America, the Unique

rosietheriveterI set out to find out who British publishing giant, Pearson Publishing, really is. I spent many, many hours researching. In the end, I realized that Pearson is  basically greedy and fond of the United Nations (UN) as well as the provider of the bulk of textbooks, teacher trainings, and tests related to Common Core (CC). This has been unsettling me for several days. Why would anyone be fond of the UN? Then I had a flickering memory of the opening ceremony of the Olympics in London where universal health care was glorified. That ceremony gave me the shivers. I couldn’t put my finger on why it bothered me so much, and then my husband reminded me of the ties to the UN. Then it alarmed me that it didn’t bother the rest of the world. It seemed only Americans, especially those of us that respect our Constitution, seem troubled by that show.

America is the only country I know of (except maybe Israel) that doesn’t really understand what it’s like to be under the authority of a monarchy or dictatorship. The Pilgrims purposefully came here to get away from that. They wanted to raise their children according to God’s word, the Bible, and not what the Church of England dictated. The king was very far away and didn’t really care what the Pilgrims were doing at that point. We have a unique world view. We are a strong, determined, independent people. The people of Europe, however, have never really known the freedom we have. That is what we Americans have valued for most of our history: God and country. However, since the 1960’s, that began changing.

I read a very interesting, well documented piece this morning. I will sum it up here. It actually began after World War II, in 1948, when the UN was founded. Part of that was the development of human rights, practices, and policies that would support a global, ethical religion. Now, let’s jump to 2001. After years of gearing up, the UN felt the world was softened up enough to push their agenda on young children. They have developed a training manual that over reaches traditional theistic religions.

Some of the rights included in the economic part of the “bill of rights” include: food, shelter, clean water, health, education social security, and a safe and healthy environment. Although this sounds caring and humane, it takes away a country’s sovereign rights. Fortunately, the US is one of a few countries that did not sign off on this. However, that doesn’t mean that the Council of Chief State School Officers (a lobbyist group), the National Governor’s Association (a lobbyist group), certain well-funded individuals (such as Bill Gates) and the president and his secretary of education, Arne Duncan, aren’t trying to introduce and enforce them in the US via future court decisions, federal laws, and regulations.

If this concerns you, please sign our petition at wyomingfreedomofeducation.org

In 2004, the UN adopted a World Program on Human Rights Education (HRE). This is the plan for teaching human rights in schools. They have lesson plans, teacher trainings, and materials. This done under the title of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNESCR). Because most European countries have federal education, rather than locally controlled education, Europe has been more willing to adopt these plans. However, when 45 states accept a one size fits all education plan, we too have federalized education and taken control away from local communities and have breached the tenth amendment.

In 2009, the National Governor Association Center for Best Practices, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and Achieve published their new Common Core Standards for math and language arts. Currently, the science and social studies standards are being finalized. The Wyoming Board of Education may be voting on the approval of these standards on January 23rd. The UN’s human rights agenda is woven in throughout the standards. For example, in the language arts standards, there are lessons that include: more informational text readings, writing for the purpose of use text evidence to support a point of view with reasoning and building arguments. From what I’ve seen of the lessons used with Common Core, there is a great deal of emphasis placed on emotions rather than facts. Also in reading, the new key phrase is “embedded reading.” Basically, this is reading a simple sentence. Next, that same sentence is built up with more vocabulary, ideas and concepts. Then it gets more complex, but maintains the original basic sentence. This is known as scaffolding. Human rights groups have created websites that contain the embedded readings.  Redistribution is a common theme in math lessons.  In the book, “A Wrinkle in Time,” Meg, the main character, learns that fair doesn’t mean equal, it means getting what you need.  For example, I am in my fifties.  I don’t need birth control, yet Obama Care thinks all people ought to have birth control, their definition of fair means equal.  But what I need and what you need, may be very different, and that is NOT fair.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative has direct ties to the UN. As Americans, this ought to cause us to bring out our fighting spirit. The USA does not have a global mentality. We value the individual. We used to value freedom OF (not from) religion. We value the true meaning of fair. The UN has no right to usurp our local control of education, parental rights, and independence.

How can you help stop this (and several states have hit the brakes on Common Core)? Write you state representatives, our State Board of Education, sign our petition, and educate every one you meet.

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Why are little kids coming home from school in tears?

Image“The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother’s care, shall be in state institutions.” -Carl Marx

People are beginning to wake up to the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSI).  And, people are saying, they’re just standards, what’s the harm?  In fact, in some states, including Wyoming, the new standards are better than the standards we had according to Sandra Stosky , Professor Emerita at the University of Arkansas, as stated at the Round Table event in Cheyenne.  Educational standards got their start in the 1990’s.  They are not good or bad, they are like a road map; their purpose is to help you get to where you want to go. However, is that always the case?

You see, people have always known that kids are not grown-ups.  They have to learn to walk, talk, color in the lines, share, etc.  In fact, a well-known psychologist, Piaget, has determined that there are certain phases we all go through as we develop:

  1.  Sensorimotor Stage (about 18-24 months): Young ones at this age are only aware of what is right in front of them.  That’s why they like “peek-a-boo.”  They are learning how things react-which is why they drop their cup 10,000 times.  They are learning by trial and error. As they learn to speak, they begin to grasp that symbols mean something.  This is clearly illustrated in the movie, “The Miracle Worker,” when Helen finally gets that spelling out water is equal to the same stuff as what comes out of the pump.  Memory is beginning to develop.
  2. Preoperational Stage (2-ish–approximately the age of 7 years):  Children begin to think about things symbolically.  They love to use their new found imaginations. They are NOT ready to grasp cause and effect, time or comparisons (Which is bigger? Is not understandable yet).
  3. Concrete Operational Stage (7-12-ish years):  This is when logic develops.  Children begin to be aware of things beyond themselves and they are able to “get” that 3+4=7 so 4+3=7 and 7-3=4 so 7-4=3.
  4. Formal Operational Stage (around 12 and on up):  This is the final, formal stage.  Here children can link symbols to abstract ideas.  This is when algebra can be taught.  They also begin to think about abstract ideas such as love, relationships, fairness, etc.

It has been determined by many childhood development experts that several of the standards are in fact not developmentally appropriate, especially at the primary level.  This can in fact harm children.  What some people call “rigor” others would call impossible and/or cruel.  One such group of people are the Alliance for Childhood.  In their “Joint Statement of Early Childhood Health and Education Professional on the Common Core Standards Initiative,” they had 4 points of contention with the CCSI:

  1. “Such standards will lead to long hours of instruction in literacy and math.  Young children learn best in active, hands-on ways and in the context of meaningful real-life experiences.  New research shows that didactic instruction of discrete reading and math skills has already pushed play-based learning out of many kindergartens.  But the current proposal goes well beyond most existing state standards in requiring, for example, that every kindergartner be able to write “all upper- and lowercase letters” and “read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.”
  2. They will lead to inappropriate standardized testing.  Current state standards for young children have led to the heavy use of standardized tests in kindergarten and the lower grades, despite their unreliability of assessing children under age eight.  The proposed core standards will intensify inappropriate testing in place of broader observational assessments that better serve young children’s needs.
  3. Didactic instruction and testing will crowd out other important areas of learning.  Young children’s learning must go beyond literacy and math.  They need to learn about families and communities, to take on challenges, and to develop social, emotional, problem-solving, self-regulation, and perspective-taking skills.  Overuse of didactic instruction and testing cuts off children’s initiative, curiosity, and imagination, limiting their later engagement in school and the workplace, not to mention responsible citizenship. And it interferes with the growth of healthy bodies and essential sensory and motor skills-all best developed through playful and active hands-on learning.
  4. There is little evidence that such standards for young children lead to later success.  While an introduction to books in early childhood is vital, research on the links between the intensive teaching of discrete reading skills in kindergarten and later success in inconclusive at best.  Many of the countries with top-performing high-school students do not begin formal schooling until age six or seven.  We must test these ideas more thoroughly before establishing nationwide policies and practices.”

They then go on to say that they desire the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CSSO) to suspend the CCSI for primary grades.  Where upon, many states, including Wyoming, are pushing to make preschool mandatory.  This document was signed by over 130 childhood experts from all over the country.

Okay…so which standards are considered developmentally inappropriate?  Thanks to Dr. Karen R. Effrem, Md, and others (such as Sandra Stotsky) for researching the standards to determine their appropriateness.  Here are a few examples:

Mathematics

  • Math.Content.K.OA.A.5 (kindergarten)  Fluently add subtract within 5 Problem:  Skips teaching of counting and one to one correspondence
  • MACC.1.MD.1.1 (first grade) Measure lengths indirectly and by iterating length units-order three objects by length; compare the lengths of two objects indirectly by using a third object. Problem:  This ought to come after the age of 7.
  • MA.CC.1.NBT.3.4 (first grade) Place value understanding and properties of operations to add and subtract –Add within 100, including adding a two-digit number and a one digit number, and adding a two-digit number and a multiple of 10, using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction; relate the strategy to a written method and explain the reasoning used.  Understand that in adding two-digit numbers, one adds tens and tens, ones and ones; and sometimes it is necessary to compose a ten.  Problem:  Confusing and open to interpretation.

English Language Arts Standards

  • LACC.K.RL.2.4 (kindergarten) Ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.  Problem:  How does one urge a first grader to ask about a word they don’t know? They don’t have that reasoning yet.
  • LACC.1.RL.2.5 (first grade) Explain major differences between books that tell stories and books that give information, drawing on a wide reading of a range of text types.)         Problem:  They haven’t really learned to read yet and so how would they know genre?
  • LACC>2.RI.3.8 (second grade) Describe how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text.  Problem:  I don’t understand what they are looking for….
  • LACC.910>RI.1.3  (third grade)  Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.  Problem:  Dr. Stotsky says: Ninth graders can’t do this.
  • RI..5.5 (fifth grade) Compare and contrast the overall structure (e.g. chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts.  Problem:  This is confusing because kids are asked to compare two texts or more and asked to do two or more tasks.  Kids at this age can only handle three directions at a time.
  • L.K.1 (kindergarteners) (When speaking) Produce and expand complete sentences in shared language activities.  Problem:  Nouns and verbs in kindergarten? They are just at the very beginning of understanding symbols: /b/ = b as in boy.  A complete sentence needs a noun and verb: Sam eats.  They can’t understand the definition of these terms.

Another good source of information is Dr. Megan Koschnick, a child psychologist who is against the standards for their inappropriateness and their potential damage to children.  I urge you to watch her You Tube presentation (She is sucking on a cough drop because she was about to lose her voice, forgive her for that).

In sum, it is clear that the writers of the standards, at least at the early grades, did not have child development experts involved.  The standards are asking children to perform tasks that they simply are not ready for.  This is not rigor, it is cruel and unacceptable. I wonder if Piatget is taught to educators anymore…

  •  Side note, there was a vote to provide funding to add an addition to the Capital to house the preschool administrators as well as other expansions (told to me by the WDE (Wyoming Department of Education)).  Currently, preschool is under the umbrella of the Department of Health.  There is a push to make preschool mandatory so the government can have your children from the age of four.

If this concerns you, write your state representatives, the State Board of Education and PLEASE sign our petition at wyomingfreedomineducation.org

“Give me 4 years to teach the children, and the seed I have sown, will never be uprooted” -Vladimir Lenin

Until this school year, 2013-2014, it was a challenge to find examples of student assignments.  Now, they are all over the place.  I now can prove they are indoctrinating.  “They” aren’t even hiding it anymore. Another thing that causes a challenge with this piece are philosophies.  The standards are the standards.  It doesn’t matter if you are in Washington, Hawaii, Maine, Florida, or “the middle,” it’s all the same  Also, as far as standards are standards, Bill Gates himself said, “The curriculum will line up with the tests”. What I am going to attempt is to show a few examples of current assignments from across the USA, to show you what kids in school are learning, and let you decide if it is okay with you.

Many people are very upset with the math their children are bringing home.  Instead of teaching traditional algorithms, students are taught to “break apart” numbers to make them “easier” to work with and then explain how they came up with the answer.  For example:

First Grade Math

First Grade Math

Fourth Grade Math

Fourth Grade Math

Another huge complaint is the Lattice Method for multiplying. I think you can see why.

The answer is 12, 354

The answer is 12, 354

My biggest concern is that many of the standards, especially for primary grades are developmentally inappropriate.  Here is a first grad test.  Adults have a difficult time with this test.

Check out #1

Check out #1

Notice this first grade teacher is grading using a percentage.  I don’t think I have ever seen that in first grade before.

Another area of concern are the lessons that go against morality and the republic.  These are just a couple of samples.  I see more every day.  I’ll let the work speak for me.

Morailty:

Who lives?  Who dies?

Sex Ed.  Don’t watch with children close by!

Learn to Make Beer at Home for high schoolers

How to Think Like a Nazi

Middle School and High School porn

Cheating to win?

Cheating to win?

Against the Republic:

The Government Must Be Obeyed

White Guilt

Good bye 2nd amendment

Good bye 2nd amendment

He wasn't always a bad man.

He wasn’t always a bad man.

No, the government is NOT my family.

No, the government is NOT my family.

As you can see, this goes way beyond standards.  Bill Gates was correct, the curriculum will align to the tests, but so will all sorts of inappropriate things.  Yesterday, Sunday, November 3, 2013, I saw a letter from a teacher that broke my heart!  It is very powerful and she has given people permission to share it.  After you read it, decide if this is okay with you.

Today, November 5, 2013, the Wyoming State Board of Education is discussing the Next Generation Science Standards.  PLEASE email them and tell them you do not want these standards!