If you missed Glenn Beck’s segment on radio this morning, he played audio of Exxon/Mobile’s ad supporting Common Core (and a plausible explanation of why they would do such a thing $$$), and Bill Gates exposing the real agenda behind Common Core. Please watch this segment and share it with others.
Brian Halladay, Alpine School District Board Member, sent out this email today alerting residents to a meeting next week in the school district. This should be sent to every legislator in the state so they understand what happens when the USOE tells them they are exiting their relationship with SBAC, but then writes an RFP (Request for Proposal) in such a way as to guarantee that only an SBAC related vendor will be selected. At the time we published that tidbit, we were criticized by numerous people at the state office and school board. Then Utah selected AIR and our state superintendent called them the “only organization currently delivering statewide, online adaptive tests approved for ESEA accountability.” Really? There were 13 applicants, and one already being used successfully in Utah. Check out what’s coming down the pike from AIR.
Next Thursday, April 11th, you are invited to participate in the SAGE assessment System presentation at 4pm at the Alpine School District Office Building.
SAGE is the acronym for the common core testing system that will be collecting data from our children.
I think it’s important for all of us to know before the meeting what SAGE is and it’s implications for our children, our privacy, and our school district.
Student Assessment for Growth and Excellence (“SAGE”) is being developed for Utah by the American Institutes for Research (AIR). SAGE is Utah’s comprehensive adaptive assessment system, or the testing mechanism that will replace the CRTs. It is designed to replace and expand UTIPS, and provides the test delivery and administration of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.
So, who is AIR? AIR is not an academic assessment company – it is a behavioral research organization. AIR has been around for over 60 years. Their founder, John Flanagan, a psychologist, started AIR by developing the “critical incident technique” one of the most widely used behavioral methods that is even now used in assessment models today.
In 1960, AIR initiated “Project Talent,” a research project administered by John Flanagan and a group of other behavioral scientists involving 440,000 high school students, collecting information on “aptitudes, abilities, knowledge, interests, activities, and backgrounds” of each student. These questions included questions about “hobbies, organizational and club memberships, dating and work experiences. There were questions about students’ health and about their school and study habits. Students were asked about their fathers’ occupations, parents’ education, financial situations, etc.” One question asked was, “How many children do you expect to have after you marry?” and “How old were you when you first started dating?”
What is AIR doing today? AIR is currently working with multiple partners, including the Department of Education, United Nations, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Open Society Institute (George Soros), to “conduct and apply the best behavioral and social science research evaluation towards improving peoples’ lives, with a special emphasis on the disadvantaged.” AIR prides itself on its ”long history of contributing to evidence-based social change.”
What does this mean for the Alpine School District, or even the State of Utah? In 2012 USOE developed the USOE Technology Standards 2012. One of the standards is to have a network-enabled computing device capable of providing access to the school’s technology resources. A purpose of this is for the understanding “human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.” I don’t think it’s a stretch to think that AIR will be heavily involved with this.
AIR will be developing these assessments, which will include behavioral questions. It’s what they do. One of their primary objectives is to use this data not only in collaboration with other states in relation to common core, but also in collaboration with the United Nations.
With the recent amendments to the FERPA laws, the question becomes what will we as parents do right now to protect the privacy of our children?
Come to the meeting next Thursday at 4pm at the Alpine School District Office Building and get informed!
Thank you Brian for shining the light on this insanity.
I’m calling for a hogwash alert on today’s National Review article about Common Core.
The ironically titled The Truth About Common Core article cannot be taken seriously. It’s written without any links or references for its Common Core-promoting claims, and it’s written by two authors whose employers are largely funded by the main funder of all things Common Core.
Can anyone take seriously those who praise Common Core while being paid to do so?
The article makes “truth” claims that include the notion that Common Core is “more rigorous,” (where’s the proof?) and that the standards allow policymaking to happen locally. How can that be? The standards are written behind closed doors in D.C. The standards are copyrighted and are unamendable by locals. There is a 15% cap on adding to them, written into the ESEA Flexibility Waiver Request. And there is no amendment process; thus, no local control.
For anyone who has been living under an education reform rock, know this: Gates is the single biggest promoter and funder of Common Core, bar none.) So, Fordham’s and Manhattan Institute’s writers should not be expected to be objective about Common Core.
If it seems like practically everyone supports Common Core, Gates’ money is why. Bill Gates has said he’s spent $5 BILLION pushing (his version of) education reform. He’s bribed the national PTA to advocate for Common Core to parents; he’s paid the CCSSO to develop Common Core; and he owns opinion maker Education Week magazine. There’s a near-endless list of Gates’ attempts (very successful, I might add) to foist his vision of education without voter input. In 2004, Gates signeda 26 page agreement with UNESCO to develop a master curriculum for global teacher training. Robert Muller, the former assistant secretary general of the U.N. is the grandfather of the world core curriculum, the goal being to bring all schools in all nations under one common core curriculum.
The National Review writes that it is a ”right-of-center” organization, as if that claim is a “trust-me” pass. This is meaningless in Common Core land because, as Emmett McGroarty of the American Principles Project, has said, ”Opposition to Common Core cuts across the left-right spectrum. It gets back to who should control our children’s education — people in Indiana or people in Washington?”
But we should clarify that oodles of Democrats and Republicans sell or benefit from Common Core implementation. That is the top reason for the gold rush anxiety to promote the national standards. A secondary reason is lemminghood (misplaced and unproven trust).
Republican Jeb Bush is behind the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a nongovernmental group which pushes Common Core and is, of course, funded by Gates. Republican Rupert Murdoch owns not only Fox News, but also the common core implementation company Wireless Generation that’s creating common core testing technology. Democrat Bob Corcoran, President of GE Foundation (author of cap and trade and carbon footprint taxes to profit GE on green tech) and 49% owner of NBC also bribed the PTA to promote Common Core, and gave an additional $18 million to the states to push common core implementation. Corcoran was seen recently hobnobbing with Utah’s Republican Lt. Governor Greg Bell, business leaders in the Chamber of Commerce, and has testified in the education committee that the opponents of Common Core in Utah “are liars”. Meanwhile, Republican Todd Huston of Indiana got his largest campaign donation from David Coleman, common core ELA architect; then, after Huston was elected as an Indiana State Representative and placed on Indiana’s education committee, Coleman hired Huston to be on the College Board. They are both profiting from the alignment of and AP courses and alignment of the SAT to the Common Core. And of course, Huston’s listed on Jeb Bush’s controversial Foundation for Excellence in Education. Even my own Republican Governor Herbert of Utah serves on the elite executive committee of NGA, the Common Core founding group. He doesn’t make money this way, but he does make lots of corporations happy.
I could go on and on about the Common Core gold-and-glory rush. I have barely touched the countless Democrats who promote Common Core for gain. But I don’t want to be up all night.
So, on to the liberals and/or not-right wing radicals who oppose Common Core:
California Democrat/author Rosa Koire and respected educator like Diane Ravitch oppose Common Core as an untested academic and political experiment that increases the high-stakes of standardized testing. They see that Common Core is promoting unrepresentative formations of public-private-partnerships, and promotes teacher-micromanagement. Chicago history teacher Paul Horton says Common Core turns teacher-artisans into teacher-widgets; he also sees it as a Pearson anti-trust issue. Teacher Kris Nielsen has written “Children of the Core” and teacher Paul Bogush calls teaching Common Core sleeping with the enemy. Math teacher Stephanie Sawyer predicts that with Common Core, there will be an increase in remedial math instruction and an increase in the clientele of tutoring centers. Writing teacher Laura Gibbs calls the writing standards an inspid brew of gobbledygook. Anonymously, many teachers have published other concerns in a survey produced by Utahns Against Common Core.
Still, political funders of the standards and corporations selling its implementation try to get away with marginalizing the opposition. But it can’t be done honestly. Because it’s not a fight between left and right.
This battle is between the collusion of corporate greed and political muscle versus the individual voter.
It’s a battle between the individual student, teacher, or parent– versus huge public/private partnerships. That’s the David and Goliath here.
The Common Core movement is not about what’s best for children. It’s about greed and political control. A simple test: if Common Core was about helping students achieve legitimate classical education, wouldn’t the Common Core experiment have been based on empirical study and solid educator backing?
Did the authors of the Hogwash article really not know that Common Core wasn’t based on anything like empirical data but simply fluffed up on empty promises and rhetoric, from the beginning.
Where’s the basis for what proponents call ”rigorous,” ”internationally competitive,” and “research-based?” Why won’t the proponents point to proof of “increased rigor” the way the opponents point to proof of increased dumbing down? We know they are fibbing because we know there is no empirical evidence for imposing this experiment on students in America. The emperor of Common Core is wearing no clothes.
Many educators are crying out –even testifying to legislatures– that Common Core is an academic disaster. I’m thinking of Professors Christopher Tienken, Sandra Stotsky, Thomas Newkirk, Ze’ev Wurman, James Milgram, William Mathis, Susan Ohanian, Charlotte Iserbyt, Alan Manning, and others.
The National Review authors insist that Common Core is not a stealth “leftist indoctrination” plot by the Obama administration. But that’s what it looks like when you study the reformers and what they create.
First, let’s look at the Common Core textbooks. Virtually every textbook company in America is aligning now with Common Core. (So even the states who rejected Common Core, and even private schools and home schools are in trouble; how will they find new textbooks that reflect Massachusetts-high standards?)
Pearson’s latest textbooks show extreme environmentalism and a global citizen creating agenda that marginalizes national constitutions and individual rights in favor of global collectivism. The biggest education sales company of all the Common Core textbook and technology sales monsters on the planet is Pearson, which is led by mad ”Deliverology” globalist Sir Michael Barber. Watch his speeches.
He doesn’t just lead Pearson, the company that is so huge it’s becoming an anti-trust issue. Sir Michael Barber also speaks glowingly of public private partnerships, of political “revolution,” ”global citizenship” and a need for having global data collection and one set of educational standards for the entire planet. He’s a political machine. Under his global common core, diversity, freedom and local control of education need not apply.
Along with some of the gold-rushing colluders chasing Common Core-alignment product sales, there are political individuals calling educational shots, and these are without exception on the far, far left. And of these, the National Review is correct in saying that their goal to nationalize U.S. education has been happening since long before Obama came to power.
But they are wrong in saying that Common Core isn’t a road map to indoctrinating students into far left philosophy. Power players like Linda Darling-Hammond and Congressman Chaka Fattah ram socialism and redistribution down America’s throat in education policy, while Pearson pushes it in the curriculum.
It’s safe to say that Linda Darling-Hammond has as much say as anyone in this country when it comes to education policy. She focuses on “equity” and “social justice” –that is, redistribution of wealth using schools. Reread that last sentence.
Darling-Hammond has worked for CCSSO (Common Core developer) since long before the standards were even written. She served on the standards validation committee. She now works for SBAC (the Common Core test writer); she also consults with AIR (Utah’s Common Core test producer) and advises Obama’s administration; she promotes the secretive CSCOPE curriculum and more.
Study her further here to learn the groups she works for, what’s in the books she writes, how many times she quoted herself in her report for the U.S. equity commission, and what she said in last summer’s speech to UNESCO about the need to take swimming pools away from students.
So yes, there is an undeniable socialism push in Common Core textbooks and in the Department of Education.
The National Review’s authors claim Common Core won’t “eliminate American children’s core knowledge base in English, language arts and history.” By cutting classic literature by 70% for high school seniors, they are absolutely doing exactly that. The article says that Common Core doesn’t mandate the slashing of literature. Maybe not. But the tests sure will.
What teacher, constricted by the knowledge that her job is on the line, will risk lowering the high stakes student scores by teaching beyond what is recommended in the model curriculum of the national test writers?
And that’s the tragic part for me as an English teacher.
Classic literature is sacred. Its removal from American schools is an affront to our humanity.
Common Core doesn’t mandate which books to cut; the National Review is correct on that point; but it does pressure English teachers to cut out large selections of great literature, somewhere. And not just a little bit. Tons.
Informational text belongs in other classes, not in English. To read boring, non-literary articles even if they are not all required to be Executive Orders, insulation manuals, or environmental studies (as the major portion of the English language curriculum) is to kill the love of reading.
What will the slashing do to the students’ appreciation for the beauty of the language, to the acquisition of rich vocabulary, to the appreciation for the battle between good and evil?
We become compassionate humans by receiving and passing on classic stories. Souls are enlarged by exposure to the characters, the imagery, the rich vocabulary, the poetic language and the endless forms of the battle between good and evil, that live in classic literature.
Classic stories create a love for books that cannot be acquired in any other way. Dickens, Shakespeare, Hugo, Orwell, Dostoevsky, Rand, Marquez, Cisneros, Faulkner, Fitzgerald– where would we be without the gifts of these great writers and their writings? Which ones will English teachers cut away first to make room for informational text?
The sly and subtle change will have the same effect on our children as if Common Core had mandated the destruction of a certain percentage of all classic literature.
How does it differ from book burning in its ultimate effects?
Cutting out basic math skills, such as being able to convert fractions to decimals, is criminal. Proponents call this learning “fewer but deeper” concepts. I call it a sin. Common Core also delays the age at which students should be able to work with certain algorithms, putting students years behind our mathematical competitors in Asia.
For specific curricular reviews of Common Core standards, read Dr. Sandra Stotsky’s and Dr. Ze’ev Wurman’s math and literature reviews in the appendix of the white paper by Pioneer Institute. (See exhibit A and exhibit B, page 24.)
The National Review claims that the standards “simply delineate what children should know at each grade level and describe the skills that they must acquire to stay on course toward college or career readiness” and claim they are not a ceiling but a floor. This is a lie. The standards are bound by a 15% rule; there’s no adding to them beyond 15%. That’s not a ceiling?
The article claims that ”college and career readiness” doesn’t necessarily mean Common Core. Well, it does, actually. The phrase has been defined on the ed. gov website as meaning sameness of standards to a significant number of states. I would give you a link but this week, so oddly, the Department of Education has removed most of its previous pages. You can see it reposted here:
The article insists that Common Core is not a curriculum; it’s up to school districts to choose curricula that comply with the standards. Sure. But as previously noted: 1) all the big textbook companies have aligned to Common Core. Where are the options? 2) Common core tests and the new accountability measures put on teachers who will lose their jobs if students don’t score well on Common Core tests will ensure that teachers will only teach Common Core standards. 3) Test writers are making model curriculum and it’s going to be for sale, for sure.
The article falsely claims that “curriculum experts began to devise” the standards. Not so: the architect of Common Core ELA standards (and current College Board president) is not, nor ever has been, an educator. In fact, that architect made the list of Top Ten Scariest People in Education Reform. A top curriculum professor has pointed out that the developers of Common Core never consulted with top curricular universities at all.
The article claims that states who have adopted Common Core could opt out, “and they shouldn’t lose a dime if they do” –but Title I monies have been threatened, and the No Child Left Behind waiver is temporary on conditions of following Common Core, and for those states who did get Race to the Top money (not my state, thank goodness) the money would have to be returned. Additionally, every state got ARRA stimulus money to build a federally interoperable State Longitudinal Database System. Do we want to give back millions and millions to ensure that we aren’t part of the de facto national database of children’s longitudinal school-collected, personally identifiable information?
The article states that the goal is to have children read challenging texts that will build their vocabulary and background knowledge. So then why not read more –not less– actual literature?
The article also leaves out any analysis of the illegality of Common Core. The arrangement appears to be illegal. Under the Constitution and under the General Educational Provisions Act (GEPA) the federal government is restricted from even supervising education.
GEPA states: “No provision of any applicable program shall be construed to authorize any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, or over the selection of library resources, textbooks, or other printed or published instructional materials by any educational institution or school system…”
And for those still believing the federal government isn’t “exercising direction, supervision or control” of the school system, look at two things.
1. The federal technical review of tests being mandated by the Department of Education.
2. The federal mandate that testing consoria must synchronize “across consortia,” that status updates and phone conferences must be made available to the Dept. of Education regularly, and that data collected must be shared with the federal government “on an ongoing basis”
3. The recent federal alteration of privacy laws that have taken away parental consent over student data collection.
Finally: the “most annoying manipulation tactic” award for the National Review Article is a tie between the last two sentences of the National Review article, which, combined, say, “Conservatives used to be in favor of holding students to high standards… aren’t they still?” Please.
Let’s rephrase it:
Americans used to be in favor of legitimate, nonexperimental standards for children that were unattached to corporate greed and that were constitutionally legal… Aren’t we still?
On Glenn Beck’s show today, two Utah teachers, David Cox and Christel Swasey, joined Emmett McGroarty of the American Principles Project and Sherena Arrington in a discussion about Common Core State Standards. The show was excellent and if you would like to watch the entire show, sign up for a free two week trial on Glenn’s website and look for the episode from today (3-14-2013). Here’s a few clips from the show.
Segment on Data Collection
Segment on Math Lunacy and Freedom Issues
When the Utah State School Board Committee accepted a $39 Million bid from American institutes for Research to facilitate new computer adaptive testing for Utah school children, parents wanted to know more about them especially when an article in the S.L. Tribune raised a few red flags.
“The American Institutes of Research is a Washington D.C.-based not-for-profit. It’s the only organization already delivering statewide adaptive tests approved for use under federal education law, which requires all states to give end-of-year tests to hold schools accountable, said Martell Menlove, state deputy superintendent.”
This statement made it seem that AIR had not really participated in a bidding process, but instead had the contract in hand all along.
Partnerships between The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and AIR adds to suspicion as well as common views of both organizations on Social Justice and LGBT issues and their heavy push to “transition” schools into the Gates model.
AIR’s mission statement reads, “AIR’s mission is to conduct and apply the best behavioral and social science research and evaluation towards improving peoples’ lives, with a special emphasis on the disadvantaged.”
What is this organization’s social science research telling them and how would they go about improving lives?
In, Helping Families Support Their Lesbian, Gay,Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Children BY CAITLIN RYAN, Ph.D., A.C.S.W. Director, Family Acceptance Project™ – San Francisco State University, a brief funded by AIR a mother relates the following story:
Support Your Child’s LGBT Identity
Even When You Feel Uncomfortable
“Shondra started to get real depressed in 5th grade. She didn’t talk much anymore, and she spent a lot of time in her room.
“When she was little, she didn’t like to wear a dress, but she was sweet and would let me dress her up. But by the time she was 9, she started to hate wearing dresses.
“And now, well, my momma and I didn’t know what was wrong. I thought she was being willful and disobedient. Then the counselor at school asked us to come in and talk with her.
She said that Shondra had another name at school. She asked the other students to call her Darnell and she dressed like a boy, with a boy’s name.
“The school counselor told us about transgender. We never heard of such a thing. She thought that Shondra was transgender and she gave us the name of another counselor.
They told us what Shondra, I mean, Darnell was feeling when we tried to dress her up and be a certain way. They said that for our child, the way we were acting felt like we were rejecting her. They showed us that children like this get very depressed, and they are at very high risk for suicide when their family tries to make them act like a girl.
“We were shocked. We had no idea. So we got our child help and he’s much happier now.”
TYRA AND SHIRLENE, MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER OF A 12-YEAR-OLD TRANSGENDER YOUTH
Not too long ago, girls fitting Shonda’s desciprtion were called tomboys and given a chance to grow up and find out who they really were before labels like “trangender” were applied and they were sent to counselors so they can learn how to deal with it.
In another story from this same brief, parents are counseled to leave their churches and to find churches that are more accepting of their LGBT children.
Find a Supportive Faith Community for Your LGBT Child
“We live in a conservative community. Religion has always been very important in our lives and we wanted to raise our children in the church.
“But after we learned that our son was gay, we knew we had to find a congregation that would welcome our son.
“A friend told us to look on the computer, so we looked for a church that supported gay people. We found an open and affirming church and we started a group for LGBT youth with the youth minister at our new church. There were no services for gay youth until we started the group. We meet at the church and every time we meet, 50 gay youth come, and have a place to get support, to make new friends, and to learn about their lives.”
MARTA AND LUIS, PARENTS OF A 17-YEAR-OLD GAY SON
•Other advice provided in this brief:
•Connect your child with an LGBT adult role model to show them options for the future.
•Support your child’s gender expression
•Work to make your congregation supportive of LGBT members, or find a supportive faith community that welcomes your family and LGBT child.
How old are these children?
“Adolescents in our research for the Family Acceptance Project TM (FAP) said they were attracted to another person of the same gender at about age 10.
Some knew they were gay at age 7 or 9. Overall, they identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, on average, at age 13.4. Their families learned about their LGB identity about a year later.”
Should seven, nine, or even 13.4 years old children be labeled LGBT?
Are these really the views of American Institutes for Research?
Near the end of the brief there is a disclaimer stating:
“The opinions expressed herein are the views of the authors and do not reflect the official position of the U.S. DHHS, SAMHSA, CMHS. No official support or endorsement of CMHS, SAMHSA, or DHHS for the content of the practice brief is intended or should be inferred.” Notice that American Institutes for Research is not part of this disclaimer.
American Institutes for Research is not included because they collaborated on the brief with the National Center for Cultural Competence and the National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health of the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development.”
Read the entire brief here:
American Institutes for Research also maintains the TAP site which is Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health where some of the following topics are covered:
•Strengths and Silences: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students in Rural and Small Town Schools Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) (2012) Drawing from 8,584 students surveyed across the U.S., this report highlights the experiences of rural LGBT youth, a population often overlooked. As the report shares, 81% of rural LGBT youth felt unsafe in school. The report concludes that a greater focus on safe and inclusive learning environments is necessary, especially for rural youth.
Talking About Suicide & LGBT Populations(PDF) •Movement Advancement Project; Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation; American Foundation for Suicide Prevention; Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network; Johnson Family Foundation; The Trevor Project Shares recommendations for discussing suicide, in daily conversation and in social media, especially in light of recent news coverage of the suicides of LGBT youth, which has resulted in the potential for suicide contagion. This report also discusses the promotion of public conversations around the well-being of LGBT people, family support and acceptance, and help-seeking behavior for LGBT individuals at risk for suicide.
•The Impact of Homophobia and Racism on LGBT Youth of Color Advocates for Youth (2007) Illustrates the need for competent care to address the unique challenges experienced by LGBTQ youth of color, including economic and cultural disparities and elevated risk-taking behavior.
Tips and Strategies for Taking Steps to Cultural Fairness Advocates for Youth (2007) Provides information to individuals who work with youth about the impact of discrimination on young people and how culturally competent, empowering programming can help address their needs and emphasize their assets.
There are many other articles on the topic of LGBT children and youth put together either primarily or with help from American Institutes for Research. Here are a few:
How You Can Better Support LGBT Youth & Families http://archive.brookespublishing.com/author-interviews/fisher-70823-interview.htm
True Colors, Inc. Sexual Minority Youth and Family Services http://www.ourtruecolors.org/pdf/TC-16-resource-guide-final.pdf
AIR Experts Co-author Volume on Improving Emotional and Behavioral Outcomes for LGBT Youth
D.C. Family Court Hosts Annual Interdisciplinary Conference; Focuses on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth
AIR’s Human and Social Development Program Releases New LGBT Section of Interagency Working Group Website
AIR ties to Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation:
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is pushing the adoption of Common Core with a commitment to spend $354 Million (second paragraph on page 11) http://www.commoncoresolutions.com/PDF/education_brief.pdf
The Gates Foundation has been working with AIR since at least 2005.
The National Evaluation of High School Transformation is a collaborative effort between the American Institutes for Research and SRI International.
This work, which began in 2001, is supported through funding by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Creating Cultures for Learning: Supportive Relationships in New and Redesigned High Schools is part of an ongoing series of reports based on the evaluation of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s high school grants.
Why is this troubling?
1. American Institutes for Research refers to LGBT “CHILDREN & Youth and so AIR is an organization that believes not only in the sexualization of children, but in labeling and counseling those children at a very young age.
2. AIR has been hired to conduct computer adaptive testing for Utah students, but concerned parents have never been able to find out from either School Board Members OR the State Board who would be writing the questions and who would be reviewing the questions. Will parents be able to have control over written questions? Will parents have any control over data collected by AIR?
3. Taking into consideration AIR’s position on churches opposed to homosexuality, is AIR really a great fit in a largely conservative religious state like Utah?
4. AIR also has an unfavorable opinion of rural communities of which Utah has many.
5. AIR values and attitudes concern parents who don’t want education to be about sexuality. Utah parents are already concerned about the amount of time students spend in assemblies learning how to brush their teeth, escape a fire, say no to drugs, say no to pornography, say no to bullying, watching films unrelated to core subjects, CTE classes, maturation programs and sex education, doing busy work, taking standardized tests, attending silly assemblies and generally goofing around. Students spend so much time in these activities when many are struggling in basic subjects like math and reading.
6. Some parents question if AIR in fact did go through a fair and reasonable bidding process or if, “It’s the only organization already delivering statewide adaptive tests approved for use under federal education law, which requires all states to give end-of-year tests to hold schools accountable,” awarding AIR the Utah contract was a forgone conclusion.
7. Neither the Gates Foundation nor AIR represent the values of many, many Utah parents. In a recent blog post Cherilyn Eager wrote, “Parents scratch their heads when their kids grow up to be agnostic – or even atheistic – after they raised them in a religious home, wondering how this could have happened. Republican elected officials who vote for these liberal, agnostic, socialist education policies (after receiving campaign funding from these corporations) wonder why their voters are dwindling and, according to a Gallup Poll, those with socialist leanings are now around 36% of the electorate.”
When all is considered, why are we allowing these groups to influence Utah students?
More information to add to this post. AIR is another big contract winner that it turns out was involved in the creation of CCSS from the beginning. AIR was the organization that conducted the International Benchmarking, “Using a series of state, national, and international tests, researchers at the American Institutes for Research (AIR) benchmarked state performance standards to international standards.″ – Phillips, Gary W. (2010). http://www.showmeinstitute.org/publications/testimony/education/915-avoid-common-core.html
“International benchmarking: State education performance standards.” American Institutes for Research. View online here
AIR’s benchmarking is irrelevant because there’s no tests of Common Core to benchmark yet and no comparison of standards ever took place.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch, but we all get excited about getting something for nothing. The internet is full of free stuff and has radically altered the way we engage with each other and is one of the greatest disruptive innovators in history.
Open source software has helped change the way we view software business models. Now open education initiatives promise to do the same thing for education and disrupt things in a major way.
Many people are aware of MIT’s online courses you can learn from for free, and then there’s Apple’s iTunes U project which allows for all kinds of material to study from a wide variety of sources. Other open education initiatives invite contributors to license their content and educators are able to purchase it from them.
So how could open education be a bad thing when sharing knowledge like this seems so wonderful? Knowledge is a wonderful thing. Being able to learn is at the center of human growth and joy. However, when knowledge isn’t true, or when it is used to indoctrinate into a political ideology, there is a great danger to society.
George Soros’ name is well-known. As a billionaire he has used his vast resources to take down the economies of a few countries, fund many leftist organizations such as ACORN, SEIU, MoveOn.org, and the ACLU (and over a hundred others). When he invests his resources, it is because he sees an opportunity to promote his far-left agenda.
Soros’ Open Society Institute recently partnered with the Department of Education to promote a global education initiative. Part of that initiative is to fund the “open education” movement. George Soros doesn’t invest in things he can’t feel a measure of control to advance his agenda.
This is eerily reminiscent of the agreement signed by the Gates Foundation with the United Nations education organization UNESCO in 2004 to create a global education system. The Gates Foundation soon put things in motion to bring about the nationalization of the American education system first, to advance the global education movement. He did this by donating millions of dollars to the National Governor’s Association and the CCSSO (Council of Chief State Superintendents Organization) to create Common Core. Gates then paid the national PTA two million dollars to ignorantly promote it nationwide. Overall, the Gates Foundation has put over $100 million into creating and promoting Common Core.
President Obama’s secretary of education, Arne Duncan, is a big supporter of the Open Education movement and wants teachers to have access to the world’s knowledge. I mean, it’s great that teachers are going to have that access in free resources, but who is going to prepare those materials? Who will review and approve them? (Hopefully not the same people that did the Jordan and Granite math textbooks)
Soros has funded his Open Society organization with $400 million to promote his agenda.
It’s the same agenda that Arne Duncan often talks about and is associated with the United Nations Agenda 21 movement. The big buzzword is “sustainability” and Sec. Duncan is all over it. Sustainability is meant to be the carefully couched word that means everyone needs to recognize we have limited resources and someone a lot smarter (and more powerful) than you should be in control of determining how you live, eat, and breathe. It is part of the United Nations’ and George Soros funded Agenda 21, which is a blueprint for global communism by control of populations and property. It has a variety of paths it advances through, but the green movement is a major part.
In a speech Sec. Duncan gave to the Sustainability Summit in 2010, he opened his views up to the world. I recommend you read his talk if you are interested in the full meal deal, but here are some relevant clips.
“We at the Education Department are energized about joining these leaders in their commitment to preparing today’s students to participate in the green economy, and to be well-educated about the science of sustainability. We must advance the sustainability movement through education.
We need to support activities that provide a variety of educational and training opportunities for teachers and students. A lot of important work is happening at the local levels in states and districts. Maryland is close to adopting a requirement that high school graduates demonstrate environmental literacy before they earn their diploma.
The U.S. Green Building Council is working with school districts and universities to incorporate green technology into schools. These schools not only are good for the environment, they provide a better learning environment for students—and they are cost efficient. The council is bringing together the nation’s strongest advocates for education—representing more than 10 million members across the country to build a national infrastructure of healthy, high-performance schools that are conducive to learning while saving energy, resources and money. I’m especially excited to hear that this fall the coalition will be reaching out to groups beyond education in the private and public sector. There’s a federal role in supporting this work. We fund the National Clearinghouse on School Facilities, which is a national leader in helping K-12 leaders make school facilities green and sustainable.
…But their work goes beyond our infrastructure. The team is working to create policies that support state efforts to prepare students for jobs in the green economy. At the initiative of the green team, the Department recently issued grants to five states to develop career pathways that will support the green economy. These career pathways will define the academic knowledge and vocational skills that students will need to prepare themselves for green jobs in architecture, agriculture, energy, transportation and waste management. The National Research Center for Career and Technical Education is working closely with these states and, where appropriate, with the business community to design the programs of study that will lead to success in the green industry.
…But our commitment has to be about even more than career pathways. It also has to prepare all students with the knowledge they need to be green citizens. In our Blueprint for Reform, the Obama administration is making an unprecedented commitment to promote a well-rounded education for our children. And for the first time, we are proposing that environmental education be part of that well-rounded education.
The Blueprint is our proposal to reauthorize and fix the No Child Left Behind Act. As many of you know, NCLB held schools accountable for student achievement in reading and mathematics. That has led to a narrowing of the curriculum, and no one—teachers, parents, or students—is happy with the state of affairs. We want all students to have access to a well-rounded, world-class curriculum—and that curriculum should include environmental literacy. For the first time ever, the Department of Education will be supporting locally developed models that teach environmental science.”
Isn’t it a little strange that the Obama administration is giving waivers from NCLB for adopting Common Core when 2 years ago he said they were going to reauthorize and fix NCLB? Hmmm, could it be that Common Core, *IS* the re-authorization and fix they were looking for?
Did you notice that Duncan mentions going beyond schools into groups in the private and public sector? That may be part of what’s called 21st Century Schools and Utah is now implementing them through a *FEDERAL GRANT* (ie. strings attached) serving 99 community sites and 21,000 students. What could possibly go wrong with this? Look at page 4 of this document to see the type of indoctrination that is happening.
Some readers will be familiar with John Goodlad from emails I’ve sent out in the past. Goodlad is a prominent national educator and came to BYU in 1983 to help set up the Public School Partnership with surrounding school districts. In 1986 he invited BYU’s Education Department to join his NNER (National Network for Educational Renewal). In time, he fundamentally transformed the education department to almost fully adopt and endorse his agenda. BYU’s Ed dept. even hosted one of his national conferences a few years ago and Goodlad had a conference promoting social justice in the classroom a year ago, and had terrorist/educator Bill Ayers as a keynote speaker at his national conference a year or two ago as well.
Charlotte Iserbyt was a senior policy advisor in the Department of Education during the Reagan administration and she documented the effort to dumb down America by copying documents and publishing a book you can get for free online called, The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America. In that book, she calls Goodlad, “America’s premier change agent.” His agenda is to fundamentally transform America through the education system.
Goodlad’s agenda is termed the “Agenda for Education in a Democracy” (AED) and by Democracy he literally means direct Democracy, moral relativism, and not the republican form of government the Constitution guarantees to us. In all of the United States there are 30 Goodlad designated “AED Scholars” who he trusts enough to bestow this honor on. Utah is home to at least 4 of them. There are 2 at BYU in the McKay School of Education, and 2 in Alpine School District’s administration. I could provide many quotes from Goodlad, but here are a few relevant ones that illustrate his agenda.
“Educators must resist the quest for certainty. If there were certainty there would be no scientific advancement. So it is with morals and patriotism.” (Education for Everyone, p. 6.)
“Most youth still hold the same values of their parents…if we do not alter this pattern, if we don’t resocialize, our system will decay.” (Education Innovation, Issue 9.)
–John Goodlad: “Report of Task Force C: Strategies for Change,” Schooling for the Future, a report to the President’s Commission on Schools Finance, Issue #9, 1971.
“[schools] should liberate students from the ways of thinking imposed by religions and other traditions of thought.” -John Goodlad, “Education and Community,” in Democracy, Education, and the Schools, Roger Stone, pg. 92.
“Public education has served as a check on the power of parents, and this is another powerful reason for maintaining it.” – John Goodlad, Developing Democratic Character in the Young, pg. 165
“It is my expectation that Teacher Education for Democracy and Social Justice will become a rich resource for continuing this multi-layered conversation-from democratic belief to democratic action-that is the hallmark of educational renewal.” -John Goodlad’s forward to “Teacher Education for Democracy and Social Justice,” Nicholas Michelli and David Lee Keiser
“Enlightened social engineering is required to face situations that demand global action now… Parents and the general public must be reached also, otherwise, children and youth enrolled in globally oriented programs may find themselves in conflict with values assumed in the home. And then the educational institution frequently comes under scrutiny and must pull back.” - Dr. John I. Goodlad, ”Guide to Getting Out Your Message,” National Education Goals Panel Community Action Toolkit: A Do-It-Yourself Kit for Education Renewal (September 1994); 6
Better re-read that last quote. The goal is globally oriented programs like the International Baccalaureate which is a UNESCO partnership program emphasizing sustainability teaching to children and collectivist, socialist indoctrination. Watch the video at the bottom of this page for some very alarming quotes including the anti-family, pantheistic agenda UNESCO espouses.
Another buzzword by educators is a goal of critical thinking training in schools. The purpose of this is to teach and indoctrinate children to think critically about the morals and teachings they have received at home and church. As I have said elsewhere, this doesn’t mean all your children’s teachers in public schools are following this philosophy and trying to indoctrinate them. It just means that they are being fed this philosophy in schools of education and they are susceptible to it and some are passing it on event inadvertently because they trust schools of education where they are told things like “all the studies show this is the best way to teach.” The Texas GOP just added a section to their party platform opposing this indoctrination.
We also see that Goodlad recognizes that when parents wake up to these facts, sometimes they rebel and then it causes the educators to “pull back” for a time. That’s why he says that “parents and the general public must be reached” or else the values they teach children in the home will conflict with the values Goodlad intends to put upon them in the classroom, namely socialism and moral relativism. This is where those 21st Century Schools and Community Learning Centers come in to allow for parents to come and get the steady stream of “sustainability” education.
One of the great misconceptions at BYU’s McKay School of Education is that they can push Goodlad so heavily and not have the negative aspects of his agenda seep through to students, teachers, and administrators. In Alpine school district, at least one school bought and passed out one of Goodlad’s books for every teacher and area legislators a few years ago. They can say they don’t believe *everything* Goodlad teaches when you press them on it, but when you hang his posters in the halls and put up plaques with his quotes on them, and openly praise him, you’re sending an overpowering signal to people that you agree with his humanist, moral relativistic, atheistic, social justice, anti-family philosophies. Goodlad gains nationwide credibility when his organizations show he’s a partner with BYU.
Key to the effort of 21st Century Schools is a cradle to grave database tracking system that will hold data on citizens. One of the requirements of Common Core grant funding was to set up a statewide longitudinal database. In Utah this was called the P20w system for preschool to grade 20 (college graduation) to workforce. This is the same Outcome-Based Education nonsense that was defeated in the 90’s by concerned citizens. Mark Tucker wrote a letter to Hillary Clinton after Bill was elected congratulating her and outlining things he would love to see happen to nationalize education and make schools little more than training centers for society’s central planners to determine at early ages where children should go into the workforce. It’s all happening now. Career aptitude tests are being prepared for kindergarteners and 3rd graders, and under Common Core in Utah, by 7th grade students are placed into a math track that will determine what their top math level will be when they graduate.
So where is the Open Education movement today? In the state of Utah, the State Office of Education has fully embraced Open Education initiatives. In January of 2012, they issued this press release stating:
“The Utah State of Office of Education (USOE) today announced it will develop and support open textbooks in the key curriculum areas of secondary language arts, science, and mathematics. USOE will encourage districts and schools throughout the state to consider adopting these textbooks for use beginning this fall.
Open textbooks are textbooks written and synthesized by experts, vetted by peers, and made available online for free access, downloading, and use by anyone. Open textbooks can also be printed through print-on-demand or other printing services for settings in which online use is impossible or impractical. In earlier pilot programs, open textbooks have been printed and provided to more than 3,800 Utah high school science students at a cost of about $5 per book, compared to an average cost of about $80 for a typical high school science textbook.
…The decision to pursue open textbooks at scale comes after two years of successful open textbook pilots led by David Wiley of Brigham Young University’s David O. McKay School of Education. Each pilot was conducted by the BYU-Public School Partnership in partnership with the Utah State Office of Education. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation provided funding. Mathematics and science textbooks will be based on books originally published by the CK12 Foundation, a not-for-profit organization based in California founded with the mission to produce free and open source K-12 materials aligned to state curriculum.”
Interesting that this is funded by the Hewlett Foundation, a foundation with close ties to George Soros and the Gates Foundation, and has as one of its goals, population reduction through family planning and reproductive services (last 2 paragraphs here).
As noted in the press release, David Wiley at BYU is in charge of Utah’s pilot program and he has listed his resume online. Among his accomplishments he lists the following: Director, USU Center for Open and Sustainable Learning; Founder, Open High School of Utah; and Associate Director of the Center for the Improvement of Teacher Education and Schooling (or CITES for short). CITES is the Goodlad training center at BYU for teachers and administrators in the BYU Public School Partnership districts to get indoctrinated in the Goodlad educational philosophy before stepping into their roles of shaping our children’s minds. CITES is an organization we have previously written up for not cooperating with an audit that Orem Senator Margaret Dayton was pursuing.
This isn’t to say that David Wiley and all the other people associated with CITES and BYU’s MSE are bad people (David is actually very pleasant in email correspondence I’ve had with him). They’ve just embraced parts of a philosophy that I believe is destructive of American values. No matter how noble some of their goals are like providing open education resources, significant dangers lie ahead. Soros and his education partners are powerful globalists with money and influence looking to push their agenda, and now that the framework is in place, they will pump propaganda into open source materials.
In fact, it appears to have already reached Utah through these types of channels. The recent Granite & Jordan school district math textbook fiasco with textbook problems full of inappropriate leftist propaganda (link 1, link 2, link 3) was a result of copy/pasting math problems from open source materials according to one school board member. People like George Soros know that as schools move toward cheap, open materials, they can insert thousands of propagandizing, social justice type questions which will wind up being thoughtlessly inserted into textbooks for students. No true “critical thinking” skills are required for copy/pasting math problems from one source into another and Utah’s population is as gullible and ready to accept this nonsense as anyone. Even the NCTM has added a new book for teachers on how to teach for Social Justice in the classroom.
Some people will continue to try and dismiss all of this and label it a “conspiracy theory” in the hopes that busy or thoughtless people will ignore it. There is no need to theorize about what is happening in education. It’s plain and simple, out in the open, conspiracy fact. Anyone can research and read exactly what this is all about and I encourage people to read the information in all the links above where it is abundantly clear. In their own words they are moving the national education system into a global system to indoctrinate children. This agenda will be even more obvious in the next article posted to the site.
The chart below illustrates the behemoth that was set up by the federal government and “conspiratorial” partner organizations like the Gates Foundation, PRIOR to them enticing the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State Superintendents Organization with $20 million to get together and create a set of Common Core state standards. They didn’t care what the states developed, they just wanted them all on the same page tied to the same federal strings that would light up this network and be the final piece in the puzzle of nationalizing education. Why has the Gates Foundation put over $100 million into the creation and promotion of Common Core? Because in 2004 they signed an agreement with UNESCO to create a global education system.
To see a fairly detailed timeline on the implementation of Common Core, please read this post titled The Common Core Lie.
Please share this information with friends, neighbors, and your legislators. It’s not too late to work together to get Utah off federal money which accounts for less than 12% of Utah’s annual education budget revenues (page 4). Being off the federal funds will allow us to chart our own course as it should be.
As for the open education movement, there is a tremendous amount of good that can come from sharing true knowledge and making it freely available. However, much greater scrutiny must be exercised by schools and districts in selecting materials appropriate for students. Much greater involvement from parents examining their children’s school work must also be attended to. With broad-based submissions in the open education space, comes a serious quality control issue. This can be seen both in instances of propaganda finding its way into Granite and Jordan School District’s, and if Jordan school district really had “unsolvable” problems in their book, clearly the materials they chose to use weren’t vetted well, indicting both the author of those materials, and the individuals selecting the materials to use.
Last night, former gubernatorial candidate and talk show host, Morgan Philpot posted online a link to this alarming article from the Daily Caller:
According to NBC affiliate KUSA, Denver Public Schools is implementing a new system to evaluate teachers. In order to achieve a coveted “distinguished” rating, teachers at each grade level must show that they “encourage” students to “challenge and question the dominant culture” and “take social action to change/improve society or work for social justice.”
The new DPS teacher assessment system, called LEAP (Leading Effective Academic Practice), stems from state legislation passed in 2010 and is overwhelmingly funded by a $10M grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
We already knew that the Gates Foundation was the driving force behind Common Core, funding the NGA and CCSSO to come together and develop them, but in this spreadsheet provided by the Pioneer Institute, they’ve been able to track publicly available grant information on the Gates Foundation website that shows they have put over $100 million into the development, approval, and promotion of Common Core standards. Check out the spreadsheet for yourself.
Gates Foundation Funding of Common Core (Spreadsheet)
You have to wonder why even someone as wealthy as Gates would put so much money into the Common Core standards.
On Tuesday, July 10th, four experts on Common Core from out-of-state came to Utah to speak with the Governor, legislators, and the public. The videos below show two of their presentations. The audio on the public presentation is better than the legislator luncheon video so you may want to watch it.
We hope you will watch this presentation in its entirety to become better informed and educated on this vital issue of our day. If you would like to make a contribution to assist our efforts in spreading the truth about Common Core, please click the Contribute link to the right and select Common Core in block F. We appreciate your support and encourage you to share this video and other resources with friends and neighbors.
90-second Teaser from the public meeting Tuesday night
Full public meeting presentation
Full presentation to legislators
If you have been following the Common Core movement, you know that it was the Gates foundation that pushed for and funded the creation of the Common Core standards by pumping nearly $20 million into the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State Superintendents Organizations. It is the goal of the Gates Foundation to create a global education system, but beyond that, they are involved in some very invasive classroom technologies as well.
High Tech Biometric Bracelets to Be Worn by Teachers and Students
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has just granted Clemson University $498,055 to work with members of the Measuring Effective Teachers (MET) team to measure engagement physiologically with Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) bracelets. Students and teachers are to wear these devices to measure excitement, attention, anxiety, boredom or relaxation in order to measure teacher effectiveness. Read more…
Gates Funds Functional MRI’s for School Children to measure brain activity
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave a grant for $621,285 to the National Commission on Time & Learning to study the electronic bracelet and functional MRI’s for children. Functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, is a technique for measuring brain activity. It works by detecting the changes in blood oxygenation and flow that occur in response to neural activity. It is non-invasive, safe for the subject and easy for the experimenter to use making it a popular tool for imaging normal brain function – especially for psychologists. Read more…
(Update: 5/6/13 The Gates Foundation has taken down the link above. Here is a screenshot of the page they have removed. Click to enlarge.)
Gates Funds High Tech Temporary Tattoo for Collecting Brain and Muscle Signals. Developer Envisions Use in Education.
Described as an electronic “tattoo”, the device is a wearable patch of circuits, sensors, and wireless transmitters that sticks to the skin like a temporary tattoo. It can be placed over an existing tattoo to minimize attention. Electrical signals from the brain and skeletal muscles transmit the information wirelessly to an external computer. “…efficient union(s) between brains and machines is a central theme of (Todd) Coleman’s research and he envisions endless applications in areas such as military operations, gaming, education…” Read more…
Gates Sponsored Organization Urges Dept of Ed to Increase Learning Time at School in Order for Districts to Qualify for Race to the Top Grants.
“The National Center on Time & Learning (NCTL) submitted a very detailed comment on the Department of Education website urging the Department to incorporate expanded learning time in the upcoming round of Race to the Top, which is focused on individual school districts as opposed to states.” http://www.timeandlearning.org/race-top-recommendation
Teachers to be Videotaped During Class Along with Wearing Biometric Bracelets
“The goal of the (Gates Foundation) MET project is to improve the quality of information about teaching effectiveness available to education professionals within states and districts—information that will help them build fair and reliable systems for teacher observation that can be used for a variety of purposes…This information will include videotaped classroom observations, student surveys, tests of teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge, and analyses of student assessment data to examine achievement gains over time.”
Texas: Students Will Be Tracked Via Chips in IDs
Northside Independent School District plans to track students next year on two of its campuses using technology implanted in their student identification cards in a trial that could eventually include all 112 of its schools and all of its nearly 100,000 students. District officials said the Radio Frequency Identification System (RFID) tags would improve safety by allowing them to locate students — and count them more accurately at the beginning of the school day to help offset cuts in state funding, which is partly based on attendance. Read more…