Prosperity 2020 sent out a news alert yesterday that they need these 5 bills to pass. If you aren’t aware, P2020 is a national/state corporate effort to implement the federal reforms tied to Common Core in the federal Stimulus Package. Please read our opposition to these bills, and contact your legislators accordingly.
- S.B. 196: Math Competency Initiative (Senator Ann Millner and Rep. Francis Gibson):
This bill ties math competencies to “college and career ready” standards as a high school graduation requirement, ie; Common Core math, and further embeds Common Core testing in the state.
The rhetoric behind this bill states that these math competencies will prepare students for STEM careers and allow students to receive college credit. But, as has been reported widely, Common Core math does not prepare students for STEM careers. Sandra Stotsky, a member of the National Common Core Validation Committee, did a great write-up in the Wall Street Journal about how Common Core math will NOT create more engineers or scientists. Read that here.
CONTACT: Your House Representative (and all House membership) and urge them NOT to further embed Common Core’s fuzzy and weak math in the state of Utah. Emails can be found here: http://le.utah.gov:443/house2/representatives.jsp
- SB. 97: Property Tax Equalization (Senator Aaron Osmond and Rep. Bradley Last):
Retired Utah Appellate Court judge, Norman Jackson said, “This bill reads more like an omnibus set of regulations than a statute. It looks difficult for attorneys, State and County officials and judges to interpret and apply. It may empower the Tax Commission to micro-manage County Commissioners & Auditors, and local School Boards and Administrators.”
Conservative Columnist Stanley Kurtz said this about Tax Equalization schemes tied to Common Core, “Under the guise of what they euphemistically refer to as “regionalism” or “regionalization,” Kruglik and Obama intend to help troubled cities seize control of the suburban tax base, as well as ending local control of education and other services.” The federal end-game is to push local tax monies away from local school districts in order to regionalize education control. This will make it possible to regionalize local governments. Read about regionalization here from the founder of Achieve, Inc. who co-created the Common Core standards. Also, Bill Gates is going so far as to have Mayors sign “Gates Compacts” so that mayors control the Charter Schools in urban cities which further requires taxation to follow the child into areas where corporate cronies want to see taxpayer money flow. Remember, first, these same cronies bypassed the US Congress to initiate Common Core, now they will bypass local elected school boards and go straight to mayors. This is not how a Representative Republic works, and Utah taxpayers must be watchdogs if we intend to preserve the ability for the American dream to thrive. Isn’t part of the American Dream to buy a bigger house and move to a great school district in the suburbs? That dream dies under tax “equalization” schemes and centralized education planning.
Read where Salt Lake City’s mayor, Ralph Becker met with U.S Secretary of Ed Arne Duncan.
CONTACT: The House Revenue and Taxation Committee and urge them NOT TO PASS this Property Tax Equalization bill out of Committee. Members are:
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- HB. 198: Strengthening College and Career Readiness (Rep. Patrice Arent and Senator Stephen Urquhart):
This bill further embeds Common Core into school-level training. Its stated goal is to, “Develop a certificate for school counselors that certifies that a school counselor
is highly skilled at providing college and career counseling” and to train counselors to promote “participation in college and career assessments.” It funds training for school counselors to guide students into “college and career ready” tracks. P2020 says, “This bill provides innovative training that prepares school counselors to guide students in their postsecondary choices.” This 2012 packet from the College Board (which Common Core’s architect now heads) explains how counselors will be refocused on Common Core alignment.
Corporate interests like to tell the education establishment that they will know what jobs will be available, and when, so that students don’t go down an education path where there will be no jobs. THIS IS A MANAGED ECONOMY FOR WORKERS. America was built on the idea that agency breeds entrepreneurialism. C.S. Lewis said this about job training, “Education is essentially for freemen and vocational training for slaves…If education is beaten by training, civilization dies.”
CONTACT: Your Senator (and all Utah Senators) and urge them NOT to further embed Common Core into the state of Utah through school counselor training. Emails can be found here: http://senate.utah.gov/senators/full-roster.html
- S.B. 235: School Turnaround and Leadership Development Act (Senator Wayne Niederhauser and Rep. Bradley Last)
The 4th reform in the Federal Stimulus Package, and in states’ Waivers from No Child Left Behind, is “Turning Around the Lowest Performing Schools.”
This reform is tied into tax equalization and regionalization of local governments. Under this bill, if a public district or public charter school are deemed “failing” by test scores, they are federally mandated to be “turned around” or shut down. The Utah Association of Public Charter Schools explained it like this, “Under this process, the charter school can choose from a stable of “turnaround experts” identified by the State Board of Education to assist in changing the school’s “culture, curriculum, assessments, instructional practices, governance, finances, policies, or other areas” (see lines 176-177). This expert will work with the school to develop a plan, specific to that school, designed to increase the school’s grade. When the school and its turnaround expert complete the plan, they must submit it to the State School Board for approval.”
This bill further centralizes education control. So much for school “choice.” See the Federally-funded Center for School Turnaround for more info. Utah’s State Office of Education has a 5-year contract to run district leaders through this federal school turnaround program.
CONTACT: Your Senator (and all Utah Senators) and urge them NOT to support this bill. We do not need to put federal school turnaround mandates into state law. We should be pushing control and accountability back to the local level. Emails can be found here: http://senate.utah.gov/senators/full-roster.html
- S.B. 222: Digital Teaching and Learning Program (Senator Howard Stephenson and Rep. Francis Gibson)
This bill sets up what it calls the “master plan” to implement technology into teaching and learning in all of Utah’s schools, and is linked to “improving test score outcomes” which will require more adherence to Common Core assessments. It sets in motion (maybe without the sponsors even knowing it) the Whitehouse’s ConnectEd Initiative to replace textbooks within 5 years. See lines 301 through 338. The ConnectEd Initiative was funded through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Prior to the ConnectEd Initiative, the FCC gave a grant to the Telehealth Network at the University of Utah and that explains why the Utah Education and Telehealth Network is the entity overseeing the implementation of S.B. 222. Telehealth has nothing to do with K-12 education and everything to do with gathering data to turn schools into health and community centers. Education and Health data can be further collected and centralized under this bill. It states that it will comply with Federal FERPA laws. Federal FERPA laws have been gutted by the Obama administration so that education data can be shared for various purposes unrelated to education. This bill will foster the eventual use of stealth, embedded assessments in learning platforms.
CONTACT: Your Senator (and all Utah Senators) and urge them NOT to support this bill. We do not need to tie digital learning and teaching technology to federally funded healthcare projects. Further, we do not need a comprehensive Utah law that sees poor outcomes on Common Core assessments as a reason to mandate more technology use. Emails can be found here: http://senate.utah.gov/senators/full-roster.html