School Testing and Common Core

Read the complete article from Governing here.

We must continue to let our Legislators know that the education of our youth is the number one item on our agendy and that will continue to hear from us until Common Core is repealed in Kentucky!

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School Testing

“When governors and state school officials released the Common Core curriculum standards four and a half years ago, the new program was touted as a fair and accurate way to measure student achievement across state lines and cultivate the analytical skills that many argue American children will need in order to compete on a global scale.”

“But the past year has seen a growing pushback against the standards, and as students begin taking tests based on the core curriculum this spring, lawmakers at the state and federal level will likely be talking about chipping away at them.”

“Although the standards were created almost entirely by the states, critics see them as reflecting priorities set out by the Obama administration. Incoming Senate Republican leaders aim to limit the federal government’s role in promoting test-based accountability and also challenge the frequency of the tests, an issue that concerns even prominent Democrats.”

“The Common Core is a list of things students at each grade level should know or be able to do in English and math. The standards attracted little controversy at first, as 45 states quickly adopted them. But the federal government has played a role in the program’s implementation. It has offered grant money and reprieves from earlier education mandates to those states that install Common Core or other “college-and-career-ready” standards. The Department of Education has given hundreds of millions of dollars to state associations designing standardized tests that the students in participating states will take starting this year.”

“Those tests have to hew closely to the standards to be useful, and the standards have to be relatively uniform to help policymakers get a sense of how their students stack up with those in other states. But over the past year or so, 11 states have decided to use tests of their own, while another 13 are considering that option, according to Education Week. That’s not counting the handful of states that went further last year and repealed the standards altogether.”

“There’s a strong possibility more states will strike out on their own in 2015, either before the tests can be given, or later, in response to lower test scores that will likely accompany the more challenging standards in their first year. As support for Common Core continues to splinter and states assert their independence, the coming year will be an important test of the new system’s political viability.”

“And while officials are keeping one eye on the first year of Common Core test scores, they’ll be training the other eye on Capitol Hill. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, a leader among Republicans on education issues, has already said he wants to amend the 2001 No Child Left Behind law to leave states free to decide how they evaluate teachers. Alexander also wants to consider eliminating some annual testing. That’s an idea that’s caught on in states as varied as Texas, a stronghold of test-based accountability, and Connecticut, where Gov. Dannel Malloy wants to start by relieving high school juniors of the burden of taking both state exams and college entrance tests.” — Chris Kardish  

Petition to Remove Kentucky from Common Core

SIGN THE PETITION BY CLICKING HERE

Kentucky Petition Regarding the Common Core State Standards

As concerned parents and citizens of the state of Kentucky, we hereby petition our government regarding the adoption of the Common Core State Standards in our schools. There are three main areas of concern:

1 the educational content of Common Core
2 the privacy infringements related to its tracking databases
3 the costs of implementing these sweeping changes statewide

Taken as a whole, Kentucky’s adoption of Common Core is an affront to state sovereignty, local control of education, parental rights, and both family and student privacy. We hereby submit our petition as follows:

First, as Kentucky adopted the Common Core State Standards before they were even finalized, did not hold corresponding public meetings regarding privacy and sovereignty issues, and failed to perform a statewide cost analysis of its adoption, we hereby consider Kentucky’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards “null and void.”

Second, we ask the Governor and the State Board of Education to immediately act to rescind Kentucky’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards, membership in PARCC, application for Race to the Top funds, waiver for No Child Left Behind, and any related requirements on the state. We further ask that the state Attorney General review all related documentation, applications, and contracts to ensure state sovereignty is held inviolate.

Third, we ask the state to safeguard the people’s rights afforded by the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by leaving jurisdiction of all education decisions to parents, individual schools and districts, and the state. Choice in education will include, but not be limited to, curricula, standards, personnel, textbooks, methods, testing, and discipline policies.

Fourth, we ask for the strengthening of privacy laws to make sharing of personal student data with any federal entity a crime for both the requester and the provider of the information. We further request legal verification that no private or personal information about students is transmitted outside of local schools and districts.

Fifth, we request that legislators develop a 5-year plan to wean Kentucky off all federal funding for education. If the federal government responds with threats to pull non-education funding, we ask that this information be made public and fought with assistance of the state Attorney General.

Sincerely,

Concerned Citizens of Kentucky

cc: State Board of Education

 

SIGN THE PETITION BY CLICKING HERE

We Need To Stop the CRomnibus Bill

commoncoreexpensive

This article was written Saturday morning based on the fact that we were told the vote on the spending bill would take place on Monday. As you are aware the Senate passed the bill late Saturday afternoon. Rather than take the article down, we decided to send it out so you can see all the taxpayer money going towards the promotion of Common Core.

We would still like for you to call Senator McConnell and let him know that you are upset with his YES vote on the spending bill. Tell him we want the Federal government out of the education business. Call Senator Paul and thank him for his NO vote on the spending bill and ask for him to continue his efforts to repeal Common Core.

Original article:

ACTION ALERT!!!

Phone Calls Needed

On Monday December 15th the U S Senate will likely vote on the CRomnibus spending bill that narrowly was passed in the House of Representatives. Included in the bill are massive amounts of money to the Department of Education as Pro-Common Core groups have latched on to the President’s budget. Here is a special look at just how Washington, D.C. plans to use our tax dollars to fund illegal standards, continue to grease the wheels of the CCSS Machine, and keep education a mess. The Administration is requesting $68.6 billion in discretionary spending for the Department of Education in 2015, an increase of $1.3 billion or 1.9%, more than the 2014 level and almost $3 billion more than in 2013.

Where our taxes are going to help support the CCSS Machine:
$300 million for a new Race to the Top (student longitudinal data system on a state-wide platform); $14.4 billion for Title One College/Career Readiness; $1.1 billion for those 21st Century Community Learning Centers (think cradle to grave agenda); $100 million for “Promise Neighborhoods” (cradle to career initiative); $70 million for Statewide Longitudinal Student Data System; $200 million for ConnectED (trains teachers to be CCSS and college/career readiness aligned, assessments, digital aspects, and more in the classroom); $5 billion for incentives (RESPECT) teachers who’ve completed College/Career Readiness training, building like-minded network; $1.3 billion in mandatory preK for everyone; $165 million for “Investment in Innovation” (i3) which will use a best-practices approach to education while affording the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Education a whopping $49.5 million to transform technology; $150 million to redesign high schools so they become college/career ready centers; $170 million for STEM revitalizing (of that, $110 million goes to LEAs to create a STEM network); $40 million to create a teacher STEM Pathway: $20 million to create a National STEM Teacher Corps; $1.1 billion to reauthorize the Perkins Act (means even more Career Tech Ed that’s aligned to CCSS). See the entire Summary: http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/budget15/summary/15summary.pdf
All of this plus the fact that right before Thanksgiving the President issued 3400 new regulations including  one that takes away all State rights over education. Read the link that goes into detail about the 2015 Fed Ed Budget. https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/12/fom-friday-2015-fed-ed-budget/

Starting early Monday morning, we MUST CALL Senator Rand Paul at his D C office 202-224-4343. If you can’t get thru there, then call his Bowling Green office 270-782-8303. Next call Senator Mitch McConnell at D C 202-224-2541 or if you can’t get thru try his Louisville office 502-582-6304.Then when you get to talk to their staff, tell them to get a message to the Senator that you want them to vote NO on the CRomnibus spending bill. We need to repeal Common Core and get the federal government out of education. Have them get the message to the Senators ASAP before the vote takes place. Then have your friends and neighbors do the same. We cannot allow the President’s Education budget to pass.

Reviewing Kentucky’s Education Power Structure: Gene Wilhoit

Kentucky Power Structure, Common Core
Kentucky Power Structure, Common Core
Feb. 11, 2013 The National Center for Innovation in Education was established with Gene Wilhoit as Exec. Director

Feb. 11, 2013 The National Center for Innovation in Education was established with Gene Wilhoit as Exec. Director
There is a reason why Kentucky was the first state to adopt and implement the Common Core State Standards. As noted in an earlier article, Kentucky’s power structure consist of Gene Wilhoit, Terry Holliday, Felicia Smith, Steve Beshear, David Adkisson, Vicki Phillips, etc., 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 Gene Wilhoit, in the Common Core Standards project. February of 2010, Governor Steve Beshear and the Kentucky Department of Education adopted the Common Core State Standards (although now yet completed and without our elected legislators’ involvement).

Continue reading Reviewing Kentucky’s Education Power Structure: Gene Wilhoit

Gates and the Common Core Revolution

Creating cogs for the machine...
Creating cogs for the machine…

From Washington Post:

Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates is taking heat from education groups, which say the Gates Foundation’s philanthropic support comes with strings attached. Here, he responds to his critics in an interview with The Washington Post’s Lyndsey Layton. (Gillian Brockell/The Washington Post)

Read more…

Will Kentuckians Get a Fair Hearing from the Senate Committee on Education in 2015?

kaccsOn March 13, 2014, after waiting years to finally have a chance to speak out against the federal overreach of our education system, Kentuckians along with national experts provided compelling arguments why the Common Core State Standards (Kentucky Core Academic Standards) should be repealed and replaced with new education standards developed for Kentuckians, by Kentuckians.

“We have a lot of people who don’t feel like they had an opportunity to talk about this, and talk about it in front of the Legislature, and so that was providing them an opportunity here today,” said Senator Mike Wilson, Committee Chair.

In 2010, Governor Steve Beshear and Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday adopted the untested Common Core State Standards (before they were even completed), its aligned assessments, and a greatly expanded data collection system without any public hearings and the benefit of running it before our elected legislators.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone, that the majority of Kentuckians, including many of our elected legislators, teachers, etc., feel that the State did an end around the legislative process on such an important function as education, and that such inappropriate action should be nullified.
Even after this long awaited hearing and excellent testimony against the standards, Senator Mike Wilson decided to take no action. “The bill to repeal Common Core isn’t likely to go further this session.” So, what’s the purpose of holding a public hearing if no action is to be taken?
This decision to not take any action was probably made by the Kentucky power structure that is steering this Common Core vehicle. That power structure consist of Gene Wilhoit, Terry Holliday, Felicia Smith, Steve Beshear, David Adkisson, Vicki Phillips, etc. (More on them in upcoming articles)
Getting back to Senator Mike Wilson, he’s a Republican, a supporter of Christian values and is Pro-Life, but as the Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, it appears he has drank the Kool-Aid with Terry Holliday, Gene Wilhoit and David Adkisson. He has decided not to push for Christian values or a Pro-Life stance on the Committee. Mike Wilson has been appointed as a Director of The Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky, along with Wilhoit, Holliday, Adkisson, corporation CEOs, Deans of colleges, etc., funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He’s also active with the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce.

When Kentucky and Governor Beshear were awarded $44 Million from a Race to the Top grant for Early Childhood Education in December of 2013, Mike Wilson stated: “I firmly believe that when we invest in Kentucky’s children, we are investing in Kentucky’s future. This funding will give children an opportunity to jump-start learning at an early age, which is proven to give them a better long-term academic achievement. I’m excited to watch the impact these funds will have on our children and our Commonwealth.”
Whether it is for early childhood development standards or for K-12 education standards, and the data collection that goes along with them, which all are directed towards creating the “human capital” needed for our future workforce, Mike Wilson appears to be all in. Kentuckians should be investing in new education standards developed for Kentuckians, by Kentuckians.

So, when legislation to repeal the Common Core State Standards (Kentucky Core Academic Standards) comes before his Committee in 2015, will he toe the line for the Kentucky power structure, or will he allow our voices to be heard and allow the Committee to vote and support the valid concerns of the majority of Kentuckians? That is the question.

By Wayne M. Meyer, AIA , Concerned Father & Grandfather

Kentuckians Against Common Core’s Steve Shreeve Responds to Kentucky’s Hapless Social Studies Standards

Steve Shreeve on Kentucky Social Study Standards
Steve Shreeve on Kentucky Social Study Standards

Once again, the Common Core standard-lowering, bias-filled, misrepresentation of facts and figures bandits are hard at work attempting to dummy-down our students and leave them woefully unprepared for college and life beyond. The CC social studies standards are currently under review and will be implemented if we do not make our voices heard and highlight the glaring gaps and inaccurate information lurking in the curriculum. Nearly all wars have been omitted, the term “revolution” is absent, and basic (read: crucial) topics and concepts such as the three branches of government, the Declaration of Independence and Martin Luther King Jr. are all AWOL. Kentucky’s own constitution is not included, and while the U.S. Constitution is mentioned, the lack of details on what will be discussed leaves teachers unaware of what will be covered on assessments and students unaware of the depth and breadth of the most important document in American history.

2011 Kentucky History Teacher of the Year Donnie Wilkerson shared his displeasure and deep concern over these issues with state officials after the consulting group of social studies educators he had been a part of was disbanded when they expressed disagreement over the standards and their proposed implementation. It seems that despite their solicitation of varied opinions and “encouragement” of debate, the powers that be have little interest in deviating from their original plan.

Our own Steve Shreeve responded to Frankfort’s push for these hapless standards and lamented the absurdity of attempting to create something new when we need only examine successful programs already in place. “The standards are completely vague and devoid of specific, actionable, didactic material. Look at the Massachusetts Social Studies standards from 2003 for a high quality, proven, well-thought out set of standards.

I read through the entire document of proposed KY standards and they are saturated with buzzwords about 21st Century Learning (poor Thomas Jefferson had to suffer with his lowly 16th Century Learning?) and weak minded global citizen references. These standards fail to understand the exceptionalism of the American form of government embodied in the United States Constitution. Quit wasting effort trying to reinvent the wheel — and doing so very poorly. Save your energy and adopt the Massachusetts standards as a PROVEN suite of comprehensive and high quality standards.”

The next few weeks are crucial and anyone concerned with the direction our commonwealth is taking in proposing these deficient standards needs to contact Frankfort and share his or her concerns.

This can be done one of two ways: a survey-style response site at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KYSSpublic, or direct mail via Kentucky Board of Education c/o Kentucky Department of Education, 501 Mero Street, Frankfort, KY 40601

Kentucky Bill To Stop Common Core in Kentucky

Social Studies Standards 10/7/2014
Social Studies Standards 10/7/2014

Kentucky State Representative Thomas Kerr (R-Taylor Mill) prefiled a bill (BR 97) in the Kentucky House back in September that would repeal the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards in the state of Kentucky. We ask everyone to call their State Representative at 1-800-372-7181 and tell him or her to support Rep. Kerr’s bill and to Repeal Common Core. If you don’t know who the name of your State Rep. just click on the link, http://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/, enter your address,and they will provide it for you. We need everyone’s help in fixing the education system in Kentucky.

Read more: HERE.