Petition on Lunch-2nd Report

So…I have been out sick from school pretty much the entire week, and today was my first day back. I had figured that, since it has been so long, there would be news of what was going on with our lunch petition.

But, no.

I asked around a bit, and turns out, the person who did say that she would contact us has not. At all. And it’s been almost two weeks since my last post about this.

So, I don’t know what’s going on with that, but I do know that when I get back to school after the weekend, I am going to go and fill out another form to request an appointment with her.

But for now, I’ll have to wait and see what is going to happen with that; and meanwhile, I learned some new things about data collection today. So while we’re waiting for news on the lunch petition, I suggest that you go and check this video by Pamela Smith that I found through the Utahns Against Common Core:

Well, don’t let the disturbing vibe of data collection as a whole get you down, and have a good weekend!

Videos From L.A.

Here are two videos from L.A.

My favorite part of the fists one is the end of number 45, at about 7:30:00.

06-18-13RegularBd – Jun 18th, 2013.

Favorite part of this next one: about 5:34:20, Steven Zimmer talks passionately about class sizes and such.

However, those are only very small parts of both videos; all of both are still absolutely worth watching!

Video: Parent Trigger Explained

Bah…it’s late and I am sleepy.  Zoe, Quinn and I worked hard on this video outlining what our sense of things is after researching the Parent Trigger as applied in the state of CA.  We read through reams of online pages.  And honestly, there are many sides to this issue…ahem…to this “law”.  It can be applied in ways that make sense.  But what the heck are corporations doing enacting laws regarding education.  If there isn’t a profit to be gleaned, by the very definition of Return On Investment (ROI), no corporation is going to support this kind of law without an expected return.  The ROI here is to turn your children, my children, our children into one of these:


Children who legally must attend school are not a revenue stream for a public school.  The money that goes with each child to their school in the form of taxes barely covers costs because of what politician’s and elected officials do with it.  But for a corporation, for a corporate charter school system…children become a source of revenue.  A guaranteed source of revenue for 12 years per child.  Corporate America, it isn’t just for selling stuff anymore…now education is business.  How do you encourage parents to ‘see the light’ and put their children into a charter school run by a corporation?  One way is to put corporate money into a front that appears to be all about parental rights, while all along you are just getting them to help your company open up the schoolhouse doors for guaranteed revenue.  When we looked at the website for Parent Revolution and Parent Trigger we were all scratching our heads.  We were sitting there reading it and just flabbergasted.  It is so transparent that it makes no sense that anyone would believe it, let alone be duped into actually trusting it.  It’s a crazy world out there folks.

Update and Video: NC Mother of Autistic Child Fights EOG’s

It’s late.  About 2 AM now.  The email from Michelle I did not see until after my kids were asleep.  My kids are night owls.  They may make great grades in school, but you would never know it from the late hours they keep.  So at about 12:30 when the house was finally quiet I was checking email before turning in and there was one from Michelle.  We have been in touch before, via phone.  She was seeking support to get the word out about her situation.  Her situation was something I wrote about previously HERE.  I shook the trees and was really sure that she would be “allowed” to Opt Out, after all, she is only about 10 miles away…surely the school system could not be that different over there.  My reasoning was that since Zoe and I called the state’s bluff here in Orange County, that once Michelle told the school she was not having her son tested that the same thing would happen..they would back down.

What is particularly onerous about her situation is that the school, School Board and Superintendent are going so far out of their way to force her Autistic son to take this test.  No offense meant, but Michelle has guaranteed me that her son cannot pass any version of a state EOG.  They are essentially forcing her son to take a test that he will fail.  This is in light of the fact that his school year has been filled with success.  Michelle went to some lengths to describe to me how many victories there have been for her son this year.  She describes many of them in the video.  I am sharing this video for two reasons.  Michelle personally asked me to do what I could to expose what is happening.  Secondly, this situation truly calls into the light and exaggerates just how misguided testing has become under NCLB and CCS.  Standardized Testing hurts teachers. It reduces the hard work and efforts of your child’s teacher into an assessment designed by people who will NEVER meet either your child or their teacher.  All the amazing things that happened in that classroom…like they have for Michelle’s son, deserve credit.  But with a standardized test, there is none.  The way the Common Core is set up, all that good stuff gets thrown under the school bus.  Testing is all that seems to count.  This is a slap in the face of how hard teachers work.

In fact, under CCS, standardized tests that are scored low, actually count against teachers.  Under Standard 6, teachers are being tested and given a grade based upon how their student’s performed.  Hasn’t this gone far enough already folks?  When you have a school Superintendent arguing with a parent that their autistic child is federally required to take a test that is going to make the teacher look bad and will make the student look like a failure…this is not educational.  All that anyone learns by being silent on this issue is how easily we tend to just go on with our lives, without saying a word about things that we know are not right.  Now is a great time to do something different.  It doesn’t matter what state you live in.  Watch the video.  Do something.  If you really want to support public education and the profession of teaching, overturn federally mandated testing and encourage the end of the Common Core Standards.

Being Jeb…a pretend interview.

Hi, my name is Charlie and I want to present to you a scenario.  For the sake of explaining a portion of what is happening to our public schools, I am going to perform a little magic and transport you to a world where I am Jeb Bush.  But first, a rather lengthy preface…

All of the facts and quotations in this article can be found in the articles referenced at the bottom of this page, written by real journalists who have done the hard work researching and chasing the leads so that we can be well informed. I paraphrase a lot. I plagiarize portions of their work.  So I am saying here that ALL of the things you are about to read are accurate, just presented in a dramatized fashion-and not possible without the efforts of the writer’s cited.  All quotations are actual quotes from the speaker named.  My hope in this presentation style is to offer the information in a distinct and relateable way that may perhaps really put us all into the mindset of the people who are attempting to take over public education.  But I want to stress that all the credit for the research that makes this possible goes to Diane Ravitch, Colin Woodard, William March, and Chris Cousins.

Ready…sitting down?  Okay here we go.

Hi, my name is Jeb Bush…I run a foundation called the Foundation for Educational Excellence.  My non profit organization, is dedicated “To build an American education system that equips every child to achieve his or her God-given potential.”

My organization’s vision is for “An education system that maximizes every student’s potential for learning and prepares all students for success in the 21st century.” Our guiding principles are that:

  • All children can learn.

  • All children should learn at least a year’s worth of knowledge in a year’s time.

  • All children will achieve when education is organized around the singular goal of student success. (0)

So here is how we achieve this vision and forward these principles.  What we do is host what we call Education Summits.  In the words of my employee and spokesperson, Jaryn Emhof, we use these summits as “an opportunity for lawmakers, policymakers, researchers, experts, innovators, and more to gather in one location to learn from each other.”  What are we learning about?  Good question.  At these summits community leaders such as Stephen Bowen, Educational Commissioner of Maine, listens as my organization “advocates for proven policies and innovative reforms that will improve the quality of education … (to) ensure every student has access to the high-quality education experience that best fits them.” (1)

And if you think we are talking about reinventing the wheel and closing schools, you are right.  Because what we basically do is encourage and support and push legislation that makes it harder for public schools to operate.  We coach education leaders in America at these summits about the benefits of doing business with the other stakeholders in on these educational meetings.  We even hold their hands through the painful process of slowing down the funds to public schools, so that my corporate friends can move in and fill the gap when those schools can’t make the grade anymore.  We even help with wording and walking through of legislation that supports the installation of charter schools and enforces the curriculum and test requirements that favor the profitability of stakeholders.(1)

Who are my stakeholders? Corporate donors that support the Summits include:

* Pearson, a $9 billion-a-year media conglomerate which has a $250 million, four-year contract to administer the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test.

* Amplify, the education division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., which sells classroom and curriculum software.

* Charter Schools USA, a Fort Lauderdale-based for-profit company that manages charter schools under contract.

* IQity, which sells online learning materials.

The two-day summits include speeches by national figures including myself, along with other notables such as Condoleeza Rice and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.  Last year’s summit, for example (2012), at the JW Marriott hotel near the White House, included “strategy sessions” on such topics as “Reaching more students with vouchers and tax-credit scholarships”.  The 2011 conference at the historic Palace Hotel in San Francisco — one of the city’s most luxurious, with rooms starting at $350 per night — featured a speech by Rupert Murdoch.

You might think it is strange that no actual educator’s are at these “Educational Summits” where all these plans are made.  Like I said…we are trying to save education, not return to a past where there was no need for saving education.

As Justin Hamilton of Murdoch’s firm, Amplify says… “We’re lagging behind the rest of the world, we have to catch up fast.” And Justin would know, because Amplify sponsors and attends the summits with a sense of  “fostering a robust conversation about improving education in America.”(1)

Essentially, what we do, is determine the future of public school policy, on the dime of the very companies that stand to benefit from the future that they determine.  It’s fairly simple.

Now, what with all the money we spend on these efforts to change laws in favor of corporate benefit you may be thinking of calling us lobbyists, but we aren’t. Want to know why? Because a lobbyist, in state law, is someone employed solely or mainly to influence the government.  My foundation’s Executive Director is actually an employee of her own consulting and lobbying company.  That’s right…Patricia Levesque is a registered lobbyist with Meridian Consulting.  You see…the Foundation for Excellence in Education — we have no lobbyist registered in our ranks whatsoever. Patricia discreetly furthers the mission of the Foundations for Educational Excellence by proxy while consulting for a totally different foundation I also control called Foundation for Florida’s Future.  Ya’ll confused yet?  Because it just gets better.   Patricia is the Executive Director of that Foundation too.(1)

Now if you look at Foundation for Florida’s Future’s tax returns, you can find that Patricia’s lobbying firm, Meridian Strategies,which she runs with Dierdre Finn-who is also deputy director of BOTH aforementioned Foundations…whew.  Hold on a sec, let me catch my breath.  Okay, and then you gotta factor in that these two foundations also share another registered lobbyist, Joanna Hassell. And both foundations have the same address on Monroe Street in Tallahassee.  So while you can’t prove that we are lobbying and no legal connection can be proven, Meridian Strategies did get paid $276,000 by us in 2010.  Or rather, Patricia and Diedre were each paid that amount separately.(1)

But I want to get back to a name I mentioned way back in the beginning. Stephen Bowen, fella from Maine.  Educational Commissioner up there. He came to one of our summits way back in 2011.  Now here he is paving the way, just like we discussed at the Summit.  Besides the fact that he’s put together the whole A-F grading system, choked down spending on public schools while pushing through LD129 so more charter schools can open, LD1524 which affects funding to high schools that offer remedial instruction and LD1510 which allow us to go after failing schools more efficiently (2)…He’s also put into action our whole notion of deregulating online education.  Working with K12 and a subsidiary of Pearson Publishing named Connections Education- Patricia personally worked with Bowen and others in his state to escort legislation that eased the entrance of said companies into the state of Maine.  I mean besides the money that K12 and Pearson put up for the farce, it’s a funny thing…the emails that even show her helping him line all of this up are right there on the internet, but people are so busy that they probably don’t have the time to look.  I really hope no one finds all this out and writes an article about it and has it go viral or something. (3)

It’s funny you know…all that talk about Banks that were too big to fail.  Why are people like me and Pearson able to take over and manipulate public education, and legislation and simultaneously able to convince so many that it is the best thing for them?…it’s simple.  We are too big to fail.  The only thing that could possibly stand in our way is the American people.  If they actually woke up tonight, there would be a revolution tomorrow.

Like right now, in Chicago, they are closing nearly 60 schools.  The largest school closure in one area in US history.  They are claiming that they lacked the funding.  But right under the public’s nose the policy makers earmarked  in 2012, $350 million for the Office of New Schools-an office devoted to developing new charter and contract schools. In 2013, the Chicago Public School system allocated an additional $23 million to fund new charter schools.  Heck, that amount alone is nearly half of what they estimate they will save if they close 80 neighborhood schools.  As a final blow, the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) successfully lobbied the Illinois General Assembly for an additional $35 million to expand their charter school network in 2012, while at the same time the state cut over $200 million from the public school budget.  You have to admit, that it is a very very good time to be getting into the education business. (4)

Well, I gotta go.  The next summit is in October and I have a lot of educational decision makers to add to the guest list.  I am a busy man..after all…the future of education is at stake.


Originally by the Tampa Tribune-William March

Originally by Christopher Cousins

Originally published on Sept, 2, 2012 by Colin Woodard

Originally by Diane Ravitch

Zoe Speaks-Refusing EOGs Next Week

I was told that I was legally required to go through with the MSLs, but successfully opted out with the help of my family and supporters. Encouraged by that success, I am also going to refuse the EOGs next week, on the 21st and 22nd of May.