Monthly Archives: May 2013

Common Core: Our Destruction or Our Opportunity Part 2a: About Common Core by Joyce Kinmont

This article is long.  It has taken me weeks of study and rewriting and trying to simplify.  Every time I think I’m done, there is something new. I’ve discovered that others have had the same frustrations.  This has not been a pleasant experience.

Learning about Common Core may not be a pleasant experience for you either.  It may overwhelm you.  It may scare or depress you.  But it is real and it will affect us all during the next school year, if it hasn’t already.  Please hold on to your faith; all is not lost yet.  As big and as ugly as Common Core is, there is also a growing movement for innovation and freedom in education.  Life has always had its opposites, and at times like this the clash between the two can be intense.  At this point we are in a fight to the death — the death of liberty, of family, of our future as a country is at stake.  Interestingly, Education may be the issue that wakes us all up. Education may also be the weapon that stops Common Core, so let’s get educated and start educating.  As my lawyer friend always says, “know your enemy.”


Common Core is an educational system that completely nationalizes education in America.  It is an unconstitutional and illegal takeover orchestrated by the federal government, political activists, and private interests.  It moves all significant oversight and decision making from parents, teachers, and local districts to the national level and the private sector.  It’s goal is to connect education to the workforce in a “seamless web, cradle to grave.”  Common Core is about indoctrination and control.

Except for its name, Common Core is not new; it’s basically the same plan that was nearly introduced when President Clinton was elected to the White House in 1992.  Let’s look at that plan first so we can better understand the new version.

“DEAR HILLARY”

On November 11, 1992, a week after the election, progressive education reformer Marc Tucker sent an 18 page congratulatory letter to Hillary in which he detailed a strategy by which the new president could “move like lightening” in a national takeover of the schools and the workforce.  This plan would have made the Clintons dictators.

By some miracle, the “Dear Hillary” letter was leaked, and in 1998 it was entered into the Congressional Record by Congressman Bob Schaffer who considered the plan treasonous.  The letter gives us a candid view of the true intentions of Mr. Tucker and his conspiring friends.  It is not an editorial or an article; it is a “confidential” communication of an excited man who believes he can be part of a new America.

The Clintons did not accomplish all of the dreams outlined in the letter, but they did move the agenda forward incrementally.  You can read the full letter on Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum website, and I encourage you to do so and keep it handy as you learn about Common Core and watch its implementation over the next year.  (The Eagle Forum website is a good source of information about political and educational issues, including Common Core.)

Here are parts of the Tucker letter:

Dear Hillary,
I still cannot believe you won. But utter delight that you did pervades all the circles in which I move. I met last Wednesday in David Rockefeller’s office with him [and three others]. It was a great celebration. Both John and David R. were more expansive than I have ever seen them — literally radiating happiness….

The subject we were discussing was what you and Bill should do now about education, training and labor market policy. Following that meeting, I chaired another in Washington on the same topic [15 invited].

Our purpose in these meetings was to propose concrete actions that the Clinton administration could take — between now and the inauguration, in the first 100 days and beyond. The result, from where I sit, was really exciting. We took a very large leap forward in terms of how to advance the agenda on which you and we have all been working — a practical plan for putting all the major components of the system in place within four years, by the time Bill has to run again. . . .

We think the great opportunity you have is to remold the entire American system for human resources development, almost all of the current components of which were put in place before World War II. . . .

First, a vision of the kind of national — not federal — human resources development system the nation could have. This is interwoven with a new approach to governing that should inform that vision. What is essential is that we create a seamless web of opportunities, to develop one’s skills that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same system for everyone — young and old, poor and rich, worker and full-time student….

Second, a proposed legislative agenda you can use to implement this vision. We propose four high priority packages that will enable you to move quickly on the campaign promises:

…. an apprenticeship system as the keystone of a strategy for putting a whole new postsecondary training in place….

…. a rebuilt employment service and a new system of labor market boards to offer the Clinton administration’s employment security program, built on the best practices anywhere in the world. . . . assuring adult workers . . . that they need never again watch with dismay as their jobs disappear….

… a special program to greatly raise the work-related skills of the people trapped in the core of our great cities.

…. advance the elementary and secondary reform agenda.

The other major proposal we offer has to do with government organization for the human resources agenda.  While we share your reservations about the hazards involved in bringing reorganization proposals to the Congress, we believe that the one we have come up with minimizes those drawbacks while creating an opportunity for the new administration to move like lightning to implement its human resources development proposals.  We hope you can consider the merits of this idea quickly, because . . . it will greatly affect the nature of the offers you make to prospective cabinet members….

We take the proposals Bill put before the country in the campaign to be utterly consistent …. for a new human resources development system for the United States….

…. A seamless system of unending skill development that begins in the home with the very young and continues through school, postsecondary education and the workplace.

…. Clear national standards of performance in general education….

…. curriculum, pedagogy, examinations, and teacher education and licensure systems are all linked to the national standards …

…. a system that rewards students who meet the national standards with further education and good jobs, providing them a strong incentive to work hard in school….

The proposal reframes the Clinton apprenticeship proposal as a college program and establishes a mechanism for setting the standards for the program. The unions are adamantly opposed to broad based apprenticeship programs by that name. Focus groups conducted by JFF and others show that parents everywhere want their kids to go to college, not to be shunted aside into a non-college apprenticeship “vocational” program. By requiring these programs to be a combination of classroom instruction and structured OJT, and creating a standard-setting board that includes employers and labor, all the objectives of the apprenticeship idea are achieved, while at the same time assuring much broader support for the idea, as well as a guarantee that the program will not become too narrowly focused on particular occupations. It also ties the Clinton apprenticeship idea to the Clinton college funding proposal in a seamless web….

…. The question is how to get from where we are to where we want to be. Trying to ram it down everyone’s throat would engender overwhelming opposition. Our idea is to draft legislation that would offer an opportunity for those states — and selected large cities — that are excited about this set of ideas to come forward and join with each other and with the federal government in an alliance to do the necessary design work and actually deliver the needed services on a fast track. The legislation would require the executive branch to establish a competitive grant program for these states and cities and to engage a group of organizations to offer technical assistance to the expanding set of states and cities engaged in designing and implementing the new system. . . . As soon as the first set of states is engaged, another set would be invited to participate, until most or all the states are involved….

In spite of his Marxist, redistribute-the-wealth, despotic plan, I could feel Mr. Tucker’s smiles.  He really believes he is doing something good for people.  He thinks Lucifer’s plan really works!

Reading this letter now had a much greater impact on me than reading it in the 90’s.  It was far removed from my reality then; but now, after watching hours of video on Common Core, reading many articles and websites, and attending several of the public meetings, I find the Tucker letter helps me understand the reality of what’s happening today.

COMMON CORE
Two decades after “Dear Hillary” we have Common Core, a new name for the same program.  Where the Tucker agenda had “advance the elementary and secondary reform agenda” as the fourth step, Common Core has the educational components as the first focus while the workforce part rests quietly within — for now.  That part will come later, “like lightening.”   And this time the program is lavishly financed by $4 billion of stimulus money controlled by Arne Duncan, head of the federal Department of Education, and by grants from billionaire businessman, Bill Gates.

State/National Standards
Common Core has four parts.  The first is the much touted writing of new standards to define what skills and concepts students should learn in each grade.  “Clear national standards of performance in general education,” Tucker had called them.  In Common Core proponents insist on calling them State Standards.  In Utah the state proponents insist on calling them the Utah Standards.  When 46 states join together and write a single set of standards which all 46 states voluntarily agree to follow, how can they be anything but National?

Since it is illegal for the federal government to develop curriculum, a bait-and-switch game was devised in which a consortium was set up for teachers and educational experts to write standards “for their own states.”  Mr. Gates wined and dined them and, magically, they ended up with one set of standards upon which they all agreed – except for a couple of the experts who refused to sign off on the them because they were so poorly done.  So, to repeat myself, 46 states produced one unchangeable, copywrited set of standards which all 46 states voluntarily agree to use — thereby agreeing to be managed, controlled, measured, graded, and fined or rewarded by the federal government on the basis of the state, school, and teacher performances.  How can that not be the nationalization of education?

Governors “developed” the Common Core Standards in their own NGA (National Governor’s Assn.).  Why?

The State Superintendents “developed” for Common Core Standards in their CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers).  Why?

Bill Gates donated millions of dollars to make it all happen.  Why?

No state legislatures debated the new standards or the total concept of Common Core.  Why?

The citizens knew nothing about Common Core or the new standards.  Why?

The media seldom covers any of the anti-Common Core concerns.  Why?

Who actually developed the new standards? Did Marc Tucker and friends have it prepared already?

The Standards don’t really reveal the full program.  The website says “Building on the excellent foundation of standards states have laid, the Common Core State Standards are the first step in providing our young people with a high-quality education.”  If we can’t trust the first sentence, how can we trust anything?

Did the $4 billion in stimulus money being offered to the states have anything to do with getting governors and state superintendents to sign up for this program?

The complete restructuring of our school system and our workforce into a federally controlled, Marxist leaning, cradle-to-grave system should have been transparently presented and nationally debated.  Actually, it should never have been considered.

Curriculum
After the Standards come the curriculum and the testing.  Bill Gates made it clear at a National Conference of State Legislatures in 2009 that the national standards drive both the curriculum and the testing.  How many legislators heard this?

To begin with in Common Core, the curriculum includes only Math and ELA (English Language Arts).  Only portions of the curriculum have been available so far, and none of the testing. The school board, at least in Utah, tells us over and over that teachers are free to determine their own curriculum. Truth is, they may use their own for up to 15% of the content, but most likely that 15% will be more trouble than it is worth for teachers under pressure to teach to the test.

Did you notice that Gates also said (in the video above) that “for the first time” there would be a “powerful market . . . a large uniform base of customers”?  In other words, some private businessmen will make a lot of money on curriculum.  Who might that be?  Recently Gates partnered with Pearson, the largest curriculum provider in the country. Surprise!

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NOTE:  If any Utah legislators missed the early warning signs in 2009, they did have questions later, probably going into their January-February 2011 session.  The State answered those questions with more of the same lies.  A few knew something was wrong from the beginning; more are waking up now, and a few will remain faithful to Common Core to the end.  After I watched the Bill Gates video above again I noticed there were six other parts of it,. I linked from one of those pages to the Gates Foundation video page where I found clips of the first teacher consortium meeting.  It is obvious that Wisconsin did not call Kentucky and say Let’s get together and design some better standards.  Someone conceived this plan, invited the participants, set the agenda, and chose the presenters.  I had begun to wonder if Gates and Duncan were also pulling a bait-and-switch on curriculum — a sham within a sham.  Their talk about curriculum has many good points, but self-motivated, created, thinking students is not what progressives really want.  Are the teachers being massively deceived?

Didn’t anyone who was promoting Common Core see the truth and feel some remorse?  Superintendent Larry Shumway resigned after only three years.  Is he still a supporter?  Does he feel remorse now?  I came across an isolated Facebook page of pictures from his retirement party in December 2012.  A teacher posted a comment there, the only comment made.  First she wrote: “Good Bye to the man who sold our children’s educational freedom to the federal government! I hope he enjoys his 30 pieces of silver!”  That seemed harsh, but I had already written something similar.  And it is true.  Then a few minutes later she added. “This is what a teacher who use to support Common Core now says about it! parents you should be very worried! First, I want to offer you my apologies. It wasn’t long after my presentation that I had a crushing realization that the entire thing (minus the hands-on stuff) was completely misguided. I felt like a flip-flopper, but I’ve always valued the truth more than feeling good. So, I’m here to clear the air. The truth hurts and it should start scaring the hell out of you, because your children are your most precious gift and you will do anything to protect them. The whole reason I was part of the team that put those presentations together was to ease your worry about the changes that were coming. I’m here to retract everything I said. You should be worried. Very worried! I was wrong. The Common Core State Standards is a sham, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is an instrument of devastation… …Now, the Common Core State Standards has one goal: to create common people. The accompanying standardized tests have one purpose: to create standardized people. Why? Because the movers and the shakers have a vested interest in it. It’s about money and it’s about making sure all that money stays in one place. Lots of good people have faced scorn and ridicule for taking a stand against Common Core, and I admire them all, but this was the first time I had seen someone with the courage to change her mind after being a promoter.  I was amazed.

I had also noticed her mention of the hands-on stuff.  I had just watched a classroom teacher doing math with about a dozen second graders, teaching the children to add from left to right which is standard to Common Core.  The problem is that when a column adds up to more than 9 there will be an amount carried over to the next left column.  If you have already added that column, you will have to add it again.  That is why we add from right to left.  This teacher was trying to get the children to think of different ways to solve the problem, also standard Common Core.  After her demonstration the children were to go back to their desks and do a problem on their own.  She reminded them that they must draw pictures and also use words to describe how they worked the problem.  I remember a mother somewhere saying her child worked the problem, got the correct answer, then wrote how she did it — but she didn’t write the correct words in her explanation, so she failed.  So much for independent thinking.  Now picture yourself sitting with a first grader in your home with blocks or chips or cookies, and a paper and pencil.  The problems would have all been done in ten minutes and you would have known exactly what your child was thinking and when he understood. I assume this video was a good example or it wouldn’t have been posted, and I conclude that moms should never be intimidated by classroom schools. The teacher was doing her best, but nothing is as effective as a mother and a child working together.

Now back to where we were in Common Core curriculum.
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Common Core ELA texts for elementary schools were recently sent to Utah for approval. Here is a sample of some of the political indoctrination.  Near the end of this video is a link to an excellent interview with a Clinical Mental Health Therapist who tells us why these books are harmful to children.  You will see the link on the screen or you can link here. (The therapist, Joan Landes, gives some very good, probably unintended, reasons for homeschooling.)

The new math curriculum has been used in some jr high and high school classrooms this year, and it has been a colossal failure, revealing incompetence and a hidden political agenda.  Parents who have helped older children with their math assignments for years are angry that they cannot help anymore because the assignments no longer make sense.  Mothers get tearful about their previously A students who are now failing in math.  Some students are frustrated because they had earned the right to be in an advanced math class but were instead given the new, lesser curriculum.  Many students are upset because they wasted this whole year getting nothing useful from their math class.  There were no year-end test because the tests aren’t written yet! So no none knows if this social justice math program succeeded.  Oh, yes, Mr. Gates, who is also very personable and had done much good with his billions, did tell us we wouldn’t know until the curriculum and the tests were written.

Teachers are complaining too, in private.  Many have posted on a blog, www.UtahnsAgainstCommonCore.com hosted by a Utah dad, Oak Norton.

In Texas, a state whose governor did not sign on to Common Core, the CSOPE curriculum was snuck into a large number of the schools.  The curriculum was all on-line and the teachers were forced to sign non-disclosure agreements — they were not allowed to tell parents anything!  The unAmerican curriculum was leaked, however, and David Barton, bless him, got right on it.  He found that the state standards had actually been changed.  He brought samples to Glenn Beck and a Blaze TV show was devoted to it.  Most of the CSOPE heroes were progressives or communists.  Marxism was promoted over capitalism, and globalism was promoted.  Two Texas teachers who were also on the program said the curriculum was scripted and monitors came into the classrooms holding clipboards to see that the scripts were being followed.  A legislative hearing was held and corrections were made.  CSOPE was sanctioned for dishonesty and has now been banned from the state.  You can watch the whole program here. http://youtu.be/DkMNnVk2DtA

Actually, as I’ve read around online, it seems CSCOPE has been heavily involved in subversive teachings in Texas for a long time.  Governor Perry, who saved his state from unfunded federal obligations and horrible, expensive curriculum and testing, needs to watch more closely what’s going on in the schools in his state.  So do we all.

CSCOPE, I understand, is the brainchild of Linda Darling-Hammond.  Here is a long video of her.  When you first watch her she seems like a nice lady.  What’s the problem?  But soon she complains about how the schools have been teaching “a mile wide and an inch deep.” I’ve heard teachers and administrators say that quite a bit lately, and I believe it is coming down from her.  I have two problems with the comment.  First, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with going “a mile wide and an inch dep.”  The instruction period lasts for a set amount of time.  The curriculum must either go “a mile wide and an inch deep” or “a mile deep and an inch wide” or someplace in between, depending on the circumstances.  Second, if “a mile wide and an inch deep” was such a horrid thing, then all teachers, experts, and administrators who promoted it should resign immediately.

Deep into this presentation Ms. Hammond begins to discuss the math. I’m sure she was promoting this before they called the teachers together to come up with the idea on their own, as their state’s personal new standard.  I didn’t finish the video but I want to watch it again with a student who has been through the class.

Then I watched this very enlightening YouTube video from three very smart Utah moms. Christel, Alisa, and Renee who host the What Is Common Core blog. On a YouTube video Renee talked about math with a teacher who started out trying to repeat Linda Darling-Hammond. It was nice to pause for a moment of laugher.  At the end of the conversation Renee and Alisa talked about careers.  If you have read the Tucker letter, you’ll understand.

Then I found this video. Linda Darling-Hammond again, sounding great.  Watch and see if what’s she’s selling us is what will be delivered.  Actually, what she’s selling is closer to what homeschoolers do.

If you watched the documentary Monumental you know the pattern God gave America.  The people bringing us Common Core have a different pattern of government in mind, and that’s what Common Core is really all about. The kind of teaching we are, or should be doing, is what the Church is presenting — active learning, led by the Holy Ghost.  What Common Core is presenting is the opposite of everything Christ wants for our families.  If nothing else, Common Core is proving that homeschoolers should never feel intimidated by the professionals.  We reject Common Core in favor of Common Sense.
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I’m going to stop here for now and call this Part 2a, and will finish the parts about testing and data collection as soon as possible. I’ve been questioning how good people, like superintendents and school board members and administrators on state and local levels, have gotten themselves tied into this and the personal battles that must be going on, and I’ve found some answers.  I’m also anxious to get to the part about what might happen as more people get informed and as the next school year begins, and I also think there are things LDS families can do. We will have to strengthen integrity, faith, and courage. 

And please share your comments!

Common Core: Our Destruction or Our Opportunity, Part 1: America

May 4, 2013

COMMON CORE: OUR DESTRUCTION OR OUR OPPORTUNITY
From a Latter-day Saint Perspective
Part 1: America
by Joyce Kinmont

America was formed as a Christian country. All religions were welcome and free to practice their religion, but America was Christian. She was not to be an Anglican country or a Catholic country or a Buddhist country, but a Bible-based Christian country. Our Founders were clear about this — the most quoted source in their writings is the Bible. Their message is permanently preserved in our founding documents and in the architecture of our early American buildings and monuments: The national Capitol building itself is replete with messages; the Ten Commandments are chiseled on the Supreme Court building; scriptures are engraved on our monuments to Washington and Lincoln and others. And the entire pattern for a Christian life is revealed in a little known but very large monument in Plymouth. I wonder if it was hidden there for our day.

American education was always about Christianity. Harvard, our first university (1636), expected nothing less than Christian scholarship: “Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well the main end of his life and studies is to know God and Jesus which is eternal life, John. 17:3, and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning. . . . Everyone shall so exercise himself in reading the Scriptures twice a day that he shall be ready to give such and account of his proficiency therein.”

Yale (1701/1718) proclaimed itself a college “for the liberal and religious education of suitable youth” and required: “Seeing God is the giver of all wisdom, every scholar, besides private or secret prayer . . . shall be present morning and evening at public prayer.”

And Princeton (1746) said succinctly: “Cursed be all that learning that is contrary to the cross of Christ.”

Of the first 106 American universities, 103 were founded by ministers. (see David Barton, Education and the Founding Fathers, Wallbuilders)

For children in early America education and religion were synonymous. So, also, was it in Christ’s childhood. Our Bible Dictionary tells us, under Education: “The ‘religious question’ could not exist in Jewish education any more than in Church schools today, for the whole purpose of education was religious. Nothing was regarded as worth learning except as it illustrated scripture.” So also, was it in early Utah where all churches had their own schools. Even after tax-supported schools came as a condition of statehood in Utah, Bible reading and a Christian feeling continued for some time.

Early Americans recognized that everything oppressive that had happened in the Old World happened because people did not have access to the Bible, and that everything changed once the could read the scriptures for themselves. The first school law in America, passed in 1642, was called “Ye Old Deluder Satan Act.” “It being one chief project of that old deluder, Satan, to keep men from the knowledge of the scriptures, as in former time . . .”  We could say that education to enable citizens to read scripture was the primary national security plan.

In the 1770’s America was forced by the mother country’s abuse of power to stand and declare her right to liberty through the Declaration of Independence (which was also a declaration of their dependence on God). Then American citizens fought for the rights of free men, rights established and ordained by God. Shortly after the War for Independence was won, Americans recognized the need for a charter or constitution to establish and declare the role of government.

In 1787 a Constitutional Convention was called in Philadelphia. (Heaven help us if we try to do that now!) Deliberations began on May 25 and ended with the signing of the new Constitution on September 17 (a day few pause to remember). The First Congress of the United States of America was seated on March 4, 1789, and on April 30 (another sacred day) George Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the United States. As he held his hand on the Bible and kissed it, some people believe that he, like Moses him and Lincoln after him, made a covenant with God that so long as the people would served God, God would protect and bless the land. (see Timothy Ballard, America’s Sacred Covenant)

What a celebration these formative years on earth must have cause beyond the veil! Where were we? Were we watching President Washington from somewhere, gathered around Moroni, waiting for what we knew was soon to come? Thirty one years later all was ready, and Moroni stepped into a humble home in America to begin teaching young Joseph Smith. Did we shout for joy, and our children with us?

In the December 2012 Ensign Elder Perry wrote:

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is truly a worldwide Church. Nevertheless, it is important to realize that the Church could never have become what it is today without the birth of a great nation, the United States of America. The Lord prepared a new land to attract the peoples of the world who sought liberty and religious freedom. This new land was blessed with strong leaders who felt duty bound to establish a government that allowed individuals to worship according to their own conscience.

“The Founding Fathers of the United States believed that religious faith was fundamental to the establishment of strong government. Many people in the world, however, have forgotten the central importance of religious beliefs in the formation of the policies, laws, and rules of government. Many Americans, for example, do not understand that the founders believed the role of religion would be as important in our day as it was in their day. The founders did not consider religion and morality an intellectual exercise—they forcefully declared it an essential ingredient of good government and the happiness of humankind. . . .

“The United States is the promised land foretold in the Book of Mormon—a place where divine guidance directed inspired men to create the conditions necessary for the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was the birth of the United States of America that ushered out the Great Apostasy, when the earth was darkened by the absence of prophets and revealed light. It was no coincidence that the lovely morning of the First Vision occurred just a few decades after the establishment of the United States.”

Everything . . . absolutely everything of value to us and to our Savior was riding on the United States and the guarantee of religious liberty. We whose scriptures recognize the Constitution as a sacred doctrine are particular stewards of religious liberty. How important would it be, then, that the true story of liberty be passed down from parent to child through all generations? How significant, how costly would be the loss of that knowledge to our posterity? And how would that loss multiply over the years?

Sadly, we all know that America is in trouble. We feel it in our hearts. Does it not seem obvious that what brought us to the edge of the precipice on which we now stand — and over which we may soon tumble — is the cessation of the teaching of true Americanism in America’s families and schools — and the opportunity that gave Satan to fill the void?

Enough generations have gone untaught that there are few people today who know the founders’ story or the critical importance of religion or the proper role of government well enough to effectively teach the upcoming generations or repair our government.

Elder Perry said, “As I read and watch the news each day, I am shocked at the difficulties we are creating for ourselves. As times and conditions change and become more complex, there seem to be fewer and fewer individuals capable of shouldering the responsibilities of leading positive change.” His sentiments were originally given in a Jan 2012 Devotional at BYUI, so I assume he wrote them in late 2011. Is he watching better news stories today?

Yet, it may just be that the flame of liberty is being kindled again. Maybe we need adversity to fan the fire. Would the Revolutionary War ever have happened if the King of England had not violated the principle of citizen representation? From that attempt at unrighteous control came “the times that try men’s souls,” the travail which birthed a free nation with a sacred Constitution meant for the blessing of all men (see D&C 101:76-80).

President Benson sometimes spoke of America as “the Lord’s base of operations.” He used that expression in the early 70’s when he dedicated a chapel in Pleasant Grove UT and said, “The first rule of warfare is to protect your base of operations.” American Latter-day Saints have a particular responsibility to know and protect the Constitution and the Lord’s gospel base.

The enemy of God and Liberty and Agency is Lucifer, himself, and he is a clever devil. Surely he didn’t simply show up for that one grand council in pre-mortality with a brilliant new plan; surely our struggle with him had been going on for some time. That last battle in pre-mortality over whether there would be agency on this earth is a battle we won! President Benson would tell us to continue to fight – and we will win again!

But what does winning mean? Does it means we are to reclaim a religious education for our children? Does it mean we have to become different kinds of learners and teachers? Does it mean recognizing the damage done to our children and our country by God-less education? Does it mean finding ways of healing that damage and reclaiming the wounded? Does it mean taking responsibility for our children’s upbringing, becoming less dependent on government and more dependent upon God? Does it mean we must be willing to pay whatever price is extracted of us?

Our precious gifts from God — religious liberty, traditional marriage, parental authority, private property, the right to bear arms, and so much more — are all vital to our survival as a free and religious people. In this paper we are particularly concerned with just one issue, the unconstitutional nationalization of education and the absolute control over curriculum, testing, teachers, students, and family by the elements of Common Core. That is what we will discuss in Part 2, coming soon.

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For family study and discussion:

1. Please learn about the Matrix of Liberty monument which sets out the pattern for a Christian life. It is amazing. Search on line to rent, download, or purchase the documentary Monumental: The Search for America’s Greatest Treasure. The documentary begins with the story of the Pilgrims as I’ve never heard it taught before, which will cause us to search the depth of our faith and courage. Then the movie explains the story the monument tells. From it we see God’s plan for us.
Here’s a blog my daughter found about the monument although it doesn’t talk about the meaning of it. For that, you need to watch Monumental. Please!

2. Then you might want to watch two episodes of The Joseph Smith Papers on BYUTV: Joseph Smith The Statesman and Joseph Smith for President. And if you want to keep going, watch Land, Joseph, & “Justice” in Missouri, The Pure Religion of Joseph Smith, and others — Legal issues are hidden here and there.

3. Search the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants for the principles and lessons on education and government.

4. Introduce your family to history teacher Stan Ellsworth of American Ride, on byutv.org. Stan rides his motorcycle to historic sites; he is a great storyteller.

5. Visit the LatterDayConservative.org website, under Articles, where you will find much good information from prophets. This is not a church website so I can’t necessarily endorse everything on it. The three below are probably also on lds.org; I just happened to find them on this site and thought they would be a good start for family study:
The Constitution, A Heavenly Banner by President Ezra Taft Benson
The Divinely Inspired Constitution by Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Joseph Smith: Campaign for President of the United States an Ensign article by Arnold K. Garr, Feb 2009, 48–52.

6. If you want to know more about Joseph Smith’s candidacy, here are some articles from the BYU website.