Who Is (Really) Behind Student-Led Protests?

By : Macey France at Politichicks.com

Screen-Shot-2015-03-14-at-10.12.29-AMI’ve heard all kinds of things about teachers’ unions; the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’ve even written a couple pieces on how the 2 big teachers’ unions in the U.S. have made poor decisions and for the most part, to not represent the average teacher.

Lately I have seen a lot of news stories about high school students walking out and protesting the use of standardized tests. I’m all for this if it’s a protest thought of, planned by, and promoted among the students themselves.

Many sites will claim that the students need to walk out and protest these tests and not take them because the students are the ones, after all, who will be ideologically indoctrinated under them.

I find that statement, and statements like that, a little ironic. In many of the schools where the students hold protests there is a large union presence with teachers who discuss union issues and unfair treatment with their classes.

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Common Sense, Common People…Common Core? Building The Machine

ABOUT THE FILM

“Building the Machine” introduces the public to the Common Core States Standards Initiative (CCSSI) and its effects on our children’s education. The documentary compiles interviews from leading educational experts, including members of the Common Core Validation Committee. Parents, officials, and the American public should be involved in this national decision regardless of their political persuasion.

WHAT IS THE COMMON CORE?

The Common Core is the largest systemic reform of American public education in recent history. What started as a collaboration between the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to reevaluate and nationalize America’s education standards has become one of the most controversial—and yet, unheard of—issues in the American public.

In 2010, 45 states adopted the Common Core, but according to a May 2013 Gallup Poll, 62% of Americans said they had never heard of the Common Core. Prominent groups and public figures have broken traditional party lines over the issue, leaving many wondering where they should stand.

Find out more about the Common Core: http://www.hslda.org/CommonCore

http://www.CommonCoreMovie.com
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http://www.twitter.com/CommonCoreMovie

Copyright © 2014 Home School Legal Defense Association. All rights reserved.

Oregon Schools Chief Threatens Teachers Who Don’t Adhere to Common Core

Originally posted 10/14/13 by Victoria Taft at VictoriaTaft.com

It’s creepy enough knowing that the state wants to get a hold of your child in the womb and be responsible for them till college graduation.See the “All your kids belong to us” video here. 

“P-20,” (birth till grad school) “We have this P through 20 initiative, and it makes sooo much sense to me. It isn’t that we’ve just removed some of the barriers but we make it easier for our children in the state really to move from birth all the way to graduate school.”

Now, as parent and activist Jason Schmidt discovers (see his YouTube Channel here), schools chief Rob Saxton will not tolerate anyone who does not conform to Common Core standards. After all, the program represents, “[E]verybody collectively pulling in the same direction.”

Oregon was one of early adopters of Common Core. It's usually at forefront of most fads.

Oregon was an early adopter of Common Core. The state usually is at the forefront of most fads.

An attempt to carry out anything that is not or to have any teacher in your school, to have any counselor, to have any person in that program not carrying out the plan as intended is completely unacceptable.

Saxton (not to be confused with former Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron Saxton) told administrators at a Common Core presentation, 

Your job is to ensure that that [standards] is happening. If it is happening, I believe you will absolutely be successful. Especially if your plan is evidence based. But an attempt to carry out anything that is not or to have any teacher in your school, to have any counselor, to have any person in that program not carrying out the plan as intended is completely unacceptable.” [emph added]

And he gloats that the school plan basically shuts out oversight by the legislature,

The legislature does not have a choice to say ‘we’re not going to do this really well.’ And so, we kind of have them where we want ‘em at some point, but we also need to make sure that we convince them that our plans are correct and that they want to bring those funds to us, cuz they know that we’ll use them to very best effect.”

Continue reading…

Common Core Truth: The Same Standards for Every Grade and Each State

Common Core Truth: The Same Standards for Every Grade and Each State (via http://www.thebrennerbrief.com)

Is the federal government telling educators WHAT and HOW to teach or do they simply want uniform standards for all grade levels across all 50 states? Common Core truth continues to be scarce, as well as a source of frustration and confusion for many…

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The Trouble With Bright Girls

For women, ability doesn’t always lead to confidence. Here’s why.

Published on January 27, 2011 by Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D. in The Science of Success

11679644-smart-schoolgirl-looking-above-her-glasses-in-front-of-a-blackboardSuccessful women know only too well that in any male-dominated profession, we often find ourselves at a distinct disadvantage. We are routinely underestimated, underutilized, and even underpaid. Studies show that women need to perform at extraordinarily high levels, just to appear moderately competent compared to our male coworkers.

But in my experience, smart and talented women rarely realize that one of the toughest hurdles they’ll have to overcome to be successful lies within. We judge our own abilities not only more harshly, but fundamentally differently, than men do. Understanding why we do it is the first step to righting a terrible wrong. And to do that, we need to take a step back in time.

Chances are good that if you are a successful professional today, you were a pretty bright fifth grade girl. My graduate advisor, psychologist Carol Dweck (author of Mindset) conducted a series of studies in the 1980s, looking at how bright girls and boys in the fifth grade handled new, difficult and confusing material.

She found that bright girls, when given something to learn that was particularly foreign or complex, were quick to give up–and the higher the girls’ IQ, the more likely they were to throw in the towel. In fact, the straight-A girls showed the most helpless responses. Bright boys, on the other hand, saw the difficult material as a challenge, and found it energizing. They were more likely to redouble their efforts, rather than give up.

Read more…

Oregon GOP Opposes Common Core State Standards

The Oregon Republican Party’s State Central Committee unanimously passed on Saturday a resolution opposing the Common Core State Standards joining the Republican National Committee and other state parties.

Here is the text of the resolution:

Resolution Opposing Common Core Education Standards

Whereas: Common Core Education Standards (Common Core”) represents an attempt by The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, the Council of Chief State School Officers and the U.S. Department of Education to impose a one size fits all, top down approach to education on all American schools; and

Whereas: Common Core, which is being implemented in Oregon, represents an effort to subordinate local control of Oregon’s public schools to a nationalized and standardized American education “one-size-fits-all” system; and

Whereas:  The National Republican Party Platform (p. 35) specifically states its opposition to a “…one size fits all approach to education” and supports “…providing broad educational choices at the State and local level”; and

Whereas: Common core is being used to build a comprehensive database to measure students’ progress and gather other personal, non-academic data; and

Whereas:  Data may be obtained not only by questioning students but by the use of facial-monitoring equipment, neuro-psychological testing and sensors which are strapped to their bodies; and

Whereas:   More than 500 K-3 education professionals have signed a statement opposing Common Core; and

Whereas:  The cost to Oregon taxpayers of implementing Common Core will be an estimated $182.027 million dollars; and

Whereas:   Neither states nor parents, including homeschool parents, will be allowed to make any changes to Common Core; and

Whereas:   Research by the Brookings Institution demonstrated that there is not a link between high state standards and high student achievement; and

Whereas:  Common Core utilizes tracking systems, which are being set up through the Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI), and is being implemented to support a collaborative partnership at the Federal level between the Departments of Labor and Education; and

Whereas: The long term WEQI and Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDA) goal for States, which Oregon has received grant money for, is to use their longitudinal data Systems to follow an individual through school and into and through their work life, which we believe is an invasion of privacy.

Therefore, Resolved That:

  • The Oregon State Republican Party Central Committee opposes the implementation of Common Core State Standards in Oregon school districts; and
  • The Oregon State Republican Party Central Committee urges its Representatives and Senators to empower parents with the ability to have their children opt-out of SLDS data mining which includes personal, non-academic information, eye retina scans and or any other medically identifiable record keeping methods which are not needed as part of a student’s “education” records; and
  • The Oregon State Republican Party Central Committee urges Oregon’s Representatives and Senators to, in the next legislative session, support and reintroduce SB 567 which directs the State Board of Education to appoint a Chief Privacy Officer to be responsible for ensuring that student information contained in student education records is adequately protected.

Adopted this day, August 10, 2013 by the Oregon State Republican Party Central Committee in session.

Teacher Faces Discipline for Advising Students of their Constitutional Rights

By Susan Sarkauskas  Published in The Daily Herald

John DrydenA Batavia High School teacher’s fans are rallying to support him as he faces possible discipline for advising students of their Constitutional rights before taking a school survey on their behavior.

They’ve been collecting signatures on an online petition, passing the word on Facebook, sending letters to the school board, and planning to speak at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

Students and parents have praised his ability to interest reluctant students in history and current affairs.

But John Dryden said he’s not the point. He wants people to focus on the issue he raised: Whether school officials considered that students could incriminate themselves with their answers to the survey that included questions about drug and alcohol use.

Dryden, a social studies teacher, told some of his students April 18 that they had a 5th Amendment right to not incriminate themselves by answering questions on the survey, which had each student’s name printed on it.

The survey is part of measuring how students meet the social-emotional learning standards set by the state. It is the first year Batavia has administered such a survey.

School district officials declined to provide a copy of the survey to the Daily Herald, saying the district bought the survey from a private company, Multi-Health Systems Inc., and the contents are proprietary business information.

They did provide the script teachers were to read to students before the test.

It does not tell students whether participation is mandatory or optional.

Read more at The Daily Herald

TEXAS ANNOUNCES SWEEPING CHANGES TO CONTROVERSIAL CSCOPE EDUCATION PROGRAM

Feb. 8, 2013 6:15pm  from TheBlaze 

Score a big win for parents’ rights. On Friday, the state of Texas announced that they had reached an agreement with the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum (TESCCC) that would bring sweeping changes to the very secretive curriculum management system known as CSCOPE.

Texas Announces Sweeping Changes To States Controversial CSCOPE Education Program

Back in November of 2012, and based on complaints from parents, teachers, and students,TheBlaze started covering the story about an internal takeover of the Texas Public School education system. According to parents and teachers that we spoke with, the CSCOPE system was causing problems on several levels.

Transparency – Parents were not allowed to review the lessons that being taught in school. CSCOPE’s parents’ portal was a very basic outline and contained only sketchy details. Any parent who requested access to the lesson plans was told that they needed to visit the actual school and be directed by a teacher to see the online lessons.

Oppressive and Threatening Conditions – Teachers complained that working under the strict guidelines of the CSCOPE program, they were expected to deliver the content verbatim and only on the scheduled days in the lesson plan. If some students were not grasping the lesson, the teachers were directed to move on to the next lesson. Uniformity and sticking to the calendar were stressed over actual learning. Teachers were also asked to sign a contract that would prevent them from revealing what was in the CSCOPE lessons or face civil and criminal penalties.

Lack of State Board of Education Oversight – The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) was virtually shut out of the decision making on CSCOPE.

The agreement announced Friday contains several very important points and makes changes to the system immediately.  One of the most popular concessions will make many educators happy – Teachers will no longer be required to execute the CSCOPE lessons verbatim.

There were other significant changes to the program

From the Cypress Creek Mirror in Texas:

  • All future meetings of the TESCCC Governing Board, beginning with the February meeting, will be public with all the respective notice requirements being met.
  • The TESCCC will begin a joint review process of all CSCOPE lessons with the SBOE beginning with Social Studies.
  • Amendment of all Terms of Use Agreements, signed by both teachers and districts, removing civil or criminal penalties associated with the release of CSCOPE content.
  • Clarifying that all teachers and districts may post any and all CSCOPE lessons that they deem necessary.

The introduction of transparency and the removal of the threats against teachers who exposed CSCOPE were two of the key arguments made by those hoping to slow CSCOPE’s growth. But the agreement actually went further than many people expected. The massive changes also include:

  • Ending the non-profit 501(c)3 arrangement that incorporates CSCOPE.
  • Initiating the posting of CSCOPE lesson content to their public website.
  • Creating a standing curriculum review panel, comprised of: parents, teachers, school administrators, members of the SBOE, and TESCCC board members.

Texas State Senator Dan Patrick was vital to the negotiation between the SBOE and CSCOPE. Mr. Patrick’s statement on the agreement expressed his satisfaction with it, but also issued a little warning to CSCOPE:

“I’m glad the CSCOPE Board realizes that immediate and long term changes must be made to address the serious issues raised by our committee, parents, and teachers. Our committee will be monitoring the situation closely to ensure they follow through with their commitments. We will also be looking at legislation to ensure these changes cannot be reversed in the future and that the SBOE continues in their role of oversight of CSCOPE content. The future of the program will depend on CSCOPE keeping the commitments they have made and gaining the trust of the legislature, teachers, and parents.”

If you are not aware of what CSCOPE  is or was doing, the organization is an offshoot of an educational program that traces its roots back to 1965 when the state established media centers / Education Service Centers (ESCs) throughout each of Texas’s 20 school districts. In recent years, these ESCs have been transformed into a non-profit group that created the curriculum management system known as CSCOPE.

To get a better understanding of how CSCOPE was pushing some controversial concepts into the schools, we suggest you review these Blaze articles:

(H/T: Red Hot Conservative)

Manipulation of Children in English Language Arts

H/T Macey from Stop Common Core in Oregon for originally posting this at their site.

You would assume that English Language Arts for first graders involves spelling, grammatical rules, sentence structure and things of that nature. Very foundational learning tools that will support future learning.

Here are a couple videos showing how ELA is actually not teaching those skills, but, in fact, playing on emotions and manipulating a young child’s mind.

If this doesn’t turn your stomach and churn up outrage on behalf of your child or, really, any innocent child, I don’t know what does.

In case that doesn’t explain it well for you, here is the message from a Clinical Mental Health Therapist on the danger this brings to a child’s emotional well being.

Thanks to the ladies in Utah at Common Core: Education Without Representation for sharing this on FB.

And again I end up at the same question: WHY. Why do they want to do this to our children? Ask yourself. Ask your legislators. Ask. I believe I know the answer but it’s important for you to come to your own conclusion.

If it was honestly about the foundations of ELA…it would be simple stories, not complex emotional manipulation designed to tap into your child’s parasympathetic system.

This is abuse. Plain and simple.