Monday, August 4, 2014

How To Tell Which Candidates Support Common Core Tutorial

Just find out where former Intel CEO, Craig Barrett, donated his money.


Barrett is the Chairman of Achieve who was charged with developing the Common Core Standards.

Barrett is also the Chairman of Governor Brewer's Arizona Ready Council who has been marketing and promoting the new (sub) standards.

Obviously, he and his wife donated to John Huppenthal.  Although, it was only a measly $320.  Based on Huppenthal's recent debate performance, he probably won't be seeing any more financial help from the Barretts.


However, the biggest jackpot has gone to LD 16's Chamber of Commerce employee-newcomer, Taylor McArthur. Mr. and Mrs. Barrett have donated $4000 to Taylor's campaign.  



LD16 is home of the former Arizona State Senator, Medicaid sellout, Wyoming State Superintendent,  Rich Crandall.

McArthur has received over $24k in primary Independent Expenditure support from the "Stand for Children" PAC and the Chamber of Commerce.

According to the 2013 annual report, Stand for Children receives over $1M annually from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as donations from the Broad Foundation, Bashas Grocery Stores, Arizona Community Fund (whose board members include Paul Luna - President of the Helios Foundation who also donates to Stand for Children, and Lisa Arias with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce), and the Arizona Chamber's Greater Phoenix Leadership Council.

Accomplishments in the annual report state:

"We educated and engaged more than 66,000 parents and community members on Common Core, fighting misguided attacks against improved academic standards that will help more students succeed."

Also that they helped pass HB2425 "replacing the existing AIMS test with an improved performance assessment aligned with the Arizona College and Career Ready Standards.  In addition, Stand Arizona partnered with the Arizona School Boards Association to train over 125 school board members and other education leaders across the state on these standards."

The Chamber of Commerce, of course, has been actively marketing the Common Core standards.

STAY VIGILANT, MY FRIENDS!


Friday, April 4, 2014

Common Core's College, Career, and "Citizenship" Ready

In February 2013, the Council of Chief State School Officers drafted a new Framework to tie in to the new Common Core Learning Standards.  It is titled:  


The Innovation Lab Network State Framework for College, Career, and Citizenship Readiness

Now, one might think that adding "Citizenship" to the "College and Career" Standards means enlisting in the military.  However, you would be wrong.

By "Citizenship" the Framework means "Dispositions" in order to become a "successful citizen."

The organization which is testing out this new Framework is called the Innovation Lab Network.  States who are in the ILN include: California, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oregon, West Virginia and Wisconsin.  All of which are states who either mandate or encourage Character Education in schools.  


The Innovation Lab Network (ILN) is a group of states 
brought together by CCSSO taking action to identify, 
test and implement student-centered approaches to 
learning that will transform our public education 
system. With a constant focus on student outcomes, the 
goal of the ILN is to spur system-level change, scaling 
from locally-led innovation to wider implementation, 
both within and across states. 

The report states:


Comprised of ILN chief state school officers and their deputies, key stakeholder groups, and national thought leaders, the Task Force sought to guide state education systems toward a more clearly articulated definition of CCCR 
consistent with a broadened understanding of the student characteristics necessary for success in the 21st century. Reflecting on the Common Core State Standards, members asked what kinds of young people their parents and communities hoped would emerge from their transformative state education systems...

The task force consulted with several sources to create International definitions and skills frameworks.  These groups included:

1. The OECD Definition and Selection of Competencies project to examine expansion of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) into additional domains
2.  The Asia Society’s analysis of knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for global competence (funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)
3.  Public education goal statements and skills frameworks articulated by high-performing nations such as Finland, South Korea, Singapore, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the European Union, among others.

In the end, they created a list of dispositions which "epitomize the vision of college and career ready student-citizen."

Initiative
Integrity
Intellectual Curiosity
Adaptability
Time and Goal Management
Leadership
Collaboration
Critical Thinking
Self-awareness
Self-control
Social and Personal Responsibility

You might recognize these same qualities in your own school's Character Education "6 Pillars of Character" campaign.


The framework assumes:

Causing consistently high levels of learning among young people from widely varying backgrounds and with diverse needs will require radical changes in current beliefs, policy, practice and structure.





While Common Core requires knowledge and skills in the 21st century, it also requires students to graduate possessing:


Dispositions – mindsets (sometimes referred to as behaviors, capacities, or habits of mind) that are closely associated with success in college and career. 


The ILN also holds that the same set of knowledge, skills and dispositions is vital for student success in terms of citizenship readiness, including the ability to contribute and succeed in our increasingly diverse, democratic, global society. 




"The training of mental abilities is only secondary.  First place must be taken by the development of character, especially promotion of will-power and determination, combined with the training of joy in responsibility.
A man with little scientific education but with good, firm character is more valuable for the national community than a clever weakling."

Mein Kampf


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Huppenthal Admitted Arizona Education Was Improving BEFORE Common Core


Tucked in an Arizona Ready Council meeting in December 2012 was an interesting admission by Superintendent Huppenthal.



"Superintendent Huppenthal began the meeting with an update on Arizona graduation rates, which showed our gains ranking 3rd in the nation from 2006 to 2011 and our national rank improving from 46th to 27th overall.  In that 5 year period, Arizona students went from graduation at a rate of just under 70% to graduating at a rate of just under 78%."


Arizona didn't even BEGIN to implement the first phase transition to Common Core until the 2011-2012 school year. In fact, teachers are still being "trained" how to do "close reads" of paragraphs and "informational texts."

So, if we were showing noticeable improvement PRIOR to Common Core, why are people like Huppenthal claiming we still need to go with the unproven, untested, untried Common Core Standards today?





Monday, March 24, 2014

LD16 Primary Candidate Works For The Chamber Of Commerce.

So what else is new?

Legislative District 16 spent a great deal of time last year finding a good candidate who would replace the mess that Rich Crandall left behind. 

Of course the Rich Crandall Republicans can't have incumbent David Farnsworth run unopposed.  So, enter a young, recent college graduate, never bothered to even gather signatures to be an elected precinct committeeman, no-name candidate, Taylor McArthur.   




McArthur's bio is rather telling.

INTERN
Office of U.S. Senator Jon Kyl
January 2011- May 2011

(A failed start-up)
FOUNDER and CEO
Abel Foods
May 2011- April 2012

PRESS AIDE AND OFFICE MANAGER

Office of U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar
April 2011 - July 2013

and of course our favorite:

DIRECTOR OF EVENTS

Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry
March 2013 - Present




One of McArthur's first campaign propaganda hit pieces was to actually attack his challenger for drafting legislation which would protect a person's property rights!  These were bills which were created because Mr. Farnsworth listened to his constituents who approached him with their concerns.  Remember, Thomas Jefferson originally wrote in the Declaration of Independence that we have a right to "life, liberty, and PROPERTY."  


Not a good start to a campaign, Mr. "Republican Conservative" McArthur.

Mr. McArthur patted himself on his back recently when he announced that he out-raised his opponent by 8-1 in his first finance report.

What he failed to point out?  Who his donors were including:

Wendy Briggs with Veridas (whose majority of donations went to Coleman, Ducey, Pierce, Brophy-Mcgee, Campbell, Meyer, McComiish, Hobbes, Huppenthal, Shope, Driggs, Reagan)

Jay Kaprosy with Veridas and chief lobbyist for the Chamber of Commerce (see list above for donations)

Michael Mansour (Legislative Assistant to Paul Gosar)

Jeremy Harrell (another Legislative Assistant to Paul Gosar)

Steve Twist (lobbyist with the Chamber of Commerce)

Tom Van Flein (Chief of Staff for Paul Gosar)

James Keating

Thomas Grier (former LD16 candidate and also with the Keating Group)



So, where does Mr. McArthur actually stand on the issues?

Let's look at his brief statement on education since that was Rich Crandall's pet issue.   

I believe that education is truly an investment in our future. As a State Senator, I will promote quality education that prepares students for the workforce.


These are the same vague buzzwords used by proponents of Common Core.  "Quality Education" and "prepare for the workforce" were the excuses that led to the Federal Department of Education power grab to transform our educational system. 

And who has been actively campaigning for Common Core?

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber's push for Common Core falls right in line with their support for other cheap labor issues like amnesty. They often use the word "skills" when referring to the needs of area businesses.  That is exactly what Common Core does.  It teaches "skills" not "standards."  Driving a truck is a "skill."  Coding repetitive computer codes is a "skill."  What better way is there to suppress wages and saturate a labor market with low skilled workers than to dumb down the educational system and create more (un)educated cheap "skilled" labor. 

Proponents of Common Core including the Chamber of Commerce, have spent the last couple of years trying to coerce companies to endorse the new "higher" standards  skills.

The Arizona Chamber has worked closely with the Arizona Ready Council to help market Common Core.  Just last month, the U.S. Chamber held a Common Core Strategy Session meeting in Phoenix where attendees learned how to "tailor your messaging to make the biggest impact in your community." The Arizona Chamber has helped to coordinate a Common Core "toolkit" which is provided to companies to make it easier for them to promote the new "higher" skills.  This kit is complete with tag lines, talking points, pre-written letters to the editor, email samples for employees, media contact information, and an elevator speech.  

The non-profit Achieve has also been working closely with the Chamber to coordinate efforts.  In fact, Craig Barrett, former CEO of Intel is the Chairman of Achieve and strangely enough, Barrett also chairs the Arizona Ready Council.

Recently, the Arizona Chamber was actively involved in defeating bills in the state legislature which would have brought back state and local control of education. Todd Sanders, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber said, "We are going to need a world-class educational system to compete regionally and globally."  

Maybe the Chamber hasn't read the recent study which found that 81% of U.S. engineers are qualified to work in multinational corporations compared to only 10% of Chinese engineering graduates and 25% of Indian engineers who are prepared to work in multinational corporations outside of China or India. 

Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber stated that his organization intended to make sure that none of the bills get to the Governor's desk.

Why?

Cheap labor.

We have serious reservations about a candidate who comes out of no where, is barely old enough to run for office, didn't bother to make the effort to be an elected PC, works for an organization that is actively working to create amnesty for illegals and ram Common Core down our throats, and will be nothing but a clone of Rich Crandall, Bob Worsley, John McComish, Michelle Reagan, Adam Driggs, and Steve Pierce.

Haven't we had enough?  

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bob Worsley's Campaign Donors Will Make You Ill

Just thought we would point out that almost half of the $28,500 Bob Worsley raised since his shameful vote to expand Medicaid and Obamacare in Arizona came from the healthcare industry.

Not that we are really that surprised.  Some people's souls are cheap.

Wonder what kind of donors we will find on his next campaign finance report. 

Pearson?

Microsoft?

Apple?

Community College directors?


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Democrats Vote Down Common Core Prohibition Bill

And by "Democrats" we mean the usual Republican posers.

Bob Worsley
Michele Reagan
John McComish
Adam Driggs
Steve Pierce



Sad to see that they voted to continue to abuse the young children of our state.  For what?  A few campaign dollars from Bill Gates and the Chamber of Commerce?  

To thumb their noses at the Republicans in our state who tried to stop these posers from expanding Medicaid and the Obamacare debacle which will strap incomprehensible debt onto these same children?

Looks like you CAN buy anything in this world...with money.  Souls, egos, and all.

Six reasons why ACTUAL Conservatives are opposed to Common Core:

1.  There is nothing conservative about centralizing education around a set of common standards.

2.  Conservatives object to the process in which they were adopted which allowed for little to no public debate, cut out the legislative process, and was introduced via the backdoor which cut out "We the People."

3.  While perhaps the intent was not to have hyper-federal involvement, but the fact remains it does which violates the Constitution and Federal law.

4.  Conservatives typically don't approve of student privacy being violated by data mining which will be fostered through the assessment consortiums.

5.  They simply are not rigorous, they are mediocre and the embrace of Common Core represents a collective race to the middle.

6.  They are costly and states adopted the Common Core and entered into assessment consortium without having a handle on the costs.  Is this good fiscal discipline?


Perhaps these politicians should take a page out of their favorite Common Core Standards and do a "close read" of the Constitution.  

And then the rest of us will work on voting them out of office....

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Revised Social Studies Standards: New York Edition

The focus of our last entry was on the newly revised and suggested Social Studies Framework for States to use and adapt into their own Standards.

We thought we would highlight one such State who has taken these newly revised suggestions and gone above and beyond.  

New York.

The State of New York has been proud to be the leader in promoting and implementing all things Common Core.  After all, the State received $700M of the $4.3B available from the Obama 2009 bribe  stimulus money.  New York also decided to subject students to the new Common Core exam at the end of last year, even though the Standards had not been fully implemented.  All so that proponents can claim our children are woefully unprepared.  And when parents complained, they were told by the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, that they were just a bunch of "white, suburban moms" who were having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that their kids aren't as smart as we thought they were.

Bullies.  

We read all 93 pages of the New York Social Studies Standards.  Our findings are as follows:  

There are repetitive themes of oppression, human rights, and human impact on the environment throughout the Social Studies Standards.  From Kindergarten, students are taught to recognize differences in others such as race, gender, and ethnicity.  They are taught that they have "basic universal rights or protections as members of a family, school, community, nation, and the world."  They are taught that these rights include "provision of food, clothing, shelter, and education, and protection from abuse, bullying, neglect, exploitation, and discrimination."  Kindergartners are also introduced to the impact of human activity and to identify situations in which social actions are required.  

In the early grades, students are conditioned to respect authority and rules because they "provide for the health and safety of all."  Throughout the early years, students "follow agreed upon rules for discussions" or consensus and collaborative discussions.  Students are to "build on others' talk in conversations by responding to the comments of others."  The collective over-rides the individual.

First graders are taught that we should be responsible citizens of the world. An enormous amount of time is spent on values clarification.  This is achieved through programs such as "Character Education."  First graders learn the word "scarcity" which will continue throughout the grades.  They are also introduced to "needs and wants" and how we have to make choices due to "unlimited needs and wants and scarce resources."  This ties in with the themes of human impact on the environment.

Beginning in Second grade, students are encouraged to continue to point out all of the "differences" between others.  Students are introduced to "population density."  Students are taught some of the symbols of our country but exclude the most important such as our National Anthem, the bald eagle, our nation's seal, the Declaration of Independence or our Constitution.  The Standards continually refer to our form of government as a "Democracy" (democratic principles, Constitutional Democracy, democratic society).  It isn't until Eighth grade that the word "Republic" is used...once.

Second graders are taught that we have an obligation to make and enforce only "fair" laws and rules that provide for the "common good."  Students are also taught that they have an obligation to serve in their community and this continues throughout all grades.  A lot of time is spent on community service opportunities including working with non profits.  Second graders are also introduced to the concept of "taxes" and that they are "collected to provide communities with goods and services."  They are then taught the importance of the workers in the community and why our taxes are important to fund these jobs (teachers, firefighters, sanitation workers, and police) who all happen to be members of large unions.

Third graders spend a lot of time on human impacts on the environment, human rights activism, and social change.  They study other countries around the world and their holidays and festivals as well as how they "meet its basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter, and compare that to their own community."  They are introduced to the words "prejudice" and "discrimination" and how they serve as "barriers to justice and equality for all people."  More discussion is made about "surplus and scarcity" in relation to resources for each world community.

Fourth graders learn about their own State history.  For our example, this year is spent studying New York.  Since New York played a major role in the founding of the country, one might think that this would be emphasized. However, while they do examine issues of political and economic rights that led to the American Revolution, omitted from the discussion are any of the Founding Fathers (particularly Hamilton who was from New York), nor is there any mention of the Declaration of Independence.  Most of the year is spent on the Women's Suffrage movement and the Seneca Conference in upstate New York.  This topic is discussed in every year through Eighth grade.  Fourth graders continue to learn about being "responsible citizens" and obeying rules which include traffic safety, "see something-say something" and anti-bullying but nothing on the laws of the Constitution or Bill of Rights.

Fifth graders are encouraged to participate in activism opportunities which focus on a classroom, school, community, state, or national issues.  They are to identify the role of the individual only in terms of opportunities for social and political participation and situations in which social actions are required. They are taught to work to influence those in positions of power to strive for freedom, social justice, and human rights.  This can be done by working with multinational organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs, UN, etc).  Students this year "examine" the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution and Bill of Rights but only alongside the British North America Act, and the Canadian Bill of Rights and compare/contrast key values, beliefs and principles.

Seventh and Eighth graders study the history of the United States and more of the State of New York.  There is no mention of any of the Founders or that Washington presided over the Constitutional Convention.  There is no discussion about Federalists or Anti-Federalists.  Students are required to identify the individual rights of citizens that are protected by the Bill of Rights.  No other Constitutional Amendments, outside of the 19th and women's suffrage, are discussed.  Students only have to locate major battles of the Civil War but not read the Gettysburg Address.

In Eighth grade, students learn more about "population density" as well as "nativism" and anti-immigration policies.  They learn about union labor including the International Workers of the World. Students are taught that during the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl was caused by man-made environmental conditions.  Students are introduced to the United Nations.  They are also taught that "an aging population is affecting the economy and straining public resources" as they discuss the Baby Boom generation and how they are causing an increase in demand for social security and health care.  (throwing granny off the cliff)

Eighth graders also learn about the impact of pollution and population growth.  They learn more about the civil rights movement and activists such as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.  This movement then prompted renewed efforts by the farm workers, Native Americans, the disabled, and the LGBT community.  Students learn the difference between Medicare and Medicaid.  They examine state and federal regulations in response to increased gun violence, cyber-bullying, and electronic surveillance as well as in the areas of health care and education.  Students are also taught that "terrorist groups not representing any Nation" were the ones responsible for reshaping political alliances and conflicts sparking 9/11.

Names, words, or phrases that are not found anywhere in the new New York Social Studies Standards:

Magna Carta
Pilgrims
Puritans
the Mayflower
George Washington
James Madison
Samuel Adams
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Franklin
John Adams
Paul Revere
Daniel Webster
Boston Tea Party
Federalist/Anti-Federalist
Valley Forge
Washington crossing of the Delaware
Battle of Bunker Hill
The Great Compromise
Francis Scott Key
Jay Treaty
Abraham Lincoln
Gettysburg Address/Battle of Gettysburg
Fort Sumter
the Wright Brothers
Alexander Graham Bell
John Browning
Samuel Morse
Eli Whitney
Jonas Salk
Henry Ford
Amelia Earhart
Charles Lindburgh
Robert E. Lee
Ulysses S. Grant
Dwight Eisenhower
George Patton
Any other Constitutional Amendment other than the 16th and 19th


American exceptionalism is so....history.