by Jennifer Reynolds, publisher of Arizonans Against Common Core.
A Rebrand of Common Core is coming unless we stop it through our combined voices speaking against the proposed 2016 English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics Standards. Very little has changed with these 2016 Standards and we will still have Common Core!
Recently, Gila Watch published Arizona Joins Texas in Lawsuit to Stop Federal Overreach. Arizona joined this lawsuit following a letter from Arizona lawmaker Representative Bob Thorpe (R-LD6). Rep. Thorpe has provided the letter to Gilbert Watch, as well as the data for how the State, Local and Federal education funds break down for 2014-2015.
Dear Arizona Superintendent of Schools Diane Douglas and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich:
Legislators have been receiving numerous complaints from constituents who are very concerned with the threatening tone of the May 13, 2016 letter from U.S. Attorney General Lynch and U.S. Department of Education Secretary King.
The letter coerces our nation’s K-12 public schools and colleges to ensure that transgender students must be allowed to use the gender designated restrooms, changing rooms and locker facilities of their choosing, not necessarily that of their biological gender. It has been estimated that approximately 0.3% of U.S. individuals identify themselves as transgender.
In response to a letter from Arizona lawmaker Representative Bob Thorpe (R-LD6), Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas announced that Arizona will Join Texas in a Lawsuit to Stop Federal Overreach. Co-signers of Rep. Thorpe’s letter included Sen. Sylvia Allen (R-LD6), and Representatives Brenda Barton (R-LD6), Paul Boyer (R-L20), Karen Fann (R-LD1), Mark Finchem (R-LD11), Anthony Kern (R-LD20), and Vince Leach (R-LD11). (Please express your thanks to Bob Thorpe and the other legislators who signed his letter, as well as Mark Brnovich and Diane Douglas. See email addresses below.)
The COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF concerns the May 13, 2016 "Joint Guidance" issued by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education relating to requiring public schools that receive federal funding to allow transgender students to use whatever restroom or locker room they wish, based on how they identify their gender.
The threat to withdraw federal funding from any school that doesn’t comply is very clear in this sentence: "Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, schools receiving federal money may not discriminate based on a student’s sex, including a student’s transgener status."
Zero Hedge recently published an article titled Department of Education – Our Work Here is Done. A few items from that article include:
The Department of Education was created in 1979 and now has an annual budget of $73 billion, with 5,000 government bureaucrats roaming its hallways. See U.S. Department of Education Budget Fact Sheet.
After 37 years and trillions of dollars "invested" in our children, here is a short list of some "achievements": 1) There are six million students in the California school system, and 25% of those students are unable to perform basic reading skills. 2) 50% of adults cannot read a book written at an eighth grade level. 3) 45 million adults are functionally illiterate and read below a 5th grade level. 4) 3 out of 4 people on welfare can’t read. 5) 20% of Americans read below the level needed to earn a living wage. 6) School dropouts cost our nation $240 billion in social service expenditures and lost tax revenues. 7) 3 out of 5 people in American prisons can’t read. 8) Approximately 50% of Americans read so poorly that they are unable to perform simple tasks such as reading prescription drug labels.
Liberal compassion towards transgenders ends when…..it negatively affects THEIR kids.
"Maya Dillard Smith, the head of Georgia’s ACLU chapter, stepped down this week in protest of the civil rights group’s challenge of a controversial North Carolina law that critics see as discriminatory to transgender people."
“I have shared my personal experience of having taken my elementary school age daughters into a women’s restroom when shortly after three transgender young adults over six feet with deep voices entered,” she writes. “My children were visibly frightened, concerned about their safety and left asking lots of questions for which I, like many parents, was ill-prepared to answer.”
Want to know why those guys used that bathroom? Because they can.
This post appeared in Stop Common Core in California Facebook on May 6, 2016. It was shared by California teacher, Dawn Nikisher Kelly, with her permission:
(GW NOTE: It may be of interest to know that, unlike Arizona, California law allows a parent or guardian to excuse a child from all or parts of the statewide assessment. Not many parents do, however. See 60615 of EDUCATION CODE SECTION 60604-60618.)
Those of us in the anti-Common Core/AzMerit/High Stakes testing movement have long explained why teachers don’t speak out against the insane nationalization of our K-12 Education System. Mostly, it’s because they don’t want to risk losing their jobs. Even former teachers don’t speak out, for fear they will never work again in the public school system. Ms. Debra Jo Borden, a former Arizona teacher, bravely went public in late April 2016 . She is silent no more about the gagging of teachers, AzMerit, the data mining and psychoanalysis of our children, and much more. Please read what she has to say:
1) I disagree with the contracts teachers are required to sign that force them to remain silent.
2) I can be brave and I will speak up.
The Arizona Legislature has adjourned Sine Die. The Fifty-Second Legislature, Second Regular Session ended May 7, 2016. Unfortunately, the majority of legislators (including all Democrats) refused to respect parents’ rights in voting Nay to SB1455 (parental opt out) . Yet, in liberal left New York, young school children happily joined together to stiffen adult spines against statewide (nationalized) assessments.
If you would like to play an effective role in replacing Common Core in Arizona, now’s your chance! There’s a vacancy on the State Board of Education’s Standards Development Committee for a member who is a parent of a public high school student. The Arizona Standards Development Committee includes representation from the Board, business community, deans of colleges, parents, classroom teachers, a school administrator, and a school district governing board member. The Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas is also a member of the Committee. Members of the Committee are an equal mix of those who have and have not participated in the standards development process in the past.
More information about the Arizona Standards Development Committee can be found HERE.
Applicants are encouraged to complete the application and return the requested documents to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 31, 2016. Click HERE to print out the application.
According to State Board Member Jared Taylor, “It would be great to get some good parents of high school students to apply.”
Are you interested in reviewing some excellent K-12 standards that already exist? See An English Language Arts Curriculum Framework for American Public Schools: A Model and Mathematics Content Standards for California Public Schools Kindergarten through Grade Twelve: A Model
Two addenda could be added to the California standards referenced above that elaborate on the standards themselves and deal with pedagogical and organizational issues: 1) Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools, 2000 Revised Edition; and 2) Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools, 2006 Edition."
Please contact Gila Watch and let us know if you apply!
As stated in Part 1 and Part 2, even though Arizona legislators are ultimately to blame for causing the ugliness, humiliation, undue stress, and mental anguish experienced by parents and their children who dare to reject AzMERIT, it is the teachers, principals, and administrators who are inflicting the pain. As you will see from these parent comments, some local school "leaders" seem to take delight in emotionally punishing children for their parents’ actions. Local school authorities are willing to suspend their own consciences and actually harm children under their care, all in the name of standardized testing. The comments you will read below aren’t unusual. They are representative of what’s happening all over Arizona. These parents will never again trust the "public school system."