It's the middle of the night and of course I can't sleep. Never-mind, that our County Convention is in the morning and I'm supposed to get up and speak for a resolution effectively rejecting the Common Core State Standards. I should be sleeping... but I can't.
I am just thinking about how grateful I am that more and more people are taking notice of the concerns that so many have been trying to expose for such a long time. Thank you Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin for thrusting this issue into the National scene. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. My husband and children thank you too.
I'd never heard of Common Core until the spring of 2011 when I was in one of my children's parent/teacher conferences and was handed a pamphlet alerting me to the fact that our school would be adopting the new standards along with 44 other states. What? Where was I when this happened? How did I miss the vote? or discussion? You see, I have 7 children and at that time had 5 in the public school system. I volunteered regularly in the classroom and happily went about serving in my church and in the children's classroom. Surely, I would have heard something. It's not like I was an un-involved parent.
I asked a few questions and didn't really get any answers that satisfied me because it was apparent the teacher didn't really know anything either. I left and looked over the pamphlet. (Oh ~ how I wish I'd kept that pamphlet. Little did I know my life would shortly be changed forever) [Writing that sentence brings tears to my eyes because of the truthfulness of it - I can never go back to the naive and uninformed citizen I was at that time in my life.]
When I read the pamphlet, I thought, this is complete socialism. How can you take an entire nation, considering all the many demographics, and put them all on the same page without hurting the top and bottoms students? Anyway, I spent the next 6 months asking all of my friends and teachers about the Common Core. I searched the internet and could only find glowing praises of the standards. How could I be the only one that felt this way?
One fateful day I ran into an old neighbor at the store, who I knew was political, and asked if she knew anything about these standards. She did AND she had some of the same concerns. FINALLY! I was getting somewhere. She told me she was trying to get someone to come to our town and speak about the Common Core and she would let me know when that was.
I went home and tried to find some of the information we'd talked about and ran into walls again. I still didn't see anyone else talking about the Common Core on the internet except for singing it's praises. I continued to talk and talk and talk. Nothing from anyone except from a dear friend down the street and former teacher. She listened to my concerns and wanted to find out more too.
About 4 months later I got a call from the neighbor I'd run into at the store. They were having a meeting! After the meeting I felt like shouting from the rooftops. EVERYONE needed to know this information. I went home and didn't really know what to do. A few weeks later I went to another meeting and finally direction came.
I had been able to process more information and finally had a starting point. It had been almost a year since I started worrying about this and trying to figure out where to find more information.
I didn't mean to get up in the middle of the night and type up a long drawn out story. I will skip ahead and get to the heart of the matter. -- WARNING -- I'm gonna get religious on you.
I went home and started getting direction from above like I've NEVER gotten in my life.
First, I started reading articles but wasn't satisfied with taking the author's opinion. I looked at their sources and have since spent more time on official Governmental sites than I care to admit.
I continually felt guided with thoughts and promptings.
I was awoken in the middle of the night on many, many occasions with promptings of places to go research, finding documents that were new and helped shed light on how my state got into this mess.
I was awoken one night with the thought to go and check my son's ACT plan tests. I stayed in bed and started researching on my phone but couldn't find anything so I finally got up and went to the computer. I then found all this information showing me that ACT was aligned to the Common Core. The web just kept getting bigger and bigger.
Three nights in a row, I woke up with the phrase "Connect the dots" running through my head. Shortly after that, I woke up one Sunday morning at 5 AM (I'm sooo not a morning person) with that phrase again and everything I'd been researching started pouring into my mind. I had a legal pad next to the bed and I wrote down pages and pages of information. It was information I had researched but hadn't been able to fit together.
The promptings continued:
Crazy things, like the thought, "you need to pull up the Smarter Balanced contract and go talk to the Governor" WHAT? ME? Uh -- no! Who goes up and talks to the Governor and demands a meeting? Certainly not me, miss-stay-clear-of-any-and-all-contention-girl. But next thing I know, I find myself pulling up the contract and walking up to the Governor at a Meet the candidate event and asking him about this contract with his signature. "I didn't sign anything", he said. "Really?" because here it is. Next thing I know I'm sitting in the Governor's office with a binder full of information to hand over to him.
Or the thought, "you need to get on the agenda at the State School Board meeting". Um - no I am not a speaker and have no desire to go give a speech to the State Board of Education. Where do I find myself? That's right, giving a speech to the school board and then getting pulled into a room with the head of our gifted and talented program and STEM program telling me how wrong I was and how great the Common core is. Then the next week being told by my Superintendent that I'm the mom the "state is watching". Seriously?
You moms should hold a press conference. You should survey all the candidates to find their position. You should fly in experts and hold a rally. You should hold a lunch for all the legislators to teach them and on and on. I was introduced to many others around the state that were trying to fight this. It was a collaborative effort.
I've had many other experiences that are too sacred to me to share in this forum, but my point to you is I cannot deny the Spiritual experiences I've had and the direct guidance I've felt. I just can't. There are simply too many of them and I would be denying God's hand in my journey if I did.
I'm extremely thankful to my Father in Heaven for these very strong feelings and guidance because I couldn't do this without Divine help. The Savior has given me the strength to carry on. Remember, I'm miss-stay-clear-of-any-and-all-contention-girl. This journey has not been easy, I can't lie. The toll it has taken my house (don't even get me started - just imagine laundry piles for 9 people - oh and dishes!), the alienation from friends and neighbors, the marginalization from school officials, being labeled as "sadly mis-informed" and "living in fear" and the time away from my family has been a very real challenge but we have been buoyed up and strengthened and for that I am eternally grateful.
Pray for those trying to fight this, pray for the children, pray for this Country! Pray and then stand up and fight for your freedoms. There is no other way to get our Country back on track.