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Common Core goes green: Next Generation Science Standards on the way

In Uncategorized on March 5, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Common Core goes green: Next Generation Science Standards on the way

Ever since the appointment of Arne Duncan as the Secretary of Education, Governor Bill Haslam elected as our “radical education reformer,” Kevin Huffman,  Secretary of Education in Tennessee, ex husband of Michelle Rhee appointed by Haslam  and our State Representative Kevin Brooks, the recipient of 6,000 dollars of Rhees money our state and our kids have seen this day coming for a while. The perfect storm was formulated.

Common Core is rolling out the green carpet. A liberals dream come true. A radical reformist politicians bucket list has come to fruition.

In a world created by the highest bidder, the next progressive step in common core is to indoctrinate our children using the “green movement” as their platform. 

The big political arm of the green movement is now surfacing in our schools. Science, the EPA and the UNs next big step to further liberalize, globalize our school system in exchange for the minds of our children.

Common Core is teaming up with the “greenies” to provide a multi-pronged effort to promote “fun” contests and activities for students while promoting the new Common Core “state standards” in Science.
 
As reported by Mary Grabar in Front Page Magazine (See link below), she states  “For example, the Department’s latest Green Strides newsletter (February 28) announced three contests for K-12 students who display their agreement with the government’s position on climate change.”

“In that newsletter, the Department of Education announced that another federal agency, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and its National Environmental Education Foundation, have “launched an exciting video challenge for middle school students called Climate Change in Focus.”  

“In this contest, middle school students are asked to make a video that “expresses why they care about climate change and what they are doing to reduce emissions or to prepare for its impacts.”  

“To win loyalty to the EPA, it is announced that winning videos will be highlighted on the EPA website.”

 “The effort sounds like the kids’ cereal box promotions of yore: the top three entries will receive “cool prizes like a solar charging backpack,” winning class projects will receive special recognition for their school, and the first 100 entrants will receive a year’s subscription to National Geographic Kids Magazine.”

“Another contest, National Wildlife Federation’s Young Reporters for the Environment, invites students “between the ages of 13-21 to report on an environmental issue in their community in an article, photo or photo essay, or short video.”  Entries should “reflect firsthand investigation of topics related to the environment and sustainability in the students’ own communities, draw connections between local and global perspectives, and propose solutions.”

“Students are also encouraged to make nominations for “Champions of the Earth,” a “UN-sponsored award for environment, Green Economy, and sustainability.”  

“Students already get exposed to climate change and sustainability in textbooks which are bought with taxpayer funds, as well as in videos and online materials produced by taxpayer-supported Public Broadcasting.  Many students, of course, have had to sit through Al Gore’s documentary, An Inconvenient Truth.”

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)—the next phase of Common Core—will make the situation worse, however,” Grabar continues.  

“Students will be even less capable of distinguishing science from propaganda.  These standards, like those for math and English Language Arts, were produced by Achieve, a nonprofit education group started by corporate leaders and some governors. 

 As in the standards for English Language Arts and math, the NGSS are intended to be transformative, or as Appendix A states, “to reflect a new vision for American science education.”  They call for new “performance expectations” that “focus on understanding and applications as opposed to memorization of facts devoid of context.”

“It is precisely such short shrift to knowledge (dismissively referred to as “memorization”) to which science professors Lawrence S. Lerner and Paul Gross object.  The standards bypass essential math skills in favor of “process,” they asserted last fall at the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation blog.”

“Common Core standards, in all disciplines, are written with a lot of fluff to conceal their emptiness.”

“The Common Core math standards themselves have garnered much criticism among teachers, parents, and students; focusing so much on “process,” they make simple problems bizarrely confusing, as a collection of examples illustrates.”

“With some sarcasm, they write, “It is charming to say ‘. . . students learn science effectively when they actively engage in the practices of science.’”  However, Students will not learn best if they practice science exactly as do real scientists. A firm conclusion in cognitive science contradicts that claim.  Beginners don’t and can’t ‘practice’ as do experts.”  

“Not only do the Next Generation Science Standards shirk the necessary foundations in math and science knowledge, but they explicitly call for including ideological lessons, such as “Human impacts on Earth systems.” 

“For grades K-2, students are to understand. Things people do can affect the environment but they can make choices to reduce their impact.” 

“In grades 3 through 5, students will learn “Societal activities have had major effects on the land, ocean, atmosphere, and even outer space.”  “Societal activities can also help protect Earth’s resources and environments.”  

This is from part ESS3.C of the NGSS standards. “Human impacts on Earth systems” are huge topics, when approached legitimately.  They present quandaries to scientists at the top levels.  Yet NGSS imposes them on kindergartners. The objective, of course, is not teaching legitimate science, but indoctrination.”

Amazingly, ten states have already voluntarily adopted the Standards.
Such efforts, coordinated by the Department of Education, threaten the future of science itself.

BCN Summary:
Common Core is clearly not doing what it was hyped to do. It is clearly time for us to abandon these standards and the curriculum that follows.

Our children are not available for the transformative thinking of liberals and the assault on their minds.

The ABCs and the 3 Rs need to be our focus, not the accumulation of liberal global indoctrination.

Let’s get back to teaching and let’s see less propaganda in our schools.

Please subscribe to her newsletter and read her info frequently. I have met Mary Grabar and heard her speak. She is an expert on this subject and was a big contributor to this blog entry. Please view the link below.
http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/mary-grabar/common-cores-little-green-soldiers/

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Bradley County Commission votes NO to Common Core, Yarber gets decision 

In Agenda 21 on February 20, 2014 at 8:48 AM

Bradley County Commission votes NO to Common Core, Yarber gets decision 

BCN Note: No one was actually hurt in the writing of this news blog. Humor was added to a very serious subject. The bout was fictional and fun, the details factual. My opinions are below based on my observations of the event as it unfolded.

2/20/14
0749 am

Bradley County TN Commissioners have echoed the efforts of the Bradley County School Board and said NO to Common Core.

Former semi-pro boxer County Commissioner Jeff Yarber, who long ago hung up his gloves, but Tuesday, took them off the shelf and delivered a show of might reminiscent of his days on the circuit.

He stood mighty tall in this setting and went the full 10 rounds and was left shuffling in his corner unscathed.

Throughout the meeting Yarber stepped up, squared up on his opponent, left hand slightly in front of the other, weaved left and right, steps in head low, chin down and delivered a barrage of thunderous blows that left the impression that Common Core is not welcome in our community in any form. Even some of his own debated him but were left in a heap on the canvas of this political arena.

As the debate continued, the formally trained athlete, was fully prepared to go the distance and he did.

The bout started with the introduction for approval of two bills getting cranked up in the House and Senate. 

A vote to back HB 2332 and its Senate companion bill SB 2405 was debated and Jeff Yarber was scrapping the whole time. He took a few jabs off his ample iron jaw while fending off blows to defeat support for these bills. The intent of these bills is to remove Common Core and it’s cronies from our children’s presence, period! The bills are not there so they can be tweaked, renamed or repackaged. They are to be REMOVED, DISCONTINUE! Period!!!

If passed, the House and Senate bills would amend Tennessee Code Annotated section 49-1-302 to say “on July 1, 2014, the state board and the department of education shall DISCONTINUE the use of the Common Core state standards in English language arts and mathematics.” 

At that time, the standards that had been in place before Common Core standards were first being implemented in 2010 “shall become the standards for use by LEAs [local education agencies] and schools until the state board develops and adopts new Tennessee specific standards for English language arts and mathematics.” 

With the final vote pending, just as the Bradley County School Board had done a couple of weeks ago, Yarber and the County Commission stepped up and knocked down the formidable Common Core opponent.

Our buddies on the education board said that Common Core “would be highly disruptive to student growth.” 

During this title match, It was also mentioned that changes like postponing of PARCC assessment tests and tying those scores to teacher licensure, student data collection and non parent or teacher involvement would not be in the best interest of our teachers and ultimately our children.

Let’s not forget the lightweight contender Michelle Rhee of Students First, the ex wife of Heavyweight TN Education Secretary Kevin Huffman and Bantam weight Bill Haslam appointee have advocated, by their support of Students First, for parents to get out of the way so Common Core can be delivered uninterrupted as stated  in past interviews with Rhee. 

How convenient would it be to get parents, teachers, school boards and elected officials out of the way so the deed can be completed. Sounds like a win-win scenario if you ask me.

Like any good story or bout in this case there is always the spoiler. Today that is twofold. Commissioner Jeff Morelock and Bill Winters are once again those wet noodle types among mighty oaks. 

Morelock expressed his understanding of the school board’s resolution was that the board was in favor of the standards as a whole, but some changes needed to be made to them. Did he read the same resolution I did? I dont believe he read the same resolution!  He continued with his drivel of liberalism and said “there were some necessary changes, doing away with the standards would not help.”

Commissioner Bill Winters, Morelocks liberal Co Co buddy chimed in. Remember Yarber is bouncing around doing the rope a dope waiting to be engaged. I know it’s suspenseful but keep reading.

Commissioner Bill Winters said he “had a problem with the fact the Commission’s resolution supported repealing the state standards.”

He sluggishly continued and said ” he would not vote to repeal Common Core because the standards being removed would “tie the hands” of the legislators working to fix the parts of the standards that were not working well.” Hello Bill? The consensus, bills and resolutions are to get rid of it, to DISCONTINUE them, not fix them! Focus! Please allow me to enlighten you in a little constitutional secret. You as an elected official are the voice of the people, you have the authority to limit government intrusion at any level, thus balancing the power! You are a microcosm of the bigger picture Bill! You can do this!

In addition, Winters went on to say he “did not think the vote would be in line with what the local school board wanted.” Really Bill? Once again and please allow me to reiterate, the vote today is to DISCONTINUE the Common Core standards, not fix or tweak them. The vote today! The one before you now! A liberal slant is not the seal of approval and doesnt change the fact that you are voting in a few minutes to DISCONTINUE the standards not fix or tweak them. 

He went on to zap out all the remaining energy out of the room room finishing his monologue “The school board did not ask us to repeal this,” Winters said. He finally gathered enough liberal strength to say “the standards “could be worked for the good of the schools.” Ooooh Yawn, please wake me Jeff Yarber.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION, In the red corner, hailing from Clevegas TN, weighing in at probably a different weight from his previous days, lets here it for the one, the only, the scrapper, the commissioner of all commissioners, a Commissioner every one wants to be………..Jefffffffffff Yarrrrrrrrber! ARE……. YOU……..READY……. TO RUUUUUUUUUUUMBLE?

Commissioner Jeff Yarber relying on strength and momentum from his youth, meets gloves in the middle, and lands the first punch countering  “I am  in favor of Tennessee scrapping the Common Core standards altogether and creating new standards to replace them.” Kaaaa Pooooow!

Side step, 1-2 punch amongst a flurry of undercuts he continues “this means local education would not be “tied in with” the federal government. Yes! Morelock and Winters are punch drunk but not relenting.

Winters and  Morelock countered with a few soft jabs none phasing the Yarber. Yarber counters with a flurry, “Common Core is the problem, and we can do it better!!!!”

The crowd on their feet, Winters and Morelock on their heels, to the mat. Dazzled by the display of skill and precision of this prize fighter reborn, the ref steps in with the 10 count, 1-2-3… 

Commissioner Adam Lowe steps into the ring to finish off the opponent.

The atmosphere now has changed from a prize fight to a tag team WWF wrestling match, please allow the setting to morph in your mind.

A more cautious Lowe yet equally as effective mounts the ropes and from the top rope with bare chest, tight spandex shorts he shouts….. “the state bills in question were “simple” and “straightforward,” though he was not totally certain they were “a step in the right direction.”  The frenzied crowd yells “Deliver the fatal blow Adam! Jump down and deliver the fatal blow. The cautious approach allowed Yarber to suffer a few minor blows to his seasoned jawline but unable to daze him. Lowe is a thinker! He is contemplating his next move.

Lowe balancing on the top row, chest bare, pecs glistening continues….he believes “one of the problems the field of education has been facing has been the attention paid to reforming standards rather than actual teaching methods because “standards don’t have feelings.” “We continue to try to teacher-proof the classroom,” he said.  The standards dont have feelings!” Beautiful. Great skill from such a gifted orator, give the appearence that the standards are a living breathing set of standards. Im loving this approach. The crowd sinks back to it’s seats as Lowe steps down from the top rope.

Nice assist Commissioner Lowe, we need you in Yarbers corner, he needs water and some vasoline on his left eye.

Commissioner Caywood receives the tag from Lowe!

Commissioner Terry Caywood, a little long in the tooth, but still with the vigor and stamina of the young bucs weighs in.. 

Caywood cautiously enters the ring very aware of the mood in the room, the roar of the crowd, he becomes invigorated, picks up Bill Winters and begins to spin him around the ring tossing him into Morelock, like a bowling pin they both fall and he grabs the mike and begins to shout  ” I have spoken with a teacher who said Common Core standards “took all the fun out of teaching.” Take that and put it in your pipe and smoke it, I Imagined Caywood saying that last part. The part he is playing in my mind is quite the opposite, he is really a kind gentle christian man unwilling to engage his peers this way.

And from back of the room, much like Ralphie, from the Christmas Story engaging Scut Farkus and Grover Dill in a fight that won Ralphie some respect in the neighborhood, Commissioner Mel Griffith tags in and says he was “very supportive” of the standards’ goals, but they were not being implemented well.” That splatted onto the mat like an overhydrated cow patty. 

Has he been listening to Morelock and Winters?  Somehow, are we blaming this on the teachers now? Anyway, he tried to punch but couldn’t allow the standards to be done away with, Ralphie is retired quickly.

With the fighting done and the warrior weary State Representative Kevin Brooks steps into the ring with his shiny suit, crisp red tie, neatly tucked, half windsor perhaps, hair motif perfectly aligned and undisturbed, he bounces up uncharacteristically and says “the bills would have the state completely scrapping the current standards, meaning it would “throw out the baby, the bathwater — all of it.” Was that an apology? Or did he see his baby (Common Core) just get tossed out with the bath water? Mr Brooks, the baby (Common Core) and the bath water (the standards) are what we want gone! It’s ok! It’s not a real baby.

He continued, “Instead of completely repealing Common Core, he said he was in favor of making “incremental” changes to the standards and changing the name to reflect those changes.” It is pretty clear that the message being sent is not being absorbed. Our elected bodies are saying NO to Common Core, not parts, not increments, ALL OF IT! To DISCONTINUE IT! Not tweak, rename or repackage the standards!

Question to Mr Brooks? If Common Core is fully repealed does this mean he returns his campaigns number one donor Michelle Rhee and Students First campaign donations? It’s a legit question that needs answering.

Few have worked as hard as Representative Kevin Brooks to
bring RTTT and Common Core to Bradley County. Ok, now I’m getting sweaty from that flurry of punches. Jeff Yarber I need a tag out.

Brooks continues “I have been asked what is the most-debated topic in Nashville right now,” Brooks said. “It is Common Core. (Because parents, teachers and school boards are mad and don’t want it) There’s nothing in me that wants to lower our standard, but the name……the brand……is broken.” 

Ok, do we tweak it and change the name? Florida and other states are doing this also. It does not change the facts. If it walks and talks like a duck? It’s a duck!

Ok let’s pretend this epic battle is coming to an end and my children are safely out of reach of a few of our commissioners for the time being.

The 14-member Commission passed the resolution sponsored by the ex prize fighter Jeff Yarber supporting the state bills with nine in favor, four opposed and one absent. 

Yarber has completed the bout and by KO, he chalks up another win.

Wait! There was one more breath of life left in the two on the mat. In one final expression of defiance his eyes slightly swollen, Bill Winters tarries to center ring facing Yarber and 8 other Commissioners and whispers, “I propose a substitute motion to pass a resolution simply saying the Commission supported the school board’s resolution and not mentioning the proposed state bills.” And he collapses to the mat. That motion failed!

Known as an observer and more of a ring manager Commissioner Mark Hall countered with his own motion right before the event concluded, he quips “lets have a work session to be discussed further,” As if to be saying, in other words let me delay this vote so I can find out what this Common Core thingy is. The motion failed! Several Commissioners reminded him this matter had already been discussed in previous meetings.

Enters Dan Rawls posing as the clean up crew, while lifting chairs, kicking aside popcorn boxes and candy wrappers, shouting from the observation deck, crowd dispersing around him he shouts “the passage of this resolution was “brave, calling it “a big vote.” 

The big victor tonight was Commissioner Jeff Yarber and the kids of our county. He stepped up for the teachers, Students, parents all over the county. 

Lowe deserves an assist. 

Yarber stands tall after this bout, the victor.

When all was said and done the County Commission as our elected representatives did what they needed to do.

In a big way, standing in the gap for the kids, parents and teachers who have been left out of the process but are now speaking up and winning small battles to regain our educational system from the hands of the federal government./

Source of quotes: Cleveland Daily Banner. Please continue to read this fine paper and buy it daily, they get paid to deliver the news, I report for free!

http://www.clevelandbanner.com/view/full_story/24610297/article-County-vote-opposes-Common-Core

Bradley County School Board says “NO” to Common Core

In Uncategorized on February 18, 2014 at 8:13 AM

Bradley County School Board says “NO” to Common Core

2/17/14
0909 am

The Bradley County Board of Education in Cleveland Tennessee, has passed a  resolution that says no to Common Core, with all  7 board members voting unanimously in favor.

The measure was drafted by board member Charlie Rose, a long time board member with the ability to influence decision making in our county on school issues. Select members of the board to include Chris Turner, contributed time and facts to the compilation of this resolution.

The resolution addresses and cites  many concerns about Common Core implementation in Bradley County  to include cost, lack of teacher, student and parent involvement, inadequate testing components, teacher licensure and data collection of students.

Common Core has been labeled the nationalization of our schools by many critics with unique ties to socialism and a system of John Dewey and pedagogical theory. 

Many have said it is another step toward Socialism by indoctrination of our children.

The realization of a top down globalization of our schools and how the federal government plans to control every aspect of your child’s education is a big motivator for stopping Common Core in it’s tracks and our school board has taken a definite step in the right direction by signing this resolution.

Common Core is heavily centered on teaching to a test without real learning of the basic tenets of education, like the three R’s. Teachers need to have the ability to teach without constant interruptions from the federal government.

This resolution has pushed the debate beyond talk, sent a strong message to elected and appointed leaders that teachers, parents and now board members do not want Common Core in our County.

Common Cores empty promises and unproven results with Socialist overtones has forced the Bradley County Board to act. 

Local control of our schools must be established and this resolution sends that message. 

Our school system as it exists in Bradley County already has higher grade standards and results than Common Core promises to achieve. Why change to a system that will at best dumb our children down to the national standard?

It doesn’t make sense and our local school board has pointed out this truth. Is “improving” our system worth a loss to our children? 

The Bradley County School Board has responded positively to
parent and teacher concerns despite the continued efforts of Johnny McDaniel and Martin Ringstaff of their undying support of Common Core!  

The likes of Bill Haslam, Kevin Huffman, Michelle Rhee and our elected reps have made good money off this venture and stand to gain even more  if Common Core is allowed to advance.

Some detractors claim this resolution has no teeth and carries no real weight. I also heard this with the Agenda 21 resolution coming out of our TN State house early last session. Don’t dismiss this as “just a resolution.” 

Bold statements such as this carry alot of clout in this town. Many pushing for radical education change wouldn’t dare raise their heads and oppose a board that says no, political suicide comes to mind. 

With RTTT/Common Core money already spent, our reality is now we have a burdensome, costly program lingering in our midst that smells of nationalization of our public schools with still no means to pay for it. 

The Common Core debate has now been shifted from a conversation of heresay and rumors to one of confirmation with no doubt about the boards intent.

I emailed my first District school board member Chris Turner and asked for a statement from him regarding this resolution and how it was formed, 

“The board was asked by the county commission to quantify the impact of common core implementation on our students and teachers.”

Mr. Rose was tasked with authoring the resolution and I gladly offered conclusions from my research.”

 “Major points I thought should be quantified include the fact that costs for implementing PARCC have not been finalized or communicated to local school systems and the tax payers of Bradley County.”

“Also, impact on teacher evaluation of the global conversation to PARCC has no formal remedy.”

“The biggest issue to me has been the recent pro-common core message claiming improvements in test schools, such as NAEP,  as the sole result of radical reforms made by our Commisioner of Education.” 

“The real impact to these results has been the meaningful changes in state standards made in 2009 implemented by our teachers.”

” Common Core is no silver bullet, Turner continued.”

“There are no quick fixes. Ask any classroom teacher and they’ll tell you that results take hard work and time.” 

“The results we’re getting are the return on investment from the hard work of our students, parents, and our teachers,” he concluded.

These words by my representative are wise and was constructed from much thought, research, teacher input and parents concerns. These statements and the resolution were not made on a whim. It was well thought out and deliberate.

The message to all sent by this board is our kids are not for sale, our teachers are not puppets,the parents and this board are not idiots.

I believe it is important to review The main points inside this resolution and I have compiled it below. 

These main points are from the Bradley County School Board resolution, shortened somewhat but content remains, a link is provided for exact details.

The Bradley County School Board Resolution on Common Core.
http://gallery.mailchimp.com/1e0c464fe9590a0fbf1227edf/files/Bradley_County_Board_Of_Education_CC.pdf

1) The implementation of the Common Core Standards could be highly disruptive to student growth.

2) The CCS, Common Core Standards, with current TN Standards dilutes the effectiveness of teacher lesson planning.

3) The Board recommends that the use of PARCC assessment results not be used as part of TVAAS for the purpose of teacher evaluation, licensure, renewal or removal.

4) The Board rejects the collection of personal student data without consent.

5) Rejects the sharing of Personally Identifiable Information, PII, without consent.

6) The implementation resources of Common Core Standards for the teachers of Bradley County TN schools have been variable and dependent upon the source of training and professional development.

7) The variation above has created the opportunity for inconsistency of the implementation of Common Core standards.

8) Bradley County will be tasked with implementing Common Core Standards regardless of the fact that teacher evaluation and student achievement gains will be measured with EOC/TCAP assessments based solely on current TN standards.

9) It does not have a PARCC assessment plan that assures that every student in Bradley County will have equivalent instructional time to cover and reinforce standards prior to administration of PARCC assessments. 

10) Will distort student growth data thence teacher evaluation as measured by the TVAAS system.

11) Has no money set aside for per student test adminstration for the current EOC/ TCAP test.

We the people have created this change. Concerned teachers, angry parents, tax payers and voters have spoken. The politicial puppets that beat the steady drum of Common Core regardless of the consequences on our children must now hear from you.

Let it be forever etched in every citizens mind that this week the Bradley County School Board in Cleveland Tennessee stood side by side many in the fight against Common Core. 

The result is our children and their loved ones were considered. The elected body that represents them sent a resounding message and are willing to stand up against the grain and the lure of an almighty dollar.

I hope the news of this bold stance spreads across our state and nation and more school boards do the same.

Bradley School Board member Chris Turner sums it up best when he said, 

“It (the resolution) expresses the facts and wipes away the opinions and rumors.” 

“Above our lowly school board as elected officials, time and action will tell the story.”

Links of interest concerning this subject:

http://www.chattanoogan.com/2014/2/7/269147/Bradley-School-Board-Told-It-Has-Solid.aspx

Directors of Schools hang on to Common Core despite huge opposition.

http://www.clevelandbanner.com/view/full_story/23929237/article-Directors-assess-Common-Core–McDaniel–Ringstaff-point-to-misconceptions

BCN Note- There are many that have been involved in this and many issues and my hat is off to you. Extended credit goes out to those warriors that stand and fight in local and state issues. I believe information’s the key. Keep supporting this venue. We are taking our state back one community at a time.

Students First, a vehicle for radical change in TN schools

In Uncategorized on February 6, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Students First, a vehicle for radical change in TN schools

02/06/2014
1024 am

Students First is a radical PAC, a lobbyist group with a socialistic leader as it’s front!

That leader is Michelle Rhee, ex wife of Haslam education czar Kevin Huffman.

Ladies and gentlemen we are in the midst of a revolution and we are not even engaging the enemy of this assault at our front door.

Parents, teachers, taxpayers, citizens, Principals, teachers, administrators, school boards, elected officials and all adults who may dare stand in the way of this nationalization of our schools are not included in this evolution towards socialistic reform in our state. Please step aside, you are now an afterthought and an obstacle to real change.

Students first using it’s platform to change everything about our schools is using big money to buy this change in Tennessee that are you witnessing.

Kevin Huffman, the education secretary in TN, the Haslam appointee, who used to be married to Michelle Rhee of whom they share children and founder of Students First is the radical socialist in charge of betraying the students of TN and subjecting them to the iniquities of a failed agenda that has faced controversy and failure everywhere she has attempted to inject her extreme agenda.

Who is Michelle Rhee? She is a child that has not been able to grow up! She was perhaps the sheltered child that never met her parents expectations and rigid standards customary of her culture. She obviously, in my opinion, never quite measured up to their rigid curriculum of her parents. So with youthful and reckless abandon she somehow thinks she is qualified to lead radical reform inside TN and across the nation injecting her childhood hurt into Tennesssee schools. 

Her childhood has somehow left her with a radical agenda and an unsolicited entry into our school system with the audacity to think that her unproven ways are the sole solution to fix our schools shortcomings.

Reeling from her DC ultimate failure and cheating scandal she sought to bring a brand of education that obviously doesn’t work inside a free republic. Moving children aggressively beyond where they were created an environment and culture that promoted cheating resulting in falsely inflated results.

As a Teach for America fellow at an inner-city Baltimore school in 1993 she reminisces, “Day in and day out, I struggled with my students,” she writes. “They simply wouldn’t listen. I would routinely spend the day alternating between screaming at the children, bribing them, and giving them the silent treatment for their misdeeds. None of it worked.” It was even reported that at one point in her career she resorted to placing duct tape over their mouths so they would listen. For Gods sake she was not even a teacher, she was a Bureaucrat placed in a classroom, a place where only a “real” teacher need be!

During her tenure at DC Public Schools, 2007 to 2010, she gutted the standing system and began to overhaul it. Radical anti teacher, anti union, and basically anti school measures took place. 

Sure one could reduce that all this change was necessary and essential. But the results were not as radical as the changes to
The system and they were definitely  not longstanding. Among the critics it was stated that her change did not last after she was run out of town by a new Mayor. It didn’t have legs and didn’t produce any real change. We are now relying on her unproven and controversy riddled system to work inside Tennessee!

Governor Haslam, several legislators and Senators have taken multiple thousands of Students First lobby money to implement the changes that are so controversial to us today. 

Can you believe any politician would give up his or her soul for Michelle Rhee and Students First to enact the failed system that she advocates for the minds and lives of our children. It would really surprise you at those folks who gladly accepted thousands  of dollars to enact socialistic change and pacify a Governor that is way past his day of reckoning. Perhaps in another blog do I dare address that issue!

Remember, she has no proven system or one that has endured the test of time, yet we in Tennessee migrate to her as if she is the messiah. 

But all we are really interested in is the money she hands to buy your compliance. Michelle Rhees and Students First legacy still haunts her and follows her wherever she goes.Her greatest achievement to date is that perhaps any gains in standardized testing performance was produced at her own hand, by cheating or providing the culture for it.

The embattled Rhee was implicated in the largest cheating scandal in our educational history. She was tagged with having the largest erasures from wrong to right answers on standardized tests in DC. A charge that today she denies. But the legacy follows her and leaves doubt as to the validity and substantiality of her radical reform measures. She has even attempted to cover this ordeal up but her memos and conversations  with educational leaders has crippled her efforts to hide this fiasco.

191 teachers, 70 schools, public and charter were involved in a mass 
cheating scandal that rocked Rhees legacy and offered many doubts as to the effectiveness of her change of cheating as the policy.
http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/3070623

As John Merrow of AFT reflects on the failure Washington DC, the leader of the American Federation of Teachers concluded, “Rhee’s overzealous fixation on testing and measurement, and her efforts to silence and fire anyone who questioned her reckless, destabilizing strategies, ultimately failed D.C.’s kids.” 

“Under Rhee’s tenure, DC-CAS scores showed little or no gain, and the performance gap between low-income and upper-income students actually widened. Schools were destabilized by the constant churn of teachers and principals being fired, relocated or leaving out of frustration. Our children deserved better.”

Rhees response to the widespread cheating when confronted answered with a memo that states: What did Rhee do when the evidence in the memo was presented to her?

Apparently she followed Sanford’s number one recommendation as listed in the memo, she was quoted saying “That we keep this Erasure study really close hold. No more people in the know than necessary until we have more conclusive results.”
http://m.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/04/12/why-not-subpoena-everyone-in-d-c-cheating-scandal-rhee-included/

Concerned with Michelle Rhees and Students First legacy? Here are a few disturbing facts. 25, the number of D.C. schools closed during Rhee’s tenure,
 which began in June 2007 and lasted until October 2010. Twenty-three schools were closed in 2008 alone.

1/3, 1 333.3 Teachers of the 4,000 teachers on the DCPS payroll on Sept. 1, 2007 were gone by 2011, through firings, layoffs and attrition.
http://m.washingtonpost.com/opinions/book-review-radical-fighting-to-put-students-first-by-michelle-rhee/2013/02/08/562df41e-671e-11e2-85f5-a8a9228e55e7_story.html

You think through her plan to better American schools she is actually relying on parents to assist and guide the education of our children? Think again. She said this when asked about her goals to turn around education. “My goal is to ensure that laws, leaders, and policies are making students – not adults – our top priority!”

In her book, Radical: Fighting to put Students First she says, “Rhee’s awakening to the potential of every child is blessed with a great teacher, her rage at realizing that adults with special interests are blocking badly needed change.
http://www.studentsfirst.org/pages/about-michelle-rhee

Using the StudentsFirst State Policy Report Card (SPRC), a tool of radical change, to facilitate States to take over our schools, and not in a good way. This reform measure takes our schools and teachers away from local school boards, superintendents and discourages parent or teacher involvement, essentially removing those obstacles called Adults or Teachers from the equation by manipulation, performance measures thus tightening control and eliminating their voice. 

This overtaking of our educational system with no decision making from those pesky “Adults” can only lead to a recipe for disaster, complete control of our schools by our “state led” and eventually fed led and nationalization of our schools. Can you see a pattern developing here. 

She went on to say, remove the obstacles (adults, parents) and real change can take place.
http://www.studentsfirst.org/blog/entry/more-states-taking-over-struggling-schools

In essence what she is saying is “Let’s take our schools away from the teachers, adults, parents, school board, taxpayers, Superintendents and principals and turn them over to the state and DOE and we can have real education reform.”

From her bio on the StudentsFirst website Ms. Rhee is partnering with school districts, state education agencies, non-profit organizations and unions to transform the way schools and other organizations recruit, select and train highly qualified teachers in difficult-to-staff schools.

Another radical change that has been enacted in TN is the teacher performance evaluation that allows a teacher to be evaluated to keep their licensure based largely on how a student performs on standardized tests. A 5 tier grading system largely based on how well a student does on a standardized test that will put their employment, licensure and careers at great risk.

Again, adults removed from the equation, caring locally invested teachers, many who have grown up and been raised in the community they teach, plucked out of their schools and replaced with radical robots with a six week summer training course under their belt using  compliant “adults” brainwashed and made to conduct accordingly via the TFA, Teach for America, or Rhees very own. TNTP, The New Teacher Project.

Interesting to note, teachers from these two organizations do not need to be teachers, trained in education or certified as education instructors, to be inserted into these school replacing these “bad adult teachers” , they just need to have a strong desire to educate and a degree .

In fact, although boasting an educational background, Michelle Rhee has a bachelor’s degree in government from Cornell University and a master’s in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. 

Hardly a teacher, yet given the authority to change our states educational grid. 

We have a bureaucratic stooge deadset on the nationalization of our schools and an eventual takeover of our schools by the federal government and the Department of Education.

We are in the midst of takeover. Your child is the victim. Our elected officials have played you and I and we have given up our student sovereignty for the almighty dollar.

We rushed into RTTT with its millions to create change. Who had called for this change? A politician leading the charge? We can trace this societal change back to a few visionaries blinded by greed and the ability to “bring the bacon” back to Tennessee. 

Surely we can agree that perhaps we need to focus on areas for improvement. Yet I think we can agree that replacing what we have with a moronic scheme of deprivation and inadequacies is hardly the answer!

Haslam and Huffman sweep into a public school, select taxpaying citizens ousted with police escort.

In Uncategorized on November 8, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Haslam and Huffman sweep into a public school, select taxpaying citizens ousted with police escort.

Breaking News:  11/8/13

Governor Bill Haslam and TN Secretary of Education Kevin Huffman whisk into town, the general public is not allowed in their vicinity.

It could be called “Gestapo” like as taxpaying citizens were profiled then escorted out of a public school library where Huffman and Haslam were within minutes of speaking.

The site, the Cleveland Middle School in Cleveland Tennessee, the provocateur principal Mike Collier.

A couple of concerned parents, who happen to be Veterans who fought in foreign wars, taxpayers and coincidentally independent reporters  were attempting to attend a public meeting of which they wanted to attend, to gather information. 

Mike and I have covered events across the nation and have even ventured where most men dare trod to get you the truth. 

We were immediately given access to the building then denied the right to stay and listen to the Governor and his Secretary of Education because many labeled us a disruptive or combative although our records are clean of that charge.

A sunny afternoon it was and the mood in the main office area jovial with many suits and a strong police presence felt in room. 

When entering the room my escort and myself were met with many friendly faces and were asked if we were with the press, we signed in, were given our pass, our sticker which we quickly attached to our lapels of our shirts.

Police quickly shuffled us in as the guest speakers were soon to be arriving. 

The ease of entry was surprising which left  me and Mike at ease because after all, a publicly announced meeting inside a taxpayer funded school should be this easy. Concerned, law abiding citizens should be able to gain entrance into a public school where they plan to distribute info that may directly affect my children.

Our soul intent was to attend the meeting, gather, video and assimilate information out to a very hungry public. 

After all, if it’s coming from the Governor and the Secretary of Education why should it be kept secret and why should it be a private meeting. Why should we not be allowed to attend?

As we are setting up our cameras for the big media event, a lady enters the room and says I’m so sorry we must ask everyone for their press credentials and she turns to me and Mike Mallard with Tin Ship Productions (a nationally known documentary team) and myself, a staff writer of BCN with near 150,000 readers in 164 countries to display our credentials.

Mike and I were quickly encircled with Principal Mike Collier, the lady, and two policemen at our sides. It was obvious by the lack of activity outside this rather small group that we were the only ones being asked for credentials and quite frankly the only ones that needed them. So we searched our pockets, our wallets no credentials found and no one else in the room were being asked. So we knew the mood was fixing to change a very public lynching was to ensue.

We were approached by very aggressive principal that started making demands for us to leave as it was obvious the conservative “right wing”, independent reporters were not welcome and clearly had no say so in this debate. He must have read the latest DHS memo on Christians and right wing terrorists destroying the country.

After asking several pointed questions of which no defining answers followed we were told this is not open to the public and that we were not welcome.

At the crescendo and the principal obviously tiring at having his “authori-ty” questioned he lunged toward me and said “we do not allow combative people like you into these meetings!!!” I chuckled as evidently I asked one to many questions and replied “Sir, I’m not yelling at you so I do not expect you to yell at me!” “I’m just trying to find out how I can attend this meeting!” 

I changed the tempo a bit and slid around to his left, leaving his forehead and his hands shaky for some reason. I said “at this point I would like to be considered a concerned parent and a taxpaying citizen and would like to stay and not video but take notes of the planned speech by our duly elected Governor and his appointee” at which time he flashed his hands in a sweeping motion and said forcefully like a child exiting his office “GET THEM OUTTA HERE!!!”

As we exit the heavily guarded entrenchment with police escort, the library at our backs and into the main office I hear a familiar female voice squeaking condescendingly “That sure didn’t take you long! Is it over?” The laughter around her clearly displayed that the intent of her comment was relayed to me and Mike that we were not welcome in this very public building.

The walk to the exit to the end of the awning was very pleasant and as our escort turned verbal we met a very nice and friendly officer, last name Mason. He was very accommodating and apologetic stating he was not trying to squelch our rights. But our rights were violated! His willingness to honor someone eliminating my ability to peaceably gather and redress my government, to have freedom of the press stripped and to somehow impede the balancing of the powers of our federal government and their representatives, yes their was an assist here!

Yes, unknowingly perhaps but being the escort that gives these self appointed elite the ability to rewrite the Constitution and enforce their assumed power, yes, yes, you did participate in that classless action by providing a means for them to weld their unchecked tyrannical behavior.

Mike and I and several others soon resign to the partitioned “grassy knoll” to watch as the Governor, the Secretary of Education and their lap dogs arrived like rock stars and enter unscathed, unquestioned and uninhibited through the halls and the path we, who just moments ago exited under police duress. From this public domain they will now spew their well timed rhetoric to a liberal press that will filter till the info is unrecognizable and is palatable enough for all the sheep to lap up and digest!  

I’m sure the lead in story on all newscasts will be about their strong support of the unproven common core federalized standards. The propaganda spin cycle is on and completely unfettered by a concerned public attempting to dispel the agenda of the federal machine. Spin the nightly news will you please?

As a vocal or better known outspoken American you will never know the feeling of loss as when you lose your rights at the barrel end of a gun and witness a government completely out of control, unbridled and ready to pull the trigger.

Ponder these thoughts and observe the happenings around you! We are losing our rights and many more don’t care or are simply uninformed.

I’m becoming very accustomed to this type behavior and all too familiar with my rights not being honored. I’m still thinking this is not such a good thing! Right?

To contact this Principal I would encourage you to call or email him. Please be civil, nice and I do not condone violence or any threats.

I think it would do a world of good to let him know there are many out there that feel that the Constitution is still intact and many are still willing to speak up for those rights and believe in full disclosure, especially if our kids are involved!

Principal Mike Collier:
Cleveland Middle School
Cleveland Tennessee.
423-479-9641 ext 8002
mcollier@clevelandschools.org

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

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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