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TN: Parent banned from school for protecting his daughter from harm

In Schools on January 28, 2014 at 11:36 AM

TN: Parent banned from school for protecting his daughter from harm

January 28, 2014
0808 am

White House,Tennessee: A city approximately 22 miles north of Nashville Tennessee, nestled below the Kentucky line is a Robertson County school system that by it’s actions, has once again brought national attention to it’s liberal policies.

A protective father has been banned from school property for allegedly protecting his daughter from harm as she exits the school for routine pick up.

Damon Holligan (father) observed his daughter strolling to her fathers vehicle as she has probably done many times before.

The casual stroll, observed by Holligan, turned violent for his daughter as he witnessed her being assaulted by a male child as she was exiting the secure confines of her elementary school on her way home.

A male child was grabbing his daughters arm and kicking her in the legs, according to reports.

Mr Holligan I am guessing instinctively reacted to these threats upon his daughters safety and exited his vehicle running to her side to protect her from further harm and securing the area.

The male perpetrator according to Mr Holligan ran away and was later confronted and asked why he would do such a thing to his daughter and demanded an apology.

Police reports state that Mr Holligan was the one that found the male child and asked for an apology but sadly now it’s his word against the schools and will more than likely be determined in a court of law.

Seems reasonable doesn’t it? A father seeing his daughter being abused, running to her side, stopping the assault, verbally confronting the person doing the assault and preventing further harm, right?

In a pre modern education era, this would have been the end of the discussion. Damon and his daughter would return home, the offender knowing he didn’t get away with the crime and all is well, right? Afraid not!

What happens next will blow you away and leave you scratching your head.

Two days after this event, the Principal Kathy Schwab reportedly responded by calling a meeting to discuss the events surrounding Damon and his daughter.
Principal Schwab notified the father that he could not again step on to school property.

“She immediately handed me a letter saying I was no longer allowed on the grounds of the school property until further notice because it was inappropriate for me to even say anything,” Holligan said.

He says the boy who kicked his daughter was never punished and no punishment has been reported in local media to date.

“She doesn’t understand why she’s the one who got physically assaulted and yet now her daddy can’t come to lunch with her,” Holligan said.

Mr Holligan left the impression he plans to sue stating that the school failed to enforce it’s own rules and policies which ended with the Principals verdict being tossed in the wrong direction.

BCN post assessment note:

Inside a liberal machine chocked full of indoctrination with Common Core type equality policies and reasoning lies an underlying vein of distorted equality for all, a judgement that leaves all on a level playing field although the rules of the school demand otherwise, the laws of nature and the consequences of an aggressive child are challenging the debate despite rationale calling for a differing and appropriate outcome.

The school inflicting a banning of a father from his daughters own school leaves one to question the effectiveness of policy intended to protect our children inside a public educational device.

A piecemeal socialist quilt of blind and partial justice, sprinkled with “a trophy for all” mentality is distorting our God given ability of the species to balance themselves with natural progression of the fittest, the best known law of nature given to us by our creator.

By progressive design, a vehicle inside our schools is rolling over into our social environment, overwhelming and perhaps is unintentionally leaving the stronger, more aggressive subject as the protected by liberal policy. More often than not this is leaving the victim wounded and the perpetrator the victor. With this determination and analysis neither ends up being protected.

The overwhelming conclusion is this, the victim, in this case, Damon Holligan and his child is left with numerous questions placed into a forced situation where their rights were overlooked by a Principal that yielded to political correctness instead of reasonable action calling for a balanced and just judgement.

The intent to protect the rights of his daughter and her father, who chose to rightfully protect his daughter are being overlooked and the privilege and will of the father to protect his child is being squelched.

We are staring at the newest most progressive version of education in America, in Tennessee, and it should concern every parent and citizen of this great state and nation.

We now have a government controlled indoctrination engine that is purring loudly and is saturating our children’s brains with socialistic
propaganda.

A system where parents and the school board have less and less say so in the decisions that affect our kids.

A system where parents input is no longer valued and its leaving bureaucrats with top down decision making to drive decisions that affect our children.  We are no longer at an empasse where we are thinking this may happen, it is upon us now and is showing it’s ugly fangs.

We now have a system that breeds an environment of secularism, indoctrination and liberal left leaning policies controlled by our federal government.

I will be the first to say let the kids sort this out and allow peer pressure to flush bullies out with natural progression.

Before objectors attack and they will because exposure of the truth in any form brings out vitriolic emotions from the left, even to the point of sadistic and violent.  With that said, I do not condone violence and practice that daily. I do believe God has given us the ability to recognize right and wrong and I also believe that certain repercussions and consequences accompany those decisions.

I also believe that long before a Principal is allowed to inflict his or her will on me or my child with their pre determined set of values allow me to inject this comment.

If two kids get into an argument, as in the old days, we used to allow them to sort it out individually where the offender ended up getting a strong message that the next time he or she decides to be the aggressor there will be a certain consequence and action rendered when you choose to bully or harm another child.

I am not advocating harm for harm but there used to be a system that took care of a bully and didn’t result in a father being banned from eating lunch with his daughter and the school granting the prepetrator a free pass because social justice and equality to all does not allow for a judgement of bad behavior because someone, although the guilty will be offended or his/her social structure may become disrupted.

I know at least 99 percent of my readers will see this point of view, the other one percent consider your self a part of the problem and not the solution.

The liberal left with the establishment of popular “anti bullying”, “anti violence”, “zero tolerance” and “social equality” policies have created a very litigious environment with the advent that we all should be treated the same regardless of the crime.

Little boys and girls, children of parents looking for equality under liberal banners have trapped the very children they untended to protect.

The children are now left at a disadvantage and powerless because every choice is somehow muted by indecision.

We live in a world where stiff policies often leave the victim and their protectors vulnerable to backlash from the equality police as parents/students, our children, assert their individual rights working within this rigid system of equality.

There is no system intact to protect the afflicted. The system that calls for equality presents a duality and an observance of punitive action for those asserting their inalienable rights inside a machine that favors the aggressor with liberal policies and judgement based on the fact that involvement and intervention somehow makes you a guilty party.

Our educational system is swaying too far to the left and is leaving children broken and confused.

P.S.- It is also interesting to note from the links below that the same school district that is rendering this “inequality” of justice upon it’s parents and students is the same system that is not allowing the 10 commandments to be displayed and the 5 Pillars of Islam with Jihad, Holy War upon Christians to be displayed upon it’s walls.

This Common Core exercise in “tolerance” and “equality” is acceptable for all except those being offended or sanitized.

Yes, this particular incident has nothing to do with Islam but the comparison is being made only to show the lack of disparity and annihilation of some people rights are diminishing inside a system that favors equality, banishing our civil liberties for a minority.

Inside a constitutional republic there should be equality and a sovereign balance. Sadly inside a democracy where the whims of a few are saddled with liberal alienation inside a communistic socialist system is emerging and the benefactor is the social trapping of the day, the parent protecting their child.

.http://www.wrcbtv.com/story/24534997/dad-says-hes-being-punished-by-school-for-protecting-daughter

Principal and Staff: Kathy Schwab, Principal
http://www.rcstn.net/hes/faculty_and_staff

Principal  Schwab and Vice Principal email addresses:

Principal
Ms. Kathy Schwab      kathy.schwab@rcstn.net

Assistant Principal
Ms. Angie Freye         angie.freye@rcstn.net

Robertson County anti bullying policy which admonishes kicking, fighting, hitting, pushing and threats.
http://www.rcstn.net/student.services/files/bully-harassment_procedure_2012-13-2.pdf

5 Pillars of Islam to include 6th Pillar, Jihad, to be displayed on Robertson Counties, Springfield High School.
https://bradleycountynews.wordpress.com/2013/08/09/tennessee-5-pillars-of-islam-replace-10-commandments-in-public-school-tolerance-reigns-supreme/

Araini of Islamic Mosque in nearby Robertson County states community has seen 156 percent growth in Muslim families and 2 families per month converting to Islam.
http://www.wkrn.com/story/12730407/islamic-centers-spurred-by-muslim-population-growth

Movoto Real Estates 16th best places to live:
http://cityofwhitehouse.com/news/372-white-house-ranks-sixteen-in-best-places-in-tennessee

Post note: This post as with all my blogs are my opinion only. I base my opinion and expression on what I see happening all around me only a daily basis. These posts should be taken at face value and realize it is a culmination of many hours of research with every attempt to be factual, fair, without harm and accurate. With this said, although my opinion may vary from your opinion this does not make you wrong and me right or vica versa, it just means we have a differing view. Simply disagreeing with my point of view does not make the story untrue and unfactual.  I usually dont edit my content or remove posts. I was asked recently to remove a mothers childs name and the school she attends from this blog entry. I was approached in a very nice and professional manner and because I am also a parent with school age children, I reviewed the content and saw that this was a reasonable request and I have granted this mothers wishes. She made a very good argument as to why select content should be removed. I apologize for any inconvenience my words may have caused. It was the best decision for all involved. This blog has been edited and re published for this reason. I learn and grow from worthy advice. Thanks and have a great day.

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Chamber conducts “private” meeting about Common Core, parents forced to stand outside and protest

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2013 at 6:15 PM

Chamber conducts “private” meeting about Common Core, parents forced to stand outside and protest

11/19/2013

A protest is planned this Friday as once again a closed meeting is being conducted inside a taxpayer funded (yes the COC is partially funded with taxpayer revenue) venue about Common Core away from the general public.

If this does not convince you that something sinister is happening you will never be convinced of it. This is the second time in as many weeks that “private” meetings are being held and the public is not being invited about Common Core.

It is obvious that this is a deliberate attempt to slide an agenda into place without parent or school board influence or input. Corporatism and Nationalism of our schools are one of the biggest mistakes that can be made that affects our children.

The subversive and covert actions by these sinister organizations with a hidden agenda is surely enough to convince you that something is up and you are not supposed to know about it.

Here is a support letter from the Chamber of Commerce as it relates to Common Core. 

Corporate America and Big expansive Government is now running the show and the direction of our schools. School board influence is dwindling and parents can no longer direct decision making. This is a very sad statement.
http://www.corestandards.org/assets/k12_statements/StatementK12USChamberofCommerce.pdf

A message from Karen Bracken of Tennessee Against Common Core, tnacc.net .

Friends,
 
On Friday, November 22, 2013 the Cleveland/Bradley County Chamber of Commerce will be conducting a closed meeting for members only about Common Core with representatives from SCORE.  We plan to conduct an anti-Common Core rally outside the meeting.
 
We are speaking with Channel 12 and Times Free Press to cover the rally.  SO PLEASE grab your neighbors and join us on Friday, at 8:30am.   We suggest parking by Starbucks.  We will all gather there and then walk to the area where we will conduct our rally (the Chamber office is located in the same shopping center as Starbucks).   LETS SEND A HUGE LOUD message to the Chamber and to SCORE.
 
The Cleveland Starbucks is located at 653 West Inman St., Cleveland, TN.   Throw a coat on the kids and bring them with you.
 
Please share this information with neighbors, friends and relatives in the Bradley County area that might be interested in supporting our efforts.  Thanks.
 
Karen Bracken
http://www.tnacc.net
http://www.americadontforget.com
215-692-2147

RHEE-diculous education reform blood money leaves many local politicians in TN with fat pockets

In Uncategorized on October 31, 2013 at 7:22 AM

RHEE-diculous education reform blood money leaves many local politicians in TN with fat pockets

It’s time for the parents, teachers and school administrators to stand up to the bullies in our government and take back our schools. 

They, people like Rhee and Huffman, are not interested in making sure that our children are getting a good education in our public schools or even creating education reform that will truly make a difference. 

They are all about the money and what it will do for them and their political careers. 

We need to kick them out of Tennessee, too, and they can take Haslam with them. He is no friend to the public school system and needs to be replaced! Submitted as a comment by By: kellyfretz on 1/16/13 at 10:23, Nashville City Paper.

Letter to the editor submission by Karen Bracken,
http://www.tnacc.net/

Many months ago I researched the campaign contributions from Students First received by TN legislators (all of them).  

What I found convinced me that we have special interest groups influencing the decisions made in Nashville.   

At the time I had no idea that SF had targeted TN to push their progressive agenda.  This explains why the push to increase Charters in TN.   

Kevin Huffman (xhubby to Rhee-both from Teach For America) Chris Barbic – Director Achievement School District  (Broad Academy graduate and Teach For America) is a dangerous combination in Tennessee that must be ended.   

I have only shared my information with a few activists in TN.  I had also found and shared the information about Student’s First and their 990’s.  I was waiting for the appropriate time to share my research with everyone.
 
Well an article was just released and it exposes some of our legislators (my spreadsheet reveals many more than the article) and the fact they cannot and will not ever support our efforts to repeal Common Core.  WE MUST GET THEM OUT OF OFFICE. 

 Dolores Gresham and Sen. Dickerson need to be at the top of the list. Dickerson is a doctor. First term in office he gets a prime committee appointment and is given the position of 2nd Vice Chair????   It is time for committee reform. 

We have people making decisions about our children’s education that know nothing about education. Even to this day most remain clueless about Common Core.  

We need to ensure that people assigned to committees have experience in the field and they are not taking contributions from people or companies that can influence the decisions of the committee. Anyone that would like to see my spreadsheet can do so upon request.
 
PLEASE read the article below and share it with everyone.  It is time to pay the piper.  Read all the way through.  The end is the shocker and this author is NOT from Tennessee.

So why so much included in her article about Tennessee?  Could it be corruption abounds in Tennessee legislature?
 
 Karen
 
—–Original Message—–
From: 
Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 1:10am
To: karen.bracken@reagan.com
Subject: [New post] How About Some Rhee-lated Information from Tax Documents?

How About Some Rhee-lated Information from Tax Documents?
by deustch29

I have been reading tax forms. 990s– the form of the nonprofit organization (no 1040s for them).
It might sound boring, but I guess that all depends upon whose tax forms they are.

Two 990s are the subject of this post. The first is the 2011 (August 2011 to July 2012) 990 for Michelle Rhee’s reform lobbying organization, StudentsFirst (SF). The second is the 2011 990 from the lesser-known SF sister organization, StudentsFirst Institute (SFI).  Both forms were signed by Michelle Rhee on June 13, 2013 and filed with the IRS in Ogden UT on June 18, 2013.

The Best of Both Worlds: 501(c)3 and 501(c)4
Both SF and SFI are nonprofits. However, SF is a 501(c)4, and SFI, a 501(c)3. A 501(c)3 is limited in the percent of its budget that it can devote to lobbying. (Violation of this restriction is the reason that Common Cause filed its whistleblower complaint with the IRS against the American Legislative Exchange Council [ALEC] in April 2012.) However, a 501(c)4 does not have such a restriction. Therefore, SFI needs SF in order to unleash as much lobbying as it likes in statehouses around the country. 

Here is the 501(c)4 freedom that causes reformer faces to light up:
501(c)(4) organizations can engage in unlimited lobbying so long as it pertains to the organization’s mission. 

501(c)(3) organizations are not permitted to engage in political activity, endorse or oppose political candidates, or donate money or time to political campaigns, but 501(c)(4) organizations can do all of the above. [Emphasis added.]

One might wonder why Rhee is operating both 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 organizations. After all, why not just operate SF, the 501(c)4, if the goal is unregulated lobbying?

Tax deductions.  As a 501(c)3, SFI allows for deductions not allowed to the SF 501(c)4:

In regards to supporting these organizations, donations made to 501(c)(3) organizations are deductible to the full extent of the law as charitable contributions. Donations made to 501(c)(4) organizations are not deductible, though some businesses who make these contributions often write them off as advertising or business expenses. …

If you want the best of both worlds, you can have two separate but affiliated organizations – one a charitable 501(c)(3) and the other a 501(c)(4) lobbying arm. 

Many trade organizations lobby extensively on behalf of their members, but have an affiliated 501(c)(3) foundation for charitable giving and educational purposes. [Emphasis added.]
Rhee wants “the best of both worlds.”

(Rhee has a second 501(c)4, the Hartford, CT-based Great New England Public Schools Alliance (GNEPSA). GNEPSA portrays itself as “grass roots.” However, it contributors include NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the self-proclaimed “most trusted educator” Steve Perry, and, of course, SF.)

Rhee Is on a Mission
Each of Rhee’s two tax forms requires the respective organization to state its mission. Here’s the SF mission as stated on its 2011 990:
Our mission is to build a movement  to defend the interests of children in public education and pursue transformative reform so that America has the best education system in the world.

And the SFI mission, as noted on its 2011 990:
Our mission is to research and develop model policies that defend the interest of children in public education and pursue transformative reform, so that America has the best education system in the world.

One should realize that StudentsFirst was founded by the same Michelle Rhee who made children’s mouths bleed (taping her students mouths in class) and spoke casually (and fondly) of the incident years later to an audience of new teachers. 

This is the same Michelle Rhee seriously implicated in cheating during her time as DC chancellor and who was never thoroughly and competently investigated.  

I note as much in my post on the highly-questionable DC IMPACT study. (Whistleblower and former DC principal Adell Cotherne discusses the shoddy nature of DC teacher evaluation in this interview.)

In order to gain a better sense of the SF “mission,” consider this excerpt from Reuters reporter Stephanie Simon:
Schools don’t need more money, Rhee says; they need to be held accountable for how they spend it.
Rhee wants all teachers to be evaluated in large measure by how much they can boost their students’ scores on standardized tests. 

Scores are fed into a formula that rates how much “value” a teacher has added to each student over the year. 

Rhee says teachers who consistently don’t add value “SHOULD BE FIRED;” those who do well should be rewarded with six-figure salaries.

She has also successfully pushed legislation in several states, including Florida, Michigan, Nevada and Tennessee, to abolish seniority systems that protect veteran teachers and put rookies first in line for layoffs without regard to job performance.

Also high on Rhee’s agenda: giving parents more choices. She calls for expanding charter schools, which are publicly funded but often run by private companies. 

She wants to let parents seize control of failing public schools and push out most of the staff. (Parent trigger?, added for emphasis)

She also supports tax-funded vouchers, which can be used to pay private and parochial school tuition, for families living in neighborhoods with poor public schools. [Emphasis added.]

In short, Rhee is full speed ahead for “reforms” that in no way touch her life. She has millions. She has not been held accountable for cheating in DC. 

Via her TFA experience, Rhee exited the classroom before she faced any evaluation– and she was never held accountable for taping her students’ mouths. 

She has been politically elevated by philanthropic reform money– no seniority issues for her. 

And she is for charters, vouchers, and “parent trigger”– the consequences of which do not touch her privileged children.

Rhee is also connected to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), which SF endorses.

And now for those 990s.
The 990s: Overall Revenue and Top Three Program Services

In 2010, SF reported $4.6 million in revenue. The amount rose to $15.6 million in 2011.

In 2010, SFI reported $3 million in revenue, which rose to $13 million in 2011.

In 2012, SF reported the following as its first of its “three largest program services”:

StudentsFirst has an active presence in state legislatures where they work to address legislative policies that promote transformative reform concerning teacher quality, parental empowerment, and fiscal responsibility. 

The team works to ensure proposed legislation meets the goal of transformative education reform. 

StudentsFirst conducts research, prepares policy briefings, hosts forums for the public and meets with legislators and members of their staff to discuss specific education strategies.  Expenses: $4,116,572 [Emphasis added.]

In the second “program service,” SF dares to write that its goal is to “empower teachers,” among others, to “create awareness about education issues and policies.” The expense: $3,300,635.

Finally, its third “service” is “to engage in electoral activity through direct support… and paid media campaigns including independent expenditures in support of candidates to further education reform.” [Emphasis added.]  The expense: $3,289,994.

In other words, SF is purchasing its will in public education.

SF is a lobbying machine.

As for SFI, its top three program expenses do not include the language of lobbying; however, SFI does report on “public policy development methods and analyses”; “oped articles,” and “meetings, events, and workshops.” The total top three expense: $6,987,719.

Let’s talk about “the” board.
SF and SFI: 

Two Organizations; One Board

Both SF and SFI share the same 23-member board. 

Listed below are the paid board members, including their titles and combined compensation. 

The combined SF and SFI hours for all listed below total 40 per week.

Michelle Rhee, Founder, CEO, and Director   $306,063

Dmitri Mehlhorn, Chief Operating Officer   $230,019

Enoch Woodhouse, VP of Operations   $89,027

Talya Stein, VP of Development   $187,221

Eric Lerum, VP of National Policy  $120,566

Maynappan Sevugan, VP of Communications   $115,893

Timothy Melton, VP of Legislative Affairs  $59,829

Ximena Hartsock, Director of Outreach   $163,249

Kathleen Delaski, Senior Advisor  $166,906

Katherine Gottfredson, National Policy/Legislation Manager   $134,476

Dana Peterson, State Director,   $126,295

Mafara Hobson, Manager, National Marketing   $123,835

Bridget Davis, State and Issue Manager   $119,178.

Do not confuse “nonprofit” with “volunteer.” There is money to be made as a compensated nonprofit board member.

Amid public questioning regarding Rhee’s “Democrat” status, in 2013, three Democrat board members– Stein, Sevugan, and Hartsock– resigned from SF.

Some additional noteworthy information on SF/SFI compensated board members: 

Melhorn is the chief operating officer of Bloomberg Law; 

Woodhouse is a former DC Public Schools Office of Data and Accountability employee.

Eric Lerum, author of the SF position article on CCSS, is VP of National Policy for the Fordham Institute.

As for the non-compensated SF/SFI board members, a number are celebrities: Connie Chung, Bill Cosby, Jennifer Johnson, Jalen Rose. 

Blair Taylor is chief community officer for Starbuck’s Coffee and a member of the National Assessment Governing Board (as in the Nation’s Report Card). 

Joel Klein, the Bloomberg-appointed, former NY schools chancellor, is on the SF/FI board. It is only fitting since Klein influenced former DC Mayor Adrien Fenty to hire Rhee as chancellor.

Three non-compensated SF/SFI board members remain:  David Coleman, Jason Zimba, and Ann-Margaret Michael.

Both the SF and SFI FY2011 990s allude to three board members “sharing a common employer” and that such “did not impact the organization’s decision to choose them as members of the board of directors.”
I’ll bet.

The “common employer” is not named in either tax document.
Student Achievement Partners.

For a detailed account of the highly nondemocratic choreography that is CCSS, see the post in which I examine the CCSS Memorandum of Understanding.

Student Achievement Partners is at the center of CCSS. They even refer to themselves as “lead architects” of CCSS on their website.

All three Student Achievement Partners “employees” left the SF/SFI boards effective June 30, 2012.

I think they were there in the first place in order to lobby for their product– CCSS.
Mission accomplished.

SF 2011 Campaign Contributions;
SF inserts itself in local political races by sending cash to reform-friendly candidates. As such, SF is doing its best to purchase democracy.

Below is a partial list of individuals/ organizations receiving SF campaign contributions and the amounts given. 

I have restricted my list to the first 15 SF campaign contributions on the list. 

However, the full list includes of 170 contributions ranging from $300 to $2 million. (See pages 41 thru 53 of the SF 2011 990 for the full list.)

Parents and Teachers for Putting Students First (San Rafael, CA)   $2 million

Better Education for NJ Kids, Inc.  (New Brunswick, NJ)  $200,000

MI Republican Admin Account (Lansing, MI)  $40,000

Ferrell Haile for Senate (Gallatin, TN)   $10,000

House Republican Caucus (Nashville, TN)   $10,000

Senate Republican Caucus (Nashville, TN)   $10,000

State Representative Kevin Brooks, (Cleveland TN), $5,000 dollars. (added for emphasis)

Steve Dickerson for State Senate (Nashville, TN)   $10,000

Friends of Dolores Gresham (Somerville, TN)   $8500

Friends of Joey Hensely (Hohenwald, TN)   $8500

Aspire Michigan (China, MI)   $7500

Principle Centered Leadership Committee (Miami, FL)   $7000

Citizens to Elect Jamilah Nasheed (St. Louis, MO)   $6700

Barry Doss for State Representative (Covington, TN)  $6500

Bill Spivey for State Representative (Lewisburg, TN)   $6500

Committee to Elect Richard Montgomery (Sevierville, TN)   $6500

A quick read of the full list shows that SF focused its 2011 contributions to political races in Tennessee, Florida, Missouri, and Georgia.

How Much to Buy America?

In reading these tax documents, I cannot help but wonder if our democracy is such a farce that it will crumble beneath the weight of the wallets of the wealthy removed. I wonder what it will take for them to realize that they are foolishly destroying the foundation upon which they themselves stand. In their arrogant fiscal elevation they forget that even they require the foundational institutions that form our democracy– public education being one such institution.

Handing millions over to the likes of Michelle Rhee is idiocy. Rhee is nothing more than some Frankenstein creation of bored philanthropy.  

Be careful, mainstream America. In promoting Rhee, you are confusing cash flow for substance.

Here’s a hint: When you hear that a candidate in a local election is being outspent by 10- or 20-to-1, vote for that candidate.
 
BCN Note:
We also could benefit from Legislators that are not on the dole with huge special interests and lobbyist. 

We need a return to a system where our teachers are paid to teach, our students are there to learn, parents have a say so, citizens are seeing accountability with their tax dollars and elected officials are not so self serving with palms outstretched taking any “blood” money a vested groups lays out.

I apologize for the length of this blog but details and researching the truth gets lengthy on occasion.

http://deutsch29.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/how-about-some-rhee-lated-information-from-tax-documents/

Local State Representatives receive  pocket money, bribes for radical education reform.

http://nashvillecitypaper.com/content/city-news/michelle-rhee-tn-pac-aids-three-metro-school-board-candidates

http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/content/city-news/reforms-table-rhees-studentsfirst-gives-generously-legislative-campaigns

63 Superintendents draft “No Confidence” petition to Huffman’s radical reform

In Uncategorized on September 17, 2013 at 3:06 AM

63 Superintendents draft “No Confidence” petition to Huffman’s radical reform  

Teneessee Education Czar Kevin Huffman, a Bill Haslam appointee has been on a radical romp in Tennessee the last few years transforming our educational system into a nationalized mess leaving many doubting his motives.

Pushing RTTT, common core, charter schools, new teacher assessments, merit based pay, reduced overall teacher pay, nationalized education, nationalized school boards while trending away from local control, Teach For America and many other reforms are drastically changing the educational landscape in Tennessee. Many within the system forced to accept these changes are not happy.

The 63 or so Superintendents from the state of Tennessee have started a petition to garner Mr Huffmans attention and tell him they may have something to add if only given the opportunity and that they are not happy with the product presented.

A statewide petition made up of educators and superintendents are requesting state legislators and Governor Bill Haslam to reconsider his appointment and the direction our state is heading regarding his massive education reform agenda.

This group of Superintendents are essentially saying they have no confidence in the reform he is initiating.

Mr Huffman brings very little experience as an educator working sparsely as a teacher inside TFA (Teach For America)  an organization marked to replace teachers when they do not measure up to the new teacher evaluation system. TFA is a 7 week training course for “bright individuals” trained in these socialist tactics of Mr Huffmans. My research has revealed they don’t even have to be teachers to graduate as a TFA product ready to step in and teach for teachers unable to keep their license or jobs.

When teachers are fired or lose their license for poor results on standardized testing or TVASS asessments, a TFA teacher will step  in and perform as a Huffman robot “teacher” that does as he says and the new system requires of them.

As an attorney, Huffman is not known as a teacher, and reportedly only taught in lower grades for a couple of years developed from within the TFA puppy, er, teacher mill.  

He is well positioned to be a useful idiot of the federal government to radicalize and eventually nationalize our educational system. He wears that “Yes man” suit well.  Perhaps a DOE post in his not so distant future.

Having roughly half of all Superintendents signing this petition  sends a strong message to Huffman and Haslam.

They are calling on our state legislators and Governor Haslam to stop his radical reform immediately and halt the assault on the system that holds the future of our children and weakens our teachers ability to teach our children.

The petition, posted below is withholding the names of those signed fearing that Mr Huffman or Haslam will retaliate and weaken their push to have him removed. Their names will be added upon presentation to Haslam as soon as next week.

The petition warns of possible political fall out for Haslam if he continues to support Huffman and his changes. See petition below:
http://www.tennessean.com/assets/pdf/DN211626911.pdf

The petition suggests that Mr Kevin Huffman is “not interested” in dialogue with educators on the front lines and even sees them as an “impediment” to implementing his socialistic changes. 

Several superintendents voiced they are “desiring input” into this change but have not been asked, just simply asked to tow the line, no questions asked. 

What little input that has been heard has fallen on “deaf ears” even calling their efforts “futile.” The petition goes on to say “Today we feel that we are not respected and valued and and that the unique culture of our system is not valued…..feeling voiceless and powerless.”

This hardly seems like the environment we need for our teachers and ultimately our children. With this many folks unhappy, where is the motivation for them to succeed?

Bill Haslam  must now know that further support for these radical ideas with even deeper radical ties is not the best choice for Tennessee.

Firing or not renewing their licenses, based on the results of a broken system is ridiculous and begs for us to ask questions of their intent. 

Kevin Huffman brings to the table a portion of his past that may be influencing his decisions even today. It is a proven fact that not too long ago he was married, now divorced to Michelle Rhee, another equally controversial radical reformer with her own problems and controversies. 

Kevin Huffman has obviously taken a few plays from his ex wife’s playbook. It is rumored their children attend schools in TN. Why would there not be an influence? 

Michelle Rhees legacy of failure and controversy has followed her from DC to other parts of the nation and is now shaping our educational system.

The radical reformer has dealt with several education scandals in her recent past varying from reduced teacher salaries, firing superintendents and teachers, cheating on standardized testing stirring heavy resistance and upheaval from many different districts and educators.
http://www.therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=10102

Not falling far from that tree is her ex-husband, Kevin Huffman, who has his own issues brewing in Tennessee, not unlike those his wife has  encountered.

Their shared idea of transforming our educational system into a socialistic utopia dead set on targeting teachers solely as the blame for poor schools  is not sitting well with many.

Has anyone asked our teachers what they think is best for our school system?

 I can only bet there are about a million teachers in TN that could give you strong enough answers to radically transform our system without getting rid of those that teach and love the profession dearly.

Teachers must speak up and support their Superintendents that are sticking their necks out. Next move, if you want to be heard you must speak up.

You can easily see the motive of large cheating scandals of teachers losing their jobs or worse if kids do not score well enough. This is the environment being fostered in Tennessee.

Other sources of information:

http://www.wrcbtv.com/story/23428978/tenn-education-commissioner-responds-to-petition

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130913/NEWS04/309130161/Metro-Nashville-teachers-vote-no-confidence-Kevin-Huffman?gcheck=1

http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-hurting-our-schools-remove-kevin-huffman-as-the-appointed-tn-commissioner-of-education

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/08/30/is-teach-for-america-working/teach-for-america-is-a-glorified-temp-agency

http://tn.gov/education/AboutCommissioner.shtml

Common Core showdown in Nashville with TN Senate Education Committee, support requested

In Uncategorized on August 23, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Common Core showdown in Nashville with TN Senate Education Committee, support requested

TNACC-TENNESSEE AGAINST COMMON CORE is reaching out to the citizens of this great state to assist with the cost of bringing experts to Nashville TN to testify before a select Senate Education Committee on September 19th and 20th, 2013.
http://www.tnacc.net/

Please donate to this worthy cause. Also, gather your friends, students, parents etc. Take the morning off and plan to wear your red shirt and see history in the making. 

We must stop Common Core in TN! This takeover of our educational system by the federal government is a huge mistake and our children will pay dearly for this mistake.

Pack you cars, send this out to your groups and dig deep into your pockets. This is a huge opportunity to show our support for TNACC and the opportunity to stand united with other concerned citizens to Stop Common Core once and for all!

REQUEST FOR DONATION

SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE COMMON CORE HEARINGS

On September 20, 2013 we will have 7 expert panelists speaking on behalf of parents and children of Tennessee against Common Core.  The expense to bring these speakers to Tennessee will not be covered by the state of Tennessee.  

We are reaching out to the public for donations to help cover the expenses for our experts.  

Not all our panelists are from outside the state but those that live outside of Tennessee will require transportation, room and meals.  

Any donation no matter how small will be greatly appreciated and used strictly to cover travel, room and board expenses for our quests.

If you wish to make a donation please send a check to:

Karen Bracken
231 Bob White Dr.
Ocoee, TN 37361

Make check payable to:  William A. Bracken, CPA 

If you plan to attend the hearings, please meet at the TN State Capitol in Room 12 of the Legislative Plaza in Nashville on the following dates. (The meetings will be held in the same room, unless otherwise announced)

Sept. 19, 2013 
1:00pm Central 
Reading of the Common Core standards.

Sept. 20, 2013
9:00am Central
Expert panelist testimony

There will be  7 panelist in support of Common Core and 7 panelists opposing Common Core.

We are asking that everyone that attends wear a red shirt (not required) and have a self made sticker on your right chest with the logo STOP COMMON CORE clearly inscribed, so you can be quickly identified in support of stopping CC in our schools.

If you buy a package of stickers from Staples or somewhere similar, please make up some extras and bring them with you to share with others. You can print them from your printer or just hand write them.

PLEASE REGISTER ON OUR FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE.  See link below.

Register on our FACEBOOK EVENT Page  https://www.facebook.com/events/1396364123919579/

Copyright © 2013 Tennessee Against Common Core, All rights reserved.

BCN addition: To learn more about this Committee please read the following links!

http://www.wjhl.com/story/23060939/tn-senate-education-committee-to-hold-hearings-on-common-core-standards

http://tnreport.com/2013/07/31/tn-senate-education-comittee-to-review-common-core-standards/

http://www.tneagleforum.org/COMMON%5FCORE/

http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/content/city-news/state-senate-education-committee-review-common-core-standards

Making the illegal, unconstitutional case against Common Core State Standards

In Uncategorized on August 10, 2013 at 2:54 PM

MAKING THE CASE AGAINST (THE ILLEGAL) COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS

August 5, 2013 by Thais M. Alvarez

There is growing controversy over the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) throughout the United States.  Grassroots movements are springing up everywhere in an attempt to educate voters who have never heard of the CCSS, hoping that they will join the ranks of those fighting against the CCSS.  Political activists’ efforts have also sought to address and educate school board members and other elected officials, such as county commissioners, representatives, senators and governors of the dangers of CCSS.  The greater goal for these activists is to gain the political commitment of elected officials for the repudiation of the already (emphasis added) implemented CCSS.
At this juncture, one may ask why political activists have to educate voters, and more specially, elected officials.  The answer is simple: mainstream media, for the most part, has not reported on the CCSS.  Moreover, the federal government has conducted a stealth campaign and strong-armed the states into adopting the CCSS. 
In effect, if states do not adopt and implement the CCSS, they are ineligible for federal funding.  Federal funds, which are in essence the tax dollars of citizens, should not be used to bribe or to threaten states into taking certain action, especially when acceptance strips states of constitutionally protected rights.  Likewise, the federal government abuses its power by making the receipt of federal funding conditional on the adoption of federal policies, again, when those policies strip the states of constitutionally protected rights. 
At first glance, although uprooting the CCSS may seem like a daunting task, since it has already been implemented, it should not be challenging for the simple reason that the CCSS are illegal.  Once the states and all of their elected officials are made aware of this, they will realize that they have a duty to uphold the U.S. Constitution, as well as other federal, state and local laws.  Elected officials should be held accountable by U.S. taxpayers, if they fail to dismantle the CCSS program.  More specifically, elected officials should be held accountable for acquiescing into adopting illegal policy that will, in fact, waste billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars.  Elected officials should know better.    
This article makes the case against the Common Core State Standards. 
 
PART I.  “GOOD” LAW
The Constitution of the United States
The U.S. Constitution is also referred to as the “Supreme Law of the Land”.  Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, which speaks to the powers vested in Congress, does not enumerate education as one of the powers vested in Congress.  Likewise, Article 2, which outlines the powers of the executive branch, or the president, does not assign to the position the authority to speak to matters of education.  Article III which speaks to the powers of the judicial branch does have the answer, well, at least in part.  Article III, which creates the judicial branch of the federal government provides that if there is a conflict or a question of law arising as to the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court shall decide on the issue.  Since the U.S. Constitution is silent on the matter of education, the issue has been addressed and resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court, as explained below.[1]
The Supreme Court of the United States
In San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez (1973), the U.S. Supreme Court held that education “is not among the rights afforded explicit protection under our Federal Constitution.  Nor do we find any basis for saying it is implicitly so stated.”  This coupled with Article X, otherwise known as the 10th Amendment, of the Bill of Rights which provides that “powers not delegated to the U.S. by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States,” establishes that  the creation of education policies is reserved to the state and local governments.[2] 
The Constitution of the State of Florida
Consistent with the foregoing holding from the U.S. Supreme Court, Article IX of the Florida Constitution speaks to the matter of education. 
More specifically, Section 1(a) provides that education is “a paramount duty of the state to make adequate provisions for the education of all children residing within its borders.”  Section 4(b) further dictates that: “[A] school board shall operate, control and supervise all free public schools within the school district.”[3]   
Given the fact that local school board members are elected officials, it follows that the citizenry directly influences local educational policies through their power of the vote.
The Florida Statutes
The Florida Legislature is vested with the power to enact statutes to carry out the intent of the Florida Constitution.  To that end, Title 48 of the Florida Statutes provides for the Education Code which states as follows:
 
Public education is a cooperative function of the state and local educational authorities. The state retains responsibility for establishing a system of public education through laws, standards, and rules to assure efficient operation of a K-20 system of public education and adequate educational opportunities for all individuals. Local educational authorities have a duty to fully and faithfully comply with state laws, standards, and rules and to efficiently use the resources available to them to assist the state in allowing adequate educational opportunities.[4]
This should speak for itself, without the need to embellish.   
PART II.  “BAD” LAW
It happens all the time.  Judges make “bad law” from the bench when they apply or interpret the law incorrectly.  Likewise, uninformed or corrupt legislators propose bills that are enacted into laws that are either blatantly unconstitutional, or at the very least, serve as the impetus for governmental abuse.  The later is what has happened as it relates to the law of education as a result of the enactment of the three (3) federal education acts, as explained below. 
It could be argued that these laws are, in and of themselves, unconstitutional for the simple reason that they seek to control matters related to education.  And, as the foregoing legal analysis demonstrates, the state and local governments, not the federal government, should be involved in the matters related to education.  
Elementary and Secondary School Act of 1965 (ESEA)
With the stroke of a pen, in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson, changed the extent to which the federal government would be involved in education.  At the time the law was enacted, during the Civil Rights Movement, the law was deemed necessary in that it would seek to address the issues of the time.  The law reads: 
 
Nothing in the Act shall be construed to authorize an officer or employees of the Federal Government to mandate, direct, or control a State, local educational agency, or school’s curriculum, program of instruction, or allocation of State and local resources, or mandate a State or any subdivision thereof to spend any funds or incur any costs not paid for under the Act.[5]
Department of Education Organization Act (DEOA)
This is the Act which created the Department of Education (DOE) in 1979.  At the time, many members of the U.S. Congress expressed their concerns over the creation of the DOE.  Today, many assert that the DOE should be abolished because, through the years, it has developed policies and programs that encroach on the constitutional rights that state and local governments have over matters of education.  The DOE has done this in violation of the letter of the law, as well as in disregard of its legislative history and intent.  
The DEOA provides that:
No provision of a program administered by the Secretary or by any other officer of the Department shall be construed to authorize the Secretary or any such officer to exercise any discretion, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, over any accrediting agency or association, or over the selection or content of library resources, textbooks, or other instructional materials by any educational institution or school system, except to the extent authorized by law.[6] 

When analyzing any legal primary source, one would be remiss if one only reads the letter of the law.  That is, to fully understand the spirit of the law, one also needs to read the written commentaries or the legislative history that follows.  In the instant case, as it relates to the DEOA, in Finding 4 of the DEOA, Congress underscored that:
[I]n our Federal system, the primary public responsibility for education is reserved respectively to the States and the local school systems and other instrumentalities of the States.[7]

It should also be highlighted that Congress made its intentions clear when it said:
It is the intention of the Congress in the establishment of the Department to protect the rights of State and local governments and public and private educational institutions in the areas of educational policies and administration of programs and to strengthen and improve control of such governments and institutions over their own educational programs and policies.  The establishment of the Department of Education shall not increase the authority of the Federal Government over education or diminish the responsibility for education which is reserved to the State and local school systems and other instrumentalities of the States.[8]

A close reading of the ESEA and the DEOA juxtaposed with the CCSS, especially the implementation of the CCSS, make it clear that the federal government is in fact mandating, directing and controlling curriculum. 
Although proponents of the CCSS argue that the CCSS only impose “standards,” rather than “curriculum,” professionals in the field of education understand that curriculum is developed from standards, and therefore, to impose a certain set of standards, as the federal government is doing through the CCSS, is tantamount to also imposing curriculum.  Moreover, assessments are based on the curriculum which assess whether students achieve demonstrated proficiency of the CCSS standards.  Standards, curriculum and assessments are all intrinsically linked, such that, the effect is that they are all one and the same. 
To make the point take into account what the educational experts say:      
Dr. Greene has stated, “To make standards meaningful they have to be integrated with changes in the curriculum, assessment and pedagogy.”[9] 
The Federal Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, has also acknowledged the nexus between standards and curriculum when he stated that “curriculum can only be as good as the academic standards to which the assessments and curriculum are pegged.”[10]    
Thus, for the federal government and the proponents of the CCSS to conclude that the CCSS do not dictate curriculum and assessments, both of which the federal government is prohibited from doing, is to lie to the American people.  
General Education Provisions Act (GEPA)
Similar to the above-mentioned laws, GEPA provides:
No provision of any applicable program, shall be construed to authorize any department, agency, office or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, or over the selection of library resources, textbooks, or other printed material by any educational institution or school system, or to require the assignment or transportation of students or teachers in order to overcome racial imbalance.[11]
In addition to the above-stated commentaries relating to curriculum, it is noteworthy to underscore that this Act goes a step further to limit the power of the federal government over the “selection of library resources, textbooks, or other printed material by any educational institution or school system.” 
This notwithstanding, the federal government has given two state consortia, Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers Consortium (PARCC) and SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), $330 million dollars to begin the development of digital tools and libraries. 
To use their words, the two consortia have stated as follows:
PARCC has stated:
 
PARCC’s initial proposal calls for the development of a digital library of tools…the broader set of tools in the library will provide choices and supplemental materials (beyond the instructional units) for teachers to use.  The development of the library also will identify materials that can be used to inform the development of the instructional units or even become the instructional units, perhaps with minor modification.[12]
SBAC, also provides that it will:
 
[D]evelop curriculum materials…contract with professional organizations, universities and non-profit groups…to adapt their curriculum materials to SBAC specifications to upload to the digital library.[13]
The stated intentions of both consortia juxtaposed with GEPA clearly violate the letter of the law.  There is no need for further analysis.     
Case Closed:  Common Core State Standards is Illegal
In light of Part I, one questions why there was ever a need for Part II.  After all, Part I speaks for itself in that the federal government should not be involved in matters as they relate to education.  Even the federal statutes, explained in Part II, confirm that.  The Acts’ language is superfluous and their enactment arbitrary.        
As stated above, it should not come as a surprise for the reader to learn that at the time Congress set out to enact the DEOA there were numerous members of Congress who objected to its enactment.  These Congressional leaders, in their infinite wisdom, could anticipate and foresee what is happening today with the implementation of the CCSS when they stated their objections to the enactment of the DEOA andthe consequent creation of the DOE.  They accurately predicted:
 
If we create this Department, more educational [decision-making] as to course content, textbook content, and curriculum will be made in Washington at the expense of local diversity.  The tentacles will be stronger and reach further.  The Department of Education will end up being the Nation’s super [school board].[14]
Almost a quarter of a century after those words were memorialized, their prophetic nature becomes apparent.  The tentacles of the DOE are infringing on local diversity, such that it is now acting as a national school board.  To that end, not a single local school board in the nation had an opportunity nor the intention to place the issue of whether “the” local shareholders approved of the CCSS before them. 
But, fret not, we, the people, are here.  We are here to send a clear message to the local school boards across the nation objecting to this insidious, subversive and stealth campaign, otherwise known as the Common Core “State” Standards.
It should be pointed out that the title, Common Core “State” Standards, begs the question:  Why is the word “State” part of the title when the states had nothing to do with their creation or development?    
The more pressing question, however, is:  Will elected officials heed to the voices of, we the people, and uphold the sanctity of this Constitutional Republic, remembering that the source of their power was granted to them by, we, the people?
 
[1] U.S. Const.
[2] San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1 (1973)
[3] Fla. Const. art. IX, § 4(b).         
[4] § 1000.03(3), Fla. Stat. (2012).
[5] 20 U.S.C. § 7907(a).
[6] 20 U.S.C. § 3403(b).
[7] 20 U.S.C. § 3401(4).
[8] 20 U.S.C. § 3403(a).
[9] Robert S. Eitel and Kent D. Talbert, The Road to a National Curriculum, Pioneer Institute, August 5, 2013, http://pioneerinstitute.org/download/the-road-to-a-national-curriculum/
[10] Id.
[11] 20 U.S.C. § 1232a.
[12] PARCC PROPOSAL FOR SUPPLEMENTAL RACE TO THE TOP ASSESSMENT AWARD 1 (2010), availableat http://www.edweek.org/media/parccsupplementalproposal12-23achievefinal.pdf
[13] Robert S. Eitel and Kent D. Talbert, The Road to a National Curriculum, Pioneer Institute, August 5, 2013, http://pioneerinstitute.org/download/the-road-to-a-national-curriculum/
[14] H.R. REP. No. 95-1531, at 47 (1978). 

Source of info: This site is chocked full of informative goodness, please subscribe to and visit this site frequently.

http://bwcentral.org/2013/08/making-the-case-against-the-illegal-common-core-state-standards/

Common Core: Letter to Editor addresses Ringstaffs defense of standards

In Uncategorized on April 24, 2013 at 9:41 AM

BCN Editorial:

Mr Martin Ringstaff you are wrong on so many levels about Common Core. 

You have been delivered perhaps a federal, State, Haslam issued talking points and you are sticking to script.

You have the appearance of being a total puppet or useful idiot of the federally directed program called Common Core that is ultimately nationalizing our states and local school systems.

Your many blunders in the recent article in the banner speaks volumes of your ability to follow marching orders.

We the people, we the legislators, we our representatives did not “vote” for Common Core. 

In 2009,  President Obama, created a stimulus package with taxpayer dollars to “get the economy going”  and from that allocated around 4.3 billion or so for RTTT, Race To The Top.

You, the state and it’s many bureaucrats were asked to bid, jump through hoops to get this money, a sort of competition. Everyone likes competition, right?

The starting pistol sounded and the race to the top or bottom however you choose to look at it has started. 

You put your beat foot forward and several stages later you were awarded a federal grant of 501 million to initiate RTTT.

With only dollar signs in your eyes you forgot to look and see what was was inside this neatly wrapped package.

In fact, very few if any knew Common Core was tucked in it and gulped down by useful idiots only because the taste of money overpowered the urge to see it’s content. 

You accepted Common Core, sight unseen, because at the time of your acceptance, the Common Core standards had not even been completed and signed off when the check was written. Was this purposeful? I’ll let you decide.

Tucked neatly and discreetly inside was only the mention of new standards, very little mention of Common Core or what it entailed.

This was mainly because so many on the board that issues the standards of Common Core would not sign off on them because they were convinced they would not work and get the results desired.

Mr Martin Ringstaff, and Dawn Robinson you are wrong on so many levels.

I received this well written letter to the editor of Bradley County News and have elected print it’s content, unedited.

This encourages me greatly that many within our community are starting to awaken to what our county, city and state leaders are doing to our community and our children.

It is obvious to me and as our thorough research deepens we can clearly see who the puppets and useful idiots are of our federal government.

As the facts are exposed and the dust clears you can begin to see that many of our local city, county and state led representatives have their arms extended through the fog interlocking with the federal government as they attempt to nationalize our education and take over the minds of our children through indoctrination.

Let history be the marker and all involved be held accountable for this federal takeover of our state educational system.

When the chips fall, and they are crumbling fast, let these leftist stand alone with the blood soaked grant money they received for the minds of our children.

Allow me to finish with this thought in mind. Ponder these few questions, please.

Who is responsible for bringing this to Bradley County and our state?

What vote is Mr Ringstaff and Mrs Robinson talking about? Clearly, they assume that state legislators or an elected representative did vote on it, that did not happen. It was a bidding war for stimulus money. NO VOTE was cast that I am aware of by my State  Representative!

Who is vested in this endeavor? Clearly, adjusting the curriculum to the needs of big business makes me wander and guess to the extent of the Chamber of Commerces, a lap dog for the UN, involvement in this endeavor.

Is getting rid of reading literature and adjusting to reading of “technical manuals” going to keep the interest of our children and optimize their learning?

Will reducing our learning standards from the current  “135 to less than 50” Common Core Standards really going to heighten our learning experience?

Why are we not addressing parents in this issue? In the Banner article that started this conversation, Mr Ringstaff did not mention one time the parents and if I recall correctly he did not mention the students as it pertained to their well being. Something is rotten here and it does smell good.

Why are our concerns, many emails and phone calls not being returned when we are inquiring about Common Core.

I have seen one email  from Mr Ringstaff where he dismissed the revealed research as “propaganda” and an article to the Banner about his visit to the Rotary, a UN representative, an NGO or Non Governmental Organization of the United Nations.

I will complete my editorial here and ask you to read the words below very carefully and see the concern of this citizen, taxpayer who is very concerned about the direction that Mr Ringstaff and Mrs Robinson are taking our children in exchange for federal grant money.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

Dear Martin Ringstaff and Dawn Robinson,

I read the article recently published in the Banner in which you addressed the Rotary Club on the subject of Common Core.

You paint a very positive picture for the future of education in Cleveland and all of Tennessee because of this new set of standards and the curriculum that will be brought in to align itself with these new standards. 

I have read many things on Common Core as well as other education systems that are being implemented around the country.

I am sure you would disagree with a lot of that analysis that I have studied and would just dismiss it off hand so I promise I won’t bother to argue my points using these sources. 

I find local officials are quick to be dismissive and not engage in debate because they don’t like the sources of information rather than deal with the substance of the information presented. I know this from experience. However my most typical response in none at all. This being the case, I will argue my points strictly from your own words as presented in this article.

The very first thing I noticed in this article is that the word “parent” is nowhere to be found; not even the slightest hint of a reference is ever brought into consideration.

It is very clear from my research (sorry I said I wasn’t going to do that) and from this article that parents are completely left out of this process and their consent was never sought in any of this. 

Who is in control and driving this? I can certainly refer to my research and rattle off the names of government agencies, think tanks, foundations and major corporations but that would violate the promise I made to you at the very beginning of this e-mail. To answer that question let’s refer to your article to provide the answer:

1. State Leadership Council. Who are they? Apparently there are 22 of you arguing details. Did we elect these people as our representatives? No we did not.         

According to this article, this group is charged with the task of “working through the transition” to Common Core so they are certainly not objective and independent.

2. K-12 Educators, College Educators. Again, a generic name to given to create the illusion of approval. 

I challenge you to have one of your teachers go to the Banner and make their own personal, stirring, passionate case for the need of Common Core from their own heart. 

On the other hand, I know several teachers who are at minimum shaking their heads and at maximum making plans to exit the profession because of what this represents. Concerning college “educators”; Are you really trying to tell me that literature professors are begging you to make students read  menus, technical manuals and speeches instead of Homer, Gibbon, Dickens, Longfellow, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and Shakespeare? 

Are you telling me that math and science professors are begging you to strip away the already bare minimum content of Euclidean geometry and physical science classes to allow for more writing and critical thinking skills to be taught during that class time? 

3. Here is the best one that really gets me; Business leaders. This may be just me, but I do not care less about the opinions of business leaders as to what they think my child needs to learn in kindergarten. They have no right to dictate that we change our historic liberal arts education system into their own personnel workforce development racket. This is just another example of corporations transferring their costs (in this case it is employee training and development) to the taxpayer.

Don’t you see how the local school systems have been cheated out of money and made to go beg to the state and federal government for funding just for their very existence?

 Do you not understand that all the PILOT agreements/tax abatements to corporations and now the new tool of tax increment financing pose an ever increasing threat to our tax base and ultimately school funding? 

In this state, the school board has no voice on these decisions on whether to enter into these agreements.In some states you do. 

Do not believe the lie that the school portion of taxes is protected in these agreements. The city of Cleveland as well as the county have run up massive amounts of debt over the last 20 years. Ask these mayors, city council members, county commissioners and members of the local industrial development board why these agreements with corporations haven’t produced budget surpluses? I have asked them. They won’t answer me. Maybe they will answer you. (Warning: broken promise ahead!!) 

If you would like a copy of an NEA study on the effects of tax abatements on school funding, I would be happy to give that to you. 
Sorry, I got off topic. 

In summary, these corporations have taken our money to build their plants, buy their equipment, pay portions of their employees wages through tax credits and now they want to use our money and our K-12 and our universities to be their own personnel training grounds for equipment operators, quality technicians, and other general plant workers and supervisors? 

I say train your own workers with your own money and stay out of education which should belong and be accountable to parents and students alone.

You say “it is not a mandatory, nationally driven, “you have to do it or else” kind of situation”. Really? 

You would have me to believe that the federal government just handed Tennessee $501,000,000 with no strings attached??? 

There was nothing in the Race to the Top application process in which you agreed to implement these standards sight unseen? 

There was nothing that Lamar Alexander had to agree to in order to get us out of the consequences of not being able to meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind? I need help to believe that but I am certainly willing to listen.

In closing I never really made the case for what is wrong with Common Core in and of itself? I will do that now.

– What you described is outcome based education principles. How will that help translate into the real world?

How would you like to be on the operating table and have an outcome based surgeon? Will you give them credit for 85% of the operation being done right? 

Would you get on a plane with an outcome based pilot? Would you give him a passing grade for missing the runway by only 200 yards?

How about outcome based dentistry? 

Outcome based accounting? 

I can go on but I hope you get my point: You are directing children toward mediocrity. 

When your aim is mediocrity you end up a total failure. We don’t accept this anywhere else, why do so in education?

– You are robbing the youngest student of the joy of learning at a time that they are the most teachable just for the sake of utilitarianism. They are not being taught anymore; They will now be trained and assessed. You will direct them toward a predetermined career path by an extremely early age when I personally would council a person to not ever worry about what you want to be before the end of your second year of college. Obviously we differ on that point.

– The removal of great books for “relevant” non-fiction. What is wrong with that? I am not a very smart person but let someone who is answer this question. 

In The Closing of the American Mind, By Dr. Allan Bloom he says these things that I pulled out that text:

“It is not merely the tradition that is lost when the voice of civilization elaborated over millennia has been stilled in this way. It is being itself that vanishes beyond the dissolving horizon”.

“As the awareness that we owed almost exclusively to literary genius falters, people become more alike, for want of knowing they can be otherwise”.

“Thus the failure to read good books both enfeebles the vision and strengthens our most fatal tendency – the belief that the here and now is all there is.”

To all on this e-mail. You did not start us down this road. It has been going on a long time but I believe Common Core represents the final death nail in the coffin of our educational journey in our nation. 

Please consider these words and consider the ramifications of this system to future generations.

Thank you,

Rob Bower

Source of conversation: I encourage you to read this paper often as The Cleveland Daily Banner does an excellent job of covering the “happenings” in our community. Go to the stands and buy up multiple copies and give them to friends and families. Please use the Banner as a great source of information, then entertain your self and turn to BCN for the rest of the story.

http://www.clevelandbanner.com/view/full_story/22315165/article-Ringstaff–Common-Core–has-%E2%80%98awesome%E2%80%99-prospects

Please remember, all my posts, future and present, are my opinion based on facts and my research. I am simply using my first amendment rights to redress concerns with my elected reps, those appointed to represent me and my tax dollars they spend.

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