The founders preached the necessity for education and schools in order to have an informed electorate who could remain free by understanding their Constitutional freedoms, by voting intelligently, and by scrutinizing the actions and positions of their elected leaders. But, how did they intend education to be implemented? Once again, the Constitution gives us insight into the important topic of education. And, true principles of freedom found therein guide our effort to educate ourselves and our youth. Significant time in the presentation is devoted to exploring “Common Core” and contrasting it with Constitutional principles of education.
Full Set Individual Presentations
Male Speaker: Welcome to Education in the Constitution. This is the third in the In the Constitution seminar series that I do. It is the most recent one I developed even though I’m filming it before the other ones because I feel like it’s an important issue. It’s a hot issue right now with Common Core. We’re going to talk a lot about Common Core today and hopefully, we can apply that principles and concepts so we learn about the specific program to many different areas of government. So, were going to get into the constitution and find out what it has to say about education.
First of all, the quote by Aristotle, “All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth.” That makes sense because empires are perpetual. They’re generational. And in order to go from one generation to the next, it is passing on those values and ideas, and teachings that will keep the empire [00:01:00] going.
It’s interesting. You look at someone like Vladimir Lenin. We’re to give him a score on the Freedom Scale, okay? From zero to 10, what would he have? Best is zero, right, maybe a negative? He says this and it’s an interesting comment. “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I’ve sown will never be uprooted.”
Now, even though he had evil intentions in he wasn’t a governor for freedom, it was still what he says is true. “Give me four years to teach and indoctrinate your children, I will have control over them.” That’s true. That’s not necessarily whether it’s good or bad, but education itself can change generations. It can change people.
On the other side of the coin, we have someone who’s a 10 on my scale. He is George Washington. He says “The primary object should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important and what duty more pressing than communicating it to those who [00:02:00] are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?”
We are in a republic, are we not? A rule of law, and if we are living in a republic, we have got to teach true values to those who are going to live in it and the next generations will be the eventual leaders of our country, and so, it is important and imperative to pass it on. The true purpose of education is to pass on those values, those truce that are time-tested from one generation to the next, that’s the idea, that’s the concept.
And Jefferson says, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” What a great quote, right? Because ignorance doesn’t detract freedom, ignorance attracts tyrants, because tyrants know the best way to rule over people is to have them be ignorant, to not understand the rights, to not understand true principles, whereas, education attracts freedom. Only truly educated people are free people, pretty simple.
Now, Washington again. He says, “The best means of forming a manly, virtuous, and happy people will be found in the right education of youth. Without this foundation, every other means, in my opinion, must fail.” So, very similar to these other three or four quotes, he’s saying it is all dependent upon education, but he puts a qualifier there. He puts a value statement [00:03:00] and he qualifies that by saying, “The right education of youth.” So, not just education, but the right education.
And so, you wonder, what’s a right education? What is this? What does this mean? It’s obviously a subjective term. Well, right in my mind has two parts, two different points. The first is the source of education and the second is the content. So, the source of education and the content of education will constitute whether it is a right education or not, whether it’s wrong, or whether it’s bad.
Let’s look at a quote from a founding father. Not very famous, but nonetheless, a great founding father James Wilson, in reference to the source of education. He says, “It’s the duty of parents to maintain their children decently.” So, it’s the duty of who? Parents, that should be the source of education. It should be parents.
“…and according to their circumstances; to protect them according to the dictates of prudence; and to educate them according to the suggestions of a judicious and zealous regard for their usefulness, their respectability and happiness.”
So, if parents [00:04:00] are providing that education, shouldn’t parents then be the ones to determine and approve, and deliver the education? Sure. The whole is, what’s interesting nowadays is our education system is set up by the system for the system, but originally, the founders said, “What we want is we want education from the parents.”
The reason that education exists in the first place is because parents said “We’re going to make this system, put this together, or hire a local school teacher to teach our children because that’s our job as a teacher. We’re the ones who’s supposed to be the source of education, so we’re the ones who are going to determine where the education comes from, and who’s going to be providing that.” So, the first is the source and it’s very clear from Wilson and just from logic itself, is parents is the source.
The second thing is its content. Now, in researching this presentation, I got to learn a lot of good things. One of them was that there are four original source or they call it organic documents to the foundation of America. I didn’t realize the fourth one. I knew the first three. The Declaration of Independence, that makes sense, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution. Those three [00:05:00] make total sense. The fourth one is new to me. It’s called the Northwest Ordinance.
Northwest Ordinance is an organic document. It’s very fundamental to the foundation of our country because it taught us how we’re going to grow, how the republic’s going to expand. And in this, in Article III of the Northwest Ordinance 1789, it says here very clearly in regards to what is the substance of education, what’s the content. “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”
So, pretty clearly, one is to say one of the very first laws of the very first congress was religion, morality, virtue. Those truce, those values that are transferred from one generation to another, that’s the content. That’s what education is supposed to be about.
Now, if you have an education system that says, “No, we can’t do those things” or an education system that [inaudible][00:05:52] further and says, “We shouldn’t do those things. It’s wrong to teach those things,” then what would the founders say? Let’s say, “Why are you doing education in the first place?” [00:06:00] Then, that’s what it’s about. That’s why you have education, is to encourage these values, religion, morality, virtue, knowledge. So, you look at that and say, “Oh, we got our source and we got our content, the understanding of what right education of youth is according to Washington.”
That kind of backs up with this idea, there’s a famous quote I use a lot, to John Adams who says, “Our Constitution was made only for our moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Because if we don’t have that religion or morality, the virtue to govern ourselves, then the constitution is not going to work too well because no amount of government can make you moral. That’s the purpose of education. That’s what we are trying to do, is to instill and inculcate in the next generation true values.
We’ve kind of talked about the founding documents of our countries and founding ideas and quotes from the founding fathers. Now, let’s talk about maybe a more modern law here. I found this gem, I think, in the Wyoming State Statute 21-9-102, an here’s what it says. “All schools and colleges in this state that are supported in any manner by public funds shall give [00:07:00] instruction in the essentials of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Wyoming, including the study of and devotion to American institution and ideals.”
So, let’s stop right there for a second. The study of. “The study of” is kind of your mind, right? You’re learning about American Institution. The study of, then it goes on to say the devotion to American ideals and institutions. Ain’t that interesting? A “devotion to” is more of a heartfelt thing, isn’t it? “A study of” is your mind, a “devotion to” is a feeling for, a passion for American institution and ideals.
Ideals, is that a value statement? You bet it is. And why to be critical that people in the public schools, children in the public schools that are taught a devotion to American ideals? Because that’s what founded our country, and if you don’t pass it on, what are we going to have? We’re not going to have our country anymore, are we? We’re just going to have an empty set of children who understand fun facts and figures maybe about the Constitution, but don’t understand what it means to have a devotion to the ideals. [00:08:00]
It’s interesting because the very next — let me finish this statute, I guess, here. It says, “…and no student shall receive a high school diploma, associate degree, or baccalaureate degree without satisfactorily passing an examination on the principles of the Constitution of the United States and the state of Wyoming. The instruction shall be given for at least three years in kindergarten through grade eight and for one year each in the secondary and college grades.”
It’s pretty interesting. Now you know why I call it a gem. I think it’s very explicit. Even the lawmakers on our states see the imperative nature why it’s so important to teach these ideals and to make sure they happen. It’s interesting because 21-9-103, the very next statutes says this in this entirety, “Willful failure on the part of any school or college administrator or instructor to carry out the requirements of Wyoming State Statute 21-9-102,” this one we just read, “shall be sufficient cause for the removal of such person from his position.”
I’d never advocate using that as a threat, ever, but what we want to do is understand they’re dead serious [00:09:00] about this. This is very important. So, if we were to talk to our school or talk to our superintendent, talk to our principals and say, “Hey, this statute says we need to teach a devotion to American ideals. How are you doing that? That’s required. Not only is it required, but it says here your job is on the line. Your job is dependent upon you teaching this.”
When I was in school, I wasn’t taught that. I wasn’t taught American ideals and devotion to them. I was taught maybe fun facts and figures. You have to be 35 to be a president, okay, how many senators from each state, but that’s not a devotion to American ideals. Those are just study of the institutions, right? What about the devotion to the American ideals? That’s critical and it’s important. It’s essential to the essence of education, isn’t it — to understand true government, how it should work.
Getting into the constitution, where does the constitution talk about these different things? We’re going to some basic ideas. The first thing, we talked about this in many of the presentation, the most important power you have in any organization or group, or government is the power to make the laws and the Constitution — right after the Preamble, the very first words [00:10:00] of the Constitution, Article I Section 1 Clause 1 says, “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.” And it’s interesting to understand.
The law-making power, the power to make the rules, who has all those powers? The legislative branch, okay? Now, the very first words of the Constitution say “all legislative powers.” Talking about your education here, let’s do some deductive reasoning, okay? How much legislative power is left over for the executive branch? None. How much is left over for the judicial branch? None. All legislative power is in congress and it’s an important point to make.
Let’s go to this next slide. And I don’t want to even get excited and say, “Wait, that’s the democrat or current president.” That’s not the issue, okay? This quote by our current President Obama are remarks made on September 23, 2011 and the remarks regarding No Child Left Behind. But in all honesty and sincerity, I can name any number of republican presidents in the last decades who said things very, very similar to this, okay? So, this is not unique to him. [00:11:00]
But here’s what he says in this quote: “I’ve urged Congress for a while now, let’s get a bipartisan effort. Let’s fix this.” Now is that wrong? With what we’ve just learned before, the Congress is in charge of all legislative power. Is it wrong for the president to say, “Hey, let’s get together and fix it”?
At first glance, you may say, “Yeah, it is wrong. There’s no power left over the Executive.” But let’s look at it a little more clearly, because the president does have a role in law-making and it’s described in Article II Section3 Clause 1, and here’s what it says: “He shall from time to time recommend the Congress’ consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”
So, for President Obama or any other president to say, “Look, let’s get a bipartisan effort. Let’s fix this,” is that wrong? No, it’s perfectly consistent with the Constitution. In Article II, it says that’s what he can do.
Now, let’s finish off the rest of the quote and analyze that a little bit. “Congress hasn’t been able to do it. So I will.” Now, is that a problem? Yes, because the chief executive is not in charge of making laws, he is in charge of executing the laws that were made by the legislative.
“Our kids only get one shot at a decent education. [00:12:00] It cannot afford to wait any longer. So given that Congress cannot act, I am acting.” Now, that’s where we have a problem, right, because constitution, we know the Executive’s job isn’t to make the law or initiate the law. The Executive job is to execute it. So, for him to say “I’m going to do it now because congress won’t,” that’s a usurpation of power he does not have.
He continues and he concludes his talk [inaudible][00:12:22] comments here by saying, “So starting today, we’ll be giving states more flexibility to meet high standards.” So, the generous federal government has allowed the states to meet higher standards, okay? We will get into that a little bit.
Once again, this is not a democratic- republican issue. It’s a freedom versus tyranny issue. It’s a following the Constitution, principles of freedom versus doing whatever you feel like doing because you want to.
Now, going back to Article I Section 1 Clause 1, we can look at this and understand that there are some other things that are said here because if Congress has all legislative power which they do, does that mean that Congress can make whatever laws they want to make? No. Why not? Because clearly [00:13:00] in Article I Section 1 Clause 1 it says “herein granted.” The only power Congress has to make laws are within those powers that the people themselves, that are granted to them, in the Constitution. It had to be herein granted.
Did we, the people, ever grant to the federal government the power to legislate over education? No. It’s that simple. This should remind us of the 10th Amendment. Here, we’re going to look at this real quick. “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution,” which is education, right? We never gave them that power. “Those powers are not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States. Those powers are reserved to the States respectively or to the people.”
So, very clearly, the 10th Amendment says the very highest level of government that should be involved in education is the state government. Federal government can’t get involved. We never gave it to them. The 10th Amendment very clearly delineates that.
Now, why is there a misunderstanding? A lot of times, I think the big misunderstanding we have with education with anything the federal government gets involved is we say, “Well, if the federal government is involved, then [00:14:00] obviously, they are supreme and we have to follow what they say. They should be involved in this. They have a national interest in this.” That’s what the Constitution says. And where this comes from is a representation, misunderstanding of the Supremacy Clause.
Article VI Clause 2 is the Supremacy Clause wherein it says “This Constitution, and the Laws shall be made in pursuance thereof; shall be the supreme Law of the Land.” And to qualify that, we talked about this in the first presentation, right? There’s a qualifier. Those law had to be made in pursuance of the Constitution is the federal law that is made regarding education. Does that pursue the constitution or does it negate it? It goes against it, doesn’t it? It goes against the constitution because the constitution clearly says it’s not the power of the federal government to get involved in education. So, regardless of any federal laws written about education, that, in and on its face, very clearly, is not constitutional.
So, to say we have to follow the federal government supreme is the misunderstanding of the Supremacy Clause [inaudible][00:14:55]. This says the Constitution is supreme and the Constitution very clearly says “This power is never given to you, [00:15:00] so therefore, you don’t have it.”
And supremacy is too often. Federal government chumps the state. So, the federal governments have an idea about education, they’ll chump the state education. That’s not true. That’s unconstitutional and that to blame that on the Constitution, to misconstrue the Supremacy Clause, is a blatant misrepresentation of truth and the idea that we want to keep power close to the people.
This idea of supremacy is based on this concept called federalism. A lot of times, when we hear this word “federalism,” those of us who think like I do — I’m not sure if you do — that the federal government is getting too big. It is growing way today. We see federalism and say federal-ism must be a bad thing. But federalism is a great thing. It’s a very foundational block of our country. It’s a principle freedom. I’m going to explain to you my way of looking at this, how this applies, to try to clear this up.
The first idea behind federalism is that we, the people, are sovereign with God-given unalienable rights. Now, under the British Crown, when we were in colonies, we we’re subject to who? Who was the sovereign of Britain? It was [00:16:00] the king, right? But when America was formed, the sovereign, it was tipped on us and the sovereign became the individual. Okay? And when God gave his rights, he doesn’t give rights to groups, he doesn’t give rights to administrations or the governments, or organizations. He gives rights to individuals. And with that right, comes the accompanying power and authority to act with regard to that right.
You can’t ever delegate to a government agent to act on your behalf a power that you don’t have in the first place. And when you do delegate power, you’re not delegating the right; you’re delegating the power and the authority.
For instance, I needed God-given right to defend myself. So, can I delegate the power and authority with that associate with that right to sheriff to protect me? Yes. But does the sheriff now have the right to protect me? No, he doesn’t have the right to protect me. He only has the power and the authority that I’ve delegated to him. I always retain the right. Otherwise, if someone comes in to my house and start shooting, I say, “Oh, gosh. I don’t have the right to defend myself. Where is the sheriff?” That doesn’t make any sense, no. I still retain the right to defend myself. [00:17:00]
The second part of federalism here is the idea that we’re self-governing with a limited, not unlimited — government too, is our servant, not our master. It is critical to understand federalism that we are self-governing and there’s a limited government. It’s not unlimited, not do whatever you want to do, okay? And that’s different from the rest of the rule. The rest of the rule says, “No the government is unlimited. They’re in charge. They tell you what to do.” In America, we, the people, are in charge.
And there’s one thing that — I chat around the state. There’s one thing I had to put my finger on to say the major challenge we faced today, I think the major challenge we face today is we think government is our master. They’re not. They’re our servant. We are the master. So, that’s federalism.
Point #3 with federalism is this idea that we should govern at the most local level possible, the level closest to the people. Now, if you apply that to education, where does education happen? Does it happen in DC? Does it even happen in Cheyenne? No. Education happens where? In our local schools, okay? And so, the government should be those federals themselves. You should have the appropriate level of government [00:18:00] to the level to where the action occurs.
War, where does war happen? It happens externally? And so, the federal government should be in charge of that because that’s what’s happening. Delegate to that level that’s most distant from the people where it’s happening or where it’s occurring. But an education that’s occurring here close to home, we should have government only involved that are here close to home level because [inaudible][00:18:18] would say that.
Now, why would you government the most local level possible? Because the power is in the people. Always keep the power. Never delegate to a more distant level of government that which can be solved in a more local level, because the source of the power is the people. The more distant it gets, the more bureaucratic and systematic it gets instead of people-centered, which is what it’s all about, why the government exists in the first place.
Lastly, there are different, not higher levels of governments, of powers delegated to them by the people to act in their behalf in those specific areas. [inaudible][00:18:48] to repeat what I already talked about, to keep that power as local as possible. There are specific delegated powers from the different levels at the local state, local county state, and federal levels. And as they get further [00:19:00] and further away from the people, they should be more and more limited and less and less just kind of do-what-you-want-to-do, very, very specific and restricted.
So, you apply that to education, it becomes very clear as federalism says “Man, education happens at a local level. Let’s not get involved with that whole national or federal trying to control what happens at the local level. That would be a usurpation of the power that’s in the people, the rights that people have.”
Lastly, we’ll end with this Declaration of Independence. It says, “Deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” That’s one of the last sentences on the famous second paragraph of the declaration, deriving their just powers from the consent of the government. Government only has powers that, we, the people ourselves, possess and choose to delegate to them, and that makes us the master over our government.
Two elements. So, you have the first half, the power, and then you have the consent to give it to him, okay? And in education, we never delegated or consented for any national government organization to control the education of our children. [00:20:00] We’ve always wanted that to be as local as possible, because that makes sense. I think everyone knows that. Everyone understands that.
Let’s look at a little model here that I put together in the education of youth. Let’s look at this. It says, “Parents have a self-evident right and duty to educate their children.” Let’s talk about some of the words there.
First of all, self- evident. Self-evident is a word that I use because it’s in the Declaration. What’s the first word you think when I say “self-evident”? Obvious, right? Self-evident, it’s obvious, it makes sense, it’s just how it is. Could there be anything more obvious than that parents have the right and the duty to educate, clothe, feed, discipline their children? That’s natural, right? Someday we’ll call that a Natural Law, self -evident, it makes sense.
And it’s interesting when we look at the right and the duty; those are two sides of the same coin. When you have a right to something, you also have the accompanying duty or responsibility to take care of that. So, do parents have the right and duty to educate their children? Yes. Why? Natural Law, self-evident, it only makes sense.
Now, can parents delegate to local government limited power and authority [00:21:00] to help them in the education of their youth? Yes. Is that violating any principles? No. You can delegate and ask an agent of the government to act on your behalf to help you educate your children. On the other hand, what if the parent says, “I don’t want to have the government help me educate my children, can they home school? Can they private school? Yes. All those comply with true principles of liberty. That makes sense.
Now, it’s really critical to understand, too, when parents are really in charge. Why is it that parents are so good at educating their children? Because parents live with them, because they are their children. They’re not the teacher’s children, not the government’s children. They are their children they understand with — I’ve seven kids and I know each one is different. The different things I say and how I say it, when I say it, works for some and doesn’t work with others. And I’m able to make that change and make it work and adapt to where I can help them achieve and become the best person they can become.
The challenge is when you turn this model over and you say, “Okay, the government’s at top and they have a self-evident right and duty to educate my children.” Is that true? No. That’s called usurpation. [00:22:00] That’s when you usurp the right and the duty, and then say, “We’re in charge. We know better because we have a degree or a model, or a spreadsheet, or a research that shows we needed to do this, that, or the other.” But the fact of the matter is the children aren’t the governments. They can’t possibly care as much as I do and they don’t know as much as I do as much I do what that kid, that child, needs to learn.
When you flip this over and you look at the model, how it completes, here’s what sometimes happens. The government ends up delegating to parents limited power and authority. And it comes that the government is the master of the education of my children instead of me being the master, and I’m simply the servant of the government to make sure this education happens. And the government says, “That’s our duty to make this happen.” So, we’re going to create a system that works and reflects, and reports back to the system instead of back to the parent.
The parent developed the system of education the first place to teach a child. Education, it’s most basic form is a parent, a child, and a teacher. That’s what it needs to be. And the challenge when you have the government over the top is, “No, we’re in charge. We understand how this is [00:23:00] supposed to work. We need to break this down and we need to have reports and tests and we need to make the system work.”
It’s not about the system. It’s about the child. And the more you have government in charge instead of the parent in charge, it stops being as child-centric or child-focused, and starts to be more system-focused.
It’s interesting when you look at that simple concept, there’s a lot of shoes involved there, aren’t there, to understand what education is all about. And those concepts are captured liked we talked about in the Constitution, the Supremacy Clause, the 10th Amendment, the Article I Section 1 Clause 1, to understand the very distinct power granted to government, only very limited power by the parents themselves over the education of their children.
With that basis, that backdrop, we’re going to start talking about Common Core now. Common Core is, like I said at the beginning, this would take this presentation. Common Core is a hot topic right now. It’s something that a lot of people have misunderstanding, misconception, or missed.
And so, what I did, I try to figure out. Let’s get to the bottom of this. We’ll fit some facts out there and let’s really [00:24:00] understand the true principles involved in understanding what Common Core is, and find out if this is something we need to worry about.
Some basic things we need to talk about. Pretty interesting that people who support Common Core, the proponents of Common Core, would usually give two basic ideas that they like to support. The first idea is that is that there are more rigorous standards. The second idea they like to proclaim is that it gives oranges for oranges, apples to apples, to be able to compare ourselves across states.
I support why those are legitimate reasons to support Common Core. I’ve talked to teachers who I really trust and really respect their [inaudible][00:24:33] and they said, “Jeff, I don’t care what other people tell you. These standards are more rigorous and it is good that we can compare state to state.” And so I said, “Then, I need to take them. I need to look at that and understand what they are saying.”
To get a history behind education though is to understand what it is all about. Back in the 1960s, is the first time that the federal government got involved in the education, our elementary and secondary education at the ESCA, that’s the federal government kind of knows their nose under the tent and said, “We need to get involved with education.” [00:25:00]
They got in there and there were some legitimate reasons they spell, some good reason to get involved, and because of their involvement, they caused some problems. They can’t really be fixed unless we had an Office of Education that knows — we can’t really fix them. What we need is we need a Department of Education.
So, in the late ’70s, Carter brought in the Department of Education. And with those apparent things that we’re going to fix, they cause some more problems. “Oh, we need to abolish the Department of Education.” That’s a rig and rand on. That didn’t quite work out. Then, we have Goals 2000 of Clinton which caused us more problems than we need to have. No Child Left Behind by President Bush, and then we have Common Core.
So, if you look at these challenges, what happens is when the government intervenes and in process principles of freedom, it violates principles of freedom, the natural consequence is we need to fix those problems. The way to fix it, according to the government, is more government. And that caused more problems we need to fix with more government and more government.
Let’s take for example, at the most, the recent change or No Child Left Behind, okay? In 2001, No Child Left Behind gets together and says, “Look, if you got [inaudible][00:25:55], you need to have 100% proficiency by the year 2014. [00:26:00] If you don’t hit 100% proficiency, we’re going to start taking away grants, having control, imposing on your freedom.” So, the federal government said “You can set your own standards. You can set your own levels of proficiency. What is that 100% bar you want to set?”
The obvious incentive for states is that they had to be held 100% standard whether they are new to the standard. They’re going to lower their standard, right? Somebody says, “Of course, they’re going to lower their standard because then making it 100% of it.
States across the board lowered their standards. The challenge was some states lowered them much more than those. I’ve been told and I know the details behind this, but the Wyoming lowered their standards a little bit, but other states lowered their standards a ton. And it’s not fair when they say, “Well, Nebraska is 100% proficient and Wyoming is only 82%.” That’s not fair because we’re here even though it’s only 82%. They’re the 100%, but we’re much better, and it’s not fair because you’re not talking apples for apples.
So, what did Common Core do? Common Core fixed that problem, so we are talking apples for apples. But why did that problem exist in the first place? [00:27:00] Because of “No Child Left Behind.” To have this equal standard or just exist in the first place because of the No Child Left Behind and the money, and the grants and the money and the control and the power that was associated, tied in with that.
Remember the other comment that’s a more rigorous standard? Well, remember, they dropped their standards in order to have No Child Left Behind compliance, in order to be able to comply easier with that. So, to surprise anybody that the standards have gotten more rigorous if there a lot of debate about that, but if that is indeed the case, would it surprise you to think that the standards have gotten more rigorous? Of course, they have because Common Core solving the problem that No Child Left Behind created, which was supposed to solve a problem that Goals 2000 created, which was supposed [inaudible][00:27:41] story of history.
Education, no different than any other issue with the government whether it be social security, whether it be Medicare, whatever it may be, it’s always government coming in to solve problems at government itself solved which always results in less freedom with the people.
Proponents of Common Core will say, “Hey, it’s good [00:28:00] to have this apple to apple comparison.” Let’s say it’s better to have these better standards. But we need to back up because the issue isn’t whether it’s good or better. When you’re talking about what’s good or better, you’re talking about outcomes. Because whether or not Common Core is going to fix problems, just like No Child Left Behind, it was accepted, right? It was supposed to fix problems and everyone looks back now, and it’s unanimous. They all say the No Child Left Behind is a train wreck. But it’s Common Core going core going to fix it? I don’t know because we are talking about future issues.
And when you talk about future issues, they’re not based on principles. When you talk about principles, those aren’t time bound. We’re not bound by what’s going to happen in the future. Principles are the same always. They’re eternal. They’re fixed. They’re foundational.
So, what we needed is a back up to the principle, not where the Common Core is good because it provides a nice standard or not because it’s better because it provides a more rigorous standard, what we want to find out is if Common Core is right. And the way to find out if it’s right is you compare it to principles.
Daniel Webster had this to say about this concept. He said, “It is hardly too strong [00:29:00] to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions.” I’m not saying whether or not people in Common Core have good intentions. What I’m saying is good intentions isn’t the bar that needs to be cleared. The bar that needs to be cleared is whether it’s right, not whether it’s good.
He says this, “There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.” So, very clearly, with Common Core, the issue isn’t whether it’s good or bad. The issue is whether it’s right, and is it right for top-down government, for top-down involvement in education? No, it’s wrong by these principles of freedom that we talked about before.
Let’s get into Common Core a little bit more and understand what it is because there’s a lot of arguments, a lot of debates about what it actually is. Here’s the questions though, the three questions, I think, [inaudible][00:29:45] are what is it, how does it affect me, and then, what can I do about it.
If I know those three questions and I understand what Common Core really is, don’t I? Then, we can move forward with some type of action plan what would even matter, does it affect, what is this thing, [00:30:00] and what can I do about it.
Let’s look at some things here. This first question, “What is it?” We’re going to break this down. There’s quite a few myths and facts about this. We’re going to break it down to four points. I think we understand these four points about Common Core, we’ll understand what it really is.
First point is debated, often is Common Core is a state-led initiative. That’s the first question. The first point is debated. The second point is Common Core is only a set of standards, not a curriculum. That’s hotly contested by both sides. Point #3 is there were no federal strings attached to Common Core, and Point #4, Common Core introduces a massive data collection system. So, those are four points that we’re going to discover. If we can truly answer those four points, then we’ll really know what Common Core is.
I’ve gone out of the state and talked to dozens and quite a few superintendents and board members and chairman of the board, I think we all agreed these are the four debatable points that really are foundational to understand.
Let’s go to this first one then. Common Core is a state-led initiative. Now the question behind this is why is [00:31:00] it not on the first place if Common Core is state-led initiative? Why does that matter? Because of what we just talked about, right? The Constitution, that’s what matters because of the 10th Amendment. Because a republic and republicans rule rule of law and our law is the Constitution, it clearly states that the government is not supposed to be involved in at the federal government level in education. Pretty simple.
Let’s look into this a little bit. Highlighting this idea Common Core is a state-led initiative. That word “state” is highlightable. What’s a state? A state is simply the citizens of the state. In a republic, citizens are represented by elected public servants whom the people themselves give power to, to enact laws in their behalf. The only legitimate law they can embody at the state level is the Legislature.
So, if you’re to say quite simply, what is a state, well, the state is the legislature if we’re going to talk about a state-led initiative because only the people have that power. We already know about that in Article I Section 1 Clause 1, but also in the Wyoming State Constitution, Article III Section 1 clearly says, “The legislative power shall be vested in a senate and house of representatives, which shall be designated [00:32:00] “the legislature of the State of Wyoming.” Only the legislature has the law-making power because they represent us and we’re self-governing. In republic, we let them to do certain things. So, at a very basic level, you say the state equals a state legislature. That is if we’re going to talk about a state-led initiative.
If we look forward and try to find this state-led initiative, we wouldn’t actually think, “Well, that must be in the state legislatures are the ones who brought this forward.” I’ve talked to dozens of legislators and they all tell me, well, at least a few months ago, now they’ll probably tell me a little bit different, but they said “I don’t know anything about Common Core.” I’ve nothing to do with Common Core.” Which is true, they didn’t have anything to do with Common Core.
Now, is that a problem? It could be a problem. Technically though, it’s not a problem because in the state of Wyoming, in Wyoming State Statute 21-2-304 A, there it says “The State Board of Education shall prescribe uniform student content before he standards.” In other words, the State Legislature gave to the State Board of Education the power to define those content performance standards. The fact that the State Legislature doesn’t know anything about it [00:33:00] isn’t wrong. There’s nothing with that in the state of Wyoming because they gave that power to the State Board of Education, and the State Board of Education is supposed to prescribe those Uniform Student Content Performance Standards.
It’s interesting though because there’s another caveat, there’s a condition on this 21-2-304 Subsection (a), Subject (iii). Look at this. Look what the condition is. It says, “In consultation and coordination with local school districts.” So, when the State Board of Education is supposed to set these content performance standards, they’re supposed to look outward and upward? Are they supposed to look inward to the grassroots or to the local school districts? The obvious answer is the second one, right? And why would that be? Because where does education happen? It happens in the local school districts.
Take it one step further, this may sound a little extreme and I’ll admit that, okay? My contention is why do we have a state board set the standards? If the standards are supposed to be set based on local [00:34:00] school districts, why don’t the local school districts set their standards? And then, you have a competition among the districts, whoever has the best standards, and the best district wins, the best standards win. Why would you say, “At a very basic level, I’m against Common Core because it’s top-down government? And wouldn’t I be against Cheyenne telling me and my school district and my teachers, and the parent what the standards would be? Why shouldn’t it be bottom-up? Why won’t the school districts themselves set the standards? Right? I don’t know.
Some people would say, “Well, that’s crazy.” I don’t think it’s crazy. The way I read Article VII of the Wyoming State Constitution, it tells the State Legislature to be in charge of funding, in charge of providing for the schools, no to set the standards. The standards, as we said, is at the local level because logic itself would say we’re self-governing. We’ll set our own standards. Why do we need to have a state standard and imposed upon us? Why can’t we choose a better standard and [inaudible][00:34:52] choose the worse one, and then we’ll find out pretty clear that wasn’t the best one? And competition breeds excellence.
To have a common standard is to say we have a commonality [00:35:00] that will not change and therefore, there’s no way to have excellence to excel, to exceed those standards because it’s set by the state. I would say let’s have the local school districts set their own standards. Like I said, that’s down the road a little bit. We’re not even close to that, but I think if you follow the logic of the principles of liberty, “Wait a second, I’m self-governing.”
The next word in this little phase is state-led initiative. So, were going to focus on this word lead. To lead is to guide or conduct by showing the way; to direct. So, if this really was state-led, you would expect in Wyoming for the State Board of Education be the ones leading this effort, wouldn’t you? If we’re going to call it state-led initiative.
Let’s look at this. What I’ve tried to do is I try to objectively get some information from those who are for Common Core, and those who are against Common Core, gone to the websites. Common Core website that I went to is called corestandards.org. That is the Common Core website. The people who are against the Common Core, I chose the website called truthinamericaneducation.com, very much [00:36:00] pro Common Core and anti Common Core. We’re going to find out from them who they say is leading this initiative, getting it out of the horse’s mouth.
In the Common Core website, it says this, “The National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers led the development of the Common Core State Standards and continue to lead the initiative.” So very, very clearly, those who are proponents of Common Core say to NGA and the CCSSO they’re the ones who led and still lead the initiative, right?
Let’s go to the other side. Let’s go to those who are against, the Truth in American Education website, and they say, “The creators of the Common Core standards enlisted the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.” So interesting, you have both sides of the issues saying it’s pointing to the same two organizations that are leading this effort.
There’s an ellipse there, what they say, we’re going to get into that a little bit deeper where the Truth in American Education says there’s even more depth to who really created this, but they both agree that the point man in this are the two organizations, the NGA and the CCSSO. If that’s true and they are the leaders, according to pro and con, then what’s the next logical set? [00:37:00] Let’s find out what is the NGA, what is the CCSSO.
Let’s go to nga.org and they say this, “The NGA is the collective voice of the nation’s governors and one of Washington, DC’s most respected public policy organizations. They themselves call themselves a public policy organization.” What’s a public policy organization? It’s just a lobbying group, people who try to work of public policy.
NGA is simply a public policy organization. They go on to say this as well, “The National Governors Association promotes visionary state leadership, shares best practices, and speaks with a collective voice on the national policy. Through NGA, governors identify priority issues and deal collectively with matters of public policy and governance at the state and national levels.”
When I first say National Governors Association, by assumption, how many governors do you think belong to the NGA if it’s the National Governors Association? Fifty, right? Because there are fifty states, okay? That’s what you think. Do you want to know how many are in the NGA? Your guess is as good as mine. I’ve heard recently 16. I don’t know. But your guess is as good as mine because it’s just a private organization, they don’t have to reveal [00:38:00] membership.
A private organization is a public policy group that doesn’t reveal their membership. All of a sudden, they are the ones leading this initiative to control the education of my children? Wait a second. And look what they say. The easiest word is “collective” — collective voice, collective voicing, collectively. Is our nation founded on collectivism or individualism? Individualism, right? Collectivism is the foundation for what? For socialism.
The collective voices are the nation’s governors. Governor Cuomo in New York or Governor Brown in California, does what they want to happen in public policy have any bearing on me as a citizen of Wyoming? Zero. Or at least it should have no bearing on me. Because what they do is the chief executive of their state has nothing to do with me as a sovereign citizen in Wyoming. They don’t have control over me. They have no jurisdiction over me.
So, it doesn’t matter to me what the collective voice of the nation’s governors wants. And legally, it has no bearing on me either. So, we look at that and say, there’s some challenges the NGA leading this because the NGA has no legitimate [00:39:00] authority.
Secondly, let’s go to the CCSSO. They say similarly, “The Council of Chief State School Officers is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states. They, themselves call themselves a nonprofit organization.”
You want to name some nonprofit organizations for me? Red Cross, thousands of churches, right? Those nonprofits, do they write laws? Nonprofits don’t write laws. Who enact laws? The Legislature. Do governors write laws? No. Who writes laws? The Legislature. They’re very open to say, “Look, we’re just a group, an organization of trade association that happens to have people who are superintendents of public construction in their various states.
That’s nice. You can have groups. People can form groups if they want to. You can form groups with the governors if you want to. But do they have any legislative authority to make laws or to lead initiatives? No. Zero.
They go on to say, “CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy and technical assistance on major educational issues.” Great. You want to offer assistance [00:40:00] and we want to take it, we will, that’s fine, but you don’t lead the initiative and bind us to a law or to a program or to an initiative. That’s not the proper rule. They don’t have the opportunity to do that. They don’t have the legal authority to do that.
This last word, initiative, we’re going to try to focus in on this. Here’s these words, the nation’s governors and education commissioners. I wanted to focus on this using this quote before, but I wanted to focus on the intent here. If governors and education commissioners — what really kinds of irks me about this is they’re playing on the ignorance of American people to say “This is state-led and we can prove it because the governor’s in our case is superintendent. The governor and the superintendent led this initiative.”
Well, what we’ve learned is do the governor and the superintendent have the authority to lead an initiative? No, only legislature because the legislature director represents us and we have given them the power to set laws and rules regarding the education of our children. Governors and superintendents don’t have that power. They have the power [00:41:00] to execute it, not to lead it, not to initiate it.
It’s really a bothersome thing to take advantage of say, “Oh, the states must be leading this because governors are leading.” Governors don’t lead. Governors execute. Legislature leads. The basic idea of freedom in those principles.
Let’s get to this, the Truth in America Education website. This is where we kind of clarify what they say. “These Common Core standards were initiated by private interests in Washington, DC, without any representation from the states.” They are saying we’ll take this one step further and tell you who really started this thing. It was some private interest without any representation with the states. Eventually, the creators realized the need to present a façade of state involvement and therefore enlisted the NGA and the CCSSO.”
They enlisted this façade to look like it’s the states who led it. Well, it’s a private organization who led it and brought the governors and the superintendents on, but the governors and the superintendents don’t lead state initiatives either such as it’s flawed in many different levels.
If you look at this, it’s a myth. [00:42:00] Common Core is not a state-led initiative if you look into what the word state and led, and initiative means. With common sense, it’s not a state-led initiative.
Let’s look a little bit more if there’s some more credence in the Truth in America Education website. Let them see what they say as far as explaining a little bit further. “Neither these groups, the NGA and the CCSSO, had a grant of authority from any particular state of states to write the standards. The bulk of the creative work was done by Achieve, Inc.” Now, if you want an ear for or an eye for, go to achieve.org. They’ll let you know exactly. They’ve been involvement in trying to write national standards for a decade now or more, actually almost two decades.
“Achieve Inc., a DC- based nonprofit that includes many progressive education reformers who have been advocating national standards and curriculum for decades. Massive funding for all this came from private interests such as the Gates Foundation.” Now, what would Bill Gates have to stand to gain from this? Most people will say money and I’d say, “I don’t know. My research hasn’t shown that it’s all that much money issue. Because when you have billions upon billions of [00:43:00] dollars, does money mean that much anymore to you or it really means power? Power. And what could be more powerful than having control over the hearts and minds of America’s youth. Could it mean any powerful than that?
Bill Gates is the proponent of small government or proponent of big world government? Very much a big world government guy. So, we’d have a reason to say we want to control the standards. We want to control the teaching of these kids. Why, for money? No, maybe he might make a few million, but for power, you bet, huge power, if you can control the standards and make common standards for every kid in the United States with a huge amount of controlling them.
So, we’ve established that Common Core isn’t state-led, but just for fun, let’s assume it was state-led. Let’s assume the state-led legislature did lead this all across the United States, this 50-state Legislative has got together and so it’s moved forward on this. Okay, let’s make that assumption for a second. Would that make it constitutional? No. And why not? Here’s one point I was going to point I was going to make. If something is constitutional or not constitutional, then show me in the Constitution that’s what supports that idea.
Let’s go to Article I [00:44:00] Section 10 Clause 3. It says, “No state shall, without the consent of Congress enter into any agreement or compact with another state.” Why would that be? Why is that check and balance thrown in there? It’s thrown in there because the founders wanted to make sure those things that are supposed to be national and federal, those things will be addressed by the federal government. Those things that are supposed to stay local and state, they’ll not be allowed to become regionalized or nationalized.
No state shall, without the consent of Congress enter into any agreement or compact with another state because we don’t want those things that are supposed to be local nationalized. Very clear in the Constitution, it says it says you can’t do that. It says with the consent of Congress, you can, but does Congress have authority over education? No, because they can’t grant an authority they don’t have. “Oh, yeah, you can go ahead and nationalize this.” No, you can’t. There’s no authority for Congress to do so.
So, there’s simply no way for something like this even if it were state-led to be considered constitutional, which I kind of blows out a lot of precondition here, right? The reason of this matter is because if it’s constitution or not. If it’s state-led, it is constitutional. Actually, [00:45:00] to back that up and I’ll look at the Constitution itself, Article I Section 10 Clause 3 says even if it were state-led, it still violates the idea of federalism, keeping at the local level the local control over education.
Moving on to Point #2 here. Point #2 says “Common Core is only a set of standards, not a curriculum. This is the most common simple response I get all the time, Common Core is just a set of standards. Interestingly enough, standards didn’t even come to existence until around 1997 in Wyoming. Do you want to guess they came into existence? Because of federal involvement. We needed federal grants and federal approval and federal money, and so, we said we better put standards together if they want us to put standards together.
So, most people in America graduated from systems. They didn’t have government set standards. Their standards are developed locally by teachers [inaudible][00:45:51]. Of course, there’ve always been standards. Teachers will say, “I want to have my child know their multiplication table by the time that they are in the third grade.” Those are standards, those are good, [00:46:00] but they will never top down and imposed by government until around 1997 when we need to comply with educational standard requirements of the federal government. Ain’t that interesting? Are standards bad? No, standards are great. We want to have standards. We want to work for those.
Why the focus on the difference between standards and curriculum? Why do proponents of Common Core say it’s just a standard, not a curriculum? Don’t worry about it. And those opponents of Common Core say, “Wait, the standards do affect the curriculum.” Even federal law — there are three specific federal laws. I’ll point t one of them right now.
It says “No provision of any applicable program shall be construed to authorize any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational system, institution, school, or school system.”
So, why the difference? Because it’s very blatant and in clear language it says you can’t control the curriculum. And they say, “Well, then it’s not curriculum, it’s a [00:47:00] standard.” Is there any tie behind standard and curriculum? I think there might be.
Standards, at a very basic level, are set and the only way to find out if you’re hitting those standards is if you write assessments, correct? You go through assessments and find are we hitting those standards. So, these assessments are written to measure if the students are achieving the standard.
Curriculum is written to prepare students to perform well on the assessments, so they can prove that they’re hitting the standards. Do standards have any control, any bearing over the curriculum? Yes, they do. Very interestingly, I’ll have to give out my quote somewhere. I mean, in the constitution.org website, you can go and get all the references to this. But it’s very, very clear in the MOA, the memorandum of agreement; it very clearly says that state has the freedom to adjust their curriculum to hit the standards.
Now, wait. [00:48:00] I thought you said the standards don’t affect the curriculum? Yes, they do. If you get the freedom to adjust your curriculum how you want it at local level, but it has to comply with the standards, isn’t there a condition on the curriculum? That isn’t a curriculum affected by the standards? You bet it is. That’s the whole point. You don’t write standards jus for the fun of it. You write standards so that they trickle down to the assessment and the curriculum to hit those standards.
That process itself is not a bad process. What’s wrong with it? Is there someone from the top down sets it and imposes it on you? If it’s you who’s setting your own standard and assessing as if you’re hitting it, and then writing a curriculum, and to make sure they’re hitting those standards and assessments, that’s great. But if someone is imposing it on you and you don’t even agree with it, that’s where the problem is and you had no voice in setting it up.
Looking at another perspective from the teacher’s perspective, standards. No one’s against accountability in education. All of us in the private market know we have to go to work and we have to perform or lose our jobs, right. So, to have a standard and have an assessment is fine to makes sure they’re hitting those.
But here’s something called the high stakes assessment when it [00:49:00] comes into this Common Core. These ideas are used as objective proof to measure a teacher’s effectiveness in helping students achieve the standards. It’s objective proof. Whether or not you hit this assessment, whether or not at a certain percentage get it, that proves whether you’re a good teacher or not. And if you don’t hit it, you’re going to get put on probation. If you don’t hit it two years in a row, you’re going to get fired. That’s high stakes. And what happens? The very narrow focus becomes that test. You better do well on that test because it affects your longevity. It affects your salary. It affects your security with your home and your family you’re trying to provide for.
So, you go to the next step here in curriculum and it says, “The curriculum drives what teachers teach since how well the students do on the assessments will determine and directly impact the teacher’s monetary rewards and job security because every incentive in the world for the teacher to teach to that test. Because if they don’t hit that test, they’re not going to have a job, if they don’t perform well on that test. That’s high stakes testing. [00:50:00]
Is there anything wrong with really holding our feet as far as making sure that happens? That’s great if things are going to happen. Once again, if it’s top down, if it’s imposed upon you by some other organization that you had no input into and you’re sent to complying with a top-down mandate, that’s where the problem comes into play.
This is the point I want to very, very, very clearly make. If you’re against Common Core which I am, it’s because I’m for teachers and I’m for local ministers. That’s the point. I’m totally for that. I’ve yet to meet and I’ve met dozens of administrators and teachers throughout the state, maybe in hundreds, but in particular, the ones that are with my kids, I’ve never met any of them that haven’t been pro-child.
That’s why they get in the industry. That’s why they there is because they want to teach, they want to use their skills to help a kid become passionate about learning, or reading, or math, and I love that about those teachers. And the last thing in the role they want is for them not to be able to do what they think they should do with my child and make the adjustment to teach them how they want to.
Do all my kids or any kids — does any child learn at the same level and learn the same things at the same way? No. And so, [00:51:00] we want to have that adjustment. We only have a tight buckle-down system that says you will hit this and you will hit this and you will teach this in order to hit the standard, that’s when you take away from them the freedom.
So, the argument that it’s a standard, in my opinion, and it’s not a curriculum doesn’t hold water because the standard directly affects the curriculum and I don’t want outside influence. I’m against Common Core because I’m for our local superintendent. I’m for our local school, but I’m for our local teachers. I want them to be in charge. I trust them. I trust their ingenuity. I trust their passion. I trust their innovation to do what’s best for my child. That’s what I love about it.
They say if you’re against Common Core, you’re against education. No, that’s untrue. That’s the opposite. I’m against Common Core because I’m for education. It’s critical to understand that. I think that’s very important to know and to advocate that idea.
Speaking of assessments real quick, there are two branches from Common Core. There have been to assessments that have been aligned with Common Core. One is called PARCC, P-A-R-C-C. It’s an acronym. The other one is called Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium, SBAC. [00:52:00] That’s the one Wyoming is committed to, the SBAC. The SBAC is quite an interesting little assessment.
For some reason, the federal government was fine, openly admitted they gave millions of dollars to these assessments. They tried to hide the fact that they’re involved with Common Core, but as far as the assessments, the US Department of Education openly stated on the website, “We’ve given millions upon millions of taxpayers’ money to these assessments that align with Common Core which is top-down standard setting. So, just to understand that. We’ll talk a little bit more about that in a second.
This idea that Common Core is only a set of standards, not a curriculum, that simply is a myth. If you want to talk technically, oh, yeah, she’s a standard. But if you want to talk reality wise, you better believe it affects the curriculum and that is a violation on my right as a parent to be able to determine what my child would be taught instead of a top-down agency tell me that or a top-down organization tell me that.
Point #3 then moving on here is this idea, “There were no federal attached to Common Core.” This is kind of interesting because over and over the federal government will use this excuse, “Look, we didn’t make the states do this.” And so, it’s not [00:53:00] a mandate, then it have to do this. And I don’t buy that at all because the idea is they do not seem involved in it in the first place and for them to give the opportunity for the states to say, “Yeah, we do want federal involvement, that doesn’t fly standard of principles.
Maybe like me, I have seven kids, right? Maybe like me telling — the oldest is four, “Look, you don’t get to go to Halloween. You don’t get to have any candy this year. It’s going to be for your younger siblings. Okay? So, we’re not doing that. You get some standard handout candy, but on they are going to get dressed up and go do that.”
And they come back an hour later after Halloween is done, upstairs in the room and they were all dividing all the candy and I walked into the room, an all the older kids have all the candy. And I said, “I thought I was pretty clear here? The candies were supposed to be for the little kids, not for you.” “Hey, we didn’t make them take it. We just offered them dollar for every piece.” “Well, the fact of the matter is you’re not supposed to have it in the first place and to say that we didn’t make them, that is not the issue. The issue is you weren’t supposed to have them in the first place.
The issue is the federal government is not supposed to be involved in donating out money for education. They’re not supposed to be involved. So, for them to say, “We didn’t make the states. It wasn’t mandatory. They chose to and it was up to them, [00:54:00]” doesn’t fly. It’s not an honest application of the principles of liberty.
To say there are no federal strings attached to the Common Core — and we’re going to get into this. I’m going to have a bonus feature on this DVD where we’re going great detail about this next slide. So, we’ll just hit some of the highlights.
But if you want to look, you can find on the financial statements of the NGA, which are the people who copyrighted the Common Core, look at their financial statement — 2010, $5.4 million in federal grants; 2011, $5.8 million in federal grants; 2012, 4.9 million. So, to tell me there are no strings, then look at the financial statements, it says very clear, there are millions of dollars being given by the federal government to Common Core. Don’t tell me that it doesn’t exists.
Question becomes why does it matter if federal strings are attached to Common Core? Because of this idea of federalism. Because the federalism is involved in it, they are violating principles of federalism.
Like I said, here’s this Timeline. One of the bonus featured called Common Core Timeline where we get a lot of details. Let’s briefly hit some of the highlights. In the spring of [00:55:00] 2009, the ARRA, the American Recovery in Reinvestment Act is also called the Stimulus Bill, it earmarked $4.35 billion to the Department of Education.
Taking money from the people and saying “We’re going to give $4.35 billion to the Department of Education to use.” Problem, right? And the Department of Education is a federal government that’s not supposed to be involved in that.
In the spring of 2009, then Governor Freudenthal and then Superintendent McBride signed an MOA, a memorandum of agreement, to accept Common Core, to commit to Common Core. Those are the actual words, to commit to Common Core. Those detractors from this say, “No, it wasn’t a commitment. We could get out of it whenever we wanted to.” If you read the actual MOA, that’s where this bonus feature will get all the details behind that.
The actual words are commit to adopt Common Core. A lot different than just “No, we’re just exploring it.” No, you’re committing to it. That’s what the MOA said. That’s what you signed your name to.
The next thing, in the summer of 2009, the Department of Education announces the Race to the Top. Race to the Top is a competitive grant. We’re going to take money [00:56:00] from you and we’re going to let you compete to get it back, and it’s conditional upon accepting Common Core.
Some people may correct me and say that’s not true, Jeff. You’re being misleading because it wasn’t conditional upon accepting Common Core. And it’s true. It was conditional upon accepting Career in College Readiness Standards. And guess what. The only Career in College Readiness Standards available at that time was Common Core. So, I stand corrected, but there is the full story. Pretty simple, it is conditional upon accepting common core.
At that point, Governor Freudenthal and Superintendent McBride said, “Look, we’re already on board. This is good. We’ve already committed to common core, and so we’re already kind of standing a good position to get federal money from Race to the Top. We should be praised as heroes. We’ve got ourselves a good position for money.”
January 2010, Wyoming applies for Race to the Top. They applied for $162 million grant, $81 million of which will go straight to the school districts. Now, it’s an interesting little aside to say that our Wyoming Department of Education openly said, “Look, we didn’t get any Race to the Top money [00:57:00] and that is true. We applied for it, we wanted it, we complied as much as we could, but they turned us down because we didn’t quite jump through all the hoops.”
For them to say, “Look, there are no federal strings. We didn’t get this $162 million dollars” is misleading. We applied for a retrying to get it. And was the any federal money? Yeah, we’re able to find out there’s at least 15 million worth of grants from 2010, 2011, 2012. Federal money, very directly tied.
February 2010, Title I funding was tied to the adoption of Common Core State Standard. What’s Title I funding? Title I funding is all the money for the low income kids, it’s all the free lunch of this huge amounts of money to make the schools run. Look, if you don’t accept Common Core, we’re going to take away Title I funding. Do you call that federal string? I do.
Another one I didn’t put in here, No Child Left Behind. No Child Left Behind is universities expected it as a horrible program, a train wreck, like we talked about before, on both sides out. I won’t say it’s bad. And some states are raising to say, “Please let us have a waiver from No Child Left Behind. It’s a horrible system.[00:58:00] It’s bad. It’s flawed fundamentally. And guess what. The federal government says, “Yeah.” Department of Education, “We’ll give you a waiver to No Child Left Behind if you adopt Common Core.” If Common Core is so great, why is it we have so many punishments for not accepting it and so many incentives for accepting it? Interesting concepts, right?
Look at this, June 2010 is a really interesting date here, June 16, 2010. It says “Common Core standards are released and the State Board of Education adopts them two weeks later.” It’s interesting and we’ll get this more into the bonus feature, the more of the details here, but there is a document put up by the WDE, the Wyoming Department of Education, that says “All we did was vote to consider adopting Common Core.”
I went and looked up online the State Board of Education minutes on the meeting of June 16, 2010 at Fremont County School District 25, in the boardroom of Riverton, Wyoming, page 6 under Common Core standards that says, “Dana Mantavezhia [phonetic] — I’m not sure how to pronounce that name — moved the board approve the adoption of Common Core State Standards in English, [00:59:00] Language, Arts, and Mathematics in the next revision of the Wyoming Content Performance Standards to be completed by December of 2011.” It goes on to say “It was it was seconded by Mike Hemnijec [phonetic] — I’m not sure how to say that one either — and the motion carried.
Very clearly it says in black and white, “She moved that the board approve the adoption of Common Core State Standards.” That means they approved the adoption of Common Core State Standards. Not that they approved the idea to consider them, it says “We’re adopting them.” And why is that critical? Because they are adopting them before the process of sending them to the public and sending them to the Revision Committees, it’s already been approved. That’s a challenge and that’s why they came up with the documents saying “No, no, we just approved to consider.” Not it’s approved to adopt. It says in their own minutes. That’s an interesting one to look at.
In November 2010, Wyoming signs on to the SBAC, the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium. It’s also, if you look at it, its government document kind of interesting. If you want to get out of the SBAC, Point #3 says you have to have a written request [01:00:00] submitted to the project management partner. Point #5, upon approval of the request, the project management partner will then submit a change of membership to the US Department of Education for approval.
So, if you want to get out of this consortium, you have to ask some project management, a partner, he or she has to approve it, and then the US Department of Education has to approve it. That sound like state control? It sounds like you’re locked in, doesn’t it? Because that’s what you are, you’re locked in.
Other interesting things here says the state is committed to implement a plan identifying any existing barriers in state law, statute regulation or policy to implementing the proposed assessment system and to addressing any such barriers prior to full implementation of the summative assessment components of the system. In other words, if you have any state law that doesn’t allow us to put this assessment into place. You need to identify those barriers and a plan to overcome those barriers.
In basic terms, this may sound like I’m blowing this out for saying the sky is falling. But in basic terms, they are saying, “Look, if what we’re doing is illegal, you need to find a way [01:01:00] to make it not illegal.” Wow, hold on a second. Does SBAC sound like a fun program, a give a little assessment program, or it sound like control? It is control and it’s funded by the federal government.
Anyway, moving on — no, actually, let me give you one other thing it says in the — it says the grantee must provide timely and complete access to any and all data collected at the state level to the Education Department or it’s designate program monitors, etc., etc. So, if you want to be part of the SBAC, you agreed to provide timely and complete access to any and all data collected at the state level to the education department.
Wow. Hold on a second. We’re going to collect data to hand over to the federal government and any and all data? We commit to that when we sign on the SBAC? That’s a huge violation of freedom.
Spring 2011, Wyoming Standards Revisions Committee meeting. Now, remember what’s the plum with the Wyoming Standards Revisions Committee meeting? The plum is our meeting after it’s already been [01:02:00] decided which is a perfunctory group who’s getting together to look like revising this. And when they got back and gave the revised standards, guess what, those standards have zero revisions. Not a single apostrophe or comma was changed. They’d already committed to it. That’s already a done deal. They’re just meeting just to go through and rubberstamp it.
And then add insult to injury, December 2011 to February 2012, they had public comments and hearings. And they receive all the public comments and hearings. The WDE says “We received all these public comments and hearings,” and guess what they did to those. Nothing. They didn’t change, once again, anything and the Common Core State Standards were accepted and approved 100% by the State Board of Education in April 2012.
If you look at this, there should be some bells and whistles going off saying “Wait a second. We had the car ahead of the horse.” We’re committing to thing with governors and superintendents had no power to do so, we’re adopting Common Core and men putting out to the public saying, “Do you want this or not?” You’ve already adopted it and the fruits in the Putney is when it comes back, no changes are made, and the State Board of Education [01:03:00] goes ahead and approves it again to act like, “Oh, no. What’s been up to the public?” And after a year and a half of looking at it, now we’re going to approve it.” No, you already approved it. You’re just trying to back fill. That’s the challenge there.
I don’t know what people’s intentions are. I’m not sure. I’m not going to ascribe any ill-intention [inaudible][01:03:16] anyone, but saying the facts with the facts, and there’s some challenges there.
So, there are no federal strings attached to Common Core, that is very big myth, very much attached to it. Here’s facts that can prove that.
Point #4, Common Core introduces a massive data collection system. I want to be clear. As I’ve done the research, it’s the Common Core introduces a massive data collection system, it very much complies with continued and a more aggressive data collection.
There are two questions related to this data collection. The first one is will data occur in Common Core? The second question is, if data collection is used just to provide a feedback loop to monitor and improve the effectiveness of the education system, what would be wrong with that? What’s wrong with that?
Let’s address the first question. [01:04:00] Will data collection occur? The CCSSO who had copyrighted our Common Core, they say, “Continue funding the creation of enhanced P-20 data systems.” What’s a P-20 data system? It’s probably best to answer what’s K-12. K-12 is kindergarten through 12th grade, right? P-20 is pre-kindergarten. And if 12 is the fourth year of high, 16 is the fourth year of college, 20 is the fourth year into the workforce.
So they say, “We need to continue funding the creation of enhanced P-20 data systems” to track from preschool, like 4, 5 years old to 20, 26 years old –“that utilize unique student identifiers to track student growth over time. Ensure links across early childhood, K-12, higher education, and workforce data systems; establish a single comprehensive reporting office in the Education Department that manages all data request and collections.”
Remember, because we’ve already committed to share our data with them when we signed the [01:05:00] SBAC. We already committed any and all data. And through this, a P-20 from 4 or 5 years old all the way to 26 years old, all these data needs to be shared and collective with the education level?
Now, it’s interesting because when you look at the wording of the SBAC, it’s very clear that the state collects the data. The federal government once again says “We’re not doing this. The state’s collecting it, but we’re committed to share it through the longitudinal data systems with the P-20 assistance with the federal government.”
So, is the federal government collecting data? You bet, but they’re just not the ones actually doing it. They’re just giving money and grants to make this happen. And so, there were issues like that that I can’t acknowledge because of my older kids. The candy analogy with my older kids. “Oh yeah, no, we didn’t make them, but we’re the ones who end up with the candy.”
Another quote from the US Department of Education, they’re blatantly on their website. “You can look this up. It says “The program provides grants to states [01:06:00] to design, develop and implement statewide P-20 longitudinal data systems to capture, analyze, use student data from preschool to high school, college, and the workforce.”
The US Department of Education openly says the federal government is involved in funding P-20 systems. We will give money to states to fund the P-20 systems, these data collection systems. Wait a second, okay? There are obviously different things they have to do in order to qualify for that.
Number 12 on that least of what they have to do to have this money grant and then to develop P-20 is the system has to have the ability to share data from preschool through post secondary education data systems. They have to be able to share because the state collects and they share with the federal government. Pretty simple,.
Lastly, this is the same quote pretty much. This is by Achieve. Longitudinal data system should follow individual students from grade to grade and school to school, all the way from kindergarten through postsecondary education and in the workforce, the workplace. States must follow students through K-12 into postsecondary into workforce and establish feedback loops to the relevant stakeholders.
So, once again, sounds good, right? It [01:07:00] sounds good to provide feedback, see if the education systems are working well or not. Remember, the standard isn’t whether something’s good. It’s whether it’s right. Is it right to be tracking this data?
It’s really interesting too because the big word here is to provide feedback looks to the relevant stakeholders. In education, who is most relevant stakeholder? The parent. That’s the whole purpose of education, for the parent to educate their child. And yet, the relevant stakeholders recently under FERPA, which the Family Educational Rights and Privacy act, purpose has been lowered recently to include different stakeholders and essentially, when it comes down to and when all the smoke clears, for government agencies to have access to, if data that’s collected, P-20, and so that any government agency can have that data, extensively to help the feedback and make sure we’re doing this right and there’s good tracking, and we’re being accountable for how our system is working.
But how much involvement do the parents have in that? Not enough, I’d say. And I, as a parent, do I want a big [01:08:00] spreadsheet, all kinds of data and statistics to figure out how where my child is. No. I want to talk with my child’s teacher and say, “How are they doing?” Are they loving Reading? Are they loving Math or whatever those things are? Let’s work together on that.
I don’t need some big comparison with people in Singapore and people in New York. I don’t really care if New York are doing well or better than my child. I care that my child is reaching their maximum potential, and I don’t want the standards of New Jersey and Chicago being imposed on my child, how are they doing compared to these standards. No way. And you look at these interesting standards.
Some people say that the common core is that English, Language, Arts, and the Math, they’re just the camel’s nose under that tent. Because how controversial can those two subjects be? Well, we found proof they we can be very controversial, all kinds of different ways to teach Math apparently and teach Reading. But what about when you get to health and sex ed, and history, and you get into this different ideas? I do not want the standards of Chicago to be the standards of the kids being held to. I don’t even want them [01:09:00] maybe taught those things they’re trying to teach me in Chicago. Is that wrong? They’re untrue. They’re ungodly. They’re on principle. It’s kind of some interesting deals there.
So, most relevant stake holder should be the parent, and yet, we have all these stakeholders and I’ll brought into the picture by a [inaudible][01:09:12] FERPA and allowing that to happen.
Common Core introduces a massive data collection system, it’s a fact. Common Core does not introduce,but complies with and continues to expand its data. Massive data collection system is part of the whole tracking of data of the students and passing it on to the federal government.
The second question is if they’re just collecting in order to make the education system more effective, what’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with that is the 4th Amendment. That’s what’s wrong with it.
The 4th Amendment says, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.” And remember, people call us our 4th Amendment right. Is there a 4th Amendment right? No. It’s our God-given right to privacy. We have the right to be private. Our government is not our master. They don’t need to know anything about me and as I choose [01:10:00] to let them know, that in my behalf is my agent.
This says we need to be secure in our papers, houses, and in effects, and persons unless — does the government have any right to search and seize? They do as outlined in the 4th Amendment. It says very clearly when those conditions are met. The conditions are “No warrant shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath and affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
The government can search and seize and invade on your privacy within your home and your papers, your effects, etc, if they have a probable cause and they swear before a judge and put my honor my oath on the line to say “I believe this person is infringing on these rights in this way, and here’s that I’m going to look for.” And the judge can say, “That’s reasonable.” More probably than not, you’re right. They’re going to give you a warrant to go and do that. That’s when they can do it.
Now, you tell me, are your kids infringing on anyone’s right by being involved in the public school system? No. So, does government have any right to track data, [01:11:00] to search and seize information about them, and to pass it on to other people? That’s a violation of the 4th Amendment in the first degree. It’s huge. It’s a big deal to be taking private information, collecting it, passing on all the government agencies because what happens? That’s going to command the economy.
That’s what the government in Russia does, the government in Nazi, Germany does. They say, “This person is from this ethnic background, they have this religious stance, they have this policy stance, they have this socio-economic stance, and they did well on this test and they scored low on this and high on this. So, therefore, they are going to be an engineer,” or “They’re going to be this or that.” And they assign you.
I don’t send my kids to get assigned by a command economy what they will do, I send my kids to get educated and to develop their talents and skills in a way that they can choose what they want to do. It’s a huge difference when you’re in the system. The system answers to the system instead of the system answering to the parent, I mean controlled by the parent.
And when it’s all systematic, it’s all based on the system, then, the gathering of information makes sense. That’s good, that’s right. [01:12:00] That’s the best way to do it. But it’s not right. It’s wrong. It violates principles of freedom and privacy. Huge difference there.
And we’ve been duped into thinking that government has the right to know everything about us so they can plan for us socially, whatever it may be, to make the best plans for society, as long as it’s in the best interest of society. That’s not true. We are the masters and they our servant. They don’t have any right to know anything about us unless it complies with the proper role of government and to track all these data on, this is not the proper role of government.
How does Common Core affect me? We’re going to hit just a few of these real quick. I’m probably not going to expand on much of this thrown out there. “It denies me my natural, God-given, self-evident right as a parent to direct the education of my children. Second, it gives to government powers that neither I nor any other one of “we the people” authorized. Third, strips me and my children of our God-given right to privacy, makes us subject to the state instead of the master over it. Number [01:13:00] four, coerces public servants into actions they wouldn’t otherwise take and binds their hands.
This one probably bugs me the most because I’ve to superintendents and school board members, and all of them — even in the state board, I’ve talked to them, and they say “We’re all for local control,” and I really believe they sincerely feel like they are.
The challenge is though when you’re built in the systems, there are strings attached, money, and then coercion, and penalties, and “Oh, let’s just try because it’s probably good. Maybe give it a try and the Legislature says we need to improve our standards.
The problem is this, coercion makes them do things they won’t otherwise do because all of them are in their heart of hearts and very openly want local control. The challenge is Common Core tricks them into thinking there is still local control when there isn’t. That bugs me.
Common Core is imposing upon them and controlling them, and they don’t even see it. They don’t even see that Common Core really is a top down. It really is controlling them. I want them to say “We’re in charge. We’re going to do this. We’re going to set these standards. We’re going to achieve.” That’s what needs to happen.
And it stifles my children’s progress and individuality, turns my children into numbers [01:14:00] and data points instead of individuals with unique interests and challenges. Because when you look at a child as an individual, things change. When you look at him as a data point and that someone is trying to hit a common standard so we can prove that we are hitting the same as every other state and we can interchange them from state to state and still have the same results, that’s a different perspective.
That’s a systematic perspective instead of a child-based perspective because my individual child is what matters to me as a parent. That’s what needs to happen. And that love and that interaction, that passion, that exchange of ideas and values, that’s what I want to happen. Not that they hit a certain test call. It all become test scores. It’s not about test scores.
Now, the issue is what can I do about Common Core? I’ve already described what it is, how it affects me, and then, what can I do about it. That’s when we’re going to get to the rubber meets the road here. And this is no different than any other presentation I do that I feel there are three steps.
The first step is to educate yourself on principles of freedom, so you’ll understand right and wrong. Not good or better, but right and wrong. Number two, I need to share information with others. And I was taught don’t shake, [01:15:00] just share. We need to share information with other parents and every parent or grandparent, or taxpayer should be interested in the education of our youth. It’s critical. It’s viral to the survival of our country, right? Number three is to make a plan and do it.
Let’s address this specifically when it comes to Common Core. The first thing is to educate yourself but I suggest we need to understand what the relevant constitutional principles of freedom are regarding education. We also need to understand who are the constitutionally-defined decision-makers in education. Lastly, what authority do the decision makers possess?
We’ve already talked about it. In the state of Wyoming, who is in charge of setting performance standards? It’s the State Board of Education. What power does the superintendent in the local school board have? They have power over the curriculum. My opinion is that that’s very much controlled by those standards, but they do have the power to set the curriculum.
It’s interesting. If you go to the state board or go to the local school board and the superintendent tell them, “Don’t follow Common Core. I don’t want you following it because I’m the parent. I’m in charge.” What you are asking them to do is break the law.[01:16:00] You can’t do that. You have to be reasonable. What power do they have? They can’t not follow it. They have to follow it. They’re bound by its statute, by law in the state of Wyoming to follow standards set by the State Board of Education.
So, when you’re going for and making the plan of action, make sure you are asking someone to do something they legally can do. Don’t’ ask them to do something they can’t do. That’s disrespectful. It shows a blatant misunderstanding and they’re going to say, “You’re trying to tell me to break the law? Get out of here. I don’t’ even want to listen to you.” But if you go to proper course of action — we’re going to talk about what that proper course of action would be.
After understanding the principles, we have to understand the principles related to education. If we talk about the different good or bad, or get in a conversation argument– well this good, this is better, this is worst, that’s not the issue. The issue is it’s wrong for top-down education and Common Core is a manifestation of a top-down education.
The second point is share information with others. We need to identify other like-minded neighbors, friends and family, and sheriff missions with them. The issue is every parent, grandparent, taxpayer, they should all be concerned about this, shouldn’t they? [01:17:00] Because this is a big deal. The education of our children is the next generation, how our republic is going to survive or not.
The most important thing, I think ,to let people know is like I said before, I’m anti-Common Core because I’m pro-education. I’m pro-local control of education. I like our superintendent. I like our chairman of the school board. I like our school board. I like our teachers, administrators, principals. That’s why I’m against Common Core because I am for local control, not local government. The superintendent is the school board of the teachers. They’ve been told “This is what you will obey.” They were mandated and they’re supposed to, by state law, follow those things. They have to.
And so, they are naturally resistant to anyone speaking against Common Core. It sounds like we are against them, were not. We’re against the principles that violates or we’re against the violation of the principle is better said. And it’s important that they know that and they know they we’re in support of them.
We’re not against them. We are in support of them, and what we want to address is whether it’s right or wrong. We don’t want to address the principles behind it. We don’t want to address whether they’re bound to it, or whether they just have to go forward, or help us get some money. [01:18:00]
We’re not interested in that. We’re interested in the principles. And once you can get to the principles and understand, we can understand together that it’s wrong and we agree that it’s wrong. Top-down control is wrong of education.
So, how do you do that? One of the best ways is a video. There are tons of videos online about Common Core. Share this DVD with your friends and family. If you go to someone who start talking about Common Core and they throw something at you like “Oh, I don’t know. It’s uncomfortable. I’m never doing that again. I don’t know what to say.” What I’m suggesting is find a video. You don’t have to be the expert. Share some information with them so they can learn from themselves.
Point #3 is to make a plan and do it. Here’s this first idea. The first idea is let’s write a letter to the governor stating that since he appoints the member of the State Board of Education you intend to communicate with him regarding their actions and to hold him accountable for their action.
Is this a threat? No, it’s just a simple acknowledgement that we live in a republic and republic is representative government. Those State Board of Education members are making decisions about the standards of my kids, their education standards, they’re not elected by me. They’re appointed by the governor. I can’t touch them.[01:19:00] I have no accountability. Regardless of whether I like what they do or not, it will not affect their appointment.
But I do affect the governor’s election because I elect him. I’ll let him know, “Look, what they do is since I can’t affect then, I’ll hold you accountable for it because they’re your appointee.” That’s not mean. It’s not mean spirit of something to let him know. There’s some power in writing on the line here for you appointing. You will be held accountable for that. If they continue to support anti-freedom and support destruction of principles of freedom, then the governor should answer for that because he’s the one who appointed them.
The next point is encourage a state representative to sponsor a bill to halt the implementations of common core. Some state representatives may say, “We can’t do that. We already gave the power to the state board. We can’t say “Make that decision. Oh you made the wrong one we’re going to take it back.” That would be a common response.
And my response is, “Wait a second. Who’s in charge here? The people are in charge and you’re telling me that we can’t do anything about the state-appointed board in making all the decisions? No, [01:20:00] we’re in charge and since you created the board, you gave them their power, you can take it back and say, “You know, you’re wrong.”
And if we present and they get enough of this information, this true principles, and these violations of principles, then say “Yeah, it only makes sense to state time out.” Hold on. Let’s look into this. That’s not even a common core and there are so many ways that it’s wrong and it’s bad. We don’t want this to happen. Don’t hide behind a bureaucratic board. Say, “Yes, I represent you and we’re going to make a change here. We’re going to challenge this.”
Next, ask a state rep or senator to sponsor a bill to make the State Board of Education a regionally elected board. They should be elected and that should happen. That should be something they should say, “Yeah, you bet. You should have a say in what standards are because those standards are for your child.
Like I said earlier, I would advocate one step further. Let’s get the power to make standards back in the hands of the local school board because the local school board represents the parents, and may the best standards win. But for now, where we’re at the first step, let’s get the State Board of Education be elected instead of appointed.
And the [01:21:00] idea too regionally, not just population based. Regionally, so that all aspects, all different parts of Wyoming is represented. Just by population, you’re going to have Casper, and Cheyenne, and Laramie who dominate the talking points or they dominate the decision of the school board. Let’s make it regional, so all ideas are represented.
Lastly, this is where we’re going to talk about what we can actually do at the local level. Attend your local school meeting and make a public comment. Sit down and visit your local school board and or superintendent to discuss common core. Ask them to issue a non-binding resolution opposing common core. This deserves further explanation.
Like I said before, if you go in there and tell them to do something that’s against the law, you’re asking them to break the law. They’re not going to do that. We can’t do that. We have to be respectful and understand where they’re at. What we want them to do is say “Yeah, I understand in principle what you’re talking about. This is wrong and we opposed it.
Now, we’re legally bound to do this, but what we’re going to do and what we ask them to do is issue a non-binding resolution that says, we, the school board of whatever county, hereby state common core is bad. It’s bad for administration, for our teachers,[01:22:00] for our parents, and for our kids. We don’t want it. We will follow it because we have to, but we’re issuing a non-binding resolution saying that we’re against it. We think it’s bad and we think the state needs to reconsider.”
What if enough districts do that? You’re going to get this common voice of the people saying, “We don’ want this. We reject this. We reject this top-down tyranny of education. We’ll discuss that probably a little bit more in the bonus feature as well.
So, I’ll end where I always end. All my presentations end with this quote by John Quincy Adams, “Duties are ours. Results are God’s.
In education, just like all of the other issues — money, economics, war –we’re being inundated with the violation of principles. This huge tsunami and who am I to think I can stop it? It’s not the issue. The issue is who is God and He can and will, and always has stopped evil, and always prevailed.
So, what is my duty? My duty is to get involved. Do my part. Educate myself. Inform others. Make a plan and do it. Do what I feel passionate about. Do what I feel like God has blessed me to do well and go and talk, build good relationships with your local school board, local teachers. [01:23:00] Help them to understand and see the true principles of freedom, and then to act on that.
And as we do that, the results really are in God’s hands. He is able to effectuate miracles that need to happen in order to support our nation, support our education system in the way that is intended by the founding father to be as local as possible.