Category Archives: Reference

The New Content Opt-Out Form

Parents have always had the primary responsibility and authority for their children’s education but state and local authorities, and some individual classroom teachers, often bypass family concerns and legal limitations on what can be taught to children in schools.

As such, a small group of concerned citizens created this new opt-out form and sent it to me. Please download the pdf or copy/paste the below text into your word processor, print it out, sign it, and address it to your child’s teacher and principal.


Opt out of subversive content (Click to download PDF)


Dear _______________________,

It has come to my attention that many entities within public education and the community at large, are pushing an agenda into schools that diminishes the relationship between parent and child, abolishes liberty and personal responsibility, and silences the free exercise of individual conscience.  Specifically, there are groups seeking to divide our nation according to oppressed and oppressor classes, a concept which is a prominent feature of Marxist ideology.

Therefore, please be informed that:

“Under both the United States Constitution and the constitution of the state of Utah, a parent possesses a fundamental liberty interest in the care, custody, and management of the parents’ children” (Utah Code § 62A-4a-201).

The state of Utah recognizes that parents have the “right, obligation, responsibility, and authority to raise, manage, train, educate, provide and care for, and reasonably discipline their children(Utah Code § 62A-4a-201) and “supports parents through a responsive educational system that guarantees local school communities autonomy, flexibility, and client choice” (Utah Code § 53E-2-301-3).

In the implementation of “all policies, programs, and responsibilities, the Utah Legislature, the state school board, local school boards, and charter school governing boards” are required to “respect, protect, and further the interests of parents in their children’s public education(Utah Code § 53E-2-201-2(a)).  Furthermore “political, atheistic, sectarian, religious, or denominational doctrine may not be taught in the public schools except as provided in Section 53G-10-202(Utah Code § 53G-10-402).

The Utah Legislature envisions an educated citizenry that “encompasses foundational principles including strong moral and social values, and loyalty and commitment to constitutional government” (Utah Code § 53E-2-301).

As a parent of a child or children in this school, please be advised that:

My child/children will not participate in any activities, receive literature, read text books or literary works, view videos,  attend assemblies,  take assessments, or participate in any activities that disparage the United States Constitution, any of the citizen rights guaranteed by the First Amendment, capitalism, our constitutional republic, law enforcement, the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, or the founders of Utah.

I am requesting that none of the following be used in the education of my child/children:

  • Broad negative generalizations about race and privilege.
  • Ideology of an oppressed and oppressor based on characteristics or background not on individual actions. Education should allow for diverse thinking including various religious and ideological groups.
  • Shaming children in any way based on items listed in Utah Code § 53E-9-203. For example, environmentalism that diminishes human life or disparages family size.
  • Any theory of the history of the United States of America or the state of Utah that states a need for fundamental transformation of our constitutions.
  • Diminishing self-government and personal responsibility in favor of collectivism
  • Activities that focus on victim ideology and seek to divide U.S. citizens, communities, or families and pit one group against another (e.g., heterosexism, classism, ableism, racism, Marxism, intersectionality, white fragility, identity grouping, privilege, etc…).

Furthermore, any literature, curriculum materials, assemblies, guest speakers, other media or communication made available from or through political /advocacy groups — especially those associated with “Critical Theory” or “Critical Race Theory” should not be used in the public school environment. (e.g. Black Lives Matter Inc., The 1619 Project, Comprehensive Sexuality Education, etc…)

In accordance with the parameters stated in Utah law, none of the below topics are to be addressed in the curriculum of children in the state of Utah without written parental consent (Utah Code § 53E-9-203).

  • “political philosophies;…
  • sexual behavior, orientation, or attitudes;
  • illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
  • critical appraisals of individuals with whom the student or family member has close family relationships;
  • religious affiliations or beliefs;…”

Educators are required to “comply with all federal, state, and local laws” (R277-217-3) which includes the following prohibited conduct (R277-217-2-23) “exclude a student from participating in any program, deny or grant any benefit to a student, or encourage a student to develop a prejudice on the basis of: (a) race; (b) color; (c) creed; (d) sex; (e) national origin; (f) marital status; (g) political or religious belief; (h) physical or mental condition; (i) family, social, or cultural background; (j) sexual orientation; or (k) gender identification;” LEA’s are required to report violations to the UPPAC (R277-217-5).

I give full consent for the below items to be integrated into the education of my child/children as stated in Utah law (Utah Code § 53-10-204).

  • “respect for and an understanding of the Declaration of Independence and the constitutions of the United States and of the state of Utah;
  • Utah history, including territorial and preterritorial development to the present;
  • the essentials and benefits of the free enterprise system;
  • respect for parents, home, and family;
  • the dignity and necessity of honest labor;
  • and other skills, habits, and qualities of character which will promote an upright and desirable citizenry and better prepare students to recognize and accept responsibility for preserving and defending the blessings of liberty inherited from prior generations and secured by the Constitution.”

Foundational changes being called for by a few will result in the destruction of law and order, healthy families, peace and prosperity, private property rights, and life. This is evidenced by the riots and other alarming behavior currently taking place around our nation. It is a lawful mandate, and my expectation, that public schools preserve a lawful citizenry that will carry forward the legacy and freedom ideals of this great nation.

Sincerely,

Signature:  ____________________________            Child(ren): ________________________________________

(Disclaimer: This document is intended to help parents and educators reference key parental rights laws and is not to be construed as legal counsel.)

Now a word from our Sponsor: Karl Marx

To you teachers on the front lines trying your best to teach the truth to children while under assault from the many treasonous pressures brought to bear on you, I applaud you and pray for you. To you teachers seeking to indoctrinate our students, and to those other “useful idiots” of Lenin’s who are subverting good teachers everywhere, I pray for you for entirely different reasons.

Marxism in Common Core Standards?

In 2012, then Senator Margaret Dayton invited me to join her in a meeting with then Lt. Governor Greg Bell to discuss the Common Core standards and the agenda behind it. After introductions, the Lt. Gov. said something like, “I’ve read these standards and there’s no Marxism in them.” I immediately knew what had happened. Someone in the state office of education had told him that we believed the standards taught Marxism and that by reading them he would see we were just loonies and worried about nothing.

I explained this was a straw-man argument the state office set up to make us look bad and be easy to knock over. I explained that although the standards were weak, nobody had ever said they had Marxism in them. We then dove into other aspects of the Common Core agenda designed to take over the education system nationally and then globally, and everything I was aware of at that time.

Shall Exit vs. May Exit

The Lt. Governor took a page or two of notes and was very concerned about the state of things. He asked me to draft a bill to protect Utah from federal encroachment. That bill became SB 287 and was passed into law in the 2012 session with Governor Herbert signing it. Unfortunately, the language of the bill was amended to read “the state may exit” instead of my original language, “the state shall exit.” I believe this was done at the behest of the governor’s office, and of course the state office of education.

A couple years later, Governor Herbert appeared on The Blaze TV program with Glenn Beck and when asked about federal encroachment in education and Common Core said, citing this law, “We have a law that says if any of this federal overreach somehow gets into our [education] system, we are mandated to get out of it.” That was completely false since the bill didn’t pass into law that way, but it made the Governor sound strong and gave a false reassurance to people that Utah was protected.

Over these past years, despite being warned repeatedly about federal encroachment, nothing was ever done to get Utah out of these predicaments.

Warnings Ignored

One of the other things we’ve been warning about for over a decade is the influence of Bill Ayers, John Goodlad, Linda Darling-Hammond, and others in pushing dangerous agendas into our school system. What is this dangerous agenda? Marxism but in its most clever disguises. Not in the standards, but in the curriculum, the assessments, and pumped into the heads of teachers by perverted colleges of education and professional development classes that twist the truth to make America ugly.

Just as some declare the perverse idea that communism is a form of charitable living, Marxism today is being sold under the benign sounding banner of “social justice.” But what is it? It’s about treating different people unequally while claiming to make them equal. At its core, it’s an assault on all Western values – faith, family, and freedom. They know those are the obstacles to achieving political domination. Interestingly, the very people promoting social justice are the first to condemn fascism while simultaneously promoting its fraternal twin sibling, communism.

Marxism is “the socialist philosophy and political program developed by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels” (Wiktionary). Social justice is part and parcel of Marxism. As Orwell said, some are “more equal” than others in a supposedly equal system.

When Charlotte Iserbyt worked at the US Department of Education under Ronald Reagan, she was shocked at just how bad things were 40 years ago. She called the federal Department of “Education” a “Marxist factory” and for years smuggled out documents proving the case for what they were doing to American children. You can download a free pdf of the 900 page book she wrote called “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America” from here:

http://deliberatedumbingdown.com/ddd/

I highly recommend spending some time on her site. She has done a tremendous work and service to America.

I’m not sure if she was aware of this statement during her time there, but I know she would agree they achieved this goal.

“Among the elementary measures the American Soviet government will adopt to further the cultural revolution are…[a] National Department of Education…the studies will be revolutionized, being cleansed of religious, patriotic, and other features of the bourgeois ideology. The students will be taught the basis of Marxian dialectical materialism, internationalism and the general ethics of the new Socialist society.” –William Z. Foster, Toward Soviet America, 1932 National Chairman of the American Communist Party (1933-44, 1945-57)

The communists knew they had to get the youth and destroy their foundations. President Carter was the one who finally started up the national department of education. How did the communists get so entrenched into our education system? I’m glad you asked.

The Non-Profit Organizations

Do you know why the Ford, Carnegie, and Rockefeller non-profit organizations contribute millions of dollars to the education system? (Oh and I shouldn’t leave out the Gates Foundation but they weren’t around yet for this part.)

The Reese hearings back in the 1950’s took a close look at the tax-free foundations. Norman Dodd was the primary investigator. Alger Hiss was convicted as a Soviet spy while serving as president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. A true Orwellian naming convention meaning the exact opposite. Hiss was replaced by Joseph Johnson. Dodd contacted Johnson to request an interview but Johnson was busy, and not yet knowing what he was sitting on, told Dodd he could just come look through the minutes of their meetings. Dodd pounced on this and found lengthy discussions about the actions of the foundations. From the 1911 minutes of the Carnegie group, they discussed the question, “Is there any means known to man more effective than war, assuming you wish to alter the life of an entire people?” After discussing this for a year, another set of minutes stated, “How do we involve the United States in a war?” In 1917, the minutes showed they congratulated themselves on the wisdom of their actions and had the brashness to telegram President Wilson informing him not to end the war too quickly. War devastates families and enriches those that own the military industrial complex companies.

Dodd then spoke with Rowan Gaither who was president of the Ford Foundation who openly said, the purpose of their foundation’s efforts was “to so alter life in the United States as to make possible a comfortable merger with the Soviet Union.“When Mr. Dodd suggested they make those efforts public, Mr. Gaither declined and stated that for public consumption they are guided by the 10 commandments and the constitution. This is the textbook definition of a “secret combination” or conspiracy. Publicly you put on one face while privately working to undermine a system.

These foundations have been promoting Marxism in gradual doses to bring America to the point it is a socialist nation.

The above information in this small section can be found in chapter 4 of the book, “How the World Really Works” by Alan B. Jones, which is in turn, a summary of “The Tax-Exempt Foundations” by William McIlhany.

Listen to former Secretary of Agriculture, Ezra Taft Benson share what Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev told him during a visit to America about gradual doses of socialism they were pumping into our nation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNyI78XneQU

The goal of Marxism is revolution, which stunningly, we see in America today with Black Lives Matter’s leadership openly stating they have been trained in Marxism and implementing revolution in the streets of America. It’s not about helping Black people, it’s about destroying capitalism and replacing our form of government with a communist utopia (dictatorship). This is why the de-fund police movement exists: to further push America into anarchy where institutions of law and order are eradicated and militarized Marxists fill the power vacuum. Anyone supporting this movement is an enemy of freedom and America.

Destroying Capitalism

How do you destroy capitalism? You have to destroy the middle class. Then you just have a working class where everyone is “equal” and needy, working for a ruling class that is just a little more equal. That is the essence of communism. Be in charge, till the next coup where you will be denounced and held out as a traitor for someone else to step into leadership. That’s the story of the transition of leadership in the USSR during the 20th century. Each leader was replaced by one who essentially called their predecessor’s traitors for living off the people…

The destruction of the middle class of America would never happen unless it was an inside job. The communists knew this and developed a comprehensive plan to accomplish it. Bring financial pressure on the people, erode their confidence in their own history, take over one or both of the major political parties, eliminate obscenity laws by calling them censorship, discredit the American Founding Fathers, take over the education system including schools of education where teachers are indoctrinated to in turn pass it on to students, and much more.

Cleon Skousen identified 45 of the communist goals for destroying America and that list was then entered into the official congressional record by a *Democrat* lawmaker from Florida in 1963. Here’s a link to read the 45 goals which every American should know.

https://disruptthenarrative.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/45-communist-goals-by-dr-cleon-skousen-1958/

Almost every single goal on the list can be clearly seen as accomplished. Six of them have to do with education such as softening our curriculum (ex. Common Core) and taking over our teacher’s unions and associations. It’s had tremendous success by well-placed change agents across all segments of America. Hollywood breaks down our culture, governmental officials push for straight out communism, our children are taught nonsense, and our rights are constantly under attack. Recent pandemic events are more evidence where middle class business owners were told to abandon their businesses for weeks and months on end, while big business interests with more power and clout were deemed *essential* and allowed to stay open. Tremendous damage was done to American lives, not from Covid-19, but from government intervention policies.

The Communist Manifesto: Free Public Education

When Marx and Engle wrote the Communist Manifesto, they included 10 core planks. One of them was to have a free public education system. It’s no wonder public education doesn’t teach about the dangers of Marxism. It’s got a vested self-interest in concealing the truth about its origin.

“Oh but Oak, Thomas Jefferson wanted free public education. See, our founders wanted it too!!!”

OK, what was the difference between Marx and Jefferson on public education?

Public Education ViewsJeffersonMarx
GoalPreservation of our liberty through knowledge, character, and moral educationWorkforce training and revolution
ResponsibilityEqual opportunity for StudentsEqual outcomes for Students – Teachers become levelers via social justice
AdvancementMeritocracyEnd class-based society (by creating mass poverty)
Financing & DirectionDecentralized – Locally financed and operatedCentralized – State financed and operated (removed from locals)
CurriculumLocally chosenState chosen
ValuesJudeo-Christian Biblical valuesMorally relative atheism

It makes sense that locally, parents gather, talk about what’s best for their children, and ensure they get educated. The parents stay involved and they keep costs under control because they are directly responsible for them. No one gets between them and their children. With Marx, someone is always meddling with your family values and beliefs in the name of ensuring they are taught *the right things* by *the right people.* DANGER WILL ROBINSON.

Social Justice isn’t about Equality

Why was Common Core created the way it was? Listen to one of the authors…it was for social justice (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iI11e3a0Q0k – 4:55 mark). The authors wanted to slow things down. Dumb down the bright students (see Charlotte’s work above if you’re in doubt of this) and give the lower capacity students a better chance to be at the same level. IE. Marx’s equal outcome.

Jefferson would have been strongly against social justice even in education. He was all about letting the best and the brightest of both the rich and the poor advance as far as they were able to. This is what Jefferson said on differences in public classes.

“By… [selecting] the youths of genius from among the classes of the poor, we hope to avail the State of those talents which nature has sown as liberally among the poor as the rich, but which perish without use if not sought for and cultivated.” –Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia Q.XIV, 1782. ME 2:206

In other words, let all be educated, help all to excel, and hold no one back. No social justice here.

Here’s the truth. If you believe in social justice, you’re either ignorant of what it means, or you’re anti-American. Most Americans are ignorant of what social justice is because they don’t understand Marxism. They have been taught a perverted form of charity to take care of the poor using governmental powers to confiscate the hard-earned wealth of the producers (which never reaches the poor). For those of you in the ignorant camp, please read Thomas Sowell’s essay, “The Quest for Cosmic Justice.”

http://tsowell.com/spquestc.html

Or watch this excellent Prager U video:

https://www.prageru.com/video/social-justice-isnt-justice/

Social Justice isn’t “Just”

There is nothing “just” about social justice. It is injustice. Social justice is Marxism. It’s the gospel of greed and envy. It’s the systematic destruction of institutions that uphold society, particularly the traditional family values passed on from parent to child. Instead of “work hard, get a good education, and take care of your family,” it’s “we were wronged” or as they push on the other side, “we are guilty.”

To paraphrase a prophet in the Book of Mormon, if you want justice, be just. If you want mercy, be merciful. You cannot have justice while seeking revenge or reparations (Alma 41:14). He also said, (speaking to the poor who had built synagogues of worship and then got cast out of them because they were too poor for the rich to let them in), don’t revile against your oppressors “lest ye become sinners like unto them.” I think Martin Luther King would have shared these sentiments.

One cannot be a patriotic American and favor social justice because the very foundation of America is “all men are created equal.” Not “all men should be made equal.” A conservative or liberal can be a patriotic American. But a Leftist cannot be a patriotic American. By definition they seek to overthrow the freedom of every individual and institution of traditional America.

Today’s education system is infested by Leftists. Our college schools of education pass on these subversive ideas to students who will become teachers, and they in turn pass them on to children who are indoctrinated in principles of evil. Our schools today are indeed Marxist factories.

Today’s families will need to sacrifice more by homeschooling their children or very carefully selecting individual classes and teachers that their children will actually be safe in, and by safe, I mean free of indoctrination from those that would poison their minds. I was personally made aware of two Alpine school district middle school teachers about 10 years ago teaching children that “communism isn’t that bad.” The families involved were completely caught off guard. The teachers were nice people and they had no idea they had these sentiments. Unless you speak with your children about what they are actually learning, you’d never know.

If anyone is under the illusion this has stopped in Utah, feel free to keep your head buried in the sand.

National Education Indoctrination Association

Who else is pushing this indoctrination into our classrooms? Of course, there’s the National Education Association (NEA) who promotes social justice and gets all their affiliates to do it as well.

http://www.nea.org/grants/JointConference.html

“Someone really is after us… (the NEA and its affiliates) have been singled out because of our political power and effectiveness at all levels — because we have the ability to help implement the type of liberal social and economic agenda that (they) find unacceptable.”

–Robert H. Chanin, National Education Association general counsel

The NEA is not about education. It’s about pushing an agenda.

Utah Education Indoctrination Assocation

In a recent conversation I got into on Facebook with former UEA president Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh, she indicated that “racial and social justice is critical” because that’s how to “create a great public school for EVERY child.” Yeah. It’s working out really well I think, if your goal is to INCREASE racial tension and disparity. Minorities feel underprivileged and envious, while white kids feel guilt. The truth is, there is no systemic racism in America. If you think there is, spend a little time on Prager U listening to some of the Black individuals like Larry Elder talking about real statistics:

https://www.prageru.com/search/?query=racism

https://www.prageru.com/video/larry-elder-eviscerates-the-myth-of-systemic-racism/

School children should not be subjected to this indoctrination not only because it isn’t factual, but because their brains aren’t even developed to be able to handle this kind of information. That’s why the indoctrination is done early because children can’t tell what’s happening to them. They should be focused on getting an education in the core subjects and not be subjected to this nonsense.

If you are a teacher paying dues to the UEA, you are aiding and abetting in the demise of the U.S. Constitution. If you are doing it because you need insurance, look for an alternative.

Utah State Office of Education (now going by the name Utah State Board of Education)

The current Utah State Superintendent of education, Sydnee Dickson, in a recent streaming event mentioned a couple things of concern.

https://youtu.be/qHBENQenwsg?t=8625

After announcing herself “as a white woman of privilege,” (2:24:08) she went on to share that “as leaders we have a responsibility to create mechanisms for systemic change” (2:25:10).

This is a statement of more changes to come, but what are some of the systemic changes Utah is currently experiencing?

From this page (https://stem.utah.gov/board-members/sydnee-dickson/) we read:

“Most recently Sydnee served on the national CCSSO writing committees for the InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards and the refresh of the ISLLC standards for preparing school leaders.”

What is InTASC? It’s the “Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium” and they are creating social-emotional learning standards for our children. Hmmm, what’s that?

From this news article on the Canyon’s school district website, we see Superintendent Dickson tell us we have “evolved” from character and civic education and are now moving toward a program endorsed by the U.S. Dept. of Education (giant red flag) to teach the social-emotional learning children need through a program endorsed by CASEL.

https://www.canyonsdistrict.org/general-news/12316-educating-hearts-and-minds-an-inside-out-approach-to-building-safe-schools/

Having evolved from ‘character or civic education,’ it’s building momentum alongside a growing body of research supporting its use, says Utah’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson, who also spoke at the symposium. ‘We know more about brain research than we ever have before, and social-emotional learning is part of that…’

The ‘Second Step’ curriculum that Canyons is adopting is endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education and the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL). It’s lessons are designed to help students from kindergarten to eighth grade manage emotions, solve problems in a positive way, demonstrate empathy, and focus during class.”

Who is CASEL? Their website homepage (https://casel.org/) says they “stand against racial injustice.” They created a program to combat this called Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) and state, “SEL is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”

That sounds just peachy! Lets fight racial injustice by helping children understand and manage emotions? But shouldn’t that just happen by building friendships? What’s their idea of how this will work? Have a look at their equity webinar (https://casel.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/equity-webinar-FINAL.pdf). On page 15 we see this:

  • “In addition to required funding, striving for educational equity challenges us to examine biases and interrupt inequitable practices. We can then create inclusive, multicultural school environments that reveal and cultivate the interests and talents of children, youth, and adults from diverse backgrounds (Nat’l Equity Project).”

  • “Justice-oriented global citizenship as a developmental imperative to address inequities (i.e., education, health, wealth and environment) and promote collective wellbeing ”

  • “Situated in global history of power, privilege, oppression, resistance, empowerment, and self-determination/liberation that is raced, classed, aged and gendered”

  • “Schools and classrooms as mini-polities”

  • “SEL as a viable lever for justice-oriented civic/sociopolitical development trajectories”

THIS IS STRAIGHT OUT MARXISM! Karl Marx couldn’t have written it better. In fact, I think CASEL channeled him to do it! Multi-culturalism, justice-oriented global citizenship (redistribution of wealth, global carbon taxes, etc…), treating minorities as “more equal” than majorities, and reorienting civics through emotional manipulation and behavior modification of our children, and Utah is implementing it with the full involvement of our State Superintendent!

Knowing Sydnee Dickson is a nice person to talk to, doesn’t mean she isn’t completely wrong on these things. She’s a product of dozens of conferences where this is all presented as the next best thing in education. Unless someone intentionally looks at Marxism and it’s goals and methods, you will not see why promoting these things CAUSES PROBLEMS INSTEAD OF SOLVING THEM. You become the problem instead of the solution. You get led where a change agent wants you to look so they can then alter your thinking by giving you a little truth and mixing in a set of lies and making it all sound important and right.

If you really want to know why kids are having mental and social issues in the classroom, how about being compelled to learn, sit in a chair for 990 hours a year, and have their core values and beliefs challenged as they are marched toward socialism and forced to confront things that aren’t natural for children to confront? This will inevitably lead to further intrusions into their home life which is where these people really want to affect change. We can clearly see this is the goal. Search this page for the word “family” and you’ll find some alarming things (https://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/offfeded). More on the family assault below…

Change agents

Change agents use Marxist tactics of twisting truth to make it more palatable. Occasionally they spout off something that reveals their true motives and agenda. When someone or a group follows these people (like the UEA, a school district administration, a university education department), and they get confronted with a quote like those below, their typical answer is, “well, I don’t agree with that statement but they have a lot of other stuff they’ve said which is great.” That’s called being a useful idiot. Lending your support to an individual who at their core has an evil agenda simply because you support some others of their statements. Lets start with an example of the indoctrination CASEL put out in page 8 of their guide.

Look at this cute picture. Any educator looking at this graph knows this is what we want, right. We want each child to have the support to have a chance to eat the fruit. Some need more help.

equality vs equityIn reality, what these programs do cannot be described as equality or equity. The first thing they do to help the *less smart* kids is cut off the legs of the other students who excel above them.

social justice equityThen when they determine the poor student is still learning, they cut down the tree and tell them “eat all you want” while the fruit rots and the tree dies.

social justice equity phase 2

To make everyone a winner, nobody can be a winner.

Let me give you some examples. Ever heard of Jaime Escalante? He’s the teacher in California that taught the class of *rejected students* calculus and had such incredible success they made the movie “Stand and Deliver” about it. How did he do this? High expectations. He expected the “stupid kids” to reach the fruit. That “Equality” picture above was his classroom where the students couldn’t reach the fruit and he did what any great teacher does. He helped his students reach the fruit when nobody said they could and he did it by making them work hard and not putting up with anything less than success. He gave them legs to stand on. Watch the movie.

What ever happened to him? He was too successful and embarrassed other teachers so the school district shut down his program. Tree felled.

Around 2000, California created the “green dot standards” for math. This was a program where instead of “a mile wide and inch deep” standards everyone talks about, they put green dots next to some standards and told teachers to spend 85% of their time on those standards. They were the key to mathematical learning. What happened?

California experienced massive success in increasing proficiency in algebra by 8th grade. The most awesome success came among minorities as they experienced up to a 6x increase in proficiency. This is a direct result of having high expectations and standards, and helping every student achieve. Equity achieved, right?

California's math progress

Seeing this incredible success, what did California do?

Dropped the program and adopted Common Core.

CA 8th grade drop from CCSSProgress lost. Now everyone can be equally dumb. No more smart kids whether they are white, black, or other minorities. Then chop up the tree after it’s down by reducing the difficulty of college exams so everyone feels good about their dumbed-down learning.

When I served on the Utah Elementary Math Education Committee a few years ago, as part of an opportunity for parents to review Common Core standards, I tried to show the committee the amazing success California had with these green dot standards. I waited for an opportune moment when one of the state office of education employees, Diana Suddreth, left the room. I knew that was my chance to share this success story. I passed out a flier I’d prepared with some of this information to the 15 member panel and shared why I thought Utah should adopt these standards. Unfortunately, Diana returned and completely shut down the conversation. The state office is not interested in success stories that change the status quo. They have their fiefdom and don’t want it disturbed.

Change agents are at work in every aspect of education. They often don’t even know they’ve been co-opted to serve in that capacity because they’ve been indoctrinated by master change agents who make things sound so great and only occasionally reveal the underlying goal. One goal (of the communists mentioned above) is to modify the behaviors and attitudes of children and the first step is always to soften the curriculum and reduce learning so they aren’t able to clearly see what’s happening to them. Our masters want a dumbed-down population that can’t tell what’s happening to them.

Lets look at a few specific change agents who are fully aware of what they are doing.

In an address to the Childhood International Education Seminar in 1973, Dr. Chester M. Pierce, Harvard Professor of Education and Psychiatry, said:

Every child in America entering school at the age of five is insane because he comes to school with certain allegiances to our founding fathers, toward our elected officials, toward his parents, toward a belief in a supernatural being, and toward the sovereignty of this nation as a separate entity. It’s up to you as teachers to make all these sick children well – by creating the international child of the future.

Now what do you think Chester has been working on for decades in his research and instruction to teachers? Interestingly, he is also noted for coining the term microaggression.

Remember “Blooms hierarchy you learned about in school and how you become self-actualized at the highest level? Here’s a definition of his you probably didn’t hear about in school.

“…a student attains ‘higher order thinking’ when he no longer believes in right or wrong. A large part of what we call good teaching is a teacher´s ability to obtain affective objectives by challenging the student’s fixed beliefs. …a large part of what we call teaching is that the teacher should be able to use education to reorganize a child’s thoughts, attitudes, and feelings.”

-Benjamin Bloom, psychologist and educational theorist, “Major Categories in the Taxonomy of Educational Objectives,” pg. 185

Here’s a quote from John Goodlad, identified by Charlotte Iserbyt as “America’s premier change agent.” He was hired by “conservative” BYU and worked there from 1983 to 1985. Then he founded the National Network for Educational Renewal and BYU signed on as a charter university and stayed with his organization till 2010, even hosting one of his conferences in 2006 I believe.

Many of his conferences included how to put social justice and LGBT teaching into classrooms. The only reason they dropped the NNER affiliation is because we discovered it and made a stink about it and the education department said they were dropping their membership “for financial reasons.” Yeah, as word got out that they were taking instructions from an atheist, humanist, socialist, I’d guess some donors and trustees threatened to turn off the spigot.

This is Goodlad:

“Most youth still hold the same values of their parents… if we do not alter this pattern, if we don’t resocialize, our system will decay.”

– John Goodlad, Schooling for the Future, Issue #9, 1971

Public education has served as a check on the power of parents, and this is another powerful reason for maintaining it.”
– John Goodlad, Developing Democratic Character in the Young, pg. 165

[schools] should liberate students from the ways of thinking imposed by religions and other traditions of thought.”
-John Goodlad, “Education and Community,” in Democracy, Education, and the Schools, Roger Stone, pg. 92.

B. Y. U.

If “conservative” BYU has such serious issues, you know pretty much every other university does as well.

Goodlad worked with BYU to create a Public School Partnership that pushed his books and doctrine into 5 major school districts around BYU (Provo, Alpine, Nebo, Wasatch, and Jordan). This is why so many of them are promoting social justice, because it comes from a socialist into the teacher college, which teaches teachers, who teach our children. Here’s one specific example of a math educator at BYU who loves teaching new teachers all about social justice:

https://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/who-teaches-the-teachers-social-in-justice-at-byu/

Many more of these quotes above can be found here:

https://www.utahsrepublic.org/prominent-educators-vs-religious-leaders/

The Assault on the Family

One of Marx’s goals was the destruction of the family. Social justice demands it. It isn’t fair that some kids get good families and others don’t.

I know a family that moved from one area in Alpine school district to another so they could switch schools because their straight A daughter was given a B on an assignment she did perfectly solely because the teacher wanted her to know what it was like to not get a perfect grade and be like everyone else. There’s social justice for you, a toxic teacher punishing a student doing her best in the name of fairness.

President Johnson’s war on poverty had a devastating effect on Black communities by subsidizing single parents but taking away the subsidies if they got married. This gave rise to unwed parents and a lack of fathers in the home, which in turn caused tremendous problems. Watch here for some shocking statistics compiled by Glenn Beck.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=678710806016780

Then listen to this segment by Glenn on the groups of people with influence openly advocating that we need to do away with the traditional family concept because it promotes capitalism.  The last 10-15 minutes of the audio is key for the quotes, but all 30 minutes is worth listening to.

https://cms.megaphone.fm/channel/BMDC3567910388?selected=BMDC4182698834

Here’s a quote from Sophia Lewis who runs the “Family Story project”:

“That’s something I want to challenge, the idea that babies belong to anyone—the idea that the product of gestational labor gets transferred as property to a set of people.”

Pure Marxism. Abolish the family and make children the property of the community so they are raised away from parents who might influence their values toward a set of unacceptable beliefs (religious, liberty oriented, etc…)

Here’s a link to their twisted attack on the family, “embracing family justice for all.”

https://familystoryproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Case-Against-Marriage-Fundamentalism_Family-Story-Report_040419.pdf

That document is lengthy. You can get a quicker taste of this nonsense reading this article:

https://www.publiusforum.com/2019/05/21/leftist-the-nation-wants-to-end-capitalism-by-destroying-the-family/

If you are for social justice, you are for the destruction of the family. You can’t separate ideology and say, “I’m for this piece of Marxism that I agree with, but not the rest.” By embracing any of it, you lend your voice and influence to all of it. You aid and abet the enemies of freedom. Your agreement with part gives others that trust you, permission and direction to embrace it and go further. Social justice warriors are promoting the destruction of the family, the end of capitalism, the end of the Constitution, the end of order, and the creation of a new world order: global communism headed by the world’s elites. We are living in “1984” and “Animal Farm.”

The 1619 Project: More Marxist Lies

The newest assault to destroy America is coming from the radical 1619 Project the New York Times is launching. This is yet another attempt to show how evil those white people were that came to America. This project will only further divide America, increase racial tension through promoting lies, and set back race relations by decades.

Here’s a segment on Glenn Beck’s program showing more about it: https://www.glennbeck.com/theblaze-tv/the-new-york-times-tries-to-re-write-history-the-1619-project-exposed

You can read about it here. It’s already taking root in schools across the country including Utah schools.

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/08/the_lies_of_the_1619_project.html

Even BYU has a web page on “Race, Equity, & Belonging” that links to the 1619 Project and other “anti-racism” readings which are loaded with social in-justice content.

https://race.byu.edu/resources

BYU racismConnect the Dots

I didn’t always know this stuff. I was oblivious to it for decades of my life. But at some point, a rational mind has to recognize the overwhelming relationship between these dots and make all these connections come together. One must conclude that people mean what they say and are working to overthrow the family and the American way of life. They’ve been saying it for decades and been dismissed. Now they have infiltrated every facet of government and public agencies, and worse, the hearts of so many sincere (but misguided) people that it’s been given a place to grow in America.

It used to be forbidden for Communists and their sympathizers to be teachers in schools. In 1952, a 6-3 Supreme Court ruling upheld a NEW YORK law that prohibited communists from teaching in schools. It was the Feinburg Law which banned anyone from the teaching profession who called for the overthrow of the government. This was overturned in 1967 by a revised Supreme Court that didn’t share the concerns of the prior court (https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/supreme-court-rules-on-communist-teachers). In 2008, California overturned a state ban on communist activity in the schools with the full support of the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers (https://www.nysun.com/editorials/california-communists/74159/). It probably made sense to everyone to just come out and make it formal…

Where is California today? Leading the way…to Marxism. California State University just made ethnic and social justice studies a graduation requirement (https://www.times-standard.com/2020/07/22/california-state-university-sets-ethnic-studies-requirement/).

Are you awake yet? If you read this article, congratulations. Becoming informed is the first step. Now act. Save your family, and save your community.

Be Inspired

The world is turning right before our eyes. Men and women must act to save our freedoms which are being stripped away.

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”

–Thomas Paine

“Revisiting the Revolutionary War is a bracing reminder that the fate of a continent, and the shape of the modern world, turned on the free choices of remarkably few Americans defying an empire.”

–George Will

“So that this nation may long endure, I urge you to follow in the hallowed footsteps of the great disobediences of history that freed exiles, founded religions, defeated tyrants, and yes, in the hands of an aroused rabble in arms and a few great men, by God’s grace, built this country.”

–Charlton Heston

ACT NOW: Make these calls

Call your school district and school board members. Ask if they are using the 1619 project in any of the schools. Get informed on it and tell them to not let it into your children’s schools. Tell them not to implement social-emotional learning programs. Point them at the CASEL document above. In their own words they are advocating Marxism. Then contact your state board member and ask them to prevent Utah schools from using these destructive curricula. Tell them we need local control and to be free of federal money and strings. We need local school boards at every school overseeing what’s happening locally. Find your rep here:

https://www.schools.utah.gov/board/utah/districtsmap

Even if your children are out of schools or don’t attend your local public school, make the calls. YOUR future is in the hands of those children and I don’t think anyone wants to live in a country fundamentally transformed by Marxists.

ACT NOW: Save your children and grandchildren

If you believe in America, the place that isn’t perfect, has made mistakes, but is still the greatest nation on earth with the greatest governance document ever crafted with the help of God, then it’s time to get your principles clear and pull your children out of public schools. The indoctrination has already done tremendous harm to our children and it’s just going to get worse. You’ve got to find alternatives for educating your children. Homeschool or private school, or selectively dual enroll them, it’s time to take action now to preserve your family.

If homeschooling scares you, there is a tremendous support structure in place to help you. It’s work, but probably not as much work as you think. Once you find a rhythm, most homeschool families love it and would never go back. Here’s a few videos that might inspire you.

https://agencybasededucation.org/homeschooling

There are loads of Facebook homeschool groups. Parents, grandparents, and single parents homeschool their children. If you want to do it, there is a way forward.

Something to Keep Your Eyes On

Now I think a question every Utahn should ask themselves is why the NEA gave Spencer Cox $75,000 for his campaign. Then we should know why Spencer Cox kept the money. He can’t be ignorant of the Leftist policies of the NEA. Assuming he is elected in the general election, what favors is he going to do for this Marxist organization? We can only hope and pray for divine intervention…

And now for something religious

If you are a Bible believer, try reading Revelation 13 again with this thought.

Verse 1: a blasphemous beast arises (Communism)

Verse 3: one of its heads is wounded to death (assumed death of communism), but his deadly wound was healed and all the world wondered after the beast (communism makes a comeback)

Verse 11: Another beast arises (socialism) which spake as a dragon (same old lies) and had two horns like a lamb (looks innocent)

Verse 12: This beast exercises the same power as the first beast and causes the earth to worship the first beast.

Verse 15: The second beast causes anyone that won’t worship an image of the first beast to be put to death. The new world order arises.

This is the history of socialism. It can’t stand truth and light so it ends the lives of those who oppose it. So far, the effort to create a great peaceful communist utopia has ended the lives of over 100 million people. How many more will be put to death is uncertain, but if we don’t act, America will fall.

Book reading list:

Want to be prepared for what’s happening? Here’s a short book list you should get very familiar with:

  • The Scriptures
  • None Dare Call it Conspiracy by Gary Allen
  • The Leipzig Connection by Paolo Lionni
  • The Naked Communist by Cleon Skousen
  • The Naked Capitalist by Cleon Skousen
  • The Law by Frederick Bastiat
  • The U.S. Constitution
  • How the World Really Works by Alan Jones
  • Many are Called but Few are Chosen by H. Verlan Anderson

(Featured Image of Marx by Anton Ivanov @123rf.com)

2020 Utah State School Board Races

We have invited all state board candidates (and some district candidates) to fill out our survey of questions. You can see their responses here.

In the 2020 primary races happening right now, these are the candidates we believe are most firmly committed to getting rid of Common Core (standards, assessments, data collection and privacy violations). That’s not to say their opponents wouldn’t make good board members, but they have not indicated the firmest levels of commitment to these things and to help restore true local control of education. For the race in Southern Utah (seat 15), some people like Kristen Norton a lot. You can read her and Scott’s responses on the survey and make up your own mind.  Having spoken with both of them, I like both candidates a lot. They each have positive traits and good qualities, but I believe Scott is more up to speed on issues of concern and more fully committed to getting rid of the Common Core agenda.

Addendum: 6/19/20

Before voting for a candidate, you should ask them where they stand on Black Lives Matter understanding that they have a goal to destroy the American way of life. BLM is a money funnel to the Democratic party. If you click the donate button on the BLM website, it takes you to Actblue.com to collect your donation. If you look them up here: (https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/expenditures.php?cycle=2020&cmte=C00401224) you will see their top 10 expenditures are hundreds of millions of dollars to Democratic campaigns.

You should also ask them if they believe Utah is still on Common Core or not. If they do not believe that, they haven’t looked close enough.

Utah State School Board Election Candidates in the June Primary

State Board District 4: K’Leena Furniss (Layton, Clearfield, Syracuse, https://www.facebook.com/kfurnissSBE/)

State Board District 10: David Linford (Sandy, Draper, Cottonwood Heights, https://www.facebook.com/DavidLinfordforUtahStateSchoolBoard/)

State Board District 13: Alyson Williams (Provo through Spanish Fork, https://www.facebook.com/VoteAlysonWilliams/)

State Board District 15: Scott Smith (St. George/Cedar City, http://www.4scottsmith.com/, https://www.facebook.com/Elect-Scott-F-Smith-107758570855515/)

November ballot choices for Utah state school board elections

These are the other candidates not in the June primary (they’ve already made it through their party race) to vote for in the November election. Please like their Facebook pages and if you are in their areas, offer to help them gear up for the November election.

State Board District 3: Matt Hymas (West Valley, Tooele, Nephi (big Western area), https://www.facebook.com/matthymasforschoolboard/)

State Board District 11: Natalie Cline (South Jordan, Riverton, Bluffdale, https://www.facebook.com/NatalieJCline/)

State Board District 12: James Moss (Heber City, Coalville, Vernal, https://www.facebook.com/JamesRMossJr/)

Comprehensive Sexuality Education

This is an informative series of Facebook posts about the Comprehensive Sexuality Education movement/program. They were posted by Jennie Earl who serves on the Utah State Board of Education to help explain what is happening in this area and the agenda of those involved. With permission I am re-posting with light format editing.

The four posts cover these topics:

  1. First, What is CSE and who are the primary players?
  2. Second, Where is CSE found around the nation and in our state?
  3. Third, What can you do to protect your family?
  4. Fourth, What are Utah laws that support family rights?

Post 1 – What is CSE and who are the primary players?

Here is a quick break down of the differences between Comprehensive Sexuality Education CSE (also known as Sexual Risk Reduction) and Abstinence-based Education (also known as Sexual Risk Avoidance).

Comprehensive Sexuality Education

  • Graphic Sexual content often depicting sexual acts
  • Introduction to various sexual behaviors
  • Continually changing definition of abstinence
  • K-12 sexual program often weaved throughout the curriculum
  • Focus on childhood sexual rights
  • Individual pleasure driven
  • Sexual License
  • Casualness about human anatomy
  • Duplicity/advocacy group involvement and removal of parents
  • How to consent /sexual negotiations/foreplay
  • Expectations low or ambiguous
  • All lifestyle relationships are presented as equal
  • Discussion about partners in elementary school
  • Self-sexual expression is valorized and revered
  • Gender theory

Abstinence-based Education

  • Age/medically appropriate content
  • Focus on healthy teen relationships
  • Clear definition of abstinence
  • Only in 5th grade/ middle and high school health education with parent consent
  • Recognize childhood development/innocence/latency period
  • Focus on responsibility to self and others
  • Sexual health for life, self-control/ long-term goal setting
  • Respect for human anatomy
  • Exactness/parent involvement
  • Refusal skills, clear boundaries
  • Clear expectations set high for all youth
  • Positive effects of committed legal relationships like marriage are encouraged
  • Friendships are stressed
  • Value of a person is multifaceted
  • importance of biological sex

The main movers in the US are Planned Parenthood and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) who hold consultative status at the UN. Along with these two organizations, state education policy makers and many advocacy groups work hand-in-hand to push the agenda to remove sexual taboos, “change social norms” and to “transform education”.

For more information about CSE go here.

https://www.comprehensivesexualityeducation.org/what-is-cse/

CSE advocacy groups to be aware of and information from Influencewatch are included here:

https://advocatesforyouth.org/

https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/advocates-for-youth/

https://www.glsen.org/

https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/glsen/

The Human Rights Campaign has a program called Welcoming Schools https://www.welcomingschools.org/

https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/human-rights-campaign/

Southern Poverty Law Center has classroom resources titled “Teaching Tolerance” https://www.tolerance.org/.

https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/southern-poverty-law-center-splc/

This same organization lists Family Watch International as a hate group https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/family-watch-international

https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/planned-parenthood-federation-of-america/

 

Post 2 – Where is CSE found around the nation and in our state?

Comprehensive Sexuality Education or CSE can be found in every state. Here are three examples of what is happening in the US.

1. New Jersey’s bill https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2018/Bills/PL19/6_.HTM

https://www.dailysignal.com/2020/01/13/parents-challenge-radical-lgbt-curriculum-in-new-jersey-schools/

2.  Here is an analysis of the final bill passed in Washington in March 2020 http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2019-20/Pdf/Bill%20Reports/Senate/5395-S.E%20SBR%20FBR%2020.pdf?q=20200401075453

A couple of things worth noting from the bill.  CSE will be delivered in K-3 via Social Emotion Learning SEL. Protected classes do not include religion as stated in the analysis.

3.  California’s Healthy Youth Act-information with questions and links https://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/he/cf/cahealthfaq.asp

I often here “yes but that is California and we are Utah”.  Where can CSE be found in Utah?

Some local health departments distribute and refer to organizations that promote CSE.  For example look through Weber/Morgan health Department’s site under “Health Promotion” and “Teen Health”.  http://www.webermorganhealth.org/health-promotion/teen-health/

The relationships link has resources for parents and resources for youth compare the difference between the two.  One of the references for teens says “Build Healthy Relationships” which takes you to:
http://www.seriouslysexuality.com/  Notice the primary players on this site (SIECUS and menstoyhub)
Also under “sexual health” Advocates for Youth and Planned Parenthood are two of the three references used for Educators.

Libraries

This post is from Pro-Life Utah Showing one of the programs offered through Utah’s library system as a summer program.   http://www.prolifeutah.org/your-stories/story.cfm?id=515

Utah State Board of Education Core Guides:

In the Spring of 2019 USBE approved new health standards.  Staff then developed with the help of outside agencies “Core Guides” to accompany the standards.  These Core Guides could be used by educators in their classroom.

In August the public contacted Utah State Board members with concerns about CSE advocacy groups listed as resources in the Core Guides.  Many CSE items were removed over the next several months as they were a clear violation of Utah law (thank you to those that emailed or called in), but CSE advocacy groups remain as resources promoted because of their continued presence within the Core Guides.  As of March 2020, a vetting process has been put into place to assist in vetting upcoming and current Core Guides.  The motion to remove the current Core Guides from our site until the new process is fully implemented failed to get enough votes.

For Illustrative purposes I am only going to reference second grade but you can look through the full core guides as I have included the link to it as well.
Third Grade Core Guides: https://www.schools.utah.gov/file/f3bfef32-f04f-46aa-ab48-cfef868a7481

Human Rights Campaign “Welcoming Schools”, Southern Poverty Law Center “Teaching Tolerance” and GLSEN: Can all be located under Mental and Emotional Health 3.MEH.2 Additional Activities and Resources Link

Advocates for Youth -Under Human Development Standard 3.HD.3 Feeling Safe

Full Core Guides can be found here: https://www.schools.utah.gov/curr/health?mid=908&tid=2

Other areas where CSE advocacy groups can be found:  Suicide prevention coalition groups locally and state wide, bullying programs and policy, some times in English class readings or History class.

 

Post 3 – What can you do to protect your family?

 

  • 2- Teach your Family! In the fall as I was feeling overwhelmed and anxious about CSE content I knelt and prayed for help to understand what and how to help my own children and Utah families. That morning I was lead to Ezekiel 44:23 “Teach my people the difference between the holy and the profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean” You have a unique insight about each of your children and know best what they need. As you strengthen your relationship with your children, youth will naturally want to know exactly where you stand on issues related to human intimacy. They will want to live up to any expectations you set. You are the authority when it comes to your family. The responsibility to teach them falls on your shoulders first. As you seek inspiration you too can find resources and know how to teach important truths to your children and family members.

 

  • 3- Talk with your local district about the content they allow in the classroom. Utah is not a CSE state! Organizations that advocate for such practices should not be in our schools they are outside Utah law. There are tons of great resources for schools that are usable for all children from many different backgrounds. As a parent in Utah, you can request certain materials not be taught to your child. You can ask to have your child receive an alternate assignment or to be excused as per Utah law ( https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title53G/Chapter10/53G-10-S403.html ). Ask to be part of the Sex Education Materials Review Committee for your local district. Ask how they vet materials. USBE recently approved a vetting process that you could recommend is implemented at your school. https://usbe.civicclerk.com/Web/GenFile.aspx?ad=2608 Family Watch also has an analysis tool they use. 15-CSE-Analysis-Tool_Template_final_7_18.doc

 

  • 4- Take a few minutes and meet with your child’s teacher to explain your concerns. Meet with your local school board members.

 

  • 5- A number of national organizations have put together a parent guide to help families navigate current gender issues in the school setting. In chapter 5 of this guide it includes parent involvement and community building information. https://genderresourceguide.com/

 

  • 6- Any program used at the school should have evidence demonstrating that it does what it actually says it will do. I have included a link of research conducted by Irene H. Ericksen, M.S. and Stan E. Weed, Ph.D. They have looked at 120 studies of school-based sex education programs and reported on the findings. The full report, short video findings, and an abstract are listed here. https://www.institute-research.com/published-cse.php An organization called Blueprints looks at Healthy Youth Development programs that are based on scientific evaluations and have strong evidence of effectiveness https://www.blueprintsprograms.org. In the same vein, always check the statistics you are given. For example research conducted by UCLA Williams Institute https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/ will have a different approach than research from the Institute for Family Studies. https://ifstudies.org/. It is good to be familiar with the objective of research entities and their agenda.

 

  • 7- Find solutions by making recommendations to education leaders of resources you would support using in the classroom. Ascend is an organization that compiles sexual health education resources to be used around the nation. They are a great wealth of information-Here is a statement from them “Sexual Risk Avoidance is an educational approach based on the public health model of primary prevention to empower youth to avoid ALL the risks of sexual activity.” Take a minute to look through their materials. https://weascend.org/ (Check out Heritage Keepers and Real Essentials. They are located on their site.)

 

 

  • 9- Attend public meetings. A schedule for local school Community Councils, Local School Boards, Utah State Board of Education and Local Health Departments should be posted on the organization’s webpage or the secretary could direct you to the information. Often these can be found by calling the secretary of the organization or by going to their website. Each will have its own time frame and rules for public comment. For example USBE has public comment within the first hour of their normal monthly meeting. Public Comment is a time for elected officials to listen, so rarely will a response be given during this part of the meeting.

 

  • 10- USBE has a new vetting process for core guide materials. If the public has concerns with any of the information or organizations on the core guides they can bring their concerns before the Standard and Assessment Committee to be heard. Here is the number to call to get on the agenda. Noralee Green Phone: (801) 538-7515. If you have an ongoing concern and it has not been addressed after talking with local education leaders, USBE has a hotline where our auditing department will investigate https://www.schools.utah.gov/internalaudit?mid=892&tid=3

In closing, work within your comfort level and where you can have the greatest impact. Act on your personal impressions for your family and community. Ask others to help and support you in your efforts. Many parents are wanting to be part of the solution but simply are unsure about what to do or where to start.

 

Post 4 – Utah law that supports family rights

#4 CSE Law Post-this is not all inclusive but key provisions of Utah Law that support families in Utah

(Click on the links to read the whole law)

Parents Rights

  1. a) Under both the United States Constitution and the constitution of this state, a parent possesses a fundamental liberty interest in the care, custody, and management of the parent’s children.

(d) The state recognizes that:

(i) a parent has the right, obligation, responsibility, and authority to raise, manage, train, educate, provide and care for, and reasonably discipline the parent’s children; and

(ii) the state’s role is secondary and supportive to the primary role of a parent.

(e) It is the public policy of this state that parents retain the fundamental right and duty to exercise primary control over the care, supervision, upbringing, and education of their children.

(3) The Legislature:

(a) recognizes that parents are a child’s first teachers and are responsible for the education of their children;

(b) encourages family engagement and adequate preparation so that students enter the public education system ready to learn; and

(c) intends that the mission detailed in Subsection (2) be carried out through a responsive educational system that guarantees local school communities autonomy, flexibility, and client choice, while holding them accountable for results.

2) The Legislature recognizes that:

(d) the primary responsibility for the education of children within the state resides with their parents and that the role of state and local governments is to support and assist parents in fulfilling that responsibility;

3) Through an integrated curriculum, students shall be taught in connection with regular school work:

(a) honesty, integrity, morality, civility, duty, honor, service, and obedience to law;

(b) respect for and an understanding of the Declaration of Independence and the constitutions of the United States and of the state of Utah;

(c) Utah history, including territorial and preterritorial development to the present;

(d) the essentials and benefits of the free enterprise system;

(e) respect for parents, home, and family;

(f) the dignity and necessity of honest labor; and

(g) other skills, habits, and qualities of character which will promote an upright and desirable citizenry and better prepare students to recognize and accept responsibility for preserving and defending the blessings of liberty inherited from prior generations and secured by the constitution.

Parental participation at local schools

(3) a) Each local school board shall adopt a policy on parental involvement in the schools of the district.

(b) The local school board shall design its policy to build consistent and effective communication among parents, teachers, and administrators.

(c) The policy shall provide parents with the opportunity to be actively involved in their children’s education and to be informed of:

(i) the importance of the involvement of parents in directly affecting the success of their children’s educational efforts; and

(ii) groups and organizations that may provide instruction and training to parents to help improve their children’s academic success and support their academic efforts.

Waivers of Participation

If a parent of a student, or a secondary student, determines that the student’s participation in a portion of the curriculum or in an activity would require the student to affirm or deny a religious belief or right of conscience, or engage or refrain from engaging in a practice forbidden or required in the exercise of a religious right or right of conscience, the parent or the secondary student may request:

(a) a waiver of the requirement to participate; or

(b) a reasonable alternative that requires reasonably equivalent performance by the student of the secular objectives of the curriculum or activity in question.

4) a)The state board shall adopt rules that:

(i) provide that the parental consent requirements of Sections 76-7-322 and 76-7-323 are complied with; and

(ii) require a student’s parent to be notified in advance and have an opportunity to review the information for which parental consent is required under Sections 76-7-322 and 76-7-323.

(6) Except as provided in Section 53G-10-202, political, atheistic, sectarian, religious, or denominational doctrine may not be taught in the public schools.

Health Education

Any course touching these items mush have parent consent

(i) “Sex education instruction” means any course material, unit, class, lesson, activity, or presentation that, as the focus of the discussion, provides instruction or information to a student about:

(A) sexual abstinence;

(B) human sexuality;

(C) human reproduction;

(D) reproductive anatomy;

(E) physiology;

(F) pregnancy;

(G) marriage;

(H) childbirth;

(I) parenthood;

(J) contraception;

(K) HIV/AIDS;

(L) sexually transmitted diseases; or

(M) refusal skills, as defined in Section 53G-10-402.

(2) A school shall obtain prior written consent from a student’s parent before the school may provide sex education instruction to the student.

(3) If a student’s parent chooses not to have the student participate in sex education instruction, a school shall:

(a) waive the requirement for the student to participate in the sex education instruction; or

(b) provide the student with a reasonable alternative to the sex education instruction requirement.

(b) The state board shall make rules that, and instruction shall:

(i) stress the importance of abstinence from all sexual activity before marriage and fidelity after marriage as methods for preventing certain communicable diseases;

(ii) stress personal skills that encourage individual choice of abstinence and fidelity;

(iii) prohibit instruction in:

(A) the intricacies of intercourse, sexual stimulation, or erotic behavior;

(B) the advocacy of premarital or extramarital sexual activity; or

(C) the advocacy or encouragement of the use of contraceptive methods or devices; and

methods of strengthening the family; and allow instruction to include information about contraceptive methods or devices that stresses effectiveness, limitations, risks, and information on state law applicable to minors obtaining contraceptive methods or devices.

No funds of the state or its political subdivisions shall be used to provide contraceptive or abortion services to an unmarried minor without the prior written consent of the minor’s parent or guardian.

1) Any person before providing contraceptives to a minor shall notify, whenever possible, the minor’s parents or guardian of the service requested to be provided to such minor. Contraceptives shall be defined as appliances (including but not limited to intrauterine devices), drugs, or medicinal preparations intended or having special utility for prevention of conception.

(2) Any person in violation of this section shall be guilty of a class C misdemeanor.

I am including one rule because it focuses on the local Instructional Materials Commission and parent participation.

An LEA governing board shall annually appoint and review members of the LEA’s curriculum materials review committee on or before August 1.

(b) An LEA’s curriculum materials review committee shall include parents, health professionals, school health educators, and administrators, with at least as many parents as school employees.

(c) The members of an LEA’s committee shall:

(i) meet on a regular basis, as determined by the membership;

(ii) select officers

Youth suicide prevention

(2) In collaboration with the public education suicide prevention coordinator, a school district or charter school, in the secondary grades of the school district or charter school, shall implement a youth suicide prevention program, which, in collaboration with the training, programs, and initiatives described in Section 53G-9-607, shall include programs and training to address:

(g) methods of strengthening the family; and

(h) methods of strengthening a youth’s relationships in the school and community.

Maintaining Constitutional Freedoms in the public Schools

(1) Any instructional activity, performance, or display which includes examination of or presentations about religion, political or religious thought or expression, or the influence thereof on music, art, literature, law, politics, history, or any other element of the curriculum, including the comparative study of religions, which is designed to achieve secular educational objectives included within the context of a course or activity and conducted in accordance with applicable rules or policies of the state and LEA governing boards, may be undertaken in the public schools.

(2) No aspect of cultural heritage, political theory, moral theory, or societal value shall be included within or excluded from public school curricula for the primary reason that it affirms, ignores, or denies religious belief, religious doctrine, a religious sect, or the existence of a spiritual realm or supreme being.

(3) Public schools may not sponsor prayer or religious devotionals.

(4) School officials and employees may not use their positions to endorse, promote, or disparage a particular religious, denominational, sectarian, agnostic, or atheistic belief or viewpoint.

I hope this is helpful for parents working with their local districts.

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

2016 Candidates for Election

VoteThere are a number of very important races up for grabs in this primary. I would strongly urge you to vote for the following individuals who have committed to positions of parental rights, protecting the state from federal power, and shifting more control to local schools and districts over their education systems.

Governor: Jonathan Johnson

State School Board candidate list

District 4 – Brent Strate (Appears to be the best of the available candidates)
District 7 Frank Strickland
District 8 David Sharette
District 10 Dr. Gary Thompson
District 11 Lisa Cummins
District 12 Alisa Ellis
District 13 No primary since only 2 candidates
District 15 Michelle Klaas Boulter

For other races I encourage you to examine our candidate survey here: http://bit.ly/1Ucajzh

To see state legislator rankings and how incumbents have voted in the past, please click here: http://bit.ly/21AHQBR

For Alpine School District where I live, I would encourage votes for the following people:

Seat 4: Rachel Thacker
Seat 6: Miriam Ellis
Seat 7: Kirby Glad

If you live in other districts and know who the anti-Common Core, pro-local control candidates are, post them in the comments below.

I would also strongly urge that you not vote for any candidate that accepted money for their campaign from the Count My Vote PAC, or Education First.

I completely agree with this statement by Rep. Brian Greene.

“CMV continues to throw around the term “Party Insiders” without ever identifying a single such person. The fact is there are no party insiders. The entire ranks of the party structure is turned over every two years. The sad truth is that the only “insiders” involved in this process are those trying to pin that label on others. Mike Leavitt/ LaVar Webb, and that sort, sit in their ivory towers like “union bosses” under the illusion that their status and wealth entitle them to control elections and policy. They had no problem with the party’s caucus/convention process when they controlled it, but with the rise of the grass-roots conservative movement since 2008, their influence has been minimized and their instinctive response has been to change the law to regain the advantage that they believe their status and wealth entitles them to. If the CMV model is successful, Utah policy and government will be changed forever.”

If you want the money out of politics, the caucus/convention system is the very best system. If you eliminate it and go with Count My Vote, you get big donors paying for signatures and candidates running very broad public campaigns instead of focusing on a group of people that WE elect locally to go spend hours vetting the candidates. What percentage of voters who sit at home do hours of research on candidates? An extraordinarily small number.

Freedom and Education presentation

Here is my presentation I gave Friday night (June 3, 2016). In it I cover a range of topics including the beasts in Revelation (oh yeah, critics have at it).  I also discuss freedom and religious freedom and a little known tidbit about Jefferson’s “wall of separation” letter to the Danbury Baptists. I cover educational options and share a link to this page on the Agency Based Education website which has three excellent presentations on homeschooling. If you have never considered homeschooling, watch this video and then those and you may just be convinced to try it.

Resolution to get Utah Off Fed Ed

Update 1/23/16: This resolution and amendment passed overwhelmingly in the Utah county GOP Central Committee meeting. Only 3 nays to about 225 yeas. I have modified the text below so it only contains the amended version of the resolution which passed. We also have a legislator working on drafting this move as legislation, and another legislator working on the request for an audit.

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

If you are unaware of the most recent moves by the federal government to solidify its takeover of education in America and its intrusion into family lives, please review these articles which only deal with the recent passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Article 1: ESSA Invades Your Home
Article 2: NCLB 2002 vs. ESSA 2015

(Drafted by Jennifer Huefner, Pam Budge, Wendy Hart, Kristen Chevrier, JaKell Sullivan, Christel Swasey, Kirby Glad, and Oak Norton)

Resolution to Remove Utah From Federal Education Control

WHEREAS, After decades of growing federal intrusion into our state education system, President Obama has signed into law The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which gives the federal government even more sweeping power over state education (1), regulates education in private schools (2) and implements policies and programs reaching into the home (3); and,

WHEREAS our platform states that “Parents have the right to choose whether a child is educated in private, public or home schools and government should not infringe on that right… We favor local accountability and control in all aspects of the education system.”; and,

WHEREAS federal taxpayers provide only a small fraction of our total education budget (4), but by accepting that sum we give the federal government 100% control over the education of our children; and,

WHEREAS, the Governor has announced that Utah now has new ongoing revenue, due to state growth of $380 million (5), more than enough to replace federal funds and regain control over the education of our children; and,

WHEREAS, the only way to avoid the overbearing requirements of ESSA is to opt out of federal funds. (6)

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Utah County Republican Party declares that we cannot continue to stand by while our educational freedoms are usurped, and this increasing federal intrusion must end now; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT Utah is not beholden to federal mandates on education as that is not in the constitutional purview of the federal government, and as such this resolution asks that the legislature and state school board nullify all federal education mandates; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT Utah should withhold money that would be sent to the federal government in an amount equal to the sum they return to us each year for education and use those funds for K-12 education in this state, drop or nullify all federal education mandates, and fully fund Utah’s education programs; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT if Utah is not able to make use of the previous clause, Utah should use its ongoing budget surplus to replace all federal taxpayer money in education, freeing Utah from federal intrusion; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT Utah County GOP leadership shall provide information on this issue to public officials and voters, as may be appropriate through email, website, and physical distribution, and request a comprehensive legislative audit of federal programs including but not limited to those put into place through the 2009 Stimulus Package including data systems (7), alignment to federal regulations, statues, and grants, with the intent for determining how Utah can make a full and complete separation from federal education policies so that Utah schools can truly be freed from federal intrusion; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Utah County Republican Party commends Representatives Chaffetz, Bishop, Stewart, and Love, and Senator Lee, who voted against this invasive law, and we call upon all state legislators and officers to act now to stand for our state’s rights in education.

Oak Norton, HI 07
Katrina Kennedy, AL 5
Mark Cluff, AL 4
Kirby Glad, OR 24
Michael Wirrick, PG 8
Kristen Chevrier, HI 9
Robin Devey, OR 28
Brian Halladay, PG 09
John Morris, LE 11
Jared Oldroyd, PR 11
Nels Beckstrand, AF 05
Loma Lee McKinnon, SR 02
Mark Barlow, AF 13
Troy Lynn, HI 7
Robert Capel, AL 03
Maureen LaPray, PR 38
Tamara Atkin, Payson 06
Nathan Allred, Payson 01
Lynda Roper, PR 25

Supported by: Senators Margaret Dayton, Al Jackson, David Hinkins, Mark Madsen; Representatives Brad Daw, Mike Kennedy, Jake Anderegg, Brian Greene, David Lifferth, Norm Thurston, Marc Roberts, Kay Christofferson

Footnotes

(1) Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) (https://www.congress.gov/114/bills/s1177/BILLS-114s1177enr.pdf):
The secretary maintains control over state education plans (P4b, pg. 306)
The secretary shall ‘‘(vi) have the authority to disapprove a State plan.” (P4b, pg.21)

(2) ‘‘(B) OMBUDSMAN.—To help ensure such equity for such private school children, teachers, and other educational personnel, the State educational agency involved shall designate an ombudsman to monitor and enforce the requirements of this part.’’ (pg. 71)
https://www.congress.gov/114/bills/s1177/BILLS-114s1177enr.pdf

(3) Dept. of HHS/USDOEd Draft Policy Implementation Statement on Family Engagement:
https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/ecd/draft_hhs_ed_family_engagement.pdf
“Implement[s] a vision for family engagement that begins prenatally and continues across settings and throughout a child’s developmental and educational experiences” (Page 5)
See “parenting interventions” (IBID pg. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16)
ESSA allows states to use funds to “support programs that reach parents and family members at home [and] in the community.” (https://www.congress.gov/114/bills/s1177/BILLS-114s1177enr.pdf, Pg. 69)
States shall “become active participants in the development, implementation, and review of school-parent compacts, family engagement in education policies, and school planning and improvement;” (IBID, pg. 218)
Provides grants to turn elementary and secondary schools into “Full-Service Community Schools”  with “Pipeline Services” that provide “a continuum of coordinated supports, services, and opportunities for children from birth through… career attainment”, including family health services. (IBID pg. 222, 223, 229)

(4) http://www.schools.utah.gov/data/Fingertip-Facts/2015.aspx
2013-14 is an inaccurate estimate. USOE’s document has a typo on gross revenue showing $1.3B more than expenses. This estimated revenue figure is in line with expenses which are assumed to be accurate as they are in line with the trend. We have 5 straight years of declining federal funds but no declining federal requirements. Unfunded mandates rule our state education system.

Utah Education Funding(5) http://www.utah.gov/governor/news_media/article.html?article=20151207-1

(6) ESSA, SEC. 8530A. PROHIBITION ON REQUIRING STATE PARTICIPATION

(7) http://www.scribd.com/doc/283013828/Utah-State-Office-of-Education-circumventing-oversight-public-input-legislative-authority



Here are my comments from presenting this resolution to the Central Committee.

In 2012 Senator Margaret Dayton invited me to a meeting with Lieutenant Governor Bell to explain what was going on with common core and the agenda behind it. What came out of that meeting was I was asked to draft a bill to protect to Utah from federal encroachment. SB 287 passed and contained several triggers that if any of them were to occur we would exit the agreements.

A couple years ago, Governor Herbert was on the Blaze dismissing concerns about Common Core and referenced this bill: (https://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/herbert-on-the-blaze/)

Said he: “We have a law that says if any of this federal overreach somehow gets into our [education] system, we are mandated to get out of it.”

Governor Herbert, it’s time.

Here are the federal education triggers now in Utah law. (http://le.utah.gov/~2012/bills/static/SB0287.html)

53 (6) The state may exit any agreement, contract, memorandum of understanding, or
54      consortium that cedes control of Utah’s core curriculum standards to any other entity, including
55      a federal agency or consortium, for any reason, including:
56          (a) the cost of developing or implementing core curriculum standards;
57          (b) the proposed core curriculum standards are inconsistent with community values; or
58          (c) the agreement, contract, memorandum of understanding, or consortium:
59          (i) was entered into in violation of Part 9, Implementing Federal Programs Act, or Title
60      63J, Chapter 5, Federal Funds Procedures Act;
61          (ii) conflicts with Utah law;
62          (iii) requires Utah student data to be included in a national or multi-state database;
63          (iv) requires records of teacher performance to be included in a national or multi-state
64      database; or
65          (v) imposes curriculum, assessment, or data tracking requirements on home school or
66      private school students.

The triggers have been pulled. One state has to start the ball rolling. My vote is we do it here in Utah and lead the nation in reclaiming our freedom and breaking these federal chains of bondage. If not us, if not now, then who, and when?

We do not eliminate one dime of education funding. It simply stops Utah from sending it to the feds and having it returned with strings. We just keep it here, or we self-fund.

 

First, do no harm – Analysis by Utah Child Psych Center

I received a copy of this analysis and post it here with permission of the authors. The Early Life, Child Psychology and Education Center of South Jordan, Utah, has done an analysis of statements and positions of the U.S. Department of Education pertaining to Common Core assessments.  I will post the forward of the document below, but you can obtain the 44 page report by clicking this link.

PDF Download-Primum Non Nocere – First, Do No Harm: An Ethical & Psychology-Based Analysis of The U.S. Department of Education’s Change In Common Core Testing Policies for Divergent Learning Children In Public Schools

Early Life Child Psychology CenterForward:

Primum non nocere in Latin means “first, do no harm.” One of the elemental precepts of ethics, taught across disciplines and throughout the world, this ancient principle holds that given an existing problem, it may be better not to do something, or to do nothing, than to risk causing more harm than good. It reminds
the doctor, the psychologist and the educator that he or she must  consider possible damage that any intervention might do and to invoke Primum non nocere when considering use of any intervention that carries a less- than-certain chance of benefit.

As objective, local clinical community scientists, we at Early Life Child
Psychology and Education Center have had no previous interest or involvement in education public policy or in politics. Our involvement now stems from observations as professionals, is founded on ethics, and must increase as we see that as a consequence of changes in education policy, many children’s lives are being fractured.

We are not a special interest group: within the walls of our Education Psychology Clinic are professionals from diverse cultural, political, ethnic and religious backgrounds, united under one cause: the ethical and safe practice of administering psychological assessment, therapy, and educational interventions to “divergent learning” children who reside in our respective communities in Southern California, and Salt Lake City, Utah. We are African Americans, Caucasians, Latinos, Asians, progressives, tea party activists, socialists, LGBT, traditionally married and single parents, agnostics and conservative Christians.

The harmony we share as a diverse group of clinicians-educators, dedicated to serving the needs of children, has not been duplicated by the diverse group of political and corporate public policy makers who have been entrusted with decision-making power. We here note: that agenda-laden political and corporate partnerships, entrusted with power, have made life-altering decisions regarding education policies for children in public schools, placing their interests above the direct needs of children, resulting in ground-level chaos we have heretofore never seen.

This paper is written not only because of our professional observations of increased numbers of suffering public school children whom our clinic serves; it is also written in response to recent public policy changes, initiated by U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan under the 2015 reauthorization of No Child Left Behind, regarding assessment practices and states’ loss of authority over the education of our nation’s “special education” children. Those new policies and the cited research, upon which they claim to be based, are herein examined.

Under the light and concept of ethics, using ethical application of peer-reviewed science toward the subject matter of testing and mental health, this paper examines the influence of each on education policies. It will be clear to objective readers that Secretary Duncan’s policies do not share the ethical professionals’ commitment to the standards set by the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Code of Ethics. The US Department of Education’s interpretation of cited “studies” used to justify policy changes have been dangerously manipulated and are utilized to achieve political goals at the expense of millions of public school children.

We strongly encourage politicians, policy makers, and state education leaders to examine education policies under the light and scope of ethics, as opposed to catering to the requests of corporate and political special interests. Failure to do so will result in harm to our nation’s vulnerable divergent learning children, including African American, Latino, autistic, dyslexic, gifted, mentally ill, poverty-stricken, and “learning disabled” children.

Parents, not governments, are and must always be the resident experts of their own children.

May readers be endowed with discernment and wisdom as they ponder the effects of policy in the service of children.

Solution: Utah should adopt California’s math standards

I heard from someone last week who had someone complain to her that this site is just negative and never offers solutions. Regardless of the fact that we have several posts on this site that clearly outline solutions and alternatives to Common Core, let me explain very clearly why Utah should adopt California’s math standards. Thankfully, a brand new study was released this week that makes this an even better option.

Ze’ev Wurman is the author of this study which was just published by the American Principles Project this week and is called, “Why students need strong standards [and not Common Core]“. Ze’ev is a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institute and a former senior advisor at the U.S. Department of Education. In this paper he explains what’s been happening in California and it’s pretty stunning.

The brief history: California took a nose dive in the 90’s as a result of embracing constructivist fuzzy math and went from one of the very top states to second lowest. In 1997, Gov. Pete Wilson put the brakes on things and got mathematicians involved in writing their state’s standards and they developed what are arguably the very best math standards in the country and CA has been recovering from their fall ever since.

California’s math standards were internationally benchmarked

In a recent email exchange with Dr. Jim Milgram from Stanford, he said the CA standards were written to specifically benchmark California 6 months behind the high achieving nations. They did this intentionally because they didn’t feel that students in CA were ready to make a full leap to the same level as their high achieving peers.

In the high achieving nations, students complete algebra 1 and all or part of geometry by 8th grade. The CA standards were written with this in mind. How have they fared in getting more students through algebra 1 in 8th grade? Pretty amazing. Here’s a page from Ze’ev’s study which shows in a 10 year period the number of students who were proficient in algebra by 8th grade had tripled. Even more amazing is in figure 5 that shows low socioeconomic status students and minorities had increases of up to 6 times their initial rates. STUNNING! What other state can claim this kind of progress?

California's math progress

 

Ze’ev’s study also points out that in 2008, the NGA and CCSSO published the “Benchmarking for Success” document which stated as it’s first recommendation:


 

“Action I: Upgrade state standards by adopting a common core of internationally benchmarked standards in math and language arts for grades K-12 to ensure that students are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to be globally competitive.

This report called, then, for what has since become known as the Common Core State Standards. It went on to declare:

Research has revealed striking similarities among the math and science standards in top-performing nations, along with stark differences between those world class expectations and the standards adopted by most U.S. states.… By the eighth grade, students in top performing nations are studying algebra and geometry, while in the U.S., most eighth-grade math courses focus on arithmetic.

In other words, the rallying cry for the establishment of a common core of content standards in 2008 explicitly acknowledged that for the U.S. to be benchmarked against top-performing countries, we should teach algebra in the 8th grade.

Yet when the Common Core standards were published a little more than a year later, in the early summer of 2010, they firmly placed the first algebra course in … high school!”


 

So Common Core, and particularly as it has been adopted in Utah using the integrated method, places completion of algebra firmly in 9th grade for most students and geometry in 10th. Since we are on the integrated path, unlike any other state except Vermont, students can’t accelerate like I did in high school when I got serious about math and took geometry and algebra 2 in 10th grade so I could take calculus in 12th. You can’t do that with the integrated method.

Fordham Foundation

We all know that the Fordham Foundation was paid a sizable amount of money from the Gates Foundation to grade the Common Core standards and they gave them an A-. The standards are admittedly better than most of the states were using but there were better options that Utah and other states had when we rushed into Common Core without glancing in the rear view mirror.

The Fordham Foundation compared California’s standards (10/10 – A) with Common Core (A-) and had these nice things to say (these are clips. Emphasis mine):

Intro:

California’s standards could well serve as a model for internationally com­petitive national standards. They are explicit, clear, and cover the essential topics for rigorous mathematics instruction. The introduction for the stan­dards is notable for providing excellent and clear guidance on mathematics education. The introduction states simply:

‘An important theme stressed throughout this framework is the need for a balance in emphasis on computational and procedural skills, conceptual understanding, and problem solving. This balance is defined by the standards and is illustrated by problems that focus on these components individually and in combination. All three components are essential.’

California has provided a set of standards that achieves these goals admirably.” …

Content Strengths:

“These standards cover nearly all of the essential content. They explicitly prioritize foundational mathematics and out­line a clear and coherent path for mathematics education.

The essential content of elementary arithmetic is developed well and emphasized throughout.”…

The Bottom Line:

“With some minor differences, Common Core and California both cover the essential content for a rigorous, K-12 math­ematics program. That said, California’s standards are exceptionally clear and well presented, and indeed represent a model for mathematically sound writing. They are further supported by excellent peripheral material, including the Framework that provides clear and detailed guidance on the standards. Taken together, these enhancements make the standards easier to read and follow than Common Core. In addition, the high school content is organized so that the standards about various topics, such as quadratic functions, are grouped together in a mathematically coherent way. The organization of the Common Core is more difficult to navigate, in part because standards on related topics sometimes appear separately rather than together.

Common Core includes some minor high school content—including the vertex form of quadratics and max/min prob­lems—that is missing in California.”

Fordham’s review also notes that California has quite a few standards but they mitigate the problem by using a “green dot” system by identifying a smaller number of critical standards that students must deeply understand in order to progress with the key concepts emphasized. Fordham says “priorities are thus set admirably.”

The Green Dot Standards

What are “green dot” standards? Dr. Milgram did a powerpoint presentation on the California standards some time ago which I just found online and took some images from. In each grade level there are standards that tells teachers what content should be covered during the year for students. Not all standards are equal in importance though, and California put green ovals around the standards that were of primary importance in advancing student understanding so teachers would know where to spend the bulk of their time. They were notified that 85% of state test questions would come from such standards. The first image is of standards from grade 1 as written, and the image below shows standards numbers in a key for each grade level and which get the green dot treatment.

Green Dot Standards

Green Dot Standards

Click here to download the full PDF of California’s Green Dot standards.

Utah Higher Ed Support

In 2006 when Utah was considering what to do for a math standards revision, Dr. David Wright, BYU math professor, distributed a petition to Utah professors of math, sciences, and engineering asking them to support adopting California’s math standards. At that time, the USOE rejected adopting California’s standards because they “didn’t want to be like California.” They claimed that Utah was unique and had unique needs and we needed to have our own standards. Just a few years later those notions went out the window and the USOE embraced Common Core without ever pilot testing it and pushed out our 2007 standards that got most students to algebra by 8th grade. Here is Dr. Wright’s petition:

A Petition Directed to the State of Utah

We ask the state of Utah to adopt and implement the California Mathematics Standards for our public schools. We agree with the Fordham Foundation report on state mathematics standards that gave Utah’s current standards a D rating while giving California an A. We agree with the foundation’s assessment, “California’s standards are excellent in every respect. The language is crystal clear, important topics are given priority, and key connections between different skills and tasks are explicitly addressed. Computational skills, problem-solving, and mathematical reasoning are unambiguously supported and integrated throughout.” We want our Utah children to master the mathematics they need to compete favorably with the best students of other states and nations. Setting good standards is an important step toward achieving that goal. Please adopt and implement the California Mathematics Standards for our public schools.

Over 140 professors from around Utah signed this petition. You can view their names here. http://utahmath.org/signatures.html

One last chance for Common Core

Jason Zimba was one of the 3 writers of the Common Core math standards. After the standards were released, Jason was invited to testify to the Massachusetts school board on March 23, 2010. Dr. Sandra Stotsky was a member of the board at that time and had this exchange with Jason. Note particularly that he says the college readiness level in Common Core is minimal and Common Core was written for the schools most kids go to, not the ones parents aspire for their children to go to. He also notes it’s not for STEM or selective colleges.

Can we legally use California’s math standards?

A parent in Idaho has been engaged with an official in California on the possibility of using their math standards. This official, Dexter Fernandez, replied back that a state would simply need to request a copyright release to obtain permission and then stated, “There are many school systems, primarily overseas, that ask permission to use our standards.  Permission in those cases is routinely given.  I don’t see an issue with other states/school districts.” Utah, we have a green light to go with California’s green dot math standards.

Conclusion

What business does Utah have adopting standards that aren’t the best and then saying they’ll just fix the deficiencies as we go? How many iterations will we have to endure till they are “just right” and actually benchmark us with the high achieving nations of the world. The Common Core reform issues aren’t going to go away. There is just too much baggage and too many concerns on too many levels. I believe the simplest solution is to adopt the best available, tested, internationally benchmarked standards that are proven effective for all students. The added benefit with adopting CA’s standards is that since the state was so large, publishers actually wrote textbooks and curriculum specific to the CA standards. There is no recreating the wheel or piecing together lesson plans from multiple sources. Plenty of publishers produced quality materials that would be easily accessible.

Adopt California’s standards, assessments, and curricula, and a big part of the Common Core controversy goes away because we will have world-class standards, non-federally tracked assessments, proven curricula, and we can step back knowing our children are going to learn math beyond what any of their peers will in the United States. I call that college, career, and life ready standards.

Action Item

Please email a link to this page to your legislators (http://le.utah.gov/GIS/findDistrict.jsp), state board members (http://schoolboard.utah.gov/board-member-bios), and local district or charter school board members. I believe this solution is what Utah needs.

For the solution to what to do for ELA standards, click here and then here. The first link is to Dr. Stotsky’s revision of the pre-Common Core Massachusetts standards which were the best in the country and made stronger by her revision (and nobody is using them), and the second link is to her offer to come to Utah for free and work with teachers to give Utah the best ELA standards in the nation.