Author Archives: SCC

URGENT CALL TO ACTION: Stop Common Core in NH

URGENT CALL TO ACTION
WE NEED YOU, next week, to come to Concord and tell the House Education Committee NO to Common Core in NH.

TUESDAY January 17th at 11:20am
Room 207 Legislative Office Building behind the State House.
Please come and tell the legislators the problems you’ve seen in your schools with Common Core.
Tell them to vote Ought to Pass on HB 207!!

Here is a link to the proposed legislation: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/billText.aspx?sy=2017&id=81&txtFormat=html.
This bill prohibits the department of education and the state board of education from requiring any school or school district to implement the common core standards.

When you arrive, fill out a PINK CARD and hand it to one of the committee members. They will then call you up to speak.
Please also sign the blue sheet in FAVOR of HB 207

It’s important to COME to the hearing. We need as many parents there as possible.
IF you cannot make the public hearing, please send and e-mail to the House and Senate Education Committee:
HouseEducationCommittee@leg.state.nh.us
Senators@leg.state.nh.us

BAD NEWS on Trump’s U.S. Secretary of Ed Appointment

President Elect Trump ran his campaign opposing Common Core. We need to remind our readers that Common Core is FAR MORE than just a set of poor academic standards. This is an entire transformation of public education from a liberal arts education to dumb down workforce training.

We’ve posted enough information to give our readers the bad news on workforce training courtesy of the Obama administration. This reform has progressives and some Republicans working towards the same dumbed down goal. This is why Common Core opponents aggressively worked against a Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton nominee for president.

The Common Core reform includes:
1) Dumbed down Math and English Standards
2) Dumbed down and politically motivated science standards (called Next Generation Science Standards)
3) Data mining (this is done to put kids on a path to workforce or college as determined by the State)
4) Outcome Based Education (Called Competency Based Education; focuses on dumbed down workforce skills versus academics)

This reform has been a big benefit to the tech industry and corporations that benefit from taxpayer funded education reforms but it’s been a complete disaster for public education and students.

Trump ran his campaign opposed to Common Core and in support of school choice. There are ways to support school choice and support parents who are not in the financial position to pay tuition.

Unfortunately the newly named appointment by Trump looks like she will be doing the work of Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton and Pres. Obama. Let’s face it, her work at the Jeb Bush foundation helped the Obama Common Core agenda. The Bush foundation was responsible for carrying out the Obama education reforms which is why Common Core opponents fought against his nomination.

We encourage you to read through the articles listed below to understand why we are disappointed and concerned about Betsy DeVos as the new Secretary of Education.

DeVos was a board member of Jeb Bush’s Common Core-supporting education foundation (and one of its biggest donors).
It is the #JebBush #DeVos #SchoolChoice $$ that is the problem.
Common Core already served it’s purpose.
As ANITA Hoge warned.

There were three major actions under the Obama administration, without legislative approval, to change two hundred years of traditional public education in the United States.
(1) The Common Core copyright, which created a national curriculum and national testing mandating that individual students meet individual standards (similar to the Obamacare individual mandate).
(2) Unlocking data ‘to flow’ through the Family Education Rights in Privacy Act, FERPA, which allows personally identifiable information on our children to flow to outside 3rd party contractors for research and curriculum development to match Common Core.
(3) No Child Left Behind Flexibility Waiver, (ESEA, Elementary and Secondary Education Act), that is re-training teachers to teach to Common Core.
This also allowed ALL children in public school to be funded under Title I by changing the definition of who is poor or educationally deprived to anyone not meeting Common Core/College and Career Ready Standards. (Free and reduced lunch guidelines of 40% school wide were dropped to 0%.)
These three important points control standards and testing, curriculum, and teachers with all public school children being funded under Title I.

‘Obama and Progressive Republican’s Equity in Education Plan‘ for our entire country:
• charter schools replace public schools (removal of elected school board members):
• everyone has federal Title I choice funds to go to any school (charter, private or religious schools) Federal $$ comes with Federal control of (charter, private or religious schools):
• every child is taught the same standards:
• every teacher must teach the same standards:
• every test must be aligned to these standards:
• curriculum and software is aligned to standards:
• everything listed here is aligned to government data collection compliance.

“When DeVos touts “school choice,” she’s pushing an education agenda that includes requiring all the schools that take voucher money to use state-determined curriculum, like Common Core. This is how she has used her millions of dollars in the past. If she’s education secretary, we have every reason to believe it’s how she’d use even more power.
The secretary of education for President-elect Trump should be … nobody
This is a pitch-perfect way to dramatically increase the negatives of school choice just as it’s becoming popular across the country. The latest opinion polls show a dip in national support for Common Core. I suspect it’s related to this dynamic because I get communications every week from conservative parents who are suddenly against school choice because it’s brought Common Core into their private schools through vouchers.
If Trump wants to increase school choice and be known as a president who dramatically improved education options for kids, he needs to send DeVos packing. Her forms of manipulative bait-n-switch “school choice” degrade the market by replacing one set of monopolies with another one they control. That’s not school choice. That’s bureaucrat choice. In other words, same old, same old.”

Betsy DeVos as education secretary: What you need to know about Trump’s pick - See more at:
https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2016/11/betsy-devos-as-education-secretary-what-you-need-to-know-about-trumps-pick

Devon family donated $100k to Clinton Foundation
http://westmipolitics.blogspot.com/2016/05/devos-family-donated-nearly-100k-to.html?m=1

Will Trump-DeVos Team End Common Core?
http://missourieducationwatchdog.com/will-trump-devos-team-end-common-core/

Trump Picks Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education
http://truthinamericaneducation.com/uncategorized/trump-picks-betsy-devos/

VanOstern: Just Another Common Core Supporter Deceiving Parents

Is VanOstern trying to deceive parents on his support for Common Core? IF you look at his web site, he says,
screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-10-35-25-am

In his debates with Chris Sununu, he dodges the question on Common Core. Chris Sununu has said he would remove Common Core from New Hampshire Schools. VanOstern diverts attention to his support for PACE. But most parents don’t know about PACE so is he trying to deceive them?

PACE is more Common Core testing in your schools. Like the other Common Core standardized tests, there’s no independent validity studies on PACE. This may be an experimental way to test your kids, but they will be testing them on Common Core.

Not only will they be tested on the dumbed down Common Core standards, but also the subjective “21st Century skills.” If your child doesn’t have the right dispositions or attitudes included in the competencies, they will not advance. That’s why parents often times complain about the subjectivity in the grading.

Whether it’s PACE, Competencies, SAT, Smarter Balanced, College and Career Readiness Standards, it’s all “Common Core.” Bureaucrats simply change the name to keep parents off their track.

The Smarter Balanced Assessment is given 1x/year but PACE will incorporate multiple assessments. PACE was brought in to reduce testing but if you pay close attention, you’ll see testing increases with PACE.

VanOstern also mentions that PACE is based on “project based learning.” That in itself has become controversial. If this is how they test, that’s how they will teach. When did you ask the State of New Hampshire to mandate teaching methods? Shouldn’t that be left up to the local district?

If your child is tested on a project, how do you know they’ve mastered the content first? There is a lot of talk in the education community that facts and knowledge do not matter. Why not simply say literacy is no longer the goal in this education reform? They want to focus not on the “doing.” But public education is supposed to be about imparting knowledge so when students are ready, they can apply their knowledge. In other words, if you do not put in all of the ingredients, you cannot bake the cake properly.

How do you know all of the ingredients have been put in? That’s what a lot to people are asking now. How will parents know their children have mastered their math facts or know the natural origin of the material used to make common objects, in science?

This is the biggest concern parents have for this shift from mastering core content knowledge to Competency Based Education or what is used to be called, Outcome Based Education. We’ve even had a State Board of Education member in Maine write to all of our State Representatives and Senators, warning them about Competency Based Education.

Every few years education reformers come up with a new and innovative way to teach children but when you peel back the layers, you find the old failed fads that have been tried before. They dress them up with a new name (Competency Based Ed instead of Outcome Based Ed), sell it like it’s new and innovative, and then hope for the best.

All of this can be a bit confusing to parents which is exactly why we question the authenticity of Colin VanOStern. Why hasn’t he made a definitive statement on Common Core? Is it because Democrats were warned not to talk about the subject? One of the leaked emails from DNC deputy communications director Eric Walker described the Common Core as “a political third rail that we should not be touching at all.”

Is this why VanOstern wants to stay away this subject? Is this why he references the PACE testing scheme so parents will not recognize it as more testing on Common Core and competencies?

It sure looks to us like we are going to get the same failed standards, tests and curriculum in a VanOstern administration. He hasn’t offered parents any hope that things will get better and he dances around the subject and deceives parents in the process.

If you oppose Common Core and you want something better for your kids, VanOstern is NOT the person we want as Governor.

Check out where the candidates are on education here.
Vote on Tuesday, November 8th

Hate Common Core? Here’s Your Opportunity To Tell Them

It would be nice to let Governor Hassan know how Common Core is failing our children. Unfortunately she does not have town-halls which means that unless you pay to attend a fundraiser for her, it might be difficult for the public to weigh in on this education reform.

The New Hampshire Department of Education is having a listening tour. This will give parents an opportunity to speak directly to the facilitators of these federal programs in our schools.

Take the time to attend one of these meetings if they have a meeting near you. Make sure you take a list of problems you are seeing in your local school.

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-3-35-23-pm

Governor Hassan’s Legacy: The Common Core Failure

There’s not much more to add to this except to say, this is the legacy from the Hassan tenure.
This is a copy of a homework assignment given to a 3rd grade New Hampshire student. We believe it speaks for itself.

Suggestions for parents:
1) Keep taking these examples to your PUBLIC school board meetings and show your elected board members.
2) Keep telling your elected representatives and senators that Common Core is dumbing down our schools.
3) Replace textbooks or curriculum that you believe is harming your child’s education. HB542 was passed into NH law a few years ago and your school should have a policy in place that says you can replace objectionable materials at your expense. You do need to have the administration approve of the change, but if they do not approve, take it to your school board and/or media.

IF you want your child to get a quality education in New Hampshire, Common Core/ Next Generation Science standards will NOT do that. You have to fight for a better quality education for your children.

common-core-math-manchester

Governor Hassan’s Education Failure: Common Core

Has anyone noticed that Governor Hassan, in her campaign for U.S. Senate, hasn’t addressed the important issue of Common Core? I suppose if you were running for a seat in the United States Senate, you wouldn’t want to bring up this controversial issue either. Especially since she is the facilitator in New Hampshire and has saddled our public schools with this mess.

As she leaves the corner office in Concord, she leaves a legacy of dumbed down standards for our kids, and continues to ignore parents who want something better.

In this recent article from Utahns Against Common Core, Lt. Governor Spencer Cox addresses the concerns raised by parents in Utah:
“Over the past year, I have listened intently to the growing chorus of concern with regards to the adoption of Common Core standards. While there is clearly a great deal of misinformation being disseminated on both sides of this issue, there are legitimate concerns that I share with those opposed to the Common Core. As I have listened, and researched, it has become clear to me that, although well-intentioned, the conflict, discord and divisiveness associated with these standards is doing more harm than good. Unfortunately, we have lost the focus on what matters most–our students and making sure our teachers have the resources and tools necessary to provide a world-class education. As such, today I announce that I am withdrawing my support for Common Core.”

Has Governor Hassan addressed parents who’ve brought their concerns forward? NO
Has Governor Hassan provided any evidence that Common Core has improved the quality of education in NH since it was adopted in 2010? NO
Has Governor Hassan held a town-hall with parents so she could hear the problems parents have had to face with Common Core? NO

New Hampshire prides itself on local control in education but Governor Hassan doesn’t want to hear from local parents and residents who are having serious issues with this current education fad.

There is a petition that has 1765 signatures on it calling for eliminating Common Core in New Hampshire. That goes ignored by Governor Hassan. Governor Hassan is AWOL on one of her biggest failures: public education.

Parents, teachers and students deserve better than Common Core and we deserve better from Governor Hassan.
screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-11-27-51-am

The NH Dept of Ed & the NEA Team Up To Bring Students More Failed Fads

New Hampshire Teachers have seen failed fads come and go but now they are seeing many of the old failed fads resurrected in their classrooms. Failed fads like Outcome Based Education has been called new and innovative now that it’s back in New Hampshire.

Since so many people realize Outcome Based Ed.(OBE) was a failure in the 90′s, Education Reformers changed the name to “Competency Based Education” (CBE) to throw parents off their track. Whether it’s called Outcome Based Ed. or Competency Based Ed. it’s still the same education fad that failed students a few decades ago.

In this post, Student Learning Outcomes and the Decline of American Education, the author takes you through the history of OBE and how education fads led to the decline in American education.

He explains one of these failed fads: Student Learning Outcomes or SLOs:
SLO ancestor Total Quality Management (TQM) slithered into view during the 1980s and spawned Outcome-Based Education (OBE) in the 1990s. TQM was originally a business management theory that preached constant improvement; OBE was an explicitly educational offshoot of TQM that insisted that college courses must have expressed measurable results.

He goes on to note that he critiqued SLOs in 2003:
OBE and Learning Outcomes and Assessment are not about education at all; they are about control. Nothing is more seductive to ideologues and to management than the prospect of creating a meaningless “jargon and data storm” to justify or conceal whatever they do. Where does it end? As William S. Burroughs said, “…control can never be a means to any practical end…. It can never be a means to anything but more control….”

CONTROL. Control of education seems to be something both political parties have been fighting for. The latest federal law (Every Student Succeeds Act ESSA) is about power and control. Sure the talking points tell you that ESSA returns power to the state, but the ultimate authority is the U.S. Secretary of Education. The U.S. Secretary of Education has been given power to withhold funding if state plans are not to his liking. That’s not returning power to the states, that’s unprecedented power to the feds.

Why would ESSA pass with bi-partisan support? Because both parties think they are better at controlling education.

In his article, David Clemens identifies what each political party wants to control when it comes to education policy:
The right sees SLOs as a way to enforce professor accountability, increase “productivity,” and get rid of bad teachers and junk courses. The left sees SLOs as a golden opportunity to promote progressivism through ideological outcomes that students must internalize in order to pass.

He goes on to explain how the social justice political indoctrination is seeping into your child’s curriculum through the SLOs. He also explains how this kind of education reform does nothing to help your child academically. Since most parents want the best for their children, parents across the country are starting to get angry at the dumbing down they see, but it’s also important for parents to see where this is coming from.

Governor Hassan’s Department of Education has been fully facilitating all of the federal reforms without hesitation. No where do you see her or the bureaucrats questioning these fads, but instead they are driving them into our schools without offering administrators any kind of critical analysis.

The New Hampshire Department of Education and the NEA-NH teamed up to develop the SLOs for New Hampshire Schools. You can see in this announcement on their “partnership.” Keep in mind that that NEA in NH has also been working against parents and in support of the dumbed down Common Core Standards.

NEA1

NEA2

The same bureaucratic agency that tells us that their objective is to teach kids to “think critically,” are the same bureaucrats who fail to look at any of these failed fads with a critical eye!

Collecting data on your kids in the name of : Personalized Learning

In a blog post by Diane Ravitch, we actually thought the comments at the end were more interesting and informative:

colomom
August 13, 2016 at 3:06 pm
Another problem with online Machine Learning, (AKA Adaptive Learning, Personalized Learning) is the online programs collect hidden data about the student users, in order to get to know them, personalize the experience. This data goes way beyond simple answers of correct or incorrect, and algorithms can be used to detect personality, behavior, and ability to focus, to name just a few.

Who sees and who uses this highly sensitive and predictive information? (It certainly isn’t transparent to the student, parent or teacher.) Are the predictive analytics used fair or accurate? Will this predictive data be used in predicting job placement or future hires, as is already happening per the Wall Street Journal posted below? Another author asks, “Is Personalized Learning” too Personal”?

“There is a great tension between how software is tracking the outcomes and the learning that students are doing and what happens to that data,” said Betsy Corcoran, chief executive and co-founder of EdSurge, an education technology news site that also sponsors conferences. “Who owns the data? Who is responsible for making sure that data is not abused in some way?”
http://www.recode.net/2015/12/9/11621282/when-personalized-learning-gets-too-personal-google-complaint-exposes

Privacy advocates are calling for transparency and regulation of these “Black Box” or secret algorithms. The Federal Trade Commission agrees and has called on the industry to regulate themselves, asking for algorithmic transparency.

Bottom line: Machines and algorithms should not be allowed to secretly predict people, period; but this is especially heinous when it is happening to children while at school under the guise of “personalized” learning.

Wall Street Journal: Bosses using data brokers to predict applicants. http://www.wsj.com/articles/bosses-harness-big-data-to-predict-which-workers-might-get-sick-1455664940

When Personalized Learning gets too personal. http://www.recode.net/2015/12/9/11621282/when-personalized-learning-gets-too-personal-google-complaint-exposes

FTC Data Brokers- Call for Transparency and Accountability https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/reports/data-brokers-call-transparency-accountability-report-federal-trade-commission-may-2014/140527databrokerreport.pdf
focuses on the first three steps in the life cycle of big data within that industry—collection, compilation, and analytics. discusses how information gathered for one purpose (e.g online assessment or video evidence in data badge) could be compiled and analyzed for other purposes, such as for marketing or risk mitigation in hiring or insurance or line of credit.

FTC the Bias of Big Data: A tool for Inclusion or Exclusion? https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/reports/big-data-tool-inclusion-or-exclusion-understanding-issues/160106big-data-rpt.pdf

FTC- A Call for Algorithmic transparency
https://www.ftc.gov/public-statements/2015/12/transparency-trust-consumer-protection-complex-world-keynote-address

HERE is another comment, but it was removed:

“Digital learning is designed to segue into algorithm-driven workforce development.

Competency-based education and digital learning approaches are intended to reduce a child’s accomplishments into series of “badges” that can be stored in online portfolios.

Tomorrow’s workforce can look forward to a “lifelong learning” scenario where people are compelled to accumulate more and more badges (paying for-profit, online companies for the opportunity and racking up piles of student debt in the process) as they chase job postings dictated by coded skill sets.

We need to make everyone aware that it’s not just academic skills that are being tracked. Social, emotional, and behavioral competencies are in the mix, too.

That is why companies like Parchment (allied with Pearson) are working so hard to position themselves as arbiters of education and workforce credentials. http://exchange.parchment.com/extend/

I’m kind of surprised this is news to you Diane as your son’s merchant banking company Raine Group, is one of Parchment’s major investors.

Alison McDowell
Public School Parent
Philadelphia, PA”

Ralph Boehm candidate for NH Senate in Litchfield and Dist. 18 Manchester

We are hesitant to endorse any candidate for office. Why? Because many candidates say they oppose Common Core OR support parental rights but when it comes to fighting for this, they don’t have the evidence to show they’ve put forth any real effort.

We decided to highlight some of the better candidates out there running for office. We want to make sure you are an informed voter this fall. We will be brining you info on candidates who’ve stood in opposition to our efforts and on the candidates who put forth the effort we expect.

We’d like you to take a look at one candidate for the New Hampshire Senate:
Rep. Ralph Boehm currently sits on the NH House Education Committee and has the record to prove he’s stood up for parents who oppose Common Core. He’s also supported parental rights so we’d like to highlight his record and encourage voters in Litchfield and Manchester Dist. 18 — Wards 5,6,7,8, 9 to get out there and VOTE FOR RALPH BOEHM.

When you look at his record (and we are only highlighting a few of his votes) you will see that unlike his opponent (Sen. Donna Soucy) Rep. Boehm has the record that shows he will fight for parents.

Sen. Soucy has not only stood against parental rights (she tried to repeal HB542 which is a parental rights law) she actively works against parents who are fighting against Common Core and for better academic standards.

Website:
rgboehm4nhsenate.com

Facebook:
Ralph G. Boehm for NH Senate

NH Senate Dist. 18 — Manchester Wards 5,6,7,8, 9 and Litchfield.

HB164
Session Year 2011
Title: requiring legislative approval for the adoption of the common core state standards in New Hampshire.

HB142
Session Year 2015
Title: (3rd New Title) relative to student social media policies by educational institutions and nonpublic sessions under the right-to-know law.

HB1231
Session Year: 2016
Title: relative to school district policy regarding objectionable course material.

HB206
Session Year 2015
Title: (2nd New Title) establishing a committee to study non-academic surveys or questionnaires administered by a public school to its students and relative to non-academic surveys or questionnaires given to students.

HB603
Session Year 2015
relative to student exemption from the statewide assessment.
***Not Boehm’s bill but his amendment replaced the bill.

HB1637
Session Year 2016
relative to school attendance in towns with no public schools.

GO OUT THERE AND HELP HIS CAMPAIGN
Home Address:
6 Gibson Drive
Litchfield, NH 03052-2301
Phone: (603)860-6309
Email: ralph.boehm@leg.state.nh.us