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Common Core - Good or Bad??

By the information included in messages delivered by the two guest speakers at the Concerned American Patriots of Jackson County meeting on Monday evening, Common Core is "Rotten to the Core". However, there are others who are involved with the School Systems of Florida who would argue that the Common Core concept, standards, and purpose does have merit and should be implemented.

At Monday's meeting the invocation was delivered by retired Air Force officer, "Cap" Pooser. After the opening prayer, Pooser set the tone of the meeting when he stated, "I will now read to you the portion of the U.S. Constitution which describes the role the Federal Government will play in the national education system." He then stood silently for about twenty seconds, and concluded by saying, "And that is what is in the Constitution." His point, of course, was that the founders intended for the Federal Government to have NO role in education.

The first speaker was Mrs.Vaninda Root, a long time teacher, concerned grand parent, and outspoken critic of the new Common Core curriculum which is being pushed into public schools by the Federal Department of Education. The first argument against the system is that it is being forced on public schools by the Federal Department of Education, and is mandatory if schools are receiving federal grant funding in the "Race to the Top" program.

"You work for the government. The government will take care of you and provide everything you need to live." These were some of the statements included in social study materials given to second graders under Common Core, according to Mrs. Root. "This is straight from socialistic and Marxist doctrines," she emphasized. Then she read several statements from fourth grade materials which were obviously written by environmental extremists. The term "sustainable development" was often cited, which is the key wording for proposed environmental regulations promoted by the United Nations in Agenda 21. Pornographic, sexually explicit materials were distributed to the audience as examples of literature which is being provided under Common Core as reading materials for high school students.

"Education Administrators will sell their souls for a government grant," Mrs. Root stated. "The problem is they are also selling the souls of our children and grandchildren."

"Social study materials under the Common Core curricula includes materials which come directly from the Earth Summit held by the UN where Agenda 21 was developed," she continued. "They demonize the raising and slaughter of large animals, plowing, irrigation, golf courses, agriculture, single family dwellings, refrigeration, air conditioning, and a long list of other common parts of life. The protection of wildlife and the environment is more important than mankind."

She described how Common Core is just one element of an ongoing evolution for the implementation of these broader objectives. The speaker stated that the funding for promotion and lobbying to get these philosophies implemented is coming from liberal, radical environmentalists combined with entities which are making fortunes from the "green movement" worldwide. She cited George Soros, Bill Gates, General Electric, Microsoft, Google, A T & T, and even Wall Mart as huge contributors.

Mrs. Root described the group which is actually determining the curricula materials which will be used for study and testing under Common Core. It finally evolved down to five individuals, most of whom had very radical, liberal backgrounds.

"There are 36 pages in the materials which are dedicated to the study of Islam. This religion is heralded in the materials for its accomplishments and contributions. A relatively small amount of study is dedicated to Christianity study, and the materials are harshly critical of this religion. In fact, Palm Beach County School Board refused shipment of social studies books because of the Islam content," she stated. "Additionally many elements of world and American history are rewritten and slanted away from creating patriotic appreciation of our nation's history".

"Bill Ayres who is a felony convicted radical bomber from the 1960's, who now is a professor at the University of Chicago, has played a key role in the development of the 'Smart Balance Assessment Tests', which are used in the new system. He is a recognized liberal, radical, communist who hates the American system," Root stated. "Florida educators are in a state of turmoil over these issues at this time."

Next, the second featured speaker, Debbie Gunnoe, with the Little Red, White & Blue Schoolhouses organization and author of "Stopping Common Core" took the podium. She stated that Common Core is a curriculum of socialism. She proposes that the State of Florida follow the examples of numerous other states to opt out of the Common Core program and instead work to develop a State of Florida testing system for use in admission evaluation for Florida Universities and Schools.

She cited several books which contain pornography which is being provided for ten year old students, such as "The Bluest Eye", and "Its Perfectly Normal." The state of Illinois was in an uproar over inclusion of answers to question posed in materials, asking "What is Government?" The answers provided stated that "Government is like a 'National Family' which will take care of all of your needs."

Gunnoe proposed that the education system return to Classical Education which was use prior to President Lyndon Johnson's term. "The state constitution of Florida gives the local school boards the right to determine the curriculum in local schools," she stated. She also pointed out that during former Governor Crist's term the law was changed to make the Commissioner of Education and the State Education Board members all appointed positions instead of allowing them to be elected.

Gunnoe recommended that everyone read an article on common core which just appeared in the "New American" magazine. She also stated that Governor Jeb Bush was a globalist, and had accepted $1 million in his organization for promotion of Common Core.

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Relative to Common Core

My response to the letter's and Executive Order Governor Scott issued relative to Common Core.

I applaud Governor Scott for recognizing the Florida State Constitution as it pertains to education and for terminating the PARCC contract as it relates to its being the fiscal agent (PARCC is also the company that is hired to write the student testing based on Common Core curriculum). I also applaud him for recognizing the security needs relating to the data collection on students, parents and teachers and for requiring three meetings throughout the State to be held to hear concerns of parents, educators and the community.

HOWEVER, he did not state that Common Core, an outcome based education system, would not be implemented. Common Core material is protected copyright; therefore, as long as Common Core is the standard of the State, local school boards, and parents cannot change the content. Standards drive curriculum and curriculum drives tests. Text books are based on curriculum, and publishers are writing text books that implement Common Core standards.

The Governor addressed the security concerns but not the need for the data collection of over 400 items on students, teachers and parents that is an overreach and invasion of privacy. Data such as: political affiliations or beliefs of the student or parent, sexual behavior or attitudes, religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or of the student's parent, income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program), and legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers to name a few. The law needs to be changed to not only protect the privacy of the student, parents and teachers, and to prohibit data collection on non-academic religious, medical, political, psychological, social or biometric data.

If Americans want freedom for their children and grandchildren, they must take a stand before it is too late.

Get informed, get involved, our children are worth the effort.

Elaine Thompson

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Gov Scott Announces Decision to Withdraw from PARCC

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Following the Governor's Education Summit in Tampa a few weeks ago, Governor Rick Scott sent a letter to State Board of Education Chairman Gary Chartrand today, outlining six steps for the board to:

1) Maintain high education standards; and,
2) Remove the state from federal intrusion in education policy.

To protect Florida from the federal government's overreach in education policy, Governor Scott also sent a letter today to U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan, announcing the state's decision to withdraw from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). Lastly, the Governor also released an Executive Order today announcing policy improvements that were discussed in the Governor's Education Summit.

Governor Scott said, "We listened to many people who are passionate about making Florida's education system the best in the world during our Education Summit in Tampa a few weeks ago. The summit's discussions were so robust and diverse that they have led to three actions today. First, I sent a letter to Chairman Chartrand outlining a six-step course forward for Florida to ensure we continue to hold our students to high education standards. Excellence in education begins with high expectations for our students. Second, I told the federal government we are rejecting their overreach into our state education system by withdrawing from PARCC. Last, I issued an executive order to address state assessments, ensure student data security and support a transparent and understandable school accountability system.

"While the debate surrounding Common Core Standards has become polarized into a 'yes' or 'no' discussion, we heard during the Education Summit that most education leaders agreed on two things. We agree that we should say 'yes' to high standards for Florida students and 'no' to the federal government's overreach into our education system. Therefore, I notified the federal government that Florida would be withdrawing from PARCC, and at the same time we will hold public comment sessions to receive input on any alterations that should be made to the current Common Core Standards. We are committed to maintaining high standards for our students. Period. The six steps outlined to the Board of Education will help Florida move forward in maintaining exceptionally high standards while removing federal intrusion into our education system."

Governor Scott's letter to Florida Board of Education Chairman Gary Chartrand

Governor Scott's letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Governor Scott's Executive Order: Education Accountability Summit Action Plan

State Board of Education Members Applaud Governor's Leadership in Support of High Standards

Gary Chartrand, Chair, Florida State Board of Education said, "Governor Scott is once again setting the bar high for our education system, and has listened to Florida educators in the decision process for Florida's standards. I look forward to working with the Governor, Commissioner Stewart and educators around the state to craft the best plan for Florida."

John R. Padgett, Vice Chair, Florida State Board of Education said, "There are too many federal mandates and I applaud Governor Scott for his commitment to making sure Florida students succeed. He realizes that our students must have the highest level standards in order to compete with their peers around the world."

Sally Bradshaw, Florida State Board of Education said, "I was pleased to see the Governor take a strong stand in favor of Florida's existing high standards today, standards that should be focused on Florida's students and not on process or politics. We can and will continue to push for even higher standards and a system that ensures that Florida's students continue to excel."

John A. Colón, Florida State Board of Education said, "Businesses need highly-skilled and talented employees. The Governor's announcement today will ensure Florida has the best standards to prepare our students to be competitive in a global marketplace."

Dr. Ada Armas, Florida State Board of Education said, "I look forward to working with Governor Scott in creating a pathway for Florida students. Together we can create the best path for Florida's students."

Barbara Feingold, Florida State Board of Education said, "Our future job force are in our classrooms today. It is imperative we have the highest level of standards for our students to be prepared to compete in the global marketplace. Governor Scott's number one concern and goal is achieving the best quality of education for Florida's students measured against national and international standards."

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