John and Jane Does’ Gather for “We Will Not Conform”

Posted by on Jul 25, 2014 in Education, Featured | 0 comments

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“Hello, I am John Doe, and I will not conform!” “Hello, I am Lisa Cummins, and I will not conform!”

If you have ever seen Frank Capra’s movie, Meet John Doe, you most likely caught a glimpse of the power one individual has. On Tuesday, July 22nd, Glenn Beck brought together various individuals from many different backgrounds to make the statement: “We Will Not Conform.” The issue is Common Core, an agenda of taking our children and using them for the benefit of the government and private entities.

When I started fighting back against Common Core in 2010, I was a lone mom, or so I thought. I was putting in attorney-like hours researching and following leads concerning anyone and anything Common Core related. Months later, I teamed up with Christel Swasey, Alisa Ellis, and Renee Braddy, as well as a handful of other moms. Together we combined our research, traveled the state sharing presentations, meeting with legislators, school board members, teachers, and anyone who would listen and take us seriously.

Walking into the studio I felt extremely small, and yet an important part of huge fight to protect our children. Washington D.C., massive corporations, and big names with obscenely deep pockets were coming after our children. However the “Bureau-edu-crats,” (as Michelle Malkin called them), made a huge and vital mistake. They severely underestimated the power of Moms and Dads, and the ability of one dad to bring them all together under the roofs of 700 theaters across the nation.

Five sections of the studio were set to cover different areas of importance: Michelle Malkin took the lead in Resources and Research, Dana Loesch lead the “Grassroots”, David Barton focused on “Politics”, Pat Gray discussed “Alternatives”, and Brian Glicklich emphasized “Messaging.”

To briefly summarize:
◾At the Resource and Research table: self –education of the issues is needed. Parents and citizens must know what is at issue and the risks involved.
◾At the “Grassroots” table: sharing that information through the right channels (i.e. social media, face-to face discussion, etc…) is vital. Twitter was voted as the most useful tool.
◾At the “Politics” table: we must be organized and show up at various school board and legislative meetings in numbers! Numbers DO matter! Understand the 10th Amendment and make sure your elected officials do to.
◾At the “Alternative” table: through a poll conducted, homeschooling came off as the winning alternative to public school. It was emphasized that parents should not disengage from the discussion of public education. Everyone needs to be involved.
◾The fifth table was Messaging. Brian Glicklich made it clear that we need to “Think first, listen second, and talk last.” We are to disengage from arguments, you can be “angry and effective, but rarely can you do both at the same time,” “what you say and how you say it can be just as effective as the words themselves”.

So how did Utahans respond to the event?

Jim Wilson shared:

“We were at the Provo Mall theaters. The place was packed. There was a petition being passed around. The audience was very engaged and often showed their support through applause. There was a great deal of discussion afterwards. It was a great event!”

From Vincent Bellon:

“Draper was sold out! The crowd was engaged and applauded throughout, especially when the subject of home schooling came up. We met in the lobby afterwards to sign the petition and many were exchanging e-mails. I was very motivated afterwards by the instruction we received!”

Glenn Beck was exactly right when he said

“The day when we are willing to go to jail like Martin Luther King did for his kids, we win!”

Numbers DO matter. Look what a handful of moms have done in Utah! Look what one dad did in bringing a nation together. It all starts with 1. It starts with you! Spread the word: a citizen movement has begun! WE WILL NOT CONFORM!

*For more information to get started with an action plan go to wewillnotconform.act.freedomworks.org/#primary_form
we will not conform

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Indiana Legislators grow a spine and make experts squirm!

Posted by on Aug 7, 2013 in Education, Lisa's Personal Insights, National News, Utah State Headlines | 0 comments

Indiana, U.S.A

Indiana, U.S.A

I have been to too many educator board meetings where the public is given very little time to address concerns and the board members sit there with attitude in the their postures, texting, or whispering, clearly annoyed by the public. Wait, I maybe talking about teenagers. Well, anyway, either way the whole group of them need to be taken out to the watershed and seriously disciplined.

Not once has recorded pleas from the public been answered from these board members, at least that I’m aware of. So its thrilling to have Indiana legislators straighten their spine and demand answers to questions that we’ve been asking for a long time!

On Monday, Indiana conducted the first of 3 hearings into Common Core! American historian and freelance writer, A.K. Fielding wrote a fascinating analysis on how it went! You can find her full article here! I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall, watching these instigators of bad education, squirm!

“Why was there such an urgent rush to come up with a plan such as CCS? Moreover, why is there an urgent rush to ensure the implementation of CCS?”

I’ll tell you why. The Race to the Top, is just that, a race! States are so eager and hungry for Federal dollars to give to their administrators and infrastructure, that time is of the essence! Four RttT grants are dangled like carrots on sticks, to State and local Boards to get everything just right and be approved. Its sad to see that competition for attention is now in starving mode! Our governments have become children, not knowing how to do anything but what is told to them. Also, private investors want their money back, with interest. Bill Gates isn’t a fool to invest $150 million of his own money and expect nothing in return! This is about money and power, and State and local boards have to move if Common Core is going to produce!

But the answer in the above paragraph was not given, instead a vague understanding was felt. Fielding wrote “What became apparent early in the debate was that those in favor of CCS are in an almost desperate need to implement the program as quickly as possible.” No further details where mentioned.

“If these “experts” are truly concerned about our children, then why do they make deals behind closed doors only informing Americans after the fact?”

Utah’s problem is the same. Why is the State Board of Education sitting behind close doors? Why do they not provided detailed names of those who are writing “Utah Core.” Why can we not question those individuals. Why the secrecy? Well because these experts are nothing more than self appointed elitists with a LOT of money. And money talks! The nemesis to money is the power of the people. Hence the meetings behind closed doors. Am I making too much common sense?

“Furthermore, for proponents of CCS who continue to claim that it is a “state driven program,” why do the states only have a 15% opportunity to revise the CCS standards?”

“Senator Scott Schneider asked Jeffrey Zimba of the nonprofit Student Achievement Partners, and a lead writer of the Common Core math standards, if he knew whether the high performing countries were using the same standards? Schneider had to ask the question repeatedly because Zimba was unable to give a direct answer. After much pussyfooting around the question, he eventually said, “they do not produce the same.”

HAHA!! We’ve been saying that all along! THERE is NO evidence that the Common Core Standards are globally competitive! Right from the horses mouth! FINALLY, we are getting somewhere!

And for evidence of the 15%, that the USOE emphatically denies or won’t acknowledge you are welcome to click on these links: No Child Left Behind waiver, the State Adoption of the Common Core Standards: the 15 Percent Rule, (A state by state look at the implementation of the 15% rule, including Utah), and Achieve’s “On the Road to Implementation: Achieving the Promise of the Common Core State Standards,” see page 20!

Continuing: “Schneider also asked if the high performing countries collaborated on their education standards and Zimba responded “probably” but was unable to give a proven answer backed by research. Indeed, when asked by Schneider if he knew where the US ranked in education, Zimba was clueless. Yet, these experts are to make decisions about our children’s future.”

What a piece of crock! Rupert Murdock said that Common Core was a potentially $500 Billion sector! And now it could be the biggest scam of all time! They played poker and in the last few rounds the cards have been sliding down their sleeves! The American public have been had with a phoney sale of goods!

Continuing: “Perhaps the most important revelation of the hearings on Monday came from Professor of History, Terrence Moore of Hillsdale College who noted that CCS undermines the significance of our historical documents. For example, CCS does not recommend students read and analyze the US Constitution. Under CCS, The Federalist Papers are insignificant. Indeed, they are not even on the reading list. CCS recommends only reading the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Furthermore, CCS recommends students should read the Declaration of Independence but only to answer, “compare and contrast questions” not to analyze the significance of this great historical text.”

I have to point out that Mr. Moore’s statement is a general analysis of the Founding documents. I know that while my daughter was attending a charter school historical documents (aka informational texts) where highly suggested. However not much time was spend on them. There was no time spent on the details of the why, who’s, how, etc. I was told by the teacher that the students would have to do that on their own time and dive deeper. As a lover of history I would have hated to be in this teachers’ class. No motivation or passion what so ever. Just bland old documents. And yet this is what common core strives to teach our kids.

The bottom line is this: as more and more states follow in the footsteps of Indiana, South Carolina, Ohio, Wyoming, Kansas, Missouri, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Alabama, the proponents of Common Core will fight harder and push for faster over haul to complete their goals. This is a race on who controls the future. For too long Progressives and liberals have had that position and they have driven America’s education system into the ground. Its time for parents and teachers to really take back control of their children’s lives. No more data mining, no more teaching to the test, no more careers being based on student performance, and no more students lives being laid out by crony capitalists. Its time to act.

Shout “NO TO COMMON CORE!” and stop it in its tracks.

Information text is selective and from what I’ve seen, with studying the correct and full history of the United States, is next to nill! In fact, because students have so much to learn in so little time (aka rigorous)

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“Our Children, Our Money, Our Choice! Stop Common Core!”

Posted by on Aug 2, 2013 in Education, Lisa's Personal Insights, National News, Utah State Headlines | 0 comments

CC children“Our Children, Our Money, Our Choice! Stop Common Core!” That was the message that over 100 parents, teachers, and yes, children called out in front of the Utah State Office of Education, on Friday! The gathering was to inform the Board that it is time to hear the concerns of citizens regarding Common Core.

In order for public opinion to be heard, citizens had to call in days before the meeting to be put on the list to speak. Dr. Gary Thompson, Alisa Ellis, and myself were given the opportunity to speak. I’ve posted two of the speeches and the video below.

Christel Swasey was then interviewed with ABC4 News, and I was able to capture some of that interview.

Our number of attendees was vital! And this was a great start! For the first time that I can recall, Utah State Superintendent Mertell Menlove missed out on committee meetings, and sat with over 50 parents. He listened to our concerns and his patience was tested as each of us felt the need to stand boldly and correct mis-information that we knew to be false. I personally told him that he was a brave man and thanked him for the opportunity to speak with us.

Two things came out of that short visit: 1)Superintendent Menlove is not doing his homework. There were so many issues relating to Common Core that he was not aware and could not answer to! 2) Both sides agree that we need to sit down, that we need to share our factual documents without emotion, and that by doing so, Utah just might come up with a reasonable policy for education! But it will have to be with parents, legislators and Board members. If either one is left out, we are destined to repeat history, yet again!

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By Alisa Ellis:

Two years ago I considered myself a regular mom happily volunteering in the school and “raising nerds” as my husband and I regularly joked because we’ve always focused on the academic side of education. It is important to me. It wasn’t in my life plan to be here today. There are a million other things I’d rather do but can’t sit idly by and watch local control slip away.

I don’t appreciate my tax dollars being spent trying to sell Common Core to me. You can’t talk AT the public. You must talk WITH us.

We MUST open up an honest open dialogue about the Common Core Reform Agenda. This IS NOT just standards and it never was. This is an entire education reform package. The standards tie everything together with the testing and data collection enforcing compliance. You and I, we have a lot more in common than you may think but we can’t find common ground if we don’t even have a dialogue.

None of us are saying we can’t get out, we know we can and that’s why we say to you. WE WANT OUT!!! We can do better! There are solutions. Over 120 UT professors of math, science and engineering signed a petition stating that they would like to pick up standards SUCH AS California’s who Fordham said “are excellent in every respect.”

We must retain freedom and excellence in our children’s education. Parents and teachers must have the freedom to work together to set the very best educational pathway for the children not what will be best for the economy, businesses, testing companies. We must do what is best for the children.

Blanketing untested and unproven reforms across the Nation is certainly not in the best interest of the children. This common core nonsense is creating a Monopoly, not just a monopoly of curriculum but a monopoly of thought where this one idea is being sold as the answer to all problems in education and the solution for all children.

You and I both know that each child is an individual who learns and thinks differently from the student sitting next to him.

It is a blatant lie to state that these are minimum standards. They never were. The 15% guide has been in every document I’ve read since 2009 and it is in the waiver. You’re worried about delegating your constitutional authority to higher ed but that’s exactly what you’ve done with Common Core which we don’t own. They are NOT UT’s. UT can and must be a leader. Let’s not settle for A- WE MUST DO BETTER.

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By Lisa Cummins:

Superintendant Menlove, Members of the Board

My name is Lisa Cummins. I am a mother of 5, and an Aunt to many. I am here before you to defend them against your tyrannical jurisdiction and the implementation of Common Core.

This battle that I am fighting is a battle for the souls of these children. The Elite of this country have co-mingled with the Communistic like leadership of this Nation to create a monster that you are willing to feed our children into.

While the standards themselves are nothing to gawk at, the rest of the ugly package has gotten my undivided attention. I have found that the primary goal is data collecting and to achieve that by mandating assessments, tying it to student’s grades, thereby coercing parents into giving in for the sake of their child’s future. You have almost tied our hands behind our backs. ALMOST!

As far as information texts go, nowhere in either the United States Constitution or the Utah State Constitution, does it say that pre-approved categorically elected representatives on the State Board of Education have the authority to usurp parents’ rights.

In pointing to another informational text, the Utah State FERPA, the State Board has ignored or brushed aside parental rights. With accepting the $9.2 million dollars that came from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — “Stimulus Bill” to create the State Longitudinal Data system, on top of the continuous refunding of 9% of our tax dollars by the Federal Government, you have turned your allegiance to the Federal expectations and ties instead of to the people of Utah who pay the rest of your budget.

“In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education reinterpreted” and edited “the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act to permit a student’s academic record to be shared with virtually anyone including non-governmental organizations without prior written parental consent,” stating instead that is “best practice”, but not necessary.

“Rupert Murdock, owner of Amplify Education, estimates that K-12 education is a $500 BILLION dollar sector.” (Source: American Thinker)

Money and power talk and clearly you have fallen hook line and sinker to sell our children’s souls.

I demand the right to opt my children out of your state assessments without it affecting their final grades! I demand accountability and answers! I demand that local control be given back to the parents and teachers, who know best on how to teach our children.

I also declare that if you insist on collecting data from my children you had better bring a warrant! Otherwise you are indeed violating Article 1 Section 14 [Unreasonable searches forbidden -- Issuance of warrant.] The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches.

Thank you!

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