Apr 15, 2014

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.”



Mar 20, 2014

Education Liberty Watch Co-Cponsoring David Barton Common Core Educational Event

Education Liberty Watch is pleased and proud to join with Florida Eagle Forum, Florida Family Policy Council, Liberty Counsel, and Heritage Action for America to bring nationally known historian David Barton of Wallbuilders, and many other speakers, including the authors of the Florida anti-Common Core legislation Rep, Debbie Mayfield and Senator Greg Evers, as well as Dr. Effrem, and the HSLDA movie Building the Machine to Orlando, Florida on March 22nd for the Operation Education Conference to discuss the dangers of Common Core. There will also be grassroots training.  The event is free, but you must register as space is limited.

Feb 16, 2014

Education Liberty Watch Speaks Out Against “Baby Common Core” in Utah

Gayle Ruzicka, president of Utah Eagle Forum and co-founder of Utahns Against Common Core, interviewed Education Liberty Watch president, Dr. Karen Effrem on February 13th about the expansive and invasive Utah early childhood bill, HB 96.  During that interview, Dr. Effrem discussed the many dangers of expanding these programs that include the imposition of radical early childhood curriculum standards on young children and the government takeover of private and religious childcare and preschool.  Most importantly, she described how early childhood programs are “Baby Common Core” or the cradle end of the “Cradle to Career” womb to tomb government control and tracking  of your child as part of the federal Race to the Top program that required the imposition of the Common Core standards on K-12, and is now doing the same with early childhood standards.

You may listen to the podcast of that interview and here are links to research, quotes, and analysis by Dr. Effrem on  this very important topic:

Jan 30, 2014

National Anti-Common Core Statement on the State School Chiefs’ Letter Regarding Data Privacy

We the undersigned organizations, representing millions of families and teachers across the nation, issue the following statement in response to the January 23rd, 2014 letter by thirty-four chief state school officers to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan regarding student data privacy:

This letter is their attempt to reassure the public that individual student data would not be given to the federal government by the states in the federal testing consortia, that there is a prohibition on the creation of a national database,  and that states will be in control of student assessment data.


Unfortunately, none of that is true.  As is shown in the formal response to this letter by Dr. Karen Effrem, president of Education Liberty Watch and co-founder of the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition, the assurances in this letter are essentially meaningless.  Current federal law and regulations, the cooperative agreement between the national testing consortia and the federal government, and statements in federal reports all show that the federal government will receive individual student data one way or the other.


“The letter is deceptive,” said Effrem.  “The states may not give the individual student test data to the federal government, but the cooperative agreement and the federal FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) regulations require or allow the consortia to give individual test and other student data to the feds without consent.”


“This is just a bait and switch effort meant to appease worried parents and politicians that are feeling the heat from angry constituents,” agreed Angela Davidson Weinzinger, founder of Parents and Educators Against Common Core.


As state and national grassroots organizations opposed to the implementation of the Common Core system of federally supported or controlled national standards, tests, and data collection that will be destructive to our children’s future and our nation’s freedom, we concur with this analysis.


The only way to truly protect our children’s data is to restore local control of education that has been usurped by the unconstitutional presence and actions of the US Department of Education.  Until that ultimate goal is reached, we will work to remove each of our states from the state longitudinal data systems and demand genuine state developed standards and assessments, instead of name changes, cosmetic adjustments to the Common Core standards, and deceptive reassurances about state control of test data.



Education Liberty Watch

*Advocates for Academic Freedom
*Advocates for Academic Freedom

*Advocates for Academic Freedom

Badass Parents Association

Badass Teachers Association

Home School Legal Defense Association

Parent-Led Reform

Parents and Educators Against Common Core

Special Ed Advocates to Stop Common Core



Alabama Eagle Forum

Alabamians United for Excellence in Education


     Arkansas Against Common Core


Core Concerns, Fort Collins


Stop Common Core in CT


Florida Stop Common Core Coalition

Florida Parents Against Common Core


Georgians to Stop Common Core


*Idaho Eagle Forum

Idahoans for Local Education


Iowans for Local Control


     Kansans Against Common Core


Parents and Educators Against Common Core Standards in Kentucky


MA Parents Interested in Common Core

Massachusetts Coalition for Superior Education Standards


Stop Common Core in Michigan


Minnesotans Against Common Core


Missouri Coalition Against Common Core


               Parent Led Reform Nevada

               *Stop Common Core Nevada


C5-NJ (the Committee to Combat the Common Core Curriculum-NJ)


NM Refuse the Tests


Stop Common Core in New York State


    *Stop Common Core in North Dakota


Parent Led Reform Oregon


      *Parents Involved in Education


South Dakota Against Common Core


*Tennessee Against Common Core

*Tennessee Eagle Forum


Parent Led Reform Texas

*Texas Eagle Forum


     *Utahns Against Common Core

     *Utah Eagle Forum


Stop Common Core in Virginia


    * West Virginia Against Common Core


Washington State Against Common Core Standards

Bottom of Form WYOMING

 Wyoming Freedom in Education

This statement continues to garner support across the country.  An * indicates organizations that signed on after the statement was first released.