Category Archives: Reasons to Homeschool

A Core of Our Own: With Our Feet Firmly Planted by Joyce Kinmont

August 13, 1013

A Core of Our Own:  With Our Feet Firmly Planted
by Joyce Kinmont

As Latter-day Saints we are engaged in becoming worthy citizens in a Zion society, a society we have to build.  As a part of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, shouldn’t we return to the religious education that was originally understood by Joseph Smith and our early church leaders?

When I wrote a three part article for our website several years ago, I relied on Jack Monnett’s book, Revealed Educational Principles and the Public Schools for understanding and for quotes. I wondered if I dared to use a couple of quotes that included the word “infidelity.” Was the word too strong?  Would people be offended? How was it meant? I decided to use them.  Today I have no question; the word fits.

So let’s visit those quotes again, and some more.

When the legislature passed the Free Education Act of 1890 (and really, “Free” should be written in quotes because it isn’t free; it’s expensive!) President George Q. Cannon wrote in the Juvenile Instructor:

“It will be a great temptation to many people to send their children to the free schools that will now be supported by our taxes, but of what value is learning if it is acquired at the expense of faith.”  – Monnett, p.154

The gospel was not taught in the “free” schools.  The Saints didn’t seem to care.  So President Cannon tried again, in stronger language, in a later issue of the Juvenile Instructor:

There are parents who are very favorable to their children receiving education, but appear to be indifferent as to the character of the teaching which they receive. They do not seem to place any value on their children being taught the principles of their religion. Apparently, therefore, they would as soon their children be taught in schools or colleges where religion is entirely ignored as in an academy taught by Latter-day Saints . . . the Latter-day Saints have forsaken everything for their religion. They have been willing to die for it . . . how persons who have had these feelings concerning religion in their own case can be so careless as to expose their children to infidelity seems a great mystery. -p.161

If Christ is the bridegroom, then unfaithfulness to Him is infidelity.  But the Saints still did not respond.

One frustrated church school principal wrote to Brother Maeser, “We believe the Saints should say today as Israel of old, ‘God hath spoken, let Israel obey and patronize these schools and fill them to overflowing.” –p.155

The Saints heard plenty of counsel, even pleadings, from their leaders.  And the Church did everything possible to reduce tuitions and make obedience easier. But the Saints weren’t willing to make the sacrifices.

Jack points out that their choice was clear.  The Lord’s schools, or man’s.  Follow inspired leaders, or not.  For us the choice is clouded by years of compromise and by our having lived so long in Babylon.

Another friend of mine points out that the very purpose of the state schools was to destroy the Mormon religion.  So why would the Saints fall into that trap?  And why are we still there?

Had those early Saints, some of them the posterity of the pioneers, chosen what seemed at the time to be the hard road, would they have built Zion by now?

Instead they put their church leaders into the same quandary the Utah State School Board found themselves in:  Is it better to have a place at the table than to not have any influence at all?  It seems the School Board used that question as a justification for doing what they wanted to do – receive a “chunk of cash.”  From the taxpayers. (see previous article)  The Church, of course, looked to the Master for answers.  I’m sure there was much sadness.

Jack wrote that enrollment in church schools “peaked at about 10%. . . . Not only was this a sad commentary against the Saints, it was an embarrassment to their leaders. Their enemies, however, were elated.”

Commissioner Jacob Boreman, who had feared that the Mormons would blindly follow their leaders, reported:

These efforts of the Mormon Church are necessarily causing divisions among the membership of the church upon educational matters. This, however, is a healthful sign, as is every act which causes the people to think for themselves. It creates and develops individual independence. The outlook is indeed encouraging. – p.187

Jack wrote:

President Cannon had been one of the chief leaders of the church school movement.  As President Woodruff’s first counselor, he had worked hand and hand with the prophet to bring about a celestial education program that they and all the General Board agreed was a necessary step in creating Zion among the Saints.  When it became clear that church members were more comfortable with an education program “like all the nations,” (1 Sam 8:5) and were not willing to sacrifice or separate themselves from those around them, plans were made to once again work with Latter-day Saint youth in public schools.  It was awkward because the Brethren had been vocal about the differences of public and church education and had pointed out public school weaknesses. Previously, President Cannon had asked the Saints, “of what value is learning if it is acquired at the expense of faith?” He spoke to church educators and observed that “Although infidelity is not directly taught in the public schools, its spirit is fostered by the exclusion of religious education.

“In the summer of 1891, recognizing that a partnership had to be forged in order to continue teaching LDS youth, he said:

“The district schools must be patronized by the Latter-day Saints for many reasons; they are supported, to a large extent, by the taxes of the Latter-day Saints, and it would be well for the children to be trained in those schools at least up to their twelfth year; as it is supposed that this can be done without endangering their faith. Again, we have been accused of being opposed to education and the district school system, and we must not give our traducers the shadow of a foundation on which to rest their charges.” – Monnett, p 192-3

Jack continued:

Necessarily, the foe became the ally.  Competition that had at times been bitter now became friendly.  A new educational direction was given to the Saints. . . . Karl Maeser, who had once labeled public schools “godless,” said in 1898:  “By wise legislation it is provided, that the public schools shall be kept free from partisan politics, sectarian influences, and the inculcation of infidel theories.  These sound restrictions guarantee in some measure at least to the children of our people, a so-called common English education without the bias of sectarianism or the negative tendencies of atheism.” – p.193

In the 1890’s the Church did have a place at the table.  John Taylor was the first Superintendent of Schools.  Many teachers were LDS.  And society was basically moral.  By the 1990’s the Church had little influence.  And today?  Is there any reason to remain in the schools of our enemies?

Now It’s Our Turn
One of the most beautiful talks ever given about becoming Zion is Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s August 2012 CES address, “Israel, Israel, God Is Calling.”  He spoke of the many times when the Lord’s people had to flee:

For more than 4,000 years of covenantal history, this has been the pattern: Flee and seek. Run and settle. Escape Babylon. Build Zion’s protective walls.

Until now. Until tonight. Until this our day.

Our call is to build Zion where we are.

One of the many unique characteristics of our dispensation, this the dispensation of the fullness of times—the last and greatest of all dispensations—is the changing nature of how we establish the kingdom of God on earth. You see, one of the truly exciting things about this dispensation is that it is a time of mighty, accelerated change. And one thing that has changed is that the Church of God will never again flee.

In these last days, in this our dispensation, we would become mature enough to stop running. We would become mature enough to plant our feet and our families and our foundations in every nation, kindred, tongue, and people permanently. Zion would be everywhere—wherever the Church is. And with that change—one of the mighty changes of the last days—we no longer think of Zion as where we are going to live; we think of it as how we are going to live.

How are we going to live?  How are our children going to learn their gospel, their life mission and occupation, their family heritage, and their national heritage, all of which includes reading and writing and every truth about everything on this planet?  Is it time to pick up where the children of the pioneers stepped off the path?  Is it time to walk away from schools that were originally set up in Utah for the purpose of destroying the power of the Mormon church (and on the East Coast for similar reasons, including to make all immigrants “common.”

Do we want to be like Germany, as is the stated goal of the president and was the goal of Horace Mann in early Massachusetts?  Why do we put a bubble around government schools and release them from accountability to Biblical moral standards?  Why do we force our children to go where they aren’t safe and pretend what happens there is good for them — although we wouldn’t allow such things at home?

Elder Holland said:

In the 21st century we cannot flee any longer. We are going to have to fight for laws and circumstances and environments that allow the free exercise of religion and our franchise in it. That is one way we can tolerate being in Babylon but not of it.

Our children were born into our family, but not into a school classroom.  We do not need to “flee” the school system; we just need to stop choosing to send our children there.  If there are attempts to force us to do otherwise, they would be unrighteous dominion and unconstitutional.  

What “laws and circumstances and environments” will allow our children to have a religious education?  Elder Holland didn’t say anything about education, so we have to figure it out for our own families.  Are we willing to fight for our choice of “circumstances”?  I hope we are!

With our feet and our families and our foundation firmly planted!
Joyce

For Further Study:
Israel, Israel, God is Calling, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, CES Broadcast, 2012 Elder Holland didn’t talk about education, but he did talk about Zion behaviors we must learn, so please watch the talk!  
Not Commanded in All Things, Ezra Taft Benson of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, Conference Report, April 1965

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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

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!