Monday, November 25, 2013

Sunlight Is The Best Disinfectant

Just let the leftist elite keep talking.  Sooner or later, they will say what they REALLY mean.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant. 

Take Obama's Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, for example who recently let it slip in front of State Superintendents at a meeting with the Council of Chief State School Officers that "some of the opposition to the Common Core State Standards has come from 'white suburban moms who-all of a sudden- their child isn't as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn't quite as good as they thought they were.' "

The words bigot, sexist, bully, arrogant, and intolerant come to mind.

Also, when these kinds of things accidentally "slip" in public, it makes one wonder what is said behind closed doors.

Arne Duncan also let it slip in 2009 what the real goal of data collection will be to the federal government.

"We should be able to look every second grader in the eye and say, 'You're on track, you're going to be able to go to a good college, or you're not.' "

Think this is a little far-fetched?

Just look at what Pearson's data track will be able to do for a student like "Anthony."  It's just a shame that Anthony is projected to be a mechanical or aerospace engineer with a 60% average in science.  

Or, maybe not?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

What Do The Race To The Top - District Competition And Arizona Senator Steve Gallardo Have In Common?

In September we brought to your attention a new federal grant called the "Race to the Top District" competition.  This is an expansion of the 2010 State Race to the Top grant.  Grant awards range between $4M and $30M per district or consortia.

The school district who applies for this grant must meet some of the following requirements:

- Have at least 40% of participating students be from low-income families, based on eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch subsidies.

-  Include a "Competitive Preference Priority" and propose to extend reforms beyond the classroom and partner with public or private entities in order to address the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students.

-  At a minimum, design and commit to implement no later than the 2014-15 school year a

1.  Teacher evaluation system
2.  Principal evaluation system
3.  Superintendent evaluation system

Additional requirements include:

"The LEA or consortium will submit a report to the Secretary?"

That sounds an awful lot like the federal government is directing the education of a local school district.  We didn't think that was legal even on a State level, let alone, a district level.

Finalists for the grant competition were recently announced.  On the list was the Arizona Cartwright School District.    The Cartwright District is eligible to win up to $25M.  To put this number in perspective, the 2014 budget submitted by the district was $95M. 

And who is the district's Governing School Board President?

And fellow board member is Arizona Representative, Lydia Hernandez.

From their district website homepage:

Awards will be announced in December 2013.

Let us be the first to be on record to say that if the Cartwright School District "wins" their $30M taxpayer funded grant, Senator Gallardo and Representative Hernandez will still whine and complain about any State education budget cuts in the spring.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Get Covered America Pushes "Faith Based" Enrollment Among Latinos

We wonder how many Mormon Bishops or trusted local church leaders will allow members of their congregation to be enrolled in Obamacare using this method?  After all, Get Covered America employees, as well as church leaders, shy away from asking about a person's legal status.

Get Covered America might want to update their contact information as Gordon B. Hinckley passed away the same week as Obama's inauguration in 2008.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

How The Federal Government Cleverly Played A Role In Drafting The Common Core Standards

Oh, the federal government claims they had nothing to do with writing the Standards.  They just paid for them.

But what if one of the lead writers for, say, the ELA Standards also sat on the NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) Governing Board whose members are appointed by the Secretary of Education?

And what if the Governing Board members were deemed to be "federal employees?"

We have discussed Susan Pimentel before.  She was one of the lead ELA Standards writers and a member of the Standards "Work Group."  She was also re-appointed to the NAEP governing board by Arne Duncan in September 2011.

We stated in a previous entry that Susan Pimentel was the Director or Standards Works and Achieve, Inc.

In 1999 she authored the book, "Raising the Standard:  A Eight-Step Guide For Schools And Communities."  In the book she writes about laying the groundwork for lasting school reform because genuine, long-lasting reform grows from the grass-roots.  She lists organizations that can help "guide" the standards such as Achieve and the American Federation of Teachers (AFL-CIO).  
She said, "Ours is a society that thrives on change...Reform is hard work."

Pimentel donated over $22,000 to Democrats in 2012 (mostly to Obama's campaign).  Significantly more than the $4000 donations she made in 2008.


Monday, November 4, 2013

New York School Principal Promotes Test Prep Company

The Center Moriches High School Principal and President of the Suffolk County Principal Association, Edward Casswell, has been caught promoting a testing company, Method Test Prep, using a school computer in his PUBLIC high school office.

One might wonder what kind of incentive Mr. Casswell or the school received for his glowing, "scripted" endorsement.

The President of Method Test Prep, Tom Ehlers, claims that the school is paid for each student who takes the course.

For the children.....

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Enroll America

Obama's only work experience prior to becoming President is that of a community organizer trained in the philosophies of Saul Alinsky.

Once a community organizer...always a community organizer.

And if all Obama knows is community organizing, what would he do if he wanted to facilitate his trademark legislation Obamacare?

You would organize groups in the community like churches, unions or Acorn-style organizations to go out and enroll people.

Like this one:  

Board members include members from Families USA, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Catholic Health Association, National Association of Community Health Centers, Kaiser Permanente, Maryland Citizens Health Initiative, and the American Hospital Association.

Let's look a little closer at a few of these organizations.

Board members include L. Toni Lewis from SEIU, Ali Noorani from the National Immigration Forum who is the Godfather of the Utah Compact and has ties to supporting amnesty candidates in Arizona, and Sister Simone Campbell from a group called NETWORK.  Sister Campbell spent the summer of 2012 campaigning for Obama and was even invited to be a guest speaker at the 2012 DNC convention.

Catholic Health Association

The President of the CHA is Sister Carol Keehan.  Sister Keehan was a supporter of Obamacare and even participated in "negotiations" between the White House and the Conference of Catholic Bishops regarding birth control. 

You can read how much Sister Keehan's commitment to Obamacare is worth.

George Soros is known to have funded Catholic groups who will push his global agenda including population control.  

National Association of Community Health Centers

The NACHC Community HealthCorps Navigators

The NACHC donated $7000 to Harry Reid's Searchlight Leadership Fund in 2012.  The group also donated to Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bill Keating (D-MA), AmericPac (who donated $10,000 to Ann Kirkpatrick's campaign), The Democratic Party of Montana and the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee.

Maryland Citizen's Health Initiative pushed for Obamacare with their slogan "Healthcare for All!" campaign.  Fellow partners included the SEIU, Moveon, Planned Parenthood, UFCW, etc.

Community Organizing.  
It's the New American way.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Could This Be The Common Core Out For Districts?

The National School Board Association who represents over 14,500 districts in the country, sent a letter to Arne Duncan in May 2011 to address their concerns over proposed changes to the Family Education Rights and Privacy (FERPA) law.

By December 2011, the Department of Education and Arne Duncan made the changes.

States were required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by mid-2010 and agree to four reforms before they could receive any money from the Race to the Top grant.  One of these reforms included establishing a longitudinal data base.  It was probably assumed that student data would be secure and protected by FERPA.

The DOE then did a bait-and-switch by modifying the FERPA laws to give the government the ability to access and use our children's Personally Identifiable Information (PII) without parental consent and share or sell it to other "authorized representatives" for "educational purposes."

This sounds like a breach of contract and the perfect "out" for local Districts or States.

Some Districts have already started the ball rolling....

The school boards of Rye Neck, Pleasantville, Pelham and Pocantico Hills voted this week to drop out of New York’s participation in the Race to the Top program, hoping they will be able to withhold at least some data from the state. Districts considering doing the same include Dobbs Ferry, Hastings-on-Hudson and South Orangetown.

Bold Alton New Hampshire School Board Votes to Reject Common Core

**UPDATED**  Another NY district has pulled out.
Spackenkill School District

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Arizona Obamacare Navigator Grant Recipients

Feels a lot like Acorn.

1.  Arizona Association of Community Health Centers whose free clinics include:

         Adelante Healthcare  (CEO is on the board of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce)

         John C Lincoln Healthcare (Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce member)

         Tidwell Family Care Center (AKA Clinica Adelante), a migrant health center serving all "residents" of Maricopa County.

The Greater Phoenix Chamber supported Brewer's Medicaid Expansion.  Payback?

Just a reminder of other campaign donations made by the Chamber's Greater Leadership Fund to those who helped ram through the Medicaid expansion.

John McComish

Jeff Dial

Bob Worsley (who enjoyed many donations from healthcare PACs for his campaign)

Steve Yarborough

Republican Victory Fund (Review the Victory Fund/House Victory fraud here)

Republican House Victory

Heather Carter

2.  Arizona Board of Regents (Client of Chuck Coughlin)

3.  Greater Phoenix Urban League

4.  Campesinas Sin Fronteras is associated with AmeriCorp.  What was that Obama said about AmeriCorp?

Then again, Planned Parenthood in NH received $145k as well.

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England 
Anticipated grant amount: $145,161 
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) is a nonprofit health care provider. 
PPNNE will assist patients and other consumers with understanding new programs, taking 
advantage of consumer protections, and navigating the health insurance system to find the 
most affordable coverage that meets their needs. The organization will primarily serve 
individuals in the following counties: Hillsborough, Rockingham, Grafton, Cheshire, and 
Sullivan in New Hampshire

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sample Common Core PARCC Test Questions

Since Arizona is in the same testing consortia, PARCC, as Louisiana, we thought you might enjoy the following sample questions for English III students produced by the Louisiana Department of Education.

Remember, it's just a set of "standards."

The items that follow are based on an excerpt from the book In Defense of Women, which is located at the end of this set of questions. 

1. What are two central ideas presented in the excerpt? 
A. Men have prevented women from succeeding, but with new-found economic security, women will have the upper hand in the workplace. 
B. Women have more economic freedom, which means they will have more choices, especially when it comes to marriage. 
C. Women have a little more freedom, but the progress has been slow and the gains very small. 
D. Most women prefer to work than to marry, and as a result, family life is diminishing. 

Correct Answer: B

2. What is the purpose of mentioning “grandmothers” and “woman of a century ago”? 
A. To show that women of all generations prefer marriage to working 
B. To illustrate how little progress women have made through the years 
C. To emphasize the change in what women can expect in their lives 
D. To acknowledge the efforts of the first women activists  

 Correct Answer: C

3. In paragraph 3, the author refers to certain “propagandists” of the women’s movement. Based on the author’s description, his attitude toward them is best described as 
A. amused. 
B. fearful. 
C. confused. 
D. scornful. 

Correct Answer: D

4. Which words or phrases from paragraph 3 provide the best clues to how the author feels about the “propagandists”? 
A. “averse to marriage” 
B. “man-eating suffragettes” 
C. “preachers” and “prophetess” 
D. “wake the world with no such noisy eloquence” 

Correct Answer: B

Henry Louis Mencken (1880–1956) was an American journalist, essayist, and magazine editor. Mencken is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the first 
half of the twentieth century. His book In Defense of Women was published in 1918 during the height of the suffragist movement, whose supporters sought to give women the right to vote. 

from In Defense of Women 

by H.L. Mencken 

1 The gradual emancipation of women that has been going on for the last century has still a long way to proceed before they are wholly delivered from their traditional burdens and so stand clear of the oppressions of men. But already, it must be plain, they have made enormous progress—perhaps more than they made in the ten thousand years preceding. The rise of the industrial system, which has borne so harshly upon the race in general, has brought them certain unmistakable benefits. Their economic dependence, though still sufficient to make marriage highly attractive to them, is nevertheless so far broken down that large classes of women are now almost free agents, and quite independent of the favor of men. Most of these women, responding to ideas that are still powerful, are yet intrigued, of course, by marriage, and prefer it to the autonomy that 
is coming in, but the fact remains that they now have a free choice in the matter, and that dire necessity no longer controls them. After all, they needn’t marry if they don’t want to; it is possible to get their bread by their own labor in the workshops of the world. Their grandmothers were in a far more difficult position. Failing marriage, they not only suffered a cruel ignominy,[1] but in many cases faced the menace of actual starvation. There was simply no respectable place in the economy of those times for the free woman. She either had to enter a nunnery or accept a disdainful patronage[2] that was as galling[3] as charity. 

2 Nothing could be plainer than the effect that the increasing economic security of women is having upon their whole habit of life and mind. The diminishing marriage rate and the even more 
rapidly diminishing birth rates show which way the wind is blowing. It is common for male statisticians, with characteristic imbecility,[4] to ascribe the fall in the marriage rate to a growing disinclination on the male side. This growing disinclination is actually on the female side. Even though no considerable body of women has yet reached the definite doctrine that marriage is less desirable than freedom, it must be plain that large numbers of them now approach the business 
with far greater fastidiousness[5] than their grandmothers or even their mothers exhibited. They are harder to please, and hence pleased less often. The woman of a century ago could imagine nothing 
more favorable to her than marriage; even marriage with a fifth-rate man was better than no marriage at all. This notion is gradually feeling the opposition of a contrary notion. Women in general may still prefer marriage to work, but there is an increasing minority which begins to realize that work may offer the greater contentment. 

3 There already appears in the world, indeed, a class of women, who, while still not genuinely averse to marriage, are yet free from any theory that it is necessary, or even invariably desirable. Among these women are a good many somewhat vociferous[6] propagandists, almost male in their violent earnestness; they range from the man-eating suffragettes to such preachers of free motherhood as Ellen Key[7] and such professional shockers of the bourgeoisie[8] as the American prophetess of birth-control, Margaret Sanger. But among them are many more who wake the world with no such noisy eloquence, but content themselves with carrying out their ideas in a quiet and respectable manner. The number of such women is much larger than is generally imagined, and that number tends to increase steadily. They are women who, with their economic independence 
assured, either by inheritance or by their own efforts, chiefly in the arts and professions, do exactly as they please, and make no pother[9] about it. Naturally enough, their superiority to convention 
and the common frenzy makes them extremely attractive to the better sort of men, and so it is not uncommon for one of them to find herself voluntarily sought in marriage, without any preliminary scheming by herself—surely an experience that very few ordinary women ever enjoy, save perhaps in dreams or delirium. The old order changeth and giveth place to the new. 

[1] humiliation 
[2] financial support controlled by a person or organization 
[3] irritating 
[4] silliness, absurdity, or stupidity 
[5] excessive care or delicacy 
[6] outspoken 
[7] Swedish feminist writer 
[8] middle class 
[9] fuss, disturbance

Friday, October 4, 2013

Arizona Healthcare Website Is STILL Down

When clicking on the link for the Arizona Marketplace, you will get this:

Four days after Obamacare went online.


We did check the prices in other states and here are the "UN" affordable rates we found for a family of five...



Update 10/8/13

So close...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Common Core "Mathlish"

The "old" 1st grader's homework used to look like this:

The new "rigorous" Common Core math is, well, not quite the same. 

Today's Common Core mathlish first grader brings home essentially the same homework page day in and day out.  These pages typically contain a few simple addition or subtraction problems.  The child is instructed to not just answer the question that they could/should be able to do in their head, but also draw pictures to correspond with each number in the problem.  Some pages require the child to come up with their own "mathlish sentence."  Considering many 1st graders are just starting to learn to read, shoving word problems at them does nothing but cause frustration and aggravation for both the child and the parent.  

On the backside of the homework page, the child is then conditioned to take tests and fill in a bubble.

See samples of these 1st grade pages for yourself.  Notice the student is reminded several times that they need to also draw the pictures, not just answer the problem, even if they can solve it in their head.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Look What The TEA Party Did!

They got the tolerant, peaceful, non-violent action leftist crowd to trash Congressman David Schweikert's office.

And during the left's "UNITY" /anti-bullying month, no less.

We like to look at it as badges of honor.

Mr. Schweikert is obviously doing something right!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Great Start To The New Healthcare Exchanges!

Nice to see they are following the same model of efficiency as every other governmental organization.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Revisionist History

For a little background, the Pittsford New York school district has two high schools that are ranked in the top 13 in the state.  Clearly, even a top-notch district isn't immune from teaching revisionist history. 

During a recent lesson, a 7th grade class in the Pittsford school district was shown this WANTED poster.

"The destruction of a child's love of country and patriotism is the first step in educating that child for world citizenship."
Julian Huxley...founder of UNESCO

Friday, September 13, 2013

This Is What Common Core Indoctrination Looks Like

Leave it to the politically correct, Common Core indoctrination to change the meaning of a children's book.

Most kids, including my own, have read the story, "The Very Hungry Catepillar" by Eric Carle.

Common Core takes the story to a whole new, ridiculous level.

"Pencils in hand and eyes focused on their work Wednesday, a group of second graders at Higley Unified School District's Coronado Elementary School carefully retold the story of 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar'....

The students...were taking part in Coronado's first 'Engage Wonder Day' on its South Gilbert campus.

The school launched the monthly program this year to build excitement about learning and engage students in the new Arizona state standards.  The staff built each "Engage Wonder Day" this year around the theme 'Feast or famine:  Can we solve world hunger?'

Next month, the Wonder Day is titled  'The Hunger Games.'  Students will discuss nutrition, how to live off the land and survival skills."

They are aware that in "The Hunger Games" people killed each other for sport, right?

Teaching future activists....

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Race To The Top DISTRICT Competition

From the makers of the Race To The Top "State-level Competition,"  we now have a DISTRICT competition called RTT-D.

Must be nice to be able to print money...

"The Race to the Top District competition will build on the lessons learned from the State-level competitions and support bold, locally directed improvements in teaching and learning that will directly improve student achievement and teacher effectiveness.  More specifically, Race to the Top District will reward those LEAs that have the leadership and vision to implement the strategies, structures and systems of support to move beyond one-size-fits-all models of schooling, which have struggled to produce excellence and equity for all children, to personalized, student-focused approaches to teaching and learning that will use collaborative, data-based strategies and 21st century tools to deliver instruction and supports tailored to the needs and goals of each student, with the goal of enabling all students to graduate college- and career- ready."

Familiar eligibilty criteria include:

LEAs may join a consortium that includes LEAs across one or more states.

At least 40% of participating students across all participating schools must be students from low-income families, based on eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch subsidies.

The LEA has, at a minimum, designed and committed to implement no later than the 2014-15 school year:

- A teacher evaluation system
- A principal evaluation system
- A LEA superintendent evaluation
- A LEA school board evaluation


One has to wonder how ELECTED school board members and those who elected them might feel about this? 

But, then again, we allowed the federal government to give individual states RTTT money and therefore, authority to mandate a national standard and curriculum.

Why WOULDN'T the federal government go after local districts next?  

Applicants must be willing to subject themselves to increased "transparency" which includes reporting to the federal government the actual salaries at the school level for personnel, as well as instructional and support staff.

Wonder why that information is necessary? 

The LEA has a robust data system that has, at a minimum-

- An individual teacher identifier with a teacher-student match
- The ability to match student level P-12 and higher education data

"The LEA has policy and regulatory protections in place that ensure Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) compliant privacy and information protection while enabling access and use by stakeholders."

It's a good thing Arne Duncan already changed the FERPA laws to allow our children's personal data to be shared with outside organizations and corporations  stakeholders.

Signatures by the LEA Superintendent, local school board and union/association president will be required.  Also, look for letters of support from "key" stakeholders such as parent and student organizations, early learning programs, the business community, civil rights organizations, advocacy groups, local civic and community-based organizations, etc.

It's the bully  community organizing way.

Three districts in Arizona have their hands out for upwards of $30MILLION including Cartwright Elementary, Peoria Unified and Tucson Unified School Districts.

Following closely behind are districts applying for a mere $20-$25Million such as the Glendale Elementary and High School District, Humbolt, and Sunnyside Unified Districts.

Even a newly formed charter school in Phoenix called Empower College Prep has their hand in the cookie jar begging for $4-$10Million.  That's a far cry from their FY 2013 budget of around $1M.

If all of the applicants win the highest award available, the 14 districts will receive a whopping $290M!

Other people's money.

Good-bye local control.

Wonder what Arizona Superintendent, John Huppenthal, thinks now?

Monday, September 9, 2013

The New Common Core Library Coming To A School Near You

A mother's personal story:

"My daughter told me a story a few weeks ago about doing a research paper for one of her classes this past Spring. (She was a freshman at the time). She told me that it was particularly difficult to do since she had to use the 'common core approved' search engine 'SIRS' for 4 of her 6 sources as required by her teacher. I found this to be very troubling, as did she since she said it was almost impossible to support her point of view by being forced to use that search engine to do her research. "

But, isn't that the goal?  Our point of view is irrelevant. We are being "nudged" to one point of view and it is not, in my estimation, a good or healthy one. 

ProQuest states that they have "people, editors who compile the best information for you....every article is hand-picked."  

Of course, the sample subject used in the promotional video is on "global warming."

So, we thought we would look at the ProQuest/SIRS/eLibrary for ourselves.

Here is a video of what ProQuest will provide on the subject of "citizenship":

"SIRS" interactive citizenship bridges the gap between out-dated textbooks and current events."

The video then shows clips about the office of President stating that the American Presidency has grown into an office of great power....

Scroll down and you will see a picture of President Obama and his family saying "Theoretically the Presidency is within reach of many Americans."

"Theoretically?"  "Many Americans?"

Clever.  Why wouldn't the library state the fact that "The Presidency is within reach for ALL Americans?"

Surely, they aren't implying that there is inequality of opportunity.

The video then scrolls through sample articles on the subject of Government and Economics.  Of course, what is shown is information on John Keynes and his (failed) Keynesian economics ideas.

The video then shows a 1933 poster for the "Civilian Conservation Corp" to compliment the text information.  

It then lists links to current articles from news sources such as the Washington Post and USA Today. 

We are then taken to a page that shows:

"National" Standards for Civics?

Because we have been told ad nauseum that there is no such thing as "National Standards," we looked up the "Civics and Government Standards and Benchmarks" and discovered that it took us to this link.

The disclaimer on the bottoms states:

One of the civic teacher lesson plans provides a questionnaire for students and other adults.

What online library does YOUR school use?