“Great News: Utah Drops O’s National Assessments”
by Donna Garner
Great news! Utah teachers such as Christel Swasey and concerned Utah citizens such as Oak Norton had the courage to fight the federal takeover of the public schools by the Obama administration through its Common Core Standards Initiative (CCS).
Yesterday the Utah State School Board under public pressure voted 12-3 to ditch the national assessments (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium – SBAC).
Hopefully as time goes on and a new administration takes over in the White House, Utah along with the other 44 states (plus D. C.) will pull out of the Common Core Standards Initiative completely.
Because of the huge cost of implementation and administration of the CCSI, a new Congress could and should repeal CCSI along with ObamaCare.
To read Christel’s lucid and carefully documented response (7.13.12) that helped to uncover the tentacles behind the Common Core Standards, please go to Utahns Against Common Core Standards: http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/christel-swasey-responds-to-...
The last paragraph of Christel’s response said it all:
To sum up: Common Core is very similar to Obamacare. Governor Herbert said very eloquently that Obama’s ”Affordable Care Act imposes a one-size-fits-all plan on all states, effectively driving us to the lowest common denominator. It results in burdensome regulation, higher costs, and a massive, budget-busting… expansion.” If you substitute the word “Common Core” for “Affordable Care Act,” you’ll understand what the federal education push is all about. The Federal Government did not initiate both the educational and the medical programs, but does control both.
It is these Common Core Standards in conjunction with its national assessments that would have captured Utah public school students into the Obama administration’s spider web of indoctrination and psychological manipulation. “Whatever gets tested gets taught.” The goal of CCS has nothing to do with raising academic achievement but all to do with changing the way every public school student in America thinks, driving them into endorsing the social justice agenda, including the endorsement of the LGBT lifestyle.
“Whoever writes the curriculum controls the classroom.” With Obama and his administration carefully selecting the people who wrote the national standards, it is their social justice agenda that will be infused into every textbook, every lesson plan, every unit of study, every online activity, every class discussion, every subjectively scored national assessment, etc.
The Obama administration’s strategy goes like this:
[The arrows mean “lead to.”]
National standards → national assessments → national curriculum → teachers’ salaries tied to students’ test scores → teachers teaching to the test each and every day → national indoctrination of our public school children → national database of students and teachers
Unfortunately, some 44 states (plus D. C.) have been suckered into the CCS and the Obama administration’s takeover of the public schools. Hopefully citizens in these other states will rise up just as Utah did and say “No” to the indoctrination of their precious school children into Obama’s social justice agenda. – Donna Garner]
Utah drops out of consortium developing Common Core tests
Education » While membership gave state a voice, critics feared federal intrusion.
By Lisa Schencker
| The Salt Lake Tribune
First Published Aug 03 2012 04:44 pm • Updated 21 minutes ago
Excerpts from this article:
The state school board decided to withdraw Friday from a consortium of states working to develop tests based on new Common Core academic standards, after months of pressure from some conservatives.
…Mainly, the move appeared to be a way to quiet some of the controversy surrounding the standards and help Utah move forward in choosing new tests from among a number of options, including the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, from which Utah withdrew Friday...
"I just don’t know that we need to be in Smarter Balanced at this time," said board member Dave Thomas. "... Given all the controversy surrounding it and the fact that I don’t know that it benefits us right now, that’s the reason I vote to withdraw."
…However, the move pleased some of those who have been the most vocal critics of the consortium and the Common Core. The Common Core standards, which Utah voluntarily adopted two years ago, describe the concepts students should learn in each grade to be ready for college and careers. In the next few years, Utah will need to adopt new tests to reflect those new standards.
Critics had worried that the state’s involvement in the consortium would lead to federal intrusion into Utah schools, because the consortium had accepted federal dollars to help develop the assessments.
"Assessments should be our choice, and we shouldn’t get in any entanglements of any kind that obligates us as a state to any kind of assessment," said Gayle Ruzicka, head of the conservative Utah Eagle Forum. She said Utah is now free to use tests developed locally, though state education leaders have repeatedly emphasized that membership in the consortium didn’t obligate Utah to any test.
And Alisa Ellis, a Heber parent who helped organize an anti-Common Core event last month, said of the state board, "I applaud their willingness to listen to the people and get out of the testing."
Both women, however, said they’d still like to see Utah drop the Common Core standards as well.
Utah critics of the standards have claimed they will also result in federal intrusion into state schools, though the standards were not federally developed or imposed. Opponents worry they will mean a loss of local control.
…on Friday, a state school board committee voted to ask a State Office of Education group to examine whether to continue teaching cursive, though it’s not a formal part of the Common Core. That committee will examine research related to cursive over the next school year and then report its findings to the state board, which may then choose to add it to the Common Core, though educators may continue to teach it regardless.
Dr. Angela Valenzuela (University of Texas professor) and Patricia D. Lopez (doctoral candidate) created a blog -- Educational Equity, Politics and Policy in Texas. Interestingly enough their website contains a well-formatted, easily read version of an article that Henry W. Burke and I (Donna Garner) wrote on 3.2.11 entitled “Let’s Get Off the National Standards Train.” (This website was evidently not able to format the charts/tables included in our article.)
In our article, we traced the development and implementation of the Common Core Standards/Race to the Top from its earliest inception under the Obama administration.
Henry Burke and I wrote our article in an attempt to convince all states to pull out of the Obama administration’s federal takeover of the public schools.
To read “Let’s Get Off the National Standards Train,” please scroll a little over half the way down the website page to the spot where the article begins. The article runs to the bottom of the page: