Category Archives: Academic Freedom

Hooksett, NH Teacher Speaks Out Against Common Core

My Letter to Bill Duncan and the NH Board of Education regarding Common Core here in NH.

Good Morning Mr. Duncan!

My name is Maryann Boucher and we met briefly at the Common Core State Standards Debate at St Anslem’s College last Monday evening. I was the teacher that approached you after the debate, sharing my displeasure with CCSS in NH and the lack of a Kindergarten Mandate/Full Day program in our state.

Throughout the debate you continually read endorsement after endorsement from NH Educators working with CCSS in their classrooms. You seemed surprised to hear I wasn’t an enthusiasts. I am writing because it’s my professional responsibility to share with you the latest news regarding The Chicago Teacher’s Union and Maine Teachers with respect to their recent opposition to Common Core, see below.

After you read the attached posts, please reflect on the following:

I urge you to look outside our borders and see what will soon be NH’s reality. Do you honestly believe Common Core and SBAC are the resources and tools we need?

I urge you to visit classrooms in our great state that have different demographics (poverty) and witness first hand the developmental inappropriateness of Common Core.

I urge you to do your own research! Learn WHY standards that were predominately in grades 1 and 2 are NOW living in Kindergarten? My classroom door is always open!

I urge you to talk to veteran teachers, and those that are not an “echo chamber” and listen with an open mind and hear their concerns.

I urge you to thoroughly scrutinize Common Core standards and prove their effectiveness and flexibility for our children with learning differences and culturally diversity ( ESOL).

I urge you to ask the professionals in Child Psychology, David Elkind, author of The Hurried Child , The Gisell Institute, and Leslie University why they don’t support Common Core State Standards in the primary grades?

I urge you to produce the evidence/study that illustrates “higher standards” improve student achievement. Great Teachers improve student achievement!

I urge you to take the Smarter Balanced Assessment, if you haven’t already, and share your scores publicly. Then report out on how your SBAC data will help a teacher design instruction to lift your learning. Assessment should drive instruction.

I urge you to find another profession that will be evaluated by someone else’s work. (new teacher evaluation system attached to RTTT Funds)

I urge you NOT to state 16,000 teachers from NEA-NH support Common Core.

I urge you to PAUSE and RETHINK your stand on Common Core in NH and it’s unfriendly cohort, Smarter Balanced.

As the Lorax spoke for the trees, I am an educator speaking for the children.

Thank You! You make a difference in the lives of our children.

Maryann Boucher
Hooksett School District
SAU #15
NH Educator since 1988
“Kindergartners should be blowing bubbles, NOT filling them in!”

Why Charter Schools Are NOT the Answer

This is interesting proof of what we have been saying — even the ‘charter’ schools use the wacky curriculum sold to them by consultants.

Brian Polet, board president of Eagle Crest Charter Academy in Holland, Michigan has resigned.

Here is his letter:

Dear Eagle Crest Charter Academy, National Heritage Academies, and Central Michigan University,

Effective June 30, 2014, I officially resign as board president and from the board of directors of the Eagle Crest Charter Academy. Having been a part of the ECCA board since 1998, I have enjoyed watching it grow from a fledgling 100+ student body to a well respected institution of learning, not only in the West Michigan area, but in the state as a whole. Throughout those years, the challenge this board has been to ask the question, “Is it good for our children?” We have now reached a “no” to the answer of that question: Common Core State Standards and its Orwellian sibling, Smarter Balance Assessments. Over the past few months it has come to light that this Academy has suffered the chaos over the past two years of what is commonly called Common Core. Equally apparent is the vim and vigor that CMU and NHA have supported implementation of CC despite a lack of national testing, trials and experience.

This copy-written, corporate-driven education model has been developed by non-teachers and edu-crats from Washington to Lansing to the detriment of students, parents, taxpayers and local school boards. Without control of curriculum and a limited control of budgets, CC has effectively removed local control from parents and put it the hands of ESPs, the Dept. of Ed and state boards.

As a logical conclusion to this hokum, ECCA has fallen victim to this Soviet-style education. The chaos that has ensued is not the consequence of bad management by NHA, but a result of a flawed educational system.

More disturbing to me is the inability to guarantee the data privacy of our students. Neither NHA or the State Board will be able to protect a child’s data from corporate vultures, marketers, and political interest groups from being used in a malevolent way. Equally troubling is the ability for educational personal to manipulate tests and assessments to move any student into certain fields or vocations and to modify behavior without consent or knowledge of the parent.

Sadly, as a volunteer I have no “skins” in this game. This puts the board and its individual members at a decided disadvantage against the combined efforts of CMU and NHA. With this in mind, I want no part of a lousy educational model and I refuse to sign my name to a product that confuses, disorients, diminishes and fails to protect our students.

In conclusion, my conversations with CMU and NHA has made it quite clear that this is the model they want. They can have it. With CC, we no longer have the Socratic model of education, but a new Bill Gates vocational schooling for worker bees and drones. Plainly, I have not left education, education has left me and more importantly, our students.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve these many years.

Brian Polet
Eagle Crest Charter Academy Board President

We found the letter here:
Michigan Charter School Board President Resigns Over Common Core

They stated:

Eagle Crest is part of National Heritage Academies, a nine-state conglomerate of charter schools. Central Michigan University is Eagle Crest’s charter authorizer/sponsor.

Polet’s use of “Soviet-style education” will be sure to roll the eyes of more leftward leaning opponents of the “Gates vocational schooling” he references. His description of Smarter Balanced Assessments as “Orwellian” will not. One man’s Marx is another man’s Orwell. Both are about centralized control of free will and thinking.

Most in the choice-charter school -Common Core cabal aren’t fortunate enough like Polet to “not have skins in the game as volunteers.” They’ve become entrenched and are devoted the this three-headed monster becoming the model which becomes the graven image which controls the multi-billions of dollars the nation devotes to education.

A scathing interview with a 5th grade teacher who was in the room when Common Core was being created

Please ignore the reference to Glenn Beck, but listen to what this teacher has to say. This pertains to ALL education today, not just Common Core.

McQueen: The Common Core is much bigger than just a set of standards, a test, or a data gathering machine. Like a virus, the Common Core tricks its victims into lowering their guard by pretending to be something it is not. But the Common Core isn’t just a mindless infection of our society; rather it is an intentional takeover of our education delivery system and therefore a takeover of our children’s minds. It is a one-size-fits-all, homogenized, centrally controlled education delivery system steeped in Progressive ideology. It is antithetical to everything that makes our country exceptional. This cult is relentlessly pulling our children under its control, with a seemingly endless supply of money, and uses intimidation to silence its opponents.

Read more…

Teachers Know Common Core is an Attack on Them!

(Note: We know teachers are under attack via Common Core.  Here is a letter sent to Donna Garner, a retired teacher and political activist, from a teacher in LA.  Also note that teachers cannot speak publicly against Common Core because many will face a hostile work environment)

“Harsh Words from Los Angeles USD Teacher”

Sent to Donna Garner on 5.13.14

Hi Donna,

I’ve been following your emails regarding Common Core, and the situation certainly is not pretty. Thanks a million for all you do.  Many of my liberal friends are no longer liberals. They’re being screwed, and now they know it. We teachers had a meeting with the man who is basically in charge of all school programming, and it isn’t pretty. He’s leaving since they want him to reapply for a job; but he knows his job is being cut.  He will be gone. More on that in a minute –

Hopefully Common Core can be neutered. I heard that 35 states have legislation to either restrict or eliminate Common Core.  WOW!

Most of our math teachers are puzzled themselves by what they have seen in CC.

Our dept. chair (who is a vocal liberal and was a proponent of CC) came back from a district-wide meeting.  He said the entire CC plan was so illogical that his hands were literally shaking after the meeting was over.

I personally don’t think we have seen the worst of CC as of yet, just a mild prelude.  That’s why it needs to be eliminated and right now! Anyway, thanks ever so much for the emails and updates. I share them with my fellow teachers.

I learned today that LAUSD is eliminating the Special Ed. dept. altogether. I have no idea what they are doing, but it sounds crazy.

Our staff was asked to “apply” for a new school daily operations plan, whereby we could hire our own principal and have a say in the day-to-day operations. That has all backfired as of today, and one of the teachers said she would sue if she has the option. They have made it a living hell for teachers.

LAUSD is also getting rid of all Advanced Placement teachers. They have to reapply to get a job – now teachers will be called  “Instructional Advisors” instead of teachers. Welcome to the real Common Core. Welcome Facilitators. We are no longer to be considered teachers.

People don’t understand the forethought into Common Core and what the feds want to implement.  I’ll work at Home Depot or Wal Mart if it gets me out of here “yesterday.”

I am leaving California and moving to Texas. I would have left this year but because of health problems, I could not afford to leave my insurance. However, I am in the process of trying to get my Texas teaching certificate… At first, the Texas assessments were only given in Texas, but now they are available in San Diego.  I’ll try and take them, but…we’ll see. I used to be a salesman, and I can do that again.  I will do anything to get out of LAUSD.

Donna, please keep letting people, teachers, and parents know what is going on in the schools here. If parents really knew, they would be utterly shocked. This is where the education is heading. Complete control by the Feds. They are doing it to the teachers right now, yet the unsuspecting public is like the proverbial “frog in boiling water.” It’s over with here!

Anyway, just thought I’d let you know where Common Core is going. We in LAUSD are at the forefront. I’m going to try and document as many of the changes as possible so that I can send it to you.  Maybe you can use it to alert the rest of America

Take care, Donna, and thanks for helping me see some of the CC stuff; the whole picture is clearly coming into view now. I hope Texas is a better place for me to live and teach.



A Teacher Resigns Over Common Core

“I can no longer be a part of a system that continues to do the exact opposite of what I am supposed to do as a teacher–I am supposed to help them think for themselves, help them find solutions to problems, help them become productive members of society.”

Colorado Springs Teacher Denounces Common Core In Resignation Letter

Let Pauline Hawkins tell you about her struggle to teach in the face of federal interference.

Read more…

Dr. Duke Pesta Exposes Common Core

The worst problem with Common Core is not just the fuzzy curriculum and “fad” teaching methods, but the ingrained political indoctrination and inappropriate lessons that are geared toward turning students against the republic and toward the one world government. This has been going on long before Common Core — our schools have been used to transform America from a Constitutional Republic to a nation state of the United Nations. It’s treason.

If the above video does not appear on your device, use this direct link:

A Teacher Also Speaks Against Common Core…

Federal Civil Rights Investigation Results in Dumbing Down of Manchester’s Schools

In addition to programs that employ fuzzy math, “Social Justice” mandates from the federal government are destroying education

Between EveryDay Math and the rush to implement “de-leveling” (classes that are not designed for grouping students according to their ability to grasp the material — or “homogeneously”) we wonder when the dumbing down is going to end?

The federal department of Education has meddled enough over the years and this de-leveling push, on the basis that it creates “equality”, is the very thing that brought down the Soviet Union. Everyone works in a group and gets an A?

Children are not being deprived high level content, but they are being educated so they can eventually UNDERSTAND and benefit from such content in the most practical way for the teachers. In classrooms where the the ability level is wider, the teaching must be dumbed down to accommodate the slowest of learners. This hurts those who can move on… and if geared toward the more able students, the slower learners lose. This almost always means minorities and those whose second language is English.

Any good teacher will tell you that.

This development would seem unbelievable, but it’s here in black and white — a civil rights case? Are they kidding? Civil Rights Investigation? What right does the federal government have doing this in the first place?

U.S. Department of Education Announces Resolution of Manchester, N.H., School District Civil Rights Investigation

Agreement Provides Greater Access to College and Career Prep Courses for Black, Latino Students

APRIL 10, 2014

Contact: Press Office, (202) 401-1576,

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights today announced a settlement with New Hampshire’s Manchester School District, School Administrative Unit #37, aimed at providing greater access to college and career preparatory courses for black and Latino students.

OCR examined whether the school district discriminated against black and Latino students on the basis of race or national origin by establishing policies and procedures that result in excluding these students from these programs and courses. The district’s advanced courses include honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses and dual enrollment programs that offer college credit through local post-secondary institutions. Before OCR completed its review, the district expressed an interest in voluntarily resolving this case, resulting in the agreement announced today.

One of the “remedies” agreed upon by the Manchester schools was “Specifically assess the impact of assigning students to academic “levels” upon arrival at the high schools on their participation in higher-level learning opportunities, and consider eliminating the system of student assignment to levels or altering the current criteria or method of implementation.”

As a student who was not good at math, this writer would have welcomed being placed in class that was more suited to his ability to grasp complex math concepts such as geometry and algebra at slower more deliberate pace, and it would have given him the foundation and advantage needed to be able to handle more advanced math. This did not happen and therefore this writer is terrible at anything better than basic math.

Now you know where this insane idea of “de-leveling” comes from. Let’s make it harder for teachers than it already is? NO!

Read more…

Girard at Large on de-leveling…

Common Core – Proof Teachers Can’t Use Curriculum and Methods They Choose

The Jonesboro Sun printed this article on Saturday April 19, 2014. They are now running ads on TV advertising Common Core and saying how much teachers like it (what a joke) and the ad ends by sayings teachers can teach what they want to teach and the way they want to teach. Teachers know this is the farthest thing from the truth but may not know what is behind it. Senator Joyce Elliott (D), the sponsor of the evaluation law below, is one of the legislators that kept repeating the same myth at the Common Core legislative meetings in Little Rock last July, that the standards did not dictate what or how the teachers were to teach. (Jonesboro Representative Homer Lenderman (D) was the sponsor of the bill in the House.) Elliott knew without a doubt that she was purposely being deceitful because she had sponsored the law that locked the teachers into what and how to teach or risk losing their jobs. There are some interesting quotes in the article footnotes. ~ Debbie Pelley

Pelley responds:

Debbie Pelley, Contributing Author: Last week a “conservative” proponent for Common Core was interviewed on a local radio station. She spouted the same line that other proponents, legislators, and even governors everywhere are using to combat critics of Common Core – that Common Core are only standards, and the state, district, and teachers have the choice as to how to meet those standards.1

She repeatedly said Common Core doesn’t tell districts and teachers what to teach or what methods to use and challenged listeners to read the standards to see how benign they are. The Sun quoted her as saying at a meeting in Jonesboro, “There’s not a problem with Common Core, but trouble with school districts’ implementation of it.”2 That statement itself defies common sense. Then why would schools be using the same Common Core curriculum and methods all across the nation, and why is there the same mass opposition in almost every state?

Read more…