Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Common Core Of Elementary Power

" Preach, my dear Sir, a crusade against ignorance; establish and improve the law for educating the common people."  Thomas Jefferson 1787 writing from France to his friend, a teacher,  George Wythe in the new Republic.

    In order for a sustained political movement to exist and to endure it must be fed a constant supply of wide eyed as well as dull eyed followers trained from the cradle in the doctrinaire of that said political movement  wishing to be sustained. The inexorable march of our society to have the public school system be the New World Order's parental unit is that function. The push to get hold of our children has followed a downward spiral. It began with first grade moving to kindergarten, to preschool and now the President's plan to get children as young as three into the system promises to ensure that constant supply. It, truly does take a village. Private schools and religious institutions simply cannot compete to counteract the assembly line that churns out an ever increasingly inferior product year after year after year.
    As I wrote in a past blog, "The Pathology Of Power" I explored the use of SSRI drugs and the ramping up of our children being prescribed these psychotropics. This is just one mechanism employed as a means to that end. Administrators and teachers are the ones who decide which child is attention deficit, not your family doctor. The family doctor is defacto ordered to comply as well as the parents or serious repercussions from the State will result.

    The public school system is no longer the harbinger of molding our children into model citizens. Ensuring that children are given a firm foundation in basics as well as a grasp of civics has no role anymore. Multi-culturalism and a skewed revisionist history of America are stressed. Teaching to the test instead of teaching how to think are axioms of today. The public school system is a front. It is now the manufacturing plant of useful idiots and is designed to keep check on the parents, keep check on the 'problem children' and to return all that information as data for the State.
    Countless families have stories of hellish experiences with their own districts. News stories are flooded with extreme examples of 'zero tolerance' policies that put five year old's in the cross hairs of government social workers simply for using a nail clipper or chewing a Pop Tart into the shape of a gun. A child was just recently arrested for bringing a 2" plastic GI Joe action figure gun into school.
     What I will present here are my own experiences as my own children grew up. Many examples might seem unrelated and exceptions rather than norms. As my own worse critic I would agree to that premise. It is the recurrence of these exceptions that cannot be explained away. I will  talk about Common Core and how schools are now gathering information on students and families. I will also give examples of how the power and reach of your local school goes beyond the playground and into your private affairs. As with many of my posts here on The Lexington Green I have worked over a month on this, gathering information that spans years and resources.

    My first experience was in 2000 when my son was diagnosed with Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes. He was seven years old. Despite the fact that over the previous two decades there had been a sharp rise of diabetes in our society due to our sedentary lifestyle and our penchant for fast food I discovered that the public school system was woefully inadequate at handling children with this disease. The school was more than well equipped to handle ADHD children, autism, special needs and even peanut allergies but had no clue how to handle diabetes. Not being able to handle this was not the problem for me. How they handled it was the problem.
    Any parent who has a child with this disease knows it is a roller coaster ride. Some days the blood sugar is in check, some days it is tough to put a leash around it and other days the levels are low and your kid is close to passing out. These numbers change at a moment's notice in a growing and ever changing child's body. Especially if your child is active and playful as mine was...  A normal boy.
     I had to get special permission from our doctor that authorized the school nurse to 'maintain' my son's regiment. The parameters were very specific and stressed only a maintenance of his blood sugar levels. I supplied the school with extra snacks for those days he felt groggy. I also kept the school supplied in needles and insulin.
    What I was not aware of was that each time my son had an 'incident' where his sugar spiked or dropped the information was being logged. Since the school nurse was only authorized to maintain his levels any drop or spike outside those parameters required I had to leave work and administer the medication or be ready with an Epi-pen should he 'bottom out' as the catch phrase goes. All of these events were being logged and, un be known to me, that information was being sent to the Department of Social Services.
    During this time I had transferred my son's primary care from U-Mass in Shrewsbury to Boston Children's  Hospital. His first appointment was three weeks away which worked perfectly for me because my son had just completed his monthly check up a few days before I made the transfer.
    It didn't work so perfectly for the school.
    This caused an immediate problem. Partly it was my fault because I had informed the nurse of this transfer. So much for being honest and keeping the dialogue open.
     Heads up to parents.. Keep your mouth shut sometimes..
    You see, technically (according to the school) my son was no longer under a doctor's care. Technically they were correct. This sent up immediate red flags. Suddenly the nurse was no longer authorized to maintain his regiment until she received a new order from the new doctor. Despite a phone call from his prospective new doctor to the school the Principal at the Marion E. Zeh School in Northborough felt it her duty to inform the Department of Social Services that my son was being neglected. I know this because they came to visit me one afternoon at my home.

    At the time I was too naive to understand what had happened yet I was angry enough to wonder what business it was of the school what doctor, where, was caring for my son? It was my right as a parent to make this decision. That played no part in the line of questioning from the social worker. She was armed with the information that the school had culled over a years time and  proceeded to paint a picture of patterned neglect. None of the realities surrounding the care of my son came into the conversation. The school had targeted my child as an 'at risk' child. They gathered information for the expressed use against me as a parent.
     What was worse is they used it against me as a single, male parent. They, effectively, discriminated against me. How is that tolerant and diverse Liberal Society working for you now?

    In 2007 my girlfriend at the time (now my wife) had enrolled her son into the Robert Melican Middle School in Northborough. I would laugh to myself every time I saw that name on the building. Bob Melican was my seventh grade algebra teacher. He told me I was failure, told my mother I was a failure and so the town made him Superintendent of schools and named a school after him. That was my first taste of Liberal politics. My mother told him to go fuck himself. That was my first taste of Liberty.
    One day we got a call from the school to come down because her (my girlfriend's) son had violated the 'zero tolerance' policy adopted by all schools following the Columbine shooting. We were told he brought a deadly weapon to school. The weapon was a multi-tool. He was caught using the pliers while trying to repair the strap to his backpack which had come unbuckled. He was twelve.
    Once I heard the story I laughed. The Principal didn't think this was a laughing matter. I had the multi-tool in my hand and told the woman it belonged to me and proceeded to put in into my pocket. She informed me that it was evidence and I could not have it back. I looked around the office and asked if the police were going to claim it and follow the chain of custody as warranted in gathering evidence of a crime (I hate being so intelligent). She said that they did not call the police and they would hold onto the item.... Mmmmm. Really?  This was a thirty dollar item!
    I tried to explain that it was private property and if the police wanted it they should follow procedure.     
    That made no difference to her.
    My girlfriend intervened and told me to just hand it over. She was right. I was dealing with fools here and it wasn't worth the effort. Before leaving I reiterated that what the Principal had done was commit theft of private property. I did inform the police but they never followed up on the complaint. Nor, were any criminal charges levied against my step son. He was suspended for three days and the matter was dropped.
    Zeros. This is what we deal with. The true zero tolerance policy. We must learn to deal with zeros.
    This caused me to start researching just what the zero tolerance policy entails. Quite simply any school can claim any item as a deadly weapon and confiscate it at will.
    This must be a gold mine bonanza at the lost and found box!
     It can also deem any behavior as dangerous to restrain,  lock into a room any child for any reason. Confiscated property without due process or recompense to the owner is theft. It leads me to ask, what else can the school confiscate and never return?

    Fast forward to the 2012-13 school year. My 13 year old daughter attends Worcester East Middle School. She was caught in the halls using her cell phone and the Asst. Principal confiscated it.. Again, I have no problem with the policy. Cell Phone use in the school is a distraction and I concur.. It is how it was handled that gave me the problem.
    This happened twice.
    The first time , my daughter came home to me and told me her phone was at the office and I had to go to the school and retrieve it.. Odd..
    I went to the school and asked for the phone back. I knew immediately I could be re-visiting the 'multi-tool' incident.
    Upon arriving at the school I was informed by the Asst, Principal that the phone was in her handbag.
    "Why is MY phone in YOUR handbag?" I asked.... No answer.
    It gets better...
    As she rummaged through her bag she discovered it was not there.
    "It must be in the Conference room" She said.
    Why? Why was my daughter's phone left un-attended? Who had access to this? Some one could have stolen it!
    After several minutes she returned with the phone. I asked her why was MY phone left un-attended  after it was confiscated? It was my phone since I pay the bill and had bought it in the first place. This was confiscation of property without due process!
    She never replied to me except saying that I could take up the issue with the school Principal......
     Oh, wait till we get to him.
    "You realize this is theft?" I said to her.... Blank stares from staff and her. Like deer in the headlights. The Union response of the school policy was all I received....
    Dealing with fools. Zero Tolerance.

    This same event happened again in the early spring of 2013.
    Again, I have no problem with the policy.
    However, property must be returned to the owner at the close of business day. Especially an expensive cell phone!

    I went back to the school and confronted Principal Mr. Wells who had the phone in his pocket. He told me he was ready to leave for the day..
    Why?.. Why was the phone in his pocket? Why was this phone not locked up in some secure area to be returned to the student at the close of business day? It is private property! Had I been a minute later he would have left with that phone in his pocket for.....?

    Then I knew why.
    Upon returning the phone to my daughter she tried to unlock it.
    She could not.
    Turns out that the phone has a "lock down".
    If some one tries to access the code three times in-correctly it simply goes into sleep mode for 24 hours until the user enters in the correct code.
    Some one tried to access her phone.

    This is Theft. This is also a violation of Article 4 of the United States Constitution.

    Who are these people? What gives them this authority? Why would anyone attempt to access a 13 year old girl's cell phone?

    In the spring of 2013 my daughter was suspended from school for being involved in an altercation.
    She was in a fight. She was suspended from school.
    What I wanted to know is why the school was involved with a private matter that occurred outside of school, outside the school zone (over a half mile away) and well over an hour after school was let out and what business was it of theirs since myself and the other parent of the other child involved were dealing with it?.. Privately!
    "We are responsible for the children coming and going from school." Said Principal Wells. This guy is a complete moron.
    Let us explore this rationale.
    If that is true, then where were the school authorities when this fight broke out? Why weren't the police called if said school is "responsible"? And given that premise; is the school now liable for not upholding that responsibility which resulted in the fight not being stopped? Is the school liable for failing in it's responsibility if a child (say) is abducted on his/her way to/from school? Gets hit by a car? Mugged? According to the logic of Principal Wells this would all fall under that umbrella.
    But we are dealing with Liberals here so they get to pick, choose and change the rules at a moment's notice.
    So I penned a letter to the Superintendent of Worcester schools asking him/ her to please give me the actual documentation and or Mass General Law allowing the school to suspend children for private matters outside and beyond school business. I hand delivered the letter to the office at 20 Irving St. Worcester. This was the second week of May. As of this publishing I have yet to hear from that office.
    This wasn't my first rodeo with Ole' Principal Wells.
    Some one was bullying my daughter at the start of the year. I was under the impression it happened in school so (naturally) I took it up with him. Once we both got to the particulars of the problem we realized that it had nothing to do with school. I apologized for taking up his time and said I would deal with it. Turns out my daughter and the other girl worked it out anyways and became friends again. Kids have a way of working out their own problems if you just leave them alone sometimes.
    Not according to Kaiser Wells. He called the cops and both my daughter and the other child (from another school district) were suspended.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association have found that suspensions are "not educationally sound or developmentally appropriate." Research from the UCLA Civil Rights Project have concluded that there is " no evidence that suspensions make a school safer, help the student behave better and are seriously detrimental to student achievement. Children who are suspended in the primary schools are left with gaps in basic fundamentals of learning."
    In an article published on 5/23/13 in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette; Jennifer Cary Davis and Mary Jo Marlon Farrell directors of the Worcester Educational Collaborative and Latino Education Institute of Worcester said this:

    " While we do not take issue with the use of suspension for the most serious offenses, we are troubled by the number of children suspended for other reasons and are therefore not in school and not learning-- such as cell phone use (mmm, interesting), missing homework, tardiness, cutting class, absenteeism and failure to follow directions..."

    Wait a second... "..failure to follow directions.."? So, if your kid doesn't 'get it', or makes a mistake,  he/ she gets suspended?
    Please, ladies, continue.

    " It is especially troubling to see the number of suspensions in the early grades, a time when children are not only acquiring academic fundamentals but developing attitudes toward school and learning."
    Remember Bob Melican?  I hated school from that day forward. In fact, my own daughter is now openly depressed every day she goes to school.

    " Equally distressing  is the significantly  higher rate of exclusionary discipline for particular groups of children.."...... So, the schools ARE targeting your children! And who are these 'groups' ? They are what I said before; 'at risk' children. The definition is whatever the school wants to invent at any time.
    Now we have Common Core coming at us full tilt. Too late to stop it now. Only five states in the Union have voted against implementing it. Michigan refuses to fund it. It was hidden in the Stiff-You-And-Us Bill in 2009. Essentially it is a one size fits all Federal top to bottom approach to standardize school testing and the curriculum in general. The Obama Administration chucked out the restrictive rulings set up in 1970, 1979 and 1992 that forbids the Federal Government from dictating what the curriculum will be. It was that pesky 10th Amendment that they had to get around. So Congress did what they always do. They trampled on the Constitution and went after the money. This reminds me of the "55 mph" bill that got rammed at us in the 70's. Either obey the law or lose the funding.
    This from the Pioneer Institute in a paper written by Bob Eitel and Kent Talbert:

    " Despite three federal laws that prohibit the federal government from directing, supervising or controlling elementary and secondary school curricula, programs of instruction and instructional materials, the USDOE has placed the nation on the road to a national curriculum.."

    I attended the May 28th meeting at the Worcester Public Library where ELA Curriculum Author Sandra Stotsky, Cost And Accountability Expert Ted Rebarber and Worc, School Committee Chair Donna Colorio held a packed room forum on the horrors of Common Core.
    Sandra Stotsky was one of five members at an earlier conference on CC who refused to sign off on the standards set up by the Common Core State Standards Initiative because... They didn't exist. Ted Rebarber spoke of the data that will be acquired by the state on you and your children. He himself wasn't even told where, why, what, how and who will get and use this 'data'.
    Rahm Emmanuel was right. Never let a crisis go to waste. The Obama Administration inserted thug politics into a bill designed as a jobs bill to get America back to work. It worked brilliantly! We are now all forced to work very hard to produce the next generation of useful idiots of the New American Socialist Party.
    In the 90's we all freaked out at plunging test scores in our children so in a letter penned by Marc Tucker of the National Center on Education and Economy to then First Lady Hillary Clinton he laid out a plan to, " remold the entire American system..... a system of labor market boards at the local, state and federal levels.." In addition, the FDA, Social Services, Teachers Unions and family advocates would all work together to standardize, categorize and ostracize families and children,
 " where curriculum would be handled by government functionaries."
    It really does take a village.
    One of the primary supporters and the lead funding agent of CC is Bill Gates. In a speech to the National Governor's Association in 2011 Willard urged states to do away with the Liberal Arts programs in the public schools. Gone will be classic American novels and the critical teaching and thinking that goes with exposure to such literature. Common Core funding will put up an initial investment of over 6 billion dollars for new technology in our schools.
    I will give you three guesses who will supply that 'new technology.

    With inevitable new expenses comes inevitable new taxes. There are bound to be rural and other poor communities who cannot afford this new program. But, that is ok. Any future Administration can simply go before the nation and say, "we need to do more!". And the ever expanding scope of government will grow ever thus.
    A mid-level estimate puts the start up of CC at 15.8 billion dollars with costs ever increasing by an average of 100 million per year across the board. Teachers will be re-educated, textbooks will be whitewashed with emphasis on diversity and multi-culturalism. Testing costs haven't even been figured out yet. None of the standards have been, what Sandra Stotsky calls "benchmarked". This is a comparison against other developed nations and how their scores are rated. We use that data to determine our levels. According to her the end result will be our children graduating with the equivalent of a 10th grade education with no emphasis on interpersonal skills, critical thinking, history and mathematics. The worst is the loss of literature and how it is divided between classics and informational. This is very important to young minds. It opens them up to ideas and questions... God forbid some one should have an idea or a question.. It will effectively shut out an overwhelming majority of children from higher education.
     Joseph Califano from the Carter Administration has said that the control of the curriculum is " a form of national control of ideas."

    When I was young there was the PTO. The Parent Teacher "Organization". But this would not do. How dare these lowly parents organize to tell us teachers and state agencies how best to educate their children. So they changed the name to the PTA. The Parent Teacher "Association".. It now has that happy, smiley face of fascism attached to it. Today parents are "partners" with school administrators and every one "works together" in implementing dictum's from our elected officials. It is quiet surrender and nothing more. Parents are now 'useful idiots' with a false sense of inclusion.
     I know I wrote the first part of this article with a "oh, poor me" angle.
     It was intentional.
     The reader must be aware that there are thousands of parents with the same stories. The entire school system is a top heavy, heavy handed and completely autonomous organization that makes up its own rules. It purposefully identifies students for special considerations that are detrimental to their well being. All parental rights are given over to the system and the higher up you complain the less you are heard.
    As more information is culled from the technology installed by Microsoft we can expect an uptick in ADHD diagnosis'. There is now a report circulating (that the geniuses in Washington cooked up) stating that over 20% of children are dyslexic. Hooray for more medication! As the standards are lowered it will be very easy for some official to claim your child is stupid and can't learn. Once your kid logs onto the CC website (thank you Willy G) to test he/she will be watched and all information will be collated.
     No one from Worcester East Middle has made any attempt to contact me for re-medial education for my daughter. As with me in seventh grade; she has trouble with algebra. What information I was able to gather basically shuts out my daughter from receiving extra help until I consent to having her "tested". I refuse to comply with such an idea and demand the school system actually do its job as educators. I have sent letters to the school nurse informing her to exclude my daughter from any and all health and counseling screenings. It is no body's business but mine. I cannot get an answer from the Super's office and now my child simply hates going to school. Principal Wells has told my daughter point blank that we are 'bad parents'.
    With less and less input (and power) from parents in our public schools we risk losing our children to the system.... Shit, we already have... It might even be, part of the plan. One of the main tenets of Socialism is to remove the importance and influence of the family unit.

     Must be why Obama wants three year olds in early education. As he said, "..we need a civilian branch just as powerful as the military..."

....And That Is The Diatribe....






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