Opting Out? Yes, We Can!

Photo Credit: https://teacherslettersofprofessionalconscience.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/a-teacher-tries-opting-out%EF%BB%BF/
Photo Credit: https://teacherslettersofprofessionalconscience.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/a-teacher-tries-opting-out%EF%BB%BF/

On Tuesday March 31st,  Kentucky Department of Education sent an advisory to all Superintendents in the State stating that parents choosing to opt their children out of Kentucky’s Core-Content-based curriculum and tests is not allowed.

In the email they say, “Kentucky, districts are not permitted to honor a parent’s request to opt-out of CCSS or statewide testing. Although parents have the right to opt their children out of public education by choosing home school or private school, parents do NOT have the right to pick and choose the provisions of public education with which they will comply”.
They further go on to say that the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution doesn’t apply as to whether or not you decide to have your child opt out. They don’t believe the Supreme Court when the Court says,  “ parents possess the “fundamental right” to direct the upbringing and education of their children.”
We think this is a real problem with the Common Core Standards or Kentucky Core Academic Standards, as the KDE like to call them. The creators of the Standards  think that they are above the law of the land…they don’t believe in the Constitution.
The third paragraph, particularly the second sentence, “Senate Bill 1 (2009), which was overwhelmingly supported by a bi-partisan majority of the Kentucky House and Senate, mandated Common standards “, shows more lies and innuendos from KDE. No where in SB 1 does it state that Common Standards (notice KDE has changed the name again..Common Core Standards, Kentucky Core Academic Standards, and now Common Standards) are mandated.
What was mandated is that new standards were supposed to be developed by K-12 , post-secondary, and other Kentucky educators , not created outside by non-Kentucky citizens. Twenty-nine people served on the Common Core Validation Committee and 130 people were on two decision making Standard Work Groups that developed the Common Core Standards.  NOT a one person, let us repeat, NOT one person was from Kentucky. This violates what the House and Senate members passed in SB 1 in 2009. KACC has said all along that Common Core does not conform to SB 1. Maybe it is time to let the courts see who was right!
Who do Gates, Pearson, Holliday, KDE, and others think they are to tell parents that they can’t refuse to subject  their eight year old child to a 7-hour “High Stakes” test strictly for the purpose of collecting data and tracking information in return for money? It is time for parents to say enough is enough and exercise their parental rights to refuse the KPREP test!
Read the full article on the Bluegrass Institute website here.

No Profit Left Behind

In the high-stakes world of American education, Pearson makes money even when its results don’t measure up.
By STEPHANIE SIMON

Follow the Money

The British publishing giant Pearson had made few inroads in the United States — aside from distributing the TV game show “Family Feud” — when it announced plans in the summer of 2000 to spend $2.5 billion on an American testing company.

It turned out to be an exceptionally savvy move.

The next year, Congress passed the No Child Left Behind Act, which mandated millions of new standardized tests for millions of kids in public schools. Pearson was in a prime position to capitalize.

From that perch, the company expanded rapidly, seizing on many subsequent reform trends, from online learning to the Common Core standards adopted in more than 40 states. The company has reaped the benefits: Half its $8 billion in annual global sales comes from its North American education division.

Read the rest of the article Pearson – No profit left behind – POLITICO Article.

#StopExperimentingWithOurKids Teachers! You Have to Read This!

CommonCoreTwilightZoneImagine if you will, children being video taped while taking test after test after test.  Classrooms under full video.

Imagine your children’s “confidential” survey information using by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for whatever purpose they wish.

Imagine further with me, teachers being scapegoats for failed educational experiments conducted on your children.

This isn’t the Twilight Zone.  This is Common Core.

And this is what’s happening.  And it’s happening in Kentucky schools.

Don’t take my word for it.  Read for yourself.

Here is the link to the TPGES Student Voice Survey, where it is billed as a “class room (sic) level reporting system.”

In the last paragraph it states these surveys are featured in the Gate’s Foundation MET project. Then click on the MET hyperlink. It will take you to their report and within the first two or three pages you can read how they will use your child’s confidential survey information.

Every teacher needs to read this report.

It’s understandable that in this day and age of cameras at every stoplight, and the inability to get a simple library card without them taking your picture, we have been trained to accept a certain amount of intrusion.  But, I wonder what teachers feel about working under these conditions?

And, for parents who think, “well, about time! Teachers need more accountability!”, you might consider that this is happening within the context of Common Core.  YOU, as a parent, don’t have input.  Period.  And your children are a commodity for the State and for the Gates Foundations.

If that is not the case, please enlighten everyone as to why Kentucky came with such a high price tag?

We’re not trying to sound Orwellian here.  We’re no trying to make the front page of a conspiracy website.  We are sharing facts.  Because, “Folks, you can’t make this stuff up.”

 

 

Kentuckians Join United Opt-Out #defendchildren

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Yesterday, we talked about a parent’s right to opt-out.

But, what if you’ve mustered up your confidence, and with the Law on your side, you exercise your parental right to opt-out, only to be met with educational bullying?

Here are some steps you can take:

1. Know what opting out of the test means.

2. Know your rights regarding opting out.

3. Know the procedure for opting out in Kentucky.  You can find that information here.

If you follow these steps, and still find yourself at the mercy of an educational bully, you can file a civil rights complaint.

Find out more about the United Opt-Out and join other parents and their children across the Nation and #JustOptOut and #DefendTheChildren, visit the website home page.

 

What Are Parental Rights Regarding Opting Out of Testing?

ccfec09af78ff7ff6900ef140401ad1bLet me ask you a question. Do you think Common Core matters? I hope that you think it does, and that the silence parents feel forced to succumb to will be over.  Can you legally opt your child out of the Common Core testing? Yes, you can!

Kentuckians Against Common Core receives daily contacts from parents around the Commonwealth who are fed-up with Common Core.  Our Petition grows daily! Countless hours are spent talking to parents and concerned citizens via email, text, FB messaging, and our Facebook page.

Still… teachers are scared they’ll lose their jobs if they speak out, and so many remain silent.

Parents are scared that their child will be targeted, ostracized, and bullied by school personnel if the parent opts the child out of the Common Core (Kentucky Core) testing.

Therefore, it’s vital you know your rights as parents.

We stated in our blog post here,  “Remember money is involved in the testing. If your child opts out, the school and others get a zero for the score. That translates to no federal or other organizations monies. They probably will try to go after you and your child with many different threats. If you read this article there is a line in the second last paragraph that states. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that parents possess the “fundamental right” to “direct the upbringing and education of their children. They can not take that away from you.”

This right is based on law, not opinion.

From our Ohio friends, “Refusing to allow your child to participant in state testing is a parental right guaranteed by the 14th amendment and broadly protected by the Supreme Court (see Meyer and Pierce cases). The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that parents possess the “fundamental right” to “direct the upbringing and education of their children.” Furthermore, the Court declared that “the child is not the mere creature of the State: those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right coupled with the high duty to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations” (Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 534-35). The Supreme Court criticized a state legislature for trying to interfere “with the power of parents to control the education of their own” (Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 402.). In Meyer, the Supreme Court held that the right of parents to raise their children free from unreasonable state interferences is one of the unwritten “liberties” protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (262 U.S. 399).”

The time to be silent is over. It’s time to opt out!

Follow the Common Core Money

Follow the Money

When you’re planning to take over education, it always helps to know where you spend your money.  Bill Gates is no different than we are when it comes to accounting.  Well, we have a lot less money to spend, so buying Kentucky and other states isn’t an option we have.

But, as this article demonstrates, “The four principal organizations associated with CCSS– NGA, CCSSO, Achieve, and Student Achievement Partners– have accepted millions from Bill Gates. In fact, prior to CCSS “completion” in June 2009, Gates had paid millions to NGA, CCSSO, and Achieve. And the millions continued to flow following CCSS completion.”

Bill has been very busy spending, and what did he get for his money? Our children.

For a complete accounting, visit PART ONE.

Correction and Apologies, and Legislators That Have Signed HB 33

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Firstly, apologies to Representative Floyd & Representative Harmon, they have both in fact sponsored HB 33.

Would you like to know who else has sponsored HB 33?

Please thank your Representative if you see their name here:

HB 33 (BR 97) – T. Kerr, L. Bechler, R. Benvenuti III, K. Bratcher, R. Bunch, J. Fischer, D. Floyd, D. Hale, M. Harmon, R. Heath, K. Imes, P. Moffett, T. Moore, S. Santoro, D. St. Onge, J. Tipton, R. Webber, A. Wuchner

What does House Bill 33 say?

AN ACT relating to public school standards.
Create a new section to KRS Chapter 158 to prohibit the Kentucky Board of Education and the Kentucky Department of Education from implementing the English language arts and mathematics academic content standards developed by the Common Core Standards Initiative and the science academic content standards developed by the Next Generation Science Standards Initiative; require the state board to recommend new content standards to school districts and schools after consultation with the Council on Postsecondary Education; require public involvement in standards development; clarify the authority of the local board of education to adopt standards which differ from or exceed the standards approved by the state board; clarify that the school-based decision making councils shall develop policies based upon the standards adopted by the local boards of education; prohibit state officials from ceding control of education content standards and assessments; prohibit withholding of state funds from school districts for adopting different academic content standards; amend KRS 156.070 to limit disclosure of personally identifiable information; direct the Kentucky Board of Education to require that the Department of Education and all school districts adhere to transparency and privacy standards when outsourcing data and Web-based tasks to vendors; clarify vendor contract requirements; amend KRS 158.6453 to permit a local board of education to supplement the state board-approved academic content standards with higher and more rigorous standards and require school councils to use them to fulfill curriculum policy requirements; amend KRS 160.345 to clarify school council curriculum policy authority.

(Prefiled by the sponsor(s).)

Nov 12-To: Interim Joint Committee on Education
Jan 6-introduced in House; to Education (H)

 

What we need

Supporters of KACC to call their House Representative and ask them to co-sponsor the Bill.  If they’ve already sponsored the bill, call them and thank them!

We need to flip the House!  A Bill in the House is great.  Having our Representatives co-sponsor the Bill is a great way to show solidarity.  But, until the Bill can be VOTED on….

 

Playing Jeopardy with Kentucky’s Children

Bill Gates Buys Kentucky

Kentuckians have been left scratching their heads over the entire Common Core mess. Concerns of parents are largely ignored. Children’s test anxiety is hushed. Teacher’s love of teaching quashed.  And what was the price tag?

An unbelievable 12+ million dollars.  That’s right, Kentucky was sold.  Maybe you don’t recall a for sale sign in the yard, but follow the money and the truth will tell the story.

Kentucky Department of Education

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) accepted the largest amount of Gates CCSS promotional cash at just over $12 million:

Date: November 2012
Purpose: To examine the use of high-quality curriculum to accelerate common core state standards implementation
Amount: $1,903,089

Date: June 2011
Purpose: to provide organizational support to the Kentucky Department of Education related to implementation of the Common Core State Standards & teacher development and evaluation systems
Amount: $9,125,277

Date: November 2010
Purpose: to develop instructional tools in literacy and mathematics aligned to the Common Core standards, and to facilitate statewide implementation of these tools in Kentucky
Amount: $1,000,000

Kentucky administered the first CCSS assessments in the nation in November 2012. However, the ACT-administered End of Course (EOC) exam was not properly scored. Ironically, a major push of CCSS is the “literacy” focus on student writing– and ACT was unable to score the constructed response items and therefore only completely scored the multiple-choice items. As a result, scoring now falls on the teachers, not the testing company who took the $1.5 million to grade the constructed response items in the first place. Here is how the KDE attempts to spin ACT’s bumbling failure into KDE triumph:

EOC testing can now move to 100% computer-based for the state accountability portion.  This means all schools can now give the EOC in the last day or so before the class ends because results are instant.  This will make a truly end-of-course test and it will make it more useful for a real final exam.

…Finally, this change (requiring teacher to grade constructed response items) from also makes the reporting of state results on a timely basis for the fall of 2013 highly probable.  
 
So, in summary, we believe it is a win-win for teachers and the state.  High school teachers get a more useful final exam with instant results.  The state gets accountability information and CR questions are still an important part of the model. [Emphasis and parenthetical statement added.]

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In short, teachers are deprived of the dignity of creating their own exams and are instead saddled with the responsibility for grading an essay exam created by an incompetent testing corporation.

Still, Kentucky remains in CCSS.”

Who was the buyer?  Read on to find out….

Part One

Part Two

Part Three (this is the link that talks about Kentucky specifically)

 

 

Kentucky Father Fighting For Son’s Education

Kentucky Fight on Common CoreThe front lines of Common Core are beginning to resemble a true battlefield. Instead of the cooperation that is supposed to exist—that is purported to exist by the powers that be—between parents, teachers, administrators and states officials, one finds animosity, distrust, condescension and a bare-fisted power grab that threatens the very nature of American education. Where is the dialogue?

Where is the exchange of ideas and the addressing of concerns? This top-down education control maneuver is bypassing parents and sacrificing our kids on the altar of standardization. One Kentucky father has had enough, and shares his story of frustration, anger and action in the trenches of Common Core.

“This all started when we had some concerns about how our son was doing in school,” said Louisville dad Karl Steutermann. Given that his child was in the third grade, Steutermann expected to see certain basics being taught. “There were no phonics coming home, and the math was convoluted, ridiculous. They weren’t learning the times tables and how to use them to solve a problem. Instead, they were told to ‘draw a picture of 3X5,’ or ‘show 3X5 on a timeline,’ or ‘write a multiplication sentence.’ Third grade should be teaching fundamentals.”

Steutermann attempted to address his concerns with the school. “I have tremendous respect for teachers,” he said, “but their hands are tied. I was told the material is what it is and ‘we are doing the best we can do.’” The ambiguity in the questions continued and Steutermann and his wife had to seek outside help for their son in order to see improvements. In addition, the amount of work they were doing to compensate for the gaps at school was increasing. “The problems kept coming home,” he said.

“Estimate the answer, everything in the abstract. We had to work every night on reading and math. I was teaching my child, not the school.”

After voicing his concerns at an Oldham County Board of Education meeting, he received a call from the Curriculum Director. Though she didn’t make either of two meetings that were scheduled, Steutermann did end up sitting down with the superintendent. “He was arrogant,” said Steutermann,
“asking ‘Is this being recorded?’” When the concerned father explained that the curriculum was confusing and actually making it more difficult for the students to learn, he was met with condescension. “The superintendent asked ‘How many third graders have you worked with?’”

Steutermann, who possess a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Mechanical Engineering as well as an MBA, was having none of it. “I can look at my son’s homework and say ‘This is crap.’ I am qualified.”

Sadly, the rude, defensive posture taken by the superintendent is not unique. Those daring to question Common Core are being met with disrespectful, patronizing behavior suggesting its proponents have little more than attitude to back up their claims. The challenge is always twofold: first, tell us exactly what’s wrong with the standards, and second, “control” over the curriculum is handled locally, allowing for parent involvement and teacher discretion, so what’s the problem? Anyone who has spent more than five minutes dealing with the current education machine knows all too well what the problem is, and why CC is rapidly becoming yet another doomed, self-fulfilling academic prophecy.

“Every generation thinks it has ‘cracked the code,’” said Steutermann. “They are experimenting with ten years of my child’s education and it’s not worth it.”

Common Core has abandoned all common sense, and thus pointing out exactly what’s wrong quickly devolves into a who’s-on-first routine. For example, math standard 3.0A.B reads: Understand properties of multiplication and the relationship between multiplication and division. Sounds good, right? Except that if that students are taught those properties and relationships in the abstract, they skip over the fundamentals and then attempt to apply principles they have yet to master to higher order problems. In short, if one doesn’t know his or her times tables, how can one grasp the relationships factors, multiples, dividends and quotients have with one another? And when the weakness of the standard is pointed out with actual examples of absurd, ambiguous homework problems, the response is always that the standard covers appropriate academic criteria and—wait for it—the teachers are free to teach it as they see fit.

This brings us to what’s-on-second: that “freedom” the teachers possess. “They all say the world is the teacher’s oyster,” said Steutermann, “and they can use what they want. But first, they have to go through SBDM if they want to go ‘off list’ with something. There is paperwork where they have to justify
why they want to do something else. Then it has to be signed by the principal, then the superintendent, and then it goes to the state textbook committee. If teachers have this freedom at the local level, then why is it so complicated?” Also, the crux of Common Core is standardization. In testing, curriculum,
textbooks, methods, etc., the CC advocates have to maintain a blind adherence to across-the-board “standards” or the entire thing falls apart. There is no allowance for teacher discretion or veering off the pre-set academic path.

Not surprisingly, this lands us squarely on I-don’t-know third base. (“I don’t know” being the operative term and the de facto motto of Common Core.) Students are being exposed to untested and unproven methods that are designed with a one-size-fits-all mentality. Basic skill sets that were
ubiquitous 30 years ago are being abandoned under the guise of “critical thinking,” which, as Steutermann points out, is merely an administrative sleight of hand. “Common Core is curriculum. It is simply a method for getting that curriculum into the schools.” Adding, “It is a fraud, born of ignorance, arrogance and hubris. The superintendents, principals and Kentucky Department of Education say they want ‘involved’ parents. But what they really want is compliant parents.”

Hoping to reverse this course and push past the rhetoric, Steutermann is bringing together a non-political, leave-your-ideology-at-the-door assemblage of concerned parents and citizens to address the issue the head-on. “I am taking a group to Frankfort to meet with the Department of Education,” he
said. “And the ground rules are no politics, no Right, no Left.” One can only hope that those pushing the standards are as willing to put personal views aside and do what’s best for our kids.