Monthly Archives: April 2016

0091_Donna Garner_her bio and what led up to group think, co-operative learning, outcome based education_abandoning Type #1 Education

Donna Jack
April 28 2016

Several days ago, while trying to sift through my emails (most of you know what I’m talking about), I came across this important document written by Donna Garner in 2015.  She had forwarded it this month to people on her email list.

In this informative, historical account, Donna Garner shares some of her first-hand knowledge about how we got into the education mess we are in.  She includes some relatively recent history leading up to Common Core.

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“Donna Garner: “My Story As I Lived It –Hillary Clinton and the Birthplace of Common Core —  1.9.15

www.educationviews.org

My Story As I Lived It in the Classroom: The Birthplace of Common Core” By Donna Garner.

This is taken from my memory as I lived through this era as a classroom teacher.

 As you may know, I started teaching in 1963, left teaching to have children and stayed home with them for 10 years, then went back to the classroom as a substitute teacher and then a full-time teacher around 1975. 

I was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and re-appointed by President George Herbert Bush to serve on the National Commission on Migrant Education; and then I served on the TEKS writing team in 1995-97.  I was the lead writer of the Type #1 Texas Alternative Document – TAD – that we current classroom teachers wrote as an alternative to the Type #2 ELAR/TEKS. After the Type #2 ELAR/TEKS ended up being adopted by the SBOE [State Board or Educaiton] in 1997, I worked tirelessly in the background to help elect new SBOE members and then to help them write and adopt the Type #1 TEKS starting in 2006 through 2012.  

Continue reading

0090_Label-Libel_a term used in “Teaching as a Subversive Activity” by Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner_a 1969 book to teach teachers

Donna Jack
April 23, 2016

Around 1982 I purchased:  Teaching as a Subversive Activity:  A no-holds-barred assault on outdated teaching methods – with dramatic and practical proposals on how education can be made relevant to today’s world. – 1969 by Neil Postman & Charles Weingartner.

At the time I purchased it, I was pretty much a full-time volunteer at Collet Park Elementary School.

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Not just your regular hard-working mommie-volunteer

When I say “full-time volunteer,” I did many of the regular mommie volunteer jobs — bringing  brownies for parties, periodically helping on the school playground or after school as the children were leaving school.  Like some mothers, I was an active member of the PTA and was on the Advisory Council – I was the parent sponsor of the Student Council.  I headed up the talent show, and the ice cream social that took place after the show; the weekly pop-corn sales; projects that the students did, etc.

But in addition to all this, I was also inside the classrooms, day after day, listening to children who read to me; teaching some classes; learning about the unreasonable conditions under which teachers had to teach; learning about all the responsibilities teachers had outside the classrooms; observing how teachers taught; observing the principal (who considered parents the enemy) as he coached the teachers to make sure to keep all school work away from parents; watching the students in the classrooms; taking about 1/2 of the students (5th grade non-readers) out of the classroom and teaching reading, so the teacher could teach the rest of the children; teaching music from class to class; officially reviewing curriculum from 4 or 5 publishers; etc.

[note:  I didn’t know the first thing about teaching reading then, but ended up inspiring at least one girl to get a real tutor and learn how to really read.]

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Teaching as a Subversive Activity — It is meant to instruct teachers

Recently I showed the book Teaching as a Subversive Activity to a couple friends.  When they read the title, they assumed the book was written to expose the tactics used by some teachers to subvert students.

I pointed out that I had purchased the book in a teacher supply store about 34 years ago.  It was written to TEACH TEACHERS HOW TO SUBVERSIVELY CHANGE STUDENTS’ ATTITUDES, BELIEFS AND BEHAVIORSContinue reading

0089_2013 Steamboat Institute Freedom Conference_Debate with Laura Boggs for Common Core, and Jim Stergios against Common Core_supporting links and info.

Donna Jack
April 18, 2016

The  Common Core Debate at the 2013 Steamboat Institute Freedom Conference took place at the Steamboat Grand Resort in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  It was the Steamboat Institute‘s 5th Annual Freedom Conference.

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Laura Boggs in support of Common Core, and Jim Stergios against Common Core

Linked:
1)  YouTube of the debate [1:18] that took place August 23, 2013 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
2)  Transcript by Donna Jack–and links to all 37 audio tracks_Boggs_Stergios_ divided into 37 tracks.
3)  This is a link to a document with links to all 37 audio tracks aligned with 37-track transcript.
4)  Each of the 37 audio tracks, aligned with the transcript, are also linked at the end of this blog.
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MODERATOR AND DEBATE PARTICIPANTS:

Former US Congressman Bob Schaffer, moderator.

Bob was on the Colorado State Board of Education in 2010, and voted against Common Core when four of our seven state school board members voted to bring Common Core into Colorado, August 2, 2010.  Randy DeHoff (republican), voted with the three democrats to bring us Common Core.  Bob is the principal of Liberty Common High School.
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Laura Boggs debated in support of Common Core.

Laura was elected to the Jefferson County public school district in 2009, and is greatly disturbed that far too many students are not learning what they need to learn in school to become functioning literate adults.  Laura is a Univ. of Michigan grad in business administration, and a graduate of the Leadership Program of the Rockies.

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Jim Stergios debated against Common Core.

Jim is Executive Director of the Pioneer Institute, a Boston-based think tank founded in 1988.  He has a PhD from Boston University.  He has taught at the university level, and was headmaster at a preparatory school.  He runs (at the time of the debate) a prep school in Japan.
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0088_Analysis of a recent WSJ piece by Piereson and Riley_to have SAT be the only measure of college readiness_Bad Idea!

Donna Jack
April 13, 2016

Link to a March 30, 2016 article in the Wall Street Journal –
Here’s Why Tests Matter
by James Piereson and Naomi Schaefer Riley

This is the first blog piece about the above-linked article that recently appeared in the Wall Street Journal.  The title of the article is:  Here’s Why Tests Matter:  The SAT is especially important. With grade inflation, report cards are basically meaningless.”

I believe this  WSJ piece unintentionally recommends a solution that will further eliminate literacy in our country.  I suspect the authors of the article are trying to come up with a way to help overcome the fact that many of the grades of students in schools don’t reflect the incompetency and illiteracy of the students.  There are a number of reasons these grades are artificially high.

One reason for this false reporting is that teacher, counselor, administration, etc.  positions and salaries are directly related to the test scores of the students  under them.  Teachers and others don’t want to fail along with their students.  Also, failing teachers means failing schools – which may mean school closures or other unpleasant consequences.

Some lies about school achievement take place to protect jobs, or to placate parents.

False reporting of grades makes it challenging to figure out which grades accurately reflect the academic knowledge of students.  These false reports help hide the fact that education is diminishing across this country.

Very sad is the fact that too many people think it is alright to lie.

These inflated grades should not be used as a reason to discard all grades.  Thankfully some people are still honest (a virtue that is neither encouraged in most national curriculum nor encouraged within most schools anymore).   Still, some students have actually earned the grades they have (whether those grades are high, average or low). Continue reading

0087_Good explanation of COPs (Certificates of Participation) _ Jeffco COPs–Whatcha gonna do when they come for you–by Joshua Sharf Jan 29, 2015

Donna Jack
April 4, 2016 [updated links 2016-06-06]

[Note:  This November (2016) there will be things on the ballot to restrict or eliminate the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (Tabor).  TABOR is Article X Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution. This blog shares one aspect of how Tabor is meant to protect the taxpayers.]

This afternoon someone asked me for information on COPs.  COPs are Certificates of Participation.  After a quick phone call to a friend, the article below showed up in my email.

The article was written by a fiscal policy analyst (Joshua Sharf) at the Independence Institute in Denver, Colorado.  The website for the Independence Institute is:    www.i2i.org

You will find Joshua’s article does a good job describing COPs, and how they affect other issues.  If this subject is brand new to you, or not real familiar to you, you may want to study it carefully.  Despite what some people will tell you, COPs are a big deal. Continue reading

0086_Launching of complete index to 86 blogs on this site_access them all easily_it will be updated as blogs are added

Donna Jack – April 2, 2016

Link to new index of all 86 blog posts.

Dear friends and family,

It is with tremendous gratitude that I thank Geri Zahner-Heasley for designing this site and giving it to me, setting it up, and spending countless hours struggling with me so I could begin to use the site.  The work began last July.

There are, as of today, 86 blog posts, including this one.  As the number of blogs increased, it became increasingly difficult to maneuver through the blogs, making it seem as if most of them had never been written.  So finally, today there is an index that lists every blog, starting with the most recent, and going all the way back to the first one last July.  It is so easy to use, and can be copied, pasted and printed out or saved!

Continue reading

0085_Dissecting the Common Core with Dr. Louisa Moats–Psychology Today_March 21, 2014

Donna Jack
April 1, 2016

Donna Garner recently sent out the email below.  The person interviewed is one of the main (1 of 2 in many cases) authors of Common Core Standards.  She never intended that the  standards would spawn such an instant testing industry that is overwhelming and diverting people from education.

I found her comments enlightening, shining light on serious problems with Common Core that most of us do not understand.  One problem is that it guarantees most children will fail assessments, which means teachers will fail along with them (since their salaries and jobs are based on the test results of  their students).

This article was written in 2014, and even at that time Dr. Moats was telling about serious problems with the Common Core Standards and the way they were being used.

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From: Donna Garner <wgarner1@hot.rr.com>
Sent: Saturday, March 26, 2016 1:22 PM
To: Donna Garner
Subject: WHEN WILL WE EVER LEARN: DISSECTING THE COMMON CORE WITH DR. LOUISA MOATS – PSYCHOLOGY TODAY – 3.21.14

3.21.14 – Psychology Today

 [Please read the excerpts from this 3.21.14 article and notice what Dr. Louisa Moats said over two years ago. She was already beginning to see the damaging impact of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). She was already sorry that she and Marilyn Adams had taken part as contributing writers of the CCSS because their work was not incorporated into the final standards.  To put it nicely, Dr. Moats, Marilyn Adams (and probably other noteworthy researchers) were “used” by David Coleman to make the CCSS look more official and research-based; but in reality, the CCSS were written by those chosen by Coleman who did not have the deep content knowledge that Dr. Moats and Marilyn Adams had.  – Donna Garner] 

Excerpts from this article:

“When Will We Ever Learn: Dissecting The Common Core State Standards with Dr. Louisa Moats

By Mark Bertin, M. D. Continue reading

0084_Competition for the Common-Core-based ACT and SATs_looking for people to beta-test it

April 1, 2016
Donna Jack

I just returned from a trip to find the following in my email Inbox.  It is aiming pretty much at homeschool families at present, but people who have children in private schools, alternative schools, charter schools, and other option schools, may benefit from this testing that appears will test Type #1 learning.

The ACT and SAT both test Type #2 education.  This option claims to be “free from subjective content and political bias.”  What a refreshing concept!

Enjoy this hopeful news:

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From: Henry W. Burke <hwburke@cox.net>
Sent: Sunday, March 27, 2016 7:10 PM
To: Henry W. Burke
Subject: GREAT NEWS! AN ALTERNATIVE TO ACT AND SAT COULD BE AVAILABLE SOON – 3.24.16

3.24.16 – Truth in American Education

 http://truthinamericaneducation.com/common-core-assessments/alternative-act-sat-available-soon/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TruthInAmericanEducation+%28Truth+in+American+Education%29

An Alternative to ACT and SAT Could Be Available Soon

By Shane Vander hart

An alternative to the Common Core-aligned college entrance exams – ACT and SAT could be available soon. Introducing Vector ARC (Assessment of Readiness for College) that will offer a beta test for students who attend the Great Homeschooling Convention being held on March 31-April 2 in Cincinnati, OH. This is initially being promoted for homeschooling students Continue reading