Dear @TheBlaze and @GlennBeck, I Have a Scott Walker Question for You

AD and GBLast July, I went to The Blaze studios to be a panel member of We Will Not Conform, a live Common Core event shown in movie theaters across the country.

Multiple aspects of Common Core were discussed, including political and election implications.  For many citizens, especially parents fighting Common Core, being squishy on the topic is a deal breaker.

I like Scott Walker. I think he has a lot of great assets to bring to the table. Having said that, for me, Scott Walker just accrued strike one.

This is fence sitting. But why?  One has to jump back a few years.

I listen to him in the morning on the radio. I know he likes Scott Walker as a candidate, but there is an important piece of information about Governor Walker that Mr. Beck needs to factor in.  

He listened to me at We Will Not Conform and I hope he listens to me now.

I’ll phrase this piece of information as a question that I hope he’ll answer, who was the education adviser to Governor Walker when Wisconsin adopted Common Core?

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There are 203 Education Related Bills At The #NCGA (Updated)

NCGAYesterday, I shared a list of about 30-40 education bills I had been tracking for various reasons.  I asked readers to let me know if there were more out there I should list.

I should be more careful what I ask for.

As of March 30th, there were 203 education related bills filed at the General Assembly.

Update: I managed to look through a good number of these 203 bills. To my dismay, not a single bill protecting parental rights with regards to their child’s education, data privacy or transparency in record keeping is in the mix.

I wonder what Instapundit would say.

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#WCPSS Proposed Budget: $1.4 Billion… Yes, Billion with a B.

In case you missed it:

Superintendent Merrill – ‘we’re playing catch up’. Wait, what?

Wake County School district is the largest in North Carolina and last I checked, the 16th largest nationwide.  Wake’s Superintendent has proposed a $1.4 billion dollar budget, which is a 14% increase.

There will be a public hearing on this budget – punchline below, keep reading.

News and Observer Ed blog has the goods:

The public will have its first chance this week to comment officially on a Wake County school budget proposal that includes a request for $48.3 million more in local funding.

Superintendent Jim Merrill has proposed a $1.4 billion operating budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year. But much of the reaction has focused on how Merrill wants the Wake County Board of Commissioners to provide $389.8 million – a 14 percent increase in funding.

School administrators say the bulk of the $48.3 million increase would go toward keeping up with enrollment growth, providing staff pay raises and starting some new academic programs. The request sets up a political scenario in which the all-Democratic board of commissioners will have to give a thumbs up or down to a budget request from the nearly all-Democratic school board.

Keep reading there’s a Q & A Section. The first question includes the details on a public hearing on this budget to be held this evening apparently:

Q. What has to happen for the school and county budgets to be adopted by June 30?

A. On Tuesday, the school board will review the budget proposal during an afternoon work session. The public hearing on the budget will be held during the regular meeting that begins at 5:30 p.m. in the main board room, 5625 Dillard Drive in Cary. The board is expected to adopt a budget May 5

What great advanced notice of this public hearing.

Anyone who attends tonight should ask for the line by line accounting of last year’s budget be made public and be posted online for all Wake residents to see.

The Wake County Schools website has a post up about this proposed budget. The largest listed expenditures are $16 million in teacher compensation increases and then $5.3 million for new school construction. Other large expenditures on the list include:

  • $3.7 million  – “Elementary Support Model”
  • $2.3 million – Pre-K expansion
  • $1.8 million – Extra-duty Pay Increase

At the very bottom of the post is this nugget calling for increased per pupil spending, which when translated means raising your taxes:

Merrill’s proposed budget continues two long-range goals set last year. Specifically, it calls for the district to have the state’s highest local investment in students, which would require a per pupil increase of about $400. It also calls for an increase in teacher pay that would bring Wake County to the national average over a five-year period. That effort would require about $80 million.

Wake’s current per pupil spending is approximately $7,714.  This $400 increase pushes per pupil spending in Wake to over $8k.

Dear WCPSS board — Best districts do not necessarily spend the most.  I would encourage you all to buy the book, The K-12 Implosion. Here’s a peek.

Related reading:

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#NCed Legislative Update – 4-21/15

NCED IconI’ve been engaged in fighting Common Core and the NC legislature was complicit in putting Common Core in our state statutes.

The name Common Core has since been removed via SB 812, however there was a lesson learned.

That lesson is that it’s up to parents and citizens to keep track of what the legislature in North Carolina is doing from day to day.

There are over 30 education related bills floating around the House and Senate  that I’ve been tracking. I’ve started a list of these education bills moving through the legislature.

This list is not comprehensive and I may have missed a few. Readers, feel free to leave any not on this list in the comments section.

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Pearson Is Everywhere: Over 175k Opt Out of Pearson PARCC in NY

Pearson: Always Earning

Pearson: Always Earning

Welcome back to another installment of Pearson Is Everywhere!

Last time, we looked at Pearson getting dumped by LAUSD in California.

Today, we get a look at the over 175,000 students who opted out of the Common Core PARCC test, which is created and written by Pearson.

Not only did droves of students opt out, there are reports of horrifyingly bad test questions.

Small wonder. Remember, pretty much anyone can write a test question for Pearson.

Washington Post‘s Valerie Strauss reported:

I wrote a post yesterday saying education activists were reporting more than 175,000 New York students had opted out of Common Core English Language Arts exams given last week — and many more districts were still unheard from.  New York is at the center of a growing movement among parents around the country to protest new standardized tests aligned to the Common Core (or similar state standards) that they think are unfair to students and teachers because the results are used for high-stakes decisions against the advice of assessment experts. The post also mentioned some complaints from teachers about the composition of the tests, which are aligned to the Core and were created for the state of New York by Pearson, the largest education company in the world.


So, what is on the test?

Disgusted teachers and parents are defying the “gag order” and talking about the tests, anonymously, on blogs.  The sixth-grade test has consistently come under fire, especially during Day 3 when an article entitled, “Nimbus Clouds: Mysterious, Ephemeral, and Now Indoors” from the Smithsonian Magazine appeared on one version of the test.

Here is a passage from the article:

 As a result, the location of the cloud is an important aspect, as it is the setting for his creation and part of the artwork.  In his favorite piece, Nimbus D’Aspremont, the architecture of the D’Aspremont-Lynden Castle in Rekem, Belgium, plays a significant role in the feel of the picture. “The contrast between the original castle and its former use as a military hospital and mental institution is still visible,” he writes. “You could say the spaces function as a plinth for the work.”

You can read the entire article here.

The genius at Pearson who put that article on the sixth-grade test should take his nimbi and his plinth and go contemplate his belly button in whatever corner of that Belgian castle he chooses. The members of the State Education Department who approved the article’s inclusion should go with him.

Tar. Feathers. Apply liberally.

There were more examples. Read the whole thing.

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