Concerned About Public School and Only Wishing You Could Afford an Alternative?

Get Educated about Wyoming’s New Proposal for Educational Choice!

08 May 2001 --- Saving for the future --- Image by ©LWA-Dann Tardif/CORBIS

So many parents across America today are deeply troubled about the direction of public education. Those living in Wyoming are no exception.

The recent passage of the massive Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replacing NCLB, which cements Common Core and ultimately increases federal control, was a great disappointment to parent-driven grassroots groups.  Even many politicians who profess a belief in limited government jumped on the bandwagon and tried to convince you and me that this giant of a bill (passed with no time to read it) actually gives states any real autonomy.

While you and I could be seriously discouraged right now, Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core is not.  We, like many grassroots groups across the U.S., realize it’s time to change our focus on how we handle this devastating educational trend. Instead of continuing to fight something with too many tentacles to cut off, it’s time to support ideas that empower parents and promote quality alternatives that will compete for the leviathan’s food source.

That’s what this proposal, Wyoming’s Educational Savings Account and Tax Credit Program, is all about.  Legislation will eventually be necessary of course, so we implore you to get educated about this idea now before the time approaches for political action. (See PDF file below)

Use social media. Use e-mail. Use your good old-fashioned people skills. Share. Share. And share some more. We will need mountains of educated and vocal proponents once it’s time to talk to legislators.

Check out the proposal below to see how this is a win-win-win for Wyoming (including a win for public schools!)  We are so very excited about this idea.  Please let us know what you think.

Easily download the document below the viewer and share this file with EVERYONE, especially those looking for a way to afford an alternative educational choice!

Download (PDF, 703KB)

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SUPPORT NEEDED NOW! Positive Amendment to HB23 providing direction for WY Science Standards

 

SuccessaheadGood news!

Those who have followed the science standards debate in Wyoming over the NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) 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, did pass the House. However, the debate and discussion over this likely helped inspire an amendment added in the Senate that states the State Board may use multiple resources, including the NGSS, to “develop quality science standards that are unique to Wyoming”.

This is an excellent opportunity – this small bit of guidance would keep the State Board from just adopting the NGSS outright once the footnote was 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. We need to encourage concurrence, or agreement with the Senate version, as this bill comes back to the House.

Follow these steps:

  • Email the ENTIRE HOUSE (click for emails you can copy & paste into the bcc: line)
  • Use “Vote YES for Concurrence on 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.

Please write the House by Tuesday (2/17)!

We keep saying it, but we know of what we speak: Your letters MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

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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CRUCIAL CALL to TAKE ACTION! Prevent Locking in Common Core until 2020!

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Email ALL Wyoming Senators about House Bill 73 NOW!

Why?

Without a crucial amendment, which was removed in the senate, Common Core is locked in until 2020!

Can you imagine not fixing Common Core Math until 2020!!

House Bill 73 is a bill that extends the review process of standards (currently Common Core) from 5 years to 10 years!

 An amendment was added for a process to review the standards earlier if needed

BUT

House Bill 73 was stripped of this imperative amendment in the Senate Education Committee.

Why is this so important?

Without the amendment; Common Core is locked in until 2020! That’s right… 2020!

Copy and paste ALL Wyoming Senators into the bcc line.

Click here for their addresses!

Subject: HB73 Recover SPI amendment or Kill the Bill!

In the body of the email please explain something such as:

Why you feel that it is totally unacceptable to keep the Common Core (English Language Arts and Math) in place with ZERO chance of a review until 2020.

It is unfair to teachers and parents who are finding these particular standards are not only NOT working but are detrimental to their students.

Thank you!  Your emails have made a difference!  Each one truly counts!

Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core

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Common Core Fight Alive & Well in Wyoming: Your Help is Necessary!

Homework Series

Vicki: “She shouldn’t be spending hours on math homework and end up crying due to severe frustration. Something needs to be done.”

Natasha: “It’s terrible, my son is getting cheated out of an education because of Common Core.”

Jenny: “Makes it more difficult especially when she [my daughter] understood it [math] better the way we were raised. All that should matter is that they get the correct answer and can explain how they got it.”

Does this collection of comments by Wyoming parents sound like you as you deal with the “new” math the Common Core State Standards has brought to your local school? Are you, too, feeling relegated to the sidelines of your child’s education through subtle messages that say, “just let teachers do the teaching” when she struggles and can’t make sense of it?

Another legislative session is upon us. WCOCC is continuing to work on your behalf, and will soon be in communication asking for your help as new legislation is proposed. Before the session begins, we wanted to alert you tot he following:

1. Good News- Parents on the Offense: We can assure you that work is being done once again to reject the Common Core State Standards and all its testing and data-mining tentacles in Wyoming. We will need your help once we have identified a bill to support.

2. We Won’t Go Unchallenged: There is an effort underway to remove the budget footnote that prohibited any funding for the statewide adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards as a result of your hard work with legislators. We also expect multiple associations, such as the WEA Education Coalition and the Wyoming Association of School Administrators, to lobby for exactly what we don’t want….adoption of Smarter Balanced testing, application for a No Child Left Behind Waiver, and full implementation of the Common Core. Click HERE for more information. 

We must counter these efforts with an even stronger one of our own, bringing in more and more concerned parents to take action.

WCOCC will keep you alerted to any and all developments related to these issues so close to parents’ hearts. Your crucial communication with legislators makes all the difference. Let’s continue to work for an education system that employs a truly legitimate decision-making process that actively seeks parental involvement and promotes genuine local control!

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Malkin Informs, Inspires, Motivates


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Interested parties from all around the state gathered September 25th as outspoken writer and activist Michelle Malkin visited Cheyenne to share her personal fight against the Common Core State Standards and to encourage Wyoming in its own.

Mrs. Malkin first was the honored guest at a meet and greet for Wyoming Liberty Group supporters at 4:00 p.m., then moved on to her public presentation at Little America at 7:00 p.m.  In attendance were concerned parents, activists, legislators, school board members, private school administrators and other citizens becoming aware of the potential problems of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

After sharing her family’s story of the frustrations of fighting “fuzzy math” in her daughters’ private school and her journey of discovery about the Common Core, Mrs. Malkin laid out the importance of everyone in her audience “finding their niche” and becoming active in this battle.

Malkin had much of value to say, which can only be touched upon here.  She encouraged the audience to show up at school board meetings and hold districts accountable for the “local control” they are said to have.  She reminded us that this effort will likely require a “visceral” objection taking the form of protests and rallies that draw media attention.  She asserted that the education “bubble” comprised of inaccessible power players and “educrats” is the problem, we cannot rely on it for the solution, and assured listeners that when they speak up against the education machine, they can expect a response that polarizes and personalizes.  Audience members came away uplifted, feeling as if such attacks would undoubtedly be worth the goal of stopping the advance of centralized education and having a voice in genuine solutions for education’s problems.

A question and answer session after Malkin’s remarks revealed the creative ideas that reside within Wyoming’s citizens who are so invested in education, and Mrs. Malkin graciously visited with everyone who approached her as the evening wrapped up.   Here are some fun pictures of those supporting Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core enjoying themselves at this amazing event sponsored by the Wyoming Liberty Group.

 

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Watch Michelle’s entire speech HERE.

Read Michelle’s column HERE and all she’s written on Common Core HERE.

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CAN PARENTS “OPT-OUT” OF STATE ASSESSMENTS?

THE ANSWER IS NO…ACCORDING TO THE OPINION OF THE WYOMING ATTORNEY GENERAL

SosTEsting

Former director of the Wyoming Department of Education, Richard Crandall, was faced with several parental requests to opt their children out of statewide assessments. The Wyoming Department of Education initially attempted to answer this question on their own by stating that parents could not opt out. However, when parents challenged this position by asking for the Department to reference the specific Wyoming statute that prohibited parental opt out, no such statute could be provided. Therefore, former Director Crandall turned to the Wyoming Attorney General for an opinion. The letter requesting that opinion was dated April 2014.

Flash forward approximately 5 months. The Wyoming Attorney General issued his opinion to the Wyoming Department of Education. In this opinion dated August 27, 2014, the AG gives the following short answer regarding the parental right to opt out question:

“The rules of the State Board of Education require districts to assess all eligible students. This requirement is within the Board’s statutory authority. Accordingly, districts must assess all eligible students, and students may not opt out of assessment” See the entire letter HERE.

The reasoning given? He believes parental rights have been trumped by the Wyoming Education Accountability Act that was passed in 2011. The Attorney General emphasizes that this accountability system gathers information on students, teachers and schools. Schools are then categorized into one of four performance levels: exceeding expectations, meeting expectations, partially meeting expectations or not meeting expectations. In his interpretation of Wyoming statute, the AG has determined that the State Board of Education by rule, requires as part of district accreditation that ALL students in Wyoming public schools participate in state testing.

Interestingly, the AG does not comment on the lack of penalty language in Wyoming statute. The final statement made in his opinion is that districts may not allow students or their parents to opt out of assessments provided by law. However, what would happen if they did? The statute is not clear and no penalties are provided by law.

Did the Wyoming legislature indeed intend to force ALL students in Wyoming to take statewide assessments, regardless of whether or not parents feel it is appropriate for their child? To date, that question remains unanswered. We would encourage you to speak to your elected officials and ask them to consider addressing a provision for parental opt out in the upcoming 2015 Legislative session. It would take a significant amount of students opting out of statewide assessments to truly impact the federal funding that districts receive under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Watch a video with reaction and commentary concerning the AG’s opinion HERE.

Read the official document from the Wyoming Attorney General  HERE.

Contact the AG’s Department and let them know your how you feel concerning this decision HERE.

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Wyoming Public Media Agrees to Balance Common Core Forum, but Gates Funding and NPR Broadcast Cancellation Raise Questions

TaxDollars

A polite discussion on the Common Core, what it is, what misconceptions and concerns there are, and challenges of implementation was held at the University of Wyoming September 10th. Amy Edmonds of Wyoming Liberty Group faithfully and competently represented non-educator parents in Wyoming, who did not have a seat at the table.  Though a non-debate format prevented Mrs. Edmonds from challenging other panelists’ statements, audience members expressed appreciation for hearing more than one viewpoint at the forum, entitled “Getting to the Core of Common Core.”

It did take some pressure, starting with personal correspondence by a concerned parent and ultimately leading to a social media buzz, before Wyoming Public Media even considered including an opposing voice. Interestingly, after it was announced that Mrs. Edmonds was to be included, National Public Radio cancelled its live broadcast, which would have taken this discussion around the country, at nearly the last minute

Coincidence? Read on and decide for yourself.

It was announced at the forum that both hiring the education reporter and the production of this event were made possible by a grant from American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen!   Aaron Schrank, much to his credit, was the door by which an opposing voice could be placed on this panel and the growing wave of parents who oppose Common Core appreciated his opening it. He did seem genuinely interested in why anyone would oppose this and certainly had to scramble to make it work.

Nevertheless, people who already possess the critical thinking skills Common Core is said to promote in our children must question the whole premise of this event and exercise vigilance when it comes to Wyoming Public Media and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Why? The Corporation for Public Broadcasting needed partners for the American Graduate initiative. Those partners are America’s Promise Alliance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

You heard right…your tax dollars are now “in partnership” with the principal funding source of all that’s behind the Common Core State Standards Initiative and its base of support. So forums like this can be held all over the country to “shed light on the problem and share solutions” when it comes to the dropout crisis. It doesn’t take much pondering to figure out which “solution” will be promoted.

Check out the American Graduate initiative for yourself at HERE and HERE.  Melinda claiming much credit; you will have to scroll to the very bottom of any page and put on your reading glasses to find their names. Deliberate downplay?

Parents across the country, whose children are the subjects in this grand experiment and who are working so hard to educate others about the illegitimate process used to sweep the CCSSI into 46 states and its glaring academic weaknesses, should be outraged by the conflict of interest in this partnership.

Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core encourages you to watch the forum if you can. Wyoming PBS will broadcast it September 29th at 8:00pm, Tuesday, September 30th at 1:00pm and October 5th at 11:00am (online at www.wyomingpbs.org).

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Wyoming Public Radio and Wyoming PBS to Sponsor One-Sided Common Core Discussion at the University of Wyoming

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PUBLIC EDUCATION FORUM TO DISCUSS COMMON CORE

SEPTEMBER 10, 2014

AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING & Will Only Feature Pro-Common Core Panelists

A forum to discuss the Common Core State Standards is scheduled to occur at the University of Wyoming on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 in the Union East Ballroom. The event will take place from 6:30 – 8:00PM and will only feature those who are in favor of the issue. Panelists include Mark Stock from the University of Wyoming, Kathy Vetter from the Wyoming Education Association, and Math teacher, Jayne Wingate from Cheyenne South High School. All of these panelists support the Common Core State Standards. Unfortunately, this forum does not include panelists who oppose this highly controversial set of national standards.

Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core would like to encourage those who can to attend this event. For those who cannot attend, we encourage you to contact Wyoming Public Media reporter, Aaron Schrank, who will be moderating the discussion. Aaron Schrank can be contacted by phone at (307) 766-5064 or by email at aschran1@uwyo.edu. Below is a list of questions that can be asked at the forum or of the reporter, Mr. Schrank:

  1. Educational reform typically is undertaken after significant research is done into the proposed solution.  Where’s the evidence that CCSSI, specifically, will make students college and career ready?  What pilot test was conducted for this initiative?
  2. How are students more “college ready” with Algebra II as the highest level of math in the standards?  Only about 2% of students leaving HS with Algebra II will graduate with a STEM degree
  3. Institutions of higher ed had to be on board to get CCSS in our state, so that they could agree to place students who pass a nationalized test in credit-bearing courses, carte blanche, so that the black smudge of “remedial classes” can be eliminated.  Why would such an agreement be necessary if students are “college ready”?  How is forcing students to pay for credit for classes that USED to be labeled remedial improving “college readiness”?
  4. History texts will now be taught in the high school English classroom, replacing much classic literature, which English teachers are qualified to teach.  What qualifications do English teachers have to teach history?  How will you ensure that these texts are not misconstrued through the limits of “close reading” – reading text without consideration of the surrounding context?
  5. Given the fact that a Gates-funded panel is now assembling to “shine a light” on the few curricula that is “best aligned” to the Common Core, and we will have “accountability” pressure on teachers and administrators, how much freedom can districts REALLY look forward to in choosing curriculum?  Please explain how high stakes tests and accountability in testing standards doesn’t ultimately lead to a national curriculum, when in fact, the field is already being narrowed by this panel?
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Michelle Malkin in Cheyenne Sept. 25, 2014

**EXCLUSIVE OFFER** Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core Members receive a $10 discount!  If you are not already a member it’s EASY.   Join our Facebook group HERE and/or our mailing list HERE.

If you join Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core, call 632-7020 and talk to Mandy to get your $40 ticket. Or email Mandy at: mandy.ludtke@wyliberty.org and tell her you are a member and want the $40 ticket!

Wyoming Liberty Group & WylibertyinEducation.org
present a Michelle Malkin Event.

Common Core & the GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER
OF LOCAL CONTROL IN EDUCATION
MY FIGHT AGAINST FED ED: A PUNDIT MOM’S PERSONAL
BATTLES TO STOP FUZZY MATH

MichelleMalkin

Please join us for an informative evening exploring the Common Core issue
and what we can do about it in our own state.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
7:00pm – 9:30pm
Little America – 280 West Lincolnway, Cheyenne WY, 82001
Event will take place in Ballroom C.
Seating is limited at the door.

Click  HERE to RSVP and Learn MORE about this amazing event!

Please RSVP by September 18, 2014
Cost: $50 per person or $60 at the door

Coffee & Desserts will be provided.
for more information, contact:
Mandy Ludtke 307-632-7020
or email to
mandy.ludtke@wyliberty.org

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Take Action: Legislators being fed Common Core for Preschool!

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Over 30 Wyoming Legislators are attending the Council of State Governments (CSG) Conference in Alaska this week.   It includes a class called “College & Career: Does it begin in Preschool? Experts agree instruction to put students on track for college- and career-readiness can’t wait to begin until kindergarten. This session will focus on policies and program solutions to ensure successful and expanded access to preschool education.”

See the agenda HERE and the class description HERE. Remember that “College & Career Readiness” means Common Core and its federal mandates.

The CSG Education Public Policy Committee and the CSG West Education Committee presented to our legislators their reason for wanting to push the Common Core agenda down to the youngest members of our society!

TAKE ACTION

1) Ask your representative if they attended this conference. If they did, ask him/her what policies & program solutions were recommended and how they see those policies being introduced into Wyoming’s Pre-K programs.  

2) Let your representative know you are concerned that these mandates do not belong in the very early years of our children’s lives. In fact Early Childhood advocates have published “grave concerns” and research that identifies Common Core as inappropriate in their Joint Statement.  

3) It wouldn’t hurt to mention that you are also concerned that tax payer dollars are being used to fund our legislators attending something that pushes outside agencies agendas.

 

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