Wednesday, January 06, 2016


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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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?


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.”


Part 1:
Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Part 2:
Thursday, October 03, 2013

Th-5By Nancy Thorner – 

The three events held in September by Joe Walsh on his Walsh Freedom Townhall Tour drew those who were genuinely concerned about their country. Frustration does abound, especially among those individuals who believe in limited government and who have seen what has happened with God removed from its once prominent place in the home, in schools, by politicians, and in all aspects of government.

In this spirit Joe Walsh bemoaned over both the financial and moral collapse of this nation, emphasizing that it is happening right now. It is not something that will occur at some future time.

Yes, things are bad, said Joe Walsh, but how did it happen?

Democrats and Republicans did it to us. We also did it to ourselves. When in Congress Joe Walsh spoke out vocally and with passion about the warts to be found in the actions of House Republican establishment members. Speaker John Boehner and other moderate and establishment Republicans despised Walsh for it.

Republicans are now engaged in a fight which was a long time in coming, between those who want big government and those who believe in limited government and freedom. And so goes the fight over defunding Obamacare. Joe Walsh has never met a Democrat who isn’t over on the left side, either being in tune with the Leftist ideology, or they don’t know any better. While every Democrat is trying to remake this nation, Republicans must fight to save this nation for future generations.

The problem with Republicans is that they have lost their way. Many Republicans are either somewhat over on the Left side or they want to be, while Democrats are married to the Leftist ideology or believe in its ideology out of habit or tradition. Republicans aren’t averse to big government, they just think they can manage government better than can Democrats. Then too, many Republicans remain too scared of scathing remarks coming from the other side (and the mainstream media), if they don’t bow down and acquiese to the demands of Democrats.

Forgotten, but never to be duplicated by Republicans, are the Christmas tree hand-outs by Democrats.  In the last election Obama gave people stuff to buy their loyalty and votes.  Women received free abortion for life; young people were given the promise that their college loans would be repaid or perhaps forgiven in time; and Hispanics were promised comprehensive immigration reform. Presently food stamps under the CHIP program are being handed out willy-nilly and are also being solicited on the streets of major cities by Democratic operatives. With very few conditions for receiving them, fraud is rampant. Having seen how Democrats win, Republicans also believe in offering handouts.  Although Republicans are not quite as generous as Democrats, Republicans do give as many “goodies” as they can get away with to attract voters.

Thomas Jefferson once said that we will give you this thing [a Republic], but it will take two to make it work. The Founding Fathers wanted representatives sent to Washington, D.C. who would  have a voice and then go back home and allow another to serve.  Now we have professional politicians who stay in Springfield and Washington, D.C. forever and think of themselves as kings and queens.  Jefferson also thought that we the people had to stay informed and engaged or government would become too powerful and oppressive.

As a nation, Walsh thinks of its citizens as having grown fat, stupid, lazy, and not well informed.  The American people certainly aren’t as informed, educated, or engaged as they used to be.  They are familiar with “Dancing with the Stars,” but they fail miserably when questioned about their government.

Republicans have dropped the ball.  It’s so easy to get angry at Obama, but what about the antics of McCain and other Republicans who are ripping the hearts out of their own?

Often said is a variation of the same thing, that we get the government we deserve. We are a nano-second away from losing our nation.  We live in a country that will imprison young people with our fiscal irresponsibility unless we change.

What are we do? Joe Walsh often hears the complaint that all he does is make people angry. They ask:  “Why don’t you give us some hope, Joe?”  Regarding the Lake Forest Townhall event, Walsh indicated that he wanted those in attendance to leave as ticked off as they have ever been. Perhaps things would change here in Illinois if more Illinoisans would  realize the rock bottom financial mess this state is in and demand change.

No one gets to pick what their purpose in life is. Walsh’s considers his job or purpose as sharing with people how bad the overall state of this nation is. Because of Obamacare we are becoming a part time nation. To those who voted for Obama and now endorse Obamacare, they must wake up.  Such individuals believe in a totally different America, one that we can’t afford.

Joe Walsh thought of the 150 individuals present as wanting a country of freedom and limited government.  Walsh believes we are losing the war. In the meantime, Democrats wake up every morning trying to make one more person a ward of the  government.

Charles Krauthammer is worried about a country who would elect Obama, but not about the abomination that is  Obamacare, or what it would portend by adding to an already unsustainable and horrific debt.  Then there is also the  quality of health care under Obamacare to be considered, and the likely possibility of Obamacare in time morphing into a one-payer, government socialist system.

Here’s what we must do.  We must come out of “closet,” but not in today’s usage of the word.  Joe Walsh did.  It wasn’t easy for Joe to do if he does decide to run for office again.  Walsh is no longer a Republican first.  He’s a Freedom Fighter first.  As Walsh related, this is not about Republicans or Democrats.  It’s all about freedom vs. big government.  Pick your side.  What Walsh has been doing at his town halls meetings is to invite everyone to come out of the closet and become a Freedom Fighter.

A seven-step pledge form was handed out on signing up to become a Freedom Fighter in Walsh’s Freedom Army.  Signing the pledge signaled a commitment to support only candidates for public office who agreed to the following:

1.  Cutting taxes.

2.  Diminishing the role of government in our lives.

3.  Eliminating debt right now.

4.  Respecting basic God-given rights.

5.  Limiting terms of office by serving as a citizen legislator for 6 years in the House, and not as a professional politician.

Walsh’s closing thoughts:

Every great empire has lasted about 250 years. As Democrats typically use government and politics to enhance their image and electability better than do Republicans, Republicans must understand that we are at war and act accordingly. They just don’t get it yet.

What are we prepared to do?  Walsh truly believe, for better or for worse, that we live in revolutionary times not yet being enacted out on the streets.   Every 9-1/2 minutes somebody in IL gets in a car, a plane, or a train, etc, and permanently leaves Illinois never to come back.  Not a state or a country is close to the exodus happening in Illinois.  Many people pulling the wagon are leaving and these are the taxpayers.   How soon will there not be enough people left to pull the wagon in Illinois, with bankruptcy happening as it did with Detroit, not only in Chicago, but with the whole state of Illinois.

Are we prepared to go to jail to save our nation?  We’re at a point in this country when we must finally say “NO” I’m done with the results brought about by big government and the disregard for morals.  Even though many insist that gay marriage, teaching homosexuality in the lower grades, and disrespect for the unborn are just part and parcel of the times we live in and we must get over it, are we just going to roll over and accept unconditionally that the genie can’t be put back into the bottle again?

We must be prepared to do what it take to save this country.  If not we will lose the country given to us with such great hope and promise, only be destroyed when its people chose leaders set out to change this nation from what our Founding Fathers originally intended it to be where freedom and liberty were God-given rights, to a government that morphs into Socialism and perhaps even worse.

Join Joe Walsh’s army of Freedom Fighters also as a way to shake up the Republican Party, where many of its members believe the way to winning elections (the Karl Rove type) is to be Democratic-lite instead of standing on those principals upon which our nation was founded — smaller government and the promotion of freedom and liberty.

Part 1:

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