Archive for the ‘Action Items’ Category

Utah County GOP Platform Amended for Republic

At the Utah County GOP Central Committee meeting this morning, the members overwhelmingly voted to amend the county party platform with this amendment which I had proposed to the body.

THE PROPER FORM OF GOVERNMENT

The United States of America is a compound Constitutional Republic based on the rule of law, representatives elected by sovereign citizens to exercise authority on their behalf, and a system of internal and external checks and balances.

The word “compound” was added as an amendment to match the language of HB 220 which the Utah legislature passed this session to require that our children are taught this principle of a compound Constitutional Republic. This is a concept which Representative Ken Ivory has been explaining around the state as he talks about his “Where’s the Line America?” program. This “program” drove HB 76 which Ken ran entitled, “Federal Law Evaluation and Response” and successfully passed the House and Senate and is only awaiting the Governor’s signature to go into law.

To understand what a compound Constitutional Republic is, please visit the newly revised home page of this site.

I will now be submitting this as an amendment to the State GOP platform. If you are a state delegate and want to co-sponsor this measure, please email me.

Why I believe candidate Steve Baugh should not be elected

Steve Baugh is a man who is appreciated by many in our community for his years of service as a teacher and former superintendent of Alpine School District (ASD). I have met Mr. Baugh once at an ASD function and he’s a very pleasant individual. However, now that he is entering the political arena running as a candidate for the Utah House of Representatives, it is fair to look at some of the decisions he has made and associations he has entered into to determine what type of person we would be electing to the legislature. I think when you consider the information below, you will come to the conclusion that although we may agree on many things, Mr. Baugh doesn’t represent the traditional values we hold dear in Utah county.

INVESTIGATIONS MATH

On his candidate website, he lists his first pledge as “Trust me to fight for world-class education for all children.” It is disappointing that he would lead off with this when he was the superintendent of Alpine School District who initiated the process of bringing residents the disastrous Investigations math program. Not a good foot to start on. Nor is it positive that his CITES organization (detailed below) pushes constructivist math in all their training.

EMPLOYMENT & JOHN GOODLAD ASSOCIATION

Mr. Baugh seems intentionally vague on his website about his current employment. He merely states “I am an associate professor of educational leadership at BYU where I direct a school-university partnership centered in the school of education.”

To be specific, Steve Baugh is the director of CITES, the Center for the Improvement of Teacher Education and Schooling. This organization disseminates John Goodlad’s “Agenda for Education in a Democracy,” to teachers and administrators in several surrounding school districts which are part of the BYU-PSP (Public School Partnership).

John Goodlad is a dangerous man as anyone that has read this website knows. He is in favor of the fundamental transformation of America from a republic to socialism and emphasizes teaching people the humanistic philosophy of moral relativism (ex. since there is no God and no absolutes we should democratically vote on morals, knowledge, patriotism, etc…). Reinforcing this notion is the fact that Goodlad has invited Bill Ayers the terrorist turned educator to be the keynote speaker at his October NNER conference (National Network for Educational Renewal).

How tied is Mr. Baugh to Goodlad? From the research section of Mr. Baugh’s bio page (http://education.byu.edu/edlf/faculty/baugh_steven.html) on BYU’s website, he lists,

“Moral Dimensions of Teaching. I am interested in the moral dimensions of teaching as identified by Dr. John Goodlad and his associates. Included in this interest are issues of how to help people develop a deeper understanding of the moral dimensions and then to use that understanding to make applications in their work for the benefit of both adults and children.”

Really Mr. Baugh? One of John Goodlad’s “Moral Dimensions” is “Enculturating the young in a social and political democracy.” A social democracy is defined as the gradual transformation of a capitalist society to a democratic welfare state and I believe we should not come anywhere near indoctrinating our children into that philosophy.

Here’s a few quotes from Mr. Goodlad related to his “moral dimensions of teaching” (footnote references at the end):

  • Most youth still hold the same values of their parents… if we do not alter this pattern, if we don’t resocialize, our system will decay.” (1)
  • Parents do not own their children. They have no ‘natural right’ to control their education fully.” (2)
  • “The curriculum of the future ‘will be what one might call the humanistic curriculum.’” (3)
  • Enlightened social engineering is required to face situations that demand global action now.” (4)
  • “…the state we should strive for is better described in Deweyan terms as a social democracy.” (5)
  • “…educators must resist the quest for certainty.  If there were certainty there would be no scientific advancement. So it is with morals and patriotism.” (6)
  • Education is a task for both parents and state. The state, parents, and children all have interests that must be protected.” (7)

This sounds like a nightmare scenario for God-fearing parents.

Utah, with less than 1% of the nation’s population, has the rare and unfortunate distinction of possessing 13% of the nation’s AED Scholars (Goodlad’s national title for those fully indoctrinated in his “Agenda for Education in a Democracy” effort). Mr. Baugh is one of these special recipients along with another member of the McKay School of Education at BYU, and 2 others who are administrators at Alpine School District. Why Mr. Baugh doesn’t cite this distinction on his campaign website isn’t surprising when you understand the controversy. (http://education.byu.edu/news/2007/01/01/aed-scholars/)

How involved is Mr. Baugh with Goodlad’s organizations? Very. Over the years he has presented at Goodlad conferences and been very involved. In 2009 he was on the planning committee for Goodlad’s NNER conference that year (National Network for Educational Renewal). He was on an expert study panel that presented at the conference; he presented with others on the democratic purpose of schooling; and he presented “A Continuing Struggle for a Center of Pedagogy: The Evolution of CITES at Brigham Young University.” (lets hope the struggle continues…)(from http://depts.washington.edu/nner2009/nner_program.pdf)

“Well,” say those who embrace Goodlad and understand his philosophies, “we only take the good and reject the bad.” The problem is, by associating with someone known to have radically *bad* ideas, it gives credence to their organization to be able to say, “well even the people at the McKay School of Education and Alpine School District administration embrace Goodlad so you should too.” This promotes the full philosophy to those that never look into the true Goodlad Agenda.

CITES FINANCIAL CONCERNS

Two years ago (January 2008) I discovered on www.UtahsRight.com that ASD had 3 employees identified not as teachers or administrators, but had positions labeled “1,” “2,” and “3.” I had no idea what that meant since everyone else had a title, so I Googled the names and discovered that although ASD had these three on payroll, they actually worked for CITES at BYU. I don’t know if they were getting a BYU salary in addition to this salary, but they were making between $41,000 and $66,000. Two years later, the UtahsRight.com site shows these individuals now work for ASD, two of them as teachers and one as a principal. I’m honestly not sure what has transpired over the past couple years but I am curious to know why they were on ASD’s salary but working for CITES, and now they are apparently working for ASD. They now make between $50,000 and $74,000. Not bad promotions for a down economy.

CITES has received public grant funds but haven’t cooperated in showing where that money has gone. Senator Margaret Dayton has gone to great lengths to find out what happened to this money and she has been stonewalled at every turn. Why aren’t these public funds being instantly revealed? They aren’t private grants, they are public tax dollars and the public has a right to know how they’re being spent and if it’s in accordance with the reason for which they were applied.

This following table provided by the Utah State Office of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst shows self-reported funds these “Public School Partnership” districts have received from local and federal sources and then sent to CITES during the last couple years. I have reorganized the chart for formatting purposes in this document. I do not know why there is such a large discrepancy between districts, but if ASD was indeed paying salaries for CITES employees, those dollars are not included in the totals below.

Brigham Young University
Center for the Improvement of Teacher Education & Schooling (CITES)
School District Funding to CITES

2008-2009 Funding School District*

DistrictLocalFederalTotal
Alpine$ 29,180$ 12,050$ 41,230
Jordan$ 143,698$ 143,698
Nebo$ 71,375
Provo$ 20,000$ 507,027$ 527,027
Wasatch$ 31,250$ 31,250
Total$ 227,998$ 532,527$ 831,900

2009-2010 Funding

DistrictLocalFederalTotal
Alpine$ 29,180$ 12,050$ 41,230
Jordan$ 73,718$ 73,718
Nebo$ 71,375
Provo$ 10,730$ 380,957$ 391,687
Wasatch$ 8,755$ 8,755
Total$ 122,383$ 393,007$ 568,455

*Note: Information is selfreported by school districts. No information was included by Nebo SD on their mix of funds

Prepared by Office of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst, 05/2010 PL

These charts make one wonder about a lot of things related to this “partnership” and what’s really happening with the public tax dollars being funneled to CITES by our school districts. Nice transparency with our tax dollars. Regardless of what’s actually happening, it smells bad and is perhaps another reason Mr. Baugh doesn’t list his association as the CITES director on his campaign website.

UTAH CITIZENS ETHICS INITIATIVE

However, these things all pale in comparison to what I consider the most troubling aspect of Mr. Baugh’s public statements, that of his support of the Citizens Ethics Initiative (http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700014368/Former-Alpine-school-chief-Steven-Baugh-running-for-Utah-Legislature.html).

Standing outside your local grocery stores you may have seen individuals asking people if they want ethics in our government. “Of course” is the constant reply. “Then sign here” comes the workers’ response. Those unfortunate enough to sign onto the document don’t realize they are signing away their government into the hands of political elitists who would transformation Utah into an oligarchy.

What is this “ethics initiative?” Anyone who has read the proposed language should be shocked enough to never sign onto it, but those who have endorsed it openly and seek public office after such openness should be rejected by the voters by a wide margin.

A few details about the initiative should illustrate why there is concern.

  1. Gives the writers of the initiative power to select who sits on the ethics committee if the Republicans and Democrats in the legislature can’t agree. (ie. A stalemate means those who support the bill writers win)
  2. Once on the committee, you can’t be removed except by death or your choice.
  3. The committee is able to investigate both current and past legislators.
  4. The commission can issue subpoenas.
  5. Legislators must disclose client lists even if they would be protected under a professional client confidentiality agreement.
  6. The independence of the ethics committee cannot be threatened (ie. Funding cuts) or impaired without violating the bill so they become the untouchables.
  7. Once a person is accused of a violation, they may not participate in the proceedings, but the accusers CAN.
  8. The committee is not subject to judicial review and the Attorney General is forbidden from imposing him/herself into a role as counsel for the commission.

The constitutional thieves that wrote this bill should be run out of state on a rail. They’re better suited to a life in a communist dictatorship than to live in a free country.

For more information see http://www.unethicalreform.org/.

CONCLUSION

While I’m sure Mr. Baugh and I would agree on so much more than we disagree on, the above items are so troubling that I could never vote for an individual who has been involved in such activities and associations. I encourage you to re-elect Representative Stephen Sandstrom rather than bring Mr. Baugh into power where his philosophical views would carry an even stronger statewide weight.

Sincerely,

Oak Norton


John Goodlad quote references:

1) John Goodlad, “Report of Task Force C: Strategies for Change,” Schooling for the Future, a report to the President’s Commission on Schools Finance, Issue #9, 1971
2) John Goodlad, Roger Soder & Timothy McMannon, “Developing Democratic Character in the Young”, pg. 164
3) John Goodlad, “Directions of Curriculum Change”, The NEA Journal, March 1966
4) John Goodlad, “Schooling for a Global Age,” pg. xiii
5) John Goodlad, “Developing Democratic Character in the Young”, 2001, pg. 153
6) John Goodlad, Corinne Mantle-Bromley, Stephen John Goodlad, “Education for Everyone: Agenda for Education in a Democracy”, Woods Learning Center, pg. 6
7) John Goodlad, “Developing Democratic Character in the Young”, 2001, pg. 164

ASD Motto Voting

Here is the poll to vote for the new Alpine School District motto based on the top results from the brainstorming. You may select 3 answers. If you like one a lot but would rather see a word tweaked to something else, vote for it anyway and make a comment below. The top 2-3 vote recipients will go to a run off and if there is a favorable variation on one of them I’ll include that as well as an option.

[poll id=”2″]

School District Motto Contest

OK folks, there’s enough people trafficking this site that I think we can help Alpine School District with their motto. They said their current motto, “Educating All Students to Ensure the Future of our Democracy,” took 18 months and 40 meetings to come up with. That’s pretty amazing. I think they should have just set up a web page for ideas and then refined it with direct public input, especially since they’re so keen on democracy. :)

So here’s what I’d like you to do. Ponder what you think a good motto should say and post it in the comments along with a reason why you like it. If you like a motto from someone, click the “like” button and you can do that once for each motto. At the end of the week I’ll take the top “liked” mottoes and stick them on a survey form and we’ll let everyone take a vote for their favorites and we’ll take the top 2-3 and get input on refining them in case a word or two could be improved to make it even better.

On Air with Red Meat Radio Concerning Educating for Democracy

Red-Meat-Radio-Republic-ASD-Link-1-20-2010

[podcast]http://www.utahsrepublic.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Red-Meat-Radio-Republic-ASD-Link-1-20-2010.mp3[/podcast].

This morning I was on air with Senator Howard Stephenson and Representative Greg Hughes on their radio program, “Red Meat Radio” discussing how the administration at Alpine School District (ASD) is promoting a change of government from a Republic to a Democracy. Listen to the interview above and then make your voice heard by emailing the board members at ASD as well as letting others know about this issue. Sign the petition to stay updated on what is happening around Utah on restoring basic constitutional education.

Be sure to read the details on how ASD is giving its endorsement to a radical Green party member who believes Christ was a vampire.

Radio Show & Action Items

This morning I was on Red Meat Radio with Senator Howard Stephenson and Representative Greg Hughes talking about the problems with our recently adopted K-2 social studies standards. The first 2 minutes are a little talk about the first segment of the show and then we get into the meat of the subject. Total running time is 14 minutes (or 12 if you skip the first 2).

Red-Meat-Radio-Republic Segment-1-9-2010

Here’s the action plan. With public exposure on what has transpired, our plan will be to do as Senator Stephenson asked and have everyone write your State School Board member a letter asking why public suggestions weren’t used in the final document. Use the letter below this post as a perfect example of great suggestions that were ignored. Include in your letter, your name, address, and phone number and send it to all board members (but send it to your own separately with a comment in the subject line identifying you as a constituent) and CC your state representative and senator and myself so I have an archive of the letters. Representative Hughes said if we are ignored they will hold hearings so we need to get everyone to write a brief letter and document responses.  We the people can hold our education office accountable through this method.

To get the email address of your State Board Member go here: http://www.usoe.k12.ut.us/board/

For email addresses for your Representative and Senator go here: http://www.utah.gov/government/legislative.html

If you don’t know what to write, here’s a sample letter you can customize or copy:

Subject: K-2 Social Studies standards {I am a constituent—for your own member}

Dear {state school board member},

You recently voted to approve K-2 social studies standards for the state of Utah. Prior to your approval there were a few public hearings where comments were made regarding the draft. I know there were a few people that made comments at these meetings and I am aware that over 50 email letters were sent in with specific suggestions to improve the standards but almost none of these responses were taken into consideration or included in the final draft.

For example, in discussing our founding documents, the only requirement in the approved standards for K-2 is to learn “Declaration of Independence” and “Constitution” as vocabulary terms, and to be able to “identify” the document. This is completely inadequate. One letter that was submitted showed specific ways to incorporate our founding documents into the standards in a very easy to integrate way. Some of those suggestions were to slightly modify draft standards to use founding document references as follows:

**********

Kindergarten:

Self, Family, and Classroom, Standard 1 (Culture):  Objective 1   e. Explain that the Declaration of Independence teaches us all people should be treated with respect because they are equal.

Self, Family, and Classroom, Standard 2 (Citizenship):  Objective 1 f. Explain that the U.S. Constitution teaches us to respect the rights of others.

Self, Family, and Classroom, Standard 4 (FInancial Literacy) e. Explain that the U.S. Constitution authorized the Congress to coin our money and set the value of it.

**********

None of these were included and apparently very few public comments were even taken seriously. The word Republic doesn’t appear in the Utah standards at any K-12 level (aside from this document’s introductory material for teachers–this is a first for any direct reference to the American form of government).

I would specifically like to know what you are going to do as a state board member to correct this and amend the standards to include greater integration of our founding documents. I’m sure you weren’t wholly aware of the amount of public input that was ignored when you approved the standards, but it seems that the “public” education system only holds public hearings as a way to mark off a “completed” box rather than take public comment seriously. Please respond.

Sincerely,

{your name, address, phone number}