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Sunday, May 26, 2013


COMMON CORE – Will You Sign a Resolution Opposing Common Core ? Posted: 26 May 2013 12:33 PM PDT From Diane Rufino: We’d like to start a resolution campaign to address Common Core, the top-down, one-size-fits-all education agenda to nationalize education standards and then, by extension (and through the testing scheme), to control public school curriculum. Our intention is to collect resolutions from as many groups around the state who want the brakes put on implementation of Common Core in North Carolina and then use them to put the pressure on our state legislature and state Board of Education. As you all probably know, North Carolina adopted Common Core in 2010. The state Board of Education adopted it unanimously because it didn’t want to lose the federal “Race to the Top” funding. The state legislature didn’t vote on it, nor have they taken any serious steps to put the brakes on its implementation. In fact, that’s been the case in 45 states. Common Core was presented to the states at a time when the government knew the state legislatures would be out of session (late summer). The government knew it would have a better chance with the state boards of education, which are typically liberal and progressive. And that’s what happened here in NC. States didn’t want to lose the federal funding and therefore didn’t do the due diligence in researching the Common Core standards. If they had done so, they would have learned that almost everything the CC establishment has saying about it is a lie. North Carolina schools began implementing the math and English language arts standards in the fall of 2012, although Common Core will fully go into effect in 2014 when the tests (funded by the federal government) are provided. At this time, most NC legislators think we are already too far down the road with Common Core and too dependent on federal education funding to break free and opt out. Opting out would require one of two actions: (i) a decision by the state Board of Education (which would actually be feasible since many of the members who supported Common Core have been removed from the Board by newly-elected Republican Governor Pat McCrory and replaced with those who are skeptical of it); or (ii) action by the NC General Assembly to opt out (and refuse funding) or halt implementation. In April 2013, NC house members passéd House Bill 733 (H.B. 733) which creates a 20-member committee to study the Common Core standards and to make a report to the legislature in 2014 and 2015 and to make a final report in 2016, at which time the committee will be dismantled. If the bill called for a 1-year study, critics might be able to conclude that NC legislators are serious about figuring out if Common Core is good for its students and stopping a potentially bad program, but since the study is much longer and since Common Core will continue to be implemented and more firmly entrenched during that entire time, the bill is simply a diversionary tactic and only gives the illusion that our state legislature has good intentions. By the time the study is complete, Common Core will have established national standards and testing in all subjects. I was thinking that maybe we can collect the resolutions, collect the signatures and then organize a day where groups can meet at the legislature and together we can all present copies to all the legislators. Sort of like we did for the Healthcare Freedom Act and Voter ID. We just need to find out what time frame we have to work with. When does the 2013 session end? As soon as I find this out, then we can put a deadline on the resolution campaign. In the meantime, here is the plan so far…. If you and your group agree that Common Core poses some serious concerns for the education of our children and for state sovereignty, then we ask that you be willing to put your name and associated organization to the Resolution. We ask that you email both Karen Kozel and myself and if your group can also sign a hard copy of the resolution, to please mail that to Karen. We’ll compile all the names and the organizations and make copies to send or present to each state legislator. Specifically, send us: (i) name, (ii) group affiliation; and (iii) group activities (such as poll working, canvasing neighborhoods, voter registration, getting out the vote, phone calls, blogging, letter-writing, trips to Raleigh, activism, etc). I like the idea of listing how active each person/group is so the representative knows what kind of support he/she may potentially lose. On this email, I’ve included leaders of many Tea Party groups. I don’t have contact information for many other leaders so I ask that if any of you know those who are not on my email list please forward this email. I’ve also included leaders of the GOP, Republican Women, and Liberty Caucus. We’d like to ask if they can forward this email request out to their groups statewide and to collect the signatures. Then we’ll all merge the information together to present to the legislators. As I mentioned, Karen Kozel and I will take care of the Tea Party groups. Austin Pendergraft will reach out to the different GOP groups around the state. Kitty Staskelunas will reach out to be the point person for the Republican Women’s groups? And I was thinking that Todd Bennett or Bonnie Pulver would be willing to be the point person for the Liberty groups. I’ve included a list of groups and their leaders below. It’s just a starting point. We can add to the list. The Resolution is attached in doc and docx word forms. Thanks Everyone. If we work together, we can fight this insidious education program (indoctrination) in our state. Karen Kozel – (252) 286-7015 Address: 3318 Pauls Path Rd, LaGrange, NC 28551 Diane Rufino – (252) 702-7038 Address: 165 Edgebrook Drive, Greenville, NC 27858 Kitty Staskelunas – (251) 751-7661 Austin Pendergraft – (252) 258-2996 Todd Bennett – (252) 341-3663 RESOLUTION OPPOSING COMMON CORE EDUCATION STANDARDS WHEREAS, Common Core (CC) is a set of (math and English language arts) academic standards, created by two private membership organizations, the National Governor’s Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and promoted as a “State Standards initiative” and as a method for conforming American students to uniform “internationally-benchmarked” achievement goals to make them more competitive in a global marketplace (1), and WHEREAS, Common Core is being promoted as a “state initiative,” that description is merely offered to give the public the illusion that the agenda is “state-led.” Common Core standards were actually initiated by private interests in Washington DC and not by state lawmakers. Both the NGA and the CCSSO are both DC-based trade associations (organizations founded and funded by businesses that operate in a specific industry) which used ACHIEVE, Inc. to do the creative work. ACHIEVE, Inc. is a progressive non-profit group based out of DC which has received much of its funding by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. WHEREAS, Common Core is a top down, one-size-fits-all government takeover of our education system. It uses a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching and assumes the same in learning. The CC standards were founded on a severely flawed idea – that every child can learn the same way and at the same pace. It assumes that every child across America will “be on the same page at the same time”; and WHEREAS, the federal government is bribing the states with federal funds in order to get them to assent blindly to the government’s education agenda. Even though Federal Law prohibits the federalizing of curriculum (2), the Obama Administration accepted the CC plan and used 2009 Stimulus Bill money to reward the states that were most committed to the President’s CC agenda; but, they failed to give states, their legislatures and their citizens time to evaluate the CC before having to commit to them (the old “bait and switch”), and WHEREAS, the NGA and CCSSO in concert with the same corporations developing the CC ‘assessments’ have created new textbooks, digital media and other teaching materials aligned to the standards which must be purchased and adopted by local school districts in order that students may effectively compete on CC ‘assessments,’ and WHEREAS, under the “one-size-fits-all” CC standards provided by the NGA and CCSSO and with the testing that the government will provide, teachers will rely less on creativity in order to teach, will be forced to stress rote memorization, and will end up “teaching to the test” (which means the government not only sets the standards but will also direct the curriculum); and WHEREAS, up until forty years ago, this nation had the best system of education – both K-12 and colleges and universities – in the world. One of the traits that made American education great was its diversity. Elementary and secondary school students can choose among private, parochial, public, technical charter, virtual and home schools for their particular ‘flavor’ in curriculum. Yet uniformity (and NOT diversity) is what CC is all about; and WHEREAS, in many cases, the CC standards are lower than already existing state standards; and WHEREAS, instead of teaching critical thinking and problem solving, CC stresses the lowest common denominator, punishes achievement, and forces all students to conform to government standard; and WHEREAS, the curriculum will replace the study of classic literature in favor of reading so-called ‘informational texts,’ such as government documents, court opinions, and technical manuals; and WHEREAS, Common Core will require “Data Mining,” which is a huge invasion of an individual’s right to privacy. States who have adopted CC to continue being eligible for Obama’s “Race to the Top” federal funding will be obliged to implement a State Longitudinal Database System (SLDS) used to track students. They will track students by obtaining personally identifiable information, including such intimate details as the SS# of parents, mother’s maiden name, political affiliation or beliefs of the student and parents, mental and psychological problems of the child and family, sex behavior or attitudes, a history of personal behavior (including illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, and demeaning behavior), special relationships (with lawyers, physicians, ministers, etc), religious beliefs and affiliations, and income; and WHEREAS, Common Core changes the fundamental role of education – from teaching HOW to think and process information to WHAT to think. Common Core teaches for job placement. The emphasis that Common Core puts on “job placement” puts the focus of our education system primarily on the economy and not on the well-being of our children; and WHEREAS, Common Core will not only apply to all public schools, but it will affect charter schools, private schools, Christian schools and homeschooling as well. Recent statements from the College Board make clear that they are making the move to changing the SAT to reflect the CC as well (encouraged to accept only students who have an education based on CC). If the SAT is based on one curriculum, private school and home school curriculum may be forced to conform; and WHEREAS, the Common Core standards are copyrighted by the NGA and CCSSO and therefore protected by intellectual property. Hence states are issued licenses to use them and forbidden, for the most part, from making any changes to them. In other words, Common Core, if fully enacted, will end the historical and legal rights of our communities to determine what our children are taught and how the material will be taught; and WHEREAS, Common Core is being promoted as being “standards-based,” the truth is that educators have always had standards, guidelines, or benchmarks to guide curriculum? What is different all of sudden is that government is sliding towards a socialist agenda where it seeks a “one-size-fits-all” centralized scheme in regulating the lives of citizens; and WHEREAS, the promoters of the CC standards claim they are based in research, the truth is that the creators were not researchers or educators or otherwise qualified to write the standards; and WHEREAS, Common Core is an “untested” curriculum, which has not been field-tested anywhere, and which comes with a potential human price tag (requiring experimenting on our precious children), and which interferes with parental control and parental choice in the upbringing of their children; and WHEREAS, our future depends on the next generation being able to solve the serious problems we face, and sub-standard government run education will only make things worse; WHEREAS, Common Core comes with an enormous price tag (independent estimates put the cost at $14-16 billion over 7 years) yet that cost is not built in anywhere; and WHEREAS, at its “core,” Common Core is essentially a social engineering experiment; and WHEREAS, Common Core is a nationalized federal government takeover of our Education system which runs afoul of the Tenth Amendment, as education is a right reserved to the States. The government certainly doesn’t have the power to create a one-size-fits-all take-over of education on all levels yet it uses its power of conditional spending to achieve the same purpose (an end-run around the Constitution). If the federal government has enough money to bribe the states to adopt its policies with taxpayer money, then the government is clearly overtaxing the American people. It should tax less and allow the states to tax more so at least the states can use its people’s money to serve their interests; and WHEREAS, Common Core will force consistency and uniformity across the nation. As long as the States are bribed and coerced into adopting a national one-size-fits-all education scheme, then education in general will suffer severely because the states, as 50 independent laboratories of experimentation, will be precluded from trying to innovate and improve education and find solutions to the problems that plague our current education system (in other words, this imposed uniformity will stifle the innovation that federalism fosters). Therefore, let it be – RESOLVED, that the _______________________ (name of group) demands that the state Board of Education and our state legislators acknowledge and address the criticisms of the CC standards; and RESOLVED, that the _______________________ (name of group) rejects the collection of personal student data for any non-educational purpose without the prior written consent of an adult student or a child student’s parent and that it rejects the sharing of such personal data, without the prior written consent of an adult student or a child student’s parent, with any person or entity other than schools or education agencies within the state, and RESOLVED, that the _______________________ (name of group) emphatically urges NC state officials to repeal the numerous federal regulations which interfere with State and local control of public schools, and RESOLVED, that the _______________________ (name of group) urges our Legislators to get further involved in the current debate over Common Core, to halt implementation of the standards while a state initiative is pursued to do due diligence and perhaps take an independent state-based approach to the improvement of our education system, and to eventually introduce legislation to remove this system permanently from our schools in North Carolina. References: 1. 2. Federal Law 20 USC 1232a-Sec. 1232a. and The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Pub.L. 89-10, 79 Stat. 27, 20 US.C. ch. 70. 3. Diane Rufino, “‘Common Core or ‘Rotten to the Core’ – You Decide,” For Love of God and Country, May 11, 2013. Referenced at: 4. Common Core Terms of Use –

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