All posts by Oak Norton

Free Speech is Dead – Guard Your Child’s Curriculum

Oppression Just Ahead - Free Speech is DeadDeep within the halls of the company formerly known by the motto “Don’t Be Evil,” lurks evil. Google isn’t the only one of course. Massively huge companies setting political agendas and engaging in mass manipulation of the public is no surprise these days. You’ve got to protect *your type* of thinking after all. You don’t want someone sharing a viewpoint and convincing others it’s true if it contradicts your viewpoint and you have the power to deny that brush with truth…

Do you know what’s happening around you?

Prager U, that makes thoughtful 5-minute videos explaining different topics has had 30 of their harmless videos restricted on YouTube. Oh wait, they aren’t harmless. They espouse a conservative non-politically correct viewpoint and Google doesn’t want young people exposed to those dangerous ideas. They are now forced to sue Google owned YouTube. If you want to sign their petition or donate to their lawsuit, visit https://www.prageru.com/petitions/youtube-continues-restrict-many-prageru-videos-fight-back.

Twitter jumped into the fray this week as well in the latest undercover video by Project Veritas. They admit to Shadow Banning people where a person might have a ton of followers but those followers don’t get their tweets and they just think nobody is engaging with them.

Further proving their biased bona-fides, Twitter threatened to share Trump’s private messages, even deleted ones, with the FBI.

Try this one too: Google’s New ‘Fact-Checker’ Is Partisan Garbage

Surely this doesn’t extend to education though! That’s SOOOOoooo non-partisan that the mere idea of vetting by political parties is anathema to liberals. “Schools can’t be partisan” they cry. Wake up! They’re already as partisan as it gets and it’s destroying this country.

We already KNOW indoctrination is fully active in education. Partisan elections are to shine a light on candidates by close examination of a segment of society. No more hiding behind meaningless campaign slogans like “For the Children!” Duh! Who isn’t?

Project Veritas already showed that Pearson and other publishers were using the Common Core curriculum market they monopolize to try and change views about Christianity, the 2nd Amendment, and many other topics they have a strong bias against. Check it out here:

Common Core Investigation

That’s printed curriculum that can be viewed by parents with a little effort. So what are parents to do about digital content they can’t easily see? It’s most certainly happening and even worse. With digital platforms, you can track behaviors and attitudes and manipulate the content directly serving up what a publisher deems important for that student to be exposed to. “Intelligent” systems aren’t quite what they’re cracked up to be, and the curriculum just keeps expanding. Planned Parenthood helped create the new Common Core sex ed curriculum. The Next Generation Science Standards will be full of bias and Utah was promised we’d never go down this road yet we are. You can’t stop a freight train, but you can bail out and get on another track.

Parents, it’s time to home school or engage in something you can trust to see the curriculum. If you’ve been nervous about it in the past, it’s far easier than you realize and there are tons of resources available to you online. Protect your child not just from political indoctrination, but give them the gift of freedom of time to learn things they have a real desire to learn. There are so many ways to educate and so many more schools popping up all over the place to support these ideas. One that is opening this fall in North Utah County is Alpine Valley Academy which is a self-directed learning school. These schools tend to create 14 times as many entrepreneurs as public schools (per graduate capita). Other options abound. Just look up home school groups and ask around. Some of the charter schools in your area might be doing really creative things for home schoolers such as Canyon Grove Distance Education or My Tech High.

A Teacher’s Lamentation (and a rant)

This was posted to Facebook and I thought it worth sharing. The nonsense teachers go through is only going to increase. Those who care about teaching are retiring in droves, leaving those who don’t mind playing the game in the system which will only make it more and more difficult to get “authentic” teaching.

<rant>Unless we stop the computer adaptive tests and the INSANITY of this accountability and test culture (NOT being pushed by parents), we will destroy the next generation. Please, state board and legislators, end school accountability, school grading, computer adaptive tests, competency-based education, database tracking, and all the other soul-destroying nonsense you’ve enacted. Reverse it before it’s too late.

True accountability is between three people. Parent, student, and teacher. That’s it. If you think because it’s tax money paying for our schools that it gives you the right or creates an obligation to prove to the rest of the state and the federal government just how much standardized learning is being done in the classroom, you’re wrong.  You’re damaging teachers, students, and families. Free the schools. Free the teachers. LOCAL CONTROL IS LOCAL. Let communities run their own programs and do what’s best for families. Drop the state rules and let local schools and families do what they feel is best. Success and failure will be at the hands of the free. Not the hands of those with governmental power to dictate what should be taught and when. Where there is no agency there is no development of the mind.

Oh, and you administrators who accept this nonsense without speaking out, where’s your soul? </rant>

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A Teacher’s Story From Facebook:

Tampa Bay, Florida teacher describes growing frustrations of a system in place that snuffs out creativity and life. Is this teacher a complainer? No! They are speaking out for the sake of children and the daily damage done. “After 22 years, I don’t know if I have it in me anymore. I am a teacher. I will always be a teacher. I love teaching, but this isn’t teaching. Everything I am required to do is about preparing my students for “the test.” I spend all day, every day, ramming test prep down my students’ throats. Then I do what seems like 8,000 reams of paperwork each week to prove that I’m ramming test prep down my students’ throats. There is no joy in this for them. I see their blank faces with eyes glazed over. There is no fun or excitement in learning, for they are not really learning.
This past weekend I spent literally every waking hour working, taking breaks only to do laundry and prepare food for my son. I wrote my lesson plans with all of the required “non-negotiables” included and explained. I examined my data to make decisions about what skills might need some reteaching and what skills could be practiced and reinforced in centers. I dutifully created my differentiated centers and made them rigorous (a term that has no business in education). I printed off copies of things on my own printer, using my own ink and paper, because we only get 1000 copies per month. I laminated, cut, and put things in folders to make sure I was all ready for today. Then, in the middle of my ELA block this morning, my principal walked in to do a walk-through. Apparently, this go round was focused on centers because she asked to see mine as she did for all of my teammates, I later learned. Well, I figured this one would be easy after everything I did over the weekend. She looked at them, asked me a couple of questions, and left. My observation notification came through after school and I looked. Imagine my surprise when I received a Basic for Danielson Domain 1e: Designing Coherent instruction. My principal’s only comment… “While it’s good to see differentiated centers there needs to be paired texts and writing in your centers.” Make no mistake, I am open to criticism, especially when criticism is constructive and valid. This, however, is neither constructive nor valid. This is about playing a game. This is about making up a fault that isn’t included in the rubric when you can’t find one that is. This is about making sure that teachers don’t get too many points so we can keep those merit-based raises to a minimum.
This is what education has become. It’s a game, it’s inauthentic, it’s draining. They’re putting out the fire that has blazed inside of me. They’re destroying my soul and my passion. I don’t know what to do now. I am a teacher. I will always be a teacher. I love teaching, but this isn’t teaching.”

Dr. Duke Pesta on the Dangers of Government Schools

Dr. Duke Pesta spoke at the Newquist breakfast event on 9/30/17 and gave an incredible presentation on Common Core and the dangers in and coming to public schools. Please watch this important presentation and then go register for the 2017 Agency-Based Education conference where among other inspiring presentations, you can see if home schooling is right for your family and how to get started. If not home schooling, there are loads of other options including Freedom Project Education (online private school) which Dr. Pesta works for, and many more.

Prosperity 2020 and Fascist Education

Each new thread our state government braids between the Department of Workforce Services and the education system in our state just makes it harder and harder for Utah to sever the cord being created by societal central planners. For decades, society’s central planners have wanted national database tracking from cradle-to-grave to provide for big business to have their optimum input: a well-trained workforce. Exhibit A is Marc Tucker’s letter to Hillary Clinton in 1992. Tucker and his organization have been funded by Bill Gates who as we know, funded Common Core’s creation with the CCSSO and NGA.

People no longer look to history for warnings. If they did, they might notice the dangerous parallels we are following that led to darker times in history. Soon enough, unfortunately, people will remember the phrase, “history repeats itself.”

I’m not an economist or an historian. But if anyone takes the time to study it out a little, it’s easy to see the vast framework marrying government to business (ie. Fascism) in the lucrative education industry. From the White House Learning Registry, to CEDS (Common Education Data Standards), to SLDS (Statewide Longitudinal Database Systems), everything is pretty much in place to control exactly what our children are taught, tested on, and rewarded for, and to create behavioral profiles to know just what they’re suited for…according to the central planners.

Business, which has been clamoring for a seat at the trillion dollar school table, is asked by government to step in and save the day. “Please Big Business, tell our schools what you need and we’ll make sure it’s taught so you have a properly trained workforce. We’ll ensure that no child is left behind. You just provide the list of skills and computer adaptive software they need and we’ll pay you to teach them. Don’t you worry about school boards or parents. They don’t know what’s best for their own children and with the convenience of compulsory education, your common training for the youth will become ubiquitous. We will create the greatest generation of workers the world has ever seen. (Oh, and we’ll also set up the regulations to control you for our great strategic vision.)

Anyone that studies what’s happening around the country can put this picture together without much effort, if they are willing to see it.

Now I’m NOT saying all these people involved with Prosperity 2020, the Salt Lake Chamber, or at the Utah Office of Education, are Fascists. I’m saying they are moving us toward Fascist education, wittingly or not. I’m also saying that once everything is firmly in place it’s a quick trip from governmental control point A to point B and so on. I am sure most of these good folks are just obsessed with the economy and making sure kids get jobs after graduating from high school or college. That’s certainly how most politicians get their re-election talking points!

This email from the Salt Lake Chamber instigated this article showing this connection I’m talking about.

It’s all about career training. Learn this, master this skill, take this test, etc… All pointed toward a common goal, rather than a diversity of personal goals.

C.S. Lewis said, “If education is beaten by training, civilization dies.”

Is there a role for business in education? Certainly. It just shouldn’t be setting the focus. For the rest of the story on business and family involvement in education, please check out this article by Autumn Cook on Agency Based Education’s website, called, Aligning Education with the Needs of the Family.

Classical Education, the Counter

What is the counter to workforce training education? It’s often called classical education. You can Google plenty of resources on it, but here’s a wonderful short essay by Terrance Moore called, “A Classical Education for Modern Times.” That can serve as one example. In short, one might say it is an education foundation for the mind and heart instead of training a person in skills for the workforce.

A well-trained person may always have a job based on their skill set. As long as their industry continues to exist.

A well-trained mind can learn just about any skill, and can problem solve by seeing and creating opportunities. They become the ones who run the businesses and employ the skilled laborers. There’s a reason the elite and powerful in this country send their children to expensive private schools instead of putting them in the Common Core public schools they create for the masses.

Classical education is making a strong surge, particularly among home schoolers who have given up on public education in an effort to protect their children or make sure they get the education that is right for them. Freedom WORKS for helping every child get the education that is right for them.

I hope school board members and business owners will focus on meeting the unique and diverse needs of each individual child, as seen and encouraged by their own families, rather than on the labor pool they want right now. Doing so, will in fact, solve both problems, in unexpected and magnificent ways.

 

New Data Collection Bill Sponsored by Sen. Hatch

In an almost unbelievable surprise, Senator Orrin Hatch has introduced the College Transparency Act of 2017 – along with Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) – as a “modernization” of “the college reporting system for postsecondary data in order to provide greater transparency for students, families, institutions, and policymakers.”

A press release about the bill states:

The College Transparency Act of 2017 will provide actionable and customizable information for students and families as they consider higher education opportunities by accurately reporting on student outcomes such as enrollment, completion, and post-college success across colleges and majors, while ensuring the privacy of individual students is securely protected. Most importantly, this information will tell students how other prospective students have succeeded at an institution, and help point them towards schools best suited to their unique needs and desired outcomes.

In other words, a new longitudinal database to track students. Simultaneously…

HOUSE COMPANION BILL TO REPEAL BAN ON COLLECTING STUDENT-LEVEL DATA: A pair of House lawmakers this week filed companion legislation to a Senate effort aimed at overturning a federal prohibition on tracking the educational and employment outcomes of college students. Reps. Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.) and Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) introduced legislation that would establish a new “secure, privacy-protected postsecondary student data system.” The bill would allow the Education Department to more comprehensively capture student success and employment outcomes of students, broken down by college and major.

 Both lawmakers are members of the House education committee, which is chaired by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) who has been a vocal opponent of repealing the ban, citing data privacy concerns and questioning whether it’s the proper role of the federal government to collect the information. Read the bill text here and Politico coverage from earlier in the week here.

Senator Hatch’s bill sets up:

[S]haring agreements, with other Federal agencies to create secure linkages with relevant Federal data systems, including data systems of the Office of Federal Student Aid, the Department of Treasury, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Social Security Administration, and the Bureau of the Census.

Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin also covered student data collection in a recent episode of her CRTV show Michelle Malkin Investigates.

“Rather than protecting student privacy, the government is a complicit partner in eroding it,” Malkin observed. “We’ve gone from No Child Left Behind to Every Child Data Mined.”

Malkin stressed the role of the federal government in the collection of private student data in her show commentary:

The government is not only joining in but also encouraging and mining the data of our children. Washington meddlers are already on the ground and in our schools gathering intimate information on your family. Through Common Core, the feds are funding and mandating invasive longitudinal databases, collecting highly personal information. It’s data they’ll have forever, data that can never be unseen, your children’s privacy ripped away as they tracked from womb to tomb.

“The data-mining octopus keeps growing more arms and tentacles,” Malkin recently told Breitbart News. “It’s inescapable.”

Read more at: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/05/18/bipartisan-bill-introduced-to-repeal-ban-on-student-data-collection/

Parents: 1, SAGE test: 0

Brooke Wardle posted this hilarious and awesome exchange on Facebook and gave permission for me to share it. Syd is Brooke’s child. Dr. Gary Thompson is the other one mentioned below, a friend of Brooke’s and well know to readers of this site.

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So this just happened…
Syd: Dad, my teacher is insisting I take MAP testing as an alternative to Sage since I opted out.
Me: No you don’t.
Syd: She is insisting.
Me: Tell her to call me.
Syd: I did. She said it would not matter.
Me: Hold one sec. (calls Gary Thompson) Gary, can you run by Syd’s school for me. I have you on my emergency contact list to check Syd out. They’re trying to force her to MAP test.
Gary: No problem. I’m actually only about a minute away.
Me to Syd: Syd, Gary is going to check you out.
Syd: OK

Gary walks into school to check Syd out. Principal walks out.
Gary: I’m here to check Sydney out of school or make sure she makes it to the library to work on homework while the other students do their Sage testing.
Principal: We are required to give her an alternative test.
Gary: No, actually you’re not.
Principal: It is a Utah School Board requirement.
Gary: (holds up his phone) Michelle, what is the board’s policy on this?
Michelle: She is under no obligation to take it and the school should honor the parents wishes.
Principal: Who is that??
Gary: Michelle Boulter from the State Board of Education.
Principal: Oh……
Gary: So, is she coming with me or going to the library?
Principal: She is going to the library.

Gary leaves the building
Calls Michelle back

Gary: So, what did you think?
Michelle: What was the name of that school? I need to add them to my audit list………

Boom
Parents 1 Sage testing 0

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Need info on opting out of SAGE? Go to our opt-out page which links to the state form and laws.

Rigged Assessments

Until this morning, I had never heard it summarized this well. Privacy is the foundation of freedom. On its face, the article below is not about privacy or freedom, but it is inherently part of the issue of rigged assessments. Why? Because those who have built our education system for the last century have been more interested in education as a tool for social engineering than a tool of knowledge transmission. To accomplish that goal, you must gather information about people, their behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs. There must be a loss of privacy to accomplish these goals.

SAGE exams are created by a behavioral testing company. The next alarming trend that MUST BE STOPPED, is that of embedded assessments where students don’t even know they’re being assessed. This is also a violation of privacy and another erosion of freedom. The digital age is unlocking vast potential for good and evil. Stop the evil. Read Wendy’s article and understand what’s happening. Then read this article on the Huff Po entitled “I can’t answer these Texas standardized test questions about my own poem” to see how ridiculous Common Core testing for ELA is.

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Article by Wendy Hart, Reprinted from: http://iaheaction.net/rigged-assessments/

We all know that polls can be skewed and that ‘what everybody knows’ may not be so. Similarly, assessments and assessment data can be gathered, used, and presented in various ways to feed an agenda.  Just because a child is said to be proficient on a state assessment doesn’t mean he or she actually is ‘proficient’ in the way parents want him or her to be.

When I was in school, my teachers would give us tests to help figure out how much of what they were teaching we had actually learned.  Then, the state stepped in and started giving assessments to make sure teachers were teaching what the state wanted them to teach.  And now?  We’re told the assessments are great, but we are just supposed to trust.  We can’t see the assessment questions.  The algorithms (mathematical formulas) determining which questions come next or whether you have a higher or a lower score are kept secret. The State Boards of Education or the assessment vendors, themselves, can move and change the ‘proficiency’ levels at will.

We take it on faith when a student passes a math assessment it means the student is proficient.  Is it possible to rig an assessment?  Not only is it possible, but it’s also being done all the time.  I have four examples of how the assessments are and have been manipulated to provide different results than most people expect.  This is being done without oversight, without insight into what is occurring, and certainly without permission from parents.

The first example is assessing not just what a student is supposed to know but making them do the problem in a particular way. Ask yourself, does this create a disadvantage for a child who knows the math facts but hasn’t been shown a particular way of doing things?

This problem is an example of a Common Core Math Standard from First Grade:

Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10. Use strategies such as counting on; making ten (e.g., 8 + 6 = 8 + 2 + 4 = 10 + 4 = 14); decomposing a number leading to a ten (e.g., 13 – 4 = 13 – 3 – 1 = 10 – 1 = 9); using the relationship between addition and subtraction (e.g., knowing that 8 + 4 = 12, one knows 12 – 8 = 4); and creating equivalent but easier or known sums (e.g., adding 6 + 7 by creating the known equivalent 6 + 6 + 1 = 12 + 1 = 13).   

This question doesn’t just assess whether a student knows how to do an addition word problem, but it assesses whether a student has been trained on the Making Ten Strategy as outlined in the standard.  Could a student solve 8+6 without knowing the Making Ten Strategy?  Yes, of course.  Does using the Making Ten Strategy indicate critical thinking?  Or does it simply indicate a student has been instructed in this strategy?  Would you be able to succeed as a mathematician without learning this Making Ten Strategy in First Grade? Have you successfully used addition in your life without thinking about the Making Ten Strategy?

Many parent complaints about Common Core Math come from having to show the various methods for getting the answer or having to explain why an answer is correct.

Parent:“When I was in school, we did it this way.”

Child: “I have to do it this other way or it will be marked wrong.”

One mother asked her child’s teacher if he could simply do the standard algorithm on all his math homework because the multiple strategies were causing him stress.  The teacher said if he didn’t learn the strategies, he wouldn’t do well on the state assessment.  Once the mother indicated her child would not be taking the assessment, the teacher readily agreed to give credit for just the standard algorithms.  The reason for the multiple methods?  To do well on the assessment.

A review written in 2011 by Dr. Stephen Wilson of Johns Hopkins University states the following about the Common Core SBAC test (then under development).  He says, “It appears that the assessments will focus on communication skills and Mathematical Practices over content knowledge.”

Furthermore, “Mathematical Practices, or what was usually called ‘process’ standards in most states, do little more than describe how someone pretty good at mathematics seems to approach mathematics problems. As stand-alone standards, they are neither teachable nor testable. Mathematics is about solving problems, and anyone who can solve a complex multi-step problem using mathematics automatically demonstrates their skill with the Mathematical Practices, (whether they can communicate well or not).”

In short, we see Dr. Wilson’s concerns demonstrated in the above example: the process of getting the answer is of greater importance than the actual mathematical abilities most people think the assessment should be assessing.

A second example comes from Utah’s SAGE (end-of-year) sample assessment for Third Grade. This question is supposed to assess a deeper understanding of division than simply asking if a child knows the answer to 12 ÷ 4. Unfortunately, in creating a more convoluted problem, the assessment question can be solved without knowing anything more than how to count and how to write a division problem. Division facts, themselves, are not necessary.

 

SAGE Math Test QuestionThere are lots of kids who can divide things equally by putting them in different boxes without knowing 12 ÷ 4 = 3.  Supposedly, by dragging the stars and dragging the numbers, you are assessing higher-order thinking.  But what you are really assessing is the child’s familiarity with the software interface, the format of the problem, and whether they can count and relate counting to division.  But they don’t have to know 12 ÷ 4 = 3.

Would a child who knows her division facts be able to do this problem anyway?  Most likely.  However, it is also true this question doesn’t distinguish the child who does know her math facts from the one who does not.

A third example has to do with reading comprehension.  It dates back to the 1980’s but illustrates that what is on an assessment and how it is asked can be used to manipulate and ‘direct’ a student’s thought processes.  I quote Dr. Peg Luksik who worked for Pennsylvania’s Department of Education.  From her video :

‘A sample question said: “There’s a group called the Midnight Marauders and they went out at night and did vandalism. I (the child) would join the group IF…”

“…my best friend was in the group.”

“…my mother wouldn’t find out.”

There was no place to say they would not join the group. They had to say they would join the group.’

Dr. Luksik states that while this was listed as a citizenship assessment, the internal documents stated, “We’re not testing objective knowledge. We are testing and scoring for the child’s threshold for behavior change without protest.”

Additionally, Dr. Luksik discusses another state’s Reading Assessment question: “If you found a wallet with money in it, would you take it?”

She asked, ‘Do you read better if you say “yes”? Or do you read better if you say “no”? Or were they assessing a child’s honesty on a state assessment with their name on it…?’

Clearly, these are examples of assessment questions that were not assessing either citizenship or reading as you and I would define them.

And finally, before a single Utah student took the state’s SAGE assessment in 2014, the head of state assessments warned local school board members that student test scores were going to drop by 10 or 20 points.  He also stated there was no way to correlate the previous test results with the SAGE results.  So, how did he know this?  The point was they knew what the target proficiency rate was.  Utah was looking for a proficiency rate in the 40’s.  And as they went through the process of setting those proficiency scores, they did so after the first round of testing. Then they modified the scoring to make sure the result fell within that 40% range*.  So, in one year, did Utah kids lose 20 points of knowledge?  Or does it simply mean the Powers That Be decided only 40% of the kids got to be labeled ‘proficient’ regardless of what they actually knew?

The only sure way of knowing an assessment is truly measuring academic content and grading it appropriately requires transparency with the assessment questions, the assessment methodology, and independent verification procedures.

Instead of wondering how kids are doing on state assessments and whether a school is “good” based on the assessment scores, we need to be asking what are these assessments supposed to be measuring and how do we know they really are measuring what they claim?

*Alpine School Board Study Session Audio September 23, 2014, Additional Media->Study Session @ 45 minutes. http://board.alpineschools.org/2014/09/18/september-23-2014-board-meeting/

 

Wendy Hart is the mother of three children.  She and her husband Scott have lived in Highland, UT for 17 years.  She was raised in Cupertino, CA, and moved to Utah to pursue her B.S. in Mathematics from Brigham Young University.  She has worked as a programmer and manager in several hi-tech companies in Utah, and owns her own database migration company.  Wendy is honored to serve the citizens of Highland, Alpine, and Cedar Hills, UT as a member of the Alpine School District Board of Education.

 

Comprehensive Sexuality Education

Something we should all be concerned about is the level of sexual information dispensed by the education system without parental consent or knowledge.

A few years back, we learned that the Obama administration was giving $75 million a year to Planned Parenthood to deliver comprehensive sexuality education. What are they teaching? Basically that no kind of sex is wrong, and the only “unsafe” sex is becoming pregnant. From their teaching guide:

‘Abstinence, means choosing not to do any sexual activity that carries a risk for pregnancy or STD/HIV,

We know that employees of Planned Parenthood worked on the Common Core National Sexuality Standards which moves their “education” agenda into elementary school to Kindergarten ages. Utah hasn’t adopted these yet to my knowledge, but no doubt there are those who want it implemented.

JaKell Sullivan recently received a copy of Salt Lake Magazine in which an article appeared, written by Susan Lacke, entitled, “Sex (Mis)Education.” JaKell posted this comment and quote from the article.

Our legislators will get hit hard this legislative session with the argument that we must implement Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE = Common Core-aligned global/national standards and curriculum teaching a perverted view of human sexuality) in order to fight the pornography epidemic. See this from Salt Lake magazine’s 6-Page article promoting CSE, and make sure your legislators are aware of this tactic.

“It’s hard to fight a public health crisis when we’re not sure exactly what it is. Besides, how would we fight it? Even Gov. Herbert admits the public health crisis declaration is symbolic: Herbert says it’s a step to let “our young people know that there’s a particularly psychological and physiological detriment that comes from addiction to pornography.”

…”There is little legal recourse to actually limit access to sexual imagery–the Internet will always be available on phones or laptops. Victoria’s Secret catalogues will always be in the mail. Reality TV will always have hookups and breakups and one-night stands. Dirty pictures will always be on Twitter.

Republican Sen. Todd Weiler, who sponsored the declaration, emphatically declared “no boy or girl needs to see those images to learn how families are created.” But they’re seeing them anyway. What’s more, boys and girls are actually seeking out those very images, despite being told not to. What other choice does a curious kid have?

Due to lack of proper sex education in homes and schools, many of the youth are turning to adult films and other means of media, which do no always depict healthy sexuality,” says Utah board-certified sex therapist Shannon Hickman. When parents and school are not properly educating children and young adults about sex, it can lead youth to porn for answers.”….

One reply to her post by Rhonda Hair is what triggered my desire to create this post. It’s a quote from C.S. Lewis. Always brilliant, Lewis tears this old argument to shreds.

Rhonda’s comment:

Here is good food for thought – turns out that C.S. Lewis addressed this very claim in “Mere Christianity”, chapter 5. Hopefully here’s enough to leave you wanting to study the whole chapter:

“Everyone knows that the sexual appetite, like our other appetites, grows by indulgence. Starving men may think much about food, but so do gluttons; the gorged, as well as the famished, like titillations.

“You find very few people who want to eat things that really are not food or to do other things with food instead of eating it. In other words, perversions of the food appetite are rare. But perversions of the sex instinct are numerous, hard to cure, and frightful. I am sorry to have to go into all these details, but I must. The reason why I must is that you and I, for the last twenty years, have been fed all day long on good solid lies about sex. We have been told, till one is sick of hearing it, that sexual desire is in the same state as any of our other natural desires and that if only we abandon the silly old Victorian idea of hushing it up, everything in the garden will be lovely. It is not true. The moment you look at the facts, and away from the propaganda, you see that it is not.
They tell you sex has become a mess because it was hushed up. But for the last twenty years it has not been hushed up. It has been chattered about all day long. Yet it is still in a mess. If hushing up had been the cause of the trouble, ventilation would have set it right. But it has not. I think it is the other way round. I think the human race originally hushed it up because it had become such a mess. Modern people are always saying, “Sex is nothing to be ashamed of.” They may mean two things. They may mean “There is nothing to be ashamed of in the fact that the human race reproduces itself in a certain way, nor in the fact that it gives pleasure.” If they mean that, they are right. Christianity says the same. It is not the thing, nor the pleasure, that is the trouble. The old Christian teachers said that if man had never fallen, sexual pleasure, instead of being less than it is now, would actually have been greater. I know some muddle-headed Christians have talked as if Christianity thought that sex, or the body, or pleasure, were bad in themselves. But they were wrong. Christianity is almost the only one of the great religions which thoroughly approves of the body-which believes that matter is good, that God Himself once took on a human body, that some kind of body is going to be given to us even in Heaven and is going to be an essential part of our happiness, our beauty, and our energy. Christianity has glorified marriage more than any other religion: and nearly all the greatest love poetry in the world has been produced by Christians. If anyone says that sex, in itself, is bad, Christianity contradicts him at once. But, of course, when people say, “Sex is nothing to be ashamed of,” they may mean “the state into which the sexual instinct has now got is nothing to be ashamed of.”
If they mean that, I think they are wrong. I think it is everything to be ashamed of. There is nothing to be ashamed of in enjoying your food: there would be everything to be ashamed of if half the world made food the main interest of their lives and spent their time looking at pictures of food and dribbling and smacking their lips.

“…In the first place our warped natures, the devils who tempt us, and all the contemporary propaganda for lust, combine to make us feel that the desires we are resisting are so “natural,” so “healthy,” and so reasonable, that it is almost perverse and abnormal to resist them. Poster after poster, film after film, novel after novel, associate the idea of sexual indulgence with the ideas of health, normality, youth, frankness, and good humour. Now this association is a lie. Like all powerful lies, it is based on a truth-the truth, acknowledged above, that sex in itself (apart from the excesses and obsessions that have grown round it) is “normal” and “healthy,” and all the rest of it. The lie consists in the suggestion that any sexual act to which you are tempted at the moment is also healthy and normal. Now this, on any conceivable view, and quite apart from Christianity, must be nonsense. Surrender to all our desires obviously leads to impotence, disease, jealousies, lies, concealment, and everything that is the reverse of health, good humour, and frankness. For any happiness, even in this world, quite a lot of restraint is going to be necessary; so the claim made by every desire, when it is strong, to be healthy and reasonable, counts for nothing. Every sane and civilised man must have some set of principles by which he chooses to reject some of his desires and to permit others.”

For more information watch this video by Family Watch International which explains the comprehensive sexuality education plan.

2016 School Board Candidates

Candidates for School Board that oppose Common Core.

District 10: DR. GARY THOMPSON – (Eastern Salt Lake County from I-215 to Draper including parts of Cottonwood Heights & Midvale, Sandy, Draper)
District 11: LISA CUMMINS – (Southwest Salt Lake County including South Jordan, Riverton, Herriman, Bluffdale and Northwest Utah County including Cedar Fort & Fairfield)
District 12: ALISA ELLIS – (Orem, Lindon and Summit, Wasatch, Duchesne, Daggett, Uintah Counties)
District 13: SCOTT NEILSON – (Provo, Spanish Fork)
District 15: MICHELLE BOULTER – (Washington & Iron Counties)

ALPINE SCHOOL DISTRICT, please vote for Rachel Thacker in seat 4, and Miriam Ellis in seat 6, Sara Hacken in seat 7

DAVIS SCHOOL DISTRICT, please vote for Larry Smith