Every person in America has a vital interest in stopping Common Core, a top-down, one-size-fits-all government takeover of our education system. Instead of teaching critical thinking and problem solving, Common Core stresses the lowest common denominator, punishes achievement, and forces all students to conform to government standards.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Parents fed up with their kids’ declining math grades under newly adopted Common Core standards took an unorthodox step to remedy the problem: They pulled their children out of school for an hour a day to teach them at home.
Nine parents took their seventh- and eighth-graders from math class at Evergreen Middle School in Hillsboro, Ore., reported KATU-TV in Portland, citing a sudden drop in grades and performance.
Seventh-grader Amy Craig had always been an “A” student in math until this year when she brought home a “D,” her mother Julie Craig told KATU. Another mom said her daughter, previously a sold “B” math student, is now failing the subject.
Nine Families Pull Kids Out of Math Class in Oregon Middle School Amid Frustrations with Common Core Standards
Julie Craig took her daughter out of math class after her grades dropped. (Image source: KATU-TV)
So the parents keep their kids at home for an hour each morning, then the kids head to school for the rest of the day.
This is the first school year that every Oregon public school has been using Common Core teaching standards, KATU reported.
“Our teachers would tell you math is more challenging this year than it was a year ago,” Rian Petrick, principal of Evergreen Middle School, told the station.
Petrick said he’s not surprised some students are struggling, as Common Core math standards call for fewer numbers and formulas and more word problems and real-world scenarios, along with more group work.
Nine Families Pull Kids Out of Math Class in Oregon Middle School Amid Frustrations with Common Core Standards
Evergreen Middle School principal Rian Petrick said newly adopted Common Core standard have proven difficult for some students. (Image source: KATU-TV)
“Our teachers feel like it’s the best thing for kids,” Petrick said, “making them look much deeper into mathematics than they have in the past.”
But asked whether the standards were the best thing considering nine families pulled their kids from math class over stress and struggles, a Hillsboro School District spokeswoman present for the KATU interview stopped Petrick before he could answer.
“You don’t have to answer that, Rian,” she interjected. ‘That’s an aggressive question.”
According to KATU, while the state won’t test students on Common Core math standards until 2015, it has predicted that up to two-thirds of middle schoolers could fail those standards based on a similar test.
The Oregon Department of Education did not immediately return a request for comment from TheBlaze Friday.
Separately, Oregon state Rep. Lew Frederick noted a “searing critique” of Common Core by Catholic scholars on his Facebook page, KATU added. The statement issued last month reads in part: “Promoters of Common Core say that it is designed to make America’s children ‘college and career ready.’ We instead judge Common Core to be a recipe for standardized workforce preparation.”
The critique also states, “Common Core adopts a bottom-line, pragmatic approach to education. The heart of its philosophy, as far as we can see, is that it is a waste of resources to ‘over-educate’ people.”

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Second-graders taught labor politics in Core Curriculum-aligned lesson plan


A textbook company contracted to produce materials under the Common Core State Standards is trying to teach students as young as second grade about economic fairness by praising unions, protests and labor leader Cesar Chavez, according to an education watchdog group.
Zaner-Bloser, which is based in Columbus, Ohio, is distributing a lesson plan aimed at teaching second-graders about “equality” by highlighting labor issues, according to Education Action Group Foundation, a non-partisan organization that looks to promote education reform.
As part of the plan, students spend a week reading “Harvesting Hope,” a book about Chavez written by children’s author Kathleen Krull, and then discuss what the lesson plan calls “scales of fairness,” which compare the living conditions of farm workers to that of land owners.
“Fairness and equality exist when the scales are balanced,” teachers are prompted to instruct the students. They are then supposed to ask the students whether both sides, as presented in the plan, are equal, providing a correct answer of “no” in the teachers’ guides.
“Why are we teaching organized labor lessons to young children?” asked Kyle Olson, the publisher of the group’s website. “Isn’t there a simpler way to teach about fairness, like saying it’s not fair if Johnny works all day and gets one piece of candy while Jimmy plays video games all day and gets the same piece of candy?”
It was not immediately clear how many districts are using Zaner-Bloser’s materials. But the company on Wednesday evening defended the Common Core standards and said Education Action Group was targeting one lesson plan instead of viewing the program as a whole.
"Education Action Group has chosen to focus on one book out of the 174 books that accompany the program," the company said in a statement. "These books are written by independent authors and have been widely published by major children's publishing houses."
Chavez, who died in 1993, is considered an icon of the American labor movement and Latino community for his efforts to unionize field workers across the country.  Last year, the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument was dedicated in Keene, California, an event at which President Obama spoke.
This isn’t the first time Olson has taken issue with Zaner-Bloser’s materials. Earlier this month, Olson ripped the company for teaching third-graders about organizing protests, a lesson plan that cited the 1985 SEIU-led janitors strike in Los Angeles.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Common Core Critics Warn Of Fuzzy Math And Less Fiction?

If the new national Common Core educational standards influence curriculum the way some fear they will, students can say goodbye to literary classics and hello to fuzzy math, say critics.

The Common Core State Standards initiative, a plan devised by the nation's governors and backed by the Obama administration, seeks to set a uniform standard for grades K-12, to ensure kids all over the nation reach the same minimum level of learning. Some 45 states, in many cases enticed by federal grants, have signed on and testing of students in grades 3-8 and once in high school is scheduled to begin next year.

Supporters say Common Core only tests students in math and English, but critics say school districts will devise curriculum to maximize their students' performance on the national exams, and, in fact, have already begun that measure. And those same critics claim Common Core math standards barely cover basic geometry or second-year algebra and that the classics are all but ignored in English classes.

“The math standard focuses on historical math, which has been shown to be a disaster,” Glyn Wright, executive director of Eagle Forum, told FoxNews.com. “With the new math standard in the Common Core, there are no longer absolute truths. So 3 times 4 can now equal 11 so long as a student can effectively explain how they reached that answer.”

Stanford Prof. James Milgram, the only mathematician on the Common Core Validation Committee, refused to sign off on the math standards, calling the whole thing “in large measure a political document” during testimony he gave in May 2011 in which he advocated for Texas not to adopt the Common Core standards.

“I had considerable influence on the mathematics standards in the document. However, as is often the case, there was input from many other sources -- including State Departments of Education -- that had to be incorporated into the standards,” he said during the testimony.

 “So three times four can now equal 11 so long as a student can effectively explain how they reached that answer.”

- Glyn Wright, Eagle Forum
“A number of these sources were mainly focused on things like making the standards as non-challenging as possible. Others were focused on making sure their favorite topics were present, and handled in the way they liked,” he also said, adding that it led to a number of “extremely serious failings” in the Common Core that made it premature for any state hoping to improve math scores to implement them and that the Core Math standards were designed to reflect very low expectations.

But an official for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, which backs Common Core, says the new standards have the opposite effect and can actually encourage critical thinking in students. She denied that the standards allow for wrong answers, but said the emphasis is on the process.

“One of the things we learned from research, and there’s a lot of it out there, is that kids do not necessarily learn from the algorithmic method,” Linda Gojak, president of the NCTM said to FoxNews.com. “The assessment is that it is more about kids making sense of what they are learning instead of memorizing a step-by-step process.”

But Wright believes critical thinking could actually be a casualty of Common Core.

“We think the goal of education is to make individual thinkers of our children,” she said. “The Common Core does the opposite. The [literacy] standard severely de-emphasizes classic literature which will surely lower critical thinking.”
Timothy Shanahan, a professor at the University of Illinois who also was part of an independent expert panel that reviewed the standards, speculates why many are opposed to Common Core.

“The reason that this criticism is coming up is because the Common Core is promoting greater attention to science, history and other informational texts,” he said to FoxNews.com. “Studies show that American kids do better with stories than with science or history materials, placing them at a real disadvantage in international economic competition.”

Because the actual Common Core exams have not yet been formulated, there is no list of what literature students may or may not be tested on. But critics say the stated policy of emphasizing "informational," or non-fiction reading, in English will inevitably come at the expense of literature classics. Those time-tested books are not simply fun to read, according to Brigham Young University English Prof. Alan Manning, they teach students how to write.

"An argument can be made that any improvement in reading/writing instruction should include more rather than fewer exercises where students write stories themselves that are modeled on the classics," Manning wrote in an e-mail to Utah activists opposed to Common Core. "This creates a more stable foundation on which students can build skills for other kinds of writing. The Core standards would prevent public schools from testing these kinds of approaches."
But Shanahan rejects the premise that more non-fiction will mean less fiction.

“Common core doesn't downgrade literature in our schools, but it does push for a big increase in those other kinds of reading,” he added.

While Common Core has plenty of defenders -- and may prove beneficial -- the main criticism is that it is not the federal government's job to impose educational standards, say critics. Finding out what works is the job of local districts, working with parents, they say.

“The bottom line is that the Common Core Initiative is nationalized education -- to which we are starkly opposed,” Wright also said. “Formerly, parents would have control over what their children are being taught in the classroom, but under Common Core everything comes down from a central, national group. Because the tests and standards are copyright and must be used as-is, parents will not be able to control the material on which their children are taught and tested.”
Groups that support Common Core disagree.

“Just because you have state standards, doesn’t mean a district will have a standardized curriculum,” Chad Colby, a spokesman for education non-profit Achieve, told FoxNews.com.

“Many states already have standards in place and curriculum varies district to district and even school to school,” he added, referring to the state standards in Arkansas which have been in place for 20 years but allows every school to independently choose their curriculum.

“The common core doesn’t tell you how to teach students," Colby said. "The curriculum will still be at the state level.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/08/30/new-age-education-fuzzy-math-and-less-fiction/#ixzz2dwHGePr7

Classroom Chaos? Critics Blast New Common Core Education Standards!

  • A full year before students around the nation submit to the new Common Core standardized tests, the federally-backed program is already causing chaos and confusion at local school board meetings, in the classroom and at the dinner table.

As critics fear Washington is poised to take control of what and how local districts teach kids, school administrators are adopting new curriculum in an effort to ensure their students outperform their peers and parents worry that their children are being used as academic guinea pigs. As the program gets closer to full implementation, a full-blown backlash is developing despite assurances from supporters that it is merely a test aimed at establishing a national standard.
“Common Core is forcing districts to re-think math curriculum. And in cases like ours, they are making poor decisions.”

- Kelly Crisp, parent from Fairfield, Conn.
“It’s just now reaching their school districts and their children’s schools and they want to know, ‘What is this, and why is it being forced on us?’” said the Cato Institute’s Neil McCluskey.

When 90 percent of states signed on to subject K-12 students to the Common Core math and English standards being pushed by the federal government, the program looked like an unqualified success. Kids around the nation would be tested once a year in grades 3-8 in math and English language arts, and once in high school, either in the 10th or 11th grades. Finally, students throughout the country could be measured by the same yardstick, long before taking college entrance exams. Local districts that excelled at educating children could be singled out, and ones who lagged could also be identified in order to address problems.
But if what happened in New York and Kentucky, two of the 45 states that have signed on to the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is any indication, the chaos has only just begun. Those states administered their own standardized tests aligned with Common Core, and the results were disastrous. Just 31 percent of New York students in the third through eighth grades were deemed proficient in math and English on the new tests, down about 50 percent from the traditional test given the year before. Kentucky, which also implemented its own Common Core-aligned tests, experienced similar declines in scores.

Other states are waiting until at least 2014-15 to implement Common Core tests that are still in development. But at the state and district level, educators are tinkering with the curriculum in the hopes of having students prepared for the new tests – sometimes with disastrous results. In the affluent town of Fairfield, Conn., the school district last year adopted a new math curriculum for eighth- and ninth-graders called College Preparatory Math, with an eye toward the looming Common Core tests. But a year later, standardized test scores dipped and, according to one parent, Kelly Crisp, kids who had always done well in math were left disillusioned with the subject.

Five parents filed a complaint with the state over use of the new Algebra 1 book, and, after a protracted battle, forced the district to establish an "instructional online interactive forum" for Algebra 1 students and adopt new regulations for pilot programs as part of a settlement on the controversy over use of a textbook. Crisp said she worries about some 800 students who spent a year studying from a textbook hastily adopted in the frenzy to align with Common Core. The district later disavowed the book.

“Common Core is forcing districts to re-think math curriculum,” Crisp said. “And in cases like ours, they are making poor decisions.”

McCluskey said school districts are “flailing to try to adopt curriculum that will prepare students for Common Core, but there is no real standard.

“What we’re seeing is the market flooded with curriculum that claims to be Common Core aligned,” McCluskey said.
While the Obama administration has embraced Common Core, the plan was actually drawn up by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Carissa Miller, deputy executive director of Council of Chief State School Officers, bristles at the suggestion that Common Core seeks to impose a Washington-based, politically correct curriculum on local districts.
“It’s a misperception,” Miller said. “States have had standards for a long time. This would just set common standards, and standards are not curriculum.”

As an example, Miller cites a third-grade writing standard in which students must be able to recall information from print or digital sources, write notes on it and then sort it into relevant categories. The process, Miller notes, is the same for all students. But the source materials used to prepare for it are up to the teacher or district.

David Coleman, whose nonprofit Student Achievement Partners was hired by the National Governors Association to design the Common Core standards, said parents should look at the standards set forth before deciding whether they are good or bad for their children.

“They are a set of standards that we expect kids to know,” said Coleman, now president of the College Board, where he is redesigning the SAT to reflect Common Core standards.. “It is not taking away any kind of state or district rights to say how or what kids are taught.

"Any time you do something new, there’s always concern. It is valid for parents to be concerned. But with more information, it will become apparent that this is simply setting a high bar and having a uniform standard across the nation.”

Proponents say that because Common Core only applies to math and reading, fears that revisionist history or agenda-driven social studies will find their way into K-12 textbooks are unfounded. But in McCluskey’s words, “standards are designed to set a box around curriculum,” meaning whatever is on the test will have to be taught.

Phyllis Schlafly of The Eagle Forum goes even further.
“Common Core means federal control of school curriculum, i.e., control by Obama administration left-wing bureaucrats,” wrote Schlafly. “The control mechanism is the tests (called assessments). Kids must pass the tests in order to get a high school diploma or admittance to college. If they haven’t studied a curriculum based on Common Core standards, they won’t score well on the tests.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/09/04/critics-claim-common-core-brings-chaos-not-accountability-to-classroom/#ixzz2dvq7FO4S

Friday, August 23, 2013


Author and historian David Barton guest hosted the Glenn Beck Program on TheBlaze TV Friday, dedicating the hour to the controversial education guidelines known as “Common Core.”
“You’ve heard about it, and over the coming months it’ll be in the news even more as new parts of it continue to unfold,” Barton began. “Common Core is something that is not going away, even though it sure needs to… Today we are going to cover some of the new problems that have emerged since we covered this topic three months ago.”
The hour spanned issues from the lowering of academic standards to alarming data mining techniques.
Regarding the lowering of standards, Barton illustrated the issue with a primary document, pointing to a number of questions 4th grade students had to answer in 1985.
“Easy stuff,” he said.
Could you have answered the following questions in 4th grade?  Could today’s children?
David Barton Discusses Common Core on the Glenn Beck Program
(Photo via TheBlaze TV)
Common Core poses “serious problems for the future of the Republic” for several reasons, Barton asserted, just one of which is that children may no longer be taught cursive handwriting.  Since almost all of America’s founding documents are written in cursive, he said, that means they will be dependent on their teachers and textbooks to tell them what exactly was said.
“This is one of the fundamental problems with progressives – it doesn’t matter how well something is already working, or how long it’s been working well — they’re always wanting change,” Barton said. “They’re always wanting to move forward or lean forward, and they want to leave the old things behind. Progressives are all about progress, after all. They want to implement the new, even if the old works well, and the new doesn’t.”
Watch more from the segment, below:


Thursday, August 22, 2013


Editor’s note: The following story contains graphic language. Discretion is advised.
Common Core, the controversial set of education standards being pushed by many state governors and education leaders, is coming under fire for its selection of a book that’s on the suggested reading list for 11th graders (i.e. 16- and 17-year-olds). The book — a past selection of Oprah’s Book Club — has graphic sex scenes and descriptions that are likely to make you blush.
Toni Morrison's book
Morrison’s first novel
The work in question comes from Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison. Listed on a Common Core reading list linked on the website, “The Bluest Eye” carries this description from the curriculum’s preferred bookseller: An Eleven-Year-Old African-American Girl In Ohio, In The Early 1940s, Prays For Her Eyes To Turn Blue So That She Will Be Beautiful.
That description sounds tame and appears to be a solid lesson about the problems of desiring beauty over anything else. And if you read the Common Core website, here’s an excerpt from the 11th grade exemplar text:
One winter Pauline discovered she was pregnant. When she told Cholly, he surprised her by being pleased. He began to drink less and come home more often. They eased back into a relationship more like the early days of their marriage, when he asked if she were tired or wanted him to bring her something from the store. In this state of ease, Pauline stopped doing day work and returned to her own housekeeping. But the loneliness in those two rooms had not gone away. When the winter sun hit the peeling green paint of the kitchen chairs, when the smoked hocks were boiling in the pot, when all she could hear was the truck delivering furniture downstairs, she thought about back home, about how she had been all alone most of the time then too, but that this lonesomeness was different. Then she stopped staring at the green chairs, at the delivery truck; she went to the movies instead. There in the dark her memory was refreshed, and she succumbed to her earlier dreams. Along with the idea of romantic love, she was introduced to another—physical beauty. Probably the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought. Both originated in envy, thrived in insecurity, and ended in disillusion. In equating physical beauty with virtue, she stripped her mind, bound it, and collected self-contempt by the heap. She forgot lust and simple caring for. She regarded love as possessive mating, and romance as the goal of the spirit. It would be for her a well-spring from which she would draw the most destructive emotions, deceiving the lover and seeking to imprison the beloved, curtailing freedom in every way.
Keep in mind, that is an excerpt, selected by Common Core. And when they publish these online, they are accompanied by this statement: (emphasis added)
When excerpts appear, they serve only as stand-ins for the full text. The Standards require that students engage with appropriately complex literary and informational works; such complexity is best found in whole texts rather than passages from such texts.
Again, when you read the selected passage, a couple of things stand out — Morrison’s powerful command of the written word cannot be denied and the story appears to teach that over-the-top devotion to physical beauty is “one of the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought.” But the snippet posted above is just the excerpt presented online for teachers and interested parents to peruse and doesn’t mention what else is between the pages.
What else is in there? Simply: The the entire book has numerous questionable sexual sections that may not be appropriate for minors.
Macey France, a writer for the online site Politichicks, actually combed the entire text of “The Bluest Eye” and catalogued some of the more offensive and questionable parts. And they are graphic:
Pages 84-85:  “He must enter her surreptitiously, lifting the hem of her nightgown only to her navel. He must rest his weight on his elbows when they make love, to avoid hurting her breasts…When she senses some spasm about to grip him, she will make rapid movements with her hips, press her fingernails into his back, suck in her breath, and pretend she is having an orgasm. She might wonder again, for the six hundredth time, what it would be like to have that feeling while her husband’s penis is inside her.”
Pages 130-131:  “Then he will lean his head down and bite my t** . . . I want him to put his hand between my legs, I want him to open them for me. . . I stretch my legs open, and he is on top of me…He would die rather than take his thing out of me. Of me. I take my fingers out of his and put my hands on his behind…”
Pages 148-149:  “With a violence born of total helplessness, he pulled her dress up, lowered his trousers and underwear. ‘I said get on wid it. An’make it good, n*****, Come on c***. Faster. You ain’t doing nothing for her.’ He almost wished he could do it—hard, long, and painfully, he hated her so much.”
Pages 162-163:  “A bolt of desire ran down his genitals…and softening the lips of his anus. . . . He wanted to f*** her—tenderly. But the tenderness would not hold. The tightness of her vagina was more than he could bear. His soul seemed to slip down his guts and fly out into her, and the gigantic thrust he made into her then provoked the only sound she made. Removing himself from her was so painful to him he cut it short and snatched his genitals out of the dry harbor of her vagina. She appeared to have fainted.”
Page 174:  “He further limited his interests to little girls. They were usually manageable . . . His sexuality was anything but lewd; his patronage of little girls smacked of innocence and was associated in his mind with cleanliness.” And later, this same pedophile notes, “I work only through the Lord. He sometimes uses me to help people.”
Page 181:  “The little girls are the only things I’ll miss. Do you know that when I touched their sturdy little t*** and bit them—just a little—I felt I was being friendly?—If I’d been hurting them, would they have come back? . . . they’d eat ice cream with their legs open while I played with them. It was like a party.”
Those six graphic excerpts cover incest, rape and pedophilia. In her research on the book in question, Macey France also exposes some pretty shocking support for those topics, from the author herself:
In fact, the author of the book, Morrison, says that she wanted the reader to feel as though they are a “co-conspirator” with the rapist. She took pains to make sure she never portrayed the actions as wrong in order to show how everyone has their own problems. She even goes as far as to describe the pedophilia, rape and incest “friendly,” “innocent,” and “tender.” It’s no wonder that this book is in the top 10 list of most contested books in the country.
The presence of the book on Common Core’s list, combined with Morrison’s descriptions of incest, rape, and pedophilia as “friendly,” “innocent,” and “tender” have sparked outrage in some communities. Parents in one Colorado school district are petitioning for the removal of “developmentally inappropriate and graphical content from the instructional reading list.” They are not asking for the book to be banned or even removed from the library, just taken off the suggested reading list.
Colorado school petition
Image: Change.org
Ms. France also cites a 2011 Harris poll on the banning of books and limiting of certain types of books in school libraries.  In that poll, Harris showed:
  • 83% say children should be able to get The Holy Bible
  • 76% support access to books that discuss evolution from school libraries
  • 62% say books with explicit language should not be available to children in school libraries.
With an overwhelming majority of parents supporting restricting – but not banning – young student’s access to books with explicit or questionable content, should Common Core pull this book from it’s list of exemplars? We invite you to participate in our Blaze Poll and comment below.

Friday, August 9, 2013


Student test scores on New York state exams plummeted this year following the state’s adoption of the Common Core national standards.

According to the New York Times, in New York City, 26 percent of students in third through eighth grade passed the state English exam, and only 30 percent passed the math test, compared to 47 percent and 60 percent, respectively, last year.
The Times indicates that city and state officials were expecting the significant drop in scores. Nevertheless, educators and parents reportedly expressed shock when the test results were released.
Chrystina Russell, principal of Global Technology Preparatory in East Harlem, said she was unsure what to say to parents. At her middle school, seven percent of students were rated proficient in English and 10 percent in math on the new tests, while, last year, the proportion passing were 33 percent and 46 percent, respectively.
“Now we’re going to come out and tell everybody that they’ve accomplished nothing this year and we’ve been pedaling backward?” Russell said. “It’s depressing.”
Students in other areas of New York State also showed a decline in test scores. This year, 31 percent of students passed the new exams in both reading and math, compared with 55 percent in reading and 65 percent in math last year.
The Times reports that the exam results show large achievement gaps between black and Hispanic students and white students. In math, 15 percent of black students and 19 percent of Hispanic students passed the test, while 50 percent of white students and 61 percent of Asian students passed.
In response to the grim news of the test results, the Times reports:
Despite the drop in scores, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg appeared on Wednesday at a news conference just as he had in years when results were rosier. He rejected criticisms of the tests, calling the results “very good news” and chiding the news media for focusing on the decline. He said black and Hispanic students, who make up two-thirds of the student population, had made progress that was not reflected in the scores.
“We have to make sure that we give our kids constantly the opportunity to move towards the major leagues,” Mr. Bloomberg said.
The results have prompted some critics to claim that the tests are simply too difficult and that they set unrealistic goals.
According to the Times, Diane Ravitch, an education historian, said, “We’re now demanding that most students are A students, and that’s ridiculous. It will feed into a sense that the tests are not even legitimate measures.”
The Obama administration has been highly supportive of Common Core and its alleged “rigorous academic standards” that it believes will raise the bar for students to be better prepared for college and career readiness. The Obama Department of Education has used its “Race to the Top” competitive grant program to lure states to adopt the K-12 Common Core standards. In addition, the Obama administration has suggested that adoption of the Common Core standards could be a qualification for states hoping to obtain future Title I funding for their low-income schools.
However, conservative organizations such as The Heritage Foundation and the Heartland Institute have objected to the federal overreach into education, arguing that, whether states opt out of Common Core or not, the standards are already being used to write the table of contents for textbooks in math and English, a situation that creates pressure for states to adopt the standards.
In addition, the GED and college entrance exams, such as the SAT and ACT, are now being revised to align with the Common Core standards, once again adding pressure to states that choose not to adopt them.
Indiana is the latest state to withdraw from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), its national Common Core testing coalition. In July, Georgia and Oklahoma also withdrew from the tests. PARCC now has only 17 state participants in its coalition, and, thus, may be in jeopardy since it requires 15 state members in order to keep its federal grants that provide all of its operating funds. The other national testing coalition, Smarter Balanced, has 24 participants.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Laus Deo July 04, 2013 Glenn Beck

July 04, 2013

Hello America, 

On July 3, 1776 John Adams wrote a letter predicting that July 2nd would be “the most memorable epoch in the history of America.”

His excitement after the Declaration of Independence was adopted was uncontainable. The words leapt off the pen as he foresaw a “great anniversary festival” complete with pomp and parade, shows, games, bonfires, and guns commemorating the occasion “from this time forward forevermore” in America.

He was right – all except for the date, of course. Because of revisions, the Declaration wasn’t officially accepted until two days later on July 4th, and ever since Americans have made sure to never forget the day of “deliverance” as Adams referred to it.

Adams was so overwhelmed with emotion he couldn’t possibly fathom anyone ever wanting to undo what the Founders had just done – so he predicted, without hesitation, that the day would be celebrated forevermore. What he couldn’t have predicted, and perhaps as a God-fearing man he should have, was the rise of those who preferred a controlled population over a free one.

In the last century, progressives have fought to diminish, distort, and smear nearly all the good the Founders achieved. Instead of being revered as visionaries and thanking them for leaving us the greatest nation ever known – the Founders are painted as racists, while America is blamed for nearly every problem in the world today. Instead of celebrating America, generations of youth are being trained to be ashamed of America.

In schools across the country, students are reprimanded for wearing American flag shirts in an effort not to offend foreign students. Others are reprimanded for chanting "USA! USA!" because it is considered "incendiary" language. These same students then turn on the TV and watch their President travel to foreign nations and apologize for all the mistakes America has made. No wonder July 4th has become little more than figuring out where the best fireworks display will be.

I believe this is intentional. For example, this administration has cancelled July 4th celebrations on several military bases due to alleged ‘sequester’ cuts. The State Department spent $630,000 to get more ‘likes’ on Facebook, the President spent millions flying to Africa alone – yet they deny our men and women in uniform the chance to celebrate the very freedoms they secure for millions? It’s a disgrace.

There is a reason for all the pomp and parade, shows, games, bonfires (guns? not so much anymore – I’m sure Adams would be perplexed at that one) – and that reason is independence. July 4th deserves a grand celebration because freedom is the grandest gift of all.

On Saturday, we are staging our very first Independence Day event, Man in the Moon. We designed this program as a vehicle to undo the decades of harm progressives have done to American history and the meaning of being American. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness has been replaced with handouts, redistribution of wealth, and government mandated happiness.

Man in the Moon is the biggest event we’ve ever attempted, but, believe it or not, what we have planned for the future will dwarf this project. Ultimately, we want to host the premiere Fourth of July celebration in America. I envision an entire Independence Week of events, not just one show. I believe the market is starving for someone to not only put on a great celebration, but to provide real reflection and meaning as to why we are celebrating.

When people are reminded of how we got here and why we are (for now) free to do as we wish, they are overwhelmed with that same sense of emotion that Adams had the day after the Declaration was adopted. And that emotion will ensure July 4th remains the “the most memorable epoch in the history of America” from this time forward, forevermore.

We can no longer afford to listen to the voices shaming and blaming America.

We can no longer afford to listen to those who wish to fundamentally transform America into something it is not.

Those who risked their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to create the greatest nation in the history of planet Earth deserve better and so do the future generations of Americans who will live here.

Happy Independence Day, America. May yours be filled with freedom, fun, pomp, and parade.

Laus Deo,

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Common Core could be the future of your children’s education, but the majority of parents in America probably don’t know a whole lot about it.
Did you know, for instance, that as part of the educational curriculum, a litany of “data points” are set to be mined?
Kyle Olson of the Education Action Group said on TheBlaze TV Thursday that these points include “blood type, voting status of their parents, religious affiliation, their income…things that have nothing to do with their children’s education.”
Olson was part of a group of parents, lawmakers, and concerned citizens who attended what was described as a “national strategy session” on TheBlaze TV about how to best explain and prevent the implementation of Common Core.
“Common Core is kind of nebulous for a lot people,” David Barton explained. “They know what it is, but they can’t define it…What are the key points that will resonate with most Americans?”
One parent, Tammy Slaten, explained that when she started informing herself about the curriculum she sent an email to other parents in her child’s class.
To her shock, she was “called to the principal’s office” where she was told to stop, and to not ask the teachers what they think.  More than that, the principal allegedly told her that they are state employees and whether Common Core is “good or bad,” it is their priority.
“You take that attitude and combine it with data mining and what does it suggest?” Barton asked.
Watch more on TheBlaze TV “strategy session,” which includes the voices of parents and lawmakers, below:

But how can concerned citizens stop the implementation of Common Core, an education program that removes control from the parents and communities and turns it over to the state and federal government?
State Senator Margaret Dayton (R-Utah) said it needs to be reiterated that the program violates the United States constitution.
One parent put the issue in another perspective: “Do you want the same government that has given us Eric Holder, Benghazi, [the] IRS enemies list, Fast and Furious, ObamaCare — do you want that government to take control of what your precious child is going to learn in school?”
Watch below to see the strategists’ solutions: