A Sincere Thanks: Our Thank You Letter to Legislators


Dear Legislators,

Parents have asked much of you this legislative season. Thank you all for your attention to and careful consideration of the matters relevant to our children’s lives and schooling. Of course, we especially thank so many of you who chose to respond favorably to our appeals for the restoration of local control, a genuine parental voice in public education, and parental rights.

What a tremendous opportunity we all have in Representative Harshman’s amendment to HB73. Parents now have real hope of bridging the large divide that has become so obvious between an unelected Wyoming State Board of Education and the electorate.   Our elected Superintendent of Public Instruction now has a role in helping the Board understand ways the standards adoption process may be legitimized in the eyes of parents and why the existing “public comment period” isn’t working. It also reassured the People that unfit standards need not be “locked in”. We know that the success of this opportunity depends on professionalism and goodwill on the part of the SBE and Superintendent Balow, and we look forward to seeing what is made of this great potential.

Although the ultimate language is different than what parents had hoped for, the fact that Senator Bebout’s amendment to HB23 even went through the process of such a healthy debate and a vote is remarkable. It’s clear that far too many people are simply not okay with taking the comfortable road of wholesale adoption of NGSS. What the People want in Wyoming education standards is true academic excellence.

We were disappointed that the issue of parental rights did not get the attention it deserved this session for lack of hearing, though we commend the House for passing HB94. Legislators can look forward to having another opportunity to help parents get these crucial rights codified in statute next year.

Again, thank you for your interest in understanding the concerns of parents of school-aged children in Wyoming. We ask that you join us in vigilance over what is done with the opportunity you’ve given parents, the SBE, and our elected Superintendent.


Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core


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US Congress is Pulling a FAST ONE! We Must Stop HR5 – It’s NOT Truly about “Student Success”


Our US Congressional Leadership is pushing HR5, the 600 page Reauthorization of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and have rebranded it the “Student Success Act” – DO NOT BE FOOLED!  It’s NOT going to bring Student Success!

This is happening with lightning speed! PLEASE contact our US Reps: Here is their contact information:

Click on each name to be taken to their contact pages:

Senator Mike Enzi

Senator John Barrasso

Representative Cynthia Lummis

Why VOTE NO on HR5?

1. HR5 Denigrates Parental Rights and Seizes State Sovereignty

  • No program shall “operate within a State, unless the legislature of that State shall have . . . waived the State’s rights and authorities to act inconsistently with any requirement that might be imposed by the Secretary as a condition of receiving that assistance.” (Sec. 6561) (emphasis added).
  • Federal requirements will trump the rights “reserved to the States and individual Americans by the United States Constitution” to lead in the education of their child. (Sec. 6564)
  • Requires states to change laws and regulations to “conform” to HR5. (Sec. 1403)
  • Alters the governance structures of states by requiring them to form “Committees of Practitioners” to whom the state must submit rules and regulations. (Sec. 1403)

2. HR5 Does Nothing to Relieve Children From No Child Left Behind’s (NCLB’s) Oppressive Testing Requirements.

3. Feds Will Effectively Direct State Education Policy through Enhanced Continuation of Heavy-Handed NCLB Policies

  • Requires states to demonstrate to the federal government that their standards, assessments, and state accountability systems meet the goal of “prepar[ing] all students to graduate high school for postsecondary education or the workforce.” (Sec. 1001)
  • Requires states to submit comprehensive state plans, which the Secretary can disapprove. (Sec. 1111)
  • States had to make the same showing and meet the same definitional goal to receive NCLB waivers and Race to the Top grants.. HR5 allows for a Common Core “rebrand.”  (Sec. 1001) and (Sec. 1111(3)(A))
  • Prohibitions against the Secretary forcing states into adopting Common Core are meaningless.

4. Increases Federal Data Collection To Control Curriculum

  • Empowers the Department of Education to request individual student and teacher data from State and Local Education Agencies.
  • Authorizes substantial new funding to use this data to evaluate whether schools are using “effective” instructional methods.  (Sec. 2111(b)(1)(A)) and (Sec. 2132)

The above information is originally from the Parents Against the Common Core website.

5.   It Mandates, for Private Schools, NON-Religious Programs, Counselors, Technologies

“Student for Success Act: HR5” can be found here: Bill Text: Student Success Act

Time is of the essence!   Please write what you feel is most important or include all of the issues from the 5 points above or go more in-depth with the additional information here:

Additional reasons to vote NO on HR5:

It represents a federal takeover of private school benefits funding:

On page 535, the bill slashes freedom by mandating equity for private and public schools. “Benefits provided under this section for private school children, teachers, and other educational personnel shall be equitable in comparison to services and other benefits for public school children, teachers, and other educational personnel”. The government has no right to command a private school to give more benefits, nor to withhold benefits, from private school teachers, staff or children. The same page states: “Expenditures for educational services and other benefits to eligible private school children, teachers, and other service personnel shall be equal to the expenditures for participating public school children.” The ombudsman’s job, according to page 80, is to “monitor and enforce” such “equity for private school children”.

The bill increases data collection. See 2. SEC. 1138:


It makes state rights conditional. See page 564 Subpart 4, Section 6561:

“STATES TO RETAIN RIGHTS AND AUTHORITIES THEY DO NOT EXPRESSLY WAIVE” –How will a state “expressly waive” its authorities and rights? –Answer from the bill: simply by having a state legislature accept federal money. A state that acts “inconsistently with any requirement that might be imposed by the Secretary as a condition of receiving that assistance” will waive its authority because the legislature of that state would have “expressly approved that [federal] program”. If a state’s or a parent’s rights conflicted with a requirement, too bad: the federal bill claims authority to enforce obedience from states because the states take the money.

It makes parents’ rights conditional. See page 567, Section 6564: “…Other than the terms and conditions expressly approved by State law under the terms of this subpart, control over public education and parental rights to control the education of their children are vested exclusively within the autonomous zone of independent authority reserved to the states and individual Americans by the United States Constitution, other than the Federal Government’s undiminishable obligation to enforce minimum Federal standards of equal protection and due process.” By tying inalienable parental rights to the receipt of funds and federal “obligations,” the bill just claimed authority to take parental rights away, under conditions it has just defined. Even in the statement of purpose on page 11, the bill minimizes parents and maximizes itself, by “affording parents substantial and meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children”. To reduce parents to a recipient of government-granted “opportunities to participate in” the education of a child is de-parenting. It’s far, far different from Utah’s legal code, which states in multiple places that: “A student’s parent or guardian is the primary person responsible for the education of the student, and the state is in a secondary and supportive role to the parent or guardian.”


Thank you for being Awake and Involved!

Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core



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SF8 is a VERY dangerous bill that is still in PLAY!

It’s 41 pages have been heavily amended and kills what little local control we still have left.

Please Take Action Today!

(2nd reading is today and 3rd tomorrow)

  1. Email the ENTIRE House
  2. Use “Vote NO on SF8” in the subject line
  3. Let them know this bill is an egregious attack on the “local control” our state education officials keep saying school districts have and this bill is just not redeemable. (See the skinny on in below)

House Emails:

Jim.Allen@wyoleg.gov, Mark.Baker@wyoleg.gov, Fred.Baldwin@wyoleg.gov, Eric.Barlow@wyoleg.gov, Rosie.Berger@wyoleg.gov, Jim.Blackburn@wyoleg.gov, Stan.Blake@wyoleg.gov, Kermit.Brown@wyoleg.gov, Donald.Burkhart@wyoleg.gov, James.Byrd@wyoleg.gov, Rita.Campbell@wyoleg.gov, Richard.Cannady@wyoleg.gov, Scott.Clem@wyoleg.gov, Cathy.Connolly@wyoleg.gov, JoAnn.Dayton@wyoleg.gov, Harlan.Edmonds@wyoleg.gov, Roy.Edwards@wyoleg.gov, John.Eklund@wyoleg.gov, Ken.Esquibel@wyoleg.gov, John.Freeman@wyoleg.gov, Gerald.Gay@wyoleg.gov, Mike.Greear@wyoleg.gov, Marti.Halverson@wyoleg.gov, Steve.Harshman@wyoleg.gov, Elaine.Harvey@wyoleg.gov, Hans.Hunt@wyoleg.gov, Allen.Jaggi@wyoleg.gov, Mark.Jennings@wyoleg.gov, Norine.Kasperik@wyoleg.gov, Dan.Kirkbride@wyoleg.gov, Kendell.Kroeker@wyoleg.gov, Samuel.Krone@wyoleg.gov, Lloyd.Larsen@wyoleg.gov, Dan.Laursen@wyoleg.gov, Tyler.Lindholm@wyoleg.gov, Tom.Lockhart@wyoleg.gov, Bunky.Loucks@wyoleg.gov, Mike.Madden@wyoleg.gov, Robert.McKim@wyoleg.gov, David.Miller@wyoleg.gov, Glenn.Moniz@wyoleg.gov, Bob.Nicholas@wyoleg.gov, David.Northrup@wyoleg.gov, John.Patton@wyoleg.gov, Jerry.Paxton@wyoleg.gov, Charles.Pelkey@wyoleg.gov, Ruth.Petroff@wyoleg.gov, Garry.Piiparinen@wyoleg.gov, Bill.Pownall@wyoleg.gov, Tom.Reeder@wyoleg.gov, Andy.Schwartz@wyoleg.gov, Albert.Sommers@wyoleg.gov, Cheri.Steinmetz@wyoleg.gov, Tim.Stubson@wyoleg.gov, Mary.Throne@wyoleg.gov, Tom.Walters@wyoleg.gov, Sue.Wilson@wyoleg.gov, Nathan.Winters@wyoleg.gov, David.Zwonitzer@wyoleg.gov, Dan.Zwonitzer@wyoleg.gov

SF8 (full bill HERE)

What’s the skinny here?

Basically, SF8 continues the death march of freedom for school districts through more work on “accountability”. The state will take on the role of making certain that state standards are linked all the way down to the district level through reviews, or audits of our school districts. The audits will examine:

  • Curriculum maps (now just a minute, we were told by Common Core proponents that curriculum was always a “local” decision!)
  • Assessments (isn’t this a local decision too? We already have a state test…)
  • Graduation Requirements

Districts that are found to be lacking in any of these areas will be “counseled” into compliance. So exactly what “control” will be left to local districts? What color to paint the bathrooms?

Thank you for your dedication to advocating for local control and a truly quality education for Wyoming students!


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NGSS Letter to Legislators: Responding to Mischief! Unique Doesn’t Mean New Science!

Below is a copy of the letter we sent on behalf of  many parents who are concerned with the direction that HB23 could take our Wyoming in science standards:

Dear Legislators,

We hope to save you some time by hearing from a large group of Wyoming parents in one communication about HB23 (regarding NGSS). We are aware this bill will now go to conference, and we thought it wise to address this issue with all legislators.

Additionally, some folks are speculating that Wyoming will have to create its own version of science to comply with the word “unique”. Please allow us to correct this mischief and reach out to all of you to ask for your SUPPORT of the Bebout amendment to HB23.

“Unique science standards” does not mean unique science, although messaging it this way may feel like a smart move to those who support adoption of the NGSS.  However, what the parents who keep writing you in droves really want is so much better than what the NGSS offers and so simple:

  • Academic Excellence (including the adequate math-science connections and chemistry and physics missing from the NGSS, and not limited by “assessment boundaries”)
  • Objectivity (Where a scientific topic is controversial, INCLUDING all the evidence rather than assuming one possible conclusion, the NGSS on the contrary deliberately excludes evidence)
  • Transparency (easy access for parents as to what specifically will be taught in science, its associated curricula, and district-to-parent notification about opportunities to be involved in standards decisions)Educators constantly remind us that standards are merely a set of markers or goals, or that they are “only standards”.  They most certainly SHOULD be that. However, the truth is that standards are evolving into much more.  The NGSS is cluttered with material that essentially further explains a concept and gives guidance in how to teach it (called “clarification statements”) and constantly reminds teachers what will be on the test so as to keep them from over-teaching (“assessment boundaries”).

Teachers are professionals who bring skills to the table including the ability to differentiate learning – they don’t need to be limited in any way or be told how to teach a concept.  Parents should be able to expect that goals are truly just goals.  If we have teachers who think they need this heavy-handed “guidance” along with standards, quite frankly, they shouldn’t be science teachers. So, we would boldly suggest a novel idea for what “unique” would look like.  Just goals. No clutter.  Academic concepts to fulfilling the needs of students through the honors level in high school.  Genuine objectivity and the naturally resulting “critical thinking” the NGSS pretends to foster but does not.  And as a matter of process, interaction and involvement with parents built in.

Thank you for your attention to these points. Parents of Wyoming’s school children urge you to support this opportunity to develop standards that distinguish Wyoming with excellence.  Reaching for a mediocre set of off-the-shelf standards simply because it’s easy and educationally trendy simply doesn’t do the great state of Wyoming justice.


Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core

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*URGENT* Your HELP is Required! Action Needed on HB23


Those who have followed the science standards debate in Wyoming over the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have a chance to make a serious difference today.

HB23, a bill introduced this year that would lift the budget footnote parents demanded last year, passed the House. It then traveled to the Senate, where a very encouraging amendment was added requiring that the State Board utilize a number of resources to develop science standards unique to Wyoming. However, the House did not vote for concurrence on this, pushing the bill to a “conference” procedure.

As unique science standards developed in-state are what parents have been asking for all along, we MUST PUSH for the Senate Amendment to remain!

Retaining this small bit of guidance would keep the State Board from just adopting the NGSS outright once the footnote is lifted and require them to do their job – actually examine a variety of standards and resources to develop our own quality Wyoming standards that inform rather than indoctrinate and are free from the additional clutter of the NGSS. We need to encourage the Senate version of this bill as it goes to conference.

Follow these steps:

  • Email ALL Legislators
  • (click for emails you can copy & paste into the bcc: line)
  • Use “Maintain Senate Version of HB23” in the subject line.
  • Briefly explain why you don’t want the NGSS and why you DO want unique science standards that distinguish Wyoming with their academic excellence, simplicity and clarity.
  • Check out this article for help on the NGSS and its many serious flaws. Or scroll down for a *one-paragraph overview of the many problems with NGSS. We keep saying it, but we know of what we speak:


Thank you,

Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core

*Next Generation Science Standards

The NGSS is yet another step toward nationalizing education and centralizing control over what your children do and learn in school. Academically problematic, it presents very controversial scientific issues subjectively by excluding scientific evidence, lacks crucial math connections to science concepts, lacks sufficient content for high school chemistry or physics, and is plagued with scientific errors. Finally, the standards are cluttered with language that tells teachers how to teach (“clarification statements”) and limits learning (“assessment boundaries” heavily focused on high-stakes tests). This emphasis on an eventual national assessment promotes the accountability and testing culture that parents and teachers are coming to detest as we endure the Common Core. When the joy is removed from learning, when kids who used to love school now hate it, we are NOT building lifelong learners…we’re growing kids who can’t wait to escape their school prison. Not in Wyoming!

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Because of YOU Miracles DO Happen: HB73 Passed with Critical Amendment!

Some say miracles cease to exist.   Today they have been proven wrong!

Sun-Breaker (1)

 HB73 PASSED with the critical amendment YOU demanded!

We are SO very grateful to all of you who wrote letters to the Senate, asking that HB73’s amendment be restored. This was key in it miraculously passing the Senate on 3rd reading today.

We now have an escape hatch for the Common Core because the amendment allows an earlier review of standards if necessary. It also brings our elected Superintendent to the table in assisting the State Board in working on the adoption process to more genuinely include various stakeholders.

Let us show our appreciation to those that listened to our concerns! Please email the Senators and thank them for their efforts that led to the passing of HB73 with the amendment Harshman added.

Senate Email addresses of those to send a note of thanks!

Paul.Barnard@wyolig.gov, Bruce.Burns@wyoleg.gov, Leland.Christensen@wyoleg.gov,Stan.Cooper@wyoleg.gov, Dan.Dockstader@wyoleg.gov, Ogden.Driskill@wyoleg.gov, Gerald.Geis@wyoleg.gov, Larry.Hicks@wyoleg.gov, Wayne.Johnson@wyoleg.gov, Dave.Kinskey@wyoleg.gov, Bill.Landen@wyoleg.gov, Curt.Meier@wyoleg.gov, Phil.Nicholas@wyoleg.gov, Stephan.Pappas@wyoleg.gov, Ray.Peterson@wyoleg.gov, Tony.Ross@wyoleg.gov, Charles.Scott@wyoleg.gov, Michael.VonFlatern@wyoleg.gov

Please take a moment to send a specific note to Senators Bebout (Fremont) and Wasserburger (Campbell) for placing Harshman’s amendment back on to the bill.



Here is the final vote:



Thank you for being involved!

 Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core


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The Heart of Concerned Parents on HB73: Our Response to Senators


HB 73 is expected to undergo Third Reading Tuesday in the Senate, where there is some resistance to parents’ strongly worded appeals about the important Harshman amendment.  This amendment, added in the House, brings our elected Superintendent to the table on Standards adoption processes and provides an escape hatch for the Common Core.

Below is the letter WCOCC sent to Senators today seeking to foster understanding for the rationale of our necessarily strong stance on this issue.  Our efforts will now necessarily shift back to the House where the amendment could be added back…Watch for the action alert coming in the next few days!

Dear Senators,

We know you have received many e-mails from concerned parents over HB73 containing what may seem a rather hard-line message: Restore the Harshman amendment or “Kill the Bill”. Kindly allow us a moment to clarify this admittedly pointed appeal, and why our group felt forced to advocate this message.

Prior to the Harshman amendment, HB73’s excellent purpose of bringing stability for teachers and schools carried an associated consequence, which we believe its sponsors didn’t foresee. The highly controversial ELA and Math standards would get no hearing as parents had hoped and thus be “locked in” until at least 2020.

This is the heart of our message: The Harshman amendment is a well-crafted meaningful response to concerned stakeholders who pointed out the bill’s unintended result for parents, and its addition is what made this bill acceptable and reasonable to us. Without the amendment, it’s just a good idea chained to a bad one.

It is only due to a lack of response by unelected education power brokers that parents are forced to appeal to you. This is why you are dealing with an NGSS budget footnote, why you see hundreds of e-mails on standards and data collection, why we now have a fight on our hands in Wyoming to determine who really has the authority to direct a child’s education. A parent’s compelling instinct to protect, nurture, and properly educate their children ensures that these struggles will go on and on until parents are finally and genuinely heard.

Though there may be resistance, the fact is that the State Board of Education has a golden opportunity here to restore the broken trust of the electorate by working with the People’s elected Superintendent of Public Instruction. We sincerely hope that, in the end, Wyoming’s good legislature will see the truth of that and turn out an amended HB73.


Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core

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*URGENT* Education Chairman is TRYING to KILL Parental Rights Bill HB221!

Do you believe you are the expert of your children?  YOU are RIGHT! Parents know a law explicitly stating that they have the fundamental right to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a good idea.



House Education Committee Chairman, John Patton decided this bill will die before your elected representative gets the opportunity to vote on your behalf.  House Bill 221 puts into Wyoming statute the vital distinction between rights granted by the government and rights, like parental rights, which are absolute.

As of Thursday morning the House Education Committee only has 5 more bills to work, that’s right, only 5 more.


Chairman John Patton responded*(below) Wednesday afternoon to the numerous emails pouring in, from people wanting this bill to be heard on the House floor, that they just don’t have the time to let this bill be heard!!


They only worked TWO bills Wednesday night!!

This is the best our elected officials can do when representing us???



Send an e-mail NOW!

Tell them you believe HB 221 is important enough to allow the bill to be heard on the floor of the house so YOUR elected representative can represent you with their vote!

Include a special note that you implore members of the leadership to allow this bill a fair hearing!

Copy and paste these leadership members in the TO section:

Kermit.Brown@wyoleg.gov, Rosie.Berger@wyoleg.gov, Tim.Stubson@wyoleg.gov, Hans.Hunt@wyoleg.gov, Mary.Throne@wyoleg.gov, Ken.Esquibel@wyoleg.gov, James.Byrd@wyoleg.gov

Copy and paste ALL of the HOUSE members into the BCC section (click for addresses).

*John Patton’s reply and excuse:

“H.B. 221 was very late in introduction. Education has worked a large number of bills this session and the workload very significant in state importance. Parental rights have a long Wyoming history and a very positive relationship that are in place and not threatened. Any perceived or real threat deserve careful and deliberate attention, and we simply do not have sufficient time. Interim time may be possible, but we are unable to secure adequate time this session” – Patton

We reject this excuse and implore ACTION!!




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**Three Bills NEEDING Your Action EARLY THIS WEEK!**


This will be a busy week in legislature as bills are slated for discussion in Committee and on the floor of the House.

We urge your attention to the following three bills (click name to read full document)

1) HB179  (URGENT – On Monday’s Agenda) This bill eliminates the vote of our elected Superintendent of Public Instruction from the State Board of Education, leaving this influential board comprised purely of members appointed by the Governor. Please write the House Education Committee (bcc line on e-mail for courtesy) and urge them to vote NO on HB179 in the subject line.

Education Committee Addresses (click)

2) HB198 This bill increases the compulsory age for school attendance. Such a “solution” to what ails education merely avoids the real issues. There is no evidence that forcing disengaged students to stay in school longer increases their success or learning.  Further, increasing the compulsory attendance age is a red flag for homeschoolers, who know that each such government mandate advances on homeschool freedom. This bill will be discussed on the floor of the house this week, so please write the entire House (bcc line on e-mail for courtesy) and ask them to vote NO on HB198.

Entire House Addresses (Click)

3) HB221 Another bill regarding Parental Rights, this time specifically in the area of Education. This very comprehensive new bill proposes parent-empowering changes regarding home school, private school and data privacy rights for all. It’s been referred to the House Education Committee, and we need to apply some pressure to increase the odds it gets a hearing. The best way to do this is to write the ENTIRE LEGISLATURE expressing your support and that you want this bill heard. For e-mail, use the bcc line for recipients and include “Support HB221” in the subject line.


Thank you for your efforts in supporting parental rights and a better education system in Wyoming!


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*IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED* You Don’t Want Your ONLY Vote in Public Education Taken Away!


UPDATE! HJ002 will be in committee this MONDAY, Jan. 26th.   They will be meeting right after adjournment at the Capitol in room 302.



It is crucial that you contact the members of the House Education Committee and tell them to “Vote NO on HJ0002”. (If you haven’t already)

Put in the subject line: “Vote NO on HJ0002”

Legislators do not always have the time to read through every e-mail. Include your reasons in the body of the e-mail.

John.Patton@wyoleg.gov, John.Freeman@wyoleg.gov, Hans.Hunt@wyoleg.gov, Allen.Jaggi@wyoleg.gov, David.Northrup@wyoleg.gov, Jerry.Paxton@wyoleg.gov,Garry.Piiparinen@wyoleg.gov, Albert.Sommers@wyoleg.gov, Mary.Throne@wyoleg.gov


This bill would remove the ONLY PERSON accountable to the people in the Department of Education and State Board of Education.

Those who are elected to office are accountable to the people (YOU), those who are appointed are only accountable to the people who appointed them (such as the State Board of Education only answer to the Governor).  The current Superintendent of Public Instruction is accountable TO YOU THE VOTER!

If HJ0002 passes a Constitutional amendment would go on the 2018 General election ballot asking voters to choose between being able to VOTE for or have this position APPOINTED! (Ironic…asking you to vote for whether or not you want your vote taken away!)

Wyoming voters choose the Governor, the Secretary of State, the State Auditor, The State Treasurer, and our state and US Representatives. Certainly choosing someone that is our ONLY direct line to our children’s public education for the state is EVEN MORE CRUCIAL!

PLEASE e-mail the House Education Committee today and tell them to “Vote NO on HJ0002”

John.Patton@wyoleg.gov, John.Freeman@wyoleg.gov, Hans.Hunt@wyoleg.gov, Allen.Jaggi@wyoleg.gov, David.Northrup@wyoleg.gov, Jerry.Paxton@wyoleg.gov,Garry.Piiparinen@wyoleg.gov, Albert.Sommers@wyoleg.gov, Mary.Throne@wyoleg.gov



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