Take Heart and Keep Fighting

top-20-quotes-from-abraham-lincoln-21-638Utah Senator Mike Lee offered an amendment to S. 1177 which would have allowed parents to opt their children out of the “high stakes” testing. Sen. Lee’s amendment was voted down 64-32.

One of the Senators who voted against the amendment was our own Mitch
McConnell. Apparently Senator McConnell thinks the federal government
knows better than parents and that parents have no rights. Senator
McConnell also voted for passage of S.1177.

I read a quote from President Abraham Lincoln today that I think we can apply to our current situation fighting for sound education policy.  He said, “Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.”

Some of us feel discouraged about the House approving H.R. 5, the Student Success Act last week, and the U.S. Senate yesterday passing S.1177, the Every Child Achieves Act.

We need to “have faith that right makes might.” Our message is going
out.  It is resonating.  Even if the votes didn’t go our way, we are
still making a difference in the national conversation. We are forcing
our leadership, candidates, etc. to discuss federalism as applied to

Our opposition to Common Core was cited numerous times, that is something we didn’t see even two years ago.

Notice also that three of the four presidential candidates in the U.S.
Senate (U.S. Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio) voted “no” on
S.1177.  U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) didn’t vote at all.  We are
making a difference, politicians are feeling the pressure we are
bringing to bear as grassroots



State Passes Measure to Allow Unlicensed Teachers

State Allows Unlicensed Teachers with Measure
State Allows Unlicensed Teachers with Measure

We have said from the beginning this was going to happen. When all you are doing is showing children how to pass a test you don’t need to be a certified teacher. The scary part is Kansas, much like other states, has seen a growing number of good, qualified teachers retire. One has to wonder if these experienced teachers could see the handwriting on the wall with Common Core. We need to go back and let the teachers do their job!

State passes measure to allow unlicensed teachers



More Propaganda from Kentucky Deptartment of Education

More propaganda from Kentucky Dept of Education. These are results of their academic challenge. Their press release states “Kentuckians strongly support academic standards”. But yet, when you read the release it says of those responding 50% were teachers, 8% superintendents and admins, 8% business community (Chamber) and only about 20% were parents. 20% is not strong community support for their academic standards!


Matt Bevin Intends to See Common Core Removed from Kentucky Ed Landscape

Matt Bevins vs. Common Core

“Shortly after I wrote my piece on what seemed to be a conflict of interest for Matt Bevin, the GOP nominee in Kentucky’s Governor’s race, I was contacted by someone I trust who has worked with him directly on his plan to eliminate Common Core in Kentucky.  They were aware of the facts of this claim which they state is baseless.  Through this contact Bevin provided Truth in American Education his statement.”


Reviewing Kentucky’s Education Power Structure: Vicki Phillips

Reviewing Kentucky’s Education Power Structure: Vicki Phillips

Vicki Phillips

There is a reason why Kentucky was the first state to adopt and implement the Common Core State Standards.  As noted in earlier articles, Kentucky’s power structure consists of Gene Wilhoit, Terry Holliday, Steve Beshear, David Adkisson, and Vicki Phillips, along with a bureaucratic framework that rivals most any other state.  And the timing was right as well.

In 2009 the Kentucky General Assembly passed Senate Bill 1. This legislation mandated new academic standards focused on the “critical knowledge, skills and capacities needed for success in the global economy.”  The Senate Bill 1 steering committee supported collaboration with the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), then led by former Kentucky Education Commissioner and Executive Director of the CCSSO, Gene Wilhoit, in the Common Core State Standards project.  In February of 2010, Governor Steve Beshear and the Kentucky Department of Education, with Education Commissioner, Terry Holliday, adopted the Common Core State Standards (although not yet completed and without our elected legislators’ involvement).

What made the adoption and implementation of the Common Core State Standards in Kentucky work so well, was and still is, the major financial assistance provided by Vicki Phillips, Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation since 2007.

Vicki Phillips grew up in in the small, poor, but well-named rural Kentucky town called Falls of Rough.  Not expected to amount to much, a high school friend of hers persuaded her to go to college.  She received her Bachelor’s and her Master’s from Western Kentucky University and her Doctor of Education from the University of Lincoln in England (2002).  She has worked as a teacher, served seven years as Assistant Chief Executive to the Kentucky Commissioner of Education; Superintendent of Schools in Lancaster, PA (1998-2003); Chief State School Officer for PA (2003-2004); Superintendent of Schools in Portland, OR (2004-2007); and then the Director of Education, College-Ready for the Gates Foundation.  She is still very close with her colleagues in Kentucky and has issued grants of more than $30 Million (2009-2014) to fund many of their programs.  She and Gene Wilhoit are both active as keynote speakers at numerous education conferences.

As Director of Education, College-Ready for the Gates Foundation, she has coordinated with the NGA and the CCSSO and with the Gates funding has offered consulting assistance to states for their Race to the Top applications, which in turn has led to 40+ states adopting the Common Core State Standards, its aligned assessments, data collection, teacher evaluations, etc. 

A look back at her perceived successes, while serving as the Superintendent of Portland schools, may provide some insight to her filling the position at the Gates Foundation.  While the superintendent position in the famously progressive, consensus-driven city, she closed six schools, merged nearly two dozen others through K-8 conversions, pushed to standardize the district’s curriculum, and championed new controversial measures for testing the district’s 46,000 children without much concern about the effects on the neighborhoods and schools.  A local newspaper nicknamed her “Hurricane Vicki”.

Yet Portland’s business leaders called Phillips a strong leader in a time of crisis.  With a diminishing school population and tight school budgets, she was, in their eyes, a “Rising Star”.  “She’s decisive, she’s fact-based, she’s inclusive, she listens, and she’s not afraid to change her mind when the facts tell her to change her mind,” said Sandra McDonough, President and CEO of the Portland Business Alliance.

Many teachers, however, saw Phillips’ efforts as “top-down” and disingenuously urgent.  “Her vision of an ideal school system was one with a powerful centralized office that was always reacting to problems with new mandates-sometimes, it felt, capricious,” says Karl Meiner, a high school English teacher in the district.

Even more teachers worried that the effects of her reforms would be a wholesale dumbing down of Portland’s schools.  Teachers warned against “cookie cutter” schools as Phillips pushed for what she called equity and the teachers called sameness.  “Once she knew what she wanted to do, she just did it no matter what,” says Hyung Nam, a Portland high school social studies teacher. 

Being ambitious, attuned to the concerns of business, with a legacy of top-down decisions, and standardization offered with a rhetoric of equity, Vicki Phillips, in August of 2007, became the Director of Education, College-Ready program of the Gates Foundation, with a purse of $3.4 Billion, a sum far greater than the discretionary funds in the U.S. Department of Education’s 2008 budget.

Phillips is a force to be reckoned with: “Truly, because money talks so loudly in this country, it makes her, by default, the nation’s Director of Education, in control of $3 billion smackers.” says education activist, Susan Ohanian. 

So, with the national stature of Vicki Phillips, her access to unbelievable amounts of funds, and being a home-grown product, makes her a major player in the power structure here in Kentucky.  Between Governor Beshear, Commissioner Terry Holliday, Gene Wihoit, currently the Executive Director of the Center for Innovation in Education at UK, David Adkisson, President and CEO of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, and their dear friend Vicki Phillips, is there anything this power structure cannot do, whether it is in the best interest of Kentucky’s children, or otherwise? 


Wayne M. Meyer, AIA

A Father and Grandfather                                                                                                                          A 40+ Year Professional                                                                                 wmeyer1248@gmail.com


(Read about the other power structure members in the KACC Archives)


Terry Donoghue

Homeschooling in Kentucky, A Way Around Common Core?

558672_396436553707436_410238846_nI’ve been a Kentucky homeschooling mom since before homeschooling was the cool thing to do.  Homeschooling, like motherhood, isn’t for wimps.  And it isn’t necessarily a way around Common Core.

The College Board’s current President, David Coleman, is one of the chief architects behind Common Core, and of course, all SAT, AP, and college planning done via the College Board are keyed to Common Core.  You can read all about David Coleman here, here, and via our own video here. If you really enjoy the feeling of the hair standing up on the back of your neck, just do a Google search on Mr. Coleman.

The point here is that most homeschool families participate in testing for college entrance.  So, just to be clear, homeschooling is not a work around for Common Core. And homeschooling families should be working alongside public and private school families to rid the Commonwealth of Common Core, as a way of standing in the gap for families who cannot homeschool or the voiceless in the school system who cannot fight Common Core.

So, why homeschool in Kentucky at all? There are a myriad of reasons homeschooling is a good choice for families.  Personalized education, parental oversight of school materials, religious reasons, children are able to learn at their own pace, etc.  And study after study has shown that homeschooling works and works well.

It does take time and effort. It requires a lot of the parent or parents, and even extended family.  But, personally, I have found it worth it.  I’ve homeschooled all four of my children with stellar results.

But, this article is for those who would like to know what it takes to homeschool in Kentucky.

Kentucky is a great place to homeschool, as we are considered private schools and governed in the same way those private schools are.

In order to have a bonafide homeschool in Kentucky, you must adhere to the Best Practice document found here.   This includes notification of your intent to homeschool your child given to the local school district, certain subjects that need to be covered, and attendance records kept.  This important document and agreement also cover when, where, and why the State can intercede in your homeschool and is a document every homeschool family should be familiar with and keep a printed copy on file at home.

A legal analysis of homeschooling in Kentucky can be found here.

Other suggestions for homeschooling in Kentucky:

1. Join CHEK, which is our statewide homeschooling advocacy group.  A Christian organization, CHEK supports the rights of ALL parents to direct the education of their children through homeschooling.

2. Join HSLDA. A small monthly, or affordable yearly fee provide you with legal insurance for your homeschool.

3. To understand homeschooling and Common core, some excellent articles: IAHE statement on Common Core Joy Pullman and HSLDA, CHEK and Common Core.

And finally, for every homeschooler or those considering homeschooling, this site will direct you to Common Core free homeschooling materials with statements from homeschool curriculum providers, The Homeschool Resource Roadmap.

Homeschooling can, and is done with excellence.  Kentucky children deserve the best possible education that can be provided, and for my family and countless others, the best teacher turned out to be Mom.

I’m happy to field questions about homeschooling via the comment box.

Gina Glenn, Homeschooling Mom, and CHEK social media coordinator


Recanvas Confirmed! Matt Bevin Wins Republican Gubernatorial Primary

Matt Bevins for Governor
Matt Bevins for Governor

Kentuckians Against Common Core is please to announce their support for Republican candidate, Matt Bevin in the race for Governor of Kentucky.

Matt Bevin has consistently supported efforts to repeal Common Core in Kentucky.  In our efforts to defeat Common Core in Kentucky, we need a Governor on our side.

Democrat candidate, Jack Conway, is a strong supporter of Common Core in Kentucky and refused to answer our survey sent earlier this year.

You can read the response from Matt Bevin here.

You can visit Mr. Bevin’s website here.


Common Core Ties to Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia

– – Tuesday, April 7, 2015

“Where did Common Core come from?” is a question I often hear from parents  as I travel the country speaking about the Islamic infiltration of America.

Because in 2014-15 America, public school students via Common Core are:



No, most Kentucky KPREP scores are not that close to NAEP scores

from Dick Innes of Bluegrass Institute

The Kentucky Department of Education sent out News Release 15-051 yesterday, which contains some inaccurate information about how the state’s KPREP test compares to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). While the release claims “Kentucky Among Handful of States with Reliable Test Scores,” that might be stretching things.

To begin, the term “Reliable” has specific meaning when we are talking about tests. This gets technical, but you can read about the formal meaning of test reliability here if you want. In any event – unless I missed something – the news release does not seem to refer to any formal determination of test reliability for Kentucky’s Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress tests (KPREP). In fact, I don’t know if any formal reliability studies have been completed for KPREP. Perhaps the media staff at the department just made an unfortunate selection of terms, but the news release needs a correction.

There are more problems because claims in this release are math-challenged.

Read more.