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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). 

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

Tn Gov Bill Haslams appointees worked for the same law firm, changing the face of our state

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Tn Gov Bill Haslams appointees worked for the same law firm, changing the face of our state

TN Governor Bill Haslam hires Sharia Compliance expert Samar Ali, an Obama White House intern, who worked for the IAB (International Arab Bank) that funneled 90 million dollars to Hamas (Muslim Brotherhood) via 200,000 transactions totaling 90 million dollars while she worked there and  implemented as co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation trial in New York, convicted, fined and several imprisoned.  

A few months later, TN Governor Bill Haslam needs an Education  Commissioner for the State of Tennessee, hires Kevin S. Huffman as the Secretary Commissioner of Education from the same law firm?

Hogan, Hartson and Lovells of which it was known till a merger renamed the firm Hogan and Lovells International.

Why is it that the Governor seems to find his candidates for office from the same controversial law offices. 

Is this the only pool of which to pull new hirees from? Is this the only place to find a state leader? Why does he keep going to the same bank? Connections? Good ole boy network?

Does It have anything to do with his family company who relies heavily on middle eastern oil and has made billions from these transactions?

The liberal decline of our state only deepens knowing his latest appointee Kevin S. Huffman was married to Michelle Rhee and have two children in our TN school system. This seems like another benign decision till you view the implications.

Rhee is mockingly called the mother of extremist education reform, who happens to be anti union, pay based in merit pay, a pro charter school advocate that rids school systems of boards of education, who just happens to be implicated in the largest scandal in DC history as the Commissioner of Education.
http://www.therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=10102

The title of a fraud and a cheat is her legacy when dealing with raising school standards and she also happens to be a strong advocate for Common Core? 

Have you noticed the recent acts by Huffman has Rhees fingerprint all over out state education policy pushed by Huffman and Haslam? 

Michelle Rhee is also the CEO of Students First who seems to have many funds to pay off our elected officials to get her radical education reform ideas enacted.

 State Representative Kevin Brooks and State Senator Todd Gardenhire have received 5,000 dollars each to their campaigns to implement school reform, ie, Common Core in Tennessee. 

She is a little too close to the action for my comfort. Her money influence can only be led to believe that her ex husband and father of her children are influencing his decisions while giving her the inside track on spearheading radical education reform in Tennessee.

I’m sure Kevin Huffmans ears are hurting from his ex wife steering him in the direction she wants.

How can we allow State Representatives, State Senators and Governors to receive money while gambling on the lives and futures of our children. 

This hiring of questionable characters by our Governor is irresponsible and leads to many decisions that we have not felt yet. 

The idea that we must provide an environment for sharia compliance while radically reforming our educational system does not seem to be the direction our state needs to take.

Governor Bill Haslam, State Representative Kevin Brooks and State Senator Todd Gardenhire by big money proxy are allowing our state to be radically changed by progressives. You can easily see how the simple actions of a liberal governor and it’s elected leaders can change the environment in which we live?

You wanna get mad? Call them today and ask them “why did you
make a deal with the devil in exchange for your child’s soul?” 

Read below to see the level of involvement of leaders in our state and their connection to this latest fad.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hogan_%26_Hartson

“As a lawyer at the Washington D.C. law firm of Hogan & Hartson, Huffman represented school districts, state departments of education and universities, working on policy and litigation matters including challenges to state FINANCE (Sharia Compliance?) systems, desegregation litigation and special education hearings”
http://tn.gov/education/AboutCommissioner.shtmlrials.

Haslam education reform refers to change in teacher pay, merit based pay.
http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/jan/14/governor-bill-haslams-agenda/?print

Haslam and Huffman making our educational system a laughing stock to the nation.
http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2011/11/how-huffman-and-haslam-made-tn.html?m=1

Samar Ali Linked bio:
https://touch.www.linkedin.com/?sessionid=5074112256933888&as=false&rs=false#public-profile/http%3A%2F%2Fwww.linkedin.com%2Fpub%2Fsamar-ali%2F5%2F715%2F994

Merger between Hogan, Hartston and Lovells:
http://www.vault.com/company-profiles/law/hogan-lovells-international-llp.aspx

200,000 wire transfers were made by the International Arab Bank totalling more than 90 million dollars was made through the same law firm that employed Education Secretary Kevin S. Huffman and Samar Ali, both hired by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam!
http://tn4politicaljustice.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/newsletter-22-the-islamic-international-arab-bank/

The Hogan Lovells DC Office: Just a few blocks from the White House!
http://m.hoganlovells.com/washington-dc/

Vanderbilt professor employed by Hogan and Hartston:
http://law.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/faculty-directory-archived/michael-p-vandenbergh/download.aspx?id=576

Look what a little money from Students First CEO MIchelle Rhee can make a state rep say.

State Rep Kevin Brooks lauds Huffman and his visionary style.

http://www.clevelandbanner.com/view/full_story/12714918/article-Legislative-leaders-welcome-new-education-commissioner

Sure, it’s a tangled web we weave and of course our Governor “coincidentally” pulling our state leaders out of the same lawyer gene pool may seem benign and harmless, but look at the level of influence on our state these two hirees have had on our state……fundamentally changing our state as we speak.

This begs me to think how much more does this liberal progressive Governor have up his sleeve?

Who will be the next leader pulled from this cess pool of liberal elitist?

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