Choice–It IS YOUR Choice Who Parents YOUR Child

“Choice” – It Is YOUR Choice Who Parents YOUR Child

We had to share this from a mom who is not going take it anymore and we want to encourage you to stand up too! This is in NY. And it begins….

On Sat, Sep 10, 2016 at 9:38 AM, (The Principal) wrote:
Good Morning,

I hope (child’s name) is enjoying the start of the school year.
In regards to your request, all students are expected to take the iReady Assessments. iReady will give us instructional information for students. There is no formal process for parents to refuse participation in academic testing developed and used by the District. Below is a link to additional information regarding iReady on the (School name) School District’s website. I understand you have also sent this request to (school district person’s name) however if you still have further questions please contact her office.

Sincerely,

(Principal’s name)
Principal
(School name) Elementary School
Sent from my iPhone”

The mother wrote responded:
“Good morning to you as well.

I’ll just dive right in – “expected” does not equal “mandated”, and even if it were mandated, I’d still refuse participation. You see, I am the parent and until some desperate attempt at legislating my rights away – my parental rights usurp what schools perceive as their rights over MY child.

Formal or informal, official or unofficial, the school does not dictate what I allow as I am the ultimate authority over my child.

She will not be participating in yet another experiment. You and I will have to navigate this together. Here’s looking forward to an amenable relationship as we both work towards the end goal of educating children – with the childs [sic] well-being the focus. We do not have to be adversaries. I’d much rather us partner together to navigate issues such as this.

Thank you for your response (which from the delay in timing, I attribute to you contacting school authorities and lawyers to make sure you’re protected). It is as I expected, and I don’t fault you for protecting yourself – just remember, when it comes to MY child, I am the ultimate authority, and I am well versed and current in the goings on in today’s education reform. I won’t be intimidated or scared into agreeing to do something I know is wrong.

iReady was piloted for a couple of months for a select few grades in a select few schools – where are the reports of that pilot? When was that presented to the community, or the parents, or our useless rubber stamping, NYSED water carrying board? It wasn’t.

When would you like to meet? I can meet any week day at 430…

With ultimate authority as a parent,
(Parent’s Name)
Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

Here are KACC’s thoughts prefaced with the message that this mom above is spot on and we are proud of her for taking control and making clear what she will and will not allow. These are OUR kids and parents have every right to stand up and speak up for what they want and against things that schools should not be doing.

Per the principal’s comments, it’s not just academic testing, there’s NO process (formal or otherwise!) for parents to PARTICIPATE (choosing to OR refusing to!). PARENTS are RESPONSIBLE for directing the education of their child, NOBODY else! The overwhelming posture of the academic community is that those in education, from the USDOED and USDOL to State DOEs to elected officials to teacher unions to boards of education to principals and administrative staff, are exclusively responsible for a child’s education. Those in education don’t know what to do with a parent who even acts in a mode of responsibility toward her child. Responsible parents are instead demonized.

By design, God entrusted children to parents, to raise them to be God-fearing. (Those who think this is a “religious” statement cannot dispute the fact that children ARE born to a man and a woman—parents, not any other combination.) Children were not entrusted to the government or elected persons or teachers or unions or businesses or accountability metrics.

Parents need to write/scream whatever that they all want choice in their public schools—a choice between classrooms with chalkboards and textbooks and classrooms with only high-tech; a choice in whether to participate in any class, program, initiative, assessment, individual education plan, etc.; a choice in whether to have any information regarding an enrolled student shared beyond the enrolled school, including with the state. That message has not gotten through.

The only people who should have a “vested interest” in a child are the parents of the child. The parents should be the ONLY ONES to determine the child’s course of education. The parent/child must be the owners of the child’s intellectual property – this is in line with a person’s right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Anything less than this can only be viewed as THEFT, at a minimum. Note the principal’s statement, “iReady will give us instructional information for students” (emphasis added). The child AND his data are viewed by the school, et al, as belonging to the school to be used by the school, et al.

This parent’s communication is what needs to be promoted and happening in EVERY school in every state. Trying to work with presidential candidates, D.C. departments, elected officials, and school administrations hasn’t and won’t change anything without parents politely, but with absolute firmness and authority, declining to operate within the current flipped paradigm.

To Survey or Not To Survey…Oh, and Opt OUT of State Testing :)

State testing isn’t the only thing parents have control over in their child’s time at public school. There are other things you can opt out of besides state testing. One of them is the Kansas Communities that Care survey. I’m attaching (at the bottom of the post) it here so you can see it for yourself. This one is sometimes viewed as an “opt in” rather than an opt out. So, that means that they have to notify you about it, you have to sign that you DO want your kid to do it, or else it is assumed that your child will not be participating. I’ve seen a few variations on this, so, it’s possible that your district could be offering either opting in or opting out.

Basically, this is a big data collection point. Some districts, like my own, no longer offer it. If yours does, then you can absolutely opt out of it. Many districts just send home a form to sign and it’s just that easy.

One of our KACC leaders submitted testimony about this survey back in February of 2015, I think. In part, here are some of the points she made:
• Parents are told the surveys are anonymous. However, the first 20 items the kids fill out are personal identifiers. These include: school district, building number, age, grade, gender, race, number of siblings, grades (A, B, etc.) usually received, parents’ level of education. Consider this being administered in a small school district; it wouldn’t be very hard to pretty accurately determine individuals.
• If the information on the surveys is completely anonymous, then why isn’t the complete data from the surveys available to parents and the public? Per Nancy White, with the Southeast Kansas Education Center – Greenbush administering agency, they “protect” the data, with only data down to building level being provided to school superintendents. If it’s anonymous, why does the individual survey level data need to be protected?
Considering the amount of personally identifying questions in combination with the type of questions and manner in which they are phrased, it is disturbing to me that, until recently, parents were not even apprised of their kids taking the test. But even the notification we received last year was misleading, at best. And, parents only having the option to “opt-out”, rather than “opting-in”, especially without explicit knowledge of the survey, is concerning.
• Do the intervention programs change student behavior? I asked Nancy White whether there was any data to substantiate whether the Intervention programs implemented as a result of these surveys actually resulted in a change in student behavior. She said “no”, her agency doesn’t have evidence based programs with measurable results. She mentioned that some organizations may have evidence based programs, but that hers doesn’t. One such organization that does have evidenced based programs is the Regional Prevention Center in Olathe, KS. Schools may also elect to forward survey information to other organizations, such as the Johnson County Mental Health Center.
• School approved activity. From a broader perspective, I have to ask WHY is the inclusion of these types of activities deemed acceptable in our education institutions. This survey is not germane to the education of a student. While education institutions have taken on the mantra of the myriad of social issues and causes, I do not want schools “instructing”, and thereby “influencing”, my kids in these areas. I especially do not want my kids being tracked, inventoried or graded in these areas.
CONCLUSION
At issue is the fact that, as Nancy White with the Southeast Kansas Education Center – Greenbush explained to me, passive permission by parents was changed last year to now require an active permission to occur for kids to participate in this survey. Her concern is a perceived lower participation rate due to parents having to actually “opt their kids in” to taking the survey. She stated that “parents forget to send things back”.
So, there is concern that fewer kids will complete the survey. There is concern that parents will forget to submit the permission form. The concern over not “enough” students completing the survey because parents may not “do what we perceive they need to do”, results in agencies and institutions setting up environments to make allowance for perceived lapses in human beings to “do the right thing” to “force” or “ensure” the desired outcome.
However, in my (a parent’s) opinion, the needs and goals of the agency are super-ceding what is in the best interest of the student. The needs and goals of the agency have super-ceded the express right and responsibility of the parent to determine what is in their child’s best interest. This is an invasion of privacy of children and families.
There used to be an assumption of privacy. If a person or group wanted an individual’s personal information, they had to go through steps to acquire that information. Now, there appears to be an assumption of a lack of privacy. With this presumption of no individual privacy, the individual must go through steps to protect and prohibit others’ acquisition of private information. This is backwards.
I find it amazing that this and other agencies have a problem with acquiring parent permission to collect data on students. Students are not the property of the state or any agency or any other institution. Students are individuals whose parents have the sole responsibility for their well-being. There is not a baby factory spitting out kids somewhere in Kansas, who are then “placed” by the state with adults to be raised under the auspices of the state. Babies are born to parents, who have the privilege and responsibility of raising them to the best of their ability (even abilities not necessarily looked favorably upon by others) and protecting them. Data on students attending educational institutions, whether it be obtained through surveys or other processes, is not the innate property of those institutions. It is the student’s data, and parents must be allowed every opportunity to prohibit the data collection in the first place. Having to ask for permission, “mother may I”, to acquire data seems a simple and civilized thing to do.

As a general rule, I say “no” to all of these sorts of things and much, much more. Believe it or not, you have more say in your child’s education than you think. So, say no to this survey and ones like it, and then since you’re on a roll, go ahead and say no to state testing while you’re at it. 🙂2016-KCTC-Comprehensive-1-1

Why Do YOU Send Your Child To Public School?

Why Do YOU Send Your Child To Public School?

Stop and think for a moment. Why do you send your kid to public school, or school at all? What is the purpose? What do you expect your kid to get out of it or be able to do because your kid receives an education? Do you think that school is about academics? What percentage of schooling should be about academics? 20%? 40%? 80%? More? Less? Who should be offering up feedback to the Kansas Education Department? Parents? Teachers? Government officials? Business leaders? In what percentages should these groups provide thoughts and information?

Randy Watson, the Kansas Education Commissioner, has been scooting all over our state with his presentation called Kansas Can. He is basically laying out the Kansas Department of Education’s marketing plan by asking teachers to “get on board” and help him promote the grand plan. He reveals what he says the Chamber of Commerce wants out of your child and his education. Why the focus on the desires of business? Is parent pro-creation merely the producing of humans for the needs of business and government? Take a look at the graph from his presentation:

WatsonPresentationCoCdata216

That’s right. You’re not seeing it wrong. You don’t need to reach for a different pair of glasses. According to Watson’s presentation, the Chamber of Commerce tells him that only 15% of a child’s education should focus on academic skills. So, that begs the question, “What, exactly, are these “non academic skills” that the Chamber thinks that education should provide your child?” Well, evidently, young adults don’t know how to show up to work on time or know that they shouldn’t be texting their friends while they are on the clock, and that sort of thing. Never mind that kids are required to show up to school on time, every day, and never mind that schools have existing policies about texting while taking a test.

What jumps into my mind is this, “Why is it a school’s job to teach my child to be punctual? Isn’t that my job?” So now, rather than teaching our kids the “three Rs,” we are going to spend valuable teaching time with these social and emotional types of things. The teachers really do replace the parents in an “educational” environment like this.

But wait…it gets BETTER!

We have done our research. They are also planning on filling up your kids’ minds with the copyrighted, unchangeable Common Core values, beliefs, and attitudes. This includes Common Core aligned standards, such as the “social, emotional and character development standards.” Don’t expect the Kansas educational “elites” to drop this without a big fight; they helped design/implement these intrusive standards. Did you know this was going on?

Take a close look at this pie chart presented in Watson’s Kansas Can presentation with which he is currently “on tour.”

WatsonParentalInvolvement216

Here’s a juicy bite: This change in teaching focus violates the Kansas Constitution! Article 6 section 1 states:
1: Schools and related institutions and activities. The legislature shall provide for intellectual, educational, vocational and scientific improvement by establishing and maintaining public schools, educational institutions and related activities which may be organized and changed in such manner as may be provided by law.

It is no wonder. When the Kansas Can marketing bus visited cities and “Delphied” the masses, take a guess how much parental involvement was included. Exactly 5.6%! Now, guess how much input the educational establishment usurped for itself? An unbelievable 74.5%! Classroom teacher involvement is expected and desired, but parental rights are supreme and guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that parents possess the “fundamental right to direct the upbringing and education of their children.”

The court has declared that “the child is not the mere creature of the State: those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right coupled with the high duty to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.” (Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S.10, 534-35).

Is anyone starting to see that things are just not adding up? Is this “Kansas Can” or is this “Kansas Scam?”

Here is a link to Watson’s full PowerPoint presentation: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/gszw4nw44qf33m5/AABAGlXh_O6OeY1ln-Qjy5gea/2016%20SESSION/2016%20MEETINGS/JANUARY%20MEETINGS/January%2013%20-%20Dr.%20Randy%20Watson/01-13-16%20KSDE%20Presentation%20RWatson.pdf?dl=0

*UPDATE* Call To Action–ALL HANDS ON DECK

*We have a few more calls we need you to make. Please see the updated list below.*

Things have heated up and we need YOUR help. Please, pass this along to your friends, family, and neighbors and encourage them to make the calls too. We cannot take the next step without you. The opposition is fierce and we must stand strong and united.

1. Call Speaker Ray Merrick’s office: Phone: 785-296-2302
Email: ray.merrick@house.ks.gov
Ask him to “support HB2292 with no amendments.”
2. Call Speaker Pro Tem Peggy Mast’s office: Phone 785-291-3500
Email: peggy.mast@house.ks.gov
Ask her to “support HB2292 with no amendments.”
3. Call House Majority Leader Jene Vickrey’s office: Phone: 785-296-7662
Email: jene.vickrey@house.ks.gov
Ask him to “support HB2292 with no amendments.”
4. Call House Majority Whip Willie Dove’s office: Phone: 785-296-7677
Email: willie.dove@house.ks.gov
Ask him to “support HB2292 with no amendments.”
5. Call Governor Brownback’s office: 785-296-3232
Ask him to “support HB2292 with no amendments.”
6. Call YOUR representative (find your rep here):
http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2015_16/chamber/house/
Ask your rep to “support HB2292 with no amendments.”
*Even if your representative doesn’t want to hear from you, it’s still important to make that call.

Again, things are REALLY HEATING UP and the opposition is swinging into fast action. We cannot let them get the upper hand. The State School Board and some legislators are up to their usual actions to derail getting Common Core out of Kansas by challenging the bill’s constitutionality and drafting amendments to water down the bill. One call will not be enough. You’re going to have to make many calls over the next week. It is critical that our calls outnumber their calls.

We have heard that videos and lengthy PDFs are being put together in opposition to this bill. We must unite now and fend off these attacks from groups like the PTA who put out this type of negative propaganda.

Thank you for your support and your action is key to getting Common Core out of Kansas. Without you, the grassroots, we are dead in the water.
KACC

Getting Down to the Wire–II

Hi Everyone-

**The vote is at 10:30AM on Friday in room 112NS.** (Yes, that room is correct!)
Update: We have added a name to the list below…

We have reports that there are lots of calls and emails making it to a number of House Education Committee members. This is outstanding. Good work, troops! But, you’re not done yet. MORE, MORE, MORE are needed, so please, forward this on to every Kansan you can think of and ask them to take action…again and again!

It is getting down to the wire in committees to pass bills so that the full House has a chance to act on them. We only have one week left for this to happen. So, here’s what we need from all of you, and more!
1. Call/email the House Education Committee Chair, Ron Highland at ron.highland@house.ks.gov 785-296-7310. We are asking that you be polite, but firm (i.e. use your “mom voice”) in asking him to:

  • Make public the date for the vote.
  • Record all votes (so we all know who votes how).
  • 2292 and NO SUBSTITUTIONS!
  • 2292 is a SOLID and VETTED bill…so support it!

2. Call/email House Speaker Ray Merrick ray.merrick@house.ks.gov 785.296.2302. Please be polite, but firm. Let him know that:

  • “We the people” don’t want a substitute.
  • “We the people” do not support an 11th hour substitute.
  • “We the people” are watching our legislators closely and expect our voices to be heard and acted upon.
  • 2292 is a SOLID and VETTED bill…so support it!

3. Call/email Rep. Bradford at john.bradford@house.ks.gov 785 296-7653. Here, we are asking that you be polite, but assertive (I would say more like a firm “teacher voice”). The messages he must hear:

  • He’s been saying he’s been trying to get rid of CC for three years, and here is his perfect chance and it seems he won’t take it. Make sure to point that out.
  • HB2292 is a SOLID BILL…so support it!
  • It is not right that he’s holding back 2292.
  • Let the FULL HOUSE see the bill and let them decide what to do with it.
  • Voters who care about this are paying attention–he’s getting hundreds of calls/emails in support of HB2292 and he needs to do the will of the people. That’s his job!
  • “We the people” do not want a substitute.
  • Constituents in his own district are on board as they are signing a petition to support 2292.

4. Call/email Rep. Grosserode at amanda.grosserode@house.ks.gov 785-296-7659. Again, polite but assertive.

  • She’s been saying she’s against CC for a while and she home schools. So, now is her chance to put her money where her mouth is and SUPPORT HB2292 as it stands, no amendments.
  • Voters in her own district are overwhelmingly supporting HB2292 as it stands. Is she with her constituents or against them? Does she think her voters will remember what she does or does not doe here come election time?
  • Kansas could be a leader here. We could be marching to the beat of our own drummer. Does she want to be a leader or a follower? Let the FULL HOUSE decide this, not just her.
  • 2292 is a SOLID BILL and her constituents expect her to SUPPORT IT!

Remember, if this doesn’t make it out of committee next week, we are stuck with CC in Kansas for another year! These people MUST hear from us, over and over again. We know you guys have been working the phone lines and the emails, but we must keep pushing and pushing. Please, don’t stop now!
Thanks!
KACC
bluephone

Great information to read and share!

Great information to read and share!

George Will – Doubts Over Common Core
“Leave aside the abundant, fierce, often learned and frequently convincing criticisms of the writing, literature and mathematics standards. Even satisfactory national standards must extinguish federalism’s creativity: At any time, it is more likely there will be half a dozen innovative governors than one creative federal education bureaucracy. And the mistakes made by top-down federal reforms are continental mistakes.”

Disturbing Testimony at Hearing Reveals What is at the Core of Common Core Support
The Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership’s promotional program began with an explanation that Common Core was the centerpiece of their effort to “match up the American educational system with the European educational system of work-ready.”

Wichita, KS Family Speaking Out – Parents homeschooling children in response to Common Core standards
They say what concerns them the most is that most parents have been told little, if anything, about the standards.
They hope no matter the conclusion parents reach, they at least take a closer look and ask questions about what their children are being taught.
“If this does nothing more than wake people up to becoming more involved with their children, that’s great,” Justin said. “But absolutely parents need to become more involved in this.”
You can contact them at truthaboutcommoncore@hotmail.com

South Carolina Governor Haley Vows State Will Ditch Common Core
In a speech to the Greenville County Republican Women’s Club on Jan. 16, according to the Anderson Independent Mail, Haley, a Republican who’s up for re-election this year, said, “We are telling the legislature: Roll back common core. Let’s take it back to South Carolina standards.” She added that if Senate Bill 300 (introduced last year for the state’s 2013-14 legislative session) reaches her desk, she “absolutely will sign it.” In that bill, there’s no pause, no mandated review period—just a straightforward move to remove the standards from the state.

Common Core’s Newer Math
“The problem with Common Core is not that it provides standards, but that, despite its claims, there is a particular pedagogy that accompanies the standards. And this pedagogy is flawed, for, just as in New Math, from the youngest ages Common Core buries students in concepts at the expense of content.”

Karen Lameroux, Arkansas mom, speaks out:
On Glenn Beck
On Fox Business

Parents – not politics

There have been so many articles talking about the politics of Common Core Standards, but it is really about the parents. Moms and dads who are speaking out for their children and for education.  Here are just a few examples – and they are inspiring.  Please watch and read:

 

 

And over the weekend, a dad posted a picture of himself with a Stop Common Core sign and started a facebook page where anyone can post their own picture.  In less than two days, it has grown to over 500 likes and many photos have been posted.  Go parents!