Tag Archives: DonnaGarner

What Does Hillary Clinton Have To Do With Common Core? A LOT

From Hillary to Bush to Obama.  Now you know the rest of the story…

These are excerpts from Donna Garner…


During the early 1980’s, Hillary Clinton worked hand-in-glove with Marc Tucker, Ira Magaziner, Gov. Cuomo, and the National Committee on Education and the Economy (NCEE) to implement the School-to-Work model. It was Hillary and the NCEE that came up with the term “cradle-to-the-grave.” 

The NCEE idea was to create a three-legged stool – education, labor, and healthcare; and the federal government would direct people’s lives from the cradle-to-the-grave. 

All were to be joined together under one banner with government healthcare controlling people’s lives; school healthcare clinics providing abortions and contraceptives; classrooms emphasizing workforce development skills instead of academic knowledge; and the Dept. of Labor directing students into a career pathway at a very early age.

The government was to manipulate students into the career pathways (or career clusters) based upon whatever the labor market needed at the moment – not upon what students’ natural talents, desires, and interests were.  A certificate of mastery was to be awarded instead of a graduation diploma based on the Carnegie credits, and the last two years of high school were basically dumbed down for those going out into the workforce instead of going to college.

The SCANS Report in 1991 *Taken from: What Work Requires of Schools: A SCANS Report for America 2000. The Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills, a publication of the US Department of Labor, June 1991 is what helped to change the direction of our nation’s schools from knowledge-based, academic content (Type #1)  INTO  the Type #2 philosophy that is subjective; project-based; constructivist; emphasis on emotions, opinions, beliefs (i.e., affective domain); performance standards (know and be able to do); workplace competencies, etc. 

Here is the link to the SCANS report:  http://www.academicinnovations.com/report.html

The U. S. Sect. of Labor Robert Reich under the Clinton administration took the SCANS report, introduced the idea of the Real World Forums (or similar names) in each state, and managed to drive the narrative that schools are meant to be for workforce development and not for students to gain a wide-and-deep liberal arts education based upon fact-based, academic content.

To make the public think they had thought of the changes schools needed to make, the NCEE, Hillary Clinton, and Robert Reich established the Real World Forums.  These were local community meetings in which the facilitators used the Delphi Technique (psychological manipulation methods) to make the attendees think they had actual input into the final Real World Forum report.

However, what actually happened is that the final “report” had already been written by NCEE/Clinton/Reich and focused schools on collaborative learning, interpersonal relations, and the affective domain (feelings, emotions, opinions).  This took the emphasis in the public schools off deep content knowledge and individual learning and moved classrooms into group think, co-operative learning,  and outcomes based education.

Reich organized a huge survey of businessmen through the Chambers of Commerce across the country; and it was widely reported that the majority of businessmen had said something such as, “What we want our employees to have more than anything else is good interpersonal skills.  We will take care of teaching them everything else.”

I believe this survey was bogus and that what the majority of businessmen really said was “What we want is employees who can read, write, and compute accurately and quickly.”  However, Reich reported it the NCEE way which drove classrooms from the academic to the performance-based, socio-emotional level.

As if on cue, the standards movement popped up all over the country.  Texas (similar to other states) appointed writing teams to rewrite all of the courses in K-12, and the new standards required students “to be able to know and be able to do.”

The emphasis in the classroom changed from students’ “knowing” to students’ being able to do; and it was this aspect that changed our curriculum into subjective assessments where the verbs used in the standards documents directed teachers into subjective evaluations.  The typical person would not have thought that verbs would make such a difference in standards, but let’s consider this partial list of verbs and the way they direct teachers’ lesson plans and testing:

Type #1 (right-or-wrong answers):  omit, label, choose, recite, describe, select, identify, list, locate, match, memorize, name, recognize, state.

Type #2 (subjective, fuzzy, values-and-opinion based):  dramatize, generalize, paint, prepare, sketch, survey, construct, design, make up, role play, hypothesize.

Up until this time, the U. S. Department of Education’s laws had required schools to offer students equal opportunities; but under the Clintons, there began to be a shift toward equal outcomes.  In other words, teachers were pressured to grade subjectively to make sure that the “outcomes” were the same for all students… that all students passed and felt good about themselves.

No more red pens were to be used on students’ papers because it would hurt their self-esteem. This soon degenerated into not grading students’ compositions at all for both grammar/usage and for content but instead grading them holistically with a number score of 1, 2, 3, 4.

Holistic scoring was tied to whole language where students no longer had to go through the step-by-step process to learn phonics but instead were supposed to be surrounded by big, colorful books with lots of pictures.  This was supposed to help emergent readers to predict what the text was, and this whole-language method eventually raised up students who could not tell the difference between “horse” and “house.”  (Not much difference, right? Not so…)


When Pres. George W. Bush was elected in 2000, there was a legitimate effort made to implement the National Institutes of Health’s empirical reading research which emphasizes phonemic awareness and decoding skills (phonics).  Reading academies were set up all over the country to train teachers in these methods, and actual improvements in students’ reading skills (particularly among the low-income children) were recorded and became a part of the reading research.

However, the Type #2 people desperately did not want students to learn to read because then they could not be so easily manipulated at the ballot box; and these Type #2 people set out to destroy Pres. George W. Bush’s efforts.

Where Pres. George W. Bush and his administration went astray is when they set up No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and its “impossible” goals based upon states’ showing average yearly progress (AYP).

[At least NCLB still left the states in charge of their curriculum and tests.  Under Obama, the Common Core Standards Initiative completely takes that state control away and puts the federal government in charge.]

To get AYP under NCLB, the states quickly figured out that they needed to set up state-mandated tests that could be subjectively scored so that students’ scores could start out very low and then be raised artificially and at will to show AYP!  In other words, schools learned how to “rig the game.”

Texas and the other states set up Type #2 standards with Type #2 subjectively scored assessments that were steeped in multiculturalism and political correctness. This then drove the day-to-day curriculum to follow the same Type #2 philosophy of education.

I believe the main reason Pres. George W. Bush’s (GWB) administration collapsed in the last two years of his second term was a direct result of Karl Rove’s bad counsel to GWB throughout his Presidency.  Rove believed that the end justifies the means, and I believe he was capable of instigating almost anything to accomplish his goal.

After GWB was vilified and his administration collapsed when the House and Senate both fell into the Democrats’ hands (the last two years of his second term), the reading academies vanished; and the idea of nationalizing education went into full gear.  Of course, GWB and his family are all globalists; and they set in motion many of the foundational pieces that allowed the Common Core Standards Initiative to blossom.


Obama was exactly the person to resurrect School-to-Work, NCEE, Marc Tucker, Achieve, Inc., and Hillary Clinton’s scheme.  However, Obama brought something more to the table.  He brought the social justice ideology that fitted perfectly into the Common Core Standards Initiative, and his ruthless administration (followers of Bill Ayers, Saul Alinsky, Linda Darling-Hammond, Robert Marzano, Arne Duncan, David Coleman, Marc Tucker, Hillary Clinton, etc.) understood full well that: National standards lead to national curriculum which leads to national assessments which lead to teachers teaching the national curriculum each day because their own teacher evaluations depend upon their individual students’ scores.  The end game is the national database in which personally identifiable information can be gathered on every student, family, and teacher in America; and everything can be sent to the NSA.

Obama’s ideology also includes a heavy emphasis on victimization, white supremacy, fake climate change, race baiting, redistribution of wealth, multiculturalism, and political correctness.


We have Hillary Clinton (et al.) to thank for the mess our country’s schools are in today.  It is because of her Type #2 philosophy of education as birthed by the NCEE that we now have the Common Core Standards Initiative pouring into our nation’s schools, capturing the College Board and its products (AP, SAT, PSAT), and making billions of dollars in profits for Bill Gates, Pearson, Jeb Bush, and others.  Even PISA, the international test, is being rewritten to align with Common Core.

We also need to lay the blame for the Common Core Standards Initiative right at Hillary’s door.  It was birthed at the NCEE and partially implemented under Bill Clinton and Hillary.  Then under Obama, this germ of an idea has turned into the complete takeover of our nation’s school system by the federal government and the indoctrination of a nation of children into Obama’s social justice agenda.

We have Hillary to blame for a nation of adult non-readers who get most of their news from their social media gadgets; and it is for that reason that I have used my institutional memory to try to educate those people who have no knowledge of Hillary Clinton.

Whatever happens in the classroom eventually controls what happens at the ballot box.

Hopefully a large majority of people have now realized that terrible elections have terrible consequences.

“My Response: Common Core Reading in Kindergarten” by Donna Garner

“My Response: Common Core Reading in Kindergarten”
By Donna Garner


Defending the Early Years (DEY) has released a report which challenges the Common Core Standards in Kindergarten reading and makes recommendations as to what is developmentally appropriate and inappropriate for children in K.  The DEY report has indeed built a strong case to substantiate its claims that the Common Core is completely out of synch with what most kindergarten children are able to accomplish.

However, I scanned through the Defending the Early Years (DEY) report “Our New Report! Reading Instruction in Kindergarten: Little to Gain and Much to Lose,” 



The DEY report has a few sections that mention the Bank Street developmental reading skills kindergarten children need, but I did not see an extensive explanation about phonemic awareness nor about phonics.  I also did not see those all-important phonemic awareness/decoding skills mentioned in the “Recommendations” contained in the DEY report. 

In the Sources, I did not see any references to:

National Right To Read – (http://www.nrrf.org/research-archive/#national-studies)  (http://www.nrrf.org/explore/ )

Phonemic awareness – (http://www.nrrf.org/learning/scientific-principles-of-reading-instruction/)  (http://www.nrrf.org/learning/overview-of-nichd-reading-and-literacy-initiatives/ )

Synthetic phonics – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_phonics

Marilyn Jager Adams’ Beginning To Read, c. 1994 (http://www.amazon.com/Beginning-Read-Thinking-Learning-about/dp/0262510766)

MRI’s – (http://news.stanford.edu/news/2012/september/austen-reading-fmri-090712.html ) (http://healthland.time.com/2013/02/20/researchers-find-a-biological-marker-for-dyslexia-in-kids/) (http://www.childrenofthecode.org/interviews/shaywitz.htm#WhatBrainScans)

The empirical National Institute of Child Health and Development, National Institutes of Health (NICHD) reading research (“The NICHD Reading Research Program” – http://www.cdl.org/wp-content/uploads/2003/01/The-NICHD-Reading-Research-Program.pdf ) (https://www.nichd.nih.gov/publications/pubs/Documents/reading_centers.pdf)

It is as if the writers of the DEY report, while criticizing Common Core, have themselves failed to validate the NICHD’s reading research which is the best, most expensive, peer-reviewed, replicated, independent reading research that has ever been done in America.

I am concerned that the writers of the DEY report are themselves rather limited in their understanding of the scientific/medical research done by the NICHD under Dr. Reid Lyon and his team.  The whole language/holistic/New Jersey Writing Project crowd vilified Dr. Reid Lyon politically and eventually managed to disrupt the implementation of the NICHD reading research, but I hate to see the DEY group falling into the same trap of acting as if the NICHD empirical reading research never occurred.

Even though No Child Left Behind (NCLB) has other problems, the NICHD reading academies under (NCLB) worked because they taught teachers about phonemic awareness/decoding skills (phonics).  During the President G. W. Bush administration, the reading academies managed to build the reading skills of children all over America, particularly among language-impoverished children. 

There is valid research to prove that:


The DEY needs to make use of the NICHD empirical reading research because it is medically and scientifically based.  This would form a stronger foundation for the DEY report. 

Donna Garner

Bad Teacher-Student Behaviors Increasing

Editors note: This article does not address Common Core, however we felt it was worth posting since many of these teaching methods are being pushed as Common Core is being implemented in our classrooms.

“Bad Teacher-Student Behaviors Increasing”
by Donna Garner 10.30.14


I am certainly no psychologist, but I was a classroom teacher for more than 33 years.  I also can read the news.  So what has changed in Texas classrooms (and in other classrooms around the country) over the last three years that could account for the 27% increase in investigations of inappropriate student-teacher relationships? 

Please read  “27% Increase in Texas Teacher-Student Sexual Misconduct Cases” by Merrill Hope.

First of all, the 27% increase in three years is based upon investigations – not necessarily proven cases of wrong doing by teachers.  As the respect between students for their teachers diminishes, it is no surprise that the number of false accusations by students increases.

However, a large number of these accusations have been investigated and proven to be true which should alarm all of us.

I believe what has changed in the last three years is the inundation of Texas classrooms with techie devices and with the accompanying constructivist, project-based, group-think activities found in such curricula as CSCOPE and Common Core. 

Texas classrooms, along with those across the country, no longer make a distinction between the authority figure (the teacher – now referred to as the “facilitator”) and the students (now supposed to “discover” the answers by using the Internet and group-think to become social activists).

This is more popularly referred to as, “The inmates are running the asylum.”

When those roles between the authority figure and the student become blurred, then the accompanying and appropriate rules of behavior also become blurred.  The respect students are supposed to have for their teachers becomes blurred.

When students can contact their teachers and vice versa 24/7 on those techie devices, sharing very personal information unbeknown to the students’ parents, those relationships become blurred.

When the techie devices have audio and video which can be shared 24/7, the relationships become blurred.

When teachers are no longer allowed to configure their classrooms where each class begins with the teacher at the front of the room (i.e., authority figure) and the students are sitting in straight rows ready to listen to the teacher’s instructions, the relationships become blurred.

When classrooms are so crowded with distractions on every square inch of walls and ceilings and the facilitator is sitting at the back of the room, the relationships become blurred.  “Who is in charge?”  Who can even find the teacher in such a stimuli-filled classroom?

When students can access every conceivable act of violence, imagery, savagery, and indecency on those techie devices 24/7, the relationships become blurred as children lose their protective naiveté.

When the classroom configuration of sitting in clusters, pods, and grouped around tables puts students and teachers in very close proximity to one another, the relationships become blurred.

Parents can no longer track what students are being taught in school because of the lack of textbooks and the advent of digitized curriculum. A type of “shared society” can easily occur between teachers and their students as parents are cut out of the loop. Instead of children looking to their parents for advice, they turn to their teachers who seem punk and hip because of the shared society on the digitized devices.

When perverse and sexualized texts with explicit and vile language are now being read and shared openly in classrooms instead of the time-honored classics that build character, the relationships become blurred.

When teachers do not exhibit a high sense of moral values in class discussions and in the type of instructional materials used, the relationships become blurred.

Children are not “little adults.”  However, they are being thrown into issues and problematic events that strip away their innocence.  Thus, young girls and young boys dress much older than they really are, and the mode of dress among students and teachers has deteriorated. Sexualized clothing along with sexualized behavior have become commonplace in school settings, and the secure distance between teacher and student is narrowed.

Schools do represent a piece of society. Schools are a small city unto themselves. As society has become more crass, the same environment is impacting the school environment.  As nothing is considered sacred in society anymore and every personal detail is portrayed openly, that same atmosphere is occurring in schools.  It is no wonder that relationships between teacher and student have become blurred.

However, this can change. School classrooms can change their configuration. Teachers can once again become the authority figure in the classroom who once again has the right and the responsibility to direct the learning of the students. 

Teachers can once again start their classes by standing at the front of the room with students looking straight ahead for instructions.  After the class starts, then teachers can certainly direct the students to move into various configurations; but everyone in the classroom should know that the teacher is in charge – not the students.

Discipline policies can change that support teachers to assume their rightful role.

Students can once again be expected to read pieces of wholesome literature and history that elevate them to become better people.

Class discussions can be redirected to a higher plane with teachers setting the parameters of the discussion rather than the students taking charge.

The mode of dress for teachers and students can be raised to a more modest standard.Respect among teachers and students can be increased if all concerned will dress and act their age rather than patterning themselves after the latest diva or pop star. (Hint: There should be no place for cleavage in the classroom among female teachers who are working with hormone-energized teens.)Baseless jokes and disrespectful behavior can and should be eliminated from classrooms, including between teachers and students. When the focus in the classroom is placed on deep content knowledge, learning the lessons from the wisdom of the past, valuing each moment of class time for the acquisition of academic skills/knowledge, developing personal responsibility and self-discipline, and strengthening a person’s work ethic VERSUS an unsatiated thirst for entertainment by techie device, the role of teacher and student will become more clearly defined.

As these changes are implemented, I believe the number of inappropriate behaviors between teachers and students will decrease.

Donna Garner