Archive for July 2013
September 21, 2012
This article first appeared in Accuracy in Media
Three years after the Department of Education announced a contest called Race-to-the-Top for $4.35 billion in stimulus funds, some parents, teachers, governors, and citizen and public policy groups are coming to an awful realization about the likely outcomes:
- A national curriculum called Common Core
- Regionalism, or the replacement of local governments by federally appointed bureaucrats
- A leveling of all schools to one, low national standard, and a redistribution of education funds among school districts
- An effective federal tracking of all students
- The loss of the option of avoiding the national curriculum and tests through private school and home school
Working behind the scenes, implementing these policies and writing the standards are associates from President Obama’s community organizing days. In de facto control of the education component is Linda Darling-Hammond, a radical left-wing educator and close colleague of William “Bill” Ayers, the former leader of the communist terrorist Weather Underground who became a professor of education and friend of Obama’s.
When these dangerous initiatives are implemented, there will be no escaping bad schools and a radical curriculum by moving to a good suburb, or by home schooling, or by enrolling your children in private schools.
How was it that 48 governors entered Race-to-the-Top without knowing outcomes?
It was one of the many “crises” exploited by the Obama administration. While the public was focused on a series of radical moves coming in rapid-fire succession, like the health care bill and proposed trials and imprisonment of 9/11 terrorists on domestic soil, governors, worried about keeping school doors open, signed on. Many politicians and pundits praised Obama on this singular issue, repeating the official rhetoric about raising standards.
It stands to reason, though, that education policies would be consistent with Obama’s agenda. After all, one of his most controversial associations, highlighted during the 2008 presidential campaign, was with an education professor, Bill Ayers. As a terrorist, he and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, had dedicated their Prairie Fire Manifesto to Sirhan Sirhan, the convicted assassin of Robert F. Kennedy. It was for this reason that Kennedy’s son, Christopher Kennedy, chairman of the University of Illinois board of trustees, voted against bestowing “professor emeritus” status on Ayers after he retired. “I intend to vote against conferring the honorific title of our university whose body of work includes a book dedicated in part to the man who murdered my father, Robert F. Kennedy,” he said.
THE OBAMA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION: WHERE DID BILL AYERS GO?
Back then, the former bomber and co-founder of the communist terrorist Weather Underground organization was Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The two had worked together closely from the year Ayers hosted a political launch party for Obama, in 1995, to 2002. At the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, “the brainchild of Bill Ayers,” they funneled more that $100 million to radical groups like ACORN and Gamaliel, which used the funds to promote radical education.[i] This initiative was also promoted by Arne Duncan, now Secretary of Education. Also as board members of the Woods Fund, Ayers and Obama channeled money to ACORN and the Midwest Academy.[ii]
When initial White House visitor logs were released in 2009, the administration quickly dismissed speculations about visits by “William Ayers.” That was a different William Ayers Americans were told. The Obama administration is appealing an August 17 order to release the other visitor logs in response to a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch and others.[iii]
It appears, however, that “the” Obama-friendly Bill Ayers has been visiting Washington, D.C. for education-related matters.
In October 2009, the year before he retired, Ayers had an encounter with the “Backyard Conservative” blogger at Reagan National Airport. At that time, there was speculation about Ayers being the real author of Obama’s autobiography, Dreams from My Father. Ayers teased that he was indeed the real author.
Blogger and law professor, Stephen Diamond, noted that no one asked why Ayers would even be in Washington, D.C. It turns out that Ayers was one of three keynote speakers at a conference sponsored by the Renaissance Group, which, according to Diamond, was dedicated to problems of poverty, diversity, and multiculturalism—and the inability of white teachers to deal with them. The other two speakers were Secretary of Education Duncan and U.S. Under Secretary of Education, Martha Kanter.
It is not clear what Ayers spoke about at this particular conference. But my analysis of his courses and methods at the University of Illinois determined that his purpose is to radicalize future teachers—and by extension their students—for the purpose of sparking a revolution and overthrowing capitalism.
It is shocking that Obama Education Department officials would appear at a conference that also featured someone like Ayers. On the other hand, their boss, President Obama, worked with Ayers in Chicago, and this kind of collaboration is not entirely surprising. We are left, however, wondering about the precise nature of the role that Ayers is playing in the development of this federal education plan. But his participation in this conference clearly suggests he is playing a role of some kind.
At this three-day conference, Mr. Nevin Brown of Achieve, Inc., made a presentation on the “Common Core State Standards” Initiative. A recipient of the largesse of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Achieve would become a key player in revamping education under Common Core. Hence, Ayers was a major speaker at a conference that was involved in developing a new national curriculum. If Achieve has ever disavowed Ayers or his teaching methods, we could find no evidence of this on the public record.
The notion of a “Common Core” seems to recall E.D. Hirsch’s traditionalist Common Knowledge curriculum, which emphasizes the need for students to understand America’s cultural and national heritage. But Common Core is not that at all. Many have been fooled, and an estimated 80% of the public does not even know about Common Core.
Common Core is part of an effort to implement regionalism, the replacement of local governments by regional boards of federally appointed bureaucrats, who in turn are beholden to international bodies. Regionalism will eliminate the freedom parents now have in choosing neighborhoods with good schools because tax funds will be distributed equally. There will be no escape in home schooling or private schools either, because the curriculum will follow national tests. Students will be tracked through mandatory state records that will then be accessible to Washington bureaucrats. Ultimately, all students will be subject to education mandates implemented by Obama’s radical cronies.
NOT LETTING A CRISIS GO TO WASTE
“Race to the Top” required that states commit to yet-to-be-written Common Core standards in math and English/Language Arts (ELA). Today, Common Core has the support of Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and was included in the platform of the Democratic National Convention. It was embraced by former Republican Florida Governor, Jeb Bush, much to the consternation of Tea Party groups, who see this as an unconstitutional federal takeover of education. The Republican Party is divided.
Emmett McGroarty and Jane Robbins, in their white paper “Controlling Education from the Top: Why Common Core Is Bad for America,” describe the pressure and sleight-of-hand that led governors to sign onto a commitment that was then changed before the ink had fully dried. They reveal that rather than being a state-led reform initiative, as touted, the new standards were written by a few well-connected, but non-qualified, education entrepreneurs. The history goes back decades, but in the most recent phase, the vision for Common Core was set in 2007, by the Washington-based contractor, Achieve, Inc., in a document entitled Benchmarking for Success.
The question is: Why was Bill Ayers keynoting a conference attended by the two highest officials in the Education Department and by Achieve, essentially the project manager of the nationalized education curriculum? It may be years before we know how often Ayers visited the White House, but the Ayers educational brand or philosophy is all over Common Core.
Some states are waking up. Virginia pulled out when Governor Bob McDonnell was elected. Georgia, Indiana, Utah, South Carolina, and others have begun the effort to extricate themselves.
When South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said she would support a state legislative effort to block Common Core, which her predecessor had instituted, Education Secretary Arne Duncan dismissed her concerns about nationally imposed standards as “a conspiracy theory in search of a conspiracy.”
But it doesn’t take a conspiracy theorist to realize that Common Core will ultimately dictate the curriculum. Two consortia of states (SBAC and PARCC)[iv] have been given $360 million in federal funds to create national Common Core-aligned tests and “curriculum models.” Well-connected companies, such as Educational Testing Service (ETS) and the multinational textbook company Pearson, are in competition to design the test. David Coleman, a chief architect of the Common Core standards for English/Language Arts, recently was named President of the College Board, which administers tests, including those designed by ETS, like the SAT.
The Education Department on August 12, 2012, announced another competition for $400 million in Race-to-the-Top funds for local districts to “personalize learning, close achievement gaps and take full advantage of 21st century tools.” Such a competition cleverly bypasses recalcitrant states and lures individual districts into the federal web.
The feds’ announcement echoes Common Core’s emphasis on personalized learning and leveling of achievement through technology and collaboration (the “21st century skills”). Common Core emphasizes “in-depth” reading of short passages, rather than long fictional or historical narratives. The Publisher’s Criteria reveal that a focus on short texts will equalize outcomes. Text selection guide B mandates that “all students (including those who are behind) have extensive opportunities to encounter grade-level complex text” through “supplementary opportunities.” The strategy of gathering students into groups to collaborate on short passages ensures that no one advances beyond others.[v]
In the tradition of John Dewey, multiple “perspectives” and “critical thinking” are emphasized over the accumulation of “facts.” Common Core advertises itself as promoting “skills,” rather than content. The skills, though, do not promise to make students more knowledgeable about literature or history, but to make them “critical thinkers” in the tradition of the radical curriculum writers who are selectively critical of the U.S. and the West.
BILL AYERS IN THE CLASSROOM
In 2008, attention was focused on Bill Ayers’ past as a terrorist; this, Stephen Diamond maintains, missed the real damage, which was political. Diamond, a social democrat, calls Ayers a “neo-Stalinist,” in line with Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, whose country Ayers visited to make speeches about education being the “motor force of revolution.” According to Diamond, Neo-Stalinism is an “authoritarian form of politics which attempts to control and build social institutions to impose state control of the economy, politics and culture on the general population.” Ayers and his allies used the “critical policy area” of education, and through four aims: “local school councils,” small schools, social justice teaching, and payment of reparations through education spending.
Local school councils and “small schools” are efforts to escape modern schools that, in Ayers’ estimation, “are all about sorting and punishing, grading and ranking and certifying” and demanding “obedience and conformity.”[vi] Ayers’ numerous, supposedly scholarly, books and articles are filled with such hyperbole that depicts demands of the regular school day, like objective tests and class periods, as evidence of a police state.
Former Senior Policy Advisor to the Department of Education and member of the California Mathematics Framework Committee, Ze’ev Wurman, testified that the Common Core overlooks basic skills, lowers college readiness standards, and offers “verbose and imprecise guidance,”[vii] while dictating that geometry be taught by an experimental method that was tested on Soviet math prodigies in the 1950s—and failed.
In English classes, teachers will reduce the amount of time spent teaching their subject of literature to only 50 percent, and then to 30 percent in high school, a move criticized by education reform professor Sandra Stotsky. Replacing literature will be “informational texts” like nonfiction books, computer manuals, IRS forms, and original documents, like court decisions and the Declaration of Independence. Documents, like the Declaration, however, are taught in a manner that downplays their significance. Overall, students will be losing a sense of a national and cultural heritage that is acquired through a systematic reading of classical literature and study of history.
Although the official rhetoric promoting these standards is more muted, the approach parallels Bill Ayers’ pedagogy. The replacement of traditional mathematics with “conceptual categories” lends itself to advancing a social justice agenda, as Ayers colleague Eric Gutstein does through his math education classes. The Common Core emphasis on having students simply explore original texts parallels the John Dewey-inspired approach that Ayers favors, of having students “discover” and “construct” knowledge. Not wanting to be beholden to outside, objective measurements of students’ knowledge, such teachers promote other more subjective measures, like displays of “deep” understanding, “higher-order” thinking, and ability to collaborate. By all indications, the testing being developed now will use such criteria.
THE ROLE OF BILL AYERS “PAL” LINDA DARLING-HAMMOND
Stanley Kurtz, in his latest book, Spreading the Wealth, maintains that a nationalized curriculum is part of an effort to replace local governments with regional boards, who would disburse local tax dollars equally among school districts. Once all schools are the same—with the same curriculum and the same funding—people will no longer have the incentive to move to good suburbs. While Obama’s community organizing mentor, Mike Kruglik, implements the regionalism advocated by the Gamaliel Foundation through Building One America, Ayers’ close associate, Linda Darling-Hammond, exercises “de facto control”[viii] through education.
Both Ayers and Darling-Hammond were leaders in the small schools movement. She has published in a collection edited by Ayers. Both have been advocates of ending funding disparities between urban and suburban schools, ending standardized testing, and attacking “white privilege.” She has been a board member of CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning), a group housed at the University of Illinois at Chicago, that provides studies of, and services for, Emotional Intelligence in schools—but really emotional manipulation aimed at making students global citizens.
Both also failed to improve schools or test scores. Ayers’ Annenberg Challenge failed miserably. The school created by Darling-Hammond, Stanford New Schools, which targeted low-income Hispanic and black students, had the distinction of making California’s list of the lowest-achieving five percent. Much of the reason may be her “five-dimensional grading rubric” of personal responsibility, social responsibility, communication skills, application of knowledge, and critical and creative thinking. Yet, Darling-Hammond served as education director on Obama’s transition team. In a January 2, 2009, Huffington Post column, Ayers argued for her nomination as Education Secretary. That summer, Darling-Hammond pushed Common Core in the Harvard Educational Review.
Darling-Hammond is in charge of content specifications at the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), which received $176 million of federal Race-to-the-Top money to develop Common Core testing. She appears frequently as a speaker and board member of other affiliated organizations. For example, she sits on the Governing Board of the Alliance for Excellent Education, Inc., recipient of a $500,000 Gates grant “to advocate for high school reform at the federal level in order to educate federal policy members about Common Core standards. . .”
In the August 2009 Harvard Educational Review, Darling-Hammond gave a preview of new standards as she argued for “deep understanding” and advancing beyond “the narrow views of the last eight years” by “developing creativity, critical thinking skills, and the capacity to innovate.” New assessments would use “multiple measures of learning and performance.” These would presumably emulate “high-achieving nations” that emphasize “essay questions and open-ended responses as well as research and scientific investigations, complex real-world problems, and extensive use of technology.”
In an April 28, 2010, Education Week article, “Developing an Internationally Comparable Balanced Assessment System,” Darling-Hammond claimed that the new assessment system is “designed to go beyond recall of facts and show students’ abilities to evaluate evidence, problem solve and understand context.” Bill Ayers, throughout his writings, likens the testing for “facts” to a factory or prison system, and agrees with Darling-Hammond’s emphasis on criteria like “student growth along multiple dimensions.” Such buzzwords thinly disguise an agenda of replacing the objective measurement of knowledge and skills with teachers’ subjective appraisals of students’ attitudes and behavior.
Former testing foes, like Columbia Teachers College professor Lucy Calkins, now advance Common Core standards. Although long an incubator of anti-testing advocates, Columbia has produced the authors of the popular Pathways to the Common Core (2012), one of them Calkins.
Pathways is maddening in its lack of specificity. Repeatedly, the authors inveigh against “skill-and-drill” and favor “deep reading” and “higher-level thinking;” but they fail to say how this will be done or even what it means. They discuss “read[ing] within the four corners of the text” and having readers get “their mental arms around a text,”[ix] but offer no specific, much less tested, strategies for improving reading comprehension. They contradict themselves when they cite studies that show that students who read fiction improve reading levels and then promote nonfiction. When examples of informational texts are given, they are most often from left-leaning publications, often on trivial subjects.
Common Core thus promises to eliminate the idea of a common core of knowledge—through the privileging of leftist “informational texts” and material presented in a scattershot manner. The national and cultural identity that is conveyed through a wide and interconnected exposure to literary works from Mother Goose to Shakespeare will be undermined.
While proponents tout a close, critical reading of short texts, or excerpts, the truth is that the approach lends itself to infinite interpretations wildly off the mark. The approach—where uninformed groups of students speculate about “original documents”—is intended to make them radically skeptical of any historical legacy.
Original documents are presented in such a manner as to actually diminish them. For example, a sample exercise about Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address threw teachers into confusion when they were instructed to refrain from providing background and to read the speech without feeling. In this way, this pivotal document is stripped of its historical significance and eloquence. Nor are the religious references, so important to Lincoln’s speeches, to be mentioned. The strategy puts the Gettysburg Address on the same plane as other “informational texts,” say about frogs or snakes.
TRASHING THE UNITED STATES AND THE FBI
Other materials have the same effect. Stanford University’s “Reading Like a Historian” Project, promoted in a July 30 Education Week article, offers teachers a ready-made lesson on the Cold War with four documents: excerpts from Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech, the Truman Doctrine Speech, a telegram sent by Soviet Ambassador Nikolai Novikov to the Soviet leadership in 1946, and a modified letter by Henry Wallace, shortly before he was asked to resign by President Truman. The “Guiding Questions” focus on “close reading” and “context.” But with the scant information offered, students will likely see the final question, “Who was primarily responsible for the Cold War, the United States or the Soviet Union?” as one of moral equivalence.
Another lesson on the Cold War is sold by Rutgers professor Marc Aronson, who advertises himself as a “Common Core consultant,” speaker, and author. He calls Common Core “a magnificent opportunity.”[x] His most recent book, Master of Deceit: J. Edgar Hoover and America in the Age of Lies, is tailored for English teachers who need to teach “informational texts” to middle and high school students. Aronson makes it easy for them, offering them free teachers guides.
Master of Deceit mocks Hoover’s own bestselling Masters of Deceit that described and warned about communist subversion. Aronson’s book is extremely manipulative and salacious, and engages in wild speculation. While a conservative point of view is thrown in here and there, the points come off as gratuitous and obviously contradictory to the main (correct) message. Aronson presents FBI Director Hoover as a repressed homosexual, who exploited Americans’ irrational fears about communism. Among the “original documents” that Aronson provides are photographs—of Hoover with his friend Clyde Tolson. He points out, for the benefit of eleven-year-olds, that photos of Tolson reclining on a lawn chair, and fully clothed, “might be seen as lovers’ portraits. . . but we cannot say for sure.”
In fact, we can. As Bernie Reeves, founder of the Raleigh Spy Conference, has noted, the story of Hoover’s alleged homosexuality was contrived by the KGB in the 1960s. He notes evidence that “…the Hoover rumor, fabricated by the KGB, found its way into the lexicon of our culture where it has evolved from vicious disinformation to accepted fact—a veritable success for the KGB and another example of the role of the failure of established media to serve as an honest broker in the affairs of the nation and the world.”
“Hoover provided the security Americans wanted,” writes Aronson. “Our beliefs about what was acceptable—what could be shown in public and what had to be guarded in private—shaped the secrets he could gather.”
Aronson’s parting words to the student are, “I hope Master of Deceit shows that we must always question both the heroes we favor and the enemies we hate. We must remain open-minded, even when the shadow of fear freezes our hearts.” In fact, our fear was real. Hoover led the FBI’s efforts to expose the Communist Party members and fronts that were part of the international communist movement that the editors of the Black Book of Communism had estimated were responsible for about 100 million dead.
Others advertise their services as Common Core speakers and workshop leaders, many through Edutopia, funded by movie producer George Lucas that has been promoting disturbing anti-bullying and emotional intelligence videos and workshops.
The publisher of Pathways to the Common Core, Heinemann, also publishes ready-to-go curricular material and offers workshops on Common Core by Calkins and her colleagues.
SELLING OBAMA CORE MATERIALS
Publishers are promoting new Core-aligned materials. The American Library Association directs educators to their Booklist, which offers “classics” suggestions from contemporary authors. More typical are categories like “Exploring Diversity.”
TeachingBooks.net offers lesson plans and discussion questions, reportedly, to more than a quarter of all U.S. schools. The site also features interviews and blog posts by authors about the research process on favorite topics like the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers’ strike.[xi] Publishers Random House, Scholastic, and Holiday House are re-launching their teacher and librarian sites with information about the Core.[xii]
A July 18 Publishers Weekly article notes that publishers are eagerly putting out Common Core books by adapting adult nonfiction books, like Fast Food Nation, for classroom use in a new title, Chew on This. Indeed, they are following the lead of officials: One of the sample Common Core guides is for teaching The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
Lerner Publishing Group is publishing biographies on stars, “such as Justin Bieber,” while carefully adhering to “Core criteria such as reading level, narrative arc, and sentence structure.” Books are sold in clusters, by topic, because “Typically, Core authors want students to think more critically about what they’re reading . . . to compare multiple sources in different formats; and to give more sourced evidence, and less personal opinion in their writing.”
Presumably, preteens would not be writing opinion essays about how “cute” Bieber is, but would rigorously be providing “sourced evidence” in their “deep” analyses.
How is Common Core now being used in classrooms? On March 14, Education Week reported that tenth-graders in a suburb of Des Moines would be reading Nickel and Dimed by far-left activist Barbara Ehrenreich. This book, along with others on “computer geeks, fast food, teenage marketing, chocolate-making, and diamond-mining,” is about the “real-world topics” (like Bieber) promoted by Common Core.
The Pearson Foundation, with a grant from the Gates Foundation, will offer a “coherent and systemic approach to teaching the Common Core State Standards.” Another big, well-connected publisher, Scholastic, is developing “Everyday Literacy,” which according to Education Week, is a “K-6 program that incorporates brochures, catalogs, menus, and other text types.”
New York City’s new “Core-Aligned Task” for eleventh- and twelfth-graders centers on “doing work ‘On Behalf of Others.’” This idea of speaking out on behalf of the oppressed is canonized as “a long and dignified tradition of documentary work” that produces records “meant to raise questions and to function as calls to action.”
Students are asked to “read” a New York Times photo essay and audio clip titled, “Joshua Febres: The Uncertain Gang Member.” This exercise in “literacy” consists of “listen[ing] carefully” and “look[ing] closely at the images that accompany the audio.”
The exercise, “Building reading comprehension,” involves “extracting and analyzing relevant information from [Dorothea Lange’s Depression-era] ‘Migrant Mother’ photos.” The teacher is to:
Place students in pairs or trios. Using all the photographs, have the students spend at least ten minutes looking closely at the sequence of images that led up to the final image, as well as that final image. Ask them to infer what was selected and what was deflected from earlier photos, when making the final photo.
After reading an informational paragraph about James Agee and writing a one-sentence summary of it, students “return to [the] images.” As a class they then read a web page “which describes the complicated history of that image.”
The class next watches a short video about the artist “JR,” who works “on behalf of others,” by doing “massive public art installations all over the world in which he posts photographs of regular people on places such as the walls of buildings, rooftops, and the sides of bridges and trains.”
The essay-writing task is a “micro-report” of 500 words “about an event you witnessed [sic] place or person you know that needs to be brought to light or told about.”
Obviously, with only a “micro-report,” evaluation cannot be based on written “literacy” alone. So the teacher is offered a handy “Speaking and Listening Standards: Observation and Comment Form.” These upper-classmen are judged on “participat[ing] in collaborative discussion” that includes “work[ing] with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and fair decision-making.”
Are these higher standards or dumbing down? Will Common Core produce well-educated Americans or indoctrinated pacifist global citizens?
Huffington Post blogger and “Award-Winning Historian and Inner City Teacher” John Thompson cheers this curriculum. So does PBS, as it promotes its educational materials as Common Core compliant, while receiving federal funds and the largesse of Bill Gates.
In her Harvard Educational Review article, “President Obama and Education: The Possibility for Dramatic Improvements in Teaching and Learning,” published in the summer after Bill Ayers had urged her nomination as Secretary of Education, Linda Darling-Hammond waxed on about the Obama administration’s “opportunity to transform our nation’s schools.” Some may remember Obama’s promise to “fundamentally transform America.” Darling-Hammond noted (or warned), “Barack Obama has outlined a set of ambitious plans to transform American education on a scale not seen since the days of the Great Society.”
APPENDIX: THE GATES FOUNDATION
McGroarty and Robbins note that the Gates Foundation “has poured tens of millions of dollars into organizations that have an interest, financial or otherwise, in the implementation of Common Core.”[xiii] While the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gives to worthy causes like fighting malaria and HIV infection, the foundation’s 2010 IRS documents reveal funding of other, mostly leftist, causes. Gifts went to the Tides Fund, and Planned Parenthood and other “reproductive health” efforts. In education, Gates has given money to teachers unions, La Raza schools, and a school named after Caesar Chavez.
They have given a lot to school districts. After Bill Gates met with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, reporter Jaime Sarrio gushed about Gates’ generosity: a $20 million investment in “game-based learning,” technical support in Georgia’s Race to the Top application, a gift of $500,000 for teachers to meet the standards of Common Core, and $10 million for Atlanta public schools’ “Effective Teacher in Every Classroom” program.
Florida schools received a substantial portion of education funding.
In 2010, the Gates Foundation gave millions to a number of developers of “game-based learning” and “digital learning.” Gates is also helping companies that will evaluate teacher effectiveness, like Teachscape. Among Teachscape’s business partners are the testing company ETS and the National Education Association. Teachscape’s founder is on the board of Oracle, a company that advertises itself as teaching “21st century skills.” Oracle donated money to Teachscape. Another business partner of Teachscape, Leaning Forward, will hold a conference in December, sponsored by the Gates Foundation. Presenters will offer their companies’ and their schools’ advice on using technology to implement Common Core. Session topics fall into categories like “Brain-Based Learning” and “Race, Class, Culture, and Learning Differences.”
Gates also gave millions to projects on “data collection” programs that track teacher and student progress.
The Gates Foundation supported efforts to market Common Core through media “education.” The Corporation for Public Broadcasting received half a million dollars to “identify and amplify ‘teacher voice’ to help ensure teachers are in the center of the dialogue on teacher accountability” (nothing for parent or citizen voice, though). NPR received $250,000 “to support coverage of education issues.” The Education Writers Association received $603,900 “to enhance media coverage of high school and post-secondary education by offering seminars and online training for reporters building bridges between mainstream and ethnic community media,” and $23,634 to “support media coverage of the education components of American Recovery and Reconstruction Act.”
The Gates Foundation provided a $489,453 grant to the George Soros/Obama mouthpiece, the Center for American Progress, “to help communicate the importance of education reforms and support progressive states seeking to implement them.” The same year CAP was also awarded $302,680 to “enhance degree completion for low-income young adults through the publishing of new policy papers, stakeholder engagement and media outreach.” Over $1 million was given to the Editorial Projects in Education, which publishes Education Week, which is supported by other foundations favoring Common Core. Education Week published the Darling-Hammond article promoting new assessments. Stephen Diamond in an October 9, 2008, blog post complained that Education Week was “whitewashing” Obama’s relationship with Bill Ayers in the Annenberg Challenge.
Universities across the country received grants to promote Common Core, as did Boards of Regents. Columbia Teachers College, Ayers’ alma mater, and place of employment for Lucy Calkins, was a major beneficiary.
Gates’ efforts are aligned with the federal government’s, of making reparations, as it were, by allocating money to low-income and minority students and making them “college-ready.” Such allocations are quite frequent in the tax return.
But critics worry that equalization will be achieved by lowering standards. None of the education non-profits funded by Gates are dedicated to raising standards through a rigorous, traditional curriculum, or by promoting Western or American principles. As Heather Crossin and Jane Robbins point out, realistically, the idea of universal college-readiness can be met only by lowering standards. Some Common Core advocates have admitted that this is the case.
[vi] Ayers, William. “A Simple Justice: Thinking about Teaching and Learning, Equity, and the Fight for Small Schools,” in A Simple Justice: The Challenge of Small Schools, Ed. William Ayers, Michael Klonsky, and Gabrielle Lyon. New York: Teachers College Press, 2000. 1-8.
Mary Grabar, Ph.D., is founder of the Dissident Prof Education Project, Inc., which is committed to “resisting the re-education of America.” Sign up for “dispatches” at www.dissidentprof.com. Her other publications can be found at www.marygrabar.com and include Accuracy in Media, PJ Media, Weekly Standard, Minding the Campus, and many others. She teaches English at Emory University.
by American Principles Project on June 28, 2013
Common Core’s national K-12 standards, in English language arts (ELA) and math, supposedly emerged from a state-led process in which experts, educators, and parents were well represented. But the people who wrote the standards did not represent the most important stakeholders. Nor were they qualified to draft standards intended to “transform instruction for every child.” And the Validation Committee that was created to put the seal of approval on the drafters’ work was useless if not misleading, both in its membership and in the process they had to follow. One of us served as the ELA content expert on that Committee and can attest to its deficiencies.
For many months after the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) was launched in 2009, the identities of the people drafting the “college- and career-readiness standards” were unknown to the public. CCSSI eventually revealed the names of the 24 members of the “Standards Development Work Group” in response to complaints from professional organizations and parent groups about the lack of transparency.
What did this Work Group look like? Focusing only on ELA, the make-up of the Work Group was quite astonishing: It included no English professors or high-school English teachers. How could legitimate ELA standards be created without the very two groups of educators who know the most about what students should be and could be learning in secondary English classes?
CCSSI also released the names of individuals in a larger “Feedback Group,” but it was made clear that these people were advisory only – final decisions would be made by the English-teacher-bereft Work Group. Indeed, Feedback Group members’ suggestions were frequently ignored, without explanation. Because the Work Group labored in secret, without open meetings, sunshine-law minutes of meetings, or accessible public comment, its reasons for making the decisions it did are lost to history.
The lead ELA writers were David Coleman and Susan Pimentel – neither of whom had experience teaching English in K-12 or college, and only one of whom (Pimentel) had ever helped draft ELA content standards before. But they had been chosen to transform ELA education in the US. Who recommended them and why, we still do not know.
Theoretically, the Validation Committee (VC) should have been the failsafe mechanism for the standards. But the VC contained almost no experts on ELA standards; most were education professors and representatives of testing companies, here and abroad. It quickly became clear that the VC existed as window-dressing – it was there to rubber-stamp, not improve, the standards.
The VC was given a draft of the college-readiness standards in September 2009 and asked to review them. The ELA standards were grossly deficient. The citations provided no evidence that they supported authentic college-readiness or were internationally benchmarked. VC members’ repeated attempts to obtain the evidence for such benchmarking were ignored.
Mistakenly assuming they should fulfill their charge to improve the standards, some VC members initially circulated their critiques among themselves and compared notes. CCSSI soon put a stop to that. From that point on, individual VC members sent their critiques directly to the black hole that CCSSI proved to be. Suggestions were made, suggestions were ignored. One aspect of the ELA standards that remained untouchable was Coleman’s idea that nonfiction or informational texts should occupy at least half of the readings in every English class, to the detriment of classic literature and literary study more broadly. Even though all the historical and empirical evidence weighed against this concept, it was set in stone.
CCSSI wanted a good draft of the college-readiness and grade-level ELA (and math) standards before January 19, 2010, the date the US Department of Education had set for state applications to commit to adopting the standards to qualify for Race to the Top grants. But the draft sent to state departments of education in early January was so bad that some alarmed VC members forced CCSSI to delay releasing a public draft until March. The language in the March version had been cleaned up somewhat, but the draft was not much better in organization or substance – the result of unqualified drafters working with undue haste and untouchable premises.
The final version released in June 2010 contained most of the problems apparent in the first draft: lack of rigor, minimal content, lack of international benchmarking, lack of research support. None of the public feedback to the March draft has been made available.
So this was the “transparent, state-led” process that resulted in the Common Core standards. The standards were created by people who wanted a “Validation Committee” in name only. An invalid process, endorsed by an invalid Validation Committee, not surprisingly resulted in invalid standards. Now that the curtain is being pulled back on the real origins of Common Core, states would do well to reconsider their hasty decisions to adopt this pig in an academic poke.
Dr. Sandra Stotsky, Professor Emerita, University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform, served on the Common Core State Standards Initiative Validation Committee. Jane Robbins is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project.
Originally published at TheBlaze.com
Reblogged from American Principles Project
I often get irked by those who fail to understand that the first step in winning most political arguments is to engage the target audience‘s emotions. In the political arena the best reasoned argument becomes moot if no one is listening. Over at Ace of Spades Gabriel Malor does a nice job explaining why the clinical language needed in late term abortion legislation could be a loser in the overall political and media debate because it fails to engage the imagination.
My advice to folks talking about this is to use “six months” instead of “20 weeks.” Emphasize the familiar: we all know what six months of pregnancy looks like. Banning abortions after 20 weeks means banning abortions inside the sixth month. 20 weeks is almost clinical and nobody really thinks in those terms, anyway.
We all have an instinctive feel for two weeks’ time, four weeks’ time, maybe even six weeks’ time. But after that, most people think in terms of months. And, as I said, everybody knows what six months of pregnancy looks like. There’s no way to make the usual intellectual dodge — “it’s just a clump of cells” work at that point. Not even close.
By six months, the baby and mother, if they’re receiving standard care, will have had at least two ultrasounds. The baby’s organs and limbs will have been inspected. The little sucker will have been moving about for a while. The mother, if she’s not a monster, (and hopefully the father, too) will have listened to the heartbeat. All that comes before the Wendy Davises of the world say that you should be able to kill that baby for any reason or no reason at all.
I get that for medical and legal purposes, using 20 weeks is necessary. For purposes of communicating what 20 weeks is, I think we get further by reminding folks as often as possible just what pregnancy after 20 weeks looks like.
Other articles on American Thinker by Rosslyn Smith:
“Be not intimidated … nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice.” –John Adams (1765)
Decisions by the Supreme Court this week to overturn the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Prop 8 prohibition against same-sex “marriage” set the bar to overturn every other state codification of heterosexual marriage.
Don’t get me wrong — as a conservative in the “classical liberal” tradition, I hold that government has no business dictating the type of relationships individuals choose, though on a personal level I believe homosexual behavior is, most often, the result of gender disorientation pathology, and thus, I grieve for those so afflicted — no matter how “gay” they might seem. However, I also hold that government has no arbitrary power to redefine marriage as anything other than what our Creator expressed through nature for all time. Regardless of how government defines marriage in legal terms, they have no power to redefine nature as defined by our Creator.
So, to the point: Liberals are endeavoring to institutionalize the abject LBGT violations of nature, while simultaneously advocating for the most stringent preservation of every minuscule aspect of natural order in the rest of the environment.*
And that irrefutable fact reminded me of a near-universal truth about Leftists: They are consummate hypocrites.
So, how is it that such a minuscule but vocal constituency is able to successfully challenge the timeless order of marriage and family, the third pillar of Liberty, without any Beltway Republicans and media types “outing” this hypocrisy?
Because undermining marriage and family is critical to the Left’s statist agenda, and anyone who steps in the way of that agenda will be labeled xenophobic, racist, sexist, homophobic, fascist, etc., etc., etc. Too many Republican politicos fear their own shadows — and are incapable of articulating a defense against such derogatory references. But the reality is that Leftists use those slurs to divert attention from their own unmitigated hypocrisy in pursuit of their political goals.
Indeed, they have taken the tawdry art of political hypocrisy well beyond the outer-most limits of decency. Leftist protagonists have taken the once-noble Democrat Party and converted it into the Socialist Democratic Party. Today’s party leaders are case studies in the exhibition of double standards, pretense and duplicity.
Leftist hypocrisy, of course, is not a recent revelation. In his 1944 book “Bureaucracy,” economist and classical liberal Ludwig von Mises wrote, “The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent.”
But the current ranks of Obama’s sycophantic NeoCom cadres would have embarrassed even their ’40s-era forerunners.
Obama is the prototypical face of Leftist hypocrites, who live the life of the rich and famous all the while feigning to be a “man of the people.” This week for example, the Obama family is on a $100 million taxpayer-funded “heritage tour” of Africa.
He spews his class warfare rhetoric while he and Michelle LaVaughn and their entourage jet around the nation and world for political events and exotic vacations — all at enormous expense to taxpayers. Notably, while he has frivolously used one DoD‘s most expensive military assets, Air Force One, for his family and political entourage, he blames the “Republican Sequester” for massive DoD cuts. (Time to sequester Air Force One!)
Obama is in the top bracket of “One Percenters” who, along with Michael Moore and other members of the Socialist Bourgeoisie, rally the 99 Percenters with their slick classist rhetoric designed to lock up the votes of the Left’s largest constituency — those they have enslaved on Poverty Plantations across the nation.
He is the latest and greatest of Leftist hypocrites, following the tried-and-true models of Bill Clinton, Albert Gore and John Kerry — akin to the limo-liberal Roosevelt and Kennedy dynasties that gave rise to such hypocrisy.
Who can forget Bill Clinton’s staunch defense of women’s rights, all while he was groping White House visitors and having sex with at least one intern — approximately the same age as his daughter — in the Oval Office? Who can forget his finger wagging lies to the American people, and his henchmen’s efforts to destroy the reputations of the women who dared tell the truth about him? This is the same Slick Willie who said: “The road to tyranny, we must never forget, begins with the destruction of the truth.”
Poor Al Gore, who produces more hot air than any dilapidated coal plant, takes private jets around the globe to pontificate about “global warming” all while leaving one of the biggest carbon footprints around. Recall, if you will, that Gore sold his failing cable network to oil-rich Islamofascist Al-Jazeera TV for $500 million, and pushed the closing of that “deal” in order to avoid Obama’s impending capital-gains tax increase. Nothing hypocritical there…
John “Ketchup” Kerry married one heiress and then another. His current wife, Teresa, is the former wife of Republican Jack Heinz, and she took control of his fortune after his death. John and Teresa manage to scrape by with just seven vacation homes. They also own a $7 million yacht, which, as you recall, he parked in a Rhode Island marina in order to dodge $500,000 in taxes that his home state of Massachusetts would have assessed on that purchase. But he is a “man of the people”…
Consider if you will the following short list of other notable examples of Leftist hypocrisies, and, by all means, use the comment links to add your own entries.
Liberal protagonists are, for the most part, wealthy elitists, and yet pretend to be aligned with common grassroots folks.
They talk about individual rights but promote statist tyranny.
They spout John F. Kennedy’s challenge, “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country,” but their policies promote the antithesis of that challenge, instead promoting constituents to demand what their country can do for them.
They hold up Martin King’s dream, “that my children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” but their policies promote the antithesis of that dream, judging all by the color of their skin, rather than the content of their character.
They talk about personal responsibility but are master purveyors of blame-shifting, victimhood and dependence on the state.
They say they want to lift up blacks and Hispanics while promoting policies that instead keep those constituencies on Poverty Plantations.
They call themselves “pro choice” as long as you choose what they choose.
They are pro-abortion but anti-capital punishment. They support killing the most innocent among us while providing free accommodations and accoutrements for the most heinous of criminals.
They manufacture economic crises, blame them on Republicans and then call for government solutions.
They talk about cutting and balancing budgets yet Obama and congressional Democrats have burdened our nation with far more debt than any administration in history.
They subscribe to Darwinian evolutionary theory, but penalize the most successful humans and reward the least productive — including subsidizing that lack of productivity and guaranteeing the reproduction of future generations of urban plantation slaves.
They object to Islamist profiling while suppressing Christian expression in any public venue.
They admonish us to refrain from judging Islam or its adherents as a whole by the actions of a few terrorists, but they endeavor to undermine the Second Amendment and condemn more than 60 million law-abiding gun owners based on the actions of a few murderous sociopaths.
They demand tolerance and diversity but are wholly intolerant of diverse and dissenting views.
They talk economic growth but want to constrain free enterprise with oppressive taxes, laws and regulations.
They promote education but condemn school choice.
They condemn “hate” and preach unity while building their political empire by fomenting disunity.
They call those who disagree with their homosexual marriage agenda “bigots,” so is Obama a bigot for not supporting “gay marriage” as a candidate and for the first three years of his White House occupancy?
They condemn “trickle-down wealth” but promote “trickle-up poverty.”
They condemn racism while promoting classism.
They condemn Paula Deen (who rose from food stamps rolls to become a Food Network show host) for admitting the use of a racial epithet decades ago to describe a black man who robbed her at gunpoint. However, they do not condemn Obama, who described his loathing of white in his autobiography — and also admitted to hard drugs use. (Recall, if you will, the racist rants delivered by Obama’s “pastor,” Jeremiah “G-d Damn America” Wright.)
The list of Leftist political hypocrites is endless, headlined by Obama, Biden, Pelosi, Feinstein, Reid, Bloomberg and many others.
The list of Leftmedia hypocrites is endless, headlined by nearly every anchor at CNN, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, ABC, PBS and NPR.
The list of Leftist pop-culture hypocrites is endless, headlined by Bill Maher, Whoopi Goldberg, George Clooney, Rosie O’Donnell, Spike Lee, Alec Baldwin, Barbra Streisand, Arianna Huffington, Bruce Springsteen and many others.
But the biggest hypocrisy of all is Leftist talk about Liberty when the terminus of their political policies is, unequivocally, tyranny.
They condemn fascism while promoting socialism, but conveniently omit that NAZI stood for Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers’ Party). In the words of British historian Dr. John Joseph Ray, “The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin’s Communism.” Libertarian Jacob Hornberger adds, “There is no difference in principle, between the economic philosophy of Nazism, socialism, communism, and fascism and that of the American welfare state and regulated economy.”
Journalist and political critic H.L. Mencken once concluded, “The chief difference between free capitalism and State socialism seems to be this: that under the former a man pursues his own advantage openly, frankly and honestly, whereas under the latter he does so hypocritically and under false pretenses.”
Now — it’s your turn…
*For the record, I support the protection and conservation of our nation’s most incredible natural habitats, but certainly not the Orwellian climate change legislation that Barack Hussein Obama just re-warmed in order to win back some of his disillusioned constituents. The “war on coal” has everything to do with Leftist socialist political agenda rather than environmental preservation.
July 6, 2013
“Question Authority” was a dominant political theme in the ’60s and 70s We’re talking about the 1760s and the 1770s, of course — the American Revolution. Well, sure, the 1960s and the 1970s, too. But our country was founded on the idea “Question Authority” while opposing the King of England in the 1760s and 1770s.
Over this July 4th long weekend, we are called to remember how good cheeseburgers and hot dogs taste when grilled outdoors in the backyard. Oh, wait. That’s not it. Don’t tell me; it will come to me! Hearty cheers to the family Grill Master, always. But there is more to July 4th than potato salad, chips, and sizzling hamburgers.
The Fourth of July — more than any other holiday — is supposed to be a celebration. From the very first July 4th celebration in 1776, it was meant to be a party. Our Founding Fathers wanted it that way, and said so explicitly. Unlike any other holiday, it was established to be a community-wide blast celebrating America’s independence and creation as a new nation.
But what is the real meaning of America? Should you love and trust your government? Should you respect our leaders? Not “do you”. Should you? An enormous cultural divide has developed, from ignorance of American history, on whether it is right or wrong to trust our governments (local, state, and national) in the United States of America.
Many who imagine themselves to be conservative equate loving America with loving our government. If you love your country, you have to love and trust our government leaders, they subconsciously assume. They are offended by talk of not trusting our leaders and bureaucracies.
Newt Gingrich explained it like this: last week you thought your brother-in-law wasn’t too smart. This week he gets a job working for the government. Now he is all-wise and can make decisions for everyone else in society… because he is a government employee. This author wonders: if that government employee quits his job, does he then lose intelligence and wisdom when he re-enters the private sector?
Your neighbor on one side works in the private sector. Your neighbor on the other side works for the government. The first neighbor is only a mere mortal. The other neighbor is an all-wise, perfect, noble, pure philosopher king… because he works for the government. Of course, when he quits and gets a private sector job, he will magically transform back into an ordinary human being.
The very meaning of America is that imperfect men must both be restrained from potential misdeeds by government, yet those same imperfect and untrustworthy men also populate the government. The same nature of people who make government a necessity also fills that government and makes it also dangerous and suspect itself.
Therefore, we must always suspect, distrust, supervise, and suspect government. Always. It is in the DNA of America that we tolerate a limited government because people are capable of evil. But those same fallen people (capable of evil) also work in the government and run the government. So we cannot trust the government any more than we would trust a society without a government.
It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.
This is the problem: “If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” James Madison understood that government is not run by angels. Yet, the government being made up of perfect, noble, demi-gods who are all-wise and morally pure is the vision of liberals, moderates (but I repeat myself), liberal-tarians (nasty liberals trying to hijack and abuse the noble libertarian tradition), and the like.
But how dare we assume evil motive by government leaders? Well then, why do we need a government at all if you believe that people are fundamentally good?
Conservatives fight for precautions to make sure that dangers do not materialize. Even if you have never been robbed, do you lock your door? Do you leave your keys in the car? You’ve never had a fire, so go ahead and smoke in bed or put candles next to the curtains on the window sill. The entire concept of America’s political tradition is to prevent problems by assuming the worst, and creating structures that minimize the risks. The goal is to make sure that bad things almost never happen.
When conservatives fight for safeguards, checks and balances, restraints on government, protections, and precautions, they are scoffed at and ridiculed, on two themes: First, that conservatives are paranoid and worried about nonexistent or minimal threats. Second, that it is offensive to suggest that our American government could ever misbehave or trample on our rights.
From the other side, a tea party sign “Dissent is The Highest Form of Patriotism” headlines the political website “Delaware Politics.” One cannot be a real conservative, or even a real American, without recognizing the danger that government decisions cannot be trusted and that government needs to be viewed with skepticism, and with public scrutiny. Distrust of government is baked in to the cake of America’s governmental institutions and traditions.
A real American believes nothing the government says — but remains open to seeing proof. We know that the government lies. But more than that, we know that everyone lies more the more often they see they can get away with it.
If the government ever declares martial law, it will be done in the name of some good purpose like saving the children. A law that suspends the U.S. Constitution will be labeled “the child protection and defense of women act of 2017.” And naïve and gullible people will fall for it, and believe the label, without looking at the substance.
So, this 4th of July weekend, let us celebrate our unique, strange and wonderful American invention: we live with a government we must never trust. And that is not so unusual, really. The government should be applauded when it does well and criticized when it does wrong. But government leaders and bureaucrats must realize that we are watching and we will know the difference.
A postscript note on Federalist No, 51: No one who claims to love America has any excuse for neglecting to read The Federalist Papers, available in paperback. Don’t tell me you are a conservative if you haven’t read them. Don’t tell me you love America if you haven’t read what those who wrote the Constitution said about the Constitution to explain it. Remember that the creators of our U.S. Constitution explained why the States should ratify the Constitution in a series of articles published in newspapers around the country. These newspaper articles explaining the Constitution were collected and republished as The Federalist Papers.
Senator Ted Cruz speaks in support of his amendment to defund Obamacare. The over 1000 page Senate bill encourages small business to hire newly created Registered Provisional Immigrants (RPI) (formerly known as illegal immigrants) over American citizens and legal permanent residents. He gives several examples of how this amnesty bill will penalize and create severe hardships on small businesses and their current legal workers. The CBO reported unemployment will increase and wages will decrease. We have to ask our representatives why this bill includes massive economic incentives to hire Registered Provisional Immigrants and reduce the hours of American citizens and legal permanent residents. If these Registered Provisional Immigrants are exempted from Obamacare, will they be required to obtain and prove they have sufficient health insurance coverage for themselves and their families? Or will they be stealing jobs from American citizens and legal immigrants and also be given “free” health care, provided by those of us already struggling to survive in this stagnant economy and can barely afford this ourselves?
Unemployment continues to be high, as Sen. Cruz shows in his presentation:
- Hispanics – 9.1%
- African-Americans – 13.5%
- Teenagers – 24.5%
Surveys from various organizations show that immigration and amnesty are not a top priority for Americans. Their main concerns are employment and the economy.
Why is Congress spending so much time and energy in crafting another monstrous bill no one has read that yesterday passed the Senate with a vote of 68 – 32?
Ordinary citizen concerned with the direction our country is headed.
An article referring to this was posted in our national Facebook discussion group today. We thought it important for more people to see and share this with others.
The U.S. Department of Justice has revealed in a court filing it agrees with the philosophy of the German government that bureaucrats can punish homeschooling parents.
The agency contended parental rights to keep children free from instruction that violates faith essentially are negligible when the government’s goal is an “open society.”
The arguments were made in a pleading before the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that urges the judges to send a German homeschooling family, the Romeikes, back to Germany where members likely would face persecution.
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/07/doj-governments-can-punish-homeschoolers/#ze0CIGQBRVUxEdC6.99
By Pat Condell
Another great video from Pat Condell. Is the English Defence League far right, fascist, and racist? Much like the Tea Party groups in America, they are standing up for human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.
“Our fear is giving the fascists a free ride.”
Ordinary citizen concerned with the direction our country is headed.
July 5, 2013
Our President was and is on the wrong side in Egypt. He supported the presidency of Muhammed Morsi, knowing all along that he was associated with the Muslim Brotherhood and would enforce Islamic law. This was not a military coup that occurred in Egypt. It was the military listening to the will of the people, when nearly 25% of the entire population gathered in their cities to protest the heavy hand of the Muslim Brotherhood under Morsi.
Ordinary citizen concerned with the direction our country is headed.