Bill Gates Crying In His Vault

Eric Owens; Education Editor, Daily Caller

Gates 3Bill Gates is a sad clown today because his bizarre $100 million student data project has failed – InBloom, Inc Student Data Collection, to Shut Down!

Common Core-loving billionaire Bill Gates has suffered a stinging defeat in his ambitious quest to reform every cranny of the American K-12 public education system.

The nonprofit educational-software company InBloom Inc., which the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corp. of New York financed to the tune of $100 million, announced on Monday that it will shut down permanently.

The reason for the shutdown is a steady cascade of parental and legislative anxiety about student privacy, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Gates 1The strategy driving inBloom had been to create a huge database connecting local school districts and state education bureaucracies with behemoth education companies.

To accomplish this goal, the nonprofit had hoped to provide a smorgasbord of data about students. What homework are they doing? What tests are they assigned? What are their test scores? Their specific learning disabilities? Their disciplinary records? Their skin colors? Their names? Their addresses?

The Atlanta-based company had originally signed up nine states for the database. It planned to charge school districts between $2 and $5 per student for the privilege of participating in the student data collection scheme.
Many parents across the country – particularly in the otherwise fairly disparate states of New York and Louisiana – hated the bizarrely intrusive idea from the start and rallied key state legislators to their causes.

The final blow came earlier this year when the New York state legislature forced its state education bureaucrats to abandon the invasive Gates-funded project.

Gates 2“Hopefully, today’s announcement that inBloom is closing its doors will make government officials, corporations and foundations more aware that parental concerns cannot be ignored,” Leonie Haimson, a former New York City public-schools parent who successfully lobbied lawmakers against inBloom, told the Journal.

In a message on inBloom’s website, Chief Executive Officer Iwan Streichenberger swore that the firm “has world-class security and privacy protections” and accused the meddling database’s grassroots critics of “mis-characterizations,” notes The Washington Post.

“Over the last year, the incredibly talented team at inBloom has developed and launched a technical solution that addresses the complex challenges that teachers, educators and parents face when trying to best utilize the student data available to them,” Streichenberger wrote.

“The use of technology to tailor instruction for individual students is still an emerging concept and inBloom provides a technical solution that has never been seen before. As a result, it has been the subject of mis-characterizations and a lightning rod for misdirected criticism,” he also proclaimed.

Interestingly, though Gates has funded the effort to collect data about America’s public school kids, he has sent his own kids to a ritzy Seattle private school.

It does not appear that any of the Gates children would have been part of the amazing new student information database. The children of Bill and Melinda Gates – Jennifer, Rory and Phoebe – have attended Lakeside School, Seattle’s most elite, fancy pants private school.

The hallowed halls of Lakeside School are a sweet place to attend classes if you have the means.

Gates kidsAccording to a Seattle education blog, the student-teacher ratio is 9 to 1. The average class size is 16. Some two dozen varsity sports are available and the opulent athletic facilities include “hydrotherapy spas.”

Of course, what with tuition for the 2013-14 academic year costing $28,500 per kid (not including books, laptop, field trips, etc.), most families don’t have the means.

Lakeside’s website doesn’t appear to discuss Common Core much.

Interestingly enough, the inBloom,Inc. web site seems to have disappeared into a cloud!

Follow Eric on http://www.erico@dailycaller.com


How States and School Districts Can Opt Out of Common Core

By Dr. Sandra Stotsky March 8, 2014

States that want to opt out of the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) and/or the tests aligned to or based on its standards are being threatened by a toothless tiger that doesn’t want the states to know the tiger has no claws.

RTTT7States are hearing, “It’s too late to back out”; “You’ll waste all the money you’ve spent on implementing the [low-level Common Core] standards your state board of education adopted three years ago”; “You’ll waste all the money you’ve spent on [self-described] Common Core consultants who have given [very costly] professional development to your teachers and told them what to change in their classroom curriculum to address Common Core”; “You will have to pay back all the money you got under Race to the Top (RttT)”; or, “You will lose your waiver and not get your Title I money.”

Can the U.S. Department of Education (USED) demand repayment from states that got RttT funds? Can it withhold Title I money from a state that loses its waiver? It is important to recall that Congress didn’t pass legislation requiring Common Core’s standards or tests. All it authorized in 2001 was a re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) called No Child Left Behind (NCLB). ESEA hasn’t been re-authorized since then, so there are no new or different education policies passed by Congress. A variety of conditions have been attached to the recent waivers issued by USED, but they may have no constitutional legitimacy since Congress didn’t approve them. States can certainly raise that objection.

At the national level:

If a state received RttT money and spent it, it most likely doesn’t have to pay it back if it now seeks to opt out of using Common Core’s standards (by any name) and any tests aligned to or based on these standards. Neither the RttT application nor the grant award from USED contained a repayment penalty for withdrawing from a commitment. Moreover, the Grant Award Notification from USED implied withholding of future RttT funds, not repayment of RttT funds already expended.

RTTT winenrsIn other words, there seem to be no likely penalties if a state accepted a USED award of RttT funds and now chooses to withdraw from the agreement. States can justify their withdrawal on the grounds that the Common Core standards do not meet the original requirements of “common standards” outlined in the RttT application. These standards were supposed to be “supported by evidence that they are internationally benchmarked.” But they are not. The Common Core Validation Committee never received any evidence.

Nor has evidence been provided by two post hoc attempts to provide such evidence: the 2011 report by David Conley at the University of Oregon and the 2012 report by William Schmidt and a colleague at Michigan State University, Richard Houang. Conley’s report, funded by the Gates Foundation, contradicted the findings in his 2003 pre-Common Core report on college-readiness standards, while Schmidt and Houang’s report has been severely criticized on methodological grounds. It is unclear who funded it.

Moreover, RttT was a three-year program extended to last four years. It expires in the fall of 2014. Whatever changes states make after 2014 cannot affect the grant. In addition, no state committed itself explicitly to maintain forever the new policies required by RttT. Once RttT grants expire, it is unclear how the USED could demand repayment for an expired program.

If a state obtained a waiver from some aspects of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and now seeks to opt out of using Common Core’s standards and tests aligned to or based on them, it is highly unlikely to lose Title I money. Title I is implicated in the Common Core issue only because the state committed to the CCLS to obtain the waiver.

If the state applies for an extension of the waiver through the 2015-2016 school year, it would need to replace its commitment to implement the Common Core with a commitment to implement alternative standards approved by its institutions of higher education (IHEs). IHE approval of more demanding “college- and career-ready” standards would allow the state to retain the waiver, without penalty. Legislators need to ask their public IHEs to approve standards that enable mathematically and scientifically ambitious high school students to take STEM-preparatory coursework while in high school, not in transition courses elsewhere after high school graduation or after passing a GED test.

If the US Department of Education (USED) decided to be punitive, it could withhold at most only 5%-10% of the 1% of Title I funds set aside for state administrative functions. For example, if a state received $200 million under Title I, the administrative set-aside is $2 million. The most severe federal punishment would be 5-10% of that, or a maximum of $200K.

nclbIf the state chose to give up its waiver, the state would be under the NCLB mandate again to get all students to proficiency by 2014. NCLB has a range of sanctions for persistently failing schools and districts, ranging from conversion to charter schools, closing the school down altogether, replacing a large percentage of the school’s staff, to carrying out turnaround plans. If states give up their USED waivers from NCLB requirements, they would still have to assess their state’s standards annually with tests that, by law, must be based on these standards, and NCLB’s sanctions would again apply for failing schools and districts. It is not clear what the sanction would be for failing to get all students to proficiency by 2014, that is, if most schools failed to achieve Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for all subgroups.

The primary financial consequence of relinquishing the waiver would involve flexibility, not amount, of funding. Under NCLB, failing schools must allocate 20% of their Title I funding to Supplemental Education Services, typically outside tutoring. The waiver doesn’t change the amount of funding those schools receive but allows them to redirect 20% of it to other Title I uses. These districts would lose flexibility, not money.

USED would find it politically difficult to impose financial penalties on waiver cancellation when Common Core is not, in theory, a federal program. Or so we are regularly told.

At the state level:

Districts can select their own curricula and, in some states, their own standards. What they cannot do easily is avoid state testing. State tests operate under state laws which force all districts to participate, although sanctions vary by state. Typically, the results of these tests are used to rank or grade schools publicly, and they serve to label the schools as meeting or not meeting NCLB’s requirement of proficiency.

RTTT KidsA district with a stronger curriculum than one addressing Common Core’s standards is betting implicitly that its results will be better on the state test. If schools choosing to address more demanding standards than Common Core’s are ranked low on a Common Core-aligned test for several years, they may face state department of education sanctions, which can range from the state managing the district to reshuffling school administrators. Legislators can address this power play by withholding funding of the state’s department of education if it seeks to prevent schools with low scores on a Common Core-aligned test from addressing more demanding standards than Common Core’s. All the district should be required to do is produce evidence of evaluations showing that its standards are more demanding than Common Core’s.

A future post will further address districts that want better standards and tests than their state board and department of education are imposing on them.

Sandra Stotsky, Ed.D. is Professor Emerita, University of Arkansas.

Published by Jimmy Kilpatrick
Education News


The Disturbing Transformation of Kindergarten

nclbOne of the most distressing characteristics of education reformers is that they are hyper-focused on how students perform, but they ignore how students learn. Nowhere is this misplaced emphasis more apparent, and more damaging, than in kindergarten.

A new University of Virginia study found that kindergarten changed in disturbing ways from 1999-2006. There was a marked decline in exposure to social studies, science, music, art and physical education and an increased emphasis on reading instruction. Teachers reported spending as much time on reading as all other subjects combined.

The time spent in child-selected activity dropped by more than one-third. Direct instruction and testing increased. Moreover, more teachers reported holding all children to the same standard.

How can teachers hold all children to the same standards when they are not all the same? They learn differently, mature at different stages – they just are not all the same especially at the age of 4-6.

Is this drastic shift in kindergarten the result of a transformation in the way children learn? No! A 2011 nationwide study by the Gesell Institute for Child Development found that the ages at which children reach developmental milestones have not changed in 100 years.

For example, the average child cannot perceive an oblique line in a triangle until age 5 ½. This skill is a prerequisite to recognizing, understanding and writing certain letters. The key to understanding concepts such as subtraction and addition is “number conservation.” A child may be able to count five objects separately but not understand that together they make the number five. The average child does not conserve enough numbers to understand subtraction and addition until 5½ or 6.

If we teach reading, writing, subtraction and addition before children are ready, they might memorize these skills, but will they will not learn or understand them. And it will not help their achievement later on.

Illinois kindergartenChild development experts understand that children must learn what their brains are ready to absorb. Kindergarten is supposed to set the stage for learning academic content when they are older. If they are going to push our kindergarten children to move faster, what does that say for the push for “educating” Pre-K?

Play is essential in kindergarten – in fact in any child under the age of 5. Through play, children build literacy skills they need to be successful readers. By speaking to each other in socio-dramatic play, children use the language they heard adults read to them or say. This process enables children to find the meaning in those words.

There is a wide range of acceptable developmental levels in kindergarten; so a fluid classroom enables teachers to observe where each child is and adjust the curriculum accordingly.

Two major studies confirmed the value of play vs. teaching reading skills to young children. Both compared children who learned to read at 5 with those who learned at 7 and spent their early years in play-based activities. Those who read at 5 had no advantage. Those who learned to read later had better comprehension by age 11, because their early play experiences improved their language development.

Yet current educational policy banishes play in favor of direct instruction of inappropriate academic content and testing; practices that are ineffective for young children.

The No Child Left Behind Law played a major role in changing kindergarten. Upper-grade curricula were pushed down in a mistaken belief that by learning reading skills earlier, children would fare better on standardized tests. Subjects not tested by NCLB were de-emphasized. Lawmakers insisted that standardized tests assess reading at earlier ages, even though standardized tests are invalid for children under 8.

ccs I cantThese changes have the harshest effect on our most vulnerable children. The UVA study found that in schools with the highest percentage of children of color and children eligible for free-and-reduced-priced lunch, teachers had the most demanding expectations for student performance.

To make matters worse, the drafters of the Common Core ignored the research on child development. In 2010, 500 child development experts warned the drafters that the standards called for exactly the kind of damaging practices that inhibit learning: direct instruction, inappropriate academic content and testing.

These warnings went unheeded.

Consequently, the Common Core exacerbates the developmentally inappropriate practices on the rise since NCLB. Teachers report having to post the standards in the room before every scripted lesson, as if 5-year-olds can read or care what they say. They time children adding and subtracting, and train them to ask formulaic questions about an “author’s message.” All children are trained in the exact same skill at the same time. One teacher lamented that “there is no more time for play.” Another wrote “these so-called educational leaders have no idea how children learn.”

It may satisfy politicians to see children perform inappropriately difficult tasks like trained circus animals. However, if we want our youngest to actually learn, we will demand the return of developmentally appropriate kindergarten.

Wendy Lecker – she is a columnist for Hearst Connecticut Media Group and is senior attorney for the Campaign for Fiscal Equity project at the Education Law Center.


SO WHO IS MIKE HUCKABEE – A Traitor to Children?

The surfacing action of Huckabee to start “putting out feelers” as to his presidential electability is certainly an issue to look at with his involvement with Jeb Bush and Huckabee’s support of the Common Core Standards and now – doing a total turn around on his national weekly Fox show.

It appears that Huckabee is better suited to politics than being a man of the cloth. Ministers are to be held to a higher standard – I am not saying it is right, but it just goes with the occupation or calling. Huckabee is a player of words and I would put him into the new class of “New World Evangelists” who refuse to address the direction our country is taking to ruination.

He is a lot like Rick Warren having even attended seminary at the same time and the same place as Warren.

HUckabee 5We now know that his speech to the Council of State School Officers (CCSSO) was worded very differently than his announcement on his Fox show. Not only that, it appears the governor has also learned “double speak” lately.

At the CCSSO meeting Huckabee urged state education officials to get rid of the “Common Core” name because it has become “toxic.” Hum! However, Huckabee intends to continue to support the standards and it would appear this is the case as he is still listed on Jeb Bush’s Common Core site as a supporter. And – why was Huckabee invited to speak to the CCSSO?

“Rebrand it, refocus it, but don’t retreat,” Huckabee reportedly told CCSSO members. This of course is what some states are doing especially Florida. Florida lawmakers, Governor Scott and Commissioner of Education Stewart have all said they want to delete “Common Core” from official documents and replace it with the friendly sounding “Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.” Supposedly by changing the name of the standards everyone will forget they are the grandfather of the Common Core and the complete ruination of our children’s education.

In Florida, the Sunshine State Standards, adopted in 1996 became the Common Core State Standards in 2010.

This past November, Joe Follick a spokesman for the FL Dept. of Education stated, “Given the input that the state has taken and the changes that are likely to be made, “it would be disingenuous to call them common core standards”.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) used an executive order to strip the name “Common Core” from the state’s new math and reading standards for public schools. In Iowa, the same standards are now called “The Iowa Core.”

Tea Party members and others have argued that the standards amount to a federal intrusion in education, while supporters have tried to make the resistors believe that the development of the standards was spearheaded by governors and education officials.

Just the fact the president and Arne Duncan were ready and waiting on the sidelines with Race To The Top (RTTT) grants to the states shows the Federal intrusion. The grants from RTTT pushed the states to agree to share all their information on our children, their families and the teachers to the huge data mining system. All of this done BEFORE the standards were written and without any state legislation being passed authorizing it.

Back to good ole Huckabee! In June, 2013 Huckabee came out swinging in defense of the CCS. He sent a letter to lawmakers in Oklahoma, urging them to support Common Core. “Like many of you, I’ve heard the argument these standards ‘threaten local control’ of what’s being taught in Oklahoma classrooms,” Huckabee wrote. “Speaking from one conservative to another let me assure you this simply is not true. States and local school districts will determine how they want to teach kids, what curriculum to use, and which textbooks to use.
You can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all the people all the time. Huckabee is no conservative. His gubernatorial record shows that.

His lack of understanding the full scope of this “infection” – standards are to be used as the goals to reach and the curriculum is what is used to gain those goals is irresponsible. With the likes of Pearson and every Tom, Dick and Harry company out there writing curriculum to align with the standards For Profit – there is no escape from this but total elimination.

All of Huckabee’s remarks are like a playbook from Jeb Bush’s Foundation.

We can ask the question why did Huckabee choose to agree with the likes of Jeb Bush and his cronies rather than the American parents who had bothered to do their research! Why did he choose to ignore people like Professor’s Sandra Stotsky and James Milgram, but instead decided to follow the like-minded support of David Coleman, Linda Darling-Hammond, Bill Ayers, George Soros and Jeb Bush types?

This causes one to wonder what Huckabee got for his initial support of the CCS and now apparent continued support! Backers for a presidential run, monetary? He certainly could have done his own research!

cHILD aBUSE 4Huckabee’s “epiphany” mirrors that of others who have suddenly realized that it was not just a few unimportant people who are concerned about CCS; but instead, the parents and taxpayers of America, from all parties, no parties, no particular occupations or races – but our nation as a whole realizing the danger of having the Obama administration indoctrinate our children into the social justice agenda through Common Core Standards – using our children as “Human Capital” to become involved in public-private partnerships is not only despicable, but Progressive to Socialistic.

The selfish and inconsiderate support of this planned damage against our children cannot be explained or excused – now or in the future! We are talking about a former governor here that supported Bill Clinton’s “School-To-Work Act”. He also appears to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing!

Put your money away boys – you will not win this battle! Parents will!


Great Hearts Academies/Charter Schools

School StuffGreat Hearts America’s web site says nothing much at all except they have schools in AZ and TX and that the Chief Executive Officer is Dr. Daniel Scoggin. Prior to helping establish Great Hearts, Dr. Scoggin was the headmaster of Tempe Preparatory Academy for six years and a Humane Letters teacher and basketball coach. He holds his Ph.D. in English Literature from Claremont Graduate University and his B.A. from Santa Clara University.

The AZ web site states, “Great Hearts Academies is a non-profit network of public charter schools dedicated to improving education in the Phoenix metropolitan area by developing a network of excelling preparatory academies.

The Great Hearts academies are proving that schools can do a superb job of educating students if they are smaller, more efficient, and set higher expectations for all students through a core, classical liberal arts curriculum. A Great Hearts academy prepares its graduates for success in the best colleges and universities in the nation and to be leaders in creating a more philosophical, humane and just society.”

The web site for their Texas schools states, “Great Hearts Academies is one of the top charter school operators in the country. It currently manages 15 schools in Metro Phoenix with over 6,500 students in grades K-12 and has plans to open up to 17 schools throughout Texas. Great Hearts focuses on a classical, liberal arts curriculum with an emphasis on the Great Books and the Socratic teaching method. Great Hearts’ academies are comprehensive college prep schools, with competitive athletics and a variety of extracurricular activities, such as speech and debate, fencing, and music ensembles. Great Hearts typically receives 8-10 enrollment applications for every available spot and employs a blind lottery process for admission.

So now let’s take a look at both of the website pages on curriculum for AZ and TX.
Both state they are using a CLASSICAL curriculum and they are listed as:
 Core Knowledge Literature*
 Modified Core knowledge of History and Geography
 Core Knowledge American History & Geography**
 Core Knowledge World History & Geography**
 Modified Core Knowledge Science
 Core Knowledge Science**
 Core Knowledge Fine Arts
 Core Knowledge Studio Art**
 Singapore Math* – aligned to the CCS and generally progresses to topics at an earlier grade level than indicated by the CCS
 Core Knowledge Music**
No star TX schools – * both AZ & TX schools – **AZ schools

This is not CLASSICAL education! Their lists of reading material that is acceptable is impressive but they list no “instructional manuals” of which if everything else is focused on the Common Core Standards (CCS) then the manuals would be part of the list.

Now for some needed background. Core Knowledge is an educational reform movement based on the premise that a grade-by-grade core of common learning is necessary to ensure a sound and fair elementary education. Based on a body of research in cognitive psychology and school systems operating worldwide, Core Knowledge posts that, in order to attain academic excellence, greater fairness, and higher literacy, early education curriculum should be solid, specific, shared, and sequenced. By teaching a body of specific, lasting knowledge in a way that allows children to succeed by gradually building on what they already know, the Core Knowledge mission is to provide all children, regardless of background, with the shared knowledge they need to be included in our national literate culture.

They are actually stating their goal is one thing and at the same time using the Common Core Standards aligned curriculum (Core Knowledge) giving our children something else. The alignment of Core Knowledge to the CCSS is here. Their standards alignment can be seen here.

The Core Knowledge Foundation that serves as the support system for Core Knowledge schools, educators, and parents. The Foundation conducts research on curricula; develops books and other materials for students, parents, and teachers; and serves as a training and communications hub for schools using Core Knowledge.

Who started all this leading to being aligned to the Common Core Standards? No not John Dewey but a man named E. D. Hirsch. A new name to think on!

“Hirsch’s awakening began one day in 1978 in a community college English class in Richmond, Virginia. He had conducted most of his research on reading comprehension and writing at the University of Virginia.

He also as far back as 1998 was working in conjunction with Chester Finn (I know you all know who that is) and other key players together in restructuring America’s curriculum and standards to fall in line with Direct Instruction/Mastery Learning/OBE (page 226) are necessary for global workforce training which is outcome, results, performance-based training—not education. Education has not been performance-based, traditionally—with the exception of the arts—since traditional education deals with the intellect, not just knee-jerk muscle movements based on Pavlov and B.F. Skinner’s stimulus-response (S-R-S). The computer has all the bells (rewards) and whistles (punishments) to achieve OBE’s standards in the academic, workforce, and value change areas. The new label for the old OBE is now “standards-based education.”

Rep or DemIf you went to page 226 you probably have seen those exercises or some similar of which have been shown in today’s Common Core curriculum being used in various states and published by Pearson:
 FIFTH GRADE: Develop a flag, seal, symbol, pledge and/or national anthem for a new country…. Design a postage stamp to be used worldwide. The stamp should denote what the world would need to make it a better place….
 SIXTH GRADE: Draw national symbols for an imaginary nation….
 SEVENTH GRADE: Understand the need for interdependence….
 NINTH GRADE: Write a constitution for a perfect society.

This is when all the traitors were putting their heads together with Bill Gates and Carnegie to form Achieve, Inc.; with former Gov. Jim Hunt (NC), Marc Tucker, Lou Gerstner, Jr., Chester Finn, Rex Tillerson and others to ruin this country.

There was a recipe to bring forth this international curriculum/workforce training agenda. “Deliberate Dumbing Down” pgs. A126-130:
 Federal/International Control of Education
 Passage of Goals 2000 (done), STW Opportunities Act (done), Careers Act.(Done)
 Funding (Careers Act & Reading Excellence Act)
 Skinnerian Method (Done with the Reading Excellence Act)
 Sequential Core Curriculum (Done)
 Global Ethics/Values (in progress)
 Technology which includes robotics and computer-assisted instruction (programmed learning) (Done)
 Choice – tuition tax credits, vouchers, charter schools, use of public education facilities and materials by home schoolers, apprenticeships with corporations which are in partnership with government (corporate fascism)
 Teacher Union Support – American Federation of Teachers & NEA (Done)
ccs education for all 2The United Nations/UNESCO was not to be left out of this enormous plan to steal our children’s futures. Sustainable development cannot occur “without freedom, justice, and democracy,” says Federico Mayor, director-general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). “Sustainable development requires sustainable democracy,” he added in an April 7, 1997 address before the International Steering Committee of CIVITAS, an international consortium for civic education that is holding its spring meeting at the White House conference center.
ccs education for all 7
CIVITAS was initiated in June 1995 at the CIVITAS Prague conference. Following that meeting, participants representing 50 nations signed a declaration pledging “to create and maintain a worldwide network that will make civic education a higher priority on the international agenda.”

Given all this information, parents need to come to terms with the fact that this plan of ruination of our children’s education and futures has been in the works for a very long time and a large number of those individuals involved over the years are still here harassing us.

Heartland Academies has been trying to get a foot hold in Florida and there are people here who support them because they say they are teaching “classical” education which is not possible if you are using Core Knowledge curriculum’s which are aligned with the CCS. Also the people supporting Heartland have not bothered to check them out or don’t want to believe the truth.
Charter Privai
Florida doesn’t need any more Charter School Management companies for-profit here using our tax dollars to fill their coffers. All the money being spent and wasted on most Charter schools could be used to help regular public schools of which are not failing at the rate charter schools are. Jeb Bush will never admit to that. Non-profit Charter schools if they are teaching the CCS are no different from a regular public school so why the push for charter schools?

Unelected school boards using the public’s tax dollars leaving parents/taxpayers out of the equation which in simple terms is “taxation without representation. It is also a plan for the movement toward the NWO.


The PTA Does Not Represent Parents or Teachers. It Represents Special Interests.

re-posted from Missouri Education Watchdog by Gretchen Logue
Gretchen has been in this fight as long as I have and has done considerable research.

NY State parents threatened by PTA if they opt their children out of Common Core assessments. The PTA is creating a “culture of fear”: Culture of fear is a term used by certain scholars, writers, journalists and politicians who believe that some in society incite fear in the general public to achieve political goals. Wikipedia

Education Week (which has received Bill Gates funding) reports that the NY PTA (which has received Bill Gates funding along with the National PTA) is bullying parents and threatening to turn their children to Child Protection Services if children are not offered up for Common Core assessments. From We Need Great Leaders Now More Than Ever:

Quote mark left The other day New York State PTA Education Coordinator Bob Aloise gave a speech on the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) and state testing. Giving a speech is not in itself anything special, but stating that school districts may call Child Protective Services (CPS) on parents who opt their children out of state testing due to educational neglect is a rather poignant moment. You can hear his comment here and view the Power Point here (added 11/27/13).

Words cannot express all that is wrong with the idea that a school leader would threaten to call CPS on a parent who opts their child out of state testing, and that it would even be brought up in a speech to parents at a PTA event. Over the 19 years I have been in education, I have seen CPS visit students who were being neglected, sexually and physically abused, or living in deplorable conditions. CPS has more important work to do then maintain Martial Law on parents who opt their children out of testing. Unfortunately, there have been situations where principals have threatened to call CPS on parents who choose to opt out their children out of testing.

In an e-mail correspondence from April of 2012, a principal from Oceanside Union Free School District told a parent who wanted to keep her child home during the testing period that,

“If without medical justification, Joseph is absent from school on any day during the Assessment period, the District will deem this absence as unexcused. Further, if you keep Joseph home from school during the Assessment period, without medical verification, it is within the District’s discretion to deem these absences as indicia of educational neglect, which would leave the District little choice but to contact Child Protective Services (“CPS”).”

We have indeed lost common sense when it comes to education if school leaders threaten to call CPS.Quote Mark Right

Read more here.

The PTA organization is fraught with bullying and hypocrisy. From New York State PTA Education Coordinator Bob Aloise’s above mentioned power point is this slide:

A parent from a PARENT supported organization would assume the PTA would recognize that “the Advocate Within” would be the parent. But according to the statist remarks from Mr. Aloise, the Gates funded PTA is ready and willing to become the one voice for every child. Parents as advocates for the children? Not in NY state. Mr. Aloise apparently believes:
Quote mark leftthat the civil government (or man via civil government) is the ultimate authority in the earth and as such is the source of law, morality, and righteousness (that which is right and wrong).

EDITORS NOTE: In our world today we see more and more of the weak individuals actions in the goal of ruining America and the kind of support ONE MILLION dollars will get you. One day Bill Gates, God will take all those millions from you – what he gives he most certainly can take away!Gates OZ


Orlando CCSSO Common Core Secret Meeting Part 1

Many anti-Common Core parents, teachers and others were very disturbed about this “in your face” SECRET meeting to discuss our children’s futures.

Holiday KY CCSSO PThe Council of Chief State School Officers felt the need to meet behind closed doors to discuss Common Core non- State Led Standards and ways the states can provide assistance for an education system that “supports principal leadership” throughout the country.

The introductory paragraph on the meetings page made the following statement: ‘CCSSO meetings are closed to the public and attendance is by invitation only unless otherwise denoted’.

WOW! What is it they have planned for our children that even the parents aren’t be aware of?

Of course, the states don’t have enough knowledge to do whatever needs to be done on their own – it’s the CCSSO and National Governor’s Assoc. (NGA) along with Achieve and the Carnegie Foundation who have brought our children into this mess in the first place, now maybe they are actually coming in for the kill.

Common Core is not only expected to change the way students learn, but change the way teachers teach in the classroom and the way principals lead their schools – so they say.

It was apparent from the beginning this event was going to look like a larger version of Governor Scott’s Education Summit with no parents present, but instead flooded with superintendents, a few teachers and then add in the governors and legislators from around the country. The difference – Scott would be there.

The secrecy around discussions about our children’s futures is a big deal to parents. The governor, his staff, legislators and members of the state DOE seem to continually forget they work for us, you know, the taxpayers. Not the NGA, CCSSO, Jeb Bush Foundations, Gates, ExxonMobil or anyone else.

One other thing they are forgetting – like with Obama Care, the dislike, disapproval, whatever you want to call it crosses party and racial lines -
from the mountains to the prairies, and to the oceans – parents, educators, psychologists and others are smarter than all of you put together and we see into your plan of indoctrinating our children into mindless robots.

Common Core, International Baccalaureate, United Nations schools and all the other out-come based education schools in this country are not about leading our children into the 21st Century. It’s about money for the supporters and creating mindless idiots to follow them without question to take us all quietly into the NWO.

News for you all – we are NOT going to go quietly!

Arne DuncanArne Duncan blocked into the center of his Communist shell angered Mothers all over the country when he stated, “It’s fascinating to me that some of the pushback is coming from, sort of, white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were, and that’s pretty scary. You’ve bet your house and where you live and everything on, ‘My child’s going to be prepared.’ That can be a punch in the gut.”

These people have no idea how many real Americans see through them and are very, very angry.

I would like to add here a statement to Mr. Boehner – all the objections to back door secret meetings and messing with our children’s futures is not coming from JUST Tea Party groups – shows your lack of leadership not to see that!

It is very apparent the governors, and all these other organizations including Achieve, Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, Broad and Walton Foundations, along with many others believe they are holding the control stick in this fight.

Upon reading the “Supporting Principal Effectiveness in Leading Teacher Evaluation and Supports and Common” handout (some title)listing the two day event agenda it became very apparent it was all about everything but the children and how “rotten” the Common Core Standards are. This I suppose was covered in another closed door secret meeting and to be expected.

This is not going to go away! Neither are the objectors to this insanity!

The official explanation of the event agenda was: ‘The Implementing the Common Core Standards (ICCS) and State Consortium on Educator Effectiveness (SCEE) are hosting a joint meeting titled Supporting Principal Effectiveness in Leading Teacher Evaluation and Supports and Common Core Implementation. This meeting will focus on ways that states can provide technical assistance for a coherent system that supports principal leadership.’

Sounds like “Double-speak” to this writer. I have long contended these people” and I use the term loosely, have either drank some kind of foreign ‘sour dough mash’, are smoking ‘wacky tobacky’ or both!


GET OUT THE KLEENEX: A Teacher’s Story

To My Students: ‘I Love You and Believe in You’
December 13, 2013 re-posted from http://bwcentral.org

Kris NeilsonTo My Students,

I did not return to the classroom this year and I want to apologize. I am truly sorry for having left you. It was the hardest decision I have ever made. I want you to understand why I left. It had nothing to do with you. I still love you and believe in you. You are still amazing and you can do anything you want to do. I did not give up on you. I left to fight for you.

I saw you struggling with Common Core skills. Even with the new curriculum from the district, no matter how I broke it down for you I could see you didn’t understand. I saw the frustration on your faces. And when time ran out and we had to take the county’s test (on the county’s schedule), I saw the tears roll from your eyes. You failed. I saw you missing school more days than normal. I saw you with long sleeves covering up the cutting scars on your arms. I saw how the sparkle in your eyes dimmed. I saw the small bald spot on your head where you had pulled out your hair. And it wasn’t just in my class. You hated going to math. You came early everyday for homework help, but it didn’t make any difference. You still could not understand.

I want you to know none of this is your fault. It is not you. I know the school, the county and the state call it “rigor.” That is a horrible word. Look it up in the dictionary for me. Rigor is for dead people. You are not failing because it is too hard. You are not failing because you are not working hard enough. You are not failing because of your teachers. You are failing because Common Core was not written by teachers. Common Core was not written to help you. Let me explain why this hurts you so much.

Your brain, as it develops, can only learn certain things at certain times. Common Core is trying to force you to learn things your brain is not ready to learn. Researchers for decades have found that the things Common Core requires you to do are impossible until you reach high school, at the earliest. No matter what your teachers do to get you to learn it, you aren’t going to be able to. There is nothing wrong with you. Your brain was designed perfectly. Common Core standards were not.

Common Core was written by businessmen trying to make money off of you. You and your learning are a grand experiment in corporate profits. If you fail at school, if your teachers fail to teach you, these corporations can sell more books, workbooks, tests, software and technology to schools and even to your parents to try at home. None of it will work. These same businessmen want to convince states to let them and their companies take over your schools. Your parent’s tax dollars would then go to these companies. Over $600 billion is spent on education every year in this country. This money should go to your education, not to private companies. It is very similar to what was done to prisons several years ago.

Common Core is the first time in the history of this country that a privately written and copyrighted plan has become public policy. There is no research to back it and it has never been tested. Politicians are pushing it because these corporations are giving them money to push it.

When I left, I met with members of your Board of Education and told them what was happening. They ignored me. I went to the local newspaper and they ignored me too. When I spoke to the state Senate education committee they dismissed me as a political nut job. When I came back to chaperone your fall dance I was told I was “no longer one of you” and I could not come in because of my position on Common Core. Ghandi once said, “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.” We will win. We will win for you and every student after you. This is not political. This is for the future leaders of our country. These corporations don’t want to teach you how to think.

It is time for you to talk to your parents. Help them understand that opting you out of state testing will protect your personal information as well as stop the data that is being used to unfairly judge you and your teachers. Schools where more than 80% of kids have been opted out are cancelling these stressful tests that measure nothing. There is a new test coming to replace the CRCT, which is why politicians like Governor Deal and Superintendent Barge want to keep Common Core. Have your parents demand a portfolio of your work be kept and that your hard work be used to decide if you should go on to the next grade, not a random test. Any test not written by and graded by your teachers should never be allowed in the classroom.

Please do not worry about me. I am strong and people have called me worse names and banned me from much better places. Standing up for what is right is not always the easy thing. I knew that when I left my classroom. I have 32,000 other teachers from all over the country who are standing with me. I have education experts and child psychologists standing with me. I have politicians standing with me. I have famous authors standing with me. And the group is growing.

Just this week I got an email from Judy Blume, author of famous children’s classics like Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Blubber, Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret, Forever, and Tiger Eyes. She shared with me that she was a horrible test-taker. She is very grateful that she is not in school taking the kinds of tests you are taking. Can you imagine how horrible it would be if our favorite authors gave up because they could not do well on standardized tests that meant nothing? I don’t want to find out.

Talk to your parents and let them know what is happening in your classrooms. Every time you take a test or a survey, tell your parents. Be brave and keep making me proud. You can be anything you want to be. I am always here for you.

Mrs. Meg Norris, Ed.S.

7th Grade (former) teacher



Achieve: Mini ALEC

More on the Common Core: Achieve, Inc., and Then Some

I hesitate to publicly confess that I find reading tax forms interesting, but it is true– especially as concerns the many nonprofits that are imposing their wills upon the American classroom. The IRS 990 offers much information on a nonprofit in a concise format, not the least of which are a nonprofit’s salaried individuals, board members, primary expenses, donors, and solvency.

I have written a number of posts related to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). In this post, I examine a key organization in the creation of CCSS: Achieve, Inc. Whereas my reading Achieve’s tax documents served as the launch for this post, it certainly did not stop there.

Allow me to show you.

“State-led” Achieve

According to its website, Achieve, Inc., was founded in 1996 “by leading governors and business leaders.” The effort was well financed, with Achieve registering $2 million in total assets in 1997. By 2001, Achieve’s total assets increased to $9.4 million.

Note that the presence of “leading governors” on the Achieve, Inc., board allows one to call Achieve a “state-led” organization.

By the same token, one might also call Achieve a “business-led” organization since its board is also comprised of “business leaders.” However, calling Achieve “business-led” is not as effective a term as “state-led” for the promotion of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

In 2001, the Achieve board of directors included six governors and CEOs of six corporations.

All six corporations were connected to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group now known for its model legislation in favor of the privatization of public education and its decision to reverse its anti-CCSS stance.

Yep. It certainly serves pro-CCSS purposes to conceal the “business-led” element of the governor-CEO, Achieve hybrid.

Why, Achieve is nothing more than a little ALEC: Half electeds, half privatizers with the money to influence electeds.

Furthermore, “state led” is a manufactured term designed to falsely connote the “grass roots emergence” of CCSS.

CCSS is anything but.

Achieve and Its “Common Benchmarks”

In 1998, Achieve began benchmarking standards; in 2001, it joined Education Trust, the Fordham Institute, and National Alliance of Business to launch the American Diploma Project (ADP) referenced in the Common Core Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) governors and state superintendents signed as part of the Race to the Top (RTTT) application.

According to the Achieve, Inc., website, the purpose of ADP was “to identify the ‘must-have’ knowledge and skills most demanded by higher education and employers.”

It appears that the CCSS skeleton– the ADP benchmarking– was created in 2004, the direct result of a “groundbreaking report” from ADP:

2004: The American Diploma Project releases “Ready or Not: Creating a High School Diploma That Counts.” This groundbreaking report – the result of over two years of research – identifies a common core of English and mathematics academic knowledge and skills, or “benchmarks,” that American high school graduates need for success in college and the workforce. Education Week later named “Ready or Not” one of the most 12 influential research studies. [Emphasis added.]

“Over two years of research” might be sufficient to determine a set of benchmarked outcomes for high school graduates; however, such paltry research would be little more than a thrown-together, drive-thru empirical effort upon which to base a comprehensive set of K-12 English and math standards.

Perhaps this is why CCSS Validation Committee Member Sandra Stotsky never could seem to get anyone to produce the “research” upon which CCSS English Language Arts (ELA) is supposedly based. Perhaps the only “research” is that which is connected to ADP.

A methodical research effort for a set of K-12 standards should at least follow a cohort of students through the set of standards in question.

At least thirteen years is needed. Otherwise, one might argue that the research was hastily conducted in order to advance another agenda– such as the ASAP privatization of public education.

So, in 2004, Achieve, Inc., already had a set of ”common expected outcomes for high school graduates.” The CCSS MOU refers to Achieve’s ADP. Thus, the framework for the ”common standards” had already been determined.

Achieve would also be principally involved in translating ADP benchmarks into CCSS standards.

Classroom teachers were not included among those principally involved in the development of ADP benchmarks.

Neither would classroom teachers be among those at the CCSS development table.

Tim Pawlenty: “Leading” Both NGA and Achieve

In June 2008, National Governors Association (NGA) Chair and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty led the National Governors Symposium in North Carolina with former North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt. Among its determinations, the Symposium produced the following:

High, rigorous standards are the foundation of a strong education system. Content standards specify the knowledge and skills that students need at each grade level. These standards must be supported by an aligned and clearly articulated system of curriculum, assessments, teacher preparation and professional development, textbook selection and appropriate supports for students.

As it happens, in 2008, Pawlenty was the vice-chair of the Achieve board of directors. In 2009, he became co-chair.

Also in 2009, Achieve received $20.9 million from the Gates Foundation; $2 million from the Carnegie Foundation, and a combined $2.6 million from five ALEC corporations (GE, Prudential, Nationwide, Lumina, and State Farm).

GE also donated $1 million to Achieve in 2010 and 2011.

Pawlenty represents a connection between both NGA and Achieve in this well-financed, “state-led” push for “common standards.” The Achieve website refers to “leading governors.” Pawlenty is apparently one of these.

How few governors does it take to “lead” a democracy right out of its own democratic processes?

Possibly only five– the number of governors on the board of Achieve in 2008– or seven– the number of governors on the Achieve board in 2009.

The CCSS MOU actually tells the two signators– the governor and state superintendent– that by signing, they are “agreeing to be state led.” Thus, “state led” means, “You will follow the lead of the ‘leading governors and business leaders.’”

And why are these governors and state superintendents signing this CCSS agreement?

For RTTT money– and not nearly enough to implement CCSS.

The Real CCSS Workers vs. The Window Dressing

According to Stotsky, NGA was reluctant to reveal the members of the Standards Work Groups. In July 2009, it did so. The members of the “work” groups chiefly represented three agencies: Achieve, ACT, and College Board:

The initiative is being jointly led by the NGA Center and CCSSO [Council of State School Officers] in partnership with Achieve, Inc, ACT and the College Board. It builds directly on recent efforts of leading organizations and states that have focused on developing college-and career-ready standards and ensures that these standards can be internationally benchmarked to top-performing countries around the world. [Emphasis added.]

CCSS is not a set of standards that were negotiated by stakeholders. CCSS is the modular home of standards; its frame was prefabricated in 2004 by Achieve. The resulting “work groups” add two testing companies to the mix in order to “develop” standards based upon the ADP frame. Thus, CCSS development was chiefly a corporate enterprise. No wonder the reluctance to publicize work group membership.

The July 2009 NGA announcement also includes information on the feedback group membership, and it mentions the validation committee. These two groups are little more than window dressing. In short, it “looks good” for NGA and CCSSO to “involve experts.” However, the “experts” did not develop standards:

The final step in the development of these standards is the creation of an expert Validation Committee comprised of national and international experts on standards. This group will review the process and substance of the common core state standards to ensure they are research and evidence-based and will validate state adoption on the common core standards. Members of the committee will be selected by governors and chiefs of the participating states; nominations are forthcoming. [Emphasis added.]

Recall that Stotsky asked for the ELA research and never received it.

However, she did get the runaround.

Sue Pimentel

An interesting member of the CCSS English Language Arts (ELA) work group is Sue Pimentel. In 2006 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2011, Achieve paid Pimentel’s company, Sue Pimentel, Inc., Hanover, NH 03755, for “consulting.” Pimentel’s presence on the CCSS ELA committee and her close relationship with Achieve raise questions about the exact process for selecting work group members (and who did the selecting). Given that Achieve has an established set of “common benchmarks” for framing CCSS dating back to 2004, and given the presence of those “leading governors” on Achieve’s board, one can conclude that there was no objective (much less publicized) means of selecting CCSS work groups.

Pimentel is considered “a chief architect” of Achieve’s ADP benchmarks.

Pimentel’s CCSS presence also provides a bridge between Achieve and the unidentified “partner” on the CCSS work groups: David Coleman’s Student Achievement Partners (SAP).

In this brief Education Nation speech (http://vimeo.com/76725406) on the supposed development of CCSS, Pimentel is introduced as a “founding partner” of SAP, the national-standards-writing company founded by David Coleman and Jason Zimba. Pimentel’s introduction as an SAA ”founding partner” contradicts the information released by the NGA on its work group composition. In that 2009 release, Coleman is identified as SAP “founder,” and Zimba, as SAP “co-founder.” However, Pimentel is identified as being “co-founder” of StudentWorks and associated with Achieve.

The SAP website has recently rewritten its history to include Pimentel and to even overtly state that the three were “lead writers” in CCSS:

Student Achievement Partners was founded by David Coleman, Susan Pimentel and Jason Zimba, lead writers of the Common Core State Standards.

SAP cannot rewrite all of its history and insert Pimentel. Consider this 2011 announcement of a CCSS presentation by Coleman:

David Coleman is founder and CEO of Student Achievement Partners, LLC, an organization that assembles leading thinkers and researchers to design actions to substantially improve student achievement. Most recently, David and Jason Zimba of Student Achievement Partners played a lead role in developing the Common Core State Standards in math and literacy. [Emphasis added.]

No mention of “founding partner” Pimentel, though she was present for CCSS, and in a “lead role” as a CCSS ELA work group member– with her affiliation listed is as “co-founder” of StandardsWork and as an ELA consultant with Achieve.

The Pimentel-SAP connection is also absent from this 2011 GE Foundation bio:

…Susan now works closely with fellow authors of the Common Core Standards David Coleman and Jason Zimba of Student Achievement Partners in supporting the faithful implementation of the Common Core.

Before her work as a lead writer of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts/Literacy, Susan was a chief architect of the American Diploma Project Benchmarks designed to close the gap between high school demands and postsecondary expectations. Since 2007, Susan has served on the National Assessment Governing Board, an independent, bipartisan board that sets policy for the national assessment. In addition to several articles, Susan is co-author with Denis P. Doyle of the best-selling book and CD-ROM, Raising the Standard: An Eight-Step Action Guide For Schools and Communities. [Emphasis added.]

Again, no mention of Pimentel as a 2007 founding partner of SSP.

However, as previously noted, she was a “chief architect” of the ADP benchmarks– yet another place where classroom teachers were not.

Back to Pimentel and SAP:

Why alter history to include Pimentel as an SAP “founding partner”? Why not just state that she was with Achieve and later joined SAP?

I believe it is to give a female face a founding leadership role to a predominately-male-led CCSS effort. I think that declaring Pimentel as being associated with SAP is an effort to legitimize SAP’s (NGA-undeclared) place at the CCSS table. Pimentel is a female speaking to an audience from a profession that is primarily female, and that is good public relations for selling the CCSS product.

2011, Sue Pimentel, and Student Achievement Partners

In examining Pimentel’s consulting history with Achieve, I noticed that Pimentel is not listed as a consultant on Achieve’s 2010 990 (classed by the IRS as 2011 for tax year 07-01-10 to 06-30-11).

That same year, SAP “became” a nonprofit and filed a 990– in order to process a $4 million grant from the GE Foundation– the purpose of which is (of course) the advancement of CCSS:

Student Achievement Partners work is designed to ensure successful implementation of the Common Core Standards in classrooms across the country. Student Achievement Partners will work closely with teachers to develop tools that will help them be more effective. Student Achievement Partners will make all resources available at no cost to educators at our website: achievethecore.org.

“Tools” and “resources” are carefully chosen words. Sure sounds like SAP is offering the only missing piece in the standards–>curriculum–>assessment process that the NGA declared to be its full intention in June 2008: curriculum “assistance.”

And GE is willing to foot the bill so that SAP can offer this “help” for free.

(In 2011, SAP actually filed the 990 twice: Once on 01/17/13, with Amy Briggs listed as COO, and a second time, on 02/01/13, with Celeste Hogan listed as CFO. It appears that the second filing was necessary since Briggs neglected to sign the last page of the return.)

Pimentel’s Education Nation Speech

Throughout her Education Nation speech (http://vimeo.com/76725406), Pimentel refers to a standards-writing ”we” whom she defines as six individuals, three in ELA and three in math. She continues by saying that these six individuals had advisory groups and that in the end, 48 states had “state teams of teachers” involved in CCSS. Pimentel attempts to paint a picture of teachers nationwide coming together and exercising meaningful influence over CCSS development, but this directly contradicts the CCSS MOU and the designation of Coleman, Zimba, and Pimentel as CCSS “lead writers.”

Pimentel insists that teachers were consulted and heard in the development of CCSS. However, any teachers involved in CCSS were clearly on the fringes of the CCSS process. Teachers could form state groups and advise all that they wanted. So what? Is this “48-state teacher ‘involvement’” supposed to somehow offset the inner-circle influence of NGA, Achieve, SAP, College Board, and ACT upon CCSS?


Coleman, Zimba, and Pimentel are clearly three of the six CCSS ”chief architects.” All three are supposedly “founding partners” of a national-standards-writing company offering a set of inflexible standards licensed by NGA and CCSSO and tied to corporately-created, high-stakes tests.

Whatever Happened to Those CCSS Math “Anchors”?

In her Education Nation speech, Pimentel refers to a deadline of November 2009 to produce standards, and she notes that these standards were poorly received. Based upon this timeline, she must have been referring to the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS)– a smaller set of standards supposed to “anchor” the larger CCSS.

It seems that only the CCRS for math were made public; here are two drafts of the proposed math anchors, one from July 2009, and another, from Sept 2009.

The anchors were supposed to precede CCSS– in order to “anchor” CCSS. However, CCSS math has no anchors on the CCSS website.

It’s as though CCRS for math never happened.

In contrast, the CCSS website does include ELA anchors. However, the ELA anchors were not offered to the public for review.

So. The CCRS (anchors) for math were publicized and found wanting. Therefore, they were simply abandoned. End of discussion and lesson learned by the CCSS “lead architects”: No public comments allowed for the ELA anchors. Just post them.

Bringing It to a Close

The contents of this post reinforce the reality that CCSS is the result of a few attempting to impose a manufactured standardization onto the American classroom. At the heart of CCSS are a handful of governors, millions in philanthropic and corporate dollars, and a few well-positioned education entrepreneurs handed the impressive title of “lead architect.” The democratic process is allowed entrance into this exclusive club, but only for show. The place for democracy in CCSS development is standing room only, and that near the exit.

Fortunately, democracy gets edgy when relegated to the cheap seats. Achieve, NGA, Pimentel, Pawlenty, and other CCSS peddlers might deliver their best sales pitches; however, the truth is that CCSS is in trouble in statehouses and boardrooms across the country.

Future generations of educators will study CCSS as a colossal education blunder.

Names like Achieve, NGA, and SAP will be forever connected to the CCSS humiliation.

by Mercedes Schneider December 2, 2013



Not that any of us are surprised, we can see that Tallahassee is operating in the “Business As Usual” mode when it comes to the Common Core Standards. You notice I leave out the word State because that is part of the deception – state led!  More like a “State In Chains”.

Pam Stewart

One day before the public comments were scheduled to end, Florida Department of Education officials continued the trend set by Commissioner Pam Stewart and Race to the Top coordinator Holly Edenfield stating that the Common Core standards are not expected to change significantly and that implementation will proceed “full speed ahead”. hOLLY Endfield

Are we surprised? How long has it been since Tallahassee has listened to the people of Florida about anything?

Given that Pam Stewart is STILL sitting on Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education with her removal no where in sight and the recent announcement that Jeb Bush would be supporting Gov. Scott for his re-election bid, I am sure the parents of Florida are sleeping better at night!

Who is Pam Stewart? Former Florida Chancellor of Education who was never quite good enough to be the Commissioner of Education when there was a Jeb Bush Foundation for Excellence in Education “Chief for Change” available. Too bad she can’t get out of Jeb Bush’s hip pocket she might make a good Commissioner.

You really should take the time to check out all the “reformers” sitting on the Foundation – some of them will amaze you!

Found Excellence in Edu

And Holly Edenfield – she is the Project Manger overseeing the RTTT department and she was responsible for overseeing the writing of the Florida RTTT Grant applications. From Ocala, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science from Florida State University and a Master of Education degree in Secondary Social Studies Education from the University of Florida.

Ms. Edenfield (Radcliffe) was a senior company member of The Tallahassee Ballet from 2001-2006, and danced notable roles in The Nutcracker, Beauty and the Beast, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream among others after working for 3 years for the FL Dept. of Educ. Now she is back at the Dept. of Education.

We need to be sleeping with our eyes and ears wide open. The mass deception being perpetrated in Tallahassee is probably the largest in the country. With a large Jeb Bush legislature and Gov. Scott taking orders from “himself” – nothing being done is for the people and certainly not for the good of our children. Not only that, most of the people involved in this “ruination” of our children’s future’s may or may not have Education degrees under their belts, but they have never taught in a classroom nor do they really know what is needed to educate our children.

They also had to be very sure the national media regarding the Scott endorsement got in the national news wires. And not one word about Education! Quoting Scott’s supposed accomplishments in the area of employment was a “safe” agenda.

Scott and BushI have posted on this blog before about Scott’s use of Enterprise Florida,  and the business back door deals he is making with foreign governments and businesses around the world including Communist China and their $90M into our Charter schools.

Are these really jobs for Floridians or foreigners under the new Green Card law?

Scott and Edu 2

Does the deception and back door deals never stop in Florida?

The latest Tallahassee mouthpiece sent out to try to appease the public was Mary Jane Tappen, K-12 Deputy Chancellor, who stated:

“I want to first speak about our Standards Professional Development. We’re talking about the Common Core Standards in English/Language Arts and Mathematics. Our school districts are implementing these standards K through 12 this year. As you know, blended course descriptions are available on CPALMS, which I’ll talk about in just a minute. In grades 3-10, our teachers are implementing those blended course descriptions, which include the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Sunshine State Standards that are going to be assessed this year on FCAT 2.0 for the last time.”

“We are moving forward with the new more rigorous standards. So, if anyone is hesitating or worried about next year, the timeline has not changed. We are moving forward and we will have new course descriptions for next year and … new assessments. To support your implementation, all of the work that you’re doing at the local level, many of you have participated in our summer institutes.”

Mary Jane TappenJust who is Mary Jane Tappen? Before replacing Pam Stewart as the Chancellor of Education she was the Deputy Chancellor for Curriculum, Instruction and Student Services. She is the one that got credit for the idea to post a digital link on the internet for parents/teachers to go to preview instructional materials before they are adopted.

Obviously no one listened as many parents and the Textbook Action Team of Florida in 2010 began screaming bloody murder over the amount of Islam addressed in our World History books. The personal responses we all got was the local school boards putting blame on the FL Dept. of Educ. as to the school book choices and the FL Dept. of Educ. putting the responsibility on the local school district’s. Fine job Ms. Tappen!

From my personal experience with the FL Dept of Curriculum & Instructional Materials, Ms. Tappen is doing no better job at this one as Chancellor than she was in her previous position.

Now the Governor! Just what are his intentions? He responds to no parents – no inquiries! He believes he doesn’t have to – I guess he thinks he is above reproach. The parents of Florida are here to tell you, you are wrong. You do answer to us – the oath you took says so! So if you cannot abide by your oath the first time in office, why do you think we would want you back – because you have Jeb Bush’s endorsement? Think again!

You write an Executive Order with a lot of words that have come to mean nothing. You don’t show up at your own called events – you are refusing to listen to the parents of this state and things according to Ms. Stewart “are not expected to change significantly and that implementation of the CCS will proceed “full speed ahead”. It is suggested Governor that you go back to your previous job!

cHILD aBUSE 4So what are the parents of children in Florida supposed to think? We are being ignored and with all the reports coming in from physicians, psychologists and brave teachers we know the Common Core Standards are hurting our children.

For this writer I believe it is time to call “a spade a spade” and that is the Common Core Standards is a form of “Child Abuse”. Anytime an individual intentionally hurts a child in any form it is Child Abuse.

Our only recourse may be the ballot box in the next election and we need to seriously begin looking at that and preparing.

TO FCAT 2.0!