Common Core Quick Facts Brochure

Monday, September 30, 2013

Second Grade Math

I have heard from many parents who are experiencing first hand the problems with math being taught as a concept to the young child who is cognitively not ready for concepts. Math class is no longer about knowing your math facts.

Common Core changes everything about education. The percentages and the letter grades of the past are gone. In the Sioux Falls school district as with most other districts in the country, they are now using a system of one to four. One being the lowest and four being mastering the concept. That's important. We are no longer grading young children based on knowing their math facts.  It is not that important that they know math facts. It's more important they know the why. 

A Sioux Falls second grader was doing her homework and became exhausted with the process of always "why" or "how". She knew what the answer was. And in her mind, this is why the answer of 25-6=19. Notice she received the lowest grade possible, even though her answer was correct. This is the math that is aligned to the Common Core. 

I'm sure we can all imagine how this little girl felt receiving such a low grade in spite of having the correct answer to the story problem. I do have to wonder how teachers feel about having to grade using this new system.  

Tell me again how the Common Core is just Standards...

Update: October 2, 2013
The parents of this child have asked if they could add a statement to the story. I am more than happy to do that. Their statement is as follows.
We are the parents of the child who answered this math problem. What is especially frustrating is that we know it is pointless to speak with the teacher about this. In fact, we LOVE this teacher, and we don't blame her in the least for the comment she made and for the score that was given. She was simply doing what the standards and the curriculum require, whether she believes it was the right thing to do or not. We also know it would be pointless to bring our concerns to the principal, the superintendent, or anyone on the school board, unless those conversations would somehow move us closer to convincing our state to abandon its adoption of the CCSS. Short of that action being taken, it has become distressingly apparent to us that all of us on the local level are, and will continue to be, powerless to affect any change in what our children are being taught and how they will be evaluated in math and language arts.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

October 5, 2013 - Sioux Falls, South Dakota

My School Says It’s Just Standards.
Isn’t That True?
Common Core Standards are a set of Math and English Language Arts Standards that have currently been adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia.

  • Is South Dakota able to change the content of the standards?
  • Who will have control over the standards in the future to revise them if they aren’t working in the classroom?
  • How do the standards affect curriculum?
  • What is meant by “rigorous” and “college and career ready?”
  • What is “NEW MATH” and is it good?
  • What are the concerns associated with the testing aspect of the Common Core?
  • What is a Common Core ASSESSMENT AND WHAT DOES IT TEST?
  • Do you know what is in your CHILD’S 400-POINT DATA FILE?
  • Is the federal government involved in the Common Core Standards?
  • What is the COST to the TAXPAYERS OF SOUTH DAKOTA?
  • Are there concerns about the DEVELOPMENTAL APPROPRIATENESS of the curriculum?
  • Where is all this taking us?

DATE:  Saturday, October 5, 2013
TIME:  Registration begins at 8:00am - Conference 9 am to 4 pm.
PLACE: Best Western Plus Ramkota Hotel
3200 W. Maple St., Sioux Falls, SD
TICKETS: Tickets for the conference are FREE.  Lunch is $15. Tickets for both are available at coreconcernsconference.eventbrite.com/

PANEL:
  • Dr. Sandra Stotsky: Member of the Common Core Standards Validation Committee
  • Jenni White: Common Core’s Data Banking of Your Family’s Personal Information.
  • Chuck Laudner: How CC Standards in South Dakota Affect Students in the Public, Private, Religious and Home Schools
  • Jordan Mason: The Caustic Costs of Common Core - A Lesson For Taxpayers
  • Florence Thompson: Lab Rats, Control Freaks and Your Kids
  • Representative Elizabeth May, District 27
  • Representative Jim Bolin, District 16
  • Representative Jim Stalzer, District 11

SPONSORS:
Lora Hubbel
South Dakota Citizens for Liberty

Further Questions and Alternate Ticket Purchase, Call Lora at 605-521-9504








You can print copies of this flier and others about the conference here.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Bill Gates Admits It's an Experiment

On September 21, Bill Gates did an interview in which he said, “It would be great if our education stuff worked, but that we won’t know for probably a decade.” 

In this story written by the Washington Post, the author laments that teachers are now to be evaluated by this experiment and will be losing their jobs. And while I agree, that is one of the many tragedy's of this experiment, the writer mentions nothing about the children who will be harmed by the unproven standards and teaching methods required by the Common Core. Ten years is practically the entire academic life of a child. This experiment cannot be allowed to continue.

Bill Gates: ‘It would be great if our education stuff worked but…’

Thursday, September 26, 2013

From a Mom's Heart

Megan Tschetter, a mom in South Dakota posted the following on her FB page. She has given permission to publish it here. Thank-you Megan.
I am writing this with the purest intentions. If you know me, then you know I am not a flake. (I hope) The last year has been a rollercoaster ride concerning my children and school. I knew things in the curriculum had changed and I was shocked not to be able to do 1st grade math. At that time I couldn't really focus on the work because our 7 year old was coming home crying everyday.....and crying everyday before school. Finally, at the end of the year we found out that our son has a gift. It is a form of intelligence called dyslexia. He shares this gift with many amazing people that have influenced our lives. Walt Disney, Winston Churchill, and Albert Einstein are just a few.
The start of this school year hasn't been much different.....the crying hasn't stopped. However, there is one difference, I decided to start digging into the problem deeper. I could understand why Peyton was struggling in reading and writing, but why was he struggling in math too? Then I realized it isn't just him, it is my daughters, my nephews, my friends kids etc. These are honor students and they no longer can do math. What a blow to their self worth! It is causing much trouble in a lot of homes and the parents cant help their children.
After much reading and looking at how these standards and changes have come about, I am very concerned! Please do your research as a parent. I am asking with a very sincere heart. This is an issue that is gaining much attention from parents across the nation. I am going to stand against a government take over of our schools! If you think I'm joking, look into it. Please! I love teachers and I love my kids' teachers. I know they are doing their very best! Without teachers our world would be a very sad place. We need to make sure our teachers' rights to teach in their own style is not taken away! We need to make sure that our rights as parents are not taken out of our kids education! 

Dr Sandra Stotsky Coming to Sioux Falls - October 5th


Dr. Stotsky retired from the University of Arkansas in December 2012.  She is now Professor of Education Emerita.



  • She was Senior Associate Commissioner in the Massachusetts Department of Education from 1999 to 2003, where she was in charge of revising all K-12 academic standards, teacher and administrator licensing regulations and licensure tests, and professional development.
  • As a result of what she did, Bay State students became first on NAEP tests in 2005, in grades 4 and 8, in both reading and mathematics, and have stayed there ever since (the latest tests were in 2011).
  • Bay State students also tied for first place in science in grade 8 on the TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) and were among the highest achieving countries in mathematics.
  • She was also on Common Core's Validation Committee in 2009-2010 and was among the 5 members of the committee who refused to sign off on the standards in May 2010.  


Come hear Dr. Stotsky explain the Common Core Standards and her professional academic concerns that resulted in her refusal to sign off on the standards.


Core Concerns Conference
Saturday October 5, 2012
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Ramkota
3200 W. Maple St. Sioux Falls, SD  
Get your FREE ticket at


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sioux Falls Conference - Core Concerns - Saturday, October 5, 2013


EventBrite.com

Lake Norden Common Core Meeting Reviews and Videos

On September 23, about 90 people from east central South Dakota came out to hear about the Common Core Standards. This was an awesome group of people, both for and against the Common Core. Thank-you so much for your attendance and participation in this meeting. 

You can watch videos clips of the meeting at 
Dakota War College

SoDak Liberty was also in attendance and wrote a review of the meeting. 

I want to thank Kim St. John for hosting the meeting. I also want to thank Kim and Amy Renmoe for all their work in promoting the meeting in the weeks leading up to the meeting. You ladies rock!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

First Installment of Questions from September 17th, 2013 Forum Answered

Shane Vander Hart, chief blogger at Truth In American Education, and Communications Director for American Principles Project's Preserve Innocence Initiative, participated in a Common Core Forum hosted by the Siouxland Republican Women on September 17th, 2013 in Sioux Falls. Many questions submitted by members of the public were left unanswered. Shane made a comittment to answer as many of those questions as he could. Here is the first installment of the answers to those questions. This one is devoted the the history of the Common Core in South Dakota.

Thank-you Shane for your leadership in the effort to inform the public about the Common Core.

South Dakota Q & A: South Dakota's History for Common Core

by  on September 24, 2013
I participated in a forum last week in Sioux Falls, SD.  Questions were complied for two months prior and the panelists were given the questions (summarized) a couple of days prior to the event.  Unfortunately since forum was not moderated and rules put in place regarding time limits South Dakota Education Secretary Melody Schopp and former South Dakota Education Secretary Rick Melmer were able to set the tone of the forum early.  Dr. Schopp was able to go first.  Hardly any of the questions were answered, and I know many of the attendees were frustrated.  I was as well since I only was able to touch the mike twice and was actually skipped over at one point.  You can read a recap here.
I made a commitment to those in attendance that I would do my best to answer the questions that Dr. Schopp and Dr. Melmer didn’t.  I’m going to break these up into several articles (there were a lot of questions!).  The first installment is on South Dakota’s History for the Common Core.  I’d like to preface this article with encouragement to check out the local experts – South Dakotans Against Common Core is an excellent resource.
Questions will be in bold, my answers italicized….
Who is responsible for bringing the Common Core standards into South Dakota?  The President or the Governor?
The President indirectly and the Governor directly.  Ultimately it was the decision of the South Dakota State Board of Education.  They voted to adopt the Common Core Math and ELA standards on November 29, 2010.  Governor Mike Rounds was aware of the process as it began several months prior and I assume signed the original memorandum of understanding with the Common Core State Standards Initiative and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.  The reason I’m fuzzy on that is because they were adopted with less than two months to go in his last term and I’m not sure when those were signed as I don’t have copies of the documents.  The process definitely started in his administration.
That said Governor Daugaard is complicit as well as he has continued to allow the implementation of the Common Core in South Dakota.
President Obama is complicit indirectly through the Race to the Top grant program (which was an executive earmark within the Stimulus package passed in 2009) which South Dakota did apply for.  The application did state that “high points” would be given if the applicant adopted a set of “college and career-ready standards” developed by a consortium consisting of a majority of states. The Common Core was the only game in town.  How much the Race to the Top funding (which South Dakota did not receive) played in adopting the Common Core in South Dakota is up for debate, but one can’t dismiss it’s role.
Since Governor Rounds is running for U.S. Senate it would certainly be worthwhile to have him explain his role in the adoption of the Common Core and his position today.
 Continue Reading at Truth In American Education

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Attending Sioux Falls School Board Meetings and Commenting on the Record

By Natalie Micheel

Any resident or parent/guardian a child in the Sioux Falls School district has the right to attend a School Board meeting and make a comment. The comments will be a time limited five minute statement that you read into the record. The board is not required to make a comment back, but your comments will be on the record, and your attention to the board’s workings is a valuable step in forming relationships and holding the elected members accountable.
The meetings are on the second and fourth Mondays of the month, at 5:30pm at IPC.
An individual wishing to address the Board on a District-related issue which is not on the agenda must sign up prior to the start of the meeting with the Business Manager or designee and give his/her name, address, and topic about which the person wishes to speak.
It is a good idea to attend a board meeting to observe before speaking at a meeting.
The speaker is limited to five minutes regardless of the number of subjects the person wishes to cover. If multiple individuals sign up to speak on the same topic that is not an agenda item, total testimony on the topic shall be limited to 15 minutes per side of the issue as determined by the President.
In order to avoid being limited in how many folks can have a say due to a limit of 15 minutes per side of a single issue, like “Common Core”, you might consider choosing very specific topics and communicating that here, so a variety of topics are covered and the school board hears a variety of concerns.
Here is a partial list of specific topics related to Common Core that you might use as your “topic” when registering prior to the meeting’s start as well as to help you keep your comments focused.
  • Educating on what “Common Core is”.
  • Concern that “Common Core” was funded and implemented without parent advisory meetings
  • Concerns about Investigations math program
  • 90 minute literacy blocks (Cost, effectiveness, monitoring to see if worth the investment)
  • Loss of a recess (Is this Common Core related? I don’t know) – if your child is one of the kids down a recess.
  • Developmental appropriateness of a particular topic/standards/etc.
  • Loss of local control
  • ELA standards, text selections, etc.
  • Math standards
  • Assessments
  • Data Tracking/ STARS Database
  • FERPA – data security, district privacy policy
  • New Report Cards
  • No spelling tests
  • Emphasis on Informational/Non-fiction texts over Fiction
There are of course many more specific topics you could choose to speak on. Try to speak on something you have experience with, a real specific concern about and/or a passion about, so that you can be specific, knowledgeable and effective. Be respectful, have your intent as “education”, “clarification”, “concern”.
You will want to have your commentary prepared and written down. You will read it into the record. The board members may or may not be actively listening, but please do not be concerned or upset, your comments are still going into the record. Alternatively, you can memorize your commentary, but still bring in a bulleted list of high points, in case you lose your place. Either way, you should practice your piece at home, practice it in the mirror, practice it in front of another person, practice it in an environment that has noise and distractions.
Five minutes goes very quickly, so you will want to be very succinct in your commentary. I recommend 400 – 500 words on a single topic, but it depends on how quickly you speak, especially when in the spot light. Time yourself.  If you have more than one topic you are passionate about, you can comment in a future school board meeting.
This article is written specific to the Sioux Falls School District, but the main premise is true for most school boards. For all districts, but especially for districts that do not audio/video record meetings, it is a good idea to take enough copies of your statement, with documentation if it applies to your statement, to hand to each school board member and any other school personnel in attendance. Check with your local school for rules regarding public comment about a subject that is not on the agenda. And as always, be respectful to the board with your comments. We are finding that many school board members have not been told of all the tentacles of the Common Core. 




Standards, Content and Data

By Kevin Jensen 

When taking the CC argument to legislators remember there are three distinct areas of CC to address; Standards, Content and Data.
Here is some advice from a 13 year school board veteran. 
I believe that the issue of standards is a non-starter. Every profession I know of adheres to some form of standards. It has become the talking point of the Department of Ed and they will turn every discussion into supporting standards, and use it to convince uninformed legislators that they are right. 
Content is one area that I will be focusing on. They have replaced classic literature with Harlequin novels and worse. They are replacing the arts with government technical manuals. They admittedly are focusing on not only one-size-fits-all instruction but one-solution-fits-all answers which is destructive to creative thinking. The curriculum concentrates on vocation and seemingly discourages avocation and entrepreneurship. And what about religion? Home schools and church/private schools must comply with CC. It will have a detrimental affect on their freedom of choice in the classroom not to mention the overwhelming secular content found in the text books. What parents want no longer matters. School administrators, curriculum committees and school boards have been completely removed from the process of deciding what your children will be allowed to learn. 
Additional Data is being collected and many legislators argue that FERPA will protect your child's information. Not true since FERPA has now been marginalized by the government with the implementation of CC. Parents will have a difficult time finding out the content of the tests and may never know how their child scored. At this time all testing is done on the internet and schools will be required to invest millions to accommodate those tests. 
Last, but hardest to define, is the violation of the 10th Amendment. A National Curriculum is technically illegal but our beloved leader has found a way to once again ignore the Constitution. CC requires a National test, not a curriculum. However the only way to pass the test and receive funding is to teach the curriculum. You be the judge - but in my mind it is a flagrant disregard for the law. 
As a side note - you may wonder why school administrators would support this. One of the harder jobs for a small district administrator is to find new text books that align with state standards. They also must answer to parents and the school board for their decisions. The school board evaluates administrators for performance in this area. If that responsibility is taken away - it makes their job easier.

Kevin Jensen is a husband, father and grandfather from Canton, SD. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

One Mom's Review of Local Common Core Forum - A Call to Action


A Call to Action

by Natalie Micheel                
Sioux Falls Mom

The Siouxland Republican Women held a Common Core forum earlier this week. It included major state players from the "pro" side, and representation from the "against" side. SRW asked for questions prior to the event, and indicated they would take no question or comment from the floor that night, so one could surmise this was going to be a less than open and democratic forum. I was also told no signs, buttons, etc, and when we got there the crowd was told they couldn't clap or otherwise make any sound. So, going in, we knew that this was going to be a frustrating event . . . planned by our own side no less. Dr. Melmer said, "This is America, so we get to debate stuff like this." which was so ironic given that Common Core was implemented quietly without public input or review, and that even at that meeting we were locked down so tightly, "debate" was never an option. 

The pro-Common Core side had the floor a good part of the time, controlled the discussion, and had the last word. I think Dr. Schopp (SD DOE) said it best when she said she was, "Surprised not one question was asked about the academic standards" and then she proceeded to lecture us on standards for 2/3's of the evening's time. No questions that were submitted were answered directly, and the pro side was able to control the discussion so that they did not have to dive into any sticky areas, or if they did, they did not have dive all the way, nor swim in murky waters, but could instead just put a toe in and tell us a few favorable items. I believe that their clear disregard for the parent role in education, their open condescension, their half-truths and more, were all so apparent, that they completely ignited the opposition, and even several people I heard who had walked in cold (knew nothing) and had an open mind, were aware that it must be a big lie the pro side was covering up in order to act the way they acted up there. 

Look for this fight to go to the very steps of the state legislature and the door of the Governor’s office. People are rising up in SD. We will not cede our school districts to federal, nor private, control, will not take the power away from our local school boards and state legislature. We will not see our children taught material that is meant to confuse and frustrate them rather than educate them. We will not offer our children up to try an unproved and very fishy smelling education experiment en masse. We will not allow the government to make parents look like fools who can't do second grade math, thereby weakening us in our children's eyes in our roles of family leadership. We will not stand by and watch our children and family be tracked on every possible indicator from preschool to workforce, be labeled and tracked by data taken when they were growing and changing. We will not stand for weak privacy laws that leave our student's data open to a variety of strangers, some who will no doubt use it for their profit. We do not believe in constant assessments, especially when the assessments don't test knowledge, but rather behavior, willingness to conform, and world view. Our children are not their test scores, and behavior assessments ARE NOT TESTING AT ALL.

And most importantly we are a frugal state and can see clearly that there is a lot of money making and changing here, that is accountable to no one we can see. We understand that there is no money to be made by Big Education (whoever thought there could be such a term?) when you teach math the way you have always taught math, when 2 +2 = 4 and the child just needs to MEMORIZE that. There are BILLIONS OF DOLLARS to be made when you find a "new (unproven) way of teaching math" and demand every text book in America be changed to conform. And that of course is the "tip of the iceberg" where the money issue is concerned.

There are many of us, SO MANY OF US, who are aware we live in opposite world, and I put the rulers of opposite world in SD education on notice, we are going to right it!

If you are interested in adding your time and talents to the effort, you can let me know. There is an absolutely breath taking group of smart, engaged, parents, grandparents and concerned citizens who are working to end Common Core in SD and our country, and we would love to count you in.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My Response to Rapid City Journal Forum

Over the weekend, the Rapid City Journal posted an opinion piece about Common Core. I have commented on their website, but as usual, they have refused to let my response to their article appear. Here is my response to Forum: We Need to Give Common Core Math a Chance to Succeed.

When did education in America become about training for a workforce? Isn't America about opportunity? The elite schools in the country, such as Sidwell Friends, the school the Obama girls attend, are not adopting the Common Core. Why? If you read their Long Range Priorities, on page 4, "...students will be well-prepared to thrive as leaders upon their graduation from Sidwell Friends..."   Why would we, the people, want anything less for our children?  From the Sioux Falls School District website, "In order to be an engaged member of the community and a contributing member of the workforce, students must know ..."  You can read about how Sioux Falls Schools are leading the way into the Common Core here. Where is the entrepreneurship? What happened to teaching children that this is America, and you can be anything you want to be, not just a member of the workforce? Why would the State Board of Education and our Governor choose standards and assessments that lead to curricula, that are designed to align our children to a global managed workforce? The difference between elite private schools and the rest of us, sounds like the Common Core is being used to create worker bees for the elite queen bees.
  
When did math become a concept? You used the word "concept" four times when referring to math. While I'm not a math whiz, by any stretch of the imagination, I have always liked that math is facts. Facts don't change. Three times four has always been twelve. At least until the Common Core. You argued that the skills need to be applied. What skills? Children are being taught "concepts" not traditional algorithms or skills. You can learn more about that here
Where is the evidence that the Common Core Standards, the assessments - or the curricula aligned to the Common Core, will give our children a better education? Even Common Core supporters know it is a hypothesis

You referred to the Common Core Assessments as tests. A test tests knowledge. Dr. Schopp, SD Secretary of Education in an Argus Leader interview, But according to Schopp, comparing student performance on the Smarter Balanced assessments to traditional testing isn’t fair. “This is a different assessment,” Schopp said. “The scores are not alike. They’re going to look much different.”  

Every parent needs to ask, 

  • Why are we no longer testing for knowledge? 
  • What is an assessment? 
  • What is the Smarter Balanced assessment assessing?

One of the great things about America, is that education is locally controlled. Local districts can decide what they want for their children and what works best for them. If you live in a district that is not meeting the needs of your child, you could move to a district, or in South Dakota, open enroll to a district that meets the requirements you, as the parent, have for your child's education. Common Core creates the status quo and a de facto national education system. 


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Are CCSS Developmentally Appropriate?

If you have children that are now K-3 or soon to be in Kindergarten, you owe it to your child to take 25 minutes to watch this video. Dr. Megan Koschnick discusses the inappropriateness of the Common Core Standards for K-3 at the Common Core Conference held at Notre Dame on September 9, 2013.The evidence is mounting that the CCSS for young children will create emotional issues in the young child. Is this what they mean by rigor?

The video has been reposted on you-tube. 

Here is more information about the Common Core and young children:

Friday, September 13, 2013

Charter Schools Not the Answer to Common Core - Education Without Representation

Charlotte Iserbyt has written about the pitfalls of Charter Schools. Charter schools are becoming a focus of those who want to get rid of the Common Core. Charter schools are not the answer to the deliberate dumbing down of our children.
Here are a few highlights from her article.

ELECTED BOARDS, THE LYNCH PIN OF FREEDOM

By Charlotte Iserbyt

September 13, 2013
  • Public schools have school board members elected by registered voters representing the entire community. Charter schools are run by unelected councils. Some are run by elected councils, but those councils do NOT represent the entire tax-paying community and are therefore not legitimately representative of all taxpayers or voters."
  • This writer served as an elected school board member from 1976-1979. Those years in the seventies were tumultuous years in American education, with extremely controversial federally funded and developed values destroying programs being offered to our nation’s schools through the U.S. Office of Education’s National Diffusion Network. Whether our children were exposed to them depended on one thing: the locally elected school board.
  • We must seize the reins of education and turn it back to its excellence prior to 1965 when we had the finest system of education in the world.
  • Why have those supporting charter schools not taken into consideration all of the above reasons? Why are they not vociferously opposing this “not-so-new” concept of non-academic socialistic governance. Do they not realize that even if they succeed in abolishing the Marxist Communist Core, if they do not focus primarily on abolishing charter schools, they will, in the near future, find their children in their favorite charter school being educated and assessed according to the Marxist Communist Core standards and methods under a new label? And there will be no elected school board to whom they can go to object!
  • My purpose in writing this short article is to stress the very dangerous situation our nation is facing today with citizens, rightfully concerned over the deliberately created dumbing down of the public schools, calling for charter schools run by unelected councils.
  •  A country run by unelected boards and councils may well be characterized as communist. Older dictionaries define this unelected council form of governance as the “Soviet Council Form of Government.”
 You can read the full article here.

Common Core Standards Written in Secrecy

The Secret Sixty Prepare to Write Standards for 50 Million

| 
Sixty individuals, ONE teacher among them, will write national education standards in the next five months, in a secret process that excludes effective input from students, parents or teachers.
As teachers we spend a lot of time thinking about what we teach our students, and how to engage them in learning. When the National Governor's Association (NGA) called for national education standards a few months back, some educators optimistically believed that we might be consulted in the process. After all, didn't the entire No Child Left Behind fiasco teach us what happens when policies are enacted without the active engagement of the professionals expected to carry them out?
However, I had a sinking feeling history might repeat itself, when I wrote this entry a few weeks back.
Now the other shoe has dropped. On Wednesday, the NGA and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) released their plan for developing national standards for Mathematics and English.
They propose a process that will result in new national K-12 standards by next December, and launched a new website where we can watch the magic unfold. They also released the names of those on the Mathematics and English "Work Groups" that will draft the standards, and the "Feedback Groups" who will advise them once drafts have been offered. We are informed that "The Work Group's deliberations will be confidential throughout the process." As far as public input, "States and national education organizations will have an opportunity to review and provide evidence-based feedback on the draft documents throughout the process." There does not appear to be any avenue for the public at large, students, parents or teachers to provide direct input.
Continue Reading at EdWeek 

Mitchell, Rapid City and Sitting Bull Set to Lose Local Control with RTTT District Grants

The first round of Race to the Top Grants, which South Dakota applied for, committing us to the Common Core, and subsequent rounds have been offered to states. Now there is a new round being offered to local school districts. 

Mitchell Public Schools, Rapid City Area Schools and Sitting Bull School have filed an intent to apply for the new Race to the Top District Grants that are due October 3. If your district takes Federal money, go ahead and abolish your school board. A centralized system doesn't need/want local input. Forget about the constitutional authority of state agencies and local school boards. The US Department of Education is now directing local and state educational directives. It's time to contact your school board members, superintendent, principals, mayors, and city councils. These people work for you and are charged with representing you. Let them know we do not want the federal government directly controlling our local districts with the strings that are always attached to federal money. 

"Each LEA included in an application must provide its State at least 10 business days to comment on the LEA’s application and submit as part of its application package: (a) the State’s comments or, if the State declined to comment, evidence that the LEA offered the State 10 business days to comment; and (b) the LEA’s response to the State’s comments (optional). Similarly, each LEA included in an application must provide its mayor or comparable official at least 10 business days to comment on the LEA’s application and submit as part of its application package: (a) the mayor’s or city or town administrator’s comments or, if that individual declines to comment, evidence that the LEA offered such official 10 business days to comment; and (b) the LEA’s response to the mayor’s or city or town administrator’s comments (optional)."

We must stop this power grab by the US Dep't of Education. 

Read more at Missouri Education Watchdog
http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-district/2013-list-intent-apply.pdf

Everyday Math and Investigations Math Explained

I have received several questions regarding Everyday Math and Investigations Math. These seem to be the two most popular curricula in use in South Dakota schools as local districts align to the Common Core. This video explains both of these curricula better than I ever could. 

If your school is using Everyday Mathematics or Investigations Math, this video is a must watch. You will learn the difference between traditional math algorithms, and the way our children are now being taught "math." Please watch and share. 
  • Students who learn math by Investigations Math rarely become efficient, confident and fluent math users. 
  • Insufficient time to practice in Everyday Math. Learning standard algorithms is a waste of time. There are calculators.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Common Core's Inappropriate Reading List

A few weeks ago, we learned of this book on the Common Core Reading List.
"The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison
(WARNING: Graphic) Common Core Approved Child Pornography

Here's another book from the Common Core Reading List to watch for.
“Dreaming in Cuban” by Cristina Garcia

Porn At Buena High School in Sierra Vista: Common Core

The Common Core is copyrighted by the National Governor's Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The suggested reading list calls into question these organizations and their member's motives.

Common Core proponents tell us, "The Common Core is just standards. Content standards provide the framework of expectations for student knowledge and skills."

I have to question the the level of standards and also the knowledge and skills they want out children to learn. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

D.A.R.E Aligned to the Common Core

They keep telling me the Common Core Standards are just that. Just standards. When I have connected the dots, I have been accused of taking liberties. When I say it is a reform agenda, I are told I am misinformed.

Well, now the D.A.R.E.  program has aligned to the Common Core.

From the Watertown Public Opinion:

DARE to return aligned with Common Core


From D.A.R.E. executive summary:
"The ten lessons in D.A.R.E. Keepin it Real are aligned with the National Common Core 5th Grade Standards since 5th grade students are the usual grade level for the introduction of D.A.R.E. curricula. Standards are stated exactly as noted on www.corestandards.org. These common core standards should also be reflective on the alignment of individual state standards."

Please tell me again how it is just standards.