Archive for the ‘Education’ Category
In the past I’ve had a couple of email or site discussions with people on the difference between these terms. It seemed significant enough to warrant taking a position. To me, a Constitutional Republic means that we are a republic with a written constitution thus making the document the supreme law of the land. A Democratic Republic (DR) on the other hand is a republic where the laws are democratically dealt with, in other words, by the sustaining of the majority.
Some people have argued that America is a DR because we have democratically elected representatives who do the will of the people. Some of these same people believe the constitution is the supreme law of the land and that there is no problem calling us a DR.
Last week someone forwarded me an email from Tim Irwin in Highland, Utah. He’d been asked a similar question and in his response drew from a book by Scott Bradley, former senatorial candidate for Utah. With Tim’s permission, here is his email which I found very helpful on this subject.
As I finished my response to you I felt I should do a little more research and I think the answer that follows is much better and more detailed. Thanks to my constitutional mentor Scott Bradley.
“Elected representatives create legislation within the scope and limits of government power that had been previously defined within the constitution. It is government by law. The legislature, indeed, the entire government, is constrained to act within constitutionally delegated authority and may not encroach into areas that are not authorized. Elected officials are allowed to operate only within their defined boundaries and are not allowed to act on matters outside those boundaries. These limits are designed to protect the rights of all citizens, whether in the majority or in the minority. This is the type of government that was created for the United States by the United States Constitution.” Scott Bradley
What I did not know was NONE of the men we consider to be the principle founders of the American Republic EVER used the term Democratic-Republic to describe the form of government they created under the United States Constitution. The term came into use AFTER the days of the American Founders, and is attributed in the modern writings to the FOLLOWERS of Thomas Jefferson as I indicated to you in my first response.
The American Founders were adamantly opposed to ANY linking of the nation to ANY form of democracy. In Scott’s book, “To Preserve the Nation,” (pages 51-74) he addresses the Democracy Deception at length.
Of interest is the fact that when the French Ambassador, Edmund Genet, came to America during the administration of President George Washington, Genet established “Democratic-Republic” Clubs throughout the nation. Both President Washington and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson were appalled and incensed, and denounced the clubs and the philosophy that was fostered in the name. The nation quickly saw the error they had stumbled into, and all of the clubs were disbanded. The term, Democratic-Republic, is closely associated with the debauched and perverted government that metastasized during the French Revolution and in subsequent revolutions (see chapter 14, pages 289-307 of Scott’s book).
EVERYTHING that was done during the founding era of this nation was republican in nature. The nation NEVER followed a democratic process during the monumental founding events: Trusted representatives brought forth the Declaration of Independence; The acceptance of the Declaration of Independence was never put before the people for a vote of ratification; The trusted representatives of the people in congress called for a Constitutional Convention in 1787; The trusted representatives of the people in the respective States appointed trusted representatives to attend the Constitution Convention of 1787 (the people never appointed or ratified those individuals called as representatives of the States); The new Constitution created by the trusted representatives in the convention was submitted by the Convention back to the trusted representatives in the national congress with the direction that it be forwarded back to the States to be ratified by trusted representatives of the people within the States; Ratification of the ratification by the state conventions of the Constitution was never placed before the people of the States for a democratic vote (a la the process followed in Iraq when the people democratically “ratified” the communist-style constitution the United States helped them write a few years ago); Once the Constitution was ratified by trusted representatives in the state conventions, the people chose trusted representatives to go to congress, and the trusted representatives of the people in the State legislatures chose the new senators as trusted representatives to serve in the senate at the national level; Trusted representatives were chosen by the people and the States to serve as a “electors” in the Electoral College as a single purpose representative body of trusted representatives with the responsibility to select the president as another trusted representative in an assignment as the “executive” at the national level. At no point was this nation a democracy, or even (as the modern revisionists would have us believe) a democratic-republic.
After doing more research, I now I believe it to be a grave error to foster the idea of a democratic-republic. Reading in Scott’s book:
“Thus, we see that the evidence presented throughout the Federalist Papers, as well as countless other impeccable sources, is overwhelming and unimpeachable: The United States of America was established as a constitutional republic, not a democracy. By recognizing that great fact and seeking to preserve the foundation principles upon which this nation was founded, we may preserve the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity. Those who have received knowledge of the “original intent” of those who founded this nation have a duty, a responsibility, even an obligation, to foster wider understanding of the truth in this matter. We must seek to make popular the sound and good principles that were ordained as this nation was established. We diminish our value in the cause of liberty if we adopt the lexicon of those who foster global democracy on the pathway to socialism. We allow our worth to be debauched if we become co-opted into unwitting shills for the cause of democracy (even if it is simply in the usage of the terms associated with that destructive movement) in order to obtain the praise of men and women who are not worthy to stand in the light of those who laid the foundation of this nation.”
Thanks for driving me to do more research. I did a piece on the electoral college several months ago and it was clear to me the founders never intended for the populous to elect our president. As Ben Franklin clearly said when asked what type of government did you give us….” A republic if you can keep it”.
Addendum: Summarizing all the comments below this post, it appears some of the “facts” that David Barton presents here are in question. One link on the third page of comments led to a page which says Barton took some of his comments from the work of someone else without going to the appropriate source document. That said, I did find evidence in an online copy of the Jefferson Bible (http://americanhistory.si.edu/JeffersonBible/the-book) of some of what Barton refers to. On pages 5 and 40 of the book there are verses that refer to Jesus healing on the Sabbath so it appears the record isn’t devoid of miracles and solely about the life and morals of Jesus. Page 67 also includes the second coming of the Son of Man which is clearly going far beyond merely talking about the morals of Jesus and into the supernatural aspects of Christ’s teachings. It does appear that Barton goofed on this, but looking at the actual record leads me to believe Jefferson must have had a level of belief beyond basic moral teachings of Jesus.
Second addendum: Someone emailed me this: “I think there may be some confusion about the fact that David Barton was speaking about several compilations that Thomas Jefferson did throughout his life. I do not know if the version that he compiled for the missionaries to the Indians is available online. I also noted one compiled in the mid 1700s and the one for Congress in 1802. David did not claim that there were any miracles noted in that one, because its purpose was very specific to moral living.”
It would be interesting to have all versions and perhaps David Barton was referring to a different version.
Perhaps you’ve heard about the Jefferson Bible, the one people say he took out the miracles of Jesus because he didn’t believe in that stuff. Glenn Beck interviewed David Barton this past week in one of the most fascinating segments I’ve heard. Here’s the video clip of the amazing true story about Jefferson’s belief in God and spending federal money to promote Christianity.
In a previous article I wrote entitled “Jefferson’s Jericho Wall of Separation,” I tried to show what I believe Jefferson’s real explanation was for the “wall of separation” letter he wrote to his Danbury Baptist friends. He respected the states so much that he didn’t interfere with them as president (the wall), yet at the federal level he recognized we had to have a moral people and he also wanted to bring Christianity to the Indians (perhaps in a way like national diplomacy). Printing full Bibles for distribution was a little expensive so he created a gospel harmony to shorten the Bible and provide a book which included the miracles, morals, and teachings of Jesus, and printed it up for distribution to the Indians. He built them a church and provided them with a preacher, from federal money. This video is a fascinating look at the real Thomas Jefferson and not the one we hear was some type of deist.
This is a great video outlining the sticky situation Utah’s leaders have gotten us into. If they were aware of what they were doing, it’s unconscionable and they should be fired for giving up our control of education. If they didn’t know, they need fired for incompetence.
I have obtained a copy of Utah’s Race to the Top application. In searching the 493 page document the below items appear which evidence directly contradicts the information put out by the Utah State Office of Education which has maintained that Utah is not obligated to anything. Clearly we are. In fact, if Utah was applying for a federal grant (Race to the Top), why are we obligating ourselves in the application for funds, to sign on to Common Core State Standards and assessments created by a non-government entity (SBAC)?
The federal government is simply corralling everyone into these programs to make it easier to nationalize education. Another “sign on the line” lottery so we can spend millions of dollars changing out our standards and assessments in a vain attempt to get federal grant money. Shameful.
If you would like to download a copy of the application, it will be available at this link for 7 days. It is a 40 meg pdf file.
Here are some of the low-lights found in the document.
Pg. 20 “By August 2010, Utah will adopt and begin implementation of K-12 standards in mathematics and literacy created in conjunction with the Council of Chief State School Officers and NGA consortium.”
Pg. 21 “By the start of the 2011-12 school year, Utah, working with the SMARTER Balanced Consortium, will begin the piloting of high quality assessments that are aligned with the standards to determine student academic achievement.”
Pg. 286 identifies Utah as a “governing state” member of the SBAC
Pg. 286, item h: “Bind each State in the Consortium to every statement and assurance made in the application through the following signature blocks…Governing State Assurance” (see at the bottom)
Pg. 288 under Responsibilities of States in the Consortium:
- “Each State agrees to the following element of the Consortium’s Assessment System:
- Adopt the Common Core Standards, which are college- and career-ready standards, and to which the Consortium’s assessment system will be aligned, no later than December 31, 2011.”
- “Each State that is a member of the Consortium in 2014-2015 also agrees to the following:
- Adopt common achievement standards no later than the 2014-2015 school year,
- Fully implement statewide the Consortium summative assessment in grades 3-8 and high school for both mathematics and English language arts no later than the 2014-2015 school year,
- Adhere to the governance as outlined in this document,
- Agree to support the decisions of the Consortium,
- Agree to follow agreed-upon timelines,
- Be willing to participate in the decision-making process and, if a Governing State, final decision, and
- Identify and implement a plan to address barriers in State law, statute, regulation, or policy to implementing the proposed assessment system and to addressing any such barriers prior to full implementation of the summative assessment components of the system.”
In other words, we are required to implement standards, assessments, and abide by the decisions that other states determine. We are also required to find the barriers in state law that might prevent this takeover of education and try to eliminate them.
Pg. 289 “7. Access for the State or its authorized delegate to a secure item and task bank that includes psychometric attributes required to score the assessment in a comparable manner with other State members, and access to other applications determined to be essential to the implementation of the system.”
I’m not feeling really warm and fuzzy with a test bank for our children that includes “psychometric attributes.” What’s that going to look like? “Based on your answers, we’re concerned your family may be teaching you there is a supreme being which is a violation of consortium policy…” (kidding…sort of)
Pg. 297 THE GOOD NEWS!!!
“Exit from Consortium
Any State may leave the Consortium without cause, but must comply with the following exit
- A State requesting an exit from the Consortium must submit in writing their request and reasons for the exit request,
- The written explanation must include the statutory or policy reasons for the exit,
- The written request must be submitted to the Project Management Partner with the same signatures as required for the MOU,
- The Executive Committee will act upon the request within a week of the request, and
- Upon approval of the request, the Project Management Partner will then submit a change of membership to the USED for approval.”
Pg. 301 THE SICKENING NEWS
Governor Gary Herbert signs on the line obligating Utah to all these requirements. Utah is bound thanks to the Governor not understanding what he was obligating Utah to do.
State Superintendent Reveals Federal Pressure
On March 6th, talk radio host Rod Arquette interviewed State Superintendent Larry Shumway and Alpine School District Board member Wendy Hart (speaking for herself and not the board) on the subject of Common Core. The interview took place just a few days after Sup. Shumway had written a letter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, as well as a letter to the Senate education standing committee. You can read the Superintendent’s letters by clicking those links. Here are links to download the show portions dealing with Common Core (Shumway, Hart, and a few callers).
Rod Arquette Show (3-6-12) mp3 – listen now (just under 30 minutes)
Here are important clips from the show:
Rod: How about the letter itself, Superintendent. Why do you think it was important to write?
Larry: Well, I thought that there were enough people being concerned about the Federal Government’s intrusion into the [Common] Core Standards in Utah that I should make clear where we stood. I wanted to push back on comments that I’ve heard Secretary [of Education] Duncan make and President Obama make about their participation in the [Common] Core. These standards are our standards. We’ve adopted these in our states, and we control them.
Rod: You said you were disappointed. What did they do to create that disappointment you have? Are they trying to inch in on this a little bit?
Larry: Well, I’m bothered by things I hear the secretary say in speeches and the President say in speeches where they take credit for these standards. And I’m bothered by the Department of Education making requirements that are associated with these standards. They’re not their standards, and so that offends my sensibility and it pushes against our states’ rights of sovereignty in public education.
I applaud State Superintendent Larry Shumway for asserting our state rights to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, however, it is quite obvious to everyone that takes the time to look into the facts that the federal government’s involvement is just getting warmed up. Why is it that educators hated NCLB and the strings attached, but they are excited about getting RTTT money and the strings attached to it (namely adopting Common Core)? When have the feds ever had an altruistic program of giving out money (our own money) without requirements that cost more money than they were giving out?
Utah, it’s time to wake up to what’s happening, or as this Washington Times article points out, “states are likely to become little more than administrative agents for a nationalized K-12 program of instruction”.
You should read part 1 and part 2 before reading this installment. This is the last exchange of emails with Dixie Allen on the state school board. I think now I have provided everyone with both sides of the story so you can understand the State Board and USOE position better. Again, I strongly encourage you all to do your own research. You don’t need to believe what I’m posting. Many people helped put the timeline and links together on our Common Core page and I encourage you to look at the links and do your own homework and ask yourself if you want the state of Utah to be involved in Common Core. If not, you really ought to consider running for school board, state school board, or legislature to influence these things. The deadline is Thursday March 15. Decisions are being made that will impact your children and grandchildren.
Most of the information you have listed below, we did know. However much of your concern comes from your lack of the perspective of those working in the system and trying to make a reasonable move to better standards, but with no money or help from our legislature to work to improve our standards. We were well aware of the improvements of Massachusetts and a few other states, but we did not have the money to evaluate and upgrade the standards to the degree necessary. So when the Governor’s and Chief School Officers Associations started looking into a quality upgrade for common standards to help our students score better on national and international testing, it was the next important step for our state to move forward.
In answer to who evaluated the Common Core Standards for out state, you need to know that specialists at the State Office of Education, State Board Members, District Curriculum Directors, Teachers, specialists and our partners in the K-16 Alliance. It is believed that the Governor’s Office also checked out the standards, as they signed off on them and added their support.
Your quotes from professors and others are interesting, but they were not part of any information we saw as we adopted the Common Core Standards, a year and a half ago. I am not sure I disagree with their take on the Standards, however, we see these standards as a stepping stone to move our students closer to the best standards possible. If you could listen to how hard our districts, administrators, teachers, parents and students are working to raise the bar high enough to meet the expectation of these standards, you would realize it will take some time to move our state to an ultimate level of curriculum standards.
As I stated before, we did know that the Gates Foundation had help fund the standards. The Gates Foundation have funded many new programs in the educational arena and did not appear to me to be contributors with a specific agenda. We knew that money was given to pull these standards together — money we did not have to do such work on our own.
Finally, I don’t believe you still understand that regardless of the reasons that Debra made her statement — your reaction and email was accusatory and not that of someone who wanted to better understand the issue and help move our work forward to the best possible quality standards. Your email was accusatory and uninformed as to what work we have put into this issue and the agendas we have been hearing from the “far right” which Debra was attempting to address.
Bottom line, we have worked for about four years to move our standards to a higher level to improve our student’s ability to be ready for college and/or careers. It would be nice if interested individuals like you would help us take this step and then take more if needed when it is appropriate.
Dixie, thank you for clarifying that the board knew the connections with the Gates Foundation but was unaware of the agenda. With this important new knowledge that the public has brought to you, what specific actions will the board now take? Clearly this is game changing.
I find it interesting that you say the legislature wouldn’t help to improve the standards when in fact it was the legislature that forced the state to improve the math standards back in 2007-08. The USOE didn’t want to do it.
The USOE also reviews and modifies standards every few years so your argument doesn’t make sense to me. If the legislature wasn’t funding the raising of the standards, then why would the state adopt Common Core standards without a commitment of money from the legislature? If you knew MA was making improvements to their standards, why not ask a standards writer like Dr. Milgram or Dr. Hu, who both helped us before, to make a recommendation for a small sum of money rather than say we couldn’t afford it? Who made the decision then to adopt Common Core if nobody could be paid to review them? I cannot fathom a circumstance where the legislature wouldn’t have supported a move to top of the line standards, especially when they now have to fund Common Core.
You indicate below that you didn’t see these quotes critical of the Common Core back when you adopted the core and quite frankly, that doesn’t surprise me. These standards were approved before there was even a final version for anyone to review. It was breathtaking to those of us who had to battle the USOE to raise standards just a few short years ago to have these brand new standards sail through so fast. Did you know that before the Fordham Foundation rated them an A- (the same as Utah’s math standards), that the Gates Foundation paid Fordham a sizeable sum of money (ie. bribe)? Did you know that the Fordham Foundation actually said that between Utah’s math standards and the Common Core it was “too close to call” as to which was superior? If the state board is truly concerned with raising the bar, why didn’t we adopt California’s math standards which Fordham listed as “clearly superior” to the Common Core? It leaves the public wondering what the real thought process is at the state level because on a common-sense level, this makes no sense spending millions of dollars for a lateral shift (unless of course RTTT funds were tied to adopting Common Core in which case it’s perfectly logical that the state wanted to pull the slot machine handle in the hopes of getting a federal jackpot).
You indicated in a prior email that Debra’s comment was not talking about people like me but about those who thought these standards were too hard.
However, in this reply you indicate that Debra was in fact talking about people from the “far right”. In that case, I’m quite certain most everyone on this email considers myself, Eagle Forum, and other parents part of the “far right.” So it would appear that my “accusatory” email to Debra was exactly on target with what you are now portraying. Her comment fanned the flames that “right wing” people don’t really care about education and in this case don’t want our children to have career and college ready standards. That was completely uncalled for and that’s why I wrote. I happen to like Debra and most of the members of the board that I’ve been able to speak to, but accusing me of not getting both sides of the story before assuming what Debra meant seems now to be completely baseless. In fact, I’d say the board members are more guilty because the USOE and State Board has been representing to the governor and legislature that Common Core was a state-led effort when it actually seems you knew it was funded by the Gates Foundation.
You end by saying this:
“Bottom line, we have worked for about four years to move our standards to a higher level to improve our student’s ability to be ready for college and/or careers. It would be nice if interested individuals like you would help us take this step and then take more if needed when it is appropriate.”
I’ll end by saying, are you really saying this to me? :)
Sorry traveling today- Will get back to you later – But wanted you to consider all the changes in relationship to bringing thousands of students and teachers along on this journey of upgrading our standards and curriculum.
Will answer your other questions later.
Since I was accused of not knowing both sides of the story after sending my first email, and the reply I received was sent to all members of the State School Board, State Superintendent, and others, I feel compelled to share with you both sides of the conversation that followed my initial letter to the state school board (Part 1) so that you may have full disclosure on Common Core issues as viewed by the State Board. I wouldn’t want to be accused of not sharing both sides of the story with you since everyone on the school board now has my perspective.
Debra forwarded your email to our Board, attempting to insure that we hear all sides of the issue on the Common Core Adoption. Since you and I have had several email conversations about the Mathematics Core over the years, I wanted to tell you how offensive this email is and why.
First, each of us have our understanding of the facts, as they are presented to us and based on our experience. Our Board Chair, Debra, has a very unique view of the issues surrounding public education by the experiences she has been part of over the past nine years. She has represented our state at the national level and over the past three years, served as our Chair, with hundreds of meetings with legislators, educational groups, supporters and those who aren’t supporters. Her facts are based on a multitude of experiences that most of us, but especially someone outside the system cannot even imagine. She and other members of our Board have worked diligently to evaluate and reevaluate the structure, standards, assessment and all other contributing conditions to provide a quality education for the students of our state. She knows because of that involvement that part of the push back on the Utah Common Core, is the belief that all students cannot master the necessary skill to be successful. She also knows that mathematics professionals from another generation cannot fathom starting to teach algebraic and geometric ideas to Kindergarten students and having all students ready and proficient to pass Allegra and Geometry before they exit the school system. It is so sad that you could be so blind as to not understand that those working in the system might know something beyond what the public knows in regard to the workings of our school system, and part of that not knowing is the belief that all students can’t be ready for college.
Your concerns over the state core curriculum over the years has had some basis. We have not had the highest quality of math and/or language arts standards to drive our curriculum over the many years we have had Core Standards. However, the adoption of the Common Core Standards have greatly improved our expectations and are now helping our districts and teachers upgrade the curriculum for each and every student of our state. These standards were created with the help of the brightest minds in our country (many from our own State Office of Education). And yes, developing such high quality standards does take money, and that issue is partly why Utah has always had to work and share with others educational professionals, or do without. As the lowest funded state in the nation, we have little extra money to put into developing standards, curriculum and assessment. Thus this collaboration is a huge advantage for our state, both in regard to the quality of the standards, but also the money saved in their creation.
I have always valued your input, but am so sad that you would voice your input with such derogatory comments to someone who has worked so hard to help improve education for all the students of the state. Debra Roberts, our State Board and our State Office of Education deserves more from our constituents who care about education — because as a constituent, you are part of the success or failure of our system.
Please continue to stay involved, but please take the time to stay informed in regard to the multitude of sides to any one issue.
Dixie, I am a bit surprised at the tone of your letter to me. You tell me to know both sides of the story before commenting but did you know the things I listed in my letter to Debra? Did the state board know that this was not a state led initiative before you joined in to support it? Did anyone at the state office know that UNESCO and the Gates Foundation were the prime movers behind the Common Core? Did you know that Achieve is Gates funded? Were you fully aware of this agenda when the board signed onto Common Core? If you did, then I sincerely apologize (and this raises a host of new concerns). If not, I encourage you to learn the other side of the story.
As you are probably aware, Debra’s comments came in the middle of a fight at the legislature to reconsider the Common Core standards in light of these discoveries. As you know, I and several others have been spoken ill of for our work. We’ve been called uninformed and worse. You make the point here that Debra was talking about some other people who think Common Core is too hard for our children. I’m not the judge on that, but I can say that I haven’t heard that from anyone except a teacher who deals with children every day who struggle to stay up on their math. Debra’s comment in the context of what was actually happening during the week, may have been a case of bad timing, since the ONLY people being discussed at the legislature or in the press were USOE officials who told legislators and the governor that this was completely a state led initiative, and parents like myself who were working hard to show this was the product of UNESCO and the Gates Foundation who have set us up and only needed states to come together on a common core to have the standards slip into place with everything else that was planned.
Who reviewed Common Core? How did we determine it was better than our old standards? If we really want our children to be “career and college ready” why didn’t we go to one of the best standards available that would have still had significant curricula available for it? It would have been easy to adopt California or Massachusetts’ math standards since there are materials that match them and they are higher rated than Common Core. MA also has great English standards. Here’s a few comments you may find interesting in context of providing the other side of the story on Common Core.
Sandra Stotsky, former assistant superintendent of education in Massachusetts
“The wisest move all states could make to ensure that students learn to read, understand, and use the English language appropriately before they graduate from high school is first to abandon Common Core’s “standards” and ask the National Governors Association to ask a national organization devoted to authentic literary study (ALSCW, e.g.,) to develop a set of high school literature standards that could serve as the backbone of a coherent literature curriculum from grade 6-12, with successively more difficult texts required from grade to grade.”
Professor Jim Milgram of Stanford, the only professional mathematician on the Common Core Validation Committee, wrote this when he declined to sign off on the Common Core standards:
“This is where the problem with these standards is most marked. While the difference between these standards and those of the top states at the end of eighth grade is perhaps somewhat more than one year, the difference is more like two years when compared to the expectations of the high achieving countries—particularly most of the nations of East Asia.”
Dr. Milgram’s comments were validated by a non-American on the review committee who said:
“I cannot in all conscience, endorse statements 2 and 3 [(2) Appropriate in terms of their level of clarity and specificity; (3) Comparable to the expectations of other leading nations] The standards are, in my view, much more detailed, and, as Jim Milgram has pointed out, are in important respects less demanding, than the standards of the leading nations.”
This excellent review shows specific examples where California is far easier to comprehend than the Common Core and is the source of these last two quotes.
Last week the Salt Lake Tribune ran an article that had State School Board member Debra Roberts quoted as saying something I viewed as a direct attack on parents concerned about the Common Core implementation. I wrote this letter to her over the weekend and wanted to share it with the public since her comment was very public and needs a response. Yes it’s a pointed email. I do not like writing letters than have an element of venting but there is no more time to waste beating around the bush. I publish this here so that others can see the holes in the arguments being made by the education establishment. Use this and the materials we’ve published about the Common Core to get all the facts and have them at your disposal when public meetings occur. You don’t need to believe anything I’ve written about this. Do your own homework. We’ve listed references in our research but do your own reading and get up to speed on this.
I read the article in the Tribune this last week and was shocked to see them quote you saying this:
“I’m disappointed that there are a few in the state who don’t yet see the value of college and career-readiness standards for our students,” said Debra Roberts, state school board chairwoman.
Are you kidding me? Were you not on the board a few short years ago when we worked so incredibly hard to raise Utah’s math standards from a D to an A- and hit one roadblock after another from the USOE? They said we didn’t need new standards and brought in West Ed to try and prove it (Epic Fail). When we suggested adopting California’s excellent standards they said Utah was unique and California didn’t share our values and standards (and I guess we suddenly developed a strong affinity for the values of 45 other states). We FINALLY prevailed and got much improved standards and all of us fighting for this wondered “WHY ON EARTH DOESN’T THE USOE WANT OUR CHILDREN TO BE COLLEGE AND CAREER READY IN MATH?”
Now Common Core comes along and without the standards even being finalized, the board adopts them. No questions of Utah’s uniqueness at stake here. No questions about proving the quality of the standards against high achieving states or nations because THIS was the product of a state led effort so they must be excellent.
I am outraged that you would make such baseless comments about people like myself. It is entirely inappropriate. What do you actually know about the origin of Common Core? Have you bought into the lie that this was simply the product of the NGA and CCSSO coming together to craft common standards? Have you done your own homework? Did you follow the money trail? Did you discover that this is simply a rehashing of the old “school-to-work” concept? Did you discover that the Gates Foundation paid the NGA and CCSSO millions of dollars to help in this effort? Did you find that the Gates Foundation paid the national PTA millions of dollars to shill for the Common Core and promote it into schools? Did you know the Gates Foundation signed a contract with UNESCO in 2004 to work with them and be in line with the UN’s agenda? Have you read any of it including this line?
“Therefore UNESCO with assistance from Microsoft is embarking on a multi-stakeholder initiative to develop a reference master curriculum…”
Are you familiar with Agenda 21? It’s highly driven toward education. Did you know that Common Core standards were one of the last things created and needed to bring about the nationalization of education and loss of local control because ALL THE OTHER COMPONENTS WERE PAID FOR BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT? We have assessments that Utah is required to use since we are governing members of the SBAC. The feds paid over $350 million for them in violation of federal law. We have a massive database to track our children and all their “progress.”
Did you listen to Larry Shumway on Rod Arquette’s show this week? He said he wrote his letter to Arne Duncan not out of concern for what myself and others were saying, but because he’s heard Arne and Pres. Obama talking about the standards as if they had made them. He’s finally seeing part of the net. They put the RTTT cheese out and we adopted their standards hoping against all common sense that they would send Utah somebody else’s money, but alas, we didn’t get any. Now we have contracts with strings.
As you can tell, I’m frustrated and a large part of that is your insult to concerned parents all over the state who want the very best for their children and have very real concerns that the federal government is in takeover mode.
I strongly encourage you to read these recent articles. The state board is soon going to become the administrative extension of the federal DOE.
Is your child’s teacher telling you he/she uses Scott-Foresman in the classroom? Are you sure that’s true? Remember a couple years ago when Tim Osborn was running for re-election to the school board and a principal said to Tim and others that they teach what they want at school and send home the times tables to “placate the parents?” Have you wondered if your child was being taught what you expected or had been told?
Last week on Facebook I was alerted to a post by Robin Allred, a former member of Alpine School District’s District Community Council, and someone who ran to be on the ASD school board 2 years ago against Paula Hill. With Robin’s full permission I give you her comment.
“Charlotte, here’s the thing. When I was running for the school board and I got email from Oak Norton and friends I really didn’t believe their claims. I thought they were exaggerated, and I thought they were scare tactics, but I was determined to really do my homework, and to respect the opinions of others and gain some understanding of their position. As I researched more deeply I found out that there was validity to their claims. It took a lot for me to swallow my pride and admit that, but I did indeed have a teacher tell me that she wasn’t supposed to teach the times tables and I heard another teacher tell me and a whole room full of teachers that she used CMP2, but told the parents of her students that she used Scott-Foresman. I don’t mind the use of Investigations as a supplement. I think the district’s balanced math policy would be okay if it were followed, and in some places it is, but it concerns me that anywhere in this district we have teachers lying to parents, or otherwise intentionally deceiving them. It concerns me that we have teachers who feel like they have to hide traditional math in a school using investigations as their primary text. The divisiveness concerns me.”
Obviously this isn’t implying that every teacher or administrator or school has these problems, but they are there and they are not being checked. This is a leadership issue and it goes right to the head of the district. When the math curriculum was “switched out” a few years ago during the move to Scott-Foresman, the week before school started that year, Elementary school teachers around the district discovered someone had put an Investigations math textbook on their desks for their use. The signal given to them by the administration was obvious. Teacher training continues to be constructivist oriented and so teaching continues in that style.
Those wishing to run for the school board to bring in new leadership must register starting tomorrow, March 9th, through the 15th at the county offices in Provo. You can find information here:
I have notified the county that their maps aren’t pulling up correctly for ASD, and they will hopefully have the issue resolved today, but here’s the short of it.
Seats available are in precincts 4, 6, and 7.
With redistricting, Lehi has their own brand new seat which someone can run for without an incumbent. This will be known as precinct 6 for the election.
Precinct 4 is currently occupied by Mark Clement and covers Lindon, PG, and the North Orem area.
Precinct 7 is currently occupied by both Debbie Taylor and Terry Peterson after redistricting and covers the East Orem area.
If you want to run or encourage someone else to run, they must register by the 15th at the county office in Provo.
The Utah Educator Network has posted some comical videos they present as factual on the global warming hoax. On this page of their website (http://www.uen.org/climate/videos.shtml) there are 11 videos that talk about the evils of carbon dioxide and how the earth is warming. The very first video which someone sent me a link to, is pretty funny. It’s available for download on their website. It’s entitled “A Sick Planet” and you may be surprised that the last 10 years of earth’s existence have been the warmest on record. Look for the animation of animals dying too just as Utah gets mentioned. :)
If the video disappears from UEN, you can get the first video here: A Sick Planet (just right-click and select save-as to download it)
Then check out these comments from their website about how teachers dig this garbage. I bet you’re all as excited as this first responder to pump little children’s heads full of this nonsense. I guess cartoons really can be hazardous for the mind.
- Excellent! I believe the info will change the minds of some Utah citizens who think global warming does not exist. It allows us (and gives us) tools to effectively teach young students about climate change.
- First impressions: Informative and yet funny- which makes it enjoyable, good idea
- The video was well done and entertaining. I look forward to checking out the web site
- Very nice to have this in one place- really like the video! Quick and down to earth. I’m excited to use this.
- I am excited to use this resource. The length and content of the videos seems appropriate. I hope I will be able to find resources that specifically address the common statements made by climate change skeptics.
- Awesome video. Comical, humorous, and very factual!
- I loved the animation. It was very educational, but also very fun and entertaining.
- I’m very excited about the web site – especially the videos – short, simple, but has the power to lead to powerful discussion.
- A very good resource/ everyone teaching climate science should use this resource
- How soon available? (entire 11 videos) Do you have any one available to introduce the students to the program in a computer lab setting? Excellent!
- Thumbs up!
- Thumbs up! Animated, humorous
- Great job connecting content and vocabulary with visual images. I would use it in my class tomorrow.
- Videos should be a good means to introduce climate and climate change.
- This is a great idea! It looks easy to watch. Can we make them available for the rest of the public? Thanks for including pikas (sp?)!
- Very simplistic, but I think it will be effective
- Exciting! Love the vocabulary list, lesson plan links and looks like a great resource. Thanks!
- Looks like a great resource, excited to try it out!
- First impressions: I really like the video. Very simple graphics and language but very rich in content. It would be interesting if there was a link at the web site for more what to do about the climate change.
- I’m excited to use this resource. eMedia has been great and I know I’ll use the short videos
- First impressions – (1) Yay! (2) Please make storyboards available for teachers to turn into interactive worksheets (3) Please list the vocab words that go with each video so we can preteach
- Videos look great! A little fast for ELL’s; Spanish versions??; Make physical manipulatives of main components of video so that kids can interact with material
- It’s very simple and I like it. I’d love a guide that went with each video. The script would be great to use in the classroom.
- Looks great!
- I am studying climate and folks always want to debate global warming. Now I can send them to the UEN site so they can see the nutshell videos They explain it better than I can!
- Laura (& Karen) is a well-spoken person who provides enthusiasm about UEN. My first impression is that I want to get on your web site and start checking out the resources.
- I thought that the video was really nice. I will try to use the web site, kids are very connected now…!