Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wow! I wish I would have recorded our conversation...

Good thing I brought a witness.

I met with our local superintendent for two hours on Friday and with a very emotional plea begged him to push back for our local rights and to preserve the freedoms we enjoy in America.

We started with him trying to draw on the board a similar drawing to the ones every administrator I've spoken with has drawn.  He quickly set down the chalk when he realized we had put more research into this than he had.  I thanked him for bringing up several items so that I could rebut them.

My issue isn't with raising our standards, but I must say I don't think this raises the standards for all.  I spoke to him of my conversations with the state about the math standards in particular.  I told him of my debate back at forth at the state offices about my younger children finishing a year behind what my older children will be able to do because they are ahead of the Common Core initiative.  I told him that they told me to take the fight back to my local school board because the fight over particulars lies there.  He looked at me dumbfounded and told me no we cannot teach them beyond grade level.  I reminded him I do not want my children to skip a grade but that a teacher should be able to assess the class and the individual students and let them progress accordingly without an artificial ceiling put into place.  I mentioned to him that he may want to take that to the state because they told me something different and that if he could resolve that argument it would help calm some of my concerns but it definitely is not my biggest concern.  He told us that he had people coming to him in support of Common Core.  I have no doubt that is true.  But did you know that the national PTA received millions of dollars to advocate for this new initiative?  (His face fell  as he sits on the State PTA board - no I did not he said)  I won't win the email war I said.  They've got a lot of money pushing their agenda forward.  I do not believe that any of the local or state PTA boards know this but they do know that they are being told to fight hard for this and that they are being sent to advocacy trainings in support of common core.

Did you know that tomorrow in many areas the districts around the state are holding meetings to teach parents about common core?  They are going to say that all of the things I'm saying are myths but they have given no evidence to prove otherwise.  And they are not opening it up to the other side or for questions, as I understand.  This is crazy!!

I told him some of the things that the people putting their money into our education had said and some of the contracts and agreements they have made with world organizations.  I asked him if he wanted people who are saying things like that putting money into our children's education.  He assured me that he did not.  He told us how things are not how they used to be.  He said that as our administrator he has no control but has to do as he is told. He said my hands are tied.   He said he didn't doubt the things we told him but he wasn't sure if it was as bad as we mentioned.  We assured him that maybe that was because he hadn't done his research as we had.  We begged him to do his due diligence before he blindly following what he was being told by our administrators.  I showed him how I am already seeing some of the follies of this new initiative being played out in my own family.  How can you sit there and not stand up for freedom?

We're tired he said.  We've been fighting for a long time Alisa.  I've watched our local freedoms get narrower and narrower, he said.  We told him we would take our fight to the board who were elected to represent the people.  He said they don't represent you anymore.  Our control is gone.  We can do nothing he said.  I said then you won't mind me fighting for our freedom will you?  He said I won't ask you to stop fighting.

I will contact as many parents as I can in this valley and around the state and share my concerns and let them do their own research and make their own conclusion.  I will talk to all of your principals and teachers and beg them to do their own research.  He let me know that I would be a thorn in his side and that it would make his life very difficult to move forward with what he's been given to do.  I told him that I am not out to make his job difficult nor do I hold any of our teachers, principals, etc accountable for these things but I can not sit back and let us be led blindly down this path because the truth is most parents don't even know what Common Core is.  At the most, they know what they were told at SEP's or back to school night that everyone is SOOO super dooper excited that Utah decided to raise it's standards and what a great tool this will be.  Do I believe this?

YES!!!  But for me all of the things I see coming down attached to the standards raise huge red flags and FAR outweigh the benefits.  That's the plan.  It has to look good.  How else would the people pulling the strings get so many to sign onto this?  That is how they operate.  We won't even see the effects of this for many years down the road.  They're smarter than that.  They will slowly wrap a string around our neck one mandate at a time until there are so many cords it becomes nearly impossible to escape.  Yes I know that Arne Duncan said we could get out of the standards whenever we want but tell me how.  We took a waiver to get out of No Child Left Behind because we committed to these standards.  If we decide to get out does that mean we have to pick NCLB back up?  We all know what a raging success that was.  Say they let us out, and they say you don't have to pick back up NCLB will they make us repay all of the Title I money we've been taking?  That was part of the agreement too.

Our State Superintendent has placed our state as one of the governing members of the SBAC (assessments)  which is the assessment consortium that comes along with the CCSSI (common core state standard initiative).  As stated in their rules that makes us bound to keep the Common Core.  I believe we can raise our standards and take the good out of all of this and make it work for our state so that WE have the power without joining this group.  It also states in their laws that everyone has to agree to any changes.

Are there benefits in working with other states?  Doesn't it sound great to have the states the same so that when we move from state to state etc...?  Sure it does!  But we now have to fight with 43 other states if we want to make a change with the standards that would be beneficial to our state, how else would they be common?  It is stated in the by-laws of the SBAC.  We need to work together it says.  Do the administrators in Chicago know what is best for your child?  I know they certainly don't know what is in the best interest of my children.  That's what is great about local control.  I can take the concerns of my children to my administrator and he CAN have the power to make changes and advocate in behalf of my concerns.

We need to pick up our arms and FIGHT for our freedom!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Thanks for the reminder --

This is what I'm fighting for.

I received this comment on my blog and I wanted to share.  I do not know this person in any way, shape or form.

Alisa, Someone just told me about your blog and I wanted to take a moment to say Thank You! We've never met and I have no idea who you are, but it is so refreshing to see more and more people waking up to the dangers of Common Core because they do their own homework. I am also an independent thinker. I was raised by a mother who escaped from Stalinist Ukraine only a year before Stalin starved 15 million Ukrainians. They saw what was coming. My grandparents saw that the communist state was trying to take over the hearts and minds of the children by forcing them into state run schools at the age of 3, taking away their religion and their connections to family and everything they held dear. My grandmother whispered "They are stealing our children away from us" just before they risked their lives to escape. I grew up in the best California private Catholic schools because my parents saw the problems within the nearby public schools and wanted much more for their children in academics and morality. We grew up with very little, sacrificing everything for a good academic and moral education. I have a degree in education and saw first hand how becoming a teacher was much more about indoctrination than it was about actually teaching children academics. I worked in the classroom until I started my own family. I found I could help other children much more through private tutoring and having a preschool in my home. I spent many years studying religion before I joined the LDS Church. I take freedom, education and religion very seriously because all of them have come at a huge cost for my family. I've always been looked up to by members of the church for standing up for freedom and education. It wasn't till I moved to Utah 3 years ago that I even heard the term "right wing extremist", and that coming from church members who should know better about the importance of freedom, agency, family first, the inspired Constitution and excellent education out of the best books. This term came from the mouths of members who should know that we need to put God first in everything we do and be careful of worldly philosophies that would take us away from family, freedoms and our God. I am constantly amazed that the very people who should understand the principles we stand for are the ones who fight us the most. My fight is not with teachers either, but is about protecting families, the Constitution, Judeo-Christian principles, and the right for parents to educate their children in how they believe is best based on these core beliefs. How dare a few people who think they are the educated elite take away our rights and freedoms to raise our own children in the way we think is best. How dare they take more and more of our hard earned money while forcing upon our children socialized education. My grandparents and my own mother who sacrificed so much to bring us to America to experience a better life and a better education are, I'm sure, blessing us from above for all we are doing to help our children in this crazy world we live in. Bless you for doing your own homework and for standing up for your children's sake and for that of so many others in this state. I pray that more will understand that this is just part of the ongoing battle for our children's souls and freedom. And I pray that they will wake up in enough time to join us.

Thank you for taking the time to read over my blog and share your experience with me.  It truly touched my heart because what she said is exactly what I'm fighting for.

I have been very prayerful as to how I should go about this because I don't want to make enemies but have felt very directed by the Lord in the things that I should do and the value of having this fight.  I went to the temple to help guide me in how I should proceed and whether I should proceed in this cause.  When I opened the Book of Mormon I looked down to see that I had opened them to Alma chapter 51.  I thank my Father in Heaven for giving me the courage to fight this fight.

Here is the description of the chapter:  The king-men seek to change the law and set up a king—Pahoran and the freemen are supported by the voice of the people—Moroni compels the king-men to defend their country or be put to death—Amalickiah and the Lamanites capture many fortified cities—Teancum repels the Lamanite invasion and slays Amalickiah in his tent.

These verses really hit me:

 Nevertheless, they did not long maintain an entire peace in the land, for there began to be a contention among the people concerning the chief judge Pahoran; for behold, there were a part of the people who desired that a few particular points of the alawshould be altered.
 But behold, Pahoran would not alter nor suffer the law to be altered; therefore, he did not hearken to those who had sent in their voices with their petitions concerning the altering of the law.
 Therefore, those who were desirous that the law should be altered were angry with him, and desired that he should no longer be chief judge over the land; therefore there arose a warmadispute concerning the matter, but not unto bloodshed.
 And it came to pass that those who were desirous that Pahoran should be dethroned from the judgment-seat were called aking-men, for they were desirous that the law should be altered in a manner to overthrow the free government and to establish a bkingover the land.
 And those who were desirous that Pahoran should remain chief judge over the land took upon them the name of afreemen; and thus was the bdivision among them, for the freemen had sworn orccovenanted to maintain their rights and the privileges of their religion by a free government.
 And it came to pass that this matter of their contention was settled by the avoice of the people. And it came to pass that the voice of the people came in favor of the freemen, and Pahoran retained the judgment-seat, which caused much rejoicing among the brethren of Pahoran and also many of the people of liberty, who also put the king-men to silence, that they durst not oppose but were obliged to maintain the cause of freedom.
 Now those who were in favor of kings were those of ahigh birth, and they sought to be bkings; and they were supported by those who sought power and authority over the people.

I knew after reading these verses that I have to keep fighting for our freedom.