Category Archives: Around the Nation

“It’s Nearly-Spring Minnesota!” Parade of School District Surveys – Matchomatics

High School Students Sitting in Bleachers

Welcome to the world of surveys!  This week we begin our series on surveys and questionnaires given 1 – 2 – 3 times per week at your local public or private school.   The vast majority are assigned via online learning and through student assigned ipads or chromebooks. Surveys can take up a lot of valuable classroom time.  99% of all surveys are nonacademic.   Most importantly,  surveys are an invasion of privacy, most often assigned without parental notification or consent and given for the expressed purpose of collecting  data for marketers, researchers, and government agencies.

Parents and the general public have yet to be told “why” and “for what reason” great volumes of survey data is being collected on children and teens.  Important to note:  Parents and students, you can opt out of surveys – you need only refuse.

Join us now as we start our “It’s Nearly-Spring Minnesota! Parade of Minnesota School District Surveys”!!!    First up,  Anne Taylor informs us of the “Mathomatics” survey given in the Minnetonka School District (as well as other districts in the state).   This survey looks like fun, but all that data can easily be “lifted” by unaccountable 3rd parties!  Minnetonka has already had issues with data breaches.

Matchomatics:  The “Ultimate Student Matching Fundraiser”

by Anne Taylor

Matchomatics is a popular student matching (or compatibility) fundraiser hitting schools around Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s Day, even Homecoming.  Students fill out a questionnaire including their name, birth date, height, hair color and other questions of likes and dislikes that teens can relate to (favorite foods, sports, colors, music, etc).  While the students fill out the surveys, the company comes up with the matches and then a school club sells the results.  But some questions are a bit more revealing and may contain sexual content which raised a complaint most recently in January of this year at Enka High school in North Carolina.

There are other formats of the questionnaire that Matchomatics subscribers may use which includes questions such as:  How you communicate with your parents, which way you lean in politics, or where you get your money from.  And while Matchomatics claims they don’t sell the data, the information is put into a data system.  Should that data get hacked, that’s an awful lot of information on a minor, including the name of the school and address.  At Minnetonka High School, parents received no notification of this survey.  To
add to it, approximately 20 minutes of instructional classroom time was used to take the survey.  You can find the Matchomatics link here:http://matchomatics.com/usa/index.htm

Attached is a copy of the actual survey taken at Minnetonka High School this year.

Matchomatics pg 1

Matchomatics pg 2

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Nationally-Known Speaker, Dr. Pesta Comes to Duluth and the Twin Cities

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Nationally-Known Speaker, Dr. Pesta Comes to Duluth and the Twin Cities
Minnesotans Against Common Core (MACC) and Northlanders Against Common Core (Duluth and Iron Range) is excited to sponsor Dr. Duke Pesta, English professor from UW-Oshkosh, presenting in both the Twin Cities and Duluth.
Here’s the information!
Friday, February 6th at 7:00pm, Grace Church in Eden Prairie
9301 Eden Prairie Rd.  Eden Prairie, MN   55347
Saturday, February 7th at 2:00pm, Duluth Gospel Tabernacle
1515 W Superior St.   Duluth, MN   55806
Common Core/Minnesota World’s Best Workforce Education Summit will feature Dr. Pesta in his, “The Case Against Common Core National Standards”.  Dr. Pesta is nationally-known having spoken in nearly every state and before legislative hearings on the Common Core.  There will be a question and answer session following the meeting.
Just following the Twin Cities’ event, MACC will hold short advocacy training sessions in a breakout style, explaining the connection of Common Core to our mandated statute on the workforce.  We’ll have lots of handouts to help in local and state activism; email and letter templates, and the like.  We’ll also quickly give a run down on good and bad legislation and MACC-inspired legislation.
Please send to all your friends around the state!!!   We are grateful to have Dr. Pesta here and want to have a great crowd at the event.

 

David Coleman Attacks Students’ Love of America

High School Students Sitting in Bleachers

It’s well known that David Coleman authored the Common Core Standards in English Language Arts in 2010.  He was not an educator nor had he ever written standards.  A year and a half later, Coleman was appointed president of College Board and has been fast at work in dismantling the College Board tests to align with the Common Core Standards. Tests like ACT, SAT, GED,  CLEP and AP (Advanced Placement) are taken by every student at some point in their academic career.

What’s new?  APUSH!  Advanced Placement U.S. History Framework. Texan Donna Garner describes the shocking components of the new APUSH (AP Frameworks) and how it will effect “550,000 of the U.S.’s best and brightest students”.  

Does your Minnesota school district offer Advanced Placement classes?  Parents have a right to review their child’s textbooks or online curriculum.   Tell your principals, superintendents and school board members that you do not want your children taught outright lies and falacies!  Then join your school’s curriculum committee that meets 5 to 6 times a year.  And join with a friend!

 

“David Coleman Attacks Students’ Love of America”

By Donna Garner 6.24.14

 

David Coleman is the architect of the Common Core Standards. When he finished his disastrous work there, he became the president of The College Board where he has publicly stated that the College Board products will now be aligned with the Common Core Standards. 

 

The College Board produces the SAT, the GED, and all the Advanced Placement (AP) tests.

 

Some 550,000 of our country’s brightest and best students take AP U. S. History.

 

The new AP U. S. History Framework (APUSH) consistently emphasizes the negative events of U. S. history while ignoring the positive achievements of the U. S.

 

“The new College Board Framework will replace the traditional 5-page topical outline with a 98-page document that dictates how teachers should cover the required topics…”

 

Larry Krieger, an experienced, widely acclaimed Advanced Placement teacher, says that the new Advanced Placement U. S. History Framework, “defines, discusses, and interprets ‘the required knowledge of each period.’”

 

The College Board’s own website confirms that the AP exam will focus exclusively on content specified in the Framework. In short, what is not tested will not be taught.

 

DAVID COLEMAN’S NEW ADVANCED PLACEMENT U. S. HISTORY FRAMEWORK EXCLUDES:

 

James Madison

Benjamin Franklin

George Washington (reduced to a 1 sentence fragment about Farewell Address)

Roger Williams

Thomas Jefferson

Andrew Jackson

Henry Clay

Jane Addams

Theodore Roosevelt

Lost Generation authors (Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Lewis)

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sinclair Lewis

Dorothea Dix

 

HISTORICAL EVENTS EXCLUDED BY DAVID COLEMAN:

 

Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

America’s Lend-Lease program (provided over $50 billion in military equipment to help our allies defeat Hitler) 

The heroism and sacrifices of American servicemen and women

 

DAVID COLEMAN’S OBVIOUSLY BIASED FRAMEWORK REQUIREMENTS:

 

Dominant theme – “European exploitation led to native decline and black bondage” 

Discusses architecture of Spanish missions rather than the merits of our 1776 heroes

Stresses colonial America as having “rigid racial hierarchy” and a “strong belief in British racial and cultural superiority”  — ignores U. S. founding principles that inspired the movement to abolish slavery

 

Reinterprets Manifest Destiny by not emphasizing the spreading of democracy and new technologies – instead dwells on white racial superiority

 

Reduces study of Declaration of Independence to one phrase in one sentence — ignores sacrifices signers made who pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to the cause of freedom

 

Ignores efforts of U. S. civilians and armed forces to defeat fascism — instead dwells upon internment of  Japanese Americans, dropping of atomic bombs,  race and segregation

 

WORKS OMITTED BY DAVID COLEMAN:

 

Winthrop’s” City on a Hill” sermon

Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

Excerpts from de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America

Frederick Jackson Turner’s essay on “The Significance of the Frontier in American History”

Excerpts from John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath

Excerpts from Dr. King’s writings

Barbara Jordan’s speech on the Constitution before the House Judiciary Committee during the Nixon impeachment hearings

 

Jane Robbins and Larry Krieger stated on 6.19.14:

 

“The redesigned Framework is best described as a curricular coup. The College Board now imposes detailed ‘required knowledge’ that is very different from the curriculum mandated by state curriculum guides.  For example, the College Board commissioned a group of Texas teachers to determine how well the mandated Texas state curriculum (TEKS) correlates with the  new APUSH Framework. They found a shocking lack of correlation.  In Units 6 – 9 alone of the APUSH framework, the teachers found 181 TEKS elements omitted from the APUSH. And the Texas situation is repeated in many other states that will see their mandated history curriculum displaced by the radical new APUSH Framework.”

 

 

RESOURCES USED IN THIS ARTICLE:

 

http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2014/03/26/new-advanced-placement-framework-distorts-americas-history

 

http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2014/04/09/yes-new-ap-framework-does-distort-us-history

 

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/05/28/The-College-Boards-Attack-on-American-History

 

http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2014/05/05/new-ap-us-history-exam-providing-opportunities-indoctrination

 

When It Comes to Common Core, Read the Fine Print

This is a good read and puts in clear perspective how Common Core is dumbing down our education system — I thought the idea was to be competitive with other nations?

When It Comes to Common Core, Read the Fine Print

by Dr. Peg Luksikshutterstock_81053836It’s advice that most of us have learned to follow the hard way.  It’s easy to get caught up in a well-crafted sales pitch, and just overlook the parts that are “too good to be true.”But when we are dealing with the futures of our children, we need to stop and actually read the fine print under Common Core’s aggressive marketing campaign.Let’s start with a fundamental contradiction in the marketing message.

The proponents of Common Core sell their program by telling us…

…about the children of our military who often must transfer from one school to another.  These children, we are told, need every school to be the same so they won’t ever move to a new school that is behind their old one.  At the same time, the proponents tell us that no school is limited to the standards as they are written, and they fully expect that some schools will go beyond the mandated performance levels.

But doesn’t that mean that some schools will be ahead of others?  And doesn’t that negate the “all the schools need to be the same so children can seamlessly transfer” marketing claim?

It can’t be both ways.  Either all the schools will be the same or they won’t.  If they are, no school will be going beyond the written standards.  If they are not, then for the children of our military, the current situation will remain the same.

It’s a great marketing ploy, as long as no one notices that the claim is that Common Core will result in schools that are simultaneously the same and different from each other.

Now let’s look at the language of the Common Core sales pitch itself.

Common Core’s salesmen have stated that 40% of our children require remediation when they get to college so we need to have a system of standards that mandate what all children will know and be able to do upon graduation. The standards must be accompanied by high stakes tests so we can hold students, teachers, and schools accountable for how well they meet the standards.  This, they tell us, will solve the problem.

But didn’t we already have mandatory achievement standards with high stakes tests to measure performance?

Most states have had standards-based education for nearly 20 years, and the sales pitch that was used to introduce it then is exactly the same as the sales pitch that we are hearing today.  If it was such an abysmal failure that 40% of the students exposed to it require remedial courses before they can begin actual college work, why are we continuing the approach at all?

Why are we getting a new version of an old, failed, product?

And what would a Consumer Reports analysis reveal?  What is the actual performance level behind the sales pitch language of “rigorous” standards?

In the Pennsylvania regulations recently passed by the State Board of Education, for example, students will need to pass Algebra I in order to graduate from high school.  Nothing higher than Algebra I is required. And they do not need to pass the mandatory state Algebra I exam until they are in the 11th grade.

In a recent debate, the proponents of Common Core told the audience that the students would learn less, but still be able to take advanced courses in math like AP Algebra II.

In pre-Common Core high schools, students take Algebra II in either 10th or 11th grade so they can take Calculus before graduation. Algebra II is not considered college level math – students who need to take it in college do so in a remedial setting. The AP level math is Calculus. But in a recent interview, the Vice-President of the College Board stated that Calculus is not part of the Common Core sequence.  He said that in Common Core, educators are asked to slow the math progression down.

Well, if we slow the math progression down, then Algebra II would, in fact, move to the AP level.  We didn’t move student achievement up, we moved the level for success down.

Does anyone believe that the students in Singapore or Germany or Japan are having the math progression in their schools slowed down?

Now let’s analyze the tests themselves. According to the Common Core sales team, the tests are critical for holding students, teachers, and schools accountable.  We will know how well the program is working through the tests.

The promotional language says that the tests are valid and reliable. But the same state Departments of Education that are mandating and implementing Common Core are creating and scoring the tests, and then reporting on the performance of their own system. Such a structure is like allowing a drug company to evaluate its own medicine, declare it a success, and then put it on the market. It’s called an internal audit – and it is never considered either valid or reliable.

In fact, the state Departments of Education have been doing this kind of high-stakes testing since the inception of the standards-based system. And in that time, we have seen states change their passing scoring criteria retroactively. We have seen states lower the level of achievement necessary to receive a passing score. Some states use computers to change the questions to match the student’s achievement level – moving the test to the student instead of measuring the student against the test. And some states set the passing level as low as 33%.  In every case, parents only received notice that their students had passed – not the actual level of achievement necessary for passing.

And then, when those same students got to college, where they received their first non-internal audit of achievement, 40% of them required remediation.

Sometimes, reading the fine print is the most important thing that a potential consumer can do. And in the case of Common Core, failure to read, and act upon, that fine print will result in an academic disaster for an entire generation of America’s children.

_____ 

Dr. Peg Luksik has taught both special education and regular education students from pre-school to college for over 30 years. She has written and evaluated curriculum, and worked as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Education, reviewing education reform initiatives.