All posts by Alisa Ellis

Are you ready to have national science standards in UT?

Have you ever been told ‘we would NEVER adopt the national science standards’?   I have; numerous times from many elected officials.

I started to push back against the Common Core reforms in early 2012.  We warned this wasn’t simply about a set of standards.   We warned there is more coming down the pipeline.  The move to centralize and control education is moving at a rapid pace.  We warned there were national science and social study standards waiting in the wings.  We later warned there were national sex ed standards.  We warned and warned and warned.

More often than not our pleas seem to fall on deaf ears….at least with decision makers.

In September of this year I was appointed to serve on the State science standards review committee.

The committee consists of 5 parents appointed by the Senate, 5 parents appointed by the House, and 7 subject experts appointed by the board chair.  On paper that sounds like a measured and balanced approach.

The committee doesn’t have the feel of a parent committee, more like a who’s who in science committee with a couple of “regular” parents thrown in.  Arguably, they are parents too, but that wasn’t the intent of the committee.

These committees can be manipulated to pick and choose who are the chosen few to have a real say in what is happening.   The law already required parental input so I don’t feel the committee is necessary.

I know the state office was frustrated so many “anti-common core” parents were chosen and I’m concerned the USOE (UT State Office of Education) is manipulating the process.

First, they sent a list of parents they recommended as being chosen to the Senate and House.  Isn’t that sweet?

Second, prior to the meeting I was sent a link to the current science standards with the assignment to thoroughly review the standards.  I knew that the state office had already started working on new standards so why spend so much time looking at standards that are already on their way out.

Third, prior to the meeting we were also sent a pro-common core propaganda piece to help prepare for my meeting.   That really bugged.

Fourth, upon arrival at the meeting we were assigned seats.  I’ll never know for certain if our names were carefully arranged or not but it did seem to be that the “parents” were surrounded by “experts”.   I just happened be to sitting by the lead writer of the national science standards.

Fifth, two members of the “writing” committee were also on the “review” committee.  Does that even make sense?

Sixth, a good portion of the beginning of our meeting was devoted to explaining the purpose of the meeting and they made it clear the meeting was definitely NOT to talk about Common Core.  Do they realize the entire reason the committee exists is BECAUSE of Common Core?

Seventh, we were strongly encouraged not to speak to each other outside of the meeting in smaller groups and to only communicate with the entire committee because this was a “collective” effort.

Eighth, we were repeatedly encouraged NOT to blog about the meeting because that would just be awkward at our next meeting…oops.

In all seriousness, I planned on following their request because everyone was really nice and I enjoyed the conversations I had with committee members but the more I thought about the meeting and how manipulated it was the more resolve I felt to let people know.

Ninth, we spent over an hour going over the current, intended to be thrown out, standards.

At 11 AM, one hour to the close of our meeting, we finally received the draft standards and broke up into committees to discuss.  That does not leave enough time to look much at content.  The staff was going to close comments at the end of our meeting but I cited the law and asked that we have more time to submit feedback.

******Sorry for the bitter tone, everyone was very nice BUT I did feel manipulated and that bothered me.******

Now on to the standards….

The proposed standards are…….dun, dun, dun….

IDENTICAL to the Next Generation Science Standards! (NGSS)  Is anyone surprised?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.

I went to the meeting expecting to see this.

I would give you proof with a side by side comparison but in order to be able to leave the meeting with the draft copies, I had to sign a non-disclosure statement that I wouldn’t make any digital copies.  Lucky for you they’re publicly available online for your perusal and enjoyment.

Feel free to download a copy here:

Currently, UT is only changing our 6-8th grade standards so look at Middle School Standards.

The “writing” committee carefully reformatted each page and only put one standard on a page instead of multiple.

Each page contain the same few basic elements.

  • The standard or Performance Expectation
  • Clarification Statement
  • Assessment Boundary
  • Cross cutting Framework

Here is an example of one page from the NGSS:

Example page out of the NGSS
Example page out of the NGSS

Now let’s take a closer look:

The red arrow points to the standard’s identity and the green box outlines exactly what the standard  or performance expectation is.

NGSS standards example 1
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The green box is outlining the clarification statement.

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The Assessment Boundaries are now outlined in green.

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Below is a portion framework developed by the National Research Council.

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From the A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas ( 2012 ):

The National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers have developed “Common Core State Standards” in mathematics and language arts, and 43 states and the District of Columbia have adopted these standards as of early 2011. The anticipation of a similar effort for science standards was a prime motivator for this NRC study and the resulting framework described in this report.

To maintain the momentum, the Carnegie Corporation commissioned the nonpartisan and nonprofit educational reform organization Achieve, Inc., to lead states in developing new science standards based on the NRC framework in this report. There is no prior commitment from multiple states to adopt such standards, so the process will be different from the Common Core process used for mathematics and language arts. But it is expected that Achieve will form partnerships with a number of states in undertaking this work and will offer multiple opportunities for public comment.

Sound familiar?  Same players, same tune…

Underneath the colorful framework boxes is listed the Common Core standards that go along with each standard.

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Click for clearer image

There were some changes made in the proposed draft  and I’ll list them out generally here and will be able to get more specific at a later date.

  • UT added a Root question to help arrange the standards by topic
  • Clarification Statements- the majority are the same but the writing team did add to, delete (minimal), re-order and rephrase
  • Assessment Boundaries – some changes but very little
  • Framework – IDENTICAL

The important part is that the standards are 99.9 % the same with the exception of one word that was left out.  I’ve been communicating with the State Board of Ed and it doesn’t appear that any board member knew the national standards were being used.  Most seemed to think we were updating our old standards.

The Next Generation Science Standards were scored a C by the Fordham institute.

Fordham said that the current UT standards were clearly superior to the NGSS.  In fact there are 14 states with clearly superior standards.  If this were truly about raising achievement, those state standards would be our guide not sub-par standards with a very clear political bent.

Here’s the full review:


In fact, Utah’s current standards are rated higher than NGSS. Why are we intent on lowering our standards?

Citizens in Kansas are currently suing their state board of ed.  From their website:

The Complaint alleges that the implementation of NGSS “will have the effect of causing Kansas public schools to establish and endorse a non-theistic religious worldview,” in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Start researching now and be prepared to comment during the 90 day public comment period.

Public comment begins in December but there is no reason we can’t urge the state board to throw these out and start over.  Elections are next week, find out where the candidates stand on the Next Generation Science Standards.  Call, text, write and plead with the current state board to go back to the drawing board.  Utah students deserve better.

Online Brainstorming Session

We need to capitalize on the energy following last night’s “We Will Not Conform” event. Let’s work together to strategize and organize to kick Common Core and all it’s entanglements to the curb!  In the comment section below post your ideas on how to take action now and organize locally. Here are some ideas to start:

  • Make T-shirts
  • Yard Signs
  • T-shirt design contest
  • Hold an organizing convention
  • Organize by District
  • Radio Ads

Comments will only be approved if they’re positive, constructive, and don’t involve name calling.

“You’re looking at me as though I’m weird…”

Guest Post by Tammy Jensen who attended the Cedar City debate last week. Video will be posted soon.

“You’re looking at me as though I’m weird. My [Goodness]! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the Devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the Devil! It’s in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the Devil! Most of mankind has believed in the Devil, for all of history. Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the Devil.”

This is a quote of indignation from Antonin Scalia, Justice of the Supreme Court last week when an incredulous New York Times reporter heard his response to a discussion of heaven and hell and responded with an air of intellectual superiority.

Late last night, as I was driving home under a beautiful starlit sky, my own thoughts brought Scalia’s comments back to my mind. I was returning from a Common Core debate where a dedicated and to me impressive Superintendent defended Iron County using Common Core. She had a colleague with her, explaining the Common Core curriculum. I left respecting the individuals who took part in the debate. I approached the gentleman afterward and said,

“You didn’t convince me that the Core was good, but you convinced me that YOU are good.”

So much so, that on the way home, I had to ask myself, “Why do I so wholly disagree with his stance? Why do I hear really fantastic sounding words and objectives, but I can’t seem to overcome the deep knot in the pit of my stomach whenever Common Core is praised as the next great thing for our kids?”

My answer in this conversation was surprising, even to myself. The root, the bottom line, the “core” of my opinion lies in the fact that I believe in the Devil. I really do. Not the cute little red man on the shoulder of cartoons, not the vague stories of yesteryear when those old fashioned people were superstitious, and not the scary ghoulish monster sometimes portrayed on Halloween – though there is likely truth to all these portrayals.

I believe in a being of eloquence, cunning, patience, persuasion, seduction, and excellence in his craft, which is a lust to control the souls of mankind.

There was a gentleman there. He was crazy – it was an obvious fact! He didn’t have a fancy suit on, and he could’ve used a haircut and a shave – not to mention his baggy jeans and t-shirt. He came to the microphone and started to speak, pouring out concepts paid for in heavy study, yet mixed with deep frustration and perhaps fear – yes, as his ramblings went on, it was fear, fear for his country, fear for his children. The moderator hurried him along, and his frustration built until he blurted out, “I don’t want my children being brainwashed with communism!”

I happened to glance at the Superintendent who burst out with incredulous mirth at this statement. And I thought of a time in my life when I felt similar to her, but more on that later. What I wanted to ask her was,

“Ma’am, do you even know what communism philosophy is? Have you read the writings of Marx – deeply? Do you understand the difference in basic principles between Lenin and say, George Washington. Do you know what ideas prepared fertile soil for the extermination of over 20 million people? In knowing these things, then can you see where and how our current principles of government line up with these ideologies? If so, then what’s so funny?”

(By the way, if she hasn’t read these things, it’s understandable. Mrs. Dulaney has obviously been spending her time in pursuit of excellence in her field. She knows her job, and works it well. This question is more of an invitation that perhaps there are things going on that we all would do well to understand – thoroughly. Because these things, if not known can (AND HAVE THROUGH OUT HISTORY), undermined ALL other worthy pursuits in society.

If I knew she was still listening, I would go on,

There’s a guy in the Book of Mormon, which is one of my religious texts, named Mormon, and I don’t know if he wore the proverbial “Rolex” of his day, but it doesn’t sound like he was all that popular with the leaders of his society. Maybe he looked a bit more like that crazy guy that stood up…I don’t know, but he said that he was sending a letter through time to you and me. In that letter he speaks of “secret combinations”… extensively. He said, that the secret plans helped power hungry people obtain kingdoms and great glory. I don’t know exactly what Mormon was talking about when he says kingdoms and great glory, but it sounds impressive, …I bet it looks impressive too – I’ve spent much of my life being impressed by this sort of thing — in fact it’s a pretty hard habit to break. But back to secret combinations…

He said they were had among all people and have caused the destruction of his people and the people of Nephi (another civilization), following with the observation that the nation of the gentiles (that’s us) would be in danger of the exact —-same —- fate. He says, “WHEN, (not if, WHEN) ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation.”

He also notes that these secret combinations…

· Seek to overcome the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries.
· It’s ABOVE you. (not gangs in CA, ABOVE you in power)
· Built to get power and gain.
· Built up by the devil.

Built up by the devil. I believe in that guy, and I believe Mormon when he says that there will be a nasty plan that could threaten the agency of the whole world.

So back to when I thought like Mrs. Dulaney.

I have a friend that I realized was starting to go crazy about 10 years ago. I told her so, many times over the course of a few years. She didn’t LOOK crazy though, so I stayed friends with her. At that time, I was petrified with how I “looked”. I sure as heck didn’t want to be WEIRD, so I lectured my friend whenever the topic started making any sort of sense or made me the least bit uncomfortable.

One trip, however, changed everything. She happened to show me irrefutable evidence that all was not well with our government. (At the time George Bush was the president.) I couldn’t reason it away. I went through sort of a mourning time in coming to recognize that what I thought was sound, true, good, STABLE, might not be. However, I had to know more, I had to understand. For the next 3 years I studied. I studied the writings of Marx, current affairs, the writings of Whittaker Chambers, the writings of Ronald Reagan, the writings of Hitler, ancient philosophies of Plato, Aristotle, and Machiavelli. I studied the founding of America – what ideas produced freedom, which in the big scheme of things, HARDLY EVER HAPPENS. I asked why it hardly happens! I don’t entirely understand what drove me to inhale the amount I studied, but I wasn’t closed to hearing any viewpoint.

Currently I realize that I am a baby with my studies, I hardly know a thing, however, I know enough to see that all is not well. It’s disturbing when you hear your government officials saying things that sound more like the “bad guys” you’ve read, than the “good guys”. I learned that when government does things that don’t make sense, it is not because they are stupid or incompetent. It is because they have a different agenda. The more I unearthed that agenda the more everything started making sense.

One day I was reading my religious text and there it was! Oh my gosh, I’d never SEEN it before! All my studying took me to the 4 points outlined by Mormon when he claims that “he saw our day”. Oh, my gosh, 1-check… 2-check… 3—big CHECK, (there is POWER and a big pot of money to be had), and 4 – check – because I believe in that guy.

1· Seek to overcome the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries.
2· It’s ABOVE you. (not gangs in CA, ABOVE you in power)
3· Built to get power and gain.
4· Built up by the devil.

What does this have to do with Common Core? Everything. Alisa Ellis spelled it out in precise and researched terms last night. I refer you to her for a more in depth study of the facts and figures, the trails and back roads. (Pay attention to the power and gain parts)

The devil, for all his faults, has a most beautifully effective virtue. Patience.

His plan has been laid for all ages, creeds, races, and genders. Americans have been wise to protect their children from the rigors of society for most of it’s history. Great is the spiritual prize of him/her who has governance and power over children. It’s a sacred trust, always known by intuitive mothers and fathers. What is the rationale to change that structure now? What is the motivation, besides dollars, to rush to the bureaucratic lords of government and business with outstretched arms, trusting that they have the best interests in mind for our children?

Those that understand the basic tenets of socialist philosophy can easily see it seeping into our national discourse. When studying educated societies that allowed the horrific scenes of the 20th century to be perpetrated on their neighbors and associates, one wonders how it could be possible. In the most simplistic terms, I think it’s because they didn’t believe in the devil, and so, they didn’t educate themselves on his plan, prepare for his tactics, or the fruits of those tactics. By the time it was fully unleashed, it was too late to organize and gain strength for good through unity.

Taking us back to the debate last night, when I observe good – very good people bursting into laughter at the mere association of common core with communism, I wonder if the core of the problem is that we just really don’t believe in the Devil. Yah, we might SAY we do, but not really.




by JaKell Sullivan


In the 1830’s, when Alexis de Tocqueville visited America he was fascinated to find that the backwoods pioneer was better educated than the aristocrat in Europe.(1) How was this possible? Because Americans uniquely understood the power and significance of self-government. They were motivated self-learners who pioneered a restoration of the correct principles of good government by studying from the best books, including the Bible. They knew that in order to protect their newly established Republic, they would have to understand history and the political principles that would protect their freedoms.

Today, we see a move away from self-learning as more and more citizens understand less and less about self government, and depend on government to dictate the type of education they will get. Not surprisingly,  Washington bureaucrats, along with self-proclaimed education reformers, have stepped up to mandate what our children should learn by standardizing our system, collecting data on students, teachers and principals, and making education about human capital instead of humanity. We should not be surprised when this strains the student-teacher relationship and stifles inspired learning.

While countries like China and Singapore are trying desperately to move away from their entrenched standardized education systems—citing a lack of entrepreneurship and intellectual creativity in their citizens(2)—America is fast-tracking standardization. And, Utah is along for the ride. Whether they know it or not, Utah’s Education Excellence Commission(3) is following President Obama’s Equity and Excellence Commission(4) and “2020 Vision Roadmap,” (5) through the President’s five pillars of education reform to complete his aptly named “cradle to career” federal remake of K-12 education. Meanwhile, Utah’s Education Task Force meetings (6) show that, to this point, they are hearing almost solely from groups who subscribe to standardization and the human capital model of education.

The human capital model of education is the endgame for central planners who have let profits and power blind them to the reality of what constitutes true learning. Some of our state and business leaders are selling this model with the words “college and career readiness” and President Obama’s “2020” mantra without realizing that they are setting up a power structure to redistribute wealth and resources among states, and to provide a continuous pipeline of profits for elite education reformers. This power shift could impale our representative form of government and eliminate parental rights to direct the education of our children.

Why are the same profit seekers who are behind the human capital model also behind the push for Common Core national standards that 45 states have already adopted? Because national standards are the wheel that will steer states into national testing, national curriculum, and national data collection—setting us up for a backseat ride straight into their human capital model of education.(7)

Education is a multi-billion dollar enterprise for unelected reformers like David Coleman(8), Jeb Bush(9), and Bill Gates who plan to collect data on each student’s skills and try to micromanage their job opportunities while taking tax payer money to pay for it and profit from it. They, and others, have built corporate foundations, created data collection businesses and made deals with curriculum publishers and government officials that reveal their motivations. Bill Gates admitted in a 2009 United States Legislative Conference that national reforms were about building a “uniform customer base,” not educating great thinkers.(10)

Why are we following these unelected profiteers down a path where they take control of our children’s educational opportunities and treat them like cogs in a managed economic wheel? Even if they are well intended, their vision is flawed and the history of the decline of great nations proves it. They envision a society of workers. Our vision should help us stay true to who we’ve always been—a nation of creators.

As parents, we are inspired by our children’s imaginations and ingenuity! We know that they are clever, resourceful and original! They will become great contributors to society as we help them develop their innate talents and abilities, not because reformers standardize their educations to “compete” with other standardized nations in the “21st century economy.” Sameness does not create leaders.

It’s time that we the people, as parents and local school districts, create a brighter and wiser vision for our children’s education based on our beliefs about what constitutes true learning. But, in order to do that, we need legislators who will reinstate the principles of federalism.

I am calling on Utah’s legislators to pioneer a restoration. Restore local control over education. Get Utah out of the reformer’s backseat before standardization is too entrenched. Decide that the group-think mentality and human capital mantra coming out of national reform conferences and meetings held to woo our state, business and education leaders must not be allowed to be legislated. Be the check on the federal government, and unelected reformers, you were elected to be. Grant power back to local board members who know us and can truly represent us and our children at the local level where needs are best met.

As our elected representatives, you can help Utah lead states in restoring America’s original ideals of exceptionalism and individualism, not standardization. If we buy into the human capital model, we will soon find that we’ve lost something much more valuable than money— the heart and soul that makes us who we are, and the entrepreneurial spirit that beckons every child with the words, “Follow your dreams!”


1. Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville.

2. AASA Journal of Scholarship and Practice, “Common Core State Standards: An Example of Data-less Decision Making, Dr. Christopher Tienken.

3. Governors were encouraged by national reformers to establish Education Excellence Commissions. Utah’s was formed in 2010. Reformers use these commissions, & their government relationships, to push federal policy down through states. The state policies coming from Utah’s Education Excellence Commission mirror President Obama’s Equity and Excellence Commission’s “2020” goals and “2020 Vision Roadmap.” Many leaders on the state commission may not be aware of this fact.

4. President Obama’s Equity and Excellence Commission, housed within the US Department of Education, is charged with redistributing wealth using America’s education system. Their report “For Each and Every Child” to Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, explains how government can partner with key business leaders to bypass America’s Constitutional structure & complete a federal/reformer’s remake of our education system by mandating the redistribution of money, & principals & teachers who are considered by the federal government to be “highly effective.”
See also:

5. President Obama’s “2020 Vision Roadmap” to reform America’s education system into the German model.
The “2020 Vision Roadmap” was written by Linda Darling-Hammond who helped create Obama’s Equity and Excellence Commission in the US Department of Education. Darling-Hammond chaired the Model Standards Committee for the Council of Chief State School Officers which co-produced Common Core Standards.  She is in charge of content specifications for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia (SBAC). The SBAC is one of two testing consortia for Common Core Standards & was funded with Federal Stimulus funds. She is an advisor to American Institutes for Research—Utah’s new Common Core testing agent that is partnered with SBAC. She was also a creator of the politically-biased, anti-Christian and anti-American CSCOPE curriculum that was investigated in full hearings in the Texas Legislature in the spring of 2013. See: “Threat of Subpoena Produces Texas Curriculum Records”

6. Utah’s Education Task Force. See “Meeting Minutes”

7. See Footnote 10: Bill Gates video clips #5 and #6

8. David Coleman, “Architect of the Common Core, sells Grow Network to McGraw-Hill” in 2005.
“Architect of Common Core Appointed to Lead College Board & align SAT to Common Core.”
David Coleman founded Student Achievement Partners who played a lead role in developing Common Core with funding from the Gates Foundation.

9. Jeb Bush, Foundation for Excellence in Education.
Foundation for Excellence in Education funding from the Gates Foundation:
Jeb Bush created Chiefs for Change to train state superintendents in the reform agenda. “Emails Link Bush Foundation, Corporations and Education Officials”
Jeb Bush, Common Core:

10. Gates Foundation.
“Gates, Pearson Partner to Craft Common Core Curricula”
Bill Gates defines the “crisis” in education to the National Conference of State Legislators in 2009, & explains why national standards, federal assessments, aligned curriculum, and national data collection are necessary reforms. (7 Clips)
Video Clips #5 and #6 show the agenda behind Common Core to be to “unleash new markets” for the profiteers behind education reform.
Clip #5: Bill Gates tells state leaders they should join in national standards, federal assessments and curriculum
Clip #6: Bill Gates tells state leaders they should take federal stimulus funds for longitudinal data systems
Additional resources:
“Governors Implementation Guide” for Common Core Standards. This guide was created by the producers of Common Core—the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers—with funding from the Gates Foundation. None of them are elected.
Utah’s STEM push is federally led and part of the government/business partnership touted in Obama’s Equity and Excellence Commission’s report. It calls on state leaders to establish partnerships with key business leaders in order to bypass America’s legislative process, and thereby, citizen representation. The goal behind the federal STEM agenda is to redistribute wealth, & resources like principles & teachers, from suburban communities to urban cities & minority groups.
President Obama’s 5 Pillars of Education Reform

What’s your story?

I got an email late Friday night, before the State convention, asking if I’d have both a 1 and 2 minute speech prepared for the GOP resolution opposing Common Core.  Of course I would!  The hard part was trying to determine what I would say in 2 minutes or less.  How do you narrow down a gigantic tangled web of monstrosity into a short concise message?  I was also living on 3 hours of sleep as I’d been working on adding to Allyson’s rebuttal to the USOE’s flier and adding all the sources.  I was tired and had to get up at 4:30 to make it to the convention in time.  Ahhh!

All I could do at that point was write down a few bullet point of things I wanted to cover and then hope it all came together in the morning.  I slept soundly and woke up early but pushed snooze until 5 AM and then was on my way.  I saw my dear friend Christel when I got there and told her I needed to write my speech still so I’d brought my laptop.  She said, “I wrote it for you on the way down the canyon.”  She went over and put some final touches on her thoughts.  I didn’t end up using Christel’s words but will post them below.

After spending 3 hours talking to person after person about Common Core, I finally made my way to the convention floor.  It was a long day and I very much enjoyed being a part of the process and talking with so many people that I’ve come to know over the past year.  Midway through the day my speech started to come to me.  I wrote down a short version and a longer version.

The time was getting close.  I was watching the mics closely to make sure I’d get a chance to speak.  There were lots of people lining up for the other resolutions and I wondered if some were lined up already to speak about Common Core.  I went up and asked and those standing in line were waiting to speak about immigration.  Phew…  A little more time.

The time came and some of the men from the previous resolution didn’t leave.  I was nervous that they were all there to speak to the opposing argument but the case wasn’t so.  They were there to speak for the resolution.  I then knew I wouldn’t get a chance to speak but I am thrilled how things turned out.  By the time the speeches were over I was surprised at the length of the lines.  Did you have something to say that you didn’t get to say?

Here are the words to my longer version:

Common Core is NOT just standards.  Common Core is just one aspect of a much larger education reform package the President calls his “cradle to career” reform.  The push to strip local control in favor of centralizing or nationalizing education is not new, but the Obama administration has sought to “fundamentally shift the federal role in education” through coercive grants and waivers.

The Governor is right.  Utah MUST lead so let’s NOT follow 45 other states down a path toward a centralized education system.  We can’t lead by following.

This supposed state-led initiative is led by the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers or the state’s superintendents.  While those sound like official government organizations, they are NOT.  These private organizations are funded by both private businesses and the Federal government.  They are not held accountable to the people or held subject to open meeting laws.

Changing the name to Utah core doesn’t change who controls the standards.  We DO NOT own the copyright.

As Governor Nikki Haley said, states “shouldn’t relinquish control to a consensus of states any more than the Federal Government.”


My friend JaKell did make it up to the microphone and here are her words:

In September 2011, Senator Marco Rubio wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Education stating that the Obama administration bypassed Congress to coerce states into adopting Common Core. He stated that they were violating 3 federal laws and our Constitutional structure by issuing waivers to states from No Child Left Behind IF we would adopt Common Core.
In February 2012, I asked my father, a retired Utah Appellate Court judge to read the waiver Obama’s administration issued to Utah. He did. He said, “It reads like Medicaid. It could bankrupt us.”
Mitt Romney said, “I don’t subscribe to the idea of the federal government trying to push a Common Core on States, and the reason is that there may be a time when the government has an agenda it wants to promote.”
That time has arrived. Obama’s 2020 Vision Roadmap outlines the agenda:
1. Control education
2. Compel states into Resource Distribution
3. “Direct Remedy” any failure to comply
Vote YES for this resolution and encourage our State leaders to restore our representation in education.
Christel’s words:
Is Not a Utah Standards Initiative:
Teachers, administrators and parents governed by Common Core were given no voice in the creation or adoption of Common Core.  Now that we’re governed by it, how many realize that there is no amendment process?
Despite the term state-led, Common Core was not vetted by Utah legislators and teachers and parents were bypassed.   Our State Board and Governor were not elected to give away our state authority, nor to represent us on a national stage.
Inferior Standards:
Common Core rests on untested, un-piloted, unproven theories such as the theory that replacing much of our classical literature with information texts will better prepare students for college, or that slowing down the time at which math algorithms are taught would somehow benefit students  or create “international competitiveness.”  (This is hogwash.)
Unelected Boards and Consortia:
The National Governor’s Association and Council of Chief State School Officers developed and copyrighted Common Core.  Neither is a transparent organization and neither is accountable to voters.  Utah’s current testing group AIR is partnered with Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia, a federally funded Common Core testing consortia.
Let me remind you that under the 10th Amendment and GEPA (General Education and Provisions Act) law, the Federal government has no business doing federal reviews of CC tests, or promoting common standards, nor writing waivers contingent on federal standards.

What would you have said?  If you were in line on Saturday and had a story to tell, we want to hear it.  Please share in the comments below.


Local Parents to Join National Twitter Rally Opposing Common Core

All public welcome.

Parent-Led Reform has released a Twitter Guide for Dummies:

Let your voice be heard and get questions answered from leading experts across the Country regarding the Common Core Reform Agenda.  See below for information and then go to the Facebook event page and register today.




Local Parents to Join National Twitter Rally Opposing Common Core


April 13, 2013 (Salt Lake City, UT) — Utahns Against Common Core (UACC) invites concerned citizens to advocate for local control of education without leaving their homes, or lifting a finger.


Instead, they can use their thumbs to “tweet” concerns in a #Stopcommoncore Twitter Rally, hosted by Parent Led Reform, that is scheduled for Tuesday, April 16th from 10:00 a.m. to noon, MDT.


During that time, @ParentLedReform will be hosting an expert panel and a multi-state coalition of organizations like UACC to discuss reasons to #stopcommoncore by tweeting and following messages with that hashtag.


“I am fighting the common core reform agenda to bring the power of the education of my children back to the local level,” says Utah mother-turned-parent-activist Alisa Ellis.  “No parent should ever be told, as I was, by their local administrators, ‘Our control is gone.  We can do nothing.’  We must bring back local control of education so that parents have a voice.   We, the people, must stop this federal and private industry power grab over our local schools.”


More than 150 groups and individuals have already joined the rally. Many are parents who are concerned about the nationalization of education, intrusive data collecting and testing, and unproven or subpar education expectations that are related to the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI.)


The CCSSI is the product of an extragovernmental collaboration between the US Department of Education, Governors, and like-minded education reformers and vendors that was brokered by the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.


The expert panel will include:
Shane Vander Hart: Blogger and Advocate with, and Communications Consultant for American Principles Project
Emmett McGroarty: Executive Director of the Preserve Innocence Initiative with American Principles Project.
Joy Pullmann: Research Fellow with the Heartland Institute and Editor of School Reform News.
Ben DeGrow: Policy Analyst Independence Institute
Truth in American Education’s (TAE) stated mission is to shine a beacon of light directly on the government’s behind-the-scenes efforts to drastically alter American education.


“As taxpayers, parents and concerned citizens, we believe that proper respect for the American people requires that major educational changes be subject to an open and public discussion prior to approval and implementation, not the other way around,” says TAE’s Shane Vander Hart. is a multi-issue organization that projects parental power into education reform.


## is an online gathering place for Utah Parents, Teachers and Organizations to communicate and coordinate advocacy for higher standards and local control in Utah’s public education system.



Dr. Thompson speaks back…

Dr. Gary Thompson, who appeared on Glenn Beck last week, wrote another excellent brief outlining the massive data collection that will be taking place in conjunction with Common Core.

early life Thompson

A Legal & Mental Health Follow Up To “Common Core” Issues

With Common Core, we have not just the potential, but the very real threat of negligent loss of the most private data as well as no clear restrictions on private business use or dissemination, even for profit, of what was once your child’s most private, intimate information.

An analogy that struck home to us was this: Our children will have invisible yellow Stars of David on them that we can’t see and can’t restrict, but some private company or foolishly negligent government bureaucrat can see it, can make decisions based upon it, and we will never know until the consequences land squarely on the heads of our vulnerable children.  That could be placement, scholarships, employment, any number of “consequences” of our children simply being who they are, but will follow them the rest of their existence.

Even prisoners and persons charged with crimes have more rights against the taking of DNA and the restrictions on dissemination of that information than our children will have under Common Core. Anyone who cares about their personal privacy should be alarmed. And if you’re not alarmed, you should be ashamed. If you are neither alarmed nor ashamed, you probably do not have children in public schools.

Please take a minute to read this entire article and then follow the advice given by Dr. Thompson and his lawyer Ed Flint.

Personal Thoughts & Conclusion & Recommendations To Our Community:

A black doctor of forensic psychology, and a Jewish-Mormon Democrat lawyer set out to prove that Glenn Beck’s conspiracy theory surrounding issues of testing and privacy surrounding Common Core were just his typical nut bag, right wing histrionics.
We failed.

We wanted to let the hundreds of clients who have frequented our clinic, as well as the hundreds of more that will enter our doors know with a 100 % sense of surety that Common Core is harmless to their children.
We failed.
We hope we can make up this failure by providing you some expert, common sense recommendations for you to take back to your State School Boards and lawmakers:
1. Take time to read source documents. Avoid “Common Core Talking Points” as such were put out by the Utah State Office of Education, or any other local school districts or boards. Likewise, avoid any rabid attacks that lack substance; this is not a “Communist plot.” Do your job as a parent and become fully informed.  Read the materials.
2. Follow the money. In our brief three-day research project, we lost count of the many “education service” industries that had contracts out with our state government totaling tens of millions of dollars. Education in our state is a multi billion-dollar industry with financial connection webs far too complex for either of us to unravel.  If anyone involved in educating the public about Common Core has either a past,present, or future financial interest tied to it, take his or her comments with a grain of salt. Better yet, find another source.
3. The actual Common Core Standards themselves may be the next best thing to sliced bread and delivered from God himself from the heavens.  We are not curriculum experts. However, even if God’s hand delivered Common Core to my children, I would expect him to keep their information out of the hands of the Sorenson Genomic, Inc.’s of the world without my express written notification.
4. If the powers that be in your state continue with the company line that your data is 100% safe and confidential and will never end up in the hands of a private, for-profit multi-billion dollar international corporation, like Sorenson Genomics, then insist that your State government put it in writing for the world to see. In fact, make them specifically state that Sorenson Genomics and other private concerns will never have any access to your children’s data, DNA or otherwise, without your express written permission. Make them do such in a simple manner, in plain speak, not lawyer speak.  Currently, the law is extremely confusing and possibly illegal if the lawsuit cited herein against the U.S. Department of Education has any merit.  Even if spokesmen from Sorenson Geonomics of the world release a scathing denial of their potential involvement in gathering DNA data from our children, then perhaps they should be leading the charge to strengthen privacy laws so that “conspiracy theorist” such as Glen Beck no longer have fuel to their “crazy” arguments.

5. Question authority…. respectfully. The only thing this clinic has accused the state and federal education establishment of is “utter confusion.” The vast majority of your statewide leaders and state and local members of your school board are honest, hardworking and dedicated Americans who truly want this (not so common) Facebook Generation of children to be properly and effectively educated. The tone of communication on both sides of the aisles has reached a level of nastiness that is affecting the mental health of our children. If we really want to properly educate our kids, let’s tone down the rhetoric a few emotional notches. They are listening and watching.

6. Other than corporate contracts that have already been signed and implemented with various corporate, educational and political entities, what is stopping our state from taking a step back and examining issues that are truly causing concern and fear to parents and professionals in our community?

7. Contact organizations such “Utahan’s Against Common Core” and sign their statewide petition for lawmakers in our State to take a step back and fully examine all of the possible current and future ramifications surrounding the implications of Common Core.

Read the full article here: