Voices Empower

Common Core/ CSCOPE a Marriage between Big Government and Big Brother~ Not so fast Sen. Dan Patrick

Date posted: May 31, 2013


DONNA GARNER - Educator for 33 years, appointed by President Reagan, Now Activist Writer

DONNA GARNER – Educator for 33 years, appointed by President Reagan, Now Activist Writer

The perfect description of what we are seeing across the country with respect to Common Core and in Texas CSCOPE……. “a marriage between Big Government and Big Brother, only to benefit the elite at the expense of our nation and our children.” 

To see this in full view one can look at the political maneuvering of the CSCOPE issue by Texas Sen. Dan Patrick. Can you say… corruption in Texas Politics. 


If you want to hear the inside scoop about what goes on in the Texas Capitol, please listen to the audio clip below.  Kara Sands, a concerned mother exposes Sen. Patrick. From what we see in the Dallas Morning News there is a reason he is willing to sell out our children to a product like CSCOPE; his run for Lt. Governor. Patrick still eyeing lieutenant governor’s race 

Equally important on the Communication Team conference call hosted by Women On The Wall was Donna Garner’s information about what education bills Texans must contact Governor Rick Perry about to VETO! 

Call Governor Rick Perry Today and say VETO! 

512-463-2000 or 
(512) 463-1782 or (800) 843-5789


Follow @GovernorPerry on Twitter and  Facebook, post your message now!

Governor Perry protect Texas Children VETO….. 

HB 2103 – Allows the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and the Texas Workforce Commission to share personal data with education research centers in Texas and across the nation  – the data goes back 20 years


HB 5 – Decimates the “measuring stick” (STAAR/EOC’s) so that parents will not know whether their children have been taught Type #1 or Type #2 curriculum (such as CSCOPE, Common Core Standards, Safari Montage, TASA iCLOUD) until it is too late


HB 866 – Companion to HB 5 to destroy the measuring stick – From Grades 3 – 8, students are only tested twice in Writing on an objective instrument (STAAR), once in Social Studies, two times in Science, three times in Math, and three times in Reading.  


HB 2836 – Takes away authority over the curriculum standards (TEKS) from our elected Texas State Board of Education members


SB 2 – Takes away authority over the charter school process from elected members of the Texas State Board of Education members – gives the authority to an unelected and appointed Commissioner of Education even though Michael Williams has not asked for that authority   


HB 1675 – Moves back Sunset Review of the Education Service Centers to Sept. 1, 2019


HB 2824 – Lets a consortium of so-called “high performing” (mostly mediocre) school districts off the hook in terms of testing and accountability, thus freeing them up to do teaching and learning to whatever goals and standards they choose 


The graphic below can be used for Yard signs in your local area to Stop Common Core in Texas!

 Stop Common Core Presser 

Knowledge is Power and together we can make the difference!!

Alice Linahan

Follow @AliceLinahan on twitter and Facebook 

Voices Empower has partnered the Freedom Trailer Teams to Educate, Inspire and Motivate.

Women On The Wall.org


Voices Empower

Check Out Voices Empower Articles .

  Please attribute to Alice Linahan  with Voices Empower


Ask the question…..Education- who is taking control over our children using our tax dollars? 

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Questions on Student Data ~ What is the State Longitudinal Database System?

Date posted: April 16, 2013

P20 Data Collection Want answers to the following questions? Watch this video.

– What is the State Longitudinal Database System?
– Why does every state track every citizen with the SLDS?
– What is the P20 system?
– Why did the federal government pay every state many millions to build the system?
– Why did they require states to build interoperable systems if they were not to share data outside the state?
– How do schools, prisons, hospitals and military agencies now share data?
– Is this really just career path assistance or is it citizen surveillance? 

Knowledge is Power~ Click and share with your friends!

Operation ~ Educate Your Local School Board

Date posted: April 11, 2013

Calling on Moms, Dads, Grandparents and local tax paying citizens to reach out and educate their local school board members on the real impact of  Type 2 Collectivist Common Core  philosophy of education that is indoctrinating instead of educating our children.   

Seek TruthThe reason we do not want Type 2 Collectivist  is because it is a philosophy of education that has been proven to hurt our children and is dangerous to our nation.  See below for proof. In Texas we now know that CSCOPE is indeed a Type 2 Common Core that came in the back door. Please read CSCOPE – How Did Texas Get Here?
The easiest way to understand it is using Donna Garner’s description.  Traditional Type 1 and Collectivist Type 2 philosophy’s of education are currently in a battle over the hearts and minds of our children. Type 2 is spreading across our nation very quickly and many are being deceived. 
Type 1 is the method of teaching that people perhaps 50 years old and older experienced when they were in school.  This included the teaching of phonics, grammar, correct usage/spelling, cursive handwriting, classical literature, expository/persuasive/research writing, the four math functions taught to automaticity, fact-based and discreet courses in Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Calculus, U. S. History, World History, Botany, Biology, Physics, and Chemistry.   
Type 2 Philosophy of Education — Project-based, subjective (emphasize cognitive domain – beliefs, opinions, emotions), subjectively assessed based upon the value system of the evaluator — emphasize multiculturalism, political correctness,  environmental extremism, diversity, social justice agenda  — These standards are built backwards from Grade 12 down to K (similar to trying to build a house from the roof down) and are taught mostly using the constructivist (project-based) approach. 
What are the RESULTS OF TYPE #1 
  • If we want our public school children to learn to read well, we must have Type #1.


  • If we want them to be able to speak and write English well, then we must have Type #1.


  • If we want them to be patriotic citizens who revere the Founding Fathers and know and honor the Constitution, then we must have Type #1.


  • If we want our graduates to be knowledgeable voters who know history and can analyze current events based upon the past and the present, then we must have Type #1.


  • If we want our public school children to know their math facts to automaticity, then we must have Type #1.


  • If we want our public school children to be able to do well in foreign languages, then we must have Type #1 that teaches the phonetic sound system and grammar/usage in English so that they can apply that to their foreign language learning.


  • If we want our public school children to read the great pieces of literature that have connected our country to past generations, then we must have Type #1.


  • If we want our public school children to have the skills and knowledge they need for college and/or the workplace, then we must have Type #1.


  • If we want to turn out scientists who are well read, logical, analytical, and who can write down their scientific conclusions, then we must have Type #1.


  • If we want our graduates to be able to write compositions built upon facts and persuasive techniques, then we must have Type #1.


  • If we want our high-school students to know how to research a topic and then put that information into well-written text, we must have Type #1.


  • If we want legislators who are well read and who have a deep understanding of world history/American history/U. S. legal system and how those apply to current events, then we must have Type #1.


Your childs educationWhat are the results of Type 2 Progressive Education used in CSCOPE and Common Core

It is has been proven that the developers of Common Core Type 2 philosophy namely Linda Darling Hammond have a history of failure in education. Charter Extension Denied to Low-Scoring Stanford School
Even education experts on the left have been writing and warning about the failure of people like Linda Darling Hammond. From Witney Tilson 
“Obama’s disappointing choice of Linda Darling-Hammond to be one of his education advisors
As an Obama supporter, I was very disappointed to learn that he recently picked Linda Darling-Hammond to be one of his education policy advisors.”
Normally, a low-quality charter school being denied a full extension of its charter isn’t worth of a STOP THE PRESSES, but this isn’t just any charter school: it’s the one started by Stanford’s School of Education (where my father earned a doctorate, by the way) and, in particular, Linda Darling-Hammond, author of the infamous Teach for America. LDH (along with Ravitch, Meier, and Kozol) is among the best known of your typical ed school, loosey-goosey, left-wing, politically correct, ivory tower, don’t-confuse-me-with-the-facts-my-mind’s-made-up, disconnected-from-reality critics of genuine school reform.  (Forgive my bluntness, but I can’t stand ideological extremists of any persuasion, especially when kids end up getting screwed.)
As you can tell from Obama supporter Whitney Tilson  is not happy with this failure in education of American children. 
The clear reason not to use Type 2 Collectivist Common Core philosophy  is that the developers of common core have a record of failure while traditional methods of education have a history of American exceptionalism it is that simple.  



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Is Mary Ann Whiteker Yellow or Red? The Attack Against CSCOPE

Date posted: April 10, 2013

Last night on our Community Conference call we discussed how the left organizes people in order to get their agenda accomplished. You can listen to the conference call here to understand more clearly what the difference is between a Green, Red and Yellow person.   


Donna Garner did an excellent job in her article Open Letter to Texas Legislators in using the lefts organizing of people into Green, Yellow and Red as it applies to those involved in the issue of Education. 

The three different types of individuals involved~

The “green” people are those who go-along to get-along; they go with the status quo and are content to follow whatever teaching fad is in vogue at the present time. These people are not bad people but are easily deceived by those who have ulterior motives (e.g., drive-by media, national educator organizations, left-leaning politicians, CSCOPE, Common Core Standards).


The “yellow” people are those who are driven by greed, money, power, and fame. Many of these people are vendors, lobbyists, or school employees who look past the egregious content of their products so long as they themselves are benefitting.  Into this group fall some CSCOPE/TESCCC/ESC employees, Thomas Ratliff, Mike Moses, Pat Jacoby, TASA, TASB, etc.


The “red” people know exactly what they are doing. They have long-term goals to change America, and they realize that the best way to do this is to indoctrinate this and succeeding generations of school children in their classrooms.  Into this group fall such people as Obama, Arne Duncan, Linda Darling-Hammond, Bill Ayers, the National Education Organization, and many other left-leaners.      


The question to start asking CSCOPE advocates is- What color are you? – green, yellow, or red? Those who blindly follow are green. Those who seek fame, fortune, and/or control for themselves are yellow. Those whose aim is to change America from a capitalist, free-market Republic into a Socialist, Communist, Marxist country are red.  

Read the below article by Mary Ann Whiteker and then read John Griffings brilliant rebuttal. 

The Attack Against CSCOPE
By Mary Ann Whiteker
Apr 10, 2013

Photo courtesy of Austin Chronicle

Photo courtesy of Austin Chronicle

Wikipedia defines McCarthyism as the practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence. It also means “the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism”.  Its origin, known as the “Second Red Scare” was characterized by heightened fears of communist influence on American institutions.  “McCarthyism” soon took on a broader meaning, describing the excesses of similar efforts. The term is now used more generally to describe reckless, unsubstantiated accusations.

American history reflects an earlier similar episode known as the Salem Witch Trials. This was one of the most notorious cases of mass hysteria, and has been used in political rhetoric and popular literature as a vivid cautionary tale about the dangers of extremism, false accusations and lapses in due process.

I begin my article with these two events due to a similar hysteria that has targeted our twenty Education Service Centers (ESCs) of Texas over a curriculum management system known as CSCOPE.  This story should be a success story of how 870 public school districts , average enrollment of 2000 students, working  together created a 21st century curriculum based on the state mandated Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). 

CSCOPE curriculum/lesson plans were created by master “Texas” teachers, not a textbook company, not a testing company, and not a private, for-profit vendor.  Multiple resources, including digital resources, were integrated into the curriculum, with suggested lessons that proved to be extremely beneficial to less experienced teachers.  The framework allowed districts and staff to integrate localized lessons within the scope and sequence of the system.  Approximately 50% of the charter schools (i.e. KIPP Academy, UT Charter School, Bannockburn Christian Academy and the Texas School for the Deaf) also use CSCOPE.  Private schools, such as Catholic Diocese of Austin, Wichita Christian, Hyde Park Baptist and Cornerstone Christian Academy use SCOPE.

What is my point???  CSCOPE and our ESCs have been accused of promoting non-Christian and unpatriotic values based on a couple of lessons that were taken out of context, the targeted lessons were based on state standards created and approved by the State Board of Education.  Due to several districts refusing to purchase another “new” curriculum, the creators of this “new curriculum” began a mass media blitz misrepresenting two lessons that addressed the state required curriculum standards. 

Districts are mandated to teach the major religions of the worlds and the beliefs of those religions.  Districts are mandated to teach heroism and terrorism.  CSCOPE curriculum units have designed lessons that explore these standards, allowing students to investigate, compare/contrast, and analyze perspectives based on cultural influences.  Example, the Boston Tea Party was perceived as an act of heroism from an American’s point of view; however, patriots of England considered this an act of terrorism.  Islam, one of the major religions of the world, believes their God is the only God. These are the 2 excerpts taken out of context of the instructional units that have resulted in mass social media messages from those wanting to sell “their curriculum”, accusing the writers of CSCOPE and the ESCs of treason and promoting the Islam religion!  As of last week, a superintendent received threatening emails because the district was using CSCOPE. 

Hudson ISD was not one of the first districts to embrace the curriculum; however, the revised state standards and new state assessment system demanded a new curriculum.   CSCOPE offers a well-designed curriculum framework that is vertically aligned to the state standards (NOT the Federal Core Standards as inaccurately reported), the state assessment system and 21st century life-long learning goals. 

CSCOPE insures the appropriate skills are taught in specific grades using multiple resources.  The instructional focus is college and career readiness at all levels. School districts have the flexibility of using the curriculum as a sole source or as an alignment framework – CSCOPE lessons/units optional. 

CSCOPE is a learning curve for classroom instruction.  It is not driven by one textbook or worksheets.  It embraces multiple resources, integration of technology and higher order thinking skills. 

Similar to purchased curriculum there are mistakes within the lessons, those are reported and corrected.  It is a proprietary curriculum and shares the same protection as other vendors’ products; one must purchase to access the content. The cost is based on the enrollment of the district.

Parents can view the content of a lesson at a parent meeting; however, giving parents free access to the lesson plans and tests would destroy the validity of the assessments and negatively impact the intent of the instructional lessons.  Districts sign affidavits, comparable to those required by the state for STAAR testing, to protect the integrity of the system. 

The attack against the supporters and users of CSCOPE may well become the first step toward the state assuming total control of all curriculum and lesson plans for all districts. A bill has been filed to begin this process. The CSCOPE issue targets the 870 smaller, midsize districts in the state.  Urban, suburban districts – your “locally developed curriculum” may be next! 


John Griffing

Click Photo to hear John Griffing speak on CSCOPE

Here is what the other side is saying……

Whiteker’s write-up hinges on a common logical fallacy: says John Griffing.

“begging the question,” i.e. “assuming the premise one is trying to prove.”

Whiteker takes for granted the following assumptions, and provides no factual evidence in support of these assumptions:

-Critics of CSCOPE are trying to sell their own curriculum (slander/libel – she should be careful with this assertion).

-Critics of CSCOPE are basing their argument on two lessons, taken out of context.

-CSCOPE is needed because of new state standards, and older curriculum approaches were not adequate. (Says Whiteker.  What about successful schools doing well on STAAR who do not use CSCOPE?)

-Private schools using CSCOPE (in part – KIPP does not use lesson plans) means that CSCOPE is a good product.

-Forcing CSCOPE to submit to state oversight will end with the state assuming “total control of all curriculum.” (The state has always had “total control” of textbook and instructional material OVERSIGHT – until 2011.)

-Critics have said that CSCOPE uses common core curriculum. (Critics–unless ignorant–have never said CSCOPE used common core, only that the federal DOE was interested in purchasing and that CSCOPE’s methodology and clear philosophical bent was comparable and indeed similar to common core.)

-The assumption that, “for profit” products are somehow a nonstarter.  Profit means “motive.”  Motivation means a better product.  Interesting.

***The logical fallacy of “begging the question” runs rampant throughout this piece, as my simple review demonstrates. 


Now you  tell me in the comments section is May Ann Whiteker Yellow or Green? 

Send this Audio of the WomenOnTheWall.org interview with Brandon Darby and Donna Garner 
and ask your legislator to listen to it and make sure they are not in the Green or Yellow Group. Now you will have to listen to it to find out what exactly that means. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!



Join the Movement to Stop CSCOPE

Click the photo to sign the Petition and Join the movement to#StopCSCOPE 

Women On the Wall  takes on the issues that matter. Sharing information and updates on our weekly radio show on Monday mornings at 10 am CST. You will not want to miss this show. We will have up to date information on CSCOPE  and guests who are the experts on education and other issues that are effecting our children and grandchildren.


Knowledge is Power and together we can make the difference!!

Alice Linahan

Follow @AliceLinahan on twitter and Facebook 

Voices Empower has partnered the Freedom Trailer Teams to Educate, Inspire and Motivate.

Women On The Wall.org


Voices Empower

Check Out Voices Empower Articles . 

  Please attribute to Alice Linahan  with Voices Empower

Knowledge is Power~ Click and share with your friends!

“Hogwash Alert to National Review Online”

Date posted: April 5, 2013

[4.4.13 – I have never read a more thorough and well-documented discrediting of Common Core Standards than what Christel has presented below.  This article is a keeper because she has undoubtedly spent hours gathering and inputting the links to her sources so that all who read this article can verify its accuracy.  Our sincere thanks goes out to Christel for providing this elucidating rebuttal to the National Review’s “hogwash.”  – Donna Garner]


“Hogwash Alert to National Review Online”

By Christel Swasey

I’m calling for a hogwash alert on the National Review article about Common Core.

The ironically titled The Truth About Common Core article cannot be taken seriously. It’s written without any links or references for its Common Core-promoting claims, and it’s written by two authors whose employers are largely funded by the main funder of all things Common Core.

Can anyone take seriously those who praise Common Core while being paid to do so?

The article makes “truth” claims that include the notion that Common Core is “more rigorous,” (where’s the proof?) and that the standards allow policymaking to happen locally. How can that be? The standards are written behind closed doors in D.C. The standards are copyrighted and are unamendable by locals. There is a 15% cap on adding to them, written into the ESEA Flexibility Waiver Request. And there is no amendment process; thus, no local control.

For anyone who has been living under an education reform rock, know this: Gates is the single biggest promoter and funder of Common Core, bar none.) So, Fordham’s and Manhattan Institute’s writers should not be expected to be objective about Common Core.

If it seems like practically everyone supports Common Core, Gates’ money is why. Bill Gates has said he’s spent $5 BILLION pushing (his version of) education reform. He’s bribed the national PTA to advocate for Common Core to parents; he’s paid the CCSSO to develop Common Core; and he owns opinion maker Education Weekmagazine. There’s a near-endless list of Gates’ attempts (very successful, I might add) to foist his vision of education without voter input.

The National Review writes that it is a “right-of-center” organization, as if that claim is a “trust-me” pass. This is meaningless in Common Core land because, as Emmett McGroarty of the American Principles Project, has said, “Opposition to Common Core cuts across the left-right spectrum. It gets back to who should control our children’s education — people in Indiana or people in Washington?”

But we should clarify that oodles of Democrats and Republicans sell or benefit from Common Core implementation. That is the top reason for the gold rush anxiety to promote the national standards. A secondary reason is lemminghood (misplaced and unproven trust).

Republican Jeb Bush is behind the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a nongovernmental group which pushes Common Core and is, of course, funded by Gates. Republican Rupert Murdoch owns not only Fox News, but also the common core implementation company Wireless Generation that’s creating common core testing technology. Republican Senator Todd Huston of Indiana got his largestcampaign donation from David Coleman, common core ELA architect; then, after Huston was elected to the Indiana Senate and placed on its education committee, Coleman hired Huston to be on the College Board. They are profiting from the alignment of the SAT to Common Core. And of course, Huston is on Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education, too. Even my own Republican Governor Herbert of Utah serves on the elite executive committee of NGA, the Common Core founding group. He doesn’t make money this way, but he does make lots of corporations happy.

I could go on and on about the Common Core gold-and-glory rush. I haven’t even touched on all the Democrats who promote Common Core for gain. But I don’t want to be up all night.

So, on to the liberals and/or not-right wing radicals who oppose Common Core:

California Democrat/author Rosa Koire and respected educator like Diane Ravitchoppose Common Core as an untested academic and political experiment that increases the high-stakes of standardized testing. They see that Common Core is promoting unrepresentative formations of public-private-partnerships, and promotes teacher-micromanagement. Chicago history teacher Paul Horton says Common Core turns teacher-artisans into teacher-widgets; he also sees it as a Pearson anti-trust issue. Teacher Kris Nielsen has written “Children of the Core” and teacher Paul Bogush calls teaching Common Core sleeping with the enemy. Math teacher Stephanie Sawyer predicts that with Common Core, there will be an increase in remedial math instruction and an increase in the clientele of tutoring centers. Writing teacher Laura Gibbs calls the writing standards an inspid brew of gobbledygook. Anonymously, many teachers have published other concerns in a survey produced by Utahns Against Common Core.

Still, political funders of the standards and corporations selling its implementation try to get away with marginalizing the opposition. But it can’t be done honestly. Because it’s not a fight between left and right.

This battle is between the collusion of corporate greed and political muscle versus the individual voter.

It’s a battle between the individual student, teacher, or parent– versus hugepublic/private partnerships. That’s the David and Goliath here.

The Common Core movement is not about what’s best for children. It’s about greed and political control. A simple test: if Common Core was about helping students achieve legitimate classical education, wouldn’t the Common Core experiment have been based on empirical study and solid educator backing?

Did the authors of the Hogwash article really not know that Common Core wasn’t based on anything like empirical data but simply fluffed up on empty promises and rhetoric, from the beginning.

Where’s the basis for what proponents call “rigorous,” “internationally competitive,” and “research-based?” Why won’t the proponents point to proof of “increased rigor” the way the opponents point to proof of increased dumbing down? We know they are fibbing because we know there is no empirical evidence for imposing this experiment on students in America. The emperor of Common Core is wearing no clothes.

Many educators are crying out –even testifying to legislatures– that Common Core is an academic disaster. I’m thinking of Professors Christopher TienkenSandra StotskyThomas NewkirkZe’ev WurmanJames Milgram, William Mathis, Susan Ohanian, Charlotte Iserbyt, Alan Manning, and others.

The National Review authors insist that Common Core is not a stealth “leftist indoctrination” plot by the Obama administration. But that’s what it looks like when you study the reformers and what they create.

Text BooksFirst, let’s look at the Common Core textbooks. Virtually every textbook company in America is aligning now with Common Core. (So even the states who rejected Common Core, and even private schools and home schools are in trouble; how will they find new textbooks that reflect Massachusetts-high standards?)

Pearson’s latest textbooks show extreme environmentalism and a global citizen creating agenda that marginalizes national constitutions and individual rights in favor of global collectivism. The biggest education sales company of all the Common Core textbook and technology sales monsters on the planet is Pearson, which is led by mad ”Deliverology” globalist Sir Michael Barber. Watch his speeches.

He doesn’t just lead Pearson, the company that is so huge it’s becoming an anti-trust issue. Sir Michael Barber also speaks glowingly of public private partnerships, of political “revolution,” “global citizenship” and a need for having global datacollection and one set of educational standards for the entire planet. He’s a political machine. Under his global common core, diversity, freedom and local control of education need not apply.

Along with some of the gold-rushing colluders chasing Common Core-alignment product sales, there are political individuals calling educational shots, and these are without exception on the far, far left. And of these, the National Review is correct in saying that their goal to nationalize U.S. education has been happening since long before Obama came to power.

But they are wrong in saying that Common Core isn’t a road map to indoctrinating students into far left philosophy. Power players like Linda Darling-Hammond and Congressman Chaka Fattah ram socialism and redistribution down America’s throat in education policy, while Pearson pushes it in the curriculum.

It’s safe to say that Linda Darling-Hammond has as much say as anyone in this country when it comes to education policy. She focuses on “equity” and “social justice” –that is, redistribution of wealth using schools. Reread that last sentence.

Darling-Hammond has worked for CCSSO (Common Core developer) since long before the standards were even written. She served on the standards validation committee. She now works for SBAC (the Common Core test writer); she also consults with AIR (Utah’s Common Core test producer) and advises Obama’s administration; she promotes the secretive CSCOPE curriculum and more.

Study her further here to learn the groups she works for, what’s in the books she writes, how many times she quoted herself in her report for the U.S. equity commission, and what she said in last summer’s speech to UNESCO about the need to take swimming pools away from students.

So yes, there is an undeniable socialism push in Common Core textbooks and in the Department of Education.


The National Review’s authors claim Common Core won’t “eliminate American children’s core knowledge base in English, language arts and history.” By cutting classic literature by 70% for high school seniors, they are absolutely doing exactly that. The article says that Common Core doesn’t mandate the slashing of literature. Maybe not. But the tests sure will.

What teacher, constricted by the knowledge that her job is on the line, will risk lowering the high stakes student scores by teaching beyond what is recommended in the model curriculum of the national test writers?

And that’s the tragic part for me as an English teacher.

Classic literature is sacred. Its removal from American schools is an affront to our humanity.

Common Core doesn’t mandate which books to cut; the National Review is correct on that point; but it does pressure English teachers to cut out large selections of great literature, somewhere. And not just a little bit. Tons.

Informational text belongs in other classes, not in English. To read boring, non-literary articles even if they are not all required to be Executive Orders, insulation manuals, or environmental studies (as the major portion of the English language curriculum) is to kill the love of reading.

What will the slashing do to the students’ appreciation for the beauty of the language, to the acquisition of rich vocabulary, to the appreciation for the battle between good and evil?

We become compassionate humans by receiving and passing on classic stories. Souls are enlarged by exposure to the characters, the imagery, the rich vocabulary, the poetic language and the endless forms of the battle between good and evil, that live in classic literature.

Classic stories create a love for books that cannot be acquired in any other way. Dickens, Shakespeare, Hugo, Orwell, Dostoevsky, Rand, Marquez, Cisneros, Faulkner, Fitzgerald– where would we be without the gifts of these great writers and their writings? Which ones will English teachers cut away first to make room for informational text?

The sly and subtle change will have the same effect on our children as if Common Core had mandated the destruction of a certain percentage of all classic literature.

How does it differ from book burning in its ultimate effects?

Cutting out basic math skills, such as being able to convert fractions to decimals, is criminal. Proponents call this learning “fewer but deeper” concepts. I call it a sin. Common Core also delays the age at which students should be able to work with certain algorithms, putting students years behind our mathematical competitors in Asia.

For specific curricular reviews of Common Core standards, read Dr. Sandra Stotsky’s and Dr. Ze’ev Wurman’s math and literature reviews in the appendix of the white paper by Pioneer Institute. (See exhibit A and exhibit B, page 24.)


The National Review claims that the standards “simply delineate what children should know at each grade level and describe the skills that they must acquire to stay on course toward college or career readiness” and claim they are not a ceiling but a floor. This is a lie. The standards are bound by a 15% rule; there’s no adding to them beyond 15%. That’s not a ceiling?

The article claims that “college and career readiness” doesn’t necessarily mean Common Core. Well, it does, actually. The phrase has been defined on the ed. gov website as meaning sameness of standards to a significant number of states. I would give you a link but this week, so oddly, the Department of Education has removed most of its previous pages. You can see it reposted here:

The article insists that Common Core is not a curriculum; it’s up to school districts to choose curricula that comply with the standards. Sure. But as previously noted: 1) all the big textbook companies have aligned to Common Core. Where are the options? 2) Common core tests and the new accountability measures put on teachers who will lose their jobs if students don’t score well on Common Core tests will ensure that teachers will only teach Common Core standards. 3) Test writers are making model curriculum and it’s going to be for sale, for sure.

The article falsely claims that “curriculum experts began to devise” the standards. Not so: the architect of Common Core ELA standards (and current College Board president) is not, nor ever has been, an educator. In fact, that architect made the list of Top Ten Scariest People in Education Reform. A top curriculum professor has pointed out that the developers of Common Core never consulted with top curricular universities at all.

The article claims that states who have adopted Common Core could opt out, “and they shouldn’t lose a dime if they do” –but Title I monies have been threatened, and the No Child Left Behind waiver is temporary on conditions of following Common Core, and for those states who did get Race to the Top money (not my state, thank goodness) the money would have to be returned. Additionally, every state got ARRA stimulus money to build a federally interoperable State Longitudinal Database System. Do we want to give back millions and millions to ensure that we aren’t part of the de facto national database of children’s longitudinal school-collected, personally identifiable information?

The article states that the goal is to have children read challenging texts that will build their vocabulary and background knowledge. So then why not read more –not less– actual literature?

The article also leaves out any analysis of the illegality of Common Core. The arrangement appears to be illegal. Under the Constitution and under the General Educational Provisions Act (GEPA) the federal government is restricted from even supervising education.

GEPA states: “No provision of any applicable program shall be construed to authorize any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, or over the selection of library resources, textbooks, or other printed or published instructional materials by any educational institution or school system…”

And for those still believing the federal government isn’t “exercising direction, supervision or control” of the school system, look at two things.

1. The federal technical review of tests being mandated by the Department of Education.

2. The federal mandate that testing consoria must synchronize “across consortia,” that status updates and phone conferences must be made available to the Dept. of Education regularly, and that data collected must be shared with the federal government “on an ongoing basis”

3. The recent federal alteration of privacy laws that have taken away parental consent over student data collection.

Finally: the “most annoying manipulation tactic” award for the National Review Article is a tie between the last two sentences of the National Review article, which, combined, say, “Conservatives used to be in favor of holding students to high standards… aren’t they still?” Please.

Let’s rephrase it:

Americans used to be in favor of legitimate, nonexperimental standards for children that were unattached to corporate greed and that were constitutionally legal… Aren’t we still?


Just for a little fun: Someone had good time making the video below. I have a feeling it is a Texas Teacher who knows the real story behind CSCOPE. ~ Alice Linahan 



Join the Movement to Stop CSCOPE

Click the photo to sign the Petition and Join the movement to#StopCSCOPE 

Women On the Wall  takes on the issues that matter. Sharing information and updates on our weekly radio show on Monday mornings at 10 am CST. You will not want to miss this show. We will have up to date information on CSCOPE  and guests who are the experts on education and other issues that are effecting our children and grandchildren.


Knowledge is Power and together we can make the difference!!

Alice Linahan

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