Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Putin launches airstrikes in northern Syria, senior military official says

Putin launches airstrikes in northern Syria, senior military official says


Putin launches airstrikes in northern Syria, senior military official says

Putin launches airstrikes in northern Syria, senior military official says

Image result for putin laughing at obama

Putin launches airstrikes in northern Syria, senior military official says

Russia launches airstrikes in northern Syria, senior military official says

Russia launches airstrikes in northern Syria, senior military official says

Russia launches airstrikes in northern Syria, senior military official says





Russian warplanes began bombarding Syrian opposition targets in the war-torn nation's north Wednesday, following a terse meeting at which a Russian general asked Pentagon officials to clear out of Syrian air space and was rebuffed, Fox News has learned.

A U.S. official said Russian airstrikes targeted fighters in the vicinity of Homs, located roughly 60 miles east of a Russian naval facility in Tartus, and were carried out by a "couple" of Russian bombers. The strikes hit targets in Homs and Hama, but there is no presence of ISIS in those areas, a senior U.S. defense official said. These planes are hitting areas where Free Syrian Army and other anti-Assad groups are located, the official said.

Activists and a rebel commander on the ground said the Russian airstrikes have mostly hit moderate rebel positions and civilians. In a video released by the U.S.-backed rebel group Tajamu Alezzah, jets are seen hitting a building claimed to be a location of the group in the town of Latamna in the central Hama province.

The group commander Jameel al-Saleh told a local Syrian news website that the group's location was hit by Russian jets but didn't specify the damage.

A group of local activists in the town of Talbiseh in Homs province recorded at least 16 civilians killed, including two children.

According to a U.S. senior official, Presidents Obama and Putin agreed on a process to "deconflict" military operations. The Russians on Wednesday "bypassed that process," the official said.
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/09/30/boots-on-ground-russian-lawmakers-back-putin-sending-troops-to-syria/?intcmp=hpbt1

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Obama:The Frist Amendment ‘Doesn’t Grant You The Freedom to Deny’ Constitutional Rights of Freedom Of Religion For The CHRISTIANS Right!

Obama:The Frist Amendment ‘Doesn’t Grant You The Freedom to Deny’ Constitutional Rights of Freedom Of Religion For The CHRISTIANS Right!

Obama:The Frist Amendment ‘Doesn’t Grant You The Freedom to Deny’ Constitutional Rights of Freedom Of Religion For The CHRISTIANS Right!

Obama:The Frist Amendment ‘Doesn’t Grant You The Freedom to Deny’ Constitutional Rights of Freedom Of Religion For The CHRISTIANS Right!

Obama:The Frist Amendment ‘Doesn’t Grant You The Freedom to Deny’ Constitutional Rights of Freedom Of Religion For The CHRISTIANS Right!

Obama:The Frist Amendment ‘Doesn’t Grant You The Freedom to Deny’ Constitutional Rights of Freedom Of Religion For The CHRISTIANS Right!

Obama:The Frist Amendment ‘Doesn’t Grant You The Freedom to Deny’ Constitutional Rights of Freedom Of Religion For The CHRISTIANS Right!

bama:The Frist Amendment ‘Doesn’t Grant You The Freedom to Deny’ Constitutional Rights of Freedom Of Religion For The CHRISTIANS Right!

Obama:The Frist Amendment ‘Doesn’t Grant You The Freedom to Deny’ Constitutional Rights of Freedom Of Religion For The CHRISTIANS Right!

Obama:The Frist Amendment ‘Doesn’t Grant You The Freedom to Deny’ Constitutional Rights of Freedom Of Religion For The CHRISTIANS Right!

Obama:The Frist Amendment ‘Doesn’t Grant You The Freedom to Deny’ Constitutional Rights of Freedom Of Religion For The CHRISTIANS Right!

Obama:The Frist Amendment ‘Doesn’t Grant You The Freedom to Deny’ Constitutional Rights of Freedom Of Religion For The CHRISTIANS Right!

Obama:The First Amendment ‘Doesn’t Grant You The Freedom to Deny’ Constitutional Rights of Freedom Of Religion For The CHRISTIANS Right!

Obama:The First Amendment ‘Doesn’t Grant You The Freedom to Deny’ Constitutional Rights of Free Speech

Obama:The 2 Amendment ‘Doesn’t Grant You The Freedom to Deny’ Constitutional Rights of Gun Owner

Obama Has Turned Putin Into the World's Most Powerful Leader

 


The baton was officially transferred Monday to the world’s new sole superpower — and Vladimir Putin willingly picked it up.

President Obama (remember him?) embraced the ideals espoused by the United Nations’ founders 70 years ago: Diplomacy and “international order” will win over time, while might and force will lose.

Putin, too, appealed to UN laws (as he sees them), but he also used his speech to announce the formation of a “broad international coalition” to fight ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

“Similar to the anti-Hitler coalition, it could unite a broad range of forces” to fight “those who, just like the Nazis, sow evil and hatred of humankind,” he said.
And who’d lead this new coalition? Hint: Moscow has always celebrated the Allies’ World War II victory as a Russian-led fete.

Oh, and if anyone wondered which Syrian players the coalition would rely on as allies, Putin made it clear: “No one but President [Bashar al-]Assad’s armed forces and Kurd militia are fighting the Islamic State.”

That, of course, isn’t Obama’s view. America’s president said he opposed the “logic of supporting tyrants.” After all, Assad “drops barrel bombs on innocent children.”
But Putin has troops in Syria, is arming Assad to the teeth and signed a pact of anti-ISIS intelligence-sharing with Assad, Iran and the leaders of Iraq (the ones America fought to put in power).

And after meeting Obama for the first time in two years Monday, he spoke vaguely about future “joint air attacks on ISIS.” But no agreement on Assad was reached in the 90-minute meeting.

Meantime, if Obama has any realistic Syria plan of his own — beyond having Assad magically “transitioned” out of the country and simultaneously fighting ISIS — he failed to present it during his UN speech. Or any other time.

Instead, he scolded an “isolated” Putin for using force to annex Crimea and other parts of Ukraine. “Imagine if, instead, Russia had engaged in true diplomacy,” said Obama. “That would be better for Ukraine, but also better for Russia, and better for the world.”

Monday, September 28, 2015

Obama, Putin to Meet Face-to-Face for First Time in 10 Months at UN General Assembly

 



Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet face-to-face Monday for the first time in ten months amid increasing Russian influence in the Middle East, as well as the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

Underscoring their deep differences, the U.S. and Russia couldn't even agree on the purpose of the meeting, which will occur on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. The White House said it would focus on Ukraine and getting Moscow to live up to a fragile peace plan. The Kremlin said Ukraine would be discussed only if time allowed, with Syria and the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) dominating the discussions.

The latest measure of Russia's growing role in the war-torn region came Sunday, when the Iraqi military announced it would begin sharing ""security and intelligence" information with Russia, Syria and Iran to help combat ISIS. Meanwhile, Moscow is ramping up its involvement in Syria in defense of its ally Bashar Assad, with activists saying that Russian soldiers on the ground in Syria.
The move could further complicate U.S. efforts to battle the extremists without working with Damascus and its allies. A U.S.-led coalition has been conducting aerial bombing campaigns against ISIS positions in Iraq and Syria, but U.S. officials insist they have no coordination with Tehran or Damascus on the matter.

http://nation.foxnews.com/2015/09/28/obama-putin-meet-face-face-first-time-10-months-un-general-assembly

K..G.B Vladimir Putin's Vs Obama: Next Trick: A Strike Obama Won't Answer

K..G.B Vladimir Putin's Vs Obama: Next Trick: A Strike Obama Won't Answer


K..G.B Vladimir Putin's Vs Obama: Next Trick: A Strike Obama Won't Answer

K..G.B Vladimir Putin's Vs Obama: Next Trick: A Strike Obama Won't Answer

K..G.B Vladimir Putin's Vs Obama: Next Trick: A Strike Obama Won't Answer

K.G.B Vladimir Putin's Vs Obama: Next Trick: A Strike Obama Won't Answer

K.G.B Vladimir Putin's Vs Obama: Next Trick: A Strike Obama Won't Answer

 





The late, great strategist Yogi Berra claimed that “you can’t predict the future.” Well, if you remove your partisan lenses and analyze a situation objectively, you can sometimes come very close to projecting an adversary’s next move.

The coming US-Russia clash in Syria is a good example. Vladimir Putin’s next strategic gambit may be to order the shootdown of an American military aircraft over Syria. If we’re “fortunate,” it will only be an unmanned airframe he chooses to make his point.

http://nypost.com/2015/09/27/vladimir-putins-next-trick-a-strike-obama-wont-answer/

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Obama Commits U.S. to 15-Year, Multi-Nation Effort to End Hunger and Poverty Worldwide?

Obama Commits U.S. to 15-Year, Multi-Nation Effort to End Hunger and Poverty Worldwide?

Obama Commits U.S. to 15-Year, Multi-Nation Effort to End Hunger and Poverty Worldwide?

Obama Commits U.S. to 15-Year, Multi-Nation Effort to End Hunger and Poverty Worldwide?

Obama Commits U.S. to 15-Year, Multi-Nation Effort to End Hunger and Poverty Worldwide?

Obama Commits U.S. to 15-Year, Multi-Nation Effort to End Hunger and Poverty Worldwide?

Obama Commits U.S. to 15-Year, Multi-Nation Effort to End Hunger and Poverty Worldwide?

Obama Commits U.S. to 15-Year, Multi-Nation Effort to End Hunger and Poverty Worldwide?

Obama Commits U.S. to 15-Year, Multi-Nation Effort to End Hunger and Poverty Worldwide?

Same Old Story, Rise Taxes Spend more. 




Barack Obama on Sunday committed the U.S. to a new blueprint to eliminate poverty and hunger around the world, telling a global summit that a sweeping new development agenda is “not charity but instead is one of the smartest investments we can make in our own future.”

It was the first of two addresses Obama is making at the United Nations. His second on Monday morning, to the annual U.N. General Assembly of world leaders, will be a broader examination of world issues, especially the ever-more complicated conflict in Syria and the related refugee crisis.
As Secretary of State John Kerry put it after a meeting on the sidelines Sunday, “It would be a complete understatement to say that we meet at a challenging time.”
Obama offered a powerful defense of a 15-year development agenda and will require trillions of dollars of effort from countries, companies and civil society.
He told delegates that 800 million men, women and children scrape by on less than $1.25 a day and that billions of people are at risk of dying from preventable diseases. He called it a “moral outrage” that many children are just one mosquito bite away from death.
Obama said the goals are ambitious but can be achieved if governments work together.
And, with a possible nod toward his address on Monday, he noted that “military interventions might have been avoided over the years” if countries had spent more time, money and effort on caring for their own people.
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/09/27/obama-commits-u-s-to-15-year-multi-nation-effort-to-end-hunger-and-poverty-worldwide/

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Massachusetts Voters May See Common Core on the Ballot?


 



MassLive reports that a ballot initiative on Common Core has been certified as constitutional and may end up on the ballot in 2016 provided there are enough signatures.
Massachusetts voters will have their say in 2016 on whether to adhere to the national Common Core Standards for education. A ballot question with Worcester roots was one of 22 questions certified as constitutional by Attorney General Maura Healy on Wednesday.

The next step is collecting the signatures needed to actually place it on the ballot according to Donna Colorio, a candidate for and a former Worcester School Committee member, a Quinsigamond Community College professor and one of the questions most ardent supporters.

“This was the first step,” Colorio said. “I am excited beyond excited that this passed constitutional muster and can move forward. We can have the discussion that we never had when this was approved (by the Mass. Board of Education) in 2010.”
Read more.
Common Core opponents need to collect 64,750 signatures from voters by this November.  The Massachusetts Legislature then will need to act.  If they fail to act then the initiative will need an additional 10,800 signatures by June of 2016 for the measure to be on the ballot in November of 2016.

End Common Core Massachusetts set a goal of collecting 120,000 between September 16, 2015 through November 18, 2015.  You can learn more about that effort here.

West Virginians Really Don’t Like Common Core



 



A poll of West Virginians’ attitude toward Common Core was just released and it doesn’t look good for the top-down, one-size-fits-all standards in math and English language arts.
Fifty-three percent of those questioned recently said they’ve either heard a great deal or a fair amount about the controversial teaching standards. Thirty percent of those questioned had heard very little about Common Core while 17 percent had either heard nothing or weren’t sure.

The poll shows of those who have heard about Common Core, 65 percent have a “very negative” or “somewhat negative” impression of the standards. That’s almost the opposite of a national Gallup poll from April 2014 that showed 39 percent of those polled across the country had a somewhat positive view of Common Core while only 19 percent considered it very negative.

http://truthinamericaneducation.com/common-core-state-standards/west-virginians-really-dont-like-common-core/

An Admission of Federal Manipulation Through Race to the Top



 




Joanne Weiss was the director of the Race to the Top program at the U.S. Department of Education and Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s chief of staff. She wrote an essay at Stanford Social Innovation Review that is enlightening in that we finally have a USDED official admit the truth about the federal role in foisting Common Core on to the states.

I encourage you to read the whole piece, but I’ll pull a few excerpts of interest.
Weiss acknowledges that budgetary challenges along with offering larger awards induced states to apply.
The competition took place during a time of profound budgetary challenge for state governments, so the large pot of funding that we had to offer was a significant inducement for states to compete.
This process is typically different than how federal grant making has been done before as she explains:
…we decided that winners would have to clear a very high bar, that they would be few in number, and that they would receive large grants. (In most cases, the grants were for hundreds of millions of dollars.) In a more typical federal competition program, a large number of states would each win a share of the available funding. The government, in other words, would spread that money around in a politically astute way. But because our goal was to enable meaningful educational improvement, we adopted an approach that channeled substantial funding to the worthiest applicants.
When you see “worthiest applicants” read those states whose priorities matched ours.
They leveraged the governors.
…we placed governors at the center of the application process. In doing so, we empowered a group of stakeholders who have a highly competitive spirit and invited them to use their political capital to drive change. We drew governors to the competition by offering them a well-funded vehicle for altering the life trajectories of children in their states.
Weiss acknowledges their criteria was too broad.
Our commitment to being systemic in scope and clear about expectations, yet also respectful of differences between states, was a key strength of the initiative. But it exposed points of vulnerability as well. In our push to be comprehensive, for instance, we ended up including more elements in the competition than most state agencies were able to address well. Although the outline of the competition was easy to explain, its final specifications were far from simple: States had to address 19 criteria, many of which included subcriteria. High-stakes policymaking is rife with pressures that bloat regulations. In hindsight, we know that we could have done a better job of formulating leaner, more focused rules.
Weiss touts that states who didn’t win a grant still followed through on their “blueprint.”  Perhaps that had something to do with having to adopt Common Core and join Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium or PARCC before they submitted a final application?
In applying for Race to the Top, participating states developed a statewide blueprint for improving education—something that many of them had previously lacked. For many stakeholders, moreover, the process of participating in the creation of their state’s reform plan deepened their commitment to that plan. In fact, even many states that did not win the competition proceeded with the reform efforts that they had laid out in their application.
The plan behind the grant was meant to diminish local control and serve the state agenda which in turn was informed by the federal agenda behind the grant.
The overall goal of the competition was to promote approaches to education reform that would be coherent, systemic, and statewide. Pursuing that goal required officials at the state level to play a lead role in creating and implementing their state’s education agenda. And it required educators at the school and district levels to participate in that process, to support their state’s agenda, and then to implement that agenda faithfully.
Weiss explains further.
To meet that challenge, we required each participating district to execute a binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with its state. This MOU codified the commitments that the district and the state made to each other. Reviewers judged each district’s depth of commitment by the specific terms and conditions in its MOU and by the number of signatories on that document. (Ideally, the superintendent, the school board president, and the leader of the union or teachers’ association in each district would all sign the MOU.)
….The success of the process varied by state, but over time these MOUs—combined, in some cases, with states’ threats to withhold funding from districts—led to difficult but often productive engagement between state education agencies and local districts.
Tyranny by contract as a friend of mine likes to put it.
Catch this next excerpt as it’s pretty disconcerting.
…we forced alignment among the top three education leaders in each participating state—the governor, the chief state school officer, and the president of the state board of education—by requiring each of them to sign their state’s Race to the Top application. In doing so, they attested that their office fully supported the state’s reform proposal.
They forced alignment?  Indeed the Race to the Top application required signatures from all three officers.
Weiss acknowledged that the program drove education policy change at the state level before any grant was awarded.
One of the most surprising achievements of Race to the Top was its ability to drive significant change before the department awarded a single dollar to applicants. States changed laws related to education policy. They adopted new education standards. They joined national assessment consortia.
She then explained that three design features in the grant program spurred the change.
First they had to get rid of those pesky state laws that stood in the way before they were eligible to compete.
…we imposed an eligibility requirement. A state could not enter the competition if it had laws on the books that prohibited linking the evaluation of teachers and principals to the performance of their students. Several states changed their laws in order to earn the right to compete.
I remember Iowa ramrodding through poorly written charter school legislation just so they could have a seat at the trough.

They then also awarded points based on what states did before submitting their application… Clever right? Get states to work towards these reforms in order to be competitive.  This manipulative tactic also ensured that states not awarded a grant would continue to follow-through on some of these reforms.
…we decided to award points for accomplishments that occurred before a state had submitted its application. In designing the competition, we created two types of criteria for states to address. State Reform Conditions criteria applied to actions that a state had completed before filing its application. Reform Plan criteria, by contrast, pertained to steps that a state would take if it won the competition.
The State Reform Conditions criteria accounted for about half of all points that the competition would award. Our goal was to encourage each state to review its legal infrastructure for education and to rationalize that structure in a way that supported its new education agenda. Some states handled this task well; others simply added patches to their existing laws. To our surprise, meanwhile, many states also changed laws to help meet criteria related to their reform plan. To strengthen their credibility with reviewers, for example, some states updated their statutes regarding teacher and principal evaluation.
Race to the Top created a “treasure trove” of data to mine through.
We couldn’t keep up with the enormous load of data that the competition generated—and we learned that we didn’t have to. The public did it for us. State and local watchdogs kept their leaders honest by reviewing and publicly critiquing applications. Education experts provided analyses of competition data. And researchers will be mining this trove of information for years to come.
What a stunning admission of manipulation and coercion perpetrated by the U.S. Department of Education.  What is lacking in Weiss’ piece is mention of how unpopular this program actually was, and no mention of Congress’ push to ensure that future U.S. Secretaries of Education can ever use a grant program in this way again.
http://truthinamericaneducation.com/race-to-the-top/an-admission-of-federal-manipulation-through-race-to-the-top/

ObamA And Jed Bush Common Core’s Commonality a Failure


 



Common Core advocates, at least a handful of them, seem to be admitting they failed to meet one of the primary goals of the Common Core State Standards Initiative – that there would be commonality among all 50 states.

After spending millions of dollars adopting and implementing the Common Core State Standards and aligned assessments, states are finally beginning to release preliminary results from the first round of tests administered to students last spring.
But it’s unclear whether the results will have any meaningful impact, as a growing number of states across the country are walking back their commitments to the tests and even to the standards themselves, a set of rigorous academic benchmarks adopted by 42 states and the District of Columbia,
“One of the selling points of Common Core is that when families saw this new data that was more honest, they could do something about it,” says Chad Aldeman, associate partner at Bellwether Education Partners, an education policy consulting group. “It’s just not coming to fruition like we would have hoped.”
…”This was always supposed to be a partnership among states, and the fact that they can’t come to an agreement … is a bad signal for this whole undertaking of commonality,” Bellwether’s Aldeman says. “And it shows that even despite all this money, the political problems are just too challenging.”
Fordham Institute Micheal Petrilli does try to hold onto some hope.
“I will definitely concede that we have lost the commonality of the Common Core, and that is only likely to get worse,” Petrilli says. “But I think the testing ecosystem is going to continue to evolve. Every state will eventually review the Common Core standards, and states will make tweaks and changes. Over time the Common Core will be less common, but I still think there will be a core there that will be recognizable.”

http://www.christiansinpolitics.org.uk/why-should-christians-be-involved-in-politics/

Florida Sees Increase in Homeschooling Thanks to Obama And Bush Common Core, Testing


 


As a homeschooling dad I’ve said before that the ONLY positive I’ve seen with Common Core is how it is prompting more families to homeschool.  I’m not one who believes this is the best option for every family, but if you want to make sure your child receives an education that is tailor-made for their personality, learning style, and ability it is hard to beat homeschooling. Which incidentally is the exact opposite of what you get from Common Core and the standardized testing culture present in public schools.

In Florida, like in many other states, the ranks of homeschooling families is on the rise due to Common Core and over-testing. The Tampa Tribune reports:
Last school year, Florida saw the largest increase in home-schooled students in at least a decade, according to the state Department of Education. More than 58,000 Florida families elected to keep 84,096 students out of school — an increase of more than 7,000 over the previous school year.

In the past five years, the total number of home-schooled students in Florida has increased by more than 21 percent, or almost 15,000 students. The last big surge of home-schooled students came in 2011, when about 6,700 students signed up. That was the year after Florida joined a majority of states in joining the divisive Common Core education standards.

Hillsborough County, the state’s fourth most-populous county, enrolled the third-highest number of home-schooled students in the state last school year — 5,560 students from 3,775 families. That’s almost 7 percent of the student population. Duval County enrolled 6,106 students and Palm Beach County enrolled 5,726 students.

Corey McKeown, director of the Tampa-based Christian home school co-op Trinity Homeschool Academy, said almost half the 230 students that take classes of their choosing at school are new this year. Overtesting in schools and the new Florida Standards, which are based on the national Common Core standards, are among the biggest reasons McKeown hears for families leaving public schools. They also worry about increasing violence and bullying in Hillsborough schools, she said.

“There are a lot of families pulling out of the public system because of Common Core, safety issues in schools and wanting to choose their child’s own curriculum,” Mc­Keown said. “We get that a lot with history; they want their kids to know real American history, not what’s taught in the schools. Typically once they pull them out, most don’t want to go back to public schools. Home schooling isn’t something that’s frowned upon anymore.”

Study Shows African-American Parents Resoundingly Favor School Choice, Obama Trying to Kill School Choice in D.C.: We Need to Make Sure ‘All Children’ Get 'Great Education'

 

Obama's address was titled: "Ensuring Every Child Gets a Great Education."
In 2003, Congress enacted a program for “opportunity scholarships” in Washington, D.C. These allowed some students in public schools to get a voucher to help offset the cost of attending a private school. When President Barack Obama came to office in 2009, he tried to kill the program, then settled on a plan that would allow then-current recipients of the vouchers to continue, but would not allow new people into the program. When Republicans took back control of the U.S. House of Representatives, they renewed the program and extended it through 2016.
http://cnsnews.com/blog/terence-p-jeffrey/obama-while-trying-kill-school-choice-dc-we-need-make-sure-all-children-get






A new report indicates black parents overwhelmingly favor school choice. Roland Martin of NewsOne Now recently interviewed Cornell Belcher, founder and president of Brilliant Corners Research and Strategies, to discuss his survey findings on views of African-American parents on charter schools, vouchers, and teachers.

The findings show African-American parents resoundingly favor school choice options. The respondents were all African-American, and neither they, nor an immediate family member, currently work in a public, private, or parochial school. Another stipulation of the survey: parents did not home-school their children.
Question Total Parent Respondents Charter Parent Respondents
Generally speaking from what you know, do you favor or oppose public charter schools? 72% Favor 97% favor
Favorability among respondents familiar with public charter schools 79% Favor 98% Favor
How interested would you be in enrolling your children in public charter schools, would yousay you are very interested, somewhat interested, somewhat uninterested, or very uninterested in enrolling your children in public charter schools? 74% Interested 94% Interested
Do you favor or oppose providing parents who enroll their children in private or parochial schools a voucher to cover tuition? 70% Favor 77% Favor
Favorability of respondents familiar with school vouchers 75% Favor 80% Favor
How interested would you be in obtaining a voucher to cover the cost of private or parochial school tuition for your children, would you say you are very interested, somewhat interested, somewhat uninterested, or very uninterested in obtaining school vouchers? 78% Interested 89% Interested

Some of the more interesting findings from the survey were as follows: Nearly three out of four African-Americans are interested in exploring school choice options. Nearly eight out of 10 parents out would be interested in receiving a voucher to do so.
The survey relied on sets of statements, rather than questions. An overview is below:
Question Total Parent Respondents Charter Parent Respondents
Statement A: As a parent I should be able to decide which school my child attends. If a public charter school can give my child a better educational opportunity my child shouldn’t be prevented from enrolling just to prop up a failing public system. 56% Agree 62% Agree
Statement B: Public schools must educate every child that walks through its doors while public charter schools are free to pick and choose its students. Instead of providing an alternative for a few children, we should make public schools better for every child. 24% Agree 16% Agree
Statement A: As a parent I should be able to enroll my child in the school I think will give my child the best educational opportunity. If my choice is a private or parochial school then I should be allowed to use the same tax dollars allotted to every child in public school to cover the cost of their tuition. 56% Agree 57% Agree
Statement B: Public schools must accept every child of school age while private and parochial schools can deny children they think are harder to educate. Taking money out of the public system to cover private or parochial tuition will only makes it tougher to educate the vast majority of children who remain. 27% Agree 25% Agree
Statement A: If my child could be enrolled in a public charter school they would definitely attend regardless of what arrangements I would have to make to get them there. 45% Agree 59% Agree
Statement B: I’d like to enroll my child into a public charter school but unless the school district provides the daily transportation it’s not really a viable option for my family. 35% Agree 26% Agree

These survey results indicate parents want a quality education for their children and that school choice offers the best opportunity for that to occur. Moreover, these parents are not satisfied with the current public school quality and want changes. In addition to wanting a number of options for school choice, the two other major challenges parents identified in the survey are the lack of quality teachers and the lack of funding.
You can see the full study results here.

What to Expect When Government Intrudes Upon Parental Rights ,Community Schools are Not Just a Fantasy! – Part 2

 





We should have known America was in for major changes when Michelle Obama stated: “We are going to have to change our conversation; we’re going to have to change our traditions, our history; we’re going to have to move into a different place as a nation.” A few months later, Barack confirmed by stating: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” Oh, yes, there were warnings as to their plans, but who thought they had meant to change the very core of who we are as a people?

Our first major clues of the changes our president had in mind were evident in those he chose for his cabinet. Victor Davis Hanson mentioned some of Obama’s questionable liberal choices in an article that described the “worst of the worst.” However, he missed Arnie Duncan, Secretary of Education, who ushered in the controversial Common Core Standards.
See here for Part 1.

Obama’s Secretary of Education, Arnie Duncan, is now pressing forward to go beyond the controversial Common Core.  Duncan has a new plan for America’s children as outlined under S1787, which aims to amend Title V of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to establish a full-service community schools grant program, specifically for those who are our most vulnerable children. This is no surprise considering Duncan has the support of President Obama who shares his liberal ideas. Duncan’s newest education plan is a huge leap towards fulfilling his radical goals, one of which is seen in this statement:

“…We have pursued a cradle-to-career education agenda, from early childhood programs through post-secondary graduation.  We have to learn to think very differently about time. I think our school day is too short.  I think our school week is too short.  I think our school year is too short.”
Diane Ravitch presents this devastating critique of Arne Duncan assigning him an F grade.  Ravitch believes it will take years to recover from the damage that Arne Duncan’s policies have inflicted on public education.

One Step at a Time Toward Federal Control
Secretary Duncan would prefer our children spend up to 12 hours a day at school and cut out most summer vacation time.  He has even discussed having public boarding schools, although it is unclear who will pay for such an expense. Suzanne Hammer explained Duncan’s philosophy in this statement:

“With this administration, the mantra of “the end justifies the means” governs these officials’ actions.  If the end is to have more control over the indoctrination of children by keeping them away from parents longer, the administration feels justified in using whatever steps are necessary to do so.  It seems the government is willing to convert and expand government controlled schools into public boarding schools, at taxpayer expense.”

Some would claim that Hammer’s opinion is outrageous, and such a plan will never happen?  Well, maybe not immediately, but it is possible when its  promoters take one step at a time. Common Core acquainted the public with a break from education being the total responsibility of the state, by first introducing and then promoting it at the federal level.  The end result was a definite reduction of local control.

We also know several states have begun increasing student school time.  President Obamas’ former Chief of Staff and Secretary Duncan’s friend, Chicago Mayor Rham Emanuel, increased public school hours in Illinois. Teachers were required to work 58 hour weeks.  However, problems occurred when teachers began complaining about the extra hours and excessive work load.  Teacher unions demanded raising salaries and/or hiring part time teachers.  Assessing the high financial costs of increasing school hours became a significant issue, as estimates indicated the need for hundreds of millions in funding, depending upon the specific number of increased hours.  Ideas as to how to procure the extra financing were discussed, but the possibility of raising the amount deemed necessary within the state proved difficult.

Other states bought into the concept of longer school hours and additional school days, and they too realized the need for additional funding.  It became obvious in order to have longer hours and more school days, additional financing would be necessary from federal sources.  Perhaps the additional funding requirements associated with adapting to Common Core, had already caused a funding crisis in their schools, which might help explain why Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown introduced S.1787:  Full-Service Community Schools Act of 2015.
As we look at S1787, which authorizes federal funding for “Community Schools” and knowing plans for these schools are already in place, we all need to take a closer look at the escalating problem of federal intervention into our schools.  It might be prudent to take another close look at dismantling the federal Department of Education.

Alex Newman in his August 12, 2015 article states:  “Obama’s ‘Community Schools’ program aims to replace parents.”  He provides facts highly critical of Obama’s and Duncan’s project, and makes it clear that children ensnared by these schools can spend virtually most of the day confined to classrooms.

Duncan’s selling point is that students will benefit by all of the ’services’ the school will provide.  The end result is that “Community Schools”, with long hours and special “services”, will make a child’s family irrelevant.”  Some say, “of course, that is one of the program’s major goals.”
What to Expect When Government Intrudes Upon Parental Rights

When schools go way beyond their role of providing a strong academic education and instead assume responsibilities traditionally expected of parents, it could be described as welfare on steroids. It is an unhealthy intrusion upon parental rights, with the possibility of families becoming addicted to another federal government welfare program.  For low income families, a school that provides for their child’s every need from academics to health care; supplying students with every meal and choosing their entertainment in the evening hours is tempting.

However, is it really beneficial to the health of our country to allow government to become responsible for raising our children?   Is it prudent to force students to be at school the whole day? The apologists for this extreme system claim it will keep “at risk” kids off the streets and have them in a safe environment.  However, what is the ultimate impact on children to have teachers as their custodians and psychologists hearing their problems?  Parents are not perfect, but they are more likely to offer a more authentic love and interest in their child than paid strangers.

Critics might ask what we recommend to solve the problem of crime in the most vulnerable cities, as they suggest a lack of education can be part of the problem. The answer is that America has endured far more difficult hardships and financial times than anything experienced in our lifetime. Previous generations not only survived hard times, they did so without government assistance. The  difficulties caused them and America to grow stronger. Family, neighbors and churches helped those in need, and that system worked best, because it was temporary assistance born out of a personal relationship with someone going through hard times.

The recipients were greatly appreciative of those who helped them, and the provider felt good about the help offered. It was a far better system than the “forced” system today. Economically, having government as the facilitator, automatically cuts into funds before reaching the needy. Even more problematic is that after years of accepting welfare, recipients have begun to  feel entitled to the steady support, and tax payers resent paying the taxes, without the reward of knowing or seeing the recipient helped. When individuals give on a one to one basis, they know who is deserving of assistance … and who is not.  The personal welfare system proved effective and also  benefited children who learned the reward of personal giving and the feeling of  gratitude when their family was helped.   Children learned life changing lessons, such as the value of a good education, because that translated into well paying jobs.

Big Government and Education Not Compatible
Proof that the government cannot solve people’s financial situations is the “War on Poverty”, in which government has already invested  fifty years of time and a whopping $22 trillion cost to taxpayers.  The result has been a colossal failure:  poverty actually increased.  The answer to prosperity is that people need to be empowered, not enslaved by easy money from the government.   Children learn life lessons best through experiences, both good and bad.

If S1787 becomes law, parents will become increasingly irrelevant over time.  Government must have more faith in the public, and parents need to have more pride and confidence in themselves.  It is best when children are taught and raised by parents, with minimal intrusion from our government, otherwise we will appear more like a socialist state than citizens living in the land of the “free and the brave”.    America  became great through the efforts of  self-sufficient, proud, caring, and capable people. It is those attributes that will most benefit our families and successfully lead us into the future.  Let us never forget President Reagan’s famous quote:  “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.”

Part 1: http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2015/09/thorneroneil-if-common-core-is-extremely-troubling-beware-of-s1787-part-1.html#more

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