Category Archives: Common Core

The Next Steps Toward Religious Education | Three Reasons for Home/Private Schooling

July 30, 2014

Common Core: Report on Glenn Beck’s We Will Not Conform

LDS Homeschool Conference, Aug 8-9, UT

One more LDS Homeschooling conference is being held this summer, on Aug 8-9 at Utah Valley University in Orem UT.  This conference is offered by long time homeschoolers Thom and Tresta Neil. The Neil’s are extremely well organized and their speaker lineup looks fantastic. I was delighted to see that at least two of the speakers invited class attendees to read a selection beforehand. There is also a youth conference.  If your financial and family situation allows, I encourage you to attend. I will have a table in the vendor area, which is open to the public, so please come by and visit whether you are attending the conference or not.

Some people have thought this was my convention, but it is not. We held our last LDS-HEA Conference in 2007.  By then my “staff” had all grown up and moved on, and I was worn out.  My place in the homeschool movement now, as I see it, is to be a voice for the Lord’s educational program.  I believe the time has come to speak boldly, though I realize I am preaching to the choir.

The Next Steps Toward Religious Education

A few days ago my husband presented me, with fanfare, the newly arrived AugustEnsign, opened in a two page spread to the article, “Home, the Heart of Learning” (p.28).  It said, “The primary place of teaching and learning is the home.” I also watched the 2014 Learning and Teaching in the Home and the Church videos, and loved them.

The article spoke of learning being “centered” in the home. I picture a beam of light illuminating the home where education is part of the family culture.  Whenever a family member leaves for education, a portion of the light moves with him, and he goes to a tutor who also lives in a beam of light. The Church is also a place he goes, and the light is certainly there.  I like to say the office is at home and every home a school.

The Ensign article went on to emphasize developing the habit of continual teaching in the family.  Once homeschoolers obtain the mindset and habits of inspired teaching and learning (if they don’t already have it) they are only inches away from every home a celestial school, and inches away from obtaining for themselves and their children a truly religious education.

What came as a shock to me was that I had already been planning to propose a few “Pondering” activities, which I intended to put in a handout on my table at the Neil’s conference (and I still will). One would say something like this:

  • Our Heavenly Father sent His own Son to parents who would provide a fully religious education.  If you look under Education in the LDS Bible Dictionary, you will find that, “The ‘religious question’ could not exist in Jewish education…”  What would it feel like to have all of education be religiously based?  What did it mean for Mary and Joseph?  How and what would Mary teach her son?  How and what would Joseph teach?  How would the boy Jesus and other 12-year-old youth in his village be different from our youth their age?Can you picture, or feel, what education in your home might be if all of it were taught from a religious perspective?  Can you picture the Holy Ghost shining down on your home as a shaft of light and everything being taught by that light?

Please feel free to refine my “Pondering” activity and share your thoughts, experiences, and questions. This is just the first of many Ponderings we need to do.  Maybe your words will help others.

Now for the bold part, which has been on my mind for some time. These are my strongest opinions, so hold on:

Three Reasons for Home and Private Religious Education

1.  Government schools are not spiritually, morally, or physically safe
It is time for all parents to really examine the wisdom of sending our children to the schools of Babylon which are working models of everything anti-Christ.  Not only are our children indoctrinated in falsehoods, but they practice the behaviors and thinking patterns of the anti-Christ as they are controlled by bells and tests and computer screens and evil philosophies.  Once Common Core is fully implemented, our children will be nothing more than objects to be acted upon.  Even if Common Core is stopped, the same people with the same philosophies will simply pull back and wait for everyone to go back to sleep and then move forward again.

We can no longer put a bubble over our local school and allow things to happen there that we would not allow anyplace else.  We can not justify evil in the name of “learning to live in the real word” or of “being missionaries.” Our youth are gasping for air.  Many develop coping strategies, such as spending lunch hour in the Seminary building, “Where I feel safe,” or “finding a quiet place to read a few scriptures on an iphone.” Those who don’t find a way to cope fail, and thus we have an epidemic of “failure to launch.”

We tell our youth to hold to the rod, don’t get off The Path; then we plant them firmly on the other path. It’s one thing to live in Babylon and not be of Babylon; it is another thing to be enrolled, controlled, converted, perverted, and force-fed poisonous philosphies by Babylon.

Why did this happen?  Because parents and schools stopped teaching the rising generations religion and morality, and society began to crumble.  In December 1962, President McKay said: “By making [prayer] unconstitutional, the Supreme Court of the United States severs the connecting cord between the public schools of the United States and the source of divine intelligence, the Creator himself” (Religion in Public Life, Elder Dallin H. Oaks).  The cord is cut; American schools as they once were, and as we wish they still were, are no longer.  Anything that is still good, including great teachers, is not part of the current plan and will not endure.  Someday all may be restored, but in the meantime, our children need to be rescued, not abandoned to “social justice” and Marxism.

2.  There is an opportunity cost
The “opportunity cost” to our children is enormous. Because the great bulk of their time is taken up by the Babylonian education, there is no room in their day in which to obtain a good Christian education.  Nor do they have the spiritual hunger to invest in that education, or even the hunger for the less rigorous pursuits of great music and literature.  Their love of learning has been extinguished.

In the seventh grade at American Heritage school in American Fork UT, the students meet in a beautiful, peaceful classroom.  On the wall is a large picture of General George Washington kneeling in prayer.  The students study true American history from original sources, and at the end of the year they write a final essay listing 50 proofs that America was founded as a Christian country.  I find that inspiring.  And simple.  If enough families would do this, we might save America.

3.  The Lord wants us to have a religious education
Do anti-Christ educations prepare us for Zion?  Will anti-Christ schools be welcomed there? Or does the Lord want a Christian education for His children?  It certainly seems the Church is slowly moving us in that direction.  Will homeschoolers ignite the fire?  What will a religious education look like in our homes?  What will it be like in a ward?  A stake?  Should this be another Pondering activity?

I wonder if we could find 50 proofs that the Lord wants a religious education.  Maybe some families or some groups of families should try this and report.  If anyone who lives near me wants to meet together to talk about these ideas, I’d love to participate.  My head is swimming with thoughts ready to be joined by yours.

Joyce

Please, please go see Dinesh D’Sousa’s America, Imagine the World Without Her if you can.  It is wonderful. Here’s a debate with D’Sousa and Bill Ayers.

Escape Common Core

May 26, 2014

Escape Common Core
by Joyce Kinmont

On Conference Saturday mornings, my husband and I attend a private breakfast meeting in Salt Lake to learn about current issues. For the most recent breakfast, I was invited to prepare a short talk on Common Core, which I titled “Escape Common Core.” My goal was to make every word count. I don’t know how well I achieved that goal, but after the presentation I moved the goal post and stopped counting words, references, and comments and ended up with more than 20 pages of information. It is now on the website, linked to the text explaining the video on the front page, center column. There is enough information there to keep folks busy for a while. It’s a Primer for learning three things: a) Our prophets have warned us that the schools are destroying our children, but we haven’t listened, b) the Lord wants us and our children to have a religious education but we haven’t listed, and c) the Church is giving us the pattern for teaching our children.

Here is the talk:

For the written script and notes, please go to our website. The website has two addresses, one that is shorter to type and one that is easier to remember or to tell people over the phone:

LDS Home Educators Assn website: http://www.ldshea.org or
Every Home a School: http://www.everyhomeaschool.org

Common Core: Oozing in Through the Side Door

October 31, 2013

If, by the grace of God, we are able to stop Common Core in state legislatures, it isn’t really going away.  The same people will still be running education in our country, and their goals won’t change.  They may have to take a step back and try some different approaches.  Oh, wait!  They already are using different approaches.  They got caught sneaking in the back door when no one was watching, but they have other gigs going.  Now they are blatantly oozing their way in the side door.  I never thought I’d see a headline with the words “Cradle to Career,” but here we are in Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County.  (bolding and comments are mine)

  • Salt Lake City launches cradle to career education initiative
    By Christopher Smart, The Salt Lake Tribune, Oct 23, 2013
    They’re calling it the Capital City Education Collaboration Agreement. [Is there a Capital City in your state? Or do they mean something else since they spelled Capitol incorrectly?]
    Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and Salt Lake City Schools Superintendent McKell Withers joined with officials Wednesday from half a dozen agencies and organizations to begin forming an education framework “to cultivate a college, career and civic-ready environment.”
    This is a symbolic event that binds us to a mission to do more for Salt Lake City kids from the time they are born to the day they enter college,” Withers said.
    The initiative, organized by the National League of Cities, is an outgrowth of the Lumina Foundation program that focuses on education and success. The League of Cities selected Salt Lake City in 2011 to participate. It is one of eight participating U.S. cities, according to League spokeswoman Majorie Cohen.  Among those joining Salt Lake City and the Salt Lake City School District in the initiative are the University of Utah, Salt Lake Community College and the Salt Lake Chamber. One of the group’s goals is to “identify and provide access to education and career pathways for all youth and families,” according to the mayor.
    This is a first of its kind for us to bring private and public sectors [unelected, just like Common Core] together in a commitment to shared goals,” Becker said. “Plans don’t mean anything unless they are embraced by the people involved.”
    Members of the new alliance will meet regularly to establish, among other things, fundraising resources and strategies and develop long-range planning and goal setting, according to the mayor’s office.
  • Getting a jump on life, one Utah preschooler at a time
    The Salt Lake Tribune Oct 24 2013
    Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and councilmen Sam Granato and Richard Snelgrove received first-hand evidence Thursday of the benefits stemming from a $350,000 county investment in a private/public partnership to boost preschool education.
    At McAdams’ behest, the county council allocated the money to enable an additional 600 disadvantaged children to get into previously full Granite District preschools this fall. The county money is a triggering mechanism that will help the United Way to use $1 million in private funds from Goldman Sachs and the J.B. & M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation to expand preschools.
    (picture heading)  McAdams believes giving more children a better early start on life will help them become meaningful community contributors, decreasing future expenses for the county’s criminal justice and behavioral health systems.

It is true that the financial drain on schools because of low achieving students is enormous.  This may be one of the unsolvable problems of a society in free fall.  If we can’t teach the mothers and improve the families, we can’t stop the problem.  Notice that the next article is out of Washington. Hmmm.

  • Utah selected to host after-school learning summit
    Deseret News  Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013
    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Utah Afterschool Network has been selected by theNational League of Cities as one of five networks nationwide to host a statewide Mayoral Summit on Afterschool and Expanded Learning in 2014.
          Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker will co-host with the network, the Utah League of Cities and Towns, and other partners to bring together city leaders, state agency officials and school and community partners to focus on expanding after-school opportunities for children and youth in the state.
    “Education is the foundation of a sustainable community 

    and paramount to the social and economic viability for all cities in our nation,” Becker said. “It is essential that children have an equitable opportunity for extended learning and enrichment through constructive after-school programming.”
    The network will receive $9,000 in grant funding and strategic planning assistance from the National League of Cities. Additionally, the Utah Afterschool Network will partner with the Utah League of Cities and Towns and mayors to host the summits with the funding support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and The Wallace Foundation.
          More information will be available through the presentation “Municipal Leadership for Afterschool Learning” on Thursday, Sept. 12, at 3 p.m. at theAnnual Utah League of Cities and Towns Convention at the Sheraton Hotel, 150 W. 500 South in Salt Lake City.

This article didn’t mention preschool, but remember that Arne Duncan, Secretary of the Department of Education, wants schools open 6-7 days a week, all day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  He was well into that program as Superintendent of Chicago schools.

What used to be K-12 recently became PK16 which meant preschool through college, and has now become P20W, meaning prenatal into the workforce.  If you need a good Halloween scare, just watch this six minute video out of Oregon.

All this bad news seems fitting for Halloween.  We’ll have some good news next time. Promise. 
Joyce

Stan Ellsworth – American Ride – The Gettysburg Address – Common Core Update – Columbus

September 21-27, 2013
Stan Ellsworth, American Ride, and The Gettysburg Address

I love Stan Ellsworth’s American Ride program on KBYUtv, but I’d never had any indication that anyone else knew about the program, not even the homeschoolers. I was surprised when Stan was announced as the speaker for the September 17 Constitution Day Celebration in Layton, Utah.  Stan is a “biker” and the American Ride episodes I’ve seen were filmed in the East, so I never suspected that KBYU produced the program or that Stan actually lives in Draper, Utah. (He is originally from the South).  A former football player, a coach, a history teacher, and a film maker, Stan is a hero figure to kids, and he is certainly loved by the hundreds of people who let their enthusiasm for him be known last Tuesday night (Sept 17).

Stan had visited a school in Southern Utah that morning.  He taught the students about the Gettysburg Address and challenged them to memorize it for the 150th anniversary of its delivery on November 15. I waited at the end of a very long line after the program to ask the homeschoolers’ question: how did he teach the Gettysburg address?  He reached in his pocket and pulled out a 4×6 card with the Gettysburg Address on one side and the website address www.gettyready.org on the other.

This morning, after being out of town for three days, I was catching up on email, and I found that Utah Policy, which posts daily newspaper headlines, had posted an essay by Utah Lt. Gov. Greg Bell, titled “Honoring the Gettysburg Address.”  What!  Is everybody reading it?  Yes.  Lt. Governor Bell challenged everybody – families, service organizations, teachers, students, and civic leaders – to dig in, and he pointed us to the GettyReady website for resources, saying “The GettyReady challenge is this: Learn it. Understand its deep meaning. Learn to love the essential American republican principles which it so elegantly restates. Teach it to those around you.”

Then I remembered –  Stan had mentioned that the Governor had flown him up from his school presentation in Southern Utah that morning.  Maybe Lt. Gov. Bell had hosted the event and the plane ride.

Next I found this long headline (without caps) from the Deseret News:  Do you know all 272 words of the Gettysburg Address?  Utah students kick off memorization challenge.  Again, the GettyReady website was referenced.  The site was put up by public school entities, lawyers, KBYUtv, and others.  Many resources are given, including American Ride. I don’t know how reliable they all are.  Then a friend reminded me that the schools will be teaching the Progressive version of Lincoln.  Of course!  The Gettysburg Address is part of Common Core curriculum!  I remember seeing David Coleman on a video saying something like, “I just wrote a curriculum for the Gettysburg Address.  It takes at least three days and should take six.”  Then he went on to talk about Martin Luther Kings letter from Birmingham Jail, which he thought should take 10 days.  I’ve never found the curriculum itself, but I did see a video of one of Coleman’s employees teaching teachers how to present the Gettysburg lesson.  She only went over the first lesson of the three, and all she did was talk about the vocabulary.  I kept thinking, “Is this all?  What a waste!”

Note:  This newsletter was originally finished by Saturday night, and all I had to do was reread it in the morning and push the button. — but my computer locked up.  On Monday I went into a “stop the presses” mode and thought I needed to studying more and I needed to find the Gettysburg lesson. So now new paragraphs are mixed in.

I found the Exemplar (lesson plan) for the Common Core Gettysburg Address, to download.  There are some good ideas in it but I did see some problems.  First, I wouldn’t want my children/students to rewrite the address; I would want them to understand it as it is written and come to love the beauty of the words.  Secondly, and most important, I disagree completely with the closing point that there could be debate over whether America’s founding was at the time of the Declaration or the Constitution, and that Gettysburg changed America from “the United States are” to “the United States is.” meaning that the “nation preceded the states, in time and importance…”  or that the federal government trumps the states.  That notion destroys the concept of Federalism, or States’ Rights.  It is completely, totally wrong.

If you read this Exemplar and see anything else that is troublesome, please share your comments.

Because the children in Utah public schools, and probably in other states as well, will be studying this Common Core lesson and being told a fundamental mistruth, I suggest that you go to David Barton’s website, Wallbuilder’s.com, and download the mp3 of “God in the Constitution.”  It will cost just $4.95, and you will see that the two documents are tied together and how the Constitution was grounded in Biblical teachings.  Knowing this will also make next year’s reading of the Old Testament more meaningful.

November 19th marks the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.  Learn it.  Understand it.  Teach it.  In Utah, students will be reciting the Gettysburg Address all over the state, and what will they be learning?  Be prepared to teach truth where you can.  And enjoy Stan Ellsworth’s American Ride episodes on the Civil War on KBYUtv.

Common Core Update:  Disagreement in the Districts  
The  R- 6 A School District in East Newton, Missouri has passed a resolution to stop Common Core, stating that it is “designed to manipulate states and facilitate unconstitutional federal overreach to standardize and control the education of our children for the purposes of workforce planning.”  Can a District opt out?  No. This was just a Resolution; the contractual documents were signed on the state level.  But hooray for the local district anyway!  They are caught in the middle.  Their teachers are unhappy.  The parents are unhappy.  If the students aren’t unhappy yet, they soon will be.  This is where the real turmoil is going to be, and this is not the first local district to speak out.

On the opposite extreme, there was the man near Baltimore who dared to ask a question during the school board Common Core presentation.  He was removed from the room by a security guard, then arrested and charged with 2nd degree assault.  Another citizen happened to video it, and the video went viral.  The Rutherford lawyer said on Glenn Beck’s show that he would love to represent the dad.  I don’t know if the city was listening, but the charges were dropped; however, the city made it known that they “had cause,” a move meant to scare anyone else from speaking out.

I will say that when a frustrated person stands up and talks over people in a meeting, he has to expect something to happen next.  Maybe we need to be careful how we handle such meetings. Maybe there are smarter ways to do these things. Maybe we need to attend in groups, working together. My suggestion would be: 1) record everything on video.  “Think evidence” my lawyer friend says.  2)  Ask that the presenters state the rules of the meeting and the times (how long the presentation will be, how much time will be given to answering questions, what time the building will close, etc.)  Ask beforehand and get the answer in writing if possible.  In Baltimore the man was accused of not following the rules of the meeting.  I’m sure the board laid the rules out beforehand. I’ve been to such meetings and I’ve seen the strategy.  In this care the board made a presentation, took written questions, then played a video, and then answered selected questions. They do get to make the rules; you get to vote them out of office.  3) Sit patiently through their skewed, drawn out presentation.  Record it.  4) Then have someone scan the questions as people turn them in so you will have a record of what was asked.  5) Sit patiently through their video.  Record it if they don’t stop you.  Don’t fight it; it’s probably online anyway.  I assume that in Baltimore they were sorting out the questions while the video was playing.  6) Sit patiently through the answering of the questions. Record everything.  6) Then go home and put it all out on social media — the boring presentation, the questions that weren’t answered, etc.  7) Call another meeting and walk the streets giving people a good piece of literature and inviting them to watch the video of the last meeting and then to come to your group’s meeting. We need to be firm, professional, and kind.  These people are also being threatened by someone above them.

And now, as I was proof reading for a final time, comes one more school district superintendent this one from Idaho  God bless him.

Columbus Day
A man much maligned in public schools is Christopher Columbus.  If you search the Church website you will find quite a few good references to him, enough to assign out some to each family member.  And there is a good book, Christopher Columbus, a Latter-day Saint Perspective, by Church educator Arnold Garr, written from the viewpoint that Columbus “was not just a skilled, courageous sailor but was also a chosen instrument in the hands of God.”  The book is out of print, but it is available on Amazon Kindle and there are several used copies available.  Be sure to investigate the temple endowments that President WIlford Woodruff administered vicariously to many eminent men and women in the St. George temple.  Four men were made high priests:  Washington, Franklin, Wesley, and Columbus.

Happy homeschooling,
Joyce
and now I’m leaving again, for a week, again without internet!

PS  After listening to one of Larry Arnn’s addresses again (I think it was The Founders’ Key), I read Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address and noticed something very interesting.  Dr. Arnn had said that the only way to change government is through elections, which gives us time to think before we act.  He knows Lincoln well.  I read the First Inaugural, and Lincoln said:

By the frame of the Government under which we live this same people have wisely given their public servants but little power for mischief, and have with equal wisdom provided for the return of that little to their own hands at very short intervals. While the people retain their virtue and vigilance no Administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can very seriously injure the Government in the short space of four years.
My countrymen, one and all, think calmly and well upon this whole subject.

That is certainly the intended way, but I think Lincoln also mentioned another way to stop presidential mischief: defunding.  Here is what he said:

Doing this [preserving the Union] I deem to be only a simple duty on my part, and I shall perform it so far as practicable unless my rightful masters, the American people, shall withhold the requisite means or in some authoritative manner direct the contrary. I trust this will not be regarded as a menace, but only as the declared purpose of the Union that it will constitutionally defend and maintain itself.

Our U.S. House of Representatives voted to defund Obamacare.  Senator Mike Lee and Representative Ted Cruz led the fight, and they are both really good men who have spent their whole lives, from childhood, studying and loving our Constitution (as did Rand Paul).  Their legislation defunded only Obamacare; all other government funding would have continued. Getting the bill through the Senate was not possible, but at least they didsomething and they got the attention of the American people.  Or at least some of them.  The hours of testimony Senator Cruz gave explaining why Obamacare is bad were not covered by the mainstream news outlets.  Here is a clip from TheBlaze.com that will give you an idea of Senator Cruz’s character.

And if you are confused about what is going on, here is Senator Lee’s explanation.

Will our Union “constitutionally defend and maintain itself”?  Isn’t it the same issue today — the balancing of power between the states and the feds.  Did Lincoln get it right?  Will we?

Constitution Day | Common Core Update

Celebrating Constitution Day in 1987

FIRST PRESIDENCY MESSAGE
Our Dear Brothers and Sisters:
On September 17, 1987, we commemorate the two-hundredth birthday of the signing of the United States Constitution. The group of inspired men assembled for that convention produced the document that the Prophet Joseph Smith referred to as “a glorious standard” and “a heavenly banner.” In commemoration of this important event, we are providing this booklet, which contains three family home evening lessons, activity ideas, and a copy of the Constitution. We encourage you to prepare and teach each lesson prayerfully so that family members may feel the divine significance of the Constitution in their minds and hearts.
Faithfully, your brethren,
The First Presidency
President Ezra Taft Benson.
President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor
President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor

I still have my copy of that booklet, as do other patriot people.  It has been posted on a website and I believe President Monson would be pleased if we were to use it.

Celebrating Constitution Day in 2013

My friend, Kathy Smith, has been putting on a community celebration of Constitution Day for several years.  This year she has Stan Ellsworth coming to speak in Layton UT (Tues, Sept 15) and I’m excited to go.  Few of our readers live near Layton UT,  but everyone can watch Stan’s program, American Ride, on KBYUtv. Stan is a biker who takes you on field trips to historic places and tells the stories.  He is a great story-teller.  There are 52 episodes of American Ride on KBYUtv.  From the Constitution Day Celebration website:  “Stan takes viewers to where American history happened and brings history to life.  Stan is a gifted speaker and believes deeply in America’s past and future.  ‘I’m concerned that a lot of kids don’t remember who we are.  I just want to be a voice reminding us of our greatness.'”

Celebrating Constitution Day with Hillsdale College

After watching a video mentioned in our next article, I discovered the Hillsdale College is a national treasure  Their YouTube page has enough videos to keep us learning for a long time.  For Constitution Day I recommend President Larry Arnn’s address, The Founders’ Key.


Common Core Update:  State/National Common Core

School administrators insist on calling the new National standards “State” or “state led.”  Not true.  As implementation progresses, the intent is to substitute choice and individuality with control and sameness.  Decisions are made on the federal level, not be parents, teachers, or local administrators.  The scope is “P-20” (preschool through college). States and local districts conform or they are punished with the loss of federal funding.

It is interesting that Satan’s victory over agency in education seems almost certain now, just when various means of school choice (vouchers, charters, on-lines, private, homeschooling) have also been winning great victories. We are certainly involved in a last-days war, and at risk are our children’s futures and our religious liberty. Parents and students must take a stand. We are in God’s army, or not. We are for Constitutional principles, or not. We are willing to pay the price, or not. No victory will be won without sacrifice.

The following video is the testimony of Hillsdale College Professor Terrence Moore given before the Indiana State Legislature in August 2013. Dr. Moore explains, among other important things, that Common Core will change over the years.

The next video is an interview with Robert Scott, the former Texas Commissioner of Education, who turned down Common Core because of the loss of local control and the high costs involved.

Should you want to share these videos with your legislators, both can also be found on the What Is Common Core blog, here and here.


The Foundation of American Public Education

Why did our Founders encourage public schools?  What is the purpose of public schools? Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn tells us about Thomas Jefferson, the Northwest Ordinance, and what the Founders had in mind in an address titled 
The American Founders on Civic Education
.


I am finally getting the website updated!LDSHEA.org  It feels so good to have conquered a few of my technical challenges there, but I still have a long way to go, which includes moving Common Core to it’s own page, getting information on the left sidebar, and making some videos on math, English, and homeschooling.  I’d appreciate any suggestions you have for improving the site.
Happy Constitution Day!
Joyce

Common Core: David Barton and Guests, the Glenn Beck Show

September 2, 2013

Common Core Update: David Barton and Guests, the Glenn Beck Show

On Friday, Aug 23rd, David Barton hosted the Glenn Beck show. His guests were about forty citizens and legislators from various states who had been in Texas for two days strategizing on how best to stop Common Core. The show was excellent and should be seen all over. A clip of David Coleman, who is writing the Common Core curriculum, is spooky. He was talking to a group of tech people and is saying that their data collecting is what won the presidential election. No wonder they are so excited about data mining — it’s as much about elections as it is about controlling education and the workforce. Please share this program with your friends.

The link is http://youtu.be/JyCPC3S7Sy0

Common Core: Pornographic Reading Assignment, The Bluest Eye

September 2, 2013

Common Core Update: Pornographic Reading Assignment, The Bluest Eye

Promoters of Common Core keep telling us that students will be reading The Constitution and the Gettysburg Address. We worry, of course, what the class discussion will be. And what else will students be reading?

Public schools have long assigned inappropriate books for student reading. The Bluest Eye has been on high school reading lists for some time, having been endorsed by Oprah Winfrey. Common Core continues to want students to read this book, which the author says is intended to cause reader to identify as a “co-conspirator” with the pedophile. I have read excerpts, and I suggest you avoid that exercise if you can. Certainly no young, unmarried person should be exposed to such pornography.

Students in the Alpine UT district were given a list of books to be read over the summer, which included The Bluest Eye, and some students did read it. What sadness I feel for those students.

Here are some links if you want to know more:

Fox Channel 13TV interviewed a mother from Lehi UT who discovered The Bluest Eye on her school’s book list. Also interview was Eagle Forum President, Gayle Ruzicka who told it like it is, Then a university professional made ridiculous statements. Why would a book like this be held up as a standard? What parent wants to send a child to a school where pornography illustrates proper reading complexity? What teacher wants to go looking for more porn to share with students? Except for some excellent teachers, many of whom are retiring because of Common Core, can we trust anyone in education? http://fox13now.com/2013/08/30/parents-upset-over-books-placement-on-high-schools-suggested-reading-list/

Alpine District School Board Member, Wendy Hart, mentions the The Bluest Eye in an excellent blog post about how testing drives curriculum — over which parents and teachers have no control under Common Core. She says the known motto in education is “a student attains ‘higher-order thinking’ when he no longer believes in right or wrong.” Hard to argue with that. How sad that a whole private school class was forced to read the book because it was on the test. When are people going to stand up and say No! http://wendy4asd.blogspot.com/2013/08/no-man-can-serve-two-masters-school.html

This story out of Park City about a different unacceptable book, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, indicates incompetence, carelessness, and a casual attitude on the part of the district. “District leaders said they could have prevented the reaction, but parents should have contacted teachers immediately because there were other reading options.” Prevented the reaction! How about preventing immoral books from being on the reading list. The Superintendent said “. . . they [parents] just didn’t know about it. . .(the alternate books) were stated verbally but in the paperwork they weren’t there, so we’ve learned.” They’ve learned what? To make sure parents know about all the pornographic books being promoted by the school and talked about by the students?
http://www.ksl.com/?sid=26616162&nid=148&s_cid=rss-extlink

Here’s a guest editorial with an opposing view and a couple of good comments after that tell us more about the book. The editorial shows us why religious people need religious schools. http://www.parkrecord.com/letters-to-the-editor/ci_23957568/guest-editorial?source=most_emailed

More dark books, from New Jersey
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2011/08/23/school-reading-list-featured-books-on-lesbian-sex-gay-orgy/

And as always, Christel Swaysey, our best informed expert, has written the state school board and blogged about The Bluest Eye. Most likely Christel’s blog is what alerted the mother who was interviewed by Channel 13.
http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/a-sickening-turn-of-events-common-core-approved-pornography-may-or-may-not-be-on-this-years-standardized-test/

The state school board member wrote back to Christel: “This is not a book or text that would be likely be approved by schools in Utah.” Here is a link to the Lehi High School 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th Grade Reading Lists on which the book was listed. None of the links are working now.
http://lehienglish.weebly.com/reading-lists.html

To read the graphic clips from The Bluest Eye (if you must) and some comments from professionals, go to Politichicks:
http://politichicks.tv/column/warning-graphic-common-core-approved-child-pornography/

Why is it that homeschoolers find so many good books to read and the professionals can’t? Why don’t more families walk away?

Let’s give a Prophet, President John Taylor, the last word:

And what is Zion? The pure in heart. We want to organize in such a way, and advocate and maintain such correct principles, that they will become the admiration of all honest men, who will flee that they can be protected and find safety and an asylum in Zion. What of that? Are we going to follow them then? No, no, no, we are not. Are we going to be governed by their notions? No, we are not. Are we going to mix up with their Babylonish ideas? No, we are not . . . . our moral and social ideas are very different, and while I accord to them all the civil liberties that any reasonable men should want, I do not wish to be governed by his standard of morality, nor do I wish him to teach my children. Why? Simply because I do not wish them perverted. No Gentile or reasonable man would find fault with me for that. He does not want me to teach his children my faith. All right, he can keep them away, and I want to keep mine from his influences. Why? Because we are associated with things that are eternal in their consequences. We are aiming at the celestial glory. – Journal of Discourses, quoted in Preparing & Protecting the Saints in the Last Day, compiled by Arlene Kay Butler, p.60

Common Core: What the State Board Knew and What They Are Doing to Cover What They Didn’t Do About What They Knew

August 13, 2013

Common Core:
What the State Board Knew and What They Are Doing to Cover
What They Didn’t Do About What They Knew
by Joyce Kinmont

I’d like to be done with Common Core and just concentrate on homeschooling, but the battle continues so I will simply send you short updates.  I hope you are engaged in the battle in your state.

Wendy Hart is a school board member from the Alpine School District in Utah.  We learn from her short video that the Utah State School Board knew full well that national standards were being developed, and they did not put up a fight.  If you watch it, you may agree with my thoughts:

  1. The Utah State School Board and their employees knew in 2009 that the federal government was setting national standards.   The word “national” was frequently used.  Calling them “state standards” was a slight of hand that came later.
  2.  In a June 2009 presentation to a legislative committee, newly appointed Superintendent Larry Shumway discussed very briefly whether it would be better to at least “be at the table.” One legislator suggested that by doing so they would be “endorsing” the national standards.  I’d wish I could call Representative Holdaway a hero and say that he then mounted his horse and rode through the night warning, The Fed’rals are coming! The Fed’rals, are coming!  No, he resigned from the legislature to become a lobbyist for the teacher’s union. But . . . there were 18 other legislators in the room.  I guess no one saw the problem, so our children just slipped through the cracks.
  3. The question of “being at the table” is valid, but it was never deeply explored.  There should have been a real discussion about the level of influence we might have at the table, if any; about Constitutional principles; and about giving up our Federal money.  The Legislature should have been deeply involved in the discussion.  All parents should have been invited — these are our children whose freedom they were so casually signing over.  I was able to tell the current State Superintendent this at a public meeting recently; he listened but he didn’t hear.
  4. The “extremely tight turnaround” the federal government gave the school board for no good reason was a low integrity manipulation.  The board might have just said No!  A senior citizen newspaper that recently appeared in my mailbox contained an article on avoiding frauds:  “If someone says you have to take an offer immediately or you will miss the opportunity, it is likely a scam.” Do we want our schools run by people who seem to lack wisdom and integrity?
  5. Acquiescing in “showing that you are part of the group” is giving in to peer pressure. Can they not stand up to pressure?  We may all have our breaking points, but do we want our schools run by people who give in so easily?
  6.  So casually did they accept the standards! Brenda Hales had no concern. The rest apparently followed her lead.  This was all before the standards were even written!  And did you notice that they had to petition Washington for approval? Actually the standards don’t really matter as much as the curriculum and testing that will be forced upon our children to mold their thinking.
  7.  And then there is the money.  “No small chunk of change.”  Do we want our schools run by people who will give up liberty for money?  And don’t forget that this was stimulus money that we and our children will be paying back for the rest of our lives.
  8. I was surprised by the insulting remark which obviously originated from Washington and was parroted by Ms. Hales about not wanting the process to “end up being like the Constitutional Convention, have it last two or three years….” The comment reveals the collective distain for things we hold dear.
  9. In view of the knowledge the State Board and their employees have that Common Core is the product of the federal government and its corporate associates, the School Board and their employees should stop their dishonest attempt to convince the public that Common Core standards, curriculum, testing, and data collecting are State products and are without federal control.  Some of them should be submitting their resignations.  (I can’t help but wonder why Superintendent Shumway resigned after 3 ½ years.)

The public meeting I referred to was actually a protest at the Board’s August meeting, called because it was discovered that the board is engaging in a major PR campaign to counter the pushback they are getting from citizens.

Over a hundred of us showed up that morning, on a day’s notice, to protest this expenditure of our own tax dollars.  Most stayed outside carrying signs while the rest of us attended the meeting.  Only four people were given slots to speak in the meeting, for 2 minutes each.  Then the Board left for their other meetings and those inside joined those outside. 

Superintendent Menlove, who has only been Superintendent since January, came outside to see the protest.  Apparently someone asked him to please listen to the concerns people had not been able to share, and he agreed.  We went back into the empty board room and he listened to us for a good hour, but as I said, he didn’t seem to hear.  He is hired by the State School Board to implement their decisions, and that’s what he is going to do.  I feel badly for him.

I am convinced that those running our public schools in Utah have no desire to stop Common Core.  Hopefully the Legislature will do something; but whatever happens, our best choice is to do the hard work of making our home our children’s first temple of learning.  And we must warn our neighbors.

An Education for Our Day: What It Might Be

July 30, 2013

An Education for Our Day: What It Might Be
by Joyce Kinmont

As we’ve been studying Common Core, we can see that its full implementation will bring nothing but heartache.  It is a final step in the destruction of educational liberty.  If it were not for our church and the educational direction in which we are being taken, I would have no hope of escape.  But I do feel much hope for those of us who love freedom.  If we are able to avoid Common Core and maintain our right to choose our own methods of education, we have an opportunity for great growth.

In Utah an event was recently held in our state capitol.  Our legislators agreed to hear testimony from the citizens, and two and a half hours were set aside.  Five hundred of us attended.  Those who wanted to speak were allowed two minutes each to voice our concerns to approximately 30 legislators who came at the end of a full day of interim meetings.  State Senator Margaret Dayton, a freedom warrior, said the one good thing that has come out of Common Core is that we have hundreds of citizens who are educated and engaged.

So now we have to act.  Our first job here in Utah, and yours wherever you are, is to engage in your own state’s battle to stop Common Core.  For that you will have to search the web to see what’s happening in your state. Next we have to turn our attention to the upcoming school year.

It seems to be generally agreed by patriots that what has brought us to the sorry state in which we find ourselves is the failure of past generations to pass on to the rising generations the truth about America’s religion, history, and destiny.  That situation must be remedied in the home, with help from the Church and a few good mentors, teachers, and schools.

I have some thoughts about what might be happening and what we might do, and I hope you will share your own thoughts about these things.

Here are my musings about were we are now:

  1. Thousands of our youth have proven their faith and courage by their response to President Monson’s early mission call.  The emphasis President Benson and President Hinckley put on our reading the Book of Mormon and on each youth having his own set of scriptures is paying dividends today.  Our youth are awesome!

  2. This first wave of youth stepped forward after the October Conference last year.  In January the Church implemented new programs that will even better prepare those coming up in the ranks.

  3. Adults are stepping up to implement these new programs in Sunday School and Priesthood, and now I have heard that changes are coming to Seminary as well.  Our youth are and will be studying and learning by “acting” rather than being acted upon.  That is a huge fundamental shift that mean adults need to talk less and shift more responsibility to the youth.

  4. The newer emphasis being placed on studying current Conference talks, and the strong teachings of our Prophets and Apostles in CES Broadcasts, local conferences, and public discourses are adding to the momentum.  Years ago LDS bookstores carried the audiotape of a talk by President Benson’s son Reed entitled “TNT,” referring to the explosive from an earlier time but meaning “Today’s News Today.”  I remember TNT from old cowboy movies; my parents probably knew it from WW!!.  Today’s youth may not know what TNT is, but this seemingly small step propels us closer to our living prophets in a rapidly changing world.

  5. As an extra bonus, the early mission is surely eliminating some of the extended childhood culture we call “teenage.”  The high school years now need to be more focused and more serious.  As the culture of self-indulgence and play is replaced by responsibility and service, our youth will grow directly from children to adults, Joseph Smith style. Thank goodness!

  6. Seeing and feeling these changes in their older siblings, our younger children should be growing up with more maturity and sense of purpose.

  7. The Priesthood Session of April Conference seems to be almost a Mission Manual for our youth, somewhat reminiscent of Elder Perry holding up a Military Manual from his days in the Service.  Elder Callister gave us a pattern to follow.

Let’s look at “The Power of the Priesthood in the Boy,” Elder Callister’s message:

  1. The opening story declares “the Lord had reserved this blessing for a boy, to teach him a lesson that the priesthood in the boy is just as powerful as the priesthood in the man when exercised in righteousness.”

  2. Elder Callister gives “three key factors that contribute to such dramatic growth in the mission years”
    a.      trust
    b.     high expectations of the Mission President
    c.      training and retaining

  3. Then he suggests that we could apply these same principles to deacons quorum presidents.

  4. He includes a graphic to illustrate how the growth line might increase (p.52, Ensign, May 2013).

  5. He gives the example of a 12-year–old boy who taught a 25-minute lesson on the Atonement (p.54).

Look at that graphic in your Ensign. Do you think we could put a new line above the green dashes?

Here are my musings about how that might happen:

  1. The first thing I expect to see from the youth who are becoming active learners through the new Church methods is that they will rebel against the “acted upon” horror of Common Core.  The public schools, with or without Common Core, will not be capable of fulfilling the academic needs of the Lord’s army.  To save our youth from socialism and worse, and to obey our parental responsibilities, we will need to provide a religiously based education for them.

  2. Melchezedic Priesthood members are ordained to be kings and priests.  I assume the king part is the responsibility to govern.  Prophets have continually talked about our civic responsibilities, but the Saints have not listened well.  We seem to have the notion that reading scriptures and praying are sufficient, and engagement isn’t necessary.  Maybe the youth will engage.

  3. The first wave of missionaries has shipped out.  The waves behind them can prepare in both their spiritual training (priests) and their Constitutional responsibilities (kings).  That alone would make Elder Callister’s line move up.

  4. These youth could study American history, the Constitution, and economics outside of school hours or in a home school setting.  This should be done first in the family.

  5. The “curriculum” could begin with church sources.  Other good materials abound.  I am gathering a few possibilities to share soon.  From there the youth could search other trusted sources to their heart’s content, as active learners moved by the Holy Ghost.

  6. At some point another family could be invited into the home and the youth could teach their favorite lessons.  This could continue until the neighborhood or ward is covered.

  7. Groups of families might get together and the youth could teach, just as they are encouraged to do in their priesthood classes.  If a 12-year-old can give a 25 minute lesson on the atonement, why can’t a 12-year-old give good lessons on Joseph Smith’s Presidential candidacy, the Founding Fathers, the Founding Documents, orthe proper role of government in our current day?

  8. Bishops might even encourage members to get involved, in the spirit of President McKay’s letter (see below), which was given, I assume, before we were a major worldwide church and prophets had to be careful to protect members in communist countries.

  9. The outreach could expand to teaching other students, such as young children learning math and reading, or minority groups in struggling school districts learning English.

  10. There might be outside speakers arranged; there might be educational family outings or vacations.

  11. The youth will take it from there, getting involved in civic issues, using social media, websites and blogs, and things we haven’t thought of, to proclaim the gospel, history, and the proper role of government.  They can also develop ways to help those students who are trapped in the Common Core by countering the falsehoods being taught.

The objectives would be

  1. To help the youth get a good education outside of government dependency.

  2. To help the youth, especially the Aaronic priesthood, fulfill their requirement to “give meaningful service.”

  3. To help the youth spend their non-Sunday time more advantageously and move smoothly into missions and adulthood.

  4. To teach the nation what has been lost from our history.

This is not a program I am instituting or that I can develop or control; it will simply happen.  It is the Lord’s program as it is given to us in our church, carried into the rest of the week with expanded education and ministering.  It may become a “movement,” but it does not need it’s own leader or organization outside of the church.  It does need engaged parents and worthy mentors, and it needs the contributions of information from many sources.

Our youth will rise to the expectation of their “mission presidents.”  That would be you, mom and dad.  And let’s all rise to the expectation of those beyond the veil – former prophets, founding fathers, pilgrims, pioneers and all those who fought for liberty and are watching our day, ready to help when the time is right.

Please, please share your comments.


This Statement was given to me by a good and trusted friend.  I have retyped it from the brochure in which it was printed; there is no date on it.

A statement by President David O. McKay
concerning the position of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
on Communism.

In order that there may be no misunderstandings by bishops, stake presidents, and others regarding members of the Church participating in nonchurch meetings to study and become informed on the Constitution of the United States, Communism, etc., I wish to make the following statements that I have been sending out from my office for some time and that have come under question by some stake authorities, bishoprics, and others.

Church members are at perfect liberty to act according to their own consciences in the matter of safeguarding our way of life. They are, of course, encouraged to honor the highest standards of the gospel and to work to preserve their own freedoms. They are free to participate in nonchurch meetings that are held to warn people of the threat of Communism or any other theory or principle that will deprive us of our free agency or individual liberties vouchsafed by the Constitution of the United States.

The Church, out of respect for the rights of all its members to have their political views and loyalties, must maintain the strictest possible neutrality. We have no intention of trying to interfere with the fullest and freest exercise of the political franchise of our members under and within our Constitution, which the Lord declared he established “by the hands of wise men whom raised up unto this very purpose” (D&C 101:80) and which, as to the principles thereof, the Prophet Joseph Smith, dedicating the Kirtland Temple, prayed should be “established forever.” (D&C 109:54.) The Church does not yield any of its devotion to or convictions about safeguarding the American principles and the establishments of government under federal and state constitutions and the civil rights of men safeguarded by these.

The position of this Church on the subject of Communism has never changed.  We consider it the greatest satanical threat to peace, prosperity, and the spread of God’s work among men that exists on the face of the earth.

In this connection, we are continually being asked to give our opinion concerning various patriotic groups or individuals who are fighting communism and speaking up for freedom.  Our immediate concern, however, is not with parties, groups, or persons, but with principles.  We therefore commend and encourage every person and every group who is sincerely seeking to study Constitutional principles and awaken a sleeping and apathetic people to the alarming conditions that are rapidly advancing about us.  We wish all of our citizens throughout the land were participating in some type of organized self-education in order that they could better appreciate what is happening and know what they can do about it.

Supporting the FBI, the police, the congressional committees investigating Communism, and various organizations that are attempting to awaken the people through educational means is a policy we warmly endorse for all our people.

The entire concept and philosophy of Communism is diametrically opposed to everything for which the Church stands – belief in Deity, belief in the dignity and eternal nature of man, and the application of the gospel to efforts for peace in the world.  Communism is militantly atheistic and is committed to the destruction of faith wherever it may be found.

The Russian Commissar of Education wrote: “We must hate Christians and Christianity.  Even the best of them must be considered our worst enemies.  Christian love is an obstacle to the development of the revolution.  Down with love for one’s neighbor.  What we want is hate.  Only then shall we conquer the universe.”

On the other hand, the gospel teaches the existence of God as our Eternal and Heavenly Fther and declares: “. . . him only shalt thou serve.” (Matt. 4:10.)

Communism debases the individual and makes him the enslaved tool of the state, to which he must look for sustenance and religion.  Communism destroys man’s God-given free agency.

No member of this Church can be true to his faith, nor can any American be loyal to his trust, while lending aid, encouragement, or sympathy to any of these false philosophies; for if he does, they will prove snares to his feet.

Common Core: Our Destruction or Our Opportunity, Part 2c: What Happened?

July 16, 2013

Utah Homeschoolers
Special Meeting with LEGISLATORS

Sponsored by a Coalition of Parents and Legislators Opposed to Common Core Standards in Utah Schools 
This is an opportunity for citizens to express
their concerns about COMMON CORE! 

WEDNESDAY, July 17, 2013
5:30 – 8:00 pm
Hall of Governors, 1st Floor, Utah State Capitol

You will be allowed to speak to the Legislators who attend, if you want to. The time limit is 3 minutes.
Come early, parking in East and North lots

LDS-HEA is one of the sponsors of this meeting.


Common Core:
Our Destruction or Our Opportunity?
From a Latter-day Saint Perspective
Part 2c: What Happened?
by Joyce Kinmont

We have talked about Common Core–the standards, the curriculum, the testing, and the data mining.  We have seen that it is a complete takeover of education by the federal government and private businesses that are not accountable to citizens.  Decisions are all removed from the local level and from parents.  The eventual goal is the complete federal control of education, employment, and health care.  This cradle-to-grave, high tech, people-controlling program is any despot’s dream.

I didn’t write about the role and influence of David Coleman, the main designer of the Common Core standards and the President of the College Board, because I am still learning about him.  Here is short video that curls my toes.  Coleman makes it clear that he is one of the main writers of Common Core, and he talks about the importance of data collecting in the past presidential election.  I am studying his ideas about curriculum, some of which are good, and I will eventually share them.

I also haven’t talked about the pre-K program or sex education.   Watch for them.  For now, we’ll finish up here and move on next time to the good stuff about how we might homeschool.

What Happened?
As people are waking up to the Common Core nightmare, they are asking, “What happened to our education system?  How did it happen so quickly?”  It happened because for generations we have not taught our children the story and principles of America.  And it didn’t happen quickly; Satan has been working on this for a long time.  Forced attendance and mandated curriculum at the expense of liberty began with Horace Mann in Boston, long ago, and John Dewey after him.  Eventually all religion and Americanism was removed from the curriculum.

Prophets have warned that it only takes one generation of untaught youth to destroy the church.  The same is true of our country, and there have now been many generations who have not been taught Americanism.

Did we have warning signs?  Plenty.  If you don’t have The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, buy or borrow a copy and read the chapters on Education and Country.  You’ll be amazed at the warnings he gave us.  You can also find many of President Benson’s older addresses online.  Although President Benson is hailed as the chief defender of the Constitution, the same warnings were given to us by many of our leaders and for a very long time. (Once we became a worldwide church their direct messages about socialism and communism stopped, I assume to protect the Saints in communist countries; but we are still without excuse for our ignorance.)

All Saints and all Americans, had they been properly taught, would have known that Common Core was wrong at first sight, as Mitt Romney did.  He said:

 “I don’t subscribe to the idea of the federal government trying to push a common core on various states. It’s one thing to put it out as a model and let people adopt it as they will, but to financially reward states based upon accepting the federal government’s idea of a curriculum, I think, is a mistake. And the reason I say that is that there may be a time when the government has an agenda that it wants to promote.”

Exactly.  Of course the government has an agenda, and of course he knows all about it.  He was teaching the principle.  There should be no federal involvement in education because there is no Constitutional authority, and there is no Constitutional authority because the Founding Fathers knew education should be left under parental control.

Unfortunately too many Saints welcome federal involvement in education.  Too many teachers believe in the big-government system they work for.

President Benson was fond of quoting a statement from President Joseph F. Smith:

“There are at least three dangers that threaten the Church within, they are flattery of prominent men in the world, false educational ideas, and sexual impurity.” (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1939, pp. 312-13.) These three dangers are of greater concern today than when they were identified by President Smith.
– President Ezra Taft Benson, Valiant in the Testimony of Jesus, Ensign (CR), May 1982, p.62

Wouldn’t you say the first two apply?

President Benson warned us about the false ideas many times.  Today the Church is moving us forward in true teaching and learning methods that foster independent learning and the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Common Core is moving us completely backwards.  We have to learn to separate ourselves from the false ideas that are rampant in the public schools most church members support.  Again, read his Teachings.

For many years I wondered what the “flattery of prominent men in the world” really meant. What harm does a little flattery thrown around do?  But I also wondered what the word meant to President Smith who was born in 1838. I looked in the 1828 dictionary and found:

1. False praise; commendation bestowed for the purpose of gaining favor and influence, or to accomplish some purpose.

Apparently “flattery” was a stronger word at one time, and yes, it is a serious problem.  I believe it is simply adult peer pressure, which can be very serious.

The Book of Mormon uses the word “seduced.”  President Benson said,

Secret combinations flourished because, as Helaman tells us, the Gadianton robbers ‘had seduced the more part of the righteous until they had come down to believe in their works and partake of their spoils’ (Helaman 6:38)… even as today.”
– Ezra Taft Benson, The Savior’s Visit to America, Ensign, p. 4. May 1987.

“Even as today”?  And that was 1987!  If the more part succumbed then, how hard must it be now?  I have Helaman 6:38-40 marked in my book in two colors so I won’t forget it.  I used to think of the Gadiantons as desperados, riding down from the mountains on horseback. (I might have been influenced by one of my favorite movies, The Magnificent Seven.  All Jr. High boys should watch it for the message about the male role of protection.)  In recent years I have pictured the Gadiantons in suits and ties, carrying briefcases, with their hideouts not so much in the mountains as in corporate and government office buildings.

I don’t think we should underestimate the pressures good people are often put under in the world.  People have jobs and professional reputations to protect; they have families to feed.  It is no small thing for them to put their security at risk for principle, especially if they are led away first by a small thread until they are captured.  We all like to think we can stand up to anything, but most of us have a caving point.  Our challenges will come. Our goal should be to develop faith and courage to meet the challenges, and wisdom to meet them wisely and with the Holy Ghost by our side.

The Last Word on Common Core
This article is my last word for now, but here is a first word but that we’ve just gotten.  This short video was made by Alpine UT School District Board Member Wendy Hart who gives insight into how our educators got themselves entrapped at the very beginning.  This video is full of evidence against the people in Utah who bought in to Common Core and did it strictly for the money.  Apparently no one involved thought about the Constitutionality of a national curriculum.  They did think use an insulting remark about the Constitutional Convention as a lame excuse for control and a false argument to justify the lack of parental notification.  And they did succumb to the administration’s pressure tactic to get a quick signature on the Memo of Agreement.  It’s all disgusting.

Utah signed the Memo, and in 2010 all but a few state Governors and State Superintendents affixed their signatures to the Race to the Top application.  The standards hadn’t been published yet, nor had the curriculum or the testing.  They had no idea – and still don’t – what the costs would be.  Doesn’t all this seem highly irresponsible?

They were “flattered” and bribed in the hope of winning a pile of Race-to-the-Top stimulus money!   Yes, it was an “enter to win” lottery. “Sign the paper and we will put you in the drawing for a pot of gold.”  It was all about the money.

Sorry, Utah did not win one of the money pots.  Of course not; does Washington like us? Did we vote for any of them?  I’m sure the Devil had a hearty laugh.  They pulled this off so easily.

Why did so many professional people make such disgusting, unprincipled decisions?  What were Governor Perry of Texas and the other governors thinking when they refused to sign?  Where did they get the courage to resist the “flattery” of folks like Bill Gates and David Coleman?

And why, oh why did the Utah’s Governor and State Superintendent, both fine LDS men, sign all of the children of Utah over to the control of the federal government.  They never told the parents what was going on.  When people started waking up and speaking out in opposition, the State Board and the Governor’s office responded by digging in their heels, maintaining their support for Common Core, and refusing to talk about it anymore. At least that was the case a month ago.  Today the State Board – and they have been especially nasty — is meeting behind closed doors with the Legislature to tell them why Common Core is good.  Tomorrow the Legislature will take comments from the public.  This is happening because the number of angry citizens is growing.

How hard would it be at this point for our governor to admit he made a foolish, expensive, and dangerous mistake?  Will that happen?  I feel both disgust and sadness for those who have already sold their souls.

Parental control of education is a God-given right, Constitutionally protected, and certainly worth fighting for.  And fight we will.  We are fighting for our children.

Buyer’s Remorse 
The national Common Core requires that students read more informational texts, and that’s what we have all been doing for the last two months.  We will end here with two must-read informational texts.  The first gives us sufficient reason to get out of Common Core; the second gives us hope that we can (although we know Satan won’t go away so we’ll have to stay vigilant):

The first article, California Schools to Train Kids to Sell ObamaCare, tells us all we need to know about Common Core, or at least enough information to see how absolutely diabolical it is.  This is an article from Heartland, which has other articles you might want to read with your children, such as the one on Zimmerman

The Beginning of Common Core’s Trouble is an excellent article about our “buyer’s remorse” as the states consider backing out of what is being called ObamaCore.  Here are the first two paragraphs:

When President Obama unveiled his Race to the Top initiative in 2009, the idea was to award $4.35 billion in federal grant money to states to replicate policies that boosted student achievement.  That quickly changed and the federal money was instead used to persuade states to adopt administration-backed nationalized K-12 English and math standards and tests. By last year, most states had adopted the standards, known as Common Core, and it seemed a foregone conclusion that the United States would join countries like France in having a uniform curriculum.
 
But what a difference a year makes. Today, a full-blown epidemic of buyer’s remorse has taken hold. Popular resistance is rampant and bills to pull out of Common Core are making their way through multiple state legislatures.

Did you notice the paragraph in the first article that reads:

“Teens are part of a ‘pilot’ program to test whether young people can be trained as messengers to deliver outreach and limited education to family and friends in and around their homes,” said Gayle Pollard-Terry, a LAUSD spokesman, in an email. “Teens will be educating adults that they already know (e.g., family or friends) and not other adults.”

I found that almost eerie because it is exactly what I am going to suggest we do: study as a family and then help our teens teach America’s story to friends and others in their neighborhood.  Without the grant.  With the Holy Ghost.

Read Elder Callister’s talk from the Priesthood Session of General Conference and you’ll see what I mean.   Give me a couple of weeks, and I’ll be sending more info out.  I’m excited!

JK