Posts Tagged ‘Standards’

Think Common Core Standards were a State Initiative?

Think Common Core State Standards are State led? Get the facts:

(Click here to get a 2 page flier you can print or email to share with others)

• 1988: Marc Tucker became the president of the National Center for Education and the Economy (NCEE) where he joined up with Hillary Clinton, Mario Cuomo, and Ira Magaziner to get states to move away from local control of their schools and migrate to national standards. (link)

• 1990: George H. W. Bush signed an international agreement entitled, “World Education for All (EFA), the result of a United Nations “World Conference on Education for All” summit. (link)

• 1991: Tucker and Lauren Resnick created New Standards that pushed standards-based reform. (link)

• 1992: Tucker writes “Dear Hillary Letter.” This letter, written to Hillary Clinton, addressed Tucker’s ideas for radical education reform after Bill Clinton’s presidential win. The goal is “to remold the entire American system” into “a seamless web that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same systems for everyone,” coordinated by “a system of labor market boards at the local, state and federal levels” where curriculum and “job matching” will be handled by counselors “accessing the integrated computer-based program.” (link)

• 1994: Tucker’s ambitious plan was implemented in three laws passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton: the Goals 2000 Act, the School-to-Work Act Opportunities Act, and the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) called “Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994.” (link)

• 1996: An organization called ACHIEVE, Inc. was formed by the nation’s governors and corporate leaders. (Many of them tied to Marc Tucker and the NCEE). The goals from an Education Summit in Palisades, NY were to ACHIEVE the goals of the 1994 school reform bills. (link)

• 1998: Tucker and Judy Codding created America’s Choice, a comprehensive school reform program, that made sure the national standards were further implemented into schools. (link)

• 2001: George W. Bush renames ESEA “The No Child Left Behind Act” and signed it into law. (link)

• 2004: Microsoft (Bill Gates) contracts with UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) to fulfill part of UNESCO’S Millennium Campaign Goals—universal education and educating for a global economy. A “master curriculum” for teacher training in information technologies based standards, guidelines, benchmarks, and assessment techniques is to be developed. (link)

(UNESCO / Gates Foundation Agreement)

• 2005: Bill Gates funds the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce—created by Tucker. States begin adopting its education reform initiative, “Tough Choices or Tough Times.” In 2008, Utah’s Governor Huntsman touts it (see video in link below) and joins with 5 others states (Massachusetts, Delaware, Arizona, New Mexico, and New Hampshire) who adopt it in order to “reinvent their educational systems.” (link)

• 2008: Gates Foundation, along with two other foundations, created Strong American Schools (a successor to the STAND UP campaign launched in 2006, which was an outgrowth of UNESCO’s Millennium Campaign Goals for Universal Education). It calls for American education standards. (link 1) (link 2)

• 2008: Gates Foundation funds the International Benchmarking Advisory Group report for Common Core Standards on behalf of the National Governors Association, Council of Chief State School Officers, and ACHIEVE, Inc. titled, “Benchmarking for Success: Ensuring U.S. Students Receive a World-Class Education.” This report shows the United Nations is a member of the International Benchmarking Advisory Group for Common Core Standards. The member of mention is the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which developed UNESCO’s Millennium Declaration—partnering with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. (link)

The report states: While states must take the lead, the federal government can help. And the federal government can do that best by playing an enabling role grounded in a new vision for the historic state-federal partnership in education. (link)

• 2009:  Marc Tucker writes a chapter in the book “Change Wars: The Inspiring Future for Educational Change.” One chapter is called International Benchmarking as a Lever for Policy Reform. The book says the UN’s OECD launched Programme for International Student Assessment in 2000 to monitor the outcomes of education. Linda Darling-Hammond also contributes a chapter. Darling-Hammond heads the SBAC (see 2009, December below) (link)

• April, 2009: Gates Foundation members, along with a few dozen others, participate in a Washington conference and produce “Smart Options: Investing the Recovery Funds for Student Success.” These ideas were funded by the 2008 Stimulus (ARRA-American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) and supported Race to the Top. Priority 1: Develop Common American Standards—also called Career-Ready Standards—in most states by January 2012. (link)

• 2009 (summer): Council of Chief State School Officers, National Governors Association, and ACHIEVE, Inc. agree to partner on a common core standards project. (link)

• 2009 (fall): The U.S. Dept. of Ed signals it will fund $360M for summative assessments aligned to Common Core Standards and begins planning meetings. Two consortia begin competing for this funding: Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. States begin adopting Common Core Standards and join one of the consortia in order to receive No Child Left Behind waivers from the U.S. Department of Education Secretary, Arne Duncan. (link)

• 2009 (December): Utah becomes a governing member state of Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and is obligated to use the assessments created by the SBAC which is led by Bill Ayers’ friend, Linda Darling-Hammond. Judy Park, Associate Superintendent, Utah State Office of Ed, eventually co-chairs the Consortia. (link 1)

• 2009 (December): Gates Foundation gives the National PTA a $1 million grant to mobilize parents for Common Core Standards. (link 1)(link 2)

• June, 2010: National Governors Association and State Education Chiefs launch Common State Academic Standards. (link)

• April 2011: The SBAC Overview Curriculum and Assessment Conference issues a report stating that governing member states must adopt Common Core by Dec. 31, 2011. (link 1)

• 2011: The American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) education task force calls for the demise of the Common Core Standards, but puts it on hold after receiving a $376,635 grant from the Gates Foundation. (link)

• 2011: Bill Gates speaks at the November G20 Summit in Cannes and issues his report, “Innovation With Impact: Financing 21st Century Development” stating, “My report will address the financing needed to achieve maximum progress on the Millennium Development Goals, and to make faster progress on development over the next decade.” (link)

• 2011: Obama Education Secretary Arne Duncan announces “Today, I promise you that [the Department of Education] will be a committed partner in the national effort to build a more environmentally literate and responsible society… We must advance the sustainability movement through education… Education and sustainability are the keys to our economic future-and our ecological future.” (link)

• 2012: States begin to recognize the loss of local control and enormous cost of implementation of the Common Core Standards. Many states begin pushing back. The Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute call the standards unconstitutional per federal education law.

• 2012: States not on Common Core and not meeting the Annual Yearly Progress requirements of NCLB petition congress for relief. Lawmakers working on options are undercut when the Obama White House circumvents congress to grant waivers from NCLB if states adopt Common Core. (link)

Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott stated that the common standards movement amounted to a “desire for a federal takeover of public education.” Now, additional states (who originally signed on), including Massachusetts, Iowa, Kansas, and Virginia, are expressing concerns about the common standards initiative. (link)

Gov. Nikki Haley just signed a letter supporting legislation in South Carolina to block CCSS implementation stating, “South Carolina shouldn’t relinquish control to a consensus of states any more than the federal government.” (link)

Larry Shumway, Utah state superintendent, a member of the CCSSO Board of Directors, a member of the Board of Directors at West Ed which is the project management partner for SBAC assessments, recommends Utah retain its relationship as a governing member of the SBAC (thus forcing Utah to use their tests).

“I am personally opposed to any changes in Utah’s public education governance, either by constitutional amendment or by statutory revision, that would have the effect of centralizing power and decreasing representation.  I oppose changes that would decrease the ability of local boards of education, elected by the citizens of that district, to guide their own schools to meet the needs of their communities as they see it, or that would diminish the ability of 104 elected legislators and 15 elected State Board members to fulfill their responsibilities to lead Utah public education as they represent their constituencies.” -Larry Shumway–State of Education Address October 11, 2011

This seems to me a clear conflict of interest for Mr. Shumway to testify to the Utah legislature on anything related to Common Core or the SBAC.

Gates’ Foundation other contributions during the time frame of consideration and development of the Common Core initiative.

Counsel of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO): 2009–$9,961,842, 2009–$3,185,750, 2010–$743,331, 2011–$9,388,911
National Governor’s Association (NGA): 2008–$2,259,780
Mark Tucker’s NCEE: 2009–$1,500,000
Total: $27,000,000

To any who still harbor the illusion that Common Core State Standards were the product of the states simply coming together, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.

Special thanks to the many people involved in digging this information up. Much work has been done by people all around the country to put this information together and help follow the money trail. Please do your part now in passing this information on to everyone you know so they can be educated about what the Common Core Initiative is really all about.

To see where Common Core fits into the scheme of related programs that make up the globalization of education, check out this visual diagram and then other links below.

RTTT Grant Connections

This chart came from a document prepared by an organization in Oklahoma. You can obtain their full document here which is a comprehensive document entitled “Common Core State Standards and Race To the Top, an Introduction to Marxism 101.

Jumping off the Federal Education Train

Nobody wants to contemplate jumping off a moving train, but the federal government’s takeover of education is driving state and local control right off a cliff.  In several past articles on this site I’ve tried to detail the grab of power the federal government is making. This article (https://www.utahsrepublic.org/dropping-the-common-core-state-standards/) is perhaps the best summary article I can refer to which links to the components of this takeover involving standards, assessments, curriculum, database tracking, and changing of national laws on control of education.

In the past few days, I’ve received articles and insight from a few people that show the feds have become brazenly open in preparing to force states onto its plan.

From an article in the Orange County Register newspaper:

https://www.ocregister.com/articles/schools-318629-states-obama.html

President Barrack Obama on Friday announced that states can opt out of the much-maligned federal accountability system if they agree to implement reforms that include tying teacher and principal evaluations to student test scores, enacting standards to prepare students for college and careers, and adopting national common education standards.

“The federal government really did not cut us a break with this waiver plan. All these reforms will cost schools money they just don’t have,” county Superintendent William Habermehl said. “The better solution would have been for Obama just to give states unconditional relief from NCLB for two or three years while they figure out how to fix the law.”

California’s willingness to even apply for the waivers also remains unclear. State Superintendent Tom Torlakson has already expressed concern over the ability of the cash-strapped state to enact such sweeping reforms.

In other words, if you don’t want to deal with No Child Left Behind Annual Yearly Progress issues, just agree to sign onto the national plan to prepare our children for college and careers which includes CCSS, assessments, and tying school teacher and principal evaluations to those assessments.

The national database will naturally have to be part of this package to track teacher performance and it appears from this article in the NY Post that it was funded in the 2009 stimulus bill.

https://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/how_the_feds_are_tracking_your_kid_xC6wecT8ZidCAzfqegB6hL#ixzz1htUXiCRd

Under regulations the Obama Department of Education released this month, these scenarios could become reality. The department has taken a giant step toward creating a de facto national student database that will track students by their personal information from preschool through career. Although current federal law prohibits this, the department decided to ignore Congress and, in effect, rewrite the law. Student privacy and parental authority will suffer.

How did it happen? Buried within the enormous 2009 stimulus bill were provisions encouraging states to develop data systems for collecting copious information on public-school kids. To qualify for stimulus money, states had to agree to build such systems according to federally dictated standards. So all 50 states either now maintain or are capable of maintaining extensive databases on public-school students.

The administration wants this data to include much more than name, address and test scores. According to the National Data Collection Model, the government should collect information on health-care history, family income and family voting status. In its view, public schools offer a golden opportunity to mine reams of data from a captive audience.

The feds are putting states on the ropes. If you want federal funding, you either comply with AYP and impossible growth targets, or they’ll grant you a waiver for NCLB if you adopt the Common Core package which includes everything including assessments and database tracking of our children.

There is only one solution I see. Utah needs to save about 10% of its education spending and get off the federal train. Without pretty drastic action, we’re going to have state and local educators whose sole function is an administrative check to make sure everyone is complying with federal mandates on curriculum, standards, assessments, and database reporting. Don’t worry, Washington D.C. is full of people who are confident in their ability to tell you what your child needs in the way of education.

Here’s a great little analogy on the benefits of local control.

CCSS: Nationalizing Education

Standards

At the Republican state convention a few months ago I had the chance to speak with Utah Governor Gary Herbert for a few minutes and so I brought up the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The governor assured me they weren’t a prelude to a national takeover of education (which by some measures we could conclude that already happened years ago). The governor said the CCSS was the product of states getting together and collaborating to improve the standards.  That is true in part. The states got together. However, some states had better standards than what was produced in the CCSS documents. Rather than 50 experiments in education, we will now have 1. Success and failure is now 100% for our country in either direction, rather than 2% per state. Will the CCSS work? Nobody knows. They’ve never been used. They weren’t even complete when they started being adopted by states. Assessments weren’t ready to look at, but “don’t worry, everything necessary for this system to work 100% is in process…”

When the evidence is examined as a whole, it is difficult to not see the CCSS as the prelude to a national melding of education into a giant pot.  It’s not like everything is isolated and we certainly can’t say that the standards are independent objects for the states to manipulate. If a state signs on, they can’t modify the standards except to add a little to them. So lets look at what else we know is happening that is pushing forward to compliment the CCSS.

Curriculum

Article: Common Core Writers Craft Curriculum Criteria

What? The people that wrote the standards are now telling curriculum designers how to design the curriculum? That sounds like a national curriculum in the works. But that’ll never happen so don’t worry about that.

Assessments

Article: State Consortium Scales Back Common-Test Design

So you have these “state” standards which are being pushed with the odd national anticipation that very soon all the states will adopt them (even if the standards are worse than their current successful standards such as in MA and CA). Shown on this SBAC timeline, that will be by late this year (2011). By 2013 they will be pilot testing the assessments, field testing in 2014, and 2015 will be when we have “final achievement standards.”  The SBAC is one of a couple of consortia that have received massive amounts of federal funding to develop a set of assessments that will match the CCSS. SBAC’s senior researcher is Linda Darling Hammond, proponent of social justice in the classroom, and constructivist extraordinaire. Anyone want to guess what these assessments will be asking and how they will influence the “final achievement standards?” Does anyone think the CCSS might change by 2015 based on these tests and developing “final” standards?

SBAC CCSS Timeline

SBAC CCSS Timeline

Tracking

Once you have the standards, curricula to teach them, and assessments to measure student progress, the next thing you’ll want to know is information about the students to see how they are progressing (and of course you’ll want to track the teachers so you know who the ones are that most successfully get students to answer the correct questions on the SBAC social justice tests).

https://www.utahsrepublic.org/education/common-core-database-intrusion/

Connections

If you didn’t read the post the other day on Marxism and CCSS, here’s the flowchart from page 20 of that pdf someone produced.  Everything fits nice and neat together. I haven’t looked into it myself, but from the title on this map, these relationships all seem to get identified in the Race to the Top grant.

RTTT Grant Connections

RTTT Grant Connections

Financial Cost

I have read estimates that in California alone, implementing these new standards will entail spending several hundred million dollars. Nearly every state was hoping to get Race to the Top funds but only a handful did. Not surprising, Utah got nothing and so implementation of these new standards will be a significant new expense for our state. It will involve teacher training in the new standards, new textbooks written to the standards, and additional costs for switching out assessments and such. Why on earth would we create massive new costs when we already have pretty good math standards and we have high unemployment and a financial disaster brewing in our country?

Local Control

Everyone’s favorite buzz-phrase but which only a few really cherish. The only local control that is going to exist after this will be for home schoolers and private schools. Accepting this package, and make no mistake it is a package, will terminate local control and allow for Educrats in Washington D.C. to determine what is taught, how it’s taught, what’s tested, and what’s tracked. If we’re lucky, they’ll share a little bit with us at the local level.

Science Standards

Here’s a great piece from Ze’ev Wurman on the newly proposed CC science standards. His conclusion as an engineer and educator who has served on the California Academic Content Standards Commission that reviewed the adoption of Common Core for California, is that these standards are going to develop students who appreciate science rather than actually learn science. You can read his article here entitled Education to Raise Technology Consumers instead of Technology Creators. These standards will only serve to dumb down our children and allow for further deteriorating our scientific prowess (if we can even call it that anymore).

Conclusion

There are many people who believe the CCSS are good standards. No doubt they may be better than what some states were using, but that’s no reason to kill innovation between the 50 states, nor to allow for all these separate components to join together. It’s out of our hands though. The only way to avoid this is to reject the CCSS and be a state that is free to innovate and educate as we see fit.

For more information about the CCSS, check out the Truth in American Education website.

CCSS and RTT – an Introduction to Marxism 101

Last month a friend of mine sent me a link to a document which I knew I had to read. The title of this document is “Common Core State Standards and Race to the Top – An Introduction to Marxism 101.” The manuscript was prepared by Jenni White, Lynn Habluetzel and Jo Joyce, part of the Restore Oklahoma Public Education project (website).

With 179 footnotes in 19 pages of text, this is a document that needs to be read and then put into the hands of every school board member to help them understand that what they’re being told about CCSS not being part of any national agenda, is false. This paper does an excellent job of pulling everything together from a history of education as it used to be, to the corruption brought into the system by John Dewey and company.

After the paper concludes on page 19, several appendices follow comparing traditional and progressive education (including specific pages on differences in the approaches to math and English education). Specific contrasts are also made between Karl Marx and Thomas Jefferson, and John Dewey to Ben Franklin. There is also an amazing chart on page 20 of the document which shows the flow of money and cooperation between Race to the Top and a huge assortment of entities, many of which are mentioned in the document.

You can access the document at the link above, or get the pdf here. Please send a copy of this to your school board members.

Common-Core-State-Standards-and-Race-to-the-Top-An-Introduction-to-Marxism-101

Truth in Education Website

A great new website has arrived that shows the interrelated nature of all the education reforms that have come out such as NCLB, RTTT, CCSS, and other wonderful acronyms you didn’t realize were ruining your child’s education. :) I strongly encourage you to spend a little time on this site and see how Bill Gates and Pearson publishing are gearing up to produce a national curriculum to accompany the CCSS which are essentially turning into national standards.

https://truthinamericaneducation.com/

Be sure to see how the Gates Foundation has *bribed* many organizations to buy into their reforms. On the list are Achieve and Fordham, 2 organizations I previously trusted to be objective but not any more.

https://truthinamericaneducation.com/?page_id=311

I also strongly encourage you to check out their “tool kit” with important links to resources on stopping CCSS. Please use your influence with legislators and school board members to help them understand why this is a bad idea. Some think that this is all being done in a small box. It’s not. It’s vast and interconnected from many different points. The CCSS is only one part of a plan to allow the feds to control education and lose what little local control we have.

https://truthinamericaneducation.com/action-center/tool-kit/

You can also read about Race to the Cradle here as the government gets involved in Pre-K funding.

https://www.cato-at-liberty.org/race-to-the-cradle/

Closing the Door on Innovation

A diverse group of individuals has written up a manifesto and petition of sorts on why the Common Core State Standards are a bad idea. I encourage everyone to read this and then add your name to the supporter list.

https://www.k12innovation.com/Manifesto/_V2_Home.html

Here is their press release:

Broad Coalition Opposes National Curriculum Initiative by U.S. Dept. of Education

Over 100 leaders sign manifesto against nationalization of schooling

Stanford, Calif. & Fayetteville, Ark. – A broad coalition of over 100 educational and other leaders representing diverse viewpoints released a manifesto today opposing ongoing federal government efforts to create a national curriculum and testing system.

The manifesto, entitled “Closing the Door on Innovation,” is available at www.k12innovation.com. It argues that current U.S. Department of Education efforts to nationalize curriculum will stifle innovation and freeze into place an unacceptable status quo; end local and state control of schooling; lack a legitimate legal basis; and impose a one-size-fits-all model on America’s students.

Congress is now preparing to debate renewal of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the main law authorizing federal aid to K-12 education. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Education has been quietly funding efforts by two assessment groups to develop a national K-12 curriculum, along with a national testing system that tests every public-school student multiple times each year. This federal initiative will create a national system of academic-content standards, tests, and curriculum. It is in line with the goals of a manifesto released on March 7, 2011, by the Albert Shanker Institute that calls for a single nationalized curriculum in every K-12 subject.

“A one-size-fits-all national curriculum based on mediocre high-school standards will stifle the educational innovation essential to closing the racial gap in academic achievement,” said Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom in a joint statement on why they signed the new manifesto. Abigail Thernstrom is vice-chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and a former member of the Massachusetts Board of Education; Stephan Thernstrom is a professor of history at Harvard University.

“Closing the Door promotes what is for high schools the most important innovation in a century,” said signatory Blouke Carus, leading children’s magazine publisher, math and reading textbook developer, and chairman of the Carus Corporation. “Our schools need to offer each student a choice among six or more challenging and rigorous high school curricula, as do other, higher-performing countries.”

“The federal government’s effort to impose a national curriculum on all schools spells trouble for the educational system,” said Richard Epstein, law professor at New York University, also a signatory. “No one in Washington can craft a curriculum that works well throughout this diverse nation. Once errors are built in at the national level, corrections will be ever more difficult to make at the local level. Only decentralized control over education can prove nimble enough to root out errors and spur innovation. Washington bureaucrats should not trumpet their own omniscience, but should become more cognizant of their own fallibility.”

“To some, a national curriculum sounds like a redemptive cure-all for the shame of our public schools’ failures,” said signatory Shelby Steele of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. “And a national curriculum gives the education establishment elite a powerful warrant for ‘doing good.’ But we must not discard the proven constitutional discipline of our federalist system. Decentralization has been the engine of educational innovation. We shouldn’t trade our federalist birthright for a national-curriculum mess of pottage.”

“National curriculum becomes, in effect, a nationalization of what teachers teach,” said former Attorney General Edwin Meese III, another signatory. “We must always evaluate policy proposals in light of principles like rule of law and the logic of our constitutional system. The Education Department’s sponsoring and funding of national curriculum runs counter to both laws of Congress and the wisdom of the Founders.”

The coalition of leaders releasing its counter-manifesto today opposes both the Shanker Institute Manifesto and the U.S. Department of Education initiative on a variety of grounds:

•These efforts are against federal law and undermine the constitutional balance between national and state authority.

•The evidence doesn’t show a need for national curriculum or a national test for all students.

•U.S. Department of Education is basing its initiative on inadequate content standards.

•There is no research-based consensus on what is the best curricular approach to each subject.

•There is not even consensus on whether a single “best curricular approach” for all students exists.

With federal education law coming to the top of Congress’s agenda, the U.S. Department of Education’s push to create national curriculum and assessment is becoming a hot topic.

The manifesto opposing a national curriculum was organized by Bill Evers, research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution; Greg Forster, senior fellow at the Foundation for Education Choice; Jay Greene and Sandra Stotsky, professors at the University of Arkansas; and Ze’ev Wurman, executive at a Silicon Valley start-up.

Common Core Database Intrusion

There has been a mixed bag of opinions ever since the common core standards have come out. Speculation continues but things do gel in small pieces. Someone sent me this article yesterday which points out that the National Education Data Model contains many of the database information attributes the feds want on our children. The NEDM “is the single, comprehensive model of education data and is prerequisite to establishing automated and comparable systems.” Now this isn’t directly tied into the Common Core State Standards by name, but what else would a national database be for but to get everyone on the same page, taking the same tests from the same curriculum and knowing everything about the students and teachers as possible.

We’re not just talking a few things that deal with student grade performance, we’re talking things like your child’s blood type, what time he/she gets on the bus, compulsory attendance status, orthodontic appliances, religious consideration, the number of decayed teeth you’ve got, etc… Hmmm, now why would the feds would want to track these things? I wonder if members of the state school board ever foresaw problems with federal standards and money? I guess not since they didn’t feel the need to have public meetings prior to their decision to adopt.

Article:

https://pajamasmedia.com/blog/arne-duncans-brave-new-world-dept-of-education-wants-your-kids-blood-type/?singlepage=true

Link to the database attributes (ie. the new master race database):

https://nces.sifinfo.org/datamodel/eiebrowser/techview.aspx?instance=studentElementarySecondary

Red Meat Radio Update 7-3-10

Red Meat Radio Republic Update 7-3-10

(I am at the beginning of this audio clip, but at the 13:48 mark, the Teacher of the year from the Utah online charter school is interviewed)

For those of you that didn’t listen to Red Meat Radio this morning, here’s the audio from it. I discussed BYU’s McKay School of Education leaving the Goodlad NNER (National Network for Educational Renewal) organization as well as two other important issues.

Back in March when I presented our petition to the State School Board I received a letter from Lynne Greenwood indicating the state office would be opening up the 8th and 11th grade history standards to ensure the concept of a republic received appropriate treatment in the standards. Since then I have emailed individuals at the state office twice and haven’t heard anything back from them…

Next, a week and a half ago at the legislature’s education interim meeting, a teacher spoke about civics education in Utah and the need to study original sources. He then presented members of the committee with a handout on various quality resources that contain original sources. The state superintendent, Larry Shumway, then got up and was asked if the textbooks used in Utah show respect toward the Founders. He first began by questioning the term “Founders” and how differently the “Founders” thought about the same issues or principles. He told the committee, and he was backed up by a former history teacher on the committee, that the textbooks used in Utah show respect to the Founders. The topic of the Constitution didn’t really come up. He said that though the Making of America is a good book, it is biased to a certain “Founders'” viewpoint and should be used only as a secondary resource.

When I asked a history teacher in Alpine School District if the textbooks in ASD showed respect to our Founding Fathers, he replied:

“They absolutely do not. In fact the only teaching they even get on history is a packet with questions and little pamphlet books to find answers. There is no teaching of history and certainly not of our Founding Fathers or even our great nation.”

We’ve got a lot of work to do. )

Go Texas Board of Education!

Wow, WoW, and WOW! Check out this awesome article on the new Texas standards voted in by the State Board of Education.

https://townhall.com/columnists/PhyllisSchlafly/2010/03/16/texas_kicks_out_liberal_bias_from_textbooks

Texas curriculum standards will henceforth accurately describe the U.S. government as a “constitutional republic” rather than as a democracy. The secularists tried to remove reference to the religious basis for the founding of America, but that was voted down.

Not only do they correct this simple point, but they really go for the gold on a whole host of other changes. I think we ought to just adopt Texas’ history standards right now! :)  Here’s some other highlights. Read the rest of this entry »

State School Board Visit

Friday morning I returned to the State School Board since last month I delivered the petition and had not heard back from them. Audio of this event will be available next week online and I will post the relevant part to this site. In short, I delivered a document to each board member as well as shared a couple quick thoughts.

I shared the story I received from a parent this week that her child overheard two teachers in the hallway talking to each other. One said to the other, “everyone’s saying we’re a Republic, but we’re not, we’re a Democracy.”

I also shared the statement by Thomas Jefferson that a Republic is the only form of government that is not at open war with the rights of man.

Superintendent Shumway and I had spoken in the capitol a few weeks ago and had a nice conversation on this topic, though we have a differing of opinion. He shared a quote from Ronald Reagan where Reagan called us a Democracy and I countered that that just shows how far gone the word has deteriorated. I mentioned how if you look in the dictionary (link) you’ll find two definitions for the word Democracy, one being the original meaning, and one meaning just the opposite which sounds like a Republic. Read the rest of this entry »