Wednesday, 6 November 2013
by Michele Malkin Last week, I reported on the federal government’s massive new student-tracking database, which was created as part of the nationalized Common Core standards scheme. The bad news: GOP “leadership” continues to ignore or, worse, enable this Nanny State racket. (Hello, Jeb Bush.) The good news: A grassroots revolt outside the Beltway bubble is swelling. Families are taking their children’s academic and privacy matters out of the snoopercrats’ grip and into their own hands. You can now download a Common Core opt-out form to submit to your school district, courtesy of the group Truth in American Education. Parents caught off guard by the stealthy tracking racket are now mobilizing across the country. According to the New York Daily News, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, echoing parents across New York City, blasted the tracking database in a letter to government officials: “I don’t want my kids’ privacy bought and sold like this.” This Wednesday, prompted by parental objections, Oklahoma state representatives unanimously passed House Bill 1989 — the Student Data Accessibility, Transparency and Accountability Act — to prohibit the release of confidential student data without the written consent of the student’s parent or guardian. As I noted in last week’s column, the national Common Core student database was funded with Obama stimulus money. Grants also came from the liberal Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (which largely underwrote and promoted the top-down Common Core curricular scheme). A division of the conservative Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. built the database infrastructure. A nonprofit startup, “inBloom, Inc.,” evolved out of this strange-bedfellows partnership to operate the invasive database, which is compiling everything from health-care histories, income information, and religious affiliations to voting status, blood types, and homework completion. And it gets worse. Research fellow Joy Pullmann at the Heartland Institute points to a February Department of Education report on its data-mining plans that contemplates the use of creepy student-monitoring techniques such as “functional magnetic resonance imaging” and “using cameras to judge facial expressions, an electronic seat that judges posture, a pressure-sensitive computer mouse and a biometric wrap on kids’ wrists.” The DOE report exposes the big lie that Common Core is about raising academic standards. The report instead reveals Common Core’s progressive designs to measure and track children’s “competencies” in “recognizing bias in sources,” “flexibility,” “cultural awareness and competence,” “appreciation for diversity,” “empathy,” “perspective taking, trust, [and] service orientation.” That’s right. School districts and state governments are pimping out highly personal data on children’s feelings, beliefs, “biases,” and “flexibility” instead of doing their own jobs of imparting knowledge — and minding their own business. And yes, Republicans such as former Florida governor Jeb Bush continue to falsely defend the centralized Common Core regime as locally driven and non-coercive, while ignoring the database system’s circumvention of federal student-privacy laws. Why? Edu-tech nosybodies are using the Common Core assessment boondoggle as a Trojan horse to collect and crunch massive amounts of personal student data for their own social-justice or moneymaking ends. Reminder: Nine states have entered into contracts with inBloom: Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, and North Carolina. Countless other vendors are salivating at the business possibilities in exploiting public-school students. Google, for example, is peddling its Gmail platform to schools in a way that will allow it to harvest and access families’ information and preferences — which can then be sold in advertising profiles to marketers. The same changes to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 (also known as the Buckley Amendment, after its sponsor, Senator James L. Buckley) that paved the way for the Common Core tracking scheme also opened up private student information to Google. As FERPA expert Sheila Kaplan explains it, “Students are paying the cost to use Google’s ‘free’ servers by providing access to their sensitive data and communications.” It’s a Big Brother gold rush and an educational Faustian bargain. Fortunately, there is a way out. It starts with parents’ reasserting their rights, protecting their children, and adopting that motto from the Reagan years: Just say no.
Tuesday, 8 October 2013
WHO WE ARE Lakewood uses a curriculum that is fully accredited by two different accrediting agencies. In order to get the full benefit of homeschooling, you must understand the philosophy undergirding it and be 100% behind that philosophy. First, Lakewood is not a stop-gap measure. It is not a place to bring your children for a couple of years in order to by-pass a school that you don’t like. Second, Lakewood is not a remedial school. We have a college-prep, highly aggressive, academic program. To be up front, after pre-entrance testing hundreds of local students; ALL students from public schools, private schools and Catholic schools test behind their current grade level. This is because the American academic system of herd learning is broken, and it has been broken for many years. We get eighth graders testing at fourth grade level and seniors testing at seventh and eighth grade levels and some even lower. Yet, in their previous school they were on the honor role. Many high school students already have multiple math credits, but can’t do simple, every day math. When those who are on honor rolls get to college, their parents are shocked to find out that they will have to take remedial courses the first year. You can thank the federal department of education, social brainwashing and entitlement mentality for that. Many who graduate at the top of their class have to have tutors to make it through the first year of college. That is a fact. But parents still put up with this; perhaps hanging on to archaic ideals of “high school experiences.” High school experiences today are street-smart experiences and dodging the bad guys. If that is what you want for your children, please seek it – it’s FREE. Research on local schools, shows that many students pass both math and English by getting extra points. Do they earn those extra points by doing extra academic work? No! They earn them by bringing things to the teacher and doing favors for him or her. This is documented. They even give the good student’s extra points away, since they are already passing the course, to those who won’t pass without them. It makes the teachers record look better to have more passing students. These kinds of things go on every day. But parents see only the good grades on the report card. Here is what I see; kids that can’t divide, can’t multiply without a calculator, can’t do fractions, can’t measure, can’t write, can’t spell, can’t punctuate and who don’t know what words mean that are longer than 5 letters. Yet, they’re making A’s and B’s in their school culture! Here’s what’s different at Lakewood: 1. A tough curriculum that actually improves annual test and college entrance scores. 2. A non-chaotic environment with pin-drop quiet classrooms. 3. A drug free, curse free, drama free atmosphere. 4. The possibility of graduating early and starting college early in non-remedial classes. 5. Credits for subjects and extra-curricular activities that are not offered anywhere else. This is education with a purpose – Academic excellence. If you are more concerned with experiences such as proms, sports, dances, fund-raisers, and fun, then please don’t waste our time by inquiring here. You must educate yourself about advantages of the homeschool environment and you must believe in them and desire them for your child in order to benefit. Homeschool is purpose driven, protective, nourishing, and proven academically sound. It is for students and parents, intent on gaining something valuable and useful for life, rather than for those worrying about their children ‘missing’ something.
Friday, 27 September 2013
The incorporation of this garbage into schools under the guise of higher accountability makes me wonder about the stability of the powers that be. It is not enough that the Department of Education puts new bandages on an ailing and failing school system every year, now they have insulted the intelligence of us all. This is not just a mistake, it is planned and propagated by those forming a new voting populace to indoctrinate our kids even further - academics be damned! Wake up parents and fight for your children because we are losing the battle right now! Please take the time to check out this web site www.monicaboyer.com under the story Common Core or Pornography? This is pure filth passing as higher-accountability curriculum supposedly intended to bring America in line with world standards. Sorry, all it does is make us the laughing stock of the world!