Friday, March 29, 2013

Common Core Is NOT OK Rally Summary

And so it was that Wednesday, March 27, somewhere between 150 and 200 people came to the Oklahoma State Capitol to rally against the Common Core State Standards!  We were so grateful to look out and see such a fabulous crowd!  We know the time and energy it takes to leave your home and put aside your day to do something like this and we truly appreciate your willingness to work with us to stop the de-humanization and de-localization of public education.

I'm not going to take the time today to rehash all the reasons why we object to the Common Core in this post, but I will make sure that those of you who wish to have ammunition to give your friends, family members and neighbors, can get that here - in a one stop shop of sorts!

A brief list of Common Core educational materials

Here is a link to our one page information sheet called, "What Oklahomans Need To Know About Common Core State Standards".  If you're not in Oklahoma and wish to have something more generic, please use this handout from our friends at the Truth in American Education website.

Here is the paper that really helped to spread the word about CCSS, "Common Core State Standards, An Introduction To Marxism 101"  This should help you put the background together on where the Common Core came from - it's political background and who's behind the push.

For those of you interested also in the data collection aspect, our paper, "How Much Data Is Enough Data? What happens to privacy when bureaucracies exceed their scope?" might be of interest.  We also have another one page information sheet called, "What Oklahomans Need To Know About The P20 Council" that you can hand out to those seeking information.

A number of media outlets were represented at the Rally.  Below, are posted the links to the stories the rally generated.

Educators Protest New Guidelines At State House (added 4/1) - I totally forgot to post this video/story from NewsChannel 4.  I thought their reporting was absolutely great!  Both sides, no spin.  Two thumbs up!

Lawmakers Urged To Reject Proposed Nationwide Academic Standards - this was a video from our Daily Oklahoman.  We thought this video - and the news story - very fair.

Protestors Rally Against New School Curriculum - this was from our FOX affiliate.  Not bad, but didn't really get to the meat of the matter, just more about 'federal takeover'.  Also, in this story, I lost 3 of my children!  My husband, who watched the story with me said, "Do we get to pick which ones we lose?" (David and I have 5 children, not the 2 depicted in the story!)

Opponents of 'Common Core Standards' Education Rally At State Capitol.  This was from the AP and instead of doing their own reporting, LOCALLY OWNED KWTV-Channel 9 picked up the AP report.  So did Glenn Beck!  The reporting in this 'article' (if you can call it that) was SO atrocious that Glenn Beck picked it up off the wire and skewered it on the radio!  This was HORRIBLE.  I imagine News9 will lose a number of viewers over this - they lost me!  It was so bad in fact, that I penned this reply:
Hunter (a very liberal hate-speak blogger), you might get some sleep...that might help your disposition a bit. This 'loon' would like to ask you a question, "Would you buy a car sight unseen?" These standards were put into Oklahoma law before they were even available to read. So, you're all for making school kids Guinea Pigs in an education experiment that could affect them for the rest of their lives? You must not like kids very much! Here's another question for you, "Would you show up to buy a car without knowing how much it cost?" I wouldn't. I research that kind of stuff pretty thoroughly. We had no idea how much the Common Core would cost before they were enacted into law and two years later, our superintendent simply said she anticipated low costs. Since that time schools have had to apply for eRate grants and raise school bonds to pay for the technology costs to give the tests tied to the Standards. You must not care about your property taxes much, or the fact that the superintendent just asked for about 140 MILLION dollars more for education spending. Will that go to teachers? No. Will that go to kids? NO. It will go to buying computer and testing software and wiring. You must not be for more money in the classroom are you? I do hope you don't call yourself an advocate for Public Schools or education or children. We at ROPE care about teachers and students - that's why we say COMMON CORE IS NOT OK!
Here are the videos from the rally in order of speaker appearance, if you would like to watch and/or pass around:

Jenni White and Representative Gus Blackwell 

Representative David Brumbaugh

Reverend Paul Blair 

Tracey Montgomery (Oklahoma Coordinator - 

Linda Murphy (longtime educator and owner of Education and Training Services)

Rally effects:

All Rally attendees were asked to write their name, address and phone number on three red postcards with our anti-Common Core logo on the other side.  They were then, at the rally, asked to take those postcards and deliver them to the offices of their Senator and Representative and the office of Governor Mary Fallin.  At the end of the rally, Lynn, Danna and Julia and I went to the Governor's office to drop off our cards.  We were met by the very unhappy office assistant who gruffly took the cards, timestamped them and plopped them onto a stack about 1 1/2 to 2 inches high.

In the event people don't remember, our bill (HB1907), run by Representative Gus Blackwell, to create a task force simply to study the cost of the Common Core, passed its committee hearing unanimously.  It was blocked from a hearing on the floor by Speaker T.W. Shannon at the behest of our Governor who is the Vice-Chair of the NGA.  After all, it wouldn't look good for the Vice Chair of the National Governor's Association to start trying to kill the Common Core when the NGA was one of two private, non-governmental trade organizations developing and pushing out the standards?  Oh, Representative Shannon offered Representative Blackwell an interim study to study all aspects of the Common Core in return, so we should have been happy with that and moved on to 'more important' topics, apparently, but of course, we don't quit that easily.  We immediately began setting up the rally and taking to Twitter and Facebook, calling the politics of our Governor and Speaker out into the open.

Representative Blackwell began authoring a House Joint Resolution against the Common Core - HJR1011 - which is a truly excellent piece of legislation.  As soon as it is written onto the Oklahoma State Legislature webpage, we'll provide the link.  Currently, we are attempting to get as many House authors on the bill as possible.  We are even attempting to get an SJR.  We have an author, my State Senator Ron Sharp and even a few Senators to sign on with him, but our Oklahoma Senate seems to be the toughest place to get good, conservative, liberty-minded legislation passed - ever.

Yesterday, Representative Blackwell called me to tell me he had heard from "a number" of legislators who stopped by to the rally to listen.  They expressed their concerns over Common Core and asked him for more information on the topic.  Not only that, but Rep. Blackwell visited with T.W. Shannon (who, we found out, will be a GUEST on the GLENN BECK program in the near future!) who told him he would make sure our HJR got to the floor.  This is great because our SJR says that implementation of Common Core will STOP until we have satisfied at least 6 different categories of inquiry on the topic!  

In closing, we are extraordinarily happy about the rally and expect that God will multiply our efforts toward restoring local public education!  We are grateful for all speakers and participants and suggest that, as many of us know, legislators will only see the light when they feel the heat.  We MUST continue to push this issue out there as often as possible - into the media and with our elected representatives bypassed by the initial legislation!  Let's not rest until Common Core is gone because COMMON CORE IS NOT OK!