May 01, 2013
Inside this issue
  18 Legislators and 550+ of our closest friends!!  
  Tennessee Eagle Forum was a proud co-sponsor of this incredible event addressing one of the most important issue of our day.  We are so grateful for the 18 lawmakers who took time out of their busy schedules to come from all over the state to take advantage of the expertise brought by our panel. Speakers were  Jamie Gass of the Pioneer Institute, Lindsay Burke of The Heritage Foundation, Bill Evers of the Hoover Institution, and Emmet McGroarty and Jane Robbins of the American Principles Project.

Sen. Mae Beavers (Mt. Juliet), Sen. Mike Bell (Riceville), Sen. Janice Bowling (Tullahoma), Sen. Dolores Gresham, Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, (Summerville), Sen. Ferrell Haile (Gallatin), Sen. Jack Johnson (Franklin), Sen. Jim Tracy (Shelbyville), Rep. Shelia Butt (Columbia), Rep. Mike Carter (Ooltewah), Rep. Glen Casada (Thompson Station), Rep. Mary Littleton (Dickson), Rep. Rep. Debra Moody (Covington), Rep. Mark Pody (Lebanon), Rep. Courtney Rogers (Goodlettsville), Rep. Charles Sargent (Franklin), Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver (Lancaster), Rep. Dawn White (Murfreesboro), numerous members of local boards of education, many teachers, parents, grassroots activists gathered in the Cool Springs Embassy Suites last evening to hear from five nationally known speakers on the Common Core Standards.

While many of us have been busy bringing this issue to the attention of legislators and parents for some time now, this event was really a 'kick off' of a long term campaign to bring the TRUTH about Common Core to the citizens of Tennessee.  Our children deserve no less.    You will certainly want to 'stay tuned' -- we will let you know when these videos are posted on YouTube so that you can share these with family and friends. In addition, there will be other events and the distribution of additional information that you will want to know about and use!!




Kevin Kookogey, Host


Distinguished Common Core Panel

Rep.Debra Moody, Rep.Dawn White, Sen. Ferrell Haile, Rep. Mike Carter, Rep. Courtney Rogers


Sen. Mike Bell, Chairman of Senate Government Operations Committee, Sen.Dolores Gresham, Chairman of Senate Education


Mrs. Jack Johnson (Deanna), Rep.Charles Sargent, Chairman of the House Finance Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Mark Pody


Sen. Jack Johnson, Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, Deanna Johnson, Rep. Charles Sargent


Sen. Dolores Gresham, Sen. Janice Bowling, Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, Rep. Shelia Butt


Sold out crowd
 

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  Critics speak out about new Common Core standards  
  WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. -

A standing-room only crowd gathered at Embassy Suites in Cool Springs Tuesday night to hear a panel discussion about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

The "Confronting the Common Core" discussion was planned by Tennessee Freedom Coalition, Heritage Action for America, and Tennessee Eagle Forum, among other sponsors, who see the CCSS as a "threat to academic freedom."

"Parents and people in the community are beginning to realize the federal government has attempted a federal takeover of their education and they're not standing for it," said Kevin Kookogey during his opening statements.

The panel discussion came one day after a heated open meeting Monday night in Williamson County, where state and local education leaders met with parents and teachers about CCSS. Many critics felt shutout of the meeting when organizers refused to answer direct questions from the audience, instead opting for written submissions to be answered at a later time.

Tuesday's event, organized by some of those same critics, provided presentations by panelists, followed by an open mic question and answer session.

However, News 2 and other media outlets were limited in coverage, with access only to panelists as they made their presentations.

"This program is academically weak. This program discourages and hobbles innovation," said Dr. William Evers, discussion panelist.

"They're signing onto a standardization push that will fail to improve education outcomes," added Lindsey Burke, another panelist.

The state adopted the federal standards in 2010 when it applied for Race to the Top money, as a means to improve academics and college readiness for all students. But critics see the standards as a means for the federal government to take control over state education.

Several groups, including those that sponsored the panel discussion, argue CCSS was not developed by the states, was not voluntary due to pressuring government incentives, and was designed to dictate local school curriculum.  Read more here.

 

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  Conservatives rally against schools' Common Core standards as a federal overreach  
 

FRANKLIN — Conservatives came from far and wide Tuesday night to rail against Common Core standards, calling them academically weak and a threat to parents’ control over their children’s education.

More than 400 parents, community members and out-of-town guests gathered in the Cool Springs Embassy Suites for a second round of panel discussions on the standards, adopted here and in 44 states for what children are expected to know as they progress through school.

Kevin Kookogey, who led the “Confronting Common Core” event, entered to Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall.” Other speakers included Jamie Gass of the Pioneer Institute, Bill Evers of the Hoover Institution, Lindsey Burke of the Heritage Foundation, and Emmet McGroarty and Jane Robbins, both of the American Principles Project.

Sharon Sewell, a member of Alabamians United for Excellence in Education, drove from Alabama for the event. She said the standards invade privacy, take away local control and impose an unfair burden on taxpayers, and that she is fighting to have the standards repealed in her home state.

“We want this stopped,” she said. “Alabama stands with Tennesee.”

Opponents of Common Core accuse the Obama administration of dangling billions of dollars in Race to the Top funds to get states to sign on to its notion of what children should be learning. The opponents say that, rather than raise student achievement and accountability, it dumbs down academics and leads to data-mining of student information.

Tuesday’s meeting was billed as part of an effort to “address the federal government’s overreach into state and local education in Tennessee.”

Some parents angry

Some of the fervor surfaced during a Common Core meeting Monday at The People’s Church in Franklin. The meeting filled up two weeks after organizers posted an online invitation.

At Monday’s meeting, in which the standards were presented by Jamie Woodson, president of the State Collaborative on Reforming Education, Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman and county schools’ Superintendent Mike Looney, many parents and community members wore anti-Common Core stickers and were angered by the question-and-answer format.

Looney had parents write their questions on index cards rather than pass around a microphone. More than 400 people attended that event, which was to be an opportunity to learn more about the Common Core standards.

Woodson recounted how the state in 2009 came to adopt the Common Core Standards initiative, which was due in part because the state received an “F” in 2007 for truth in advertising about student proficiency.

Students were rated as proficient in math and reading based on assessments, but in actuality were behind in comparison to other students nationally. Tennessee is ranked No. 46 in the nation in math and 41st in reading.

Later, the state created the Tennessee Diploma Project to help align Tennessee’s education standards for success in college and the workplace. Woodson repeatedly said that the state has led its own reform efforts, and is a founding member of the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness of College and Career, or PARCC. There are 22 states in this consortium, including Massachusetts and Maryland, both states considered high achieving, Huffman said.

The standards have already been implemented throughout Tennessee. Students in kindergarten through second grade began using them in 2011-12. Read more here.

 

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Resources

Facebook: Stop Common Core in Tennessee

Tennessee Eagle Forum Common Core Page

Pioneer Institute Public Policy Research:  Academic Standards

Truth in American Education

Common Core:  Education Without Representation 

Where’s the Math?  Standard Algorithms in the Common Core State Standards


Is The U.S. Dept. of Education Violating Federal Law by Directing Standards, Tests & Curricula?