TND Guest Contributor:  Natalie Johnson |

The House passed a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind Act in a razor-thin vote Wednesday night, ignoring a White House veto threat and pushing on with legislation that would ease the federal government’s role in public education.

The bill passed by a mere five votes in the final 218-213 roll call. No Democrats voted for the legislation, with 27 Republicans joining them in opposition.

The rewrite, called the Student Success Act, is the first serious attempt to overhaul the sweeping No Child Left Behind law since it technically expired in 2007.

Republicans touted Wednesday’s passage as a step forward in refocusing education policy to local control, while Democrats argue a provision in the bill allowing states to link federal dollars to individual students in low-income areas would exacerbate inequalities in poor school districts.

Conservatives contend the legislation does not go far enough in scaling back the federal government’s hand in public education.

“The SSA as it stands is a missed opportunity for conservatives to restore state and local control of education,” said Lindsey Burke, an expert in education for The Heritage Foundation.

Conservatives pushed for an amendment that would have allowed states to opt out of the nearly 80 federal programs under No Child Left Behind while still maintaining federal funding.

The A-PLUS amendment would have given states the option instead to direct federal education funding toward state-established programs.

Though the amendment ultimately failed to move forward with the Student Success Act, it cinched 195 votes with over 80 percent of Republicans in the House supporting it.

“Last night’s showing for the policy included in A-PLUS was a tremendous step forward,” Burke said.

Wednesday’s passage marked a success for House Republican leadership who failed to whip enough support for the Student Success Act in February, forcing them to withdraw the bill from the floor until its reintroduction this week.

Congress still has a long road ahead in overhauling No Child Left Behind. The Senate is currently debating a more bipartisan rewrite, signaling potentially contentious negotiations to smooth differences between the two bills before an update can be sent to the president’s desk.

About the author:

Natalie Johnson is a news reporter for The Daily Signal and graduate of The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program.

This article was published at The Daily Signal and is reprinted with permission.

Graduation-HatTND Article Spotlight:  ZeroHedge

The infestation of cowardice, anti-intellectualism and fear has permeated almost every nook and crany of American life, including academics. So much so, that a college professor has just penned an article titled: I’m a Liberal Professor, and My Liberal Students Terrify Me. Even more worrisome, he felt the need to write it under a pseudonym due to the fear of backlash… This is more or less how politics functions in the U.S. today. Fake and superficial narratives take position at center stage, while the really big existential issues are never addressed, or merely brushed under the rug.

Click here to read story.

oldporktsm

TND Guest Contributor:  Melissa Dykes | Originally published at Nutritional Anarchy

Stories continually coming out of public schools illustrate time and again that our school lunches are “bad,” but this story makes Michelle Obama’s school lunch program look like a fancy dinner at a four-star restaurant.

After a determination made by someone given the title “Child Nutrition Supervisor” and the school’s cafeteria managers who performed “tests,” a decision was made to serve school children six-year-old pork in Hawkins County, Tennessee.

First of all… if you have to perform tests before you serve something obviously questionable enough to warrant tests to hundreds of trusting, innocent children…

Here’s an actual quote about the meat from local news outlet WBIR:

“The actual woman making a stink about it said it smelled so bad they made gravy to put over the meat to give it a smell and give it a better taste,” said [Hawkins County Commissioner Michael] Herrell.

Ew.

The pork found in the school’s freezer was dated all the way back to 2009. USDA guidelines require that all frozen meat be used within a 12-month period.

However, most brain dead morons know better than to eat six-year-old meat, especially pork. And these are school officials at a place that is supposed to be educating our children.

These are the nutritional “officials” running things at our public schools in a world where some parents are being penalized for packing what are deemed improperly balanced lunches for their own children.

People who would look at reeking six-year-old pig meat and go, “Yeah, go ahead and heat that up and throw it on a tray…”

Food used to be considered medicine by traditional cultures. These days, it’s a gimmick. Children in school are taught as much about healthy eating as our medical doctors in this country (read: very little). Only 25% of medical schools in this country even have a required nutrition course, and the average doctor only receives about 20 hours of nutrition education in med school.

Most nutrition researchers will tell you straight away that the “food pyramid” eating guide that has been traditionally taught to kids at our nation’s schools doesn’t make any logical sense (except to agriculture industry bottom lines) and has actually been deemed harmful to health, but it’s still printed on food packaging in this country and propaganda coloring sheets are still handed out to our youngers in classrooms across America.

Harvard Nutritionist Dr. Walter Willett, a leading U.S. nutrition researcher and author ofThe Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating, wrote, “The thing to keep in mind about the USDA Pyramid is that it comes from the Department of Agriculture, the agency responsible for promoting American agriculture… And there’s the root of the problem — what’s good for some agricultural interests isn’t necessarily good for the people who eat their products.”

And there you go. The food pyramid they indoctrinate our school children on is not a guideline for healthy eating! It’s a sales gimmick for mega food corporations, nothing more. If you visit the USDA’s “Choose My Plate” website, what the food pyramid has evolved into (another brainchild of Michelle Obama… since when did she become the paragon of eating virtue anyway??), you are told this right up front where they break out the age groups under the heading “for consumers.”

Screenshot-2015-04-30-at-9.07.07-AM

 

 

 

 

To the government and the mega corporations it serves, you are a consumer, nothing more.

Perhaps that’s why they are still pushing a lot of (derisive air quotes) “calcium-rich” dairy (even though, without the proper magnesium balance, all that calcium will not get properly absorbed, and too much dairy can lead to chronic inflammation and the acids to calcium deposit build up and long-term inflammation just for starters) and “whole grains”(even though science shows that the human body was never designed to function on grains and they contain phytic acid which blocks the absorption of many minerals including all that calcium you probably aren’t really getting from all that inflammatory dairy).

Dr. Willett sums it up, “At best, the USDA Pyramid offers indecisive, scientifically unfounded advice on an absolutely vital topic — what to eat. At worst, the misinformation it offers contributes to overweight, poor health, and unnecessary early deaths.”

Public schools are government indoctrination camps; that much has come out on record. But most would not think the indoctrination and propaganda extends to the cafeteria as well. It absolutely does.

And while this six-year-old pork situation (shudder) may have occurred at one school district in one state, it does make one wonder at how many other schools are disgusting decisions like this one made all the time and no one speaks up about it. Lines like “serving safe, quality food is our number one priority” sound good coming out of a school spokeswoman’s mouth, but how true is it really? In 2012, for example, cafeterias at nearly half of all the public schools in New Orleans were, “cited as having critical violations of state health code.” Schools were cited for dirty food prep surfaces, improperly heated/cooled food being served to kids, and everything from flies to roaches to rat feces in the cafeteria. In fact, out of 82 schools, only a mere eight received no violations (critical or non-critical) at all.

And that’s just one example of one city.

This is a symptom of a bigger issue. We already live in a country where we are not allowed to know whether or not our food has been genetically modified (unlike 64 other countries all over the globe). All the time at Nutritional Anarchy, we are writing about dangerous and sometimes deadly industrial food recalls, even in the large organic food producers.

This is an issue of taking back control over what you are putting into your body and into your children’s bodies for their nutrition. What sustains you and your family’s life. Doing the research to realize that our food really is our medicine. To break the social engineering that would see food as a product, and the systematic nutritional issues that have led to a society plagued with disability and disease.

Simply put, your health and well-being do not serve a system based on industrial complexes which are in turn based on human suffering. There’s a reason they haven’t “found” that cure for cancer, people… We’ve got to take back control of what we are eating from bureaucrats and businesses who don’t have our best interests at heart.

The bottom line here is that the system is not going to be a watch dog for your health, well-being or nutrition. Not for you, not for your family. Only YOU can do that. And in a nation where food allergies, inflammatory and auto-immune diseases, and cancer are all skyrocketing off the charts with no cure in sight (let alone the truth about the cause), we have to.

But don’t worry though, school officials in Hawkins County have vowed to follow USDA guidelines for meat from now on.

From now on???

!!!

Gee. Great.

# # # #

Melissa Dykes (formerly Melton) is a co-founder of TruthstreamMedia.com. She is an experienced researcher, graphic artist and investigative journalist with a passion for liberty and a dedication to truth. Her aim is to expose the New World Order for what it is — a prison for the human soul from which we must break free.

This work was published at TruthStream Media and Nutritional Anarchy and is reprinted with permission and is also licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. 

 

 

TND Guest Contributor: Paul Brennan |

PUTTING EXPERIENCE TO USE: Terry Brown is able to bring his experience as the president of a school in a choice program to his current role at School Choice Wisconsin. (Photo:  Watchdog.org)

PUTTING EXPERIENCE TO USE: Terry Brown is able to bring his experience as the president of a school in a choice program to his current role at School Choice Wisconsin. (Photo: Watchdog.org)

MILWAUKEE, Wis. — The chance to grab a cup of coffee at his local coffee shop was a welcome break for Terry Brown.

“Right now, I’m on the road almost all the time,” Brown told Watchdog.org.

Brown is the vice president of School Choice Wisconsin, which describes itself as “a nonprofit organization that seeks to ensure an honest debate about school choice by providing accurate information on the impact of school choice on families, communities, and schools.”

“I concentrate on working with schools interested in joining a parental choice program. There’s a lot of boards administering these schools and the congregations that support many of them, as well as school staff and school parents about what the benefits of the program are,” Brown said.

“There is a lot of interest across the state.”

Wisconsin currently has three different parental choice programs, which provide vouchers to families so students can attend private schools. Milwaukee and Racine have choice programs focused on those cities and in 2011 the Legislature created the first statewide choice program.

“There are a lot of questions — many of which are based on myths — about what happens when a school joins a parental choice program,” Brown said.

Brown is particularly well-suited to address those questions. He served for nine years as president of Saint Anthony School prior to joining SCW in 2011.

Saint Anthony, a K-12 Catholic school in Milwaukee, was one of the first religious schools to join the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program.

The school grew from 450 students to 1500 students while Brown was president.

“It was a major transformation for the school,” Brown recalled, as he sipped his coffee.

It was also a major transformation for Brown.

The Milwaukee-area native had originally pursued a career in business.

In 1995, Brown was working at brokerage house in Milwaukee when the then pastor of Saint Anthony’s parish asked him to help the school.

“And the rest is history,” Brown said.

Brown originally served as a volunteer on the parish corporate board.

“In Milwaukee each parish is a separate corporation,” Brown explained. “We oversaw finances for the school and signed off on its major projects.”

Brown’s first major project was straightening out the bookkeeping.

“There was confusion over such things as what is properly an operating expense and what is properly a capital expense,” Brown said.

Such confusion is common among schools and churches whose governing boards are made up of volunteers.

“Understanding these things requires a skill set not everyone has,” Brown said.

In 1998, religious-affiliated schools were finally eligible to receive voucher students through the MPCP.

With its finances now in order, Saint Anthony decided to join the program, so low-income students who otherwise couldn’t have afforded the tuition would be able to attend the school.

“As they made the transition it became more important for them to have someone who understood finances,” Brown said.

Brown’s role at Saint Anthony expanded. In 2000, he quit his job at the brokerage firm and went to work full time as the parish’s business manager.

“A year after that I was executive director of the school. And a year after that I was president,” Brown said.

Brown oversaw a student body that was not only growing rapidly, but changing as well.

“Before choice, most of our students came from families in the neighborhood — families with a tradition of sending their kids to Catholic school,” Brown said.

“Our new students were also new to Milwaukee. Most of them came from Puerto Rico or were immigrants from Mexico. In 95 percent of those home English wasn’t spoken.”

“The vast majority of the parents didn’t speak English, but they did know they kind of education they wanted for their kids,” Brown said.

At the same time the school was helping many of its students learn English, Brown was also determined to raise the level of education for all students.

“We worked truly hard,” Brown said. “We increased the amount of time spent on reading and math, even though that required an extension of the school day to eight hours. That was tough, but it was successful.”

Brown’s experiences at Saint Anthony means he can speak with personal authority to school leaders considering joining a choice program.

“Having someone with first-hand, in-the-weeds knowledge has made our job of supporting schools and working on the administration of the program much easier,” SCW President Jim Bender told Watchdog.org.

“Parents and schools are most worried about two things,” Brown said. “They are concerned about whether they’ll be able to maintain their school’s culture after they welcome new students. There’s no reason they can’t.”

“They are also worried about government overreach. They are worried the state may end up controlling the curriculum or the hiring and firing practices. There’s no evidence anything like that is going to happen,” Brown said.

“And if it is does, schools can leave the program easily enough.”

Asked about the importance of school choice, Brown paused to think.

“I remember a cook who worked in the school kitchen. She was an immigrant from Mexico and she hadn’t had the opportunity to go to high school. Her son came to us, not speaking any English. After three years at Saint Anthony, he went off to a different high school, where he excelled. He became a star scholar and an athlete. He’s in college now and doing very well.”

“We had a lot of parents at Saint Anthony who didn’t have a high school education themselves, but they knew the wanting to send their children to a Catholic school, with discipline and high expectations,” Brown said.

“When you see the hope in a parent’s eyes once they realized they can decide where their child goes to school, you understand the importance of choice.”

# # # #

About Paul Brennan 

Before joining Watchdog.org in December, 2013, Paul Brennan wrote for numerous publications from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles (and many places in between), covering a wide range of topics, from skateparks to cloning.

Watchdog.org is an online news organization that publishes articles by independent journalists covering state-specific and local government activity. The program began in September 2009, a project of Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting new media journalism.  This article is reprinted with permission.

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TND Guest Contributor:  Alan Caruba |Common Core Protest

Americans are learning the hard way that the federal government should not be permitted to impose one-size-fits-all standards to education. It was never intended to play a role in education and the absence of any mention in the Constitution is proof enough that education was intended to be supervised by the states where the school districts, schools, and parents are closest to the process.

Common Core is going to play a large role in the 2016 elections and that is likely to impact former Governor Jeb Bush the most. At the heart of the unhappiness with Common Core has been its emphasis on testing.

A March 20th Wall Street Journal article, “Bush Faces Test of Exam Policy”, reported that “A Rasmussen Reports nationwide survey in February found that 52% of respondents thought there was too much emphasis on testing in schools and 69% believed there was too much ‘teaching to the test.’”

The transformation of the nation’s educational system began when the Department of Education was signed into law by Jimmy Carter in 1979 and began operating in 1980. It continued with the passage of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the name given to the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It requires all public schools receiving Title 1 federal funding to annually administer a state-wide standardized test to all students. NCLB was coauthored by Representatives John Boehner (R-OH), George Miller (D-CA) and Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Judd Gregg (R-NH).

President George W. Bush was a leading NCLB advocate and signed it into law on January 8, 2002. Each state was expected to develop its own standards because NCLB did not impose a national one. This year when its reauthorization came up for consideration, it was pulled from the House floor in February. The Heritage Foundation deems it “outdated, ineffective, and prioritizes government standards over the needs of individual students.”

According to Neal McCluskey, Associate Director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom, “There is no compelling evidence that No Child Left Behind, and federal intervention overall, has produced much good, while it is very clear it has cost substantial money and is unconstitutional.”

In Missouri, circuit court Judge Daniel R. Green, ruled in February that the state’s payment of more than $4 million in membership fees as part of a standardized testing consortium was illegal. The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium “is an unlawful interstate compact to which the U.S. Congress has never consented, whose existence and operation violate” Article 1 and 10 of the federal Constitution. It dealt a blow to Common Core.

It’s not just Missouri. In January the Mississippi Board of Education voted to withdraw from the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers consortium which is one of the two tests aligned to Common Core. A full repeal of Common Core standards is under discussion.

By June 2014, two months before its implementation date, 19 states had either withdrawn from the tests or had paused implementation of the standards. Four of the 19, Indiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Louisiana had completely exited the national standards. Alaska, Nebraska, Texas and Virginia never adopted it.

Gov. Bush is beginning to put some distance between himself and Common Core. His spokeswoman, Kristi Campbell, said “There is such a thing as too much testing.” Reportedly “he says the federal government shouldn’t impose particular tests or curricula on states.” Meanwhile, in one state after another, Common Core is being rejected.

On the political front, the Heartland Institute’s monthly newsletter, School Reform News, reported in March that “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a front runner in the contest for the Republican nomination for president, made bold reforms of elementary, secondary, and college education a prominent part of his proposed 2015-17 budget.”

“The budget, presented on February 3, would remove the cap on the state’s school choice program, eliminate state funding for Smarter Balanced tests tied to Common Core State Standards, and cut $300 million from the University of Wisconsin over two years in exchange for greater autonomy for the system.”

On Capitol Hill, four Republican senators including Rob Portman of Ohio and Pat Roberts of Kansas have introduced a bill that would prevent the federal government from strong-arming states into adopting education standards such as Common Core and, presumably, NCLB. The bill is called learning Opportunities Created at the Local Level Act. As reported in the Daily Caller.com, it “would limit the federal government’s ability to control state educational standards and curriculums through financial incentives, grants, mandates, and other forms of influence.”

There’s no way to know when Common Core will die or whether No Child Left Behind will suffer a similar fate but the trend nationwide is obvious. Parents, teachers, schools and districts want to determine the best curricula for the children in their systems. They want the federal government out and that is a very good thing.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

# # # #

alan- preferred pixAlan Caruba writes a popular blog at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com where his commentaries on a wide range of topics are posted. He is also the founder in 1990 of The National Anxiety Center, a clearinghouse for information about “scare campaigns” intended to influence public opinion and policy. An author of several books, he is also a founding member of The National Book Critics Circle and writes a monthly report, Bookviews.com. This article is reprinted with permission. TND full (1)

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TND Guest Contributor:  Melissa Melton | Truthstream Media |schoolkids

With all this talk about mandatory vaccination legislation, a lot more parents are discussing homeschool as an option (while that option is even still available). Aside from that, more and more parents are asking how much propaganda do we really want to expose our children to on their path to adulthood, anyway? Add Common Core to make matters that much more ridiculous and more people are choosing homeschool as the best option for their child’s mind.

That being said, the story I’m about to discuss out of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) shows the enormity of what homeschooling parents truly are up against in this country.

Let me back up just a bit by saying that yours truly dropped out of high school. I could wax on about how I regret missing my senior prom or that I’ve had a rough go in life without that piece of paper saying I put up with my high school experience for four whole years, but the truth is I don’t and I haven’t.

I went on to get three college degrees including a master’s degree and I’ve spent enough time critically analyzing the system to realize that, overall, a lot of it was pure bullsh*t and a total waste of time. Not that any of us need pieces of paper to validate our intelligence or existence. On the flip side, I personally watched people mouth breathe their way through the mind-numbing curriculum at my high school, graduate with Ds, then go on to join the military or get corporate jobs or become mall cops, complete with helmet and segway, for example… people who couldn’t have passed a GED exam if they tried. But, nonetheless, high school is still the standard to live by.

Today, that school experience is magnified. The propaganda we were subjected to back then (guns are scary and bad, support our troops with yellow ribbons no matter what, lawyers and doctors make the most money so go do that, abortion is good) is nooooothingcompared to the level of establishment agenda indoctrination being piped into our children’s brains today, complete with a heaping pile of fear to ice the b.s. cake. It’s actually pretty horrifying and a write up of its own… but I digress.

Homeschool allows parents a shot at not subjecting their children to that, and something better, or at least different, than being “taught to the middle,” allowing their children much more room to actually learn something. However, the system, as they say, is not rigged in the favor of anyone who tries to think outside of it’s box.

Take the recent case of 22-year-old Jacob Berry from Morgantown, West Virginia. His parents opted to homeschool Berry and not too long ago he decided to attend West Virginia’s Bridgeport Junior College, enrolling last fall. After one half-time semester where he received A’s in both of his classes, it came to the campus president’s attention that Berry did not have an official high school diploma. Consequently, he was kicked out of college shortly thereafter.

Via HSLDA:

“Your homeschool diploma isn’t state recognized. We can’t mess with our federal funding by having people with unaccredited diplomas here,” she reportedly said. The president had Jacob called to the financial aid office after class and gave him one day to produce an “accredited” diploma.

The next day Jacob was called out of his lecture and attempted to explain again to the president that his diploma was valid. Ms. Stephens refused to listen and suggested he take the GED. When he attempted to attend his next class, the school sent him directly to Ms. Stephens who kicked him out and informed him that he was an intelligent young man who would do well on the GED.

“It was a shock,” said Jacob. “She signed the letter acknowledging that I had been homeschooled and then kicked me out. It hurts me that she would do that to me. I don’t want to be negative, but I do feel like it was discriminatory.”

It’d be one thing if he had just applied and they ignorantly turned Berry down, but the school already knew he was homeschooled and accepted his application and allowed him to enroll, then he was able to complete a whole semester, a semester in which he made dean’s list-level grades.

Jacob’s parents, Dr.  Nathan Berry and Mrs. Cynthia Berry, a woman who reportedly holds a lifetime teacher’s license in the state of Missouri, were also quite shocked, so they contacted HSLDA who attempted to contact the school. Association attorney Michael Donnelly sent a letter to the school’s president informing her that homeschool students self-certify when they complete a home education program, a process that is clearly noted in the federal funding guidelines, but the woman apparently refused to respond. (No, the GED is not required of homeschooled students.) It will likely take more legal action and more of this kid’s time wasted before he can move on with his life for her to do so. Why?

Because, like everything else in the United Corporations of America, it’s not about Berry’s education or helping him gain higher employment etc.; first and foremost, just like in the public schools his parents steered him clear of, it’s all about the funding.

Were it a gender, race, or sexual orientation case, one can only imagine that it would make headlines, prompt court cases and widespread cries of discrimination.

But who cries out for the homeschooled?

When did this group become so ostracized and shunned?

There’s a marked trend of super minds that have been taught in homes rather than mass education facilities. Many in America are aware of the sad state that schools have reached, of the decline in education standards, and in the fall of testing scores and general intelligence and aptitude in the public overall. It’s not as if anyone believes public schools are the pinnacle of learning…

Why then is there an insistence on processing every child through these fatally flawed institutions, and defending the indoctrination centers to the death?

It is obvious enough that homeschools are too closely related to independent thinkers and the continuation of the individuals, the very things that certain but obscure voices have vowed to eradicate.

Building one’s mind the old fashioned way will be increasingly treated the same way conscientious objectors to vaccines are, with the scorn of a system that wants everyone kept under total and utter control.

Keep watch, and stay vigilant.

# # # #

Melissa Melton is a co-founder of TruthstreamMedia.com. She is an experienced researcher, graphic artist and investigative journalist with a passion for liberty and a dedication to truth. Her aim is to expose the New World Order for what it is — a prison for the human soul from which we must break free.

This work is reprinted with permission and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

TND Guest Contributor:  Brittany Corona |

Common Core continues to be a top concern in the states, with Mississippi and Wisconsin being the latest states taking steps to distance themselves from the controversial standards.

Mississippi is considering full repeal of the Common Core standards. State senators Michael Watson and Angela Burks introduced legislation to repeal the standards last month, with Watson telling GulfLive.com Mississippi “will end up with our own standards that are better, higher and cleaner than Common Core.”

This measure follows Republican Gov. Phil Bryant’s December 2013 executive order affirming Mississippi’s right to define their education standards.

The bill would create an advisory board to evaluate other state standards (using resources such as Fordham Institute’s State of State Standards), and introduce new Mississippi standards to the state department of education. This way the advisory board could craft a set of standards exclusively for Mississippi students, by borrowing from rigorous standards like California’s math and Massachusetts’s language arts standards, but also keeping strong standards of their own.

In addition, in January, the Mississippi Board of Education voted to withdraw from the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) consortium, which is one of the two tests aligned to Common Core, and requested proposals for new state tests on Feb. 2. Until a new test is adopted, however, the state will use NCS Pearson Inc. assessments. This was met with skepticism because Pearson signed a contract with the PARCC last year, leading to concerns that the new tests will be influenced by Common Core standards.

Mississippi is practicing competitive federalism, which is the process of states evaluating their current standards, keeping what is good, discarding what is bad, and using what has worked in other states. Competitive federalism is the opposite of one-size-fits-all approaches like Common Core.

Wisconsin is also moving away from Common Core standards. Earlier this month Gov. Scott Walker, R., Wis., cut state funding for the other Common Core-aligned exam, the Smarter Balanced assessment, in his budget proposal. The proposal doesn’t prohibit schools from using Common Core, but encourages district level innovation.

“I want high standards—and those decisions should be made by school board members and parents and others at the local level,” said Walker in his budget address.

Withdrawing from the Smarter Balanced consortium gives Wisconsin the opportunity to use a new test—perhaps approved by the University of Wisconsin-Madison—that could reflect state and district-driven standards.

Common Core began as an effort to establish uniform national standards and tests, and was incentivized by billions in federal funding and waivers from the onerous provisions of No Child Left Behind. It was developed in 2009 by Achieve Inc. with oversight from the privately-run National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers, but was then promoted by the Obama administration. In the midst of a recession, 46 states signed on to the standards, agreeing to implement them by the 2014-15 school year.

To aid the implementation process, the federal government created two national tests aligned with the standards: the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia. The Department of Education also created a “Technical Review Panel” to oversee the validity of assessment questions.

But as the deadline for implementation loomed closer, states began to realize the costs of adopting Common Core, both financial and in terms of their educational decision-making autonomy. By June 2014— two months before the implementation date— 19 states had either withdrawn from the tests or paused implementation of the standards. Four of the 19 (Indiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Louisiana) had exited the national standards completely.

UD-common-core-status-map-5-649x1024

Opposition to Common Core continues to build across the nation, driven largely by parents. Quality education is best supported and fostered by those closest to the children—local leadership, teachers and parents—who are best equipped to craft an education system that fosters upward mobility and opportunity for children in their state.

Brittany Corona is a research assistant in Domestic Policy Studies at The Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity at The Heritage Foundation.Read her research.

This article was published at The Daily Signal and is reprinted with permission.

TND Podcast Spotlight:  The Dirt Road Economist |

See background articles:

# # # #

About the author:

Dirt Road EconomistDennis Linthicum is the founder of the Dirt Road Economist, where he spotlights issues of concern to all Americans, including the loss of individual freedom and economic opportunity caused by unconstitutional political meddling. These intrusions are so common and seem so normal that the average American has little to no idea of how far our Nation has strayed from our Founder’s original intentions. Dennis recognizes the beauty and power of free-market systems in solving modern problems of governance. He has been an outspoken advocate for the traditional, conservative principles of Liberty. While serving on the Board of County Commissioners, in Klamath County, Oregon, he gained first-hand experience in dealing with federal over-reach. Today, he has vast expertise in dealing with federal bureaucracies and the community harm that stems from their needless interventions in predominantly local issues.

Dennis received a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics (UCLA) and a Master’s Degree (BIOLA University). He excelled at software and database application development with Hughes Aircraft, furthering his strategic, managerial and technological expertise which he later applied within the real-estate and insurance industry, ultimately serving as Vice President of Information Systems at Pacific Mutual Life.

Click here to visit the Dirt Road Economist website. Click here to visit the Dirt Road Economist Facebook page.  Click here to contact Dennis.

TND Guest Contributor:  Dave Kranzler | free-money-2

$60 billion to fund 2 years of free community college for “responsible” students?  Cui bono, Barack?  Seriously.  Look, I understand that you enjoyed the free ride of affirmative action programs and have not worked an honest day’s living in your life.  But now you want to institutionalize the right to attend college?  And a community college at that?  What the hell can someone gain from going community college?  Seriously?   Woodworking?  “Social” studies?  How to use Microsoft Word?  I learned how to do the latter on my own, at no cost to nobody.  WTF?

And tell me, Barack, why should the taxpayers pay for this?  Why don’t YOU and YOUR corporate/Wall Street cronies pay for it?  If it’s something you really believe in, you’ll raise the money privately – not fleece the taxpayers again.

Obama has lived his entire life on the taxpayer.  And when he leaves office he’ll be well paid for serving as the dishrag for Wall Street, Big Healthcare, Big Defense and very wealthy families/individuals.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up with a bigger payday than Clinton received (several hundred million for Bubba).   About the only angle I can figure that Obama is playing here is that if several hundred thousand were to enroll for free in community colleges, it would reduce the labor force even more and enable the Government to claim an even lower unemployment rate than the current fiction suggests.

The country is collapsing and Obama reduces down payment requirements for future mortgage deadbeats and offers free community college for whomever.  I’ve been watching the American Horror Story series “Freak Show” and that’s what Obama’s chapter in American history will be titled…

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About Dave Kranzler:

Aspen1-dave I spent many years working in various analytic jobs and trading on Wall Street. For nine of those years, I traded junk bonds for Bankers Trust. I have an MBA from the University of Chicago, with a concentration in accounting and finance. My goal is to help people understand and analyze what is really going on in our financial system and economy. You can follow my work and contact me via my website Investment Research Dynamics.  Occasionally, I publish on Seeking Alpha too. As a co-founder and principal of Golden Returns Capital, LLC Mr. Kranzler co-manages the Precious Metals Opportunity Fund, a metals and mining stock investment fund.

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TND Guest Contributor:  Melissa Melton | Truthstream Media |

Just three years ago, we found out that children in Britain as young as three could be “blacklisted” — labeled “racist” on their permanent file for such evil thought crimes as calling a fellow classmate a “broccoli head.”

When my brother was six and I was 12, he called me a “carnival head.” I always thought it was because he was being a six-year-old little brother. I never knew until today that it was because he was totally racist… You know, against… uh… theme parks??

But I digress…

Now according to a new government directive from UK’s Home Office, teachers including nursery school staff have been handed a serious “duty” to “prevent people being drawn into terrorism.”

This will include making sure school staff are trained to watch their students closely in order to “identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism and challenge extremist ideas which can be used to legitimise terrorism and are shared by terrorist groups,” The Telegraph reported yesterday. Did I mention this includes nursery schools? I did?

You know…with all those toddlers running around sporting all those terrorist-sympathizing, extremist ideals…

Sounds totally insane, doesn’t it? Defies all logic and reason and known research on the basics of child development?

Well it is, but worse than one of Orwell’s nightmares, this is also one of those verified slippery slopes.

Back in 2011, when I very first woke up and started my humble little blog at Truthstream, I wrote about toddlers being labeled “racist” for calling fellow classmates names like“broccoli head” or having “homophobic” written in their permanent file for telling a teacher they thought their work was “gay.”

broccoliheadav

 

It should go without saying (but apparently I have to say it now, thanks a lot technocrats) that these are tiny kids who literally have no idea what even half the stuff they are regurgitating means, but who are now receiving a record that will follow them throughout their years and could negatively impact their ability to get a job or gain entrance to college later in life thanks to what basically amounts to thought crime rules. By the time that article came out in 2011, over 34,000 nursery, primary and secondary-level students had already been labeled “bigots” by the system under Britain’s anti-bullying rules.

It was only later I learned that even further back in 2006, then-Prime Minister Tony Blair had declared that the government had ways of “clamping down” on anti-social behaviors — while a child was still in the womb! “Tony Blair has said it is possible to identify problem children who could grow up to be a potential ‘menace to society’ even before they are born,” The Guardian reported.

In this era of big data, people still don’t fully realize that the whole politically correct, technocractic system is driving us all to a place where our words and even our thoughts can be used against us, and where we are all guilty until proven innocent forever more. The bar on this just keeps continually getting raised. Police these days are using algorithms to assign the public individualized, color-coded threat scores which are based, in-part, on making remarks deemed “offensive” on social media so they can form opinions about someone before they even see them.

Consider who it is that determines what an “extremist” or “offensive” thought is in the first place. In America for example, some of those extremist thoughts (according to our lovely terrorist threat fusion centers, anyway) include being considered a Constitutionalistor putting a bumper sticker on your car that says you’d vote third party for one.

But really, what doesn’t offend somebody these days? People seem more offended by everything than ever.

So here is that original article I wrote back in 2011 which now stands as conclusive proof of the slippery slope were now sliding down and that we are literally living in the time pre-George Orwell’s 1984 (which apparently was much more than just an instruction manual).

Britain’s Baby Blacklist: Small Children Added to Government Database for Name-Calling
by Melissa Melton | Originally published Sept. 15, 2011

The British government is keeping a database which brands their children racist and homophobic on a record that could follow them for life. Children as young as three-years-old have been cited for calling classmates names such as “broccoli head.” The kids on the list used others words such as “gay” and “lesbian.” In fact, one kid got blacklisted for using the word “gay” to describe a school assignment. I know even as I type this that what I am writing sounds entirely ludicrous. However, if I call it a stupid bag of moldy cat crap like I see it, were I in Britain, I would be added to this database, too.

The Daily Mail report also added that these records can literally follow these children for the rest of their lives. If a future employer were to ask for school records as part of the employment interview process, these childhood incidents could potentially keep preschoolers from achieving gainful employment as adults. Let us just forget the fact that, according to the study of development psychology, most children do not start to develop the ability to reason with logic until they are about seven or eight. Let us forget the fact that operational thinking skills are not gained by the average human until we are 11 or 12. Let us completely ignore the fact that there exists a person somewhere whose job it is to compile this database and keep track of its contents, which has to be one of the lamest jobs to have in the history of all time.

Instead, let’s look at the bigger picture. This is just a box of fail sliding down the slippery slope to You’re Doing It Wrong Land. Here’s the thing: If we are going to implement such policies on little kids who do not have the slightest concept of time and effect, then we should have to do it EVERYWHERE. Children watch TV, they listen to music on the radio, they play video games, and they experience everything else that comes out of any mouths near their ears and goes straight into their brains. Kids are inundated with information absolutely everywhere all the time these days. If they repeat what they hear, then can the connection not be made that those who said it first should also be blacklisted? Three-year-olds do not make up concepts like “lesbian” all by themselves like a big bang in their brain cracks. Obviously they got it from somewhere.

Running with that (because if they can, they will), it is easy to see how it will only be fair to create lists for television show and movie screenwriters, lyricists, all reality TV stars, commercial writers, advertising executives and anyone who speaks on a radio where other people’s ears, such as those of innocent three-year-olds, can detect it. Keep going, and you’ll get to a scary place where people who happen to open their mouths in public are now eligible for addition to the list.

Go a little further, and we all live in a world that looks a lot like kindergarten naptime in a library. Hope you all have a deep interest in learning sign language.

This situation tows the same line as the fact that our DEA and CIA are helping Al Qaeda grow drugs in other countries, have been interviewed about it and admitted it on national news channels, and then say things like quote, “We’ll deal with the distribution later.” Then the drugs get over here in America and 70% of people in US prisons (a country which puts more people in jail than any other country in the whole entire world) are there for…you guessed it…DRUGS! We help grow it, then when you get it, you go to jail. Well, we have to keep the big business that is our nation’s corrections complex churning.

Bottom line, Britain’s baby blacklist attacks a child’s ability for critical thinking before it is even developed. I guess we should all grab our Newspeak textbooks, put our matching blue Orwellian jumpsuits on, and fall in line to stop thinking for ourselves.

Well, I would, but that’s just gay you broccoli heads.

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Melissa Melton is a co-founder of TruthstreamMedia.com. She is an experienced researcher, graphic artist and investigative journalist with a passion for liberty and a dedication to truth. Her aim is to expose the New World Order for what it is — a prison for the human soul from which we must break free.

This work was published at TruthStreamMedia.com and is reprinted with permission and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.