Tag Archives: Nationalizing Education

How do Soros, Agenda 21, and the Open Education movement tie to Utah?

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, but we all get excited about getting something for nothing. The internet is full of free stuff and has radically altered the way we engage with each other and is one of the greatest disruptive innovators in history.

Open source software has helped change the way we view software business models. Now open education initiatives promise to do the same thing for education and disrupt things in a major way.

Many people are aware of MIT’s online courses you can learn from for free, and then there’s Apple’s iTunes U project which allows for all kinds of material to study from a wide variety of sources. Other open education initiatives invite contributors to license their content and educators are able to purchase it from them.

So how could open education be a bad thing when sharing knowledge like this seems so wonderful? Knowledge is a wonderful thing. Being able to learn is at the center of human growth and joy. However, when knowledge isn’t true, or when it is used to indoctrinate into a political ideology, there is a great danger to society.

George Soros’ name is well-known. As a billionaire he has used his vast resources to take down the economies of a few countries, fund many leftist organizations such as ACORN, SEIU, MoveOn.org, and the ACLU (and over a hundred others). When he invests his resources, it is because he sees an opportunity to promote his far-left agenda.

Soros’ Open Society Institute recently partnered with the Department of Education to promote a global education initiative. Part of that initiative is to fund the “open education” movement. George Soros doesn’t invest in things he can’t feel a measure of control to advance his agenda.

This is eerily reminiscent of the agreement signed by the Gates Foundation with the United Nations education organization UNESCO in 2004 to create a global education system. The Gates Foundation soon put things in motion to bring about the nationalization of the American education system first, to advance the global education movement. He did this by donating millions of dollars to the National Governor’s Association and the CCSSO  (Council of Chief State Superintendents Organization) to create Common Core. Gates then paid the national PTA two million dollars to ignorantly promote it nationwide. Overall, the Gates Foundation has put over $100 million into creating and promoting Common Core.

President Obama’s secretary of education, Arne Duncan, is a big supporter of the Open Education movement and wants teachers to have access to the world’s knowledge. I mean, it’s great that teachers are going to have that access in free resources, but who is going to prepare those materials? Who will review and approve them? (Hopefully not the same people that did the Jordan and Granite math textbooks)

Soros has funded his Open Society organization with $400 million to promote his agenda.

It’s the same agenda that Arne Duncan often talks about and is associated with the United Nations Agenda 21 movement. The big buzzword is “sustainability” and Sec. Duncan is all over it. Sustainability is meant to be the carefully couched word that means everyone needs to recognize we have limited resources and someone a lot smarter (and more powerful) than you should be in control of determining how you live, eat, and breathe. It is part of the United Nations’ and George Soros funded Agenda 21, which is a blueprint for global communism by control of populations and property. It has a variety of paths it advances through, but the green movement is a major part.

In a speech Sec. Duncan gave to the Sustainability Summit in 2010, he opened his views up to the world. I recommend you read his talk if you are interested in the full meal deal, but here are some relevant clips.

“We at the Education Department are energized about joining these leaders in their commitment to preparing today’s students to participate in the green economy, and to be well-educated about the science of sustainability. We must advance the sustainability movement through education.

We need to support activities that provide a variety of educational and training opportunities for teachers and students. A lot of important work is happening at the local levels in states and districts. Maryland is close to adopting a requirement that high school graduates demonstrate environmental literacy before they earn their diploma.

The U.S. Green Building Council is working with school districts and universities to incorporate green technology into schools. These schools not only are good for the environment, they provide a better learning environment for students—and they are cost efficient. The council is bringing together the nation’s strongest advocates for education—representing more than 10 million members across the country to build a national infrastructure of healthy, high-performance schools that are conducive to learning while saving energy, resources and money. I’m especially excited to hear that this fall the coalition will be reaching out to groups beyond education in the private and public sector. There’s a federal role in supporting this work. We fund the National Clearinghouse on School Facilities, which is a national leader in helping K-12 leaders make school facilities green and sustainable.

…But their work goes beyond our infrastructure. The team is working to create policies that support state efforts to prepare students for jobs in the green economy. At the initiative of the green team, the Department recently issued grants to five states to develop career pathways that will support the green economy. These career pathways will define the academic knowledge and vocational skills that students will need to prepare themselves for green jobs in architecture, agriculture, energy, transportation and waste management. The National Research Center for Career and Technical Education is working closely with these states and, where appropriate, with the business community to design the programs of study that will lead to success in the green industry.

But our commitment has to be about even more than career pathways. It also has to prepare all students with the knowledge they need to be green citizens. In our Blueprint for Reform, the Obama administration is making an unprecedented commitment to promote a well-rounded education for our children. And for the first time, we are proposing that environmental education be part of that well-rounded education.

The Blueprint is our proposal to reauthorize and fix the No Child Left Behind Act. As many of you know, NCLB held schools accountable for student achievement in reading and mathematics. That has led to a narrowing of the curriculum, and no one—teachers, parents, or students—is happy with the state of affairs. We want all students to have access to a well-rounded, world-class curriculum—and that curriculum should include environmental literacy. For the first time ever, the Department of Education will be supporting locally developed models that teach environmental science.”

Isn’t it a little strange that the Obama administration is giving waivers from NCLB for adopting Common Core when 2 years ago he said they were going to reauthorize and fix NCLB? Hmmm, could it be that Common Core, *IS* the re-authorization and fix they were looking for?

Did you notice that Duncan mentions going beyond schools into groups in the private and public sector? That may be part of what’s called 21st Century Schools and Utah is now implementing them through a *FEDERAL GRANT* (ie. strings attached) serving 99 community sites and 21,000 students. What could possibly go wrong with this? Look at page 4 of this document to see the type of indoctrination that is happening.

Some readers will be familiar with John Goodlad from emails I’ve sent out in the past. Goodlad is a prominent national educator and came to BYU in 1983 to help set up the Public School Partnership with surrounding school districts. In 1986 he invited BYU’s Education Department to join his NNER (National Network for Educational Renewal). In time, he fundamentally transformed the education department to almost fully adopt and endorse his agenda. BYU’s Ed dept. even hosted one of his national conferences a few years ago and Goodlad had a conference promoting social justice in the classroom a year ago, and had terrorist/educator Bill Ayers as a keynote speaker at his national conference a year or two ago as well.

Charlotte Iserbyt was a senior policy advisor in the Department of Education during the Reagan administration and she documented the effort to dumb down America by copying documents and publishing a book you can get for free online called, The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America. In that book, she calls Goodlad, “America’s premier change agent.” His agenda is to fundamentally transform America through the education system.

Goodlad’s agenda is termed the “Agenda for Education in a Democracy” (AED) and by Democracy he literally means direct Democracy, moral relativism, and not the republican form of government the Constitution guarantees to us. In all of the United States there are 30 Goodlad designated “AED Scholars” who he trusts enough to bestow this honor on. Utah is home to at least 4 of them. There are 2 at BYU in the McKay School of Education, and 2 in Alpine School District’s administration. I could provide many quotes from Goodlad, but here are a few relevant ones that illustrate his agenda.

“Educators must resist the quest for certainty. If there were certainty there would be no scientific advancement.  So it is with morals and patriotism.” (Education for Everyone, p. 6.)

“Most youth still hold the same values of their parents…if we do not alter this pattern, if we don’t resocializeour system will decay.” (Education Innovation, Issue 9.)

–John Goodlad: “Report of Task Force C: Strategies for Change,” Schooling for the Future, a report to the President’s Commission on Schools Finance, Issue #9, 1971.

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

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

“It is my expectation that Teacher Education for Democracy and Social Justice will become a rich resource for continuing this multi-layered conversation-from democratic belief to democratic action-that is the hallmark of educational renewal.” -John Goodlad’s forward to “Teacher Education for Democracy and Social Justice,” Nicholas Michelli and David Lee Keiser

“Enlightened social engineering is required to face situations that demand global action now… Parents and the general public must be reached also, otherwise, children and youth enrolled in globally oriented programs may find themselves in conflict with values assumed in the home. And then the educational institution frequently comes under scrutiny and must pull back.” – Dr. John I. Goodlad, “Guide to Getting Out Your Message,” National Education Goals Panel Community Action Toolkit: A Do-It-Yourself Kit for Education Renewal (September 1994); 6

Better re-read that last quote. The goal is globally oriented programs like the International Baccalaureate which is a UNESCO partnership program emphasizing sustainability teaching to children and collectivist, socialist indoctrination. Watch the video at the bottom of this page for some very alarming quotes including the anti-family, pantheistic agenda UNESCO espouses.

Another buzzword by educators is a goal of critical thinking training in schools. The purpose of this is to teach and indoctrinate children to think critically about the morals and teachings they have received at home and church. As I have said elsewhere, this doesn’t mean all your children’s teachers in public schools are following this philosophy and trying to indoctrinate them. It just means that they are being fed this philosophy in schools of education and they are susceptible to it and some are passing it on event inadvertently because they trust schools of education where they are told things like “all the studies show this is the best way to teach.” The Texas GOP just added a section to their party platform opposing this indoctrination.

We also see that Goodlad recognizes that when parents wake up to these facts, sometimes they rebel and then it causes the educators to “pull back” for a time. That’s why he says that “parents and the general public must be reached” or else the values they teach children in the home will conflict with the values Goodlad intends to put upon them in the classroom, namely socialism and moral relativism. This is where those 21st Century Schools and Community Learning Centers come in to allow for parents to come and get the steady stream of “sustainability” education.

Goodlad picture in MSE at BYU
One of several Goodlad posters at BYU/MSE

One of the great misconceptions at BYU’s McKay School of Education is that they can push Goodlad so heavily and not have the negative aspects of his agenda seep through to students, teachers, and administrators. In Alpine school district, at least one school bought and passed out one of Goodlad’s books for every teacher and area legislators a few years ago. They can say they don’t believe *everything* Goodlad teaches when you press them on it, but when you hang his posters in the halls and put up plaques with his quotes on them, and openly praise him, you’re sending an overpowering signal to people that you agree with his humanist, moral relativistic, atheistic, social justice, anti-family philosophies. Goodlad gains nationwide credibility when his organizations show he’s a partner with BYU.

Key to the effort of 21st Century Schools is a cradle to grave database tracking system that will hold data on citizens. One of the requirements of Common Core grant funding was to set up a statewide longitudinal database. In Utah this was called the P20w system for preschool to grade 20 (college graduation) to workforce. This is the same Outcome-Based Education nonsense that was defeated in the 90’s by concerned citizens. Mark Tucker wrote a letter to Hillary Clinton after Bill was elected congratulating her and outlining things he would love to see happen to nationalize education and make schools little more than training centers for society’s central planners to determine at early ages where children should go into the workforce. It’s all happening now. Career aptitude tests are being prepared for kindergarteners and 3rd graders, and under Common Core in Utah, by 7th grade students are placed into a math track that will determine what their top math level will be when they graduate.

So where is the Open Education movement today? In the state of Utah, the State Office of Education has fully embraced Open Education initiatives. In January of 2012, they issued this press release stating:

“The Utah State of Office of Education (USOE) today announced it will develop and support open textbooks in the key curriculum areas of secondary language arts, science, and mathematics. USOE will encourage districts and schools throughout the state to consider adopting these textbooks for use beginning this fall.

Open textbooks are textbooks written and synthesized by experts, vetted by peers, and made available online for free access, downloading, and use by anyone. Open textbooks can also be printed through print-on-demand or other printing services for settings in which online use is impossible or impractical. In earlier pilot programs, open textbooks have been printed and provided to more than 3,800 Utah high school science students at a cost of about $5 per book, compared to an average cost of about $80 for a typical high school science textbook.

…The decision to pursue open textbooks at scale comes after two years of successful open textbook pilots led by David Wiley of Brigham Young University’s David O. McKay School of Education. Each pilot was conducted by the BYU-Public School Partnership in partnership with the Utah State Office of Education. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation provided funding. Mathematics and science textbooks will be based on books originally published by the CK12 Foundation, a not-for-profit organization based in California founded with the mission to produce free and open source K-12 materials aligned to state curriculum.”

Interesting that this is funded by the Hewlett Foundation, a foundation with close ties to George Soros and the Gates Foundation, and has as one of its goals, population reduction through family planning and reproductive services (last 2 paragraphs here).

As noted in the press release, David Wiley at BYU is in charge of Utah’s pilot program and he has listed his resume online. Among his accomplishments he lists the following: Director, USU Center for Open and Sustainable Learning; Founder, Open High School of Utah; and Associate Director of the Center for the Improvement of Teacher Education and Schooling (or CITES for short). CITES is the Goodlad training center at BYU for teachers and administrators in the BYU Public School Partnership districts to get indoctrinated in the Goodlad educational philosophy before stepping into their roles of shaping our children’s minds. CITES is an organization we have previously written up for not cooperating with an audit that Orem Senator Margaret Dayton was pursuing.

This isn’t to say that David Wiley and all the other people associated with CITES and BYU’s MSE are bad people (David is actually very pleasant in email correspondence I’ve had with him). They’ve just embraced parts of a philosophy that I believe is destructive of American values. No matter how noble some of their goals are like providing open education resources, significant dangers lie ahead. Soros and his education partners are powerful globalists with money and influence looking to push their agenda, and now that the framework is in place, they will pump propaganda into open source materials.

In fact, it appears to have already reached Utah through these types of channels. The recent Granite & Jordan school district math textbook fiasco with textbook problems full of inappropriate leftist propaganda (link 1, link 2, link 3) was a result of copy/pasting math problems from open source materials according to one school board member. People like George Soros know that as schools move toward cheap, open materials, they can insert thousands of propagandizing, social justice type questions which will wind up being thoughtlessly inserted into textbooks for students. No true “critical thinking” skills are required for copy/pasting math problems from one source into another and Utah’s population is as gullible and ready to accept this nonsense as anyone. Even the NCTM has added a new book for teachers on how to teach for Social Justice in the classroom.

Some people will continue to try and dismiss all of this and label it a “conspiracy theory” in the hopes that busy or thoughtless people will ignore it. There is no need to theorize about what is happening in education. It’s plain and simple, out in the open, conspiracy fact. Anyone can research and read exactly what this is all about and I encourage people to read the information in all the links above where it is abundantly clear. In their own words they are moving the national education system into a global system to indoctrinate children. This agenda will be even more obvious in the next article posted to the site.

The chart below illustrates the behemoth that was set up by the federal government and “conspiratorial” partner organizations like the Gates Foundation, PRIOR to them enticing the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State Superintendents Organization with $20 million to get together and create a set of Common Core state standards. They didn’t care what the states developed, they just wanted them all on the same page tied to the same federal strings that would light up this network and be the final piece in the puzzle of nationalizing education. Why has the Gates Foundation put over $100 million into the creation and promotion of Common Core? Because in 2004 they signed an agreement with UNESCO to create a global education system.

RTTT Grant Connections
Click to enlarge

To see a fairly detailed timeline on the implementation of Common Core, please read this post titled The Common Core Lie.

Please share this information with friends, neighbors, and your legislators. It’s not too late to work together to get Utah off federal money which accounts for less than 12% of Utah’s annual education budget revenues (page 4). Being off the federal funds will allow us to chart our own course as it should be.

As for the open education movement, there is a tremendous amount of good that can come from sharing true knowledge and making it freely available. However, much greater scrutiny must be exercised by schools and districts in selecting materials appropriate for students. Much greater involvement from parents examining their children’s school work must also be attended to. With broad-based submissions in the open education space, comes a serious quality control issue. This can be seen both in instances of propaganda finding its way into Granite and Jordan School District’s, and if Jordan school district really had “unsolvable” problems in their book, clearly the materials they chose to use weren’t vetted well, indicting both the author of those materials, and the individuals selecting the materials to use.

Christel Swasey Responds to Brenda Hales

On July 10th, 2012, a public forum was held where 4 visiting experts shared concerns with Common Core. A press release was sent out earlier in the day causing Brenda Hales, a USOE administrator, to post a statement on the Utah Public Education website trying to offer the official line on Common Core. Christel Swasey, a Utah public education teacher, challenged her statement with this fact filled rebuttal. I encourage you to read Brenda’s post as well so you can see what’s being said by the USOE.

 

To Whom It May Concern:

The following information directly conflicts with this week’s statement about Common Core and national educational reforms as published by the USOE at http://utahpubliceducation.org/2012/07/10/utahs-core-standards-assessments-and-privacy-regulations/.

The following information has links to references so that you can verify what is claimed, unlike the unreferenced information given by the USOE.

1. Personally identifiable student data will be shared with governmental and non-governmental entities, both in-state and out of state, as never before.

The Federal Register outlines, on page 51, that it is not a necessity for a school to get student or parental consent any longer before sharing personally identifiable information; that has been reduced to the level of optional.

“It is a best practice to keep the public informed when you disclose personally identifiable information from education records.”  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-12-02/pdf/2011-30683.pdf

Dec. 2011 regulations, which the Dept. of Education made without Congressional approval and for which they are now being sued by EPIC, literally loosen, rather than strengthen, parental consent rules and other rules.  http://www.jdsupra.com/post/documentViewer.aspx?fid=5aa4af34-8e67-4f42-8e6b-fe801c512c7a

A lawyer at EPIC disclosed that these privacy intrusions affect not only children, but anyone who ever attended any college or university (that archives records, unless it is a privately funded university).

Because the 2011 changes stretch and redefine terms like “authorized representative” and “educational program” to include non-governmental agencies and many additional governmental agencies, effectively, there is no privacy regulation governing schools anymore, on the federal level. (Thanks to Utah legislators who are on the case, we might soon have stronger privacy laws to protect Utahns from the new federal intrusion).

The types of information that the Department will collect includes so much more than academic information: it includes biometric information (DNA, fingerprints, iris patterns) and parental income, nicknames, medical information, extracurricular information, and much more. See page 4 at  http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/pdf/ferparegs.pdf and see http://nces.sifinfo.org/datamodel/eiebrowser/techview.aspx?instance=studentPostsecondary

Utah’s federally-funded State Longitudinal Database System (SLDS) exists for the purpose of sharing data not only among state agencies but from the state to the US Dept. of Ed.  The SLDS also exists to “manage” and “disaggregate” educational information within the state.   –A briefing was given in Utah, August 2010 by John Brandt, who is the USOE Technology Director and a member of the federal Dept. of Education, a member of the federal NCES, and a chair member of CCSSO (an organization that helped develop and promote the Common Core national standards.) On page 5 of Brandt’s online powerpoint, he explains that student records and transcripts can be used from school districts to the USOE or USHE “and beyond,” and can also be shared between the USOE and the US Department of Education.

Utah’s P-20 workforce council exists to track citizens starting in preschool, and to “forge organizational and technical bonds and to build the data system needed to make informed decisions” for stakeholders both in and outside Utah. — http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/2/prweb9201404.htm

The linking of data from preschool to post-secondary and on to workforce, both locally and to D.C., allows agencies easy access, technologically and in terms of legal policy.

The SLDS and P-20 systems were paid for by the federal government and they transform the way data is shared– and the federally stated purpose for all the data gathering is educational research– yet this also allows the state and federal governments to track, steer and even punish teachers, students and citizens more easily. http://cte.ed.gov/docs/NSWG/Workforce_Data_Brief.pdf

Data linking changes are not just technological in nature; there are also changes being made in regulations and policies that make former privacy protection policies all but meaningless.  The changes are so outrageous, harming parental consent law and privacy concerns so much that the Department of Education has been sued over it. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) sued the Dept. of Education, under the Administrative Procedure Act, arguing that the Dept. of Ed’s regulations that changed the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act in Dec. 2011 exceeded the Department of Education’s authority and are contrary to law. http://epic.org/apa/ferpa/default.html

The Federal Register of December 2011 outlines the Dept. of Education’s new, Congressionally un-approved regulations, that decrease parental involvement and increase the number of agencies that have access to private student data: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-12-02/pdf/2011-30683.pdf  (See page 52-57)

Although the Federal Register describes countless agencies, programs and “authorities” that may access personally identifiable student information, it uses permissive rather than mandatory language.  The obligatory language comes up in the case of the Cooperative Agreement between the Department of Education and the states’ testing consortium –of which Utah is still a member: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-assessment/sbac-cooperative-agreement.pdf

In that document, states are obligated to share data with the federal government “on an ongoing basis,” to give status reports, phone conferences and other information, and must synchronize tests “across consortia”. This triangulation nationalizes the testing system and puts the federal government in the middle of the data collecting program.

For more information about the history of similar actions taken by the federal Dept. of Education that infringe upon state law and freedom, see the white paper by ROPE (Restore Oklahoma Public Education) entitled “Analysis of Recent Education Reforms and the Resulting Impact on Student Privacy”  —  http://www.scribd.com/doc/94149078/An-Analysis-of-Recent-Education-Reforms-and-the-Resulting-Impact-on-Student-Privacy

For understanding of the motivation of the federal government, read some of the US Dept. of Education Arne Duncan’s or Obama’s speeches that show the passion with which the federal agency seeks access to data to control teachers and educational decisions. http://www2.ed.gov/news/speeches/2009/06/06082009.pdf

2. The State Board of Education has virtually no control over the national standards it has adopted for Utah. 

Governing documents of Common Core state that the Utah School Board may not delete anything from the national standards and can only add 15% to them.  If Utah needs to add about a whole year’s worth of improvement to a given standard, as is the case with the 6th and 9th grade Common Core “math bubble” of repetition experienced this year in districts that implemented Common Core math, we can’t add more –and remain the same as Common Core nationally.  Our 6th and 9th graders learn no math for an entire year because of the lack of local control.  (Prior to Common Core, 8th graders learned Algebra I.  Under Common Core, 9th graders learn Algebra I.)  Because the NGA placed the standards under copyright, Utah can not amend them in any way. http://www.corestandards.org/terms-of-use   To illustrate, even a member of the state school board couldn’t do anything more than pull her grandkids out of public school to deal with the situation.  The school board member home schooled her 8th grade grandson and 9th grade granddaughter this year, “since our school district had decided to adopt the Common Core for every grade rather than what was proposed by the state. It was proposed that we only adopt for the 6th and 9th grade and provide alternative programs for those students who already had the skills being taught to all through the Common Core.” http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/state-and-local-school-board-perceptions-of-common-core-differ-13-2/

Additionally, any changes (up to 15%) that Utah makes to the national standards will never be taken into account on the common standardized tests.  The test developer, WestEd, affirmed that “in order for this system to have a real impact within a state, the state will need to adopt the CCSS, i.e., not have two sets of standards.”

http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/what-is-wested-and-why-should-you-care/

Anecdotally: those Utah teachers who love Common Core confuse the academic standards themselves with the methodologies being used to implement them.  New methodologies in many cases are excellent, but have nothing to do with national standards.  They are used in non-Common Core states.  Innovative methodologies that work well are not tied to the common national standards, which are only academic levels that could just as easily be higher or lower, and can still be taught free of Common Core’s rules, using the good methodologies.

Utah has lost its autonomy over standards and assessments. The next time Utah reviews standards and wishes to raise the bar, what will happen? There is no CCSS amendment process.  Also, since most states joined Common Core, and we’re virtually all the same; where is the collaboration, competition or better example to aspire to?

The common national standards were adopted due to federal recommendations during the initial Race to the Top application for funding for federal money.  Fortunately, since Utah didn’t receive the money, we can escape Common Core without serious financial problems. And we should.  Despite the letter of March 7, 2012 from Arne Duncan, stating “states have the sole right to set learning standards,” legally binding documents conflict with that Constitutional right, as well as with Duncan’s promises and with the Cooperative Agreement Duncan made with the SBAC.

When the Dept. of Education forced states to choose between No Child Left Behind and Common Core, they proved that Common Core is just the next federal program.

The ESEA Flexibility releases “waiver winning” states from No Child Left Behind law, only on conditions of implementing Common Core.  On page 8 of the ESEA Flexibility document (updated June 7, 2012)  found at  http://www.ed.gov/esea/flexibility, please read:   “A State’s college- and career-ready standards must be either (1) standards that are common to a significant number of States; or (2) standards that are approved by a State network of institutions of higher education”.

Thus, since Utah chose option one, we are stuck in Common Core by choosing to accept the NCLB waiver. On page 9 of the same document, we read:

“ ‘Standards that are common to a significant number of States’ means standards that are substantially identical across all States in a consortium that includes a significant number of States.  A State may supplement such standards with additional standards, provided that the additional standards do not exceed 15 percent of the State’s total standards for a content area. ”

Utah not only has to stick with the Common Core State Standards by having accepted NCLB; we also are restricted from adding to “our” standards.

3. Utah applied for, but fortunately did not receive a Race to the Top (RTTT) grant.   This means Utah can leave Common Core without having to pay back a grant, something that some other states wishing to flee Common Core’s entanglements cannot do.

But, because the SBAC did receive a large RTTT grant for assessment development and because Utah is a member of SBAC, we are bound to the federal government’s data collection rules and the national standards/assessments, with Washington State our fiscal agent as long as we remain an SBAC member.

The Department of Education first incentivized the adoption of the Common Core, and then incentivized adoption of national testing.  Utah is under obligations associated with the SBAC grant as long as we remain a member of that consortium.

Exiting the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium system requires getting federal approval.  But if Utah withdraws from the consortium via the formal exit process, we will then no longer be obligated to share data with the federal government and share nationally synchronized tests, but we will still be allowed to share data with the federal government under the new FERPA regulatory changes, unless EPIC wins their lawsuit against the Dept. of Education this year.

To sum up: Common Core is very similar to Obamacare.  Governor Herbert said very eloquently that Obama’s  “Affordable Care Act imposes a one-size-fits-all plan on all states, effectively driving us to the lowest common denominator. It results in burdensome regulation, higher costs, and a massive, budget-busting… expansion.”   If you substitute the word “Common Core” for “Affordable Care Act,” you’ll understand what the federal education push is all about.  The Federal Government did not initiate both the educational and the medical programs, but does control both.

-Christel Swasey

—————-

fact vs. myth

Email Exchange with Dixie Allen on the State Board

Paul Rolly gives new meaning to the word spin after publishing an article in the SL Tribune today indicating that I got into a “vicious e-mail exchange” with Dixie Allen of the State School Board and that I became “unhinged”. So I decided I should publish the email exchange since it’s obvious that others are floating the exchange around and it now needs to be seen in full light.

Mr. Rolly also makes several false assumptions in his article such as saying this is a right-wing movement. It is not. There are Democrats I have corresponded with such as Lynn Stoddard, a respected retired educator who has been outspoken against Common Core for its inability to individualize education for students.  Lynn just had an op-ed published in the Deseret News which I encourage everyone to read. (link)

It’s humorous as well that Mr. Rolly says we’ve “[requested] volumes of records” when in fact we have had to dig and find documents ourselves on state and federal websites to put together a picture of the federal plan to nationalize education.

Mr. Rolly also says Carol Lear denies saying what I quote her saying below, but that came directly from communication she had in April 2012 acting in her capacity as the legal counsel for the USOE to Utah school teacher Christel Swasey. (link)

In April of this year the State School Board held a public forum to listen to public concerns on Common Core. After announcing how they wanted public input, they worked to stack the deck with UEA, PTA, and school teachers to come speak in favor of the Common Core and not actually let the public air their full concerns.

At this event, they passed out a flier with what they labeled fact and fiction, taking everything that parents such as myself have raised concerned over and calling them fiction, while listing their own explanations as fact. In their “fact” sections they didn’t reference a single document. Over the next couple days, Utah school teacher Christel Swasey wrote a rebuttal to their flier and listed numerous documents in support of the evidence as to why they were wrong. I then posted the rebuttal online and sent this first email below to the State School Board, Superintendent Shumway, and legislators. Here is the full exchange.

*******

Dear State School Board and USOE,

Having seen your full color flier on Common Core this past week, a Utah teacher has prepared a full rebuttal based on documented facts, and challenges you to refute it.

https://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/correcting-the-usoes-facts-education-without-representation/

Shortlink:

http://bit.ly/IfTOh1

Oak

********

Oak,

It is so unfortunate that you feel the need to tear down policy, procedure and curriculum rather than build on what can work and move forward.  I want so to build on what is good and improve on that which is not working.  We need to prepare our students to be capable of working in a world economy and striking out against anything that may improve our curriculum because it comes outside Utah only undermines our chances to prepare our students for the world they are inheriting.

Regardless, I will take the credible concerns from teachers, parents and students and work to improve on our curriculum and support systems to the degree we can afford to do with the dollars and structure we have available.

Would love to have you work with us, instead of against us.

Dixie

*******

Hi Dixie,

So far our concerns have fallen on completely deaf ears. Nobody at the USOE or state board has given any validity to what we’ve brought up.  These concerns have been called lies and misrepresentations, or dismissed as “fiction” in official documents by the State Office and Board.  I wouldn’t exactly call that seeking to work with us, especially considering that our facts are backed up by actual documents while the board flier passed out last Thursday didn’t have a single reference to back up your “facts.” We would love to have our concerns receive serious and honest answers but, so far, that’s not been the case.

Oak

*******

Oak,

Maybe that is because we don’t have time to chase all your conspiracy issues down — we are too busy making sure we have our curriculum in place, assessment that correctly assesses the curriculum, quality instruction in every classroom, evaluations of teachers and principals to insure such quality instruction and support from our legislature to properly fund the system.  We do not have time to chase the conspiracy issues that you and others keep bringing to our table.  We are absolutely convinced that this adoption of core standards is a step in the right direction and regardless of your issues, we will be working hard to amend, improve, add to and assess these standards — rather than wasting time trying to answer all the questions that have no bearing on the quality of education we are providing.

That’s what I wish you were working for.

Dixie

*******

Dixie,

We know the board is busy and the state office as well, and yet we’re not even asking you to do a ton of research. We’ve done it for you and are just providing it to you. It’s quite stunning that you would call our concerns conspiracy theories when they come right out of documents the state office has filed or direct quotes from officials that are well aware of what’s going on.

For example, is it a conspiracy theory that Larry Shumway went on Rod Arquette’s radio show and announced that he’s concerned how President Obama and Secretary Duncan are taking credit for the Common Core standards and how the DoEd is already pressuring the state in some way associated with the standards? https://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/utah-state-superintendent-admits-to-federal-pressure-on-cc/

Is it a conspiracy theory that Retired Appellate Judge Norman Jackson reviewed the documents we have concerns with and said:

“What is the role of the federal government in Common Core standards implementation? According to proponents of the standards, the federal government has had NO role in their implementation. Concerned citizens, including mothers and teachers, have done their homework and conclude the opposite. They asked me to examine the contracts. Based on my examination of three underlying contract documents—I concur with the citizens.”

“In 2010, the State of Utah (Executive Branch) joined the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. In 2011, the Consortium signed a Cooperative Contract with the U. S. Department of Education. These contracts legally bind Utah to proceed with implementation of the Federal Common Core Standards.” ?

Is it a conspiracy theory when we say the standards are not great and Utah doesn’t currently have the right to modify them and then USOE legal counsel Carol Lear says, “The whole point is to get to a place where there is a ‘common core’ – that would mean the same standards for all the states that adopt it.  If the states had the freedom to ‘disagree’ and ‘change’ them, I guess they would no longer be ‘common’.”  ?

The problem we face is that everyone at the state who claims to value local control is so busy with so many things, they don’t want to hear from concerned citizens who have spent literally hundreds of hours researching what’s going on. It’s easy to dismiss someone else’s concerns when you label them liars and conspiracy theorists, but that doesn’t do anything to build the relationships of cooperation you claim to value.

Oak

*******

Oak,

I guess what I am saying is — We have heard your message and are working hard to be sure we are doing what is appropriate to move forward and support quality education for the students of the state.  You do not need to keep beating us over the head with the same message.

Dixie

*******

At this point one of the legislators who had been following along emailed this response.

*******

Hello Dixie,

I have been following this ongoing conversation between you and Oak Norton. I am disappointed that a state employee would be as dis-respectful to a private citizen as you have been to Mr. Norton.  I appreciate citizens who contact the state regarding issues that could impact the education of our children.  Could you please help me understand your hostile attitude toward Mr. Norton? His emails present legitimate issues and concerns with common core.  Wouldn’t it be better to respond with rebuttals that qualify and support Utah State Office of Education positions on these issues rather than attacking people as conspiracy theorists.
Sincerely,

Rep Mike Noel

P.S.  Retired Judge Norman Jackson is a solid citizen and a good friend

*******

This email was followed by another representative making this comment and Rep. Noel’s final response.

*******

Mike,

I believe that Dixie should be able to express her opinion as a state employee or as a private citizen. We should be able to get input from anyone and everyone regardless of their employment.  If Dixie wants to share her opinion with us on any issue, I welcome it.

Representative Jim Bird

*******

Hello Jim

I agree that Dixie can share her personal opinions as can any state employee or any member of the USOE or State School Board.  However, I strongly believe that state employees when dealing with their customers (the public) have an obligation to be professional and to answer inquiries from the public in a professional manner.  I am sure you agree that we don’t want state employees treating members of the public, and especially your constituents, in a rude condescending manner.    I think you are stretching it to say Mrs. Allen is responding to Mr. [Norton] from a personal point of view.   Read her statements, she is expressing the opinions of the USOE and from her position as the Vice Chairman of the State School Board.   When she assumes that role, she is no longer afforded the option of being disrespectful to those that may offer a different opinion on what I consider is an important issue.  FYI, I also don’t think Dixie was sharing her opinion with you or me or any of us, I think she was responding to a request for a policy review of the implementation of Common Core to Mr. [Norton].  I was actually interested in seeing what the official response was going to be from USOE and the Board, as opposed to … stop pestering us with your conspiracy theories.  Have a nice day.

Sincerely,

[Rep Mike Noel]

*******

That’s the “vicious” and “unhinged” attack in all its gore. Mr. Rolly sure weaves a fancy spin of events to marginalize people. Maybe the SL Tribune headline was properly titled after all. :)

Rolly: Rotten to the Core

Common Core Governing Documents

We recently received an email asking about the governing documents for Common Core and a couple of individuals sent me this list of links below. It is not intended to be a comprehensive list as that would be difficult to amass. Many of you have seen the illustration at the bottom of the previous article, The Common Core Lie, which shows the number of organizations established to fill in the network of entities and programs seeking to nationalize education. It’s a complex beast with tentacles into every aspect of education. It is apparent that this has been in the works for many years and many documents reference the common core documents or are referenced by them. A few of those are:

  • America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education and Science Act (COMPETES Act)
  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Documents

Cooperative Agreement between Dept of Ed and SBAC: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-assessment/sbac-cooperative-agreement.pdf

The copyrighted standards: http://www.corestandards.org/terms-of-use

The Smarter Balanced Governance structure: http://www.smarterbalanced.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Smarter-Balanced-Governance.pdf

The RTTT application for Utah: http://www.schools.utah.gov/arra/Uses/Utah-Race-to-the-Top-Application.aspx

Challenging and in opposition to a federal takeover of education (which Common Core certainly is):

On FERPA regulations:  Here’s the federal regulatory changes that were made without Congressional knowledge/approval:  http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=11975031b82001bed902b3e73f33e604&rgn=div5&view=text&node=34:1.1.1.1.33&idno=34

The executive branch is being sued by EPIC for adding those illegal regulations that hurt privacy but advance the cause of Common Core testing’s national data collection agenda:  http://epic.org/apa/ferpa/default.html

A link to the Federal law’s which explicitly prohibit the Feds from being involved (GEPA law):  http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/20/1232a

No provision of any applicable program shall be construed to authorize any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, or over the selection of library resources, textbooks, or other printed or published instructional materials by any educational institution or school system…

9th and 10th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution:

9: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

10: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

 

Children are Unique

In manufacturing parts from materials, we strive to create uniformity and consistency. In raising children, everyone knows within their home that their children are all unique with diverse interests, talents, and abilities.

Progressives largely view children as objects which can be acted upon and shaped to their specifications. For decades they have sought to create the perfect widget in education so they could take children and mold them into pieces ready to be fitted to the purpose for which they have planned. They have wanted to track children from birth into the workforce and now they have just about succeeded by implementing Common Core.

In February 2012, the Utah Education Network released a press release announcing the selection of Choice Solutions as the partner to implement the P20W database to track our children from pre-school, through college, and into the workforce. Marc Tucker’s dream of a cradle to grave system which he wrote to Hillary Clinton in 1992 is coming to fruition and we are jumping in with both feet thanks to bureaucrats who jump into federal money like it’s an inviting hot tub.

Someone sent me this article yesterday (One-Size Education Doesn’t Fit by Donald Devine) which goes back a step further to a 1989 National Governor’s Association meeting chaired by Bill Clinton where national standards were a major topic and eventually led to No Child Left Behind. Now Common Core promises to complete the circle by bringing national standards and assessments under the federal umbrella and store all our children’s personal information (including medical) in a near cradle-to-grave system of widget manufacturing. Children aren’t widgets! They aren’t things to be acted upon. They have free will and need a system that allows for them to work within their own personal capabilities and interests.

A radical idea to transform what kids learn in school by Marion Brady in the Washington Post

Educate for human variety not uniformity by Lynn Stoddard

We should be setting the bar high, but recognize the infinite variety within each child and allow for them to have an educational path that meets their needs and desires and allows them to achieve the goals and dreams they have.

If you are not familiar with the articles listed above, I strongly encourage you to at least browse through them to become familiar with the concepts.

 

 

Controlling Education From the Top: Why the Common Core is Bad for America

There’s a wealth of clearly written and referenced information –much you may not know– in a white paper released this week:   Controlling Education From the Top: Why the Common Core is Bad for America.  (by American Principles Project and Pioneer Institute)  http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/state_edwatch/Controlling-Education-From-the-Top%5B1%5D.pdf

The first section focuses on the mediocrity of the standards, which have redefined “college readiness” as preparing students for non-selective two year colleges, and not for four year universities.

The paper details the circumvented federal laws, the loss of sovereignty and family privacy, the costs to taxpayers, the misleading and imposing upon states by the U.S. Department of Education, and more.

A highlight of the paper is the observation of math standards by James Milgram, Common Core Validation Committee Member, and by Ze’ev Wurman (mathematician, Senior Policy Advisor in the U.S. Department of Education 2007-2009, and California Common Core Standards Commission Evaluation member.)

The mathematicians point out that Algebra I is not introduced until ninth grade under Common Core (previous to Common Core, in Utah, Algebra I was introduced in 8th grade).  Common core starts teaching decimals only in grade 4, two years behind standards for high-standard states and countries. Common core fails to address mathematical induction and parametric equations, fails to teach prime factorization and barely touches on logarithms. It also fails to include conversions among fractions, decimals, and percents.  Common Core de-emphasizes algebraic manipulation, which is a prerequisite for advanced mathematics, and effectively redefines algebra as “functional algebra,” which does not prepare students for STEM careers.

The list goes on and on and on. There is so much to learn in this white paper.

Many of us are printing hard copies, highlighting them, and hand delivering them to local school board members, teachers and administrators.

Please read the document for yourself and share it.

Correcting the USOE’s “Facts” – Education without Representation

Addendum: If the USOE would care to respond to any of this information as a rebuttal, I would be happy to post it on this website. Consider this a challenge to debunk our information with documented facts.

The Utah State Office of Education has published a pamphlet to try and tell people that all the concerns being raised about Common Core are just dust in the wind. Here is a link to their flier and an excellent rebuttal by Utah school teacher Christel Swasey.

USOE Flier (PDF)

Education Without Representation

Response to claims of the Utah School Board’s flier

The Utah State Board of Education has a flier which is also posted on the official website. http://www.schools.utah.gov/core/DOCS/coreStandardsPamphlet.aspx

None of the claims of the flier have been backed up with references. This response will be backed up with references to verifiable sources and legally binding documents.

  • The State Board flier states that this is a myth: “Utah adopted nationalized education standards that come with federal strings attached.”

FACT:   Utah’s Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Department of Education (via the SBAC tests; link below) presents so many federal strings, it’s more like federal rope around Utah’s neck.

The Cooperative Agreement mandates synchronization of testing arms and testing, mandates giving status updates and written reports and phone conferences with the federal branch and it demands that “across consortia,” member states provide data “on an ongoing basis” for perusal by the federal government. This federal control is, according to G.E.P.A. laws and the U.S. Constitution, an illegal encroachment by the federal government on our state. http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-assessment/sbac-cooperative-agreement.pdf

FACT:  The Federal government paid for the promotion of Common Core. It paid other groups to do what it is constitutionally forbidden to do. Each group that worked to develop the standards and/or the test were federally funded and each remains under compliance regulations of federal grants. For two examples, PARCC (a testing consortium) was funded through a four-year, $185 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Education to delivering a K-12 assessment system. http://www.achieve.org/achieve-names-three-directors. WestED, the other consortium test writer for SBAC, is funded by the executive branch, including the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Justice. http://www.wested.org/cs/we/print/docs/we/fund.htm. There are many more examples of federal funding and federal promotion of this supposedly state-led initative if you just do a little digging.

FACT: To exit the SBAC, a state must get federal approval and the permission of a majority of consortium states.  http://www.oaknorton.com/Utah-rttt.zip  (page 297).

FACT: When South Carolina recently made moves to sever ties with the Common Core Initiative, Arne Duncan, the U.S. Secretary of Education, began to make angry, unsubstatiated attacks, insulting South Carolina.   http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/statement-us-secretary-education-arne-duncan-1   Duncan had similarly insulted Texas educators on national television and had made incorrect statements about Texas education, when that state refused to join Common Core.

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2089503,00.html

  • The State Board flier states that this is a myth: “Utah taxpayers will have to pay more money to implement the new Utah Core Standards.” 

FACT: No cost analysis has been done by Utah. (Ask U.S.O.E. to see one.)

FACT: Other states cited high implementation costs as reasons they rejected the Common Core Initiative. The Texas Education Agency estimated implementing the Common Core standards in the state would result in professional development costs of $60 million for the state and approximately $500 million for local school districts, resulting in a total professional development cost of $560 million. http://www.pioneerinstitute.org/pdf/120222_CCSSICost.pdf (p. 15) Also, Virginia’s State School Board cited both educational and financial reasons for rejecting Common Core. http://www.doe.virginia.gov/news/news_releases/2010/jun16.pdf

FACT: California is asking for tax hikes right now to pay for Common Core Implementation. http://www.educationnews.org/education-policy-and-politics/california-wants-a-tax-hike-to-pay-for-common-core/

FACT:  South Carolina’s Governor Haley is right now trying to escape Common Core’s federal and financial entanglements. http://www.educationnews.org/education-policy-and-politics/sc-gov-nikki-haley-backs-bill-to-block-common-core-standards/

  • The State Board flier says that Utah is “free to change the Utah Core Standards at any time,” and calls the following truth a myth: “Adoption of these new Core Standards threatens the ability of parents, teachers and local school districts to control curriculum.”   These half-truths are so misleading.

FACT: It is true that Utah can change the current Utah Core. But Utah is not free to change the common CCSS standards. And very soon, the CCSS standards will be all we’ll teach. The CCSS standards are the only standards the common test is being written to. The CCSS standards are the only standards that are truly common to all Common Core states.  Unique state standards are meaningless in the context of the tests.  This has been verified by WestEd, the test maker.  http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/what-is-wested-and-why-should-you-care/

When teachers realize that merit pay and student performance depend on how well teachers teach the CCSS, and not on how well they teach the Utah Core, they will abandon the state core and focus on teaching to the CCSS-based test. Since there is no possibility for Utah to make changes to CCSS, we have given up our educational system if we take the common test. This is education without representation. Already there are significant differences between the Utah Core and the CCSS (such as, we allow lots of classic literature and CCSS does not; it favors slashing literature in favor of infotexts in English classes). When additional wrongheaded changes come to the CCSS standards, under Common Core, Utah will be unable to do anything about it. CCSS has no amendment process.

FACT:  The CCSS standards amount to education without representation.  They cannot be amended by us, yet they are sure to change over time.  A U.S.O.E. lawyer was asked, “Why is there no amendment process for the CCSS standards?” She did not claim that there was one.  Instead, she replied:  “Why would there need to be? The whole point is to be common.” (Email received April 2012 by C. Swasey from C. Lear)

  • The State Board flier states that “The Utah Core Standards were created, like those in 44 other states, to address the problem of low expectations.”

This is a half-truth. While some dedicated Utahns have been working to address the problem of low expectations for years, the Common Core Initiative was hastily adopted for financial reasons. Utah agreed to join the Common Core and the SBAC long before the common standards had even been written or released, or any cost analysis or legal analysis had taken place. Utah joined Common Core and the SBAC to get more eligibility points in the points-based “Race to the Top” grant application. While Utah didn’t win the grant money, it stayed tied to Common Core and the SBAC testing consortium afterwards. http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/phase1-applications/utah.pdf

  • The State Board flier states that this is a myth:  “Political leaders and education experts oppose the Common Core State Standards.”

FACT:  Stanford Professor Michael Kirst testified, among other things, that it is unrealistic to call four year, two year, and vocational school preparation equal college readiness preparation: http://collegepuzzle.stanford.edu/?p=466

FACT:  Professor Sandra Stotsky who served on the CC Validation Committee refused to sign off on the standards as authentic English preparation for college: http://parentsacrossamerica.org/2011/04/sandra-stotsky-on-the-mediocrity-of-the-common-core-ela-standards/

FACT:  Mathematician Ze’ev Wurman has testified to the South Carolina Legislature that the math standards are insufficient college preparation: http://pioneerinstitute.org/pdf/120216_Testimony_Stergios_SC.pdf and http://truthinamericaneducation.com/tag/zeev-wurman/

  • The State Board flier inaccurately states: “Most thoughtful people on this issue have lined up in favor of the Common Core State Standards.”

FACT:  Governor Herbert is in the middle of a legal, educational and financial review of the standards right now. He affirmed to Heber City teachers and citizens last month that he is willing to review the standards and the political complications of the Common Core Initiative and to meet again with the teachers and citizens together with his legal team.

FACT: The majority of gubernatorial candidates and candidates for senate and house representation at the Republican convention have stated that they are directly opposed to the Common Core Initiative.  This fact is verifiable via the document published for the 2012 Republican convention by Alisa Ellis, on which each candidate was asked to state whether he/she was for, against, or still learning, about the Common Core Initiative.

FACT:  In less than two weeks, more than 1,500 Utah teachers, parents, taxpayers and students have signed the petition on this website without any advertising or marketing efforts, just by word of mouth.

FACT:  There is a significant group of Utah educators who have not and will not speak out in this forum, although they do have serious concerns about the Common Core.  There is a perception that to speak against the Common Core Initiative is unacceptable or disloyal. This spiral of silence spins from the fear educators have of losing their jobs if they express what they really see. Some educators quietly and confidentially reveal this to others who boldly oppose to Common Core.

Utah educators might respond well to an anonymously administered survey, so that educators might feel safer in sharing multifaceted, or less rose-colored experiences in this first year of Common Core Implementation, without having to identify themselves.  Educators who have had a good experience with this first year of implementation of Common Core dare speak out.  But Utah educators who do speak out boldly against common core, if you pay close attention, are those who are on maternity leave or who have sources of income other than educating, for financial support, and are thus unafraid of losing jobs.

This final point is obviously difficult to substantiate, but ought to be studied and either verified or proven false, by the Utah State School Board.

SBAC Cooperative Agreement Proves Nationalization

Here’s one comment that has been submitted to the USOE during this week’s comment period.

Click to open: SBAC Cooperative Agreement PDF

I was looking at the cooperative agreement of the SBAC which Washington is the “recipient” and Utah is considered a “sub-recipient” dated January 7th, 2011.  In this contract, ED represents the US Office of Education.  This contract from what I understand, is the agreement we have as a sub recipient with the federal government as we develop the assessments with the SBAC.

Is Common Core truly state led and do we have full control?  The federal government states clearly in this contract what we are required to do.  With this criteria, why did we sign such a contract and say we will have control?

On page 2 it states our responsibilities including we will have to give status updates, report our effort, deliver written reports and student data to the U.S. Dept of Education.

On page 3 it clearly states the “federal responsibilities”.

On page 9 it states: “the Grantee is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of grant and sub-recipient-supported tasks and activities. This includes: 1) The Grantee and its sub-recipients actively participating in all relevant convenings, communities of practice, trainings, or other activities that are organized or sponsored by the State or by ED. ”

On page 10 it states clearly our cooperation with the federal government: “This supplement is awarded to support the consortium and its participating States efforts successfully transition to common standards and assessments. ”  It also states, “The Grantee must provide timely and complete access to any and all data collected at the State level to ED.”

On page 7 it states the failure to comply clause, “Failure to comply with the content of this agreement may result in the Secretary imposing special conditions on the award pursuant to EDGAR §80.12 or taking other enforcement actions, including partly suspending or terminating the award, pursuant to EDGAR §80.43

Question: What are “the other enforcement actions” should we not be able to fulfill our part of the bargain? Will we have to pay back the amount utilized on our behalf to create CC if our efforts are not “good” enough?

Thank you for addressing my concerns.

Why States Should Hop Off the Federal Bandwagon

4/23/12 Article on Heritage Foundation Blog

When “states signed on to common core standards, they did not realize…that they were transferring control of the school curriculum to the federal government,” said Sandra Stotsky, 21st Century Chair in Teacher Quality at the University of Arkansas’s Department of Education Reform, speaking at The Heritage Foundation on Tuesday.

Stotsky and four other education scholars from around the nation met to discuss the Obama Administration’s growing push for Common Core national education standards and why states should resist Washington’s attempt to further centralize education.

Read the rest here:

http://blog.heritage.org/2012/04/23/why-states-should-hop-off-the-national-standards-bandwagon/