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New to Common Core?  Watch this excellent presentation on the Common Core agenda. It's a lot more than just standards.

Also watch the powerful Common Core documentary movie which the Home School Legal Defense Association just released. This 40 minute documentary gives you the inside story from the lips of those involved in the creation of Common Core.

Have you heard that the "Utah Core" isn't "Common Core"? Let the facts and Superintendent Menlove correct any misperceptions for you.

News

State GOP Resolution on Partisan School Board Elections

This resolution will be presented and voted on at the state GOP convention on 4/26/14. It is being attacked by the education establishment who misunderstands the point of partisan elections is to find people of principle by looking closely at candidates who are running for office, not creating a partisan atmosphere of contention. There is a serious problem in this state that people just do not know who is running for school board. Candidates at the state level rarely get to even let their voices be heard as they are drowned out by a governor appointed committee who eliminates candidates who have any issues with Common Core. Candidates at the local level put up yard signs and rarely get any segment of the public vetting them except for the UEA and State Office of Education who pick their candidates and promote them through their channels because they are philosophically in agreement, but don’t want any serious competition or elimination by the best people qualified to make those decisions…delegates elected in neighborhood caucus meetings. What these education establishment people fail to recognize over and over again is that when you take federal money it comes with strings attached that damage local control.

Here is the resolution. Please contact your state delegates and ask them to vote in favor of this resolution.

USBA executive Patti Harrington wrote an urgent letter to educators around the state which I have posted below the resolution.

******************

Resolution to Promote Partisan School Board Elections

WHEREAS, Abraham Lincoln said, “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will become the philosophy of government in the next;” and,

WHEREAS, experience shows that the views of school board members find their way into the classroom; and,

WHEREAS, most citizens do not know how school board members view important issues such as religious freedom, state and family sovereignty, private property, Second Amendment, limited government, and American Exceptionalism; and,

WHEREAS, the Republican Party has an excellent vetting system by which grassroots-elected delegates can identify who among the candidates will best adhere to the principles in our party platform, most notably the principles of fiscal responsibility and local control of education; and,

WHEREAS, approximately 65% of our state budget goes to education; and,

WHEREAS, school district budgets, whose district officers are determined via non-partisan elections, in some cases exceed county budgets, whose county officers are determined via partisan elections; and,

WHEREAS, most school board members seem to welcome federal control of education, and fail to understand that states are (or should be) sovereign with respect to education; and,

WHEREAS, in Texas—where school board elections are partisan—when “Common Core” was presented to the states, Texas rejected it and created their own high-quality standards; and,

WHEREAS, choosing school board members via partisan election is not about partisanship in education, but is about ensuring the selection of candidates whose principles match those found in the party platform.

WHEREAS, state school board nominees are currently selected by an unelected panel—unaccountable to the People.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT, legislators affiliated with the Utah Republican Party are encouraged to enact and support legislation that would make candidates for Utah’s State Board of Education and school districts subject to partisan nomination and election; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT delegates to the Utah Republican Party Convention are encouraged to research and vet state and local school board candidates, in order to identify the candidate(s) who will best support limited government and local control of education; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Utah Republican Party is encouraged to host debates for state school board candidates and conduct a straw poll among state delegates, wherein state delegates living within a given state school board district may cast a non-binding vote for their choices of state school board members, and that the results of this straw poll be made public on the party web site; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT county parties are encouraged to host debates for school board candidates and conduct straw polls among county delegates, wherein county delegates living within local school board districts may cast a non-binding vote for their choices of local district board members, and that the results of these straw polls be made public on county party web sites.

Respectfully submitted to the Utah Republican Party on March 26, 2014

Oak Norton, HI 07
Kimberly Park, TA 11
Jennifer Orten, HI 06
Tina Okolowitz, Orem 38
Marie Nuccitelli, LE16
Aaron Hymas, MAG004
Joshua Kostial, FA02
Stephanie Stevens, AL04
Darlene Agle, PG10
Heather Williamson, SR07
Carie Valentine, SY05
Eric Eades, SAN 42
Robert Taylor, WJD 13
Robert Lunt, SLC138
Michele Alder, NLG5
Dale Asay, HI07
Whitne Strain, BO18
Kevin Braddy, HI 03
Renee Braddy, HI 03
Rod Terry, HI 01
Russ Skousen, HI 01
Dawn Kenton, RPL26
David Beck, HI 06
Steve Christiansen, HI 01
Lowell Nelson, HI 05
Loni Schneider, CL 02
Malin Williams, EN82
Leslie Probert, Provo 28
Jared Carman, HI 01
Alisa Ellis, HN 24
Nathan Davis, SY05
Michelle Davis, SY05
Amy Burton, HYR 05
Kassandra Mulcahy, SAN042
Keri Witte, PR20

************************** ADDED 4/22/14

That ends the resolution. Utah State Boards Association member Patti Harrington sent out this email in response. All bolding is hers. Text in red is where Patti calls me a liar and then an agitator. The big problem with her statements is they are demonstrably false. Patti and I actually go back several years. When she was State Superintendent a few years ago, we held regular meetings with her, Brenda Hales, Senator Margaret Dayton, and a few others regarding math education in Utah and getting Investigations math, Connected math, and Interactive math, removed from the state’s approved curriculum list. She helped remove the first 2 but never got the third removed. We actually saw eye to eye on these issue and to her credit (perhaps under some duress) she agreed to raise the state math standards in 2006 in front of a legislative education committee. Success! Then I engaged with the state’s history standards and wanted to get the word “republic” put into our history standards so teachers would teach that we are a Republic and not a Democracy. After that success along came Common Core, the nationalization of education, which Patti and everyone at the USOE loved. That’s 3 issues, but in Patti’s letter I’m “regularly agitated.” No, I just don’t retire from an issue easily. Someone is worried and upset…

The USOE loves Common Core’s nationalization so much, two officers sent out a letter during the last legislative session touting how HB 342 on getting new education standards was such a big negative it has to be opposed. They wrote:

“This bill essentially gives more power to parents over curriculum standards, would prohibit us from adopting any national standards, and would require a revision of our current math and ELA standards.”

Oh for shame! More power to parents?!?!?! What on earth are we thinking wanting to get away from Common Core!  Prohibited from adopting national standards??? The horrors!

And Patti writes below how I’m a liar and they all want local control…

What these school board members and associations seem to fail to grasp is in their quest for more money in education, they have turned to the federal behemoth who happily hands out our own money with strings attached. “Sure, take these millions of dollars, we just want your children to be tracked, dumbed down, and owned by us.” Oh, but it comes out more like “we’re from the government and we’re here to help. Those were state-led standards we…, err…, the NGA and CCSSO gave you. Yeah, that’s the ticket!”

Here is Patti’s letter.

 

From: “Patti Harrington” <pharrington@usba.cc>
Date: Apr 18, 2014 8:38 AM
Subject: Please OPPOSE proposed Republican Convention resolution on partisan elections for board members

Good morning Board Members (with copies to Superintendents and Business Administrators) –

There is a new resolution that will be proposed in the 2014 Utah Republican Nominating Convention on April 26, 2014 that you may want to review asap.  Your Utah School Boards Association (USBA) leaders are asking that, for those of you who are Republican, to contact your Republican delegates immediately and ensure they vote NO on the Resolution to Promote Partisan School Board Elections.  Here is some helpful background:

  • The resolution is titled Resolution to Promote Partisan School Board Elections and is at the end of this email and can also be found on the Utah Republican Party website at:  http://www.utgop.org/utgop.asp

where you can “click here to view submitted Amendments and Resolutions that will be considered at the convention.”  It is the fourth displayed item.

  • Astoundingly, the resolution states that “. . . most school board members seem to welcome federal control of education, and fail to understand that states are (or should be) sovereign with respect to education, . . .”  and then resolves that “legislators affiliated with the Utah Republican Party are encouraged to enact and support legislation that would make candidates for Utah’s State Board of Education and school districts subject to partisan nomination and election . . . “   Contrary to that blatantly false claim, USBA has always believed in local control and has consistently advocated that the best decisions are made at the local level.  In the 2009 Legislative Session, USBA initiated a bill with supportive legislators: HJR11 Joint Resolution Expressing Support For and Recognizing the Value of Locally Elected Officials (M. Brown).  The bill resolved “that the Legislature recognizes that the close connection of locally elected officials to their communities creates an atmosphere of high accountability in administering fiscal and other important matters.”   The bill passed unanimously in both Utah’s Senate and House.  See: http://le.utah.gov/~2009/bills/hbillenr/hjr011.pdf
  • The resolution to be considered by the upcoming Republican convention has only 6 sponsors listed in support.  The chief sponsor is Oak Norton, a resident of Utah County who remains regularly agitated about public education.   He is leading much of the anti-Common Core fight.
  • USBA has been vitally involved in resisting federal mandates and has been in this discussion for over the last decade when No Child Left Behind (NCLB) was first enforced from Washington DC to Utah’s classrooms.  USBA remains steadfast in support of local control and strongly supportive of public schools being operated by state and local leaders and educators, with policy and regulation by the independent Utah State Board of Education.
  • The new Utah Core standards in Language Arts and Math were largely developed from the common standards developed by the National Governor’s Association (NGA), led by a Republican Governor, and by the Chief Council of State School Officers (CCSSO), working in tandem toward greater rigor and career relevance in standard formulation.  There were no White House officials or U.S. Dept of Education officials in these meetings or working on the standards.  These standards were adopted by the Utah State Board in 2012, following public hearings, and are being implemented across the state.  The State Board has amended some of these standards and added to them, as is the full right of a State Board to control all standards.  The new SAGE tests were developed to measure a child’s ability in each standard and to give excellent prescriptive information to parents, students and teachers, the key users of any test data.  Data are stored and protected according to state and federal law, and by further regulations set forth by the State Board.  Student data have been without security breach for over a decade.
  • Partisan politics has no place in the State Board and certainly not in our local school boards of education.  A bill to support partisan state school board elections in the most recent legislative session was strongly opposed by USBA and it failed.  This Republican resolution concerning local school boards clearly does not reflect the view of Utah’s public and the parents whose children attend our neighborhood schools.

In order to oppose this resolution, you will need to contact the Republican delegates and state leaders from your area that are invited to attend the 2014 Utah Republican Nominating (State) Convention on April 26, 2014.  Thus, your contact must occur before April 26th.  Delegate contact information can be found by calling your county offices and asking for the names of your county Republican delegates.  Thank you!

*************

Oak again: please contact your state delegates and ask them to support partisan school board elections and bring new ideas and new leadership to school boards all across Utah.

Scientist has trouble helping daughter with CC math

Sterling Allan submitted this to the Deseret News as an op-ed.

*************

The other night I helped my 10-year-old daughter with her math homework because my wife couldn’t figure it out. After I broke away from my work, when I went to help her, past her bed-time, she was crying, and just drawing her pencil back and forth across the first of four questions, totally frustrated.

I’m a scientist, and the first problem took me 20 minutes to figure out; and I seriously doubt she understood my explanation, because I barely figured it out myself. My daughter said that the next day all the kids were talking about how hard it was.

I’m not yet fully immersed in the question of what is the agenda of the corrupt powers that be in this Common Core curriculum, but I have a few thoughts to share. First, when I say “corrupt powers that be”, briefly, I’m referring to the modern secret combination that seeks to destroy America and the principles of freedom upon which she was founded, to make way for a tyrannical New World Order that turns us all into slaves.

For years, their agenda has been the deliberate dumbing down of America through its education system, among other things, such as fluoridating the water, which is a medication to make people docile.

Now that they’ve accomplished the agenda of dumbing us down, it seems their agenda is to try and make the students feel like losers for being so dumbed down. It’s Satan’s lie: “now, look at what a low-life you’ve become, you’re no good, it’s no use trying any more.”

As parents, we’re seriously considering home schooling our kids again, so they can get a proper education and not be brainwashed with whatever agenda the corrupt powers that be are promoting. Our primary reason for sending the kids back to school has been the excellent programs they have for our special needs daughter. The staff have been phenomenal in our experience with the real human beings who are the teachers trying to make it in the system.

I call upon the state legislature to ban Common Core from Utah. Let’s revolt! And finally stand up like we’re supposed to! Just say NO! to such corruption. Be no part of it.

Otherwise, we’ll probably home school our kids again, and we urg others to do the same. We don’t have to subject our kids to this.

See http://UtahnsAgainstCommonCore.com for more info.

Sincerely,

Sterling D. Allan,
(Pure Energy Systems) PES Network, Inc., CEO

Superintendent Menlove’s Letter on Opting Out

Superintendent Menlove issued the following letter to schools  just over a week ago.

http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Summary/materials/Opting-outofstatetesting.aspx

Utah State Office of Education

April 7, 2014

OPTING-OUT OF STATE TESTING
There continues to be some confusion about students and/or parents opting-out of end-of level (SAGE and DWA) or other state-wide testing. Please be aware of the following as you have conversations with parents about opting-out of testing and in the development of opt-out forms.
1. Parents have the right to opt their children out of any testing required by or facilitated through the Utah State Board of Education. This includes all SAGE tests, Direct Writing Assessments, ACT (complete battery), ASAVB, NAEP, ACCESS testing for English Language Learners and UAA testing for Students with Disabilities.
2. When a student over 18 years old, or a parent or guardian opts-out of a state-level test, there is no requirement for an optional or alternative test to be given. For example, opting-out of a test taken on a computer does not necessitate that a “paper-pencil” test be offered as a replacement.
3. When a student over 18 years old, or parent or guardian opts-out of a state-level test, no academic penalty shall result for the student. If teachers/schools use any of these tests for grading/promotion decisions, some alternative assessment will need to be provided.
4. Opting-out of end-of-level testing, and participating in end-of-level testing, both result in de-identified and aggregated individual student data being reported to the federal government. The difference in the data shared on all public school students as required by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is that the proficiency level for a student who opts out will not be reported while a tested student’s proficiency level will be reported as the proficiency level (1 – 4) determined by the testing.
5. Any student who is in school and not participating in testing should be engaged in a meaningful educational activity. Students not participating in any testing should not be singled out in any negative way nor should the student or the class be administratively punished in any way because a student opts out of testing. Items #6 and #7 address potential consequences for teachers and schools as a result of opting-out.
6. As per action taken by the Utah State Board of Education on April 4, 2014, a student who opts-out of testing will not receive a proficiency score, and for State purposes will not be counted against participation rates. However, these students will be reported as non-participants on federal reports and accountability and this may impact an LEA’s qualification for and the receiving of certain federal dollars.
7. As per current Utah State Office of Education Policy, a student who has not opted-out and is absent from school, and therefore does not participate in testing, is counted as a non-participant (both State and federal reporting) and may impact the school’s participation score which is included in the calculation for the school’s letter grade. An absent student is not included in calculating proficiency for a class, grade, or school.

The Pope strikes out at Common Core

Didn’t see this one coming… :)  From a speech Pope Francis gave over the weekend that dealt with moral and religious issues, comes this report on the Cardinal Newman Society website.

And in this regard I would like to express my rejection of any kind of educational experimentation with children. We cannot experiment with children and young people,” the Holy Father reportedly said. “The horrors of the manipulation of education that we experienced in the great genocidal dictatorships of the twentieth century have not disappeared; they have retained a current relevance under various guises and proposals and, with the pretense of modernity, push children and young people to walk on the dictatorial path of ‘only one form of thought.”The Holy Father also reportedly warned against the dangers “posed by contemporary culture and widespread mentality propagated by the mass media.”

Dr. Andrew Seeley, executive director of the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education and a tutor at Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Calif., warned in “The Common Core vs. the Classical Roots of Catholic Education” that the goals and methods of the Common Core are fundamentally at odds with the discovery of Truth at the heart of an authentically Catholic education.

Seeley stated his belief that “under the guise of mutual understanding, curricular materials are likely to usher in an aggressively secular orthodoxy,” and the Common Core will in fact become a “dictatorship of relativism.”

- See more at: http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/CatholicEducationDaily/DetailsPage/tabid/102/ArticleID/3192/Pope-Francis-Defends-Parents%E2%80%99-Right-to-Decide-%E2%80%98Moral-and-Religious%E2%80%99-Education-for-Children.aspx#sthash.r3laNGgX.dpuf

Teacher Fired for Criticizing Standardized Test

Granite School District teacher Ann Florence has been fired during Spring Break so Granite School District could avoid as much of a media storm as possible. This action is unconscionable. Please read this post to the end and take action by emailing the people below your thoughts about them firing a wonderful and experienced teacher. As teachers find themselves reducing their teaching time (by as much as 20% of the school year by some accounts), in order to administer standardized tests, they are becoming increasingly worried about their students, as well as their own sanity as you’ll see below. Their free speech is curtailed just as it always is by narrowly-focused (I wanted to write small-minded but thought that might be perceived rudely) bureaucrats who have a very misplaced concern for children’s needs.

We must ask, what is the purpose of education? What is local control? I’ll tell you what it isn’t: It’s not bureaucrats and legislators trying to make teachers accountable through increased testing of children. Local control is a parent, responsible and concerned for the education of their children, communicating with a teacher about their children, and the three interested parties developing a plan that makes the teacher accountable to the parent and child to impart their knowledge. Testing is a part of education but that is best left to the teacher to evaluate students, and communicate with parents ensuring they know where their child has deficiencies to be able to appropriately address their children’s needs. Teachers need a quality program though. Fads like constructivist math damage children and Common Core has embraced this. The combination of good standards for a proper path of education, good teachers, good curriculum, parental involvement, and of course students’ needs, will do more to help educate children than anything else the state could implement.

Now to Ann. From all accounts, Ann was a superb teacher who was providing a wonderful educational experience for her students. Christel Swasey wrote up Ann’s being put on administrative leave days ago and noted that a year ago, Ann wrote an op-ed for the Tribune and said this:

“Managing teachers through intimidation is not working… teachers are looking for work elsewhere. Teachers who have loved their jobs are discouraging their own children from pursuing careers in education…. we feel exhausted and demoralized by the avalanche of mandates from the state and district… While legislators constantly raise expectations and think they can motivate us by publicly posting test scores, our time for teaching has shrunk….I now administer 19 days of standardized tests, costing me an entire month of instruction. This doesn’t include the days the testing site is down or the system crashes, eating up even more days…. I am held accountable for nine months of curriculum without enough time to teach it… Granite District has required teachers to learn the new Common Core, use a new grades program (which crashes regularly), design a new honors curriculum, use a new online system requiring the scanning and posting of all assignments and a daily summary of class activities, and learn to analyze complex data … No test score reflects the number of students who return to thank a teacher, the number who fall in love with reading again, gain new confidence to speak up in class, find solace in a teacher’s support, decide to try one more time just when they want to quit…  We are tired of having our dedication reduced to a number.”

The Trib yesterday reported the firing of this teacher thus:

“Florence was placed on administrative leave March 27 after she told her first-period class that she was facing disciplinary action and might be fired. Spring break began March 28, and the letter was mailed March 31.

When students learned of the disciplinary action on March 27, they started a petition drive and obtained nearly 100 signatures in one day supporting their teacher.

Florence refused to grade the writing portion of the districtwide Acuity Test. She said the exam was a waste of students’ and teachers’ time, did not further any education agenda and that it was unethical to have teachers grade their own students on a standardized test that then would be used to judge the teacher.

In a letter to her students, she said she loved her career but had to stand up for principle.”

Hmmmm, now why would this teacher be fired for criticizing a standardized test??? Could it be that she is interfering with district revenue? Looks like McGraw-Hill is offering a reward to help pilot their exam.

Acuity Incentives

State Superintendent Menlove just sent out this letter across the state as a stern warning to teachers.

“Testing environments need to be maintained to assure accurate testing of students without outside interference.  Only those authorized educators should be in the room(s) while testing is occurring.

I sent a document Monday concerning opting-out of testing.  Parents have the right to opt students out of testing.  However, this right is not extended to anyone other than a child’s parent or guardian.   I believe it is a violation of testing protocol and educator ethics for a licensed educator to encourage or suggest that individual students or groups of students not participate fully in State administered testing.

Please communicate with all licensed educators that those involved in sharing, or allowing the sharing, of any SAGE, DWA or other State assessment items will be referred to the Utah Professional Practices Commission and action may be taken against their teacher license This includes the requirement that all testing protocols will be followed.

Additionally, those who do not honor a parent’s right to opt out of testing, or those who inappropriately encourage or facilitate opting-out will also be referred to the Utah Professional Practices Commission for possible action against their license.”

Teachers should honor a parent’s right to opt out. But they should also be more concerned about the students in their care than some bureaucrat who wants to feed “big data” with a monstrous stream of data to the detriment of children.Please read this article by Jane Robbins of the American Principles Project on “Common Core and Data Collection” which contains this troubling quote from Sec. of Ed. Arne Duncan:

“Hopefully, some day, we can track children from preschool to high school and from high school to college and college to career . . . . We want to see more states build comprehensive systems that track students from pre-K through college and then link school data to workforce data. We want to know know whether Johnny participated in an early learning program and then completed college on time and whether those things have any bearing on his earnings as an adult.”

Help protect our teachers

Please take a moment and write a polite email of support for Ann and other teachers to the following. Send emails separately or put them on the BCC (Blind carbon copy) line of your email.

Granite’s Superintendent Martin Bates: mwbates@graniteschools.org

State Superintendent Dr. Martell Menlove: Martell.Menlove@schools.utah.gov

Wasatch Jr High Principal Christine Judd: crydalch@graniteschools.org

Wasatch Jr High Asst. Principal John Anderson: jcanderson@graniteschools.org

State School Board:

kbuswell@wadman.com; jensen1brit@earthlink.net; dthomas@summitcounty.org; krb84010@aol.com; dgriffiths@tannerco.com; lesliebrookscastle@gmail.com; jj@jenniferajohnson.com; heather.groom@gmail.com; crandall@xmission.com; jeffersonRmoss@gmail.com; dixieleeallen@gmail.com; markopenshaw@gmail.com; debrar@netutah.com; barbara.corry@schools.utah.gov; teresatheurer1@gmail.com; jensenmk@ldschurch.org; freddiecooper1@comcast.net; jamesvolsen@gmail.com; kelinkowski@msn.com; dbrowley@q.com;

Granite School Board:

ggandy@graniteschools.org; thbawden@graniteschools.org; clanderson@graniteschools.org; ccburgess@graniteschools.org; jmjolley@graniteschools.org; dlofgren@cowboy.us; srmeier@graniteschools.org;

Governor Herbert: http://governor.utah.gov/goca/form_comment.html (copy/paste your email into this form to send it to the Governor)

Your legislators: http://le.utah.gov (lookup by address here)

 

Trib Talk: UACC’s Christel Swasey vs. USOE’s Judy Park on SAGE Tests

Provided by Whitne S:

“The Salt Lake Tribune invited UACC’s Christel Swasey to face off with Judy Park from the Utah State Office of Education regarding the increasing number of parents opting their children out of SAGE. Among items discussed were Ms. Park’s claim that Utah can make any “revisions, changes, or adjustments that Utah chooses to make” to the Common Core standards. See Christel’s polite disagreement based on the actual documents Utah signed. Christel even received an indirect answer to her long-awaited question regarding pilot testing. Ms. Park explains why she believes pilot testing is “not possible” nor necessary. Christel’s closing remarks make the whole video worth the time.”

Governor thinks we’re not on Common Core?

Connor Boyack of the Libertas Institute posted this to Facebook over the weekend

In an interview yesterday on Red Meat Radio (a local political talk show on Saturday mornings), Governor Herbert said:

“Now I recognize that there’s a lot of misunderstanding out there, and some of that’s in part because people think we’re involved in the Common Core, and the difference between that and the Utah core, and we think there’s some kind of a federal overreach here, and that’s an exaggeration.”

He then proceeded to argue that those who are concerned should air their grievances with the local and state school board, citing Alpine School District as a case study where concerned parents were successful in getting the Math curriculum changed.

(Interestingly, Oak Norton and others who fought for that change are prominently fighting against Common Core as well, which the Governor dismisses as mere “misunderstanding” on the part of these parents…)

Evidently the governor isn’t aware that State Superintendent Menlove and our own state filings agree that Utah is on Common Core and the Common Core website shows Utah as having adopted Common Core.

The difference between the Utah core and Common Core, which I would expect our governor to know, is that the Utah core covers other subjects besides ELA and math, but those two subjects were fully adopted by Utah without any changes as source documents clearly show and the State Superintendent agrees.

The fact that the governor thinks there is no federal overreach is troubling. The feds funded both assessment consortia (SBAC and PARCC) and coerced the states with Race to the Top money to adopt the standards.

http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/what-did-they-used-to-say-about-common-core-just-listen/

http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/state-board-audio-transcript-on-adopting-common-core/

http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/common-cores-metric-makes-informational-texts-trump-literature/ (Plans exist to merge SBAC and PARCC)

Interesting statistic after a decade of corporate education reforms

From: http://www.angelaengel.com/latest-news/128-the-data-to-prove-it

“Corporate Reform and high-stakes testing was sold on two premises: “We need to close the achievement gap and better prepare students for college.” A decade and a half later the facts are in: the number of at-risk students and college remediation rates has DOUBLED! It has never been about kids, it has always been about making more MONEY.
Risking Students, Raising Test Scores:

In 2000 163,052 children were identified as at-risk
In 2013 305,261 children are identified as at-risk

There was a 55% increase in the proportion of at-risk students in the student population.”

SB 122 – All parents can opt out of SAGE tests

opt out of common core testsGovernor Herbert signed SB122 into law today. All Utah parents can now opt their children out of SAGE tests from any school without repercussion to your child, the teacher, or the school. De-stress your children and tell them to tell their friends they got opted out of the SAGE tests. Trust me, their friends will think it’s amazing and word will spread like wildfire.

The State Board of Education will be discussing the topic of what to do now at their board meeting this Friday. So if your child attends school in Nebo, Harmony, My Tech High, etc…, you can proceed opting them out of the SAGE tests immediately (although, because of the contract some of you signed that your children would take the SAGE test or pay the school back, you may have to take the test or pay the fee this year. Beg the school to change their policy based on the new law, if not immediately, at least for next year.).

Why would you want to opt out? Watch the video at this post to learn why.

Here are the relevant lines from SB 122.

http://le.utah.gov/~2014/bills/static/SB0122.html

“(9) (a) Upon the written request of a student’s parent or guardian, an LEA shall excuse the student from taking a test that is administered statewide or the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

(b) The State Board of Education shall ensure through board rule that neither an LEA nor its employees are negatively impacted through school grading or employee evaluation due to a student not taking a test pursuant to Subsection (9)(a).”

We will come out with a new form but if you just copy/paste this onto a sheet of paper, it will suffice for now.

I am opting my child, ____________, out of all computer adaptive tests including practice tests, under Utah state law, SB 122, signed by Governor Herbert on April 2, 2014 which states:

“(9) (a) Upon the written request of a student’s parent or guardian, an LEA shall excuse the student from taking a test that is administered statewide or the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

(b) The State Board of Education shall ensure through board rule that neither an LEA nor its employees are negatively impacted through school grading or employee evaluation due to a student not taking a test pursuant to Subsection (9)(a).”

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