Jul 19, 2014
ELW

We Will Not Conform – July 22nd at 8 PM EST – Please Join Us

Please join Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin, David Barton, and many others for this great “interactive experience where theater goers will work with experts like Michelle Malkin, David Barton and others in pursuit of real, tangible strategies to wake up our friends and neighbors and make our voices heard. This isn’t an evening about observing, it’s a chance to learn, share and engage with people as frustrated and motivated as you are.” Education Liberty Watch and our project organization The Florida Stop Common Core Coalition have been privileged to be involved in developing the action plan.  Please click HERE for theater locations and to buy tickets.

PLEASE attend with your family and friends, post the link on your social media sites, Tweet out messages like “I am a parent (grandparent, teacher, business owner, etc.) & #IWillNotConform.”   Consider getting little chalk boards from craft stores, writing that message, taking pictures and posting on social media.  Send them to us and we will post.  Let us send a very strong message that…

 

 

Jun 28, 2014
ELW

Rep. Bachmann Stands Against Newborn Genetic Data Collection Starting to be Used in CCSS Databases

Sadly, on June 24th, the US House passed HR 1281, a bill that nationalizes newborn genetic screening without consent on a voice vote without a roll call or amendments. There are many problems with the bill from a health care freedom and privacy standpoint that include as described by great expert on and champion  of medical freedom and privacy, Twila Brase of Citizens Council for Health Freedom in her alert:

1) No Consent Requirement.
2) Long-Term Surveillance.
3) Nationalized Newborn Screening.
4) Intrusive Labeling, Profiling and Sharing.
5) Genetic Research on Newborns.
6) Genetic Testing of Newborns for Conditions Not Yet Determined Appropriate for Newborn Screening.
7) $99.5 Million Price Tag.

The reason that Education Liberty Watch and our project organization, The Florida Stop Common Core Coalition are so concerned is because there is already at least one state program in place that is linking this newborn genetic data to early childhood and K-12 databases being implemented through the Race to the Top and Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge and linked to the Common Core standards and related tests.  Rhode Island said the following in their Early Learning Challenge grant application:

“Rhode Island’s proposed early learning data system will be linked to both the state’s K-12 data system and to the state’s universal newborn screening and health data system, helping to identify children with high needs, track participation in programs, and track children’s development and learning.”
The cradle to grave federal educational control is discussed in an Education Liberty Watch article about the Early Learning Challenge program.  Rhode Island’s program was also discussed and highlighted at the National Center for Education Statistics national data conference in Washington DC last summer detailed in this report.
However, Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN-6) showed great courage and grace under fire to bring up the consent and privacy problems even though the bill was going to pass. Hopefully, something can be done to remedy this in the appropriations process and links to Common Core databases can be stopped. Here is the video of  Mrs. Bachmann’s important and courageous speech:

Jun 27, 2014
ELW

Jeb Bush Faces Increasing Criticism and Isolation Over Common Core – #Stop Jeb Now

Karen R. Effrem, MD – Executive Director

Jeb Bush is becoming increasingly strident and isolated in his support for Common Core.  He is often met with protesters as he starts to act like a presidential candidate.  Most recently, as in his home state of Florida, he was greeted by parents from Ohioans Against Common Core and members of the Hamilton County Republican Party opposed to Common Core in Cincinnati. Hamilton County is rightly deemed  ”the most important county in the most important state” because of its bellweather function in elections.  Photos of the protest  along with this video are courtesy of Ted Stevenot:

 

Not only is Bush being protested, but he is also becoming more isolated on the political front as other proponents, and especially potential GOP presidential candidates have or are starting to back away or outright reject the standards as federal intrusion into what is constitutionally delimited as a state and local function.  Bush and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie are the only two potential 2016 candidates that are still openly supporting Common Core.

Most of the others have firmly rejected them like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum or Marco Rubio.  Bobby Jindal has changed his mind by vetoing a Common Core bill in Louisiana. Scott Walker has mentioned concerns about federal overreach, but has otherwise been non-committal.  Probably the worst of the bunch, other than Bush, are Mike Huckabee and Mike Pence who have respectively advocated or perpetrated deceptive “re-branding” or “lipstick on a pig” maneuvers like the Bush inspired and directed ones here in Florida.

According to a survey done by Public Policy Polling and reported in Sunshine State News, 50% of voters surveyed in Florida do not want Jeb Bush to run for president compared to 35% who do.  According to the article, “While 47 percent of Florida Republicans want Bush to run, 38 percent say he shouldn’t. ” And, between Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Bush, Rubio is preferred for president 45 to 41 percent by Republicans surveyed.

While not the singular issue, congressional primary candidates all over the nation have made resisting Common Core a prominent part of their campaigns.  Dr. Susan Berry lists them in her Breitbart post.  Particularly important is the stunning upset victory of obscure college professor David Brat over U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.  Common Core and immigration reform, i.e. amnesty, were both significant issues in that campaign and both issues that also find Jeb Bush opposed to the Republican base.  Tampa Bay Times political columnist Alex Leary labeled Bush one of the week’s political losers due to Cantor’s loss and National Journal writer Josh Kraushaarmentioned Common Core being a problematic issue for Bush in the column where he said:

Bush shares many of the same vulnerabilities as Cantor–a rusty political operation and being out of touch on the issues that animate conservatives.

Bush backed candidates have had problems or have had to distance themselves from Common Core.  In Florida, these include Florida Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto who lost a congressional primary and is now being challenged for her senate seat in large part due to Common Core and Carol Platt, who is backed by Bush in the FL-9 congressional primary and supports Common Core, but was a distant third in a straw poll after a congressional primary debate.   Even North Carolina Senate candidate Thom Tillis, though backed by Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, and the Chamber of Commerce, had to say he was opposed to Common Core in the primary.

Other media outlets are finally starting to write about the crony capitalist connections that are fueling Jeb Bush’s foundation and his potential presidential run after Michelle Malkin, Glenn Beck and activists across the country have written much about this issue.  Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times’ The Buzz column wrote an article outlining Bush’s connections to Bill Gates’ foundation and Microsoft, Pearson, GE, Apple, and Rupert Murdock’s part of Big Data called Amplify.

Feeling the powerful backlash from parents and teachers, even Bill Gates has started to at least acknowledge the many problems with implementation by calling for a two year moratorium on the high stakes testing consequences of the standards.   Yet, Bush is refusing even that kind of a mild delay.  State Impact quoted a Wall Street Journal piece (subscription required), saying:

“Pressing pause means stopping forward momentum,” said a letter released Monday by Mr. Bush’s nonprofit Foundation for Excellence in Education. “And when that happens, things can go backwards.”

The Twitter hashtag #StopJebNow was developed by the Ohio activists before their rally last week.  Given his dangerous promotion of the academically inferior, developmentally inappropriate, and psychologically manipulative Common Core standards, tests, and data collection system, we believe many activists across the nation will be using that as one more weapon in the war to save the hearts and minds of our precious children.

Apr 15, 2014
ELW

Was Pope Francis Calling Out Common Core When Criticizing “Guinea Pig” Education Programs?

Karen R. Effrem, MD  – President

On April 10th, The Vatican released the English translation of a letter from Pope Francis to The International Catholic Office for Children after receiving a delegation from that organization in Rome.  It was a letter that covered several important education, health and human rights issues that were discussed during the meeting.  Particularly revealing was what Pope Francis said about education:

At the same time, this entails supporting the right of parents in the moral and religious education of their children. And on this point, I would like to express my rejection of all types of educational experiments with children. One cannot experiment with children and young people. They are not laboratory guinea-pigs. The horrors of educational manipulation that we experienced in the great genocidal dictatorships of the 20th century have not disappeared; they keep their currency under different clothing that, with the pretension of modernity, force children and young people to walk on the dictatorial path of the “single thought.” A great educator said to me just over a week ago:“Sometimes one doesn’t know if with these projects – he was referring to concrete projects of education – you send a child to school or to a camp of re-education. (Emphasis added).

Although the pope did not use Common Core by name, there are so many elements described in this paragraph, that one definitely has to wonder:

“Experimental” - Bill Gates has infamously said, “It would be great if our education stuff worked, but that we probably won’t know for a decade.” Another huge Common Core proponent, Chester Finn of the Fordham Institute called it an experiment and likened it to building a plane while flying it.

Historical Failure of National Control of Education – Pope Francis rightly points out that national control of education does not work well for academics, economics or freedom. Even in the United States, education historian Larry Cuban said, “There’s really no good evidence that past educational reforms, such as revising state educational standards, have made much difference.” The 2014 Brown Center Report finds little evidence that Common Core will be effective.    Proponents of Common Core a refusing to recognize these facts.

“Single Thought” -  There are many reports from teachers coming in of scripted, uniform curriculum and complaints from parents about indoctrination with Common Core.

It appears that Pope Francis may have received or been briefed regarding Common Core via the excellent Catholic Scholars’ letter and the Guide for Parents to the Common Core from the Cardinal Newman Society.  Let us hope that this continues so that all students and teachers of all faiths are relieved from what our Catholic friend and activist Willie Guardiola in Florida describes as “The Curse of the Common Core.”

 

 

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