Tag Archives: Karen Schroeder

A RESPONSE TO CHESTER E. FINN, JR.

Submission* by Karen Schroeder

Common Core: conservative to the core” is one of many articles Chester E. Finn, Jr., has penned encouraging conservatives to embrace Common Core State Standards. Unfortunately, Mr. Finn never discloses that his “conservative” Thomas B. Fordham Institute has accepted nearly a million dollars from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop supportive materials for Common Core Standards. Mr. Finn’s conflict of interest renders his assessment of Common Core self-serving and lacking credibility.

Advocates for Academic Freedom is funded solely by private donations. Representing taxpayers from every political party, every religion, and every socio-economic group, AAF has one goal: to demand truth and quality in all aspects of education. Our assessment of Common Core Standards conflicts with that of Chester Finn. CCS are not new, not rigorous or innovative, not fiscally responsible, not state created; they undermine accountability and traditional American values.

The Gates Foundation, David Coleman from the College Board, the International Baccalaureate Organization, the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and a myriad of others wrote Common Core Standards—NOT the states.

Common Core represents another “We have to pass it so we can find out what is in it” policy. During a February, 2010, Governors’ Luncheon, President Obama told governors to adopt CCSS to receive federal Title I funds. Since the standards had not even been written, the federal government added the word “state” to the title so the public would think that the normal process of teacher and public involvement had been employed. We the people are growing tired of these insulting shell games imposed by governmental agencies.

Teachers and taxpayers should be outraged that any set of standards would require a retraining of teachers to assure implementation. Why should a teacher need to have special training to implement Common Core? The reason is that Common Core Standards do not emphasize student acquisition of knowledge and development of skills. They demand that students develop a belief system and attitudes needed to create a population with a “world philosophy”.

Americans are being forced to spend sixteen billion dollars on a plan shaped by the same policies of Benjamin Bloom that have been failing our children since the 1960s. Dozens of standards that are far more rigorous than Common Core Standards are free and available on the internet. States have always had access to them. When one compares TIMSS math standards for fourth graders to those of Common Core for the same grade level, it becomes painfully obvious that CCSS are not the rigorous standards promised.

CCSS is peppered with standards like this one for nine-year olds in fourth grade: “Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others”. Most teachers would ask themselves: What is a viable argument appropriate for a nine-year-old child? What happens when a non-conformist refuses to critique a classmate/friend? What remediation will be provided? Will that remediation help the creative child learn to use non-conformity in a productive manner? How will this standard be assessed or tested for mastery?

Most math skills required under TIMSS at fourth grade can be found under the CC standards for fifth grade. Standards that are superior to CC focus on knowledge acquisition and skill development—not conformity, values, or beliefs.

Mr. Finn states that CC standards “written correctly, they do not dictate any particular curriculum of pedagogy.” Really? Then why has the federal government provided funding to publishers to align their textbooks to CCS and to testing consortiums to align all tests, ACT, SAT, accreditation, etc., to CCS?

Local control of schools includes a role in determining the curriculum taught. That is the American tradition that makes America a Constitutional Republic. When federal and state governments collude to impose standards upon the public, their DoEDs are acting in a dictatorial manner. America’s strength has always come from its people—not from its government.

It is time for taxpayers to get on the agenda for the next local school board meeting to demand rejection of CCSS and implementation of any one of the other excellent sets of standards available for free. It is time that citizens organize to stop the federal funding and the federal manipulation of the American educational system. Advocates for Academic Freedom works to build a grassroots movement to eliminate federal funding of education, to reallocate those federal educational dollars to the states, and to reinstate local control of schools. You may sign a petition on line at http://advocatesforacademicfreedom.org/petition.asp#.UdFzEuMo6po

Karen Schroeder is the President of Advocates for Academic Freedom, a member of the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board, an experienced public school teacher, and an educational consultant. She provides informational seminars to promote citizen involvement at local and state levels of the educational system. Ms.Schroeder supports a return to fact-based curricula, accountability, and academic excellence in public education. Frequently interviewed by Wisconsin radio personalities including Vicki McKenna, Karen writes for the U.S. Journal and other newspapers in several states. Karen can be reached at kpfschroeder@centurylink.net or by calling 715-234-5072. Address: 331 S. Main St., Suite 307, Rice Lake, WI. 54686

*This is a submission. Submissions do not necessarily reflect an official position of Conservative Teachers of America. One of our goals is to give a larger voice to the many conservative voices that exist inside of education.

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Filed under National Standards (Common Core)

BEGIN LIMITING LOCAL CONTROL OF SCHOOLS TO ADVANCE GLOBAL INTERDEPENDENCE

by Karen Schroeder of Advocates for Academic Freedom

Leaders of educational policy have found that local control of schools hinders their ability to convince students that America’s success and well-being is interdependent with other nations. Before interdependence can gain acceptance, American citizens must abandon their present life style.

The Aspen Institute prepared a succinct document called A New Civic Literacy; American Education and Global Interdependence which shows that educational and political leaders believed that local control of education had been slowing public acceptance of interdependence. Never-the-less, Dr. Ward Morehouse, who developed educational programs for world citizenship for the New York State Department of Education, explained that interdependence may impose burdens that must be widely shared. “We the people are ready to make major adjustments in our life styles and work-ways if (a) someone with credibility tells us that it is in the public interest and (b) the distribution of the burden is obviously fair.”

Does this position sound familiar?

Dr. Morehouse assumes that interdependence is a goal of the American people and that its implementation simply needs the guidance of a leader with credibility. He warns that the American educational system is “caught in a bind” created by state and local control of schools. He joins a myriad of educational theorists who explain that only the federal government can handle the major issues involving energy, food, population, global environment, oceans, communications, trade, investment, and money.

Believing the federal government should control money and salaries, the American public allowed political leaders to create the Federal Reserve and pass the 16th and 17th Amendments to the Constitution. Simultaneously, educational and political leadership assumed that Americans had been well prepared to accept interdependence and all of the educational and political implications involved.

Therefore, increasing federal funding and creating policies which place the federal government in greater control of educational policy have been essential steps toward assuring the success of this agenda. Justification is based on the premise that interdependence issues are “perceived as national concerns”.

The American public has been conditioned to believe that perceptions must be respected as truth. This manipulation of language discourages discussion of interdependence, a relationship in which the individual owns and controls nothing because everything he accomplishes depends upon the generosity and talents of collective world nations. He must surrender private property and freedom. Our founding fathers would be appalled that our citizenry would surrender so much.

Those imposing social or political agendas upon the classroom are not held accountable for the impact their policies have on the academic success of students. One example is Cooperative grouping of children. That is a method of instruction which encourages children to surrender their individual dreams and academic goals for the collective. College professors continue to recommend cooperative grouping of students as an essential method of instruction although academic achievement suffers in the process. The First Days of School by Harry and Rosemary Wong and Handbook of Social Justice in Education by William Ayers and others are examples of works which advocate cooperative grouping as a technique for new teachers. Both books are also required reading during professional seminars.

Most important to these educational experts are the social and political changes being developed in American society. Many Americans have been conditioned to accept a President who says:

If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on

your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart.

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.

When the American public cheers a President who advocates these collectivistic values, the policy wonks at the Aspen Institute have good reason to smile for they have successfully changed American values, standards, and expectations. This they accomplished without spilling a drop of blood or taking a life.

They destroyed the dreams of many Americans, and they used the educational system to do it. Taxpayers who want to stop the destruction of America’s Republic must demand that federal mandates be removed from the educational system and the funds be re-allocated to the states.

Please consider financially supporting Advocates for Academic Freedom! Your donations are used to contribute conservative current-events materials to school libraries and to provide informational materials to parents, educators, and taxpayers about social and political policies which impact the educational system. AAF works with grassroots groups to address educational issues at the federal, state, and local level. Donations can be made online via PayPal or checks can be made payable to: AAF and mailed to: 331 South Main Street; Suite 307, Rice Lake, WI 54868

http://advocatesforacademicfreedom.org/

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Common Core Standards and the Federalization of Education

By Karen Schroeder, President of Advocates for Academic Freedom

Common Core Standards are a federal program in which the federal government will define the curricula and the academic standards for each subject taught in the every school setting. These Federal Standards will basically eliminate local control of schools and provide unfettered access to curricula by the Federal Government and by the United Nations eventually. To date, 46 states have adopted Common Core Standards. The cost for implementing these standards may require a new method of taxation that is more accommodating for federal control of the educational system.

President Obama’s federal program Race to the Top provides bonus points to states that institute common learning goals. Common Core Standards represent about $16 billion in new unfunded mandates. It imposes mediocre standards upon the states which must be accepted or the states are threatened with loss of present funding. Federal mandating of these standards bypasses any congressional scrutiny and the state legislative process as well as violating the public trust by preventing any school board, parental, or teacher approval of these programs.

The federal government has been encouraged to implement these standards by educational policy experts because, as A New Civic Literacy: American Education and Global Interdependence provided by the Aspen Institute explains, “decentralization” of education (local control) makes educational change difficult to introduce.” Therefore, policy experts recommend that the federal government be given the responsibility to assure the implementation of global interdependence. Advancing global interdependence has replaced the original educational goal and that is why our schools are failing academically, but schools are succeeding to advance our population’s acceptance of surrendering our border, our right to secure elections, and respect for our founding documents.

Common Core Standards have been written for math and English and are currently being written for social studies curricula. The standards for this subject are key to the successful advancement of the social and political policy of global interdependence which these standards are intended to help implement. According to A New Civic Literacy the “students in our public schools constitute the nation’s greatest and most attractive sucker list. Everybody with anything to sell—a global perspective—would naturally like to get at this market of future American adults, and get them as early in life as possible.” The document identifies teachers of social studies and the publishers of text books as key points of leverage. Because of the importance of this access to the American public, these policy experts defined education as “the most important subject we as a people are engaged in.”

Teachers, parents, and some legislators have been discouraging the implementation of Common Core Standards because the standards are weak. They eliminate oversight by school boards, teachers, and parents and any control parents and educators would have over academics in the classroom. The Wall Street Journal reported on May 8, 2012, in “School-Standards Pushback” that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is concerned that these standards will “relinquish control of education to the federal government” and that Emmett McGroarty, executive director of American Principles in Action, called the standards “mediocre and costly to implement.”

Many are concerned that the Common Core Standards, once successfully implemented, will provide unfettered access of our educational system by the United Nations. Some textbooks and curricula for our public schools have already been written by UNESCO and the International Baccalaureate program that is currently in many school districts across the United States. Grabbing additional access is a natural next step. Once they write the curricula, they must have authority to develop all testing tools. They will decide who becomes a teacher and what preparation will be provided for that teacher. The International Baccalaureate curriculum upsets parents and teachers because the focus includes sustainable development, abortion rights, gay marriage, universal disarmament and social justice curricula.

The UN involvement in the American educational system has already been facilitated by treaties signed by American presidents from both parties. Those documents include but are not limited to: Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Treaty on the Rights of the Child, Civic Education: Classroom Connections, and Agenda 21.

EdWatch.org published “Marc Tucker’s New Education Initiative” written by Professor Allen Quist in 2007 in which the professor explains that experts representing the National Center for Education and the Economy (NCEE) seem to believe that it will be easier for the public to accept a new method of funding education once schools are burdened under these unfunded mandates. According to professor Quist, the NCEE suggests that regional development authorities be created and given power to tax removing all remaining local control of schools. Once the federal government has total control of education, what will happen to school choice?

For effective educational reform, citizens must unite around a single mission: eliminate federal mandates and federal funding of education and reallocate those funds to the states.

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Karen Schroeder is the President of Advocates for Academic Freedom (AAF) which is a proponent for a return to fact-based curricula, accountability, and academic excellent in public education. Karen was appointed to the Governor’s Educational Communications Board on May 1, 2012.  She provides seminars designed to inform and motivate citizens to reclaim their responsibility to become involved in the decisions made at the local and state levels of the educational system. Karen is regularly interviewed by Wisconsin radio personalities. 

With a BA degree in education and a Master’s Degree in Special Education, Ms. Schroeder has taught in suburban public schools for thirty-six years. During her teaching career, she became a free-lance writer to provide citizens with information revealing the impact of social and political policies on the educational system. Her works are published in the Eau Claire Journal and numerous other newspapers across Wisconsin.

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Filed under Education Reform, Federal Department of Education, National Standards (Common Core)

Who are the educational experts and theorists?

By Karen Schroeder, President of Advocates for Academic Freedom

Although college professor Noel Ignatieve has issued a call to abolish the white race, he is one of many anti-American professors who prepare college students to become teachers. In 1950, William Buckley, Jr. published God and Man at Yale to warn the public about philosophical agendas that would change the purpose of our educational system. Who are these people who influence teachers and students?

Despite organizing Marxist discussion groups, being arrested for throwing paint bombs, and lacking credentials, Noel Ignatieve was accepted by Harvard into the Graduate School of Education. He became a Harvard faculty member, joined the Communist Party USA, formed the Provisional Organizing Committee to Reconstitute the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (POC), and became involved in Students for a Democratic Society. He became part of the Maoist New Communist Movement before becoming a professor at the Massachusetts College of Art. He is the co-founder and co-editor of the journal Race Traitor which displays the motto, “treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity.”

Another is Howard Zinn (August 24, 1922-January 27, 2010), a progressive American historian and social activist. During his tenure as a political science professor at Boston University, he wrote A People’s History of the United States to depict the struggles of Native Americans and African Americans against their oppressors, the American colonists. His goal is to “rewrite history books to eliminate the oppressors and to honor the champions of equality and justice.” The book takes a stand against European and US conquests and expansion, capitalists, and capitalism.

These ideologies are shared by a significant number of professors including William Ayers and Cathy Wilkerson who were Weather Underground members and by Marxist professors Eric Gutstein, David Michael Smith, and Jeanne Lorentzen. Mara Sapon-Shevin, professor of inclusion education at Syracuse University, refused to place her daughter in a gifted education program because “I would never have wanted to raise a child who thought that she was better or smarter than other people.” Is there any wonder that our students are not excelling academically?

Many are concerned that anti-American philosophy occurs in the new standards for social studies curricula and in textbooks used across the US. Policies that were touted as essential to promote tolerance now infiltrate colleges with anti-American staff and agendas to silence opposing views. Ward Connolly, Carol Swain, and Mason Weaver are conservative blacks who have been shouted down and robbed of their first amendment rights by college students who did not believe tolerance should be granted to conservative views.

Either Americans continue surrendering their children and tax dollars to the perpetuation of anti-American educational programs that destroy their republic and their freedoms, or Americans will demand that the federal government get out of education and return funding to local governments. Citizens must insist that pro-American standards are supported by all professors and curricula, that college professors provide full resumes, and that lists of required reading materials be supplied for each course so that students, alumni and contributors know exactly what their contributions are supporting.

Karen Schroeder is the President of Advocates for Academic Freedom (AAF) which is a proponent for a return to fact-based curricula, accountability, and academic excellent in public education. Karen was appointed to the Governor’s Educational Communications Board on May 1, 2012.  She provides seminars designed to inform and motivate citizens to reclaim their responsibility to become involved in the decisions made at the local and state levels of the educational system. Karen is regularly interviewed by Wisconsin radio personalities. 

With a BA degree in education and a Master’s Degree in Special Education, Ms. Schroeder has taught in suburban public schools for thirty-six years. During her teaching career, she became a free-lance writer to provide citizens with information revealing the impact of social and political policies on the educational system. Her works are published in the Eau Claire Journal and numerous other newspapers across Wisconsin.

As an education consultant, Ms. Schroeder provides seminars and campaign training programs to political candidates. 

Among other projects, AAF donates conservative current-events materials to libraries of public schools. 

Karen can be reached by responding to this submission or by calling 715-234-5072.

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