By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Shortest summer ever.  I report back to work Thursday with a series of workshops and on our new high school ELA curriculum and students report back to class August 2.  When I first started teaching twenty years ago, my first report date was August 25; seems like it backs up every single year.  I suppose year-round school is the ultimate goal but nobody is saying that.

At any rate, I’ve made the most of my summer with a couple of little trips and tending to some chores that get neglected during the school year.  I’ve read some books – probably the one that has had the most profound effect on me was Beautiful Boy by David Scheff, which tells the story of his son’s battle against addiction. I can’t imagine what it took to write this book.  Raw pain on every page, but such a beautiful story of love.

What I should have been reading is all of the new material in our new ELA curriculum. Most of the selections we are now required to teach are things I’ve never read or have not read in thirty years.  I am now required to teach, for example, chapter one of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, which is about the effect of pesticides on the environment; also on our required list is “Address to Congress on Women’s Suffrage” by Carrie Chapman Catt, excerpts from Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, “Nothing but Death” by Pablo Neruda, countless speeches and essays, poems I haven’t read since college…and I’ve got to find a way to make this relevant and meaningful to 10th grade inner city students.

I’m a little concerned.

But, I like a good challenge, so I’m sure it will be fine.

What I find disturbing, as a teacher, is the scripted lessons that come with this new curriculum; I suppose this might be helpful to a brand new teacher, but for years we’ve been told that all students learn differently – I’ve been to countless workshops on various learning styles. Now, apparently all kids learn the same and from the same teacher script.  Thank you, Common Core.

Well, I have three more days to procrastinate and I won’t worry about that now. For the next three days, it’s still summer.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

By: Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – He’s not even been inaugurated yet and John Bel Edwards appears to be giving the shaft to his supporters and waffling on his promise to get rid of state superintendent of education, John White.

Many Republican voters eschewed David Vitter in the most recent gubernatorial election because, well, they just couldn’t stomach him any longer, regardless of party assignation. In rejecting Vitter, a large number of Republicans crossed party lines to vote for John Bel Edwards based primarily on his promise to get rid of White who is a huge supporter of Common Core.

In making early appointments, Edwards has named three members to the state BESE board (Board of Elementary and Secondary Education) who all appear to be supporters of White and thereby dashing all hope of having enough votes to get rid of White.

The Crazy Crawfish notes:

I think a lot of people are going to pissed when they find out they voted against Common Core and thought they elected a candidate that was against it, only to find it was rebranded and actually made worse, as the review committee has reportedly done by the various folks who have resigned from it in protest.

Do you think they are going to blame their BESE candidate (that they probably don’t remember now) or the Governor who ran against Common Core and John White?

Education Reformers have been crowing for well over a month that John Bel cut a deal and John White is safe.  I don’t hear one peep of complaint out of them either.  Meanwhile many of the folks that brought John Bel to the Governor’s Ball are left out in the cold and we are not happy with what we have seen so far.

But, if you vote for a Democrat, you should not be surprised when he expands food stamps, expands Medicaid, and crawfishes on promises.

He’s an Obama man, for crying out loud!

I wasn’t a fan of Bobby Jindal in more recent years, but I have a feeling Edwards is going to do a lot to rehabilitate the Jindal legacy.

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Nothing is sillier than the political season in the South; well, the political season ventures into the absurd almost anywhere, but in the South, it seems, it gets particularly ridiculous.

In the local round of elections on October 24, we had several spots in contention on the BESE Board (the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education) which functions along with local school boards and the state to make those all-important decisions with regard to curriculum, testing, etc. Frankly, with Common Core and the feds now running education, it all seems redundant, but that’s another story.

Making the local rounds this week is this video about billionaires “buying” the BESE elections:

The 2011 elections for the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education saw a massive influx of contributions from people who had not shown any prior interest in Louisiana nor our public education system. The impetus for the outside interest was to secure the pro-Common Core, pro-charter school, pro-high stakes testing regime that secured its foothold after the flooding of New Orleans in 2005. This the story about how elites are working to undo democratic institutions and local communities in order to enable them to monetize public education. This 28 minute and 30 second video, which will air on Louisiana commercial broadcast stations during the month of October (2015) lays out the shock tactics that were used in 2011 to seize control of Louisiana public education policy, the links between the BESE election and the 2012 Jindal ‘reforms’, and the role that John White has played in this process.

It’s worth a watch even if you aren’t from Louisiana because this is quite likely happening in some form all over the country as the Bill Gates/Common Core/PARCC advocates work to take over education systems in every state.

Our State Superintendent of Education is John White, a Teach for America protégé from Washington DC.  He was named by Gov. Bobby Jindal and approved by the BESE board.  At issue in this video is how the BESE election of 2011 was stacked with billionaire out-of-state dollars in favor of Jindal-approved “reform” candidates.  The end result was a BESE board Jindal favored and one that approved John White, and one that approved Common Core.

The video then goes on to explain how Supt. White is lowering the bar with test scores in order to make it appear as if Louisiana has made great gains.

Again, it’s worth a watch and is quite informative for anyone who still thinks Bobby Jindal walks on water.

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

By A.P. Dillon

If it looks like a political stunt and smells like a political stunt, then it stands to reason it is a political stunt.

President Obama’s big shift in rhetoric on testing this past week comes at a politically convenient time.  In a total course reversal, Obama wants a cap that limits the testing on children to 2% or less of their class time. That 2%sounds great, but really it’s not changing anything if one realizes that 2% of a school year’s class time translates to somewhere between 20 to 24 hours worth of testing. Like I said, this is a stunt.

This administration has beaten the drum of ‘test and punish’ for seven years right alongside tying test scores to teacher evaluations — a move that has had teachers unions up in arms nationwide.

What better way to quell the powerful, big donors like teachers unions just prior to a Presidential election year than to offer a ‘testing cap’?

It’s bait in an election cycle where education is taking the main stage with voters.

Likewise, it’s an opportunity for this administration to subtly hit Hillary Clinton over the head again, as she has come out supporting Common Core, which has been anchored to two testing consortia and ‘testing accountability measures’.

This isn’t just about hitting Hillary over the head. It’s also about beating Congress over the head. Again.

Remember, the House pushed forward with the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind, which strengthens over testing instead of stemming it. The reauthorization also solidified Common Core. It’s a nightmare.

A recent article at Front Page Magazine by Mary Grabar points this out. Here’s an excerpt, but do read the whole thing:

In a smooth move, the Obama administration called on Congress to fix a problem that had been foisted on the people without the consent of Congress—namely the national Common Core standards, even as the widely hated name was scrupulously avoided.  The Obama administration also told teachers to fix tests that they had not devised and were forced to administer.    

In an even smoother move, the New York Times summed up the blame this way:

The administration’s move seemed a reckoning on a two-decade push that began during the Bush administration and intensified under President Obama. Programs with aspirational names — No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top — were responding to swelling agreement among Democrats and Republicans that higher expectations and accountability could lift the performance of American students. . . . .”

Alas, the push began “during the Bush administration.”

Shorter: If JEB! needed a final coffin nail, here it comes.

Meanwhile, in Obama’s backyard of  Washington, D.C.,  only 1 in 10 DC students score ‘college ready’ on the new Common Core math tests.  The scores dropped in neighboring Maryland as well.  Let’s not even get into the results for Hispanic students; Obama has that one covered with a forced touchy-feely outreach program.

But for educrats like William Bushaw, who is the director of the agency overseeing the NAEP (Nations Report Card),  the narrative remains the same: Common Core is not to blame.

William Bushaw, executive director of the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees NAEP, tried to discourage connecting this year’s test results and Common Core in a telephone call with reporters Tuesday.

NAEP exams, while overlapping with the Common Core standards, are not tied to any specific curriculum or material used in public schools, Bushaw said.

He added that states might not have used Common Core in the same way.

We should not assume the Common Core has been evenly or persistently implemented in the country,” he said.
News and Observer 10/27/15

That’s an AMAZING admission right there, folks.  For the last 5 years, supporters of Common Core have maintained that the standards would be the same — everywhere.

About every five or so years, Educrats and Ed Reformers roll out some shiny new reform. None of these amazing reforms have moved the needle for our kids, nothing has changed for them.  Nothing has changed in the way these reformers window dress the failure of their amazing reform either; perhaps they took deck chair rearranging lessons in a past life.

It was vital kids be able to transfer from state to state and learn the exact same thing, even though the transient student population is less than 2% of the overall student population in the United States.

So not only was Common Core not being implemented the same way, it’s now clear the other major platform of Common Core has crumbled. That platform is consistent comparison of tests from state to state.

But don’t blame Common Core.  It’s the implementation. It’s the tests. It’s anything but the flawed and experimental standards that were rolled out rapid fire in order to yoke states into using them via the Race To The Top grant.

Having said all of that, Obama’s ‘test cap’ is an insulting band-aid on a machete wound that this administration has allowed to fester for the better part of his Presidency.

DM7 small LL1885A.P. Dillon resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina and is the founder of LadyLiberty1885.com.
Her current and past writing can also be found at IJ Review, StopCommonCoreNC.org, Heartland.org and Watchdog Wire NC.
Catch her on Twitter: @LadyLiberty1885

By A.P. Dillon

In North Carolina, I’m known by many as the ‘Stop Common Core lady’ and with good reason.

I’ve been fighting Common Core every single day and have written over 1,300 articles on Common Core in various places (including my personal blog and here at Da Tech Guy) over the course of the last three and a half years.

I have participated in the national Common Core event put on by Glenn Beck and the Blaze, We Will Not Conform. I’ve testified in front of the NC Legislature and will be giving public comment at the upcoming Common Core Commission meeting on June 15th.

I even recently had the opportunity to express my frustrations on Common Core to Presidential candidate, Senator Ted Cruz. I had him at “hello“.

As you can see, I’ve been busy.

This past week, Common Core turns five. So, how did I celebrate?

I yawned and continued doing exactly what I’ve done for years: Fight Common Core.

I did manage to say ‘Happy Birthday’, though:

 

I also managed to garner a shout out and a few links in a smartly written Common Core birthday post by Dr. Terry Stoops of the John Locke Foundation:

Judging from approved meeting minutes from 2009 and 2010, the discussions referenced above appear to have involved key members of the board, N.C. Department of Public Instruction staff, and then-Gov. Bev Perdue. State education officials spent little time engaging a diverse group of stakeholders or soliciting input from the public.

That is not to say that there was no feedback from parents, teachers, and concerned citizens. Before publication of the final version of the standards, the CoreStandards.org website served as a portal for public comment nationally.

Blogger extraordinaire Lady Liberty obtained, published, and analyzed feedback from the site. She found that, of the 8,731 comments collected on CoreStandards.org, only 195 came from North Carolina.

“Blogger extraordinaire”. HEH!  I suppose that goes hand in hand with being one of Da Tech Guy’s “Magnificent Seven” bloggers.

Glad to see the research and hard work I put in on exposing the ‘public feedback’ seeing some attention.

What I also hope receives more attention is that the Academic Standards Review Commission that is reviewing the Common Core in North Carolina will be hearing from the public at their upcoming meeting.  Spaces are limited, so parents should get moving if they want to express their concerns.

Whether Common Core turns 5 or 25, it makes no difference to those of us who have exposed what the standards really are: A fundamentally flawed experiment, created by unqualified individuals and trotted out to the public by unelected non-governmental organizations all with the financial backing of big business.

AP DillonA.P. Dillon resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina and is the founder of LadyLiberty1885.com.
Her current and past writing can also be found at IJ Review, StopCommonCoreNC.org and Watchdog Wire NC.
Catch her on Twitter: @LadyLiberty1885

By A.P. Dillon

Well, it would appear that an education outfit threw over $225k to Hillary Clinton for a speaking engagement back in March, 2014.

The article is short, go read it.

The outfit is called Academic Partnerships.  Their mission is the ‘globalization’ of everything Higher Education related.

Check out their advisory board.  As a Tarheel state resident, I noted former Governor and Common Core peddler, Jim Hunt, being on the list.

Bush and Hunt were also involved in a 2011 conference called, ‘Future of State Universities‘. Do not miss the video from Dr. Dick Ferguson (Former CEO of ACT) on ‘College Readiness’, with an introduction by Hunt touting the amazing Common Core.

Going back to the Hillary/Jeb Ed fest in 2014, Hunt helped put together this conference where Hillary raked in the cash. Note the creepy ‘one-world-order‘ type title of the conference:

The Globalization of Higher Education conference was put together by Bush and former North Carolina Democratic Gov. Jim Hunt, who’s worked with Clinton in the past
Politico, 3/24/2014

Not only was Clinton a speaker, Jeb Bush was too — and he invited her.

Former Republican Gov. of Florida Jeb Bush invited the former Democratic senator to the two-day event, marking their third appearance together this year. More than 250 leaders of both U.S. and international universities will continue to meet through Tuesday to discuss the potential American higher education has to serve millions of students around the world. Clinton was among the 15 speakers, who also include former North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
MSNBC, 3/24/14

We know what Hillary was paid. Was Jeb paid too?  Also, where does the money for all of these high priced speakers come from? How does Academic Partnerships make their money? Academic Partnerships appears to be a for-profit company.

Jeb and Hillary are more alike than not. They are certainly arm in arm on Education, ‘globalization’ and Common Core.

DM7 small LL1885A.P. Dillon resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina and is the founder of LadyLiberty1885.com.
Her current and past writing can also be found at IJ Review, StopCommonCoreNC.org and Watchdog Wire NC.
Catch her on Twitter: @LadyLiberty1885

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Louisiana may be making progress toward getting out of Common Core, but it won’t be in time to further Gov. Bobby Jindal’s presidential aspirations.

Last week a series of bills dubbed the Common Core Compromise began working through the Louisiana legislature.  State Representative Brett Geymann is the author of HB373 which lays the groundwork for new standards by requiring the state education board to draft new standards that would replace Common Core.  There is no guarantee that these new standards would be adopted, however, which is why Governor Jindal’s office hasn’t endorsed the compromise:

The bill (HB 373), authored by state Rep. Brett Geymann, R-Lake Charles, lays out a process for reviewing and possibly adopting new academic standards. Under the legislation, Louisiana could replace Common Core, but may also opt to keep the controversial educational benchmarks. While the review takes place, Common Core will continue to be used.  Under the current law, the BESE board is not bound by any review process and can thus circumvent the public input process; Geymann’s bill would change that.

Under Rep. Geymann’s proposed legislation, the state education board would begin reviewing and drafting new standards this summer; the public would have a say on the standards through a series of meetings and comment periods throughout the state and by February 2016 the standards would be posted on the BESE website and adopted in March 2016.  There is no guarantee that the new standards won’t strongly resemble Common Core, however, which seems to be Jindal’s objection.  But, at the very least, the public would get to weigh in on the new standards, a process not afforded to them under Common Core.  Supporters of the bill say that it is, at least, a path to scrapping Common Core.

The new standards, whatever they may look like, would be adopted by a brand new BESE board which would be sworn in January 2016; a clean slate all the way around as there will be a new Louisiana governor by then as well. The new governor could veto the new standards which means Louisiana would still be under Common Core.

Governor Jindal’s decision to withhold support of the bill is seen by some as political posturing:

Also, if the Common Core compromise was adopted, Jindal would essentially have no role in potentially getting rid of the standards. Under the proposed plan, the opportunity to drop Common Core wouldn’t actually come up until 2016 at the earliest, after Jindal leaves office. Under the agreement reached, Common Core would absolutely remain in place for the rest of Jindal’s tenure.

“This governor is not in the process [under the compromise plan],” said state Sen. Conrad Appel, R-Metairie, a Common Core supporter who helped put together the agreement with Geymann and others.

Jindal’s office hasn’t cited this timeline as a part of their objection to the plan, but it could make the Louisiana’s Common Core fight a trickier talking point for the governor in places like Iowa and New Hampshire, where he will be campaigning if he runs for president. Jindal wouldn’t be able to say Louisiana had gotten rid of Common Core under his watch.

“Bobby would like to be able to say ‘Yes. We ditched Common Core,'” said Pearson Cross, a political scientist based at the University of Louisiana -Lafayette, “This format doesn’t provide him with the kind of victory lap he would prefer.”

Jindal spokesman Kyle Plotkin explains Jindal’s reluctance to endorse the deal:

“First, we are concerned that the veto mechanism in the proposed legislation could set up a process where the state reverts to Common Core,” Plotkin said. “Secondly, there is concern about the commission set up by BESE to come up with new Louisiana standards because some believe it is filled with Common Core supporters.”

In the end, the best plan to get Louisiana out of Common Core seems to be this Common Core Compromise; Jindal’s own proposed Common Core legislation has been dropped.

Jindal’s concerns that Louisiana may still be stuck with Common Core, or Common Core-like standards, may be entirely justified, but at least for the time being, this seems to be the only way out.

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

By A.P. Dillon

If you’ve followed the Common Core debate over the last two to three years, one thing has been clear: Supporters of the standards can be relied on to mock opponents.
The display of ‘new tone‘, or shutuppery as I call it, has been very visible.

ArneDuncan war on moms memeExamples range from the Secretary of Education and his ‘white suburban moms‘ slam to a legislator hinting that opponents need tin foil hats and wanting to budget for “two rolls of high density aluminum to create headgear designed to deflect drone and/or black helicopter mind reading and control technology.”

One of my favorites is Governor John Kasich claiming that opposition is ‘just a runaway internet campaign’.

This brings me to the war of the Unicorns and Crawfish playing out in Louisiana.

The Advocate reported; emphasis added:

Using stuffed pink unicorns to dispel what they call myths about Common Core, officials of a group that backs the standards said Wednesday that they are launching a marketing campaign to defeat legislative efforts to repeal the overhaul.

The push is led by the Alliance for Better Classrooms political action committee, or ABC PAC.

The same group, with Baton Rouge contractor Lane Grigsby as one of its leaders, played a key role in the 2011 races for the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Organizers of the effort have distributed stuffed pink or white unicorns to state lawmakers that include tags that say “Unicorns are not real. And neither are most of the things you’ve heard about Common Core State Standards.”

Why pink unicorns?

Shane Vander Hart of Truth In American Education gave advocates the idea — as a joke.

Vander Hart wrote, “I’d like to point out I actually made this suggestion as some friendly PR advice for Common Core advocates when they were really struggling at the time not knowing exactly where to burn all of that Gates money.”

It is worth noting who is getting behind Alliance for Better Classrooms’s Unicorn campaign. High profile ‘Republicans’ like Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, and Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA).  Breitbart reported:

A group of Common Core supporters resorting to mocking parents and other opponents of the boondoggle education initiative is studded with likely GOP presidential candidates, establishment Republican governors, top corporations, and the primary private funder of Common Core himself–Bill Gates.

As parents by the thousands are opting their children out of the Common Core-aligned tests throughout the country, and many states are besieged by massive technological glitches that are preventing the tests from being administered at all, pro-Common Core headliners like Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, and Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) have joined together as a group called “Unicorns Are Not Real.”

Funded by PAC Alliance for Better Classrooms, the group purports to ridicule opponents of the unproven Common Core standards with the theme that “most of the things you’ve heard about Common Core” are not real, either.

By the way Bloomberg dumped $100k into Alliance for Better Classrooms in 2011 in an attempt to influence three runoff races for the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

While mocking and ridicule by supporters has been consistent, so it the reaction of opponents. They refuse to lay down and take it.

In response to the Unicorns, opponents to the Common Core punching back twice as hard.  The Advocate reported:

Not to be outdone by pink unicorns, Common Core opponents Wednesday distributed stuffed red crawfish to state lawmakers in arguing that the academic standards are riddled with problems.

“Our campaign is that crawfish are real and so are the problems with Common Core,” said Amy Lemoine, who lives in Lafayette.

“Parents across the state as well as educators have done their homework, done our research,” Lemoine said. “We have come across some real problems with Common Core based on facts, research, expert opinions. We just want our legislators to have those facts presented to them.”

[]

Backers of the crawfish campaign said that, unlike the unicorn movement, theirs does not rely on the support of big companies.

“This is not professional,” Lemoine said. “This is moms. We have pulled our talents together.”

“This is moms.” BOOM!
Yes, this is moms.
And dads, grandparents, students and teachers. And the majority of us vote.

By A.P. Dillon

Common Core and the high-stakes tests associated with it continue to see enormous backlash nationwide.

In former Senator Hillary Clinton’s New York, two bills have been filed to allow for parents to opt out of the tests, however parents aren’t waiting for state approvals and are opting their children out at an incredible rate.

In multiple districts in the lower Hudson Valley, opt out rates soared with Mahopac’s middle school seeing an opt out rate of 55%.

Jumping over to the other side of the country, New Mexico students who had been protesting the PARCC test also showed an overall opt out rate of 5%. Looking at the individual schools, the rates in some schools were much higher – ranging from 9 to 36%.

The overall message being sent here is that of parental rights and local control over federal dictates and the big money behind it from public-private partnerships, like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the publishing and testing behemoth, Pearson.

At an Education Roundtable this week in Iowa, Hillary Clinton’s support for the Common Core was crystal clear. So was Clinton’s position on those opposing Common Core:

“But your question is really a larger one. How did we end up at a point where we are so negative about the most important non-family enterprise in the raising of the next generation which is how our kids are educated?” – Caffeinated Thoughts

Got that? The education of our children is a “non-family enterprise”.
Clinton knows exactly how we ended up here; she was a part of it.

In response to a question about how Clinton would ‘bring the heart back into education’ in the United States, Clinton’s answer has ignited new fires.

You know when I think about the really unfortunate argument going on around Common Core it’s very painful because the Common Core started off as a bipartisan effort, it was actually non-partisan, it wasn’t politicized, it was trying to come up with a core of learning that we might expect students to achieve across our country no matter what kind of school district they were in, no matter how poor their family was, there wouldn’t be two tiers of education.  Everybody would be looking at what was to be learned and doing their best to try to achieve that,” Clinton responded. – Caffeinated Thoughts

Mercedes Schneider’s take down of these comments is not to be missed and this part of her response to Clinton’s remarks is almost exactly what I would have said:

“Implicit in Clinton’s message is that Common Core would have been just fine except that it became entangled in politics.

Get a clue, Hillary: Common Core was birthed in politics.

But I think you know that.”

Yes, she knows that all too well.  As I said earlier, she was a part of it.

Michelle Malkin reminds us of just how well Clinton knows this and where this data-driven, top-down approach to education has it roots — with NCEE, Hillary Clinton and her pal, Marc Tucker.

In the early 1990s, NCEE (established with $5 million in New York taxpayer-funded seed grants) paid Hillary Clinton more than $100,000 to direct the group’s “Workforce Skills Program” while she worked at the Rose Law Firm in Arkansas. After the Clintons moved into the White House, Tucker sent a now-infamous letter to Mrs. Clinton outlining a radical progressive plan “to remold the entire American system” through a centralized national-standards Trojan Horse.  – Michelle Malkin

In addition to NCEE, another group tied to Hillary Clinton should be on the radar: The New America Foundation (NAF).

NAF is a 501(c)3 that was started in 1999 by Ted Halstead and Steve McColl and whose board includes Jonathan Soros. After weeding through their site, the main purpose of NAF is to influence national Education policy at Congressional level; they’ve already spent millions on lobbying.

NAF, while mostly politically focused and is indisputably a Left leaning organization, NAF also has formulated ‘education policy‘ goals.

Some of the more visible backers include Bill Gates, George Soros and the Tides Foundation, Microsoft, Home Depot, Rockefeller, DISH Network, Google, Facebook, Arianna Huffington and the U.S. Dept. of State.

Watch the “Welcome To New America” video. You won’t have to go far into it to see Mrs. Clinton. The clip of ‘former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’ promoting NAF comes right after Senator John McCain’s glowing testimonial. Stick around, you’ll see Van Jones too.

Laugh.. cry.. or both?

AP DillonA.P. Dillon resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina and is the founder of LadyLiberty1885.com.
Her current and past writing can also be found at IJ Review, StopCommonCoreNC.org, Watchdog Wire NC

By A.P. Dillon

In New York, the energy from the movement by parents to opt their children out of standardized testing and push back against one-size-fits-all reforms like Common Core is fueling the same fights in the rest of the states.

What is going on in New York and elsewhere is not just a fight about high-stakes tests or Common Core. These two things are only a part of a bigger question: What is the purpose of education?

Our children are answering that question.

Ryan Lotocki of Frontier High School has some answers to that question and shares some of them in the video, “This is Genius“.

Lotocki also asks a question to which Common Core is not the solution:

“What’s the point to learn?
For the thrill.
And Common Core won’t solve anything, so take a chill pill”. 

While Lotocki is in high school in New York, a fourth grade girl named Sydney Smoot (from Jeb Bush’s Faux Education Utopia of Florida) gave a speech to a school board. This young lady’s speech about why the current FSA testing must stop was passionate, direct and the audience erupted in cheers at the end.

Also in Florida, an 8th grader tearfully spoke out about high-stakes testing (the FCAT)  in the state and Common Core. Her testimony was positively heartbreaking. Parents shouted out from the audience, “this is ridiculous!” and “you can’t do this to our children!

The video of that 8th grader closes with a few written statements, one of which reads, “And children, the future generation of our nation, are unable to live up to their full learning potential, based on a snapshot test day.

Are you listening, Ed Reformers? Corporations? Education ‘Non-profits’?


AP DillonA.P. Dillon resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina and is the founder ofLadyLiberty1885.com.
Her current and past writing can also be found at IJ Review, StopCommonCoreNC.org, Watchdog