Tag Archives: Education

Common Core Is Great!! …Right?!?

More good links:

1.  Think Like a Nazi….Argue why jews are evil–4th grade common core assignment, Albany, NY:


2.  Suffolk County Education Forum Video:


3.  Attend School Board Meetings:


4.  Common Core: “If You Like Your Curriculum, You Can Keep Your Curriculum”:


5.  Dr. Gary Thompson Testifies to Wisconsin Legislature: Common Core Test is Cognitive Child Abuse:


6.  Opting Out of Testing Approved By Supreme Court:


7.  Common Core Is So Important To The Open Data Movement, Because It’s “The Glue That Actually Ties Everything Together.”:


8.  Are ACT And College Board Selling Student Personal Data?


9.  Common Core Standards attacked by Republicans:


10.  3 * 4 = 11 Is Okay:


11.  NYC Teachers Give Fourth-Graders Math Problems About Dead Slaves, Whippings:


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Posted by on November 5, 2013 in Education


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DESE Common Core Meeting / A lesson in controlling the message

I attended the DESE Common Core Meeting at 6:30pm on 05/02/13 in Cape Girardeau, MO at the Career and Technology Center, and what I witnessed was mastery of controlling the message.  Of course, there was no prayer or Pledge of Allegiance; this is the school!  Prayers are forbidden by the Constitution and the Pledge is offensive. (/sarc)

The sound quality was ridiculous, and I have no idea the name of the gentleman that led the event.  He worked through a PowerPoint presentation including videos by educators that could not be understood due to the poor sound.

The leader of the event stated clearly at one point:  “There will be no data collection.”  However, a quick review of website leads you to these two pages self-refuting the leader’s claims:

CCSSO - Data Collection - 02 CCSSO - Data Collection - 01Sadly, a leader in the Education industry would absolutely LIE about whether or not there will be data collection involved with Common Core Standards

Divide and Conquer

We had heard that there would be 15 leaders or members of DESE at the event.  We couldn’t imagine why they would put so many on the dais.  As it turned out there was no dais, and there were 30 DESE organized leaders at the event.  Why?

As you entered the event, you were assigned to 1 of 15 tables.  Each table had a Table Leader and a Table Recorder.  The attendees (proponent or opponent) were divided into 15 tables, so the interaction was between approximately 6 attendees and two studied proponents of Common Core.

Each table was provided with a form to complete.  The form contained two questions:

  • What do you like about Common Core?
  • What questions do you have about Common Core?

The facilitators at table #12 were Jeff Lindsey and Wade Bartels.  Both were very nice and listened as we tried to fill out the form.  Jeff gave anecdotal information about the process of aligning to Common Core in St. Genevieve, MO and how great it was going.

When we asked him our questions about CCSS, the typical answer was “I don’t know”.

  • How much will this cost the state? I don’t know
  • How much will this cost your school? I don’t know
  • What is the cost going to be for the technology to allow completion of the standardized tests? I don’t know
  • According to the CCSSO web site, there will be data collection.  What data will be collected?  I don’t know
  • We read that the standards are copyrighted.  Will the schools be able to make changes? I don’t know

What Jeff Lindsey did know was that he really wanted his table to come up with an answer to the question… What do you like about Common Core?

Unfortunately, the time allotted for table discussions, and table #12 never listed a positive feeling about Common Core.

Following the kitchen table discussion, the messaging control continued.  Table Recorders, not attendees, were summoned to the front one-by-one to read the list of things that attendees liked about Common Core.  All of the ‘likes’ were read.  For the questions about Common Core, duplicate questions were skipped.  One CCTP member noted that 5 items were read from their lies of ‘likes’ that weren’t discussed at the table.  They ‘magically’ appeared.

I provided Jeff and Wade a long paragraph with questions about data collection, CCSSO, and EIMAC.  When Wade asked the question on microphone he simply said, “What is EIMAC?”

Strategy Worked

As I said, the DESE folks employed a brilliant Divide and Conquer strategy, and it worked to perfection.

  • Prevented general attendees from hearing tough questions asked at one table that was not asked at another table
  • Prevented mini-speeches given by attendees
  • Separated less knowledgeable attendees from stronger more studied attendees
  • No negative press to be reported by the media
  • DESE walked away with positive talking points and a long list of things that Cape Girardeau liked about Common Core

For me, there was a positive outcome.  At a Table #12 side discussion, a teacher stated that she liked common core because every school would teach the same topics at the same grade levels.  She continued that children moving state-to-state would be able to pick right up where they left off in their new school.

Her statement helped me finally crystallize my foremost reason for opposing Common Core.  CCSS removes any desire for one school to work to excel.  Children will be tested for certain skills at certain ages, and there will actually be negative reinforcement should a school decide to teach subjects at different grade levels to help them excel.  Should the school choose to teach some subject in a different order or different grade, their assessment ratings will suffer.  They will see lower ratings and less funding.

This is the absolute antithesis of freedom and self-governance.

Questions and likes reported back to the attendees:

  • If state led, why were funders from Federal Tax $$$?
  • Liked Crosswalk on DESE web site
  • Will International books be implemented?
  • Federal Control?
  • Why no question about what we don’t like?
  • What comprehensive studies have been developed?
  • How often reviewed / revised?
  • How can standards be enacted that haven’t been evaluated in classrooms?
  • How will they handle gifted students?
  • How will they help students not currently meeting standards?
  • How will local districts have a say?
  • What pilot studies have been conducted?
  • Too one size fits all
  • Not enough options for teacher flexibility
  • Govt grab for control of education
  • Not enough parental involvement
  • Ideologically different from local values
  • Is common core copyrighted?
  • What is EIMAC?
  • Has state legislature voted to adopt CCSS?
  • Liked fewer standards / flexible teacher instructions
  • Liked incorporation of non-fiction / promotion of critical thinking
  • Further investigation of who initiated development?
  • Who will profit?
  • Can state of MO step back and wait for other states to prove CCSS works?

Below are Miscellaneous Notes taken that may or may not make sense:

  • Crosswalk
    • Shows where a concept is located in CCSS vs. Show-Me
    • Fewer topics but more in dept
    • Teachers saw that common core was more rigorous
  • Why need for common state standards?
    • 2007 NGA / CCSSO decided to define Common Core Standards
    • Facilitated State-Led development
    • Rigorous
    • Research and Evidence Based
    • Define what all students are expected to know
    • Teachers develop lesson plans
    • Adoption was voluntary
    • Aligned to Show-Me standards / College Standards
    • All students will graduate college and career ready
    • Currently
      • 36% must take remedial
      • $90M cost for remedial
      • $32M lost wages
  • Video – Chris Nicastro / Mr. Russell
    • State-Led involving parents / teachers
  • Missouri Involvement
    • College and Career readiness standards
    • Based on career readiness, k-12 learning progressions developed
    • MO Represented on Development Team
    • Standards released on 6/2/10
    • Teachers
    • Principles
    • Parents
    • Education Experts
  • ELA
    • Non-fiction
      • More
    • Complex Text Academic Vocabulary
      • Regular practice with complex text and its vocab words
      • Spelling?
  • Math
    • Focus
      • 2-4 concepts focused deeply in each grade
    • Coherence
      • Connect learning from one grade to next linked topics
    • Rigor
      • Real world situations
  • Preparing for Transition
    • Crosswalk document
    • Statewide public sessions on standards
    • Model curriculum
  • Wrap-up
    • Federal Government Played no Role
  • Discussion
    • Anything said here tonight means absolutely nothing next year because criteria will keep changing
    • Jeff L – I look at common core as a plan
    • Jeff L – Doesn’t know anything about it being copyrighted

Update:  Don’t take this as an indictment of Mr. Lindsey and Mr. Bartels.  They was very engaging and I enjoyed meeting them.


Posted by on May 2, 2013 in Education, Socialism


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Education: How Tax Breaks Really Work

Below is a clear reminder of the fallacy of the Liberal thinking on tax breaks!  This should be taught every year at our nation’s high schools.

I haven’t seen this discussion of the progressive nature of the tax code recently, so I thought I’d post it again to refresh our collective memory:

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

  • The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
  • The fifth would pay $1.
  • The sixth would pay $3.
  • The seventh would pay $7.
  • The eighth would pay $12.
  • The ninth would pay $18.
  • The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that’s what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. ‘Since you are all such good customers, he said, ‘I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes, so the first four men were unaffected.  They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men – the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair share?’ They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

  • The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings)
  • The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
  • The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
  • The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
  • The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
  • The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant the men began to compare their savings.

“I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, “But he got $10!”

“Yeah, that’s right!!” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I!”

“That’s true!!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!”

“Wait a minute!” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!”

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

I wonder if the education given above appears in any of our State sponsored high school textbooks?  Is it described in Race To The Top?  Common Core Standards?

Or, do they continue to teach the Obama mantra of:

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Posted by on July 26, 2011 in Education, Taxes


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Senator Crowell: On The Missouri State Budget (Part 4)

By Missouri State Senator Jason Crowell (

(Read Part 1 here)

(Read Part 2 here)

(Read Part 3 here)

Missouri’s State Budget

We must Stop Balancing the Budget on the

Backs of our Children through Education Cuts

Over the last few weeks, we have looked at Missouri’s budget numbers and at the Jefferson City politicians’ willingness to ask our children to shoulder these economic times with cuts to their schools. Yet, even after two years of deep cuts to education and with terrifying forecast numbers coming in, the battle to protect our children’s future educational opportunities is just starting.

Over the past two years Missouri has not fully funded the foundation formula for K-12 education. We failed to fund it by $23 million in 2009, another $74 million in 2011, and another $177 million in 2012. In total, K-12 education has not received $274 million it should have, according to the foundation formula and state law. This is on top of $60 million over the last three years in cuts to transportation funding, another $37 million cut deleting Missouri’s career ladder program and $10 million in withholds and cuts to early childhood’s Parents as Teachers program.

The cuts were not just to K -12 funding but also to higher education. In 2011, funding decreased by 10% followed by another 7% in 2012, totaling $186.5 million. This means Missouri’s universities and community colleges have gone without $306.8 million from just 2010.

While education has seen hundreds of millions in cuts, as I pointed out in last week’s column, tax credits are one area that has seen sky-high increases. Over the last 12 years, tax credits have grown 407.9% to $521 million in 2010 and an estimated $698.4 million in 2011. Now, in the midst of not being able to fund what I believe is our state’s number one priority, education, the Jefferson City politicians want to give away more money in tax credits. They do not believe we have spent enough on them and are asking for even more for their campaign contributors.

Currently legislative leaders are pushing for a special session in order to award new tax credits for a St. Louis development called Aerotropolis. The plan for Aerotropolis is to give out $360 million in entitlement tax credits over 15 years to offset landing fees and build cargo facilities near Lambert Airport in St. Louis with the hopes of creating a hub that would attract international trade from areas like China.

The idea is based on a book by journalist Greg Lindsay who told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch last week “that St. Louis’ plan won’t work.” He continued that “we can’t generate enough cargo traffic to justify a major, long-lasting commitment from any airline, Chinese or otherwise.”

The reason for Lindsay’s skepticism of this becoming an economic engine and instead a waste of your hard earned dollars is for two reasons. First, St. Louis is late to the game as airports in the Midwest, such as Chicago and Memphis have already established the cargo capacity and trade relations for what supporters say these giveaways will create. Second, St. Louis has the highest landing fees among the Midwest airports they would be competing against (as the chart to the left shows).

With Lambert Airport being $1.4 billion in debt, St. Louis wants state tax payers to bail them out of debt by offsetting their high tax to land at the airport. In my opinion, this bailout is just as wasteful as the $100 million in tax credits passed in last year’s special session for Ford, which have yet to create one new job. Developers know this will not be a financial success, otherwise they would move forward with Aerotropolis without government subsidies.

The special interests will take your money and add it to their wallets if this passes as proposed. The Jefferson City politicians again have decided it is time to give more of your hard earned money to their campaign contributors and education will suffer if we don’t stop them.

In the Senate this past legislative session, we passed needed reforms to tax credits and protected education in Missouri. Provisions passed in HB 116 would have capped the amount of tax credits that can be issued each year, such as for the ballooned low-income housing and historic preservation. Renters, who were not paying property tax, would have no longer received a property tax credit, saving the state $57 million dollars a year. New tax credits, like the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act (MOSIRA), would have been, as I have been calling for, subject to appropriations. And several performance-based credits were consolidated so we can tangibly see the outcomes of our investment while eliminating those tax credits that were not providing a return on investment to the state. The reforms in HB 116 would have saved Missouri taxpayers $1.5 billion over the next 15 years. House leaders though were more focused on their next election; protecting their campaign contributors and the special interests and killed these common sense reforms. They prevented this sweeping reform bill from being passed and now want more new tax credits and less reform.

Cuts to education jeopardize our children’s future. Missouri’s priority should not be in rewarding campaign contributing special interests, but should instead be the full funding of all aspects of education. That is why I oppose a special session that creates new tax credits without meaningful reforms.

There are 18,000,000 Sq Ft of unused warehouse space near the St. Louis airport.  Yet, certain Missouri legislators and Governor Jay Nixon want to give away $360,000,000 of your tax dollars to build more unnecessary warehouse space.

Contact your Senator and Representative today to tell them that you are firmly against this boondoggle.

As always, I appreciate hearing your comments, opinions, and concerns. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at (573) 751-2459. You may write to me at Jason Crowell; Missouri Senate; State Capitol; Jefferson City, MO 65101, or e-mail me at: or visit me on the web at



Posted by on July 22, 2011 in Balanced Budget, Taxes


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