC) via the behavioral research company American Institutes for Research (AIR). AIR is known for behavioral research, a.k.a. data mining, on public school students such as Project Talent in 1960 (also driven by the federal government). At the time of their implementation, the SAGE assessments were untested, that is, they were unpiloted on any students prior to them being foisted upon Utah students in spring of 2014. Utah students were the guinea pigs – and Utahns paid handsomely for the privilege to be the guinea pigs. In December of 2014, Achieve Inc. board member Bill Haslam announced that Tennessee would be renting test “items” from Utah for $2.3 million for the next couple of years until Measurement Inc. (via AIR, via SBAC) can develop the “TNReady” tests. Now keep in mind that like Tennessee, all states that took the Race To The Top federal bribe must choose between one of two federal-government created masters for their mandatory, online testing: PARCC or SBAC. Tennessee’s initial illegal, no-bid testing contract was awarded to PARCC (Kevin Huffman, governing board). Utah initially chose SBAC and after much public displeasure was expressed then did the same thing Achieve Inc. board member Haslam has since done: pretend to put the mandatory, federal-driven testing “out for bid”, say you are making “state-led” tests except they rigged the specifications so that ultimately only an SBAC subcontracted entity could “win”. So Utah ended up with the SAGE assessments by SBAC via AIR, the behavioral research company. In Tennessee’s case, we added yet another middle-man by hiring Measurement Inc. from North Carolina, who subcontracted to AIR, a Washington DC corporation (like Haslam’s Achieve Inc.) who works with SBAC from Washington State. And in the meanwhile, we are renting the tests that Utah has already paid them to create, thus TN students are really UtahReady.
Following is an editorial by Debbie Nichols, a recently retired Utah teacher of 34 years, who gives her view of the SAGE test (emphasis mine). This was published in the Deseret News on November 1 of 2014, about six months after the first application of the SAGE tests in Utah but still PRIOR to Tennessee’s contract to lease the test “items” for $2.3 million per year from Utah for the next two years and PRIOR to Tennessee’s $108 million contract to Measurement Inc. to produce the new tests from AIR/SBAC for the following five years.
You may find yourself asking who did the shopping for this and why did we decide this was a good idea for Tennessee (if in fact Commie Core and its mandatory online testing really is “state-led” and not forced by the federal government).

My view: A teacher’s opinion of the SAGE test
Many Utahns heard about the SAGE test for the first time this week as the test results were published. There is more to be concerned about than the scores. There are some things that taxpayers and parents need to know about the SAGE test.
I taught school for 34 years and just retired in June. I taught nine years at West Kearns Elementary and 25 years at Eastwood Elementary. I have watched the metamorphosis in education over these many years. Some changes have been good and some have not. The SAGE test is not a good change.

SAGE testing does not line up with the curriculum. It may tell you some things a child knows, but not necessarily what he or she learned in class. This style of test never measures what has been taught.

The math section of the SAGE test is really a reading test, which means one cannot distinguish computation from application from vocabulary knowledge. Can the child do the computation but not apply it? Could the child do the computation and apply it if he or she knew a different vocabulary term used in the word problem? The SAGE test won’t tell you, and educators are not given vocabulary lists or knowledge of content.
The SAGE test is simply not a good test. Last spring I saw a little boy stare at his screen for 30 minutes. He knew the correct answer was 1½, but he could not find a way to enter a mixed number to answer the question. It couldn’t be done on his computer.
The SAGE test is written so that as a student answers questions correctly, the test immediately takes the student to questions that aren’t just harder, but out of grade level. It overwhelms and frustrates elementary children. The students are not allowed to go on unless they answer each question. Last year I watched as 28 students stared at a screen until they gave up and guessed. The teacher is not allowed to give prompts during this test at all. Exasperated students soon give up. Low students stop reading altogether.
The SAGE test does not help teachers or students know student progress. This testing format is not age appropriate for grade school. For secondary schools, it is still not measuring if a student mastered the curriculum that they were taught.
Learning has to be measured in some way. So educators look at what the end goal is and set out during the year to try to achieve this goal. We make a curriculum that matches up with the final test to be given. This is not teaching to the test, this is teaching to the goal of mastery of a subject.
A runner knows that his race time does not improve by buying a new stopwatch. The runner knows that he needs to work harder and practice more. Students’ scores will not improve with a new test. It is not the testing we need to practice but the actual skill. More testing does not equal more learning. We need more teaching time in the classroom and less testing time. There is so much more that these students need to know for the future. Too much testing just desensitizes them. We should be striving for love of learning, not hate of testing.
Educators and society need to prepare our students for college and the real workforce. The SAGE doesn’t help, it just dampens the love of learning. We deserve more for our education dollar. More importantly, our students deserve better.

So what does UtahReady look like?

Brian Halladay, Alpine School District Board member, Utah County, UT

By Eric Holcombe
In my last post I explained how we are paying the state of Utah to “lease” test “items” that Utah has paid to have produced by the behavioral research company American Institutes of Research (AIR). Utah’s tests are called the SAGE Assessments and they began using them in 2014, because Utah, like Tennessee, also took the federal bribe in Race To The Top to implement the federally-provided Common Core “state” Standards and all electronic assessment testing provided via the federally created, multi-state testing consortia (PARCC and SBAC). So since Tennessee students will now be UtahReady, I thought you might be interested in the viewpoint of a Utah school board member regarding the SAGE assessments we are now paying Utah to lease “items” from. After all, we have been told by the Common Core Whores what a great idea this is because all the cool kids are doing it (emphasis mine):

The Reality Behind Your Child’s Test

By Brian Halladay, Board Member, Alpine School District, Utah

Sage test results were recently released that showed less than half of Utah’s students were proficient in math, English, and language arts. Taken at face value, this means that more than half our students are “not proficient.” So, what does this mean? Absolutely nothing.

The SAGE test is an unreliable, unverified test that our children from 3rd-11th grade are taking not just once, but up to three times a year. These tests aren’t scored by their teachers, but rather by the American Institutes for Research (AIR). This company is the one of the world’s largest social and behavioral research organizations. Your child’s proficiency is being scored by a bunch of behavioral researchers. 

No teacher is scoring, or has the ability to score, an individual child’s SAGE test.
Your child is taking a test for 8 hours (4 hours for math and 4 hours for English) that their teacher can’t see the questions to. This test is designed to have your child fail. Gone are the days when a student could feel a sense of achievement for getting 100% on a test. This test is touted to be “rigorous”. If your child gets a correct answer the test will continue to ask harder and harder questions until he or she gets it wrong (who knows if what is tested was actually taught in the classroom?) Put simply, this means that your child likely will come home grumpy, anxious, or depressed after taking this test. With over 50% non-proficiency, this will affect more than half  of the students that take it.

The teacher is almost as much of a test victim as the child. Having no idea of the test questions, teachers are still starting to be evaluated —on a test they can’t see. I believe we’re starting to see this leading to more experienced teachers leaving, and an increase in teachers with little to no experience not knowing the pre-SAGE environment.  

Points to consider: 

1. When did we allow testing to become more important than education?
 
2. Your child’s data is subject to being shared with people and organizations without your consent. There is nothing that prohibits AIR or any its multiple organizations from accessing your child’s data. As long as AIR doesn’t make a profit from the data without the USOE’s consent, they can use it for anything they want.
 
3. This test has no contractual provisions that prevent it from collecting BEHAVIORAL data. AIR has a long history of collecting behavioral data, and seeing they’re a behavioral research organization, don’t you think they will? (Just look up Project Talent).

Last year, two fellow board members and I wrote a letter to our State Superintendent asking him to address our concerns, for which we’ve had no response. If your parental instinct is kicking in, I would ask that you at least consider opting your child out of taking this test. State law allows any parent to opt their child out. Even if you don’t decide to opt out, talk with your teacher, know when your child is taking this test, and make sure your decision is in the child’s best interest.

Tennessee Students are now Utah-Ready?

TN is paying Utah for test questions

by Eric Holcombe
If you have been following Achieve Inc. board member Haslam and the state department of eduction’s more recent announcements regarding “TNReady” or “TNCore”, the alleged, “new”, “state-led” standards for K-12 education to “replace” Common Core (because those Common Core “state” Standards we were told were “state-led” by these same people were nothing of the sort), then you may have been hearing that everything is bright-shiny new and there are new “Tennessee” tests and new “Tennessee” standards. Well, that’s not exactly true.

While Achieve Inc. board member Haslam did let Kevin Huffman (governing board member of PARCC) go as education commissioner and PARCC did lose their illegal, no-bid, multi-million dollar testing contract to provide the Common Core “state” Standard aligned tests in Tennessee, there were absolutely no consequences for the apparent taxpayer-funded collusion between PARCC, their board members and the folks in TN State Board of Education letting the no-bid contract. Neither was there any repercussion for PARCC’s project manager, Achieve Inc. (Bill Haslam, board member). Instead, the same standards are rebranded “TNCore” and the second testing entity (like PARCC) created with $365 million in federal stimulus money will ultimately provide the Common Core “state” Standards aligned tests. This second company is Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). Joining a multi-state testing consortia was part and parcel of taking the federal tax dollar bribe in the Race To The Top federal grant application, and so was the adoption of the Common Core “state” Standards. Many states initially contracted with PARCC and many did with SBAC. We are simply changing federally-created test makers. We took and have already spent the $500+ million in the federal Race To The Top bribe, so you can be sure we will remain slaves to our federal masters, no matter what Nashville wants to rename it.

What you probably did hear about was a $108-million contract between the state of Tennessee and a company called Measurement Inc. to provide the “new” tests to replace the TCAP tests, now nicknamed/rebranded TNReady. You may have even read that Measurement Inc. isn’t really producing these tests, but is actually subcontracting the work to a company called American Institutes of Research (AIR) who is a partner to SBAC to provide the tests. That’s right. You are now paying for at least two middlemen. In the typical “but Mom, all the other kids are jumping off the roof, so why can’t I?” rationale, we were told how Utah, Arizona and Florida were already contracted with AIR so it must be good for Tennessee too, right? Don’t try too hard to remember all that selling that Achieve Inc. board member Haslam and Candice McQueen have been doing to convince you this time it really is “state-led” (by another state I guess). That is how we ended up in the PARCC boat with Florida to begin with.

AIR is primarily a behavioral research company, not a standardized academic assessment maker, i.e., they are well experienced in data mining. There is much speculation about what their motivation may be in the new business of data-mining public school students when combined with the bizarre data collection goals revealed in “Promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perseverance” published by the federal Dept. of Education. Like many of the players in the Common Core game, they too received millions of dollars from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This is beginning to look like a prerequisite to get into the education “business” in Tennessee at this point. Nevertheless, AIR did produce Common Core “state” Standard aligned assessments for the state of Utah called SAGE assessments. So, did Florida, Arizona and Tennessee get their own “state-led” assessments made just for themselves for their alleged “state-led” standards? Nope. We are paying $2.3 million to lease two years’ worth of test “items” from the Utah tests. The defenders of this scheme claim that we are not paying for Utah’s “tests”, only “items” from the tests.
So to summarize, Tennessee students will now be Utah-Ready. But it’s all “state-led”….

#TNaintReady 2.0

by Horatio Bunce

Common Core “state” standards performance numbers for high school students are in. Commissioner McQueen had a press conference and bar graph to declare success as reported by the always- government-school-sympathetic Chalkbeat. Chalkbeat had set up the press conference the day before with another article stating that Tennessee students were struggling with the testing on the “UtahReady” tests because of the “rigorous” Common Core “State” Standards that students have only been using for two years. Convenient excuse isn’t it?

Remember how when back in 2014 (that’s 3 whole years ago for you Common Core Math students) when Stacey Campfield introduced a bill to stop implementing more Common Core “State” Standards, it was too late to turn back and lose all that ground? Apparently none of that counts, nor does the instruction happening between then and 2015 when we started paying millions of dollars to “lease” Utah Sage Assessment questions for TNReady tests. So the setup was that if we didn’t see improvement, it would be really bad news, therefore telegraphing that flat or any improvement at all is “success”. So, Candice makes up a bar graph that is really exaggerated to show improvement from 2016 to 2017.

I felt it necessary to edit her bogus graph to include the rest of the data set and illustrate how statistically insignificant the difference in the two years’ scores are. The educrats have changed the federally-driven testing language from the old “below basic, basic, proficient and advanced” terms to now only show us two terms called “on track” and “mastered”. There is a very significant data set (added by me in red) that does not fall in these categories. Not sure what that is called, since it is not “on track” or “mastered”. Maybe “obscured”, “obfuscated”, “ignored in press releases” or something similar would work?

 

 

 

When Uncle Sugar isn’t your pimp

outhouse

photo: Horatio Bunce

by Horatio Bunce

In my neck of the woods, a “food desert” somewhere in FEMA Region IV, a local business thumbs their nose at the “cell-phone-and-a-pen” unconstitutional platitudes emanating from Washington DC. Folks like us not receiving the corporate welfare benefits that result in forced acceptance of Bill Gates’ Common Core, Pearson Sharia Social Studies, PARCC/SBAC/AIR/UTAH SAGE test question rentals and now apparently co-ed public school locker rooms, are finding it hard to understand why the super-majority Republicans in Tennessee shake in their boots every time Hedy Weinberg utters a threat to federal funding. We “might” get sued. Uncle Sugar “might” withhold your money that was automatically “withheld” from you when you earned it to begin with.  So keep turning those tricks Welfare Queen. You don’t want to get slapped by Uncle Sugar, do you?

All those liberties sold out chasing Uncle Sugar’s dollar (which was yours to begin with). They sure came cheap. You can call it “state-led” all you want, but it is plain to see who is in control.

The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.  Proverbs 22:7

 

Evaluating the 2016 Tennessee Republican Party convention delegates – Part 1: Hey, nobody voted for them!

Boss Haynes - photo: Getty Images

Boss Haynes photo: Getty Images

by Horatio Bunce

This is Part 1 in a series of posts evaluating the 2016 Tennessee Republican Party delegate slate approved by the TNGOPe. Much is being made of the Trump campaign “whining” about being cheated when it comes to delegates selected by the GOPe. Alleged GOP “outsider” Ted Cruz seems to be getting much of the benefit of the totally “insider” selected delegate states (see Colorado and Wyoming) where no vote of the people is taken. Cruz “the outsider” calls Trump a sore loser and says he should know the rules of the game better. Apparently “outsiders” are all “inside baseball” that way. I am willing to bet most loyal Republican voters that have held their noses voting for Bob Dole, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Bob Corker, Lamar Alexander, etc. also aren’t aware of those rules. They think when they cast votes for committed delegates that the elections are fair, the delegates receiving the most votes win and go to the convention voting for the candidate they committed to. Yet again and again they find themselves taking another one for the team when the RNC feeds them their fourth or fifth choice of candidate as the nominee and your “conservative” committed delegates you thought you had deliver another unanimous convention floor vote for the next yellow dog.

So, let’s take a look at the 2016 Tennessee Republican party approved slate of delegates and compare that to the ballot you were given and the recorded votes. You probably read/heard some weak stories about the slate like this reported in a scorecard fashion like Trump 33, Cruz 16, Rubio 9 and probably thought, “that sounds about right based on the popular vote, right”? You have to actually look at the delegates approved by the state party to see what the result is. In this post I will address delegates and alternates on their approved slate that nobody voted for – because they were not on the ballot. Now, this is also part of those “rules” that the GOPe and Cruz make fun of Trump for not knowing and being a “sore loser”. I’m expecting you will be just as “sore” when you see what has been done to your votes.

You can find a sample ballot for the 2016 Republican presidential primary for Blount County here.

You can find the “unofficial” voting results here.

You can find the Tennessee Republican party approved slate of delegates going to the 2016 Republican National Convention here.

Keep in mind that not all delegate candidates appear on your ballot, since the congressional district portion of the ballot where you selected three delegates are only those residing in your district. There are nine congressional districts in the state. The at-large delegates are the same on every ballot as they can reside anywhere in the state. You selected up to 14 of them, presumably those declaring themselves committed to your candidate. Many of these congressional and at-large delegates are party insiders, incumbents or former office-holders.

If you take a look at the party-approved slate of delegates you will notice several names that did not appear on any ballot, i.e., nobody voted for them:

Scott Carey – Cruz Delegate – attorney, managing shareholder of Baker Donelson and general counsel to the state Republican party

Chris Devaney – Cruz Delegate – Former state party chair 2009-20015, resigned to become executive director of Children’s Nutrition Program of Haiti just a few months after defeating Joe Carr for the position. Also supported Lamar Alexander against primary challenger Joe Carr.

Frank Colvett – Cruz Alternate – Memphis city councilman, Tennessee Republican Party State Executive Committee member and TNGOP Treasurer

Paula Sedgwick – Cruz Alternate – Bartlett, TN alderman, Haslam appointee, Tennessee Republican Party State Executive Committee member

Just look at all those Cruz “outsiders”!

Ryan Haynes – Rubio Delegate – Pigeon Forge liquor-by-the-drink lobbyist (while a Knox Co. representative), current state party chair.

Dave Black – Rubio Alternate – Founder and chairman of Aegis Sciences Corp. and husband of U.S. Rep. Diane Black.

Bill Haslam – Rubio Delegate – Achieve Inc. board member, Common Core promoter, project manager for federal testing entity PARCC, Utah test question renter, and oh yeah, the governor.

Betty Cannon – Trump Delegate – TNGOP Vice Chairman

Ken Gross – Trump Delegate – Tennessee Republican Party State Executive Committee member and known anti-Trump facebook poster. Interesting he is now a forced-upon-you delegate for the man he called a “liberal Democrat”.

Peggy Lambert – Trump Delegate – Republican National Committee member for Tennessee, former Blount county commissioner

John Ryder – Trump Delegate – Republican National Committee member for Tennessee, RNC General Counsel, He was the chairman of the Redistricting Committee and the RNC Presidential Nominating Schedule Committee. He was a delegate for the 1984, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Republican National Conventions. Ryder served on the Temporary Delegate Selection Committee and currently serves on the Rules Committee.

Beverly Knight Hurley – Trump Alternate – Tennessee Republican Party State Executive Committee member from Davidson County

Gee, look at all that establishment support for not-a-Republican Trump! Who Knew?

There are now 14 delegates appointed by the state executive committee of the party. They pretty much appoint themselves, and a few slots are automatic: the party chair and the two national committee members (Haynes, Lambert and Ryder). These appointments are a relatively “new” thing implemented by the party in 2012. Why? To remove you pesky voters from the process. It is getting harder all the time to force the next Single Digit Jeb on you. So throw in an automatic 25% of the vote fixed in advance and voila, they can “elect” a yellow dog if necessary. In this case, the GOPe are now on Plan C with Cruz and likely do not truly support him either, but these fix-is-in delegates will vote as required for two rounds at the convention. More importantly, they will be a protectionist vote of the establishment when it comes to the required votes on potential rules and procedures changes. Their RNC “rules” expire every four years and have to be renewed before business at the convention. Don’t forget John Boehner and his teleprompter from Florida. It was getting messy. The GOPe needed to “fix” things so this didn’t happen again. However, a 40% populist vote for Trump wasn’t supposed to happen. The TNGOP fix-is-in construct did not account for that kind of opposition. So, even more rigging is necessary, which we’ll look at in Part 2.

Maybe Beck’s false god, Elohim of Kolob, made him do it

beck-and-cruz-2

photo: theconservativetreehouse.com

by Horatio Bunce

In my theory, the establishment shills are fatally flawed – because they are designed to fail when and if necessary. Also, indiscretions are kept as leverage. And as Fox News chief Roger Ailes admitted to “do[ing] the Rubio thing”, the GOPe game has changed to doing the Cruz thing.

“Beans”? – National Enquirer Runs Story of Multiple Ted Cruz Affairs…

The list of ladies includes CNN contributor Amanda Carpenter:

Amanda Carpenter is the conservative activist, CNN contributor, and writer for Mark Levin and the Conservative Review who recently published a “BLACKLIST” targeting anyone who supports Ted Cruz’s primary opponent, Donald Trump.”

Also pictured is Donald Trump’s campaign national spokeswoman, Katrina Pierson. Wow, if that is true, Cruz has to have been sweating bullets since she came on the campaign scene.

So, what to make of Glen Beck’s accusations of southern voters?

But all throughout the South the Evangelicals are not listening to their God. Let us raise a standard in Utah. Let us do this one thing perfectly right….So here’s what I’m saying to you — the reason why I’m bringing this up, and I’ve been wanting to say this for a very long time: Where the hell are the priesthood holders? Where are you? Thank you. It’s time to stand up. It’s time to stand up. You know what time it is. The priesthood is supposed to rise up and restore the Constitution. Now is that time. Period.”

I am not sure what god we were supposed to be listening to. See Glen, unlike your Planet Kolob gospel from those gold plates nobody ever saw, the Lord Almighty has already sent a Great High Priest, a priest after the order of Melchisedec – AND THERE IS BUT ONE MEDIATOR BETWEEN GOD AND MAN – and it ain’t no stinking earthly king. I am sure good evangelicals know where to find that in Hebrews.

#TNaintReady

YUNOby Horatio Bunce

TNReady tests to be given via paper, pencil after tech failure

Just wanted to comment on the repeated failures of the many media outlets that keep calling these the TNReady tests that we contracted with Measurement Inc. to produce for $108M. Measurement Inc. sub-contracted to the behavioral research company American Institutes for Research (AIR ) who also made the tests called the SAGE Assessments for Utah. Like Tennessee, Utah also took the federal bribe called Race To The Top which required mandatory online assessments (all the better to mine your human capital data with). Bribe-takers were additionally required to work through one of two federally-created, stimulus-funded, multi-state testing consortia for these online tests: PARCC or SBAC. After initially awarding an illegal, no-bid testing contract to PARCC (Kevin Huffman, governing board member) and their project manager Achieve Inc. (Bill Haslam board member, Phil Bredesen national co-chair), the testing contract was “rebid” (sic) with only one possible winner that meets our federally-mandated testing consortia requirement: SBAC. However the multiple middle-men of AIR and Measurement Inc. help to conceal this fact. But here is AIR’s press release from 2012 claiming their partnership with SBAC to deliver online testing to states, so make no mistake, Tennessee maintains her status as federal welfare queen pleasing Uncle Sugar. Federally mandated online testing right along with Common Core for taking that $500M+ bribe. The Common Core Whores can rename it all they want – it is still the same.

Tennessee is currently paying Utah $2.3M per year to rent test questions from their SAGE Assessments.

I hate to say I told you so on these tests, but from October 2013:

Note that some believe the sudden pullback from PARCC by these states is orchestrated, that other opportunists are now positioning themselves to create a “state-led” assessment model to test the same Common Core “state” Standards without the obvious, blatant, federal appearance that PARCC and SBAC have. Time will tell. Of course, this is merely treating a symptom and not the disease. They would likely rely on the same test makers – or copy “big” states like Florida, the same way they do with textbook selection.

I ask you to remember back to Bredesen/Woodson/Haslam/Frist et al rationalizing the Common Core “State” Standards and the wonderful multi-state testing consortia and how it was so hard to compare student achievement from state to state because we all had our different tests and how great this “common” thing was going to be (after they all cash in).

Doesn’t it seem, well, contradictory that now we are paying the same two Washington DC testing corporations to make different tests for each state that allegedly are all aligned to the same academic standards?

Remember, there is a $5,000 fine for leaking out any of Utah’s rented test questions – per question “regardless of whether the release is accidental, intentional or required by law.” It sure would be a shame if that happened, especially since it is now on paper.

The Common Core “state” Standards illegal cell phone tax

by Eric Holcombe

We are here to do big things — and we can do this without Congress,” Obama told his staff at a meeting, according to the aide.

Ever examine your phone bill, whether land line or wireless? Try calculating the percentage rate of federal taxation on your phone service some time. When I still had a land line, it was on the order of 40% taxes for a basic line with no add-on frills. Well, that apparently still isn’t enough. The federal government must raise more funds for internet connections at schools. Wait, you say, we already pay a FCC tax for that on our phone bills. Well, yes you do. It’s called the Federal Universal Service Fund charge tax. But this new tax Obama wants to push is due solely to the forced, federal education control scam called Common Core “state” Standards. See, the new allegedly state-led and demanded standards for math and English language arts that the federal government is forcing all the suckers who took Race To The Trough money to implement requires a bunch of new testing and it’s all via the internet on computers. That’s why the federal government needs all those new tax dollars so 99% of all classrooms will have “high speed” internet connections. Even though the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation has solely bankrolled more than $120 million in grants to make Common Core happen and we spent all that “stimulus” in Race To The Trough, we still need your help to continue to fund your own demise.

It’s “For The Children”™ again, so you should be willing to fork it over. We even call it something nice, EdConnect. What you may not know is that the Common Core “state” Standards are radically changing how public schools measure and collect data on the students – and intend to share that information illegally in violation of FERPA (Federal Education Rights Privacy Act). The federal government department of education even has a more bizarre if not sinister paper out describing the data gathering possibilities for public school students in their brave new world. Remember now, we are doing all this massive taxing and spending and “fundamentally changing the classroom” for the sake of only two subjects, math and English language arts. If you believe the government, apparently we don’t care about any other subjects when it comes to competing in the global marketplace. I don’t believe them and you will see soon enough the same federal overreach come to other subjects. More Te$ting Contract$!!!

You may also not be aware that the Race to The Trough federal carrot money funded the creation of two new national testing arms to carry out all the new data-mining of public school students that is supposedly “state-led”. One of those is PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers). It’s a nice sounding name, and who isn’t all for preparing our human capital widgets for college and careers? You will notice the many mentions in that press release of the company on whose site it is hosted, ACHIEVE, Inc. They are the “project manager” for PARCC.

You may also not be aware that Governor Bill Haslam is on the board for ACHIEVE, Inc.. I cannot say what Gov. Haslam and the former CEO of Intel among others stand to profit from a massive sale of computers and testing to thousands of public schools across the nation and long-term testing contracts and then further data marketing after that. Maybe it’s nothing.

But I know with certainty the Common Core “state” Standards and the accompanying baggage were neither “state-led” nor requested by the taxpayers in Tennessee.

Federal Court Strikes down Illinois’ total ban on carrying firearms for self-defense outside the home or business

From Jon Roland:

Federal Court Strikes down Illinois’ total ban on carrying firearms for self-defense outside the home or business

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled today that Illinois’ total ban on carrying firearms for self-defense outside the home or business is unconstitutional. The case involves lead plaintiff Mary Shepard, an Illinois resident and a trained gun owner, who is licensed to carry a concealed handgun in both Utah and Florida. The National Rifle Association is funding this case. The Illinois State Rifle Association is a co-plaintiff in this case.

The court opinion is here.