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!!