Contact State School Board for Replace Common Core Resolution

At its Work Session August 10, the State School Board heard a presentation by Supt. Sentance that was prompted by a resolution he offered to the Board to rescind common core.  That presentation and the subsequent discussion can be viewed here beginning at 1:06.  Visuals can be found here:

Although the resolution provides for a vote at the November 9, 2017 meeting, it is important that citizens begin meeting with and contacting board members now.

Eagle Forum emailed each Board member extensive documentation to show the common core of failure in Alabama.  See open letter here.

We urged that they rescind Alabama’s Common Core Standards called Alabama College and Career Standards (ACCRS) and that they move expeditiously to empower duly appointed course of study committees to replace ACCRS with new standards informed by the best of the best pre-common core standards in the nation so that our students can return to the positive trajectory they were on prior to common core implementation.  If Alabama football sets standards nationwide, why can’t Alabama students do the same?

Replacing ACCRS will:

1Stop CC standards under which Alabama Dropped to Dead Last; Restore the Upward Trend Prior to Common Core[1]
2015 NAEP (“the nation’s scorecard”) results place Alabama dead last on Math and English, a significant decline from 26th among the states, which is where we were in 2011 before Common Core. Nationally, only non-common core states showed no decline on NAEP.  Alabama ACT scores also show the inferiority of Common Core. The 2015 ACT report shows only 16% of Alabama students meet the benchmark in all 4 subjects – down 5 points just since 2014.  These Assessments that show a pitiful 20% proficiency in Math after 3 years of common core (cc) and a 62% proficiency in English after 2 years of cc cannot be explained away[2]

2. Protect all children from “irreversible damage” due to 4 years of CC Math documented by California data under Phil Daro CC Math.  Alabama is beginning its 5th year now!   See pre-eminent math standards writer Dr. James Milgram letter.[3]

3. Protect young children from the developmentally inappropriate common core regimen that, as predicted by 500 early childhood specialists, causes harmful stress, not better learning.[4]

4. Reject Objectionable Readings that indoctrinate rather than educate.  Enable Alabamians to select
curriculum without the intimidation of federally funded curriculum modules and expectations.[5]

5. Reject CC aligned assessments..  Protect student data privacy, and prevent potential psycho-social and behavioral assessment.[6]

6. Reject assessments being utilized to predetermine career paths.  Enable students to choose their own future.[7]

“Common Core Damage Will Last Years to Come”
Dr. Peter Wood, President National Association of Scholars
https://www.nas.org/articles/common_core_damage_will_last_for_years_to_come

For a comprehensive list of authoritative books and papers on common core, go here.


Authoritative Books/Papers on Common Core

Authoritative Books/Papers on Common Core

Common Ground on Common Core: Voices from across the Political Spectrum Expose the Realities of the CCSS

Edited by Kirsten Lombard, Resounding Books, Madison, WI, 2015

Drilling through the Core: Why Common Core is Bad for American Education, Peter Wood, Ed., Pioneer Inst., 2015

The Long War and Common Core, Donna H. Hearne, Freedom Basics Press, St, Louis, Mo. 2015

The Story-Killers, Terrence O. Moore, PhD., 2013

“Common Does Not Equal Excellent”, Erin Tuttle, J.R. Wilson, American Principles Project, Jan. 2016

The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents, Joy Pullman, Encounter Books, Apr 2017

 

 

Pioneer Institute White Papers on Common Core

pioneerinstitute.org/common-core/

The Revenge of K-12: How Common Core and the New SAT Lower College

Standards – “likely to hurt low-income students the most”

By Richard R. Phelps and R. James Milgram                                                     Sept. 2014

 

Imperiling the Republic: the Fate of U.S. History Instruction under Common Core

by Ralph Ketcham, Anders Lewis, Sandra Stotsky                                           August 2014

 

Cogs in the Machine: Big Data, Common Core and National Testing

by Emmett McGroarty, Joy Pullman and Jane Robbins                                  May 2014

 

The Dying of the Light: How Common Core Damages Poetry Instruction

by Anthony Esolen, Jamie Highfill and Sandra Stotsky                                   April 2014

 

Lowering the Bar: How Common Core Math Fails to Prepare High School

Students for STEM by R. James Milgram and Sandra Stotsky                      Sept. 2013

 

How Common Core’s ELA Standards Place College Readiness at Risk

by Mark Bauerlein and Sandra Stotsky                                                               Sept. 2012

 

Controlling Education from the Top: Why Common Core is Bad for America

by Emmett McGroarty and Jane Robbins                                                          May 2012

 

The Road to a National Curriculum: the Legal Aspects of CCSRace to the Top and

Conditional Waivers by Robert Eitel, Kent Talbert and Williamson Evers

Feb. 2012

 

National Standards Still Don’t Make the Grade

By Kathleen Madigan, Sandra Stotsky, Ze’ev Wurman                                    July 2010

 

The Emperor’s New Clothes: National Assessment Based on Weak “College and Career

Readiness Standards” by Sandra Stotsky and Ze’ev Wurman                       May 2010

 

Fair to Middling:  A National Standards Progress Report

by R. James Milgram and Sandra Stotsky                                                          March 2010

 

Why Race to the Middle? First Class State Standards Are Better than Third-Class  

National Standards    by Ze’ev Wurman and Sandra Stotsky                    Feb. 2010

Strengthening the Military………..Restoring American Values

President Trump announced on Twitter Wednesday that he will ban transgender people from serving in the military in any capacity, reversing an Obama administration decision to allow them to serve openly and drawing dismay and anger from advocates.

Citing the need to focus on what he called “decisive and overwhelming victory,” Trump said that the military cannot accept the burden of higher medical costs and the “disruption” that transgender troops “would entail.”

“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

The missive comes after Trump’s defense secretary, retired. Gen. Jim Mattis, delayed the implementation of the last significant piece of the Obama administration’s new policy, delaying the entry of transgender military recruits until the end of 2017. The policy in place would have allowed them to begin serving July 1, but Mattis delayed it just before a deadline set, citing a need for more study.
 
 

A Piece of Cake! News, Notes and a special tribute to Phyllis!

 

CAPITOL HILL NEWS 

TABITHA and COLLEEN ON CAPITOL HILL

 

Protecting Americans
 
The House passed two immigration bills last week backed by President Trump and Attorney General Sessions.  The bills tackled illegal immigrants and sanctuary cities.  Most importantly, they increase the safety of Americans across the nation.

Kate’s Law (H.R. 3004), sponsored by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Mass.), is an initiative that has been a priority of President Trump.  The bill was named after Kate Steinle who was murdered in San Francisco by an illegal immigrant from Mexico who already had seven previous felony convictions and had been deported back to Mexico five times.  The fact that he was continuously allowed to enter into the United States is a major safety concern for all Americans.  Kate’s Law lengthens the maximum sentencing for immigrants with previous convictions who try to reenter the United States.  The bill passed 257-167 mostly along party lines.

The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act (H.R. 3003), also sponsored by Chairman Goodlatte, goes hand-in-hand with Kate’s Law.  It requires that sanctuary cities cooperate with local and federal officials to detain suspects involved in criminal activity.  If a sanctuary city would refuse to cooperate, like they have in the past, the federal government would deny them federal grant money.  This bill passed 228-195 also along party lines.

As these bills move through the Senate, Eagle Forum will monitor their progress and continue these discussions with leaders.
Piece of Cake?
wedding-cake.jpg

The Supreme Court has announced that it will hear a case regarding a Denver cake baker who refused to participate in a same-sex wedding.  We have heard many situations like this before, such as the Kleins in Oregon, where states have suppressed individuals’ religious beliefs.  Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, tried to claim a religious exemption to the state’s anti-discrimination law, but the state courts ruled against him.  The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on this case beginning in the Fall.  Eagle Forum will keep you up-to-date on its developments.

_______________________________________________________________
 

As you have questions or legislative concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact Tabitha directly via email at tabitha@eagleforum.org or phone at 202/341-5737.

Colleen Holcomb will continue working with Eagle Forum as Vice-President of Government Relations. You may continue to contact her with your questions or concerns at cholcomb@attorneyholcomb.com or phone: 757/277-4848.

 
We will keep you posted on these and other developments as we learn new information. Until then, please stay tuned to the Eagle Forum Facebook page.
STATE and ISSUES NEWS

SCIENCE – OHIO – Robert Lattimer, our Eagle Forum Science Chairman reports, that Ohio requests feedback on updated academic standards.

 
The Ohio Department of Education is updating the state’s science, social studies, and financial literacy standards.  The Department is currently taking input on its proposed revisions (https://www.ohio-k12.help/standards/).  The deadline for providing feedback is JULY 18.
 
Ohio’s science standards date back to 2011 (before the introduction of the Next Generation Science Standards).  The standards provide a heavy dose of materialistic philosophy, especially in the area of biological evolution.  Overall, the Ohio standards are just as objectionable and biased as NGSS.
 
The proposed 2017 revisions are generally minor in most areas of science.  However, the 8th grade and high school Biology standards have extensive updates.  In particular, the dogmatic coverage of biological evolution has been strengthened and extended.  You are encouraged to provide input on these standards (and others if you choose).
 
The on-line response form is easy to use.  A space is provided on the form for comments on the various standards.  Bob also looked at the social studies and financial literacy updates.  These are very brief and there isn’t much to object to.  Science is the real problem area.
 
Note that the review form asks the participant to select an Ohio county.  For those respondents who live in other states, you can check the “State Level Sites” option instead of a county.  Bob has prepared a list of suggested comments for the biology standards; you may request a copy by e-mail (rplattimer@gmail.com).
 EAGLE FORUM LEADER – FACEBOOK PAGE
We are developing a new Facebook page for our Eagle Forum Leaders to serve as another forum to share information and strategize with one another privately. If you would like to join this closed group, please contact Liz Miller at liz@eagleforum.org or call 618.433.8990.

JULY LEADER CALL – Wed., July 26 @ 2 PM (CDT)

Our Monthly Leader Call is designed, among other things, to give each state leader the opportunity to share and submit their state reports so that we can all learn from each other about issues we may have currently tackled this legislative session or will face in the future.  If you have not yet shared your state report, please email Julia so that she can be certain you have 1-3 minutes during our JULY LEADER MEETING to give your report for the benefit of all other leaders on the call. 

To join our next call, please contact Julia Warton at eagleforum.julia@gmail.com and she will supply you with the call-in information.

REGISTER your GROUP of 10 or more for
EAGLE COUNCIL XLVI in D.C. and SAVE! 
BE INSPIRED
Phyllis Schlafly was my Heroine! ~ Michele Bachmann

This video interview was recorded with the Honorable Michele Bachmann as a tribute to Phyllis on her 90th birthday.  We miss Phyllis dearly and as Michele said, “She was one of a kind. There will never be another like her.”
This is why we are looking forward to gathering together September 14-17 for EAGLE COUNCIL XLVI in Washington, D.C. to honor Phyllis and to stay true to the mission of Eagle Forum launched almost five decades ago.  

Michele Bachmann will be with us, along with many, many others who loved Phyllis and worked alongside of her from the beginning and who remain faithful today.  We’ll also be joined by many others who are just joining in the fight for God, family and country.

 
EAGLE COUNCIL is Eagle Forum’s annual training and leadership conferencedesigned to further equip and encourage active citizenship.  Together, we look forward to honoring Phyllis’s legacy by continuing the good work of Eagle Forum and EAGLE COUNCIL is a vital training forum to help us fulfill our mission.
Join us for EAGLE COUNCIL XLVI in D.C.!  Click here to Register!
CONNECTION POINTS
 
Facebook – Eagle Forum – Like us, visit us, contribute and share!
 
Twitter – @EagleForum – Follow us here, too!
 
 
Eagle Forum – visit our website often and share with others for information, resources, By-Laws, coming events, alerts, etc. at http://eagleforum.org/ 
 
Eagle Forum Truth – Learn about the effort to preserve and protect the legacy of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum at http://eagleforumtruth.com/
Contribute – Our Eagle Forum projects are so important to the future of our country and to the conservative pro-family cause. The more you give, the more we can support our volunteers to influence elected officials!!  http://eagleforum.org/donate.html

HB277 is About Satisfying Federal Grants, Not Safety

Please contact your Senator NOW and ask that they vote NO on HB277.  You may reach your Senator at (334) 242-7800.  New information has come to our attention this week.  Please see below.

Eagle Forum of Alabama has received new information this week regarding HB277. We ask for you to oppose HB277 as it seriously threatens religious liberty of ministries in Alabama. We do not want to see the Federal Government controlling internal policies of church ministries.

Reviewing DHR’s application for the 2016-2018 Child Care Development Fund grant leaves zero doubt HB277 was written and presented for the sole purpose of DHR meeting requirements as set forth in the grant award.  HB277, the Child Care Safety Act, can be directly tied back to DHR.

The following is a summary of facts regarding the Alabama Child Care Development Fund (CCDF):
•    Nancy Buckner was sent a letter from Administration for Children and Families (Office of Child Care) on June 14, 2016, informing her Alabama DHR was conditionally awarded CCDF Funds for three years, beginning June 1, 2016 thru September 30, 2018.  ‘Conditionally approved’ means conditions in the grant must be met by specific dates during the grant cycle.
•    Faye Nelson, Deputy Commissioner for Family Services (DHR) is listed as the person responsible for the grant submission and oversight of distribution of funds and compliance to unmet requirements.
•    DHR received $92,297,586 in CCDF funds for 2016.  2017 and 2018 funding amounts have not been released.  (Source: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/occ/resource/fy-2016-ccdf-allocations-including-redistributed-funds )
•    Alabama DHR is contracting with Quality Enhancement Agencies (Voices?) to administer subsidy program eligibility services and quality enhancement. (p. 21)
•    Alabama DHR and Alabama Partnership for Children received $1.2 million from the Kellogg Foundation specifically to promote licensing and regulation by educating parents, providers, faith-based leaders, policy makers and the community about the benefits of regulated child care settings.  (p. 27; wkkf.org) “Don’t Be in the Dark” campaign.  It’s about child safety, right?
•    DHR contracts with Quality Enhancement Agencies (Voices?) to provide consumer education to inform the public about quality child care and assist families in making informed child care choices.  “Don’t Be in the Dark” campaign. (p. 29)
•    A requirement for a state to receive CCDF funds is, “Each state is required to certify it has in effect licensing requirements applicable to all child care services provided within the state (not restricted to providers receiving CCDF), and to provide a detailed description of such requirements and how such requirements are effectively enforced.”  (p. 110)
•    DHR states in their grant application, “There are no current staff to child ratio or group size requirements for exempt programs.  DHR will have requirements in place by September 30, 2016 for exempt programs participating in the child care subsidy program. Exempt child care programs participating in the subsidy program will be subject to the same staff/child ratios and group size as licensed programs.” (p. 116)
•    CCDF grant requirements mandates states establish health and safety requirements for providers serving children receiving CCDF assistance.  DHR stated in the grant application they would have these health and safety requirements (Minimum Standards) in place no later than July 31, 2016.  (p. 123)
•    DHR states in their grant application they will have policies and practices implemented to ensure that providers for children receiving assistance and their facilities comply with applicable State or local licensing and health and safety requirements no later than August 31, 2016.  (p. 131)
•    CCDF grant requirements mandate license-exempt CCDF providers be inspected by DHR at least once prior to opening and at least once annually. (p.136)
•    Grant requirements mandate criminal background checks on child care staff members and prospective child care members no later than September 30, 2017.
•    DHR states in its grant application they have a statewide quality rating and improvement system in place as of March, 2016.  There are currently 26 STARS rated facilities in the entire state.  26 out of over 1,000.

Protect Vital Child Care Providers: STOP HB277

Opposition to HB277 is about protecting children by protecting some of the best, safest, and most positive child care options for children in Alabama.

If hard working Alabama parents no longer have high quality and low cost options, it harms children. HB277 will hurt poor families that depend on government subsidies to help pay for child care. An unintended consequence of HB277 will be that that many children in rural areas of the state will no longer have any positive child care options.

Eagle Forum of AL also needs to address an advertisement by the Voices organization
released earlier this week on Alabama Public  Radio. This commercial falsely claimed that half of the state’s child care facilities are completely unregulated and do not follow even basic safety standards.

Eagle Forum of Alabama along with many other policy organizations in Alabama researched these claims made by Voices. We found them to be untrue. There are at least eleven agencies that regulate all licensed exempt child care providers in Alabama.  Basic safety regulations are already required for all of these child care providers.  See “Get the Facts on HB277” analysis for more details.

We all believe in protecting children, but Eagle Forum of Alabama finds that this legislation is not properly focused on addressing the real problems at hand. We encourage you to oppose HB277 as more work needs to be done on this legislation.

Better Policy Alternatives Available Than Fiscally Irresponsible SB302 and HB487

Eagle Forum of Alabama finds that SB302 and HB487 are bad policy and will not properly address important public policy issues within Alabama’s prisons and infrastructure.

In the last two weeks of the Alabama legislative session, there are two bills that will have profound and lasting effects on the pocketbooks of Alabama taxpayers. The gas tax (HB487), if passed, would be a $300 million tax increase—the largest tax increase in Alabama in modern times. The other (SB302) is the prison bill. We need to address both the prison and infrastructure issues realistically with pay as we go measures that require transparency, accountability, and a vote of the people.

Instead, the legislature is about to be asked to pass (1)The $2.4 billion bond issue for transportation and (2) the now $845 million prison bill.  These two measures together equal at least a 50% increase in state indebtedness.

First, on Tuesday a SUBSTITUTE VERSION of Gov. Bentley’s PRISON BILL that increases bonding from $800 million to $845 million is being dropped in committee. It has NOT been posted.  See Eagle Forum’s prior analysis here.  Does the bill address the immediate need of medical care and mental health care? Are competitive bids required?  Will prisons be moved from communities that now depend on them for employment? Does new construction now address overcrowding?  Citizens won’t know if objections that stalled Gov. Bentley’s plan have been alleviated until after the committee vote, but it is certain that the cost has been increased, not cut.  Therefore, Alabama taxpayers would be saddled with an ultimate cost of well over $1.5 billion over at least 30 years.  See prison recommendations here.

Second, the Alabama Legislature is considering the largest tax increase in modern history in the form of a transportation bill that calls for $2.4 billion in highway bonds without a vote of the people.  This can accurately be called the largest tax increase on Alabamians in modern history because it amounts to $300 million a year in perpetuity.  There is no sunset.

Thankfully, the Speaker of the House has assured the people of Alabama that the gas tax (HB487) would not come back up this session.  Please thank Speaker McCutcheon for his commitment and ask him to continue to resist attempts to ram HB487 through.  There are sound alternatives being proposed for future action.

Please contact your state representatives to let them know that you do NOT support the gigantic bond issues for prisons or roads.  Ask them to look at sound alternatives!

Urgent Action Needed on Daily Fantasy Sports Bill

On Tuesday, the House passed HB354 (the Daily Fantasy Sports Bill). “In states that sponsor commercial gambling, all taxpayers-including the non-gamblers– end up paying higher taxes for less services and their states end up with worse budget problems over the long term. Allowing states to sponsor online fantasy sports gambling will deepen these financial problems, forcing the taxpayers who don’t gamble to foot the bill.”
(www.alcap.com)

During the lengthy debate, a couple of good amendments presented by Rep. Mike Jones were passed. We are concerned that those amendments, which place greater restrictions on the Daily Fantasy Sports companies may be stripped from the bill in the Senate. When the vote on final passage of the bill was taken, it only passed by a narrow margin of 5 votes. You can click HERE to see how your House member voted.

HB354 NOW GOES TO THE SENATE. WE NEED A GROUNDSWELL OF PEOPLE TO CONTACT THEIR STATE SENATORS AND ENCOURAGE HIM/HER TO OPPOSE HB354.

To understand how dangerous this online gambling bill is (even though proponents argue that it is not gambling), you can click HERE to read what Stop Predatory Gambling has written about this deceptive enterprise. You can also click HERE to watch the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) documentary,  _Frontline_, from 2016 about Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). Forty-three minutes into the documentary, the producers interviewed a young man from Auburn, AL, Josh Adams, who lost $20,000 playing DFS. You can also read the New York Times story about Josh Adams by clicking HERE.