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By Nancy Thorner & Bonnie O’Neil – 

It has been recognized for some time that America’s colleges have become learning and training centers for progressives to peddle their political product. Unfortunately,  the liberal “bug” has been caught by high school students as well, infecting them with a rash of radical thinking that should concern all Americans who fret about the future health of this nation.

Upon entering college, most colleges/universities ask freshman students to complete a written survey that asks extremely personal questions. Some parents have concerns about the purpose of asking many of those questions, but that is an issue for another article. The take-away from one of the latest surveys conducted at the University of California at Los Angeles should raise a warning flag for all American patriots. Results revealed that 71% of the incoming freshman students thought that colleges should prohibit racist/sexist speech on campus. Over 40% of these incoming students also believe colleges have the right to ban specific people they consider offensive from speaking on college campuses.

This begs the question: who determines which speaker and viewpoint are acceptable and which are not? 

Such behavior indicates a disturbing trend that individuals of conservative and moderate political leanings are likely to deem serious problems. It should raise concerns that our students are not being taught basic lessons of history or the important privileges endowed to American citizens thanks to our founders’ wisdom which provided us with the Bill of Rights and our amazing American Constitution. Too many students in America today lack essential knowledge which would help them understand the many important lessons about our nation’s past.

Wisdom comes when students are taught and given examples of mistakes and disastrous decisions made by other countries with once were great, but allowed supercilious leaders to take away their rights. This loss usually occurs gradually, one freedom at a time. As such, the actions of liberal politicians often are overlooked by the population, until enough power has been transferred from the people to the government, rendering citizens’ rights non-existent. Once the transfer of power is complete, the people no longer have the means to recover what been lost.

Gateway for Totalitarian Government

Such is the way free societies have been replaced with a Totalitarian government which then controlled everything within the country. We know the famous quote: “Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.”  But do not think it cannot happen here in America.  No country or people are too big to fall.  We all should pay attention to the signs, while there is time to stop and correct any disastrous decision and/or direction. That is why the survey taken by freshman students at U.C.L.A. must be seen as a harbinger that patriots cannot take lightly.  Each of us must be alert to changes we see and speak out about them.  We must demand that all our public schools put an emphasis on teaching our children conservative values that have proven to be timeless and true.  No student should graduate from high school without a knowledge of our Constitution and Bill of Rights.  Do you know if that is happening in your school district?  If not … ASK!  

Conservatives complain the media is 95% liberal.  Well, that is largely because of our schools.  Teachers and professors play a major role in shaping the ideas and opinions of students who then enter into a variety of jobs and positions which influence society. Some of those jobs/positions, such as those in the field of media, have the ability to shape people to a specific viewpoint, a philosophy which can then impact the direction of our entire country.  Movies, music, television programming, newspapers, books, and/or politics all have left their fingerprints on our society.  Changes in how Americans view an issue are often traced to a trend the media has fostered.  Consider their portrayal of cigarette smoking.  Watch an old movie and most every star has a cigarette in his/her hand or mouth, thus the habit became wide-spread.  Today smoking on screen is almost non-existent and for that society has benefited. 

Today schools are no longer graduating students who have the same values of our forefathers.  Schools no longer encourage students to learn about biblical viewpoints once taught in our schools, when prayer was encouraged and the Ten Commandments hung from the walls in most school classrooms or hallways. Colleges that once had separate dorms for females and males choose to mix the two and thus promote opportunities for sexual encounters. Modesty has become almost non-existent.  This trend has led to even more sexual freedom as faculties promote “comprehensive sex education” classes.   Colleges today have classes with assignments to try a new sexual experience and to make a report on their discoveries.  Liberal professors throughout America outnumber Conservative professors at a ratio as high as twelve to one. 

Our schools are graduating students who enter society with a whole new set of liberal standards very different from those of their parents and grandparents. They are changing America in a multitude of ways with a new set of standards and ideas, many of which are based on sexuality, physical appearance, and the glorification of youth. Unfortunately, this tends to then minimize the worth of many time honored values such as modesty, fidelity, conservative values, and respect for the elderly who have accumulated wisdom through their years of experiences.  These examples of changes in our society can be traced to the many questionable liberal influences of our liberal educators. 

Laws Determine Societal Trends and Direction

Another effective way to change people for the better or worse, and thus nations, is through our system of laws.  Laws permit or prohibit much of what will be tolerated by society.  Liberal leaders produce liberal laws. Those who lived in the 1960s would not have thought “abortion on demand” would ever be lawful in America or that states would be forced by the federal government to allow homosexuals to marry.  Society underestimated the power of liberals who have shared their philosophy with our children, who then perpetuated the liberal agenda.   

Some may argue that liberal ideas are helpful, but often those who promote them do not always consider what seems a good idea at the time can morph into becoming much worse by unintended consequences.   Consider also what happened after our marriage laws changed in the 1970s and allowed “irreconcilable differences” as the only reason needed for a divorce. No longer was it necessary to prove adultery or brutality.  Thus, our divorce rates went from 23% to 50% within 20 years.  Divorce is a tragedy, not just for the couple, but for their family, friends, and ultimately society. 

History has proven that when countries abandon their spiritual roots, practices, and laws, there are inevitable negative consequences.  The health of a country can largely be determined by the number of citizens who honor God and live accordingly.  When schools begin to teach and produce a different product, one that discourages tradition, religion, and time-proven values, there are negative consequences.  

Agents of Change

Those who understand and agree our families and country are beginning to suffer largely due to the liberals dominating our school system, must join the battle to demand equal representation of professors and chancellors.  It is simply not fair or profitable that our school system is dominated and ruled by liberals who are facilitating the negative changes we see today.  

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

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By Nancy Thorner & Bonnie O’Neil – 

John Dewey, known as “the father of modern education,” was an avowed socialist and the co-author of the “Humanist Manifesto.” The U.S. House Committee on Un-American Activities discovered that he belonged to 15 Marxist front organizations. Dewey taught the professors who trained America’s teachers. Obsessed with “the group,” he said:

“You can’t make socialists out of individualists. Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society, which is coming, where everyone is interdependent.”

Author Rosalie Gordon, writing about Dewey’s progressive (socialist) education in her book, What’s Happened To Our Schools, said:

“The progressive system has reached all the way down to the lowest grades to prepare the children of America for their role as the collectivists of the future. The group – not the individual child – is the quintessence of progressivism. The child must always be made to feel part of the group. He must indulge in group thinking and group activity.”

After visiting the Soviet Union, Dewey wrote six articles on the “wonders” of Soviet education. The School-To-Work program, now in our public schools in all 50 states, is modeled after the Soviet poly-technical system.

In 1936, the National Education Association stated the position from which it has never wavered:  “We stand for socializing the individual.”

The NEA, in its Policy For American Education, opined

“The major problem of education in our times arises out of the fact that we live in a period of fundamental social change. In the new democracy [what happened to our republic?], education must share in the responsibility of giving purpose and direction to social change. The major function of the school is the social orientation of the individual . . . Education must operate according to a well-formulated social policy.” 

An excerpt from the article states:

“As recently as the early 1950s, the typical American university professor held social and political views quite similar to those of the general population. Today — well, you’ve all heard the jokes that circulated after the collapse of central planning in Eastern Europe and the former USSR, how the only place in the world where Marxists were still thriving was the Harvard political science department.”

Higher education reflects inmates running the asylum

More generally, U.S. higher education often looks like a clear case of the inmates running the asylum.  This condition can be traced to students who were radicalized in the 1960s who rose to positions of influence within colleges and universities.

One needs only to observe the aggressive pursuit of “diversity” in admissions and hiring, the abandonment of the traditional curriculum in favor of highly politicized “studies” based on group identity, the mandatory workshops on sensitivity training, and so on to fully comprehend the stranglehold the Left has managed to secure today within our schools, especially at the university level where instructors need not be as concerned with parental interference, but instead have a captive audience in which to indoctrinate our children to their Marxist philosophies

Examining Chicago’s own Bill Ayers

An example of the Socialist infiltration in education can be seen in studying former terrorist, Bill Ayers, past leader of the radical Weather Underground in the 1960s.  Ayers decided blowing up America’s federal buildings was not working out for him or his gang of like-minded extremists.  He escaped going to prison due to the FBI illegally wire-tapping his conversations, probably helped by his father’s political clout in Chicago as head of ComEd.  This lucky break most likely caused Ayes to contemplate another more effective approach to change America from within, rather than from outside the nation’s mainstream institutions.

In 1984 Ayers earned a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College. Three years later, he received a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Columbia UniversityHad Bill Ayers and his friends just immigrated to a socialist state, it would have been much better for this nation, but instead Ayers became entrenched in the university system where he quietly began to invade college classrooms with his anti-American philosophies. This article documents the progression of Ayer’s radical educational network dating back to the 60s.  Hired in 1987 as a professor of education at the University of Illinois, Ayers held that post until retirement in 2010, retiring with the title of Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar.  As of October 2008, Ayer’s office door at the university was adorned with photographs of Mumia Abu-Jamal, Che Guevara, and Malcolm X.

By 2008, Ayers was elected Vice President for Curriculum Studies by the American Educational Research Association.  He worked with Chicago Mayor, Richard M. Daley, with the goal of creating changes in Chicago’s school reform program.  Bill Ayers and wife Bernadine Dohrn continued to develop relationships and friendships with like-minded people, such as Barack Obama — even though Obama has denied knowing Ayers and Dohrn — and other Chicago politicians. It is documented that Ayers had a fundraiser in his home for Obama, and the Obamas were invited to at least one private party at the Ayers’ home.

Both men served on boards which Obama headed.  One of those boards awarded $2 million for Bill Ayers/Klonsky Small Schools Workshop.  Its goal, as Ayers repeatedly made clear, most prominently in a 2006 speech before Hugo Chavez at an education forum in Caracas, was to bring the same Leftist revolution that has always galvanized them into the classroom.  Regarding Klonsky, an unabashed communist, Obama gave Klonsky a broad platform to broadcast his ideas through a “social justice” blog on the official Obama campaign website.

Ayers was also the key force behind obtaining wealthy Annenberg’s $387 million dollar donation to Chicago schools, which became known as the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. What appeared odd is that if Annenberg’s purpose was to elevate the dismal test scores of Chicago schools, why did the grant not require the recipients of his donation to meet specific education benchmarks?  Funds were not dispersed on the basis of the schools raising test score percentages in either reading or math.  It should be noted that Barack Obama was on the founding Board of Directors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and elected as the Board’s Chairman when Bill Ayers was awarded the money for his Small Schools Project.

One would hope the infusion of such major funding into the Chicago schools would have made a major difference in the quality of education.  A recent 2014 report indicated students in grades two through six did not meet the national average in reading and no grades met the national averages for math.

Obama appoints Duncan to promote progressive Common Core standards

President Obama, upon being the newly elected President, quickly initiated a committee to develop a national education program, now known as the controversial Common Core.  Bill Gates donated at least $200 million dollars to promote the education program to state governors and teacher organizations.  Others, such as the Annenberg Foundation made significant donations, but the one that raised eyebrows was a $50 million grant from a Qatar Foundation International member, who gave it to Bill Ayers with the agreement it would be used to promote Muslims’ views and lead American children away from actual historical events, replacing them with specific propaganda.

This article, published in the Chicago Reader on November 8, 1990, by Ben Joravsky, tells of “The Long, Strange Trip of Bill Ayers.” It is a riveting interview account.  The article is prefaced by:

“He [Ayers) wasn’t just any suburban-bred all-American boy; his father ran Commonwealth Edison.  Ayers didn’t just rebel; he was a leader of the Weathermen, the group that bombed the Pentagon and sprung LSD guru Timothy Leary from jail.”

And Ayers hasn’t changed since Joravsky’s November 1990 published article.  Having retired from the University of Illinois in 2010, radical left-wing activist, education expert, and domestic terrorist, Bill Ayers, (wearing a Black Lives matter T-shirt) recently attended the huge Trump rally protest that resulted in the cancellation of Trump’s rally at the University of Illinois. Here is what Ayers had to say:

“I’ve never seen anything this big at the University of Illinois, Chicago.  And it’s huge.  It’s galvanized Latino students, black students, Muslim students and white students. And everybody feels like, ‘Look, this is a university’.  We don’t need . . . organized hatred spilling into our center.”

President Obama wasted no time in appointing Arnie Duncan  as his Secretary of Education who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on January 20, 2009.  Duncan served as the chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), a position he held from June 2001 through December 2008, when he resigned to join Obama in Washington, D.C.  Duncan helped convince 42 states to adopt education goals based on Common Core, and 21 of them to use tests that directly align with those standards, which were created by a bi-partisan group and attempted to make U.S. schools more challenging and the curriculum more similar from state-to-state.

Universities resemble Marxist indoctrination centers

We cannot blame just Dewey, Ayers, and Obama.   Much of the damage to our schools has been done by Teacher Unions that use mandatory teacher dues to support Leftist politicians, liberal organizations, and Left leaning school board candidates.  It is a very cozy group, and they have way too much power. Parents would be wise to investigate their children’s curriculum with a practiced eye in order to catch the clever ways liberal political viewpoints are strategically woven into their books and study materials. Professors in colleges are not even subtle. They have captive audiences who depend upon them for good grades and rarely worry about parents.

As Abraham Lincoln wisely stated:  “The philosophy of the classroom in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” 

Dewey, Ayers, and many others of their ilk knew this to be true and thus manipulated our universities into resembling Marxist indoctrination centers rather than schools that provide a well-rounded education that prepares students for successful transitioning to the real world. Most of us had no idea what was going on behind the iron curtain classrooms which socialists created.  Certainly this explains how socialist, Bernie Sanders, can run for president of the United States and draw large crowds applauding him.  Not too long ago, he would have been booed off the stage by outraged American patriots who understood the dangers of the socialism he advocates. 

Exposing Anti-American teaching tactics

The anti-American teaching tactics need to be exposed, but the media has also become largely liberal, thus begging the question “who will speak up for our children?”   It must be those of us who remember the way it once was, who have read and honor our Constitution, and who know the history of how clever socialists ruined once great countries.

Each of us must contact our elected officials and demand tax-payer funds be yanked from any school with unfair hiring practices and/or that reflect an unequal number of conservatives verses liberal teachers/professors.  Each classroom must be monitored for any curriculum that opposes our Constitution or our basic Founding Fathers’ principles, and there must be fairness in presenting diverse viewpoints.  The future of America depends upon all of us demanding no less.

Friday, January 22, 2016

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By Nancy Thorner and Bonnie O’Neil – 

Author Patrick Wood warned us that America’s schools were in danger back in 2005. In his article “Global Schooling: The Hijacking of American Education”, he equates the virtual takeover (or hijacking) of American education to that of seizing control of a moving vehicle by use of force, in order to reach an alternate destination. The time period for this hijacking coincides with the economic plundering of America.  According to Patrick Wood, the takeover started roughly in 1973 and is still in progress today.

The success of this globalism agenda rides on the back of manipulating the minds of students to reflect patterns of global dogma. The students may be academically inferior to their 1970 counterparts, but scholarship was easily traded for the globalist-friendly character traits of a globalized citizen, one who will not question the globalist agenda but instead welcome it as an inevitable evolution of civilization.

Wood’s article takes the reader through the timetable of Phase 1 for executing the Plan: the PREPARATORY PERIOD, 1980 to 1995, when the Globalist Plan went into high gear with the establishment of the Center on Education Policy (CEP), which was founded and financed by Globalist foundation money and staffed by operators who would carry out their elite wishes. Its Statement of Purpose has the audacity to proclaim “We do not represent any special interests.” What follows, however, doesn’t jive with the previous Statement’s denial of special interests representation: “We try to help citizens make sense of the conflicting opinions and perceptions about public education and create the conditions that will lead to better public schools.”

On the surface, President George W. Bush’s “No Child Left Behind Act” passed in 2002 seems to address turning the education system around, but instead it was the capstone of an effort stated in the 1980s to federalize education for all students.  NCLB achieved two major goals for global education operatives: For the first time in the history of the U.S., all education standards fell under the umbrella of the federal government. Second, it created a mechanism for mandatory national testing and data collection for children in public schools.

Through the monetary bribery of states, the Common Core curriculum had its beginnings in the Obama administration in 2010.  States were permitted to drop the highly unpopular “No Child Left Behind Act” (NCLB), if they agreed to accept Common Core.  Most states signed on sight unseen and before the new education program was even tested.  

Presently, Common Core curriculum has been accepted by most states.  Cause for great concern is warranted, because Common Core specifies the textbooks and curriculum that must be used in carrying out the Common core lesson plans, curriculum that contains the indoctrination material of the Global elites. Common Core’s “recommended” reading list originated from one centrally controlled location.

Why would Global elitists, through the ACLU, want all vestiges of Judeo-Christian tradition removed from the classroom?  Their Global education agenda would not and could not work as long as students could compare the elitists’ propaganda to the uncompromising Judeo-Christian ethic. In Communist Russia, Lenin and Stalin’s solution to Christianity and Judaism was simple: kill the Christians and Jews.

The Deceptiveness of Common Core

Dr. Sandra Stotsky, an EducationViews Contributor, was the only English Language Arts “content expert” on the Common Core Validation Committee, She and her teammate, retired math professor John Milgram, have now become critics of the merits of the Common Core State Standards.  Stotsky claims that the Common Core writers were not qualified.  Although the states that adopted Common Core’s standards did so legally (usually by a vote of their State Board of Education), many state policymakers deliberately minimized public awareness and discussion of the standards’ academic deficits in order to ensure the passage of Common Core and its continued usage.

Some State officials chose to deceive the public about aspects of Common Core in outright defiance of the expressed will of State Legislators, who wished to revise or eliminate Common Core’s standards.  This was the situation in South Carolina, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Louisiana, and New Jersey.

Dr. Stotsky’s article of Dec. 24, 2015, explains how State Departments of Education deliberately deceived parents about Common Core, apparently using a common excuse that “the end justifies the means.”  Following are some of the popular ploys used to deceive the public:

  • Giving PARCC, a national Common Core-base test, another name to minimize Common Core’s involvement.
  • Using restricted review methodology that inhibits statewide reviewers from a standard-by-standard review.
  • Stacking review committees with Common Core partisans and giving them limited purview to minimize participation by undergraduate teaching faculty in Mathematics and English. 
  • Skewing public discussion with unbalanced public forums that used speakers who were biased for Common Core.
  • Relying on rigged external reports, seemingly unbiased external reports by groups such as the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and Achieve, Inc., both of which are funded by the Gates Foundation that had supplied millions of dollars in the Common Core project.

Common Core given new life by a bi-partisan Congress

Lest anyone think that acts of deception about Common Core have come only from one side of the political aisle and/or specific State Departments of Education, perhaps the greatest act of deception is the preposterous claim about the thrust of the recent re-authorization of ESEA by its major author Senator Lamar Alexander.

In an op-ed in The Tennessean on December 12, 2015, Senator Alexander implied that he had “repealed the federal Common Core mandate and reversed the trend toward a national school board.” Instead, as Peter Cunningham, a former official in the USDE pointed out, “the new law that the Senator from Tennessee is so proud of, the Every Student Succeeds Act, now mandates the very thing he rails against.”

Under the new law, every state must adopt “college-and career-ready” standards. Thus, the new law all but guarantees that Common Core State Standards—or a reasonable imitation under a different name—will likely remain in place in most states.” Senator Lamar Alexander, former president of the University of Tennessee, has managed to deceive not only his constituents in Tennessee and the entire country but also himself.

See here Thorner’s published article of January 11, 2016, at Illinois Review: “Republicans Accused of Cynical Scheme that Led to Odious Education Law” (the “Every Student Succeed Act” or S1177).  Common Core activists tried for months to warn Congress that the new Federal Education Bill was a disaster that would cement, not overturn, the odious progressive-education philosophies of the Obama Administration,  Except for 64 House members (click here to see how your member voted) and 12 senators (click here to see how your senators voted) who were brave enough to buck Republican leadership, their warnings were dismissed. 

Is Common Core a ruse to sell books?

A recent article dated January 12, 2016, defined Common Core as a disaster in terms of delivering quality and meaningful education.  Instead, it’s a system designed for Sustainable Development and Technocracy. Nevertheless, bookmakers and publishers are raking in money hand-over-fist as they replace virtually every book in the U.S. school system with the new curricula.  The same publishers will sell another round of books to put things back where they were when Common fails. Purchasing Common Core material is a must, as testing is geared to the Common Core Curriculum.

The West Coast sales manager from one of the nation’s biggest school book sellers, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, told an undercover muckraker with Project Veritas that “I hate kids.  Don’t even kid yourself for a heartbeat.”  She added that “it’s all about the money. What are you, crazy? It’s all about the money.  You don’t think that the educational publishing companies are in it for education, do you? No, they’re in it for the money.”  Naturally the sales manager was fired when her remarks reached her employer, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

States Common Core standards exist

This map shows the state level adoption of Common Core with its progressive and brainwashing curriculum.

States that have withdrawn:  Indiana, South Carolina.

States that never adopted Common Core:  Virginia, Texas, Nebraska, and Alaska.

Partially adoption state:  Minnesota.   

The most recent polls indicate Common Core is becoming more and more unpopular, as parents experience it and the public becomes more knowledgeable about it.  Whether you are a parent who has concerns, or a citizen who objects to a federalized education system conceived and initiated by suspicious sources with an agenda, it is important for you to speak out and let your voice be heard. 

Join the fight with millions of concerned citizens and parents who realize the new national system is not right for America.  Attend school board meetings to make public statements; contact your local, state and federal representatives to express your concerns.  Oh, and tell all those officials that our forefathers specified education was exclusively the responsibility of each State government and they need to take back their job and keep control at the local level.  That might frustrate those who promote Global education and a one-World government, but for those of us who value our local sovereignty, we will fight back against the wealthy elitists’ agenda, because we love the U.S.A.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Thorner: Republicans accused of cynical scheme that led to odious education law

Essa

By Nancy Thorner – 

Proponents of the “Every Student Succeed Act” (ESSA) — a bi-partisan, progressive, 1061-page “No Child Left Behind” reauthorization education bill passed by Republican majorities in both houses and signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015 – have argued that the bill is worthy of conservative support, claiming it stops Common Core, reins in Obama’s Department of Education, and consolidates a number of federal education programs.

Not so!  Instead, S 1177 represents an unprecedented expansion by the federal government into education, which contrasts the conservative view that education decisions should be made by state and local decision.

According to “Conservative Review”:

The bill retains the fundamental mandate requiring states to concoct uniform standards in reading and math that would be applied statewide throughout all jurisdictions. The bill also keeps the plethora of federal testing requirements that have been the driving force behind the adoption of Common Core, and does nothing to address the duplicate and wasteful programs funded by the Department of Education.  Although a few programs were cut, the bill retains many more programs and even adds a few, such as a pre-K program grant, which will increase spending levels increase over the life of S. 1177. And despite popular rhetoric from supporters, ESSA does not eliminate Common Core, much to the outrage of millions of parents.

Jane Robbins, a respected writer and author on education issue (including Common Core) for “Truth in American Education”, has this to say regarding the newly added ESSA’s preschool program (extending federal tentacles over toddlers) and its institution of President Obama’s pet project, “21st-century community learning centers.” 

 

“The latter means that schools will be expanded to replace family and church as the center of every child’s life, offering myriad “services” including mental-health programs. Few things should alarm parents more than the prospect of the government’s assessing their child’s mental health and proceeding to fix any problem the government claims to find. But this is what the Republican Congress has given us.”

ESSA represents a further erosion of local control and the continuation of a data driven model which corporate interests will benefit from, with its data collection, competency based pay for teachers, pipeline services from birth to age 20, an expansion of data driven computer adaptive testing, and in-school mental health services which will not be protected by HIPPA privacy protection laws.

 

Laurie Higgins, in writing for Illinois Family Action  (sister organization to Illinois Family Institute) on December of 2015, sums up the most pressing problems inherent in the l061 page “No Child Left Behind” reathorization bill:

  • No provision for states to opt out of programs that fall under the ESSA through FY2020.
  • No portability for Title I public school funds, therefore, limiting parental choice of schools.
  • Authorizes $250 million for a new federal preschool program to be administered by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education.
  • Education spending levels rise in accordance with the Obama-Boehner budget deal that lifts spending caps and waives debt limit.

The Heritage Foundation offers these additional shortcomings of S 1177:  

  • It doesn’t stop Common Core. 
  • It doesn’t rein in Obama’s Department of Education.  
  • It consolidates a number of federal education programs. 

It is rumored that S. 1177 bill rushed through the U.S. House with too little time for voters to read and digest it in order to protect Jeb Bush’s floundering campaign. It hasn’t helped so far.  Bush did admit to helping re-write the bill.

 

According Emmett McGroarty in his December 21, 2015 article titled, “Obama Administration Reveals GOP Leaders’ Betrayal on Common Core in Ed Bill”, Senator Lemar Alexander, Rep. John Kline, and House Speaker Paul Ryan carried out a cynical scheme to betray their constituents and give the Administration everything it wanted after Anti-Common Core activists tried for months to warn Congress that the new federal education bill (the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA) was a disaster that would cement, not overturn, the odious progressive-education philosophies of the Obama Administration,  Except for 64 House members (click here to see how your member voted) and 12 senators (click here to see how your senators voted) who were brave enough to buck Republican leadership, their warnings were dismissed.

 

The Republican betrayal was revealed by Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan — assuming Duncan is telling the truth and as a lame duck on his way out the door, why shouldn’t he?  In relating a conversation he had with Speaker Paul Ryan a month before the final Senate passage of the bill, Duncan asked whether Ryan was willing to take on the far right.  Ryan replied, “Absolutely.  We’re going to back this.”

 

So Alexander, Kline, and Ryan asked the Administration to keep quiet, not to specifically praise bill and let it get through, while they slipped policies into the bill that they would then market to their “far right” as something that overturned what has been the core of progressive education goals from Day One.  U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Congressman John Kline (R-MN) then fed this bill to their colleagues with talking points that it returns local control, provides more flexibility for states, and “ends Common Core.” Heard over and over again was how this bill will end the “national school board. 

 

Is it not surprising that Arnie Duncan took a victory lap after the bill was passed.  And why not? Just as the grassroots warned, the “core of the [leftist] agenda” is embodied in the unread 1,061 pages of ESSA. Every member of Congress who claims to be conservative and who voted for this, deciding to trust the establishment rather than the knowledgeable constituents who know this issue intimately, should hang his or head in shame.

 

Had members of Congress actually read the bill, they would have seen the bill for the leftist educational agenda that it represented.

Now that the damage has largely already been done, it is up to states to peel themselves away from Common Core and other unauthorized federal incursions on their programs.  In that the federal footprint has not been reduced in any meaningful way insures that ESSA will maintain its current accelerated spending pace.

 

Unfortunately, the S 1177 conference report represents a missed opportunity for Republicans to provide a contrast with the left on this important issue, and to enact legislation to significantly improve our nation’s K-12 education system.

Thorner:  Common Core alive and well, thanks to Republican support

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Essa

By Nancy Thorner – 

Proponents of the “Every Student Succeed Act” (ESSA) — a bi-partisan, progressive, 1061-page “No Child Left Behind” reauthorization education bill passed by Republican majorities in both houses and signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015 – have argued that the bill is worthy of conservative support, claiming it stops Common Core, reins in Obama’s Department of Education, and consolidates a number of federal education programs.

Not so!  Instead, S 1177 represents an unprecedented expansion by the federal government into education, which contrasts the conservative view that education decisions should be made by state and local decision.

According to “Conservative Review”:

The bill retains the fundamental mandate requiring states to concoct uniform standards in reading and math that would be applied statewide throughout all jurisdictions. The bill also keeps the plethora of federal testing requirements that have been the driving force behind the adoption of Common Core, and does nothing to address the duplicate and wasteful programs funded by the Department of Education.  Although a few programs were cut, the bill retains many more programs and even adds a few, such as a pre-K program grant, which will increase spending levels increase over the life of S. 1177. And despite popular rhetoric from supporters, ESSA does not eliminate Common Core, much to the outrage of millions of parents.

Jane Robbins, a respected writer and author on education issue (including Common Core) for “Truth in American Education”, has this to say regarding the newly added ESSA’s preschool program (extending federal tentacles over toddlers) and its institution of President Obama’s pet project, “21st-century community learning centers.” 

“The latter means that schools will be expanded to replace family and church as the center of every child’s life, offering myriad “services” including mental-health programs. Few things should alarm parents more than the prospect of the government’s assessing their child’s mental health and proceeding to fix any problem the government claims to find. But this is what the Republican Congress has given us.”

ESSA represents a further erosion of local control and the continuation of a data driven model which corporate interests will benefit from, with its data collection, competency based pay for teachers, pipeline services from birth to age 20, an expansion of data driven computer adaptive testing, and in-school mental health services which will not be protected by HIPPA privacy protection laws.

Laurie Higgins, in writing for Illinois Family Action  (sister organization to Illinois Family Institute) on December of 2015, sums up the most pressing problems inherent in the l061 page “No Child Left Behind” reathorization bill:

  • No provision for states to opt out of programs that fall under the ESSA through FY2020.
  • No portability for Title I public school funds, therefore, limiting parental choice of schools.
  • Authorizes $250 million for a new federal preschool program to be administered by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education.
  • Education spending levels rise in accordance with the Obama-Boehner budget deal that lifts spending caps and waives debt limit.

The Heritage Foundation offers these additional shortcomings of S 1177:  

  • It doesn’t stop Common Core. 
  • It doesn’t rein in Obama’s Department of Education.  
  • It consolidates a number of federal education programs. 

It is rumored that S. 1177 bill rushed through the U.S. House with too little time for voters to read and digest it in order to protect Jeb Bush’s floundering campaign. It hasn’t helped so far.  Bush did admit to helping re-write the bill.

According Emmett McGroarty in his December 21, 2015 article titled, “Obama Administration Reveals GOP Leaders’ Betrayal on Common Core in Ed Bill”, Senator Lemar Alexander, Rep. John Kline, and House Speaker Paul Ryan carried out a cynical scheme to betray their constituents and give the Administration everything it wanted after Anti-Common Core activists tried for months to warn Congress that the new federal education bill (the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA) was a disaster that would cement, not overturn, the odious progressive-education philosophies of the Obama Administration,  Except for 64 House members (click here to see how your member voted) and 12 senators (click here to see how your senators voted) who were brave enough to buck Republican leadership, their warnings were dismissed.

The Republican betrayal was revealed by Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan — assuming Duncan is telling the truth and as a lame duck on his way out the door, why shouldn’t he?  In relating a conversation he had with Speaker Paul Ryan a month before the final Senate passage of the bill, Duncan asked whether Ryan was willing to take on the far right.  Ryan replied, “Absolutely.  We’re going to back this.”

So Alexander, Kline, and Ryan asked the Administration to keep quiet, not to specifically praise bill and let it get through, while they slipped policies into the bill that they would then market to their “far right” as something that overturned what has been the core of progressive education goals from Day One.  U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Congressman John Kline (R-MN) then fed this bill to their colleagues with talking points that it returns local control, provides more flexibility for states, and “ends Common Core.” Heard over and over again was how this bill will end the “national school board. 

Is it not surprising that Arnie Duncan took a victory lap after the bill was passed.  And why not? Just as the grassroots warned, the “core of the [leftist] agenda” is embodied in the unread 1,061 pages of ESSA. Every member of Congress who claims to be conservative and who voted for this, deciding to trust the establishment rather than the knowledgeable constituents who know this issue intimately, should hang his or head in shame.

Had members of Congress actually read the bill, they would have seen the bill for the leftist educational agenda that it represented.

Now that the damage has largely already been done, it is up to states to peel themselves away from Common Core and other unauthorized federal incursions on their programs.  In that the federal footprint has not been reduced in any meaningful way insures that ESSA will maintain its current accelerated spending pace. The S 1177 conference report represents a missed opportunity for Republicans to provide a contrast with the left on this important issue, and to enact legislation to significantly improve our nation’s K-12 education system.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Thorner: Children will be further left behind if states don’t grab education reins

Keeping-our-children-safe-classroom

By Nancy Thorner – 

In accordance with the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, there is no lawful role for the federal government in education, hence: “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.”

 From ESEA to Common Core

Following the dictates of the 2nd amendment, the federal government has never had a primary role in the provision, administration, or funding of education. This all changed in 1965 when President Johnson passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which enormously expanded the federal government’s oversight of U.S. schools.  Historically reauthorized every five years, ESEA continued to expand with new mandates and billions of dollars in new spending.

About ESEA: Roughly 10% of the funding spent on K-12 education by the U.S. Department of Education — largely funneled through ESEA — goes to determine policies that impact everything from teacher certification, school assessment schedules, the types of program funding is spent on, and how much schools must spend in order to access federal funds.

With President George W. Bush came a bipartisan expansion and the renaming of ESEA to what we know as “No Child Left Behind.”  No Child Let Behind dictates that by the 2014-15 school year all students will have reached proficiency, with penalties for schools that do not meet the program’s Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).  Nearly half of all American schools failed to meet AYP in 2012.  Read here about what NCLB requires of students and teachers.

It was No Child Left Behind that set the stage for Common Core.  Granted, NCLB did allow the Secretary of Education to waive some of its rather demanding provisions if a state requested relief, but the Obama administration went further by offering its own waivers in 2010 as an incentive (some say bribe) to adopt the administration’s preferred policies.  Forty-three states were receptive to the administration’s waiver that exempted them from the onerous requirement of NCLB to meet its Adequate Yearly Progress requirement.  Accordingly, the states agreed — sight unseen and in exchange for the waivers — to adopt standards that are “common to a significant number of states.”

Guess what?  The only standards that satisfied this commonality requirement are the Common Core standards.  As such states could continue to operate under NCLB and subject their schools to a cascade of penalties for failing to make AYP, or they could accede to the Obama administration’s wishes and adopt Common Core under which the federal government is dictating what is being taught in schools across the country.

 U.S. House and Senate responses for re-authorization of No Child Left Behind lack boldness

No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is up for re-authorization in the next two of weeks.  A proposal was passed out of the House Education and Workforce Committee on Wednesday, February 11th, for the re-authorization of No Child Left Behind.  The House version (an amended version of the Student Success Act), represents the largest federal law governing K-12 education policy with all the mandates that come with it.

Although the amended SSA that passed the House differs little from the proposal introduced in 2012 by Rep. John Kline (R-Minn) and could be considered a good first step, it is thought that given the new 2015 makeup of Congress, bolder conservative alternatives can be realized to improve NCLB.

Not unlike many proposal that originate in Congress, the existing House “Student Success Act” now under consideration for re-authorizing NCLB is a lengthy one at 616 pages long.  But despite its lengthy presentation, the proposal fails to take the necessary steps to genuinely limit federal intervention in education.  But is it even realistic to believe that a proposal 616 pages long would somehow reduce federal intervention in education?

The House proposal likewise maintains elevated levels of spending and does little to actually eliminate programs.  Although the House Committee does maintain that the bill consolidates more than 65 ineffective, duplicative and unnecessary programs into a Local Academic Flexible Grant, as so often happens in bill-writing, the meaning of words used do matter.  In this case spending for duplicate and unnecessary program are hidden by being lumped together (consolidated) into a larger umbrella grant.

The House “Student Success Act” reauthorization discussion draft would spend $23 billion annually, which is roughly what is currently spent under No Child Left Behind. Specifically, the Student Success Act authorizes:

  • Title I (Funding for low-income districts) $16,245,163,000
  • Title II (Teacher Preparation) $2,788,356,000
  • Title III (Parental Engagement) $2,718,934,000
  • Title IV (Impact Aid) $1,288,603,000
  • Title V (Indian Education) $198,145,000
  • Total $23,239,201,000 (annually from 2016 – 2021)

In the Senate the HELP Committee, chaired by Lamar Alexander (R-TN), has produced an ESEA re-authorization discussion draft in the hope of gathering more support, which most likely will provide even fewer reductions in federal intervention. Not surprising is that the White House has already denounced the House produced “Student Success Act” because it shifts control from the federal to state levels.

In substance the House and Senate proposals mirror each other more than they differ.  Not good is that both proposals fail to sufficiently reduce federal intervention in education and therefore miss a golden opportunity to advance conservative principles. Despite the evident flaws, the committees in both the House and the Senate have expressed a desire to quickly reauthorize the NCLB law.

 Ballooning spending and a bloated federal bureaucracy restrict education progress 

How is it that this nation spends more money per student than any other country in the world except for Luxembourg, and yet scores below the Slovak Republican and the Russian Federation, both of which have a vastly lower standard of living and spend but a fraction of what this nation spends on education.  In 2012 alone the American taxpayers footed education to the tune of $25 billion.  And what about achievement results?  They have remained flat or have increased only slightly.

Not only is educational spending ballooning, but so is the bureaucracy that oversees education in Washington, D.C.  The federal Department of Education employs some 4,200 people.  At the state level an average of 540 individuals are employed in each state’s education agencies.  Need I say more about the cost factor of federal intervention in education?  Title I, a section of the Elementary and Secondary Act passed by President Johnson in 1965, costs states and school districts 7.8 million man-hours every year to administer.

 Suggested strategies for legislators to employ in re-authorization of NCLB

Following are suggested strategies for taking the federal government out of the education business when No Child Left Behind comes up for re-authorization in the next two weeks.

  1. An A-PLUS Approach
  2. Reduction of Federal Footprint.
  3. True Title 1 Portability.
  4. Elimination of Federal Mandates.
  5. Strengthen Prohibitions on National Standards and Testing.

The A-Plus Approach by itself would enable states to lead on education reform by allowing them to completely opt out of NCLB and then decide how their education dollars would be spent. Thus, all of a state’s federal funding authorized under NCLB could be used for any other lawful education purpose deemed beneficial.

It goes without reason that those interested in restoring state and local control of education need to advance genuine program elimination, as well as commensurate reductions in spending.  Policies must be enacted that put education on the path toward restoring state and local control of education,  so options are offered to entitle parents.  This would include making Title l dollars portable to public and private schools of choice.

 Getting engaged at local level

 In a message to U.S. House and Senate members, your present proposals fail to get the government out of the education business.  Instead, bold reforms are needed that are missing from your current legislative efforts to deal with No Child Left Behind. Policymakers should empower states to completely exit the 600-page law .  A half-century of federal meddling in education has produced very little except for growth in Washington bureaucracy at the expense of parents and local control.  Evidence accumulated over the last five decades attest to the ineffectiveness of federal government intervention in improving educational outcomes, over that of policy makers at the state and local levels.   NCLB is everything that’s wrong with the federal government’s involvement in education.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 2.13.56 PM
Heartland Institute’s panel featuring Marsha Familaro Enright, Tim Slkar & Kristin Lombard

By Nancy Thorner – 

Many readers most likely remember having classes in geography and civics when in middle (junior) or high school. Under Common Core these formerly stand-alone subjects are combined under the umbrella of Social Studies, if they are taught at all.

The new “framework” for the teaching of AP history, studied by thousands of America’s top-performing high-school students, emphasizes oppressors and exploiters while scant attention is given to liberators and pioneers. Such slanted teaching is certain to produce a new generation of left-leaning citizens.

As Mona Charen states in her recent article, Termites at work on American history:

“The Framework blatantly ignores such pivotal historic figures as Roger Williams and Benjamin Franklin and such key developments as the emergence of New England town meetings and the Virginia House of Burgesses as cradles of democracy.”

Times have changed.  Unless children are taught the fundamentals of American history and government, preserving what made America great and special means little them.

A 2012 survey of college graduates commissioned by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni found that only 37 percent knew the terms of U.S. representatives and senators. Only 58 percent knew that the document establishing separation of powers is the U.S. Constitution; 25 percent chose the Articles of Confederation, and 7 percent thought it was the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions.  Less than half knew that the American general at Yorktown was George Washington — 48 percent.

It is the hope of the author that the general concerns about Common Core as  expressed below by the fine panels of Common Core experts — Marsha Familaro Enright, Tim Slekar and Kristen Lombard – -who appeared at The Heartland Institute event in Palatine, IL on Thursday, December 11, will spur you on to take positive action in your local school system.

 Salient Points Noted: Question and Answer Session

  • It is evident that Common Core standards are not world class bench mark standards or even high standards. Standards lead to mass standardization of schools and take away the ability of teachers to be creative.
  • There are no world class standards to bench mark against Common Core standards.  Just who decides what the standards are or what standards are appropriate for children?
  • Common Core is a cooperative agreement between large corporations and big government in which tax dollars are taken and directed to a small group of individuals who will control the country.
  • Instead of students, corporations and government have become the customers for education, which is geared to foster homogenization, not choice.
  • Common Core won’t solve the performance issue of failing schools, even though it was the purpose of Common Core to remedy the achievement gap. The best performing students in this nation, however, do measure up to those countries with the highest education achievement standards like Finland.
  • Although the constitutional or legal right for the federal government to take over education has been questioned, we can’t sue our way out of Common Core. Needed is a mass resistance revolt.  Citizens must stand up and become engaged.
  • Common Core was introduced into states through “No Child Left Behind waivers” and “Race to the “money.  The former acting as bribes, states signed up for Common Core in 2010, sight unseen.
  • A Hippocratic Oath seems to be needed for teachers not to harm kids. There is a movement afoot to end corporate education reform.  This site is the best resource as to how to opt out.  Available here is an activist handbook.
  • Common Core is not seeking excellence. Its purpose was noted as indoctrination for social development training to turn out workers of the future.  Masses of children are being brainwashed to evolve into disposable workers (cogs) to fill jobs as adults, so compliant they won’t put their heads up to object.
  • Common Core is much like a Trojan horse with its program aimed at indoctrinating children with Communist dogma. Children comprise a captive audience to absorb propaganda.
  • Common Core is undermining parental rights and turning parents and teachers against each other.  When children are told parents shouldn’t help with their homework, it allows children to think less of their parents other than the biologically birthing of them.
  • Extensive data is being collected from children starting in kindergarten through the 12th grade. Just registering a child to attend school gives permission to have data mining done. All states opting into Common Core agreed to substantially expand their State Longitudinal Data Services program which allows schools to collect and store student data. In exchange for this enhanced data collection, states received federal grants from Race to the Top, essentially a cash prize for schools that do things the Department of Education wants them to do under the blanket terms “innovation,” “reform,” and “excellence.”  FEPBA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) was written to respect privacy, but it has been gutted. Under FERPA parents do have the right to access the data. The Department of Education, however, has acted unilaterally to allow other government agencies—or even third parties such as companies that make education products—access to student data without any parental notification requirement.  When people hear about this invasion of student privacy, opposition to the practice is almost unanimous.  For those students who are home schooled, FERPA does not protect their data privacy.
  • Parents are asleep in Illinois. PARCC tests (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) will be given in April-May and May-June.  Upwards of 70% of students will fail, as arbitrary out scores have been set to make parents and the pubic believe more standards are required to achieve better results. Students can opt out of test/ Talk first with the classroom teacher, then the principal, and finally the superintendent for the final say on opting out.

Editor Kristin Lombard hopes her book will be the clarion call to counter those advancing the false claim of Common Core by accomplishing what supporters fear most: 1) talk to and begin to understand one another, 2) find ways to partner with each other in rejecting factory-style education, and 3) work together to find alternative solutions.

Panelist members,Tim Slkar and Marsha Familaro Enright, each contributed an essay: Naysaying, Empty Discourse, and Talking to Your Neighbor and Liberating Education, respectively.

 Resources to understand and help combat Common Core

The Heartland Institute is very interested in pairing up with others who are fighting Common Core.  Recommended to view was this youtube presentation about Common Core, “Building the Machine – The Common Core Documentary.” It is a powerful commentary about Common Core, a must to view and share with others.  Here is a review of the movie, which explains the problems with the Common Core State Standards that are causing a huge upheaval at all levels of education.  This 40-minute movie has been produced by Home School Legal Defense Association, an organization that has been warning about the dangers of nationalized educational standards for years.

There is also an organization in Illinois whose purpose is to stop Common Core, “Stop Common Core Illinois.” Much information can be gleamed from this website.

A new booklet, “Common Core: A Bad Choice for America, has just been published by The Heartland Institute by Heartland’s expert on Common Core, Joy Pullman.

Another recent publication by Heartland is the booklet, “Replacing Common Core with Proven Standards of Excellence” by David V. Anderson, Ph.D of Asora Education Enterprises.  Both booklets are excellent and can be ordered by contacting The Heartland Institute at 312/377/4000.

Teacher rebellion is taking place across the country.  In the Osceola School District in Florida 20, teacher have either resigned or decided to retire in November of this year.  A member of the teachers’ union cites standardized testing as the reason teachers are quitting.  Teachers are required to do more and more in their classrooms in less time.  As a result the quality of education children are receiving is not as it should be.

The debate about Common Core is over who gets to decide what’s good for children, parents or the government. Anyone who is concerned about educational freedom and parental rights needs to be aware of what is happening and do all within their power to resist this encroachment on our freedom.

http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2014/12/thorner-common-core-slanted-to-produce-new-generation-of-left-leaning-citizens-part-2.html#more

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 2.13.56 PM
Heartland Institute’s panel featuring Marsha Familaro Enright, Tim Slkar & Kristin Lombard

By Nancy Thorner – 

Many readers most likely remember having classes in geography and civics when in middle (junior) or high school. Under Common Core these formerly stand-alone subjects are combined under the umbrella of Social Studies, if they are taught at all.

The new “framework” for the teaching of AP history, studied by thousands of America’s top-performing high-school students, emphasizes oppressors and exploiters while scant attention is given to liberators and pioneers. Such slanted teaching is certain to produce a new generation of left-leaning citizens.

As Mona Charen states in her recent article, Termites at work on American history:

“The Framework blatantly ignores such pivotal historic figures as Roger Williams and Benjamin Franklin and such key developments as the emergence of New England town meetings and the Virginia House of Burgesses as cradles of democracy.”

Times have changed.  Unless children are taught the fundamentals of American history and government, preserving what made America great and special means little them.

A 2012 survey of college graduates commissioned by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni found that only 37 percent knew the terms of U.S. representatives and senators. Only 58 percent knew that the document establishing separation of powers is the U.S. Constitution; 25 percent chose the Articles of Confederation, and 7 percent thought it was the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions.  Less than half knew that the American general at Yorktown was George Washington — 48 percent.

It is the hope of the author that the general concerns about Common Core as  expressed below by the fine panels of Common Core experts — Marsha Familaro Enright, Tim Slekar and Kristen Lombard – -who appeared at The Heartland Institute event in Palatine, IL on Thursday, December 11, will spur you on to take positive action in your local school system.

 Salient Points Noted: Question and Answer Session

  • It is evident that Common Core standards are not world class bench mark standards or even high standards. Standards lead to mass standardization of schools and take away the ability of teachers to be creative.
  • There are no world class standards to bench mark against Common Core standards.  Just who decides what the standards are or what standards are appropriate for children?
  • Common Core is a cooperative agreement between large corporations and big government in which tax dollars are taken and directed to a small group of individuals who will control the country.
  • Instead of students, corporations and government have become the customers for education, which is geared to foster homogenization, not choice.
  • Common Core won’t solve the performance issue of failing schools, even though it was the purpose of Common Core to remedy the achievement gap. The best performing students in this nation, however, do measure up to those countries with the highest education achievement standards like Finland.
  • Although the constitutional or legal right for the federal government to take over education has been questioned, we can’t sue our way out of Common Core. Needed is a mass resistance revolt.  Citizens must stand up and become engaged.
  • Common Core was introduced into states through “No Child Left Behind waivers” and “Race to the “money.  The former acting as bribes, states signed up for Common Core in 2010, sight unseen.
  • A Hippocratic Oath seems to be needed for teachers not to harm kids. There is a movement afoot to end corporate education reform.  This site is the best resource as to how to opt out.  Available here is an activist handbook.
  • Common Core is not seeking excellence. Its purpose was noted as indoctrination for social development training to turn out workers of the future.  Masses of children are being brainwashed to evolve into disposable workers (cogs) to fill jobs as adults, so compliant they won’t put their heads up to object.
  • Common Core is much like a Trojan horse with its program aimed at indoctrinating children with Communist dogma. Children comprise a captive audience to absorb propaganda.
  • Common Core is undermining parental rights and turning parents and teachers against each other.  When children are told parents shouldn’t help with their homework, it allows children to think less of their parents other than the biologically birthing of them.
  • Extensive data is being collected from children starting in kindergarten through the 12th grade. Just registering a child to attend school gives permission to have data mining done. All states opting into Common Core agreed to substantially expand their State Longitudinal Data Services program which allows schools to collect and store student data. In exchange for this enhanced data collection, states received federal grants from Race to the Top, essentially a cash prize for schools that do things the Department of Education wants them to do under the blanket terms “innovation,” “reform,” and “excellence.”  FEPBA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) was written to respect privacy, but it has been gutted. Under FERPA parents do have the right to access the data. The Department of Education, however, has acted unilaterally to allow other government agencies—or even third parties such as companies that make education products—access to student data without any parental notification requirement.  When people hear about this invasion of student privacy, opposition to the practice is almost unanimous.  For those students who are home schooled, FERPA does not protect their data privacy.
  • Parents are asleep in Illinois. PARCC tests (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) will be given in April-May and May-June.  Upwards of 70% of students will fail, as arbitrary out scores have been set to make parents and the pubic believe more standards are required to achieve better results. Students can opt out of test/ Talk first with the classroom teacher, then the principal, and finally the superintendent for the final say on opting out.

Editor Kristin Lombard hopes her book will be the clarion call to counter those advancing the false claim of Common Core by accomplishing what supporters fear most: 1) talk to and begin to understand one another, 2) find ways to partner with each other in rejecting factory-style education, and 3) work together to find alternative solutions.

Panelist members,Tim Slkar and Marsha Familaro Enright, each contributed an essay: Naysaying, Empty Discourse, and Talking to Your Neighbor and Liberating Education, respectively.

 Resources to understand and help combat Common Core

The Heartland Institute is very interested in pairing up with others who are fighting Common Core.  Recommended to view was this youtube presentation about Common Core, “Building the Machine – The Common Core Documentary.” It is a powerful commentary about Common Core, a must to view and share with others.  Here is a review of the movie, which explains the problems with the Common Core State Standards that are causing a huge upheaval at all levels of education.  This 40-minute movie has been produced by Home School Legal Defense Association, an organization that has been warning about the dangers of nationalized educational standards for years.

There is also an organization in Illinois whose purpose is to stop Common Core, “Stop Common Core Illinois.” Much information can be gleamed from this website.

A new booklet, “Common Core: A Bad Choice for America, has just been published by The Heartland Institute by Heartland’s expert on Common Core, Joy Pullman.

Another recent publication by Heartland is the booklet, “Replacing Common Core with Proven Standards of Excellence” by David V. Anderson, Ph.D of Asora Education Enterprises.  Both booklets are excellent and can be ordered by contacting The Heartland Institute at 312/377/4000.

Teacher rebellion is taking place across the country.  In the Osceola School District in Florida 20, teacher have either resigned or decided to retire in November of this year.  A member of the teachers’ union cites standardized testing as the reason teachers are quitting.  Teachers are required to do more and more in their classrooms in less time.  As a result the quality of education children are receiving is not as it should be.

The debate about Common Core is over who gets to decide what’s good for children, parents or the government. Anyone who is concerned about educational freedom and parental rights needs to be aware of what is happening and do all within their power to resist this encroachment on our freedom.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Thorner & Clarke: Past time for Ayers to confess past terrorism acts and Obama ties?

Fd0ea3e5-cf9b-4b83-ba66-2d726c7e6aa8

By Nancy Thorner and Elizabeth Clarke – 

In Thorner’s Illinois Review article of Thursday, July 31, the progressive-based education system in place today is traced back to Karl Marx in Germany to New England-born John Dewey and his tenure at Columbia University, ending with Dewey’s acolytes, the husband and wife team of Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven at Columbia in the 60’s. The two produced the Cloward-Piven strategy in play today in the Obama administration.

Progressive Education explodes in the 90’s 

Chicagoan Bill Ayers’ direct involvement with progressive education, before his activities as a terrorist in the Weather Underground movement, can be traced back to his college years at the University of Michigan where he graduated in 1968 with a B.A. in American Studies. Ayers became a teacher at the Children’s Community School located in the basement of a church, a preschool with a small enrollment founded by a group of students who were enamored by the Summerhill method of education as part of the nationwide “free school movement”. 

The Summerhill method had no grades or report cards and encouraged cooperation rather than competition. Within a few months, at age 21, Ayers became director of the school.  Considered a radical alternative to conventional education (or was it a form on anarchy?), the Summerhill method catered to do-as-you-like kids. 

Consider what Roger Kimball — a notable American art critic and social commentator, editor and publisher of The New Criterion, and publisher of Encounter Book — had to say in his book, “Tenured Radicals,” first published in 1990 with expanded 2nd and 3rd editions.  Kimball makes the claim that yesterday’s radical thinker has become today’s tenured professor, carrying out “ideologically-motivated assaults on the intellectual and moral substance of our culture.”

Another American author, Karl Zinsmeister, wrote in his article, “The Shame of American’s One-Party Campuses,” published in the September 2002 issue of The American Enterprise while yet its editor-in-chief: 

Today’s colleges and universities are not, to use the current buzzword, diverse places.  Quite the opposite:  they are virtual one-party states, ideological monopolies, badly unbalanced ecosystems…They do not, when it comes to political and cultural ideas, look like America.

Dr. Zinsmister’s 2002 article is referenced in this study.  Zinsmeister served in the White House as President George W. Bush’s chief domestic policy advisor from 2006 to 2009.

Without doubt, conservative students suffer under the intense liberal indoctrination of many colleges, but being white also proved to be a disadvantage.  In 2011, white students were targeted by a campaign sponsored by the University of Minnesota, in tandem with champions of social justice such as the NAACP, YWCA, and the League of Women Voters, to raise awareness that it’s “unfair to be white.” Its “Un-Fair Campaign” stated any success a white person has comes from “white privilege” and inherent racism instead of learning founding principles that made America great.  

Disinformation to students from a historical perspective has been spread through Howard Zinn’s best known 1980 book, A People’s History of the United States, which has been used to instruct generations of faculty members and their own students.  In July of 2013 when Mitch Daniels was yet governor of Indiana (2005 to 2013),  Daniels requested that no public universities or high school should teach the works of Howard Zinn, a longtime Boston University professor who died in 2010, which riled the Left at the time.  Daniel’s was referring specifically to Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States.” 

Mitch Daniel was correct in his assessment of Zinn’s textbook, a textbook of choice in many high schools and colleges around the country.  Daniels described Zinn’s history textbook as “a truly execrable, anti-factual piece of disinformation that misstates American history on every page. Can someone assure me that it is not in use anywhere in Indiana? If it is, how do we get rid of it before more young people are force-fed a totally false version of our history?”

UN advances progressive education in the 90’s

The Rio Conference of 1991 produced Agenda 21.  Chapter 36 is all about Promoting Education, Public Awareness and Training.  In a lecture given by Dr. Dave Lehman   in June of this year, he talks about Agenda 21 and the history of Progressive Education, first tested in Chicago through “Mastery Learning” (Outcome-based education), geared to brainwash young, impressionable children.   Also cited by Dr. Lehman was Clinton’s Governor’s Program.

It is not at all surprising that a year after the Rio Conference, November 12, 1992, a letter known as Tucker’s “Dear Hillary” letter was written to Hillary Clinton at the Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock, AR by Marc Tucker, president of the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE).  In his letter Tucker laid out his plan, supported by Hillary, “to remold the entire American system” into “a seamless web that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same system for everyone,” further coordinated by “a system of labor market boards at the local, state and federal levels.” 

The aim of Tucker’s progressive education plan was to change the mission of the schools from teaching children academic basics and knowledge to training them to serve the global economy in jobs selected by workforce boards. Nothing in Tucker’s comprehensive plan had anything to do with teaching schoolchildren how to read, write, or calculate; nevertheless, three laws were passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton, in keeping with Tucker’s grand plan, the Goals 2000 Act, the School-to-Work Act, and the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act.  The latter law established the following mechanisms to restructure the public schools now being implemented in this nation’s public schools through Common Core, Obama’s educational program:  

  • Bypass all elected officials on school boards and in state legislatures by making federal funds flow to the Governor and his appointees on workforce development boards
  • Use a computer database, a.k.a. “a labor market information system,” into which school personnel would scan all information about every schoolchild and his family, identified by the child’s social security number: academic, medical, mental, psychological, behavioral, and interrogations by counselors. The computerized data would be available to the school, the government, and future employers.
  • Use “national standards” and “national testing” to cement national control of tests, assessments, school honors and rewards, financial aid, and the Certificate of Initial Mastery (CIM), which is designed to replace the high school diploma.

Marc Tucker, still active today, ranks as #3 among the top ten scariest people leading education in America.  Noteworthy is that the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE), the organization over which Tucker presides, is paid millions  by Common Core main-funder Bill Gates, to promote Tucker’s progressive ideas.  For example, Tucker hopes to remove “the policy of requiring a passing score on an Algebra II exam for high school graduation” because he feels that over educating the masses is a waste of collective tax money.

In October, 2013 Marc Tucker addressed members of the New Hampshire legislature where Tucker was accused of telling more fibs that Pinocchio ever did.  As quoted: Tucker doesn’t know a mathematician from a mathematics educator, raising the question whether he knows what he is talking about at all.”

Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, as progressive radicals, become distinguished educators

Given that many of the terrorists and radicals thinkers of the past are today’s college professors at universities and colleges, which are hotbeds of liberalism, it is not surprising that William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, after their terrorist days as Underground Weathermen, became distinguished professors, William Ayers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Bernadine Dohrn at Northwestern University in Evanston. By the same token, this also explains why many of today’s journalist espouse liberal policies — which amounts to a corrupted, one-sided media — as many journalists received their training at Schools of Journalism from liberal institutions such as Columbia and Northwestern Universities.

William Charles “Bill” Ayers was born on December 26, 1944. Ayers is known as an American elementary education theorist and a former leader in the counterculture movement that opposed U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.  In 1969 he co-founded the Weather Underground, a self-described communist revolutionary group that conducted a campaign of bombing public buildings (including police stations, the U.S. Capitol Building, and the Pentagon) during the 1960s and 1970s in response to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.  Now a retired professor in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Ayers formerly held the titles of Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar. He is married to Bernadine Dohrn who was also a leader in the Weather Underground.

Bernardine Rae Dohrn’s birth dateis January 12, 1942.  She is a  Clinical Associate Professor of Law at Northwestern University School of Law and the immediate past Director of Northwestern’s Children and Family Justice Center. As a leader and member of the Weather Underground, Dohrn helped to create a “Declaration of a State of War” against the United States government, and was placed on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list, where she remained for three years. 

Bill Ayers continues to justify his terrorist background

Three Decades after the end of  the Weather Underground, Bill Ayers is still attempting to justify his actions in the 50’s and 60’s when his opposition to the Vietnam War turned violent.  It is time for Ayers to cut the sophistry and admit to his violent acts, reckoning in retrospect, that his Weather Underground activities accomplished nothing but to undermine the peaceful antiwar movement of the time. 

Ayers has chosen to remain an unrepentant terrorist.  Recently Bill Ayers attempted to justify his actions when he went toe-to-toe with Megyn Kelly in two explosive interviews during which Kelly repeatedly confronted Ayers about bombings and killings that the Weather Underground group was reportedly involved in. View here Kelly’s two incredulous interviews with Bill Ayers. 

According to Ayers, he was a victim of a profoundly dishonest drama. Although Ayer’s Weather Underground committed symbolic acts of extreme vandalism directed against monuments to war and racism, Ayers did not consider this terrorism. Bombings were surgical strikes meant to respect human life. Ayers insisted that he never killed or hurt anyone and never intended to.  As to the bombing of the Pentagon by Ayers and his cohorts, Ayers didn’t believe an apology was called for.

Bill Ayers’ comments expressed to Megyn Kelly about his Weatherman Underground involvement were in keeping with those he expressed on December 6, 2008 in an Op-Ed to the “New York Times.”  (At the time William Ayers was professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the author of “Fugitive Days.”).  In his Op-Ed, “The Real Bill Ayers,” Ayers bemoaned his inability to refute prior to the 2008 election an untrue casting of himself as an unrepentant terrorist with ties to Barack Obama.  It was the aim of Ayers’ article to inform the public that the character invented to serve this drama wasn’t Bill Ayers, not even close. 

Part 2 will explore the nature of McCarthyism; the law passed (The Smith Act) to require college professors to take an oath of loyalty to this nation; how the loyalty oath was abandoned by a 1967 law which allowed terrorists like Ayers and Dohrn to become college professors; Ayers’ progressive ties to President Obama; and whether this nation has already become “The United Socialist States of America.”