April 15, 2014
In a meeting characterized both by procedural irregularities and emotion, Wyoming’s State Board of Education ultimately sent the proposed science standards back to the Review Committee for reworking. While unclear how much of the Next Generation Science Standards could be included in the final product, board members voiced a need for A-rated standards that will benefit Wyoming students and be free of controversial assumptions. The committee will be allowed to use the NGSS as a model, but it appeared that using other state standards as models will be expected as well.
Public comment was rearranged on the agenda to allow comments to be heard before the vote on the outcome of the NGSS. A group called Climate Parents, some of whom we believe traveled in from out of state, organized statements to support the NGSS and the teaching of anthropogenic global warming in classrooms, and a teacher brought students to do so as well. However, the students did not appear either personally invested or prepared to articulate that position.
Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core also organized statements among participants who could attend the meeting. Members pointed out that the budget footnote was the correct response of the Legislature to concerned citizens and expressed reasons to push for more academically sound and objective standards than the NGSS. We were joined by Representative Tom Reeder, Representative Lynn Hutchings and Michelle Sabrosky, who also contributed valuable testimony. We so appreciate the time everyone took out of their personal lives to make a strong showing at this meeting.
Several testifying, including both legislators, asserted this meeting or ANY consideration of NGSS, even as a model, is not legal given the budget footnote’s restriction on funds. In spite of this concern, the board proceeded to take action, and in the weeks to come, the legality of is the footnote will likely be investigated.
Some board members were anxious to adopt the NGSS for promulgation in spite of the legislature’s budget footnote “effective immediately” due to their own interpretation of the footnote’s effective date. Some board members like the NGSS and expressed concern we wouldn’t have “21st Century Standards” available immediately for our schools. Others clearly were in favor of making the rejection of the standards the Governor’s problem by forcing him to veto the vote for promulgation, as Mary Kay Hill said she would advise the Governor to do should the state board move forward and adopt these standards. However, the vote to adopt for promulgation ultimately failed this time.
The initial vote to send the standards back to the Review Committee also failed, as did a motion to approve the resolution by the Supervisory Committee members to stop this process and allow school districts to choose their own science standards. There was a great deal of contentious discussion, frustration and consultation with legal counsel during the entire meeting, which even went to executive session at one point. It was clear no one wanted to leave the room having done “nothing”, so it finally came back to a vote to reconsider the motion to send the standards back to the Review Committee, and that motion in the end passed.
It will be crucial now for citizens to monitor this process, participate in opportunities to contribute and be watchful for the necessary changes in the standards. As Mary Kay Hill stated as she outlined the position of the Governor’s office, citizen engagement like this is unprecedented and a great opportunity to have genuine, open discussion and participation. Our state can end up with academically sound standards that stay religiously neutral and scientifically objective and be the best in the country!
April 8, 2014
The State Board of Education meets on Friday, April 11th in Casper. They will be discussing the science standards for Wyoming students. Despite the Legislature and Governor passing a budget amendment to de-fund the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), some State Board members would still like to pass the NGSS. The NGSS are non-objective and lack quality. This letter to the State Board and to Governor Mead is a great opportunity for Wyoming citizens to encourage the State Board to uphold the budget amendment and provide Wyoming students with quality, objective science standards.
Read and sign the petition here before Friday, April 11th at 7am
All who are able to attend the State Board meeting in Casper are encouraged to be there. The details can be found here
PLEASE SHARE THIS OPPORTUNITY VIA EMAIL, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, ETC
April 8, 2014
Thank you to all of you concerned Wyoming citizens who contacted our Wyoming US Senators in last week’s “Take Action” item. The action item asked citizens to contact US Senators Enzi & Barrasso and ask them to sign on to Senator Grassley’s letter in support of blocking further federal funding for the Common Core State Standards. To read Senator Grassley’s letter & accompanying signatures, click here (pdf). If you have time, please send a quick thank you note to our Wyoming US Senators:
Senator Mike Enzi: Website, or call (888) 250-1879
Senator John Barrasso: Website, or call (866)235-9553
April 2, 2014
Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core wants to recommend this wonderful movie to parents across Wyoming. We hope you will take the time to watch and learn. Below is a brief description of the movie from the website.
Building the Machine introduces the public to the Common Core States Standards Initiative (CCSSI) and its effects on our children’s education. The documentary compiles interviews from leading educational experts, including members of the Common Core Validation Committee. Parents, officials, and the American public should be involved in this national decision regardless of their political persuasion.
Just Released- October 4, 2013:
The Truth About the WDE Timeline
The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) published and distributed Memorandum 2013-099 to all District Superintendents and Principals throughout the state on August 14, 2013. The following 10 points refer to discrepancies between what WDE claims and what original source documents establish as facts regarding the implementation of common core. We provide both so you can be the judge.
- 1) WDE says that the common core Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) “allows” Wyoming to participate. Then why does the MOA itself say it “commits” Wyoming to the “adoption of” common core (CCSS)? Signing a legal document that commits WY to a process that leads to common core is much different than simply allowing WY to participate in the process because a commitment is a binding agreement.
- 2) WDE says, “the state could leave the process at any time.” So where in the MOA is the clause allowing WY to leave? WY voluntarily entered into this commitment, but upon signing the MOA, WY was committed. If there is no exit clause, WY simply cannot exit.
- 3) State law gives authority to set educational standards to the Wyoming State Board of Education (SBE). Why then, without any authority, did Gov. Freudenthal and Sup. McBride commit WY to standards, especially when those standards weren’t even released yet? Two individuals, without authority from parents and citizens of WY, should not commit our children to national standards that weren’t even finalized.
- 4) WDE says that common core sets standards and doesn’t affect curriculum. Why then, does WDE itself state that Wyoming “must” “align curriculum materials and instructional methods to CCSS?” The claim that there is still local control over what is taught is true so long as what is taught aligns with CCSS. Does that sound like local control? WDE is clearly saying CCSS controls curriculum materials and instructional methods. To prove it, can a teacher choose to teach curriculum that doesn’t align with common core? No. And, there’s your answer.
It is plain to see that omissions, word changes, and a distinct shortage of the “whole truth” characterize the message of state officials “informing” the public about the path of education in Wyoming. Come now…if this much must be hidden about the Common Core State Standards Initiative, citizens should be beyond wary. Let us inform our Superintendents and Principals of the facts behind the WDE timeline. Let us demand integrity in this process, retention of complete control over education in Wyoming, and standards truly befitting of our children, the most precious of any resource.
For full document and detailed original source documentation Click Here
For the WDE timeline Click Here
Restoring Excellence to Education
Amy Edmonds tells how policies such as those found in the Common Core Standards [Common Core] have been promoted historically and here in Wyoming.
She reminds us that centralized micromanagement fails to increase scores on achievement tests. Further, she calls to mind the simple truth that letting good teachers do their jobs increases academic growth. [Read More...]
Truth In American Education (national)
Alabamians United for Exc. in Edu. (AL)
Eagle Forum Alabama (AL)
Californians United Against CCore (CA)
Colorado Against Common Core (CO)
Stop Common Core Colorado
Parents & Educators Against CC in (CO)
Floridians Against CC Education (FL)
Florida Parents Against CC (FL)
Stop Common Core In Georgia (GA)
Iowans for Local Control (IA)
Idahoans for Local Education (ID)
Illinois Freedom Coalition Against CommonCore (IL)
Stop Common Core Illinois (IL)
Hoosiers Against Common Core (IN)
Kansas Against Common Core (KS) [Complete List...]
American Association of Christian Schools
American Family Association
Americans For Prosperity
American Principles Project
Concerned Women Of America
Conservative Teachers of America
Education Action Group Foundation
Locke & Smith
Home School Legal Defense Association John Locke Foundation
Former Attorney General Ed Meese [Complete List...]