Thursday, October 4, 2012
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
The school board is tomorrow night at 6:30 at Wasatch School District Offices! All public welcome!
Dear Board Members and Supt. Shoemaker and Mr. Judd,
I have spoken in length to Mr. Judd and Deb Jones trying to understand their concerns in regards to the policy as well as address mine and others concerns and I think I may have found a solution.
Mr. Judd stated that the district was patterning their policy after Alpine School District and preferred a simple policy that would not need to be frequently revisited for revisions. So, I read over Alpine's policy:
Policy No. 5300
(Ref:) Rules and Regulations No. 5300
(Ref:) Procedure No. 5300
1.0 FAMILY EDUCATION RIGHTS AND PRIVACY
- 1.1 It is the policy of Alpine School District to protect the rights and privacy of students and patrons of the District by giving advance disclosure and by obtaining parental permission prior to obtaining certain information and before offering certain instruction. The terms of this policy are intended to be consistent with the laws of the State of Utah (§ 53A-13-302 (2) and (3) U.C.A).
Board Approved: 7/9/96
Board Approved: October 11, 2005
My recommendation is that we adopt a parallel policy as ASD. This would fulfill the board's requirement of having a short simple policy that they don't need to frequently revisit and satisfy the public's concern of NOT having a policy that is in compliance with federal laws/regulations that we may or may not agree with. I really think this is a win-win!
It would also be great for the district because if there is a contrast between the state and federal law, it can be handled at a state level and the district doesn't have to get involved. What a blessing and savings!
Monday, July 16, 2012
Tuesday, our events began around noon with our guests arriving at the Cheesecake Factory. We had reserved a private banquet room and it seated 72 and we squeezed about 80 people into the room and it was very, very crowded. And we were thrilled! There were about 40 legislators in attendance and they listened and asked great questions.
Legislator Luncheon Presentation on July 9, 2012
Afterwards, arrangements had been made for a tour of City Creek. It was interesting to hear what he had to say and fun to walk around this beautiful shopping center.
It wasn't a huge crowd, but there were several Senators and the experts came along too.
Afterwards, I think we were all ready for a nap and Emmett was a trooper to stay and visit with us.
It is so fun to learn from him about things that are happening around the country. He is such a smart and genuinely nice person.
That evening was our big event that we were very nervous about. We weren't sure if people would come out on a weeknight, but it was a huge success. The auditorium was filled and it was standing room only. We figured there were around 320 in attendance and the message was very well received and people stayed around for a long time afterwards conversing.
We ended the evening at Chili's for a very late night dinner and conversation to discuss the events of the past few days. What an honor to associate and develop friendships with so many people who truly understand the importance of preserving the blessing of freedom and liberty in America.
Short Clip about Common Core & Federalism with Dr. Bill Evers on July 10th, 2012
Common Core Public Forum July 10th, 2012
Monday around 11am we met the experts who had flown in from around the country in the lobby of their hotel and then walked over to Temple Square for a special tour that was conducted by Pres. and Sister Bennion, some missionaries, and a director of public affairs for the LDS church. It was interesting to be taken on a VIP tour and learn more information about Temple Square and the Conference Center.
After the tour we headed to "The Garden" for lunch. We ended up having to sit at two different tables since we were such a large group. We had time to visit, learn more about each other, and learn from one another.
Bill Evers was a hoot and loved to share his wealth of information with us and we enjoyed listening.
Jamie Gass with Janette Hall and JaKell Sullivan. He has been such a huge help in this process of learning and I don't know that you could find a more humble, knowledgeable, kind person.
Kent Talbert, a top lawyer on education out of Washington DC was also there. He is a wealth of knowledge and also very kind. He is also very well read and did a great job presenting the legality issues with Common Core.
Emmett McGroarty is also a lawyer and very sharp. I would say he is a "deep thinker and analyzer". He is also been the key player in working with Alisa and orchestrating this whole week of events. He has been such a huge resource to us.
Also, another instrumental player has been Judge Norm Jackson. Kevin really enjoyed learning from him and he is a very humble and wise man. I especially enjoy his little sense of humor and watching him interact with his daughter.
After lunch, we met in the lobby to strategize and finalize for the meeting with the governor at 4:00pm.
What an amazing group of individuals. I feel so blessed to have formed these friendships.
These are the five gentlemen that presented to the governor. Well, the Judge didn't actually get to present to the governor because he left before it was his turn. He was so funny, he said, "can someone turn on the air in here?" He was trying to lighten the mood and was referring to that the discussion was getting a little heated. But, I don't think they got it. Christine Kearl just responded that she'd already made the same request.
My analysis of the meeting was that the governor entered with a chip on his shoulder and was less than enthusiatic about what Alisa had put together for her meeting with him. There were about 20 individuals in attendance. It was Gov. Gary Herbert, Lt. Gov. Greg Bell, Christine Kearl- governor's education director, John Pierce - governor's legal adviser, a few senators and representatives, and then all of us including the five experts.
The Three Heber Moms- Renee, Christel and Alisa. I can honestly say that this experience has changed my life and my families for the better.
Then we headed over to the radio station for an interview with Rod Arquette. He did an hour long interview and helped greatly to promote our public forum that was held the following evening. We shared the famous red flyer with Kent and Jamie. It was sent out before the state convention to make delegates aware of Common Core and it raised quite a stir around the state and with the governor.
It was fun to watch the radio show in progress and visit with each other.
Rod Arquette has been awesome and really helped spread the word. He is so well-read and really understands the issues with Common Core.
Alisa and I jumped in for a photo op.
After this we headed to Red Iquana II for dinner and conversation. What a great group of men and so fun to visit and learn from their experiences. What a blessing, I had to keep pinching myself because it was a bit of a dream to come to this point.
Jamie Gass on Rod Aquette on Friday July 6, 2012.
The link above will let you listen to Christel and I on our local radio station. Hosts Bob Wren and Paul Royall had us on to report some of the events of the past week to our local community. Bob and Paul have been more than generous in offering us lots of radio time to spread the message. It has also helped us sort our thoughts and be ready to answer questions.
newsnow/x736421379/GUEST- OPINION-Dont-buy-new-content- light-Mass-ICCR-standards
com/opinion/x1301511823/My- View-State-plan-only-promises- more-ed-bureaucracy
dcover/x736421391/GUEST- OPINION-Dont-buy-new-content- light-Mass-ICCR-standards
Workforce-development fad wrong for Mass. schools
July 15, 2012
CHARLES CHIEPPO JAMIE GASS
The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education’s 2008 Task Force on 21st Century Skills called for refocusing public-school curricula on such fuzzy concepts as “cultural competence” and “global awareness.” But Massachusetts citizens were less than excited about trading in the success that flowed from the commonwealth’s liberal arts-rich academic standards.
Four years later, the board is back pushing essentially the same ideas in the guise of recommendations from another task force, this one on “Integrating College and Career Readiness” (ICCR).
Massachusetts’s laser-like focus on academics has produced historic results. In 2005, Bay State students became the first ever to lead in all four categories on tests known as “The Nation’s Report Card.” Since then, they have repeated the feat each time the tests have been administered.
American students may not be globally competitive in math and science, but Massachusetts students are. They shined on 2008 international testing, even tying for best in the world in eighth-grade science.
The performance of the commonwealth’s students wasn’t always so impressive. But when Governor William Weld and legislative education committee cochairmen Tom Birmingham and Mark Roosevelt crafted bipartisan education-reform legislation in 1993, they insisted on liberal-arts-rich state standards.
These framers of education reform not only knew literacy and numeracy are the best routes to genuine college- and career-readiness, but that providing all the commonwealth’s schools with a liberal-arts curriculum is the best way to bridge class- and race-based achievement gaps. In contrast, by promoting fads, the ICCR task force’s strategy is to close these gaps by lowering academic expectations.
In an introductory letter to fellow task-force members, Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) member Gerald Chertavian, who chaired both the 21st Century skills and ICCR task forces, writes that their recommendations promote “what works.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
The task force would make academics just one-third of a three-legged stool, sharing equal time with “workplace readiness” and “personal and social development.” And we thought that parents were responsible for kids’ personal and social development.
But it is the idea of education as workforce development that is most demonstrably misguided.
Massachusetts BESE members and other soft-skills advocates have often pointed to West Virginia as a beacon when it comes to incorporating workforce development and 21st Century skills into public-school curricula. Yet in its recent state-by-state report card on public post-secondary education, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce gives that state a “D” for “meeting labor market demand.”
Underprivileged kids are among the biggest victims of the education as mere workforce-development model.
An analysis by Matthew Ladner, a research scholar at the Foundation for Excellence in Education, found that West Virginia was one of only eight states in which reading and math scores for low-income students declined between 2007 and 2011. During the same period, scores rose by an average of 10 points nationally and Massachusetts’s scores went up by 13 points.
But the move away from academic content is nothing new. When the BESE voted in 2010 to replace Massachusetts’s English and math standards with less rigorous national standards, it chose to reduce by more than half the amount of classic literature, drama, and poetry public school students will read.
Instead of building on Massachusetts’s academic successes, the ICCR task force would build a bigger state education bureaucracy. Its recommendations include one that would “increase staff and resource capacity” at the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Another one calls on the department to develop an entirely separate set of career-readiness education standards.
The result would be a state bureaucracy that grows even as public-school enrollment shrinks. Statewide, there are about 24,000 fewer students than in fiscal 2003 and Boston’s enrollment has declined by over 6,700 in recent years. This drop is projected to accelerate in the commonwealth’s urban and rural areas.
Longtime supporters of K-12 education as workforce-development training were buoyed by Massachusetts’s ill-considered decision to adopt less rigorous national standards. But the content-light recommendations of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Task Force on Integrating College and Career Readiness deserve the same icy reception they got four years ago, when they were packaged as 21st Century skills.
Charles Chieppo is a senior fellow and Jamie Gass directs the Center for School Reform at Pioneer Institute, a Boston-based think tank and advocacy group.
Director, Center for School Reform
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